Case Study: How HauteLook’s Email Vendor Switch Helped it Send Millions of Mail Messages in Five Minutes

Problem: HauteLook, an exclusive online private sale site, needed to send 2 million time-sensitive emails to its opt-in customers about its exclusive, limited-time online sales events within five minutes. It’s email service provider (ESP) at the time wasn’t able to do this.

Solution: Switched ESPs, turning to one that offers burst email delivery technology that makes it possible to deliver millions of emails in a matter of minutes.

Results: HauteLook has reduced it’s email costs while providing a higher level of personalization, driving incremental top-line revenue.

Launched in December 2007, HauteLook is an online apparel retailer that’s partnered with more than 850 premium fashion and lifestyle brands to run exclusive, limited-time online sales events that offer its members savings of up to 75 percent off retail prices. Since its founding, HauteLook has hosted more than 2,000 private sale events for women, men, kids, home and beauty.

To provide HauteLook members with equal access to limited-inventory sales events that only last between 48 hours and 72 hours, the company needed to have its sales-alert emails delivered in a very short time period. With millions of members, HauteLook required a solution that could achieve a goal of delivery of 2 million emails within five minutes.

Enter StrongMail Systems, an email service and social media provider based in Redwood City, Calif. HauteLook switched from the ESP it was using at the time to StrongMail because StrongMail’s burst email delivery technology enables HauteLook to achieve its objective while increasing personalization through a direct connection to its database. In addition to the improved efficiencies of real-time data transfer, StrongMail also integrates with Omniture, enabling HauteLook to improve the targeting and relevancy of its communications.

“StrongMail’s ability to get our sales event emails to members in near-real time is a huge benefit and competitive advantage for our business,” said Kevin Diamond, chief technology officer of HauteLook, in a press release. “With StrongMail, we’re actually providing a better experience for our members while lowering our email costs.”

HauteLook is also now using StrongMail’s social media solutions to deploy viral customer referral and rewards programs.

Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.