When Laura Roeder quit her first (and only) job in 2007, she set out to join the world of entrepreneurs and has been building her portfolio and skills ever since. During the years that followed, Laura spent time as a web designer, a business consultant, and a social media expert before starting a new business, Paperbell, in 2020.
Paperbell is a platform to help life, relationship, and professional coaches run their businesses. After a successful run in social media consulting that led to building her first software company, Meet Edgar, Laura knew she wanted to start Paperbell on the right foot and with the right tools to scale the business from the beginning.
Since Laura had spent a lot of time in the digital marketing space, both as a marketer herself and a consultant, she was aware of ActiveCampaign before Paperbell even launched. She built Meet Edgar using MailChimp, because it’s “just what you used at the time.” But as the business grew, “over the years, we wanted to get a little more sophisticated with our automations. And that’s just not what MailChimp does, you know. They can do newsletters and broadcasts, but weren’t built for any kind of automation.”
As a makeshift solution, a member of the team built automations in Zapier. “It was incredibly complicated. And if one data source changes, everything breaks. So it was a lot of manual work to keep things running, and we didn’t even have a lot of basic things like an updated customer list.”
Enterprise functionality with a small-business-friendly price tag
Although she was aware of ActiveCampaign through her work in digital marketing, Laura thought it was only an enterprise-level solution. “I did research quite a few tools before choosing ActiveCampaign.” She also found the automation builder to be intuitive and simple to use. “Automations were really easy to set up and I really liked the visual style. I find automations can get complicated to track, so having it all laid out like a chart helps me understand it in my head.” Additionally, ActiveCampaign had the functionality and flexibility Paperbell needed. “The flexibility is pretty amazing. You really can execute anything that you can think of with an ActiveCampaign automation.”
Paperbell is a bootstrapped operation, so Laura was conscious of price when researching the software needed to build the business. After realizing the pricing, matched with the functionality of the platform, it was a no-brainer. “I wasn’t looking for whatever was cheapest. I was looking for what has the advanced level of automation I needed. And that was where ActiveCampaign sat in my mind categorically. It’s like, okay, this is for a business that is running, taking their marketing seriously, running real campaigns and more advanced automations. This is a tool that can handle it.”
Getting the most out of a robust platform
Paperbell is using many of ActiveCampaign’s features and functions. Starting with custom automations and segmentation, Laura and her team built a personalized journey for any customer or prospect that comes into Paperbell’s orbit. What Laura wasn’t expecting, however, was ActiveCampaign becoming the core source of truth for her business. “We can see everything in ActiveCampaign because we’re actually tying it all together using their email address.” Combining UTM tags and payment information from Stripe, Paperbell has full visibility into their customers’ journey, from initial contact to purchase—and beyond.
By using these automations in conjunction with ActiveCampaign’s CRM, Laura is able to support her small business in a way that would otherwise require a whole team.
“We don’t have any kind of sales team. ActiveCampaign is our sales and marketing team. Basically, we do a lot with email automations, as well as one-off email campaigns. And that’s really crucial to the success of our business because that’s the way we stay in touch with people at scale.”Laura Roeder, Co-Founder at Paperbell
Paperbell uses other useful tools such as A/B testing and Predictive Sending. Laura runs Paperbell from the UK, but many of her customers and prospects are in the US. Predictive sending gives her the freedom to know emails will be sent at the best possible time without her having to manage the process outside of reasonable business hours where she lives.
Creating a great product experience with Postmark
Email isn’t just a key communication channel to market Paperbell, it’s also a crucial element of the Paperbell platform itself: When clients schedule an appointment, Paperbell automatically sends booking confirmations to both the coach and the client. Plus, coaches can use Paperbell’s built-in email functionality to remind clients of an upcoming call, encourage them to schedule another coaching session, and more. Adding these key communication features to Paperbell was a breeze thanks to another product from the ActiveCampaign family: Postmark. Postmark is an email delivery service that’s easy to integrate via API or SMTP, so you can add email functionality to your app without having to run your own email servers.
With Postmark powering Paperbell’s product emails and ActiveCampaign at the core of their marketing activities, the Paperbell team can use the power of the email channel throughout all customer touchpoints. “Postmark enables us to make a better product for our clients—and ActiveCampaign allows us to put marketing programs in place to promote and sell our product.” As Laura’s experience proves, the two products can complement each other beautifully for businesses of any size.
Driving customer-centric growth
Paperbell has an interesting business model that gives prospective customers a chance to use the product for free for their first client. Once they use the platform, they’re sent a promotional email offering a discount if they sign up for a paid subscription. “Half our new customers come in through that promotion that’s totally automated with Postmark and ActiveCampaign,” Laura says. It’s safe to say the combination of both platforms has aided the company’s growth immensely.
Paperbell’s email list has seen impressive growth in their 2 years of existence, from 0 to 22,000. And it shows no signs of slowing down. “We’re adding about 2,500 new people a month to our email list.” Thanks to Paperbell’s free trial account model, “every person who opts in is a qualified lead. So having over 2,000 coaches a month being added to our list is pretty significant.” Email is their main channel of communication with their customers, so ActiveCampaign is integral to that growth. “We’re growing about 10% every month and about half of those customers are a direct result of our new account automation running in the background. 100% of our revenue growth every month is directly touched by an ActiveCampaign automation.”
Automating the customer journey to grow your business
The flexibility of ActiveCampaign’s platform has helped Paperbell build an automated, customer-centric marketing machine that has been key to their impressive growth. “Anything you can think of, you can execute with an ActiveCampaign automation.” Enterprise-level functionality at small-business-friendly pricing gives Paperbell everything they need to continue to scale their business. “ActiveCampaign is for a business that is running, taking their marketing seriously, running real campaigns and running some more advanced automations. It’s a tool that can handle it.”
To learn more about how ActiveCampaign and Postmark can work together to supercharge your business’ growth, start your 14-day free trial today.