palmOne Extends a Personal Touch
Problem: palmOne wanted to improve its marketing efforts to customers who are not readily accessible via e-mail.
Solution: An integrated, personalized campaign to promote palmOne's accessories.
Result: A combination of direct mail and e-mail boosts response and sales.
Although palmOne successfully communicates with many of its customers via e-mail and the Web, the handheld computer marketer wanted to create a more one-on-one experience through multiple channels for its customer base. It also wanted to reach out more proactively to those customers for whom it did not have e-mail addresses. Charles Dupin, palmOne's relationship marketing manager, says, "We have a lot of addresses in our customer database, but we don't have e-mail addresses for all of them, and essentially these are customers we weren't communicating with."
At the suggestion of its e-mail provider, Digital Impact, palmOne decided to coordinate its online and offline efforts through an integrated direct mail and e-mail campaign designed to boost post-purchase accessories sales following the 2003 holiday season. Digital Impact executed a turnkey solution, from campaign creative to customer segmentation to deployment, within three months.
A Multichannel Approach
The "Accessorize" campaign targeted new palmOne handheld purchasers who had registered their product and opted in to receive future communications from palmOne, but had not bought accessories to go with their handhelds. The campaign offered a 20 percent discount as an incentive. To help palmOne determine the effectiveness of the coordinated direct mail and e-mail efforts on the back end, the campaign was divided into groups that would receive e-mail only, direct mail only, e-mail followed by direct mail, and direct mail followed by e-mail.
Customers then were segmented by product purchased, with Digital Impact developing creative for each of four product-based segments. For example, customers who purchased the Tungsten product received postcards and e-mail showing images of the Tungsten handheld and accessories specifically designed for that product. Both the postcard and e-mail contained a personalized URL to take each recipient to a personalized Web page that addressed her by name, knew the products she owned and featured the accessories appropriate to her handheld.
The Web page not only provided a personalized customer experience, but also allowed palmOne to do individual-level tracking. To receive the 20 percent discount, customers either clicked on the URL in the e-mail or entered the URL from the postcard into a browser, thereby providing a built-in incentive for recipients to go to the Web and enter their personalized address. Conversion tracking reporting was done via Digital Impact's Revenue Tracker Plus tool.
Integration Pays Off
The conversion rate for direct mail-only recipients was 9.6 percent, while the combined efforts of e-mail followed by direct mail garnered the highest conversion rate of 32.5 percent. "In terms of revenue," says Dupin, "we had about $200,000, which is pretty amazing because we weren't selling a device for $200 or $300, we were actually selling accessories at $25, and giving away 20 percent. It was a real success." Dupin also believes the effort helped palmOne reach customers it would not have otherwise.