Dormify Doubles Down with Dotmailer

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Dormify, an e-commerce company dedicated to helping young adults furnish their living space, launched in 2011, after founder Karen Zuckerman and her daughter, Amanda, learned that the choices for dorm room design solutions were limited. “Amanda was getting ready for her freshman year of university,” says Nicole Gardner, chief operating officer of Dormify, and the mother and daughter noticed that “there was a lack of options in the market at the time for twin XL bedding that was sophisticated, stylish,” and affordable. Dormify has worked to solve this problem by manufacturing and curating a selection of products from outside brands and serving them up on its Web site.

But young shoppers aren’t so easy to captivate, Zuckerman soon found out. Dormify was sending out much of its marketing mail through an email service provider that integrates with Magento, but the company knew there was more to be done to ensure its messaging resonated with readers. “We were underserving customers with what we were doing at the time,” Gardner says. “We were looking for a service that could help us streamline a lot of our processes, especially around email marketing.”

But, according to Gardner, “we weren’t in the place to work with an enterprise-level company that would be more cost-prohibitive for us.” After evaluating many of the vendors in the market, the outfit turned to marketing automation provider dotmailer—specifically for the platform’s ease of use. The fact that users “can work within their templates and easily drag and drop to create emails quickly and efficiently was a huge selling point for us,” Gardner says. “We’re a small but growing team,” comprised of three, “and to have somebody dedicated to email was just not possible.” Another selling point was that the solution works with Magento’s digital commerce platform and functions to segment audiences, trigger email series (e.g., welcome messages and cart abandonment alerts), and automate campaigns.

The company implemented dotmailer’s system in January 2015. “We were able to get ‘on-boarded’ quickly and deploy a lot of different programs with a pretty small and resource-strapped team,” Gardner says.

“Primarily, where we saw the greatest lift was in regards to some of the triggered email series that we created. We saw a bump in our total email revenue—of about 28 percent,” she adds. These triggered emails were sent out according to preferences each subscriber indicates through his actions.

Visitors who landed on the Web site after being prompted through the email campaigns stayed on the site 42 percent longer and viewed 20 percent more pages than visitors who had not, Gardner holds. Those users have also proven twice as likely to convert as the average site visitor.

Dotmailer’s abandoned cart program has also served to drive incremental revenue, as the emails are sent strategically over a 120-day period to remind customers to complete checkout.

“Overall the biggest [improvement] for us was that our email [revenue] increased by about 92 percent in 2015, over 2014,” Gardner says.

Looking forward, the company plans to expand beyond the dorm environment, to reach teenagers who still live with their parents, as well as postgraduates who are outfitting their first apartments. “We’re looking at how we’ll approach that from email and a CRM platform, and a lot of that comes down to segmentation, and really looking and gathering information based on their behavior and the [data] they’re giving us,” Gardner says. 

The Payoff

Since implementing dotmailer's cross-channel marketing automation platform, Dormify has seen the following results:

  • email revenue has increased by 92 percent;
  • triggered emails now account for 28 percent of total email revenue;
  • users who reached the Web site via email campaigns spend 42 percent longer on the site, and view 20 percent more pages, than the average site user; and
  • email users are twice as likely to convert as average site users.

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