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Ambitions to boost in-email engagement? You can do it, if you B&Q it!

Nicola Cooper
Customer Marketing Director

As growing numbers of consumers are reading emails on mobile devices, retailers are under increased pressure to assess the format of the emails they send. Surrounded by digital technology and smart devices at home and at work, the average UK consumer now owns over five portable devices. This hyper-connectivity is breeding a new type of customer, accustomed to moving across devices in a matter of seconds.

When consumer eyeballs are shifting between tablets, mobile, desktop and TV, digital marketers face a significant challenge – the need to tackle decreasing engagement rates.

Our clients are demanding more from us as we work with them to achieve greater innovation in email marketing. While we are proud of the work we are doing with all clients, Oracle Marketing 1368482015_bqCloud is pleased to have supported some clients on ground-breaking initiatives. For example, OMC has worked with B&Q to help the DIY and home improvement retail giant pioneer an industry-first interactive module to boost in-email engagement.

With 1.8 million individual subscribers to email newsletters, B&Q already had a loyal customer base, with 86% of email customers making return visits to the website. But, given the nature of the products on offer, customers only purchase when they specifically need DIY or home improvement goods. With this in mind, B&Q relied on promotions and newsletters to engage with the customer in between purchase cycles.

Open rates for B&Q email communications are on average 40% or higher, but an increasing use of mobile devices to open emails meant that, like many retailers, engagement rates had been decreasing and relying on text-heavy content was no longer effective in driving engagement within email.

For us, the vision was clear. We wanted to help B&Q find a solution which would boost engagement rates within the body of the email and respond to the demand for innovation from consumers.

As B&Q already experience high email open rates, we wanted to focus on increased engagement and higher click-throughs. Noting that B&Q customers were increasingly using mobile devices to open emails, we planned to help the retailer boost in-email engagement by reaching customers on the device of their choice with visually and creatively compelling content.

This led to the development of the kinetic module for B&Q, which saw the company pilot an industry-first − an interactive responsive module, which delivered effective results quickly.

Within the space of one campaign, B&Q saw open rates increase by almost a fifth, with a 32% increase among B&Q club members. In a competitive retail market, B&Q can now offer customers something they've never been able to do before - modern web-like interactions within email on mobile devices. By providing this ability, B&Q has seen customers spending less time on email, but engaging at a much higher level.

While boosting customer engagement levels has been important in this pilot, the long-term benefit for B&Q will be the valuable lessons about their customers. By analysing the engagement rates driven by the interactive module, the retailer learnt that their distracted, time-poor consumers need relevant content delivered on a device suited to them.

For B&Q, the key to driving engagement and building long-term relationships with customers was not by ensuring they spend more time in the body of the email. Instead, B&Q drove engagement by delivering visually stimulating content in the most user-friendly manner possible to their customers on the move.

As consumers hop, skip and jump between gadgets, it is increasingly difficult for retailers to grasp their attention and marketers should take B&Q’s lead by devising communication strategies that appeal to the most distracted of consumers. Think smart, get creative and give your customers a reason to engage at a much higher level!

For the detailed story of how B&Q is using the kinetic module to increase mobile engagement, check out the full case study here.

Image sources: searchenginejournal.com, theconstructionindex.co.uk

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