November 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

New approach to e-mail boosts revenue 30% at CoolSavings.com

CoolSavings.com changed its e-mail program to target customers’ overall response to all e-mails sent, or lifetime value, rather than just the most recent message. The change helped boost revenue 30%.

CoolSavings.com, marketing services vendor Q Interactive’s consumer coupon and offers site, increased revenue from its e-mail marketing program by 30% over the past year by focusing on consumers’ overall response rate to all e-mails, called lifetime value, rather than their response to the most recent e-mail they were sent, the company says.

Previously, CoolSavings calculated how much revenue was generated for each e-mail address in the last campaign and used that data in developing the next e-mail blast. When results suggested its e-mail program could be generating more revenue, CoolSavings decided to look at individual e-mail addresses over time rather than during the last campaign.

The test showed that under the former campaign-centered approach, “We were essentially leaving money on the table for every campaign,” says Arend Henderson, chief analytics officer of Q Interactive. Specifically, potentially valuable segments of CoolSavings’ e-mail list weren’t being included in campaigns or were being removed prematurely when they hadn’t responded to the most recent campaigns.

CoolSavings decided to look at the response of each individual list member over time and gear campaign optimization to those results.

After a year of using the new approach, revenue generated by CoolSavings’ e-mail list is up by 30%, according to Henderson.

The results will help inform the management of not only the CoolSavings program but also other e-mail programs Q Interactive manages for clients, according to Matt Wise, Q Interactive’s CEO.

“Based on the significant and continuing lift in revenue we’ve seen across the CoolSavings’ e-mail list, as well as the 75 or so other e-mail lists that are a part of Q Interactive, we feel measuring e-mail success via the lifetime value model represents the future of e-mail marketing for the industry at large,” Wise says.

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