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25%↑

Email-driven leads 

80-90%↑

Email deliverability rate

50%

Pre-call email open rate 

FiveStars increased leads by 25% in just 30 days with Marketo’s automation and personalization capabilities. 

Challenges

FiveStars marketers gear up for the engagement economy with a platform that helps local businesses turn every transaction into a relationship. 

Since its inception in 2011, FiveStars has become the leading rewards and marketing platform for local businesses. Over 12,000 businesses across North America use FiveStars’ easy, all-in-one marketing program —the kind that big companies spend millions of dollars to build. FiveStars positions merchants to thrive in the engagement economy by giving them powerful tools to connect with customers and then bring them back in store more often. According to Hugo Angelmar, FiveStars’ Director of Growth Marketing, the engagement economy requires connecting with all stakeholders in a compelling way and ensuring an incredible experience with every interaction. That’s why Hugo and his team implemented Marketo, a true engagement platform that supports FiveStars’ goals for growth without compromising business goals for increasing retention. 

Objectives 

  • Create a hub that integrates digital marketing with Salesforce, Slack, and other third-party apps
  • Empower sales reps to reach more decision-makers by alerting them within seconds of 

    acquiring a lead
  • Expand the use of email, making it the primary channel for delivering more leads to sales 

Solution

From a point solution to an engagement platform 

With FiveStars, local businesses can engage in personalized digital interactions with more than 18 million FiveStars members. Having a top-notch rewards and marketing program enables merchants to drive more customer visits and increase spend per visit.

Last year, FiveStars marketers set a goal of scaling up the use of email to better reach prospects and customers while also reducing spending on paid channels. Their plans included ramping up the frequency of email campaigns and incorporating dynamic content for greater personalization. They also wanted to target people based on the website pages they visited, the email messages they responded to, and other factors that indicate where they are in the sales cycle.

The team quickly realized, however, that the current marketing automation system wasn’t up to the job. Because the software tracked only the first email address collected on the lead, nearly 40% of email messages were undeliverable. Additionally, custom data fields often failed to synchronize properly and there were frequent outages—one of which prevented FiveStars landing pages from loading for half a day. 

"Marketo eliminated all those constraints and gave us an engagement platform that aggregates customer data so we can deliver stellar experiences for prospects and customers,” says FiveStars’ Marketing Operations Manager Li Liu.

The transition from the old solution was effortless. We migrated all of our acquisition and retention programs to Marketo within two months with no issues and no adverse effects. In the first month, email-driven leads were up 25%, we’re now generating a lot more marketing-qualified leads, and conversions are up. We’ve increased email from a channel driving 12% warm revenue to 18% and we just hit 20%. That has reduced our overall spending while giving us better results. Deliverability has also improved by 80% to 90%.” 

Benefits 

From impossible to possible

The Marketo engagement platform aligns all marketing and sales activities, integrating a variety of the third-party applications that FiveStars uses, including Salesforce CRM, Slack, Redshift, and Fivetran. It consolidates data collected by Marketo as well as other sources, such as Facebook and Google. Bringing the data into a single repository provides visibility into behavior on the website and email messages that generated a response, enabling marketers to do things they never thought were possible.

Marketo’s more advanced automation is driving up productivity across both teams. Now, programs that needed frequent data cleanup run without any additional effort on the part of marketers. In addition, sales benefits from a customized, behavior-based lead-scoring program that enables marketing to generate better qualified leads. Last month alone, the program delivered 1,500 leads to the cold call team. 

"The lead-scoring program, in essence, doubles the effectiveness of our cold call team,” Li says. “We’re giving them better-quality leads based on the signals that we get from Marketo. Another program sends a pre-call email message to decision makers, so that business owners are notified ahead of time that a FiveStars representative will be calling. The open rate for pre-call email is about 50%, which helps our sales reps a lot.” 

Integration with Slack, the sales channel of choice, instantly triggers a notification to sales when an MQL is generated. If the rep doesn’t call the lead within 20 minutes, another Slack notification is sent, and after 60 minutes, the sales manager receives an alert.