Sole Society

Sole Society

Bronto Delivers the Right Options to Sole Society

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The Goal

  • Dramatically improve deliverability.
  • Find an easy-to-use platform.
  • Expand email sends beyond one-size-fits-all.

The Approach

  • Work with Managed Services to improve deliverability.
  • Segment and test to deploy content more effectively.
  • Offer opt-down in Preference Center to reduce unsubscribes.

The Result

  • High deliverability, open and click-through rates.

Sharon Lombardi likes to refer to the typical Sole Society shopper as “our girl.” In her experience as Sole Society’s Senior Marketing Manager, Lombardi has learned that, when it comes to offerings, their “girl” wants more.

“She loves to see more content,” Lombardi said. “The more shoes or bags and accessories you show her, the more dazzled she is.”

When it came to choosing a marketing platform provider though, Sole Society wasn’t looking for countless options. It wanted the right ones. The ones that Bronto could provide.

Like deliverability consulting, for example.


Inadvertently running afoul of Gmail’s bulk mail standards is hardly an uncommon occurrence. Combine Gmail’s anti- spam vigilance with a high volume of emails sent and add in the myriad factors that can cause a temporary hiccup in your email marketing practices and you can easily see how an online retailer like Sole Society could wind up with their messages landing in the Gmail bulk mail folder.

Doesn’t make the experience any less scary, though.

In recent years Sole Society has grown other revenue channels, but email remains “of paramount importance” to their bottom line. Suddenly Sole Society had essentially gone dormant on the most important email provider.

“Terrifying would be an accurate word to describe it,” Lombardi said.

Enter Bronto’s Professional Services team, a group with plenty of experience helping customers navigate those treacherous waters.

They set about culling through Sole Society’s subscriber list, separating out the less engaged email recipients and reducing the number of emails being sent to that group.

Then Bronto worked with Sole Society to change their approach to remailing, something Gmail often frowns upon.

“I wouldn’t even call them remails,” Lombardi said, in describing Sole Society’s revamped strategy. “Because we’re not repurposing content. We’re creating brand new fresh content for what we call ‘second sends’.”

Bronto’s deliverability advice – and Sole Society’s commitment to following it – quickly paid dividends. Within a month and a half Sole Society’s bulk mail nightmare was just a memory, and it was experiencing its highest email open rates of the year.

“Since then, things have been better than ever,” Lombardi said.

“Better Than Ever”

The bulk email episode behind them, Sole Society’s metrics are up across the board. Open rates and click-thru rates for August were the highest of any month in 2014.

Most importantly, Sole Society’s email revenue in August was 38% higher than March, the last full month it was with its previous marketing platform provider.

The deliverability improvements are just part of the reason why the current email outlook is rosy at Sole Society. They continue to enjoy the data- sharing benefits of Bronto’s Magento extension, which proved to be very easy to implement.

“We had no problems switching our client from their old ESP to Bronto,” said Will Wright, who oversaw the integration on Sole Society’s end.

“Beyond the extension itself, the Bronto support team was excellent.”

Sole Society has done extensive work with A/B testing and segmentation, testing everything from subject lines to price points and email layouts.

“Just to gauge what our girl likes and doesn’t like,” Lombardi said.

Sole Society has also implemented an opt-down feature that allows subscribers to choose a lower messaging frequency as an alternative to unsubscribing, while also improving deliverability metrics.

“We didn’t want to keep hitting people with content that they weren’t even looking at to begin with,” Lombardi said.


Going forward, Lombardi wants to delve further into personalization and to work on sending content and offers based on past purchase history.

As she described the various ways Sole Society has been using the Bronto Marketing Platform, Lombardi continually dropped the word “easy” into the conversation.

“It’s very user friendly,” she said. “It’s got a great interface. Easy to use and figure out.”

Bronto’s software delivers that ease of use because it’s designed specifically for the needs of commerce marketers while always taking into account how they do their jobs.

Bronto knows the commerce marketer, and that’s helping Sole Society connect with their girl.

About Sole Society

An IR 1000 company, Sole Society is a leading online retailer of women’s shoes, handbags and accessories. Its products are available at SoleSociety.com. They can also be found at QVC.com and Nordstrom.com, on the QVC network and in select Nordstrom stores.