Evo Blends Campaign Elements to Move Summer Overstock

Evo is going full-throttle online to move an inordinate amount of overstock born from a sluggish economy. Over the weekend, the outdoors gear marketer launched an end-of-summer campaign dubbed “Wake Clearance Event,” which included the following components: onsite ads, e-mail, SEM, third-party shopping comparison sites and eBay.

“We have more wakeboard inventory than in past clearance events and therefore have to be incredibly aggressive on the prices we are offering and the online strategy we are using,” said Nathan Decker, director of e-commerce for evo, which is based in Seattle.

Starting on Saturday, Aug. 15, the brand’s site, evogear.com, began featuring discounted wakeboards, which are used for a hybrid sport that combines water skiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques. They appeared in a Flash slide ad that clicked through to a wake products page. The clearance sale is also being pushed by a banner at the top of pages throughout evogear.com.

“That is one of the most visible positions on the site because customers tend to spend most of their time navigating the shopping pages,” Decker said. “Another thing we did for this campaign, in terms of on-site, was create more of what we like to call ‘mash-ups,’ which are basically a whole new set of wakeboard packages with [purchasing] options. We have essentially tripled our wakeboard packages.”

Also on Saturday, a segment of more than 30,000 recent wakeboard product purchasers received an e-mail that pushed the “Wake Clearance Event.” The message utilized a larger version of the same banner seen on Evo’s homepage. Underneath the ad appeared four paragraphs of product-oriented copy that included 10 hyperlinks to a landing page for the offered gear.

On Monday evening, Decker said, “We saw a clickthrough rate that’s higher than our average e-mail. It appears there’s a lot of interest in the campaign. We are encouraged by the response so far.”

Paid search via Google has been an increased focus for Decker and his team for more than two years, and this campaign is no different. He said that wakeboard-related keywords have been purchased. “We’re metering our spend so it is evenly distributed throughout the day because that strategy performs just as well for us as day-parting,” Decker said.

He said one of the most-important chores for the campaign was adjusting the product database in order to reflect the changed pricing for shopping comparison sites like Shopzilla, Shopping.com, Pricegrabber.com, NexTag, Bing.com, and others. Cashing in on a targeted audience of discount-minded shoppers should prove to be a major aspect when judging how successful the campaign proves to be, Decker said.

“[The pricing changes] may look like a minor component because it doesn’t take a whole lot of work,” he said. “But it has a big impact on our clickthrough rates and our positioning in all of those different marketplaces.”

Lastly, due to the seasonal relaxing of manufacturer pricing contracts, Decker and his team have listed numerous wakeboarding items for sale via eBay — a medium they couldn’t employ during an earlier part of the summer. He said the clearance campaign is running for a to-be-determined length, depending on performance and relevant inventory available.

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