January 30, 2014, 11:36 AM

PaperStyle.com improves e-mail marketing by targeting brides and their friends

The customized invitations and stationery retailer worked with Silverpop to better identify customer segments.

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Organizing a wedding can bring stress and headaches, shrink bank accounts, encourage reckless drinking on weekday afternoons and spark familial cursing matches that would have made Richard Pryor blush. But it’s also a predictable process that can be reduced to a series of events and purchasing opportunities, knowledge that PaperStyle.com has used to improve its e-mail marketing.

The customized invitations and stationery retailer, working with e-mail services provider Silverpop Systems Inc. and digital marketing agency Whereoware LLC, dug into purchase histories and Google Analytics data to determine how to better target shoppers. “Using this data, [Paper Style] was able to pinpoint a key segment for nurturing: brides and brides’ friends,” the retailer says.  

The idea works like this: Paper Style came up with a timeline for a wedding, all the way through the thank-you cards the married couple will send upon return from their honeymoon. Paper Style, which launched in 1999, can target e-mail marketing messages to consumers based on, say, the links they clicked in previous e-mails, or the purchases they make or the pages they visit on PaperStyle.com. Once that customer is identified, she gets an e-mail asking if she is shopping for herself or a friend—essentially, if she’s a bride or bridesmaid.

That process puts consumers on one of two e-mail marketing tracks: “Your Wedding” or “Your Friend’s Wedding.” Each track results in five additional e-mail marketing messages.  Brides will receive e-mails that highlight such products as favors, bridal party gifts and thank-you cards. The time between e-mails can range from seven days to six weeks, Paper Style and Silverpop say. The retailer and its e-mail marketing services provider say they determined the appropriate time lapse by looking at wedding research and analytics.

Bridesmaids and other friends will receive e-mail marketing messages focused on products that might fit well with, say, bachelorette parties and other events where the pals of the bride tend to take a larger hand.

The wedding-focused e-mail targeting program launched in autumn 2012, Paper Style says. Since then, open rates for these types of e-mail marketing messages have increased 244% over other Paper Style e-mails. Click rates are 161% higher, with revenue per e-mail increasing by 330%. The e-retailer did not immediately respond to an inquiry on how much the program cost. 

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