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How Penny Black is innovating the unboxing moment by making packaging a new, digital marketing channel

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Published Date 31.10.2022

Penny Black is the newest innovation in eCommerce that allows brands to design, print and add personalised, high-quality inserts into their packaging. We’re helping brands realise that there’s a new marketing channel they didn’t even know about yet: The unboxing moment. 

We’re so proud to have been shortlisted for the eCommerce Innovation Award at the UK eCommerce Awards as our team is passionate about solving customer experience challenges in fresh ways. We want to give brands the ability to better connect with their shoppers in the real world by bringing digital marketing and print media together through hyper-personalised, phygital experiences

Already, brands using Penny Black are seeing better results from our flyers than other post-purchase channels (including SMS and email marketing) – flyers get scan rates of 7%, contribute to around 20% of conversions and give brands £2 in additional revenue per insert sent. 

How Penny Black works

We work like all the regular SaaS platforms ecommerce marketers know and love. 

The platform makes it easy for brands to build customer segments and campaigns. Each campaign then has a flyer design allocated to it that includes dynamic fields that are personalised to each customer. 

Flyers also include scannable QR codes that bring customers back on-site to make repeat purchases, engage with content or complete other value-adding actions (like writing reviews, referring friends or signing up for subscriptions). 

We then set up our hardware in the brand’s fulfilment centre – whatever form that takes. We already connect with a variety of 3PLs and with brands that fulfil orders in-house. 

Because AGFA (who have 150 years of experience developing digital solutions for the print industry) backs Penny Black, our solution is reliable. We experience an average printer uptime of 99% and flyers are printed on-demand in as little as 7.7 seconds. We also have a dedicated Ops Team that monitors ink and paper levels, enabling fulfilment centres to deliver personalisation at speed, without any disruption to their operations. 

Penny Black today

Having been founded only a year ago, the Penny Black team and product becomes more sophisticated every day. 

Our platform now integrates with Shopify, Shopify Plus, Klaviyo and Google Analytics. This means brands can effortlessly plug Penny Black into their online store, collect customer data and use that data to build personalised unboxing campaigns that retain customers. Meanwhile, we’ve also built strategic relationships with iconic fulfilment centres across the UK and Europe including Radial, Cloud Fulfilment and I-Fulfilment. 

To date, we work with a variety of brands including the tea brand, Bird & Blend, the luxury jewellery brand, PAUL VALENTINE and the baby brand, The Modern Nursery. These brands are using their Penny Black flyers to push varied marketing initiatives forwards, including:

  • Motivating future purchases with discount codes
  • Cross-selling more products to customers with personalised recommendations 
  • Sharing educational content (like recipes or how-to videos) 
  • Growing their communities or mailing lists through exclusive experiences, offers and loyalty program perks
  • Increasing in-store footfall by promoting shoppers about brick-and-mortar locations

These initiatives help marketers hit essential KPIs vital for growth, including; customer retention, CLTV, conversion rates and CACs.

Looking towards the future, we’ll be deepening our integrations with Klaviyo and exploring new integrations with subscription platforms, loyalty programs, reviews providers and more. This will help us expand the potential for brands to truly deliver multi-channel, personalised campaigns that span into the unboxing moment.

What the nomination means to us

“Being shortlisted for the eCommerce Innovation Award at this year’s UK eCommerce Awards is a phenomenal achievement for the Penny Black team. Positioning and proving that the unboxing moment is the most-effective retention channel is no small feat. We’ve achieved that by working with ambitious and iconic brands to see a positive ROI from their unboxing investments and building relationships with leaders in the ecommerce space. Plenty more to come from this energetic, intelligent team – and, our innovative product.” 

– Douglas Franklin, CEO of Penny Black

If you’re interested in learning more about Penny Black, check out our ebook to see more high-performing unboxing campaigns. Or, if you want to experience Penny Black for yourself, schedule a time to speak to a member of the team.

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