Email Spotlight: Lexus

An old adage, which Mark Twain may have coined (its origins are debatable), goes “everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Well, some savvy email marketers are doing something about it; specifically, they’re increasing engagement by using contextual messaging that reflect weather conditions at the time and location of open.

An email developed as part of the launch of the Lexus RX provides a great example of how effective weather targeting can be. The objective of the email, which was sent this winter to recipients throughout the U.S., was to drive click-throughs with real-time, relevant content; specifically, copy and creative that reflected current weather conditions at the recipients’ locations.

Team One, Saatchi & Saatchi’s luxury, premium, aspirational brand agency and AOR for Lexus, supported the strategy and analytics and leveraged the opportunity to implement contextual content into the email design to influence customer engagement.  The weather module was chosen due to the all-weather features of the Lexus RX, which could accommodate the impact of snow, rain and clear skies across the country.

Lexus used A/B testing to confirm weather targeting’s effectiveness over a static, non-targeted email. Some recipients in the test received a message with a weather module corresponding to conditions at the time they opened the message: rainy, sunny or snowy. Other recipients received a message with a generic image.

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Not surprisingly, the email containing the live weather modules performed significantly better than the email with the generic image. And of the three weather modules, the one reflecting snowy conditions had the highest CTR, likely because the message’s delivery coincided with a blizzard in the Eastern United States.

Final results

  • The email with the weather modules yielded a 234% increase in CTR over default content
  • Clicks from the weather modules vs. static email CTA resulted in:
    • 26% higher page views
    • 18% greater time on site

Sandy Blanchard, CRM Manager at Lexus, is very encouraged by the results. “We at Lexus were excited to deploy live-content emails for the launch of the Lexus RX this winter. By understanding that weather conditions impact your vehicle consideration, we leveraged these ideas into real-time weather modules in our RX emails, which resulted in considerable engagement lift versus our control.”