Diamond Candles-a company that sells soy candles with rings hidden inside the candle-understands the value of a serendipitous experience. But when it comes to engaging customers, Diamond Candles isn't leaving anything to chance. The Durham, N.C. company is investing in a data-driven approach that uses predictive analytics to strategically segment and engage its email subscriber base.
After a Diamond Candle melts, what remains is a $10 ring and a code. Consumers can enter the code on the company's website to spin a virtual wheel and find out if they've won a ring worth $100, $1,000, or $5,000. The company records people's reactions to winning a ring and shares some of those videos on its site and social media platforms, which has helped it build a large community of fans. The company has an active social media presence with more than 1 million likes on its Facebook page.
But the company noticed that even with a large audience, its ability to reach followers organically is shrinking. "With the changes that Facebook has made to its algorithm, it's been harder to continue to grow our Facebook audience and maintain that growth," notes Michael Woodall, email marketing manager at Diamond Candles.
While it continues to engage fans on Facebook, the company turned its attention to its email marketing channel. In 2013, Diamond Candles selected retention and engagement specialist Retention Science to help it grow its email subscriber as well as strategically engage customers.
Retention Science analyzes data from Diamond Candles such as click-through behavior on its website, purchase history, and demographic trends and translates that into specific recommendations on when customers should receive marketing emails and which content will likely spur them to make their first purchase or repeat purchases.
For example, someone who has a rich buying history with Diamond Candles and will most likely make another purchase, may receive an email with a 10 percent off coupon. However, someone who has never made a purchase but has shown interest by visiting the site multiple times might receive a coupon for a different value to push that first purchase. Diamond Candles captures email addresses of new visitors through pop-up boxes on its website that invite shoppers to share their email addresses in exchange for a coupon.
To date, Diamond Candles has grown its email list from 50K subscribers to about 600K, and saw a 160 percent increase in revenue in the first eight months of working with Retention Science. It also saw an 18 percent rise in the size of average orders made by repeat buyers between 2013 and 2014 (the company is seeing similar results for this year).
Woodall says he is working on moving other email campaigns, such as those triggered by abandoned carts, to Retention Science to further streamline the company's marketing efforts. "Our email marketing team is a team of one-me-and so I have to be smart about how to manage our customer segments and email program," Woodall says. "Using data to guide our strategy for sending offers to people has helped us protect our profit margin and that's a huge win."