AHA, the luxury boutique marketplace, recently cut the ribbon on its first physical showroom in the trés chic DUMBO section of Brooklyn. If you visit the under-the-bridge, oh-so-cool store, you can find a curated selection of its online curated selection. If you’re looking for that perfect silver-hammered flask, pair of rounded retro sunglasses or Sha aroma diffuser, you’ve come to the right place.
At the opening, I had a chance to sit down with co-founder, president and chief technology officer Sachin Devand and talk about how Facebook fits in with AHA’s overall marketing strategy. Sachin had mentioned that the company was leveraging Facebook ads, but mostly as an email-list-building tactic. With more than 800,000 customers and growing, I figured that AHA knew something worth knowing.
RK: Why has Facebook proved itself effective for building an email list?
SD: When people are browsing Facebook, they are in a lean-back experience where they typically are in the mindset to purchase something. What we try to do is capture the AHA lifestyle, and people subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch with our curated offerings that over time we can convert into customers.
RK: What other best practices can you share around building email lists?
SD: We land them on our site so people can directly experience the AHA experience. Tracking engagement levels is very important to build a high-quality list. We monitor the open and click-through rates carefully to ensure that we are always serving up relevant content to our readers.
RK: What types of ad targeting do you find most effective for list marketing on Facebook?
SD: Lookalike audiences work really well for us because we have built a very loyal customer base. Their friends and similar people like them are the best gauge in audience expansion. We’ve also had some good success with social retargeting.
RK: How else is AHA leveraging social media from a content marketing perspective?
SD: Social media is a great place to test new concepts very quickly. We can spin up a creative and target an audience and quickly test click rates and engagement before we launch in a bigger way across the site. Content marketing has also provided more traction than regular ads. When you give people relevant content that’s useful and engaging to read, you end up building a more loyal audience with higher retention.
RK: In terms of paid, earned and owned media, what is the most effective channel for AHA?
SD: Our most effective channels are free channels coming from search and email. We’ve built a brand and that brand resonates, delivering the most authentic and loyal audience.
And perhaps that’s the best lesson of all: Authentic and loyal fans are what great brands are built on.
Richard Krueger is the best-selling author of Facebook Advertising for Dummies and Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Editions 1, 2, 3), published by Wiley and Sons. He writes frequently about how companies leverage social media marketing to enhance brand awareness, grow their audience and drive sales. He can be reached at email@example.com.