Retailers like Miles Kimball usually focus on two tried-and-true digital advertising tactics to drive purchases.
Bottom-of-funnel retargeting is efficient, but requires a visitor to go to the brand’s website. Top-of-funnel user acquisition marketing brings in new customers, but often at a high cost.
The home decor and gift catalog, one of a half-dozen catalogs owned by Silver Star Brands, wanted to focus on the mid-funnel.
Using its email marketing list, Miles Kimball ran a display advertising campaign to reach customers who knew the brand but had stopped opening emails. Shoppers who hadn’t opened any emails in the past six months received a display ad offering a 10% discount.
Reaching those customers through another marketing channel worked. The mid-funnel campaign generated a 275% increase in ROI compared to a control group who did not see display ads.
Plus, sales originating from email rose 42% and the brand saw a 29% lift overall in online sales. Based on this success, Miles Kimball is already planning to repeat the campaign.
Miles Kimball decided to run the campaign as part of its initiative to grow its digital presence. The retailer sends more than 70 million catalogs a year across a half-dozen brands. One-third of purchases are made online, another third by phone and the rest by mailing a check in the mail, according to Jennifer Heim, director and general manager of Silver Star Brands.
Miles Kimball’s digital marketing strategy includes comparison shopping engines, paid search and affiliate marketing. But it mostly used its email list to message subscribers.
Working with email marketing services provider Yes Lifecycle Marketing, Heim tested out the mid-funnel strategy.
Yes Lifecycle Marketing enriched Miles Kimball’s list of 1 million inactive email subscribers by adding information it knew about those consumers through its parent company, Infogroup, resulting in a list of 647,000 people it thought the onboarder could match.
Because of the enriched data, the onboarding service was able to find 417,000 users with an active online ID. Miles Kimball had its targeting list.
During the monthlong campaign, Yes Lifecycle Marketing worked with a DSP to serve about six ads per user. Viewability rates averaged 60%.
“This was a much more cost-effective way to get consumers back engaged with our brands,” Heim said. And Miles Kimball received feedback more quickly. “Mailing them a catalog at 50 cents apiece will take months to figure out if they are going to purchase.”
When Miles Kimball runs further tests, it plans to break out its control groups in different ways, in order to create more precise measurement. As a company specializing in direct mail, it likes to be able to predict the impact a marketing expenditure will make.
And despite the fact that the majority of sales still occur offline, Miles Kimball has always been able to test marketing and measure impact precisely because it’s a catalog. Digital allows the catalog to do the same testing – at a lower cost with quicker results.
“If I’m going to be asking for more money from the owner, I should have an idea of what I’m going to get back in return,” Heim said.