In early 2012, Sephora noticed an emerging beauty trend – people were regularly saving their favourite beauty products and inspiration onto Pinterest boards, and many of those images were from Sephora. As a result, a growing number of potential clients were discovering Sephora products on Pinterest and visiting Sephora.com. To help improve the discoverability of their brand and make it easier for their clients to save and share their favourite beauty products, the Sephora team added the Save button to tens of thousands of product pages during a major website redesign.
Sephora coordinated the introduction of Save buttons with the “Sephora Color Wash” campaign, aimed at helping people get acquainted with their site’s new look. People participating in the campaign were encouraged to find and Pin colour-coordinated beauty treasures on Sephora.com, giving them more opportunities to use improved site features such as search and navigation. Within a few short months, Pinterest became a top 10 referring site for sephora.com.
“Sephora and Pinterest were a natural fit together for beauty aficionados. We wanted to increase the awareness of our brand and bring Sephora into their daily Pinterest lives, so we made it even easier for our clients to do what was coming naturally,” says Julie Bornstein, CMO and Chief Digital Officer of Sephora.
“Pinterest is the perfect venue to visually share shoppable new products, ‘how-to’s and cool images. It’s a place to get inspired by beauty.”
Marketing emails are one of Sephora’s primary client engagement programmes. Naturally, they wanted to experiment with ways to use email to drive Pinterest activity. In addition to regularly including links to their Pinterest account in email footers, Sephora also create Pinterest-centric emails and enable people to save products directly within the email. To help drive a more connected experience with Sephora’s Pinterest profile, they create new boards that reflect the design of their emails, such as the Color Blocking board, which appeared in an autumn 2012 email.
Pinnable emails result in significantly increased Pinterest activity for the products featured. The Color Blocking email generated more than 14,000 saves. Two of the most saved images to date were featured in a Pinterest email that went out to their entire client list. In the month following the first email campaign, Sephora also saw a 60% growth in traffic from Pinterest.
“We realize that clients are busy and don’t always have time to immediately purchase products from our emails. We wanted to make it easy for them to save for later if they saw something they liked, but weren’t quite ready to buy," says Bornstein.
"When we create content for our site or emails, we think of additional ways that we can help the story along on Pinterest," continues Bornstein. "We use web analytics to look at top Pins, test quote layouts from brand founders, and try different product shots—we spend time learning about what works and experiment often to get it right."
With nearly 140,000 followers and 2,500 Pins, Sephora know what their beauty community wants. By using Pinterest Analytics to observe the kinds of content that get the most Pins and saves, they have come to learn which content will be popular with people – such as beauty lists, colour swatches and face charts. One particularly successful strategy is the use of boards to store “It lists”. These are curated by Sephora staff and make it easy to highlight authentic favourite products of their staff as well as any special product tips and tricks. Sephora clients can save these products to their own lists as favourites or to purchase later.
Sephora’s focus on sharing their beauty expertise has resulted in them nurturing a highly qualified audience. The average Pinterest follower spends 15 times more money on Sephora.com than the average Facebook fan.
Bornstein says, “We get asked quite often which are our favorite products. Until now, there wasn’t an easy or scalable place to share the story of our staff’s “It Lists.” We wanted to share our expertise, and encourage clients to save their own. It helps them remember which products they are interested in, and makes it easy for them to find them when they are ready to shop. This has become one of our most followed boards. Based on our success with lists so far, we’re now looking to create even more ways for us to share lists like this to continue our engagement with our pinners."