VetShopAustralia

Tail-Waggingly Good Welcome Emails

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The Goal

  • Personalise messages.
  • Deploy triggered emails.
  • Convert Surfing Dog fans into subscribers.

The Approach

  • Add cart abandonment emails.
  • Introduce a welcome series.
  • Acquire subscribers with Pop-up Manager.

The Result

  • Cart recovery emails have 60% higher open and click rates.
  • Welcome series increased email-driven revenue 3x over.
  • More visitors are subscribing to emails.

VetShopAustralia has gained a loyal following with its delightful surfing dog contest. It’s turned that event into revenue with an email approach that focuses on personalisation and triggered messages – with great success. Director Steve Perissinotto attributes 10% of the rapidly growing company’s revenue to Bronto.

Perissinotto works in a kind of pet-lover’s paradise. The company, founded by his veterinarian brother, has “bring your dog to work day” every day, and cats can come “by appointment.” There are pet bereavement and sick leave policies, and pets is a broadly applied category. “We even had a pig in one day. I didn’t even know we had a team member with a pet pig,” Perissinotto says.

He didn’t know about the pet pig, but he did know that before using Bronto he had no way to connect with customers in a more personalised way. “We were delivering ‘batch-and-blast’ one-off emails that couldn’t deliver the behaviourally targeted engagement we needed.” His previous email platform lacked the flexibility to easily build triggered campaigns or adapt programs like cart recovery.

Moving to a Behaviour-Based Approach

Behaviour-based marketing is critical because VetShop sells mostly commodity products. “We have a lot of competitors, so we need to stand out from the competition,” Perissinotto says.

No one spends loads of time surfing the web looking for flea and tick medicines. But pet caretakers are passionate about their companions and loyal to companies that share that passion, so the Surfing Dog Contest seemed a perfect venue for attracting customers.

But while the contest, and the utterly adorable videos from the competition, drive customers to the company’s website, Perissinotto takes a slow and gentle approach to converting those eyeballs into paying customers. This is where Bronto plays a key role. Once on the site, customers have the option through Bronto’s Pop-up Manager to offer an email address that sends them into a welcome series, that gradually introduces them to the products VetShop sells (including letting them know about its sister site, PetScripts, which sells prescription pet medications). For those visitors that provide an email address because of the surfing dog competition, the first message includes some type of waterproof or outdoor product.

The welcome series is content-rich, focused on offering up pet care tips instead of the latest and greatest sale on furball treatments. And it has been a big revenue driver. It helped increase email-driven revenue 3X over during the first six months with Bronto. “It helps us nurture our customers on their journey to first purchase and build the relationship that will help them become repeat buyers.”

Triggering Better Sales

The company also sends triggered emails after the fifth purchase with a little thank you video and an offer. “Triggered messages are one of our favorite parts of using Bronto. We plan to do a lot more of them,” Perissinotto says.

VetShop recently started using Cart Recovery. “It’s still early, but Cart Recovery emails are showing up to 60% higher open and click rates than our regular emails.” That makes Perissinotto happy. “Our products aren’t like shoes or a shirt, where you cart the item and question whether you want it. We sell products people need, so while our Cart Recovery results aren’t like those for fashion brands, we are still very happy.”

VetShop has done some simple segmentation – sending out different messages depending on whether the subscriber is a cat owner, dog owner or owns both types of pet. It also recently launched a segmentation campaign built around pet life stage. “If you are buying senior dog food, we can help you with a bit of knowledge about how to look after your dog’s arthritis. It helps build brand loyalty,’’ he says. “We think it’ll eventually increase sales.”

Perissinotto says he has just scratched the surface of what he can do with email. “I’m really happy about what we’ve accomplished so far and look forward to what we can do next.”

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