For Knix, Delivering the Best Possible Customer Experience Starts With SMS

Knix brand photo
Published on
Aug 17, 2023
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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Learn how the intimate apparel brand uses personalized text messaging to build relationships with their customers in the US and Canada.

Knix has spent the last decade redefining what it means to make and wear intimate apparel. For the Canadian brand, it's not all about frills. Function is just as, if not more, important.

Since launching their leakproof underwear in 2013, Knix has released even more products—including wireless bras, shapewear, and activewear—designed to make people feel good in their own skin. 

We recently had the chance to sit down with Fangfang Yu, Senior Manager, Retention Marketing at Knix, to talk about how this focus on putting the customer and their needs first shapes the brand's marketing strategy, too. 

Keep reading for the key insights Yu shared during our conversation about ​​managing SMS across the US and Canada, delivering value through personalization, and more.

On using SMS to learn about their US and Canadian shoppers

Yu discussed Knix’s overall SMS strategy, and how the channel helps the brand identify key differences between their US and Canadian audiences: 

“Knix is a Canadian company, but we have a strong presence in both the US and Canada. We're really focused on understanding the nuances between the two markets, and SMS is a big part of how we do that.

Customers in Canada know us better since we launched there. We're leaning into that sense of familiarity by sending more personalized messages to build long-term relationships with them. But in the US, since we're newer to the market, our focus is still on proving the value of our brand and driving revenue. 

Even with these slightly different goals, we keep our SMS strategy uniform across both programs. One of the reasons we do that is because it's more manageable for our team. But this approach also allows us to analyze the performance of our campaigns and compare ‌how customers respond in the US vs. Canada.”

On tapping into the power of MMS

Yu talked about how Knix uses A/B testing to figure out which strategies are the most effective, such as when to use MMS vs. SMS:

MMS campaign example from Knix

“MMS is great for big splash moments. If you're launching something new or having a huge sale, it can give your campaign that extra boost. But our team was initially skeptical of MMS because it costs more to send messages with multimedia.

We ran a couple of A/B tests, splitting our audience 50-50—with half receiving MMS and the other half receiving SMS—and the results were clear. The group that got MMS had a much higher conversion rate.

We took that learning to heart, and we've continued to use MMS in some of our campaigns, mostly key launches, core product updates, or just whenever we feel like adding a visual component will make a difference.”

On delivering value from the moment someone opts in

Yu shared how collecting zero-party data at sign-up helps Knix deliver personalized experiences to their customers: 

email and SMS sign-up unit example from Knix

“We want to deliver value to our customers from Day 1, which means we need to understand their unique needs and interests as early in their journey with us as possible.

We worked with the Attentive team to add a preference collection form to our mobile and desktop sign-up units. That way, we can collect our customers' shopping preferences, as well as their email addresses and phone numbers. We prompt them to tell us what they're looking for, then choose one of our core categories from a drop-down. 

Choosing one of these answers is necessary to complete sign-up. That data then gets attached to each subscriber's profile as a custom attribute, so we can use it to personalize our campaigns and triggered flows.”

On treating conversational campaigns like focus groups

Yu emphasized that two-way text messaging can be a powerful tool for learning about your customers’ preferences and behavior:

conversational SMS campaign example from Knix CA

“Conversational campaigns are an effective strategy for us to understand how our customers are using our products. It's similar to running a focus group. Even if you just get a few hundred responses, you still gain valuable insight into your customers’ behavior. 

In one recent SMS campaign, we asked our subscribers to reply with the keyword that best describes their flow, and then recommended a specific type of our leakproof underwear based on their needs. We saved their replies as custom attributes—another piece of information that can be linked to their profiles, and helps us ‌personalize our messages even more.

We've run similar conversational campaigns before, and they've all given us some great insights that inform our decisions across the marketing team.”

On integrating SMS into physical store experiences

Yu highlighted some of the strategies Knix is interested in testing to improve the omnichannel customer experience:

“Our goal is to provide a seamless experience for our customers, no matter where they choose to interact with us—online, in any of our retail locations across the US and Canada, or both.

We‌ actually planned a geo-targeted campaign for our ten-year anniversary, inviting subscribers to come celebrate with us at a nearby store. We didn’t end up sending it because we already had too many RSVPs, but we’re trying to do more omnichannel campaigns like that.

We also want to experiment with using SMS to send back-in-stock alerts that drive customers to their local store. Imagine getting a message alerting you that your favorite item is available again, and instead of ordering it online, you could just pop over to one of our stores and get it that same day. We want to have fun with how we provide value for our customers.”

On getting the most out of SMS with Attentive AI™ 

To close out the conversation, Yu shared how Knix is thinking about AI and the potential it has to help them with SMS copywriting

"Attentive has been an amazing partner, and SMS is definitely one of the most effective marketing channels for us in terms of driving engagement and revenue. We're always thinking about how we can improve our strategy, and specifically, how we can make our SMS copy conversational and personal, but also compelling and concise. That's something we think Attentive AI can help us with—striking that balance to get the most out of every message we send.”

Want more insights from leading marketers at other brands? Check out these inspiring customer stories.

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