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Gorillas - re-engagement email sequence teardown

Watch the video below or read the transcript:

Hello and welcome, my name is Yuval Ackerman. I'm a copywriter and a strategist for wellness, lifestyle and femininity brands.

Today we're going to talk about re-engagement sequences, Gen Z, and the luxury of ordering food online.

I don't know where you are located in the world - I've been living in Berlin for the past five and a half years, and recently, in the past couple of years, we've had quite a few brands or startups that are offering to deliver groceries to your doorstep within 10 minutes, max 10, 15 minutes. I don't know how that works wherever you're at, so let me know down in the comments below.

One of those startups, one of the biggest companies here in Berlin with that service is called Gorillas. I do know that they're also delivering in London or about to start delivering in London because I've just visited there. But either way, I've been a customer, a light customer, since the summer. And I actually thought of their email strategy recently because of seeing something that bugged me, and the thing that bugged me was their re-engagement sequence.

We're going to dive in very, very soon, but before we even dive into the copy itself or the strategy behind it, I want you to have a look at all the emails that I've got from them in the past couple of months. Can you see anything that's absolutely wrong with their emails? And if you haven't seen that so far, I'm talking about their preview lines that are completely all over the place, and definitely not what I think they would have wanted them to show. So it's just some kind of technical information that they probably don't even want here. So again, it's a technical issue that they can easily solve.

It's such a dissonance because mostly I would say that their subject lines are on point, and that's something about their marketing that I really like: obviously, they're marketing to Gen Z and millennials, which I think is most of their target audience - they're using a lot of those notorious breakups/relationship quotes. All of those, "it's not you, it's us" and all of those things. I think that's really cute and their subjects lines are really, really good, but then the preview lines are quite disappointing.

Another thing that is quite disappointing is the fact that I have bought from them in the past, I'm a very light user, but still, they have my name as you can see here. But when it comes to their re-engagement sequence, they haven't used it even once. And I'm not going to show you all of their re-engagement emails, but I'll show you a couple of examples, and you'll see that my name is nowhere near there. So it kind of feels like one hand doesn't know what the other is doing. So that's really disappointing.

The thing that led me to even record this teardown is the fact that I've been getting quite a lot of emails with the same subject line. That was really surprising to me. I'm guessing I'm not the only one noticing such things when they arrive in such high frequency.

As you can see here, the subject line, "Hey, is 20% enough" arrived at my email four times within a month and a half. I'm wondering what is their definition of inactive or unengaged audience or users because that's heavy, that would be heavy for any gen Z or millennial recipient, four times with the same subject line. If I noticed it, I think many other users will as well.

When it comes to when to send a re-engagement email, most marketers, according to a study done by ActiveCampaign, would actually wait more than a month even to send the first one. There's actually a tie between the one and two months and three plus months, and they've sent me a re-engagement one... my last order was on November 3rd, and then I got another re-engagement email by November 16th, so less than two weeks after. So I'm not sure what their definition of an inactive or unengaged audience is.

In terms of creativity and rotation. I get it, no one, no one, not even a huge company can be creative until the end of eternity basically, but sending four emails within a month and a half with the same subject line is lazy, actually. There's some kind of a rotation there, as you can see here, and I'm not even getting into the emails yet! There's always one email with, "Hey, can we win you back?", and then a couple of days later, there's another email with a different subject line. So there's some kind of rotation, but it always starts with the same email with the same subject line.

So I would definitely spice things up, I would space the emails out, and I would make the rotation a bit more interesting in a sense.

Now, I bought my last order on November 3rd, and so in terms of segmentation, and let me explain segmentation first for those who don't know the term: basically segmentation is as simple as putting a tag in your Email Service Provider that identifies your customer according to something. So basically, you segment your customers or your audience according to actions they took or didn't take, goals they have reached or didn't reach.

So the fact that I have bought from them in the past should have segmented me into a "recurring customer" or a "paying customer". And obviously something is off with their segmentation because it kind of seems like they don't have it at all. So if they see that I'm buying from them, let's say, every two months or so, then they should have another segmentation for "light users". But the fact is that I'm being treated like any other customer, and that's something that I think as a millennial, it's a bit off.

I'll tell you at the end of this video why segmentation is so important and why re-engagement emails are so important for unengaged customers.

Now let's actually dive into the copy itself and go into one of those notorious emails that I keep getting from them for some reason. "Was it something we said", okay, as you can see, everything here is quite short, and I like it. It's snappy. You don't need to read too much into it. It's a very promotional email.

"Hey, you shopped with us once then never came back", which is not true. If they had segmented me as a user properly, I wouldn't have received a copy like that. "We've still got the products you love, fresh fruits and veggies, baked treats, snacks, drinks, and much more" - again, if the right hand and the left hand would have spoken to one another. they would have seen that what I've always been buying from them is not snacks. It's not drinks. It is mainly fresh fruits and veggies. So there's another problem of segmentation here. "And we still deliver in minutes" - that is true. "Give us another try and get a 20% discount when you spend 20 euros... love Gorillas".

And then terms of conditions and an invitation to their referral program. Now, I'm not going to concentrate on this part of the email. But I am going to go deeper into the copy here.

One thing that maybe the people who are watching this not from Germany can definitely see is the fact that this entire email is in English, and the code name is in German. Now, if you're already sending an email in English, you might as well open coupon codes in English.

Let's assume that someone who just arrived in Germany is going to use this. They don't even know what that means in German. It basically means "so fast 20". And basically that doesn't tell me so much if I don't know German. And so I would definitely, you know, if we're getting into the nitty-gritty details, I would definitely open coupon codes in English. That's a bit ridiculous to me, to be honest.

Also, why should I put in the code name manually when there are so many ways to do that technically today within a click. As in, what they should have done is tell me: "if you click the button below, you will automatically receive your coupon code embedded in your order", or something like that. And I don't even know about the technical aspect of making that happen, but I do know that some other brands know how to make it happen, so it should be possible.

The call to action here is "Order Gorillas". I can tell you for sure that all of their buttons in all of their emails say "Order Gorillas". So I would like to, and hope that they've actually tested it and they did some kind of a split test, and they saw that this one works the best. Cause if not, it's just lazy.

And another thing that I want to say here about the "Order Gorillas" button is that I wish they would have said something along the lines of their entire copy, using those entire relationship quotes and making it more of a Call to Value rather than a Call to Action... make it less cold in a sense and more playful and more fun.

One thing that I want you to see is the fact that I'm clicking on this... and nothing opens up. And at first I was checking this in multiple ways. I thought it had to do with the fact that I have an ad-blocker on, which is something that most millennials and gen Z users have on their browsers.

I just figured - you know what? It's not that I have an ad blocker on, it's the fact that they are not adjusted to a desktop version whatsoever. And whoever opens it, not from their email app on their phone, will just get nowhere. And that's a huge miss because actually, a lot of millennials still like to open their emails via desktop. So if they're basically sending me nowhere, they're missing out on the entire purpose of this email altogether, this one and all of the rest.

Another thing that I'm pretty sure doesn't even exist is the fact that they don't have a desktop shop as well. So it's great that they've done an adaptation to mobile, which is very, very important, especially when it comes to gen Z, but at the end of the day, they're missing out on such a huge market share just because they haven't done the adaptation to desktop as properly, which is ironic as hell.

I do want to talk lastly about keeping your email list clean. One of the most important reasons why you would even consider sending an email sequence like that, of re-engaging your audience, is to keep them active in your platform, buying, etc. If the mail didn't work, what they should've done is remove me from their list, or at least give me a greater grace period.

Not only did they not remove me from their list, they actually kept on marketing to me quite heavily. And honestly, I mean, I'm very patient and I'm also interested to see which emails are doing what, and which companies are doing what, cause that's my job and that's something that I actually enjoy doing, but that's not how you keep your list healthy and your customers happy, not at all.

If you're actually sending you a re-engagement sequence, please remove the unengaged users from your list. You don't want to antagonize them anymore. Believe me. If they're not engaged after this series, if you've actually sent a series to engage them and they haven't responded and haven't taken action, remove them from your list, as simple as that.

And believe me, gen Z, especially, which is most of, or a very substantial market or audience in the market now - they would appreciate it, and they would actually maybe even come back to you just for the fact that you haven't marketed so heavily to them.

So that's all from me in the meantime. Let me know in the comments where you are located and which kind of services do you have in your area that resembled that one? Also, let me know which other companies should I review next and do a teardown for? In the meantime, stay healthy and stay safe, and I'll see you next time.

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