The Case Study

Unique Partnership Drives High-Value Leads, Acquisition for B2B Partner Marketing Program

Client Objective

The client is a global brand with a B2B-focused partner marketing program. Their goal was to attract small- and medium-sized restaurants (SMBs) and motivate them to sign on as a partner in their book of business.


45% successful conversion rate 

For the first campaign, the AP team, the client and Valpak worked together to develop messaging and creative for an initial direct mail campaign involving an A/B creative test that was sent to 50,000 client-selected restaurants across the United States. The initial test performed so well, surpassing both Cost Per Lead and Cost Per Acquisition goals, that the client and team were eager to run another campaign. Since that initial test, the partnership with Valpak continued to flourish testing different audiences, including retargeting closed-lost leads, targeting restaurants using other services and tapping into Valpak's robust data house for their largest national campaign targeting many SMB restaurants in the US. After one year of partnership and five successful campaigns, Valpak has surpassed volume expectations for leads and acquisitions.

The Challenge

Owners of small- and medium-sized restaurants are notoriously busy.

On a scale of one to ten, the challenge of capturing their attention, even for a moment, is easily a nine. Combine that with getting SMB owners to take action on an offer, fill out an online form and sign an e-contract, and the level of difficulty can be off the charts.

When the Acceleration Partners' partner marketing team was first tasked by the client to do just that, they knew finding the right marketing partners would take patience, experimentation and out-of-the-box problem-solving.

Fortunately, the client understood this as well and worked with their AP team to set realistic expectations.

One of the first steps the AP partner marketing team took was to put their heads together with AP's publisher development team and evaluate which partners had the unique potential to deliver on the client's primary objectives:

  1. High-value leads (via online form sign-up)
  2. Acquisition (signing e-contract to become part of the client's SMB restaurant platform).

After testing a variety of unique, innovative partnerships, creative, commissioning structures and offers – all with lackluster results — the team went back to the client with their initial findings and learnings on what could be done to improve outcomes.

Our Approach

Collaborative Test with High-Value Partner

The Acceleration Partners team recommended that the client test a new type of partnership with Valpak, a high-value partner recommended by AP's publisher development team. Valpak's unique direct mail business model, tangible product offering, advanced targeting capabilities and impressive track record made them an appealing partner. What's more is that Valpak was very open to working with AP's client to run a collaborative test campaign. In addition, the team suggested that the client provide an exclusive, limited-time only offer to select third-party marketing partners in their program, something that hadn't been done up to this point.

The client's internal team had already been contemplating the idea of offering their third-party marketing partners an exclusive offer and had decided to move forward with that recommendation around the same time as the Valpak solution was presented.

The client was enthusiastic about testing a campaign with this new partner and incorporating their exclusive offer in the direct mail piece that would go out to SMB restaurant owners. The client had actually been interested in testing direct mail but they didn't have a relationship with Valpak at the time. When they learned that Acceleration Partners did, they encouraged the program management team to own the partnership.

To accurately measure performance of the print campaign, the AP team onboarded Valpak onto the partnership platform, Impact, and utilized shortened URLs powered by Impact tracking links that were printed on the creative, along with QR codes.

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