Friday, 8 June 2012

I'm Shaped Like an Egg

You've gone missing email subject lines are a favourite of mine.

So I was intrigued by this one from Ocado

And the resultant email looked like this

 So it's a nice little incentive to get me back, but a couple of areas intrigued me.

1 - I wondered why reasons to come back #2 and #9 were chosen ..and do they differ for other people? A test perhaps?

I ask because a few weeks ago I got this one

The other reasons included

Based on my previous purchase history with Ocado I would have plumped for #2 and #6 so they seem to have #2 nailed with me

Did anyone else get other reasons ?

There is a big change in focus from Ocado . They now play much more on the

  • potential relationship between the brand and me
  • reasons to look at the brand again

Of course mixed in with the tempting offer. This has changed from propositions that were much more offer based previously as you can see from these subject lines

2 - I saw the 'Rate this email' I clicked of course, but I wondered how many did given its lack of prominence

Which I thought was a great way of getting some feedback on the email itself. I've often talked about getting feedback on your email programme with clients- nice to see someone actually doing it. Shame i'ts not one of mine.

One slight amend I would make is perhaps a similar 'Rate this email' link at the end of the email as well.

Offer Based Reactivation

Ocado are very keen on reactivation programmes based on a discount off your shopping basket. Usually £15 off a £75 based shop ( in this instance it was a £20 off £80). Of course this time they have mixed this with a 'reasons to come back' message. The 'offers' message is also typical for the UK online grocers, especially for first time shoppers, as this voucher printed for me last time I shopped in my local Sainsburys supermarket shows

Another approach is one that Ocado tried a while back focusing on that all important 2nd shop.

With online grocery shopping the important shops are

First Shop - Can we get you to trial the service?
Second Shop - Great, the first shop went well so can we now start to show you how easy it is to repeat that first shop
Fifth Shop - If the retailer can get you here then unless the retailer really messes up, you're hooked!

The theory is, that by the further we get the customers down the road to habitually shopping with us, the less likely we are to need the Reactivation email.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating abandoning them, but we need to work harder in keeping those hard won customers in the first place.

Many reactivation wins are actually just getting 'habitual' offer seekers back for one more shop before the next reactivation email. Your business model might be quite happy for you to this. If you can reactivate enough people in that reactivation campaign to cover the costs of the campaign. And of course, its not just reactivating one time only, but hopefully getting the customers shopping regularly.

Acquisition by another name

Of course reactivation is to a certain extent another form of Acquisition - hence the similarity between the Sainsburys and the Ocado offers above.

And sometimes, email won't do the trick. It might be a case that you have to look at your data and get some insight into how you originally acquired this segment that needs re-acquiring. Through what channel and with what kind of offer did you originally acquire them?

Customers are strange creatures. You can't assume that the customers acquisition channel of preference is their preferred channel for on going communications. I worked with one retailer where email just wasn't cutting the mustard so we reverted to direct mail to re-acquire customers who we deemed valuable enough. Again, the business model plays a strong argument in determining what we do with customers

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

2 things to take from all this ( probably more but I'll keep it at 2)

1 - With reactivation mailings you need to try different approaches. In some cases a simple offer led approach may well work, but are you actually just training or feeding a certain segment into some kind of offer seeking behaviour? The use of offer and reasons to come back is a good approach, but would they be better off using single propositions for discrete audiences?

eg   Single Purchased but Lapsed    - Offer Proposition
       Previously Regular but Lapsed - Reasons to Come Back Proposition

(of course the matrix could be much bigger than this )

2- Reactivation campaigns don't just sit there in isolation. They form part of a bigger email marketing plan that forms part of an overall marketing and business plan. I've worked with clients who have kept much of their activity separate from each other and have never fully understood the impact of one on the other, or indeed on how they are contributing to the bigger picture. As a result they don't get the best out of the overall programme of activities, as they are too busy focusing on individual elements and not on how they work best together

Don't let there be a planning shaped role missing from your programmes

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