April 1, 2010, 12:00 AM

Publishers Clearing House finds the right ticket to convert e-mail offers

With its army of followers frequently changing how they respond to sweepstakes invitations, Publishers Clearing House runs daily tests of e-mail offers to optimize conversion rates for each type of customer, the company says.

 

With its army of followers frequently changing how they respond to sweepstakes invitations, Publishers Clearing House runs daily tests of e-mail offers to optimize conversion rates for each type of customer, says Sal Tippi, senior director of operations and compliance.

“When we can target our products to a micro-audience, we get a 25% to 75% lift in conversions,” Tippi says.

Publishers Clearing House is using the Insight Builder query and analysis tool within the Precision Central Suite of marketing software from e-Dialog, its e-mail services provider. Each night, Publishers Clearing House transfers to Insight Builder billions of data points related to the shopping activity and product interests of thousands of visitors to its web site, PCH.com.

The company uses Insight Builder to divide its customer activity data into 96 customer segments, then breaks each segment into several groups that receive distinct offers. The offers can include different e-mail pitches as well as landing pages.

“The new features of Insight Builder deliver several important capabilities, such as the ability to automate segment creation based on the most up-to-date subscriber data,” says Patricia D’Souza, manager of online production for Publishers Clearing House. “We have realized significant efficiency gains by cutting our segment-building times in half and completely automating what used to be a labor-intensive exercise. This allows us to re-apply our time to other priority tasks like regular testing that maximizes the productivity of our e-mail channel.”

For example, one invitation to enter a sweepstakes might offer the winner an immediate lump-sum reward payout, while another might offer the same reward paid out over 20 years. Publishers Clearing House then reworks subsequent marketing pitches to match the segments of customers with the kind of offers to which they’re most receptive.

“We constantly make decisions on what’s right for different customer segments,” Tippi says.

E-Dialog is a unit of GSI Commerce Inc.

 

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