- Support rapid B2C growth.
- Allow easy geolocation personalization.
- Acquire new customers with a pop-up sign-up.
- Automate segmented messages.
- Implement Cart Recovery to increase conversions.
- Encourage customers to return for follow-on products.
- Replaced batch-and-blast emails with personalized messages.
In the dead of a Utah winter, Matt Grimm crafted an email message with the subject line “Dreaming of summer.” It seemed the perfect pitch for an outdoor furniture company, until a customer from Miami wrote back to point out the obvious: Some recipients were in the midst of their mildest time of the year.
As ecommerce manager for RST Brands, Grimm knew that pockets of the country buy outdoor furniture in January, but creating geo-targeted emails was just too much of a hassle with his old provider.
With Bronto, that’s changed. Grimm can quickly segment lists and create targeted messages. “We can really understand who our customer is,” says Grimm. “We can see patterns, understand who hasn’t purchased from us and figure out how to convert them into customers.”
Making the Omnichannel Move
RST Brands began in wholesaling. The company didn’t start selling directly to the consumer – outside of replacement parts – until 2011, when it decided to broaden its sales channels. “Home Depot, Costco, Amazon – they’re great. But if they don’t want to carry us, for whatever reason, that’s a huge hit. We want to control our destiny,” says Grimm, adding that retailers can only stock so much of RST’s product, including its Flow Wall garage organization product. The company’s goal is to grow its ecommerce business from 15 to 20% of its overall revenue to 30 to 40%, while retaining strong relations with retailers.
The move from strictly B2B to a mix of B2B and B2C required major changes to RST’s internal systems. The company chose NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce Advanced to pair with the cloud-based NetSuite products it was already using for customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning. “We didn’t want a system we had to Frankenstein,” said Grimm, referencing the process of stitching multiple platforms and systems together. “We wanted one platform that could do everything.” NetSuite has helped RST reduce IT costs, track metrics better and maintain a lean order management team.
At the time RST implemented SuiteCommerce Advanced in 2013, they also selected an email provider, but the service hasn’t worked out. “We saw an immediate performance hit to our click and open rates and experienced deliverability issues.” When it came time to renew, Bronto had joined the NetSuite family and offered a connector that allowed SuiteCommerce Advanced and Bronto to share data critical to segmenting email lists for more personalized messages.
Gaining Immediate Results
“It was just a no-brainer. Out of the box, we could segment on order details, size of order and region to send highly personalized cart recovery emails. I can get right down to the zip code,” Grimm says. “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%. Email-driven revenue for this year is up by 60% already.”
Grimm can create a segment with very specific parameters, such as people who purchased $5,000 worth of furniture in warm weather zip codes or people who downloaded the Flow Wall planning guide but haven’t bought yet.
And by having customers who’ve purchased in stores register for their warranty online, Grimm can easily build lists based on what the customers have bought, highlighting accessories and replacement items that work with their purchase. “You are only one party away from needing a replacement pillow.” He can also create a workflow to send an email for a particular product at a time of year when the customer would likely be looking for one based on where they live. “With Bronto’s NetSuite Connector, we can pull sales information that we couldn’t before.”
“Within a month of switching to Bronto, we saw a 51% open rate from automated cart recovery emails.”
Grimm said he tried to create more personalized messages in the past, particularly with the Flow Wall product. For garage organizing, customers can download a planning guide to help them figure out what to purchase based on their needs and garage size. Grimm would then transfer email addresses for those customers into a spreadsheet and periodically email the list with a pitch. Now, the email addresses go straight into a Bronto workflow, and every customer who has downloaded a planning guide automatically receives an email five days later. “I’m so excited about workflows. They’re too easy,” Grimm says.
Recovering Revenue and Planning Better Campaigns
Grimm wanted to experiment with cart recovery emails, but it was too difficult with his previous provider. “Within a month of switching to Bronto, we saw a 51% open rate from automated cart recovery emails,” Grimm says. That netted $23,000 in additional revenue. “We were really pleased with that.”
Now he’s excited about:
- A more flexible pop-up manager. “We want to be able to look at behavior,” Grimm says, and the one he’s using now can only sit on the home page. With Bronto’s Pop-Up Manager app, he can adjust where and when the pop-up is seen and even whether it comes with a coupon.
- A/B testing options. Grimm wants to test all sorts of messages, especially as the company gets ready to roll out a line of indoor furniture.
- A customized welcome series. RST sells to consumers, designers and builders, and it wants a welcome series that speaks to the different needs of those groups.
Ultimately, Grimm’s goal is to “never batch and blast. We have been sending the same messages to every customer, and we don’t want to do that anymore. We want to customize the message to help grow lifetime value.”
About RST Brands
Since 2004, we’ve operated on the belief that superior quality and great value never go out of style. That’s why we design our products to deliver both. We are more than a website or a factory – we’re a group of designers, thinkers and craftspeople who love making sustainable products that stay in style for years to come.