Friday, March 02, 2012

#EEC12 Gilt (A Work-Related Post)

These are my notes captured from the Email Evolution conference held in February 2012.  I'm capturing them here in case they might be useful to you.  I highly recommend this annual conference as a great way to sharpen your email marketing skills.  I'll post my notes from additional sessions as I have time.  (This was the first 3 pages, I have 18 pages of notes total.  At the end, I'll try to pull out the common topics/themes/trends and aggregate my recommended action items.)

EEC12 - 2/23 Keynote
Jessica Harley, VP of Customer Marketing

  • 1/3 of customers login monthly
  • 65% of "noir" customers purchase at least once monthly
  • flash/competitive sales: most of their sales/revenue is generated at noon each day (when sales/email lauch)
  • 20% each month are *NEW* customer
  • Technology all developed in-house
  • Rapid growth led to fragmented experience (especially look & feel and email design) - considerable effort done to realign
  • In the four years since Gilt launched: Facebook "like", Foursquare, iPad, iPhone (almost), Google+, Pinterest
  • 87% of email users check personal email each day
  • Even for the group that say they've created a special "spam/retail" email address - 60% of them check daily
    ......
  • Gilt: Almost HALF are opened on mobile (growing by a point or two per month)
  • 69% of companies sending email are still linking to full-sized site even though 70% of sites have a mobile site or app
  • Mobile opens dominate weekends. For Gilt, it's 73% higher on weekends (mobile vs PC)
  • End of weekend is when people are thinking about next vacation
  • People are buying on mobile while watching TV (home stuff) - holding iPad up to see how a purchase might look in their home (idea: an app that turns on the camera and then shows an item )
    ......
  • Email/mobile - dominate for revenue (not social)
  • Gamestop, GAP, JCPenney, Nordstrom - all shut down Facebook stores in 2011. (Same year they launched) - "Trying to sell to people in a bar." - Facebook is "virtual smokebreak," not shopping trip.
  • Email vs Social - How do people prefer to hear from you? (Youth 12-24 - Email wins by 2:1; Aduults 24+ - Email wins by 4:1)
  • Social is great for branding but sales come from email and mobile. Social builds relationships and "Raises Up" future customers. Social is also great for customer service.
    ......
  • Is Email Dead Because Youth Aren't Interested in Email? They will get interested when they join the workforce. Despite a rapidly changing landscape, there's virtually no change in email use year-over-year measuring young adults entering the workforce.
    ......
  • Email - Mobile clicks much smaller % than mobile opens. Triage - they read, but many wait to desktop to click. (Or they just delete.)
    ......
  • Amazing stat: 23% of revenue comes from people who clicked on an email.
  • --> But: 54% of revenue comes from people who opened an email.(clicks and non-clicks)
  • ----> But, but: 87% of revenue comes form someone who was sent an email (click, no-click, open, no-open) - recommends factoring "last login" into your concept of Unresponsive.
    ......
  • Gilt - Personalized sales email - 2,500 different versions created automatically daily (including subject line!) - drives 10% revenue lift across all customers versus non-personalized content.
  • User input drives 31x to 50x revenue lift. Like a fancy abandoned cart - Gilt operates on the flash sale model - if you miss the sale because it sells out - you can put yourself on the waitlist. You'll get emailed if that product becomes available again, and it will also inform the daily sales emails you get in the future - especially if a brand you've waitlisted has another sale.
  • By programming to lifecycle, they've seen a 2x to 5x revenue increase.
  • Behavioral targeting (like true abandoned cart) - 20x revenue increase - but not just abandoned cart, but also in the area of related items if original item was reason they abandoned.
    ......
  • Reassess/re-think what you know. Saturday was dumping ground for lots of companies for emails they "had" to send but didn't want to. But now, Saturday is picking up, especially if you pay attention to mobile.
  • Engagement - open + click + site visit. They will suppress for non-engagement, but they will also reduce frequency for non-purchasers (even if still engaged)
  • Most valuable/best customers (but most complicated): referrals
  • Redesign of email - tested SIX different versions
  • Tested: 10/90 and then 50/50 a month later.
  • Implied = you can favorite a brand and for them, it overrides other algorythms.
  • email-a-friend referral - only email-based acquisition. 2/3 of their 4.3 million members - very important for Gilt.
Observations/Recommendations:
  • First thing you see on gilt.com if you've never been there before - email signup lightbox. Get their permission to let you tell them more about who you are.
     
  • Customers will tell you what you want - specifically (preference center), organically (surveys and other indirect polling) and behaviorally (what the search for, purchase, share, areas the regularly visit, etc.) - capture and use that data correctly to enhance the customer interaction and you'll meet their needs
     
  • An email program isn't about meeting your objectives, it's about meeting the objectives of your customer.  Of course, if your customer's objectives are your objectives, then you're properly aligned and everyone wins.
     
  • Don't look to social for revenue, look to social to strengthen brand affinity and support customer service.
     
  • Sending an email (even if they don't open) is the opportunity to regularly put your brand in front of your customer. Make sure your definition of "engaged" factors in their use of the website. Don't just stop at the email metrics.
     
  • Relevancy is still key, but now it's not just lifestyle, but lifecycle - you need to plot out the lifecycle of the relationship you have with your customer and then address it. Only then can you work to make it last longer.
     
  • Be aware - if they're engaged but not responding the way you'd like, is there an intermediate step you can take before you dump them as unresponsive? Maybe they are aspirational (future) customers who may be evangelizing your product/company.
     
  • Testing is an investment you can't afford to skimp on
     
  • Mobile is exploding faster than most people realize. Bad emails get deleted in triage. Good emails get saved for later desktop use. Great emails are acted upon on the mobile device (is your website ready?)
     
  • You know your product, but do you know what your customers think of your product? Need a way to let them tell you - like "starring" favorites or "like"ing to Facebook or whatever - so long as it's data you can act on to make your interactions with them more relevant. Just don't go overboard and scare them off.
     
  • Is what you know accurate? Have you validated it lately? Are there still times of day and day of week that work best for your subscribers, or has mobile made "now" the time? (Do you need to actually schedule even more specifically?)
     
  • You need the analytics to make any of this happen. Don't even try until you know what you want to measure and know you have access to it.
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