Email Acquisition Case Study: Shoe Carnival
Are you involved with email marketing at a major retail chain? If so, we moderated a session at last month’s Email Evolution Conference that you need to know about!
The presentation broke down how FreshAddress helped Shoe Carnival, one of America’s biggest family footwear retailers, master point-of-sale email acquisition. Special thanks to Kelli Holtshouser, Email Marketing Coordinator at Shoe Carnival for leading the discussion!
More about Shoe Carnival:
Shoe Carnival has 404 stores across 33 states and Puerto Rico and generates $1 Billion in annual sales. As you’d expect, a retailer of this caliber:
- Collects a TON of email addresses at its stores; and
- Sends millions of emails annually.
The Problem: High Bounce Rates
Shoe Carnival was facing a major dilemma: They were experiencing bounce rates of 13% for email addresses collected in-store and 5% for those acquired through their website.
Bouncing Welcome Emails: Welcome messages have the highest open rates out of any type of marketing email. As a result, our client was missing out on the best time to reach customers and a chance to deliver a very popular coupon!
Customer Satisfaction: Shoe Carnival can’t send customer loyalty rewards without a working email address. When customers don’t receive the coupons, rewards, receipts, and information they expect, it’s never a good thing.
Unnecessary Spending: The client was wasting money deploying to invalid and incorrect email addresses. These costs start to add up when you’re deploying millions of emails.
Damaged Deliverability: Sending to invalid, deliverable but wrong, and deliverable but problematic email addresses was threatening their ability to reach the inbox. It also opened the door to larger potential problems that could wreak havoc on their email marketing program. Shoe Carnival wanted to avoid this at all costs.
The Culprit: Bad Email Addresses
The driving force behind our client’s high bounce rates and the resulting fallout was email acquisition error. The retail check-out line is a hectic and fast-paced place. People are in a hurry and are frequently distracted by their cell phones, screaming children, and whatever else is happening at the moment. That makes this environment ripe for human error during the email acquisition process.
This resulted in an assortment of bad addresses entering Shoe Carnival’s database. The EEC session identified the different types of bad addresses that ended up on their list. On a very high level, they break down into 2 categories:
1.) Undeliverable/Invalid Addresses
- Bad address syntax
- Address that doesn’t meet ISP requirements
- Invalid upper/lower domains
- Invalid MX record
- Mailbox that isn’t open to receiving email
- Good address that went bad
2.) Deliverable, but PROBLEMATIC
- Role account
During the session, Shoe Carnival mapped out their 4-part process for identifying a solution to their email acquisition problem. This slide from the presentation sums it up perfectly!
- New entry error rate reduced to <1%
- Over 40,000 suggested corrections for existing addresses
- Caught nearly 30,000 confirmed spamtraps
- 100% accurate and deliverable emails entering the client’s database
- Improved email marketing ROI! (see below)
- 8 Tips for Capturing Quality Email Addresses
- 5 Fresh Takes on Spring Email Marketing Campaigns for 2018