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The Art of Surprise in Jewelry Marketing

Episode #260 – “The Power of Surprise in Jewelry Marketing”

In Episode #260, we’re diving deep into the art of surprise in jewelry marketing and its power to skyrocket customer engagement. I totally get it—grabbing the attention of your audience, let alone your loyal customers, is no walk in the park. So, how can you make them sit up and take notice?

The good news? No need to break into a dance routine on TikTok. Seamlessly weave surprise into your everyday marketing narrative. And the best part? You can customize this element of surprise to fit your brand’s unique story and ethos. So let’s unlock this game-changing strategy!

We’ll be looking at this topic through the lens of Hilary Finck Jewelry, who we’ve been spotlighting as a jewelry brand case study. For those joining our podcast series for the first time this season, I’d suggest starting with Episode #252. Doing so will introduce you to Hilary and allow you to follow this narrative from its inception.

Before jumping into our chat with Hilary, I’ll talk about the nuances of defining custom jewelry, the rising consumer trend towards personalized experiences, effective marketing strategies for unique jewelry offerings, and how custom offerings can elevate a jewelry brand’s potential in today’s market.

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. In Episode #260, we’re diving deep into the art of surprise in jewelry marketing and its power to skyrocket customer engagement. I totally get it—grabbing the attention of your audience, let alone your loyal customers, is no walk in the park. So, how can you make them sit up and take notice?

The good news? No need to break into a dance routine on TikTok. Seamlessly weave surprise into your everyday marketing narrative. And the best part? You can customize this element of surprise to fit your brand’s unique story and ethos. So let’s unlock this game-changing strategy!

We’ll be looking at this topic through the lens of Hilary Finck Jewelry, who we’ve been spotlighting as a jewelry brand case study. For those joining our podcast series for the first time this season, I’d suggest starting with Episode #252. Doing so will introduce you to Hilary and allow you to follow this narrative from its inception.

Before we dive into our conversation with Hilary, I’ll highlight the perks of surprising your customers. We’ll explore various methods to delight them and discuss how you can customize these strategies to resonate with your brand. Additionally, we’ll delve into the transformative results you can anticipate when you begin to redefine your customers’ perceptions of your brand’s operations. 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. Okay, let’s get into today’s episode, my Sparklers! This one’s all about the element of surprise in marketing. So why are we even talking about this? What are the perks and benefits of surprising your customers? There’s such great research about how surprise can boost your brand. Even earlier this year, the Harvard Business Review published an article called “Surprise is still the most powerful marketing tool”, and I’m talking slowly and emphasizing that because that is such a bold and important statement that it’s the most powerful marketing tool. So the main takeaways were they talk about this thing called the predictability paradox. So while tools like Facebook, Instagram, what have you, in marketing have made life and decision making more predictable for your customers, they can kind of strip away that spontaneity and serendipity that brands like yours can provide. And so these tools that make life, marketing so much easier for us as businesses, it kind of can potentially dull, our lower and what really makes us special in the marketplace. So what is the power of surprise? First, I think it really kind of satisfies an addictive nature that some people have. So humans are really biologically wired to respond positively to unpredictability. And so when surprise is involved, it almost becomes like something you can’t resist. It’s a super valuable marketing tool. It’s like you can’t get enough because we’re wired to want that routine is helpful for breaking out of the routine can be such a delight and your brand can help a person feel that surprise can also challenge and change consumer behavior. By introducing new stimuli, and that can help you be super innovative in your marketing and have more fun. It can also be very cost effective. I’m not telling you to like do some crazy, grand gesture. Simple and unexpected acts of surprise can really yield significant emotional impacts without the substantial costs. And surprise is an intense emotion or it leads to an intense emotion. And when a customer has an emotion with your brand that they can remember, and that they feel deeply, they will associate that with a positive experience with your business. And that helps you build the relationship with them. Okay, so are you feeling convinced yet that this is important? Let’s talk about various methods to surprise and delight your customers. So maybe not all of these will feel right for your brand. And I’ll talk about how you can kind of tailor them. But I just want to throw out some ideas and examples. So the first kind of maybe this is the most obvious or most common one is a flash sale. So a flash sale is one that doesn’t have any lead up or pre promotion. It’s usually not associated with like a typical sale holiday, like let’s say Black Friday or Memorial Day weekend, it feels a little bit out of the blue. And a flash sale is usually a limited time discount or promotion. That is a surprise for your customers. So that’s one example. Let’s talk about some others. So mystery boxes, this isn’t right for every jewelry brand, I think it might be better for someone that has jewelry at a lower price point. I recently was shopping an athletic wear brand, where they sell leggings in a mystery box. So if you want to try the brand, if you want a really good deal or discount, you would buy this mystery box. And they would send you a pair of leggings in a color or pattern of their choice. And personally, I don’t know I’m very picky about colors. So I would not buy it. But I was reading the reviews of this product. And I was super interested to know about the experience that people had with it. And I there were a few mixed in there where people were like, I didn’t really like the products I got. But most people were so excited to get the package. And they even said that even if it was a color or pattern they wouldn’t have normally chosen or isn’t like their all time favorite, they still left a positive review and had a great experience because they liked the fun that they got out of ordering a mystery box. So this can be great for a brand that offers lower price pieces. Or maybe you’re just trying to get rid of inventory. So instead of doing a traditional sale, you would have a mystery box and then you choose what that customer gets at a discounted price. Another example of a surprise would be a pop up shop. So if you do engage in in person events, you could surprise your customers by establishing a temporary location in an unexpected place. So this can create buzz, provide an exclusive feel. And it just gets people you know motivated to come as opposed to if you had a store that was open all the time in like a more traditional retail location. Of course you could encourage people to come. But they wouldn’t feel that sense of urgency to check out this like fun surprising thing that you’re doing. Other ways to surprise you could do Limited Edition pieces. So that means releasing unique jewelry pieces in limited quantities. You could do collaborations, especially if you’re partnering with like a really unexpected brand or influencer to create a special edition. I remember at one point on this podcast, I talked about the brand Mejuri and how they did a collaboration with a puzzle brand, which I just thought was so delightful because who expects a jewelry brand to partner with a puzzle brand. And it was a really unique and fun collaboration that gave them something to talk about with their customers. You can do surprise gifts, so occasionally including a complimentary gift with larger purchases. Customers will definitely appreciate the unexpected bonus. Even a handwritten note can feel like a surprise. So it can be something as small as that. You can also consider collaborating with your customers. So occasionally invite feedback from your customers, and then implement a suggestion they’ve made. You can even go so far as to acknowledge and reward the customer or customers who gave you that feedback and surprise them that you actually paid attention, and that you took their feedback seriously. So how can you customize these strategies to make sure they really resonate with your brand? I would say when you’re adapting ideas of surprise for your jewelry brand, you first need to deeply understand your brand identity, you need to understand your core values. That ensures that any surprise you choose will really align with your ethos, it will maintain authenticity. I would say, if a surprise feels out of place, or forced, that can definitely do more harm than good, because customers will see through that they will know what you’re doing. So make it authentic, and true to your brand. You definitely want to consider your customer base and their preferences. You can do that by diving into the data into the feedback into the purchasing habits. All those things can provide insights into what might genuinely delight them. For example, if your demographic is more tech savvy, then they might more appreciate like a digital surprise or an interactive online experience. If your customer base is more traditional or old school, they might find value in something like a handwritten note, or an in person event. Of course, your budget and your resources are crucial factors to consider. But you have to remember, it’s not about how grand this surprise gesture is, but rather the thoughtfulness and the relevance. So even small brands with limited resources can still surprise customers in meaningful ways, like spotlighting them on social media, or personalizing their shopping experience. And lastly, always be open to feedback. The beauty of surprises is that they can be refined over time. So if you gauge your customer reactions, then you can learn and iterate and ensure that the element of surprise remains an effective tool in your marketing strategy. So remember, the primary goal is to enhance the customer’s connection to the brand. So every surprise that you offer should feel like a natural extension of that relationship. So when you start offering surprises, what are some results you can anticipate? And how can you redefine your customers expectations? I would say results will definitely vary. But here are some super power powerful stats. So according to a 2022 Price Waterhouse Cooper report, customers who are thrilled with a service are three times more likely to buy again and five times more understanding of a company’s errors in the future if you mess up, if there’s like a shipping snag whatever compared to those who are just content with their experience. So having that element of surprise, really thrilling the customer boosts the customer relationship bottom line. And then there’s research from the Journal of Consumer Psychology from 2022. That indicates that delightful experiences greatly improve memory retention. So that means customers are recalling their favorite encounter, linking it with the brand, remembering that brand in the future even possibly recommending the brand to their friends and other loved ones. In our interview with Hilary next, we’ll discuss her happy business and Hilary birthday sale. This flash sale covered all items in her online store. Running this promo in September provided insights for future promotions and valuable feedback for our holiday marketing strategies. Hi, Hilary. Welcome back to the podcast.

Hilary Finck 14:38
Hi Laryssa how’s it going?

Laryssa Wirstiuk 14:39
It’s going well cause I’m excited to talk about your sale.

Hilary Finck 14:44
Yeah I t was pretty good.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 14:45
But before we jump into that, as I want to do kind of like a follow up episode to a follow up question to the previous episode where we talked about custom and we had sent out that email with your holiday order deadlines and just more information Russian. And I was just curious if you had any inquiries or people reaching out or if you think when that might start ramping up.

Hilary Finck 15:08
I haven’t had any inquiries for holiday custom. But I do have, which is just kind of usual, you know, like a few people reaching out about customs just in general. I had one, one guys emailed me about using like a heirloom stone for an engagement ring. Another woman reaching out about a heirloom ring repurposing the stone for a pendant, and then using some of the diamonds on that screen to be set in a rivet and ring bracelet. So yeah, I mean, my people just generally don’t do custom for holiday gifts. So it’s not really a surprise for me.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 15:48
Yeah, it is good to remind people anyway, even if even if you kind of know. So thinking about you just had a like happy business to Happy Birthday sale. And so what we did was we sent a preview email before the sale, and then the actual sale lasted 36 hours. And it was 15%. off site wide, excluding custom. So I’m curious, how has this approach been different from sales you’ve had in the past. And then what was similar also,

Hilary Finck 16:26
Well I’ve never got a sale, that’s this short, which I actually really liked. I liked doing kind of this shorter, 36 hours sale, because generally I’ll do like a weekend sale or something like that. And then this time, we also didn’t open it up to like my social media followers, we kept it really exclusive to my newsletter community. And I also really liked that I really liked special feeling. I always want to do something nice for my newsletter community. So I think this felt really special to a lot of them. And then also, like, I’m pretty sure I haven’t done a sale before that includes me to order. I think I usually just have it on ready to ship. So that was also something that was different. And I thought it I’ll I would like to do that again. I like that.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 17:22
Yeah, definitely. And then you had mentioned the exclusivity of the sale for email subscribers. Did you mention to Instagram that like something was coming so that they would sign up?

Hilary Finck 17:33
Definitely, I did, I think about three posts, and probably about three stories. So it definitely helped drive some new newsletter signups. And I think it also just, again, I think it just feels special for my Instagram followers, who are part of my newsletter community to read something that’s like, Hey, this is only going to be for people are on my newsletter, you know, so they’ve read that ahead of time, on Instagram, and I just hope it makes them feel good.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 18:05
I think it’s nice to prioritize people who, like commit to getting emails. I think some brands, they kind of take it for granted that they have email subscribers, but like, it’s no small thing to like, Give someone your email address, because annoying to get emails that like you don’t want so those people deserve to get special treatment. They’re committing to you. They’re fans of yours. So I like that. That idea. Yeah, I agree. So at the time, at least where we’re recording in Klaviyo, your email marketing platform, it was attributing about $9,000 in sales to the emails that we were sending for this 36 Hour Sale? And I’m curious if that is that in line with kind of like your expectations and goals, or how was it different?

Hilary Finck 18:55
That’s right on track for what I was kind of like the minimum I was hoping for. And then I got about two more 2000 more in sales just from purchases that weren’t the exact product like someone wanted to shorter chains. So you know, I didn’t have that price tag on my website. So we just did like a side transaction. So I had a couple of those types of transactions. So it was a little over 10 grand, which I was 10 grand was kind of like my, the minimum that I was hoping for. So I’m glad that glad we hit it. I mean, of course I would have loved to do 20 But that was kind of like pie in the sky. Right. So I think I’m really really happy with the sale.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 19:34
Yeah, well, we’ll learn some things and kind of make changes and hopefully the next time we do it, we’ll hit your goal will exceed your your pie in the sky goal.

Hilary Finck 19:44
Yeah, it’s hard coming off of summertime. I mean, especially this past summer where so many people were vacationing, and so many people just kind of like had they probably have like a budget set aside for summer travel and now they have their budget set aside For Christmas, so it’s kind of in this like, weird period of time. But it’s still did well, I’m still happy with.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 20:08
So you had mentioned you hadn’t really done a sale like this before that included me to order pieces. And it was a little bit of an experiment for us to see like, would people buy those things? Would it kind of change the purchase behavior? So I’m wondering, like, was there anything surprising to you about the products that did? So?

Hilary Finck 20:29
Um, no, I mean, I guess I’m more. I’m not surprised by the customers that purchase because there’s some of my, my best and most loyal clients, which always feels great. And then there were no first time customers that purchased in the sale, though, which I think is interesting. And I knew that that diamond necklace would sell I just had a feeling because I have so many people that were interested in it. And so I figured that would probably go because it’s really a great deal. Then once like nice diamond necklace on sale like that. I guess I’m a little surprised some things that didn’t sell like I thought for sure those Jade torpedo earrings would sell, I get so much traction on those. And that lap is ringing again. I just get so much traction on the on that piece. So I don’t know, it’s just you never know what’s going to sell. But yeah, those pieces I thought would sell but it’s all right.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 21:30
And then I guess in some of this was a little bit of an experiment. Was there anything you took away from it that you think will influence your approach to like holiday promos this year, anything you change or keep the same moving forward?

Hilary Finck 21:45
Well, I liked that we did the reminder email, like sales almost over. I think in the past, I’ve always been like, you know how I am. I’m like, I don’t want to bother them with another email. So I haven’t seen it a few times. I’ve done that. But you know, not very often. So I think that helped because I did have one more sale that really nice smell that came in from that.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 22:08
Yeah I noticed that it’s worth it.

Hilary Finck 22:11
Yeah, definitely worth it. And then, um, I mean, like I said, I like the the short timeframe. So I think it’s definitely worth it to get people kind of like, oh, you know, better get on this. But you know, for holiday sales, I definitely do like them to be longer. And for holiday sales. Once my newsletter community gets like the first 24 hour dibs on the sale. I do always like to open it up to Instagram and just, you know, see if, if people there would also like to participate in the sale?

Laryssa Wirstiuk 22:42
Definitely. Well, I’m really excited to experiment with different kinds of promotions in the future. And we’re already talking about holiday sales. We’re recording this right now. It’s like mid September, and we’re plotting, you know, the dates and the discounts and all that. So there’s a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon.

Hilary Finck 23:01
Absolutely. I can’t wait and I’ve already let’s see yesterday in the studio, I started making the first piece that’s going to be going out for October, November, December. And I have all my stones lined up that I’m going to use so I’m I’m really excited about the next week.

Laryssa Wirstiuk 23:17
Well, thanks Hilary was great chatting with you today.

Hilary Finck 23:19
You too. Thanks Laryssa

Laryssa Wirstiuk 23:21
What did you think about the interview? Are you excited to follow Hilary on this journey? I highly encourage you to check out Hilary’s website and follow her on Instagram @hilaryfinckjewelry. Link in the show notes as well.

Let me know in a podcast review or YouTube comment what you think about this new journey. Okay, let’s get into THE GOLD MINE. 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. THE GOLD MINE allows me to share topics and insights close to my heart.

Let’s get into this week’s GOLD MINE! I have one extra note about surprises. You see, the essence of surprise isn’t just the shock factor; it’s all about timing and context. Think about this example: you’ve been out of touch with a friend for ages and then, out of the blue, you show up at their door to say “hi”. Nice gesture, right? But, it might also come across as odd and, depending on the relationship you had before, it may seem like you want something.

On the flip side, if you’ve been nurturing that relationship, then surprising a friend with something like concert tickets to see a band you both like can bolster an already blossoming friendship.

The same principle applies to your jewelry brand. A surprise flash sale can dazzle and delight, but only if you’ve kept the lines of communication open. If your customers haven’t heard from you in months, an out-of-the-blue sale might come across as desperate, rather than delightful.

Regular updates on Instagram, captivating stories about your pieces, and consistent email check-ins don’t just keep your brand on top of their minds, but they warm your customers’ hearts. When that foundation is laid, every surprise, whether it’s a sale, a personalized offer, or a behind-the-scenes peek, becomes the cherry on top of an already solid relationship. So, let’s be that friend who continually cares, cherishes, and then occasionally dazzles with a delightful surprise. Your customers deserve nothing less!

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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