📦 An Email About Emails
May 21, 2023
Content Tag


Saturday, June 18, 2022

It’s Saturday, which means it’s time for science!

And more Brand Breakdowns, of course. Today we’re inspecting science kit subscription brand KiwiCo’s emails. 🔎

Read on to get killer design inspo and learn why you should always be your own guinea pig when it comes to testing your emails.

In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Brand Breakdown Part 2: KiwiCo (Email)

📦 Making your subscription app seamless with Yotpo

📦 Leverage Cross-Store Selling to power your product catalog with Carro

Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎

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*The following emails are in chronological order of how we received them after purchasing.

Email opt-in

KiwiCo’s email pop-up on their homepage is super effective for a number of reasons:

They also have banner and footer opt-ins for the same discount, so we can tell they’re really focused on this welcome offer. As long as it converts, that’s a neat strategy!

Welcome email #1

Our first email from KiwiCo came immediately after opt-in, and we must say, it looks 👌. The offer is front and center, the design is bold and eye-catching, and the use of visuals is really well-done.

We also love the strategy here of allowing users to self-select what product lines they’re interested in (they even have a footer designed for segmentation, too). This allows the brand to gather first-party data and, further segment email contacts into separate funnels based on what line was clicked on. Adding a “How It Works” section is also really smart to address questions up-front and make sure shoppers know what they’re getting.

Note as you’re reading that since we signed up for KiwiCo emails, the discount offer has changed from 30% to 25%.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • We honestly have nothing to add – this is a perfect conversion-focused welcome email! 😀

Welcome email #2

The next email is less about conversion and more focused on the brand and delivering value, with the main CTA driving shoppers to a blog post.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • We like that they remind you of the 30% off towards the bottom of the email, but this early in a welcome series, we’d suggest keeping that initial offer top-of-mind and moving it up.
  • We’d want to know a few things to determine if this is the right place for a content email: Is the brand tracking the behavior of users that engage with content? Are their blog posts increasing conversions?
  • It would be cool to send segmented content based on what users selected in the previous email!


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Campaign #1

This email looks like a seasonal campaign sprinkled into the welcome series. KiwiCo is leading with educational content here again, and following up with products/offers below the fold.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • Oops. We received this email twice. 😬 Might want to check those automations…
  • Again, we’d love to know how the content pieces convert. If these are low-performing emails, they may want to move the products and offers up higher, and have the content at the end of the email.
  • Awesome placement of the Ambassador Program, and clear copy that describes the benefits!

Welcome email #3

The next email focuses on social proof, an excellent strategy to build trust and drive conversions. We also love the repetition of the 30% offer in each email, which will increase the chances of shoppers remembering it and acting on it the next time they think about their kids.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • These testimonials are killer selling points–we’d like to see this email earlier in the flow to drive more conversions!
  • Again, they may want that 30% offer up higher as it will likely drive more clicks to shop.

Welcome email #4

This “last chance” email is simple and to the point, but we spy a few areas for improvement… 👀

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • The actual discount is missing here–is it last chance for 30% off? Something else? If this is the first email a shopper opens, they’ll be a little confused.
  • There’s no CTA at the top to shop with the discount.
  • A more conversion or shopping-focused section below the fold might be a better move to drive readers to use the discount.

Welcome email #5

Wait a second… If the previous email was our last chance for the discount, why is it here again in the next email? 🤔 Curious.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • This email is well-designed, but it feels very similar to Email 3 sent a few days prior (social proof and testimonials). Unless they both perform well, it might make sense to choose the highest-converting email and remove the other from the flow.
  • Awesome teacher promo at the end! This could be worth testing as its own campaign if they have a lot of teachers on their list.


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Welcome email #6

Focusing on the engineering aspect of their products is a cool angle. We’d love to see the click data on that video above the fold!

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • Uh oh, we received this email twice,which is the second time that happened in this flow. 😟

✅ Order confirmation

After placing an order with KiwiCo, you receive their order confirmation email, which is pretty basic but gets the job done. They provide the order information needed, ways to modify your subscription, and a number of links back to their site.

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • The copy could use a little spicing up—doesn’t totally feel like a virtual high-five!
  • Love the refer-a-friend plug here. Order confirmations are a fantastic place to include referral programs as the customer is in a highly motivated state right after they make a purchase.

Welcome email #7 (maybe?)

We received what looks to be like another Welcome Email or potentially a separate campaign after making our purchase. This is a really solid email that moves potential shoppers down the funnel, offers an alternative for subscriptions

💡 Pro tips from Pilothouse :

  • This email is a clear, concise example of reducing friction with the subscription process (shipping, how to cancel or pause), but we would have loved to see it further up in the series!
  • Post-purchase may not be the best place for this email, as the customer has already converted. We’d suggest building a custom post-purchase flow that includes more of the brand and educational content, how to use the product, etc.

Further observations and suggestions

From a design perspective, KiwiCo’s emails crush it. They’re cohesive, on-brand, tactful, and make excellent use of UGC and imagery to showcase the awesomeness of their products. 🔥

Logistically, however, we found a few areas of improvement that could take their emails to the next level:

👉 We got a few emails twice in the flow. They may want to run through their flows to find and correct potential glitches.

👉 We’d love to see better use of first-party data gathering to send segmented emails. Between their opt-in and distinct product categories, there’s plenty of room here to send segmented emails based on what a user has self-selected, which will improve conversions.

👉 If this series isn’t performing as well as they’d like, consider more emphasis on conversions up-front. Make the discount more prominent, include conversion-focused emails earlier in the flow, and brand and educational emails later.

👉 We also didn’t receive a delivery notification email or a full post-purchase flow, which is a big missed opportunity for upsells, cross-sells, gathering reviews, and building brand loyalty.

That’s all for today, email nerds! 👋

See ya next Saturday for Part 3 of our breakdown on KiwiCo — SEO/SEM!


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DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight, Jordan Gillis, and Kelsey Hess. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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