Birdy Botanicals is a natural skincare line for consumers who want an alternative to mass-marketed skin and beauty products. The brand uses premium, organic ingredients combined with sustainable business practices. Its flagship 3-in-1 cream cleansers offer multiple uses from one product; other recent additions include lip butters and a milk and papaya face scrub.
Sally Waters, founder of Birdy Botanicals, started making her own skin care products to solve her sensitive skin issues. In late 2007, she turned her products into a home business, sharing formulations and ideas with friends and family. She sent HTML emails to her small contact list, her only source of marketing for the year. By 2008, Birdy Botanicals was ready for a broader launch. Without the convenience of a retail store, Sally needed a more robust solution to grow her email list and reach out to new customers.
After looking into a few different email marketing solutions, Sally ultimately chose VerticalResponse because it was straightforward, easy to use and had the most competitive pricing.
“I love the graphics and have a much easier time creating a custom template through VerticalResponse than with some of the other email service providers I tried,” says Sally. After familiarizing herself with the tools, Sally also was impressed with the company’s responsive customer service team.
Since Sally’s business is entirely online, VerticalResponse has been essential to her growth and success in keeping in touch with existing customers and finding new ones. Her emails have a fresh, fun tone and are often written in the first-person, so that readers feel like they’re reading a note from a friend. She dispenses everything from skin care tips and make-it-yourself skin care recipes to product news and discounts in its emails.
“I make a point of developing campaigns that directly benefit my customers, rather than simply plugging new products, so people want to forward to friends,” says Sally. “Through VerticalResponse, I have been able to build my reputation as an expert and resource in the field and it has been super exciting.”
With VerticalResponse, Birdy Botanicals has experienced a great return on its marketing dollar. Email marketing has allowed Birdy Botanicals to build its customer base and reach every monthly sales goal it’s set. Sally has consistently seen open rates between 20 and 30 percent, and click-through rates between 3 and 13 percent.
One of the biggest business drivers for Birdy Botanicals is a simple yet effective offer: Sign up for the newsletter, and get 25 percent off your first purchase. “This particular offer has helped dramatically grow my list,” says Sally.
“I love VerticalResponse, I love the marketing information and the cost-efficient marketing tips that it offers,” says Sally. “VerticalResponse has proven to be such a great source to contact people and to keep my business in their minds, especially when you don’t have a retail location.”
Biggest challenge being a small business owner?
My biggest challenges are the fact that I have to wear so many hats. I wish could peel a couple hats off and concentrate on one or two aspects of the business and therefore do a better job. I am currently a one-woman show so I do my own marketing, sales, accounting, blogging and inventory control.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned as a small business owner?
To learn from my mistakes, dust myself off, get up and try, try again. If it’s what you love to do, then you’re in the right place, but if the balance sheet is not adding up to a profit then you have to continually challenge yourself to find ways to tip that balance sheet in your favor without sacrificing the integrity of your product or customer service. Quality product and customer satisfaction are the most important goals at Birdy Botanicals.
What do you like best about your industry/category? What keeps you going?
It thrills me to no end when I hear I have helped someone solve a skin care dilemma. To hear from customers that I’ve eased at least one problem in their life makes it all worth it. Since I created Birdy Botanicals to solve my own skin care problems, I think of these folks as my sensitive skin kindred spirits.