Driving profitable engagement with email marketing: Paper Plus Group

Email continues to be one of the most effective ways to engage with customers - but engagement without proof of monetary results isn’t enough anymore. Used to its full potential, a cohesive and powerful email marketing campaign strategy can drive bottom-line revenue for your business, encourage repeat purchase behaviour, increase basket size, and turn customers into loyal advocates of your brand.

Use Case Business: Paper Plus Group

Founded in 1983, Paper Plus is a New Zealand owned book and stationery brand with a strong presence throughout New Zealand. The business comprises individual franchise locations as well as an eCommerce platform delivering nationwide. Paper Plus has always had a strong focus on customer retention, and looked to the team at Touchpoint Group to help consolidate and focus their efforts, creating and executing a program of engagement that included data-driven campaigns to improve purchase frequency and basket size as well as supporting a loyalty program that encouraged customer advocacy. As a large, bricks-and-mortar organisation, they needed an efficient, trusted way to drive customer-centric messaging and track campaign performance without creating additional work for their marketing team.

The following case study explores how Paper Plus Group, a multi-channel retail organisation, leverages Touchpoint Group’s powerful customer engagement management platform, TouchpointMX and their email marketing toolkit to improve engagement and drive sales - exceeding KPIs by increasing open rates to over 39%; an improvement of more than 14% on previous averages within 3 months and establishing multi-channel revenue-based benchmarks.


While the importance of an email marketing strategy is universal for businesses in any industry, the elements of these strategies vary greatly to meet vastly diverse objectives. Achieving a balance that meets the individual needs of your business starts with understanding what will resonate with your target audience, tailoring an email marketing strategy accordingly, and finally executing a regular cadence of messaging and measuring campaign performance using metrics that are truly reflective of set goals.

The email marketing execution toolkit helped Paper Plus to:

Drive customer engagement: Understand how a soft metric like engagement is directly tied to RoI and revenue for your business.
Increase transaction frequency and basket size: Determine and deploy personalised messaging that drives larger, more frequent purchases.
Improve customer loyalty: Shorten the pathway to customer advocacy and improve retention with messaging that drives loyalty.
Link customer experience online and in-store: Close the gap between channel experiences with a programme that extends beyond the inbox.
Test and discover: Identify the campaigns that have the best return for their business while managing execution with limited resources by utilising Touchpoint Group’s managed services.

Driving Engagement Drives Revenue

Replacing a predictable ‘monthly newsletter’ communication format with results-driven, segmented messaging that drives sales is often easier said than done, and when it comes to measurement, the availability of so many tracking metrics can distract from true measures of success. Engagement is a soft, general metric - comprised of clicks, opens, or any other kind of interaction with an email you send - and while it is not a direct measure of revenue, measuring the different types of engagement your emails receive in combination with revenue figures tied to your emails can help guide discovery to a concrete metric like RoI that best measures the return from your email campaigns and helps you understand what successful campaigns mean for your business.

Tasked with introducing the latest Annabel Langbein cookbook to a segment of email subscribers, Paper Plus filmed a video of Annabel introducing her new cookbook to the viewer by name spliced into the video using the 100 most common first names on the subscriber list. Touchpoint Group’s powerful segmentation tools made sending these variations - plus a default version that didn’t contain a name for everyone else - to subscribers an easy process.

powerful segmentation with touchpoint group

This campaign targeted a segment of customers who had previously purchased cookbooks similar to Annabel’s (these customers were identified using past transactional data) as well as a sample of subscribers with an unrelated purchase history. The result of this segmentation was a dramatic increase in both open rates and cookbook sales, well exceeding campaign objectives within a week of receiving the email.

Personalised Messaging Increases Transaction Frequency

Introducing unique campaigns that appeal to segments of your email database is an important part of a successful email ecosystem, but it’s far from the only component, or a new concept. Customers expect targeted, relevant messaging and are quick to unsubscribe or churn entirely if they feel they aren’t getting value from the emails in their inbox, so constant work is required to provide personalised messaging and avoid repetition.

Paper Plus was able to test and learn from various segmentation and targeting applications in order to find the most effective combination of messaging and targeting by working with Touchpoint Group to design and execute each new campaign in the pipeline. This included using transactional data streams to identify products that are more likely to be purchased together, and injecting cross-category intelligent recommendations into email updates to replace the generic popular item fields that are commonly used in these types of messages. It also included identifying the key categories of an email subscriber’s purchase history (for example, kid’s toys and cookbooks) to predict additional categories that subscribers might be interested in (like kid’s books).

One of the goals identified during the initial scoping session with Paper Plus as Touchpoint Group implemented their email execution toolkit was to improve the average open rate by 5%. By working closely with their dedicated team of experts at Touchpoint Group, Paper Plus had the opportunity to work through multiple iterations and identify the best way to drive email performance, all without spending any more time on email marketing than they were previously - Touchpoint Group was able to exceed the goal and achieve a 14% increase over the first three months. In addition to this, the Touchpoint team was able to integrate and track additional data sources that were already available in the business in order to provide revenue-driven metrics that more clearly captured the results of Paper Plus’s email marketing campaigns, assigning a concrete RoI to each message and campaign.

The cadence of campaigns targeted increased basket size and improved purchase frequency, tracked in real time with revenue-driven metrics as well as a focus on keeping customers engaged and measuring open rate, clicks, and content interactions. This multi-pronged approach to email marketing allows flexibility in experimentation, providing Paper Plus with the opportunity to test and discover which campaigns have the best return for their business while managing execution with limited resources.

Expand Online Engagement to In-Store Loyalty

It’s easy to categorise online shopping as an entity completely separate to the in-store experience, but customers’ view of your online presence is entwined in the experiences they have across every other aspect of your business. Developing a strategy that keeps customers engaged across all the touchpoints your company offers is critical to creating and maintaining loyal advocates, keeping your business at the front of mind no matter where your customer is in their buying journey. For most businesses this strategy involves two main components.

First, collating all of the data streams your company collects into one place is critical. This allows you to leverage all available data sources for segmentation and creates an opportunity to draw unique connections between purchase behaviour in store and online so you can make data-driven decisions to inform future marketing campaigns, and more importantly allows you to better understand your customers, their behaviours, and what offer or content will best resonate with them.

Second, leverage in-store data streams like transactional information and loyalty program engagement to seamlessly follow customers however they prefer to shop. Asking customers to set their local store preferences, or using a digitally tracked loyalty program allows you to link online and offline behaviour and it also helps. In order to encourage customers to shop at and interact with their local branch, Paper Plus segmented email messages by store location (along with personalisation based on behaviour and order history) and included contact details and a short bio for the manager of their local store in the email they received.

Adding a local, familiar face to email communications provided Paper Plus the opportunity to create a personal connection between the customer and their local store, providing a concrete link to the in-store shopping experience via email. Including local branch contact details allowed customers to interact directly with their local store more easily

Leveraging the Email Execution Toolkit for your business

The Touchpoint Group Email Execution toolkit helps you drive advocacy, loyalty, and ultimately revenue for your business by managing the collation of data sources, reviewing current execution methods and measurements, and providing the groundwork for successful data-driven email marketing campaigns as part of a system of continuous improvement. Your business likely has unique goals set for improving the results of email campaigns, and our team of experts can help you achieve - and surpass - these goals while minimising resource strain on your organisation.

Touchpoint Group partners with your marketing team to understand how to best make email marketing work for your business, and designs a personalised execution plan that will help your business achieve your goals. With guided access to our customer engagement platform, TouchpointMX, as well as a team of experts to help you leverage the full capability of the platform without straining the resources of your team.

For more information about how Touchpoint Group can help you take your email marketing to the next level, get in touch with our team today, and we’ll create a strategy that will drive results for your business, from repeat sales to revenue growth.

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