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When Optimove Becomes Your Brand’s Happiness Lab

When we asked Izzy Darby, Sr. Marketing Manager at Paper Source, to break down how her team is using Optimove to transform business practices and results, we had a hunch she'll say some nice things about what it's like CRMing with us. It was the way she did it, though, which really moved us. It's, like, she really gets us.

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Dr. Laurie Santos is a renowned psychology professor at Yale University. In 2018 she began teaching a class called Psychology and the Good Life, which quickly became one of Yale’s most popular courses; nearly a quarter of the undergraduate student body enrolled in the first year it was offered. She’s also the host of the successful podcast The Happiness Lab, published by Pushkin Industries, Malcolm Gladwell’s media company.

One of the keys to happiness, according to Santos, is engaging in social connections – you know, actually talking to people. Unfortunately, this has become something of a lost art among younger people (shoutout zoomers), a phenomenon many older people (shoutout boomers) attribute to the rise of so-called “social” media. While Santos is fairly agnostic about social media, she bemoans the fact that her students’ obsession with it stops them from taking full advantage of their resources for social connections. Or, in her words: “we’re not always making good use of the humans around us.”

Making good use of resources is also vital for brands – especially when they get their hands on the right one. One such brand is American stationery and gift retailer Paper Source, an Optimove client. The company offers a curated selection of fine and artisanal papers, invitations, gifts, gift wrap, greeting cards, and an exclusive collection of envelopes and cards. Paper Source operates 129 stores across 25 states in the US, plus an e-commerce store and wholesale division. Its motto is “do something creative every day.” And by taking full advantage of Optimove’s unique technology suite, Paper Source’s CRM marketing team is able to do just that.

Building lifetime value right off the bat

“Optimove has helped us build lifetime value right off the bat, showing us which categories build lifetime value the fastest for a new customer, and making sure we are not spending too much money acquiring new customers for categories that ultimately don’t build value over time,” said Izzy Darby, Sr. Marketing Manager at Paper Source.

Using customer behavioral data to improve the ROI of acquisition campaigns is an excellent example of creative thinking. Paper Source’s marketing team understood that the customer data Optimove provides them can indicate what attributes their best customers have in common. From there, it’s just a matter of connecting the dots: by using these customers’ emails or phone numbers, it’s easy to create lookalike custom audiences on Facebook – and target them in acquisition campaigns.

When it comes to retention campaigns, Paper Source is leaning heavily on Optimove’s strong data core and our team’s strategic knowledge and consultancy capacities. “We’ve seen that digging into the data and leveraging the capabilities of Optimove, their expertise, helped us understand our business better than sometimes we even understand it ourselves,” said Darby.

It’s all about hitting the right touchpoint

The foundation of Paper Source’s CRM work is customer lifecycle marketing. By using Optimove to practice customer lifecycle marketing, “we can give customers a much better experience, messaging them with relevant offers and content, pinpointing factors like their favorite category, current lifecycle stage, and preferred channel.” said Darby. “So we’re able to streamline our communication across paid social, emails, SMS, and make sure that when we’re communicating with the customer, it’s the right touchpoint for them.”

A relevant, timely, and emotionally intelligent communication strategy makes customers feel understood and valued. This, in turn, builds brand loyalty and generates higher customer lifetime value – which Paper Source can attest to. “Having Optimove in our tool belt has been critical in the last 1.5-2 years,” said Darby. “We have seen that our retention is higher, and the way we can re-engage a churned or lapsed customer is much greater.”

The next frontier for CRM marketing teams is aiming for true 1:1 personalized customer communications. Doing this at scale is challenging, but recent advances in technologies, such as predictive customer modeling, dynamic customer micro-segmentation, multi-channel campaign automation, and AI-driven campaign optimization, have made it possible nowadays.

“A natural integration”

Another field in which advances in technologies play an essential role is email performance monitoring. Optimove’s native email platform, Optimail, is at the forefront of the email monitoring space, which is why Paper Source decided to integrate it. “ESP migrations are any marketer’s nightmare, but we found that it was a really simple migration,” said Darby. “It’s such a natural integration with all the available data at Optimove.”

The data that Optimove offers became even more potent at the beginning of 2022, when we integrated with eDataSourc, a leader in email deliverability technology and performance insights. The integration with eDataSourc allows Optimove clients to enjoy a significant improvement in the email KPIs we can track for them, more robust real-time alerts capabilities, deeper analysis of deliverability situations, and quicker and more precise escalation capabilities.

By using Optimove’s top-grade execution channel, relying on its powerful customer model, and leveraging its strong data core and analysis capabilities – Paper Source is getting maximum value from the best resource in MarTech. The results are evident in the company’s bottom line (126% increase in customer reactivation rate, an average increase of 2.3 orders per customer) and the well-being of its CRM marketing team. “It’s impossible to think about doing our marketing and our business functioning without Optimove,” said Darby with a smile. Call us the happiness lab.

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