Case study. The story of Olant: Automating mailings for a baby products chain

7 Feb ‘18

The Olant stores are a one-stop source for expecting mothers as well as newborns, infants, and toddlers. We already wrote about one Olant success story involving the email channel revenue doubling after customer data consolidation and segmentation. This time our subject is mailing automation.

The challenge

If you are a marketing professional tired of daily manual mailing routine, this case study might be right up your alley. Automated mailings are essentially personalized content created with little to no human participation and sent to targeted segments of the customer base at specified times and dates.

Since small children grow and develop quickly, their parents are faced with the constant need to buy products that fit their baby’s fast-changing demands. They want to get useful offers for the items the baby requires at the moment. The parents may like Olant but can get put off if they are sent discounts on strollers while their growing child already needs a potty training seat.

The task at hand

Automating mailings with specials and updates published on the website each month. Sending personalized offers and news to the following interest segments of parents customer base:

  • expecting mothers;
  • newborns;
  • infants;
  • toddlers aged 1–2;
  • toddlers over 2.

The way it used to be

Content managers created about 20 offers and 5 news pieces every month. This content was then delivered to customers through manual mailings.

olantoffers

The mailings had to be created on a daily basis. To accomplish this, each time the marketing specialist needed to manually change the following:

  • subject;
  • UTM codes;
  • banner;
  • URLs;
  • products;
  • customer segment.

The marketing specialist would typically spend more than 30 hours a month on this task.

Sample special deal mailing:

olantpicfixed

Our solution

Olant’s specials and updates are published via Bitrix CMS, each time with the same set of parameters:

  • name;
  • list of products on the special;
  • product category;
  • text description;
  • start and end dates of the special.

The Olant website support team created a YML file that contains special’s complete data and added the field “When to send a mailing” to the admin interface. With this setup, now it is enough for the content manager to enter the send date, while the special’s data for the mailing, including the product list, is automatically uploaded to Mindbox. Based on the data, our software checks the product list against the item availability information and then generates the actual mailing.

olant

Customer base segmentation

Olant divides their customer base into several major segments depending on customer behavior and the category of items the customer has been recently interested in. When preparing a mailing manually, the marketing specialist had to choose a specific customer segment. Now the correct segment is selected automatically based on the category of the items in the mailing being generated. Customers in each segment get the special offers and news relevant to their interests.

offers

Sample segment configuration for an automated special offer mailing

The name of the special becomes the subject of the message. With the UTM codes generated based on the send date and the customer segment, the mailing is easy to trace in Google Analytics.

utmplustheme

Personalized messages

The message body is also customized based on the customer segment and may include additional content blocks. For example, expecting mothers may be shown an ad of free pregnancy classes from Olant. The up-to-date information on the classes is also uploaded from the Bitrix CMS.

lightest

Summary

In order to create and send a manual mailing, the Olant marketing specialist used to spend about 90 minutes every single day, which amounts to about 30 hours a month. Now the same task is accomplished with one simple mouse click. According to hh.ru, 30 work hours of an IT/CRM marketing specialist in Moscow translate into an average paycheck of 16 thousand rubles. The automation of mailings freed up 30 hours of the marketing specialist’s work for more interesting and complex tasks, and customers started getting more relevant, personalized mailings.

Dmitry RassadinDmitry RassadinOlant

Olant Feedback

«The idea to automate mailings was voiced at the very beginning of our relationship with Mindbox. Back then I had some notion of what I wanted to have, but I didn’t know how it could have been achieved. After that, we sidelined the idea for an indefinite period of time.

Then in December 2017 I was faced with a large amount of routine work that involved sending special offer mailings. We decided to return to the project and see it through. In addition, by that time we also had a new task of sending mailings about new products as part of our trade marketing campaign.

Given the complexity of the project and possible pitfalls, I planned to see it implemented by February 2018. But it took our colleagues only two weeks to have everything up and running.

Even at the testing stage, when we sent customers our first automatically generated messages – which previously could have been done only manually – we did not believe that it actually worked. But just a few days later, we launched a trigger live.

Of course, the current functionality isn’t the final version. We want to make it completely autonomous – send letters based on set rules, without even specifying the date».

Mindbox Manager

Philipp Volnov

Philipp Volnov
Project Manager
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