Success stories
March 25, 2022

Tefal Doubled its Revenue from Direct Marketing Thanks to Customer Base Segmentation, Trigger-Based Emails, and A/B Tests

  • GoalsMerge multiple sources with customer details. Boost customer engagement and revenue share attributed to direct marketing
  • SolutionIntegrate customer details into a single platform
  • Segment the customer base and activate a communication scheme
  • A/B test messages
  • ResultsThanks to email marketing, revenue has doubled compared to previous CDF figures
  • 80% of the total revenue from direct marketing is now attributed to tailor-made trigger scenarios in the email channel
  • ParticipatedGroupe SEB—Media and CRM Manager, Mindbox—Manager and Consultant
  • Timespan5 months
  • ITMindbox Marketing Automation Platform
  • Distinctive feature20 A/B tests launched concurrently with trigger mechanics

One of the largest global manufacturers for home and kitchen appliances. Having been 70 years on the market, the brand is part of the multibrand Groupe SEB

Maria Daniltseva

Maria Daniltseva, media and CRM manager, Groupe SEB

Immediately upon integration with the CDP, Groupe SEB — Tefal brand owner — consulted Mindbox to boost their direct marketing revenue. The team decided on an innovative approach where mechanics were A/B tested to find the best fit during their initial launch. This differs from the traditional approach where you set up standard mechanics, launch bulk mailings, and only then begin to personalize them. Groupe SEB Marketers started to build a model of the customer communication process using the customer base of Tefal—the largest brand in the Group.

Mindox’s Products
Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Website personalization

We’d like to share with you:

  • The outcome of consolidating customer data and introducing novel communication approaches;
  • The reasons behind choosing this marketing automation platform;
  • The segmentation of the customer base by life cycle; coordination of communication for each segment;
  • The launch of A/B tests: why triggers were activated in parallel with A/B testing, and what insights from emailing can be applied online and offline.

Migrating to the Marketing Automation Platform and Re-Designing Direct Communications: The Outcomes

Growth Coefficients:
Revenues attributed to tailor-made trigger scenarios in direct email marketing vs. the total revenues of the online store

growth index

Five months after introducing the marketing automation platform, email revenues increased by 7 times. The average monthly email revenues doubled compared to pre-CDP figures. Due to the new trigger mechanics, revenue has been increasing and continues to grow steadily from month to month

Share of triggered email revenue attributed to tailor-made trigger scenarios vs. the total revenues attributed to direct marketing

share of revenue from triggered emails

The share of triggered email revenues from direct marketing and last-click attribution increased from a mere 2% to 80% in just 5 months. This increase is thanks to the number of activated triggers, which was raised from 0 to 23. Triggers help automate the manual tailoring of messages, save a marketer hours of work, and communicate with customers at the right time

Tefal Testimonial

This is the first time I’ve worked with an agency that is so proactive. Mindbox team members make it their job to suggest, advise, and provide super fast support, and celebrate positive outcomes.

The important part is that Mindbox regards its client’s business as its own. So, it’s not like launching a task with Basecamp — doing something, reporting, declaring it impossible to solve, and then just quitting. Instead, we combine our efforts in solving tasks, boosting KPIs, and analyzing results. «I can’t do that,» simply does not exist. We make sure to come up with other solutions, and that is what I appreciate the most.

We plan to improve our mechanics by delivering «smart» segmentation based on purchase history and intensive customer behavior analysis.

My overall opinion and experience are incredibly positive. However, there was one fly in the ointment—integration. Though through no fault of the consultant’s nor the manager’s, the time it took—two months—was too long. I can see that this is the scope of a client’s IT team or (like in our case) a client’s partner’s IT team. However, I would have liked it if it had been resolved sooner. My ideal plan was to launch communication in September, whereas instead it launched in late October. Fortunately, we at Groupe SEB maintain a friendly atmosphere. There was no pressure put on me by my management. Instead, I was continuously and reasonably pushing while the project smoothly progressed. However, I’m sure there are companies where the situation would have turned sour.

Maria Daniltseva

Maria Daniltseva, media and CRM manager, Groupe SEB

Lead Manager’s Testimonial

Integration expectations really do matter. Generally, integration is just a milestone—you deal with it to suit a client’s mechanics plan. Mindbox’s Customer, Success Manager, submits the integration’s specification. Such a specification is based on a schedule of campaigns and made available within the first 3–5 days. After that, it is the scope of our client’s IT team or their partner’s IT team. To speed up the integration process, you can:

  • Make Mindbox’s main documentation available to your IT team. Then, the integration team can analyze Mindbox’s API before the project’s inception and prepare their questions;
  • Splitting integration into milestone to avoid wrestling with everything at the start. Even with just a part of a specification completed, it is often still possible to launch the first mechanics. Then the team can proceed to the next integration step while, at the same time, preparing new mechanics for launch;
  • Aligning elaboration of the specification with the time when the integration team can start. Usually, in-house IT development implies scarce and expensive resources. Thus, company departments may wait in line for an allocated IT sprint for Mindbox integration. So, align the start dates with the Mindbox team and allocate integration team resources.
Evgeniy Dyachenko

Evgeniy Dyachenko, Team Lead

Challenges and Solutions

Before migrating to the marketing automation platform, Groupe SEB used to have stored customer data separately: retail stores, seven online stores of multiple brands, and service centers. The primary task here was to pinpoint long-standing customers. They constitute a loyal audience, to whom it’s always worth communicating. Analysis of loyal customers helps any business to design suitable offers. Hence, the achievement of the first milestone — implied data integration into a single platform, the analysis of how many actual contacts it contains, and determining which specific details it has pertaining to each person.

The next milestone was communication. Groupe SEB began to build communication through direct marketing with the Tefal customer base as it had accumulated the lion’s share of customer data. This paved the way to setting up a fair business segment and testing multiple mechanics. The data and insights from the Tefal effort apply to other brands of Groupe SEB’s as well, such as Moulinex, Rowenta, and KRUPS.

Selecting The Platform

Tefal Testimonial

We sifted through a large pool of various marketing automation platforms.

In our case, the price was the first and foremost important aspect. Mindbox charges the most attractive rates compared to its competitors. CRM is on everyone’s annual KPI plan. However, CRM marketing is just a drop in the ocean of the overall marketing effort. Its share in the plan and KPIs is not that large, so we were looking for a way to reduce costs where possible. This was the first important criteria we planned to find a solution to.

Transparency was the second aspect we wanted to improve on. With Mindbox, we knew exactly what we were paying for — no hidden costs. The only weak point on our part was consulting, since I have no experience with email marketing and CRM in this particular field. So, we decided to run a test. We were looking for a team with capable hands and insightful minds.

The third important task was to implement straightforward, logical pricing with a modular approach. Some products were delivered with a two-week free testing period. This came in really handy and made Mindbox stand out.

The fourth aspect we focused on was having a good reputation based on a large amount of successful cases. As we know, nobody usually writes about their unsuccessful cases and usually we only see the good ones. However, bad cases have a much bigger impact, even with them being far fewer. Mindbox has relevant market summary figures. So when I lacked benchmarks, our Mindbox consultant shared their 2020 analytics in multiple industries. I saw that they could not have been derived from only one or two cases, since those with less experience and expertise weren’t likely to have so much data and research at hand.

Finally, we focused on the aspect of functionality. Mindbox offers unique modules that we are too fledgling a company and aren’t established well enough to use just yet. Still, it is good to know that you can connect with them anytime without having to look elsewhere.

Maria Daniltseva

Maria Daniltseva, media and CRM manager, Groupe SEB

With Mindbox, we know what we are paying for

Segmentation and Communication Model

To understand customer behavior and use those gained insights, the RFM model was applied to divide the customer base into the 5 separate segments:

  • New customers: registered less than 30 days ago, no orders;
  • New, but at-risk churn customers: registered 30+ days old, no orders;
  • Loyal customers: 1+ orders, who last purchased up to 60 days ago;
  • At-risk churn customers: 1+ orders, who last purchased 60–100 days ago;
  • Churn customers: 1+ orders, who last purchased over 100 days ago.

An individual communication scheme was implemented for each segment depending on customer behavior. Examples of these segments could be when a customer registers, leaves the site without any purchase, makes an order, or has not purchased anything for a long time. Trigger chains can help stimulate new customers and active buyers to buy and return from the outflow.

Each communication scheme involves NBA-based emails where the algorithm determines when it would be best to send a message and standard trigger-based mechanics with fixed timelines. An additional feature was also added to validate customer contact details to ensure that the database is clean with legitimate data at all times.

Communication Mechanics Broken Down by Segments

New customers Loyal customers before order Loyal customers after order Churn with orders Churn without orders All segments
Welcome email chain Abandoned cart NPS survey Revive Churn-risk Revive with a survey Birthday
Abandoned item browse Ask for feedback Revive Churn Grant a promo code after the survey Revive interest in non-readers
Abandoned category browse from multiple devices NBA-based item offer Collect data    
Revive hibernating ones Collect data      

Message Content

Once the customer base was segmented, message content was then prepared before activating the trigger-based mechanics. For trigger-based email chains to be effective, the focus was put on the message subject and header, layout frames, greetings phrase, as well as items, URLs, and CFAs. Each message must be unique with relevant contents and a point to reach their desired target. These might include promo codes, links to item pages, YouTube videos or surveys. Finally, email briefs were created for the agency to get ideas when creating messages.

Message brief suggested by Mindboxs consultants
Message brief suggested by Mindbox’s consultants
Sample message used in mailings
Sample message used in mailings

Trigger-Based Mechanics

Trigger-based email chains may turn into multiple emails, all aiming to stimulate purchasing. Their types include welcome, abandoned cart, abandoned browse, and churn revival messages that are delivered with a relevant offer at the right time. For example, a promo code message follows after a message that offers new products is unsuccessful.

trigger-based mechanics activated over the course of 5 months

There is a feature to aggregate the number of deliveries, revenue, open rate, and click rate for each message. This helps evaluate its effect and customer reaction. A welcome chain shows that the open & click rates gradually fall, except for the 3rd message with the lowest rates. This message is then a weak link and needs readjustment, while the others sustain the desired outcome:

Welcome Email Chain for New Customers

Welcome 1
after registers
Once signed in on the website, the new customer gets this welcome email with a selection of popular products
Welcome 2
If the customer is not motivated to buy
If the customer is not motivated to buy, the trigger-based mechanics will send a message that includes delicious recipes, YouTube & Instagram URLs, and a new selection of popular items
Welcome 3
next message in the chain
The next message in the chain offers a customer help with their choice of items and informs them on how to contact the service center. Also, it outlines means for delivery and returns
Welcome 4
If the customer still hesitates
If the customer still hesitates, the trigger-based mechanics will send a final message in the chain to describe the benefits of owning a Tefal product and offer a final promo code

The chains have survey messages designed to gather more customer feedback and evaluate how happy customers are with their purchase or why they haven’t made one.

Reviving Interest of New, but At-Risk Churn Customers with Surveys

A survey gives insight into why the customer did not make a purchase and helps build a productive dialog. On average, 15% of customers take the survey
After taking the survey, the customer gets a complimentary discount promo code
After taking the survey, the customer gets a complimentary discount promo code

Surveys for Loyal Customers Offered After Purchases (NPS)

Once an order is made, the customer is requested to rate the service from 0–10 points — 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, 7 & 8 are considered neutral marks that will not be counted. To calculate Net Promotion Score (NPS), the following formula is used.

The results of the NPS determine if Tefal customers are satisfied with the service and where there is room for improvement. Follow-up scenarios for such surveys are trigger-based. So, the company has a tool to promptly act upon receiving a negative response and to mitigate its effect. In contrast, enthusiastic customers are offered to share their positive experiences by leaving an online review.

Whenever a customer’s response is between 0–3 (negative) or 4–6 (complaint), the tool auto-generates a technical request to the store’s quality control department. They contact the customer, learn more about the problem, and resolve it. There are two scenarios for such technical messages as the speed of response depends on the score ranges.

It is only when a customer is satisfied with a score of 9–10 or considers the store service adequate with a score 7–8 of that the tool asks them to share their view and leave feedback.

A/B Tests

A/B tests were launched at the same time as the trigger-based mechanics. Usually, A/B tests take place after all basic mechanics are put in place, such as triggers related to abandoned carts, abandoned items browsed, or abandoned category browsed. Here, messages were mailed and tested simultaneously.

A/B tests were performed in parallel with launching trigger-based mechanics

For the A/B test, the team chose a customer base segment and relevant mechanics. Then they made some hypotheses as to what higher open & click rates would entail. Then the team calculated the sample size, launched the test, and got some insights.

A/B Test Calculator

Test results are used to review message content and help anticipate the preferences of customers in the chosen segment. In particular, one A/B test showed that customers with no purchase history are more willing to participate in surveys, whereas those with a purchase history value promo codes more.

Test results are used to review message content and help anticipate the preferences of customers in the chosen segment. In particular, one A/B test showed that customers with no purchase history are more willing to participate in surveys, whereas those with a purchase history value promo codes more.

Segment Tested hypothesis Variations Open rate and click rate champion
Churn without purchases Promo code vs. survey Variation 1 Message with a survey Variation 1 with a survey
Churn with purchases   Variation 2 Message with a promo code Variation 2 with a promo code

Sometimes mailings include ads with celebrities, e.g., from showbiz. There was a hypothesis that customers would show a better open rate and click rate for messages with a celebrity name in its subject. The hypothesis failed. The open rates were the same, while the click rate was 80% higher for messages with a customer’s name in the subject.

Segment Tested hypothesis Variations Result
All segments Message subject Variation 1 Subject mentions a celebrity’s name Variation 2 Mentioning a customer’s name in the subject-line improved the click rate by 80%.However, the open rates showed no significant statistical difference
    Variation 2 Subject mentions a customer’s name

Client Testimonial

Every single mailing is launched with an accompanying A/B test. These tests usually deal with the overall picture of the business rather than a particular email.

Surprisingly, a video message is received a little better, although such videos go at the bottom of the mail. As we have to produce tons of landing pages, this insight has included more videos. Although there is this E-commerce approach where the less information you provide, the closer your customer is to the intended step: no video will be required if this is the ’buy’ step. However, it seems that our customers do click and watch, so we will continue to put videos on our landing pages.

Another example: we A/B tested messages where we had put an ’’As Seen On TV"’ label on those items that had appeared in TV ads. The first A/B test showed a higher conversion for such messages, whereas the second showed the opposite. We are about to run new tests to get a more accurate assessment. These insights are vital for our offline communications.

As you know, creating Point of Sale Materials (POSMs) for a store takes a lot of time and effort for the whole department. Additionally, there is too limited a space for all the information we’d like to include. There had been debates on whether to put a ’’As Seen On TV" label on POSMs or fill the space with more distinctive features of the items. So, if the A/B tests with emails show a positive reaction to mentioning TV ads, we might use this insight for our POSMs or e-commerce.

Maria Daniltseva

Maria Daniltseva, media and CRM manager, Groupe SEB

A/B tests usually deal with the overall picture of the business rather than a particular email

If upon A/B testing
If upon A/B testing, we see a higher conversion for messages with ’’As Seen On TV" labels, we will then apply this insight to our POSMs or e-commerce

Plans for Direct Marketing Development

1. Narrow the segments of the customer database and set up personalization based on purchase analysis. Purchase order tracking helps to profile customers: who they are, what they prefer, and what else we can offer them.

2. Set up cross-channel communication and reveal the best communication channel for each customer or segment. If a customer doesn’t open emails, they might be more inclined to open an SMS, a WhatsApp or a Telegram message. If they still do not read any messages, this might mean that the only valid communication channel for them is a mass media campaign.

3. For other brands belonging to Groupe SEB, use the trigger-based mechanics that proved effective for Tefal.

P. S. In this story, we mentioned our products Customer data platform (CDP), Website personalization. Find out more about these products on their website or from a consultant.