Gone are the days of evaluating campaigns largely in terms of response rate, conversion rate, and dollars per sale. Have you noticed? When we read case studies, listen to webinars, and browse industry coverage, we see a wider range of marketing metrics being used than ever before. It’s no wonder that 90% marketers now see measurable results from their personalization efforts (Evergage/Researchscape).

This was driven home to me on the recent webinar “Let’s Talk About Data: A Tutorial on the Value of Personalization,” hosted by Printing Impressions and moderated by Barb Pellow and featuring presenters Liz Miller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, and Melanie De Caprio, director of marketing at SG360°, a multi-site direct mail specialist that produces more than 2 billion direct mail pieces each year.

In the webinar, De Caprio gave multiple examples of that shift. While not the intended takeaways of her presentation, those examples do reflect the point that I want to make. Let’s take a look at them here.

An automotive OEM that wanted to drive customer loyalty.

In this campaign produced by SG360°, the challenge was to build brand loyalty in an industry built on what SG360° calls “loose point-to-point interactions.” The strategy was to create a multi-channel trigger program that engaged customers several months before their financing came to terms. The campaign targeted 14,000 customers monthly and included a self-mailer that featured 33 points of personalization. The OEM achieved a 5.2% growth in repeat customer loyalty in “just three years.”

Notice that the metric was not measured in terms of dollars, but an increase in loyalty. The OEM knew that, if customer loyalty is achieved, ROI will follow. Also notable was the time frame used to evaluate success. It did not look at whether or not a certain target group renewed their financing immediately. The campaign took a longer view, evaluating success over three years.

A big box retailer wanted to increase cycle time to capitalize on the opportunity for cross-sales.

The sooner you follow up on a sale, the more likely the customer is to buy again. If you wait too long, the bloom of excitement fades and the customer no longer feels the urgency to buy that belt, that hat, or that pair of shoes to go with their new outfit. Or if they do feel that excitement and the retailer has not followed up with an incentive to make that purchase from them, customers go out and purchase accessories from someone else.

This retailer understood that. In this campaign also run by SG360°, the direct mail specialist helped the retailer automate its pre-production process to reduce the production cycle time. This allowed both the retailer and its product vendors to deliver relevant offers.

The mailer resulted in a 66% increase in redemption rates and achieved an incremental customer spend per coupon 250% above projections.

While this case study focused on short-term results, those results weren’t driven simply by getting “the right message to the right customers” (although I’m sure the campaign did both). The change resulted from increased speed to market and an understanding that the connection between the timing of the sale and the follow up mattered . . . a lot.

The Abandoned Cart Reactivation Study

De Caprio rounded out her examples by citing the Go Inspire study “The Abandoned Cart Reactivation Gap.” The study, based out of the United Kingdom, sought to understand the effectiveness of email + direct mail abandoned cart reactivation efforts. It found that by adding retargeted direct mail, the conversion rate rose 113.5% over the use of email retargeting alone. While the revenue generated from the direct mail retargeting efforts was nearly identical to that from the initial retargeting email, because the conversion rate was more than double the email-only campaign, the overall revenues were more than double, too.  

The point? We’ve come a long way from focusing too heavily on response and conversion rates from individual campaigns. Profitability from personalization campaigns has increased, not just because the data and marketing messaging are getting better, but because the metrics used to measure the success of campaigns and how we learn from those metrics are getting better, too.

Do you have a story of how a change in the type of metrics used has improved results? I’d love to hear it.