A splash of orange, a dash of turquoise. Each month the vinyl colors change, but the concept stays the same: Customers receive one vinyl record at a reasonable price in the mail.
The record club isn’t Secretly Store’s main business. In fact, it was an idea that floated around for a while before the Midwestern family of independent record labels decided to let the list grow organically. It’s a decision that’s led to astronomical open rates that hover around 75% (and higher!) for every newsletter.
“We have this really wonderful opportunity to find this unique way to use what we do—making records and partnering with artists and releasing albums—and connecting that to people in a different way and on a different level,” says Nick Faidley, who works with direct to consumer marketing for the labels, which include Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans, and the Numero Group.
Secretly Store has 2 monthly newsletters: One for the main online store, and one for the Secretly Society record club. Both yield enviably high open rates between 50 and 85%—significant numbers when compared to the music industry’s average open rate of about 16%.
Here are 3 ways they did it:
1. Make it personal
With the resurgence of vinyl, there are plenty of record clubs available. In fact, the last time that album sales were so high was nearly 30 years ago, when Nintendo and tube socks reigned, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
So what makes Secretly Society stand out?
For starters, the tone feels like a friend is emailing you about the latest cool record that they just happened to come across and thought you should hear. Each newsletter highlights that month’s release, what it sounds like, and why you might love it. (You also get one opportunity to skip a record and select another if it doesn’t sound like your jam.)