Leading Content Marketing Efforts for a Shopify Returns App

A brand positioning, messaging, and thought leadership overhaul

My Role: Copywriter and Content Marketing Lead

Returnly — offering the only returns platform powered by data science and financial technology — hired me as their first Director of Content Marketing. In this net-new role, my focus for the first quarter was three-fold:

  1. Support CEO and other marketing leads with rebranding efforts
  2. Amplify Returnly’s key differentiators and benefits to help Shopify merchants choose the best returns solution for their businesses
  3. Collaborate with PR and other communications professionals to create thought leadership content on behalf of our CEO and CTO

While my role was impacted by a 1/3 reduction of our workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m proud of the contributions I made to help reinforce the Returnly brand as a trusted leader in the post-purchase direct-to-consumer e-commerce space.

Below, I’ve outlined what I was able to accomplish before my departure.

Returnly was acquired by Affirm Holding, Inc. in 2021.

1. Working together to define company positioning, messaging pillars, and style guide

When I was brought on board, Returnly, a late-stage financial technology startup, was in the process of a brand refresh. Initially, I worked with leaders across the organization to update brand positioning, public-facing messaging, in-app communications, and editorial guidelines. Ultimately responsible for content marketing efforts, this was the perfect opportunity to help me understand the businesses’ key differentiators, customer base, competition, and reputation in the e-commerce landscape — everything I needed to create a strategy to help support Returnly’s place as a returns leader in the e-commerce space.


Position Returnly as the only returns platform powered by data science and financial technology capable of giving direct-to-consumer brands the ability to turn returns into a winning edge in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.


Foundational branding elements that tell the story of Returnly’s unique ability to help its customers exceed their shoppers’ expectations by delivering instant gratification at the point of return — i.e., extending credit to let shoppers get the right item before having to return the one they don’t want.

Company tagline:
A return experience like no other

Positioning Statement: 
Returnly is the only return solution that lets customers get the right item before returning the wrong one — with zero risk to the merchant.

Value Proposition:
The best returns experience is built with Returnly. With Returnly in place, brands give browsers the confidence to buy. When purchases don’t go as planned, Returnly uses financial technology to help brands exceed shopper expectations, save more sales, and earn repeat business. 


Please note: My contributions toward content voice, tone, and usage can be viewed on pages 7 – 11.


When the rebranded website went live it showcased the new company, platform, and product positioning — reinforcing Returnly’s position in the marketplace as a financial technology leader uniquely equipped to help e-commerce businesses turn post-purchase experiences into competitive advantages. Click the image below to check out the Returnly website.

Screen Shot 2020-03-30 at 1.11.29 PM.png

2. Creating purpose-built content to amplify brand benefits and help Shopify merchants succeed

A bit of context: In the e-commerce space, a lot of data has been gathered and shared about shopper behaviors and trends. Shopper personas, in fact, have been well defined and documented. And this information is used by most direct-to-consumer brands to improve shoppers’ pre-purchase experience, streamline internal operations, and plan marketing efforts. But nothing had been done to help these businesses better understand “returner” behaviors; creating the perfect opportunity to elevate Returnly’s position as a thought leader in the e-commerce space.

​As a returns platform powered by data science and financial technology, we had unique insights into return and exchange trends and post-purchase shopper behaviors. I oversaw the development of Returnly’s 2020 State of Returns Report which broke new ground by defining the returner personas shaping the e-commerce landscape. With this report, we were able to present new insights and relevant content to better help our customers meet customer expectations, boost brand loyalty, and increase sales through returns. — and elevate Returnly’s standing as trusted thought leaders in the direct-to-consumer and financial technology community. 


Check out the first-ever consumer-centric returns report. Unlike other return reports that analyze logistics data, the Returnly 2020 State of Returns Report includes findings from our year-long look at consumer returns behavior.


To spread the word and celebrate the release of Returnly’s first-ever data report, we organized a live webinar with e-commerce thought leader Steve Hutt. Here’s the deck that was created to support the conversation between Steve and Aaron Schwartz, Chief Business Officer at Returnly. 


And here’s the webinar I hosted to unveil and review the Returnly 2020 State of Returns Report State of Returns data report.


At the beginning of the pandemic, with so much uncertainty for DTC merchants and app developers alike, we launched at DTC Open House series to bring everyone together to share and learn from one another.

3. Rolling out learning and thought leadership content programs

I also collaborated with our public relations agency, strategic partners, communications consultants, and in-house subject matter experts to create content to amplify executive presence, reinforce brand mission, and raise awareness of Returnly’s products, services, partnerships, and customer successes.


Tips for Building an Online Return Strategy with Returnly



Thought Leadership Campaign: Executive Bylines

My Role: Ghost Writer and Client-Side Editor

While leading content marketing at Returnly, I worked to help boost our executives’ digital media presence and reinforce their positions as thought leaders in the e-commerce returns space. Here are a few of the bylines I helped develop.

4 ways to take the headache and hassle out of annoying holiday returns: Retail Report

Four Strategies Digitally Native Brands Can Use to Outsmart Amazon

Campaign Support: Autodesk Content Connection Portals

My Role: Content Strategist and Copywriter

Increasing subscriber product adoption while reinforcing Autodesk’s mission to empower innovators


In 2018, while working as a copywriter for the Digital Customer Success team at Autodesk, in response to a call-to-action from our CMO (Lisa Campbell) to modernize our approach to marketing, I pitched a concept to my team — and the title slide of the deck read:

A reimagined subscriber nurture experience

The Pitch

By the time my deck was socialized with Director-level leadership, my Executive Summary (which really became the team’s asset) slide read:

  • Lack of actionable data, inability to reach the majority of our users, and new corporate focus drive a need to evolve beyond our current push-driven nurture practice
  • Create a new nurture experience where subscribers can pull and engage with curated content that meets their needs from across the entire Autodesk learning and community ecosystem
  • AutoFlip, a scalable web-based platform to be built in-house using existing Autodesk resources, will provide subscribers a highly-engaging opportunity to self-select content to help them succeed
  • This will finally allow us to engage in conversations with our subscribers, understand and capture their preferences, and deliver more personalized experiences than we can today
  • AutoFlip will enable the Subscriber Success Team to synchronize with leadership’s efforts to digitize the company—and create high-value interactions with our customers

Fast-forward to 2021

Ultimately, my “Autoflip” concept never gained traction due to cost — and I left Autodesk to expand my content strategy and content marketing experience in the startup world. In early 2021 I was contacted by my former manager and team members — “Autoflip was greenlighted!” I was invited to help manage bring my old (and now evolved) vision to life.

The Result

The concept “Autoflip” ultimately launched as:

Content Connection

Resources curated by experts. Experiences designed for you.

In addition to pitching the tag line (now live), my content strategy contribution helped define the UX, UI copy, back-end workflows, and the taxonomy used to power search.

Currently, the site support 7 industries, over 14 core Autodesk products — and has been produced in 6 languages. As of January 2022, a two months after launch, the English site has over 60K visitors with close to 200K page views (average time on page = 2 minutes.)