British Fashion Sweeps across China
In 2000, Nick Robertson brought London high street and high-end fashion together in one website – ASOS.com. The sole aim of ASOS is to offer celebrity and catwalk looks at a fraction of the cost. The website was a great success and ASOS soon became the UK’s largest independent online fashion retailer. Today, ASOS operates in 240 countries across the globe and runs websites for markets in nine countries. These include the UK, US, France, Germany, Australia and China.
With a view to becoming the world’s number one online fashion outlet for young shoppers, ASOS entered the Chinese market in 2013. It began by setting up a local office, a warehouse and a Chinese language website.
ASOS also wanted to use localised marketing to better cater to the Chinese market. To do this, they asked Webpower to help them achieve the following:
- Improve the brand image and expand its influence
- Improve member records for future marketing needs
- Drive sales
- Maintain customer relationships
How did Webpower help ASOS achieve this?
In addition to standard promotions, Webpower created a unique email line for ASOS. This covered editors’ pick, new arrivals, flash sales, co-branding and more. The design of the emails matched the ASOS website to reflect the brand as a whole.
Meanwhile, users received a monthly edition of Vogue magazine by email. This gave them the experience of reading a fashion magazine in their inboxes, as a way of improving their overall experience of the ASOS brand.
Webpower also added very clear call to action buttons on each single item. This allowed readers to buy products of their choice by simply clicking through. Now, ASOS captures the essence of London high street fashion and the British lifestyle in every piece of text and in every image, while doing so in ways that appeal to a Chinese audience.
How ASOS uses interactive features to stand out in a crowded inbox
For years, email marketers have been looking for ways to set themselves apart from others in the inbox and to draw the readers’ attention. And the use of animation and other dynamic effects in emails is a not new concept. Yet it is still a great way to increase click rates and boost sales. For fashion retailers, if you want to keep your messages short but attractive, animated GIFs are a good place to start. Unlike videos, GIFs are easy and cheap to produce, while still giving a video-like feel to the emails you send out.
Personalised email subject lines and content
The subject line is a vital part of email marketing. In fact, a good one will improve open rates. Yet you only have one chance to make a first impression. As the subject line is the first thing the recipient sees in his or her inbox, it is also your one chance to make that initial impression count.
With the help of Webpower, ASOS has made sure it stood out in an otherwise the boring inbox with eye-catching subject lines.
A personalised email thrives on being unique to the reader. It creates a stronger relationship with your clients and shows them that you know who they are and what they want. ASOS personalises subject lines by including users’ names into their birthday wishes, seasonal greetings or holiday promotions, such as “[name], non-stop during Chinese New Year, 50% off for new products”.
The use of the exclamation mark is a quite common tactic in subject lines. However, over-using it tends to have the opposite of the desired effect. In addition to exclamation marks, ASOS always uses other interesting symbols, for example, “ASOS Promotion 20% off shoes”.
A great email subject line determines the open rate of an email, whereas the email content is the key force in driving the click-through rate. With this in mind, ASOS also tailors the body of each email to appeal directly to its intended reader. By segmenting its users by gender, age, buying power and tastes, ASOS is now able to send the most relevant content to its customers.
Make things easier for your customer and boost sales
Without responsive design, an email which looks great on PC can look terrible on a mobile screen, with small fonts, narrow columns and messy layouts. You will see an example of such an issue on the right-hand side of this page.
In fact, more than 60% of web traffic to the Chinese ASOS website comes from mobile devices. This is also the medium through which most of these customers view their emails. With this in mind, Webpower ensured readable layouts for users by applying responsive design into all of the emails it designed for ASOS.
In doing so, emails now display perfectly on any device. Every ASOS email adjusts the number of products on each line automatically to suit different platforms. This helps to achieve better conversion rates on mobile devices, as shown on the examples below:
How ASOS reaches consumers in many different ways
ASOS integrates SMS, social media and WeChat to reach its customers through multiple channels. For example, ASOS inserted a WeChat QR code inside the email body to draw subscribers. They also enticed readers to share useful information on social media simply by inserting a Weibo QR code at the bottom of the email.
The whole project brought impressive results, with a 45% to 50% click-to-open ratio and an ROI of 1:60.
Improved performance with a CTO rate increasing to 50%
Percentage of active members increased to 35%
Since we started working with Webpower, we have received a lot of valuable advice from them. They helped us to nurture our loyal email subscribers. Although the popularity of email is still far behind on overseas results, I am pretty sure that with our joint efforts, our email marketing results will climb to another level with an even higher ROI.
CRM Executive @ ASOS