Chiasso’s Revamped E-Mail Program Yields 35% Sales Gain
Looking to solidify its online channel to complement its 23-year-old catalog and new storefront, modern home furnishings marketer Chiasso targeted e-mail as the answer. “We’re [primarily] a catalog company, so we need to provide a great book to look through,” says Chiasso E-Commerce Manager Brian Mehler. “But you can’t just send a catalog and hope it does everything. You have to provide customers with different portals. So our e-mail and Web site are our portals.”
The Chicago-based company wasn’t seeing the results it had hoped for, however. Open rates stood at 15 percent and the clickthrough rate was 5 percent. Conversion rates were also stagnant.
Chiasso sought outside help, settling on the Durham, N.C.-based e-mail marketing software provider Bronto to help reinvigorate its e-mail marketing program. Since it began supporting Chiasso in November 2004, Bronto has helped reduce the amount of spam flagging the e-mails receive, thus increasing deliverability rates. It's also identified when to target customers with an e-mail. As a result, open rates have increased to 20 percent and clickthrough rates improved to 10 percent.
One of the first changes Bronto made was to increase the frequency with which Chiasso contacted customers — from one e-mail every other week to today’s level of roughly one per week.
“In addition to the concept of a weekly message, the more targeted [that message is] and more options you give customers, the more effective you’ll be,” says D.J. Waldow, an account manager at Bronto who’s worked with Chiasso. That said, “I might be a customer who loves Chiasso products, but I may not want to learn about it every week. So you have to allow people to manage their preferences to the point where they can say, ‘I want to receive e-mail just when there are specials.’”
Chiasso’s current e-mail blast campaigns are sent to its active file and further segmented to Chicago residents and shoppers of the company’s store. For those looking for increased contact, the company has created the Chiasso In-Crowd. Subscribers of this list are sent exclusive offers and sneak peeks of upcoming catalogs and merchandise in addition to all the other e-mail blasts.
Chiasso has stepped up its remail efforts as well, remailing to registered customers who didn’t open previous e-mails. The e-mails include a different subject line from the original message to be more engaging to customers. Chiasso is also using e-mail to reach customers who’ve abandoned shoping carts on its site. These bimonthly e-mails are sent with discount offers.
Chiasso’s efforts have paid off. The remail tactics have resulted in 443 additional sales, for a total of $36,016 from six remail campaigns, with a 55.7 percent conversion rate over a recent three-month period.
“We realize that sometimes people are busy and may skip over an e-mail, or a subject line isn’t attractive enough to them, or they just plain missed it,” Mehler says. “So we take the chance to remail, and we’re specific about it. I go through the list and I don’t just remail the entire file, I have selects and segments — people who’ve purchased in the past or who consistently open e-mails. I try not to mail the people who never open or have never purchased.”
For more about Chiasso, see the web-exclusive sidebar in our related content section above: “‘Targeting’ Creative Fuels Chiasso’s Growth.”