Fenty Beauty | Email Teardown: The Good, The Bad & The MOPs


If this is your first time on the InkHouse blog, let me introduce myself.

I’m Eman – an Email Conversion Strategist & Copywriter. I help 6+ figure online business owners and commerce brands fire up their conversations, evergreen their sales and turn fans into superfans.

Welcome to my email teardown!

I love checking out what big brands are doing with their emails, and dissecting what’s working and what’s not.

This week I’m tearing down Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s billion dollar beauty business. 

I wanted to geek out on Fenty Beauty’s marketing and see how good (or bad) their email experience is for their customers. I’m not the biggest makeup person but cwould I be persuaded to buy a blusher and a lipgloss or two after subscribing? Let’s find out.

If you’d rather watch the video, you can stop reading here and go hit play. Or you can carry on reading for a summary of The Good, The Bad and The Missed Opportunities (MOPs).


Watch the Video

The Good

Good 1. Effective subject line

The very first email I got after opting-in read “You’re officially a part of the Fenty squad.”  

This subject line is perfect. Now, I’m not going to say I’m the exact audience for this but I can take a guess that this would go down very well with Fenty’s ideal audience. I love the idea of being part of anthis exclusive squad.

This welcome email makes me feel seen, included and wanted and when you consider that most people reading the email are going to be Rihanna fans this is a great strategy. It’s also super friendly and upbeat which I love.

It then introduces “The New Generation of Beauty + The New Generation of Skincare.” Again – love that. This feels like a whole movement and you’re made to feel part of it.  

Compared to a lot of generic welcome emails, this is great and really captures the brand image. Personalisation and knowing your audience is so important!

Good 2. Stunning product photos

The images of the products are gorgeous. It sounds obvious, but this really does make a huge difference – especially for an e-commerce brand.

The images you use in your emails are going to play a huge role in getting people to buy your products. When you’re a small business owner and just starting out, this isn’t going to seem like the biggest priority but trust me, you’ll thank yourself for getting great photos. 

You know what they say – a picture speaks a thousand words. Luckily Fenty Beauty seems to have definitely taken this on board! 

Good 3. Personality shining through 

“Welcome to that drop. Droppin’ juicy bundles at a value”.

The personality in this copy is phenomenal

This sassy fun friend everyone wants to be around is talking directly to you. It sounds fresh, cool, and current. It’s great to read. And it’s great fun to read. 

Although there are some bits of this I don’t quite get (am I showing my age here?) Fenty’s ideal audience will be totally on board with this, and that’s what matters. 

Note: it’s okay if people who aren’t your audience don’t get you – they don’t need to. Your audience needs to get you, and as long as they do, you’re doing great!t. 

Good 4. Strategic upselling 

Fenty Beauty is excellent at upselling –which is amazing because upselling is a sure way to increase your sales in email.

They do this by packaging up their products really well and creating bundles. If someone’s subscribed to your newsletter, they’re already interested in your products, right? So it’s really important to think about the products or services you can bring together in order to make it easier for your customer to buy from you. 


The Bad

Bad 1. Too many emails

So, I’m usually the one preaching to you to email your subscribers more.

But in the case of Fenty Beauty, it feels like too much. . They send an email once a day, sometimes twice a day – it’s a lot. Let’s be honest, people sign up for great deals and good content, but not to be bombarded by emails day and night.. This is a sure-fire way to make people unsubscribe fast.

Bad 2. So many (and I mean so many) calls to action

Each Fenty Beauty email includes a whole lot of calls to action. Whether it’s to check out their new lip luminizer (yes that’s a whole new word for me too), buy a cream blush or source some new skincare, each email really feels like it’s trying to sell you A LOT.

This reads as the company saying: “we’re a bit worried you’re not going to buy anything so we’re going to plonk as many products as we can in front of you.” It just doesn’t feel very strategic or well thought out.

When you focus on getting to your audience to do one thing, your conversions will inevitably increase. 

Bad 3. It’s not easy to join their mailing list

When I started this teardown, my first thought was that it wasn’t going to happen. Why? I couldn’t see the mailing list. Anywhere.

When I finally got down to the bottom I managed to find a place to pop my email address in. Let’s be honest, do people visit websites with the intention of signing up to their mailing list? I highly doubt it. 

That’s why it’s important to make it easy for people to join your newsletter.. Whether that’s a pop-up when they’re  about to leave the website or a permanent banner  – put the subscribe option out there and make it super visible.


The Missed Opportunities (MOPs)

MOP 1. Not segmenting their audience

Fenty Beauty is divided into two sub-brands: Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin. Now, when you sign up for the newsletter you get deals, offers and information for both. 

Directing your customer to what they want  suddenly becomes a lot harder than it needs to be and a lot less efficient than it could be. Ideally, the point of sign up would be a great time to figure out which newsletter people are more interested in. 

If Fenty could create two different segments for those audiences, they’d be able to send super targeted and super relevant emails (<< and that right there is the key to increasing conversions and engagement).

Although this would mean more work for the person writing these emails, it’d mean segmented emails that are better suited to the audience that’s reading them, right?

What people want most is for you to send them emails that they care about.; If I’m a skincare enthusiastic and my inbox is clogged up with emails about makeup, I’m more than likely just going to click that unsubscribe button.

The Honest Company actually has a great example of this that I’ll discuss in my upcoming teardown – keep your eyes peeled for it!

MOP 2. Not making the most of their existing content

If you’ve read some of my other email teardowns, I’m sure you’ll know quizzes and interactive features are a great way to engage your audience –  I’ve even suggested Kylie Jenner start using them here.

Around ten or so emails in, Fenty introduce a shade match quiz. Now for their makeup loving audience, this is absolutely a missed opportunity for them to get their audience engaged as soon as they first interact with the brand.

Remember, if you’ve created something your audience will really love, why wait to get it out there? Put it out there when they’re most interested and willing to engage with your content, which is usually when they’ve first signed up to your mailing list. Put it in the first emails of your welcome sequence if it’s not already the lead magnet

MOP 3.  Not letting a Unique Selling Point (USP) shine 

When I saw the chance to get shade matched live in an email, my first thought was – amazing! For the foundation lovers and Fenty fans, this is a fantastic opportunity that could really boost sales, especially as they’re known for their diverse shade range.

But – like with other Fenty emails – this offer is hidden under a whole load of other calls to action. With something as good as this, it’s a massive missed opportunity. You want every single person who subscribes to your mailing list to know that this is something that’s going to improve their experience of the product!This is a prime example of having a really great thing to promote, but not quite marketing it as well as you should.

It’s always important to understand what your unique selling points are, so you can shine a light on them and make your audience fall in love with you faster. 

My final thoughts on Fenty 

So…there was a lot I loved. 

The gorgeous pictures, the interactive features, and the personality shining through in these emails. I love copy that feels unique to the audience, friendly and fun to read, and Fenty Beauty definitely got that bang on. I’m sure this is something their “squad” will love and that really makes reading their emails a pleasure.

But…. you can have too much of a good thing. 

They send A LOT of emails with a lot of calls to action, which means their delivery can sometimes seem a little clunky and just way too much. I wasn’t even sure when the welcome sequence ended, and I’m an email strategist!

Here’s the thing: when people sign up to your mailing list, they do want to hear from you. And they’re excited to hear from you. But if people feel like they’re being bombarded, it’s going to be an instant unsubscribe. 

And once people unsubscribe that’s it – they’re gone. You missed your chance to convert that subscriber into a paying customer or client.

So remember: maximise the good stuff and minimise the clutter.

That’s it from me!

I hope you enjoyed this teardown and be sure to look out for my next one.

As always, if you’ve got any brands you want me to teardown, let me know on Instagram!

And if you’d like me to do a review of your emails, you can book an Email Conversion Audit here


Eman Ismail - copy expert and founder of InkHouse - writes conversational copy for businesses that want to sound more human, less robot. Through her services and online course, she helps brands Marie Kondo their messaging so they’re loved and understood by their ideal customers. When she’s not running her biz or hosting copywriting workshops for Lloyds Bank, you’ll find her bouncing around (probably injured) at soft play with her not-so-baby boy.

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