Testing a New Recipe
Christie Cookie’s customers are a diverse group. Like all online shoppers, they want to learn about different products, services and offers, ideally delivered through emails sent at different times in the buying process. They subscribe – and will continue to subscribe – if the emails they get are relevant to them and timed to their readiness to interact. At no time is an entire database of customers at the same place in terms of readiness to buy. And while it’s not possible to pinpoint the moment or message that will move every individual customer to purchase, retailers can increase the effectiveness of email marketing with simple segmentation tactics.
The goal of the segmentation test was to drive purchases by customers who had recently registered on the website without making a purchase, or those who had registered in the past but had never made a purchase.
We identified seven distinct segments for all the customers in Christie Cookie’s database, ranging from never purchased, to purchased but not within the last 25 months. The two overall segments, under which we defined sub segments, were ‘have purchased,’ and ‘never purchased.’ Then, sub segments were defined by the amount of time since last purchase, or time since registration or newsletter signup without a purchase. Data were drawn from Google Analytics as well as Christie Cookie’s email service provider.
We believed that providing an incentive to shop would persuade the ‘never purchased’ test segment to buy something. A never-purchased segment is “pure” in the sense that other factors such as last time purchased, frequency of purchases, incentives offered at time of purchase, etc., don’t complicate the historical data, making it a good group to test. Plus, the segment was permission-based; recipients had signed up to receive emails from Christie Cookie. The thinking was, “They want to hear from us, so let’s give them a reason to buy.” And that served as the goal for the test. Previous campaign data showed that new registrants – people who had signed up within the last 14 days – had moderate open and click-through rates (CTR) (as well as Google Analytics engagement metrics), but had weak conversion rates, indicating there was lots of room for improvement. Even customers who had signed up for email more than a year earlier opened the messages, clicked through to the site and shopped, to some degree, but were not likely to check out.
To improve CTRs and conversion in ‘never purchased’ segments, an email was created with a value-added message. A simple note about a company “secret” was included in emails to customers who had never made a purchase, designed to inspire confidence in the product and move them to buy.