International email marketing for Protest


The challenge

Sport is about experience and Protest knows that better than anyone. Since 1993, this Dutch sports brand has been making trendy and functional clothing for the slopes and in the water. In addition, they design a new spring and autumn collection every year, which consists of a complete streetwear line. Yellowgrape helped Protest translate the sporting branding into interactive e-mail campaigns for all seasons.


About Protest

Fashion-oriented sportswear founded by a group of snowboarders from the Netherlands. Yes, you read that right: The Netherlands. One of the flattest areas of land on Earth. From day one, Protest has been working to make the world a better place for boarders. Both on the slopes and in the water. From the summer collection of trendy swimwear to the winter collection that always stays close to our snowboarding roots, design is the driving force behind Protest. With a global network of international fashion gurus and the most innovative partners in fashion and textile; Protest designs trendy and functional sportswear at an affordable price.


Inbox inspiration and interaction

Ask any winter or water sports enthusiast to name a list of sporting brands and Protest will undoubtedly be top of mind. Not only in the Netherlands but also in the rest of Europe, Protest has been making a name for some time. Protest has a clear branding and pays a lot of attention to the quality of the online content. This is clearly evident in the webshop: it has a sleek design, a smooth tone of voice and razor-sharp atmospheric and product photography with which they respond strongly to inspiration. On the various social channels, they know how to subtly combine commercial posts with a good dose of user generated content.

Despite the fact that it looked great in front of the screens, there was still a lot to gain within the Protest e-mail channel. Protest came to Yellowgrape with a clear wish: an e-mail flow in which the on site inspiration and interaction could be translated, including personalization elements. Yellowgrape designed a completely new email template and a series of automated campaigns that allow Protest to inspire its customers and service them in the inbox.

“A full funnel campaign is also essential for existing brands to continue investing in brand and reputation in the current landscape.”


The right balance between functionality and creativity

In order to realize the wish, we first had to switch to a new ESP. Protest's existing e-mail platform had very limited options and we would also quickly reach the limit when it came to creativity.

CanopyDeploy as ESP
The right balance between functionality and usability of the software was very important to Protest. Based on these requirements, CanopyDeploy was chosen, as this platform absolutely excels in both elements. Yellowgrape has set up the entire CanopyDeploy implementation in four different languages: Dutch, English, German and French.

Redesign email template
Yellowgrape was responsible for the entire redesign of the email channel. We started designing a new responsive template, which fully matches the webshop in terms of style. The entire look and feel automatically adapts to the season and the recipient. The webshop's recognisable icons, such as snowflakes and waves, are reflected in the header, footer and background of the mailings, among others.

In addition, the template has created a lot of variation and experience by combining product and atmospheric images. This really translates the recognizable style of the webshop into the inbox.


Animation stands for attention

The average inbox is mostly filled with commercial emails. For Gmail users, formatted emails are even placed in a separate tab. To make Protest's mailings stand out in the inbox and boost the click through rate, we created eye catching animated banners. These immediately attract attention when opened and stimulate curiosity to a large extent, which increases the chance of reading and clicking. In addition, animations provide a sense of engagement with the recipient, the content (compared to static images) is better remembered and we increase the chance that the recipient will also open the emails in the future.

Product hero block for the top players in the collection
Every year, Protest launches new collections with a range of top items that they want to bring extra attention to. Think, for example, of the cool ski jackets for women and cool snowboard jackets for men. Our email marketers have built a really cool feature for this that is an absolute masterpiece, both graphically and technically.

With the product hero block, recipients can not only view multiple views of the same item, but also select different versions. Here, both the main images and the corresponding thumbnails adapt to the selected color — all within the email. In this way, we stimulate interaction with the recipient and Protest offers its customers the ultimate shopping experience in mail.

In this example, you see a swimsuit, but this also works for bikinis or winter jackets, for example. With four thumbnails and four different colors, up to sixteen (!) product images are displayed in a single product block. By the way, the items can also be loaded based on the feed. We only automated this immediately, as the average email marketer doesn't like unnecessary click work.


Great features and personalization elements

Because Protest sells in multiple countries, we've linked six different product feeds to the template. Using a SKU, the email marketer can easily load all product data and make the product blocks multilingual within seconds.

Another wish that was high on the wish list was personalization. Because Protest does not yet work with a CDP or similar personalization software, we manually built a product recommendation functionality into Clang. It takes into account a number of factors, including previous purchases, personal preferences and the popularity of items. Even when information is missing, we have a creative solution. In that case, we show “never out of stock” items, which are retrieved from the feed by means of a randomizer. In this way, we guarantee variety while still being able to show relevant product recommendations.

The state-of-the-art template also includes a fully automated Instagram feed, allowing us to inspire recipients with cool content directly from the social channel. With the countdown element, we can maximise the sense of urgency, for example in the run-up to a sale or when a personal discount code is about to expire.

Automated campaigns
Within the new design, we developed a series of automated campaigns that comply with the next level e-commerce etiquette. Starting with a three-stage onboarding flow, which is linked to stimulating profile enrichment. We use the specified preferences, among other things, to personalize recommendations. In addition to functional conversion boosters such as a birthday email and cart abandonment, we've also built more advanced campaigns. For example, the VIP campaign consists of multiple emails, where customers can achieve a VIP status twice depending on the purchase. With the reactivation campaign, we tackle churn risk and reactivate sleeping customers. Of course, they are all multilingual.


These experts know everything about this case

Tom Suurling

Senior Campaign Developer

Robin Sprang

Creative Digital Consultant

Rik van den Wijngaard

Founder & Creative Director