Winning 2021 with CRM & LTV as Growth Drivers

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From our latest webinar, Winning 2021 with CRM & LTV as Growth Drivers, Karen DiClemente (Senior Strategy Director of Listrak) shared how retail and brand experts reenvisioned personalization marketing strategies for new customers acquired in 2020. DiClemente was later joined by Zack Abbell, VP of E-commerce at TULA Skincare, Andrea Moore, SVP Digital, E-Commerce and Consumer Insights at NEST New York and Max Lishansky, CMO at Outerknown to further explore this exciting topic.

Read the recap below or watch the replay here.



Listrak opened the session by reviewing their main 2020 takeaways about personalization:

  • Increasing send volumes does not degrade engagement rates
  • Personalized product recommendations will increase conversion rates with the consumer
  • Supplementing email with SMS messaging does lead to expanded brand recognition and repeat purchases.
  • Using one single integrated platform allows for more cohesive marketing efforts from brand to consumer


According to Listrak’s data, on average, when personalized product recommendations were used across email campaigns, retailers saw an increase in Click-to-Open Rates (CTOR) by at least 10%. Additionally, there was about a 20% increase in CTOR when using product recommendations in automated recurring messages, and an 18% increase in CTOR when implementing recommendations within transitional messages (shipping or order confirmation emails).

Thus, as emails deliver a one-to-one experience, retailers should prioritize delivering an important and special experience to their customers. This could be done through private messages or personalized product recommendations.


Retailers who implemented cross-channel marketing programs have seen that SMS messaging did not steal away from traditional email marketing. In fact, SMS messaging leads to increased levels of personalization that the consumer feels towards the brand.

They found that there was a much lower opt-out rate and higher engagement rate with the use of SMS messaging versus email. 8% of mobile visitors decide to opt-in to SMS messaging through tap-to-join options.


As retailers and brand leaders are trying to understand how recent customers out of the pandemic might be unique compared to existing customers, the panel explores their challenges for customer retention efforts in 2021 as compared to years before.

  • As Outerknown scales, their biggest concentration has been listening to customers and delivering on their needs. They ensure that their brand’s image and storyline continues to resonate to the consumer.
  • TULA Skincare targets consumer data consolidation and examining results holistically to formulate one singular view of the consumer base.
  • NEST New York focuses on converting one-time buyers into two-time buyers, in addition to converting one type of consumer into another. They aim to increase consumer’s LTV through brand image and year-long functionality.


  • Outerknown has tested various messaging and frequency, focusing on sending one-to-one personalized SMS messages based on consumers’ engagement and purchase history. By sending contextually relevant messages, Outerknown has found success in marketing efforts through SMS.
  • Through the use of Listrack, TULA Skincare examined their consumer’s email and SMS crossover list to analyze what is their preferred method of contact. As consumers open SMS messages more often versus email, TULA Skincare saw channel growth within SMS and is now transitioning over to increase frequency.
  • NEST New York found that subscriber rates and percentage of sales increased through SMS messaging conversion. SMS is also beneficial for examining consumer behavioral triggers. Even thoughSMS is more intimate than email, unsubscribe rates can be higher and opt-outs are higher.

Overall consensus has been that the addition of SMS messaging is a win. As SMS messaging adds another layer of personalization for consumers, it allows for product recommendations in every trigger.

SMS messaging adds an additional touchpoint between brands and consumers and leads to increased touchpoints within the first 30 days. Thus, extending SMS and personalizing allows for higher consumer engagement with the brand.


  • Rather than sending traditional cart abandonment emails, Outerknown has seen high conversion and success rates when sending a follow-up about products that have been dropped from carts while consumers were completing their purchase. This continues to build LTV for their repeat customers.
  • About half of TULA Skincare’s repeat purchases are within the first 60-90 days after a customer’s first purchase, so they focus their personalization efforts within that time frame. As they analyze which products those consumers gravitate towards, they aim to increase the life cycle of personalization within that window.
  • SMS messaging allowed for NEST New York to expand their reach towards one and done consumers to see more opportunities to purchase from the brand again through other occasions. NEST New York has seen SMS as the biggest combat for cart abandonment.


Pay attention to the psychographics of your customers—as Outerknown gauges their consumer’s lifestyles and personalities, they also determine how Outerknown products might fit into that space, creating content specifically for the customer persona.
Other marketing strategies mentioned within the panel include examining browser and purchase history to help potential consumers understand what the brand has to offer. TULA Skincare’s promotional emails center around education and cross-selling to their consumers. As they cross promote across different categories, they teach consumers how to expand their skincare routine with different products. Additionally, NEST New York deepens brand connections to the consumer by layering in additional storytelling and product information beyond just promotional messaging. They aim to add content dimensionality to strengthen their consumers’ relationship.


Increased send volumes do not degrade engagement rates, and personalized product recommendations increase conversions.
When personalized recommendations were used across email campaigns, there was a 10% growth in CTOR and a 20% increase in CTOR when supplementing this with automated recurring messages.
SMS is more intimate, so it adds a layer of personalization and is an important additional touchpoint for the consumer.
Understand your consumer demographic—by recognizing their lifestyles, personalities and how your products fit into their lives, your content will reach consumers more effectively.