How Blue Apron’s Content Marketing Made Me a Loyal Customer

After hearing a lot of hype from friends and family, I jumped on the Blue Apron wagon and signed up for their meal kit delivery. From the enticing aromas wafting through my kitchen to the delectability of their meals, it didn’t take long for me to be impressed with the quality of Blue Apron. Then, as I familiarized myself with the brand, I found even more to love: great content in the form of visually appealing emails, an award-winning app and user-generated stories.

Visually appealing emails

With a $2 billion valuation and 8 million meals shipped each month, Blue Apron has become a leading brand in the meal kit delivery business. There’s a lot that Blue Apron is doing right to achieve that level of success, starting with its email strategy.

As a new consumer, I didn’t know a whole lot about the brand, so I was glad that “5 things you might not know about Blue Apron” was in one of my first emails. It was a chance for me to learn a little more about the brand’s sustainable produce efforts as well as what to expect in my future deliveries.

The email didn’t bombard me with an overload of information. Instead, it was a simple listicle, easy to read with beautiful images, minimal copy and some key points on the brand’s messaging. Plus, its formatting makes it very mobile-friendly; an effective strategy when you consider that 47 percent of emails are opened on mobile platforms.

The next email I received was “What’s in a Blue Apron box?” where I got a deeper look at the brand’s unique ingredients and mission to support responsible farming. Because Blue Apron didn’t overwhelm me in the first email, I felt more inclined to open the second, and became even more familiar with the brand story. This is key in an age of email overloads, and especially in the first few emails. If you try too hard, or do too much, you run the risk that consumers will be scared off from opening future correspondence from you.

An elegant and helpful app

Obviously, expanding their subscription base is an important goal metric for Blue Apron, but their bigger creative vision, according to co-founder Matthew Wadiak, is to inspire home cooks to “always learn, always grow with the food.” This is evident not only from their brand name and logo — in the culinary industry, a blue apron is the symbol of a novice chef — but in the wealth of tips, knowledge and helpful videos shared in the app.

A majority of my engagement with the Blue Apron brand happens on the beautifully designed app, which Apple named one of its top 25 apps in 2015. I love how much I can learn from the app. I can, watch a short and simple video on the best way to peel garlic, or read up on what mirin is. It makes cooking less scary, even with an ingredient I’ve never used before, because I feel confident that Blue Apron will guide me through the process and explain it clearly.

Tangelo and Honey-Glazed Salmon with Farro, Apple and Crispy Rosemary
See what I mean?

There’s even a link at the bottom of each recipe where I can read meal-specific tips from other Blue Apron chefs, or post my own tips, allowing me to connect with hundreds of other home cooks. This makes me look forward to each Blue Apron box, whether or not I know exactly how to cook what’s in it. Plus, I love that I can snap pictures of my food, enhance it with filters and recipe labels, share the images with my friends, and really look like I know what I’m doing.

Anyone can download the Blue Apron app, not just subscribers to the service. In fact, around 25 percent of the app’s users aren’t subscribers, but rather home chefs who enjoy Blue Apron’s recipes. Blue Apron could make the app exclusive, but allowing user engagement from non-subscribers means increased brand awareness. As Wadiak says: “The app is a channel to acquire new customers, a channel to engage with our product and order more frequently.” Smart move, I say.

User-generated content

On average, businesses see a 26 percent increase in Twitter engagement and a 6 percent increase in Facebook engagement after sharing user-generated content. Blue Apron put this practice to good use, publishing timely content around Valentine’s Day, when they posted “Love Stories,” first-person accounts from real users, like the one below, on their social media pages.

 

Blue Apron Love Stories

 

Other user-generated Blue Apron stories wisely focus on the consumer benefits of using Blue Apron’s products and services, as relayed in blog posts such as How One Woman Taught Her Kids to Cook with Confidence, and Customer Spotlight: Crystal Hypes. While reading these stories, it becomes easier for consumers — myself included — to see the value of continuing with Blue Apron’s meal kit delivery service. I could, of course, cancel my subscription at any time, but knowing the long-term benefits of improved confidence in the kitchen and healthier eating habits makes a good case for why I should stick around.

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As a content marketer, I’m always interested in seeing how the brands I use engage me as a consumer. With Blue Apron, I’ve found a brand that lets me learn more about the service in a way that feels approachable and inviting. I look forward to engaging with this brand for a long time to come!

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