Title Boxing scores a KO with e-mail

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Within the first six months of using Alterian Marketing Services' Dynamic Messenger e-mail platform, Title Boxing saw a 15 percent increase in revenue from purchases that originated from e-mail promotions.

Title Boxing is a leading supplier of boxing products and equipment. With thousands of products representing nearly every major brand - and an audience of 150,000 professional, semi-professional and leisure boxers - catalog and online sales are steadily on the rise. Despite its reputation and steady growth pattern, however, the company has struggled with efficient and effective ways to create and maintain relationships with its customers using e-mail.

"We wanted a way to get immediate feedback, and have an online dialogue with our customers, ultimately to reach them in a way they want to be reached," said Morgan Langdon, marketing director at Title Boxing, Shawnee Mission, KS.

She said that many of the 150,000 weekly e-mails sent to its customer list landed in the spam folder. In addition, several hundred recipients requested to unsubscribe.

"For that reason alone, we need to know what offers make sense to them and which ones don't, learn how to better interact with them and gather information and reporting that will help us make more informed decisions about future campaigns," Ms. Langdon said.

In 2003, the company expanded its product offerings by launching a division that caters to the baseball segment. In 2006, it followed with a division catering to the martial arts segment. Each customer base is very unique in its purchasing behavior and, as a result, Title Boxing began to see even more of an increased need to improve its online customer communications.

To meet these goals Title Boxing last year replaced its e-mail system with Dynamic Messenger, an online and e-mail application that is part of the Alterian Marketing Services Platform. The system allowed Title Boxing to create campaigns that were measurable, more sophisticated and easy to execute, Ms. Langdon said.

By using the new system, Title Boxing gained insight into delivery data and no longer wondered what was happening within the campaign. Analytical reports provided customer interaction information, such as showing when e-mail was received and opened, if it was forwarded and which offers prompted the most activity.

With a more efficient campaign management tool, the number of unsubscribe requests went from several hundred a week to fewer than 35 a month, Ms. Langdon said. When compared to the previous provider, there was also a 20 percent increase in click-through rates resulting in more online sales.

"I wasn't certain I would use the reports since it was a new feature that I hadn't used in the past," Ms. Langdon said. "Now, I've not only come to rely on them for delivery data, they've become a critical component in shaping future campaigns."

A significant differentiating factor between Dynamic Messenger and other solutions was the ability to pause a campaign in progress to update or modify the content contained in an e-mail, Ms. Langdon said. The change would remain completely seamless to the customer.

"The ability to adjust a message in the middle of the campaign proved to be particularly useful for us since our inventory at times was depleted by an e-mail campaign's surprising response," Ms. Langdon said. "For this reason, the featured product was unavailable almost immediately. This capability helps to keep our customers happy by offering items that are in stock."

Title Boxing is also able to keep in touch with every customer by sending tailored messages and unique promotional offers - whether a boxing, baseball or martial arts enthusiast - and Ms. Langdon said this personalized approach demonstrates that each and every customer is valuable.

Indeed, Title Boxing saw a 15 percent increase in revenue generated by purchases that originated from e-mail promotional offerings.

Finally, compared with its previous e-mail solution, Title Boxing claimed an average monthly return on investment of 740 percent by using Dynamic Messenger - a knockout by any standard.

"There's no more wondering if the campaign is a success," Ms. Langdon said. "Dynamic Messenger has helped us think differently about e-mail marketing and helps us execute campaigns in a smarter way. It's a valuable enhancement to our entire business."

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