Chicue is a service that summarizes all of the best sales at top retailers in a once-a-week email newsletter to shoppers. I designed the service with a business strategy in mind: to monetize emails sent to a targeted demographic by utilizing affiliate programs available at all of the promoted retailers. Using my problem solving skills, I was able to create an operational business with existing solutions and a simplified approach—saving time and money by cutting out costly development. Moving forward, I plan on working with social influencers in the fashion niche (via Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube) to promote the service through sponsored posts and increase the subscriber count.
Since traffic would be coming mainly from advertisements and social media, I laid out the website under the assumption that the user’s interest has already been piqued. The purpose of the landing page is to acquire the user’s email address by quickly outlining the benefits of the service. The email capture form at the top of the page makes it easy for visitors to sign up right away, but the attention getter below—along with the outline of the service and testimonials—are there to provide additional information and persuade visitors to become members of the email newsletter.
To build the website, I used utilized a variety of services, including:
MailChimp is used to send out the weekly newsletters. It includes a variety of analytics and reports, supports reusable email templates, and allows me to sort subscribers into lists based on behavior, such which retailers they are engaging with.
Commission Junction is used to join affiliate programs as a publisher with various retailers. Nearly every clothing retailer is a member of Commission Junction, usually paying commission rates between 7-12% of all purchases driven through affiliate links.
Google Analytics is used in conjunction with MailChimp to track information about visitors including demographic, and email signup conversion rates based on traffic source—which aids in determining which advertising efforts are effective.
Bitly is used to track link clicks for each weekly email newsletter. It provides great analytics, and allows me to determine which sales and retailers are being clicked on the most. This information aids in determining which sales and retailers will be the most beneficial to include in future emails.
Before I began sending emails, I did some market research to determine the most effective day of the week to send the emails. I found that most people surveyed do their online shopping on Sundays and Mondays, so that they will receive the online purchase during the following week. Clothing retailers specifically have greatest sales on Sundays, by a large margin, and have a noticeable midweek slump. Emails are sent on Sunday mornings to capitalize on these shopping habits.
As more data is gathered moving forward, I will be able to calculate the average profit per subscriber, which will help determine if a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) advertisement strategy will be worth it.