Ascena Retail Groups Stands Out in the Inbox with Orchestrated Marketing

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Projected by Forrester to reach $326 billion in sales by the end of 2016, the online retail industry is a competitive field. Floods of daily offers have so cluttered customers' in-boxes that retailers such as Ascena Retail Group, a specialty clothing retailer that operates through wholly owned subsidiaries, including Lane Bryant and Catherine's, were struggling to stand out.

To gauge customers' interest and get them to the group's e-commerce sites, Ascena Retail's digital marketing program needed to become more personalized. The company had to leverage its customers' data to create more relevant marketing messages. For that, Ascena turned to Responsys.

Using Responsys' Interact Marketing Cloud, Ascena was able to build profiles of its customers with rich data, design experiences to evaluate and map customers' purchasing journeys, and then deliver personalized messages and offers.

Responsys' Interact Marketing Cloud gave Ascena Retail access to highly actionable customer data, allowing the company to individualize email content so that its messages were customized enough to appeal to individual consumers. As a result, unique open rates of Ascena Retail's emails increased by 70 percent, click-through rates grew by 55 percent, and the conversion rate jumped by 225 percent.

"Ascena Retail Group does an excellent job of understanding who their customers are and what they want from their favorite store," Rich Fleck, vice president of strategic services at Responsys, says.

"Now we're delivering individualized experiences based on customer interactions, such as clicking on a link in an email message, browsing items on our Web site, or shopping in one of our brick and mortar stores," Marc Schweid, director of digital marketing at Ascena Retail Group, adds.

In 2011, Responsys integrated with Adobe to leverage Adobe Genesis, Adobe's technology for automating integrations between partner technologies and the Adobe Online Marketing Suite. A recent update gave marketers a new level of power and ease of use by automatically summarizing Web analytics data captured by Adobe SiteCatalyst into predefined audience segments.

Responsys also gave Ascena Retail the capability to retarget customers who abandoned their shopping carts with tailored campaigns, as well as use Adobe’s recommendation engine to incorporate images of similar or related products. The new outreach provided a 275 percent lift in the open rate, a 450 percent lift in click-throughs, and a 240 percent higher conversion rate. The initiative also delivered a 600 percent increase in revenue per email delivered.

Additionally, Ascena Retail harnessed the power of the Adobe integration postpurchase, using the tool to send customers ratings and review requests. This increased the number of customer reviews by 150 percent, and has influenced customers who returned to the site to write a review to buy additional products at that time.

Finally, Ascena Retail has seen a significant drop in the number of hours it takes to produce and launch campaigns—the company reports a production savings of about 22 percent.

The Payoff

Since turning to Responsys to help customize its marketing program, Ascena Retail has seen:

  • unique email open rates increase by 70 percent, click-through rates rise by 55 percent, and the conversion rate jump by 225 percent;
  • the number of customer reviews increase by 150 percent; and
  • production savings of about 22 percent.

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