Thread World Tour 2023: Highlights from Across the Globe

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Oct 5, 2023
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Kelly Ricker
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We’re on the road for the Thread World Tour—a multi-city series of intimate, half-day events in locations across the US, UK, and Canada.

Want to meet us in your city to talk all things conversational commerce? Check out the tour schedule and register here.

In 2022, we launched Thread, our inaugural conference for conversational commerce. 

In 2023, we're going global and taking Thread on tour, bringing together the brightest local marketers. At each event, we’ll dive into Attentive’s latest product innovations, host peer roundtables, network with industry leaders, and hear inspiring SMS success stories from our customers.

Check out the highlights from the stops on our roadshow so far.

Thread presentation

We shared an inside look at our latest product innovations

We’re always building new products and features that help brands create magical experiences for their customers. We were excited to share some of the enhancements we’ve made to help marketers get the most out of our platform—and reach the right customer with the right message on the right channel.

Automate your marketing strategy with Attentive AI™:

  • Take the manual work out of running email and SMS campaigns by letting Automated Campaigns set and schedule your calendar for you (pro tip: routine alerts and approval reminders make sure you're still in full control)
  • Create engaging messages instantly with Magic Message: write high-performing copy in a matter of seconds, and transform your product catalog into fresh images for email and MMS

Drive growth and retention with personalization:

Engage customers in conversations that convert: 

Orchestrate email and SMS on one platform: 

  • Send high-performing triggered and campaign emails with Attentive Email
  • Use our Magic Composer to create multi-channel campaigns tailored to your customer lifecycle—and automatically control which emails or texts someone gets based on the actions they take

Sign in to your account to start exploring and implementing these features. 

Thread social event

We shared ideas and learned from our peers

During roundtables, attendees talked about the challenges they're facing in building loyalty and retention, and learned from peers about the strategies that have worked for them. Marketers shared how they’re using SMS to support their brand’s retention efforts, enhancing their loyalty programs through integrations, and more. (And the spirit of idea-sharing continued into the happy hour.)

We heard inspiring SMS success stories from our customers 


Kirsten Gibbs, Director of Retention & Loyalty at Mizzen+Main, joined us in Dallas to discuss how the brand is evolving their messaging strategy to keep their most dedicated customers engaged and coming back.

Knowing it’s more cost effective to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one, Mizzen+Main is focused on using ‌owned marketing channels like SMS to drive loyalty and retention. Gibbs shared that Mizzen+Main’s SMS subscribers are some of their most engaged customers who want that one-on-one connection with the brand.

By building exclusivity, having two-way conversations, and trying to position themselves as a friend, Mizzen+Main is establishing SMS ‌as an extremely valuable part of their retention toolkit.

Thread presentation

DIFF Eyewear

In Miami, Timothy Mack, Chief Marketing Officer at DIFF Eyewear, shared how the brand leans into Attentive’s segmentation and A/B testing capabilities to continuously improve SMS performance.

DIFF is fluid in their approach to marketing, which makes SMS an especially powerful channel for the brand: it’s nimble and allows them to quickly react to changes. Mack shared some examples of how the company is constantly testing different approaches to increase retention and conversions. They segment their audience based on specific criteria (e.g., glasses size, fit, shape, prescription) and experiment with their tone of voice, incentives, and campaign strategies.

After the chat, Stephen Lamb, Vice President, E-Commerce & Growth Marketing at DIFF, also joined us to answer questions from attendees.


In San Francisco, Regan Parker, Senior Manager, CRM and Loyalty at Ariat, talked about the brand's omnichannel marketing strategy and dug into how they use SMS to strengthen their loyalty program and retail presence.

Finding ways to improve retention, while adding depth and richness to their interactions with customers, is a top priority for Ariat. SMS plays a key role in how they do that. Regan shared insights into the brand’s approach, including how they: 

  • Increase personalization with a mix of data-driven segmentation and a willingness to experiment and iterate
  • Deliver hybrid experiences by using geo-targeting to drive traffic to ‌retail locations or give insiders first access to store events
  • Keep their most loyal customers engaged by treating SMS as a VIP channel (in conjunction with their loyalty program) 

As a brand that also values embracing new technologies, Ariat has started using Attentive AI to improve productivity and develop a more sophisticated approach to customer communications.


Fangfang Yu, Senior Manager of Retention Marketing at Knix, joined us in Toronto to discuss how the brand is creating personalized experiences for their customers across both Canadian and US markets. 

Knix is focused on providing the best possible experience for their audience by using SMS to deliver value at every step of the customer journey. During the conversation, Yu shared three winning strategies that have driven success for the brand: 

  • A/B testing SMS vs. MMS revealed that including a visual component makes a major difference for the brand when promoting core products or new launches. 
  • Using onsite sign-up units to collect zero-party data allows the brand to personalize campaign messages based on a subscriber's unique preferences. 
  • Conversational campaigns help the brand learn more about how their customers are using specific products—and gain valuable insights that inform decisions across all marketing teams.
Thread presentation

Erin Foster, Writer, Producer, and Entrepreneur

Erin Foster, co-founder of the clothing and lifestyle brand Favorite Daughter, joined Sara Varni, our CMO here at Attentive, for our keynote session in Los Angeles. During the conversation, Foster shared her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur, her experiences in the entertainment industry, and her insights on empowerment and leadership.

Foster captivated the audience with her wit and wisdom on stage in LA. She discussed her multifaceted career—spanning comedy, writing, and fashion—and how she's navigated through each transition. She talked about how a successful collaboration with Urban Riot led to starting Favorite Daughter, a joint venture with her sister, digging into how she's built a loyal customer base around the brand. 

Additionally, Foster shared her experience transitioning into tech, her role as an advisor and investor to many businesses (including Bumble and Mirror), her decision to launch a venture capital fund, and what she looks for when investing in a company.

To close out the conversation, Varni asked Foster a series of fun lightning-round questions about NFTs, ChatGPT, and the best career advice she's ever received. The advice? "When something's not working, retreat and attack in a different direction." 


In Los Angeles, Rachel Martinho, Senior Director of Loyalty & Digital Engagement at Skechers, talked about the various strategies they’ve implemented to optimize their SMS campaigns for customer acquisition and retention.

Skechers initially explored SMS as a way to diversify their marketing channels and reduce reliance on email. Although skeptical at first, the brand quickly saw impressive results. Not only did SMS marketing help grow their email list, but it also led to a significant increase in revenue—highlighting the importance of exploring new channels and not being afraid to take risks.

Now, Skechers is focusing on using SMS to both acquire new customers and keep existing ones. Martinho discussed how their strategy involves sending a mix of batch and blast campaigns, as well as targeted messages based on customer preferences and behaviors.

Looking ahead, Skechers is exploring ways to incorporate AI into their SMS strategies. While they're still in the early stages of testing, Martinho shared that they're excited about the potential benefits AI could bring to Skechers' marketing efforts.

Mented Cosmetics and LoyaltyLion

Mary Bowling, Marketing Manager, CRM at Mented Cosmetics, and Heather Dubois, Technology Partnerships Manager at LoyaltyLion, joined us for a panel in Los Angeles. Bowling and Dubois discussed strategies for using SMS to grow and nurture loyalty programs. 

Mented Cosmetics uses Attentive and LoyaltyLion together to drive loyalty and retention. The brand harnesses data from the integration to target customers in a more personal way and speak to them as individuals—and it's an effective strategy. On average, Mented Cosmetics’ loyalty members spend more than non-loyalty members.

Both Bowling and Dubois stressed the importance of listening to customers and keeping loyalty programs simple to successfully retain customers and increase their lifetime value.

At the end of the session, Dubois also shared an exciting new integration with LoyaltyLion and Attentive Email, to further enable brands to take an omnichannel approach to loyalty.

Disney Theatrical Group 

Nick Falzon, VP of Sales and Analytics at Disney Theatrical Group, joined us in New York City to discuss how the group is using SMS to engage guests across the country with relevant brand experiences. 

Disney Theatrical Group approaches their SMS program as a brand engagement channel. They use SMS to provide immediate updates and service to guests, which became even more vital as the pandemic changed how the theater industry operated. 

The brand uses SMS to engage with two core audiences: Guests who plan to see shows on Broadway, and those who plan to see touring productions in their local markets. “We want to establish that relationship with you via text messaging, so that when you're having that once-every-couple-of-years moment where you go to a Broadway show, we’re the show you're considering,” said Falzon. 

But delivering personalized experiences to those two audiences—based on their preferences and location—can be challenging. That’s why Disney Theatrical Group focuses on driving clicks, not conversions. Once a subscriber clicks through on a text message, the brand can learn their geolocation and deliver invites and messages relevant to their market. 

“The returns we have been seeing when we then reach out to those individual markets and we say, ‘Hey, tickets are about to go on sale for the first time you're going to get access to those seats before anybody else does,” is just through the roof,” shared Falzon.

So, how do they drive that organic engagement with text? Through audience-driven, timely content. Case in point: Disney Theatrical Group’s March Madness bracket. The brand created a song bracket of historical songs across all Disney on Broadway shows and encouraged users to participate by picking their favorites. At the end of the week, they announced the winner and shared a link to a Spotify playlist with the featured songs, allowing them to collect subscribers’ geolocations. The campaign not only generated strong engagement but also doubled as a subscriber acquisition strategy.

Victoria Beckham Beauty

Chris Maliwat, Chief Digital Officer at Victoria Beckham Beauty, joined us in New York City to discuss how the luxury brand is using SMS to build relationships with subscribers through behind-the-scenes content and experiences. 

Victoria and David Beckham are icons that have been around for decades. Now, the couple is relying on SMS to build their new modern luxury beauty brand, Victoria Beckham Beauty. 

Connection and immediacy are the cornerstones of how they’re delivering luxury experiences to their audience. “There are a lot of folks who have a relationship with the Beckhams, so we wanted to provide a better way for them to access our brand’s content in a way that felt more conversational” shared Maliwat. “So our approach to SMS and personalization is really about building a relationship with a customer, whether they're new to the brand or a longtime fan. And when you think about building a relationship, it becomes a very different problem to solve for.” 

Victoria Beckham Beauty prioritizes non-promotional messaging on their SMS channel to build relationships with their subscribers, including outside links to articles (such as their recent feature in Vogue) and intimate behind-the-scenes content from its founders.

“We sent a tutorial of Victoria in her bedroom explaining how to contour your face. Because your phone is so physically close to your face, these intimate moments feel more alive and personal,” shared Maliwat. “That's what you can achieve with SMS that’s harder to achieve on other channels.”

Next stop: Chicago. Save your seat—or register to join us in another city near you

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