Exclusive Q&A: Party City Gets Increased Sales Through Email Marketing With AI

Major party supplies retailer uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to increase engagement and open rates of customer email campaigns.

Chain store age recently spoke with Alisa Stewart, Senior Director, Acquisition / CRM and Loyalty at Party City, on how the company leveraged Phrasee writing platform powered by AI to improve the effectiveness of its customer email campaigns since early 2021.

With in-store shoppers representing nine out of 10 of its customers, Party City wanted to leverage the Phrasee AI platform to increase in-store sales by optimizing email subject lines. Through the use of the AI-based solution, Party City saw a 4% increase in in-store sales, along with a forecast of nearly $ 650,000 in additional in-store sales per year.

What specific challenges did Party City face with email marketing?
The majority of Party City sales have historically come from in-store shoppers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many customers have switched to online shopping, our desire to connect with our customers and generate additional shopping opportunities has reinforced the focus on our messaging strategy.

Bottom-of-the-funnel messaging channel attribution creates a necessary need to have conversations with our customers that are engaging and eye-catching. This need brought us to Phrasee.

How and why did Party City select Phrasee?
We selected Phrasee Engage to optimize our email campaigns in early 2021. We chose Phrasee’s platform because we were impressed with the company’s in-depth experience in creating email campaigns optimized for large retailers. We were also drawn to his knowledge of brand language in the retail space. The combination of deep learning and machine learning within Phrasee’s AI platform was a perfect fit for Party City and our goal of improving customer engagement.

What have been the results of deploying your AI-powered email optimization technology?
We were delighted with the results. Since optimizing our email branding language with Phrasee’s AI technology, Party City has seen a significant improvement in the performance of our email campaigns and increased customer sales. The results include an increase in store sales of 4%, over 300,000 additional openings per generated email and a projected increase in store sales of $ 649,000 in 2021.

Are there any future plans for Phrasee and / or email marketing that you can discuss?
Party City looks forward to continuing to use Phrasee’s AI-powered platform to improve engagement with our customers. In addition to using Phrasee Engage to optimize email subject lines, we also plan to explore copy in emails, such as headlines and calls to action (CTAs), and we look for new ways to optimize our language across new audiences, campaigns and channels. .

[Editor’s Note: Party City reported total revenues of $535.7 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2021, an increase of 110.4% compared to the second quarter 2020, driven by a strong rebound of retail sales. Total retail sales increased 138.9%. Comparable sales increased 118.3% over the year-ago period and were up 19.1% compared to the second quarter of 2019.]

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