Pinkberry launched in California in 2005 as the original brand that reinvented frozen yogurt.
Having developed a new low-fat ice cream, it needed to understand the best possible way to attract visitors in store and drive sales. Partnering with Paytronix, the loyalty and emarketing specialists, Pinkberry discovered that email open rates don't equate to the best measure of e-marketing success.
Pinkberry's marketing performance is under greater scrutiny than ever before, having recently been acquired by US-based Kahala Brands, one of the fastest growing franchising companies in the world. Currently with a portfolio of 22 quick-service restaurant brands and approximately 2,900 locations in 28 countries.
Pinkberry currently has a store in London, with additional UK openings planned.
Pinkberry introduced a new summertime innovation: Pinkbee's. A low-fat milk ice cream that combines the creaminess and quality of traditional ice cream with a health-conscious approach. Pinkberry wanted to promote the new product while driving sales and visits over the busy Fourth of July weekend in America. The challenge was choosing the right offer and message strategy to compel loyalty members to act during the short-lived promotion window, July 1 to July 4.
Pinkberry's Paytronix data insights strategist suggested the team use a targeted double-points offer to motivate purchases. The strategist suggested double points based on its in-depth knowledge of the responsiveness of members of Pinkberry's loyalty programme, the PinkCard. As well as the economics of the promotion.
"As the PinkCard loyalty program is driven by Paytronix, we can see on an individual basis how each promotion performs. With other e-mail providers we use, it's more of a shotgun approach. We can't see tiers, visit frequency, or if the target group is outperforming the control groups. We can't tell if the promotion is hitting the mark. With Paytronix, we feel more confident to make decisions. Our franchise and brand teams really like the results they are seeing. With Pinkberry we can demonstrate the impact of any offer." Anne Schultheis, Digital Marketing Manager at Kahala Brands explained.
In the past, Pinkberry had conducted head-to-head tests between double points offers and other offers including money off a purchase. With each test, the conclusion was obvious: double points promotions typically change behaviour quickly while helping members get closer to earning rewards. The closer members get to earning rewards, the more committed they are to winning the reward. As an added bonus, the team typically sees a pattern of reduced time between visits following a double points promotion.
Pinkberry utilised Paytronix's new Target-and-Control feature to measure the efficacy of the campaign in terms of incremental visits and spending. In designing this promotion, Pinkberry held out a percentage of the targeted group in a control group so that it could detect the level of visits and spend that would occur naturally, without the influence of the promotion.
Performance trumps open rate
The double points promotion motivated thousands of Pinkberry fans to extend their taste buds by experiencing the newest innovation, Pinkbee's. The delta in both visits and spend were up as compared to the control group, demonstrating that the promotion drove incremental visits and spend. Again, double points proved to be the right offer for motivating the trial of a new product.
One of the most interesting results from this campaign was discovered when the data insights team compared the results between the two email versions. Each offer and email was identical with the exception of the subject line. Subject Line A, with an open rate of 14.2 percent drove a 15.7 percent lift in spend and a 15.6 percent frequency increase. Whereas, Subject Line B, with an open rate of 16.0 percent resulted in a 10.3 percent lift and a 12.3 percent frequency Increase.
Jessica Wegener, Director of Digital & Interactive Development, Kahala Brands commented, "The most amazing thing about the Pinkbee's Double Points promotion was that these results turned traditional marketing science on its head. Proving that it is not the open rate, but the customer engagement that determines success. The Pinkbee's Double Points promotion generated numbers that indicated higher sales, visit frequency, and sales lift, and also indicated which subject line performed better. The results were enlightening."
The key learning from this data was that open rate is not a good indication of email performance. In this case, the email with the lower open rate delivered more visits and spend than the email with the higher open rate. If this program used a traditional A/B test which sends the email with the higher open rate to the target audience, it would not have performed as well when measured by visit and spend metrics.
"I've been doing email campaigns for seven years, but after the Pinkbee's Double Points promotion, I won't think of doing a campaign without Target and Control. Before we couldn't look at the engagement, but with Paytronix we can see through to performance," said Schultheis.