Email Revenue is Out of Sight for Eyewear Company

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The Goal

  • Increase revenue with fewer, more personalized emails.
  • Build customer loyalty for a product most only buy every other year.

The Approach

  • Deploy cart recovery emails.
  • Create welcome series, re-engagement and second purchase campaigns.
  • Measure success.

The Result

  • Sends to the entire subscriber list dropped, while revenue grew.

People don’t buy prescription glasses that often. So it wouldn’t seem to make much sense to send daily or weekly emails to every last person on your list. But that’s just what did when it started in ecommerce.

“In the beginning, it was hard to accept the idea that sending fewer emails could actually drive higher revenue,” says Brett Rudolph, Director, Email Marketing for, a pure online prescription glasses store that recently ranked third in the list of Top 50 Email Marketers by Internet Retailer.

But with a segmented and personalized approach, the company has significantly increased the percent of revenue coming from email without increasing the number of emails subscribers receive. “The first time we sent an email to a list segmented to include only those with a high open rate, we thought, ‘OK, we’ll probably lose a bunch of money,’ but it didn’t happen.”

“In the beginning, it was hard to accept the idea that sending fewer emails could actually drive higher revenue.”

GlassesUSA’s contract with Bronto paid for itself five times over in the first three months. More importantly, it gave Rudolph an easy-to-use platform where he can experiment. “The automation and workflows are amazing.” And Rudolph notes the subscriber list has grown by more than 100% since the company started using Bronto.

Now, GlassesUSA is actively experimenting with personalization and maintaining a robust cart recovery program and re-engagement series.

Bringing Customers Back to Their Carts

The cart recovery series has been a huge win for the company. Within 24 hours of a cart being abandoned, an automated message goes out, including a picture of the product left in the cart and suggestions for similar products based on the shopper’s browsing history. The series includes additional reminder messages, occasionally with an incentive based on purchase history and customer data.

In a three-month trial run, the series had a 300% higher conversion rate than regular emails. “Abandoned cart is a massive revenue driver,” Rudolph says. “The click-through rate on our cart recovery messages is 35%, the conversion rate is close to 10%, and the series has an average order value much higher than any other order.”

Here are a few other ways GlassesUSA is personalizing and segmenting to drive revenue:

Welcome Series – The multi-part series for new subscribers generates over 30% of all email revenue. When a customer buys, the series closes out with post-purchase messages to encourage ongoing engagement.

Second Purchase Series – Several months after a purchase, customers receive this series. “The conversion rate is triple the average conversion rate of our bulk emails, and that is massive, considering we sell glasses and glasses are generally purchased once every 2 years,” Rudolph says.

Re-Engagement Campaign – One of Rudolph’s favorites, this ongoing campaign drives a solid boost to incremental revenue. However, due to the success of the series, the overall amount of customers being added into the workflow has dropped over time. Customers who don’t respond are automatically moved to a list that receives fewer emails. Why is this good? “Because when they end up receiving an email, it stands out, and they come back to us. Thus, they’re less likely to unsubscribe.”

“The click-through rate on our cart recovery messages is 35%, the conversion rate is close to 10%, and the series has an average order value much higher than any other order.”

GlassesUSA outperformed their email sales goal by 33% last year, and while Rudolph doesn’t expect that kind of figure in the coming year, he believes he’s got the solution to help him continue to grow revenue.

“In large part thanks to Bronto, we are no longer focusing on sending out bulk emails, and we are successfully re-engaging our subscribers,” Rudolph says. “Not to mention, our list is growing at a much faster pace.”


About GlassesUSA

Founded in 2008, the online retailer of prescription eyewear has crafted millions of lenses in a state-of-the-art optical lab where it creates and assembles single vision, multi-focal, sport and Rx sunglasses and prescription lenses.

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888.276.6861 +44 203 640 2040 1300 546 112

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