Nailed It: DMNews takls with Eric McCoy, CEO of Heels.com

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Eric McCoy
Eric McCoy

Eric McCoy, CEO of e-commerce startup Heels.com, talks to DMNews about how the company raised banner ad ROI using retargeting with its vendor, Permuto

Q What marketing challenge was Heels.com dealing with?

A We're a startup — the company is only two years old — so everything we do on the marketing side has to have a positive ROI. I can't spend money just to spend money. I'd rather spend it on inventory than advertising. The cool thing about the Internet is that you can track everything, so you can find those pieces of advertising that work and push them as hard as you can to get the most out of them.

Q How did you hear about Permuto? What did they offer as a solution?

A Permuto had a new retargeting product on the market — we were its launch customer — and we worked closely together to make sure we had a positive ROI. From day one we've had a positive ROI with its retargeting display ads. We're continuing to tweak it and are spending more month-over-month.

Q How did the retargeting ads work?

A As customers come to Heels.com, they travel around our site, look at different shoes, sales and material, but then they leave and go across the Internet to their other sites, like NYTimes.com, Facebook and  SJ.com. We reach them on those sites' display ads with items they were looking at on Heels.com.

If they were looking at a specific brand, say Jessica Simpson, we'd show them a Jessica Simpson ad. We can even show them the specific shoes they were looking at on Heels.com. We're not showing an ad to a random person; we're showing them a company and product they're familiar with.

Q How did you measure your results? What were they?

A We determine based on last click only what contributed to a sale. If you click and purchase from that click, that's how we measure ROI. Right now we're at 3.5 to 1. Last year at this point, we weren't making money on display, we were losing it — that was why we switched to Permuto.

Q Will you be working with them in the future?

A We're working on a way to retarget with our customer service operators. If someone has a good experience with one of them, we'll try and work that person into the ad so it makes a connection with a human — not just a product.

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