Miles Kimball's Doreen Carstens Discusses the '12 Days of Christmas' E-mail Campaign
TM: From a concept and a results standpoint, how did this campaign differ from previous campaigns?
DC: From a concept standpoint, because of how we formatted the creative, the days built upon one another. So, for instance, on the first day of Christmas they received a very, I would call it, short e-mail where we just spoke about the offer for that day, and it was a postcard style. In subsequent mailings, the e-mail has gotten longer and longer because we have included the image from the previous e-mail. ... So by the time our customer receives the last day, the 12th day, they are going to see a very extended e-mail, which isn't something that we normally do. ... From a results standpoint, I would have to say that due to the strong subject lines that we had, we did see an increased open rate, which was terrific to see because one would expect that perhaps closer to the time of Christmas open rates might diminish a little bit. But we saw the reverse of that. And then, as a result of those open rates, we saw it follow all the way through. So clickthroughs were up and the orders that we saw were terrific, and we're very, very pleased with the results.
TM: What were the official campaign results?
DC: For the two-week duration that we mailed out the 12 Days of Christmas e-mail campaign, we did beat last year's performance online, and we beat budget this year ... Throughout that campaign, we did have a 12 percent open rate when the whole series was concluded. ... [The] ad-to-sales ratio is right in line with where we had it budgeted, and our bounce rates were much lower than [they] have been, historically.
TM: That's unusual this year, isn't it?
DC: The Kimball customer[s are] ... very up-front with us as to what types of product they want, what types of offers they appreciate. So because of their willingness to share, both when they write me letters or when they send me e-mails or just in their purchase history, it does make it a little bit easier to target to them and to provide them the types of products and offers they will respond to.