December 11, 2006, 12:00 AM

On second try, online chocolatier boosts e-mail-driven sales by 50%

By identifying recipients who declined to open a promotional e-mail and re-sending them the same creative weeks later, online retailer Lake Champlain Chocolates has driven up sales stemming from marketing campaigns by 50%, it says.

 

By identifying recipients who declined to open a promotional e-mail and re-sending them the same creative weeks later, online retailer Lake Champlain Chocolates has driven up sales stemming from marketing campaigns by 50%, marketing specialist Greg Tickle tells InternetRetailer.com.

“Once we have sent a marketing e-mail, that e-mail campaign is shelved, but now we have the ability to tap it again,” he says. Burlington, VT-based Lake Champlain Chocolates, which operates three stores in northern Vermont in addition to LakeChamplainChocolates.com, recently switched to Bronto Software Inc.’s e-mail marketing software to gain more control of its marketing campaigns, Tickle says.

The retailer usually sends out a unique e-mail marketing campaign on the first Tuesday of each month. But now, instead of each campaign getting only one shot at winning customers, it’s given a new subject line and re-sent to those that didn’t open the first e-mail. The Bronto Software application, which is hosted by Bronto but managed by Lake Champlain, provides an easy-to-use interface for identifying customer segments and re-sending e-mails with the same creative content to them, Tickle says. “As a result, we’ve seen overall sales for an individual campaign increase 50% while our operating costs remain the same,” he says.

Lake Champlain, whose web site was developed by Mulberry, VT-based Timberline Interactive, is also using its Bronto software application to identify which of several products, such as truffles or gift baskets, listed in e-mail campaigns are the most popular in particular regions, Tickle says. “We can see where people are clicking, so it allows us to adjust the next e-mail campaign,” he says.

That feature has been particularly helpful in chocolate-melting warm-weather months, when Lake Champlain tries to maximize sales to the New England region in order to minimize the cost of overnight shipments to more distant markets, Tickle adds.

 

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