Nuts & Bolts: Case Study
“If someone bought a pair of green amethyst earrings, we would propose a green amethyst pendant to go with those [earrings] a few months down the line with a [customized e-mail],” explains Shih.
Another targeted e-mail campaign ICE.com started testing last month reminds anniversary gift buyers about nine months out that the anniversary date is coming up, so it’s time to look for a special gift; the e-mail also is personalized with jewelry appropriate for anniversary gifting. Surveys conducted by the e-tailer show that about 30 percent of its customer base makes gift purchases on its site.
Shih notes that success for these customized e-mails is not measured by comparing the targeted efforts to the generic drops. Rather, he says, the main metric gauged is whether these more sophisticated e-mails turn a profit on their own, based on the costs involved with developing and deploying them. “Essentially, any targeted mailing is considered successful as long as it doesn’t take us too much effort … to the point that it takes 20 guys a day to run a targeted promotion that generates $30,000. That’s not worth it. There are a lot of targeting ideas we rejected because the resources put in were not anticipated to produce a strong ROI.”