Beau Ties was founded in 1993 as the premier source for superior silk bow ties and related coordinates, handmade in Vermont. With over 100,000 customers and over 15 years in the business, Beau Ties has come a long way from their beginnings in a spare bedroom and a single ad in the back of The New Yorker.
With the decline in effectiveness of print advertising, Beau Ties matured and changed their focus to online marketing channels to fuel Internet sales, which now account for up to 50% of their revenue stream. Since Internet sales are such a big percentage of overall sales; cost per click advertising and comparison shopping help to drive website traffic and customer acquisition. In order to nurture these online customers and future sales, Beau Ties invested in developing their email marketing program.
Justin Perdue, Beau Ties’ Web Manager, who is in charge of their email marketing program, says “Email has been important and remains the most important and effective online marketing effort. However, before coming to Bronto, our email marketing program was struggling.” Between a largely inactive email list and limited tracking ability, Beau Ties needed to revamp their program. “I couldn’t effectively run reports; I had to manually add new subscribers. It took 3-6 hours to test. Altogether, it was just too difficult,” he adds.
Through a recommendation from a trusted colleague Beau Ties looked into Bronto. “After evaluating the functionality and best practice advice Bronto offered that we didn’t have previously, we decided to make the switch,” states Perdue. Once Beau Ties moved to Bronto, list hygiene was their first and foremost goal. “We tracked our first couple of sends (4-5 emails over a 2 month period) to determine who was showing interest. We segmented out those who didn’t show any activity. Then and only then did I have confidence that I was getting rid of the ‘right’ 50% of people and not losing any of our good subscribers,” says Perdue.
In addition to their list overhaul, they took list hygiene a step further by sending out a re-opt in campaign. Through this campaign, they retained another 10% of their list and benefited from ensuring that they were following the preferences of their subscribers.
After improving their list hygiene, Beau Ties continued with their regular campaigns which included product announcements, web only specials, and new website features. “As we continue these conversations through email, we incorporate more expensive ties to encourage an up-sell once the customer feels comfortable with our product and brand. We also want to make sure we’re making the right marketing decisions through testing that we can’t achieve as effectively through print advertising,” mentions Perdue.
Once Beau Ties had built a solid email program, Bronto recommended adding the tactic of remailing. By changing the subject line, some of the email content, and slightly modifying the product offering, Beau Ties could attempt to reach their subscribers who didn’t act on the first email. “We would actually refocus the second email on bestsellers from the first email, hoping that those more popular items would gain more attention. The second campaign may also include a promotion to further encourage our customers to convert,” says Perdue.
The drastic measure of skimming down their list only added to Beau Ties’ email marketing success. “Our most outstanding result was that our email marketing revenue increased 75%, which is astounding given that we lost a good chunk of our list,” declares Perdue. By cleaning out their inactive list, they lost many subscribers but were better able to target customers who had a genuine interest in their products. In addition to the increased revenue, their conversions tripled and they saved money through emailing a smaller list size.
By remailing, Beau Ties has been able to generate, on average, an additional 45% in email marketing revenue from the original mailing. This tactic is an easy and strategic method to utilize the benefits of email marketing.
“We’ve been very happy with our results, and we do have to thank Bronto for their advice as we were building our email marketing program. Now, email marketing is more productive with less work on our end. We’re reaping the results of great email campaigns,” says Perdue.