Data Helps Raen Optics Focus on Its Customers

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The handmade eyewear company experiments with dynamic messaging to increase email signups, conversion rates, and average order value.

Marketers' view of the customer is rarely 20-20. Raen Optics enhanced its customer insight by tracking  visitors' website behavior. The eyewear brand presents dynamic messages based on that information, which has increased email signups, conversion rates, and average order value.

Focusing on the main objectives

Steven Johnson, digital marketing manager for Raen, wanted to provide a more dynamic shopping experience based on customer data. Doing so, he hypothesized, would help drive conversion and average order value. He also wanted to encourage Raen's target audience, 18- to 34-year-old fashion trendsetters, to sign up for the brand's email newsletter. So, in December 2015 Raen implemented BlueConic's customer data platform to enable dynamic messaging.

Once Raen implemented BlueConic, Johnson decided to tackle the email sign-up issue first. Before BlueConic, there was only one way customers could sign up for Raen's weekly newsletter: via a link at the top of its website. “Subscriber rate was pretty low,” Johnson says, “way lower than I wanted it to be.”

To boost these rates, there's now a popup window that encourages customers to sign up for Raen's newsletter and indicate the kind of product news they'd like to receive.

To ensure a better user experience, the sign-up window pops up only for people who aren't on the email list. Raen's marketers can identify these nonsubscribers through BlueConic's platform, which creates an identifiable profile for each site visitor (known or anonymous). Once identified, the nonsubscribers will be served the popup in one of two scenarios: after they've clicked on a certain number of website pages (showing intent), or when they're about to leave the site.

Creating a multifocal messaging system

After launching the email signup popup window, Raen's marketers further tailored the shopping experience by creating dynamic shipping messages. Using the site visitor's IP address and time of day, Raen can identify a visitor's location and update the website's page header to let him know how soon an item of interest can be mailed. 

 “A customer in Southern California would see a message that says ‘Free delivery tomorrow on orders placed before 12 p.m. today,'” Johnson says, “whereas a customer maybe in New York would get a different message that says, ‘Your order would ship today if placed before 12 p.m..'”

The goal in displaying these messages was to create a sense of urgency that would encourage site visitors to complete their purchase, rather than leave the site. “If that message wasn't there, the customer might go look around, do a little shopping, or just a little more research,” Johnson explains. “But creating that sense of urgency has definitely seemed to help.”

Magnifying the opportunities and challenges

Although it's still early days for Raen's email acquisition and dynamic messaging trials, the eyewear brand is already seeing results, Johnson notes. Last month it experienced a 20% increase in conversion and a 12.5% increase in average order value, compared to the previous year. Additionally, Raen's number of email subscribers has increased tenfold since working with BlueConic.

However, the brand's marketers still face a number of challenges. A key one is attribution. Johnson admits that he's unsure whether these success metrics are a direct result of the BlueConic implementation or other marketing activities. Still, he says that “it definitely seems like the dynamic messages we're displaying are creating some buzz on the site [and] making things work.”

Johnson adds that internal developmental and coding issues with the website have prevented Raen from fully rolling out some of these projects sooner.

Like many marketers, Johnson finds himself strapped for resources; however, he notes that Raen plans to bring on more people in the future. “There's so much you can do...it's just a matter of finding the time to be able to put together strategies and implement them,” he says.

Atop Johnson's to-do list is building on the dynamic messaging capabilities, such as showing customers different headers based on their gender or website behavior. If a female customer clicks on a few eyeglasses, for instance, Raen may show her an optical frame on a female model on the homepage, he explains. The brand's marketers are also working on sending dynamic shipping messages to customers who abandon their carts. These messages show the estimated mail date for the item of interest to try and convert the sale.

Although Raen has a long way to go, it seems like Johnson has already learned some early lessons. His main one rings true for all marketers: “You can never really have enough data on your customers.”

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