Strategy Shines in Generating RevenueAll Stories
- Find savvy ways to increase revenue with email.
- Propel online and in-store growth.
- Reach customers on their mobile devices.
- Launch mobile-responsive templates.
- Deploy Cart Recovery to increase conversion.
- Engage Bronto consulting services as needed.
- Conversion rates doubled after the mobile-responsive template rollout.
- Cart Recovery messages deliver a 12% conversion.
- After six years with Bronto, email revenue has increased 20x.
- Strategy services have paid for themselves many times over.
REEDS Jewelers was like a lot of other omnichannel merchants six years ago. The company had a web storefront and an email program, and it dabbled in social media to boost its email subscriber list. But the company didn’t think it was maximizing the email sales channel.
REEDS Director of Multichannel Sales Mark deCausmeaker thought he’d give Bronto a try. He liked Bronto’s capabilities and the option to buy strategy and consulting services as needed. Six years later, the results are striking: a 20x increase in email-driven revenue and a program to not only drive online sales but lift sales at its more than 60 brick-and-mortar stores as well.
“If you look at where we were pre-Bronto and where we are now, the upward arc of revenue is amazing,’’ deCausmeaker says.
The use of consulting services early in its email marketing journey gave REEDS the guidance to create many segmented lifecycle and triggered campaigns, and encourage the migration to responsive design. “Every time we purchased services, we had a specific goal in mind. We got help executing on our goal, measured the result and found that the assistance paid off many times over,” deCausmeaker says. “With strategy, we would ask what we can do right now and go after low-hanging fruit.”
An Early Win
Before signing with Bronto, REEDS was running contests on Facebook to boost awareness, generate revenue and attract email subscribers. But there wasn’t a plan to turn those who discovered the jeweler via that channel into long-term customers. Current subscribers weren’t being segmented from new ones, and there was no clarity around whether people even wanted to subscribe. Bronto’s strategist advised REEDS to create web forms with explicit permissions and fed new subscribers into a separate segment. Brad Brown, Web Development Supervisor at REEDS, then set up a welcome series and tracked subscriber engagement. In one year, the jeweler increased “likes” 25x over and acquired thousands of unique email addresses that averaged more than $2 in revenue per subscriber in the first year.
The next early step was to work on the 75% of subscribers that were unengaged – those that hadn’t opened any of the past 20 emails. Unengaged subscribers can be a drag on deliverability, not to mention costly to continually send emails to. A re-engagement campaign brought 25% of the unengaged group back to the brand and reduced overall email costs. It also gave REEDS the confidence to start doing additional segmentation and triggered campaigns, including an automated re-engagement program that suppresses inactive customers.
Making the Move to Cart Recovery
Early on, deCausmeaker saw the value in using cart recovery emails, but the products he tried were delivering modest results. When early results from Bronto’s Cart Recovery app became available, deCausmeaker made the switch. “Cart Recovery covers the entire chain, from initial abandonment all the way to acknowledgement, order confirmation, shipping confirmation and the thank you email. When it’s all together, it’s a lot more effective,” he says. The jeweler has a 50% open rate, 30% click-through rate and 12% conversion rate. “All very impressive numbers,” deCausmeaker says. And the conversion rate remains at 5% or above for the second and third messages in the series.
Doubling Conversions With a Mobile-Responsive Approach
Bronto’s strategist suggested to Brown that he develop new email templates that would display efficiently on every mobile device and better attract the growing percentage of customers regularly using them. Brown took her advice to redesign and develop responsive templates, but when he deployed them, there was a noticeably odd occurrence. While conversion rates grew, the click-through rate fell nearly 20%.
“At first, I was shocked, but then I discovered that because the content displayed better, people needed to click less to know what’s being offered.” In the end, with conversion rates nearly doubled on many campaigns, the click-through drop was a moot point. “Today, over half of our engagement on the website comes through mobile. If you send a call to action in an email but haven’t optimized the email for viewing on a small device, you are shooting yourself in the foot.”
Getting In Sync With the Stores
While the email channel has grown faster than the store channel, deCausmeaker is focused on making sure email doesn’t cannibalize in-store revenue or antagonize store associates. Jewelry, after all, is still a product people like to shop for in person. Early on, REEDS created a system where the physical store and store associate would see ecommerce as a partner, not a competitor. “It creates more support for ecommerce in the field because the associates feel like they’re getting credit.” That matters because a large source of email subscribers comes from requests by store associates for an email. “The associates know to mention the welcome series and the promotions attached to them,” Brown says.
Brown also segments customers by zip code and adds dynamic content blocks that note local store locations and hours. “We do a lot of very individualized email in support of the stores.” Measuring it directly isn’t easy, but Brown is confident it’s working. “We have a high level of confidence that the email drives them to the store because they’re asking for and buying products that are featured in the email. They are referencing the emails and the coupons from the emails.”
Segmentation goes beyond driving customers to stores. Brown segments on the types of products people buy. That includes emails to fans of Pandora charms and Alex and Ani bracelets. Or even engagement rings. Brown recently sent an email to a segment of engagement ring buyers highlighting wedding rings. “High-end wedding jewelry isn’t our biggest selling point online, but that email generated several considerable sales,” says Brown, adding, “Email gives us the flexibility to market in so many different ways.”