The Duck Store

Tackling Email in a More Sophisticated Way

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The Goal

  • An email platform that could meet various organizational demands with less manual work.
  • The option to segment and use a cart abandonment program.
  • A platform that integrates well with NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Advanced.

The Approach

  • Segmentation options provide flexibility to bucket subscribers.
  • Cart Recovery automates the cart abandonment process.
  • Bronto’s NetSuite Connector streamlines the integration process.

The Result

  • Cart Recovery delivers eight times the revenue of promotional blasts.
  • Subscriber list has doubled with Pop-up Manager, while suscribers, from faculty to alumni, receive the messages they want.
  • With NetSuite Connector, the retailer can incorporate data from the cart into the message.

Levi Masterson is a web developer, but he’s happy he hasn’t had to rely on that skill to get his emailing marketing program in revenue-driving mode.

Masterson works for The Duck Store, the University of Oregon’s bookstore. The retailer uses Bronto together with NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Advanced to streamline its online commerce process. The results in just one year include a 200% increase in holiday sales, a cart recovery program delivering eight times the revenue of promotional blasts and a subscriber list that has nearly doubled in size.

The Duck Store has 12 stores and online sales, devotes a portion of revenue to alumni activities and includes faculty, students and staff on its board of directors. With a variety of stakeholders, it needed a flexible email platform that makes it easy to segment subscriber lists and build interest in its products.

Out With the Old

Prior to the switch, Masterson spent what he considered to be way too much time building out workflows. He also couldn’t see how items featured within an email were performing. He said he didn’t even realize how much of the latter mattered until he gained that functionality in Bronto. “It’s helped me be so much more strategic about what we feature in our emails,” he says. “Before, I could only see how a campaign performed in terms of overall product order amount.”

And the workflows opened numerous possibilities to segment his list with each group’s interests in mind. He could build segments in his previous platform, but it was time-consuming. So the professors that wanted just informational emails about when they needed to place their book orders were kept separate from the promotional list that offered specials on Duck football shirts. But further segmentation based on other categories, such as alumni or students, were harder to create.

“I used to program all the workflows myself,” Masterson says. “With Bronto, the user interface is really easy. For example, I can set up workflows that automatically add new subscribers without having to touch the code, which is great.” And when he brought a new person on to work solely on email, the Message Editor played a key role in helping the person quickly and easily build the emails themselves, until his new colleague became more proficient in HTML.

Building the Subscriber Base

Masterson is particularly happy with the one-two punch that Bronto/NetSuite provides to help grow the subscriber list. He used a pop-up before, but he couldn’t configure it to automatically upload new subscribers and assign them to a series of triggered welcome messages that help tell their story and explain how to find the Duck Store via social media. Now, new subscribers receive the welcome series, including an offer with purchase. But in Bronto, Masterson can set up the workflow to exclude subscribers who were recently on the list, as well as those that signed up, carted something and are using a cart recovery offer for the product.

On the commerce platform side, the NetSuite platform gave Masterson an easy spot to add a sign-up during the checkout process. Together, the two tactics helped the list grow 71% in one year. The welcome series, meanwhile, performs exceptionally well – with an open rate of 55%, click rate of 30% and conversion rate of 13%. “And we don’t have a high contact loss rate, which is something I can see now in my Bronto dashboard,” Masterson says.

Cart Recovery Adds to Email Success

Cart Recovery is another key factor in The Duck Store’s success. “It was so much easier to set up than in my previous platform. Because of the integration with NetSuite, we’re able to incorporate data from the cart itself into the message,” Masterson says. “And I can choose the timing of the three messages – which I couldn’t do with my previous provider. I can also split test timing options.” And because of the syncing between NetSuite and Bronto, the cart recovery messages never trigger while the customer is still on the site – an awkward problem with his previous cart abandonment solution.

Not only are the cart messages easier to set up, they’ve helped the store drive more revenue. They convert at a rate eight times higher than traditional promotional messages and boast a 45% open rate. “We can also send a series of three, which we couldn’t do before,” Masterson says.

New Flexibility Leads to a Blockbuster Holiday Season

One of the tactics Masterson wanted to explore, but felt was too complicated to initiate in his previous platform, was remailing customers that didn’t open the first email. So he reworked their Pac’d 12 Days of Deals emails from the previous year and sent the messages using Bronto’s automated remail option. The remails and the bigger list helped increase revenue 200% from the previous holiday season.

The Bronto/NetSuite connection made the recycled campaign all the more seamless. “I could quickly see whether items were selling out, access our product data, and dynamically see what customers were specifically buying. And I could compare all of it to understand what was driving click-through rates and really fine-tune the messages,” Masterson says. “The Bronto platform really helps me dig in and get a good look at the data,” Masterson says. “The benefits of using Bronto with NetSuite are worth the investment. All your data is synced, and you have such granular insight into your messages – not just from an operational standpoint, but from a strategic one as well,” Masterson says.

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