How Petco enhanced customer experience  with personalized email

By Chris Wood

National retailer Petco got the results they were hoping for from a new customer relations management (CRM) solution.  In the first two years of implementation, email opens rose 30% and click rates jumped 50%. Here’s what they did.

Hyper-personalized email campaigns

Petco built hyper-personalized email programs that sent monthly “health reports” to pet parents who had records in Petco's CRM.  The health reports highlighted where pet parents were doing well, and areas for improvement. “The fact that we have such a rich database allowed us to use that data to inform this communication and make it relevant from top to bottom for the customer,” said Andrea Mathews, Petco's VP of CRM.

Data fuels personalized campaigns

Data gathered from ecommerce and point-of-sale actions by users (e.g. making purchases on the app or website) is added to customer records.  Based on that data, Petco creates personalized email campaigns and other experiences on the company's digital properties.

Using the rich data from customer interactions, Petco no longer looks at emails as a single message. Instead, they are building conversations through a series of emails and digital experiences.

AI-powered recommendations

“Using (AI) to do product recommendations is one of (the) really smart modules (of SalesForce Marketing Cloud)," according to Brad Bettinson, VP of Petco's agency, Jam. But the capability creates complexity. "We’ve got these great messages, but now there are hundreds of versions. So how do you actually test those?” The Petco use a preview tool so recommendations generated can be vetted by humans.

Having good customer data to back up the AI is crucial. “The modules that have Einstein in it are very well performing because you’re talking to a customer about what they purchased and what makes sense for them,” said Bettinson.

AI adds personalization

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