Drive e-commerce with tailored email tactics

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Drive e-commerce with tailored email tactics
Drive e-commerce with tailored email tactics
Wachter: I just hired a Web analyst and we're starting to do the same thing and clean it up, and then make sure we move forward with a clean reporting structure.

Santos: I'm looking into affiliates as one of my priorities this year, as far as attribution and placement. Most companies will either do first or last touch and skip everything in between, or if you do everything in between, you're giving an equal credit, which isn't necessarily the factual truth. Maybe the affiliate program is doing great, but you really shouldn't be paying them as much, because they're somewhere in the chain.

Morris: Attribution is the hot button in the industry, which is, how do you know which channel to credit? Everyone is always raising their hand saying it's them. We do a paid search campaign and get someone to click. They go to our website, get to the shopping cart, and leave our site to go to a coupon site, and the coupon site takes credit. We are always looking at how we can attribute better. 

Carton: We have a similar struggle with attribution management. Especially, going back to tab browsing, it's very easy for customers in the checkout to open a new tab type in coupons and purchase there. That is where you see such disjointed attribution issues. Customers are just clicking around trying to find the best deal at the last moment prior to purchase and that is significantly causing the double dipping issue with the traditional last click approach.

Missry: Recently, we implemented a strategy to just give them an offer in the shopping cart. This avoids them leaving our site and checking out through an affiliate. It's really increased conversions by just giving them a minimal offer in the shopping cart, a nice banner that says, “Take 10% off.” If they already have a coupon in their cart from an affiliate site, we'll suppress the banner so they cannot combine coupons.

Morris: We have customers that will actually get all the way to the shopping cart and then take our part number and go to Google and come back to us through organic, even though they originally got to us through an affiliate or email. It screws up the attribution. There's always a bit of a fudge factor in the budget for plus or minus this much.

Direct Marketing News: What are your biggest challenges in 2011?

Wachter: Our site is in its infancy. We're 10 years behind our competitors and probably 15 years behind the industry. Our growth is explosive because we're playing catch-up. Our distribution warehouse grew three times in the last two years. Right now, it's just about keeping up with the growth and making sure that my ad budget sees ROI and the cost per action is where it needs to be in every marketing channel.

Carton: Our challenge is organizing the various marketing tools that are available. We have several different log-ins. We still have analytics in one silo, email management in another, social has its own tools, and our retail store presence is a completely different system as well. Integration between these systems is a challenge as we are exporting and importing the data from various systems. There's definitely a lot of work with managing those systems, and I welcome some consolidation in the market.

Davidson: I agree. You have so many vendors and data is in different locations. You really have to look at your Facebook customers, your site customers, your catalog customers, your in-store customers, your email customers and your mobile customers. It is important to find a way to get those communications consolidated, as well as the data, to get some centralization there.

Missry: Our challenge is trying to maintain growth without bursting at the seams and trying to hire people without over hiring and going over our budget.

Santos: Part of our challenge is to focus a little bit more on the DIYer, and bring in more revenue there. The challenge is presenting the product to them so that they can understand it and not using industry names. If a bride is looking for a wedding invitation, we should call it a wedding invitation and not a flat or a folded card. It's really just exploring different revenue channels.

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