Sailrite

DIY retailer uses email marketing to drive online sales and subscribers

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The Goal

  • Increase online revenue and better target subscribers to send more relevant content.

The Approach

  • Apply cart recovery to capture lost revenue, utilize segmentation and dynamic content in emails and enhance content in transactional emails.

The Result

  • Cart recovery conversion rates increased 31% and transactional emails account for 13% of subscriber growth.

Zach Grant was in high school when he started sweeping floors, taking orders and entering data at Sailrite.

The third-generation family-owned company was started after his grandfather, Jim, made a full set of sails at the last minute for an upcoming regatta, which he finished in second place. Interest in how he did it grew among other sailors, which resulted in Jim creating and selling a sailmaking correspondence course that developed into a catalog business to sell sewing machines for the boating industry. Now, with an online store and customers around the world, they sell sewing machines, fabrics and other sewing-related items for DIY home and boat projects.

Following college, Grant went from building the sewing machines to answering technical questions about them, then selling the machines, to his current role as marketing manager – where he experienced challenges in how the Columbia City, Ind., company communicated with customers and DIY enthusiasts.

“Our previous email marketing solution forced our team to spend a good majority of the first part of the week creating emails,” Grant said. “We may have lost Monday, Tuesday if we wanted to send five emails throughout the week. We didn’t have anyone well versed in HTML which was required to format an email. So that became down time for the team where we couldn’t work on other items and it just wasn’t scalable. The more emails we wanted to send, the less time we had to do everything else.”

With a lean marketing team, Sailrite needed an email marketing solution that enabled them to easily create personalized messages they could easily send. The DIY retailer also wanted to use email to help drive awareness and increase views of the company’s how-to-videos.

Smooth sailing with Bronto

One of the first things Sailrite did after switching to the Bronto Marketing Platform was create an automated cart recovery email series. The first email generates a 31% conversion rate. If that one wasn’t opened, then a second email is sent, which is netting a 26% conversion rate.

The automated email series allowed Sailrite to capture revenue without additional work, which Grant described as “invaluable.”

The marketing team can easily segment their subscriber list and utilizes dynamic content in their emails to effectively communicate with their distinct audiences of consumers, wholesalers and international customers. If they wanted to promote a free shipping offer, they could easily exclude any segment they wanted.

“It really gives us much deeper control on who we sent emails to,” Grant said. “We have a ton of flexibility, which we use daily.”

Transactional emails drive subscribers and video views

Using the Bronto Connector for NetSuite to integrate Bronto to their NetSuite SuiteCommerce Advanced ecommerce store, Sailrite uses order data to send post purchase informative emails through Bronto. With the flexibility to brand and customize this email, Sailrite includes how-to videos related to what was purchased, which result in a 64% video open rate and a 12% conversion rate. These emails are also used to grow their subscription list, contributing to 13% of Sailrite’s new subscribers. And this is all automated, which helps the marketing team do a lot more.

“Which is fantastic because that isn’t what post purchase emails are usually used for,” Grant said, regarding the conversion rate for confirmation emails. “The intent of including a video or tips in the email was when someone purchases a big-ticket item like a sewing machine, we wanted to show them how to use it. If we could cut down on the learning curve as much as possible, we were hoping that customers would appreciate that and think of us in a positive light. But what it was doing, in hindsight, was it was building customer loyalty and generating sales.”

Bronto’s ease of use and ability to automate hours-long processes have helped Sailrite’s marketing team be much more effective, Grant said.

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