Who is de Hardloopwinkel?
Hello, I’m Frank Koevoets, e-commerce manager at Hardloopwinkel. We have been around since 2003 and started as a pure webshop under the name Hardloopaanbiedingen.nl. But times are changing, and in July 2022 we took a big step by merging with the Hardloopwinkel, which has five physical shops. With this merger, we offer more synergy to our customers and have experienced serious growth.
With a team of six people, we manage the webshop in a 400 m2 building full of running goods, from shoes to clothing and accessories. We do everything ourselves: from the intake of goods to order dispatch. We have been doing this for 18 years and have a lot of experience in online marketing and webshop management.
Before 2019, we sent a newsletter to our customers twice a week, without much personalisation or insight. That worked fine then, but in the following years we saw that the results were declining. The rest of the online world had overtaken us with personalised marketing. This was when we decided to review our email strategy and enlist help.
Switching to Maileon was a turning point for us. It was not just a matter of plug and play for us, it took some learning, but with the help of our marketing agency Van Dyck Brown, who recommended Maileon to us, we learned how to optimise our email flows. Now we are at the point where we send segmented and triggered emails.
The onboarding and training were crucial. We learnt a lot from the training sessions at Van Dyck Brown and Maileon itself. For new clients, I would definitely recommend using the expertise Maileon offers, and their in-person trainings.
We are still refining our strategy, but we are seeing an increase in email marketing sales. Most importantly, we now send an email that matches the customer’s needs and interests, at the right time.
Besides sending our newsletter, we now have several automations running, such as a birthday email flow, which helps us communicate more personally with our customers. This is one of the easiest flows to set up, and is definitely a tip to start with. The results are impressive: open and click rates are three times higher than the industry average.
We are now setting up an abandoned cart flow and a reactivation email for customers who bought running shoes a year ago.
One of Maileon’s most valuable features for us is the RSS feed, which allows products to be automatically loaded into our newsletters. Before this, we were spending an average of 4 hours a week creating a newsletter. With the RSS feed, this has been reduced to 1 hour.
This function is easy to implement in Maileon. An existing RSS feed can be used just fine. Most B2C companies are familiar with such feeds for 3rd parties like Google or Channable, for example. Such a feed contains the entire online product catalogue and is refreshed in real time. In our case, a copy of an existing feed was quickly realised with some minor adjustments. Using this RSS function in the newsletter template saves us a huge amount of time and effort.
We also use the e-commerce tracker. This has helped us enrich and personalise our email campaigns. This works through Google Tag Manager which, of course, is always hanging over our website. With this, we now pull in contact events, and we send trigger emails with that. We also use these contact events to segment our newsletters.
What I also want to emphasise is the support we get from Maileon. They are always willing to think along and help where necessary in the challenges we encounter. That personal contact and that direct help have greatly strengthened our confidence in the software and the team.
The results are impressive: open and click rates are three times higher than the industry average.
For companies considering improving their email marketing, it is important to realise that it requires time and attention. It is not a matter of plug-and-play, but a continuous process of learning and optimisation. However, with the right tools and support, you can develop a powerful email strategy that engages your customers and grows your business.
We are pleased with the steps we have taken and the support we have received from Maileon. It has been a process of trial and error, but in the end, it has helped us to be more connected with our customers and provide a better shopping experience, both online and offline.
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