September 26, 2013, 12:49 PM

Apparel retailer Onward Reserve refines its e-mail targeting and gains revenue

The men’s clothing merchant works with Windsor Circle.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Onward Reserve, a store and web retailer of men’s apparel, has found that better targeting of its e-mail marketing messages has increased the appeal of those communications among consumers.

In April, Onward Reserve, which operates two stores in Georgia along with OnwardReserve.com, hired Windsor Circle to better match e-mails with specific groups of shoppers. The provider of e-mail automation and segmentation services dug into the retailer’s e-commerce data to refine its e-mail marketing program.

For instance, the vendor worked with the retailer to segment e-mails based on Onward Reserve’s e-mail newsletter, called The Gazette. “We send The Gazette two to three times per week,” says Will Watts, the retailer’s co-founder and chief operating officer. “The Gazette is a way to keep customers engaged while they are not shopping.”

Under the previous regime, Onward Reserve would blast the same e-mail marketing messages to Gazette subscribers. The retailer changed to targeting different segments: best customers, churning customers (that is, customers in danger of not shopping with the retailer anymore), non-purchasers and others.

The results were encouraging, the retailer says. For instance, for segmented e-mail campaigns centered on Father’s Day, the average open rate reached 35.3%, compared with 25.0% previously. The average click-through rate for the segmented campaign stood at 8.5%, compared with 3.0%. And the average conversion rate for segmented e-mails was 0.1%, compared with 0.03%. Revenue via e-mail marketing increased 278%.

“We definitely see the benefit in segmenting out The Gazette because it gives us the ability to incentivize the people we want to with coupon codes,” Watts says.

The Windsor Circle technology works with the retailer’s existing marketing and e-commerce services from Magento and MailChimp to cull data and better target online consumers. Windsor Circle says that depending on the number of e-mail subscribers a retailer has, the services like those used by Onward Reserve cost from $200 to $1,000.

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