30 Day Winback Campaigns

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 Listrak 1 Comments

I bought a few sweaters from Ann Taylor on Black Friday but I haven’t purchased anything, or even visited the site, since then. And today I received this re-engagement campaign.
Today is Christmas Eve. Every other promotional email in my inbox talks about last minute gifts and how it’s not too late to shop. But not this one. It really stands out.
That’s the beauty of re-engagement campaigns. You can set them up and forget about them. They run in the background and drive sales with very little maintenance required.
And they work. I clicked through to see what my special offer was and found this:
Which seems like a great deal…until I went to the homepage and saw this:
It’s a great reminder to review your automated campaigns quarterly to be sure the offers and messaging is up-to-date and aligned with all of your other marketing campaigns.


No Gift? No Problem! Retailers are Helping with Gift Ideas Right Down to the Wire.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

Retailers are scrambling right down to the wire to help last-minute shoppers complete their gifting. Here are just a few examples:

This week Sur la table has been sending emails featuring last-minute gifts that can be purchased in-store - 

I especially liked the subject line for yesterday’s mid-morning email, “Bonjour, Procrastinators! We’ve Saved the Best Deals for You.”
And today - on Christmas Eve morning - the merchant threw this buoy to both in-store and online shoppers alike - 
Of course there’s always the trusty gift card, that saves wrapping time, too. I got this yesterday, December 23, from Pac Sun, whose site I shopped - abandoned a cart and then purchased from in-store - a week or so ago. The subject line was, “Forgot someone? E-gift them!” -  
Listrak client Bella Luna Toys employed the same tactic with this email yesterday featuring the subject line, “There’s Still Time to Send the Perfect Gift!” - 
And of course, the option to buy online and pick up in-store is the perfect solution for time-challenged gift buyers. Helzberg Diamonds sent this email this morning with the subject line, “Get it under the tree!” -
With just a few hours left, what are you doing or what emails have you received to help last-minute shoppers wrap it up and retailers ring-up last-minute sales? 


Product Recommendation Strategies that are Working this Holiday Season

Friday, December 19, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

Recently Listrak CEO Ross Kramer reported on what personalization strategies he’s seen working for Listrak clients this holiday season. It was posted by Internet Retailer on December 18, 2014: 
Offers based on the last item a shopper viewed, automated recurring campaigns and personalized recommendations throughout a web site session are all proving successful, says Listrak’s CEO.
One thing we’ve seen that has been making retailers’ season merry so far is the use of personalized recommendations on-site and in e-mail. As long as the recommendations are contextual, based on where the customer is in the purchase process, her behavior, purchases and preferences, they are welcome—appreciated even—by shoppers in all types of e-mail campaigns and on website pages.
Below are some examples of what we’ve seen lately that’s really working:
Taking clues from intent
Recent browse and abandonment data is critically important to consider when marketing to shoppers, especially this time of year when traffic is at its heaviest. Including personalized products based on last items viewed or abandoned helps the performance of broadcast, as well as triggered campaigns.
And it’s never too soon to start. While you might assume that you don’t have enough browse data to recommend relevant products in the first welcome series e-mail, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that this is not the case. Recently a skin care client, who was already featuring top sellers and CEO picks in the first welcome series e-mail, updated the algorithm of the top two products in the message to those recently browsed and saw conversions increase more than four-fold.  
Making e-mails shoppable
We are a scrolling society, and in e-mail, we have found that the more products featured the better, as long as they are personalized and organized in a way that makes sense. Our clients who send automated recurring campaigns such as Monday Markdowns, Tuesday Top Sellers and What’s New Wednesday are finding that subscribers are actually “shopping” from the e-mails, with one client finding that one in four of all openers are clicking on multiple products.
Sending more often
While some retailers fear sending too many e-mails over the holiday season and irritating subscribers, we have clearly found many benefits to sending more often with automated recurring messages.
For example, one fast-fashion retailer who was previously only sending broadcast e-mails on Tuesday and Thursday, recently added three automated recurring campaigns featuring personalized products—Top Sellers on Mondays, New Arrivals on Friday and Sale Items on Sunday—and increased orders per day by 17%.
In addition, because the campaigns are automated, once set up, they are sent each week, presenting each subscriber with a wide array of products personalized based on her activity and purchase profile, without any additional time or resources required of the merchant. What’s more, two out of three of the new campaigns only feature full-price products, which increases the retailer’s profit margin on incremental revenue.   
Helping potential purchasers throughout the visit
The holiday season thus far has shown that shoppers are aided by recommendations throughout the pages of retailers’ web sites. We’ve seen on average a 23% lift in conversions for retailers featuring personalized recommendations on the home page, category and sub-category pages, search page, product display page and cart page.
The key to on-site recommendations is to make sure to feature products that fit the context of where the shopper is in her visit and to identify why you are showing them.
While testing is the only way to know what works for your particular customer base, you may want, for example, to include top sellers on the home page to get the shopper to explore what others are buying, but items frequently purchased together on the cart page to upsell and maybe even to help the shopper meet the free shipping threshold. Especially this time of year when shoppers may be hurriedly searching your site to find what they want, decrease bounce rate when they do a search with no results by showing them products to keep them engaged.
What have you seen working in e-mail and on-site so far this holiday season?

Listrak provides e-mail marketing services to 61 of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 web merchants.


In My Inbox: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sequels

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak is a research partner for Internet Retailer, keeping track of what retailers in the Internet Top 500 and Second 500 are doing in the channel. With another short holiday season, I’ve been seeing some interesting attempts from top merchants to stand out in the inbox.
Perhaps as a “take-two” on a ho-hum Black Friday or to continue the success they saw on this important shopping day, Tiger Direct introduced the concept of a Black Friday sequel:
December 12 - Subject line: Black Friday II
Similarly, I saw Cyber Monday sequels from Vistaprint and Hayneedle:
December 8 - Subject line: CYBER MONDAY – it’s back for 2 days only
December 8 - Subject line: 15% OFF your order TODAY only. It’s Cyber Monday 2!
And even this week – less than 10 days ‘til Christmas – one from Overstock and one from Walmart:
December 16 - Cyber Monday + 15% Off Coupon – Extended Today Only!
December 16 - Don’t Miss Cyber Monday 2.0!
If this tactic was used in seasons past, I don’t recall it, but it is (perhaps) a clever way for these retailers to imply that their current offers are even better than the common percentages off and free shipping offers being touted by other merchants. Would you expect this to work? 


A Great Holiday Email Strategy Starts with Better Segmentation

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

We recently shared some tips on holiday segmentation strategies for a blog post for our partners at Magento: 
If you’re wondering where to begin in planning your Holiday 2014 email strategy, a great place to start is Holiday 2013. How much did you make in the email channel last season? How much did you make per week? Per day? How many emails did you send to make that number?
This historical information will really help you maximize the subscribers you already have. Next, look at where you’re getting the highest conversions. Triggered campaigns, although they may only account for a fraction of your overall emails sent, historically convert at a higher rate than broadcast emails, so make sure your cart abandonment and browse and abandon campaigns, transactional emails and back-in-stock alerts are all in tip-top shape.
Now, take a look at revenue earned in 2013 from segmented vs. un-segmented email. Clearly segmented emails outperform blasts to your entire list, so sharpen your segmentation strategy for the holiday season. Keep in mind the unique dynamics of your customers during Holiday. We recommend segmenting them into three key groups and targeting them differently:
1) Holiday buyers
2) Active buyers and
3) 60+ day subscribers

2013 Holiday Buyers

This group of subscribers purchased last year between Halloween and New Year’s Eve, but have not been active since. Clearly, the strategy for this segment is to win them back.
While leading with a deep discount or great offer may seem like the obvious thing to do, the good news is that it’s not always necessary. In this campaign, for example, Robert Graham simply reminds subscribers why the brand is different and why the subscriber should come back:
The Grommet, on the other hand, takes a different, creative approach by offering a mystery discount and noting holiday savings specifically:
In addition, you may want to target the sub segment of this group that purchased gift cards during Holiday 2013 and remind them about this great, convenient option.

Active 2014 Buyers

The holiday season is a perfect time to recognize active buyers for their loyalty. Remember, even your best buyers can become distracted by a busy inbox this time of year, so now is the time to make sure you express your gratitude for their business and give them a reason to keep coming back.
Pinup Girl does a great job of this—and sees a significant return—with its loyalty campaign: 
Fortunately, often no discounting is needed for this group.
And here’s a bonus idea: While active buyers may be purchasing for themselves throughout the year (even during the holiday season), they may not automatically think of your brand to purchase for others.Naturopathica creatively—and effectively—addressed this situation last year with a social campaign that asked loyal customers to share what they would give as gifts and why, and then used the testimonials in a daily email campaign:

60+ Day Subscribers Not Yet Converted

The next important segment to focus on in your holiday planning is subscribers you’ve acquired in the past 60 days who have not made a first purchase. As inboxes begin filling up, it is crucial to get this group’s attention with creative subject lines, and more importantly, with subject lines that inspire them to click.
Of our three segments, this is the one you may need to offer heavy discounting to as well as create urgency. This recent email from Swellfeatures several elements that increase your chances of spurring a first purchase:
With the increased site traffic the holiday season brings, it’s a perfect time to acquire new subscribers, but don’t forget that, with strategic segmentation, your current list can be maximized to boost your revenue this holiday season.
And finally, it’s not too soon to start integrating holiday themes into your emails. At just 35 days, it’s once again a short season, and you can rest assured that other retailers will be working hard to make the most of every day, too.
Be creative, like Pick Your Plum, who recently kicked off the season with this clever promotion:
Or, take a cue from Papyrus, who is rewarding shoppers for starting early:


How Top Retailers are Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Emails in My Inbox

Monday, November 24, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak’s Ross Kramer shared his findings in an article for Internet Retailer posted on November 20, 2014: 
Surprisingly few major retailers are emphasizing Thanksgiving in their marketing email the week before Turkey Day. Apparently, most merchants few Thanksgiving as just the first day in the crucial Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Cyber Monday retail trifecta, says Listrak CEO Ross Kramer.
The short holiday season is in full swing for retailers, who are attempting to ease shoppers’ stress and get sales started with gift guides and enticing promotions. So how are retailers (other than the obvious purveyors of food and holiday decor) taking time in the middle of the madness to acknowledge Thanksgiving?
With Nov. 27 just a week away, we have seen very few Thanksgiving-themed emails, however, a few from Internet Retailer Top 1000 merchants have caught my attention: 
A handful of top retailers are hopping on the shipping promises bandwagon early, which is a great way to create urgency, secure the first sale of the season, and open the door for more opportunities to engage. I’m not sure if Gap, No. 19 in the IR Top 500, is marketing to folks who exchange holiday gifts on Thanksgiving Day or to those who just want to look their best at the table with this promotion:
But most likely the latter, based on an email earlier in the month with the subject line “we’re thankful for…these 10 pieces” that featured this Thanksgiving survival guide:
The purpose of Pier 1 Imports’ shipping promotion for the shopper who wants to spruce up the Thanksgiving table is a little more obvious:
And Burt’s Bees Baby takes an altogether different approach with the subject line “Bee creative this Thanksgiving with ideas from our Pinterest Board!” and this email that is not at all product-focused, but does subtly promote a sale:
J. Crew positions the week of Thanksgiving as the official kick-off to the holiday season, offering “dos & don’ts to get you through this superfestive-yet-sometime-stressful season,” including a 30% sale with urgent promo code:
With a limited number of days to promote holiday gift-giving, I’m not surprised to see many retailers treating Thanksgiving as little more than the first day in the crucial Thanksgiving-Black Friday-Cyber Monday retail trifecta. But whether officially acknowledging Thanksgiving or not, emails from wise retailers all have something in common this time of the season: They are all working hard to engage subscribers and get them browsing and buying, so retailers can collect as much data as possible to optimize their predictive analytics and present each shopper with the most relevant, personalized product recommendations in subsequent holiday campaigns.
And with that tall order before them, what retail email marketers are surely thankful for this hectic holiday season is automated solutions.
Listrak provides e-mail marketing services to 61 of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 web merchants.


Make Your Customers Feel Special

Thursday, November 20, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customers feel they are being treated? Nothing makes customers feel more special than an exclusive offer.

Retailers use Email Exclusive offers in a number of ways:
Opening messages that offer an email exclusive offer makes customers feel good about sharing their email address - and customers that feel good about a brand are simply more likely to buy.


The Gift of Guidance

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

Holiday Gift Guides are a perfect way of making the shopping journey easy for your customers. Anything you can do to present gift ideas in an organized and simple-to-shop way is great. I’m seeing an array of  gift guides in emails this holiday season, and while those that segment products by gender and price point are helpful, a few that have gone a step further have caught my eye and made some retailers truly stand out from the rest:
Listrak client The Grommet started off the season early with this email that arrived before Halloween with the subject line Get inspired for the gift-giving season with The Grommet Gift Page:
The “Give Differently” theme is a wonderful way to introduce the unique way product offerings are organized. The Grommet then followed up with this email featuring popular products:
The 10 recommended gifts in this long, scrolling email from Sephora were nice, but it was the personalized header that really caught my attention:

And this creative email from Brit + Co, does a good job of trying to live up to its subject line, It’s Here: The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide:
…and was followed up by an equally amusing White Elephant Gift Guide that features products that absurd, unexpected and even delightful, just as the copy promises:
Being amused is good enough for me now, since I have not yet begun shopping, but the Gift Guides that I know I will truly appreciate once I do begin frantically searching is those that present with me products based on what I’m looking for online and have purchased before.
Have you seen any interesting Gift Guides yet this season? 


Happy Birthday to Me: Gifts in My Inbox

Monday, November 17, 2014 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak CEO Ross Kramer recently shared with Multichannel Merchant the many ways that retailers helped him to celebrate his birthday. The article appeared November 17, 2014: 
While broadcast campaigns produce the lion’s share of email marketing revenue for retailers, triggered campaigns – like birthday messages – produce the highest ROI. Having just celebrated a November birthday, I noted some trends that popular merchants are implementing to help subscribers celebrate their birthdays.
Nearly half of all the birthday messages I received arrived in my inbox on the first of the month, and about a quarter arrived on my actual birthday. While the first of the month makes sense, because offers are typically good for the subscriber’s birth month, it is a little less personal than receiving a message on the exact day. Sundance Catalog creatively addressed this with a message that works beautifully for all birthdays -except those that fall on the first:
Half of the birthday offers I received were 20% off my next purchase, and most were good for both online and in store for those retailers with brick-and-mortar locations. Those that were more generous percentage-wise required a minimum purchase, like these from Kenneth Cole and Trina Turk:
It was interesting to see that a few merchants offered a free gift with purchase instead, which we find is a quite effective and seemingly generous promotion that actually doesn’t have to cost the retailer much:
It was also interesting to see that while 7 For All Mankind offered the standard 20% off, they also took the opportunity to ask for a gift in return, so to speak, by requesting that I Instagram a photo of myself celebrating in their jeans:

Nearly none of the birthday emails I received featured products, and therefore did not offer much opportunity for personalization. A few retailers did attempt to personalize by gender, however, but actually got it wrong because they evidently based their segmentation on something other than my name, like my email address or browse behavior:
It’s hard to tell whether or not this email from Brooklyn Industries, a retailer of apparel for both men and women, is personalized based on gender, but it definitely caught my eye because of its creative design:
Making it about me

In addition to being mostly void of product, I noticed that most of my birthday emails were in fact very subtle in terms of branding in general:
While this may seem like a missed opportunity, I believe it’s actually a very intelligent move on the part of merchants to take this unique, once a year opportunity to make it totally about the subscriber, which is refreshing and surely helps to strengthen brand loyalty.
A tip for you
If you embark on investing time and resources into building a birthday campaign email, you might want to take the opportunity to add one more triggered message to your cadre of highly engaging, triggered campaigns – a half birthday campaign. This unexpected message serves to communicate on a personal level with the recipient and celebrates that she’s halfway to a birthday. In my experience this campaign performs about half as well as the birthday campaign, however, it will deliver lots more revenue and engagement than the broadcast campaign you would otherwise be sending the recipient on that day.