industry: Agencies
Use Case: Automated Buying Journeys

AXIS Integrated Builds Intelligent Lead Nurturing Programs Exclusively With Act-On

Personalized automated lead nurturing programs have increased lead-to-application rates for franchisors by as much as 10X.

Company:AXIS Integrated and Act-On
AXIS Integrated and Act-On

Corey Nicholson

VP of Business Development

Success by the numbers


Increase in lead-to-application rates for Pizza Pizza.


New franchise locations within the last 3 years for COBS Bread.

Realized Business Value

  • Act-On provides best-in-class marketing automation platform – a core component  of AXIS Integrated’s sales and marketing solution for franchisors
  • Act-On centralizes and stabilizes the technology stack with easy and effective integrations
  • Automated campaigns, programs, and reporting reduces manual labor and conserves limited resources
  • Segmentation and lead scoring identifies high-intent prospects for franchisors to focus on and nurtures the rest

Pain Points

  • Long lead nurture/sales cycle combined with small sales teams
  • Difficulty converting prospects into leads at scale
  • Hard to measure level of lead engagement without lead scoring
  • Lack of effective nurturing programs
  • Non-personalized communications approach yielded limited results
About AXIS Integrated

Founded in 1990, AXIS Integrated is a database-marketing agency located in Toronto. As experts in data-driven sales and marketing solutions, CRM systems, and marketing automation, AXIS specializes in executing modern and powerful lead and customer nurturing programs for hundreds of great brands in numerous industries.

As AXIS continues to evolve and improve their business model, they’ve increased their focus on partnering with franchisors to help solve their franchising challenges with custom consulting and marketing solutions.

Partner Overview

AXIS Integrated is an award-winning data management agency that leverages best-in-class people and technology to provide their franchisor clients data-driven sales and marketing solutions that drive business growth. They place Act-On at the center of their efforts because our growth marketing platform is proven, powerful, and easy to use.

Since AXIS began using Act-On to execute lead nurturing and funnel optimization strategies on behalf of their franchisor clients, they’ve drastically increased leads, lead-to-application rates, and franchise sales for customers like COBS Bread, Pizza Pizza, and more. Not only are they producing impressive results with Act-On, but our growth marketing platform empowers their organization to save time, money, and resources as they collect, manage, and leverage valuable engagement and behavioral data. This information is the basis for a dynamic nurturing experience across multiple channels.

How to Convert More Leads Into Customers

Marketing Challenge

AXIS Integrated’s franchisor clients need outsourced sales and marketing help to generate leads, track and score those leads, and nurture them through tailored customer experiences based on authentic engagement and behavioral cues. Because buying a franchise business is a big, considered purchase, these franchisor clients typically face lengthy sales cycles and lack the knowledge and expertise to deliver targeted strategies that personalize the customer journey. And while they often have small but capable sales teams, those professionals struggle to leverage their opportunities when their leads haven’t been sufficiently nurtured. But thanks to AXIS’ excellent service, their marketing skill, and their proficiency within Act-On, these clients are experiencing tremendous results with rapid time-to-value. In fact, AXIS can implement and launch their solution in under 90 days.

“Act-On is a key component in our ability to enable franchisors to automatically communicate with their franchise leads. It is the only marketing automation platform we recommend. Our clients see quick success after implementing a lead nurturing program with Act-On under the hood.”

corey Nicholson, VP of Business development (AXIS Integrated)

The AXIS Approach

Two years ago, after speaking with dozens of leads and clients, Corey Nicholson (AXIS Integrated’s Vice President of Business Development) identified a real need for marketing excellence in the franchise sales industry. Franchisors were struggling to target potential franchisees who wanted to expand, invest, and become their own boss.

With their first client, AXIS developed a solid infrastructure to execute holistic sales and marketing strategies based on best-in-class people and technology. With Act-On as their marketing automation platform and Zoho as the preferred CRM, AXIS built a well-oiled demand generation, email marketing, direct mail, and sales support call center machine that worked so well for their first client, they decided to offer it to other franchisors. 

For every client and campaign, AXIS creates a detailed blueprint that outlines the marketing flow from awareness to application. Using this blueprint, they’re able to create and replicate a scalable model based on their customers’ unique needs and goals, focusing on the entire prospect journey. By providing clients with a clear line of sight into their strategies and delivering regular reporting around meaningful KPIs and engagement metrics, AXIS further strengthens their customer relationships while improving performance in the short- and long-term.

Within just two years, they’ve used this model to add numerous new franchisor clients and are leveraging innovative growth marketing automation techniques to achieve phenomenal results on their behalf — in addition to growing their own business.

Improved Data Hygiene Increases COBS Bread Lead-to-Application Conversion Rates By 12%

In 2017, AXIS Integrated began working with COBS bread, North America’s fastest-growing franchise bakery concept. At the time, COBS set out to achieve aggressive sales growth goals by marketing franchise opportunities to eager entrepreneurs. The bakery concept had already generated thousands of leads, but their small sales team couldn’t adequately nurture the number of leads in their queue, and those leads were going stale.

The first thing AXIS did was to cleanse COBS’ list of 6,000 leads. Many of those leads had stopped engaging with COBS outbound communications — and many were “tire-kickers” who had never interacted beyond a request for information. So they sunset email addresses based on lack of interaction or poor fit and began segmenting their remaining leads based on location, capital, and online behavior. 

Once they were confident in their marketing lists, AXIS installed the Act-On beacon on COBS’ website, added an inquiry and assessment form to capture leads, and implemented lead scoring to track and measure lead engagement and assess lead readiness. Then they began designing branded email nurture templates and automated programs within Act-On. In tandem, they set up phone call touchpoints to introduce and educate these leads to potential opportunities with COBS. This allowed AXIS to pass the most qualified and ready to buy leads to COBS sales team and automate the nurturing process for those who were still in the early stages of the lengthy (9-12 months, on average) sales cycle. Further, it allowed the COBS franchisor to focus on strategic expansion rather than trying to play catch-up with outdated processes and uninterested prospects.

AXIS Integrated and Act-On

Almost immediately, COBS had doubled its lead-to-application conversion rate, putting them on-track to reach their new bakery opening target each year. Now, thanks to AXIS Integrated’s strategic planning, solution, and execution within the Act-On platform, COBS is on track to open more than 200 bakeries in Canada by 2022. 

Said Corey, “With the solution that we built in Act-On, purchase readiness doesn’t really matter, because we’re nurturing the lead for however long it takes them to progress through their unique journey.”

Segmented Lead Nurturing Increases Pizza Pizza’s Conversions Rates By 10X

Pizza Pizza is the largest pizza franchise in Canada. With over 750 locations across the country, it’s one of the most well-known pizza brands north of the US border. Yet, they didn’t have a reliable system in place to nurture their franchisee prospects. Instead, their sales team would follow up with a prospect once or twice and then move on. Looking for a better way to grow their business footprint, they reached out to AXIS Integrated to help them build and execute better buying journeys that would ensure improved lead-to-application conversion rates and a steady stream of new franchisees.  

Like COBS, Pizza Pizza had thousands of leads in their database they had accumulated over many years. AXIS started with a good data cleanse to determine the most engaged prospects and those that would benefit from re-engagement efforts. Once they’d sunset uninterested leads and placed higher intent leads into proper segments, they created multiple lead nurturing campaigns with more than 30 separate email templates for more targeted messaging and content. And with their solution that combines Zoho CRM with Act-On, AXIS provided full visibility into Pizza Pizza’s prospects’ buying journeys, allowing them to create intuitive nurturing email campaigns that leverage conditional logic and dynamic content based on lead behaviors.

AXIS Integrated and Act-On

In just a couple of months, Pizza Pizza’s lead to application conversion rate multiplied by 10x going from just 5 applications per month to a consistent 50. Over time, these leads are guided toward an online assessment and application form, qualified, and then transferred to the franchise development team for more constructive sales conversations.

Three years later, AXIS Integrated and Pizza Pizza have used Act-On to reactivate, re-engage, and qualify high-intent  leads. So far, the average lead-to-application time period has decreased by three weeks, and the average application volume has increased 10x!

Said Corey, “We noticed that more leads were fully engaged with the story we were telling through these lead nurturing campaigns we’d created with Act-On. Some engaged through the entire program and applied after being nurtured for 18 months.”

Learn More About AXIS Integrated

If you’re interested in learning more about AXIS Integrated and their Intelligent Lead Nurturing solution, please click here or tap the banner below to visit their website. Or, to reach out to Corey directly, please email him at [email protected].com or call (647) 300-7149.

AXIS Integrated and Act-On

How to Convert More Leads Into Customers


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