DMNews spends a few minutes with Jason Marrone, e-commerce marketing manager, Jelly Belly

Q: What was the state of Jelly Belly’s e-mail marketing efforts before your arrival at the company?

A: I arrived at Jelly Belly a little more than a year ago and, prior to my arrival, Jelly Belly had been engaged in single monthly e-mail blasts to promote new product releases. But there weren’t many online retail sales happening through e-mail. While e-mail did a great job in supporting the brand, when we assessed the cost per conver­sion, the ROI simply wasn’t there.

Q: Why did you decide to change e-mail service providers and sign up with StreamSend?

A: We assessed both hosted and non-hosted platforms and, given our limited IT resources and the frequency of the e-mail blast, we decided the hosted model was best for us.

Q: What changed about your e-mail program with StreamSend?

A: We stepped up our e-mail commu­nications to twice per month and we evolved the content to include not only new product releases, but also sales promotion. The big change came in finding a different provider where our cost structure changed. [Our cost per thousand page impressions] had been $3 per 1,000, and by changing this cost structure we brought it down to about 50 cents per 1,000. We got our ROI to increase significantly, since our list included 400,000 names.

Q: What were the results?

A: Open rates increased by more than 20% and deliverability rose by more than 20%, thanks in part to a relation­ship that StreamSend has with Habeas for whitelisting e-mails. In addition, the cost of sending e-mail dropped drasti­cally, reducing the cost per acquisi­tion by 73%. Our cost per acquisition went from $15 per conversion down to $2.50 on our cost and our conversion rate increased by about 49%.

Q: What were the key takeaways?

A: In determining what our sweet spot was, we looked at what we were willing to invest to create a commerce transaction or any valuable interac­tion. The next step was to evaluate all of our marketing tactics to make sure that the numbers were lining up. In our case, with our prior e-mail service provider, the cost was just simply too high to substantiate the investment. By finding a lower cost platform that offered similar bells and whistles than were offered with our more expensive one, we could try more with our e-mail account while increasing our conver­sion rates, which increased our ROI by about 400%.

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