Audiogon evolves their email marketing strategy 

As the industry's most prominent and most-respected brand in the high-end audio, Audiogon provides a marketplace for people to buy, sell, trade, and discuss high-end audio equipment. Built for audiophiles by audiophiles, the company has been a mainstay of the audio world since the late '90s, providing a one-stop, comprehensive resource for HiFi enthusiasts who are deeply passionate, informed and have strong preferences.

Before using Optimizely, Audiogon's email strategy consisted of a single weekly newsletter because getting more targeted through segmentation was next to impossible. Considering Audiogon’s incredibly passionate audience, with highly specific and technical preferences, this was hardly the brand’s full potential. Blocking Audiogon from increasing revenue from digital channels, was a lack of access to reliable customer data and the means to activate their data.

Brands like Audiogon need a composable solution that addresses multifaceted and evolving problems. Powering our market-leading Digital Experience Platform (DXP), Optimizely empowers brands with an activated CDP. We call it Optimizely Data Platform (ODP). In addition to storing data in the CDP (Customer Data Platform), Data Platform makes recommendations for marketers at brands like Audiogon on what to do with it. As a result, marketers have a real-time record of the customer context and predictions for best-next touchpoints to drive revenue.

Customer data in the wrong frequency

Central to Audiogon’s problem was customer data. It was unreliable, and for the most part they could not access it. Their earlier marketing technology stack lacked any intelligence around customer browsing or purchase history. The customer context wasn't something Audiogon could access in real-time. Without segments or automated campaigns, the marketing team would do their best to collaborate with developers and the IT (Information Technology) department to run code queries on databases such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and other internal systems for customer data. As a result, the marketing team would have to wait for inaccurate and inconsistent data.

"Delivering this consistent, cross-channel experience has been seamless. We simply create the segment, sync it over to Facebook and Google Ad Managers, and the ads run. I don't have to worry about it. It works with no manual adjustments and saves me a ton of time."

Justin Roberson
Director of Digital Marketing, Audiogon

"If I wanted a segment of customers that met specific qualifications like 'spent $2,000 or more with our brand in a month,' I'd have to ask a developer or database manager to run an SQL query for me," said Justin Roberson, Director of Digital Marketing at Audiogon.

"The data would come back a week or two later as a .CSV (Comma Separated Value) file that I would have to upload to our email platform manually. So, it was always outdated, and the process was inefficient—and this cycle would continue every month," Roberson added.

Dialing in on the proper signal

Now, with Data Platform, Audiogon's marketing team can self-service their customer data needs. Self-sufficiency has been an immediate and tangible benefit for Roberson.

"We're not dependent on other people's schedules, and we can easily obtain and act on customer data on our own," Roberson explained.

Additionally, with Data Platform, customer data and campaign execution are combined into a single system, cutting manual uploads and empowering the marketing team to move even faster on customer insights.

Thanks to the customer lifecycle dashboard within Data Platform, Roberson and his team need only a glance to understand performance and what to do next but have the flexibility to dive into customer data and ask critical questions. For example, while Roberson was building custom dashboards in the past, he can now quickly find increases in at-risk and churned customers month-over-month. Plus, he no longer must manually piece data together from multiple platforms to understand customer health.

"I love being able to look up a user's lifetime value and purchase history within the same platform as email [marketing]," Roberson said. "I can compare the performance of different groups of users across campaigns and sources to measure improvements. For example, I can see the lifetime value of users that visit our forum more than ten times in two months to figure out whether forum engagement increases LTV (lifetime value). Other platforms don't offer these insights."

According to Roberson, one of the most significant benefits of using Data Platform has been the ease of acting on customer insights.

[Data Platform] drastically reduces the time from opportunity discovery to campaign execution. I can uncover something about a specific segment, and I can at once target that audience with an email. It saves me hours.

Justin Roberson
Director of Digital Marketing, Audiogon

Seamlessly delivering a consistent, cross-channel experience

70 percent of Audiogon's revenue comes from dealers, while 30 percent comes from private users. Since new dealers generate recurring revenue and these leads are much more lucrative, they must uncover them early and later coach dealers on how to best use the site to be successful.

There was no way for the Audiogon team to identify the behavior that qualifies a 'dealer lead' with their earlier technology. But with Data Platform, they can uncover these leads quickly. First, the Audiogon team dynamically segments on specific dealer behaviors—defined as new user registration in the last ten weeks and seven or more listings in that timeframe. Then, they promote the Audiogon Dealer Program to these customers by sending targeted emails and corresponding Facebook and Google ads with steep discounts. From there, the sales team can see which dealers redeem these coupons and follow up accordingly.

"Delivering this consistent, cross-channel experience has been seamless with [Optimizely]," Roberson said. "We simply create the segment, sync it over to Facebook and Google Ad Managers, and the ads run. I don't have to worry about it. It works with no manual adjustments and saves me a ton of time."

Behavioral segmentation has enabled Audiogon to do more with cart abandonment campaigns, offering different incentives to different users. For example, new users who registered in the last 30 days and have never bought through Audiogon receive 50 percent off their first listing if they abandon their cart.

According to Roberson, these types of behaviorally triggered campaigns would have been impossible to do with their earlier setup. And Data Platform omnichannel campaign management makes it easy for the team to send multi-touch abandon cart emails with incremental incentives.

Optimizely is a sound choice for Audiogon

For Audiogon, Data Platform's potent fusion of customer data store, revenue-specific dashboards, and activations through email and advertising made the difference.

Since switching to Data Platform, Audiogon has doubled monthly signups from the precious dealer persona type. With intuitive segmentation, Audiogon has increased its email-generated revenue by 171 percent. In addition, their average campaign revenue has grown from $197 with their earlier platform to $534 with Data Platform.

The team has a handful of tactics to get numbers like this, all made possible by OPD. For example, the team implemented a new user welcome email with a coupon for users' first listing, pointing them to other properties. Since starting this campaign, traffic to Audiogon's other properties has increased a whopping 200 percent annually.

In the end, Roberson said he'd been highly impressed with Optimizely's support from customer success. "I've never gone more than a day without a solution to an issue," he said. The team doesn't just resolve issues; they uncover opportunities and make recommendations to drive revenue. They're transparent and responsive to our needs, and they genuinely want us to succeed. I've never had this with any other provider."

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https://www.audiogon.com/