Oct 10, 2012

The New York Times Store Focuses on Email, Sees 50% Increase in Sales

The New York Times’ store features photos from the legendary newspaper, rare collectibles, maps, NYT-branded gifts, fine-art prints, and much more. "Our values have been a constant since the store opened in 1998—unrivaled quality, outstanding service, and customer satisfaction," the store’s website says. But to hear Online Store Manager Dave Gaetano tell it, something was missing.

"We have a very dedicated base of fans of the store who enjoy our unique products," Dave says. "We wanted to set up an email for our most loyal customers to keep them abreast of new items, special sales, and offers. But we were using an older, antiquated email provider that didn’t allow simple things such as segmentation and larger things such as tracking and open rates. We needed a more robust platform as we started to target email as a larger revenue source."

So they started prioritizing and investigating email. They got a MailChimp account that included the features mentioned above, and many more features that they’ve yet to try out. (Dave says they’ll be doing mobile campaigns eventually.) They also did little things like this:

"We realized we had a decent size email list, and it was a matter of properly targeting them with relevant and timely messaging," Dave says. "We have segmented based on opening and click rates to weed out people that aren’t reading the emails. We have also sent out incentive emails to people who haven’t clicked to get them to open with special savings. More immediate subject lines have worked better: ‘today only,’ ‘five hours away,’ etc. Also, ‘special insider savings’ and other similar language let our list members know these are sales outside of the norm and tended to spurn a better opening and sales rate."

The result of implementing just a few features and sending regularly scheduled campaigns to the NYT‘s list of store customers was huge, and points to an even more exciting future. "We have seen a noticeable uptick," Dave’s happy to report. "Sales have increased via our email campaigns by over 50%."