June 27th, 2023

Feedback Friday: BetterBrand

Their emails are chef's kiss.


BetterBrand's emails are designed to be both informative and visually appealing. They use live text, clear CTAs, and engaging imagery to capture attention and drive sales.

  • The emails are designed to look good enough to eat, which aligns with the brand's healthy but delicious products.
  • The emails use a variety of marketing channels, including email, social media, and SMS, to reach customers wherever they are.
  • The emails are created to drive sales, but they also aim to provide value to customers by offering exclusive content and discounts.

Matt: Hey, it's Matt Helbig, and welcome back to Feedback Friday. Today, I'm talking to Alissa Taggart and Vira Sadlak from Flowium about the emails they've been working on with BetterBrand. I've been impressed with the emails coming out of BetterBrand. I'd love to walk through some of them and get your thoughts.

Alissa: Yeah. So some insight quick on the brand itself.

BetterBrand, they've created the Better Bagel, which is almost too good to be the true version of the bagel. Everyone that I know loves bagels. If you don't, I'm sorry, that's kind of strange to me. Bagels are super high in carbs, high in sugar, and pretty low in protein. It's this guilty pleasure that everyone has where they're like, I want a bagel. You eat a bagel, and you feel terrible about it later.

With BetterBrand, their bagel is 26 grams of protein, 5 grams of net carbs, and 1 gram of sugar. They're fluffy, taste like a standard bagel, and are plant-based, which is fantastic. BetterBrand is within the food tech space. Amy Yang is the founder, and she's a very remarkable woman. So if you ever have a chance to read up about her, definitely do. She's got one heck of a brain to come up with something like this.

The thing that they try to focus on are people who are more forward-thinking, like more innovative, who fit within that realm of the food tech space, who want to continue living their life in a pleasurable way, but without all the guilt and the shame and all the stuff that's added towards it. They are people focused on living a good life but not forsaking or compromising what they enjoy. Their main things are concentrating on the forward thinker, innovative people, and consumers who want to break boundaries in a positive way that excites and energizes them.

There was back and forth regarding our agency with their team and understanding and honing in on the look and feel of these emails. It took a while, but we did eventually get there. If you check out their website, it is super cool too.

Whenever we create emails, we try to find something that balances their website and what their brand represents. That direct replica sometimes is a little boring. We feel like we've hit the nail on the head, and it's cool to hear that these emails are popular on Really Good Emails and that you guys are enjoying them. We are excited to walk through some of these and discuss some cool elements.

Shout out to our senior designer over at Flowium, Luis. He's based in Puerto Rico. I mean, the skill that this guy has, it's so amazing. We sent the brand to him, and we said, please help. We need to revamp what's going on. We're going back and forth. He returned with these designs, and everyone on our team, including the client, was like, what just happened? These emails are excellent. So we ran with it, and here we are. So very excited to talk about these.

Matt: I'm impressed with how you've balanced live text and imagery in these emails. It's great to see so much live text, especially compared to other direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands that use one Photoshop export and put it in a template. However, seeing these templates use live text and be more accessible is awesome.

Alissa: Our timelines tend to be a little longer than most agencies would offer for clients because we focus on bringing the brand to life within the context of an email, but deliverability is a huge thing for us.

Deliverability goes down the drain when you're doing all image-based emails. There's not a lot that customers can interact with. Sometimes the images don't show, and sometimes the email clips. It becomes problematic.

Our designers focus on finding the perfect balance between imagery and live text so the emails flow within themselves. It's easier for a customer to interact with and look at and easier to receive, and it doesn't negatively impact deliverability in the long run, which again is a focus for us at our agency.

Matt: I love how you used bagels as bullet points in this email. It's a great way to break down the ingredients visually appealingly.

Alissa: This is an exciting one. We created this original design for them, and the client felt it was a little off-brand. I know we have a couple of others queued in, but this is good because you can see where we started and ended up.

I love the simplicity of the background and the bagel bullet points. There are a lot of different elements to the entire email that are great. It's interactive and engaging. We break down all the ingredients, not in a dull, back-to-back way, but in something just a lot more visual for customers.

This part, where you can see the difference between something better and something vintage like this, is that direct visual comparison for customers. We noticed that you're dealing with two major camps of customers who respond well to lots of plain text. Versus customers who respond well to lots of imagery, understanding more in-depth what the brand is about, what the product is about, and how it looks compared to other things.

The comparison elements we add to many of our clients' emails are where people engage the most. It makes sense. We always want to see why we should buy this versus what we've always bought. So it's helpful for the consumer.

Vira: It's very informational, and that's what I like about it. Brands neglect that first email; they treat it as a thank you for subscribing. The welcome email is your chance to tell more about your brand and values to get your customer hooked. Most conversion happens in those first few emails of the welcome flow.

Alissa: I love the GIF the way like the bagel rolls in, kind of like, hi, I'm here. And then underneath, it's just like considered the grain changed, and you're like, whoa. This bagel has made a fun statement, too; I love when GIFs can accompany the copy.

Vira: The copy is just as important as the design. They did a great job of staying on point with the brand's voice and visual representation of the brand too.

This one makes me hungry.

Alissa: I know. So that's the other thing we focused on with the client: they said we need these emails to look good enough to eat.

So this, you guys can see, is like the evolution of where we went with the design, and the emails overall are not necessarily darker, but there's the mystery behind what's going on with the black fused in the red. It makes it edgier. More mysterious. There's a vibe to it where it's like, I have to buy this bagel to be part of the cool kids club who eat these bagels too.

There's one picture that I always think of where it's the bagel with butter and then sliced bananas with honey drizzled all over it. And you look at it, and you're like, this is amazing, as you look at the email. There's the edginess and the innovation side of things where eating these bagels puts you in that camp. But then, like, they're delicious too.

So we don't want to take away from that. Just hyper-focusing on it like it's healthy. When people always see green, you're like, okay. But, when you see green with delicious, you're like, we found the sweet spot.

Matt: It creates some bagel FOMO and makes something like a healthier option still really appealing. It seems a lot cooler than perhaps what it is. It's just some bagels. You do an outstanding job of creating that sense of wanting to be in on this product, and everything is just super clean with the footer and all the text and imagery. So very nice work on this.

Alissa: Luis has done this interesting thing of like the arrow, which when I first saw it, I was like, I don't get it. But as you're scrolling through the email, like it makes sense, and I don't know why it is that it makes sense. Still, it makes you focus on whatever the arrow is pointing at, which is like important information because this email ultimately lets people know what a subscription's perks are. We're also offering a subscription discount to sign up.

This campaign led to National Bagel Day, which was on January 15th. I don't know why I remember these random dates, but here we are. So it's cool because, like the arrow, I was like, no, I'm not sure. And then when I scrolled through and eventually received it in my inbox, I was like, oh like, this arrow is such a small detail but makes all the difference.

I've seen it without it, and you just get lost. You're like subscriber perks, and there are four bagels. Like, where am I going?

Vira: Especially in the mobile version when all you can see is the bagel, and you're like, okay, I guess it's the end of the email, but the arrow thing looks very nice visually too.

It has that white color. It puts everything together, links everything together, and the black, the white, the red, and like a little bit of white. Yeah, it's beautiful. It's very high-end. That's pretty much like the message we are trying to deliver with this brand.

Matt: How long does it usually take to make an email like this?

Alissa: it's anywhere between three to four weeks is what our usual timeline is from, like creating the strategy of the campaign and then pushing through our entire team. But if our team only worked on one client, it would probably take us three days because, for the designers, it takes them two or three hours to create a campaign from scratch, like doing something beautiful like this.

We are working on condensing timelines at the moment within our agency. But this client, however, we do stuff last minute for them because they're such a fresh new company, and everything is moving so quickly. They're like putting all these things in place because they want to maximize all the attention they're getting right now, which is understandable.

So many of their emails, like, we have one email we're starting, like I just pushed to copy today, that needs to go out next Thursday. And it's doable. I think our team gets a little stressed out with me sometimes, but we do make exceptions for certain companies that are new, fresh, and moving along.

It's not something we like to do as a long-term habit, but it is doable. And with many of these campaigns, for BetterBrand specifically, we turn around much quicker than our normal timeline. So it's awe-inspiring. I wish I could take any credit for it.

I literally can't take any credit for it whatsoever. I come up with, like, we should do a campaign for subscribers, and then I send it to our copywriter, and he comes up with this fantastic idea, and then it gets sent to Luis and design, and I'm like, how did you guys do this? Out of like, I wrote three words, and you guys, like, got it.

It's amazing. And in a short time as well.

Vira: Much of that time also goes into testing the emails. Like every person working on the email, we try to double or triple-check everything. We run it through Email on Acid. I'm unsure if we're still using it, but we're checking the flow and the campaign, like every email we're sending, and we're double-checking all the links.

We send the preview, then check it from devices, tablets, phones, and designs. It's like it's super important to do that all because there's always a little thing that makes all the difference.

Matt: We're going to look at two more examples. The first one is a social media push email. These are becoming more popular, and we've even seen dedicated SMS-based emails. So why would someone want to send an email like this?

Alissa: As much as it makes us upset to think like email isn't always for everyone. So it's cool for us to have the opportunity to push customers or potential customers to different marketing avenues or channels so they can see everything you're doing and see how kind of engaged you are.

But also if, for whatever reason, they opt out of email. Or they unfollow you on Instagram; there are still two or three other channels on which they're still connected. So you're still communicating with them no matter what. And ultimately, it's like you want to be top of mind no matter what for these customers.

So even if I'm not buying a Better Bagel every single day, if I see them every single day on my Instagram feed, it's going to, they're going to, like, make an impression in my mind. And even when I'm not purposefully thinking about them, they pop up no matter what. So now, when I see a bagel, I automatically think of better brand A because I work with them and see them so frequently on different marketing channels.

They're always top of mind to the point where now I'm like talking to my husband, and I'm like; We need to buy a better bagel. We need to. We need to; we need to. And he's like, why? Why? I'm like, no, we need to, like, I don't have an explanation for it; it's just my subconscious is telling me because I've had so many touch points with the brand.

So that helps. The more touch points, the better. Vera and I have discussed this a lot on our podcast, where it takes up to 17 touch points, and that's for, like, lower-value items for someone finally to buy. And the touch point isn't just going to happen in email. It's going to happen in email. It will happen on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, word of mouth, and direct mail. Any way you can connect with the consumers you want.

So their Instagram following is increasing drastically, and they're so active on their stories too. Social media gives these brands a little chance to be witty, funny, sly, and fun. Whereas, like with email, there's more of like a professional appearance that you want to show. So you can still be funny, but you're trying to be more like this is who we are. And then on Instagram, you can be like, yo, what up, girl? You know, like slide into your DMs thing. So it's fun because then people can see the different personalities of your brand.

Vira: It also gives you a sense of community, which you can get through email. But on Instagram, you can engage with other bagel fans and like the brand directly. And it puts that human face onto the brand and community, which is very important. Someone from the Unspam conference compared the brands with different marketing platforms.

They said email marketing is like the good guy your mom wants you to marry.

Alissa: It was Robbie Fitzwater. He was a speaker at the conference. So he was saying that email marketing is like that guy your parents wanted you to date in high school, but you didn't want to because he wasn't like the sexy cool guy with the leather jacket and the motorcycle.

Email marketing was like the nerdy guy who's going places but keeps to himself and doesn't go out much on Saturday nights. Like good, like a solid guy. And you're just like, no. And then when you grow up, you realize, like, dang, I should have dated that guy.

Vira: Social media, is that like other Yeah, the other guy. Like the bad boy guy. 

Alissa: That's funny.

Matt: This is the last email we're going to look at. It's an exit intent offer. I've gotten emails like this before. They're trying to get me to return to their website and buy something.

Alissa: Sort of. So the exit intent offer works for us because we only let that popup appear on a product page. So it's only when someone has shown legitimate intent in purchasing because they're on a product page and not just browsing the site. So if you're on a particular product page and then move your mouse or cursor off the browser with the intent to exit, a popup appears, and the popup for a better brand is the offer of buying three, getting one free.

When someone opts in, they'll get this email. This is the flow's first email; we like a stacked incentive. So the first two emails will be this email, and the second is a reminder of this offer because our offers usually only last 48 hours.

And then, we'll include some welcome emails or more information about the brand to push people over the edge. And then the subsequent two emails will be like a better incentive, whether it's free shipping or a different offer altogether. And that will be the offer. And then a reminder, too; that's how we frame our exit intent.

So this acts like a welcome flow because people didn't opt in through the homepage popup. It's still a critical time to put your best foot forward and show customers what your brand looks like.

Matt: I like how you called out the code here. That's smart. It looks like the same pill-style CTA as the button below. This matches and brings your eye down.

I also like that you left-aligned the text rather than centering it. This is a good choice because the text is a little bit longer. Centering the text would have made it harder to read.

Overall, this is a great example of how to design an exit intent offer email. It's clear, concise, and persuasive. I'm a big fan of this type of email. How important are emails like this? Do most brands need some exit intent offer or abandoned cart email to capture those sales?

Alissa: The exit intent flow tends to be one of the top three performing flows for all our clients, revenue-wise. Engagement as well, but revenue, and that's what clients care about, is like, where's the money?

Exit intent is one of those places just because usually it's an offer that's given again to someone who intends to purchase. They're right there. And then you're giving them that offer as a last resort, like, please, stay on the site, make a purchase, here you go.

And again, it makes the consumer work a bit harder for the discount because they've had to get to the product page. Not that it takes that long like it's what, three seconds to go from a homepage to a product page. But they've had to do a little more research and look through the site to look through product, product description, details, et cetera.

This is a crucial aspect of any email marketing strategy from a holistic point of view. Out of every single flow, the most important is a welcome flow because you want to ensure customers know what they're opting into. And then, for me, the next one would be an abandoned cart, cart flow, and then a post-purchase flow.

Vira: It's not like, for every brand, some brands don't do discounts at all, for example, but you can still give some incentive to your customers.

I know that some brands are doing exclusive desktop wallpapers that you can download., I think it's Glossier who did it. Or like a PDF, or I know that some brands are doing the invitation to an exclusive Facebook group that is only available to like specific customers or something like that. So you want to give them some incentives, but it all comes down to your overall marketing strategy.

Alissa: Yeah, and it doesn't always have to be an offer, as Vera said. It can give you an inside scoop into the brand so you know more. And like a lot of like, for example, this is more service-based, but like a lot of personal trainers, if they have a website, they'll have an exit intent offer where it's not an offer, but it's exit intent content provided.

So, before you leave, make sure you get your free three-day guide on how to lose 10 pounds. And then that's a way for them to stay engaged, get your email, and give you some value in return. The exit intent is an additional way to sort like transactionally switch value. Like I will give, if you give me your email so I can contact you, I will give you this thing is what it's all about. And the exit intent provides another option for that too.

Matt: Thank you so much for breaking down these emails. How can people work with you? Are you still accepting any new clients?

Alissa: Totally. Check us out at flowium.com. And then, if you go to About Us, you can hop in there and schedule a call with our team. The way that we function is if we don't think we'd be a good fit for you, we won't work with you as much as we like making money. We must be the right fit.

So you'll hop on a call with someone from our sales team. They'll walk through what you're doing as a brand, what your goals are, and if it's something that we viably think that we can add value to what you're doing, then we can go from there. But if not, then we'll let you know right off the bat, like, Hey, this is probably not a good fit. Here are some other agencies that we would recommend.

Because ultimately, for us, email marketing is super important, as most of you know. But it's something that if we can't do, we'll offer someone else to do it for you because everyone should have really solid email marketing in place.

Matt: Great. Well, thank you so much, Alissa and Vira. Have a fantastic rest of your day. It's been an absolute joy to talk to you about these emails.

Alissa: Thanks, Matt. Thanks for having us on.


Feedback Friday



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