Ice.com converts customers with e-mail

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Online jewelry sites Ice.com and Diamond.com claim they increased conversion after they turned to e-mail marketing firm Lyris to power their marketing e-mails and focused on segmenting, deliverability and measuring analytics.

The e-commerce Web sites, which specialize in jewelry and high-end diamonds, use e-mail as the main channel to market to customers.

"Before we used Lyris, we were having problems getting our volume delivered," said Henry Shih, e-mail marketing manager at Ice.com, Montreal. "We send up to four e-mails per week, depending on the level of subscription that a customer opts into."

Ice.com was originally a part of IdeaLab, an Internet incubator founded by Bill Gross. It was formed when brothers Samuel, Mayer and Pinny Gniwisch bought the company, then called BuyJewel, from Mr. Gross in 1999. Ice.com acquired Diamond.com in the fall of 2006.

Both e-commerce sites send personalized e-mails featuring the jewelry based on customer preference. Ice.com sends e-mail newsletters regularly to its customer base of around 700,000 subscribers. The e-mails feature promotional messages with different content appearing in each mailing.

During the holiday season, the jewelry retailer added a free shipping offer to increase sales, and the results have encouraged the firm to adopt the promotion indefinitely.

Lyris, Emeryville, CA, lets Ice.com segment its list and measure customer conversion rates with its analytics and reporting feature.

Mr. Shih said that conversion rates have gone up since the retailer began using Lyris a year ago. He attributed this to the Lyris platform coupled with the updated Web site and the time-sensitive promotions offered.

"We try to keep our offers current and relevant," Mr. Shih said. "We have clearance sales, birth stone sales and anniversary sales to promote the right gift for the right occasion."

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