Buy vs. Build: Why Sageflo Solutions Make Financial and Practical Sense

Buy vs. Build: Why Sageflo Solutions Make Financial and Practical Sense

Over the years, we have frequently seen one team excited to start using a new off-the-shelf marketing or CX technology solution, only to have another team suggest that they build it in-house—often resulting in a prolonged stalemate and missed opportunity for a competitive advantage. The question is never about whether they can, but whether they should? The answer almost always boils down to which option, buy or build, will check three critical boxes: better, faster, and cheaper?

The end goal is to help everyone get on the proverbial same page. Just as we want to create a better experience, reduce friction, and drive ongoing success for our customers—the same applies to our colleagues. Hopefully, this will help generate some thoughtful discussion that leads to the truly best outcome for your organization.

Which will be better for the company?

The reality is all companies have specializations and should focus their core energies on investments that drive the business forward. If you’re a finance company, having your organization focus on finance-related challenges and opportunities, rather than building a niche marketing solution, will likely make the most sense. Almost all off-the-shelf technical solutions have years of research, engineering, and enhancements behind them. Oftentimes, it is better to tap into that knowledge so that your organization can stay focused on core mission deliverables. This is where all the teams involved need to unite on what’s best for the company versus an individual team.

Which will be faster for the company?

Most companies do not have the time to wait for an internal solution to be built when there are often multiple “off the shelf” options available now. More importantly, almost every organization already has many mission-critical demands to focus on, causing a new internal solution project to be easily deprioritized and delayed. Additional time will always be needed to research and plan before the first line of code is even written, much less tested. In most cases, by this point, your company could already have been up and running with an off-the-shelf option. What it really boils down to is: when do you need it, and will it be impacted by other equally or more important projects in motion?

Which will be cheaper for the company?

It can be difficult to do an exact apples-to-apples comparison here, but a solution that is already built and ready to go is by nature almost always more affordable in the long run, particularly when factoring in ongoing maintenance and enhancements. One of the core benefits of using an outside technology is that almost all updates are a shared cost with your ongoing retention as a customer. Will your company have the same focus and commitment to improving an in-house solution when new projects come up? Most internal teams are already over-extended, so going with off-the-shelf is usually a smart strategy to save both time and money.

At the end of the day, every team within a company is trying to extend their footprint and influence—that’s human nature. The key for everyone to remember is that quite often, buy is truly the right decision when it comes to better, faster, and cheaper to help drive the business forward and meet each team’s collective goals. This doesn’t mean there are no legitimate arguments for building in-house, but unless your company is in the business of marketing and CX, then in most cases the answer is clear.

We know these conversations can be challenging, and we’ve helped many teams decide which approach is ultimately best for them based on their short- and long-term needs, team capabilities, resources, and budget. We work with brands big and small and can help your team arrive at the right decision (even if that means going with another competitor or building in-house).

Not sure how we can help? Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo.

Posted by Julian Scott

How To Empower Your Franchise Owners With Email Personalization

We all know that personalization improves email performance. It can specifically increase your ROI and customer lifetime value. 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. But using it can be difficult. In fact, Gartner reports that 80% of marketers will abandon personalization by 2025. While that seems extreme it just goes to show how difficult achieving deep personalization is. And it’s especially difficult for franchise owners to create personalized messages for their specific lists since they face a unique set of challenges. 

How to enable your franchise owners to send better email.

Figuring out personalization for franchise owners is a challenge. You need to integrate their specific data sets into your content and make it easy for them to use and deploy. Luckily, there are lots of tools out there to specifically help franchise owners orchestrate sophisticated personalized campaigns within their approved content in just a couple minutes. Sageflo and Zembula Smart Banners ™ are the easiest way for franchise owners to take advantage of their data and add personalization to their emails. 

What are Smart Banners™? 

Smart Banners ™ are banners at the top of an email that use personalization and/or animation to get critical information to your audience. They can contain any data you’d like including loyalty information, abandoned cart information, first name, or other personal info. The best part of using Smart Banners ™ is that they can be updated and controlled from the Zembula platform. This means that your franchise owner doesn’t have to worry about editing the HTML. You can control the message. This means that your franchise owner doesn’t have to worry about editing the HTML. You can control the message. 

Here’s how it works. If you are already using Sageflo, you have a library of approved templates and content for your franchise owners to use. You can then add a Zembula Smart Banner ™ to your template. The content is controlled by you in the platform so your franchise owners don’t need to worry about learning how to use any additional software to send highly engaging personalized email content.

How can you implement this?

Using Smart Banners™ with Sageflo will help you improve engagement throughout your entire email, not just with the banner itself. It also saves you so much time. You can eliminate the complexity of integrating additional data for individual franchise owners, making their jobs easier and saving time for both teams.

Sending personalized emails can be a complicated endeavor for busy marketers, and especially for franchise owners, but with the right combination of tools it doesn’t have to be. Personalization is the future and is proven to work – now it’s all about how to enable your franchise owners to create the most engaging content possible. Customer satisfaction, loyalty, and LTV all benefit when customers feel more connected with a brand that uses thoughtful, one-to-one messaging. Using Smart Banners ™ and Sageflo is a win-win for everyone! 

Posted by Cheyenne Ng of Zembula in Collaboration, Partners, Radiate

Case Study: Everyone on the Same Page

Pet Supplies Plus Improves CX by Connecting Marketing and Customer Care

Pet Supplies Plus is one of the largest specialty pet food retailers in the United States. Founded in 1988, Pet Supplies Plus is a franchisor and operator of pet specialty stores, which now serves over 30 states, with 400+ stores split across more than 100 franchisees.

Pet Supplies Plus - Minus the hassel.


Lack of Data and Visibility

When it comes to technology, the Pet Supplies Plus team prides themselves on their highly integrated approach to marketing and customer data. However, the one challenge they continue to face was not having a holistic view of messages sent to customers across their key marketing channels – email, SMS and direct mail.

Before using Archiver, teams including Neighbor Services (i.e. Customer Care) were unable to see individual messages sent to customers and had no easy way of resending critical communications when requested. Neighbor Services would often rely on Marketing to help address email-related inquiries, which could take from hours to days, affecting both internal efficiency and their overall customer experience.

To add to the challenge, the Marketing team knew they had a solid messaging strategy, but without a cross-channel customer journey view, they weren’t able to see how customers were experiencing their programs in the real world. Having such a view would make it possible to spot where they had room for improvement and allow them to truly optimize their cross-channel marketing strategy.


Archiver Provides Meaningful Insight into the Customer Journey

With Archiver integrated into their technology stack, Marketing, Neighbor Services, and even Store teams were quickly enabled to see the individual messages sent to customers – from email promotions and monthly direct mail specials, to order confirmations and curbside pickup or delivery alerts.

Furthermore, if a message somehow got lost along the way to the customer, anyone on the team could resend that message or quickly troubleshoot whether it was an issue with opt-in or delivery.

Archiver has been a game-changer for our customer service efforts. We can now see the exact promotional and transactional emails customers have received, making it easy to quickly find resolutions to their questions. And we love how we can instantly resent emails!

Archiver has also helped us easily audit our new customer journeys and pinpoint areas of optimization, ultimately leading to a better marketing program and customer experience. I can’t recommend this tool highly enough!

Jennifer Nordstrom • CRM Marketing Manager • Pet Supplies Plus

Real-time access to a customer’s subscriber and deliverability status also made it simple for Neighbor Services team members to resolve opt in and opt out requests on their own and within seconds, without requiring access to yet another tool.

Finally, by providing a visual of all the messages received by individual customers, Archiver allowed the Pet Supplies Plus Marketing team to see how their programs were being received by actual customers. Spotting areas of optimization like messaging cadence, promotional frequency, and overlapping communication has been critical to ensuring an optimal customer experience.

Sageflo’s Archiver tool has been a star in my toolbox as a digital strategist. The Customer Journey view fills a marketing void by showing the exact experience of every customer across marketing channels. No more recreating with flowcharts, screenshots, and guessing (targeting communications!)

Viewing customer experiences across life stages serves three crucial purposes. First, it inevitably unearths unexpected communications – whether from other teams, targeting errors, or pesky legacy programs. Second, it shows you potential gaps in your contact strategy. And, third – it allows you to quickly convince decision makers of the need for improvement.

By making actual journeys come to life, Archiver allows a marketer to truly curate the customer experience.

Mary Kathleen Sullivan • Senior Digital Strategist • Shaw/Scott


Focus on the Customer

The decision to integrate Archiver across key customer-facing teams has paid off for Pet Supplies Plus, not only in the time saved across the board, but in customer loyalty, a stronger marketing strategy, and higher CSAT and NPS scores.

The Marketing team continues to optimize new customer journeys with regular audits within Archiver. Neighbor Services has been able to address and resolve more order and offer related issues immediately by being able to see and track email, SMS and direct mail messages. At the store-level, Archiver serves as a regular back-up systems for order review and processing, so teams can now efficiently process orders when internal systems are down.

With all teams working together via the data within Archiver, Pet Supplies Plus maintains a loyal following and phenomenal growth.


Read about how Archiver works at or contact us at and we’d be happy to tell you more about Archiver!

Posted by Aaron Smith in Archiver
Create Better Customer Experiences with Sageflo Archiver

Create Better Customer Experiences with Sageflo Archiver

Many organizations struggle to deliver basic, much less outstanding, customer experiences. One primary pain point is customer care teams trying to help customers with a marketing communication issue.

For example, the simple task of looking up and resending an email or text can be incredibly complicated, costly, and time consuming—often involving multiple teams and taking several days to resolve. But with Sageflo Archiver, finding and resending emails and texts couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is enter a unique customer ID or email address, and you’ll instantly see the customer’s complete communication history, sorted by send date, including each specific email and text message previously sent to them. You can download or resend any message to the customer with a simple click of a button.

This means Archiver takes the guesswork out of which messages customers have received from you and how they’re engaging. Your entire organization from care teams to leadership can now lookup, review and resend any and all messages that were sent to an individual subscriber and understand that customer’s journey instantly. Brands using Archiver have more satisfied customers with better CSAT scores because it gives customer service teams the tools they need for quick, first-call resolutions—often in less than 90 seconds.

Researchers from CEB have found that, “Reducing the amount of effort a customer has to do to get their problem solved is a higher indicator of customer loyalty than delight. By acting on this insight and removing obstacles for the customer, they found companies can reduce customer service costs and attrition rates.”

Archiver is the perfect tool to help accomplish all this and more:

  • Save time and money versus building and maintaining an internal solution
  • Drive more revenue by improving team productivity and customer loyalty
  • Improve critical metrics such as NPS, CSAT and CLTV
  • Enhance communications and data sharing across teams
  • Boost team morale resulting in improved customer satisfaction
  • Easily integrates with the leading marketing automation and customer experience management platforms

Designed to easily integrate and boost the capabilities of your enterprise email technology, Sageflo solutions will help take your CX to the next level.

Not sure how we can help? Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo.

Posted by Julian Scott in Archiver
CCPA Revisited – Planning for 2022

CCPA Revisited – Planning for 2022

What a difference a year can make, especially this past one! Back in February 2020, I wrote about some of the anticipated effects implementation of California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) would have on digital marketers and brand compliance teams. As with just about all other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 ended up having a major impact on the implementation and enforcement timelines of CCPA. Here’s a short update on where things stand as of June 2021.

Throughout 2020, California’s Attorney General opted to decline enforcement of CCPA, and in September, the state legislature passed a bill extending the start date to January 1, 2022, when businesses will need to comply with the majority of CCPA requirements. Currently, businesses still need to comply with CCPA’s notice-at-the-time-of-collection requirement and are still subject to the CCPA’s data breach provision, but for now the majority of the law’s onerous obligations do not need to be addressed by your marketing, operations and compliance teams.

To get a head start on your 2022 planning, read through our previous article on CCPA, which highlights the primary obligations that marketing, operations and compliance teams need to be aware of with regards to CCPA compliance.

Since our initial article post, one substantial provision change to the bill was the number of California-based consumers a business collects personal information on to trigger the requirement to compile and publish metrics on the number of CCPA requests they receive and comply with annually. The updated threshold has changed from 4 million to 10 million consumers based in California, which should give some small comfort to all but the very largest of companies who will still need to comply with the provision.

Finally, if you’re a glutton for punishment (or a legal nerd who loves this stuff!), you can read the full text of the bill here.

Posted by Aaron Smith
Tackle the Challenge of Digital Transformation with Sageflo CX Solutions

Tackle the Challenge of Digital Transformation with Sageflo CX Solutions

We’re in the midst of a tectonic shift that is bringing together offline and online experiences for consumers. The pandemic has forced companies large and small to accelerate the pace of digital transformation, bringing solutions to market that might have taken another 5-8 years otherwise—there’s simply no going back to how things were before COVID-19. 
The companies that will grow and thrive understand it’s ultimately about creating a great, frictionless customer experience. Therefore, it’s never been more important to invest in your digital channels and enhance the overall customer experience to maximize revenue while shaving costs.  

The CMO council found that customers consider the most important attribute of a good customer experience to be a fast response time. The second-most important attribute is consistency of response across channels. In addition, the Forrester Customer Experience Index 2020 Report noted, “Even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add tens of millions of dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet.” 

Our solutions are designed to help you tackle your CX challenges and make an immediate impact to both your bottom line and customer experience while complementing your existing email marketing and customer experience management platforms. 


  • Saves a copy of every email, text, or direct mail piece sent to your customers 
  • Gives your customer care team the ability to quickly find campaigns and see them through your customers’ eyes 
  • Reduces resolution time on marketing message inquiries from 2-5 days to less than a minute, all while significantly improving your customer satisfaction scores 


  • Empowers distributed teams to send approved, consistent, and compliant communications 
  • Builds enterprise campaigns without coding 
  • Streamlines your build process to get campaigns out the door in minutes instead of days 
  • Gets more done with fewer resources

If your current email technology is not meeting all your needs or you’re ready to take your CX to the next level, Sageflo has a solution that can help today. 

Not sure how we can help? Take our CX Surveycontact us to learn more, or schedule a demo. 

Posted by Julian Scott
Sageflo + MessageGears Boosts QSR Brand’s Local Marketing Strategy

Sageflo + MessageGears Boosts QSR Brand’s Local Marketing Strategy

A common challenge for marketers supporting distributed teams is finding a solution that meets both groups’ unique needs. In addition to ensuring brand messaging and data integration is met, the platform also needs to be user-friendly for non-marketers to effectively connect with their customers at scale. With MessageGears + Sageflo, it’s no challenge at all. Click to learn how this integration enabled a national quick-serve restaurant brand to empower local marketers for 700+ locations, drastically improving user and customer engagement by leveraging their own customer data and community-driven messaging in just 8 weeks.

Not only QSR brands, but professional sports leagues, record labels, direct sales organizations, franchise and multi-level marketing businesses searching for a robust, yet streamlined distributed marketing platform can benefit from exploring Message Gears + Sageflo.

Read on to learn more.

Posted by Aaron Smith in Collaboration, Partners, Radiate

Case Study: Local Marketing at Scale

Pet Supplies Plus Boosts In-Store Sales by Enabling Franchisees to Easily Personalize and Send Their Own Marketing

Pet Supplies Plus is one of the largest specialty pet food retailers in the United States. Founded in 1988, Pet Supplies Plus is a franchisor and operator of pet specialty stores, which now serves over 30 states, with 500+ stores split across more than 100 franchisees.


Local Marketing at Scale

On a corporate level, Pet Supplies Plus runs a highly integrated, sophisticated email marketing program. With promotional, lifecycle, triggered, and transactional campaigns landing in customers’ inboxes on a regular basis, they have built a reliable marketing channel that’s data-driven and personalized.

However, Pet Supplies Plus’ over 100 franchisees were much more limited in terms of the types of campaigns they could send out to customers of their own local stores and the process was cumbersome. Due to the sheer number of franchisees and logistical complexities, Pet Supplies Plus giving local franchisees access to the corporate email marketing platform was not an option. After all, the corporate team would lose all control over branding and segmentation.

That meant that franchisees were stuck sending campaigns on their own, at the individual store-level, without the ability to analyze and optimize campaign performance. They also didn’t have visibility into the corporate marketing calendar, which sometimes led to instances of customers receiving conflicting offers—one corporate, one local.


Sageflo Bridges the Gap with a Simple, Streamlined Tool

To solve this issue, Pet Supplies Plus rolled out Sageflo to franchisees from coast to coast. Built as an easy-to-use web-based platform, Sageflo gives local franchisees access to on-brand design templates, copy, images, and audience segmentation—all approved by the corporate marketing team. This tool makes it easy for busy franchise owners to quickly build, deploy, and analyze emails across all their stores.

Plus, the Sageflo plug-in allows the corporate team to share their marketing calendar, enabling franchisees to be more strategic about their cadence and content.

Sageflo took our franchise marketing to another level.

Before Sageflo, our franchisees were required to create individual emails for every store owned, making the process of sending community-focused emails incredibly inefficient. Performance reporting on those emails was limited to standard email engagement metrics and again, there was one report for each store!

Sageflo streamlined our franchisees’ marketing efforts, making it easy to communicate with their stores at multiple levels, including district and whole ownership group, and providing access to more robust reporting. At the same time, it has improved the alignment between our corporate marketing team and franchise owners through standardized templates, shared marketing calendars, and targeted segment types.

Sageflo is one of the highlights of our franchise marketing platform at Pet Supplies Plus!

Craig Clark • Director of Neighbor Relationship Marketing & Data Analytics • Pet Supplies Plus


Increased Quantity and Quality of Local Email Marketing

Over the first 12 months of using Sageflo, franchisees have sent over 2,000 campaigns, with 5,000 estimated to be sent next year. Franchisees have seen their email click-to-open rate (CTOR) increase by 19%. Average basket size has increased by 12%—likely thanks to having better access to reporting on how customers are interacting with their emails.

The benefits aren’t limited to local franchisees. Pet Supplies Plus’ corporate marketing team is also spending much less time overseeing franchisee campaigns, giving them more time to focus on other strategic objectives.


Read about how Sageflo works at or contact us at and we’d be happy to tell you more about Sageflo!

Posted by Aaron Smith
One Tool, Many Uses

One Tool, Many Uses

In our previous post, we highlighted the importance of the right tools—but how do you know which tool you need when, and how do you even use it? The beauty of Archiver is it’s not just one tool, but a “Swiss Army knife” for customer experience teams. It’s one tool with many functions that not only empowers your teams to effectively resolve customer issues, but also elevates the customer experience while saving time and money. Archiver gives you visibility into the exact emails an individual has received and how they’ve engaged with messages, taking the guesswork out of who-received-what-when.

Before Archiver, it could take days to track down the specific email or marketing message in question, and resolving the issue could require looping in legal, marketing, or other teams.  With Archiver, you can now resolve these previously-challenging customer care issues within minutes.

Here are a few examples:


“I’m not sure when it happened, but I stopped receiving the emails I love to get from you a few months ago. Can you see if there’s something going on with my email address in your system?”


With Archiver, you can check their opt-in status with Subscriber Lookup  and see if they’ve had any bounce or deliverability issues.


“I placed an order two weeks ago and the receipt was emailed to my work address. I just changed jobs and didn’t save a copy of the email receipt before leaving. Is it possible to resend that email receipt to me at my new email address?”


Using their old email address, you can quickly locate the requested email and resend to a new address directly from Archiver.


“This is Larry from the legal department—we have a customer that says we sent them an email offer with 75% off savings, but our store associates won’t honor the discount amount. The customer sent us a screenshot of the email from their inbox. Do you have a copy of the original email so we can see if that’s what we actually sent to them?”


Using the customer’s email address, you can search through their individual message history and forward a copy of the relevant message(s) to the legal team or confirm no message exists.

In an increasingly competitive digital marketplace, how customer experience teams effectively manage care issues can be the difference between a loyal customer and one who shares their frustrations across social media. In these cases, it’s rarely about your products or services, but instead the experience they had interacting with your company. By minimizing customer friction, you’ll maximize customer satisfaction—you just need to the right tools.

Archiver is a powerful multi-faceted tool and must-have for any world-class organization’s customer support toolbox. And, it’s a quick win, with minimal internal IT investment required for implementation. Give your company a competitive advantage while making an immediate and measurable impact on customer experience.

Schedule a demo to learn more

Posted by Julian Scott in Archiver, Collaboration
A Marketing Win-Win

A Marketing Win-Win

Radiate is a win-win for both corporate marketing stakeholders and local owners. An easy-to-use, web-based tool, Radiate empowers local teams to quickly and easily create professional, on-brand email marketing campaigns without needing corporate support. We’re excited to announce our partnership with MessageGears, delivering a joint solution that helps enterprise marketing organizations take distributed marketing, through-channel marketing, and brand-to-local coordination to the next level.

Posted by Aaron Smith in Collaboration, Partners, Radiate