How Shift creates individualized marketing campaigns with Segment & Iterable

With the ability to better understand and rely on its customer data, Shift can easily personalize email marketing campaigns to individuals, resulting in 50% higher open rates and 100% higher click-through rates.

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The Company

Shift Technologies, Inc. is an online marketplace for buying and selling cars. Founded in 2013, and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Shift is a technology-driven platform that operates as a one-stop-shop for both buyers and sellers, taking a traditionally burdensome experience and transforming it into an enjoyable and hassle-free process.

Based on convenience, value, and trust, Shift helps customers test drive, buy, and sell cars from the comfort of their own home, reducing the intermediary costs of traditional dealerships and saving customers time. All cars that Shift sells pass rigorous inspections to ensure customers are purchasing a quality car, and thanks to the fixed pricing model, there’s no haggling or negotiation necessary. Shift also works with a network of top lenders that compete to give everyone the best interest rate on a loan.

The Challenge

Shift operates in a long lifecycle, low-frequency business, where customers typically do not purchase repeatedly or often. Therefore, personalized email engagement with customers is critical to create long-term engagement in the B2C relationship.

Previously, Shift was trying to operate email campaigns with siloed data spread across multiple systems – the website, mobile app, CRMs, help desk, appointment scheduling system, multiple email services – and none of these were communicating with each other. This made it impossible for Shift to have a complete and accurate view of the customer journey.

It took a lot of time from our sales and customer support teams to chase down customer histories.
Eva Wei, Growth and Analytics Lead

Additionally, when customers engaged with Shift and received email correspondence across different systems, the templates varied depending on where they were coming from – Google, Salesforce, Drip, or Mailchimp. “There were a lot of complications for something as simple as sending and tracking an email,” said Wei.

For example, some areas of Shift’s data collection required manual inputs, which were not scalable and often rife with errors. This gave customers the appearance of receiving emails from different companies, sometimes with incorrect data. This was not the cohesive, personalized email engagement that Shift wanted and needed to grow its business.

191107 ShiftCaseStudy LP Asset Customers How could Shift achieve the personalization it desired at scale?

The Solution

After evaluating a number of options, including Marketo, Hubspot, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Shift realized that using Iterable with a Segment integration was the solution it was seeking. “Now we have everything in one place, all piping through Segment, so we know all of our data is available and the same in all of our tools,” said Wei.

Generic emails were easily replaced with personalized, automated subject lines and content, saving valuable time and resources. Because Shift knows consistently where data is coming from, teams can make decisions based on accurate, apples-to-apples comparisons, saving even more time and resources.

191107 ShiftCaseStudy LP Asset Diagram

Shift also understood that having access to what a user is doing in real-time was instrumental in re-engagement. If, for example, a customer inquired about a car that had been sold, Shift could access real-time information to directly re-engage the customer within the email with personalized suggestions for other similar cars.

Adding a visual element to emails and making them more personalized to the behavior and interests of the customers helped get those customers back into Shift’s funnel. “With Segment, we’re able to trigger workflows based on user behavior and custom events,” explained Wei. “That’s thanks to the access we have to accurate, reliable data. And that,” said Wei, “is thanks to Segment.” This is exactly the outcome Shift was hoping to achieve.

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The Results

Customers want to be considered at the individual level, so the integration with Segment and Iterable gave us the right data and the rich tooling to really drive growth.
Eva Wei, Growth and Analytics Lead

Personalization is key to keeping customers engaged. As marketers know, we’re moving from an environment where companies have relied on basic segmentation and general information to a world where there is a baseline consumer expectation of personalization. The proof is in the outstanding results.

With the ability to now understand and rely upon their data, Shift can easily personalize email-marketing campaigns to individuals, resulting in higher engagement. Email remains one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, which is why your company needs a good strategy to make emails as effective as possible. Without a doubt, that strategy should include Segment.

Thanks to Segment, our highest performing emails have 50% higher open rates and almost 100% higher click through rates. We’ve also increased automation and accuracy, we’re able to show more individualized content, and we have greater access and ability to experiment.
Eva Wei, Growth and Analytics Lead

Shift logo

Industry: Automotive
Location: San Francisco
Employees: 250

For us, what’s most important about Segment are the integrations. Now we’re able to move beyond just basic emails to individualized journeys based on custom events.

Eva Wei

Growth and Analytics Lead, Shift

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