Smidge’s holiday strategy that drove a 194% increase in email campaign revenue

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The opportunity

Fuel Made and Smidge have partnered together for six years. We work to further improve Smidge’s email marketing campaigns every year, especially during Black Friday and the holiday season.

The 2022 economy brought new challenges to the ecommerce industry. But Smidge had a very successful fourth quarter in 2021 and we were eager to drive growth in 2022. We decided to push more content to Smidge’s customers during Black Friday in 2022 while staying away from pushy or “salesy” techniques (that’s not what the Smidge brand is about).

Instead, we focused our efforts on education, giving the brand credibility, and building trust with shoppers. Our goal was to respect email subscribers by only sharing valuable content—while pushing Smidge’s communication up a notch compared to the year before.

Our approach

It's hard to believe, but we started planning for Black Friday with Smidge in July! By the time August rolled around, Smidge’s entire Q4 strategy was already defined. Can you imagine how satisfying that was?

We started by defining Smidge’s ideal store strategy (e.g. if they’re going to run discounts, VIP sales, or giveaways). Once that was nailed down, the Fuel Made team was in a good place to determine technical systems we’d use to accomplish Smidge’s plans (Shopify apps, auto discounts, and types of email flows). We also planned how we would grow Smidge’s email and SMS list in the months leading up to the holiday season—and how we would segment those customers in Klaviyo so they receive specific content.

We created a completely customized strategy based on Smidge’s goals and customers. Once we got the green light from Smidge's team in September, the Fuel Made team was ready to make it come to life for Q4!

The entire strategy can be broken down into four parts:

  • September - October was for warming customers up to Smidge and cleaning their email and SMS list.
  • November was for Black Friday campaigns.
  • December was for the holidays, so we sent shipping notifications and gift guides.
  • January, although after Q4, was for building loyalty with these new email subscribers and shoppers.

What We Worked On

  • Strategy
  • Copywriting
  • Visual Design
  • List Growth
  • Full Service Email Marketing


There’s a reason highly successful brands start planning for Black Friday and the December holidays early: there’s a lot of custom strategy and work involved in the entire process.

Once Smidge approved the strategy that our team created, we built out an intense content calendar for all of Q4. This calendar included dates, campaign type, topic, list & segments, exclusions, content details, and re-usable content sections (eg. reviews, product categories, store values, discount timer, etc.).

Then we got to work writing tailored copy, designing engaging content, building, setting up, and scheduling!

In parallel we took care of a very important step: planning what pop-ups and flows to turn off, tweak, or replace. It's important to make sure customers weren’t getting double pop-ups or follow-up emails with 10% off when the sale promised 25% off.

After the Q4 season, we ran detailed reports of all of Smidge’s campaigns and compared the data from the previous year. In 2021, we sent 11 touchpoints, and in 2022 we ‘upped the ante’ to 18 touchpoints in total. The results? Smidge saw 2x open rates in 2022, and a huge boost in email campaign orders and revenue (194% increase in campaign revenue).

Key takeaway:

Email strategies cannot be copied and pasted from brand to brand. You have your own unique audience with its own set of challenges and expectations, so your holiday email marketing strategy must be customized to those customers. That’s why our team gets started as early as July, so we can analyze your list health, audience, previous campaign data, and more in order to create a unique strategy that guarantees good results.