The Library Store
Over its 30-year history of providing schools and libraries across the United States with supplies and furnishings, The Library Store has grown into a $9.2 million business with a 628 page catalog featuring more than 35,000 products. Today, this family-owned company has 35 full time employees.
Getting the right message to the right people…at the right time.
Well aware of the potential return on investment recognized when nurtured prospects convert to “lifetime” customers, The Library Store set out to increase customer retention and lifetime value. To do this, they would need to send timely and relevant communications that would strengthen the relationship with their customers, drive them back to the website, and keep their brand at the forefront of their customers’ minds.
But it was a significant undertaking for a company with a small staff at the time, limited to monthly batch and blast email campaigns. They knew they would need a solution that would allow them to more deeply engage with customers than they could with blind email blasts. And they’d need to significantly improve the collection of website visitor information in order to identify interest in specific products for highly-targeted programs.
The Library Store began looking for a marketing solution that would help them to build automated programs through which they could communicate with both existing customers and prospects. These programs would need to follow a sophisticated branching schema, but due to a limited number of in-house marketing resources, would need to be extremely simple to configure and easy to maintain.
Act-On Customer Since: 2014
- 156.7% Increase in total web traffic
- 131.96% Increase in new website visits driven by email campaigns
- 22.99% Increase in the average order value of email driven transactions
- 174.12% Increase in overall email driven revenue
- 200.96% Return on investment for Act-On
Building Relationships that Grow Lifetime Value
TLS looked at a number of marketing automation providers and selected Act-On for several key features, including the ability to integrate automatically with their customer database, its ability to share content through social media channels and its ability to gather customer feedback about the buying experience. In the evaluation phase, the company saw how Act-On would allow them to build more effective customer nurturing campaigns by leveraging responsive email templates that would help drive leads, conversions and revenue across all marketing channels.
But it’s the platform’s proven ability to build loyalty and drive additional revenue from existing customers that was of immediate importance to TLS. Since The Library Store needed to attract and keep a higher share of their target market, customer retention and life time value would be vital to ensuring that they continue to increase sales while having the marketing budget to remain competitive.
Soon after implementation, TLS began a campaign geared towards driving additional purchases from new customers, gathering feedback around the customer buying experience, understanding perceptions about customer service and collecting additional product suggestions. The company used Act-On to identify first-time buyers who received a survey about their shopping experience and offered 10% off any future purchase. The campaign then sent various follow up messages depending on the recipient’s behavior (whether they opened the first message or submitted the survey). Hundreds of customers responded with valuable feedback, and thousands made a second purchase.
The Library Store also started a loyalty program that gives customers gift certificates after spending a set amount of money. The company used Act-On to create an automated campaign that would send status updates to customers to let them know how close they are to earning their reward. Since implementation, the campaign has resulted in thousands of dollars of revenue and a 20% decrease in the rate of overall unsubscribes. The Library Store intends to create additional automated programs that build on the success of their current campaigns.
Business Transformation Translates to Revenue
Using Act-On, TLS has been extremely successful in driving existing customers to the website while growing per customer revenue. “Since implementing Act-On, we’ve seen a 157% increase in the total number of email-driven website sessions and a 174% increase in revenue driven through our email programs,” says Jenny Lockwood, online marketing specialist at The Library Store. “Overall, that already equates to a 200% return on our Act-On investment.”
Act-On has also impacted new customer acquisition, resulting in a 132% increase in new email-driven site traffic and a 23% increase in the average individual order value. After such compelling results, TLS is now evaluating ways to further leverage the Act-On technology such as refining programs to include predictive customer behavior for insight into which visitors would be most likely to make purchases.
“Act-On has been instrumental in helping us engage with our customers and grow our sales over the last year,” says Lockwood. “Our email open rate has grown to 50% — a significant increase over previous years. We’re looking forward to incorporating more automation and nurturing into the programs to gain an even greater impact.”