Email-marketing response rate increases 400%

SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics guides the right message at the right time

When customers visit your website, their behavior says a lot about their interests, priorities and goals. But in database marketing, capturing customer information from digital channels and turning it into smarter business decisions can be a real headache.

Even at SAS. That is, it used to be – just not since Julie Chalk and Craig Emerick got their hands on SAS® for Customer Experience Analytics.

"People and businesses are inundated with marketing and messages today," explains Chalk, a Senior Database Marketing Analyst in SAS Americas Marketing. "To be heard, you have to send the right message at the right time."

And to know how to make that happen, you need to use as much data as possible, says Emerick, a Senior IT Project Manager in SAS Technical Infrastructure Management.

"We wanted a stronger understanding of how customers interact with our Web properties," he says. "Not just channel-level data such as the number of page views for a given page, but individual customer-level data that can tell you if a specific person viewed a particular Web page."

We're now sending our customers more relevant and timely communications, increasing our conversion rate and minimizing opt-outs.

Julie Chalk
Senior Database Marketing Analyst

More than a snapshot

Before SAS Customer Experience Analytics, Chalk and Emerick pulled behavioral data from an internal system. But that included only a fraction of the website visitor activity. Although it showed them data from registration forms – like name, job title, email address and what the visitor registered for – it still did not show them what the full customer interaction looked like.

Meanwhile, the tools they used for Web analytics couldn't provide detail on an individual level. Now that they use SAS Customer Experience Analytics, they can see page-view and session-level details for a given visitor. And they can even find out if a visitor accessed a particular PDF or how long a visitor spent watching a video.

SAS Customer Experience Analytics records and provides the valuable data Chalk and Emerick were struggling to find. Before they started using it, "a visitor on our website could register, then browse 25 pages and then download a paper, but without SAS Customer Experience Analytics, we wouldn't know the details around the 25 pages," Emerick explains. "We only knew part of the picture."

Now, the six SAS Marketing Automation users can "include website browsing history in their campaign selection criteria," Chalk says.

Dramatic increase in response rates

The targeted marketing approach has paid off, with dramatic increases in average response rates. Prior to using SAS, says Chalk, email campaigns averaged a 1-2 percent response rate. Now the response is around 8 percent. The marketing teams are "thrilled," Chalk says.

Chalk says that one of the hallmark successes has been using the SAS Customer Experience Analytics data to tailor the "Visual Analytics Experience" campaign.

"For the SAS Visual Analytics product, first there's an overview, then a demos page, then a registration form, and then full access to all resources," Chalk says. "The problem was that most people only made it to the demo page. And only about 19 percent of the visitors in total were registering for full access."

Chalk and the Visual Analytics Experience team saw the results as an opportunity to remarket the campaign. "We used the data from SAS Customer Experience Analytics to send an outbound campaign message to that 81 percent of people who hadn't registered to sell them on full access," Chalk says. "Of the 81 percent who abandoned the form, we got an additional 6.6 percent of them to register, which is a great lift on campaign performance."

Customers stay engaged

The analysis also alerted them to a potential problem with the navigation layout of the SAS Visual Analytics pages.

"We noticed that about 25 percent of the customers were being pushed into a navigation loop, where they were visiting the same three pages over and over again," Chalk says. "By looking at the data on a contact level, we could see the issue and adjust the page layout. After the changes, only 12 percent were caught in the loop."

Their ability to spot and react quickly to the problem alleviated much user frustration and helped keep their audience engaged.

Shared benefits

Chalk notes that Database Marketing wasn't the only team gaining from the results.

"We're saving our customers time by reducing email, minimizing opt-outs, and generally just making our interactions with them more streamlined," she says. "Now, all of our communications are much more relevant and personalized, so they're not receiving a message for something they're not interested in."

The team is also working on a project to pass along the customer experience data compiled by SAS Americas Marketing to other departments, such as inside sales and tech support. Plans call for sharing a condensed version of the information to sales, so they're able to pinpoint individual customers and share helpful insights, like which product a user would be most inclined to purchase.

Elsewhere, other business units around the world now use the SAS Customer Experience Analytics data in their SAS Marketing Automation campaign selections. And SAS has integrated the data with internal data sources and loaded it into SAS Visual Analytics for website analysis that was impossible before.


Capture customer information from digital channels, gain a more complete view of how customers interact with Web properties, rise above the noise of competitors, improve results of marketing activities.


SAS® Customer Experience Analytics


Response rates increase 400 percent (from 2 percent to 8 percent), campaign performance improves, messages more relevant, online navigation easier.

SAS Customer Experience Analytics Infographic

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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