Origins uses testing and deliverability best practices to improve email performance
Leading cosmetic retailer sees lifts in open, click and transaction rates by including
whitelisting instructions in their email template
Experian CheetahMail and Origins Natural Resources Inc., a multi-channel retailer
of natural cosmetic, beauty and wellness products, wanted to determine the impact
of utilizing whitelisting instructions in their email templates. Whitelisting instructions
are lines of text in an email suggesting that a recipient add the sender’s ‘from’
address to their list of accepted email senders. Acknowledging potential benefits
to their email program, Origins worked with Experian CheetahMail’s Strategic
Services and Client Services Teams to determine the impact that whitelisting language
would have on future email subscriber activity. The group’s finding was that
Origins could gain significantly higher clickthroughs and transaction rates in the
long-term, by including whitelisting instructions early in the customer lifecycle.
By coupling a well designed testing strategy with
best practices, Experian CheetahMail’s Strategic Services team was able to accurately
assess the best way for us to optimize deliverability and consistently reach our email
subscribers in a dependable manner. Best of all, we’ve seen a great increase
in transactions and the performance of our email program as a result.
- Miriam Maracich Manager Origins
Test if whitelisting language could improve email deliverability
Engage new and existing subscribers
Strengthen brand identity across channels
Increase website visits and subscriber interaction
Already having a highly successful email program in place, Origins worked with
Experian CheetahMail to find out if they could improve email performance even further
with the inclusion of whitelisting language.
To get the analysis underway, the Experian CheetahMail team designed a testing
strategy that would maintain a controlled environment by including only those subscribers
that were brand new to Origins’ subscriber file. Testing began with the first
promotional mailing sent to these subscribers (after the initial “welcome”
message had been sent) which featured one of Origins’ new products, enticing
imagery and an offer for a free two-month product sample with any online purchase.
The test group was randomly split in half so that 50 percent of new subscribers
in Origins’ database were flagged to receive emails containing “add to
address book” text in the header of the email. The other 50 percent did not
receive the whitelist text in the email header.
Factoring in the three-month time span necessary to obtain a large enough test
population, the analysis was conducted over a five month term. To ensure validity,
each subscriber remained in their test group for a minimum of three months after sign-up.
The subscribers that were part of the “add to address book” group continued
to receive promotional emails with this header text using Experian CheetahMail’s
dynamic content tool while those that were part of the ‘No Header’ group
received mailings without any whitelisting instructions. After the test period came
to a close, email metrics for both groups were aggregated and analyzed to determine
if there was any significant difference in performance.
Through careful analysis of Origins’ email campaigns pre- and post-testing,
Experian CheetahMail was able to discern that new subscribers that received the ‘add
to address book’ header text were more responsive and engaged in subsequent
campaigns than those that did not receive the whitelisting instructions in the initial
series. Origin’s emails including whitelisting instructions outperformed prior
versions by the following factors (see chart, below).
Transaction rate 4.51%
Unique click rate 3.24%
Now equipped with a proven tactic for improved customer engagement and deliverability,
Origins ensures the utilization of whitelisting language in the first few promotional
emails that customers receive after they subscribe. In addition, Origins is continuing
to work with Experian CheetahMail to mold other aspects of their email marketing strategy
around similarly impactful campaign performance metrics.