Case Study

Case Studies

Coldwater Creek


Coldwater Creek Boosts Sales Margins By Focusing on Email Deliverability

“Any company using Return Path definitely has a competitive advantage.

With Return Path monitoring and fixing our email delivery issues, we can now work on marketing to our customers most effectively, without worrying about all the technical hassles.”

- Christine Laczai VP eCommerce, Coldwater Creek

Coldwater Creek Stays Connected with Email

When it comes to email marketing, Coldwater Creek leaves nothing to chance. The company has a productive and effective online sales channel and email is integral to its success. As part of its integrated marketing initiative, Coldwater Creek sends two emails to its customers each week. While the company was fairly happy with the response rates and corresponding revenues achieved by their email campaigns, the marketing team was curious how much of its email was actually being delivered. After speaking with email deliverability experts at Return Path, Christine Laczai, Vice President of eCommerce, and her team discovered there was room for improvement.

“We didn’t know how much of our emails were reaching the inbox, but we were fairly confident that we had better than average success rates,” said Laczai. “We wanted to find out if there were ways to maximize our email delivery rates because in our business that can really impact our bottom line

No Fashion Cents

After consulting with Return Path, Coldwater Creek was surprised to learn that only 70 to 80 percent of its emails were actually reaching its customers’ inboxes. While Laczai and her team thought they had established solid relationship with the major ISPs and were following the appropriate guidelines, they discovered a large portion of their email messages were never reaching their consumers’ inboxes. With 20-30 percent of their email turning up missing or being delivered to a customer’s bulk folder, Laczai immediately realized that while her team thought conversion and revenue metrics were strong, they were leaving money on the table with every single email campaign.

“We see a direct correlation with our online sales and email campaigns,” said Laczai. “If 30 percent isn’t getting delivered, we could see a 30 percent variance in revenue.”

Coldwater Creek Achieves 98 Percent Email Deliverability

Looking to increase its email deliverability rates and to grow its sales margins, Coldwater Creek selected Return Path’s full-service manager program. Almost immediately after deploying Return Path’s delivery assurance solution, Coldwater Creek has seen its inbox delivery percentage increase dramatically to an average of 98 percent.

Today, Return Path also monitors all Coldwater Creek campaigns and works with the company and several ISPs to resolve any issues that occur. Because Return Path focused on all the delivery management aspects of Coldwater Creek’s program, the company’s eCommerce team now had time to focus on other, high-level email marketing issues including strengthening their email campaigns, expanding customer email lists and increasing the company’s sales.

“With Return Path monitoring and fixing our email delivery issues, we can work on marketing to our customers most effectively, without worrying about all the technical hassles,” Laczai said.

Return Path Fits Coldwater Creek’s Business Plan

Even when email delivery rates stabilized for Coldwater Creek, the company continued to depend on Return Path to keep its email marketing program strong and an effective component of its overall marketing strategy. “Things change in this space every day and the Return Path team always knows what questions to ask, and what we have to do to stay ahead of things,” Laczai said. “It would be stressful for us to keep up on all of this on our own, and we probably wouldn’t have the visibility into a lot of industry happenings that their team does. With Return Path, I get an answer within a couple hours. I might not always like the answer, but the responsiveness means everything. It’s been beautiful. Any company using Return Path definitely has a competitive advantage.”

About Coldwater Creek

Coldwater Creek is a retailer of classic, comfortable women’s apparel. They offer unique jewelry, gift items and soft-home merchandise. The company distributes its distinguished line through direct mail catalogs, e-commerce Web sites and its retail stores in highly visible, well-trafficked locations. Through its multiple core catalogs the company uses its well-defined brand to target a large, affluent demographic of women between the ages of 35 and 55. To stay in-touch with customers and to attract new shoppers, Coldwater Creek relies heavily on creative email marketing campaigns.

About Return Path

Return Path finds and solves email deliverability issues for legitimate marketers who rely on email to communicate with customers. Through our suite of delivery monitoring tools, we help identify where problems are occurring within your program. Then, our team of delivery experts works to ensure that your problems are resolved through our relationships with ISPs and extensive knowledge of delivery protocols and rule sets. Currently, hundreds of marketers rely on Return Path to reach and maintain the highest inbox delivery rates possible.