Here's the press release:
14% Sales Increase in One Year; $20,000 for One-Day Winter Sale
INDIANAPOLIS, April 7: ExactTarget announced today that Genesis Bicycles, an independent bicycle shop in Easton, Pennsylvania, has significantly increased business with the help of ExactTarget's email design, delivery and tracking software. The 28-year-old store saw annual sales soar by 14% in the first year it used the software to maintain regular email communication with customers on its opt-in list. The store also generated $20,000 in a single day in January after running an email-only promotion to announce a one-day sale.
"Typically we can't give bicycles away during the winter months, but our email promotion raised more money in one day than we sometimes bring in the entire month of January," said Tomias Hinchcliff, owner and president of Genesis Bicycles. "The beauty is that it cost me nothing to publicize that sale aside from the nominal cost of my subscription to ExactTarget. I've never seen such big results at such a small cost."
Every five to six weeks, Hinchcliff sends graphically rich email messages to a list of 3,300 customers who registered on his website or in the store. The emails alert customers in a 50-mile radius to sales and promotions as well as free bicycle rides and other local events sponsored by the store. Hinchcliff needs no technical assistance either to create or send the messages because the ExactTarget software makes both processes easy enough for everyday computer users.
The email announcing the one-day January sale contained a short letter from Hinchcliff plus a sepia-colored photo of a Boy Scout on a bicycle. The message invited recipients to click on a link to the store website to "scout out" the sale offers, then print out the page and bring it with them to the sale three days later. The ExactTarget software automatically personalized each email with the customer's name.
In addition to supplying detailed clickthrough behavior reports that have enabled Hinchcliff to evaluate the success of each message, the software has allowed the store to dramatically scale back its direct mail efforts and associated costs. Hinchcliff still uses postcards and flyers for some purposes because not all of his customers have yet opted in to his email list, but he estimates that he saves at least $2,000 every time he replaces a postcard with an email. Over a year's time, the savings add up to more than $10,000.
"Before I started using ExactTarget, I couldn't follow through with a lot of my ideas because I had no way to promote them cost-effectively," Hinchcliff said. "With ExactTarget, I can reach customers instantly and inexpensively, and I can drive them directly to my website. It's an effective and affordable way to build relationships with my customers."
"The results that Genesis Bicycles has achieved with our software speak volumes about the power of email marketing for small businesses," said Peter McCormick, Vice President of Marketing for ExactTarget. "With the right tools for design, delivery and tracking, a small business can use the email channel to generate traffic, reduce marketing expenses, combat larger competitors, and -- as Genesis has shown -- even boost cash flow during the off-season. There is a lesson here for all small stores."
ExactTarget provides powerful email marketing software that enables organizations of all sizes to create, deliver and track permission-based emails without technical assistance. ExactTarget's patent-pending solutions include point-and-click tools for designing graphically rich HTML emails, time-saving integrated resource libraries, and easy localization and personalization options to help maximize the effectiveness of email campaigns. Email delivery is handled by ExactTarget's bank of secure servers. The privately held company is based in Indianapolis and has more than 1,000 customers around the world.