DM News' Essential Guide to E-mail Marketing: Turn Web Site Abandoners And Browsers Into Buyers

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It is increasingly important for companies to interject the highest relevance into their customer communication programs. Bass Pro Shops, a retailer of outdoors apparel, accessories and hunting equipment via store and direct channels, understands that relevance drives ROI.


By working with its e-mail partner, CheetahMail, and combining the retailer's Web site analytics data with its e-mail marketing programs, Bass Pro created a new revenue stream, strengthened customer loyalty and improved conversion rates.


Bass Pro aimed to recapture visitors who either browsed the site at www.basspro.com and did not make a purchase or abandoned their shopping cart before completing their transaction. These particular types of shoppers are extremely valuable because they have expressed interest in the products on the Bass Pro site, yet have not completed a purchase.


Bass Pro hoped to prove its assumption that by enticing recent browsers, abandoners and buyers back to the site through relevant, personalized e-mail marketing, the retailer would increase conversions and transactions.


One-to-one relevant marketing program. With visitor site activity data available from registered users who previously opted in, Bass Pro worked with CheetahMail and its analytics service provider, Coremetrics, to create an automated and integrated one-to-one e-mail marketing program that delivered personalized messages featuring relevant products for each customer.


CheetahMail receives data from the Bass Pro site provided by Coremetrics and sends personalized messages featuring upsell and cross-sell products based on a custom rule set outlined by Bass Pro.


· Upsell: Bass Pro aimed to capture additional revenue from recent buyers through relevant upsells. Purchasers would get an e-mail featuring items complementary to the product(s) recently purchased or purchased by other customers with the same product(s).


· Cross-sell: Several days after a customer browses an item but doesn't buy or abandons a shopping cart, an e-mail is triggered that includes items the customer was considering as well as items that are similar, top selling and at similar price points.


Products featured in each individual e-mail message are based on price range and relevant upsells and cross-sells. Bass Pro's priority assignments are reviewed and adjusted based on results and a last-minute check of inventory.


Based on a set of rules created by the Bass Pro team, an automated message is sent to the qualified customer. The system monitors the frequency of messages delivered to each individual to avoid overmailing. When a customer is sent one of Bass Pro's personalized, triggered e-mails, he is removed from the regular broadcast e-mailing that week.


Relevance drives response. Though results are still early on, Bass Pro garnered impressive results by integrating site behavior data into a real-time, one-to-one relevant e-mail marketing program. Conversion rates are as much as 900 percent higher than for Bass Pro's weekly broadcast e-mail campaigns, and open and click-through rates are up well over 200 percent for some programs. Here are the results:


Abandoners versus average broadcast e-mail campaign:


· Open rate: 222 percent higher.


· Click-through: 181 percent higher.


· Conversion rate: 150 percent higher.


Purchasers versus average broadcast e-mail campaign:


· Open rate: 149 percent higher.


· Click-through: 30 percent higher.


· Conversion rate: 900 percent higher


Browsers versus average broadcast e-mail campaign:


· Open rate: 241 percent higher.


· Click-through: 227 percent higher.


· Conversion rate: 900 percent higher.


Bass Pro found that consumers respond to offers that are timely and speak to their current buying needs. In effect, the company communicates with consumers while they are still in the buying mood.


The one-to-one relevant marketing program has delivered significant ROI to Bass Pro while outperforming its broadcast e-mail campaigns and provided the retailer with another revenue stream that requires minimal maintenance as it is fully automated.


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