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  • Writer's pictureAllison Sanders

Case Study: Personalized Marketing Boosts Grocery Sales and Customer Engagement

Updated: 3 days ago

Personalized email marketing with tailored digital coupons significantly increased Coborn's sales and customer engagement, driving nearly $200K in incremental sales and advancing 27% of targeted households to Primary status.


Their Challenge

Coborn’s, a beloved employee-owned grocery retailer with 77 stores spread across several U.S. states, faced a dilemma that threatened its very foundation. The lifeblood of their business, high-value customers who were known for their frequent visits and substantial spending in crucial departments like Dairy, Grocery, Bakery, Frozen, Deli, Produce, and Meat, were gradually fading away. Their baskets were lighter, their visits fewer, and their loyalty dwindling.

Woman shopping for produce at the market

The management at Coborn's knew that without the steady support of these high-value customers, their financial stability was at risk. They needed some real change—like a marketing automation system that could deliver personalized offer—to rekindle the spark with these valued patrons and revive their store loyalty.


Our Approach

Enter, Covalent Marketing, the trusted ally and marketing technology experts Coborn's turned to for help. It quickly became clear that the legacy marketing strategy of generic promotions and static marketing automation systems had lost their charm. What Coborn's needed was a new kind of magic—one that spoke directly to the hearts and wallets of their high value customers.


A strategic plan was devised, and it started with a personalized email marketing campaign, weaving together customer profile and behavioral data, some technology, and a sprinkle of creativity. The campaign was designed to run over the course of three weeks, with a weekly email sent to each high-value customer. Inside each email, like found money in the clothese dryer, were digital coupons tailored specifically to the departments where the customer's spending had waned. Each customer could receive up to seven personalized $1 off coupons, enticing them to revisit the departments they once frequented.


To ensure the message hit home, Covalent Marketing employed the art of A/B testing, perfecting the subject lines and timing of the emails. The marketing automation tool worked its magic by evaluating all the available offers and then dynamically inserting the right offers into each email. Thus, making every message as unique as the individual receiving it.

Coborn's personalized marketing campaign is a shining example of how businesses can use data, technology, and creativity to achieve their marketing goals. By understanding their customers' needs and using personalized offers, they were able to drive incremental sales, increase customer engagement, and achieve their business objectives.

Their Results

At the end of the three weeks, Coborn's stores began to buzz with renewed activity as their high-value customers returned, digital coupons in hand! The personalized marketing campaign yielded impressive results, significantly enhancing customer engagement and driving substantial revenue growth. By sending weekly emails with up to seven tailored digital coupons to their 16,000 high-value customers, Coborn’s was able to achieve the following positive outcomes:


  • Incremental Sales: The strategic personalization brought in nearly $200,000 in incremental sales across the stores.

  • Customer Progression: A remarkable 27% of households that redeemed their coupons moved up to Primary status by the end of Q1 2023, indicating a significant boost in customer loyalty and spending.

  • Effective Engagement: The use of A/B testing to optimize email subject lines and send times, along with marketing automation tools for dynamic offer insertion, ensured high relevance and engagement for each customer. This methodology proved crucial in converting promotional efforts into tangible sales and customer retention.


These metrics underscore the power of personalized marketing in driving both immediate sales and long-term customer loyalty, and validating the effectiveness of Covalent Marketing's data-driven approach.


This campaign would not have been possible without Coborn's ability to provide personalized offers at a customer level, facilitated by the dynamic insertion of applicable offers via its marketing automation tools.

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