Advertiser ■ Boden, UK
Industry ■ Retail
Media used ■ mail, web, email
Target audience ■ 46,000 of Boden’s prospects
Date ■ 2011

The background

Boden is a mail order clothing retailer based in the UK, also operating in the USA and Europe. Boden’s marketing service provider, Howard Hunt Group, had explained the benefits of using personalised cross-media marketing for customer acquisition and the company decided to put this to the test with a pilot programme to compare results against a generic direct marketing campaign.

The idea

In keeping with Boden’s mission to ‘bring back the love’ to their customer communications, the opportunity of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate in the UK at the time of the campaign in April 2011 was seized upon to provide a theme for the campaign creative.

The campaign began with a direct mail piece consisting of a digitally printed postcard with a personalised URL sent to 23,000 recipients. Recipients were enticed to visit their personal microsite by the chance of winning a prize in an online game. A further 23,000 in the control group received a piece of static direct mail without a PURL. The microsite collected data and handled the different responses required for the winners and losers. In order to play the game the website visitor had to enter their email address and were also asked to optionally provide their date of birth.

A triggered email was sent to the lucky winner to tell them how to claim their prize. Simultaneously, dedicated customer service staff at Boden and Howard Hunt Group were notified by email. The ‘losers’ were still awarded a ‘prize’ of a discount on purchases with a competition promo code and a click-through button to a specific area in the main Boden online shopping website. Finally, a follow-up email was sent to all of the ‘losers’ that did not go on to make a purchase using their promo code.


The cross-media campaign performed significantly better than the campaign using just static direct mail that was targeted at the control group. 

  • There was a 3.48% response rate to the personalised cross-media campaign. This was 6 times higher than the generic direct mail campaign,
  • 3% of recipients clicked through to Boden's website,
  • The ROI of the cross-media test campaign was 150% higher than the generic direct mail.

An additional benefit was that Boden’s marketing database was enhanced with over 75% of visitors to the personalised microsite opting-in to receive further emails and nearly 50% providing their date of birth. This would improve the relevance and targeting of future cross-media direct marketing from Boden. Based on this evidence, Boden was convinced that personalised cross-media marketing works for customer acquisition and planned to roll the programme out to a wider audience in subsequent years.