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Why One Test Triggered a 180-degree Turn in How All Whirlpool Brands Direct Market to Consumers

Thomas Mender, Whirlpool

A couple of years ago, Thomas Mender, Senior Manager, Database Marketing, Whirlpool, witnessed a disturbing trend with one of Whirlpool's brands: Opt-outs were outpacing clickthroughs.

“We were succeeding in spite of ourselves, just sending out emails ad hoc,” he explained. “As more brands and business units joined the mix and we started sending more and more emails without a whole lot of rhyme or reason, we saw a very quick decay in performance.”

After learning about email optimization and testing at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, he returned to the office eager to put his newfound knowledge into action.

However, there was the entrenched status quo to contend with, which involved a very "single-threaded and sequential" email process. For years, Whirlpool’s agency built creative that looked like snapshots of landing pages. The brand marketing managers typically approved them with minor tweaks.

Mender treaded carefully and recommended they perform an email test. One version would use the existing email that had multiple calls-to-action, while another would remove all but the CTA that would take prospects to a rebate landing page — the purpose of the email.

The gamble paid off: There was a 42% increase on clickthroughs on Mender's recommended version. Most importantly, this win kicked off a complete culture shift that moved the marketers from speculating what consumers want to measuring it.

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Related Resources

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 — Want to see more presentations like this one? Attend Email Summit 2015, Feb. 23-26, Las Vegas

Email Marketing: Whirlpool lifts clickthrough rate 42%, creates testing culture

Email Marketing: Why one test triggered a 180-degree turn in how Whirlpool markets to consumers

Email Marketing Optimization: How you can create a testing environment to improve your email results