Email showdown: Stitch Fix vs. Trunk Club

October 23, 2017 McKenzie Gregory

 

We also put these brand's head-to-head in this week's Email Showdown contest on Facebook! Vote for your favorite email for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. 

 

In the world of monthly clothing subscriptions, it really comes down to two contenders: Stitch Fix and Trunk Club. But which service does it better in the inbox?

We’re putting their signup and welcome experiences head-to-head to find out.

 

STITCH FIX 

The signup process 

Rather than filling out a traditional signup form, the only way to get on the Stitch Fix email list is by visiting their website and filling out their Style Quiz. 

 

 

After clicking "Get Started," you're taken to this form, where they collect your name, email address, and which type of clothing you're interested in receiving. This way, they're able to continue nurturing people with the right content, even if they don't end up completing the quiz. 

The quiz is fairly in-depth, asking for detailed measurements and clothing preferences. All in all, it takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

 

 

For the purposes of this showdown, I abandon it about halfway through to see how they'll follow up. 

The welcome series 

Email One

Subject line: Welcome to Stitch Fix!
Preheader text: Your new closet awaits. 

 

Stitch Fix doesn't disappoint: Immediately after I leave the Style Quiz, this welcome email lands in my inbox. The copy is friendly and inviting, and I love that they keep it focused on a single, clear CTA: Complete your quiz. Plus, the template perfectly matches their website and creates a seamless brand experience from the website to the inbox. 

 

Email Two

Subject line: 10 Minutes to Great Style
Preheader text: We'd love to hear more about your style. 

 

The next day (after still not completing the quiz), I get this reminder email. The subject line does a wonderful job of both displaying value and easing pain points: If you do this thing, you'll become more stylish – but don't worry, it'll only take ten minutes. 

 

Email Three

Subject line: Let's be friends! 
Preheader text: Get your social fix. 


 

While I still haven't completed the quiz, at this point, they give me a break from the reminders by sending this email three days later. The look of the template is consistent with the rest of my welcome experience, and the tile format helps introduce all the different ways I can connect with their brand.

 

Email Four 

Subject line: Introducing Our Stylists... 
Preheader text: Need style advice? See how your Stylist can help. 

 

Next, I'm introduced to the Stitch Fix stylists. While that's the primary focus of this email, the main CTA (or at least the one that's placed in a big, bold button) is to schedule a fix. I don't love that discrepancy, but this is still a logical next step for the welcome series. 

 

Email 5

Subject line: How Can I Help?
Preheader text: N/A

Finally, I receive this MacMail-style email from "Margaret at Stitch Fix." While I think they could have gotten more personal with the copy in an email like this, I do love that they mixed things up with a different from name and plain text format. 

Overall, Stitch Fix provides a solid, cohesive welcome experience to new email subscribers. But let's see how Trunk Club stacks up... 

 

TRUNK CLUB

The signup process 

Similar to Stitch Fix, Trunk Club forgoes a traditional signup form in favor of  a Style Quiz. 

I will give them this right off the bat: By using images, simple "yes" or "no" questions, and only giving asking one thing at a time, this quiz immediately feels like less work to fill out.

 

They ask about 20 questions, then they give you a form to fill out with basic contact information.

 

It's interesting that they flip the experience, asking for contact details at the end rather than the beginning of the process. While they probably have fewer signups due to the increased friction, people who do make it this far are probably much more likely to convert. It's a smart idea: After all, it's much better to send to fewer but more engaged subscribers than a big, unengaged list. 

 

The welcome series 

Email One 

Subject line: Welcome to Trunk Club!
Preheader text: Message Tiffany on the Trunk Club app at any time. 

After filling out the form, I receive this email from Trunk Club. I absolutely love that they've assigned someone to me – Tiffany. Regardless of whether she's a real human or a bot, it feels personal, and the custom CTA and copy enhance the experience. (When you look at the web view, the copy and CTA default to "Trunk Club" instead of "Tiffany.")

They get bonus points for setting clear expectations for when I'll hear from her and providing a way to contact her myself if I'm eager to get started. 

 

Email Two

Subject line: Get a trunk every month, every three months, whenever you want!
Preheader text: Sign up for Trunk Scheduling in the app. 

One teeny, tiny qualm: I don't get the second email until about 9 days after the first one. It's an excellent campaign, for sure, with a compelling GIF and easy-to-scan list... but if you're going to set expectations about send cadence, follow through with them. 

 

Email Three

Subject line: We're more than stylists. We're your second opinion. 
Preheader text: N/A

Yes, please.

I still haven't heard from Tiffany at this point, but I am taken aback by this stunning campaign. While I've seen several brands experimenting with full-width emails at this point, this one set the bar to a whole new level. In fact, I immediately forwarded it to my team and checked how it looked on mobile... 

 

Lovely, of course. Someone give that email designer a raise. 

Email 4

Subject line: Your stylist, Tiffany O'Reilly, sent you a message. 
Preheader text: N/A

Finally, I get that note from Tiffany. And while the timing is off from what they promised in the first email, I love that: 

A: The message sounds incredibly personal and friendly.
B: It directs me back to their app, which is clearly where they want all this fun stuff to be happening. 

 


 

So who wins this one? This is one of the closest showdowns I've done in a while, with impressive work from both sides. And who knows – if we evaluated a different portion of their email strategies, things might turn out differently. But for more forward-thinking email design and a incredibly personalized new subscriber experience, I'm giving this one to Trunk Club. 

WINNER: TRUNK CLUB

Pssst... within the next few weeks, we'll be putting these guys head-to-head once again in one of our Email Showdown contests on Facebook. We'll see who does the best seasonal campaigns – except YOU get to choose this time! Everyone who votes will get a chance to win $100 to upgrade their fall wardrobe, so stay tuned to our social profiles to participate. 

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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