Anyone who buys K-pop merchandise from SM Global Shop at least two times receives a special email.
Historic data shows it drives an open rate of 65%. That’s “insane,” per the words of Digital Marketing Director David Sung. And its average revenue-per-email (RPE) clocks in at $5.84—about 97 times better than the typical RPE of the brand’s promotional campaigns.
Regardless, Sung can’t help saying, “Sales could be a little better,” before adding he should test a more appealing discount.
“Testing” frequently crosses Sung’s lips when talking about any of SM Global’s emails, particularly the automated ones that are triggered by a subscriber’s actions.
As the person responsible for email marketing on a team of about four marketers, he spends substantial time scouring data in Omnisend, searching for clues that indicate a small tweak may be beneficial.
It may not make a huge difference when you’re starting out building your list. But once you have hundreds of thousands of customers in your database, even a .2 or .3 percent increase in any of your metrics can drastically have an improvement on your revenue overall. So I do believe A/B testing is very crucial.”
—David Sung, Digital Marketing Director of SM Global Shop
Sung knows from experience. SM Global’s list doubled to 400,000 subscribers within one year, thanks to Omnisend’s forms.
And through its segmentation and workflow capabilities, Omnisend is helping to boost subscriber engagement across every stage of the customer journey, from the window shopper to the loyal customer.
A cost-effective marketing platform with more tools
Omnisend is not Sung’s first rodeo when it comes to email service providers.
Mailchimp was initially chosen to complement the brand’s Shopify store, shortly after launching in 2017 as the merchandise arm of SM Entertainment, the South Korean record label and entertainment agency.
The marketing platform fell short in automation workflow options. So he tried Klaviyo for about a year and a half, before its pay-by-user pricing ballooned.
Omnisend’s cost, based on the number of emails sent, was too good to resist. The savings are between 50% and 60%.
Its second selling point was a built-in SMS solution—something not available on Klaviyo at the time. SMS is currently part of SM Global’s abandoned cart workflow. Plans are to expand its use through campaigns promoting product releases, as well as for cross-selling or upselling.
Since making the switch in March 2020, Sung has discovered how simple it is to segment SM Global’s massive list. He also appreciates the easy export option for retargeting purposes and the ability to directly sync segments to Facebook and Google for advertising.
Increasing engagement across the customer lifecycle with automations
SM Global Shop is generating nearly half of its sales with Omnisend through automations, yet they compose only 5% of email sends.
The keys? Segmentation and hitting a lot of points along the customer journey.
Sung started by copying the automation shells he had built in Klaviyo—flows for a welcome series, abandoned cart, post-purchase, and customer win-back campaign—and making some adjustments.
From there he added others. Browsers who visit the website receive a “Did something catch your eye?” email. There’s a series to reactivate customers who haven’t purchased in a while, but aren’t at high risk of churning like the win-back segment. And the “purchased twice” email invites the recipient to join the SMBassador program, which awards prizes for creating and sharing content.
Abandoned cart automation
The abandoned cart series has endured six to seven months of testing. Sung admits it was a tricky balance, but he has achieved a 5% improvement in the open rate and an average monthly rise in sales of about $5,000.
Here’s what he changed:
- The sending cadence of the three-part series; the first email goes out one hour after the cart is abandoned, rather than 24 hours, and the second and third emails are sent 12 and 24 hours after that
- The messaging
Abandoned cart emails bring in 21.88% of Omnisend-generated revenue, and account for only 2.7% of the sends.
Lost customer win-back automation
SM Global is attempting to lure not only paying customers with this two-part automation, but also subscribers who haven’t made any purchases.
Once again, testing has made a difference. Subscribers used to receive an email 30 days after they entered the “likely to churn” segment; now they receive it immediately. A small experiment shows emojis within the body of the email helped raise the click-through rate 1%.
The workflow is the second-most profitable in SM Global’s lineup and converts at 51.78%.
Review request automation
SM Global averages between 300 and 400 reviews per month. Over the past year, that’s added up to about 5,000 reviews.
It’s all because of a single email automation that requests buyers to leave a review. Each month, one entry is chosen and the winner receives a $100 gift card to the shop.
“We’re using them for social proof on the website,” Sung says, adding that they are important for encouraging sales. “It helps customers feel more comfortable when they’re purchasing it, knowing that other people have done the same.”
Omnisend’s influence on repeat customers
Over 16 months, sales from the review request automation alone were enough to pay for SM Global’s first 19 months of Omnisend and more. The remaining balance could fund the next two years, plus two months, based on the company’s current plan.
The automation is miniscule in comparison to the fruits of all automations and campaigns. Sung says one of Omnisend’s top contributions is improving retention and building customer loyalty.
It all stems from the ability to segment customers, and therefore send the right messages to the right people.
The automations and segments are a way to diminish any perceptions that SM Global is a spammer. Instead, as Sung says, they’re a means for bringing to life the brand’s “home-family type of vibe” aspirations.