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Nov 09, 2004
Case Study

How to Use Segmentation to Convert More Site Visitors to Buyers

SUMMARY: Not all pop-ups are evil. If you segment your visitors so they see a pop that specifically addresses their needs ... the results can be very positive indeed. Find out how plus-size fashion retailer Kiyonna tested segmentation using both pops and email campaigns to their house list. This Case Study includes some of the most glamorous site and email design we've seen. Enjoy:

The fashion industry is all about appearances.

So marketers for glamorous plus-size dressmaker Kiyonna planned their online presence with the emphasis on looking chic and stylish.

o The models look sexy, confident, and comfortably bold. You won't see any typically stiff catalog poses.
o The color palette is ultra-sophisticated, with lots of black, grey, and warmer metallic tones.
o Navigation links invite you to click to site sections such as "Bombshell" and "Little Black Dresses."
o Outfits are named after movie stars such as Harlow, Hepburn and Monroe.

But, as company President Kim Camarella admits, "You can get into a rut of being great looking, but you're not analyzing results."

How can you make an already great looking site, and matching email program, drive more offline retail and online sales without sacrificing the style that's at the heart of your brand?


Instead of changing the style of the site and emails to appeal more to generic visitors, Kiyonna's marketers decided to be more appealing to individual visitors.

In other words, they began to test three types of segmented offers, based on a particular shopper's activities.

Segmented Test #1. Variety of intro pops

The site's home page was already dedicated to focusing on the offer of the week as seen in its sibling email alert. This worked extremely well to convert "view through" visitors (site fans who got the email but instead of clicking on an email link, visited the site separately perhaps later in the day or week).

So, the team decided that, instead of touching the current home style, they'd add segmentation on top of it by using a pop-up. Depending on where they came from, visitors would see a different pop (link to samples below):

o Visitors from outside the US saw a pop-up addressing their concerns about shipping and shopping.

o Visitors from locations near a "premiere boutique" (an offline retailer which carried a substantial amount of Kiyonna's line) saw a pop-up directing them to visit that brick and mortar.

o All other visitors (including those pesky AOL folks who all appear to be "from" Dulles VA) would see a special offer pop.

Segmented Test #2. Two exit pops

After reviewing research data on what works in eretail, the team also decided to test two exit pops triggered by the shopping cart.

o If you exited immediately after seeing what the cost of your purchase would be with shipping and taxes added in, then the site served up an exit pop offering free shipping.

o If you exited further in the check-out process, such as when asked to input a credit card number, the site served up an exit pop offering a 20% discount code.

Segmentation Test #3. Second-wave email campaigns

Kiyonna tried to send its house list opt-ins an emailed offer featuring new merchandise each and every week. That's because, "it's fashion. We can't show the same thing twice." And as in most marketing, being able to say something is new improves response.. But, occasionally the team didn't have anything new to talk about. They decided to test segmentation again. Instead of sending a generic offer to the whole list, they sent an offer to only the people on the list who'd clicked on a link the prior week. (Everyone else got a rest week.)

Plus, the offer was individualized, so if you had previously clicked on a link to see a black dress your offer was for another black dress, but if you'd previously clicked on a sporty red top, you saw another sporty top, etc.


Since launching the segmentation tests in July, "we've definitely seen a sales increase," says President Camarella.

Results from the international and premiere boutique intro pops can't be tracked precisely because they are informational rather than direct response. The special offer intro pop averages 3-6% click rates.

The free shipping exit pop convinces 14% of cart abandons into returning to complete their purchase. The 20% off offer has a conversion rate of 11%. It's worth noting these are unusually high rates for offers of this nature.

On average, Kiyonna's typical weekly email alert featuring new products gets an open rate of 22%, messages sent-to-click rate of 10-12%, with a click-to-conversion rate ranging from 3-14% depending on the item in question.

Each of these numbers generally doubles when Kiyonna sends a segmented, individualized offer just to the past week's clickers. Much less email goes out, but it works harder. Plus, Camarella figures it's better in the long run to rest the main house list for a week than to send them something less exciting. (We agree.)

Useful links related to this story:

Creative samples -- pops, emails, and site screenshots

SiteBrand - the ASP that Kiyonna relies on to power their segmentation campaigns on-site and via email:


See Also:

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