How doubled its conversion rate by streamlining email lists

By Published on . buys used shipping boxes from large consumer packaged goods companies and resells them to companies all over the U.S. The success of the business, said CEO Marty Metro, is contingent on matching supply with demand in a particular geographic region so shipping costs remain low. Before revamping its list management strategy, Cynthia Perez, freight and operational coordinator, would send individual emails to regional clients when received new inventory to gauge their interest. The process was slow and cumbersome, with no way to see who opened each email. To address this problem, last October Perez segmented the company's more than 5,000-name list by geography as well as previous purchase history—delineating between customers who need 12-by-12-in. boxes and those that need 3-by-3-ft. boxes. To boost lead generation, the company's ESP Vertical Response then created an email alert, Inventory Blast, to allow to send more targeted messages. "Sometimes the blasts could go to as few as 200 people—or to as many as 1,000," she said. Salespeople now know when the blasts are going out and receive reports pinpointing which customers open email messages so they can follow up with a phone call. Their email addresses are included so customers can respond directly to them. The reports also highlight those customers that have purchased before but aren't opening emails, Metro said. "Salespeople are always given the option to opt their customers out of the blasts, too" he said. To date, no one has opted out. More important, the time it takes for Perez to manage emails has decreased from 2½ hours to about one hour; open rates have increased from 10% to 15%. The best part, Metro said: "We're seeing a 50%-to-60% conversion rate, up from 20%-to-25%."
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