RST Brands

Email Marketing Sets Up Furniture Retailer to Grow Business

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The Goal

  • Support rapid B2C growth through their ecommerce sites.
  • Allow easy geolocation personalization of emails.
  • Drive incremental revenue with product recommendations.

The Approach

  • Deploy pop-ups on websites to acquire new customers.
  • Automate segmented messages.
  • Implement an email cart recovery program to capture additional revenue.
  • Add product recommendations to website and transactional emails.

The Result

  • Replaced batch-and-blast emails with personalized messages.
  • Email-generated revenue increased 87% within 3 years.
  • 33% of email-generated revenue comes from abandoned cart emails.
  • $235,000 in revenue generated within the first six months of including recommendations on their website.

In the dead of a Utah winter, Matt Grimm crafted an email message with the subject line “Dreaming of summer.” It seemed perfect for an outdoor furniture company, until a customer from Miami pointed out the obvious: some recipients were in the midst of their mildest time of the year.

Grimm, RST Brands’ director of ecommerce, knew that pockets of the country buy outdoor furniture in January, but creating geotargeted emails was too much of a hassle with his old email provider.

But that changed with Bronto, from being able to segment customers to creating better email campaigns and offering relevant recommendations.

“We can really understand who our customer is,” Grimm said. “We can see patterns, understand who hasn’t purchased from us and figure out how to convert them into customers.”

Gaining Immediate Results

“Out of the box, we could segment on order details, size of order, and region to send highly personalized cart recovery emails,” Grimm said. “I can get right down to the zip code. As soon as we started with Bronto, we saw an instant lift. Open rates have improved as much as 12%, click rates are up by as much as 30%.”

“Within a month of switching to Bronto, we saw a 51% open rate from automated cart recovery emails.”

Grimm now has the flexibility to create complex segments, easily build lists based on customer purchases, and create workflows to send an email for a particular product at a time of year when the customer is likely looking for it based on location.

Before implementing Bronto, Grimm manually transfered email addresses from downloaded guides and webforms into a spreadsheet and periodically emailed the list. The email addresses now go straight into a Bronto workflow, and every customer automatically receives an email five days later.

RST Brands uses NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Advanced to power their RST and Flow Wall ecommerce sites. “With the Bronto Connector for NetSuite, we can pull sales information that we couldn’t before,” Grimm said.

Capturing Revenue from Abandoned Carts

Experimenting with abandoned cart emails was difficult for Grimm until RST Brands moved to Bronto, but now cart recovery emails account for a third of the company’s email-generated revenue.

“Within a month of switching to Bronto, we saw a 51% open rate from automated cart recovery emails,” said Grimm, who added that the increased open rate netted $23,000 in additional revenue. “We were really pleased with that.”

Other benefits from their email marketing solution include:

  • More flexible pop-ups. Pop-ups can be placed anywhere on their site and Grimm can adjust when they are seen and whether they include a coupon.
  • A/B testing options. Grimm can test all sorts of messages.
  • A customized welcome series. RST Brands sells to consumers, designers, and builders. Grimm can now create a welcome series that speaks to the different needs of those groups.

Personalized Recommendations Drive Engagement

RST had recommendations on their website’s home, category, and cart pages working well, which contributed to the $235,000 in added revenue within the first six months. So adding personalized recommendations in every promotional and transactional email was the next step in driving even more incremental email-generated revenue.

RST wanted customers to be aware of relevant add-ons like protective covers, pillows and umbrellas, and they saw a 62% increase in average order value during their first Black Friday and Cyber Monday with personalized recommendations included in emails.

“That’s when I said that I think we really have something,” said Tim Taylor, RST’s email marketing manager, adding that their conversion rate jumped to nearly 6% during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. “So now we can focus on our messaging, our creative.”

From 2017 to 2018, RST’s email-generated revenue grew by 37% over the previous year.

RST Brands recognized that the key to ecommerce growth was personalization and automation at scale — and an email marketing solution that would grow with and meet their needs. Automating time-consuming tasks allowed its team to pursue new sources of revenue, such as a cart abandonment series and personalizing product recommendations. And managing those campaigns with just a few additional minutes freed RST Brands to focus on optimizing their content, providing a great customer experience, and searching for new ways to grow.

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