Case Study

francesca’s Collections Realizes 34% Email Revenue Growth With New Personalized Offerings from Email Aptitude

2016 Performance Highlights

  • Year-over-year email revenue per 1,000 delivered is up 136%
  • Engagement with email content has grown, with open rates boosted 16% and clicks increasing 13%
  • Launch of cart abandonment series drives significant sales on a monthly basis
  • New subscriber acquisition is up 40% following revamp of signup promotion for desktop and mobile users

Background

Since opening its doors in Houston, Texas in 1999, francesca’s® has expanded to over 670 boutiques and outlets across the United States. Guests can also shop the unique assortment of items at francescas.com.
With new items arriving almost daily and in limited quantities, francesca's® strives to provide its guests with a memorable shopping experience that is one-of-a-kind. Each boutique stylist is dedicated to establishing a personal, genuine connection that will make guests feel invited to come back to francesca’s® time and time again.

In 2016, francesca’s turned to Email Aptitude to better connect its unique brand offerings and engaging content with email subscribers. The partnership united francesca’s content and marketing prowess with Email Aptitude’s technical, logistical, and strategic expertise.

New Triggered Messages Spur New Revenue

From the beginning, the Email Aptitude team helped francesca’s revamp its triggered messaging program to implement three series of tailored messages designed to engage, retain, and convert recipients. Using industry best practices as a guide, the team helped francesca’s identify triggers and design content for the triggered series, and then took the lead with technical implementation, including integration of personalized product recommendations.

Email Aptitude helped francesca’s transform the new subscriber experience into a comprehensive introduction to the merchant’s offerings. Previously, the retailer had sent a single text-based welcome offer with a one-time coupon code. Using industry best practices as a guide, Email Aptitude helped devise a three-message series, tailoring content based on whether or not new subscribers had also purchased items. Both sets of welcome messaging invite shoppers to connect via social media and in stores.

To ensure that subscribers stay engaged, the Email Aptitude team devised an all-new triggered series targeted toward email recipients who haven’t interacted with emails recently. The re-engagement series encourages subscribers to visit the francesca’s site again by showcasing new seasonal products and personalized picks based on prior browsing behavior. The series ensures that francesca’s maintains optimal subscriber list hygiene.

Finally, to recapture visitors who departed the eCommerce site without purchasing items they’d placed in the shopping cart, the Email Aptitude team helped francesca’s launch a two-message cart abandonment series. In addition to spotlighting the item left behind in the cart, the abandonment messages include a selection of recommendations based on what other categories and products the recipient may be interested in purchasing.

“Thanks to the strategy input and technical expertise at Email Aptitude, we’re able to take full advantage of the opportunities to automate personalized messages and see significant impact to the bottom line”

– francesca’s

Mobile-Friendly Call-to-Action Boosts Signups

In addition to helping the francesca’s team reach existing subscribers with tailored email content, Email Aptitude’s strategists focused on winning more new signups in the first place. Given that 60% of time spent shopping online now occurs via mobile devices, the Email Aptitude team spotted an opportunity to offer smartphone and tablet shoppers an improved signup experience, and provided francesca’s design recommendations as well as the technical know-how to implement the changes.

The team revamped the eCommerce site overlay window inviting visitors to sign up for email messages, rolling out separate versions for desktop and mobile users. The new overlay is not only more optimally positioned on the page for whichever screen shoppers are using; it includes a prominent discount offer and language about subscriber benefits.

Thanks to the revamped design, mobile signups now account for about half of the new subscriptions generated by the overlay. New monthly contacts have jumped by 40% since implementing the new design.

Email Aptitude’s team also helped ensure that mobile subscribers would get an optimal viewing experience once they began receiving messages by providing guidance on mobile-friendly headers and footers for email content.

“Through the team at Email Aptitude, we have access to the latest trends on email usage and best practices for email design and content,” said francesca’s. “Engaging mobile shoppers who connect with francesca’s while in-store or on the go is crucial to us, and Email Aptitude enabled us to engage them more successfully in our email programs.”

– francesca’s

Cross-Channel Initiatives Set the Stage for 2017

With a vast network of more than 600 stores, the potential is significant for francesca’s to drive store traffic from email promotions. Email Aptitude’s strategists helped the francesca’s team implement cross-channel programs that facilitate seamless access to the brand -- setting the stage for further integration in the year to come.

Email messages now incorporate a personalized location banner that spotlights the boutique nearest to the message recipient. With a built-in map linking to directions and a listing of store hours and contact information, the module makes it easy for shoppers to connect to the resources available at physical outlets and to navigate to it via their mobile devices.

The teams also collaborated to relaunch an existing text-to-join program, making it easy for store visitors to send a text message to subscribe to francesca’s email program. Email Aptitude’s technical experts helped revamp the back-end workflow on francesca’s email platform, ensuring that the program works seamlessly for shoppers. New signage rolling out this year will support the program, and further in-store signup options, such as keying in the email address at the point-of-sale, are in the works.

In 2017, the Email Aptitude team will assist with further integration of customer data across touchpoints, enabling tailored email messages based on a unified profile of shopping activity.

“Thanks to Email Aptitude’s expertise, we’re building a more complete view of the customer,” said francesca’s. “As we integrate more data points, we’ll only get better at leveraging our unique store experience.”

– francesca’s,

About Email Aptitude

Email Aptitude is a leading ESP-agnostic email agency, providing strategy and full-service management for some of the world's largest brands and fastest growing startups. The Email Aptitude team is made up of industry veterans and the new bright minds of email who work tirelessly to crush records for our clients.