Utilizing Relatable Content to Drive Engagement

June 25, 2020
Katya Hoogerhuis
Katya Hoogerhuis

June 25, 2020

Staying relevant with customers is key to any brand’s content strategy. It’s an especially important goal during historically challenging times. In the Spring of 2020, Pet Supplies Plus needed a series of communications that was thoughtful, pertinent, and still let their brand personality shine in unusual circumstances.

As a portion of this initiative, the Shaw/Scott Strategy and Creative teams built a plan to keep customers informed of important changes and updates, while also capturing customer engagement by tipping the hat to a shared experience all Pet Supplies Plus customers (referred to as “neighbors”) could relate to – that everyone is currently home with their pets 24/7! By capitalizing on this unusual, fun, cuddly, uncharted reality, Pet Supplies Plus was able to increase engagement and layer in some joy.

What’d we do? We built a poll.

A poll seems like a simple solution, but the relevancy of the content is what helps this poll outperform other polls. We also used three different points of engagement to help the narrative flow and provide participants a satisfying close:

  1. The poll, just waiting to be clicked!
  2. Immediate feedback with live results
  3. Follow-up results

For content, we knew pet owners were collectively navigating working from home with their fuzzy/feathered/scaled family members (Who doesn’t love watching those videos of dogs Zoom-bombing an important conference call or even stealing the show during a meteorologist’s evening forecast?). So we asked neighbors to tell us what kind of coworker their pet embodies, giving them four options: The lunch stealer, the office gossip, the over achiever, and the work bestie. Once a selection was made, neighbors were taken to a landing page featuring a dynamic headline populated with their selection, a link to explore toys to keep their pet entertained, and a chart featuring live results of the poll.

The landing page was built directly in Responsys Interact to take advantage of click data (one click from the poll = one vote) and also allowed the Shaw/Scott Tech team to stand this up in a matter of days, rather than rely on another application which can have longer turnaround times. Now that the foundational landing page is in place, Pet Supplies Plus can reuse it for any poll in the future. (In fact, Pet supplies Plus used it again a few weeks later for another pet-related poll.)


Two weeks later in another email campaign to the same audience, we included a module to share overall results. Spoiler alert: most pets were awarded the “work bestie” title!

Overall engagement shows the poll was a success. Even though the original poll module sat near the bottom of the email, it gathered 11% of the total clicks within the email and had over 5,000 responses.

Moral of the story? Tying in relatable content will help elevate engagement in any campaign, whether it’s in a poll, a catchy subject line, or overarching theme. The Shaw/Scott team is always up for the challenge — let us help you brainstorm ways to engage with your email audience in whole new ways. Get in touch.

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Tags: Customer Experience, personalization, Surveys, Relevance, Brand Strategy, Marketing Strategy

Former Creative Director (San Fransisco), Katya is an innovative design leader with a gift for organizing teams and processes internally and cross-functionally. In addition to her impressive visual insight (and output), Katya sees the layers that support excellent design and seamlessly implements best practices, cross-team alignment, testing, and strategy. Katya is adept at interpreting and anticipating a customer’s needs and delivers creative solutions that consistently go beyond expectations. She has worked with top brands including Google Nest, Lululemon, Alaska Airlines, Illy Coffee, RDIO, Jawbone, Hawaiian Airlines and Williams-Sonoma. She previously worked as a designer for West SF + NY, Oracle Responsys, and Art.com.

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