“I went into company America for about 10 years and was on the quick observe, being promoted each couple of years,” Apple Rose Magnificence founder Kristy Alexander instructed us. “I used to be up for an additional promotion once I determined to journey around the globe. I discovered myself in Thailand, volunteering with a corporation that helped rescue girls from human trafficking. That actually modified the route of my life.”
Whereas in Thailand, Alexander met two survivors of human trafficking, Apple and Rose. She based her cosmetics firm in 2015, naming it after the ladies to honor them and spotlight a bigger mission — to assist cease human trafficking. Alexander employs human trafficking survivors and helps organizations that rescue and rehabilitate girls like Apple and Rose.
Apple Rose Magnificence, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida,is a luxurious skincare firm. Its natural face care merchandise are formulated for individuals with delicate pores and skin. “I developed the merchandise for my very own pores and skin,” stated Alexander. “I’ve delicate pores and skin and I’m additionally delicate to fragrances. I needed to create a pure line that was flippantly scented or had no scent in any respect and mild for delicate pores and skin, however nonetheless very efficient.”
Alexander credit her dream of opening a cosmetics enterprise to a chemistry class she took at age 15 in her native nation of Trinidad and Tobego. Whereas taking the category, she analyzed cosmetics and found it was one thing she actually loved.
Utilizing electronic mail to construct robust buyer relationships
When began the corporate, Alexander knew she wanted a robust electronic mail advertising technique. She needed a versatile, scalable electronic mail advertising system with built-in automation options. She selected ActiveCampaign, a advertising automation platform that features electronic mail advertising and CRM capabilities.
“The know-how brings collectively what individuals consider as electronic mail advertising, advertising automation, and CRM,” defined Maria Pergolino, ActiveCampaign’s CMO. “We deliver these applied sciences along with sturdy automation in order that corporations can run campaigns and elevate their voice to a number of audiences.”
“I used to be in search of one thing that was versatile when it comes to automation and speaking with my clients,” stated Alexander. “ActiveCampaign stood out from different CRM corporations that had inflexible automations which didn’t permit me to consider versatile methods to speak with my clients utilizing ‘if…then…else’ situations. The opposite piece was that I wanted a platform the place I may personal and develop my buyer relationships.”
Within the early days of rising her enterprise, Alexander labored with an advisor and tried a number of CRM instruments. “I’m in all probability a kind of individuals who tried all of them,” she stated. “We kissed plenty of frogs first earlier than we acquired right here.”
5 years later, having constructed a sturdy electronic mail listing, Alexander confronted one other problem — reaching clients accustomed to touching and feeling her merchandise throughout a time when this turned unimaginable — the pandemic.
Utilizing know-how to strengthen offline buyer relationships
Alexander makes use of ActiveCampaign for electronic mail advertising, however she additionally leverages its Fb integrations to routinely add her buyer listing for Fb paid promoting. She’s in a position to customise campaigns on Fb with messaging that’s tied to buyer habits.
When COVID-19 hit, Apple Rose Magnificence was doing most of its enterprise offline by means of partnerships with retailers like Macy’s, native marketplaces, and different bodily areas. Alexander’s technique of cultivating robust offline buyer relationships helped her quickly pivot to the net house. Previous to the pandemic, on-line gross sales have been solely about 30% of her enterprise.
Stated Alexander, “I’d at all times heard of the significance of electronic mail advertising, nevertheless it was by no means my focus prior COVID. We onboarded our clients from no matter channels that we acquired them and we tried to get their electronic mail addresses so may remarket to them. We did plenty of in-person activation in retailer and in markets.”
In-person suggestions helped Apple Rose Magnificence dwelling in on who their clients have been — the individuals who have been actually drawn to the model. This gave Alexander and her crew a strong understanding of their clients’ challenges and ache factors which knowledgeable the event of the model positioning.
“When COVID hit, I hadn’t realized how a lot that in-person suggestions was useful for our model or how a lot it knowledgeable our total go-to-market technique. Publish-COVID, we missed that instantaneous suggestions. We have been nonetheless sending emails, however they have been the standard one-way communication. And we thought, how can we recreate such a relationship that we initially had with clients interacting with them in individual?”
Making electronic mail conversational
The shortcoming to speak with clients in individual impressed Alexander and her crew to rethink how they have been utilizing automation and particularly how they have been leveraging ActiveCampaign. They transitioned to a extra conversational sort of electronic mail advertising, asking clients to answer again to them.
“When COVID hit, we have been on this state of not realizing what was occurring. We have been used to seeing our clients and so we have been actually questioning how they have been doing and the way they have been coping with the pandemic. That’s what our preliminary emails have been about — simply reply again and tell us the way you’re doing. What do you want?”
Asking clients how they have been doing helped kick off the method of transitioning Apple Rose Magnificence from offline to on-line gross sales. Their clients knew the corporate had a web site, however they have been used to purchasing in individual at Macy’s or native markets in Jacksonville, or in Atlanta the place Alexander relies.
“With skincare, it’s very sensitive feely, it’s giving clients a chance to odor the product and see the way it spreads on their pores and skin,” stated Alexander. “So, we have been a really excessive contact firm pre-COVID, each domestically and all through the U.S.”
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Skyrocketing on-line gross sales and a brand new enterprise strategy
With the give attention to e-commerce and a brand new customized electronic mail communication technique facilitated by ActiveCampaign, Apple Rose Magnificence was in a position to develop their on-line gross sales by 300% in 2020. “We have been in a position to develop a sort of relationship with our clients that plenty of retailers aren’t essentially in a position to in an internet setting. They actually really feel like we care. And it’s not simply advertising or selling to them, however they really feel like they will have a dialog with us,” stated Alexander.
Alexander notes that about 70% of the enterprise is now on-line, a whole flip from pre-pandemic occasions. Whereas they’ve begun a gradual return to in-person occasions, she has no plan to return to the best way it was earlier than.
“We will scale much more with electronic mail advertising and with on-line gross sales, she stated. “We’ve additionally transitioned our acquisition mannequin to utilizing extra paid promoting and internet advertising. The place as soon as our new clients have been coming from these in-person markets, we’ve now transitioned to on-line buyer acquisition.”
This technique has enabled Alexander’s small crew of three to realize six figures gross sales yearly and proceed to develop. She credit the robust relationship she’s constructed along with her clients—plus her centered digital transformation technique — for this success.
“Prospects are the lifeblood of the corporate, proper? When you don’t have clients, you don’t have a enterprise. Pay particular consideration to that buyer relationship as a result of that’s crucial to nurture and to take care of. You need to be sure that, as a model, you’ve management over communication and messaging so you’ll be able to keep centered on nurturing that relationship.”
Learn subsequent: Extra case research from Jacqueline Dooley