Taking Auto-Response Email Cues from . . . Bone Broth?
This month was a bit of a mess. Despite having an active lifestyle (running, home gym time, etc.) I became incredibly sick with a bout of diverticulitis. First, worst diet plan ever (9.5 lbs in 12 days). Second, eat more fiber. Third, it makes you take a hard look at your diet. I’m still working through the kinks, but one of the biggest recommendations people have consistently sent my wife and me is to start incorporating bone broth into my diet. My wife did all the research and bought a supply from Kettle & Fire. Let me start by the fact that I never knew that there was online bone broth ordering (and it seems to be a big category), but here we were, buying bone broth online. What ensued is something that amazed both of us. The auto-response emails that came are nothing short of delightful. First, a confirmation of the order came and is pasted below. I’ve only copied over the main body content and not the UX (which was also good) or order details.
All was quiet today until the Kettle & Fire warehouse intercom crackled to life:
“Listen up, people! We’ve got a new order from someone in Napa …”
…but no one heard the rest of the announcement over the thunderous roar of applause. Champagne bottles popped and “Don’t Stop Believin” started playing. Loudly.
Nick ran around hugging everyone and attempted a jump kick. Justin cranked out 70 pushups and set a new office record. He’s now telling everyone that he can’t feel his arms and wants a break from packing orders. The rest of the team just grabbed a box of sparklers and went outside to do… celebratory things.
Once we clean up the celebration mess, the team (minus Justin) will lovingly pack, ship and send your order. If you have any questions or problems, just reply to this email. We’ll follow up with tracking information as soon as your package ships so you can welcome our bone broth into your home.
Let us know if you have any questions!
Justin and Nick
Founders, Kettle & Fire
So aside from super funny content, there are a few things that stand out in this email:
• Their personalization included both our name (a usual mail merge) but also the fact that the order came from Napa
• While everyone may not choose humor as your delivery mechanism, the Kettle & Fire team made the first contact with us via a human connection. By letting us know they were pleased with our order, we were able to not stare at another dull auto-response email that went into our circular digital garbage file.
- It sets the stage to look for the next email (below) positively.
I’m not saying that this email is the pinnacle of responses but it did make me think how much the wine industry takes these touch points for granted. We can never forget that each touch point are part of the customer experience, even auto-response emails. Sadly we treat them like just a receipt. More than not they are mechanical, boring emails that get archived or deleted. Even worse, UPS’s research informs us that delivery emails (auto-response emails after the order email) are checked on average of six to eight times. Six to eight times to get that customer to create a deeper relationship with us via an automated email.
It has always been a key recommendation of Andrew Kamphuis and mine to shop your store as a new user, as a returning user, and as a club member and do it across devices. Most people assume we are recommending this approach to look for the most egregious purchasing challenges like lack of responsive design or slow loading sites. We are recommending that you examine every part of the experience and compare it against companies outside of wine. While you may not be able to match the shopping experiences of Amazon, eBay, Overstock, etc., etc. you should still understand how they are fulfilling customer experiences. If you are trying to compare yourself against smaller DTC non-wine companies here is a list I recommend that you peruse and shop if you can: https://medium.com/@dunn/the-emerging-encyclopedia-of-digitally-native-vertical-brands-dnvbs-74bfd0e581bb. When you do the checking make sure you analyze the whole shopping experience from when you arrived on the site, the catalogue, through the cart, past the purchase and even how the box arrived at your door (including packaging, inserts, CTA for reorders, etc).
The future of luxury goods online is customer experience.
The second email from Kettle & Fire was equally magical.
Justin, founder of Kettle & Fire here. I can barely lift my arms from all the pushups I did after you ordered. It’s part of my celebratory routine that makes writing these emails pretty much impossible.
That’s why I’m currently typing this with my toes!
Before my feet start cramping, I wanted to give you the lowdown on why you should be drinking our bone broth.
Unlike other store-bought broths or stocks, we use bones — real bones — from organically-raised chickens and 100% grass-fed cattle. You might be surprised to learn the other guys use poor quality cuts of meat they flash-boil for 2–3 hours. Check the ingredient panel next time you’re at the grocery store — no bones!
Using good bones (and a lot of them) allows us to create a high quality bone broth rich in nutrients that you can’t find elsewhere.
Drinking our bone broth regularly can help improve your health in a number of areas including:
— Digestion — The high levels of glycine and glutamine present in bone broth help remedy “leaky gut” and other intestinal issues.
— Joints & Mobility — Athletes whose bodies experience wear and tear rely on glucosamine to relieve joint pain. Bone broth is a rich source of glucosamine, and collagen is also a potent nutrient for joint pain and arthritis.
— Skin and hair — Consuming the high amounts of collagen found in our bone broth is one of the single best ways to restore luster to skin and hair.
— Detoxification — The glycine found in bone broth supports the liver in one of its primary duties, which is to collect and remove toxins from the body. Glycine also helps the body to reduce oxidative stress by producing antioxidants.
As you incorporate it into your diet over the next few weeks (we recommend 4–8oz per day for optimal health benefits), pay attention to how your body feels. Do you feel less tired, fewer aches and pains, or fewer digestive issues? It just may be the bone broth hard at work.
Hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, just reply to this email and I’ll get back to you. We’re a little obsessed with hearing from our amazing customers.
Justin — The Better Looking Co-Founder of Kettle & Fire
Not only did they keep my attention through what could easily have been a boring informational email, they also managed to convince me to download “The Bone Broth Bible” to ensure I did the most important part of the purchase, my consumption of broth so I can reorder . . . <ahem wineries>.
And email #3
Nick here from K&F! While my brother Justin’s feet recover from all that toe typing, I wanted to share a new tip.
A question we sometimes get from new customers is “How do I drink bone broth to maximize the benefits?”
As with any new habit, getting started is the hard part. Luckily with bone broth, you can easily weave it into your normal routine without thinking twice.
How often you should drink bone broth depends on the condition you are treating. Here are our consumption recommendations for conditions where bone broth is frequently used:
— Arthritis/Joint Pain
Drink as often as you can (minimum of 8 oz. daily)
Use bone broth as a soup base and make it extra anti-inflammatory by adding turmeric, garlic, onions, and kale.
— Detox + Weight Loss
Depends on the specific plan you’re following. You might end up consuming 40 or 50 ounces a day at times while only having about 12–24 on other days.
Heat in mug and drink plain.
— Skin Conditions
Drink 6–12 ounces daily! Bone broth is rich in collagen that helps with skin elasticity.
Sip plain or use in soup/stew.
Daily or at least 4 times per week
If you’re under the weather from a current cold or flu infection, sip it around the clock. Add immune balancing foods like turmeric, garlic, onion, squash, kale, and chard to give your soup or stew some extra super powers.
— Digestion, Leaky gut, or IBS
Anywhere from 8 oz to many cups per day
Begin the day by drinking 8–12 ounces of warm bone broth. Consume a lunch meal that contains bone broth (like beef vegetable soup), and then sip a post-dinner cup of bone broth to end your day.
Bone broth is extremely versatile, and the health applications are endless. When you’re trying to target a condition, try to consume in ways that will help you see positive effects as quickly as possible.
Last thing before I give Justin a foot massage — I have a free bone broth recipe ebook that I’d love to give to you.
To get the recipe book, grab it here.
P.S. I just saw Justin refer to himself as “the better-looking co-founder” in the last email. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Just look at the diagram I made below:
Again, instructions on helping me deplete my order of bone broth . . . so I can buy more. Simple, funny, smart, and creating a personal connection.
I look forward to email #4, and with all honesty, I’ve never been so excited about a bone broth email in my life . . .
Honest question, do you have any winery, restaurant or hotel auto-response emails that made you a greater fan of the company? Please share them with me and everyone else below. I am trying to create a real life scrap book of hospitality companies doing it right (thanks Alan Baker) for everyone to see.