The Block Shop

Revealing Big Wins With Email

Revealing Big Wins With Email


Engage shoppers when the related reality show isn’t on the air.

Quickly market new products during the show’s regular season.

Create triggered campaigns and segment sends.


Deployed Cart Recovery emails.

Created a welcome series.

Segmented to personalize messages.


Cart Recovery emails convert at between 10.5% and 15%.

Emails in the welcome series convert at triple the rate of standard emails.

Segmenting emails to bargain-priced shoppers scores a 21% click rate.

As the social media manager for the wildly popular Australian home renovation reality show “The Block,” Emma Garland was flooded with requests from the public asking where they could buy the rugs, furniture and light fixtures that contestants selected for their projects. Thus, The Block Shop – an online commerce website – was born.

But because the shows that inspire the site’s products are not shown year-round, Garland and her husband Nick knew they needed a way to engage with customers who weren’t visiting the site in between seasons. Email seemed the logical tool, but the small company’s first provider didn’t make it easy for them to add the product feed or automate messages. “I wanted the product and its price to appear in the marketing message,” says Garland, the company director. “We couldn’t do that with our old provider.”

With Bronto, Garland is doing that and more, including running an automated Cart Recovery series that is converting at 33x that of standard emails. It’s much easier for her to both engage customers in the off-season and quickly market the new products as contestants reveal their renovations on live shows.


Cart Recovery series
converts at 33x that of
standard emails.

Succeeding Through Lean and Busy Times

The Block Shop’s origins as a curated marketing platform for the television show might be unique, but their marketing needs are like other online retailers who typically have busy seasons and slow times. “When the shows are on the air, our traffic is phenomenal, but when they aren’t, we have to work very hard to keep engagement not only among viewers but also get new eyeballs to the site,” Garland says. While the site started with just furniture seen on “The Block,” it has now expanded outside of the show and stocks beautiful on-trend homewares that are updated on a daily basis. “We need to keep the site fresh, creating a destination that people keep coming back to, when they are looking for new furnishings for their home,” said Garland.

When The Block Shop first switched commerce automation providers, they worked with a Bronto strategist to get started. The strategist recommended an automated welcome series, which scored triple the conversion rates of traditional email messages. “That was awesome, and once it was set up, it just does its thing,” Garland says.

Quote mark

For a small team, Bronto is invaluable. It’s been an amazing partner and has exposed us to technology that I thought would only be available if we were a big business.”

Emma Garland,
Social Media Manager, The Block Shop

When the The Block is on air, contestants typically reveal a newly designed room once a week. Those reveals (and the retailer’s subsequent emails) drive a lot of traffic. But conversions were on the low end – about .44%. In addition, a lot of product was going into carts, but customers weren’t buying. Enter Cart Recovery.

“We start with a reminder email. The open rate is ridiculously high at 58%, with a click rate of 25.5% and a conversion rate of 15%,” Garland says. The second message features a note from the host of the show. Its open rate is 52.7%, with a 21% click rate and 11% conversion rate. “For the third message, we offer a 10% discount. That delivers a 52.7% open rate, a click rate of 37.1% and a conversion rate of 10.5%. It’s interesting that the first cart recovery message is the highest converter, but I think the discount on the third message gets those customers who need a kick in the bum across the line.”

Exploring More Personalization

Garland is now working on creating successful segments. She wants to segment messages to customers that tend to buy higher-end items and is already pushing sales content to those that are mostly price-focused. “When I limit a sale email to subscribers who like sales, we see a 35% open rate and a 21% click rate, which is much more than we’ve been seeing with standard emails.” She is also looking at adding browse recovery emails to her arsenal.

“For a small team, Bronto is invaluable,” Garland says. “It’s been an amazing partner and has exposed us to technology that I thought would only be available if we were a big business.”

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