Email provider Bluecore, UGC platform Olapic team up to use consumers’ photos in marketing emails
The collaboration points to the growing incorporation of user content into more marketing channels.
Email marketing took another step toward becoming an outlet for user-generated content (UGC) this week, as personalized email provider Bluecore and UGC collection and management platform Olapic announced they were teaming up.
Olapic Senior Director for Partner Marketing Meryl Serouya described a typical use case. A user visiting the website of Bluecore client Living Spaces, for instance, might look at a particular product page about an armchair, add that armchair to an online shopping cart and then leave before completing the purchase.
If that user had registered with the Living Spaces site, Bluecore would have her email address. A follow-up email can then be sent, offering a discount on the armchair and including, instead of or in addition to a catalog shot of the product, a consumer’s photo of that specific chair in her house.
The photo of the table would have been located through the Olapic platform by the brand, on a social network or a blog, or it would have been uploaded to a Living Spaces page that accepts submissions.
Serouya told me the photo is identified through the user-supplied hashtag, screened through Olapic’s anti-spam filter and automatically ranked by expected conversion rate, and then finally okayed by a human moderator. The brands handle the permissions and obtain the images at no cost.
This is not the first usage of UGC content in email marketing, and Olapic works with other email providers. But Serouya noted that Bluecore — which emphasizes its ability to trigger emails based on user behavior, as befits its former name of TriggerMail — can immediately take into account changes in the online product catalog or user actions on the site.
The unique value of this partnership, the companies said, is that, “for the first time, marketers can marry email triggers such as search abandonment, price decrease, [or] back in stock, with consumer photos that have been matched to specific product SKUs,” without bothering the folks in IT.
In announcing the collaboration, Olapic co-founder and CEO Pau Sabria said in a statement that “email with personalized, contextually relevant content outperforms email with generic, stock imagery each and every time.”
The company claims that email with UGC content leads to an increase in conversions of 30 percent, and an increase in average order value of more than 25 percent.
Adobe’s recent purchase of UGC platform Livefyre signals that such content will become an even bigger part of marketing campaigns, including email marketing. A pending question, however, is whether user-supplied content is a trend that will eventually lose its fresh appeal in product marketing. It also remains to be seen whether users, who get some bragging rights when they can point to their unpaid images being used on a web site, will continue to feel the same about less brag-able emails.
Here’s a sample Living Spaces email with Olapic-managed, user-created photos: