A key member of the vaunted eBay Group since 2005, Gumtree has successfully brought online classified ads to the masses, helping grow the world’s thriving online retail marketplace since the company’s founding in March of 2000.
But with inboxes getting more crowded by the day, even the UK’s #1 classified ads site needs to do more than keep a finger on the pulse of its CRM strategy. As the fight for the world’s digital attention span grows fiercer with each email campaign send, declining email open rates are a common problem in the digital retail realm.
Subject line effectiveness decay had lead to Gumtree’s subject line copy gradually losing its ability to garner the opens, clicks and ROI required. Despite making a concerted effort to manage the problem in-house, email marketing engagement numbers have on occasion impacted Gumtree’s growth.
Gumtree’s CRM Manager, Ed Lye, knew the problem centered on open rates. “The problem we needed to solve was that our open rates were really poor, and had been declining regularly. We needed to bring something in to get our clients to actually open our emails.” Head of CRM and Social, Matt Button, expressed similar views saying, “Open rates were not really growing at the rate we wanted them to grow. I could see it was quite an acute problem, and that we had to do a lot to revitalize our whole CRM strategy.”
AI marketing technology company Phrasee offered a practical solution. Phrasee uses artificial intelligence to write better email marketing language than humans. Part of that includes powerful machine learning algorithms that learn what works, and what doesn’t, to optimise future messaging. It’s a fast fix to email campaign performance, delivering more opens, clicks, and conversions almost instantly. Yet, in learning over time, it also improves on ROI in the long run. It’s a win-win situation.
As an added benefit, integration of Phrasee’s cutting-edge AI language generation and optimization technology was simple and easy, aligning with Gumtree’s existing marketing technology, Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The Phrasee Salesforce AppExchange app provides a straight-through integration with the Salesforce marketing cloud for creating and sending split tests using Phrasee generated subject lines. Phrasee users can install the app and get started using their existing account details. The app automates the process of setting up the email sends for a split test, scheduling the test sends and monitoring results to determine a test winner. Results are then auto-fed back into Phrasee for ongoing learning.
And the results? Gumtree subject lines are Phrasee phresh. Lye says that the results speak for themselves, “To date, we’ve had a 35% increase in opens, sometimes even going up to 50%.”
As the team at Gumtree knows all too well, recycling and repurposing something old can breathe new life into it. But sometimes, getting the job done right means looking for something new and Phrasee is ahead of the game in delivering a marketing solution that is cutting edge.
When asked to comment on Phrasee’s AI technology Lye says, “We don’t need to know how it works. We just know that it works for us. I think it’s magic.”