Responsys, Coremetrics Team for Behavioral E-Mail Marketing

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Responsys and Coremetrics have linked to offer e-mail marketing services triggered by consumer Web site behavior.

The integrated e-mail marketing and Web analytics product lets marketers set up automated e-mail campaigns in response to consumer site visits.

Coremetrics, a San Mateo, CA, Web analytics company, builds profiles of customers based on their site behavior. For clients using its analytics software, it will feed the Web behavior information to e-mail service provider Responsys, which can use the data to trigger automated, targeted messages based on recent site activity.

"It really addresses one of the key challenges multichannel retailers are facing," said Scott Olrich, chief marketing officer of Responsys, Redwood City, CA. "A lot of them have been focused on driving traffic to the Web site. One of the key areas we're seeing a larger emphasis on is how to drive conversion."

Petco, San Diego, is the first Coremetrics and Responsys customer to sign on for the service. It has been a client of Coremetrics for 2 1/2 years and Responsys for 3 1/2.

The pet products retailer is using behavioral e-mail to drive sales from customers who abandoned shopping carts. If a customer visits Petco's site and stops the purchase process at some point, Petco will send an e-mail offer three days later if the customer has not completed the purchase.

To use the Coremetrics information to trigger an e-mail, Petco first must be able to identify the customer. The visitor also must be one of the 2 million Petco customers to opt in to receive marketing messages from the company.

Heather Blank, Petco's director of e-commerce and business development, said the company tries to be mindful of not appearing "Big Brother-y" in sending e-mails tied to Web behavior.

Petco waits three days before sending a message, and it normally includes just one of the items in the shopping cart, along with related items tied to the Web behavior, she said. The e-mails contain offers segmented based on the value of the abandoned cart: Customers who abandoned a cart with more than $50 in merchandise get 15 percent off, while shopping carts worth less receive a 10 percent discount.

"We're always looking to fine-tune our marketing strategies to get to more of a one-to-one solution," she said.

In its four weeks of using the program, Petco has seen conversion rates double those of regular e-mail marketing messages. Blank said it planned to expand use of the service to set up automated e-mail pitches to consumers who drop off at the shipping page.

Olrich said Responsys has a few other clients ready to use the Coremetrics Web data for e-mail. Responsys and Coremetrics plan joint marketing efforts to their customers. He said the ability to automate the behavioral e-mail campaigns is a big plus for marketers.

"Our clients want to architect things and just let them run," he said. "It becomes lifecycle messaging. That's where we're going to see the future direction of e-mail going."

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