The children's toy retailer boosts revenue from email to 12% of sales from 7% by quickly delivering messages with discounts to consumers who sign up for its email list.

Melissa & Doug had a timeliness problem.

The manufacturer and retailer of children’s toys entices shoppers to sign up for its emails by offering 15% of their first order if they provide their email address. But it had issues with the process that sends the welcome email with the discount. The welcome email was only triggered when a consumer clicked a sign-up link at the footer of the merchant’s webpage, not anywhere else on the site such as at the header or via a pop up. And the process to collect and send the discount email was long and laborious.

The new email addresses would be added to Melissa & Doug’s main email file each evening. Then, the system would check for duplicates in the morning and would send a scheduled welcome email with the discount only to new addresses. Therefore, a consumer could potentially sign up to receive emails at 2 p.m. and would not receive the discount until 8 a.m. the following morning, says Candice Martinez, director of performance marketing for Melissa & Doug.

That posed a problem because shoppers wanted to use the discount immediately, Martinez says. “If we can make it easier for consumers to complete their intended action, this saves the consumer valuable time trying to hunt and peck for other offers, Martinez says.

To solve this, Melissa & Doug began using an automated email system from Salesforce Marketing Cloud in November 2017. The retailer built a pop-up message on its homepage requesting the customer’s email within Salesforce Commerce Cloud, the retailer’s e-commerce platform. That new system sends each email address from Salesforce Commerce Cloud to Salesforce Marketing Cloud and triggers the welcome email with the discount to be sent to the shopper within minutes rather than the next day.

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With the discount delivered quicker, Melissa & Doug is capturing more sales from email, Martinez says. Revenue from emails sent from Jan. 1 to May 31, 2018, accounted for 12% of total revenue compared with 7% for the same period a year earlier.

The retailer also used the link between Salesforce commerce and marketing clouds to launch automated abandoned cart and abandoned browse emails in late 2017 and early 2018. The pre-designed email templates automatically populate with the products a shopper was browsing, Martinez says. For instance, the abandoned cart email reads, “Don’t leave us like this! The toys in your cart really want to play!” And the abandoned browse email reads: “About that toy you were looking at. Still thinking about this? Imagine their reaction… Imagine them in action!”

Today, after the changes, 24% of total email revenue stems from these automated emails, and 75% of that automated email revenue stems from the welcome email that is sent immediately and includes the discount. “They are all performing well but the welcome email is the real workhorse,” Martinez says.

67 retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 1000 use Salesforce for their e-commerce platform and 130 use the vendor for email marketing.

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