Customers trust companies with a huge volume of first-party data – an exclusive resource that no one else has access to. If they’ve opted in for marketing emails, you can leverage this data to take personalisation to the next level. The customer will see more of the products they actually want to buy, and your marketing emails will cut through the noise of an overcrowded inbox. It’s win-win for everyone.
When one retailer piloted hyper-targeted marketing campaigns with innovation partner Emark, open rates rocketed to 3.5 times the industry average.
The global retailer has activities in more than 20 countries across the world. It streamlines operations with a multi-cloud Salesforce environment including Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Audience Studio, Datorama, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud.
Like many companies, the retailer had a mature data-driven marketing strategy and ran seasonal campaigns, but Emark realised it was sitting on a goldmine of first-party data that could help it get even closer to its customers.
“Connecting first-party data with other channels is really powerful,” says Robbert van Ooijen, Emark’s Team Lead and Senior Solution Architect. “At Emark, we help customers get more value from the data they already have.”
Increasing Sales by Category
The team ran a proof of concept to promote a specific product category. It used Audience Studio to collect first-party browsing data from the company’s website and app. Data was then segmented to identify shoppers who had recently browsed the category, and cross-referenced to eliminate customers who already had items in their cart.
“Our goal was to target shoppers earlier in the buyer journey than ever before – we already had a journey in place for abandoned carts, so we selected a totally new group of customers who’d only browsed that category,” recalls Robbert.
The team sent an email campaign featuring jackets to a couple of thousand customers. Results were positive, with around 20% fewer unsubscribers, a 50% increase in open rates, 1.5 times more click-throughs, and an impressive 5.5 times higher conversion rate.
The next step of the proof of concept was to focus not just on one category, but on a specific product to see if different scenarios would have consistently positive results. The team chose a much-coveted luxury product, but its high price tag meant that even greater segmentation was needed. This time, the campaign featuring the luxury product was sent to hundreds of shoppers and boosted conversion rates by nearly 7 times, while 9% fewer than the control group hit unsubscribe.
Getting smarter with first-party data
Impressed with the proof of concepts, the retailer was keen to scale up this approach to all categories and hundreds of thousands of prospects.
“To make hyper-targeting a viable option for large-scale campaigns there are a number of challenges to address,”
“To make hyper-targeting a viable option for large-scale campaigns there are a number of challenges to address,” says Robbert. “The more categories you have, the more content you need to create, and you need to decide who to target when people have browsed multiple categories.”
Emark built an automated process in Audience Studio to identify who to include. Where browsing data is available, it filters people who have browsed recently, highlights their most looked at category, and excludes people with abandoned carts or who recently received a marketing email.
Where data isn’t available, it uses historical purchase data in Salesforce and calculates an affinity score for each person. If neither option is suitable, the individual is excluded from data-driven marketing and receives generic communications instead.
Today, the fully automated hyper-targeted campaigns have open rates 3.5 times higher than the industry average, 6 times better click-through rates, and an average order value 203% higher than before. The team also judged the right number of emails to send to boost engagement without risking over-saturating people, and the unsubscribe rate is 3 times lower than industry average.
“Companies potentially have a lot of insight into customer preferences, but many businesses aren’t leveraging that data,” comments Robbert. “With Salesforce, you can unlock the value of first-party data and take marketing to the next level by sending customers much more relevant content.”
Find out more about how Emark can help you get smarter with data here.