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Marketing Unboxed: Best Of Season 1

After nearly 20 episodes, countless emails, endless targeted ads, and lots of fun unboxings, the first season of Marketing Unboxed has come to an end. 

It’s been fantastic going on this marketing journey with all of you, examining the marketing of top ecommerce brands. And we’ll be back soon with a whole new season of brands to unbox!

However, we’re not quite done yet. We decided to go through all of our past episodes and give out awards for the very best marketing campaigns we’ve seen during season one. That includes the very best of: 

  • Direct mail
  • Retargeted ads
  • Email marketing
  • Site experience
  • …and much more.

Are you ready? It’s time for The Best of Marketing Unboxed. 

Best Direct Mail: Joybird

Because Joybird offers made-to-order, custom products, the furniture can take a long time to ship and deliver — months in fact. However, Joybird doesn’t just leave customers waiting forever and wondering when their furniture will arrive. Instead, the Joybird team delights customers by sending a hand-written card to set expectations appropriately.

This is an amazingly personalized touch and is seriously impressive from a marketing perspective. We’ve seen a few brands use direct mail to advertise a sale or promote products, but this type of hands-on customer service pays off when customers are waiting weeks for their orders. This campaign is definitely one to emulate. 

Best Social Strategy: Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices isn’t like most athletic brands that highlight elite athletes. Instead, they feature people of all ages, races, and sizes getting out there and “doing things.” This idea has clearly caught on, with more than 100,000 posts on Instagram of their customers #DoingThings while wearing Outdoor Voices.

The brand features this valuable user-generated content all over their website, in emails, and really, everywhere they can. The community that OV has built around “doing things” is really enviable, and shows the power of the right message to drive serious results on social media.  

Best Retargeting: Le Creuset

For a while, it seemed that no matter where we went on the web, we saw ads for Le Creuset. From Facebook to Instagram to The New York Times, images of their cookware were everywhere. Even while the mini cocotte sat abandoned in our cart, we were flooded with ads reminding us that it was still there.

But more than that, the content of the ads—smartly tailored to each channel—made a strong impression. For instance, their Instagram and Facebook ads used videos to show their cookware in action, while display ads encouraged us to upsell to their popular Dutch oven. Overall, it was a very effective campaign to convert new buyers and loyal customers alike. 

Best Packaging: Kylie Cosmetics 

Kylie Cosmetics clearly knows how to make a fantastic first impression. With bright pink packaging and Kylie’s name in bold text on all sides, there’s no mistaking whose product you bought when you unbox it.

And while the branding and design are clearly strong, the brand also doesn’t forget about the fans. In an especially nice touch, the box included a “hand-written” note from Kylie herself. For an unboxing experience, it doesn’t get much better.

Best Cart Abandonment: MVMT

At this point, cart abandonment emails are Ecommerce Marketing 101 — which also means they can get tired if brands don’t find ways to differentiate from the typical cadence. So it was really nice to see MVMT add some variety to their approach.

As part of the checkout process, we were given the option to link our Facebook account to get notifications about our order. Sure enough, a few hours after abandoning our cart, up popped a Facebook message from MVMT that nudged us to take advantage of their current sale. Success!

Best Email Marketing: Away

Away has put a lot of effort into the design of their emails and is the best example of an email nurturing series we’ve seen to date. Every single email had a clear goal — whether it was a carefully worded welcome email laying out everything we needed to know about the brand or a step-by-step rundown of their referral program. Each step in the email nurturing flow was thoughtful and made us want to stay engaged.

They’ve also mastered the art of the upsell. We started to receive emails about the brand’s higher-priced luggage 10 days after we placed our order, which is the perfect cadence for letting customers fall in love with their new purchase and persuade them to make another one.

Best Loyalty Program: Spikeball

With SpikePoints — Spikeball’s version of a loyalty program — we were rewarded not only for our purchase, but also for joining in the first place. The program is designed to make it easy to rack up rewards for basic actions like following them on social media or referring a friend.

Thanks to SpikePoints, Spikeball can upsell even the most casual players (*points at self*) while also giving them tempting perks in return. This rewards program really encourages people to buy not just once, but become loyal customers and members of the Spikeball community. 

Best Brand Story: Soko

As a women-founded company with a strong social mission that emphasizes handcrafted and responsibly sourced materials, storytelling is key in conveying the brand’s values. And when we visited Soko’s site, we were impressed with the content on every page. 

They have a whole section dedicated to what makes Soko different: their transparent supply chain, how they empower artisans via a mobile phone, and more. They also smartly feature PR wins of celebrities and influencers wearing their products on the covers of top magazines. The story is clearly at the core of the brand.

Best Site Experience: UNTUCKit

UNTUCKit is all about making fashion easy and approachable — and this is reflected across their smooth site experience. UNTUCKit does a fantastic job of showing buyers the value of their products in a clear and simple way. We especially love the slider that perfectly illustrates how stylish their shirts look compared to a traditional-cut men’s shirt. 

UNTUCKit also offers a fit guide for guys who aren’t sure which size they should order online. This is a great call for an ecommerce brand, since it makes the ordering experience easier and should minimize returns. The entire site experience is really on point. 


Clearly, we’ve gotten the chance to experience some fantastic marketing campaigns from amazing brands. And hopefully, you’ve been inspired to adopt some of these ideas for your own marketing.

And don’t worry! We’ll be back with even more episodes of Marketing Unboxed next season. But in the meantime, make sure to subscribe because we’ll be sending a few fun behind the scenes extras to all our loyal followers.

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Boston Office

205 Portland St, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
617-545-5001

Leesburg Office

1602 Village Market Blvd SE
Suite 230, Leesburg, VA, 20175
877-343-0245

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