America’s go-to hub for handcrafting has called on computers to ramp up its email marketing efforts. JOANN’s tech of choice? Artificial intelligence-powered copywriting.
Building on its efforts to digitally transform the brand, craft and fabrics store JOANN used AI to enhance customer engagement. The initiative resulted in 10 percent average uplifts in its campaigns, according to AI marketing company Phrasee.
To refocus on the JOANN customer, the 76-year-old company began leveraging more data to improve the performance of its email marketing. Historically, the company promoted discounts in email subject lines, but failed to test an array of techniques to improve email opens.
After partnering with Phrasee’s AI-enabled copywriting to enrich its general promotional emails, JOANN saw a 26 percent average click uplift and generated millions of dollars in incremental revenue, according to the company. The crafting giant learned that using diverse language — not high-urgency language — is critical for maximizing email engagement.
“From a customer standpoint, don’t focus on the offer so much, focus on the engagement and that’s where the ah-ha moment for us came from,” said Lee Washington II, CRM and loyalty strategy manager at JOANN, in a release.
Given its success with optimizing email engagement via AI, JOANN’s goal is to refine language at every customer touchpoint in the future, so that it can be “the most engaging, most enjoyable, most delightful exchange and interaction,” said digital marketing manager Gideon Toman in a release.
The summer of 2018 marked JOANN’s 75th anniversary, a time when JOANN started a massive brand identity overhaul. First came a name change: the retailer, previously called Jo-Ann, dropped the word “Fabrics,” and now goes by JOANN. The new name is meant to position the brand as one that also sells non-fabric products, like those available at JOANN’s competitors, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.
Then came JOANN’s acquisition of Creativebug, which the company calls “Netflix for DIY.” Subscribers of Creativebug can watch DIY tutorials from home or at a JOANN store where classes are streamed for groups. JOANN also introduced a new mobile app to help customers discover craft ideas, share completed projects and save coupons for their next visit. The brand logo got an update too—once dark green, the logo features a brighter shade of the color. Store section names got updated with quirky language, like “Bloom Room” for an area that features faux flowers. These updates are on display at JOANN’s new flagship store in Columbus, Ohio, and were introduced across JOANN’s 800 stores throughout the fall.