Crocs uses predictive analytics to optimize email promos

Crocs is using customer data and predictive analytics to drive customer engagement, and ultimately purchases, through its email promotions.

The omnichannel retailer of casual shoes has optimized its e-mail promotion strategy and execution by using three tactics, as outlined by Kelsey Vendetti, Crocs' e-mail marketing manager, in a recent webinar hosted by Custora and reported by TotalRetail.

First is delivering the right promotional message to the right customer at the right time, she said. As in other marketing efforts, optimizing promotions begins with an understanding of the customers.

Like with any other marketing campaign, optimizing promotions starts with understanding your customers. Knowing what customers expect and what engages them must be considered in every step: planning a promotional calendar, setting up triggered e-mail campaigns, and sending segmented promotional e-mails, Vendetti said.

This calls for an investment in analytics and a willingness to take action on the insights that are discovered. Fast and easy segmentation of a customer base according to different variables—such as past purchases, demographics and expected lifetime value—is important to creating more targeted, effective promotional emails.

"The first piece is taking a broader look at your customer base and what's unique about them, and then building segments accordingly," Vendetti said.

For example, in a recent promotion, Crocs targeted customers who previously made purchases in the "Crocs at Work" category. The company used predictive affinity segmentation to identify consumers who hadn't previously bought in the category, but were likely to do so.

                                   Image from Croc's website

This tactic engaged more consumers who might be interested in "Crocs at Work" products, without emailing the entire customer list. The campaign resulted in strong results, Vendetti said.

Secondly, always be testing. Like shoes, there's no "one size fits all" approach to effectively segmenting an email promotional strategy. A best practice among e­-commerce marketers is to constantly experiment to optimize email promotions strategies, and keep goals in mind when testing.

"Through testing, we've found that urgency messaging drives double-digit increases in engagement metrics," Vendetti said. "When you push your customer base, they definitely react. We try keep the minimum purchase for the promotion slightly above our average order value to drive these metrics up. We've noticed that putting promo codes in the pre­header results in higher click-to-open rates."

Third, some customers might not need a discount. In a recent "Crocs for Kids" campaign, Vendetti said, "the message itself drove customers to engage without us having to use a promotion."

Also a certain portion of the consumer base will respond to a campaign by making a purchase with no discount. For example, Crocs used predictive analytics to identify promotion-sensitive customers. Although the company did not send promotions to these consumers, Crocs realized a sales lift of two times in revenue per user compared to the control group.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there," Vendetti said. Start optimizing the email promotional strategy by considering the challenge to be solved and how to measure results. Then, segment customers using behavioral and demographic data for personalized campaigns, and then deliver the right promotional offer to those for whom it will make the most impact, she said.

For more:
-See this TotalRetail article

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