Since opening its doors in Houston in 1999, Francesca’s has expanded to over 670 boutiques and outlets across the United States. Guests also shop their unique assortment at francescas.com. With new items arriving almost daily and in limited quantities, Francesca’s strives to provide its guests with a memorable shopping experience that is one-of-a-kind. Each boutique stylist is dedicated to establishing a personal, genuine connection that will make guests feel invited to come back to Francesca’s time and time again.
In 2016, Francesca’s turned to Elite SEM to better connect its unique brand offerings and engaging content with email subscribers. The partnership united Francesca’s content and marketing prowess with Elite’s technical, logistical, and strategic expertise.
New Triggered Messages Spur New Revenue
From the beginning, the Elite SEM team helped Francesca’s revamp its triggered messaging program to implement three series of tailored messages designed to engage, retain, and convert recipients. Using industry best practices as a guide, the team helped Francesca’s identify triggers and design content for the triggered series, and then took the lead with technical implementation, including integration of personalized product recommendations.
“Thanks to strategic input and technical expertise from Elite SEM, we’re taking full advantage of
automated personalized messages and seeing significant impact to our bottom line.” —Francesca’s
Elite SEM helped Francesca’s transform the new subscriber experience into a comprehensive introduction to the merchant’s offerings. Previously, the retailer had sent a single text-based welcome offer with a one-time coupon code. Using industry best practices as a guide, Elite helped devise a three-message series, tailoring content based on whether or not new subscribers had also purchased items. Both sets of welcome messaging invite shoppers to connect via social media and in stores.
To ensure that subscribers stay engaged, the Elite SEM team devised an all-new triggered series targeted toward email recipients who haven’t interacted with emails recently. The re-engagement series encourages subscribers to visit the Francesca’s site again by showcasing new seasonal products and personalized picks based on prior browsing behavior. The series ensures that Francesca’s maintains optimal subscriber list hygiene.
Finally, to recapture visitors who departed the e-commerce site without purchasing items they’d placed in the shopping cart, the Elite SEM team helped Francesca’s launch a two-message cart abandonment series. In addition to spotlighting the item left behind in the cart, the abandonment messages include a selection of recommendations based on what other categories and products the recipient may be interested in purchasing.
Mobile-Friendly Call-to-Action Boosts Signups
In addition to helping the Francesca’s team reach existing subscribers with tailored email content, Elite SEM’s strategists focused on winning more new signups in the first place. Given that 60% of time spent shopping online now occurs via mobile devices, the Elite team spotted an opportunity to offer smartphone and tablet shoppers an improved signup experience, and provided Francesca’s design recommendations as well as the technical know-how to implement the changes.
The team revamped the e-commerce site overlay window inviting visitors to sign up for email messages, rolling out separate versions for desktop and mobile users. The new overlay is not only more optimally positioned on the page for whichever screen shoppers are using; it includes a prominent discount offer and language about subscriber benefits.
Thanks to the revamped design, mobile signups now account for about half of the new subscriptions generated by the overlay. New monthly contacts have jumped by 40% since implementing the new design.
Elite SEM’s team also helped ensure that mobile subscribers would get an optimal viewing experience once they began receiving messages by providing guidance on mobile-friendly headers and footers for email content.
Cross-Channel Initiatives Set the Stage for 2017
With a vast network of more than 600 stores, the potential is significant for Francesca’s to drive store traffic from email promotions. Elite SEM’s strategists helped the Francesca’s team implement cross-channel programs that facilitate seamless access to the brand — setting the stage for further integration in the year to come.
Email messages now incorporate a personalized location banner that spotlights the boutique nearest to the message recipient. With a built-in map linking to directions and a listing of store hours and contact information, the module makes it easy for shoppers to connect to the resources available at physical outlets and to navigate to it via their mobile devices.
The teams also collaborated to relaunch an existing text-to-join program, making it easy for store visitors to send a text message to subscribe to Francesca’s email program. Elite SEM’s technical experts helped revamp the back-end workflow on Francesca’s email platform, ensuring that the program works seamlessly for shoppers. New signage rolling out this year will support the program, and further in-store signup options, such as keying in the email address at the point-of-sale, are in the works.
In 2017, the Elite SEM team will assist with further integration of customer data across touchpoints, enabling tailored email messages based on a unified profile of shopping activity.