‘Targeting’ Creative Fuels Chiasso’s Growth
Struggling to convert the sleek, fashionable look of its catalog into its e-mails, Chiasso decided a creative redesign was needed. “We have this great catalog that we put together and mail out, but in the e-mails, images were being cut out,” says E-Commerce Manager Brian Mehler. “There were six images that were cut out and put onto a colorful background with a message, but it was hard for customers to actualize that. They’d see an item in the e-mail with a green background and couldn’t imagine that vase sitting on a shelf in their home.”
Along with synchronizing its e-mail campaigns with the design of its latest catalog and the company homepage, Chiasso has begun to use environmental shots found in its catalog for image backgrounds, replacing the cluttered look of products right on top of each other, Mehler says. Now the e-mails are generally one environmental-shot picture, sometimes including two side photos as well, to show products in their actual environment. The images allow customers to create the look at home.
In addition to creative changes, Chiasso’s placed a strong emphasis on carefully segmenting its audience, yielding improved results. One particular example involved a recent e-mail targeting potential customers of Chiasso’s sole retail store in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago. The message was sent to a smaller, segmented portion of the housefile (based on ZIP code and relevance to the store) with the subject line: “Save 20 percent at our Lincoln Park store.”
Sent last November, the Monday prior to Thanksgiving, the campaign was a hit. “About 20 people came in specifically with this e-mail in-hand ready to purchase,” Mehler says. “And on Black Friday it was about 40. That’s the conversion rate from that e-mail, but they [store employees] said for the next week-and-a-half people were still coming in saying, ‘I should have been here this weekend. I was out-of-town and I had this e-mail and it reminded me that I hadn’t been by in a little bit.’” — JK