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How to Plan Jewelry Marketing Content – With a Real Jewelry Brand

Episode #253 – “Introducing the Winner of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Grant”

This is Episode #253, and today I’ll be giving you an inside look at a jewelry brand that will be my focus for the next six months. Imagine it as a reality show, but centered around a jewelry business.

I’ll spotlight Hilary Finck Jewelry, the winner of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Grant. Our conversation today will revolve around her plans for marketing content. If you’re just tuning into this new season of the podcast for the first time, I recommend pausing here and starting with Episode #252. That way, you can get to know Hilary and embark on this journey from the beginning.

Before diving into the interview, I’ll share valuable content planning insights that can benefit your business. Contrary to what many think, this season is an excellent time to strategize content, especially as we approach the holiday season and prepare for 2024.

Join me as I delve into the world of content: from initial brainstorming, refining those ideas, to allocating time for the vital brand narratives you aim to share.

Links From the Episode:

Check out the transcript below.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 0:00
Ready to break free from algorithms, vanity PR, and money-sucking ads? My name’s Laryssa Wirstiuk, and I’ve learned in 7 years of jewelry marketing that content is the crown jewel. My agency Joy Joya takes a holistic approach, leading with laser-focused storytelling, impactful content creation, and strategic content distribution. This method has worked for the solopreneur as well as the multi-million-dollar company, and now I’m sharing these systems and tactics with you. Here’s to standing out in the Sea of Sparkle.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 0:33
In today’s Episode #253, I’ll be giving you an inside look at a jewelry brand that will be my focus for the next six months. Imagine it as a reality show, but centered around a jewelry business. I’ll spotlight Hilary Finck Jewelry, the winner of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Grant. Our conversation today will revolve around her plans for marketing content. If you’re just tuning into this new season of the podcast for the first time, I recommend pausing here and starting with Episode #252. That way, you can get to know Hilary and embark on this journey from the beginning. Before diving into the interview, I’ll share valuable content planning insights that can benefit your business. Contrary to what many think, this season is an excellent time to strategize content, especially as we approach the holiday season and prepare for 2024. Join me as I delve into the world of content: from initial brainstorming, refining those ideas, to allocating time for the vital brand narratives you aim to share.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 1:56
But before we get to the solid gold, I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this podcast has both audio and video – so you can either listen on your favorite podcast platform or watch on YouTube by searching “Joy Joya”. You can support the podcast for free by taking the time not only to subscribe but also to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. If you leave a review, I might read it on a future episode – please let me know what you think about this episode or about any other major takeaways you’ve had recently.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 2:27
Okay, let’s get into today’s episode, my Sparklers! So this is going to be all about content planning. Before we jump into the interview with Hilary, I want to give you a little bit of background info about her current state of content and what we’re doing to improve her strategy.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 2:45
So let’s talk about the current situation. Right now, most of HF’s content is really focused on new product or collection launches. And there’s not much going on in between. Hilary kicks off each year with this big, vibrant plan in mind, but as the months roll on, she’s often swayed by the ebb and flow of inspiration, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes, that free spirit approach might have her missing out on some golden opportunities.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 3:22
So as you know, for example, there are so many holidays sprinkled throughout the year, and many of them could be relevant for your target audience. And looking at her marketing, I kind of think well, why isn’t she capitalizing on these occasions to reach out to her audience, like Valentine’s Day, for example. And it’s not just about the sales all the time, but also about using holidays to build that connection with your audience. Because with connection between those exciting product and collection launches, that she’s really focused on communicating, there’s this lull, and in that lull, the customers aren’t really hearing much from her. It’s like they’re they’re probably sitting there waiting. If they’re fans of Hilary’s they probably want to know more. But she’s not giving that storytelling element, those kind of layered, nuanced messages that are not always related to just a new product drop. So Hilary admits that she’s not necessarily struggling with content planning per se, but she does know that there’s room to be more detailed, more structured. She even said that summer, especially for her is a whirlwind. It tugs her in many directions and then that’s when for her marketing starts to feel more disjointed. And at the same time, summer is such a crucial moment to be preparing for the big holiday push. So even though we’re working with Hilary’s starting, we started in July, and it’s now August and we’re getting toward the end of the summer, we’re going to try to make the most of September to really set her up for success for holiday. And as you know from the last episode, one thing I’ve always admired about her brand is the story behind it. And Hilary told me that she’s been toying with the idea of adding more of that storytelling element, like a sneak peek behind the curtains of making the jewelry. But for her, it’s been kind of a start stop journey. And I really think that if she’s able to nail the consistency, then I believe that the brand can shine even brighter than it already does.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 5:41
So now that we know the current state of the content planning, let’s talk about what are the goals? What does Hilary really want to get out of content marketing? So it really all boils down to one word storytelling. She knows she believes very strongly that her clients should be brought into the world behind each piece that they should know more than just like the surface sparkle of new collections. But as you Sparklers probably know from telling stories about your jewelry, that all takes intention, and thought, and time and energy, and above all of that the most difficult part, that consistency. And she admits that the staying consistent has been really tricky. And Hilary also wants to be promoting lots of other exciting things about her business. Like she recently got new packaging that she’ll talk about in the interview. And her Hand Hammered collection, which she doesn’t often highlight because the pieces in that collection are more like permanent essentials, rather than her like shiny new one of a kind drops. So it becomes easy to put those on the back burner in favor of the newness. And then with her Captured Collection, she admits that she never really like opened the book on how that originated and came to be and really what makes it special to her. So we have so many different opportunities to tell stories about her business.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 7:22
So what are we actually doing to help Hilary it’s a multi step process for sure. The first thing that we had Hilary do and she’ll talk about this in the interview more is we had her do what we call a brain dump, in marketing, very elegant term, just done a simple Google Doc, nothing fancy, literally just a bulleted list, whatever came to mind, in whatever way made sense for her to share. And those things included anticipated product and collection launches, important dates and holidays for the business, any seasonal or time-sensitive themes that maybe have performed well in the past, or that she’s always wanted to explore, any sales or discounts she plans on offering, any products or collection she would like to showcase at specific times of the year, any specific calls to action related to time time that are time sensitive, and also a general marketing wish list of items that she has. So she did that brain dump for us. And while she was doing that, me and my team went through her data, and I’m talking about Google Analytics, email, social media, back to the beginning of 2022. So that we could get at least one full year of data to see the ebbs and flows of her business through year to date 2023. And we put together a tracker for her of the key performance indicators or KPIs. And that that looks at things like website traffic, ecommerce performance, social media performance, and email marketing performance. It’s so important for us to do that historical data rather than just starting from the month that we are starting in. Because one as I mentioned, in most jewelry businesses, there is a seasonality. But one can never assume that the same seasonality applies from one business to another. I think there are a lot of different patterns in jewelry businesses. So to get a sense of like, when are the busy times, when are the slower times, why are the slow times slow? What can we do to like reverse that? So that is one reason why we really like to look at the historical data, but also to understand what levers can we be pulling in the business to have the greatest impact, because with small business owners, they often don’t have a lot of resources. So we don’t want to be wasting our time on things that are not going to make a difference, or that are going to take a super long time to have an impact. So we can find some of the low-hanging fruit and make a difference on a shorter timeline. I’m not saying overnight, but like in a reasonable timeline.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 10:31
And then also looking at these KPIs helps us see and explain to Hilary things she may not have even known about her business because she wasn’t aware of where to look for those things. So for example, and again, we’ll talk about this more in the interview, we noticed that her website sessions have been slowly declining this year. But that in the full scope of that there are other positive things that kind of can be weighed against the decline in website sessions. So bringing that to her attention, so we can talk through it and find ways to improve upon it. We also learned no surprise, if you follow Hillary on Instagram, that she truly is knocking it out of the park with Instagram, to the point where I was kind of like, really taken aback by that data. But again, it’s so important to see that, to see the numbers and what they actually mean. Looking at the data also brought up so many other questions for us, even outside of marketing that we’ll be exploring, like whether her price points are set in the right place. And then after Hilary finished the brain dump, and we went through all the KPIs, we met with her to talk through all her priorities, and which of the things in the brain dump really felt the most important to her. So that we could then take that and create a content calendar starting very simply in a Google Sheet that breaks down week by week, through January of next year, with columns for things like promotions, website content, important events or launches, email marketing, and social media. And from there, once we all agree on the content calendar, then me and my team, we handle all the email and website content related tasks. We have in Asana, a project management tool, where we’re able to schedule and plan for all the things we’re going to need. And then Hilary will also continue to handle social media marketing, because she’s already a rockstar at it. But within that space, she’s not just alone trying to navigate that herself, we find ways to align it with an email, with the website content, and also talking through more specific strategies that she can use to make her social media marketing even more effective. Because even though someone is already doing something amazing, doesn’t mean there are not other opportunities or room for improvement. So without further delay, it’ll be way more interesting to hear this directly from Hilary. Here’s my conversation with Hilary, and you can hear from her, in her own words all about the things I just talked about.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 13:36
Hey, Hilary, welcome back. Excited to chat with you today. Hello, there. So since the last time we spoke, I had you do a little bit of homework, and me and my team also did some work for you. So I want to kind of do a recap of everything that we accomplished and kind of talk about where we’re at right now. So one of the first things that I had to do Hilary was kind of look ahead in your business for the upcoming six months, which seems like so far away, and kind of do like a brain dump of everything you anticipated coming up in your business of things that you wanted to highlight in your marketing. And yeah, I’m kind of curious to know, what was that process like for you? How did you feel about doing that exercise?

Hilary Finck 14:26
It’s good. It’s interesting to do in the summer months when I’m like a little less focused on my business just because of vacations and just, you know, the randomness of summer. So it was actually really good because it did make me push forward a little bit more than I than I had been. And generally I’ll do that kind of a thing like at the beginning of the year. It doesn’t always mean I’m going to follow it for the rest of the year. But so it was good it I knew it needed to be done.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 14:58
How far were you able to actually get in the future. Where did you like start to struggle with the timeline?

Hilary Finck 15:04
I think I can carry it like from now until January. That’s where things just start to become a little more nebulous. Just because I’m not someone who focuses so much on Valentine’s Day, and it doesn’t mean I won’t, it just means that generally don’t. So, yeah, I kind of know what I’m gonna make for the rest of the year. And then I usually do a collection at the beginning of January for the new year.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 15:33
So I guess for like listeners and viewers who maybe have never done this exercise before, would you say it was easy? Was it difficult to you have like tips for people on how to actually sit down and do it?

Hilary Finck 15:47
I don’t necessarily think it’s difficult. It might be a little, you know, maybe you feel a little bit of stress or anxiety from it. But I think that that’s good. You know, that’s what needs to happen. And then the way I see it is I kind of know myself, I know that like, I sometimes will just change if like, that’s kind of not what I feel like making any more. So I know, it’s not necessarily written in stone. But I think it at least helps me plan things a little bit more in terms of just getting my head around. What emails might start to look like? And just like I said, in the summer, I’m pulled in so many different directions, it’s nice to kind of ground me back into my business. So maybe it’s good to do you know, twice a year, do it in the summertime, when you don’t feel as grounded in your business.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 16:36
Yeah, I mean, I love that idea of doing it twice a year. And also, I mean, this is something we’ll be revisiting monthly anyway. So even though we have this, like macro view of the events, the milestones, the content, it just always needs to be revised. Because like you said, it’s not set in stone. I know, I’ve never had a client where we did the calendar, and it was like done for good. That’s just that’s not that’s not a reality that anyone can adhere to. Yeah, yeah. From that brain dump that you did, me and my team, like looking at the calendar, the cadence of like how often we’re going to be sending emails, the cadence of how often you post on social media, we take that, and we try to make sense of it and put it into an actual like, week by week, month by month, what are we going to do, and typically, that brain dump that the client gives us doesn’t cover or account for, like all the possible emails, the posts, the website content that we would send. So there’s definitely always opportunities to come up with like new, creative storytelling, new ideas to almost like, fill in the gaps. So we definitely brainstorm together like alright, well, what do we fill in between, like this launch, and this launch, for example, because there’s a period of time where you might not be communicating with your customers. And a lot of that is where like, storytelling can come in, and like thinking outside the box. So I’m curious, like how you felt about looking at the calendar in this way, and like some of the ideas that we filled in?

Hilary Finck 18:16
I love it, it makes me very excited to know that there will be this like, you know, intermediate content between my collection releases, because it’s not, that’s just not where I’m able to focus. And so it but I know I needed to, and, you know, it’s just one of those things I needed help with, like I need I need help with storytelling. Since I’m a maker. I’m not necessarily a storyteller. I mean, I can tell stories with pictures necessarily. But so i It makes me really happy to see that there’s a plan for you know, what this email might look like? What we’re going to do with Instagram and social media that week. It’s it’s very comforting to like, Oh, good. Yay.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 19:01
Yeah. And that should be the main takeaway. I feel like it is so comforting when you have this to like fall back on, that takes away a lot of anxiety. Like, even for me, I’m not even the business owner, but I’m supporting the business. And I’m like, alright, well, like we know what’s going on. We’re good. Like, there’s a plan. We don’t have to worry. When, in our meeting, when we met about this you had mentioned like I really need someone to push me actually to do those things. And I thought that was interesting, too. Do you want to elaborate on that?

Hilary Finck 19:34
I think part of it is you know, I’m I do such creative work, you know, day in day out in my studio, that it’s been hard for me to be creative in other parts of my business. And so I don’t necessarily have these ideas of what the possibilities are for different, you know, outreach and marketing and all that and so I kind of just trust you knowing that and I’ll just say, like, make me do it, you know, because I’m most likely not going to do it, you know, get me out of my comfort zone and push me to do something new because it’s it, I think more contact points with my clientele is in different ways is really important.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 20:18
So what are, I mean, I know even though you said you need to be pushed, you probably have some ideas or things you’ve been wanting to get to, in your head, what are like some examples of those things that you just haven’t had the time or resources to get to.

Hilary Finck 20:32
So last year, I got all new packaging and collateral and things like that. And I designed it myself and I worked with a printhouse in New York and I had linen pouches made in Bali. And I just totally redid my packaging, and I haven’t really I kind of I think I sent out one little email about it. And I might have done one little post about it. But I haven’t really shown it off in a way that because I’m proud of it, because there’s no plastic in it. It’s something that if you know what if that’s ends up, being, you know, in the ground someday it’s all biodegradable. So there’s design and thought around it. So there’s that. And then also, you know, I think most people know me for my Captured Collection and my stonework, but I have this whole other collection that I have been calling the Hand Hammered collection. And it’s pieces that are just metal, you know, and it’s pieces that most pieces, the entire piece is made from, you know, forging with hammers and things like that. And that was always my like, my first love. And a lot of those designs that are in that collection are pieces that were like my very first piece that I sold, you know, in the early 2000s. And I still have some of those pieces, and they still do really well. They’re kind of timeless, classic pieces. But since they’re kind of like a permanent collection, I don’t give them as much attention as I do like, you know, the new one of a kind pieces. So I’ve always wanted to find a way to show off that collection a little bit more. And then also with the Captured Collection, I’m not sure if I fully told the story of where this came to be, you know, how did I come up with the setting, because there was a story behind it. I just get really, you know, engrossed in showing all the new, shiny, pretty things. And I kind of forget to tell more of a backstory about my brand. And you know why I do what I do.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 22:39
It’s pretty much something that happens across the board with like every client we’ve ever worked with, it’s like a focus on the new because, and I understand why when you’re in your business, or even if you’re on a in a bigger business, and that’s what you’re looking at all the time, it starts to feel old to you. But then remembering that there are always new potential customers coming to the business, and maybe they aren’t familiar with, like what’s come before. So it’s so important to like, keep that top of mind. And to your point about that Hand Hammered collection, when we had our meeting, you had also made a comment, like, Oh, these are actually the pieces I like to wear the most. They’re kind of like my classics. And I’m like, we need to talk about that somehow, like we need to bring that story out. And so finding a way to tell that story also, without necessarily having Hilary, like, take pictures of herself. Like what are some creative ways that we can say this is such like an every day essential collection of pieces.

Hilary Finck 23:46
Right. Because I do think you know, even if there’s some people that love jewelry, primarily that have stones, I feel like you always need just like that go to pair of earrings that, you know, doesn’t have a colorful stone on it. It’ll go with any outfit you’re wearing. And so, yeah, that’s I think that’s why I wear pieces from that collection, because they’re just easy for me, you know, I can just grab them and go, and I know that they’re gonna look good.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 24:10
So the other thing we worked on, in addition to content was I looked at all of Hilary’s data. So that was through Google Analytics, through Shopify, through email marketing, and through social media. And what we do when we first look at that data is go back through the entire previous year. So we did all of 2022 and then 2023 year to date. And the reason it’s like a very painstaking thing, but it’s just I find it to be a non negotiable like we must do this because I need to understand like, what the patterns are and what has happened up to now so we put together this key performance indicator or KPI tracker, where we’re looking at like the ecommerce activity, the website content again the email and social media, and then what is even possible, like, what levers can we be pulling to have an impact? Because otherwise we would just be going in blind. So I’m kind of curious about Hilary, like, what were your initial reactions to seeing that data all together? And like, how did it make you feel? What were like some surprising things about it?

Hilary Finck 25:23
I mean, it’s impressive that you can pull as much data as you can. I think the thing that surprises me, it, maybe doesn’t surprise me, maybe I’m like, Oh, that makes sense. And I just kind of saw it in the numbers is the web traffic, because my whole goal is to get more web traffic. And so we saw that kind of over time this year, the web traffic has gone down a little bit. I mean, it also doesn’t make sense, because I’ve gotten a ton of new Instagram followers. And so I’m always looking at the insights. And I’m seeing people are clicking through my posts, go to my website. So I guess I was a little surprised by that. But also, it makes sense in the fact that I know that the goal is to get more website traffic.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 26:10
Yeah, definitely.

Hilary Finck 26:12
So I mean, I think that was that was kind of the big takeaway. Again, it just shows to me how I’m excited to just see how everything starts to come together, from working with you, because everything I’ve been doing is so piecemeal, and maybe a little disjointed.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 26:30
Hillary was a little self conscious about the decrease in the like sessions or the overall like visits to the website. And I told her, not a big deal, you know, I’m not calling this out to say something wrong is happening. If there’s a pattern of a decline, or like a movement away from what you think you should be doing or your goal. It doesn’t mean necessarily that you’re even doing something wrong, there could be so many reasons outside of your control that something like that’s happening. But we like to do this overview of the data. So we can notice stuff like that, and just like get curious about it. Because if something seems to be happening in a pattern, it’s like, okay, let’s pay attention to this, try to figure out like, why this is happening. And is there a way we can move the needle in the other direction. And so I do, I just want to share some like high level takeaways from that data, like Hillary had mentioned, the decrease in sessions, or the traffic to the website. But at the same time, there was actually like a positive side to that, because people were viewing more pages per session, and actually spending more time on the website. And her returning user percentage was up year over year. So what that all tells me is like, she might be having trouble getting like new eyeballs on the site, but the people that already know the brand and love the brand, are spending more time with it and coming back again and again. And actually, that is a harder thing to do in marketing than it is to get new eyeballs. So it’s like she’s actually checked the harder box already and like done a good job with that. So in a way, it’s like we need to do the easier thing Well, theoretically, but and that’s why it’s so important to look at the data as a whole and see all the sides of it, because one piece isn’t going to tell the whole story.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 28:35
And another thing that we noticed with the ecommerce is like, year over year comparing like, you know, let’s say June 2023, over June 2022, the abandoned cart rates were going up. And we had a conversation about that and how like she used to have an abandoned cart email in place, but didn’t like the approach of it or the language and eventually transitioned away. And so we decided that may not be the only reason that there’s a higher abandoned cart rate, but it’s a worth looking at maybe reimplementing, something like that, and rethinking the approach to see like if it has an impact. Also the average order value, it brings up a whole other conversation, even outside of marketing, like what should there be price adjustments? Should there be like an elimination of some of the lower priced items to be more in line with if okay, if these are our revenue goals, and we have like this many people coming to the site, like where does that average order value really need to be to hit hit the goals every month and it’s it’s really like illuminating to look at what the average orders at average order values actually are. And then if you you’re familiar with Hilary just like transitioning into social media data now, you know, she’s kind of an Instagram rockstar, she, and she was just telling me and my digital marketing coordinator, Claire that when I look at July’s numbers that I’m gonna be really impressed by like the performance of this one post she had with an enhydro ring. And so she has these, like, knock it out of the park posts. And overall, I think, even though those don’t happen all the time, because the way the algorithm works in its in its mysterious ways, it kind of like uplifts everything else, because Instagram sees like, alright, this is popular, this must be like a good account that people need to know about. So in those months, where she has these, like, knock it out of the park, even one off post, it just helps everything else, like we noticed, then that month, overall, the uplift of everything is better. And it’s it’s really interesting to see the patterns of that. One other thing I mentioned to her was with reels, which, uh, well, let me you can say you can speak to your opinion about reels and like how you feel about making them and posting them, and then I’ll kind of get into that.

Hilary Finck 31:24
I, I just find that they’re harder and take more of my time to make. And I think part of it is, there’s just so much more editing involved, you know, like, if you want a bunch of different images together or videos together, you know, emitting, you know, editing the timing of them, and then choosing the music, I have to say that is probably the thing that I struggle with the most because it’s like, someone asked me like, what’s your favorite band? And you’re like, what? Like, yeah, million pounds. And so you know, choosing the music is always something that I just takes way too long. And I love looking at reels. And then once I’m done with my reel, I’m like, Oh, great. But I you know, it’s more of just a time intensive thing about it. That’s all.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 32:08
Yeah, and I think if you just randomly polled like 100 people, like probably 90% of them would say it’s annoying how much time it takes to, to make reals. But what we saw in her data was in the months, where she maybe didn’t post any reels, or like very few reels, it actually had an impact on the engagement overall on Instagram, not not just with reels, but with everything with regular posts. And so the months where she does have reels, we see a slightly better increased performance. So my suggestion to Hillary was, don’t kill yourself over the reals, but like, maybe get into some kind of consistent flow of how often, you know, once, even once every other week, just to make sure they’re in there to like level out the performance of everything else, because it’s a pattern that I’ve seen, not just with Hillary but like pretty much every other client the reels have some kind of direct correlation with how everything else works, or doesn’t work. And I think you were kind of surprised by that. Right?

Hilary Finck 33:19
Definitely. Because I always find that my engagement is better on posts. At least it seems like it is so it really surprised me. But you know, it’s easy enough to you know, to prioritize it now is a little bit it’s easy enough because you can get into sort of a category with reels like I’ll make sure I take process photos, and reels are perfect for that kind of like stories are right like just kind of showing process pictures in a row to a finished piece. I think reels are probably great for that too.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 33:49
Yeah, that’s so true. And when we’re recording this, then when this comes out, it’ll probably be a few weeks later, but Instagram just released like a better real template editor in the app. So they they really are trying to make it easier for people to make the reels and so hopefully it will help people like streamline the process of making them too. And then lastly with email marketing, so I can’t remember if we had mentioned this in the last recording, but Hillary is currently on MailChimp. And my recommendation was to move to clay VO for like a few different reasons for better data, better integration and connectivity with Shopify. Kind of having emails that are more tailored for the customer because they can be connected to like shopping behavior, purchase behavior, etc. And I don’t know MailChimp is just a little bit of a dinosaur. I feel like they’re not evolving fast enough and they’re just trying to keep up keep pace with clay VO and Um, I know Hillary did have some some hesitations about it. So maybe you could speak to that a little bit, because I feel like there are probably other people who feel the same way. They maybe they don’t use clay vo

Hilary Finck 35:11
Yeah, it’s something I’ve been interested in. But it’s again, it’s more of just like the time and the learning curve of, you know, transferring your entire mailing list in my template that I use, and just just knowing how to do something, right. I know how to use MailChimp. Yes, I don’t love it. I don’t love it. It’s not I’m not there, because I love it. there because it’s what I’ve been using. So I’m super happy to switch to Klaviyo. I’ve heard such great things about it. And yeah, you just don’t get as much data from MailChimp. And then as we were seat showing, like I was telling you, they don’t they get some things wrong. Like they don’t attribute sales to newsletters very well. Yeah, yes, I’ve had sales come from newsletters, and they don’t, it doesn’t show up. And I’m like, alright, well, that data, I just can’t trust that data, then.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 36:03
Absolutely. And from in being in the marketer shoes, like I’m not the one who can intuitively say like, Oh, I know that customer like actually did buy from this email. And that becomes more of an issue as you scale your business to because even if it is just you, you can’t sit there and like mind map like, where every sale came from, you’re kind of just relying on the data. So it is so important to have a reliable source to understand like where things are coming from. But even with the MailChimp, I was able to get like a pretty good baseline of what the performance from 2022 and 2023. And Hillary has a super consistent open rate like around 60% ish, which is good, we like that it’s a good place to be. And one thing I thought was extra interesting, especially after I presented this to her, she has pretty high click rates, like on average, it was like 11% or something in last year and then 10% This year, that is very high. To give you context, sometimes we just are hoping to get to like two or 3% with clients because that is more like a better average click through rate. So the people on her list are really engaged. But then she really surprised me when she said that not every email she sent sends actually even has a place to click.

Hilary Finck 37:37
Or, or it’s or it’s not like I have an email where it’s just a lot of products that are clickable because that’s usually the previewing now where the all the images are. And that stuff isn’t on my website yet. So there’s, I just sometimes send out emails where there’s maybe like, I don’t know, two or three clickable things. If if if that? Yeah, maybe they’re just maybe they’re just desperate. They’re like this one photo definitely must be clickable.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 38:07
Yeah, there must be the product must be there. She’s lying to us. Like they’re just really click happy. They want to go to your website. But that’s amazing. Like, we we love that. And we want that. So we’ll keep milking that and finding a way to like, keep that super consistent. So that’s a great starting point to have for email marketing. So I guess the last thing Hillary that I want to ask you are based on those things I just talked about, and just going through the tracker, the data tracker on your own, was there anything else that really surprised you, or even that confirmed beliefs you already had? Um,

Hilary Finck 38:43
I mean, I guess the thing that I had to it took me a second is that I had to remember, you know, the one about the ecommerce data, I had to remember, Oh, these are only sales that are coming through Shopify. Because so much of my business is custom. And that comes through check, PayPal, Venmo QuickBooks invoices, a lot of my businesses wholesaler consignment. And so I found it interesting, because I don’t think I had, you know, I look at my numbers every year and kind of, you know, have my bookkeeper send me a bunch of reports. And the one thing I had not looked at was what’s coming direct from Shopify. And just how interesting of a percentage it is compared to everything else. And it it it made me feel really, because it’s, it’s not that like, it’s actually not that much. There’s a lot I was surprised that there’s so much more of my business that’s custom and wholesale on consignment, or directly that comes through not from someone on my site, maybe that pieces on my site, but we do a separate sale somehow. Anyway, um But it made me actually really excited because the you know, part of the point of us working together is to increase the website traffic and increase the website sales. So I think it’s definitely possible. Yeah.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 40:15
I think kind of what you’re saying too is like, sometimes it takes a person like me who doesn’t know your business coming in and just being like, dirt like I don’t like I’m trying to make sense of it myself and an intern that makes you think about things that you may not have thought about. Yeah, and then I think the other thing we had talked about was just that, this seasonal, like ebbs and flows. Again, I was only looking back through the beginning of 2022. So I don’t have so much to go back on. But definitely like, as with most jewelry businesses that uptick in November, and then a slowdown in the summer months too.

Hilary Finck 40:54
Oh, yes, it is real, very real, and especially this year, because I just think so many more people are comfortable going on vacation than they were even last year. So this is where, you know, I’m always thinking how important it is to, you know, that’s, you know, that’s why Wholesale is is important, too, because if you can get your jewelry into the stores, where people are vacationing in the summertime, because really, I mean, I don’t know how it is for a lot of other people. That’s just not in the summertime. It’s just not the big, the big season for my website, like, at all.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 41:32
I think for a lot of other people, too. Yeah. And it’s so effects from a marketing perspective, how I also look at data in a way that in another industry, let’s say, just like maybe beauty or something like that’s not so seasonally dependent, I really have to think about it in a different way. And that’s why we compare like yours year over year, like looking at June last year versus June this year, because if I just went okay, January, February, February, March and comparing like the previous month, it would make absolutely no sense because there is so much seasonality. And that’s something that needs to be it’s a real thing, and we need to think about that realistically.

Hilary Finck 42:17
Yeah. And the planning for summer is, it also makes me realize just how important planning for summer is. Because I’m also not very present during the summertime. You know, my son is out of school. So we don’t have that regular schedule, you know, his summer camps are all over the place, we take trips, you know, I’m gone. I’m gone probably four or five weeks this summer out of three weeks. So it’s like, I’m not even really joined with my business that much this summer. So it’s one of those things that also makes me realize just how important it is to plan ahead and plan, planning your summer intelligently for maximizing sales.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 42:53
And go like take that time off. I’m all for that. But like Hilary said, Well, you have to kind of then think ahead even more so that even though realistically, you know, okay, it’s probably going to be slower. I’m not surprised by this, but we can still do everything we can to like maximize that performance. Well, thank you for it. Yeah. Oh, you’re all Yeah, yeah. Thanks for meeting today. I’m really looking forward to next week, we’re gonna dive a little bit more into your email marketing and start with that transition to Klaviyo. So I’m looking forward to talking about that.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 43:26
So what did you think about today’s interview? Are you excited to continue following following Hilary on this journey, check out Hilary’s website at Or follow her on Instagram @hilaryfinckjewelry, and I’ll put those links in the show notes as well. And let me know in a podcast review, or YouTube comment what you think about this journey. Okay, let’s get into The Gold Mine.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 43:51
Welcome to another edition of THE GOLD MINE – a segment where I get personal and share insights on entrepreneurship, mindset, success, growth, and all things business. Even though we’ve changed the podcast format, I can’t resist continuing with THE GOLD MINE because it allows me to share topics and insights close to my heart. This week’s GOLD MINE is about embracing a comprehensive view of your business. Ever heard the saying, “can’t see the forest for the trees”? It’s a personal favorite. It’s a reminder that sometimes we can miss the broader picture by obsessing over a single detail. Hilary’s situation brought this phrase to mind. After reviewing her KPIs tracker, we noticed a gradual decline in her website sessions this year, and she was somewhat disheartened by it. However, I emphasized to Hilary that this single metric shouldn’t overshadow the many positive trends we observed. Let’s dive in: Her pages per session increased, her average session duration rose, and she witnessed a growing rate of returning users year-over-year. Plus, her Bounce Rate remains impressively low. These stats suggest that her visitors are deeply engaged, spending more time exploring and revisiting her site. That kind of loyalty is a commendable achievement, especially for a jewelry brand. While driving new traffic is essential, she’s already nailed a challenging aspect of marketing. On another note, Hilary’s performance on Instagram is stellar. But success in one area can sometimes prevent us from spotting potential improvements elsewhere. I believe there’s untapped potential for her on Pinterest. Even a basic Pinterest presence could boost her visibility, leveraging its strength as a visual search engine. So here’s my two cents for you: Firstly, avoid feeling deflated by any single metric that seems concerning. Contextualize that data, and explore other related metrics to get the full story. Secondly, even if you’re excelling in one area, remain open to discovering fresh opportunities elsewhere. What did you think? Let me know in an Instagram DM, podcast review or YouTube comment.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 48:15
Did you have any questions about today’s episode? You can always email me Laryssa at If you loved this podcast, please share it with a friend who’d appreciate it. And don’t forget to subscribe as well as leave a review on Apple Podcasts. If you’re completely new to digital marketing, then you’ll want to purchase and read a copy of my book JEWELRY MARKETING JOY. Visit for more information.

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