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pinterest outdoor marketing

An Often-Overlooked Social Media Strategy for Outdoor Brands

By Outdoor, Social Media

Outdoor brands are constantly looking for ways to promote their products in the competitive marketplace. Smartphones and social media platforms continually bombard us daily with messages that some estimate to be in the thousands. 

“Back in the ‘70s, the average consumer in the U.S. saw around 500 ads per day. That number has since increased by a factor of 10 to upward of 5,000 ads per day,” says Ryan Holmes, Co-founder of Hootsuite.

So how can you gain an advantage to help your outdoor brand and products get attention? In this article, we look at how Pinterest (an often-overlooked) social media platform – can help your outdoor social media marketing strategy attract more customers and potentially add additional revenue to your bottom line. 

Other Social Media Platforms

Before we get into the advantages of Pinterest, let’s look at the current “Big Tech” platforms. Each social media platform has specific benefits that outdoor brands can utilize. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook each provide unique ways to promote your product.


Facebook allows users to post pictures, videos, and messages.

  • Users: 1.79 Billion Daily active users worldwide
  • Audience: Generation X and milllennials
  • Industry impact: B2C
  • Best for: Brand Awareness; advertising


Twitter allows users to post a short message up to 280 characters per post on their account. This allows companies to give quick announcements in a large platform.

  • Users: 186. million daily active users worldwide
  • Audience: Primarily millenials
  • Industry impact: B2B and B2C
  • Best For: Public Relations; customer service


Instagram allows users to post a picture with captions. In addition, Instagram also allows users to post a picture on their instagram story that lasts up to 24 hours. This allows users to visually show their followers their products and also make announcements.

  • Users: 1 billion monthly active users
  • Audience: Primarily millennials
  • Industry impact: B2C
  • Best For: Natural-looking media, behind the scenes, and user generated content; advertising

(Source: Hubspot)

Like the three major social media platforms, Pinterest also has some unique ways to help outdoor marketers and business owners reach new customers. Let’s look at three reasons why Pinterest may be the social media platform your outdoor brand is looking for. 

1. Pinterest Posts Have a Longer Lifespan

Social media marketing is a must-do for outdoor brands to promote their product to customers. But, with social media there can be an overwhelming amount of posts a business’ target audience may never see. 

“Unlike posts on other social media sites, Pinterest pins are basically immortal. They could show up in a users feed weeks or even months after you originally post them if they’re relevant to a user’s search. According to WebpageFX, the half-life of a pin is around 3.5 months.” (Source: Epipheo)

Pinterest will allow your outdoor brand’s social media posts to have a longer lifespan than any other social media platform. Instead of spending your time and energy on a post which may only have a lifespan of a couple hours or even a couple minutes—a post on Pinterest will last for months.  The longer time that your post is on social media the more likely your target audience will see your post. 66% of Pinterest users make a purchase after seeing a brand’s Pins. (Source: Hubspot). This allows your post to be seen by more people which could increase the amount of exposure and sales your business gets. 

2. Pinterest has a High Amount of Traffic 

Although many may not realize, Pinterest is one of most visited sites on the web. For a growing outdoor brand—this is a great opportunity to utilize Pinterest’s traffic to promote your product to your targeted customers.  

“More than 200 billion pins have been saved on Pinterest. And 90% of weekly Pinners make purchase decisions on Pinterest” (Source: Hubspot).

Seeing that Pinterest has a high amount of traffic on the web, Pinterest may bring more awareness to consumers about your business product and what your outdoor business has to offer.

“One of the social media platforms that I think is the most overlooked, and one of the highest trafficked is Pinterest. (Chad Rogers, Co-Founder and CRO, Lemonlight). 

3. Pinterest is a Great Way to Visually Represent Your Products

According to HubSpot, 90% of users say that Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase. Which makes Pinterest a great way to explain and sell your products to potential customers. Pinterest gives outdoor brands a great way to explain how their product will benefit customers’ lives. 


Outdoor Marketing Strategy

“Pins that show a product or service in action are 67% more likely to drive sales” (Source: Pinterest Business).

Furthermore, it is easier for a business to show the benefits their product can provide to a customer rather than trying to explain with no visual representation. Imagine being a fly fishing company trying to explain how to fly fish with no visual representation. No matter how well you explain fly fishing, trying to explain the concept with no visual representation can be very challenging to fully grasp. In comparison, if you had a visual representation of a fly rod in your hand on the river explaining to someone what to do would be much more beneficial for someone to learn. This can be true for any product or service your outdoor business has to offer. 

“85% of Pinners search for and prefer visual content.” (Source: Hootsuite

Outdoor Marketing Strategy. PNG

Example of Orvis’ Pinterest Page.


Pinterest may not have been a part of your business’s social media plan. However, Pinterest could be the spark your social media strategy needs to drive more awareness, interest, and sales. Pinterest is one of the top-visited websites on the web. And because Pinterest’s posts last longer and its format is visual, it provides your outdoor brand a unique way to tell your story.


Outdoor Email Marketing

Three Ways to Catch More Subscribers with Outdoor Email Marketing

By Email Marketing, Outdoor

Article first appeared in GuideFitter Journal Summer 2021

Most outdoor businesses struggle to find cost-effective ways to harness their website traffic and generate qualified contacts/subscribers. Many will spend hours creating newsletters only to have no one open them or read them. This work results in wasted time and money and ultimately giving up on making email marketing work.

But what if there were a better way? What if people looked forward to your emails and were compelled to open them?

According to HubSpot, a marketing software company, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3800% return on investment, making it one of the most effective marketing options available. Furthermore, over 59% of marketers say email is their most significant source of ROI. So how can you take advantage of this highly effective strategy to grow your business?

This article will introduce you to a simple strategy based on a hypothetical guide service (but can be used for product companies too) we’ve implemented numerous times with clients in the outdoor industry that will help you build brand awareness, generate and nurture leads 24/7/365 and add revenue to your bottom line.

Step 1 – Create a Clear Message based on a Story 
Any effective email marketing program should be based on a story-based framework. Psychologists have proven that story is hardwired into our brains. It’s the reason why movies can hold our attention for hours, and campfire hunting stories never get old.

Below is a framework based on a process called StoryBrand™. This framework show you how to write story into your marketing by answering the seven questions your customers are asking in a story-based order. By answering the below questions, you will have all the words you need to write and create an effective automated email program. I’ve also included example responses.

  1. What does your customer want?
    They want the fishing trip of a lifetime. 
  2. What problem does your product or service solve?
    Our guided trips give you memories that last forever.
  3. Have you positioned your service as the solution to their problem?  We understand what it’s like to want to fish the most exciting locations in North America, which is why we specialize in dream fishing trips.
  4. How do they do business with you? Or, in other words, how do they go about booking a trip with you?
    To book your dream fishing trip, pick your date, complete our questionnaire and submit deposit. 
  5. What is the call to action?
    Book Now!
  6. What does a successful fishing trip look like?
    Smiling faces of past clients with monster trout.
  7. What does it look like if they don’t choose your service?
    We make you feel at home and won’t leave you going home empty-handed.

By taking the time to answer the above questions, your business will have a more straightforward message and copy blocks to create the emails outlined below.

For more information on how to clarify your message and write your business’ story, check out this article.

Step 2 – No One Wants Your Newsletter
Once you have your story questions answered, you now need to create a way to collect email addresses. It may come as a shock to you, but prospective customers don’t want to read your newsletter. They want to know more about how you’re going to solve their problem, deliver a world-class experience, and create a lifetime of memories.

Two types of buyers show up on your website: direct and transitional.

  • Direct buyers are people who know of you, heard about you, or got referred to you and are ready to book.
  • However, transitional buyers need more information and time to understand what you offer. For this reason, we suggest creating a lead generator. A lead generator is a piece of content (ebook, video series, checklist, or guide) that warms your prospect up to the idea of doing business with you. They should find your lead generator valuable enough to give you their email address. For example, you may create an ebook that showcases the area your fishing in more detail—complete with specifications, maps, fantastic photography, and success stories. Or you may design a “What to Bring to on your Fishing Trip” checklist that gives your prospect a better idea of what to expect that smooths out any fears, concerns, or questions they may have. The idea here is to get them to say, “tell me more.” Put yourself in your prospective client’s shoes and give them something they will find both valuable and memorable.

Step 3 – Write Your Automated Email Sequence the Right Way
Once you’ve had your web developer add a form to your website for prospects to download your lead generator, you now want to keep the interest and momentum going by staying top of mind in their inbox.

The human brain needs to see your brand message 7-8 times before it can be internalized, noticed, and taken action on. Also called the Rule of 7. We live in a high-distraction world, and it’s easy for people to forget why they visited your website, so it’s your job to remind them.

At this point, you’ll want to pull out the answers to your story questions and begin using them to create your copy. Each email should be sent 2-3 days apart at 7 AM to your prospects’ time zone.


Outdoor Marketing Sales Funnel

The email should also include:

  • Your logo
  • Links to your social media accounts
  • Contact information
  • One button at the bottom that calls the prospect to Book Now/Buy Now
  1. Welcome Email – The welcome email is just what it sounds like. It’s your chance to thank them for downloading the lead generator and introduce them to your product or service by stating the problem you solve. You may want to welcome them to your family or give them a discount on any future bookings or sales.
  2. Add Value #1 The second email should offer helpful information. Resist the urge to sell—try to help. For example, you may want to talk about making the most of their guide trip or offering best practices when traveling with equipment.
  3. Add Value #2 – The third email should, again, add value. This time you may want to offer recipes or tips on how to stay warm and dry at altitude in October. Once again, the idea is to warm your prospect up to the idea of doing business with you.
  4. Overcome an Objection – At this point, you should see an average open rate of 50% and click-through rates around 20%. These are good indicators that your prospect is still interested in your service. This email should begin to address any friction points they may be having. Friction points consist of price, the location of your lodge, fitness level, or transportation obstacles. Address those objections and offer solutions with transparency.
  5. Problem and Solution – In this email, list the problems your guide service solves. People book guided trips for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps they’ve always dreamed of fishing the Miracle Mile in Wyoming. Maybe they are taking their son or daughter for their first fishing trip. Or they are looking to create some lifelong memories with their friends. Address these problems and what the customer wants—and tell them how you solved them with past clients.
  6. Deliver a Paradigm Shift – A paradigm shift means your prospective customer thought one way about your guide service but now thinks differently. For example, they may have considered all guide services are the same—when in fact your guide service offers much more. If your service or product is different, explain why that is.
  7. Customer Testimonial/Success Story – Next is the email that tells what your customer’s life looked like before they booked a trip with you and how their life has changed after their trip. Ask for your clients to provide their stories and highlight them in this email.
  8. Close with a Sales Letter – Finally, if they haven’t booked with you but are still opening your emails – offer a time-sensitive incentive like 10% off if you book with us by the end of the month. Ask for the sale with a clear call to action: Book Now! If they open the email, reach out personally to close the sale.

The above sequence gives you almost a month of automated emails. It can be used as a baseline strategy to help you create your email automation program. Once you get these emails set up in your email program, begin testing subject headlines and content to see if you can improve open rates, click-through rates, and bookings.

Your lead generator can also double as an advertisement on social media or other platforms. Use it at trade shows and local events to generate leads.

In conclusion, the above gives you a simple strategy for creating an effective lead generation and automated email workflow. Start by clarifying your message through story-based elements. Create a valuable lead generator in the form of an ebook, checklist, video series, or guide that your prospects will exchange their email address for. Then create a series of eight emails that nurture your prospective leads that keep your guide service top of mind, which incentivizes them to book. Don’t worry about doing it perfectly right away. Like anything, it takes time to get it right. Just by having this strategy in place, you’ll begin to see results that grows your business.




Outdoor Wire: Garrison Everest now offering certified StoryBrand messaging services

By Firearms Marketing, Outdoor

Nashville, Tennessee — Standing out in the competitive outdoor, shooting sports and defense marketplace can be difficult—if not impossible. Everyone says and does the same things that hinder the best products and services from reaching their potential. And with more distractions from smartphones, emails and advertisements, having a clear and concise message is more important than ever.

Garrison Everest is pleased to announce its StoryBrand certification and that it is now offering this proven framework to the outdoor and firearms industry. The StoryBrand framework is based on New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller’s Building a StoryBrand, Clarify Your Message so Customers will Listen. Its framework is built around the power of storytelling that is applied to marketing to help brands communicate more clearly in the age of distraction. StoryBrand helps outdoor, firearms and defense brands do the following:

  • Answer the seven universal story points all humans respond to
  • Understand the real reason customers make purchases
  • Learn to simplify a brand message so people understand and act on it
  • Learn to create the most effective messaging for websites, advertising, email and social media

Thousands of businesses have trusted StoryBrand to help them clarify their message, revolutionize their marketing, and grow their businesses. It has been used in major motion pictures, award-winning websites and ad campaigns.

“I see many brands not communicating clearly as I look across the industry. Confusing messaging is stymieing their growth and perhaps the growth of our industry. StoryBrand helps you clarify your message so customers will listen,” says Josh Claflin, president of Garrison Everest.

About Garrison Everest

Do you struggle to stand out in the marketplace? Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your product or service to the next level, get the guidance, expertise and assurance you need to maximize your marketing dollars, rise above the marketplace noise and beat your competition. Garrison Everest offers several marketing solutions to help you stand out, attract new customers and grow your business. Schedule a call at

About StoryBrand

StoryBrand helps brands clarify their message so that customers listen. The StoryBrand framework, which is trusted by over 10,000 organizations, will help you confidently create websites and emails that actually work, without spending a fortune on marketing that doesn’t. Learn more at

Garrison Everest is offering a Webinar: How to Stand Out In the Marketplace with StoryBrand on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 1PM (Central Time Zone). Seats are limited and will fill up fast. Save your seat at:



Clear Messaging Tasklist for Outdoor, Hunting and Shooting Sports Business Leaders


How much is unclear messaging costing you? 
The following tasklist will help you (the business leader, director or executive) in the outdoor, hunting, adventure or shooting sports industry determine if your message is clear. It will help you and your team think about how to make your customer “the hero,” and position your brand as the “the guide” that will revolutionize your marketing.


  • Introduction to a 7-part framework to clarify your message
  • Know what to say and what order to say it in
  • Give your team a messaging process that can be implemented across all your marketing materials



How Firearms Companies Can Outthink Their Competition With Inbound Marketing

By Firearms Marketing, Outdoor

For most emerging firearms and outdoor sports companies growing market share comes down to a matter of numbers.

You know your product is good because you’ve gone to great lengths to make it durable, reliable and functional (which is an absolute must in this industry).  You’ve received positive feedback from your customers, signed some solid purchase orders, your website, packaging and brand look great—but you just can’t seem to grow in the way or as fast as you’d like.

Smaller firearms, and outdoor sports manufacturers struggle to take their businesses to the next level because of the expensive barrier of entry to print advertising, T.V and trade shows.

Market industry leaders—or the goliaths—enjoy market dominance and the bulk of the market because of years of brand building. Their massive marketing budgets are hard to beat, making it seemingly impossible for the David’s or the emerging companies to compete against.

However, as some us well know—to bag the beast—you must outthink the beast.

If you haven’t noticed lately, magazine subscriptions are in decline (Source: Folio) and everything seems to be migrating online. Your customers are going to the internet first to research products. Look at some of these revealing statistics:

  • 61% of global Internet users research products online. (Source: Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance)
  • 93% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. (Source: Hubspot)
  • 90% of the purchase lifecycle is over before a customer decides to buy (Source: iMedia)
  • 65% of U.S. shoppers research products and services on a computer and make a purchase in-store (Source: Cisco)

… and these numbers are on the rise.

In this article, I give you 6 points about how you can “outthink” your competition in the firearms, shooting or outdoor sports business by looking at an online strategy first—versus investing more in trade show, TV or print.

1. What is inbound marketing?

Since 2006, inbound marketing has been an effective marketing method for doing business online. Sometimes called “digital” or “content marketing,” “inbound” is the opposite of “outbound marketing.” Where outbound is buying print ads, placing a TV spot and praying for customers; inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests and by solving their problems and answering their most burning questions about: “What AR-15 should I buy? What do I need in an optic? Or what kind of recoil pad is the best? — you naturally attract website visitors—or inbound traffic—that you can convert to customers and turn them into promoters of your brand. (Source: Hubspot)

An inbound approach also lends credibility and trust to your dealers by enabling them to reference great information off your website when their customers are asking for recommendations on what to buy or how your product works.

2. Why inbound marketing now?

Consumer behavior has shifted over the years. The days of “push” advertising and “salesy” tactics have lost their effectiveness. If you think about it, you yourself skip television commercials when watching your favorite show on the Sportsman Channel, ignore flashing online ads when surfing, hang up on cold callers, tune out radio ads that you have no interest in and throw the direct mail in the trash. Years of being bombarded with this “intrusive” form of advertising has changed the way consumers prefer to get information about the products they want to buy. Inbound turns outbound on its head. Instead of constantly pushing your message on your customers, you attract them to your website through your content.

Inbound marketing has been proven to generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing and saves you $20K on average a year over outbound marketing.


3. Content is the secret sauce

Content can be a blog, video, checklist, ebook, whitepaper or a download that attempts to solve your customer’s problems in a relevant way. Blogging is the best way to get started. Did you know that if you’re not creating content on a regular basis, Google will drop your search engine rankings?

For a good example of a blog, take a look at Beretta’s blog.

4. What am I going to write about?

Everyone is an expert in something. If writing isn’t your forte, you can always hire someone to help you out. There are hundreds of industry writers looking for work. Start by forming a list of questions that you hear most from your customers or dealers. Take that list and form it into a series of blog posts. In time, you’ll have more than enough to write about.

Most companies in this industry who blog—are blogging mostly for self-promotional purposes. Shooters, firearms, and outdoor enthusiasts don’t want to hear how great you are—they want to hear how you can help them. In the process, you’ll earn their respect, trust and ultimately their wallet.

5. Online marketing is not about Facebook and Instagram likes

There are plenty of manufacturers who have thousands of followers and likes on their Facebook/Instagram page. However, those likes don’t necessarily translate into website traffic and sales—especially now that less than 1% of your posts are ever seen by your followers. It is important to show “social proof” but Facebook likes alone does not mean you have an online marketing strategy. And with more and more anti-gun sentiment on social media, investing in Facebook is getting risky.

Today, there are only a few companies in the hunting, firearm and outdoor sports industry doing inbound marketing. From working in multiple industries and in the firearms/outdoor industry with a very well known brand—that the world, in general, is moving more and more online. The companies who start now will have a huge advantage down the road. By owning the online space in your category—be it knives, firearms, tactical rifles, safes, optics, suppressors, EDC etc.—you will gain significant advantage over your competitors.


Outdoor Marketing StoryBrand

To Stand Out In The Outdoor Marketplace, Make Your Customer The Hero, Not Your Brand

By Outdoor

Standing out in the ultra-competitive outdoor, hunting and firearms industry is really difficult—if not impossible. The imagery is getting better. The copy is more persuasive. The products are more durable and it seems like every brand claims the same thing:

  • We Make the World’s_____.
  • We’re the Superior ______.
  • We’re #1 in _____.
  • The Worlds’ Most_____.
  • The Ultimate _____.

Does the above list sound familiar? A quick look through any outdoor, hunting or firearms magazine and you’ll see what I mean.

There’s nothing wrong with claiming to be the best—if you’re a brand who really is the market leader – MagPul (Mags), Sig (Pistols), Ruger (10/22), Remington (700)—you earned it. But for brands less well known, making such claims can be down-right dishonest.  The truth is, if you’re a relative unknown brand making the claim that you’re “the best,” you’re wasting money on marketing and your customers don’t believe you anyway. False claims have caused a backlash in other industries as well as our own.

People have great distrust in brands (and companies) these days (Source: Forbes). It’s been documented that your prospective customers will check out 11 pieces (social media, reviews, blogs, websites, ads, forum review and articles) of content before deciding to hand over their hard-earned money because they are afraid of being cheated or taken of advantage of. When was the last time you bought something for first time over $250 without doing any research online?

To combat this “me-too,” and “I’m the best” mentality, marketers and business owners need to find other ways to get their customer’s attention and break out in the marketplace—and the way to effectively accomplish this is by putting in the time to think through their messaging —a good way to do this is through the power of story.

Story has been around since creation. Story has been hard-wired into our brain as a sense-making device. It helps us understand our environment, situations and how to achieve our goals. Stories engage our imaginations and hold our attention for hours on end. Think about the last great movie you saw. Movies like Jason Bourne, Days of Thunder, Star Wars and Saving Private Ryan are all incredibly captivating.

The same methods used in the movies can also apply to your outdoor, hunting, defense or firearms business.

In the following, I’m going to explain how to write story into your marketing, make your customer the hero and stand out in the marketplace to attract more customers. This process if called StoryBrand.

1. A Character

Make your customer the hero, not your brand.

Every great story starts with a hero. The hero in your business is your customer. As humans, we all want to become something better: better hunters, better shooters, more fit, smarter and more wealthy. We also have personality and character traits like age, income, values, beliefs and interests. Define your customer as the hero in your ads, emails, website copy, and sales letter. Once you start defining what your customer wants, they start paying attention.

Q: How can you make your customer the hero?

Brands that participate in the transformation of their customers win in the marketplace. (Source: StoryBrand)

StoryBrand for the Outdoor Industry

2. Has a Problem

Every hero in every story has a problem that must be solved. Without a problem to be addressed (a bomb to diffuse, a girl to rescue or a disaster to prevent) the story would fall flat and you lose your audience’s interest. It’s up to you to identify what the problem is and how the hero will overcome this problem.

Q: What problem does your product or service solve?

A story gets interesting when the conflict is defined. (Source: StoryBrand)

3. Meets a Guide Who Understands Them

No hero can solve the problem on their own. They can try, but it won’t be as successful nor as exciting. Luke Skywalker had Ben Kenobi, Cole Trickle had Harry Hogge, and Neo had Morpheus.

This is how your brand plays the guide:

  1. First, you must show Empathy. Empathy means to relate. How can you empathize with your customer’s problem?
  2. Second is Authority. Heroes look to guides who have gone before them. If you haven’t gone where your customer wants to go, how can you be the guide?  How have you solved the same problem your customer is trying to solve? This must be communicated clearly to establish trust.

Never position yourself as the hero in your brand’s story. (Source: StoryBrand)

4. Who gives them a Plan

At this point in the story, your customers find themselves at risk. This is the point where most customers will bounce off your website or find themselves confused about what you offer. The purpose of giving them a plan is to break down the steps on what it takes to work with or buy from you. The plan eases any friction points in the buying process and helps your customer move forward.

Q: What are the steps your customer must take to work with you?

A plan alleviates confusion or hesitancy about the next step. (Source: StoryBrand)

5. And Calls them to Action

No story can proceed until the hero is called to action. Your customer will not take action unless they are challenged. You must call them to do something.

  • Buy Now
  • Schedule A Call
  • Sign Up
  • Find A Dealer

are all clear call to actions. This language must be repeated over and over again to make it clear what it is you want your customer to do.

Q: Do you have a clear call to action on your website?

If we don’t have the confidence to ask people to buy from us, they assume our product won’t solve their problem. (Source: StoryBrand)

6. That Helps Them Avoid Failure

Two forces motivate people: avoiding failure and experiencing success. Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending. Your customer must know how you will help them be successful.

Q: How will your product or service help your customer avoid failure.

Human beings are sometimes more motivated to avoid a loss than achieve gain. (Source: StoryBrand)

7. Or Ends in Success

As the guide, you must cast the vision of what success looks like if your customer uses your product or services.

Communicate through words and images that your product or service solves your customers’ problems. (Source: StoryBrand)

By understanding these seven principles, you will be able to

  • Stop wasting money on ineffective marketing
  • Get and keep your customers attention
  • Cut through the marketplace clutter of me-too products
  • Attract more customers

StoryBrand Outdoor Marketing

By taking the time to clarify your message and figure out these aspects of your story, you will be able to transform your marketing, attract new customers and stand out in the crowded marketplace.

You can also schedule a call with me, and get a clear plan on how stand out in the crowded outdoor, hunting, defense and firearms marketplace.




Is your brand getting noticed?
In this ebook, we’ll give you 5 keys that will help you differentiate and grow your business. We’ll share why it’s important to have a clear brand message, how to build a website that works, a simple marketing plan, how to gather testimonials the right way and a few marketing tactics that offer the biggest bang for your buck.



ecommerce email marketing outdoor

How To Get The Most Out of Your Outdoor E-commerce Email Marketing

By Email Marketing, Outdoor

Running an online store means zero in-person customer interaction — and this poses a big challenge when you want to build meaningful relationships with your customers in the outdoor industry. This is why email marketing makes a great channel for e-commerce. Outdoor e-commerce email marketing is about building relationships through regular communication and engagement. And it’s exactly what online businesses need to thrive.

There are various ways to generate sales for an e-commerce business. But since email marketing accounts for roughly 23% of total sales, it doesn’t take much convincing for online retailers to start harnessing its potential.

Email use is on a steady ascent among consumers and in today’s business world. Around 205 billion emails are sent and received every day — a figure that’s expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% over the next four years. By the end of 2019, this number may reach 246 billion. It’s enough proof that email isn’t going anywhere.

Email Marketing: The Key to E-commerce Success

Smart online retailers know that email marketing is one of the most reliable and profitable marketing channels. But to make it work for your business, you have to build an email list first. Having an email list keeps you in the competition. It’s a business asset that no one can take away from you. Online stores rely on website traffic, particularly from repeat visitors, to drive sales. Your email list and campaigns help retain more of that traffic by providing an incentive to return — discounts, new products, valuable content, etc. — and communicating it on a regular basis.

Benefits of Email Marketing for E-Commerce

Before we discuss how you can make the most out of e-commerce email marketing, let’s first have a look at the key benefits email marketing brings to your online business.

  • Email can be a powerful tool for customer acquisition. It’s actually 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. With email, you get to take the conversation about your business, products, and services to your customer’s most personal online space: their inbox.
  • Email is more effective in driving traffic and sales. Having an email list allows you to reach your customers in various ways. You can leverage email campaigns to increase website traffic and enhance subscriber engagement in much deeper ways.
  • Email helps build relationships with both existing and new customers. Social and search are great ways to get discovered online, but email is the best way to maintain and strengthen that relationship over time. In fact, 60% of online consumers prefer to buy new products from brands they’re familiar with.

Integrating email marketing in e-commerce requires time and attention to be successful. Here are some e-commerce email marketing tips to help you deliver better customer value and build stronger relationships.

  1. Segment your email list for better engagement.

outdoor email segmentationWith the clutter going on in everyone’s inbox, the last thing you’d want to send is a one-size-fits-all email. Your emails need to be relevant to the recipient for it to get the latter’s interest and possibly drive a conversion.

One surefire way to make your subscribers feel happy and valued — which could eventually make them purchase — is by sending emails with content tailored to them. You can do this by segmenting your email list into groups with similar needs or interests.

Creating emails based on specific criteria using segmentation helps increase engagement and conversion. In the Garmin Example, they ask you as soon as you sign up what you’d like to get updates on. 

  1. Nurture your email list and provide value to subscribers.

Having loyal customers is one of the main reasons a business survives. Fostering relationships with these customers is vital to keep them coming back to your business. To do this, you have to regularly provide value to your subscribers through discounts, loyalty programs or good content.

Including a healthy amount of nurturing emails along with promotional emails is important in outdoor e-commerce email marketing, especially since not every subscriber is ready to purchase. On the other hand, creating loyalty programs further cultivate customer relationships and drive them back to your business.

Nurture your leads by delivering relevant content, interesting news, and product updates. This will keep your subscribers interested in your brand. Sending valuable, content-rich emails to your subscribers early on can make them more likely to open your promotional emails in the future, which can lead to better engagement, click-throughs, and conversion.

In the example below, Northface welcomes their subscribers and lets them know more about their brand in a subtle, amusing way.Outdoor Email Marketing


  1. Follow the anatomy of a good email

    Standing out in your subscriber’s inbox is one challenge you have to overcome. The good news is that you can actually do it when you know how to craft your email in a way that would entice your readers and inspire an action. Below are key elements you need to consider in your emails.

    • Subject line. The first step in grabbing their attention is by coming up with a compelling subject line. Since it’s the first true contact point of email marketing, your subject line needs to entice the recipient to open your email. Create irresistible subject lines to increase your open rates. 

    email marketingstatistics

    • Body content. The main rule when it comes to your email content is to keep it short and make it visually appealing. Ensure that the reader knows right away how they can benefit from your message.
    • Call-to-action. After your subscriber opens your email, the next thing you’d want is to inspire an action. Focus on a primary action that you want the recipient to take. Use action words in your call-to-action and make it visible in the email.
    • Format. Mobile opens accounted for 46% of all email opens. This shows that more email recipients are opening their emails on mobile devices. With this in mind, you have to optimize mobile in your emails. Make sure the emails you send are responsive to the size of the screen they’re displayed on.


  2. Optimize transactional emails.

Being an online business means you get to send a lot of transactional emails. Consumers interact with these emails — password resets, login details, order confirmation, shipping notifications, shopping cart abandonment, etc. — on an almost, if not daily basis. In fact, transactional emails get 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email and generate 6x more revenue.

While it may seem easier to send out default transactional emails, getting creative with it can be more effective in making your customers come back to your store for a repeat purchase. A transactional email offers high levels of relevance, and when optimized properly, can drive additional sales and revenue in the process.

Create a consistent brand experience for your prospects and customers in your transactional emails. You can use the same branding with your website or marketing emails, include special offers to entice customers to make another purchase, or give product recommendations that your customer might need.

Warby Parker came up with a clean design in line with their branding in this transactional email.

  1. Ensuring email deliverability

Ensuring email deliverability is another important factor that determines the success of your email marketing. After all, what’s the use of sending beautiful, optimized emails when they don’t even reach your subscriber’s inbox?

The thing is, getting those emails to the inbox isn’t always easy. Email deliverability issues, such as high bounces, flagging spam filters, and low engagement, can be present. With 20% of emails not reaching the inbox, there’s a chance marketers are missing out on potential revenue and the opportunity to build a strong relationship with subscribers.

To ensure email deliverability, you have to take actionable steps that will help your emails reach the intended recipients. Start off by better positioning your campaigns to reach the inbox. Follow key steps to avoid being marked as spam. Improve reputation score and check feedback loops. Send re-engagement campaigns to subscribers who haven’t opened an email in over 12 months. These are just some of the many ways you can improve email deliverability.

Here’s a great re-engagement email to get a subscriber back to the site.

re-engagement email marketing

Wrap Up

Email marketing can help take your Outdoor e-commerce business to greater heights as it helps your brand engage with customers and build lasting relationships with them. E-commerce email marketing is both a science and an art. It entails sending relevant emails to the right audience at the right time. The strategies you employ in your e-commerce email marketing will define the success of your campaign. The first thing you need to do is understand how email marketing helps your online business, then follow tried-and-true ways to let you get the most out of e-commerce email marketing.