Weighing the Benefits of Audience Management for Bebe

CLIENT:

https://bebe.com

ABOUT:

Bebe is women’s retail brand offering chic and contemporary fashion apparel and accessories. Founded in 1976 as a bricks and mortar company, it recently transitioned to a fully online operation.

CHALLENGE:

When considering a switch from a traditional email strategy to an Audience Management approach, it is not uncommon for marketers to question the value of one of Audience Management’s key tenets: Shifting the focus from just the most engaged segments to consider the entire audience including unengaged segments. Bebe came to us with this question recently, so we put it to the test.

TEST:

Alchemy Worx devised a test that compared Bebe’s traditional email approach to Audience Management by dividing the company’s audience evenly into two groups: Control and Test.

The Control group would follow Bebe’s traditional email strategy.

The Test group would employ an Audience Management strategy that focused on Opens and Reactivations as the primary KPIs, particularly for unengaged segments. A higher send volume was applied to unengaged segments to drive reactivations.

The ultimate KPI for the overall test was the size of the engaged list (Open 30 Days). Additional KPIs to be tracked included full eCommerce revenue and lift in revenue from the engaged customers at the individual level.

The original test ran for three months from January 20, 2021 to April 20, 2021.

RESULTS:

At the end of the test period, the Test group using the Audience Management strategy delivered 62%-106% annual lift in engaged audience – roughly twice that of the Control group. In addition, fewer subscribers disengaged (left the Open 30 Days segment) among the Test group.

ROI of Re-engagement

The Audience Management strategy of boosting the send volume among unengaged segments of the Test group resulted in an 8.5M increase in send volume and 4K additional unsubs (almost entirely non-buyers). Taken alone, this might be seen as a negative in terms of cost.

However, this approach was successful in re-engaging 25K customers over the 3-month test period. When calculated as (Lift in engagement) x (Lift in eCPM from engaged users) x (40 emails / month), the pace of re-engagement was estimated to generate an additional $240K in email-attributed revenue per year.

Since the numbers were for the Test group representing only half of the total audience, Bebe can expect re-engagements and resulting revenue to be twice as high once the other half of their audience representing the Control group is included in a full roll-out.

Digging Deeper

In addition to evaluating the impact a higher send volume on reactivation and the growth of the Open 30 Days group, we decided to dig a bit deeper into the data to analyze the effect of reducing the Browse Abandon Trigger delay from 30 minutes to immediate. It turned out that doing so led to a 37% lift in Open Rate, 77% lift in Click Rate, and 73% lift in Order Rate.

TAKEAWAY:

Learn What You’ve Been Missing

Based on the results of the test, Bebe recognized how an Audience Management strategy that took into account their entire audience to ensure everyone got the right message at the right time could significantly increase engagement and revenue. If you haven’t adopted Audience Management yet, you can find out how much money your business is leaving on the table by using our handy ROI calculator.  

Future Proof Your Email Strategy

In the test for Bebe, we used Opens as one of the primary KPIs. However, with the arrival of Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection policy, Opens will no longer be a reliable measure for marketers. Fortunately, Alchemy Worx has studied the issue and devised an engagement proxy to replace Opens. It uses a combination of other signals that when considered together are consistent with Opens.

There is a lot more to this story and our innovative solution to Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection policy. Check out our blog entitled, iOS 15 and What You Need to Know or call your account representative today to learn how we can help future proof your email strategy.

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