About

Founded in 2012, Swap.com delivers high-quality, pre-owned wardrobe essentials for the whole family at prices everyone can afford. Its marketplace makes it easy to shop everyday style sustainably and makes buying and selling secondhand second nature.

Challenge

Knowing that many of its customers are repeat purchasers, the brand was looking for a new channel to drive customer acquisition and retention. 

The brand also needed a way to break through cluttered inboxes to directly engage its audience of busy millennial shoppers. “Our email subscriber churn rate was at 140% in August 2019, and it increased to 176% in March 2020 when shoppers were being inundated with messages from many brands,” explained Maya Menon, Director of Marketing and Communications at Swap.com. “After stay-at-home orders went into effect, we saw a fairly large decrease in email open and click-through rates.”  

Finally, Swap.com wanted to launch a direct communications channel that delivered a seamless mobile experience and created a feeling of “thrift joy”—the moment of delight when you discover the perfect item. 

Solution

Partner with Attentive to launch a text messaging channel to acquire and directly engage mobile-first shoppers. Quickly grow a list of loyal, high-intent SMS and email subscribers with Attentive’s “Email-First” sign-up solution. Use Attentive’s signature Journeys builder to send highly personalized and relevant triggered text messages throughout the customer lifecycle—from welcome messages after a subscriber has opted in to its SMS program, to browse and cart abandonment reminders, to post-purchase messages. 

On average, our text subscribers make at least two purchases after signing up. That’s incredible—this is a group of people who are really engaging with Swap.com and are getting a lot of value from the channel.”

– Maya Menon, Director of Marketing and Communications, Swap.com 

Strategy

Swap.com uses personalized text messaging to treat its subscribers like VIPs by sending mobile-exclusive offers, including free shipping and early access to sales. Making subscribers feel special—along with addressing them directly in the brand’s signature friendly voice—helps Swap.com create a strong sense of community and brand loyalty within its SMS program, resulting in repeat purchases from subscribers. 

Swap.com also uses personalized text messaging to engage in two-way conversations with its mobile audience, learn more about its subscribers, and give them personalized offers in return. “Our program with Attentive empowers us to serve specific content to people who are actively requesting it,” explained Menon. “I love that text messaging, as a channel, feels a bit more personal and allows us to start 1:1 conversations. We’re able to execute conversational marketing campaigns in a really personal, authentic way—our subscribers love engaging with us via text.” 

Recently, the brand sent a text message to subscribers asking if they were more excited about breaking out their fall wardrobe or taking advantage of the final days of summer. Subscribers were prompted to respond with a keyword related to their preference where they were rewarded with an exclusive deal—either for a new fall collection or summer clearance items. Swap.com then automatically segmented subscribers based on their responses so that it could send personalized offers to subscribers in the future.

In addition to campaign messages, Swap.com automatically sends triggered messages to subscribers throughout the customer lifecycle based on actions they’ve taken, such as opting in to the text program or abandoning their online shopping cart. Each of the brand’s triggered messages—a browse abandonment reminder, a cart abandonment reminder, and a post-purchase message—are tailored with product names and direct links for subscribers to click through and take action. 

Our browse abandonment reminder has been amazing—it’s out-performed our triggered email reminder. It’s a completely mobile experience—something that we hadn’t focused on creating before partnering with Attentive. Because the reminder is so immediate and doesn’t take you away from your preferred device, it’s been a really powerful type of message.”

– Maya Menon, Director of Marketing and Communications, Swap.com 

Swap.com uses A/B testing to optimize its triggered cart abandonment reminder, helping the brand learn what language resonates most with its audience. To help translate the traditionally in-store “thrift joy” experience—the feeling of finding that perfect item you didn’t know you were looking for—the brand began positioning itself as a helpful friend along on a shopping trip. By doing so, the brand increased message engagement and conversions.

Results

Swap.com’s text messaging program with Attentive has driven an overall ROI of 67x+. Using Attentive’s “Email-First” sign-up units on its mobile and desktop websites, Swap.com was able to quickly grow a list of engaged subscribers for both email and text messaging. 

“It’s been extremely useful to collect email and SMS opt-ins simultaneously. Since partnering with Attentive to grow our subscriber base four months ago, we’ve decreased our email churn rate by more than 150%,” said Menon. “Our Attentive-powered SMS program—especially our ‘Email-First’ sign-up unit—has contributed to this decrease in churn and has helped us achieve real list growth, even during a year like this.” 

The brand has grown its list of SMS subscribers by 521% in the same four-month period. These subscribers are incredibly engaged with the channel from the beginning—Swap.com’s welcome message delivers an ROI of 448x. Overall, Swap.com’s triggered messages—which include a  welcome message, browse and cart abandonment reminders, and a post-purchase message—have driven a total ROI of 134x. “Our text messaging program with Attentive made a major difference for us—we were able to avoid cluttered email inboxes to directly engage our mobile audience,” said Menon.  

As for future growth, Swap.com is excited to use text messaging to immediately reach subscribers throughout the holiday season. “Our SMS program with Attentive will play a strong role in our holiday planning,” said Menon. The brand also plans to expand its post-purchase message series to communicate with subscribers about Swap.com’s mission of sustainability. 

It’s been so much fun to work with the Attentive team. They’ve helped us scale this program very quickly, and I appreciate the amount of support I receive from them—especially since we’re a small team.

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