GovX trades 50 complicated customer journeys for 14 programmatic, adaptive message templates

How an eCommerce website for military & first responders scrapped journey building for programmatic adaptive messages in under 30 days.


Fewer email templates


Personalization at scale

2 weeks

Migration from legacy ESP

GovX logo

GovX is one of the largest members-only shopping destinations for active duty, reserve and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces, first responders and related government agencies.
Key Channels Used

GovX relies on Cordial to provide their customers with an authentic and personalized online shopping experience. By replacing their legacy email journey builder with programmatic adaptive templates, Cordial helps GovX engage and retain users.

Key Takeaways
  • Consolidate 50 static journey templates down to 14 adaptive templates.
  • Spend more time on marketing rather than re-architecting email journeys.
  • Rebuild lifecycle messaging using automated programmatic messages.
The challenge

GovX is a 100% eCommerce brand and relies heavily on digital channels, namely email, to engage and retain their customer base. To communicate with their users the marketing team was using a large legacy ESP to create highly complex pre-scripted email journeys that could reach 50+ messages.

Over time these email journeys became so complex, that even minor changes in one area could require complicated updates to multiple pieces of the journey. Pre-scripting a conversation you haven’t had yet is a tall order and requires an enormous amount of complicated logic to work efficiently. This put a huge amount of pressure on the email team as well as the IT department. Whenever a journey was re-architected, the tech team was stuck with the heavy lifting, pulling them away from other important projects.

Eventually, their legacy ESP became such a burden that the GovX team was forced to begin the search for another ESP.

They needed a platform that could flex with their changing needs and free up the internal resources they needed to scale their operation. But, as most in the email space know, searching for a new ESP is a huge headache, often taking more than 12 months from RFP to implementation. This was simply too long to wait for a company that relied so heavily on email.

"We were spending an unbelievable amount of time architecting and maintaining these extremely complicated messaging streams. It caused frustration for the team, and didn’t give us enough flexibility to try new things in some instances we just gave up trying to make changes because it was so time consuming."

Aaron Pelander, VP Marketing

Key Issues
  • GovX had a painfully long RFP process from their legacy provider
  • GovX’s legacy provider was complicated and needed simple consolidation
The solution

When GovX initially approached Cordial, the marketing team was skeptical that we could actually get them up and running in 30 days. Afterall, they were used to working with a legacy provider and the painful RFP process that came along with it. Instead, Cordial set up a Proof of Concept for the GovX team, allowing them to test out the platform using their own data and verify that it was the right fit for their needs. After Cordial got the go-ahead, the Customer Success team immediately got to work trying to untangle the complex web of messages in the legacy ESP journey builder. Cordial also worked with the GovX tech team on-site to provide advice and guidance on how to migrate their API’s and remap their data to the new system. Data migration is often the most complex aspect of an ESP migration, so the team took extra care to make sure there would be no dropoff in performance.

Within 2 weeks of signing with Cordial, GovX was able to simplify their 50+ email journey down to just 14 programmatic adaptive messaging templates. The beauty of adaptive templates is that content is programmatically pulled in based on where a user falls within the lifecycle, and personalized based on the characteristics, interests, and previous behavior of the member that is receiving the message. This removed the need for pre-scripted conversations and complicated updates whenever a small change was made, enabling the GovX team to send 1:1 personalized emails to every customer automatically. The switch to adaptive messaging also drastically reduced the amount of time and effort it took to create and edit lifecycle messaging and empowered the marketing team to create a seamless, authentic dialogue with their customers.

"We loved the proof of concept Cordial created for us. It allowed the whole team to test the platform out with our own data before we committed. We were quickly impressed. "

Amber Miller, SVP eCommerce

The result

Quickly after switching to Cordial, GovX was able to reduce the amount of email templates required to run their program by 72%. This meant less time designing, building, QAing templates, and more time designing meaningful experiences for their customers. And not only did they reduce their templates substantially, they did so in a matter of weeks, simplifying their 50+ email journey down to just 14 templates. Cordial’s expertise in migrations from legacy platforms was a huge help here. With fewer, more personalized templates in hand, GovX is now able to deliver true 1:1 personalization at scale.

"The Cordial platform was really easy to set up and use. We were able to completely replace our journey builder within a couple weeks and saw an immediate benefit. When we wanted to make more changes to an email with our legacy ESP, we had to overhaul and rebuild our journey. With Cordial, we’ve been able to be a lot more efficient. Our team is saving so much time and is now able to focus on new ideas and creative approaches. "

Aaron Pelander, VP Marketing