Jane.com, the online marketplace, has chosen SparkPost to manage its email campaigns, following unsatisfactory experiences with other delivery services, it says.
The firm -- which specializes in women’s fashion, home décor and children’s clothing -- sends daily emails to customers, featuring specialized deals. “Last week we sent 13.5 million emails,” said Marcus Wickes, director of digital marketing at Jane.com, in an email. “Obviously the volume ebbs and flows with season (Q4 is going to be much higher) but that was a pretty average week for us.”
But the company felt compelled to move.
“We were basically forced to move to SparkPost when our old provider shut down their service and gave us 30 days' notice,” Wickes continued. “So we migrated over everything we were doing with them to SparkPost. We used that old provider for nearly all our sending so it was a relatively easy switch since we did not have to consolidate multiple providers.”
In addition to that shutdown, Jane.com failed to receive enterprise-level support from multiple suppliers, it claimed.
Most tickets remained open for days, and some were never answered, said Marcus Wickes, director of digital marketing at Jane.com, in a statement. In addition, the providers falsely claimed they had an almost 100% delivery rate.
"We were a bit naive in believing that a 99.99 percent delivery rate meant a 99.99 percent inboxing rate," Wickes added. "We were completely unaware that we had IPs blacklisted, ISPs were blocking emails, we were hitting spam traps, etc. While we were utilizing the old service based on cost and the process of sending email seemed simple at the time, we were literally losing money by not using a stronger provider."
This was a critical problem, considering that email has always been the top channel for Jane.com.
“Our bread and butter email campaign is the daily email campaign,” said Wickes. “Our customers love the sense or surprise so we send out a curated list of our best deals for them every morning. We have done this since day one and it has always been our highest performing marketing campaign driving more traffic and revenue to the site than any other channel.”
Jane.com’s Web site invites visitors to “sign up for Jane deals!”
Wickes added that “we also send a few campaigns each week for our various retail moments, giveaways, and other promotions. These campaigns get the same level of engagement and performance as the daily emails. As our selection of deals steadily increases, we are working on fine-tuning and segmenting these campaigns to be more personalized and deliver exactly what our customers want to see at the right time.”
The company also sends emails to its sellers.
“The bulk of our email volume is sent to our much larger customer list, but our sellers are key to our success so we are constantly keeping in touch with them with updates, suggestions, and campaigns to help them improve their deals,” said Wickes.
Jane.com chose SparkPost after evaluating several other delivery services, according to Wickes. In the end, it was attracted by SparkPost’s Technical AccountManager (TAM) support team and what Wickes called “seamless integration with our backend systems.”
Jane.com will use SparkPost for nearly all its emails. “We have a couple third-party tools that send a very small volume of emails on our behalf, but the majority of all emails are sent through SparkPost,” Wickes said.
Last year, Fortune reported that the Utah-based Jane.com had revenue of $83.3 million. According to Wickes, its success is largely driven by technology.
“From the outside looking in, Jane might look like a boutique marketplace selling women's clothing, kid's clothing, and home décor,” Wickes said. “But in reality we are very much a technology company on the backend. We have a killer development team and data science team that help us tweak and improve our communication systems. Our backend systems are proprietary systems built over the past few years.”
Wickes continued that “many companies have approached us selling the prospect that they can improve our delivery rates, or our campaign open rates, or our automation techniques. We have tried that route with a couple providers and the reality is our business model with daily deals is very fast-paced and complex. There's just not a one-size-fits-all for our model. We have had huge success and reliability in building out exactly what we need, which includes all our automated, triggered campaigns.
SparkPost is a cloud-based email delivery service that sends over 3 trillion messages per year, 25% of the world’s non-spam email, the firm claims. It serves such clients as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon, Marketo, Zillow, CareerBuilder, the Financial Times and Comcast.
It also helps clients build open and click rates. This is done through “recommendations based upon data collected from additional tools like 250OK," said Travis Ratledge, Senior Technical Account Manager at SparkPost.
Ratledge continued that “companies often have practices and sending habits that can be improved with scrutinization from email experts. And he noted that "Increasing open and click rates (engagement) often increases conversion rate, because the more eyes you get on your email, the more chances you have to convert.”