What Just Wines did to lift email engagement and revenue

Australian online wine seller shares the marketing technology journey it's been on that's triggered a 17 per cent increase in email-driven revenue

A/NZ online wine seller, Just Wines Australia, has seen email-driven revenue lift by 17 per cent and unsubscribe rates fall by 43 per cent after investing in a fresh digital marketing platform and segmentation approach.

Company CEO and founder, Nitesh Bhatia, said the business had been using a bunch of platforms prior to its adoption of Emarsys’ marketing platform, including Inxmail, Mailchimp and Mailigen, but was finding it difficult to analyse customer interactions smartly.

“We have tried them all. They were good for the basic purpose of sending emails, but if we wanted to only focus on people who like their shiraz, we had to do it manually externally, then send it,” he told CMO. “This was creating a mess and it wasn’t a good experience for customers.”

Just Wines took its first steps to migrating to Emarsys 18 months ago, initially with the intention of automating and controlling personalised customer messaging more effectively. More recently, it has been harnessing the expanded artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of the marketing platform, including Smart Insight and Omni-channel Automation.

It’s a move that’s seen the company reduce communications being sent to customers while better utilising buyer segmentation to personalise emails. This is being achieved by better tapping into behaviours and preferences.

“Put simply, we have moved away from sending everyone an email every day,” Bhatia said. “I personally don’t like it and would not expect businesses to do that to me. We send specific offers to specific buyers; if you like a certain kind of wine, perhaps we send something only once a month. Why email people every day?

“Initially, I think we annoyed thousands of our customers by sending emails every day. We came to the realisation we were not serving anyone well this way. But that is why online business is so effective – you can learn, reassess and reapply continuously.”

With email the largest revenue driver for Just Wines, it was important to find a platform that was easy to use, automated email marketing and offered scale as the business grows its customer base and reach. Just Wines launched in 2012 and now offers 6000 wines from more than 1000 winemakers from Australia and New Zealand. It has 70,000 customers and is selling 150,000 bottles per month.

Sending more relevant emails keeps customers engaged, Bhatia continued. “In a time where we have hundreds of emails in our inbox every day, no matter how good a service or offer we give to our customers, say for instance if I was a Just Wines customer receiving emails 30 or 50 times a month like some online retailers do, I personally would never purchase from Just Wines,” he said. “I tell this to my team all the time; we are all customers using many ecommerce companies and we should give our customers exactly what we expect.”

To date, Just Wines has seen an increase in email-driven revenue of 17 per cent, while unsubscribe rates reduced by 43 per cent.

Customer tech innovations

Alongside the Emarsys investment, Just Wines has been actively using other technologies to help build customer engagement. One example Bhatia pointed to is a tool called Yotpo, which provides customers with a direct line to give reviews and feedback on what they like or don’t like about services or products.

“We use this feedback to improve our processes to ensure we do not repeat it if it was a negative experience. I am also copied in on each negative review when it comes in along with our customer service team, which has helped us quite a lot,” he said. “I know exactly where we mess up and take proactive decisions to improve. I would highly recommend this.”

Another tech in the Just Wines mix is Hotja, which the team taps into to understand and interact with website visitors and helps with determining what is and isn’t working digitally.

“This way, we have another 1000 eyes checking our website with us, every day,” Bhatia said.

Just Wines also uses live chat. “Again, it’s a very good tool which is useful for all online businesses - it allows customers to talk to us instantly in real time without having to email or call us,” he said. “We want to be available at every time they would to talk to us – it’s about our customers’ convenience, not ours.”

Meanwhile, while the possibilities for personalising email are endless, Bhatia said Just Wines is being careful to take it one step at a time.

“Personalising areas like what variety of wine you like and how frequently you like purchasing are the ones we are currently focusing on,” he explained. “A tool like Emarsys’ is a Ferrari with a powerful engine for us; we are learning from the amazing team at Emarsys about how to drive the car since it’s an advanced system we can benefit from by maximising its potential.

“We have 6045 different types of wine on the website now and mainly, we are focused on make discovering it easier for people to discover their favourite wines.”

Check out more of our coverage of how Australian brands are tapping marketing automation:

 Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

 

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