A Prescription for Email Success
Grow customer loyalty.
Remind customers to refill.
Upload proprietary, scored customer information.
Test email cadence to find optimal number of weekly sends.
Revenue per email increased by 300%, and conversion rates increased 26% on triggered emails.
When Ujjwal Dhoot joined FSAstore.com as Chief Marketing Officer, he took a quick inventory of what was working and what wasn’t. FSAstore.com is an online retailer of healthcare products that can be purchased through a tax-free flexible spending account.
Well-versed in the functionality of email service providers (he’d worked with five), Dhoot quickly put Bronto in the bucket of solutions that worked. “Two things stand out about Bronto – the workflows and the ability to upload data.”
That functionality was critical because Dhoot’s plan was to segment and personalize all of FSAstore.com’s emails to drive revenue. Rather than blasting bulk emails, Dhoot wanted to send email messages that resonate with shoppers – a timely reminder to reorder a product, an alert that their FSA dollars are about to expire, a friendly message to re-engage a buyer who hasn’t shopped in a while.
The result: Today, 40% of email revenue comes from 12% of the triggered emails they send, and the number of emails each customer receives has been cut nearly in half. Yet revenue from email has grown significantly. “In just one year, we’ve seen revenue per email increase by 300% and conversion rate has increased by 26% in our triggered emails due to these integrations,” Dhoot says. “And all our messages now include personalized content, such as product recommendations, based on previous purchases, discount amounts and reward point balances. We personalize every message, every day.”
40% of email revenue
comes from 12%
of emails sent.
FSAstore.com has carved out an interesting retail niche. In the US, companies offer tax-free flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to employees to cover out-of-pocket medical costs, including those not covered by insurance. Employees choose how much money to set aside, and it’s deducted from their paychecks.Employers can provide employees with a debit card, or employees can submit receipts for reimbursements. Money not spent is forfeited at plan-year deadlines that vary from company to company.
Understanding what FSA dollars can be spent on isn’t always easy. People often associate FSAs with prescription eyeglasses, but people can shop for thousands of products with their FSA, including hot/cold therapy packs, breast pumps, thermometers, first-aid kits and much more. FSAstore.com offers an FSA-eligible guarantee, which lets consumers shop with certainty that the items they’re buying are covered.
The confusion about FSA eligibility provides some interesting ecommerce triggering opportunities.
For example, a shopper who buys sunscreen (yes, it’s FSA-eligible) in the spring might receive an email ahead of the summer as a reminder to reorder with FSAstore.com.
To get to that level of personalization, Dhoot’s team incorporates web analytics, shopper data, loyalty program information and purchase history. They use that data, and their own proprietary tool, to score each customer and predict next purchases amongst other outcomes. All of that information is uploaded into Bronto to segment lists and create workflows.
“We have over 50 different trigger emails for various events in the lifecycle of a customer,’’ Dhoot says, adding that customers who spend $100 will receive different types of refill, re-activation and offer-based messages than those who spend considerably more.
Two things stand out about Bronto – the workflows and the ability to upload data.”
Chief Marketing Officer, FSAstore.com
As FSAstore.com moved away from batch-and-blast emails, Dhoot set up a test in Bronto to figure out the optimal number of emails to send each week. Too few, and the company risked losing revenue; too many, and they risked high unsubscribes.
“We did a test with four cadence levels – 2, 3, 4 or 5 email messages a week. With two emails, there were half as many unsubscribes as with five a week but very minimal incremental revenue. We can send fewer emails and get the same revenue. We actually now have emails capped at two per week, with personalized trigger messages taking priority over generic emails,” Dhoot says.
But ecommerce doesn’t succeed just by reducing the unsubscribe rate. Dhoot says two emails a week work because his team knows their customers. “Once you get that first segmentation right, it’s like peeling a layer of the onion. Then, you move to the next segment.”
He pays particularly close attention to customer behavior in the acquisition phase and at the point where they might be thinking of taking their business elsewhere. “We look at the data to see when they’re about to become loyal customers and when they’re thinking about leaving. All of our workflows are about changing the behavior, either at acquisition or before they churn.” For reengagement, for instance, they never use a generic message. If the customer is a young parent, they receive a message related to child care products. They never send ‘We miss you’ emails, opting instead for something that speaks to the customer’s first purchase. “The ‘We miss you’ message is sort of generic. Personalization helps you cut through the noise,” Dhoot says.
“In just one year, we’ve seen revenue per email increase by 300% and conversion rate has increased by 26% in our triggered emails.”
Dhoot also discovered that it takes two orders to turn a new customer into a consistent, repeat customer. Staying within the two-email-a-week limit, FSAstore.com moves a little quicker to get customers to buy a second time. “Engaging them to make a second order helps them stay for life.”
Dhoot is a big believer in the power of ecommerce. “There is no other channel that comes close to email in terms of what it costs and what you get out of it.” And Bronto is Dhoot’s partner in ecommerce. “Bronto is now deeply integrated into what we are doing. It is something that works really well.”