From: The Hatch at Hayneedle.com
Subject Line: June 2 to June 4 … see what’s in The Hatch this week!
Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Hayneedle is a collection of over 200 online specialty stores, and IMHO they are doing a lot of things right. I would like to nominate them for the poster-child of following best practices of all things e-commerce related. Headquartered in Nebraska, they do not have retail stores or snail mail catalogs, nor do they employ any “old-fashioned” marketing strategies whatsoever: no print or TV ads. Instead, they seem to have conquered all things internet related: SEO, domaine names and email marketing.
When it became time to upgrade my kids’ sleeping arrangements to bunk beds a couple of months ago, I had not previously heard of Hayneedle. My initial awareness of Hayneedle came about because of their perfect use of SEO (Search engine optimization). Whatever I Googled, from “bunk beds” to “loft beds” to “Bunk beds and loft beds for kids”, a Hayneedle site was always well placed on the organic search “Top 10″. What is even better is that Hayneedle is basically an aggregation of over 200 websites into one. “Hayneedle.com” itself isn’t exactly a mind-sticker, but their well named collection of domaine names (everything from hammocks.com to adirondackchairs.com to aquariumsdirect.com) along with excellent search engine placement are another thing.
Once I had clicked through to simplybunkbeds.com, I was totally sucked in and felt no need to leave the site (which isn’t to say that I didn’t do my due diligence – I spent about a month searching beds before making the final plunge). Again, Hayneedle had done everything right: easy product zoom view, similar products links, customer reviews all within a fantastic layout. It also didn’t hurt that the bunk beds we ended up purchasing came with free mattresses and had a mere $25 shipping cost (Even the delivery man was nice!).
Naturally, I joined the Hayneedle email list… and the perfection just continues. I find that the volume of emails I receive from them to be just the right amount, and that they are mostly very relevant to me and my shopping proclivities. This email for “The Hatch” (Hayneedle’s newly launched “by invitation only” weekly savings and sale) has the exact sense of urgency necessary, without applying too much pressure (3 days) and 2 out of the 3 the featured products happened to be items I was already contemplating purchasing – items I don’t recall brewing at Hayneedle. What, are they psychic or something? (When I returned to the Hayneedle site to view something I had previously browsed, an enticement in the form of 10% Off Promo Code popped up.)
The icing on the cake was the “Compare Our Price” link, which with one click, instantly showed that it was indeed the best deal to be found on the internet. Now, I’m just waiting for the new sandbox to arrive.