Homebase is a home enhancement retailer selling over 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has more than 340 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland serving around 64 million customers a year, and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk.
Homebase provides a specialist kitchen offering in terms of range, design and installation services, and wanted to highlight this via email. The email marketing channel previously encouraged kitchen conversions with voucher code offers. However, o doing more to make people consider Homebase prior to making a purchase. The key aim was to use the email channel to identify newsletter subscribers who had specifically shown an interest in kitchen products and once identified, to more effectively target these customers.
“Working with Teradata eCircle has helped us to develop a triggered email campaign that is relevant and timely to our customers. We can target customers who are in the consideration phase for a big purchase and highlight our key services and information just when the customer needs it.” – Jennifer Wright, Online Marketing Manager, Homebase
Using categorised link tracking to identify and target ‘kitchen clickers’
Teradata eCircle suggested that better results could be generated from Homebase’s email campaigns, and their specific aims and objectives achieved by targeting ‘kitchen clickers’ with a triggered personalised follow-up email, 24 hours after engagement. Email content included in-store design, full fitting and project management services, to drive appointment bookings and move prospects through the sales funnel.
Existing ‘Categorised Link Tracking’ within business as usual (BAU) email campaigns, such as Homebase’s newsletter was used to successfully identify recipients who clicked on kitchen-related links within the email creative. They were then put into the ‘Kitchen Trigger’ email communication programme, to send a short series of follow-up emails.
“Using triggered email marketing to move customers through the sales funnel has helped us to achieve a 45:1 ROI on this campaign alone.” – Jennifer Wright, Online Marketing Manager, Homebase
The ‘kitchen trigger’ email programme strategy
The short programme of three emails was set up within Teradata eCircle’s email marketing software platform, eC-messenger, with three quite different objectives to target the ‘kitchen clickers’ audience.
The first of three messages in the programme, ‘Kitchen Trigger Message 1’, which was sent to all ‘kitchen clickers’, had a primary objective of getting subscribers to ‘consider’ Homebase kitchens.
The email was used to showcase their kitchen ranges and using clear ‘view range’ calls to action (CTA) above the fold, in order to drive this consideration. The CTA buttons/links could be reordered within the flexible email template if booking appointments became the strategic aim of this message, instead of consideration, for example.
‘Kitchen Trigger Message 2’, focused on generating appointment bookings. This message had just one main CTA which pointed to a specifically designed appointment booking website landing page.
‘Kitchen Trigger Message 3’ was designed to reinforce the message of the previous two emails within the programme. This email used more CTAs to browse Homebase’s kitchen range, book an appointment, and watch an in-store expert video with an aim to convert recipients who hadn’t taken action from the previous two pieces of communication.
Conversion tracking was placed on all three of the triggered messages in the programme to report on the volume of recipients who went on to book an appointment, plus reserve a product or make a direct purchase after receiving one of these emails.
Increased engagement with personalised communication
The typical open rate for an optimised BAU email marketing campaign is between 20% and 25% and a typical clickthrough is between 2% and 3.5%. The ‘Kitchen Trigger’ programme has seen open and clickthrough metrics up to 20% higher than these results. This high level of engagement proves that
Homebase subscribers respond better to targeted communications based on click activity.
All recipients received ‘Kitchen Trigger Message 1’, which saw the highest engagement rate across the programme. The open rate for this email was 45%, with an 8.4% click through rate. The strategic objective of this email was to encourage subscribers to ‘consider’ Homebase kitchens, which can be seen as being achieved by placing the ‘view ranges’ CTA above the fold and this generating the highest clicks within the email template.
Message one achieved a 70% conversion rate of appointment link clickers, who went on to book an appointment. In addition to delivering the objectives of the email (to drive consideration and appointment booking of those recipients who clicked on the appointment link), 6% also went on to make a direct website purchase and 7% made a reserve and collect (R&C) purchase.
‘Kitchen Trigger Message two’ generated a 38% open rate and received a 3.5% click through rate. The clickthrough rate was within the range expected for BAU emails, however this email had just one very specific ‘arrange a free appointment’ CTA taking users to the appointment booking landing page, so this was to be expected. This CTA received 5% of clicks and a 36% conversion rate. The Homebase logo also received clicks from those customers not yet ready to convert. Of the users clicking on the appointment link, 4% made a direct purchase and 1% made an R&C purchase.
The last email in the programme ‘Kitchen Trigger Message 3’, sent to the remaining recipients, saw an open rate of 34%. More calls to action within this email resulted in a higher CTR (click through rate) of 5.25%. This could even be further improved by changing the text links to be more prominent buttons, including making the video CTA a play button. This email had an 86% appointment booking conversion, with 8% making a direct purchase and 4% making an R&C purchase.
When communicating with recipients using personalised and targeted content, higher levels of engagement can be achieved. The result was a boost in open rates and campaign ROI for Homebase.
The main objective for the campaign was successfully realised with an overall 48% of recipients booking hundreds of in-store appointments to meet the Homebase design consultants.
With an average conversion from appointment to final purchase at approximately 40%, Homebase was able to achieve a total project ROI of 45x initial investment over a short time frame and additional annual revenue of £1m+.
On top of the success of the main objectives of the programme, Homebase also saw the benefit of 18% of the ‘Kitchen Trigger’ email recipients go on to make a direct purchase online and 12% make a reserve and collect (R&C) purchase.