Although we have many eCommerce industry experts internally here at Bluecore, we know that marketers also like hear directly from those who share similar challenges, solutions and experiences.
And so, we’re excited to announce the launch of our Customer Spotlight series, where we’ll be sharing tips, best practices and advice from our very own customer experts.
First up: Tommy Lamb, Director of Retention & Loyalty of Teleflora. Tommy has actually worked with Bluecore for a number of years with a handful of different brands, including Lucky Brand, BCBGMaxazria and Dermstore. Now at Teleflora, Tommy shares his biggest challenges, proudest moments and more.
1. What Does Retention & Loyalty Look Like at Teleflora?
My department is run by a team of four, including me, with a lot of cross-departmental collaboration. I focus on the strategy and have experts in each channel who help me execute. We have a solid loyalty program in place today, but are looking to relaunch it in 2017 with more robust systems and engaging features like user-generated content through Olapic and social sharing.
2. How do you work with other marketing departments?
We work very closely with our partnership marketing and eCommerce teams. Our partnership marketing team does a lot of promotions such as, “Buy a bouquet from Teleflora using your Macy’s card and receive 20% off.” Right now we’re rolling out a few of those pilots on various partner sites, so I’m excited to see those results, especially with our airline partners. Our eCommerce team really focuses on the customer experience and optimization, so ensuring our site functions and looks its best.
3. What has been your biggest challenge?
I think our biggest challenge is similar for many other brands: communicating differentiation and value proposition. If you compare Teleflora’s product to our competitors, however, it’s really no contest. We source 100% of our bouquets from local florists, so anytime you buy from us, you’re also supporting a local business. Our presentation is another big differentiator. A lot of our competitors deliver these bouquets in boxes or without a vase, whereas our arrangements are personally delivered, hand-made, and ready to display.
4. What 3 things could you not run your program without?
- Data Integrity: Our data teams are so amazing and patient. Since then, we’ve improved inboxing by 21%. That’s all just from improving data hygiene and cleaning up dormant emails.
- Triggered Emails: We are in a low-margin industry, as opposed to fashion or beauty with 50-60% margins. Cost is king over here, so when you have a solution like Bluecore, which runs 3% of our email volume but makes up 20% of our revenue, that gives us the cushion we need. Batch and blasts, on the other hand, include much larger discounts and more expensive promotions that eat at our precious margins.
- Internal Creative Services: We essentially have a full fledged marketing agency in-house here. They are a huge resource, they’ve been a tremendous value in improving our emails and overall design.
5. What unique challenges do you think Teleflora has compared to other eCommerce businesses?
If we’re being honest, Teleflora is marketing a product to people who are almost always purchasing for someone else on a special occasion and there is a big difference in consumer mindset. In essence however, we are often seen as a commodity with our customers focused on bottom line price. We’ve been successful because we are able to convey the quality and value of our brand; our arrangements are hand-made and personally delivered.
6. What has been your proudest moment at Teleflora?
I’m really proud of the results we’ve seen in email optimization from January to July of this year:
- 72% increase in email contribution
- 64% better spam rates than our competitors
- 35% increased the list size
- 30% increase in revenue from just our welcome emails
So much of this was cleaning up our data and the design of our emails. We tested and updated the layouts, subject lines and imagery. I’m very happy with improvements. We will soon be launching a welcome series of 3 emails using Bluecore functionality.
7. What has been your biggest learning experience?
I knew switching industries from beauty to specialty gifts was going to be challenging, but I didn’t know how challenging. While there are plenty levers to pull, it’s a completely different game.
8. What advice would you give to marketers looking to grow into a role like yours?
Write your wins down every day. Just make a quick note, otherwise you’re going to forget it. Eventually, you’ll want to put together a presentation of, “This is what we’ve done, here’s where we’re going, here’s where we’ve been, etc.” If you don’t write it down, you won’t be able to find those numbers and it’s really motivating to take a moment to look at your progress and accomplishments.
9. Where do you want to be in 5 years and how do you see yourself getting there?
Right now I’m focused on getting the right tools and processes implemented to take retention and loyalty to the next level. This includes a holistic view of marketing. For example, Direct Mail is now under my purview and we are making great strides in partnership marketing so that we’re leveraging our different marketing efforts for the best results. This includes keeping abreast of industry trends, changing consumer habits, and new technologies and tools that are becoming available to us. Being involved in the direction of the industry is critical.
10. What is one thing you want Teleflora to be known for?
The most complete option when it comes to floral gifting. We don’t have a UPS guy throwing a box of flowers at your door. If I’m buying flowers for someone, I want thought to be put into it. I want someone to ring the doorbell and hand them the bouquet. I want people to know we check all the boxes for them.