Lenovo Expands its Email Marketing Efforts in North America and Increases Engagement Using Movable Ink on AWS

Movable Ink is an APN Select Technology Partner

Using Email Marketing to Reach Consumer Audiences Across North America

As one of the world's largest technology companies and manufacturers of technology hardware, Lenovo is continually delivering innovations for consumers. With more and more consumers preferring to shop online, Lenovo chose to focus on its digital marketing efforts to drive eCommerce growth and market awareness.

In North America alone, Lenovo's marketing team develops a digital strategy, messaging, email design, and workflows for eight different email routes and consumer lists. "Every time we get a campaign out the door, it takes much work," says Ashley Morse, email marketing automation lead for Lenovo, North America eCommerce. As the company focused on its email marketing efforts, Morse and the team found themselves challenged by the many manual touchpoints their email marketing program required.

"When I started as an email developer, I would design the emails in Photoshop, code everything in Dreamweaver, and then put the email into our email service provider (ESP). Every email took about 12 hours to complete. Pricing was loaded in our ESP. Still, it was often incorrect—due to quick inventory and promotional changes on our site and our inability to retroactively update anything in the emails,” says Morse. “We had issues growing our mailing lists because people became disengaged with our static and unpolished content.”

The team knew it needed to implement a better underlying solution to drive their email marketing program forward and make email marketing efforts integral to Lenovo’s business growth. “We wanted to grow our email program and have the ability to show personalized content always in-sync with the website. We needed to move from email being manual and batch-focused to more automated, dynamic, and personal,” says Morse.

“Using Movable Ink on AWS has enabled us to optimize our processes at scale. We’re able to advertise more of what’s on sale through Movable Ink’s dynamic platform and modular approach.”

- Ashley Morse, Email Marketing Automation Lead for Lenovo, North America eCommerce 

Using Movable Ink on AWS for Dynamic Email Personalization and Customization

To improve and mature its email marketing program, Lenovo began searching for new tools and solutions to use. The company quickly found the features it sought in Movable Ink, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Select Technology Partner. Movable Ink’s platform uses real-time data, unique to specific consumer segments, to help brands create personalized visual experiences through their email programs. Thanks to the company’s migration to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2015, its platform and database can scale with ease, allowing the Movable Ink team to focus on new product and feature development.

“AWS is crucial to our business given we host all of our content on AWS,” says Lauren Lind, lead client experience manager at Movable Ink. “It’s refreshing to be able to rely on AWS while we focus on serving the companies we work with and cross-collaborating across teams to bring new ideas to life.”

Movable Ink migrated its entire production environment to AWS in 2015, taking advantage of multiple regions and availability zones to provide redundancy, resilience, and scalability. Movable Ink uses Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) clusters to capture data about user actions and push it to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). To reduce time to insight, optimize costs, and increase flexibility for its analytics, Movable Ink uses the serverless Amazon Athena query service. Amazon Athena enables interactive querying of large-scale data sets in Amazon S3 using standard SQL.

Lenovo began trying out specific features within Movable Ink’s platform, and then quickly scaled its usage. “We began taking small steps with Movable Ink by pulling in pricing automatically from our pages into emails,” says Morse. "As our processes improved, we began doing more A/B testing and using more features from Movable Ink. Today, our email program wouldn’t be able to run the way it does without Movable Ink.” Lenovo uses a range of Movable Ink’s built-in tools, such as web cropping capabilities and behavioral expansion targeting software, to create a curated consumer email experience.

Improving Open Rates, Accelerating Email Sends, and Keeping up with Demand

“As we continued to take advantage of the platform, we saw our engagement numbers improving,” says Morse. “A massive benefit for using Movable Ink is the ability to integrate it with our ESP through its application programming interface (API) and easily pull consumer data into our campaigns. We had so much data in our ESP before that pertained to certain audience segments but we couldn't easily use. Now, we can make our campaigns more engaging and targeted.” The team can also prepare for busy shopping windows, like Cyber Weekend, more proactively. “Movable Ink’s service has enabled us to map out each email and build a robust email calendar. It’s made everything so much easier,” says Morse.

According to Morse, email-driven engagement feeds into Lenovo’s eCommerce numbers. The company doubled its eCommerce revenue last year. “I believe the personalization and dynamic capabilities we’ve created using Movable Ink have helped drive the lift in our database and our eCommerce revenue. Since using Movable Ink, our open rates are significantly higher than they used to be,” says Morse.

The ease of use within Movable Ink's platform also drives more capabilities for Morse and the team. Whereas emails used to take about 12 hours to prepare, using Movable Ink, the team has cut that time in half. Previously, the team could only send out a few emails a week. Using Movable Ink, they can send up to nine-to-ten or more emails a week, to different lists, with ease. “Using Movable Ink has enabled us to optimize our processes at scale,” says Morse. “We’re able to advertise more of what’s on sale through Movable Ink’s dynamic platform and modular approach. Before, we could only show around three prices per email. Now, we can share upwards of 12 prices using recycled modules that are easy to implement in each email.”

Given Movable Ink's focus on customer obsession and innovation, working with the Movable Ink team has been a highlight for Morse. "Working with Movable Ink is like a dream. We don't have communication issues or problems simply getting things done as we have had with other vendors,” says Morse. “Movable Ink invests in their team, and they go above and beyond for us. There's nothing we feel we can't do with Movable Ink.”

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About Lenovo

Lenovo is a $50 billion Fortune Global 500 company, with 57,000 employees and operating in 180 markets around the world. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, Lenovo is developing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy, and sustainable digital society. By designing, engineering, and building a complete global portfolio of smart devices and infrastructure, Lenovo is also leading an intelligent transformation to create better experiences and opportunities for millions of customers around the world.

Challenge

As Lenovo’s North America eCommerce team began to focus more on its email marketing efforts, the team found themselves challenged and limited by the many manual touchpoints their existing email marketing program required. The team knew it needed to implement a better underlying solution to drive their email marketing program forward and make email marketing efforts integral to Lenovo’s business growth.

Solution

To improve and mature its email marketing program, Lenovo decided to use Movable Ink, a platform running on AWS. Movable Ink’s platform uses real-time data, unique to specific consumer segments, to help brands create personalized visual experiences through their email programs. Lenovo began trying out specific features within Movable Ink’s platform, and then quickly scaled its usage. Lenovo uses a range of Movable Ink’s built-in tools, such as web cropping capabilities and behavioral expansion targeting software, to create a curated consumer email experience.

Benefit

Over the past few years, Lenovo North America’s email database has grown 250 percent. Vital to the company’s ability to keep pace with such growth, delight its subscribers, and drive revenue is its use of Movable Ink. The ease of use within Movable Ink's platform also drives more capabilities for Morse and the team. Whereas emails used to take about 12 hours to prepare, using Movable Ink, the team has cut that time in half. Previously, the team could only send out a few emails a week. Using Movable Ink, they can send up to nine-to-ten or more emails a week, to different lists, with ease.

About Movable Ink

Movable Ink helps digital marketers create visual experiences that move people. More than 700 of the world's most innovative brands rely on Movable Ink's visual experience platform to automate the creation of unique on-brand experiences for each consumer across email, web, and display. Movable Ink’s platform runs on AWS.

Published December 2019