How Shift increased marketing campaign performance and created long-term relationships with its customers with Twilio Segment and Iterable

Use Case

Data powered performance marketing




Consumer Goods and Services




San Francisco, CA

The big win

Shift operates in a long lifecycle, low-frequency business, therefore, personalized email engagement with customers is critical to create long-term engagement. But data silos, non-integrated systems, and manual processes prevented Shift from effectively engaging with customers. Shift needed a way to create cohesive, personalized email engagement with its customers to grow its business.

Shift turned to Twilio Segment and Iterable to centralize data and use personalized email to re-engage visitors and drive growth. In addition, Twilio Segment gave internal teams the flexibility to experiment without relying on engineering resources.

Shift Technologies, Inc. is an online marketplace for buying and selling cars. Founded in 2013, and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Shift is a technology-driven platform that operates as a one-stop-shop for both buyers and sellers, taking a traditionally burdensome experience and transforming it into an enjoyable and hassle-free process.

Based on convenience, value, and trust, Shift helps customers test drive, buy, and sell cars from the comfort of their own home, reducing the intermediary costs of traditional dealerships and saving customers time. All cars that Shift sells pass rigorous inspections to ensure customers are purchasing a quality car, and thanks to the fixed pricing model, there’s no haggling or negotiation necessary. Shift also works with a network of top lenders that compete to give everyone the best interest rate on a loan.

Siloed data spread across multiple systems

Shift operates in a long lifecycle, low-frequency business, where customers typically do not purchase repeatedly or often. Therefore, personalized email engagement with customers is critical to create long-term engagement in the B2C relationship.

Previously, Shift was trying to operate email campaigns with siloed data spread across multiple systems–website, mobile app, CRMs, help desk, appointment scheduling system, multiple email services–and none of these were communicating with each other. This made it impossible for Shift to have a complete and accurate view of the customer journey.

Additionally, when customers engaged with Shift and received email correspondence across different systems, the templates and branding varied depending on where the communication was coming from–Google, Salesforce, Drip, or Mailchimp. “There were a lot of complications for something as simple as sending and tracking an email,” said Eva Wei, Growth and Analytics Lead.

From the customer's perspective, it often felt like they were receiving emails from completely different companies. More so, these emails were often rife with errors because areas of Shift’s data collection required manual inputs that were not scalable and prone to collecting incorrect data. This was not the cohesive, personalized email engagement that Shift wanted and needed to grow its business.

191107 ShiftCaseStudy LP Asset Customers

How could Shift achieve the personalization it desired at scale?

Achieving accurate, trusted data with Twilio Segment

After evaluating a number of options, including Marketo, Hubspot, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Shift realized that using Iterable with a Twilio Segment integration was the solution it was seeking. “Now we have everything in one place, all piping through Twilio Segment, so we know all of our data is available and the same across all of our tools,” said Wei.

Generic emails were easily replaced with personalized, automated subject lines and content–saving valuable time and resources. Because Shift knows confidently where data is coming from, teams can also make decisions based on accurate, apple-to-apple comparisons, further saving time and resources.

191107 ShiftCaseStudy LP Asset Diagram

Shift also understood that having access to what a user is doing in real-time was instrumental in re-engagement. If, for example, a customer inquired about a car that had been sold, Shift could access real-time information to directly re-engage the customer within the email using personalized suggestions for other similar cars.

Adding a visual element to emails and making them more personalized to the behavior and interests of the customers helped get those customers back into Shift’s funnel. “With Twilio Segment, we’re able to trigger workflows based on user behavior and custom events,” explained Wei. “That’s thanks to the access we have to accurate, reliable data. And that,” said Wei, “is thanks to Twilio Segment.”

Screen Shot 2019-12-02 at 12.59.14 PM

Personalizing email campaign with trusted customer data

Shift knew that personalization was key to keeping its customers engaged. Basic segmentation would no longer suffice, as its customers expected their car shopping experience to be tailored according to their interests and behaviors. By partnering with Twilio Segment and Iterable to power hyper-personalized email campaigns, Shift was able to increase open rates by 50% and double click-to-open rates. Today, Shift's personalized email marketing strategy enables it to deliver a seamless customer journey that fuels unprecedented engagement and conversion rates.

Interested in hearing more about how Segment can help you?

Data instrumentation has been significantly simplified, dramatically reducing engineering costs on building and maintaining data pipelines.

View all customers

Getting started is easy

Start connecting your data with Segment.