July 28, 2011, 10:09 AM

Dillard’s Teams with Return Path to Realize Higher Revenue and Increased Store Traffic through Improved Inbox Placement

Open Rates Improve Dramatically and Inbox Placement Rates Near 100%

New York, NY – July 13, 2011 – Return Path, the world’s leading email certification and reputation monitoring company, today announced it has teamed with Dillard's, Inc. (DDS-NYSE), one of the nation's largest fashion apparel and home furnishing retailers, to achieve higher revenue and increased store traffic through improved inbox placement of their integrated email communications program.

With revenues in excess of $6 billion, Dillard’s augments its in-store marketing with a unique email program that isn’t offer-oriented like most retailers.  Dillard’s steers clear of free shipping, coupons or other incentives choosing to focus instead on relevancy, timing and brand value.  By targeting subscribers based on purchase history, Dillard’s customers receive emails related to items they have purchased.  Dillard’s also uses geo-targeting to increase store foot traffic via their email campaigns by keeping their subscribers up to date on special store events that often feature appearance by celebrities like Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Jessica Simpson.  Dillard’s unique efforts are paying off as their email program revenues doubled year-over-year.

Despite adhering to best practices and sending only highly relevant emails, increasing spam and illegitimate email has made email deliverability more challenging in the last few months.   A sudden decline in open rates prompted the Dillard’s team to take a hard look at their program – and their deliverability strategy. Dillard’s turned to Return Path for assistance and within a few days, the Return Path team identified significant deliverability issues including blocking problems at AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo! which explained the decline in open rates.  Return Path experts helped Dillard’s optimize their custom-built email deployment system; enhance their list hygiene practices and feedback loop management, to make the needed adjustments to achieve their email objectives.

The results were exceptional and immediate.  Within the first 30-days of partnering with Return Path, Dillard’s saw open rates improve dramatically.  Using Return Path’s Deliverability Monitoring Suite, which provides visibility into which filtering criteria is keeping marketers out of the inbox, where and when customers view emails, and the impact of mobile on email marketing campaigns, Dillard’s was able to improve their inbox placement rates to just shy of 100%.  With these impressive inbox placement rates, Dillard’s experienced a corresponding increase in email revenue and store foot traffic. 

“We thought that sending relevant, wanted emails to our subscribers was enough to ensure strong deliverability,” said Mike Hodapp, Director, Digital Marketing for Dillard’s.  “Thanks to Return Path we now have a team of experts to guide us through the complex maze of email deliverability and reputation management.  We see the ROI every day as our email and in-store revenues continue to grow through our improved inbox placement.”

About Return Path

Return Path makes email work better by scoring and certifying email senders from around the world. We help marketers, publishers and other large-volume email senders increase their response rates by providing the world’s leading inbox deliverability solution. We help mailbox providers and email administrators at ISPs and enterprises block unwelcome and malicious email by providing near real-time IP reputation scores and other data-driven tools. Taken as a whole, these tools and services improve the consumer experience of email by protecting them from spam, phishing and other abuse. Return Path offers free access to Sender Score, the email reputation measure compiled through our cooperative data network of ISPs and other email receivers, at our reputation portal: www.senderscore.org. Information about Return Path can be found at www.returnpath.net.

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