Uncaged Wisdom on Marketing and Retention within Subscription-Based Retail

Uncaged Wisdom

On this special episode of Uncaged Wisdom, we’re like the cat that got the cream and is now thinking about the best place to do its business. You could say we’re looking for the pick of the litter.

Carrying on with these feline idioms, the cat has certainly not got the tongue of today’s guest. Here to talk to us about some of the unique characteristics of being a digital marketer for a subscription-based retailer, we welcome Matthew Seifert, Senior Director of Retention and Monetization at PrettyLitter. Matthew is fully responsible for the customers and their growth.

PrettyLitter, for any cats not in the know, is a subscription-based retailer providing their customers with an odor-controlled and health monitoring cat litter delivered straight to their door. Powered by Marigold Engage+, they have created a variety of cross-channel messaging journeys, across the entire customer lifecycle, using email and SMS to educate, support, and sell to customers. 

Episode Highlights

04:26 – After hearing a bit more about Matthew’s very interesting background, both in life and as a digital marketer, on both the ESP and brand side, Matt discusses some of the daily challenges he faces due to the unique nature of the subscription model. Notably around keeping people subscribed for as long as possible. 

“Overall, we’re always focused on retention because the first month is really the biggest hurdle for any subscription company. Here we have a lot of people looking to try out a product.”

EVENT: Marigold Engage+ at eTail Virtual Summit and Expo 2021

08:06 – Here we discuss how PrettyLitter looks at their member list and churn rates, with a focus keenly on the first 30 days. Following this review, Matthew shares with us what those first 30, highly mapped out, days look like for a new customer. We analyze how certain actions the brand takes, especially around educating the new customer, can really reduce churn. Relevant and useful content, served timely and frequently, using a mixture of email and SMS has made a massive impact for PrettyLitter. 

“From an email and an SMS perspective, I built two flows that basically went out to these customers from the minute that they converted through the first 30 days.” 

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Two key insights that Matthew uncovered from analyzing the data from the first 30 days:

  1. Giving customers a little more control when managing their subscription, in this case, when and how much litter would be delivered, made a big difference.
  2. The reason people join isn’t the reason that they cancel. This is where PrettyLitter’s emphasis on product education came from.

16:46 –  At this point, Kayla asks how important has SMS been and how Matthew identifies those moments where you should be using email versus SMS, versus other channels where you’re talking to their consumers.

19:15 – Looking ahead and into PrettyLitter’s plans for 2021, Matthew gives us an overview of how they are approaching personalization. How they are looking to learn through the customer directly sharing more information about themselves and their pets via the PrettyLitter portal. 

“Cheetah’s helping us connect all the dots. I’m going to be leveraging Cheetah for a lot of that [preference] data because they more or less mirror the internal database that we have. I want to make sure that we can build really, really smart savvy marketing campaigns that go out the door.”


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25:00 – Returning to cross-channel messaging, we review the other types of journeys Matthew has created, beyond welcome programs. He explains that after the first 30 days, customers are put into cross-sell and upsell journeys, which still primarily focus on education and engagement. 

PrettyLitter has also started testing out customer offers, something that’s relatively new for them as they are a subscription business. Matthew was thinking of ways he could reward loyal customers by considering what sort of additional value could PrettyLitter provide? 

“We’ve been very lucky with our audience, whether it is on the prospect side that hasn’t converted from an email perspective or from a customer side, they’re all very engaged. And we want to make sure that we’re giving them really, really rich content that they can take away and share.”

Happy National Pet Day

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Your hosts

Julian Bracey-Davis
Senior Director, Pipeline Dev & Marketing Content, Marigold Engage+

Kayla Siegmeier
Kayla Siegmeier
Senior Manager, Communications Strategy, Marigold Engage+

Julian Bracey-Davis

Julian is the Senior Director of Pipeline Dev & Marketing Content for Marigold Engage+. Prior to this Julian was the Head of Customer Success & Account Management for Experiences in AMER. Over the past 10 years, he has been focused on making strategies and software work for brands and the digital marketers trying to implement them. Once an Englishman in NYC, now a Cornishman in Coppell, TX. The line is a dot to him. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Kayla Siegmeier

Kayla Siegmeier manages Marigold Engage+’s client-related content and strategic communications along with client advocacy and analyst relations. She has spent her career in B2C marketing with a focus on the development and execution of strategic loyalty programs, direct response, and brand marketing. She now brings that experience and passion for analyzing member behaviors to drive loyalty and engagement to Marigold Engage+, helping showcase the value of the Customer Engagement Suite to leading marketers through the stories of our clients. When not discussing the value of developing emotional loyalty, Kayla can be found enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two children.

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