Case Study

Increasing B2B E-commerce Sales with our marketing automation platform


PennStation is an e-commerce office supplier that’s been in business for 10 years, supplying office essentials to small companies in the Northeast United States. The company’s customer base began to decline due to increased competition, so it needed to find ways to re-engage former customers and increase sales volume for current customers. The company was struggling with an inefficient sales process that relied too heavily on outbound sales efforts. Another issue was customers not adopting new products due to lack of awareness.


Business Supplies and Equipment


B2B/B2C, high volume, low RPU


Increase sales for current customers

Gross Revenues: $13MM       Units Sold/Month: 216,700

Revenue/Unit: $5     New Leads/Month: 950,000


PennStation wanted to use the marketing automation platform that we use to:

  1. Improve efficiency of sales process
  2. Increase purchase frequency by cross-selling to existing customers
  3. Accelerate adoption and first purchase of new products
  4. Re-engage former customers that had switched to other suppliers


Tactical Philosophy:

PennStation fully integrated with the marketing automation platform to track sales from open leads to closed-won opportunities. Segmenting companies and creating drip campaigns to provide relevant content to those segments enabled PennStation to cultivate relationships with current and former customers. With Dynamic Web Con-tent, PennStation was able to serve relevant and complementary products to its customers. This resulted in higher sales volume and cross-sales of complementary products.

Recommended Tactics:

1. End-to-End Analytics with Campaigns: PennStation created campaigns and integrated its CRM with our marketing automation platform. Through reporting, the company tracked end-to-end ROI to determine which campaigns performed effectively and which wasted valuable marketing dollars.

Penn Station found that during the sales process there was a clear point that had a very high drop-off rate. Within the post-sale phase, the sales team was not sending follow-ups, leading to a higher percent-age of companies not making a repeat purchase.

2. Drip Campaigns through Segmentation with Dynamic Lists: PennStation wanted to encourage cross-sale and repeat purchases. Using Dynamic Lists, customers were divided into segments based on the category of products they currently purchase and purchase frequency. PennStation created work-flows for highly targeted email drip campaigns that allowed automated communication on a regular, almost one-on-one level.

This resulted in much higher conversions and decreased the amount of time the sales team spent per lead.

For Example:

  • To remedy the high drop-off rate in the sales cycle, customers were added to a post-purchase drip campaign that sent reorder reminders, as well as maintained contact every few weeks to see if there were any issues or if the customer needed additional products.
  • To re-engage former customers, a Dynamic List was created to identify businesses that had previously purchased from PennStation, but had not made a purchase in three months. These companies were included in a nurture campaign that sent reminders to purchase office supplies, new product offerings, and a 10% off the next purchase coupon.
  • PennStation grouped inventory into complementary product groups. When a customer purchased items from a particular set of products, it was added to a nurture campaign that sent information about the other products within the group to promote cross-sales.



3. Targeting with Specialized Campaigns: Specialized campaigns were created in the marketing automation platform when new products were added to the inventory, and workflows were built to provide the most relevant businesses information about these new products.

For Example:

  • When PennStation began offering custom-sized poster printing services, it created a specialized campaign to inform companies that new sizes were available.
4. Proactive Sales Engagement with Notifications and Shopping Cart Integration: PennStation relies on the marketing automation shopping cart integration to track purchases and get the full idea of the customer journey.

For Example:

  • New leads were created when a previously unknown customer purchased an item, and those leads were added to nurturing campaigns to encourage repeat purchase.
  • Items purchased were tracked for each lead, and customers were added to the corresponding segment and included in those drip campaigns.
  • For larger customers, automatic notifications were set up to let sales reps know when a priority customer returned to the site, enabling the sales rep to reach out and re-engage on a personal level.
  • Automatic reminders were implemented for each sales rep to inform them when high-spending customers should be reached out to, such as when the customer was near the end of its sales cycle.
5. Dynamically Target for Products with Dynamic Web Content: PennStation used our marketing automation’s ability to provide Dynamic Web Content to cross-sell additional products, based on consumer behavior and the complementary product groups that were created.

For Example:

  • When a returning customer that had previously purchased a large supply of computer paper returned to the PennStation website, the site was able to dynamically serve that customer with information about printer ink, along with a $10 off coupon.


In The Future

PennStation continues to use the marketing automation platform to maintain contact with its current customer base, while expanding to new markets outside of the Northeast. The company has begun building a shopping cart abandonment program to bring buyers back through automated, personalized email communications. It is using paid search and tracking the success of those campaigns, and is building its new-customer base with an automated referral program.

The results that PennStation is achieving using our marketing automation platform are not possible with traditional ESPs and a basic CRM system. Integrating all marketing efforts into a single marketing automation platform has allowed the company to have near one-on-one communication with customers in a high-conversion process. The end-to-end tracking has allowed PennStation to see the ROI of marketing and sales efforts, allowing the company to effectively allocate resources to the highest-performing initiatives.



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