The plant retailer used a test-and-learn strategy to create a successful automated win-back campaign using SMS messages


increase in revenue per contact for lapsed one-time purchasers


increase in average order value for lapsed one-time purchasers


increase in orders from lapsed repeated purchasers

The challenge

Like any retailer, Patch was looking to reduce the number of customers who lapse after making purchases. Patch was using an email workflow to target these lapsed customers, but the team wanted to drive up engagement by experimenting with further channels like SMS. “Ensuring maximum engagement with our ‘lapsed customer’ automation emails was a big priority for us,” says Faith Baker, Retention Lead at Patch Plants. “We wanted to take a more cross-channel approach to get customers to engage with our compelling content.”

Patch had seen some success with SMS campaigns, but only as part of broadcast campaigns, and wanted to test how SMS would perform within an automated campaign. Given the good performance Patch had seen with SMS, Faith thought that this might be a way to engage customers who were about to lapse. 

“SMS is uncharted territory for lots of companies – particularly doing it in a way that people appreciate receiving it,” Faith notes. “Open rate and view rate is so much higher on SMS, and we thought if we can use it intelligently and in a way that our customers would appreciate it could give us good results.”


The solution

Adopting a test-and-learn strategy, Patch divided lapsed customers into those that had only purchased once versus those that had made repeat purchases. Within these groups half would receive the existing email workflow as a control group. The other would receive the emails and also receive SMS messages.

The messages refer back to the previous purchase, present some educational material, and offer the customer a discount code to make another purchase.

Faith was able to build these workflows within the Ometria platform. “It was really easy to set up. All I had to do was use the SMS option in Ometria’s cross-channel automation builder to target each segment.”

As a result of the considerable success this campaign has had, Patch is rolling out more automated SMS campaigns – including one that starts 10 days after plants have been delivered, offering useful top tips.

“We already have a successful post-purchase email journey running which has proven to increase retention by providing useful care information in a really personalised way. Now, we are interested to see if timely SMS campaigns will complement the user experience.” says Faith. “We believe the more useful, content-focused SMS messages we send to our customers, the more effective our sales-driven messages will be.”

The results

Adding SMS to existing workflows resulted in a significant improvement in the lapsed campaigns. For repeat purchasers, there were 28% more orders from the group who received SMS messages, and a 17% increase in revenue per customer. Meanwhile for one-time customers, there was a 10% increase in orders and a 24% increase in revenue per contact as well as a 13% increase in average order value.

— Faith Baker

Retention Lead, Patch Plants

"This win-back campaign really shows how using the right touchpoint for the right situation can improve such an important metric for us. The Ometria platform made it really easy to set up this test and give us the tools we need to succeed. As an outcome of this test, we are going to roll out more automated SMS campaigns through Ometria which aim to bring interesting content to Patch customers, and in turn improve repeat rates."

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