E-mail Strategies and Tactics Exposed: ProFlowers
It’s been amazing to watch all the recession marketing articles and webinars appearing in trade magazines over the past few months. Heck, a major ad agency even went so far as to launch a dedicated recession marketing practice for clients in order to help marketers “do more with less.”
But do we really need recession marketing or just smart marketing with the right partner and right team? Truth be told, if you’ve taken the time to build a strategic communications program that delivers value throughout the purchase process, you’re probably weathering the storm better than most and can pass on all those gimmicky recession marketing offers from the so-called experts.
One company that has been doing exactly that for some time is ProFlowers (www.proflowers.com). As a result, it should be no surprise that the company consistently ranks among the top e-commerce sites in conversions according to Nielsen Online (see the chart below). So how does a company achieve a staggering 31.1 percent conversion rate in an industry that averages 2 percent?
Well, the answer includes focus: doing one thing well (it sells flowers); building a great user experience (including multiple search paths and landing pages that are clear, compelling and attractive, and a purchase process that is quick and easy); offering a product that’s high quality and priced right; and targeting the right users with compelling e-mail communications that are timely and relevant.
Leveraging data the right way
The example highlighted in this month’s column is a great example of what ProFlowers has done right for a long time. By leveraging data and customer intelligence across channels — including Web and e-mail — it has built a highly effective e-mail program that drives acquisition, conversion and purchases. Here’s how:
- e-mail acknowledges a recent Web site visit and provides an additional incentive to purchase, such as offering 10 percent off a purchase and a free vase;
- offers additional recommendations to consider;
- prompts a user to share the offer with a friend; and
- creates a sense of urgency (respond within 3 days).
- extend robust personalization capabilities to this particular communication stream. “Dear Michael”;
- consider adding/testing community features to engage users further;
- provide mobile ordering options like an iPhone application to encourage orders on the go; and
- incorporate personalized tracking discount codes to identify, track, measure and tier rewards across key “influencers” moving forward.
Overall a very smart e-mail communications program that can help any brand better withstand a recession.
Michael Della Penna is co-founder and executive chairman of The Participatory Marketing Network (PMN), a new industry association dedicated to helping marketers transition from push and permission marketing to participatory marketing. Reach him at email@example.com.