Wine Enthusiast Uncorks More Personalized Email Campaigns with Bluecore Solution

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Wine Enthusiast "sells everything but the wine," according to Glenn Edelman, the 35-year-old company's vice president of e-commerce. That alone suggests a level of commitment from those who subscribe to its email services and browse its catalog, which features everything from glassware and corkscrews to wine storage and décor. But while wine connoisseurs don't necessarily have shorter attention spans than other shoppers, they are highly susceptible to abandoning their carts. And though Wine Enthusiast made the list of Internet Retailer's Top 500 e-tailers in the United States, customer targeting remained an issue, Edelman says.

The retargeting methods Wine Enthusiast was relying on were working, but not nearly at the level the company thought they were capable of, Edelman says. Employing what Edelman calls a "spray and pray" tactic, Wine Enthusiast was seeing decent results, but not great ones. "[Those types of email] do well for us—they go out to a large audience, the open rates are OK; the click rates and the revenue per email are OK," he says, "but we wanted more meaningful personalized product email that would go to people at what we felt was a more accurate time to hit them with relevant products."

To generate the types of pointed email it was aiming for required long, tedious set-ups, additional coding, and constant data feeds to outside email providers. Plus, the company had to configure it all in-house, which "was time-intensive," Edelman says.

To outsource some of the heavy lifting, the company turned to Bluecore, an email triggering service provider, which had the "firepower" other vendors lacked, Edelman says.

The Bluecore Window Shopping solution helps companies craft personalized, relevant messages to customers. The program generates a line of code that a company can place on each of the pages of its Web site to keep track of inventory and pricing details. The system identifies the customer's points of contact across each page to determine the most pertinent product recommendations. "Unlike [other] email service providers, we only focus on commerce and understanding the catalog," Fayez Mohamood, Bluecore's cofounder and CEO, says. "We come up with these best-in-class email recipes that are sort of like best practices." The company then pitches the recipes to the retailer to see if they might be a good fit for its brand.

Wine Enthusiast set up Bluecore's services in less than a week, with less than a day's work on its own end. Now customers are contacted no more than once a week. To get email, a visitor must subscribe, but Bluecore can also identify those who are not logged in at the time of contact. This way they avoid spamming those who haven't elected to receive mail but recognize those who have but might have logged out of the site. "They have a very strict strategy to look at the cadence and frequency of when people are getting email, and we get very few complaints," Edelman says.

Wine Enthusiast reports that Bluecore's Window Shopping email increased its email channel revenue by 16 percent. The average mass marketing email campaigns Wine Enthusiast was running before Bluecore generated a revenue of 50 cents per email, but Bluecore's solution upped that to $3.86 per message. And with less frequent, more relevant email in their inboxes, subscribers engage with the content at higher rates, with a unique open rate of 58 percent, and a 16.7 higher click-through rate than with nonbehavior-triggered email.

The Payoff

Using Bluecore's Window Shopping email program, Wine Enthusiast saw the following results:

  • a 58 percent unique open rate;
  • a click-through rate 16.7 percent higher than nonbehavior-triggered email;
  • an average of $3.86 in revenue generated per email, up from 50 cents per email; and
  • a 16 percent lift in email channel revenue.

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