How Finn Flare more than doubled its email revenue in four months

11 Jan ‘19

Finn Flare grew its rouble revenue by 128% in the space of four months, with 28% of that increase ocurring in the first month. In this study we show how they achieved this result and explore the campaigns they launched.

The Finn Flare brand has been around for more than 50 years. Its first Russian retail outlet opened in Moscow in 2003 and its presence on the Russian market has been expanding ever since.

Finn Flare uses email for personalised communications:

  • Discount and promotional campaigns.
  • Newsletters with fashion recommendations and announcements of new collections and new arrivals.

“For a clothing brand, aesthetics is a key element of email strategy, and email style must be consistent,” says Irina Belova, senior digital marketing manager at Finn Flare. “That applies equally to mass mailings and triggered campaigns.”

As in any company, the Finn Flare marketing department was tasked with increasing revenue across all channels, including email. Achieving email revenue growth simply by sending more emails and “spamming” customers was out of the question.

The decision was made to focus on increasing email personalisation, both in terms of content and delivery logic.

They hoped that by automating their email marketing they would not only improve customer relations through more personalised and useful communications, but also reduce workload on the marketing department by eliminating many routine tasks.

And that’s why they turned to Mindbox for a solution.

Finn Flare email revenue as a percentage of total revenue
Finn Flare email revenue as a percentage of total revenue

Data cleanup

Before switching to Mindbox, Finn Flare used one platform for triggered campaigns and another for manual campaigns. In all, customer data was fragmented over four separate systems:

  • Website.
  • Manual campaigns platform.
  • Triggered campaigns platform.
  • Popups platform.

“There was no way to have a holistic strategy. It was hard to track how many messages were received by one subscriber and how many contacts there were in a channel. There was a major risk of spamming. Any one subscriber could receive more than one email, since their data could be stored in multiple databases. Database management was more or less a daily manual task.”

Irina Belova, senior digital marketing manager

With Mindbox we consolidated all channels and communications in one system.

Consolidating channels

Now all customer interactions are recorded in real time in a unified customer profile in Mindbox.

This allows Finn Flare’s marketing team to understand who their customers are, how they respond to marketing campaigns and what their preferences are.

Customer response

The consolidated information is used in creating segments for mass mailings to ensure that customers receive the most relevant content.

Mailings

Customers in this segment receive a discount code for kids’ clothing.

Example email with discount code for customer segment interested in kids' clothing
Example email with discount code for a customer segment interested in kids’ clothing

With centralised data storage, we can much more easily track and limit how many emails any individual subscriber receives. For example, we can configure triggered campaigns such that no single customer receives more than one email per day. This helps to keep our mailings unobtrusive.

A filter in the trigger mechanism ensures that emails are only sent to recipients who have not received any other triggered emails within the past 24 hours
A filter in the trigger mechanism ensures that emails are only sent to recipients who have not received any other triggered emails within the past 24 hours
Irina BelovaIrina Belova, senior digital marketing manager at Finn Flare

What Finn Flare says about it

Thanks to close cooperation with Mindbox in developing and deploying a mature email marketing strategy, we can now run narrowly segmented mailings and avoid spamming our customers by limiting the number of emails they receive. We now have limitless means for segmenting our customer base and personalising emails. We’re already segmenting based on purchase history, purchased items and online behaviour, but we’re still only tapping into about 50 or 60 percent of what Mindbox can do. We’re just starting to get to grips with personalisation; we’ve begun using personalised product recommendations, and we’re monitoring the health of our subscriber base and sending out reactivation campaigns with personalised offers.

Maintaining data integrity

Information flow is monitored both at the Finn Flare end and by system managers on the Mindbox end. If any errors arise, they’ll be easy to spot in our integration dashboard.

The "All good" status means that all customer data was received by Mindbox with no errors. Data integrity is crucial for the correct operation of automation routines
The “All good” status means that all customer data was successfully received by Mindbox with no errors. Data integrity is crucial for the correct operation of automation routines

Adding more automated targeted campaigns

We were anxious to see results. In the whole first month of collaboration, Finn Flare’s marketing and their Mindbox manager kept a close eye on things, checking almost daily on how mailings were going and what results they were getting. We wanted to be sure that our mailings were correctly matched to customer activity and that they weren’t being sent out too often.

Given the sixfold growth in revenue from triggered campaigns, it’s safe to say our customers appreciated our efforts.

Triggered campaign revenue share of all revenue-generating mailings at Finn Flare
Triggered campaign revenue share of all revenue-generating mailings at Finn Flare

We began with the highest-converting campaigns from the Mindbox best practices library:

  • Welcome feed.
  • 2-stage abandoned cart.
  • Abandoned category view.
  • Abandoned item view.
  • Favourites.
  • Discount on favourited items.
  • Discount on items in cart.
  • Discount on next order.
  • Reactivation.

Trigger operating logic can be monitored transparently in Mindbox. This is what an abandoned cart event looks like in a customer profile:

Consolidated customer activity information in Mindbox unified customer profile

The system responds to an abandoned cart by sending an email:

Abandoned cart trigger activated by customer activity

And the email looks like this:

Automated email sent to customer by abandoned cart trigger

The email did its job – Tatiana came back and completed her purchase

Successful abandoned cart routine

Every email is generated according to rules and segmentation in Mindbox immediately prior to sending, so every recipient receives a unique and personally tailored email.

If a customer has been dormant for a long time, for example, they’ll receive a reactivation email with a personal discount code.

Reactivation email
Reactivation email

Example reactivation campaign email. The customer receives a discount code after reconfirming their email address

Any campaign can be realised on Mindbox – if you can conceive it, Mindbox can run it.

We set up a campaign for Finn Flare that alerts customers when sizes are in stock.

If the customer wants to purchase an item but their size isn’t in stock, they can sign up for an alert via a popup that will let them know when it becomes available. The system automatically tracks inventory in Finn Flare warehouses and sends the customer a message when the requested item is back in stock.

Here’s the popup:

Popup for customers to subscribe to stock availability alerts

And the email alert:

Stock availability alert email

Better subscription management

Before Mindbox came along, the only option customers had to manage their incoming email communications from Finn Flare was to unsubscribe from all emails. We set out integrating our subscription management, the most basic for now, into the Finn Flare online customer account area.

In due course we’ll add a separate page where customers can have full control of their subscriptions for different topics and messaging channels.

Here’s what the subscription opt-in looks like in the online customer account area:

Customers can inform Mindbox from their account area whether or not they want to receive mailings

And here’s what a subscription/unsubscription event looks like in Mindbox:

Subscription/unsubscription events are sent directly to Mindbox

Testing product recommendations

We deployed a number of product recommendation algorithms:

  • Similarity to selected parameters, e.g. seasonal collection.
  • Purchase and viewing history.
  • Number of times an item was viewed by other customers.

If a customer is interested in menswear, the system will automatically create recommendations based on viewing and purchase history.

Here’s an example of product recommendations in an email:

Recommendations are based on behaviour, viewing and purchase history
Recommendations are based on behaviour, viewing and purchase history

Sadly we haven’t yet found the right recommendations algorithm. Almost a dozen different AB tests to date have shown no additional effect:

AB testing recommendations for abandoned cart triggered routine

Nonetheless, we’re convinced that product recommendations can be effective with the right algorithm, which is why we intend to keep testing and tweaking different algorithms.

Irina BelovaIrina Belova, senior digital marketing manager at Finn Flare

Customer testimonial

Above all else, we wanted all our email campaigns to be handled on a single platform. We needed to simplify and completely automate database maintenance, eliminating all manual operations, and we needed to increase overall revenue from email as a whole and from triggered campaigns especially. And as always we needed to conceive and launch new campaigns.

We were already working intensively with email before we started with Mindbox, but there were many limitations hindering growth. We had a limited number of triggered campaigns, we were limited in terms of segmentation for mass mailing, we didn’t have enough data about customer interests and behaviour and our analytical capabilities were lacking. We were running only the most lucrative triggers, for abandoned carts and abandoned views.

What did we expect from Mindbox? Most of all we wanted centralised data storage for a large amount of data, improved segmentation capabilities, a consistent style for all our marketing email communications and an increase in revenue from email.

And that’s exactly what we got. Mindbox provides a lot of scope for operations. Now we track customer actions, activity and purchases. We segment our customers the way we want to. Working with the system and with triggers isn’t difficult. The system is intuitive and the templates really help us get things done efficiently.

We have plans to take things further, to further increase revenue from email, work on our triggers more, experiment with segmentation, work more with our loyal customer base and attract new customers. Email is our top channel, it brings us a tremendous ROI, but we plan to use other tools as well – for example, we just recently started using push notifications.

I wholeheartedly recommend Mindbox if you need a capable e-commerce CRM for a customer base larger than 50,000. It’s a wonderful tool for building an email marketing system. You can obviously use Mindbox with a smaller customer base, but you wouldn’t be able to push it to its full potential.

The Mindbox team

Valentin Moskalev

Valentin MoskalevProject manager

Semion Mikanev

Semion MikanevLead manager

Lana Sharikova

Lana SharikovaContent marketer
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