Funky Pigeon is a household name for personalized gifts and greeting cards, and has been owned by WHSmith since 2010. Automation is an essential part of Funky Pigeon’s marketing strategies. Their trigger-based emails are used to engage customers throughout their buying journeys, enriching their experiences and encouraging repeat purchases. But how did they make sure their automated campaigns delivered the results they should?


Funky Pigeon has used automated triggered campaigns to keep their audience engaged. However, their click-to-open rate (CTOR) was particularly low and it became a challenge to get their customers to take action and click on their emails once opened.

It was clear that their user experience needed to be optimized across a number of areas, including:

Mobile optimized designs

Mobile emails are a key channel for driving sales, but Funky Pigeon lacked emails that were exclusively optimized for mobile.

Enhanced calls to action

Funky Pigeon needed a solution that would ensure their strategically positioned CTAs would deliver healthy engagement metrics.

Dynamic and personalized content

Funky Pigeon needed a template that was flexible enough to incorporate different campaign content and provide each reader with a unique, tailored experience.

“Always put your customers first — figure out what they want and how you can help them get it. This understanding of your customer will galvanise every single interaction you have with them. Optimisation is an art and a science. I’s important to regularly and methodically review the design and quality of the content you’re putting out there. Failing to use data insights to optimise campaigns will result in missed opportunities.”


The Marigold Engage+ Consulting team undertook a full review of Funky Pigeon’s automated messages and promotional emails. The team proposed best practice enhancements to immediately improve the CTOR of four campaigns.

To validate the enhancements, the team A/B tested the new creative against the old. It was important to look at the science behind what makes people click through an email, so the consulting team tested several different elements to find the optimum email design.

Funky Pigeon increased their abandoned basket campaign’s CTOR by 42%


Across the four optimised campaigns, CTOR increased by:

  • Welcome campaign: 7%
  • Abandoned basket campaign: 42%
  • Order confirmation campaign: 155%
  • Reminder campaign: 2.5%

Combined, these campaigns led to a significant increase in revenue.

Some of the optimisation tactics used to increase click-through rates included:

  • Enhancing design for mobile users
  • Better/clearer CTAs
  • Reassuring the customer using social proof (Trustpilot)
  • Adding a “view in browser” link
  • Streamlining information
  • Creating dynamic, contextual, and personalised content
  • Including customer service contact details
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