Blush is big business in the makeup world, so the team behind heritage brand Benefit knew they needed a go-big-or-go-home strategy when globally relaunching the company’s blush category in May 2022.
In the case of the U.K. division, it launched a campaign, dubbed “A Wonderful World.” The was successful, using email, web layers and lead generation campaigns and Benefit saw its click-through rates for emails increase by 50%. In addition, launch emails generated 40% more revenue than similar emails with no segmentation sent in 2021. Benefit partnered with marketing software company Bloomreach to enhance its campaign. Bloomreach and Benefit have worked together since 2019, primarily focused on targeted email outreach.
In an online environment confronted by iOS privacy updates, European Union General Data Protection Regulation and other privacy concerns, not to mention high costs, email plays a special role. Email marketing remains an intimate form of brand communication, almost on the same level as text messaging. It can be a powerful tool when information is tailored and relevant to its recipient. Carla Raven, senior CRM and insights manager for Benefit Cosmetics U.K. and Ireland, said 20% of e-commerce the brand’s revenue is generated by email marketing.
The “A Wonderful World” campaign had three objectives: drive awareness, recruit new customers and support sell-through of older product stock. But recruiting new customers was the main priority, particularly Gen Z, said Raven. Benefit sent 14 pre-launch, launch and post-launch emails between May 2 and August 22.
“Whenever we learn something about a customer, like that they have dark hair or fair skin, we can append those attributes to their profile and retarget them in a clear and segmented way,” said Raven. “For ‘A Wonderful World,’ we did a lot of segmentation, and a lot of emails went out to different people with different messaging so the message would convert.”
The pre-launch emails were designed to generate buzz and corral people to sign-up for a waitlist. Raven said waitlist conversions perform well for Benefit but are reserved for larger launches. Four waitlist-focused emails were sent from May 5 to May 16, plus features on the website directed people to the waitlist. Customers who signed up for the waitlist could purchase the blushes 12 hours before anyone else and receive a gift with purchase. Ultimately, 703 people signed up for the waitlist, and it had a 2% sales conversion rate, which Raven said outperformed expectations.
On the category’s relaunch day, May 17, another four emails were sent, each to a different groups. The groups were those who signed up for the waitlist, two different VIP segments and past blush purchasers. On May 18, another two emails were sent to in-store shoppers. Approximately 66,000 emails were sent; they had a 63% higher click-through rate than similar emails with no segmentation from 2021, and revenue was 40% higher than the average, generating a total of $10,000.
Compared to the pre-launch and launch emails, post-launch emails were about retargeting people through a series called “Blush Crush.” Blush Crush emails involved highlighting one blush per month between May and August, with dedicated makeup looks built around them. Customers were then redirected to the site to purchase the bundle of products featured, with a special discount given to those purchasing the full bundle. Each of the four emails generated $3,000-$4,000 in sales, with a click-through rate of 2%.
“Making sure brands are using data not only to sell products but also to build relationships with customers [is important],” said Amanda Elam, CMO for Bloomreach. “Consumers want brands to use their information to personalize content.”