Case Study

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Serves Up Customer Lifetime Value

After becoming an independent company through a highly-ambitious group of new investors, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society needed to move from a product-centric approach to putting membership and customers back at the heart of their proposition. A partnership with Monetate boosted revenue with testing and personalization across all their member and prospect touchpoints.

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The Results
  • Increased topline revenue with standard A/B testing +34% RPS
  • Reduced bounce rate with Majority Fit Experiences -17%
  • Increased YoY membership renewals +5%

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has been at the forefront of premium, single cask whisky production since 1983, sold exclusively to its members. They know and love their product through and through, but they needed a modern, white glove membership experience to stay competitive and reach the brand’s goal of tripling revenue within five years. 

“Before Monetate, we were operating quite a clunky platform where we had relatively fixed creative assets, and we were tied to our web development agency to make any changes to key pages,” explained Will Richardson, Head of Digital Marketing at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. “We weren’t differentiating the content based on the visitor. As a whisky club, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of creating a sense of an exclusive, personal relationship with each member.”

Quick Wins with A/B and Advanced Testing

Two years ago, SMWS partnered with Monetate to make good on their promise of a membership experience that attracts and inspires engagement. The first step was delivering on the basics: the right language, in the right places, at the right time. To get their feet wet with personalization, SMWS identified two crucial points where their communications were falling short and used Monetate’s testing capabilities to identify the solutions—with impressive results. 

User testing feedback revealed that visitors were confused about the pricing differences between the various membership options. SMWS used Monetate testing to determine the best copy to clarify prices and to improve their positioning. The test quickly surfaced the winning option, for a 34% increase in revenue per session (RPS) compared to the control group—showing what a difference a few words makes.

The next optimizations were designed to scale up efforts to drive loyalty and sales. SMWS used a Majority Fit Experience (MFE) to pinpoint a strong CTA that would highlight value on product detail pages. Rather than waiting for a standard test to reach significance, the team saw immediate results as the machine learning test routed traffic continuously to the strongest variants. Over the course of 50K sessions, they saw an improvement of 10% AOV and a 17% drop in bounce rate, all while delivering a continuously better experience to the audience.

With this new approach to testing, they’re hitting all their milestones. Richardson explained, “Monetate is playing an absolutely pivotal role in our efforts to better engage our members, which is key in meeting our commercial goals.”

Personalization with Customer Data Leads to Lift in Loyalty

As they grew increasingly comfortable with the platform, SMWS expanded their use of Monetate by applying the power of AI to the challenge of membership renewals. To engage members earlier, the team deployed two Individual Fit Experiences: an “early-bird renewal” banner on the homepage and a “renewal in 30 days” carousel takeover that were shown to members with an approaching anniversary. 

“Using CRM data for personalization has been rocket fuel for us.”
—Will Richardson, Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Right away, they saw a surprisingly high engagement rate: the banners were receiving 10% of clicks on the homepage, making them the fourth-most engaging asset on the page. Even better, they were also able to correlate their efforts to a 5% increase in renewals. Given their impact, SMWS has opted to leave the experiences running indefinitely so that they can continue to grow the lifetime value of their members.

SMWS has also been able to leverage their existing customer data in Monetate to deliver CRM-driven personalization that stimulates event attendance. As Richardson summarizes, “Using CRM data for personalization has been rocket fuel for us.” They segmented customers within five miles of a venue who haven’t yet participated in a live event and customized their homepages to promote the event’s value. The tactic helped SMWS further their goal of achieving customer-centricity for the optimal member experience. 

The team is interested in going even further with their use of customer data and AI within Monetate to create more relevant and engaging experiences with their members. “We’ve steadily got more and more progressive, and we’re just getting smarter as time goes on,” reports Will.