Angela Simpson

Marketing VP

Ultra Promotions wanted to maximize the impact of its email communications by ditching the batch-and-blast system and adopting relevant, automated email series.

Previously, Simpson said, Ultra Promotions had “definitely more of a batch-and-blast approach. We didn’t have as much ability to segment as we do now. We also didn’t have as many automated programs.”

For her and her team, it came down to tending to the different needs of all of Ultra Promotions’s customers. “It made it difficult to address [those needs] with a one-shot kind of blanket promo approach. So for Ultra Promotions, we have a lot of different audience segments,” she said, adding that the primary customer segment is event planners.

Her team found that they were sending too many irrelevant messages to too many people.

“We really saw that there was this opportunity to serve up our customers with the most appropriate content if we could start to work toward both segmentation and automation,” Simpson said.

Ultra Promotions wanted to give customers that relevancy, but didn’t want to face the challenge of manually crafting so many different promotions, which is where automation came in. “Whether it was a welcome series or shopping cart abandonment … [we used] series like that where we could send out targeted appropriate messages at the right time,” she said.

Over the past year, Simpson and her team have been personalizing three automated email series: a welcome series, cart abandonment and a post-purchase. By establishing these personalized sends, Ultra Promotions saw a 92% increase in email revenue with the email audience converting at almost two times the site average.

“I think for us, it just makes us see more proof of concept of how we can do even more with emails,” Simpson said.

She and her team have made a lot of gains over the last year, but they don’t plan to stop where they are.

“We see so much potential and have so many ideas on what other kinds of automation and personalization we can do,” she added.

Catalyst has driven the following results over the past year:

  • A 92% increase in email revenue
  • Customized, triggered emails account for 28% of total email revenue
  • Visitors who come to the website via emails stay 42% longer, and view 20% more pages
  • Email visitors also convert twice as much as the site average

The overall results for each series are:

Welcome series

  • Open rate: 25%
  • Clickthrough rate: 3.13%
  • Click-to-open rate: 12%

Post-Purchase series

  • Open rate: 27%
  • Clickthrough rate: 1.76%
  • Click-to-open rate: 6.67%

Cart abandonment series

  • Open rate: 32%
  • Clickthrough rate: 1.09%
  • Click-to-open rate: 12%

“Catalyst has definitely made that more of a priority in our organization to collect even more data from customers, really analyze their behavior some more, and to target the emails accordingly as we can without driving them crazy,” she said.

Even outside of email marketing, she added, “We have that kind of personalization approach to everything we do. That’s definitely a big part of our brand and a differentiator for us.”