The idea for Bee’s Wrap came naturally to Sarah Kaeck, who lives on a farm with her family in Bristol, Vermont. As a gardener who grows most of the vegetables her family eats, she feels a deep connection to the environment and was looking to make a small change in her own life that would have a positive impact.
“It really comes back to the food, and how it comes from the earth and nourishes us,” she says.
Sarah decided to limit the amount of plastic she used in her kitchen by creating a reusable food storage wrap from fabric and beeswax as an alternative to single-use plastic wrap. When she first started Bee’s Wrap back in 2012, her home smelled so strongly of beeswax you would’ve expected to see beehives hanging from every ceiling. In those days, Sarah used a brush to paint each wrap with wax, but she’s since developed a machine that coats whole rolls of fabric at once. As the company’s founder and CEO, she’s also hired 9 employees and relocated to a small workshop in her town to better meet the growing demand for the product.
Send when you mean it
Bee’s Wrap uses MailChimp to communicate with 3 different audiences—retail customers, wholesale customers, and sales representatives. Maintaining separate lists in their account helps with organizing the types of content they send, as well as tracking campaign activity among these 3 audiences. And since they’ve added a pop-up form that offers a 15% discount to new subscribers and triggers a welcome automation, their lists have grown substantially and organically.
No matter what type of content they’re sending, their strategy is to limit campaign sends to twice a month. “We want customers to be excited about our emails and know the information is special,” Sarah says.
It’s paid off for their open rates, which is the main factor they use to judge the success of a campaign. All their lists boast average open rates at least 10% higher than averages for their industry and company size. And, Sarah adds, “There’s no doubt they lead directly to sales.”
Sarah and her team want Bee’s Wrap to inspire customers to make other small changes in their daily routines, and that’s where email marketing comes in. “We want our customers to be a part of what we’re doing and be excited about making changes in their own lives,” she says.
Each campaign is a call to action, motivating customers to “Get Outside With Bee’s Wrap,” make “Resolutions for a New Year,” or take on a challenge like “A Plastic-Free July.” To help customers answer these calls, their campaigns provide actionable tips and tricks on how to achieve them with Bee’s Wrap.
The biggest piece of advice Sarah offers other small businesses is to believe in the success of your company. When she was just starting out, struggling to find a spare moment between taking care of her children and home to focus on her business, she was already thinking about her company’s potential to grow. She still uses this foresight to help her team stay one step ahead of customer trends.
Since the company handles everything from its email marketing to shipping fulfillment, each employee goes through cross-training so they can perform any task when necessary. They maintain a 1-2 day turnaround for orders by keeping a close eye on what people are buying and when they’re buying it. “If we send a campaign about free shipping or a new product release,” Sarah says, “we know we have to be ready to fill orders.”
Sarah is always thinking beyond the walls of her small Vermont workshop. She doesn’t always know what success looks like or what her next steps should be, but she lets her vision of encouraging customers to live their lives more sustainably guide her.
“We’re not afraid to take extra measures to be successful,” she says. “We believe in our product.”