Guest Post: Transitioning from Direct Mail to Personalized Emails at Silver Star Brands

By Jennifer Heim, Retention Marketing Manager at Silver Star Brands (formerly Miles Kimball)

This article was written by Jennifer Heim, Retention Marketing Manager at Silver Star Brands (formerly Miles Kimball). Silver Star Brands is a client of Coherent Path. In the article, Jennifer relates her experience transitioning the company from one-size-fits-all direct mail outreach to personalized, data-driven email marketing. Note that she will be delivering a keynote address on a similar topic for the Email Marketing Summit at eTail West 2016 in Palm Springs on Monday, February 22, 2016. For more information about the event, email us at info (at) coherentpath (dot) com or contact your account manager.

Silver Star Brands (formerly Miles Kimball) has dedicated the last 80 years to earning customer trust. As a catalog company that knows their customer, Silver Star Brands (SSB) has always put a premium on keeping in tune with customer tastes and preferences. This legacy made it an easy decision to invest in an email marketing strategy that maximizes the opportunities presented by the move to a digital world.

New innovations in personalization and email marketing allow for greater flexibility and responsiveness than ever before. Jennifer Heim, the Retention Marketing Manager at Silver Star brands, is responsible for overseeing this transition. We caught up with her to get an insider’s look at how SSB is accomplishing their goals.

“As a first step we needed to maximize the value of our creative team and their resources. With a small email creative team, it has been invaluable to have an easy way to leverage our data and figure out what themes we need to focus on each month in our email calendar ,” Jennifer says. “By picking the right themes and assigning the right people to each theme, we make sure we are putting the most relevant content in front our customers.”

One example is the critical problem of how to better engage low frequency subscribers. “Our mission is to provide thoughtfully selected, unique and unexpected products for our customers. Email provides a great opportunity to individually promote the right content for each customer,” Jennifer points out. “The challenge is to do this effectively for customers we only see once or twice a year. By leveraging our data — email, web and transaction data — we are able to get a much clearer picture of these customers.” Generally web and email data is more than 10x the amount of data when compared to the number of transactions.”

Leveraging email, web and transaction data to effectively engage subscribers over the long term requires an understanding of how loyalty happens within Silver Star Brands’ customers. What are the best assets in the catalog? When does cross selling really pay off and engender loyalty? How do you expose new things to a customer in a way that engages them versus make them feel alienated or overwhelmed by irrelevant content? These questions are at the heart of Silver Star’s strategic goals.

“Personalization for Silver Star Brands means understanding where a customer is going, not just where they have been. When we think about segmenting our customers, we want to do it in a way that respects their growth into new interests and needs. We also want to take advantage of what our data is telling us about how loyalty and engagement happen on an individual basis within our product catalog,” Jennifer notes.

To realize its goals, Silver Star Brands is using Coherent Path’s Email Campaign Optimization, which is designed to optimize the customer journey around specific goals.
“We are pursuing our goal of personalized marketing as the business continues to transition to the digital world through email. We love that digital channels provide clear and precise measurement of engagement and growth. We’ve seen significant improvements in revenue and engagement in key segments and we are excited to be continuing the tradition of serving our customers with the right products across Miles Kimball and the rest of the Silver Star Brands.”