At Bronto Summit 2016, Bronto CEO Joe Colopy led a rollicking panel discussion with several of our fabulous customers, aptly titled “You’ve Got Talent.”
Commerce marketers from Lucky Brand, Vince Camuto, Paul Fredrick and Wilsons Leather shared examples from their marketing programs, while Bronto’s Director of Marketing Services Kristen Morales and Director of Account Management Skip Mangum teased out additional details on their plans and successes.
Here are some of the highlights:
Grow Lists the Smart Way
Thomas Larson, integrated marketing specialist for Lucky Brand, shared the company’s new campaign to help grow its email list. Using Bronto, the denim lifestyle brand is launching a text-to-join campaign from the company’s 209 stores this spring. The goal is to use the store traffic to help build the email subscriber. “We’re planning big bold signage at cash registers, and a 10% off promotion,’’ Larson said. New subscribers will receive messages from a welcome series, including information on how to follow Lucky on social. Larson shared that Lucky Brand also uses graphic tee contests and a Nascar partnership to grow its list.
Avoid the Constant Promotion Cycle
Paul Fredrick Vice President of Marketing Scott Drayer, is breaking the cycle of sending more email with more discounts by better leveraging automated campaigns to deliver relevant messages to customers. Paul Fredrick is an apparel manufacturer and online retailer that sells classic menswear. “When you send more and discount more, there are some pitfalls involved,” Drayer said to knowing nods from the attendees.
Drayer said the retailer did exceptionally well with a post-purchase series. There was a “thank you” email, followed by a couple of promotional emails. It now accounts for 13 to 14% of total email revenue. “We’re continuing to try and optimize it,’’ Drayer said, noting that they are always looking to find the right message. Whatever message they send, it seems to be working. The company reports 50% open rates on post-purchase messages.
Cart Recovery Works – Even Without a Discount
Eve Loughran, ecommerce marketing manager for Vince Camuto, began incorporating cart recovery campaigns in 2015 and has been thrilled with the success. Approximately 30% of total email revenue now comes from cart recovery messaging. They currently use a one-message program but have a multi-message cart recovery series in the works.
Loughran also told the audience that she has run some A/B testing to see whether an offer makes a big difference and was pleasantly surprised to learn that the rates aren’t that different between emails with offers and those without.
Threaten a Break-up to Make Up
Caese Carlson explained how Wilsons Leather threatened to break up with customers to help segment customers properly. The plan involved a three-part campaign with the best available offer, an expiration and a note suggesting Wilsons might stop emailing the customer if they didn’t take action. “We actually didn’t remove them,’’ said Carlson, Marketing Manager.
Instead, they moved the unengaged group to a list that receives an email with an offer once a month. And how did Wilsons define “unengaged”? By looking at customers who had been on their list for at least a year but hadn’t opened a message in three months. Carlson noted that leather is often a once-a-year purchase, more commonly made in the winter or near a holiday.
The re-engagement series worked. “We gained an additional $15,000 in revenue and moved customers back to the promotional list.”
It’s OK to Step Back From Batch and Blast
Loughran from Vince Camuto has been so enamored by the ease of segmenting that she has experimented with reducing the number of sends. She sends more often to those that tend to open the email and has watched open rates soar to 50% with click-throughs up to 25%.
But the less engaged still get an email – maybe just once a week. “I’m a little nervous sending just once a week, but maybe that is the time they will buy,” she said.
She takes that a step further by segmenting based on a preference center she created. The second message in the welcome series invites subscribers to enter their email preferences. In the short time the preference center has been running, the company has received 5,000 responses.
Take Advantage of Optimization and Reporting
Larson from Lucky Brand encouraged listeners to consider the send-time optimization feature, which he absolutely loves. “I literally just push a button,’’ said Larson, noting that it used to take 30 to 40 minutes to calculate send-time per segmented list with his old ecommerce provider. By sending messages at a time customers are more likely to open them, click-through rates on fashion messages are now approaching those with promotional messages attached, he says.
And finally, if you aren’t checking your reports regularly, get on it, says Drayer. “We are constantly trying to understand list growth and file health, so reporting helps us quite a bit,” Drayer said.
The session really captured the spirit of Bronto Summit – an opportunity for marketers to share what works and refuel with new ideas for the future.