CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
Annex Brands, Inc., based in San Diego, CA, is a franchisor of more than 360 retail and commercial shipping and business service centers located across the United States and Canada.
Originally founded in 1985 as Postal Annex+, Inc., the company was renamed Annex Brands in 2007 after the acquisition of the third brand in operation: Handle With Care Packaging Store. A leader in the shipping and business services industry, Annex Brands’ locations operate as PostalAnnex+, Navis Pack & Ship, Handle With Care Packaging Store and Sunshine Pack & Ship.
Each location is independently owned and operated by franchisees of Annex Brands, Inc.
“Maestro produced our automated CRM/Rewards Program which clearly adds value for our franchisees.”
“Annex Brands is very pleased with the relationship with Maestro. Bryce and his team came up with a customized CRM/Rewards Program which adds value for our franchisees. By automating several types of communications, we’re able to better serve our existing customers on a more consistent basis.”
In the packaging and shipping industry customer loyalty is one of the most important factors to achieving success. Customer loyalty is sometimes earned, easily lost and highly desired. Some customers ship every day, while others only ship every once in a while. Convenience and cost are the two major influences on customer loyalty outside the four walls of a business.
Annex Brands realized that while some of their customers are loyal and provide repeat business, the majority of their patrons will often go to the lowest or most convenient bidder. Keeping in mind that marketing to prevent customer attrition is always cheaper than marketing for customer acquisition, Annex Brands saw a few issues that needed to be addressed:
- Annex Brands wanted a way to reward existing, loyal customers. Understanding that customers will often go to the most convenient bidder, Annex Brands wanted to find a way to tell past customers about the breadth of services that could be provided at their many locations. For example, they wanted to tell a shipping customer that they also provide notary services, eliminating the need for that customer to go to a possible competitor.
- Annex Brands wanted means to provide past customers coupons that would encourage them to come back to one of their locations. They wanted a way to communicate personalized messages to their existing customers that would add value to their customer experience.
Meeting all these needs would help Annex Brands provide, what they believe is, the ultimate customer experience for their patrons.
In addition, Annex Brands was looking for the ability to communicate these messages to their customers via email, but they also needed the capability to have access to other channels of communication as their customer email adoption rate is roughly 30%-35%.
Annex Brands began a partnership with Maestro as their single-source solution to address the needs standing between themselves and their customers. Maestro connected directly with PostalMate POS system and was able to exploit customer transactional data to send customers personalized messages that were relevant and timely. Annex Brands vice president of marketing, Steve Goble, worked closely with Maestro’s staff to formulate the optimal communication intervals and their corresponding message communications to be personalized to develop a custom loyalty program unique to their brand.
The Annex Brands’ white-label solution identifies and communicates personally with new customers, lapsed customers (those without transactional history for 30, 60 and 90 days) and customers who reach their next reward level in qualifying purchases to encourage prolonged loyalty. To confirm campaign accuracy and ensure effectiveness before the program launched across all 300+ Annex Brands, 30 Annex Brands locations participated in a 6-month pilot program. The pilot was so successfully received that Annex Brands agreed to include the Annex Brands loyalty program for Matching Funds which is traditionally reserved only for new client acquisition.
The Annex Brands solution launched in mid-April 2014 and within two weeks realized 13% initial location level adoption; a very successful roll out, according to Annex Brands.
Within three months of the program launch Annex Brands largest franchisee, who has seven locations active on the program, said, “We are very pleased so far with the program. We are seeing 100-200 emails a week go out to our customer email database. The progressive emails offer each customer with different discounts and so far they are being well received and used. This is another way of keeping our name in front of our customers and to date, those offers have gone out to anywhere between 3,000-5,000 customers depending on the location!”
In the first three months of the program:
- New Loyalty Program Enrollees – 6,105
- 30/60/90 Day Bounce Backs Messages – 33,526
- Reward Certificates Issued – 562
Stores are averaging:
- 35% email adoption
- 80% mailable addresses
- 40%-50% average unique open rate – counts only the first time an email is opened by a given recipient
- 1.75-2 times each email is opened – counts each time an email is opened, even those opened multiple times by the same recipient (the customers want to see these messages).
- < 1.5% unsubscribe rate
- < 7.5% bounce rate (invalid emails)