January 5, 2012, 10:21 AM

Getting ‘lookers’ to come back and buy

Targeted e-mails open up conversions for retailer totes Isotoner.

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When totes Isotoner Corp. noticed that a lot of online shoppers came to its e-commerce site repeatedly just to look at a single product category, such as its umbrellas, gloves, or boots, it realized that it would be best served to reach out to those consumers with segmented e-mail marketing pitches focused on the category. Those e-mail offers brought many of them back to buy.

Many of the “lookers,” as totes Isotoner calls them, were already loyal enough to the company’s brands to register their e-mail addresses on totes-Isotoner.com to receive e-mailed information about the company’s products, which include totes umbrellas and other rain gear, Isotoner gloves and Acorn slippers.

Working with Bronto Software Inc.’s e-mail marketing system on the MarketLive Inc. e-commerce platform, totes Isotoner sends visitors personalized e-mail messages based on what they had viewed during previous site visits. The messages are automatically sent after being triggered by a consumer’s on-site browsing behavior, such as when a shopper views a certain number of items without buying.

The segmented and targeted e-mails have helped totes Isotoner significantly boost its e-mail conversion rates—producing an increase of more than 7,000% in e-mail-driven revenue for a 14-month period ended last October, says Chris Reighley, director of e-commerce for totes Isotoner. Totes Isotoner has also found that repeat customers convert at an average rate of 8.5%, compared with 3.5% for new visitors, and that repeat customers have a higher average order value. This has resulted in an 80% hike in overall order value per visit from repeat customers, he says.

Totes Isotoner recently integrated personalization technology from MyBuys Inc. into its MarketLive and Bronto systems, and it plans to deliver personalized product recommendations based on shoppers’ browsing interests through e-mail, online display ads and offers on its web site.

“We are free to innovate and try new things that improve the site for our customers and increase the business results for the company,” Reighley says. 

Totes Isotoner is the product of a 1997 merger between totes and Isotoner, both producers of weather-related gear. The company is owned by private equity firm MidOcean Partners.

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