Case Study: The Secret to 175% More Conversions
Content marketing is not easy. It’s not fast, either. But as Van Delden Wastewater Systems learned, it can be one of the most effective ways to increase your company’s online presence and lead generation — provided you begin with a solid strategy and a willingness to adapt it as you go.
Meet Van Delden
Van Delden Wastewater Systems is a family-owned and operated company specializing in the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of all types of septic systems in South Texas. The company is currently owned and run by the third and fourth generations of Van Deldens.
Van Delden originally approached Digett seeking assistance with driving more traffic to their website. After a brief assessment, we knew there was greater opportunity. The company had existed for more than 70 years, but their digital presence was minimal.
Their legacy website was not designed to encourage inquiries. Driving more traffic to the website was a worthwhile goal, but we believed few of those visitors would be persuaded to pick up the phone and call.
At the same time, Van Delden was right; they did need more traffic. After deployment of a website designed to entice visitors to take a desirable action, we would still need to help people find that website.
Through conversations with Van Delden we knew what we had to pull off to deliver a positive return on investment. We began by developing a holistic content marketing strategy incorporating email, paid advertising, blogging, and social media outreach, as well as an editorial calendar to guide our execution and a new website that operates as the hub of Van Delden’s marketing efforts.
Challenges and readjustments
While we experienced some great results quickly — the new website received more than 50% more visitors the month after launch than the month before, and the number of conversions doubled — it has demanded an ever-watchful eye for opportunities to drive consistent growth over time. Here are some of the efforts we’ve executed and lessons we’ve learned in the last two years.
Challenge 1: Few conversion opportunities
Van Delden’s legacy website offered no opportunity for prospects to convert online. If they wanted to contact Van Delden, they had to pick up and dial a phone. We knew we would need to develop multiple conversion opportunities on the website at all levels of the sales funnel if we were going to help Van Delden generate more online business. We came up with this plan of attack:
Add a contact form - We added a page to the website where visitors can fill out an online form, asking Van Delden for assistance with their septic needs. Prospects have more ways to reach out for assistance, which reduces conversion friction.
Make it even easier to contact Van Delden - We embedded more contact forms in the sidebars of the website’s most-visited pages and blog articles so that visitors could contact Van Delden without having to navigate to the main Contact page.
Capitalize on existing conversion opportunities - Van Delden has always offered free phone consultations, so we promoted that offer with messaging throughout the website and an optimized landing page.
Offer downloadable content - We created landing pages that offer educational whitepapers to different segments of Van Delden’s audiences, and promoted that content through the blog, social media, and paid advertising.
- Build an email marketing list - At the bottom of every conversion form we promoted an opportunity for visitors to sign up to receive Van Delden’s quarterly newsletter.
Results: 175% conversion increase
Between its launch in December 2012 and December 2013, the Van Delden website saw a 175% increase in conversions — from phone calls alone. By 2014, Van Delden was receiving an average of 80 conversions per month from forms and phone calls.
Their next-biggest converter is the audience-specific whitepapers, which are downloaded dozens of times per month and are responsible for most of the newsletter subscriptions. Van Delden’s quarterly newsletter goes out to thousands of people and has an average 35.5% open rate and 24% click-through-rate — in an industry where the averages are 20.16% and 7.36%, respectively.
One area we still see room for improvement is in our promotion of Van Delden’s free phone consultations. The landing page hasn’t generated as many leads as we’d like, and we are re-evaluating our promotional efforts.
Challenge 2: Small local reach
Blogging was slowly improving Van Delden’s presence in search engine results, but local consumer awareness of the company remained low. We needed a way to rapidly build their brand’s visibility in the Hill Country while we continued the gradual organic search growth through blog content. Our plan was three-fold:
Send special offers to local prospects - We mailed postcards with special offers to residents in Van Delden’s service area.
Target local Facebook advertising - We developed a branding campaign and ads designed to reach local prospects while they browsed on Facebook.
- Develop educational videos - We worked with Van Delden to script, shoot, and edit eight educational videos that we’ve incorporated into existing marketing campaigns, both on-website and across social media channels.
Results: Expanded brand awareness
The first direct mail campaign was a success, and still brings in new customers more than a year later. The educational videos have been collectively viewed more than 15,000 times, and targeted Facebook ads are responsible for hundreds of visitors and dozens of conversions every month.
It’s been amazing working with Van Delden these past two years, and we’re excited to implement more improvements and tackle more tough questions.
How can we better promote the company’s free consultations offer? Is it even a good use of our marketing budget, or is there another, better opportunity?
What can we do to better track our efforts’ results? Measuring marketing results is a challenge for everyone, including us.
- How can we continue optimizing, maintaining, and growing our existing positive momentum?
“We came to Digett looking for help with SEO — we never expected to get almost three times as many leads through our website by the end of the first year. Digett has made the complex seem simple; they show us every month exactly what results we're getting for our money.” — Courtney Van Delden
Build your brand in 2015
Content marketing is a never-ending challenge, one we love tackling head-on with our clients. If you’re interesting in building your brand and generating more online business in 2015, we’d love to hear from you.