Maplin is a major electronics retail specialist with over 200 stores throughout the UK and Ireland. Home to over 15,000 products from CCTV kits, to specialty electronics components, Maplin has an extensive online and mail-order business. Started as a family owned mail-order business, Maplin adopted an e-commerce strategy in 1999, which aided its growth. They have since invested heavily into a new e-commerce platform and plan to open new stores throughout the UK and Ireland in the next three years.
Maplin relies on e-commerce as a key driver of their revenue, and therefore, depends on email to drive sales both on and offline. To generate awareness, Maplin sent promotional email every weekday to alert their list of 400,000+ buyers to new products and special offers. However, deploying 400,000 emails daily represented a problem with their previous email service provider. Severe throttling issues caused their email deployments to take nine hours to reach the inbox. Even when they started deploying at 9:00 AM, only 75% of their email would reach their customers by 6:00 PM, making it very difficult to track success rates and time promotions.
In addition to the throttling issues, their email software was old, clunky, and hard to use, providing no access to common reporting metrics (opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes) to determine email effectiveness. Instead, they relied on Google Analytics to track click and traffic rates—a very tedious and time consuming task for their team of one email manager.
Maplin needed a solution that could keep up with their subscriber growth, enable a more robust email marketing strategy as they expanded operations, and ensure delivery of their emails in a timely fashion so they could recognize revenue from their email campaigns.
Maplin evaluated several major email service providers including SendGrid and found the others lacking in their ability to provide a reliable solution to their core pain point—email delivery. SendGrid’s platform not only had proven success for email delivery, but offered a lot of flexibility for later stage growth including flexible APIs that would allow them to customize the system as they grew, and detailed analytics viewable from a centralized dashboard. It was simple to use, plus their team of deliverability specialists would be able to proactively support their Email Marketing Manager with email delivery and management issues.
Integration: Maplin seamlessly integrated with the SendGrid platform and was able to undergo a speedy warming phase for their IPs based on guidance from SendGrid. They immediately split their mail streams across three dedicated IP addresses to send their retail newsletter, transactional email, and B2B customer emails.
Delivery: When Maplin engaged SendGrid in 2012, they had a subscriber list of 400,000 buyers, most of whom would not receive an email in a timely fashion. Today, Maplin has grown that list to 500,000 subscribers all of whom receive their retail newsletter within one hour of deployment. No longer plagued by email throttling, Maplin saves a minimum of two hours per day managing their email.
Response: Now, Maplin has complete visibility into the effectiveness of their retail newsletter campaigns with robust analytics that track their email delivery. Today, their average click through rate hovers between 10-12% for each deployment. The average conversion rate from their retail newsletter is approximately 0.6%, which represents just over £1,000,000 in revenue per year.
Future: Maplin plans to fold all of their email communications into the SendGrid platform and employ the SendGrid APIs to better manage their email subscriptions.