Field Reports1 Mar, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response
Kosciewicz Says iPost Is the Secret to Eastwood's E-mail Marketing Success
By Thomas Haire (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peter Kosciewicz is chief marketing officer at Witmer Public Safety Group, which he joined in October 2008. Prior to that, Kosciewicz spent five-and-a-half years at The Eastwood Co., a 30-year old company that sells tools and supplies for hobbyists and small businesses that restore or customize motor vehicles. The company sells through multiple channels, with almost half of the business Web-based and about 40 percent via catalog. During his time at Eastwood, Kosciewicz teamed with strategic E-mail marketing solutions company iPost on an innovative pilot using iPost's Autotarget program. Recently, Response chatted with Kosciewicz about the online direct response campaign and its results.
Q: How does Eastwood use direct response to market its products and services?
A: Eastwood markets offline via a catalog, space advertising and insert media. Online marketing efforts include E-mail, paid search, search engine optimization (SEO), affiliate marketing and social networking. Though the company started with a catalog, it's now better known as a Web company with a catalog.
Q: How did Eastwood connect with iPost? What was Eastwood looking for from iPost?
A: Eastwood partnered with iPost five years ago. At the time, Eastwood was using a much smaller E-mail service provider and wasn't pleased with their responsiveness, reporting capability or the deliverability of campaigns. We wanted to partner with a provider who had established relationships with the primary domains, who could help us with white listing and who could provide strategic campaign development support. Using a much smaller E-mail service provider, we'd had problems with delivery to certain domains. iPost brought solutions, and what kept me with iPost is its ability to adapt, modify and change with times.
Q: How did you employ the Autotarget technology? Did you do testing first before a complete rollout?
A: Eastwood collaborated with iPost early on in the development of Autotarget. When product development was complete, we were among the first to beta-test it. Our first Autotarget E-mail was sent in January 2008. We tested it on a single product focus E-mail. Using Autotarget, we selected 65,000 relevant addresses from our list of 210,000. Compared to other similar E-mails, the Autotarget test resulted in an increase in open rate, an increase in demand-per-thousand and an increase in profit per thousand. Despite sending the E-mail to 69 percent fewer customers, we saw growth in top line demand and bottom line profit.
Q: Did those results Eastwood experienced in using Autotarget continue beyond the test?
A: Based on the test's positive results, we began using Autotarget to generate our E-mail lists in February 2008. On average, Eastwood blasts about 10-15 campaigns per month, with some months coming closer to 20-25 campaigns. When we did the first test, Autotarget selected less than 70,000 addresses, there was some apprehension. We had revenue goals to meet. We had prepared another E-mail, and it was ready to go in case the Autotarget beta crashed and burned. We never had to send it. Autotarget allowed Eastwood to find the most relevant, engaged customers — the ones who wanted to receive our E-mails, who were most likely to open them and click through, and less likely to opt out or report the mailing as spam. As a result, broadcasts per address went up 18.2 percent. E-mail-driven revenue increased by 23 percent, broadcast costs decreased by 20 percent, and opt-outs declined by 14 percent.