Soccer Retailer Scores with Email Campaigns

Online soccer retailer soccerloco kicked its list growth and conversions into high gear by teaming up with email marketing service provider Listrak and launching a modal pop-up campaign and a shopping cart abandonment solution.

E-commerce is new turf for soccerloco. The soccer apparel, shoes, and equipment retailer has been in the brick-and-mortar business for the past 15 years, with four locations in Southern California, but just began dabbling with e-commerce four years ago. After “outgrowing” the capabilities of online email marketing solution provider MailChimp, soccerloco began scouting for an email service provider that would work with its Magento e-commerce platform, says soccerloco Marketing Director Brandon Maskell. Soccerloco became a Listrak customer in the fall of 2011 and launched its shopping cart abandonment solution shortly after.

Ross Kramer, cofounder and CEO of Listrak, describes the shopping cart abandonment solution as a three message series. The first message is deployed three hour after the customer adds an item to his or her cart but does not follow through with a purchase. Kramer adds that this initial message generates a 39% open rate and nearly a 13% clickthrough rate. To entice the customer into making a purchase, soccerloco will introduce an offer to the customer two days after abandonment, which generates a 35% open rate and an 11% clickthrough rate, Kramer says. After the fifth day, Kramer says soccerloco will send a final reminder message, which will generate a 30% open rate and a 9% clickthrough rate.

Since implementing the solution, soccerloco has seen a 17% increase in conversion rates and an average order value of $121, according to Listrak.

“When we put relevant products [with] relevant offers and send them in a very timely fashion, we get conversion rates that are solidly in the double digits,” Kramer says.

After seeing success with the shopping cart abandonment solution, soccerloco decided to launch its modal pop-up campaign in August 2012. While Maskell says soccerloco’s list is primarily composed of email addresses acquired from in-store customers and youth soccer clubs, he says soccerloco was looking to grow its list organically through the modal pop-up. After submitting their email addresses via the modal-pop up, customers would receive a welcome email notifying them that they could also receive a free soccer ball, valued at approximately $29, when they made a purchase worth $75 or more.

“The goal is to hit [the potential customer] initially with an offer that’s too good to refuse, and then [that person] buys that item through us once [they’re] on our site and we can interact with him [or her],” Maskell says.

The campaign caused the retailer’s list size to grow by 6.5% and 19.58% converted to buyers. The average order value for modal acquisition was $123, according to Listrak.

“Email should serve as an engagement vehicle,” Kramer says. “They’re coming to the site, they’re engaged, they have a need, there is an expressed interest, [and] they give the email address. Now it’s incumbent upon the marketer to engage early and often.”

When working together, the two campaigns create a winning team. When customers subscribe to the email list via the modal pop-up, a cookie is tied to their address, which is set once they visit the retailer’s website, Kramer says. He explains that this cookie makes it possible for soccerloco to send targeted email messages to customers with abandoned carts.

The cost-effectiveness and automation of email makes it the communication channel of choice for soccerloco, says Maskell, though the brand also has a social presence on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram. While Kramer views social media as a bit of a distracting shiny object that’s “years and years” away from driving the kind of revenue email can, Maskell explains that the two channels are separate for soccerloco: Email serves as more of a promotional tool while social is centered more on brand building.

“Consumers spend a lot of time on Facebook, but retailers find…that their consumers are not there to look for deals,” Kramer says. “Their consumers are on Facebook to interact with friends and family and to see what’s going on and really for a social experience—not really a shopping experience.”

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