Doug Williams

Whether it's an e-mail to a customer that abandoned her shopping cart or a followup offer to a recent purchase, test e-mails that automatically are triggered in response to specific customer behaviors. E-mails triggered by abandoned shopping carts have the best response of any e-mails we send. —Doug Williams, director of marketing, Sierra Trading Post

Customers that previously have bought via the e-mail channel are four times more likely to buy from e-mail again than buyers who've never purchased via e-mail. With that data in mind, it doesn't make sense to use the same e-mail offer for every customer. Since customers that have bought via e-mail previously are more likely to do so again, e-mail them with conditional offers, such as a 10 percent discount or free shipping only on purchases greater than $100. For customers who haven't yet purchased via e-mail, remove the condition. —Doug Williams, director of marketing, Sierra Trading Post

In setting the stage for the session “Testing Tells the Story: Using Analytics to Improve ROI” at ACCM held earlier this month in Chicago, moderator Patti Freeman Evans, a retail analyst with Jupiter Research, pointed out that there’s a direct correlation between e-mail marketing performance and e-mail testing. She then turned the podium over to Doug Williams, director of marketing for outdoor products catalog Sierra Trading Post, who detailed some specific tests he’s run and lessons learned from each. * Wait for results. While e-mail marketing often can allow you to make quick decisions about a program’s fate, Williams cautioned not to act too quickly. To

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