Case Study: How We Achieved a 1,200% Increase in Revenue for a Welcome Email
Yes, you read that right. We’ve checked and rechecked the metrics a dozen times. With a technology swap and strategic changes to a client’s welcome email content, we achieved these outrageous results: a 1,196 percent increase in revenue per email delivered.
Scout & Nimble, a home design e-commerce company, came to us with a robust email program. In addition to their batch-and-blast emails, they had a variety of triggered email campaigns in place. But they wanted their triggered emails to work harder for them.
We got to work analyzing the content and metrics for their life-cycle emails. We decided step 1 would be to optimize the content of their first-impression email, the first email in their welcome email series. But after a look under the hood at their metrics, we found we needed to resolve technology and list hygiene issues before we could make an impact with any content changes.
Step 1: Solving Technology Problems
While reviewing Scout & Nimble’s email metrics, we immediately saw a red flag. Their email services provider was reporting zero bounces on many of their batch-and-blast emails. In our 15+ years in email marketing, we’ve never seen a single marketing email to a large list receive zero bounces, much less several messages in a row, and we immediately suspected reporting and deliverability issues on Scout & Nimble’s ESP. We knew if we didn’t address the problem with the technology Scout & Nimble was using, we’d never make headway on their opens, clicks and revenue per email. That’s because repeatedly attempting to send email to bouncing or invalid addresses can damage your sender reputation and prevent your email from being delivered to the inbox.
Unfortunately, we were not able to resolve bounce reporting with Scout & Nimble’s existing ESP, so we recommended a technology switch to Cordial, a next-generation ESP that uses real-time data to trigger email. Before migrating Scout & Nimble to the Cordial platform, we performed some list cleanup tasks to remove invalid email addresses that cause deliverability challenges.
Step 2: Crafting an Email Optimized for Opens, Clicks and Conversions
Once we had Scout & Nimble’s email technology and list hygiene issues under control, we suggested some changes to the template and content of their welcome email. Here’s what we did:
Design a New Mobile Hybrid/Spongy Template
Scout & Nimble had a mobile-responsive template, but it was not optimized for the Gmail app, where about 17 percent of Scout & Nimble’s opens happen. Using a hybrid/spongy email coding technique, we built a template that would be easy to read on the Gmail app on iPhones, Droids and desktop computers. The new template also better reflected the company’s brand and featured a revised navigation (in the header for desktop email and the footer for mobile email) to provide easy access to the pages shoppers are most inclined to visit.
Revise the Content to Correspond to Subscriber Expectations
Subscribers receive this welcome email immediately upon filling out a form to get 10 percent off their first purchase. Because we knew they were motivated by a discount, we revised the subject line to mention the discount.
Previous subject line and preheader:
SL: Welcome to Scout & Nimble
PH: We invite you to explore all the possibilities that await you and your home.
New subject line and preheader:
SL: Welcome! Your Discount Code Is Enclosed
PH: Thanks for joining our email list. Take 10% off your first order.
The hero graphic was also revised to clearly show the promo code, and a prominent “shop now” button was added to encourage new subscribers to start shopping. We gave subscribers more ideas of products to browse in the section titled “shop furniture for every room, every style.” And we introduced subscribers to a feature that’s unique to Scout & Nimble, shoppable rooms curated by top designers.
By focusing on the consumer’s motivation, optimizing our code for the most-used consumer email inboxes and clients, and resolving deliverability issues, we achieved big boosts in engagement. We saw a 61 percent increase in open rates, and a 166 percent increase in click-to-open rates. Most importantly, we saw a 1,196 percent increase in revenue per email delivered as a result.