August 19, 2017

Email Personalization Boosted Retailer’s Sales

There is no other digital marketing medium more powerful for retailers and businesses in general than email. Besides the one-on-one setting that email provides, the growth of marketing data tools has made email the ultimate personalized bond between businesses and both their “today customers” and “tomorrow customers”.

Retail TouchPoints featured a recent and superb case study from the UK of how one retailer tripled their email marketing revenue thru real-time personalization.

The Entertainer, the largest High Street (main street) toy retailer in the UK, partnered with marketing platform provider SmartFocus to help understand customer data from all online channels, know who its customer base is, how they shop, what products they like and their lifetime value. The retailer gained a single customer view to power personalized emails in real time — whether delivered via traditional email, mobile, web or social channels.

“Replicating our in-store experience when each and every one of our customers visits our web site or receives one of our marketing messages is critical to us,” said Rob Wood, Head of Online at The Entertainer in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The work we have done has undoubtedly helped retain customers, but SmartFocus has helped us engage new customers and send them contextually relevant and unique engagements across all our digital channels and web site.”

The first phase of the project was centered around the toy retailer’s Birthday Club which “allows grown-ups to tell us the birthdays of the children they’re buying for.” The Entertainer asks customers to reveal the child’s gender and age. “With that information, we can target their parents four weeks before the birthday and send them a list of personalized recommendations,” added Wood. This allowed the retailer to incorporate 80,000 children’s birthdays in its current database. “We find that people who are in this database spend twice as much every year as someone who’s not in it,” said Wood.

The retailer was then able to migrated all of its transactional and marketing campaign programs to the SmartFocus Message Cloud and the send 100% personalized and fully responsive messages to customers, with content driven exclusively by their behavior.

Once a single-customer-view database was built, The Entertainer integrated a new email service solution to enhance the segmentation of email addresses using attributes from the database. “The recommendations engine now gathers data while the customer browses, interacts and orders from the web site,” said Wood.

The Entertainer’s work with SmartFocus has given the retailer the ability to drill down to individual purchase patterns with more relevance. Wood said the retailer is also looking to organically increase the basket value and frequency of visits — in stores and online — while also increasing the lifetime value of each customer through engagement.

“We tripled our email revenue last year compared to the year before, which is a brilliant result for us and something we are happy with,” said Wood. “We’ve used the same database — it’s not like we have massively grown the database. All we have done is send better messages to the same people and gotten a better result from that.”

The results:

– Tripled email revenue, with a 97% rise in YOY sales to date;
– Boosted new sales 36%;
– Increased click-through rate (CTR) 80% from behavioral segments used in email personalization;
– Increased sales from web site product recommendations
– Achieved a 60% increase in returning shoppers;
– Lifted conversions from abandoned cart emails 25%.