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Marley Spoon feeds growth with 20% of conversions from direct mail in a single quarter

“Often, as marketers, we think of direct mail as an ancient channel, but it works surprisingly well! I was shocked to see that it drove so many conversions. Considering we haven't done much, it’s a huge contribution as it's already a fifth of all paid activations.”

Malin Dettmann-Levin

Marley Spoon CRM Lead Reactivation

In 2016, Marley Spoon partnered with Martha Stewart and Sequential Brands Group, Inc. to launch Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, a meal kit delivery service featuring Martha Stewart’s award-winning recipes and smart cooking techniques.  Marley Spoon sends recipes and pre-portioned seasonal ingredients in one convenient box, making it easy to cook a delicious dinner at home. The company recently doubled its global net revenue to $305M, delivering nearly 50 million meals to homes in Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, and the USA.

The Challenge 

Mitigate customer churn 

Marley Spoon keeps a keen eye on its user base metrics with the RFM model—recency, frequency, and monetary to get signals that may indicate a customer is likely to churn. User attributes and real-time data are used to ensure that retention is a top priority; however, sometimes, customers cancel their subscriptions. Marley Spoon wanted to use the data it has about its customers to reactivate and bring them back to the table using direct mail. 

The Solution 

Automated direct mail at scale 

After working with several printers on its direct mail efforts, Marley Spoon partnered with Lob to focus on reactivating its churned customer base using direct mail automation. The CRM reactivation team, led by Berlin-based Malin Dettmann-Levin, used a test and experiment approach in the first quarter of 2022. The team used two kinds of customer data — user attributes and real-time events to create reactivation campaigns focused on high-value customers to maximize ROI. This strategy enabled the team to start small (minimizing risk) and apply its learnings to iterate and optimize future campaigns. 

What happened next surprised them...The direct mail reactivation campaigns drove 20% of conversions! 

263% higher conversion rate from direct mail than email

Test, optimize, and grow 

Marley Spoon is still in the early stages of using direct mail but plans to continue to test, optimize, and grow the channel.

"With each campaign we’ve sent, we've seen a higher conversion rate and a slightly lower cost per reactivation. It’s thrilling to see how we’ve improved throughout the quarter, even though direct mail hasn't been the channel that we spent most of our focus on. It makes me excited for the rest of the year to see what we can do to leverage it even more.”

Click the video below to learn how the team increased reactivation conversions.

Discover how Marley Spoon increased reactivation conversions using intelligent direct mail from Lob

Direct mail and email working together 

The Marley Spoon CRM team is encouraged by the results of its direct mail campaign compared to other digital channels, including email marketing. 

“We get a 263% higher conversion rate with our direct mails than emails. To put that stat into context, we targeted a smaller, high-value audience segment with our direct mail, and the emails go out to all customers. We reach more customers using direct mail than we would with emails because all of our emails don't get opened. We can reach customers who aren’t interested in our emails. We’ve been testing this strategy with a two-part test. We use direct mail to target our high-value customers; we then have a segment that gets a direct mail and an email, and we’ve found that the second group has the highest conversions of all the segments.” 

The future

Dettmann-Levin and the CRM team have their sights set on the future, driving even more conversions and ROI for Marley Spoon. The team plans to test direct mail formats, including postcard sizes, messaging, offers and vouchers, and expand its use of personalization and customization using data from their  integration with Iterable. And, of course, based on the encouraging results, the team plans to incorporate direct mail into its broader omnichannel marketing strategy.

“We want to leverage direct mail even more in automated lifecycles. I would like to see it as an always-on part of our automated campaigns. And of course, in monthly campaigns we send. Direct mail should be a standard part of our marketing mix.” 

Saving time and money with direct mail automation

Direct mail has fed Marley Spoon’s growth by reactivating churned customers, but it’s also helped the team save time by automating legacy processes that were time and labor-intensive. Now the team is more productive and can spend its energy optimizing what works best. 

“Automated direct mail from Lob has increased our productivity. And of course, it saves us money. Lob is so straightforward to use. The customer support and the help we receive are fast, friendly, and super-helpful. It’s a huge help to get our direct mail campaigns out. “ 

Marley Spoon found the recipe for conversion success in automated direct mail. See its campaign on our Best Direct Mail Campaign page and see how you can dish up results.

Marley Spoon uses intelligent direct mail from Lob

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