The 2016 CRM Market Elite Customers: Dormify

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Launched in 2011, e-commerce company Dormify specializes in helping young adults decorate their living spaces. The company was founded by Karen Zuckerman and daughter Amanda, when the latter was preparing for her freshman year of college. The pair encountered a dearth of stylish and affordable options for twin XL bedding—but identified a business opportunity. Dormify offers customers a curated selection of products from outside brands on its e-commerce site.

One of the challenges for Dormify is connecting with its young customers. Email marketing is essential for the company to reach its audience, and Dormify relied on an email service provider that integrates with Magento for the majority of its marketing mail. But the company felt it could improve engagement with its young customer base. “We were underserving customers with what we were doing at the time,” says Nicole Gardner, COO at Dormify. “We were looking for a service that could help us streamline a lot of our processes, especially around email marketing.”


Dormify chose to work with email marketing software and automation provider Dotmailer, implementing the platform in January 2015. Dotmailer enables users to load mailing lists and data directly onto the platform and perform drag-and-drop segmentation that draws upon a range of geographical, transactional, and behavioral data. Its EasyEditor drag-and-drop email creation tool allows marketers to personalize campaigns, and the Program Builder feature allows them to automate email marketing streams.

Dotmailer also has a split-testing feature that enables marketers to compare content to determine which is more effective. The Corporate Console allows for managing, comparing, and reporting on the activities of multiple marketing teams, and managing individual email marketing accounts for different brands, locations, and teams in a single account. Dotmailer support is available via a 24/7 helpline.

Dormify was especially attracted to Dotmailer’s simplicity, including the ability to use templates and drag and drop to quickly create emails—the company’s small team does not allow for an employee to specialize in email. According to Gardner, the implementation process was quick, and Dormify was able to “deploy a lot of different programs with a pretty small and resource-strapped team.”

Other selling points for Dormify were Dotmailer’s compatibility with Magento’s digital commerce platform and capabilities including audience segmentation, triggered email series (such as welcome messages and cart abandonment alerts), and campaign automation. The platform also works with Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.com.

According to Gardner, Dormify has seen its biggest gain with email revenue, which increased by 92 percent in 2015 over 2014. And it has experienced significant improvement in other areas as well. Triggered emails now account for 28 percent of Dormify’s total email revenue. Furthermore, the triggered emails were delivered according to preferences indicated by subscribers’ actions, making for a more personalized experience.

Users who reached Dormify’s Web site after prompting from the email campaigns stayed on the site 42 percent longer—and viewed 20 percent more pages—than the average site user, and were also twice as likely to convert as the average site user.

Dotmailer also offers an abandoned cart program that Dormify has found useful. The program has enabled Dormify to drive incremental revenue, with emails sent strategically over a period of 120 days reminding customers to complete a checkout.

In the future, Dormify is looking to expand beyond decorating dorm rooms. The company plans to engage with teenagers still living at home and postgraduates looking to furnish their first apartments. According to Gardner, these endeavors will require “segmentation, and really looking and gathering information based on [customers’] behavior and the [data] they’re giving us.” 

Real 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.

• Email users are twice as likely to convert as average site users.

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