At MailCharts we set ourselves apart with curated datasets that, at their core, comprise hundreds of Email Journeys.

What’s a Journey? It’s a series of emails triggered by an action, such as placing an order, abandoning a cart, browsing and then abandoning the site or signing up for a newsletter. Journeys are all about understanding the nurture strategy brands use to welcome — and convert — new users during their first 30 days.

Even better, we make it easy to compare two email journeys side-by-side to see how competing brands differ in executing their nurture strategy.


Why Comparing Journeys Can Be Useful

Suppose you handled email marketing for a footwear company and are using MailCharts to track brands that compete in the footwear space. To simplify tracking you’ve picked 7 companies — Nike, Adidas, Skechers, ASICS, New Balance, Saucony and Allbirds — and added them to a group you’ve named Footwear Companies.

Once you’ve created your group you’re ready to match up any two of its brands head to head.

For each comparison our interface makes it easy to click back and forth between a 30 Day (calendar grid) and a Timeline (minute-by-minute chronology) view for a quick understanding of …

  • Email cadence from the moment of signup or abandonment
  • Exactly when each email arrives in relation to its predecessors
  • How many emails arrive during those first 30 days

And, of course, both views supply thumbnails of every email. Click through each to inspect it in full — from layout and copy to an Email Score based on 8 email-marketing best practices.


Cart Abandoner Journey: Nike vs. Adidas

To illustrate the power of journeys, let’s compare how two brands in our Footwear Companies group, Nike and Adidas, market to the same prospects: those who’ve created an account, signed up for a newsletter, added a product to their shopping cart … and then abandoned it.

Right away we can see one big difference: Nike’s cart abandoner journey consists of 15 emails, while Adidas’s consists of just 6 (both circled in red below).

Nike Adidas email journey comparison top circled

Adidas: Let’s Stay Focused (and not Wear Out Our Welcome)

Click on Adidas’s Day 2 email thumbnail (circled in red below) …

Nike Adidas email journey comparison calendar week1 circled

Note: Mousing over the 3 orange dots on Day 1 for each brand reveals the exact date and time of account creation, newsletter signup and shopping cart abandonment. Using our platform, you’ll always know when an event occurred—no more keeping tracking of timelines in a separate Excel spreadsheet!

… and you’ll see the full reminder (starting with the subject line “Hey, you forgot something…”) and continuing with the bold headline COMPLETE YOUR PURCHASE plus the clickable GO TO BAG > button:

Adidas USA 2019 01 12 0603 saturday Hey you forgot something

This email provides important prompts: “Your adidas gear is still here! We’ll keep it in your bag for 10 days, so make sure to head over and complete your purchase before then.” The name and price of the abandoned item also appear, as do the company’s reassuring reasons for completing the purchase online: free returns for up to 30 days plus a secure checkout that accepts most payment methods.

On Day 5 Adidas pivots away from reminding the cart abandoner about the unfinished purchase, instead asking for feedback and offering a 15% discount incentive.

But three days later it returns to the abandoned cart with a final reminder (subject line: “Your adidas gear is still here”). Again, it reassures the prospect there’s “No need to go through the hassle of choosing your adidas gear again. It’s still in your bag, and we’ll hold on to it for 3 days. Avoid missing out on your favorites by completing your order today!”

By Day 11 Adidas wraps up its cart abandoner series with its sixth and final email offering another 15% off discount.


Nike: Let’s Throw It against the Wall (and See What Sticks)

Nike’s first surprise is waiting a full five days before sending its first cart abandoner email (circled in red below):

Nike Adidas email journey comparison calendar week1 circled2

Perhaps just as surprising, this message avoids Adidas’s explicit reminders about the prospect’s previous experience shopping on the website:

Nike invalid date New color alert Nike Air Force 1 H

It’s possible Nike believes the subject line “New color alert: Nike Air Force 1 High ’07 LV8 3 Realtree®” will jog the shopper’s memory. Nonetheless, Nike’s approach diverges from Adidas’s in other ways.

Unlike its competitor, it uses its first cart abandoner email to market alternative footwear and apparel products. And by pointing to Nike Experts for shopping guidance, and providing a button for downloading the related Nike app, it risks further distracting the shopper from finishing the original abandoned purchase.

The only thing both emails have in common is the promise of 30-day free returns. It’s clear these competitors consider such a policy an essential benefit for online footwear shoppers.


Nike Continues Experimenting with Engagement

Beyond its first cart abandoner email, Nike makes clear it regards this journey as a chance to experiment with novel ways of engaging new account holders — and to see what works. Its experiments include:

  • Standard limited-time discounts
  • An inspirational message for fellow women “crazy dreamers” from tennis star Serena Williams
  • “This Week’s Pick” athletic shoe promotions that also market other shoes of interest
  • “Happy Birthday” discount and follow-up offers for NikePlus members
  • Nike apparel cross-marketing
  • A second “crazy dreamers” message featuring links to films about inspiring teenage and women amateur and professional athletes

By Day 30 Nike is still trying to engage its cart abandoner with a Spring Break fashions email, suggesting its 15-email journey may continue well beyond those crucial first 30 days.

Lastly, we’ll note that not only is Nike’s journey longer than Adidas’s — its individual emails, which sometimes violate our best practice governing SENSIBLE IMAGE WEIGHT, often are as well.


Comparing Email Journeys Has Never Been Easier

Nike and Adidas’s contrasting cart abandoner email journeys illustrate how easy it is to use MailCharts to compare your (or any) brand’s triggered email marketing with that of a peer or competitor. We make it a snap to pinpoint key similarities and differences that can help you optimize your most valuable emails.

Ready to start comparing yourself? Sign-up for MailCharts today—your paid subscription gives you instant access to our database of thousands of journeys. Get started now.