Content-Commerce Hybrid Betabrand Bets On Smarter Facebook Segmentation To Boost Revenue

BetabrandSince Betabrand crowdsources its ephemeral designs – including the “dress pant yoga pants” – it focuses on Facebook as a primary traffic source.

The platform accounts for about 80% of the ecommerce brand’s acquisition budget, and more than half of its members authenticate using their Facebook credentials.

Betabrand is no newbie at CRM and email matching through Facebook’s Custom Audiences, but these days it’s going way deeper than basic lookalike modeling.

Instead of only finding women resembling Betabrand’s existing base of female customers, for instance, it is driving increased revenue per user by using marketing platform Sailthru for deeper segmentation.

“We’re now looking at, ‘Here are my customers with a high lifetime value who are most likely to purchase in the next seven to 30 days,’” said Aaron Magness, CMO for Betabrand. “As a small brand startup, we don’t have the luxury of spending tons of money to figure this out. We have to be smart about every ad dollar we spend.”

Betabrand previously had used Sailthru as its traditional email service provider, but it’s beginning to use it to connect customer retention and user acquisition data to identify and nurture higher-value audiences on Facebook. 

That trickles into more effective targeting on dynamic product or Lead Ads on Facebook.

In the past, for example, all men in Betabrand’s database might have received an email promotion or a generic promoted Facebook post for a new fall jacket.

To improve the relevancy of its messages, Betabrand can now target men who had searched for autumn apparel in August with that specific product creative.

“We have a whole onboarding cycle independent of our retention strategy, so it was helpful that we could manage both using one tool,” Magness said. “By combining the two, we’ve seen 42% increases in repeat purchases by getting people through the door and making them aware of new products they’d find most relevant.”

Although it’s common sense to invest in marketing to customers who have demonstrated a higher lifetime value, Magness said Sailthru’s prediction engine helps the brand identify more attributes accretive to ROI.

That may include past site visitors, those who have purchased on certain dates or those with a higher propensity to churn.

As a result, Betabrand is seeing a 21% increase in projected revenue per user.

Betabrand is also looking to generate more relevant creative in messaging delivered at the proper cadence.

Since the company’s crowdsourced designs are limited releases, the irreverent stories behind the products are as important as the actual apparel.

Email creative might change based on whether a consumer clicked or didn’t click on an ad in the Facebook news feed. And, once a consumer scrolls through six images in an email, a relevant creative may be triggered on Instagram.

Although Magness said Betabrand dabbles in traditional display retargeting and he’s happy with the overall results, he thinks the industry needs to improve the storytelling component.

“Where retargeting gets interesting is if it’s someone with high intent but who hasn’t added to their cart yet,” he said. “When you pull back the layers of the onion with retargeting, you find you’re still spending the majority of your budget on your existing customers.”

This realization led Betabrand to view display retargeting mostly as an acquisition tool versus a nurturing mechanism to win over lukewarm leads.

“We really want our email strategy to be our ‘maintenance’ tool that keeps people engaged with products through a relevant story that goes along with it,” he said.

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