By deploying Convertro, and moving away from a “rudimentary” auditing system that consisted of a lot of Excel spreadsheets, Wine Enthusiast was able to identify sales potential in campaigns it once deemed unprofitable.
“We found people were coming to our site either through our catalog or PPC efforts, were going to the cart, and then saying ‘What [percent] additional can I get off?’ and then they’d go to the coupon site and see that they offered the same thing,” Edelman said. “They ended up clicking through on the affiliate link back to our site since that was easiest and coming back to our site and closing.” The affiliates were essentially collecting commission from organic conversions.
By reducing its reliance on network affiliates that did not drive new customers, during the last holiday season, Wine Enthusiast was able to cut costs paid to affiliates by 33% while simultaneously increasing total ROI by 49%.
Although catalogs remain Wine Enthusiast’s greatest allocation for advertising, a general awareness that digital planning is par for survival and that catalogs are expensive to mail (and that some consumers are pulling back on direct mail subscriptions in general) Wine Enthusiast plans more optimization of its marketing spend using Convertro.
“If I send somebody a catalog and they go to Google and they end up going somewhere else, I’d hate to have my marketing dollars spent on a competitor,” Edelman added. “We want to understand where our dollars in one channel are overlapping with other marketing programs and if I hit them with an email, do I really need to send them a catalog?”
Rooted in direct marketing where “if I spend a dollar, I have to show a return,” Edelman said the company will pursue brand advertising this year “since our product is now sold on Amazon, Costco, and Target. We’ve become a manufacturer. Not just a retailer.”