Jean-Marie Bonthous, Seamless Social
I attended at HUGS2011 a presentation by HubSpot’s Jonas Lopin, VP of Customer Success at HubSpot, and Joshua Porter Director of UX also at HubSpot. They presented several interesting case studies on how some companies have leveraged inbound marketing to increase their conversion ratios, both for visitor to lead and lead to customer. Here are highlights from their presentation.
Diteba Research Laboratories sell services and software in the bio-analytics and chemistry industry. Things looked pretty for them, until they looked a bit deeper into the funnel. Their “visit-to-lead” conversion index was only 0.5%. Also, their visit-to-conversion ratio was declining. They formulated with a two-prong strategy to win the B2B marketing race: more middle of the funnel content: case studies, eBooks. Content that would push people down the funnel. And also more email marketing. Soon they saw a 3x increase in conversion rate. They doubled the number of their leads, and their visit to lead conversion is now exceeding 1%.
Townsend security has built a successful business in the data encryption space. When they started creating landing pages, they had low conversion rates. They tested and tried to figure out how to improve. They created 200 landing pages, and identified 68 that worked. Many companies have only 3-4 landing pages. Why not have 50 or 500 landing pages? After they created these high performing landing pages, they created lead nurturing campaigns to maximize the results of these leads. They also decided to create Call to Action buttons and to put them in other places: blogs, site, in places where they were confident they would covert well. Already, they have increased their conversion rate from single digits to 30%.
RunKeeper is a rapidly growing software company selling iPhone apps. One allows the GPS in your iPhone to keep track of how far and how fast you ran. RunKeepers did not know why they were getting so many adoptions, and wanted to pinpoint what channels were feeding growth. They looked at referring domains, and saw that Facebook was where it was at. They saw that the social sharing there took place around some maps on their Facebook pate, and drove most of their traffic. They also looked at how to replicate this on other platforms like Google Plus and at how to build other products with the same potential. They are now on their way to replicating their Facebook traffic on other platforms. Many other small businesses have realized that they must be active on Facebook.
Quanticate, a company in the clinical research space, based in the US and UK, saw an opportunity to drive more leads and traffic through social media. They thought that because the conversion rate was pretty good: over 1%. But the traffic itself was relatively anemic. And it was all coming from Linkedin. They focused on Linkedin, posted more and better content there, used Answers and Groups, and achieved a 10x increase in traffic and a 10x increase in conversion: altogether a 100x increase in lead flow.
Boger Dental, a family-owned dental practice in Minnesota, they dug into their data and looked for an opportunity to improve. They found out that many visitors were returning patients already. The opportunity they saw was to increase the 52% conversion between leads and customers. Since the quality of leads was very high, they saw an opportunity to convert a lot more leads. Using a list segmentation tool, they starting to hyper-segment, focusing on leads that were not customers yet. They were able to isolate those that had not converted, because the tracking allowed to see those that had not yet become customers. They are on their way to increase lead-to-customer conversions to 80%.
Joyce Factory Direct sells directly a huge inventory of parts for porches. They had done a lot of paid traffic and were looking to drive more organic traffic. Using their keyword manager, they looked how many keywords were driving traffic versus branded keywords. About 50% were branded. They wanted to get organic traffic to drive more traffic. Blogging like crazy was the approach of choice. They have reached a 707% increase in organic traffic, just by blogging regularly. They created a blogging schedule and focused on the keywords in the industry.
Acton Toyota of Littleton CO wanted to get more out their blog and put their blog under a microscope. Using Blog analytics from HubSpot they looked for the articles that generated the most links from other web sites. They asked: “What are the common threads between these articles?” All these articles had one thing in common: they wrote about things that were new. So the blogging policy went to write articles about what’s new, and they achieved a #3 organic rank on Google and got 5x increase in retweets on their next blog articles.
Knewton sells software and training for people who are complete tests. They buy a lot of paid traffic. Not everyone who comes to their site converts rapidly. Their question was “What keywords leads to real revenues over time?” Using a Keyword ROI report, they saw the performance of each keyword and for each keyword, the initial conversion value. They also saw that the subsequent conversion value in the next week for the people who had come the week before. They were now able to attribute conversions to original keywords, even weeks or months down the line. Some of the biggest buyers would convert only several months after a specific keyword their first visit. This kind of analysis also allows weed out the value of keywords that have no staying power. Where Google Adwords will throw at you a 100 keywords, by looking at specific Keywords ROI analytics, you can be a lot more precise, and save a lot of money.
6 tips for boosting conversions
- Create a monthly marketing report and circulate it throughout the company. Ask everyone to review it and comment.
- Close the loop: make sure you have end to end data, and if you don’t have the data to do this, get them.
- Bookmark reports to save time. When you do your monthly report, you can find the same exact and report consistently over time.
- Leverage marketing events: what is it that drove a spike? Create marketing events in your inbound marketing platform, and notice what meaningful events drove performance. If you can correlate what you do with the results, you will be light years ahead.
- Benchmark yourself. Use the benchmark tools in your inbound platform and see how you stack up. And set goals for yourself and track progress over time. Check regularly where marketing stand compared to last month in terms of leads created and passed to sales.
What is your experience leveraging inbound marketing to boost conversions? We would love to hear your feedback.