To become a Shopify success story, you need to find a marketing strategy that fits with your store type.
If you’re a subscription-type ecommerce outfit like gourmet coffee Shopify Plus store Intelligent Blends, your marketing is not just about getting the word out there. You need to regularly engage with your existing audience, keeping them informed on your latest products and offers. And push notifications are the perfect channel.
The marketing team at Intelligent Blends employs some really smart tactics that other subscription or bulk selling Shopify stores can try. They make heavy use of cost effective promotional push notifications. They use more advanced Power Pushes for product launches or big promotions. They have a range of automations set up, including abandoned cart and welcome messages.
They even try some less common tactics, such as using push notifications to improve the performance of their email campaign.
For this case study, we caught up with the marketing team at Intelligent Blends to find out more about their impressive push notification strategy with Firepush that has brought in these results:
Total number of push subscribers: 54,994
Total number of orders through push notifications: 20,041
Total revenue from orders through push notifications: $792,645
Most used push notification type: Power Push
Most effective push notification type: Abandoned cart push sequence
Click through rate on abandoned cart pushes: 7%
Conversion rate from those who clicked on abandoned cart pushes: 28%
Let’s take a detailed look at how Intelligent Blends got started with Firepush, its strategy for using push notifications, and the results it has achieved.
How Intelligent Blends’ Shopify store was born
Maud’s Coffee & Tea is a successful San Diego-based Shopify Plus store. And Intelligent Blends, the company that runs it, specializes in providing premium gourmet coffee pods to an increasing B2C and B2B customer base in the US.
But the company didn’t start life as a coffee business. The facility that they now use for producing coffee pods was originally a factory for making CDs. When the CD market began to decline, the company’s CEO had the idea to move into packing and packaging coffee. It was here that Intelligent Blends was born.
The company packed and labelled for other companies and started up a hospitality division to supply coffee and tea to the hotel sector. But as time went on, the company’s ecommerce store Maud’s Coffee & Tea began to take off, selling its own blends directly to customers. It soon became the main revenue driver for the company.
Intelligent Blends’ marketing success story
With the majority of their business moving to direct B2C sales via their ecommerce site, the company was tasked with building an omnichannel B2C strategy that would keep their customers engaged and loyal. If you’re also getting started with B2C marketing, here’s a handy guide to B2C marketing including strategies and tips).
To do this, they began to put together a marketing mix that would help to deliver stellar conversion rates, one of the company’s key KPIs. As Jarrid Raney, one of Intelligent Blends’ digital marketing experts explains: "We pretty much use every source of traffic that you can think of at this point: email, SMS, Google. Anything that's going to be in the customer journey’s path, we're trying to take advantage of."
And the results of this integrated strategy have been tremendous.
Over this past year we have seen a high overall conversion rate, which is amazing. So, that's a big focus for the company. Our company is starting to become less conservative as we succeed more and more on our different channels. But, you know, margin is a big deal and conversion rate helps with that.Jarrid Raney, Marketing Manager at Intelligent Blends
The company is constantly testing out new combinations of different channels to fine-tune its mix. And it is this constant process of experimentation and adjustment that is helping them achieve great results.
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How Intelligent Blends’ marketing strategy works
Intelligent Blend’s overall strategy for marketing utilizes an omnichannel approach and is very directed. If you’re new to omnichannel marketing, here’s a ready-to-use omnichannel strategy for Shopify stores that will also take you through all the basics of how omnichannel marketing works.
As for Intelligent Blends’ strategy, it is focused on maintaining customer loyalty and boosting product awareness, as Jarrid explains:
"Our pushes, emails or SMSs direct customers to either the home page or, of course, to a big sale. They get a pre-attached code they can use at checkout to get the deal offered in the push, promo email or SMS. Or we direct them to a page or collection that's just specific to what our message is. We're trying to help the customer understand the range we offer, and then take a chance and make a purchase."
Interestingly, it is often the product awareness messages that don’t include an offer that perform better. Intelligent Blends’ customers are ready to explore their range, and omnichannel remarketing is helping them to do so. The deals or offers are there to push sales or move particular stock.
The power of web pushes in building the perfect omnichannel strategy
Intelligent Blends uses web push notifications by Firepush as part of its omnichannel strategy. And push notifications play an important role in delivering the company’s overall high conversion rates. Here’s how Intelligent Blend’s digital marketing expert Alex Shiri sees it:
Pushes are similar to SMS. They’re a way to get directly into someone's awareness path. It’s a way to really get to the forefront and be top of mind with that customer and when we do provide a decent deal, we do see traction.Alex Shiri, Technical Writer at Intelligent Blends
In other words, push notifications benefit from being direct and highly visible, in contrast to email which can be a less immediate channel. “Pushes are a way to get to stay top of mind with customers,” Alex continues. “And when we do provide a decent deal, we see traction.”
One unusual tactic Intelligent Blends employs is to use push notifications together with emails to ensure their campaigns have maximum visibility. “We use them to enhance our email sends and make sure people are seeing them,” Alex explains.
For Alex and the team, the simplicity and ease of setting up push notifications with Firepush is a big plus. “It’s a simple and flexible channel for driving sales. I love how they are really simple and straightforward.”
The ability to prepare campaigns in advance is also an advantage, especially when preparing for major seasonal sales like Black Friday.
I love having the ability to set them up weeks ahead of time. I have six power pushes that are going to go out through Black Friday Week starting on Tuesday. That really gives you a leg up, allowing you to get things done efficiently, and then literally all you have to do is wait and see.Alex Shiri, Technical Writer at Intelligent Blends
Firepush generates huge revenue from month one onwards
Intelligent Blends integrated Firepush into their marketing mix in November 2016, and saw instant results. Promotional pushes and abandoned cart pushes generated $12,500 in additional revenue for the store in the first month.
Overall, Intelligent Blends have generated $792,645 in revenue through push notifications. This significant figure has been generated from a modest subscriber base of 54,994. This means the store has generated $14.42 on average per push notification subscriber. This revenue has come from 20,041 orders achieved using push notifications.
Intelligent Blends has utilised a combination of 4 different types of push notification to achieve these impressive results: abandoned cart push notifications, Power Push notifications, promo push notifications and welcome push notifications. For a detailed explanation of how these push notification types work, and many others, check out this comprehensive guide to push notification marketing in 2020.
Let’s take a look at the individual results for each of the push notification types used by Intelligent Blends.
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The best converting Firepush feature for Intelligent Blends
Abandoned cart push notifications have been the best converting push type used by Intelligent Blends. In total, they have sent over 160,00 notifications and received 10,192 clicks. Most impressively, those clicks have generated almost 3,118 orders. This means that on average over 30% of customers who click have gone on to make an order.
Firepush abandoned cart pushes are automated - if a push subscriber leaves an item in their cart and doesn’t complete the purchase, they are automatically sent a flow of messages encouraging them to complete the order.
And push notifications have a big advantage over email and SMS when it comes to recovering abandoned carts. Customers don’t have to leave their contact details in order to receive these messages - a simple opt-in to web pushes is enough. Not only does this increase the number of customers who receive these messages, it also means that messages are triggered even if the customer doesn’t proceed to the checkout. As long as they have added items to their cart, they’ll get the abandoned cart messages.
Here’s how the abandoned cart message flow looks for Maud’s Coffee & Tea.
The first message is sent after 20 minutes of the customer leaving the store. A second reminder quickly follows, sent on the 1 hour market. And the 3rd and final message is sent after 24 hours.
This flow, with its emphasis on urgency and scarcity, is performing very well for Intelligent Blends. Despite the fact that no discount is offered with these messages, they have still generated almost $120,000 in revenue that would otherwise have been lost.
Power pushes for launching new products and promoting deals
Power Pushes are push notifications capable of incorporating larger files, typically high quality product images. Intelligent Blends have used this push notification type heavily as a way to communicate either new product arrivals or to promote deals and discounts. In fact, with almost 6 million pushes sent, this has been the most used push type on their Maud’s Coffee & Tea Shopify store.
Power pushes have generated 8,668 orders, and these orders have been worth over $345,000 for Intelligent Blends.
Promo push notifications deliver results for bulk campaigns
Promo pushes are pushes designed specifically for promoting deals and offers. Unlike Power Pushes, they don’t include a high-quality image, but they are very well suited to high volume campaigns that need to be set up quickly - for example, for moving excess inventory.
Intelligent Blends have sent almost 2.5 million promotion pushes, generating more than 5,500 orders and almost $220,000 in revenue.
The Intelligent Blends team use snappy copy to build their brand and get customers to click on their promo pushes, as shown in this example.
By using creative copy and presenting attractive deals, Intelligent Blends get excellent results from bulk campaigns using promo pushes.
Along with creative copy, another great trick to get your promo pushes delivering results is to include Shopify discounts codes to them - you can even add a countdown timer for added urgency. If you’re not sure how to create them, here’s a simple guide to creating Shopify discount codes for your store.
Welcome messages for new subscriber bring impressive results
Welcome push notifications are automated messages sent to new subscribers to introduce your brand and store, and in many cases offer an introductory deal to get your subscribers engaged.
Almost 1 in 10 new subscribers open the welcome pushes sent by Intelligent Blends.
Although Intelligent Blends have only used welcome pushes sporadically, they have achieved strong results from this message type. The click through rate for these messages is 9.89%, showing customers are keen to engage when they have recently subscribed. These clicks generated over 2,700 orders, which is impressive considering customers will often just be exploring a store at this stage of their customer journey. From 177,588 welcome pushes sent, Intelligent Blends has generated over $106,000 in revenue.
Take away: push notifications are an important component in Intelligent Blends’ mix
Intelligent Blends’ strategy is all about meeting customers where they are.
And in the constant challenge to stay top of mind, push notifications are proving to be an important channel. Here’s a quick reminder of how they are using push notifications to engage customers and drive sales:
- Abandoned cart messages are converting lost sales into over $100,000 of revenue
- Power pushes have netted almost $350,000 and are ideal for launching new products
- Promo pushes are a cost effective option for big bulk campaigns, bringing in $219,000 from 240,000 messages sent
- Welcome pushes engage new subscribers and brought in over $100,000
This is a smart and effective mix of push notification types. What’s more, by using pushes in conjunction with emails and SMS, Intelligent Blends is ensuring each channel is performing to its maximum potential and helping to keep its Shopify store in customers’ minds.
A next step for Intelligent Blends could be adding more push notification automations, such as Price Drop and Back in Stock alerts and Win Back Customer messages. This would help to ensure every customer in their base is well informed on their favorite products and no opportunities are missed to engage their audience.
To manage multiple channels simultaneously, these tools need to be quick and easy to use - and Firepush definitely meets this criteria. As Alex from Intelligent Blends puts it, Firepush is “really simple and really straightforward,” which means setting up campaigns well ahead of time is easy.
And for busy marketers managing multiple channels, this ease of use can be just as valuable as the hundreds of thousands in revenue push notifications can bring.
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