Customer Success

Overstock achieves 11 percent increase in inbox placement rates with help from Return Path.

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Overstock is the leading online discount store and every email they send drives revenue. Achieving high inbox placement rates are critical to their business.

Challenge

Overstock, the leading online discount store, didn’t have great deliverability when they first came to Return Path. Every email they send leads to revenue, and when delivery rates were averaging 88 percent — with missing rates spiking as high as 13 percent— Overstock knew they were losing money and wanted to maximize their revenue potential for the upcoming holiday season. So, in the spring of that year they signed up for Return Path Platinum service for help increasing their inbox placement rates.

After five months of Return Path Platinum service, which combines consulting and tools, Overstock’s inbox placement rates averaged 98 percent and often reached 100 percent at their most important domains. This 11 percent increase over their previous average primed them to take advantage of the busy Q4 holiday shopping season. However, the deliverability landscape changes daily. Having 100 percent inbox placement one day does not mean 100 percent inbox placement tomorrow, a reality Overstock quickly experienced in their first year of service with Return Path. Overstock recently took advantage of these quick diagnostics and repairs when they encountered a serious delivery challenge at Yahoo.

Temporary failures at Yahoo were causing Overstock’s emails to go missing from the inbox during the crucial holiday season. Overstock’s deliverability to Yahoo had gone from 100 percent to 92 percent — a drop of 8 percent.

Solution

First, Return Path’s deliverability consultants were able to figure out why their email wasn’t getting through – high volumes of spam into the Yahoo! system were forcing the ISP to divert email that they would normally accept. Second, they were able to come up with a set of recommendations for how Overstock could best send email into Yahoo! without tripping the volume filters. In the end, the fixes were quite simple and easy for Overstock to implement. Return Path recommended they limit the number of messages per connection and the number of concurrent messages, based on information from the Yahoo team.

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“The change was instantaneous. We implemented the fixes Return Path suggested and were back to 100 percent deliverability at Yahoo overnight.”

Ryan Hoffman

Email Marketing Manager

Results

“Because Yahoo is one of the largest domains in Overstock’s email subscriber list, a 9 percent drop in deliverability means a big difference in revenue — particularly during November and December. I can tell you down to the penny what my revenue is on every email I send, so there is no question that this drop in delivery at Yahoo affected us,” Hofmann said. “The rapid response of the Return Path team mitigated the damage to the program and got us back on track quickly.”

With revenue on the line, Overstock continues to rely on Return Path because they offer proactive monitoring of their campaigns to prevent delivery failures and instant access to expert consultants when problems arise so they can maintain their good deliverability and achieve maximum response.

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