Fabric.com increases conversions by 43% by focusing on e-mail

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Last year, online fabric store Fabric.com has revamped its e-mail program to be more life cycle and behavior focused and since then has seen open and click-through rates double and conversions increase by 43%.

The e-commerce site wanted to increase e-mail engagement and in April 2008 began working with their e-mail services firm Silverpop to do so. The approach to the new e-mail program, which was based on customer survey data, was to do more segmentation and to focus the e-mails into 3 categories --New Products, Secret Sales and Deals of the Day.

“The first thing we wanted to do was to differentiate our existing e-mail approach, but not make a huge change,” said Melanie Coombs, e-mail marketing manager at Fabric.com. “We found in a marketing survey that customers wanted these three different kinds of e-mails, so we basically gave them what they wanted.”

Fabric.com sends about 3 e-mails a week, as well as 5 daily deals e-mails averaging about 2 million e-mails a month to 150,000 people. The audience is mainly women ages 35-55, though younger audience have been attracted to brand recently with the upsurge in sewing popularity, said Coombs.

To build the lifecycle component of the e-mail program, Fabric.com began sending e-mails to customers 60 days after a purchase. They also included special incentives to people who had made more than two $75 purchases in that timeframe. They are also sending birthday coupons and coupons on the anniversary of first time they ordered to help build the relationship.

To increase sales, Fabric.com is also now sending abandoned shopping cart reminder e-mails. Interestingly, the abandoned shopping cart e-mails resulted in a 20% increase in average order size.

Fabric.com plans to continue to evolve this life cycle e-mail program. “We are going to start segmenting even further to give people more control over what they want to see,” added Coombs. “We will divide customers into different kinds of fabrics they are interested in -- people who might be doing home décor don't want to hear about the crafts list. And we are going to let them pick and choose what they want to hear about.”
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