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How to Create a Wave of Engagement Using Customer Data

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SurfStitch, a top Australian surf and apparel retailer and winner of the 2014 ORIAS Best Pure Play Online award, leverages product, purchase, and customer data, imported by Windsor Circle, to engage customers at all areas of the customer lifecycle. In their first six months with Windsor Circle, SurfStitch saw a 40% increase in opens, 65% increase in clicks, and a 72% decrease in churn from data-driven lifecycle marketing.

SurfStitch honed in on new subscribers, new customers, at-risk and disengaged subscribers, and churning customers as their most important segments to receive automated, data-driven email marketing campaigns.

Welcome Series

“We wanted to make sure we were telling a story and introducing the brand of SurfStitch. The welcome series was the most crucial to get live and right as there is no better time to sell yourself to a customer than at the first touch,” states Tamara Falcke, Email Channel Manager, SurfStitch. 

SurfStitch created a 4 part welcomes series for new subscribers and customers to “ease people into the types of emails they will receive from SurfStitch.” The first email in the series includes a unique promotional code for each customer. If a customer or subscriber uses the code, it will not show in the subsequent 3 emails, automatically.  While the subject lines vary for subscribers and customers, the content for both groups remains the same. With this one data-driven email series, SurfStitch has seen open rates of 43% (1.6x the opens of their normal emails) and click rates of 8% (2x the clicks of their normal emails). 


Win Back Churning Customers

Once SurfStitch had their welcome series up and running, they turned their attention to at-risk and disengaged subscribers and churning customers. Note: the churning customer segment provided by Windsor Circle consists of high value customers, i.e. customers who have purchased 3 or more times. It does not include all customers who have made a purchase.

While the at-risk subscriber series is still in its early stages, SurfStitch looked at email engagement data to pinpoint their at-risk and disengaged subscribers. “This was a data led decision based on trends with our inactive set. We decided to reach out at the first signs of disengagement, to see if we could improve subscriber sentiment by reminder people that they can dial back on email frequency,” said Falcke. 

Using similar logic, SurfStitch created a 3 part win-back series for churning customers using predictive data or a static number of days since purchase depending on the how many times a customer had purchased from SurfStitch. This 3 part welcome series escalates their language and discount code as customers get closer to churning. For example: email subject line 1:  It’s been a while – no discount, email subject line 2: we miss you – 20% discount, email subject line 3: we want you back – 25% discount.  This win-back campaign saw a 72% decrease in churning customers over a 6 month period.

Data That Drives Results

“Each week I look at the previous week, record the numbers, and compare week on week. We can see how effective marketing was a year ago vs. today, based on these metrics and really understand the effectiveness of our acquisition techniques,’” says Falcke. With their Windsor Circle subscription, SurfStitch has access to the Retention Analytics Suite, which includes over 70 graphs pertaining to their data such as Average Order Value by Coupon Code, Latency, and Customer Lifetime Value by Traffic Source, as well as the amount of revenue that can be attributed to each email send.

By leveraging customer, purchase, and product data SurfStitch has seen a 40% increase in opens, 65% increase in clicks, and a 72% decrease in churn, while using data to inform their ongoing marketing strategy. Read the full case study.

Filed Under: Technology Marketing