Paul Fredrick

Dressing Up the Customer Experience With Tailored Messaging

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The Goal

  • Personalize email messages.
  • Suggest products to increase sales.
  • Drive more revenue from email.

The Approach

  • Send Cart Recovery emails.
  • Pair browse recovery and recommendations.
  • Engage Bronto Managed Services.

The Result

  • ROI on Browse Recovery + Recommendations Premium is 30x on an annualized basis.
  • Average order value is 46% higher, and revenue per email is 15x higher.
  • Conversion rate for Cart Recovery emails is 10%.

Automated, triggered email messages were already delivering revenue above and beyond typical batch-and-blast messages when men’s online fashion retailer Paul Fredrick decided to take its game up a notch.

Major online retailers had been deploying browse recovery and recommendations for a while, but the process was too expensive or time-intensive for mid-tier players – even those in the Internet Retailer 500 like Paul Fredrick. Yet the company’s vice president of marketing, Scott Drayer, knew these techniques were critical to driving the personalization that retailers – online and off – crave.

A long-time Bronto customer, Drayer chose to pair Browse Recovery with Recommendations Premium, and success was immediate. The open rate is 130% higher than standard promotional emails, click rates are 218% higher, conversion rates are 75% higher, average order value is 46% higher and the revenue per email is 15x higher. More importantly, the programs aren’t eating into the revenue: The return on investment for the two additions is 30X on an annualized basis. And the emails triggered lower-than-industry-average unsubscribes – a critical metric to monitor when launching a personalization campaign.

“We think about where the customer is in their purchase lifecycle and send them the right message,” Drayer says. “We really try to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes.”

A Classic Success with Triggered Messages

Speaking of shoes, Paul Fredrick customers likely wear some nice ones. The company specializes in men’s professional clothing with a long tradition of success dating back to the mail-order era. The site offers an expansive collection of crisp dress shirts, ties and sports jackets mixed with lots of smart work-casual clothes appropriate for the kind of guy who’s got his own office.

The company began using triggered campaigns a few years ago and chalks up success after success:

  • A 5.6% increase in revenue from post-purchase campaigns year-over-year.
  • A 10% conversion rate from Cart Recovery messages just three months after deploying.
  • Email-driven revenue has risen 35% in the past year.

Triggered messages now make up close to 30% of sends, and the retailer has achieved more than 70% revenue growth from recurring messages.

“Across the board, for the triggered campaigns, in terms of open, click and conversion rates, we are doing 2x what we were doing for batch mailing. Open rates are 90% higher, click rates and conversions are almost 100% higher,” Drayer explains, adding that the retailer runs a twice quarterly post-mortem on all triggered campaigns to compare them to promotional emails and identify areas to adjust.

Browse + Recommendations = Deep Personalization

Email Marketing Manager Caitlin Flemming explains that the company chose to pair Bronto’s Browse Recovery and Recommendations Premium together because the success with a previous manual browse process suggested that adding more relevance to those emails would drive revenue. “We’re planning to eventually add recommendations to post-purchase and cart recovery emails as well,” Flemming says.

What has been instrumental in the success of this combination? Carefully drawing the business rules to increase the effectiveness of the campaign. Many companies want to see customers browse repeatedly over multiple days (or weeks) before they send an email, communicating mostly through generic, batch-and-blast emails in the meantime. But Paul Fredrick took a different approach, choosing to send a message about what the customer browsed on soon after the session:

  • A quick browse triggers an automated email with a general recommendation for in-stock, best-selling items with clearance and low-margin items excluded.
  • If the customer goes on a lengthier category search, the recommendations are category-specific.
  • Once the shopper hones in on a specific product, the recommendation trigger sends a “people who’ve bought that product also liked this product” email. This last category converts at an even higher rate, with open and click rates 200% higher than traditional batch-and-blast emails and a 137.5% higher conversion rate.

The retailer worked with Bronto’s Managed Services group to create a customized template for these messages. For the second tier browse recovery message, the content is straightforward: It shows the item browsed with three similar products offered under the subhead “You May Also Like.” The retailer made choices related to type of product. If the customer has been searching on non-iron shirts, they receive recommendations for other non-iron shirts.

Ease and Flexibility With Bronto

Flemming came to Paul Fredrick last year from a company that used a commerce marketing platform popular with very large retailers and says she finds Bronto much more intuitive and flexible. “Bronto is sort of heaven-sent because the interface makes it easy to get at contacts and segment. I can figure out my own data, and the amount of detail is unmatched.”

For Drayer, Bronto is helping Paul Fredrick move forward, particularly with the addition of the browse and recommendations components. “I feel like we’ve done a good job of communicating to people at the right time. Now we’re making sure the message content is hitting the bullseye.”

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