Streamlines Its E-Mail Efforts

Share this article:, one of the Web's top sites for vitamins, minerals, herbs and other health-related products, will launch an e-mail campaign tomorrow aimed at 250,000 of its registered users.

The mailing will go out to 10,000 to 15,000 users who registered at the site but never returned to make a purchase. The offer used to entice them to buy will be free shipping for first-time buyers.

The drop is part of the site's "life cycle marketing" plan. The goal is to target consumers with pertinent messages at the right time. To accomplish this, the site is working with online marketing solution provider MarketSoft Corp., Lexington, MA. MarketSoft's eOffer technology allows marketers to build, deliver and track offers and promotions to prospects and customers in real time. eOffers are combined with the company's eLeads lead management technology.

"The software is a back-end management system that allows us to automate the targeting of a lot of our campaigns," said Wendy Cebula, director of retention marketing and marketing analytics at, Concord, MA.

The site sets up rules that instruct the software to automatically send offers for certain situations. If a customer does not respond to the free shipping offer, for example, the site will follow up 30 days later with another offer.

Special mailings also will be sent to specific customers. Users with a history of purchasing vitamins, for example, will receive an offer for a 10 percent discount.

In the past, sent out messages manually either once or twice a month, Cebula said.

"The biggest benefit [of the MarketSoft technology] is rather than our marketing analyst being focused on data queries and targeting algorithms, we can watch results, come up with new strategies to improve performance and really focus on [the customer]. We can focus on the value-added side vs. the operational implementation side."

The site tested the software before fully rolling it out. The results were impressive, according to Cebula. The e-mail messages increased response rates by 300 percent. More importantly, the average transaction amount increased by almost 50 percent.

"The moral of the story is, the better you target the customer, the more they will trust you -- that is very important for us in the healthcare industry," Cebula said. "Communicating with them with very targeted offers builds that trust and retention."

eOffers and eLeads make up MarketSoft's Marketing Network suite of applications.
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