When used at the right place and the right time, even relatively simple application of real-time personalization can deliver impressive improvements to your email program and holiday marketing metrics.
As we count down to the start of the holiday season, find out how one ecommerce company grew revenue 110% along with click throughs and site visits in their holiday campaigns by using real-time personalization effectively.
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Holiday ecommerce sales reached a record $122 billion last year; a 16% YoY increase. And this year is poised to be even bigger.
That kind of growth presents huge opportunities for brands with the right strategy. By incorporating real-time content into their emails, One Click Ventures was able to increase holiday email revenues by more than 110%!
One Click Ventures sets ambitious holiday targets for all its ecommerce brands, including site like Readers.com, Sunglass Warehouse and felix + iris.
The company aims to deliver tailored and engaging customer experiences through digital communications to drive conversions and increase revenue through personalized email marketing efforts.
But, historically the organization faced familiar obstacles. Their consistent, standardized email design lacked impact and was unable to connect with target audiences in a unique and individually relevant manner. And they had few tools with which to create a sense of urgency and convert short-term sales.
A Real Solution in Real Time
To update its ecommerce email marketing strategy and drive better holiday results, One Click Ventures turned to dynamic, real-time personalization.
One tactic that was particularly successful was the incorporation of countdown timers to generate interest for important holiday sales and events.
From ticking down to a big Black Friday sale to chanting away the last seconds of the year on New Years’ Eve, the holidays are full of events worth counting down to. Countdown timers are the perfect tool to build anticipation for special occasions and put fuel to the FOMO fire.
As the holiday season warmed up, One Click Started using countdown timers to promote flash sales, ‘last day of deal’ notifications, and major discounts around events like Cyber Monday.
This simple addition delivered major impact. The substantial 110% email revenue growth was powered by 12%+ bump in conversion rate and a 90% increase in site visits.
The countdown timers also brought something to subscribers that they hadn’t had before: a reason to come back and open emails time and again to check on the ticking clocks.
“When we used a countdown timer in our Cyber Monday campaign we saw 43% of subscribers that opened the email actually re-open it later,” said Stephanie Cox, Director of Digital Marketing.
More opens on a key Cyber Monday email meant more exposure to the ecommerce brands’ offers and more opportunities to convert sales. Last year’s Cyber Monday generated $7.9 billion in online sales by itself, and email was responsible for about 1/4th of it. Imagine the kind of results your own Black Friday/Cyber Monday emails could drive if they had a 43% re-open rate!
Ecommerce Email Marketing Best Practices for Using Countdown Timers
Something as straightforward as adding a custom real-time countdown timer in your holiday emails can translate to 14% higher click-to-open rates, 59% higher transaction-to-click rates, and twice as high transaction rates compared to your average marketing emails.
If you’re considering adding this tool to your arsenal, or want to use it better, keep the following in mind.
The occasional strategically placed timer is a surprising, compelling email feature that incites immediate action. But including one in every campaign can have the ‘crying wolf effect,’ causing openers to glaze over them. Save countdown timers for when you really need to make an impact and when they make thematic sense with the rest of your creative and offers.
Use seconds or smaller units of time when appropriate.
Part of what ignites that excitement and FOMO is seeing the constant, inevitable ticking of the clock. But subscribers won’t get that effect as strongly if you’re using larger minimum time units like minutes or hours! Check out this eye-catching sample ticking away the seconds from Dunhill London:
Test, optimize, and test again. Most audiences respond positively to real-time content like countdown timers, but there’s no guarantee that yours does. And even if your subscribers love your timers, there’s always room for improvement in layout, time increments, design and more.
Use a real-time personalization platform to design your timers.
When using a countdown timer in email, a simple gif isn’t going to cut it. Basic moving images don’t have the capability to adapt to time or location of open, and they may display inaccurate information—especially once the timer runs out. A real-time email personalization platform will send a personalized timer to each opener and allows you to swap in new content once the timer has run out. For example, here’s an example of an email with a timer from Pier 1 Imports:
And here’s the cheery image that was swapped in once the timer expired:
You’re On the Clock
The holidays are fast approaching, and time is limited to start incorporating those big difference-making tactics and tools into your holiday ecommerce email marketing strategy.
That’s why many leading ecommerce and retail brands are already making extensive use of countdown timers and other real-time content to create a sense of urgency and convert more shoppers throughout the holiday season.
See for yourself how the most innovative email marketers combine countdown clocks with advanced personalization and interactive features to drive more results and gain more holiday revenue. We feature great examples like this in our holiday lookbook:
Consider it an early gift from us to you as you look for ways to improve your holiday ecommerce email marketing strategy.