IBM client web sales rose 12.1% last weekend, while ChannelAdvisor reports 13.9% growth in sales last week for merchants on Amazon.
Conversions tripled when the retailer tied e-mails to consumers’ shopping behaviors.
With untargeted e-mail campaigns producing an open rate of 20% but a sales conversion rate of only 1.1%, Ice.com realized it had to change its approach.
When it tied marketing e-mails to its customers’ shopping behavior it realized far better results, said Pinny Gniwisch, co-founder and executive vice president of business development at the web-only jewelry retailer, in a presentation at the National Retail Federation Conference & Expo this month.
Gniwisch noted that lifecycle messaging e-mail campaigns, which base e-mail offers on registered customers’ shopping histories and other personal information such as birthdays, more actively engage shoppers. A lifecycle e-mail message, for example, might send an offer for a diamond necklace ahead of a customer’s wedding anniversary.
At Ice.com, lifecycle messaging campaigns have produced an open rate of 26% and an average sales conversion rate of 2.3%, Gniwisch says.
The performance results have been even better when e-mail messages are based on a shopper’s recorded click-stream activity, he said. A shopper known to have clicked on pearl earrings, for example, might receive an e-mail promotion for pearl earrings. Click-stream-based campaigns at Ice have produced an open rate of 33% and average conversion rate of 3.9%.
However, Gniwisch warned that even targeted campaigns can’t run too frequently without risking training customers to wait for a better offer to come. He suggests e-mail marketers carefully analyze how different segments of customers respond to e-mail frequency.
“If we send a second offer too soon, customers may keep waiting for the next offer,” Gniwisch said. “The key is understanding how your customer segment acts.”