K9Cuisine.com, a premium pet food and treats company, looked to social media as a way to promote brand awareness and generate Web site traffic. The company had begun using Twitter in early 2009 and had been on Facebook just prior to that, but its efforts weren’t bearing any fruit.
Anthony Holloway, owner of K9Cuisine.com, was drawn to working with Emailvision, an on-demand email marketing company, because of the option to brand individually tweeted links with “K9Cuisine.com” (as opposed to another URL shortener, like biturl or tinyurl, that automatically replaces the domain name).
The concept of branding tweets was important to Holloway, who partnered with Emailvision in July 2010 to try to more effectively go social.
“Our use of social media is primarily related to branding,” Holloway observes. “Emailvision allows us to frame content from various sources with the K9Cuisine.com brand. Before, we were pushing out a lot of content and engaging the pet community, but those efforts largely lacked an identity. That has totally changed with Emailvision.”
Holloway says that he didn’t have any anxiety about taking his brand social, because he considers K9Cuisine.com to be “transparent” anyway.
“I saw it as a tool to connect with customers,” Holloway remembers. “I found it very natural. We are also very transparent. [Social media] allows us to address customer complaints and compliments in a very open way.”
Although K9Cuisine.com was initially using Emailvision with Facebook as well as Twitter, the company’s Facebook page saw little improvement, Holloway
observes. He attributes that to the particular behavior of his customers in conjunction with the platform itself.
“We found Facebook fans stay on Facebook, so we write content specific for the fan page,” Holloway says, reflecting on K9Cuisine.com’s objectives.
By branding all tweets with Emailvision, K9Cuisine can push out a wide variety of pet-related content fused to its brand—an effort that has proved successful. The Web site has seen 60,000 click-throughs from using Emailvision and converts between 7 percent and 8 percent of unique visitors to a sale. The customer conversion rate is between 6.5 percent and 9 percent as well. On average, those first-time buyers purchase about $90 worth of product. K9Cuisine.com has seen more than $250,000 to $350,000 in incremental sales as a result.
Holloway also points out that it’s difficult to attach a dollar value to the relationships made and maintained through social media, because he suspects brand advocates have brought unforeseen traffic to the site.
“We have not invested much in terms of dollars: our initial setup cost and monthly fees for Emailvision plus the cost of generating the content,” Holloway adds.