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Case Study: Fishbowl Delivers Higher Revenues with Optimized List and Best Practices in Creative

For this casual chain, the fourth quarter was a hyper busy period for their e-Club. Almost 40 mailings reached guests between November and January, a dedicated feat of email marketing.  Besides the sheer challenge of conducting such a concentrated campaign, the client was concerned about lackluster guest engagement metrics from the summer and early fall.   Moreover, as the holiday season progressed, the client started to experience slack sales when compared to the previous year.

In this two part case study, we’ll explore how Fishbowl’s Professional Services responded to these challenges, crafting a solution that focused on two key marketing initiatives:

  1. Building the right list. The key to successful engagement is to market to guests who want to hear from you.  Fishbowl worked with its client to cull the “deadwood”—guests who haven’t opened or clicked on a message within one year – from the eClub and simultaneously undertake a guest acquisition campaign to find new engaged members.
  2. Building the right creative. With an optimized list in hand, Fishbowl used its best practices to design emails that drove both higher engagement and higher revenues.


Part I: Optimizing the Client’s List to Drive Engagement

thomas-greeneThe first step was to cleanse the client’s database.  Fishbowl’s Online Marketing Specialist, Thomas Greene, crafted and sent an aggressive re-engagement message with an enticing offer to all the members who met the deadwood criteria.   Those who didn’t respond by clicking or opening the email after thirty days were removed from the database. Approximately a quarter of the list needed to be purged.

Simultaneously, Thomas helped the client conduct a targeted guest acquisition campaign using Fishbowl’s online media site, Great Eats.  The results were impressive:  the client reached its goal of 15,000 new members in the short run up to the holiday season, which essentially replaced the names culled from the list during the cleansing process.  The exciting part?  These guests proved to be highly engaged, with a 67% open rate for the welcome email, exactly the kind of result the client was seeking. 

Since the list purge, the client has seen the following average results:

  •  5% increase in open rates
  • 2% increase in click through rates
  • 6% increase in click-to-open rates
  • 91% retention rate thus far for members coming in via Great Eats

Part II: Maximizing Engagement to Drive Revenue


The next step was to take on the challenge of the client’s concentrated marketing campaign.  Delilah Khalaf, Online Marketing Coordinator for Fishbowl’s Professional Services, is an expert at delivering highly successful results.  Armed with the newly optimized list, she and Fishbowl’s Creative Services team reviewed and revamped the client’s marketing materials, developing a 40 email series for both corporate and franchisee stores that incorporated Fishbowl’s creative best practices.

These mailings drove a highly successful holiday campaign.  What were the key new creative elements?

  • Larger calls to action
  • Animation to draw  the eye to the offer
  • New content that drove more clickthroughs on the promotions

See below for a comparison of average guest engagement metrics before the Fishbowl solutions:


While list cleansing sometimes produces a revenue fall off in the short term, a sample of the client’s early December mailings that had unique tracking codes showed dramatic sales results.  Ultimately, the client is now well positioned with an optimized list – an ongoing revenue generator– to leverage Fishbowl’s marketing best practices for the immediate future.  And the case taught the value of conducting guest acquisition campaigns on a regular basis, another marketing best practice.