Is the Goal to be Sexy, or Effective?
How well done website designs and marketing campaigns actually are can be pretty subjective. Someone's trash is another person's treasure. At Revenue River Marketing we spend less time worrying about what the pundits say and stay focused on what's truly important. The client's need for us to solve a problem.
When our fantastic local client Western Slope Driving Institute came to us their objectives were clear. They needed new business. As always, we set out to solve for our customer. This article details the challenges, solutions, and impactful results of combined efforts. You may not think it's pretty or effective enough.
Understanding the Client and their Needs
Western Slope Driving Institute (WSDI) primarily helps teenagers get their drivers license. They prepare them for the roads so the rest of us are a little safer. They help parents sleep at night. It's not complicated, but it's important. With multiple offices spread across the great state of Colorado they have a pretty broad reach. Their training and testing facilities serve the major metro areas, but it's a competitive environment. With a quickly changing competitive landscape WSDI knew they needed help as they looked through class attendance numbers.
The Cold, Hard Facts About the Baseline
Circa 2014. Their website was outdated. It wasn't attracting very many visitors and it certainly wasn't generating leads. They'd never marketed the business online so they didn't have a contact database, social media community, or library of tools and resources. They simply weren't in the game.
Despite their lack of a digital presence their brick and mortar was strong and growing. They'd recently expanded into a new, more competitive market and were dreaming of additional locations. They had a great business, reputation, and referral network and that's a pretty good start. They had a lot to build on in the 'real world' which is the type of recipe we look for as we evaluate a client's potential.
The Demand Behind the Eventual Solution
Why'd they come to us? They realized that before they could get there they knew they needed to build demand for the facilities they had because there were a lot of empty chairs in their classes. Before they could target new drivers in new markets they needed to put more butts in the chairs of the markets they were already in.
Through a series of exploratory conversations we determined that the foundation was inadequate. Before we could drive the results they were looking for we needed to redesign their website.
Their website was inadequate
- It didn't respond to mobile devices or tablets.
- It didn't have any conversion points.
- It wasn't optimized for search engines.
- They had no analytics. Like nothing.
- Even small edits were impossible to make.
Their marketing assets were underdeveloped or completely missing
- Their branding was outdated.
- They had no digital strategy in place.
- They didn't understand what was possible.
- They didn't know where or how to start.
- They had no foundation to work from.
- They had no social community.
- They had no contacts or database to put them in.
- It didn't matter that their website was out of date, it rarely got visited and had never converted.
- Because they'd never used their website to drive business they didn't have a lead management system or CRM.
The best thing WSDI had going for them was a desire to improve and enough trust in Revenue River to do things right. We decided this campaign needed to be tackled in phases or 'sprints' in our language.
Sprint 1 - Branding update and a launch pad website redesign.
First things first, we redesigned their logo and website. The sprint was focused on getting them a proper foundation for attracting and converting local teens and their moms into their driving education program. We included secondary conversion points for their other services and personas too but the critical initiative remained in focus. We recommended and developed the site in the HubSpot COS so they'd be setup for an integrated marketing and sales stack once the site went live and we entered sprint 2.
Sprint 2 - Digital marketing strategy and sales system development.
We don't start producing and charging for content and promotion until we have everything mapped out. We believe that slow is fast and that by beginning with the end in mind we could take them further. Every element of a successful campaign was mapped out by our marketing and sales enablement teams.
We developed a complete digital strategy for attracting, converting, nurturing, evaluating, qualifying, tracking, handing over, and following up with leads. Every step from first contact to payment was designed, providing a full stack solution that included the website, marketing, and sales efforts.
Sprint 3 - Executing the strategy with continual build out and promotion of a shit load of assets.
This is where the rubber met the road. While their website began producing as soon as it went live we hadn't really thrown any gas on the fire. It was time for all that strategy to pop. It was time to see if we actually knew what we were doing or not. I'm sure WSDI had some anxious moments but any fear they had was tempered by the consistent organic growth they saw coming from our original efforts. It was about to get really fun or we were about to get really fired.
Growing traffic was focused on three primary activities. We believed the system to serve the new visitors was in place so it was just about getting the right people to our assets.
- An effective blog strategy
- A local SEO strategy
- Consistent social promotion
Once they landed on the website we believed they'd be served well by the intuitive, clean design and clear conversion points to learn more and sign up. We knew the customers well enough to be confident that they'd convert, and our nurturing sequences were meant to install confidence in WSDI's ability to educate and care for momma's little babies. This shit was gonna work.
LuckyOrange and HubSpot helped us verify our hypothesis immediately.
- With heat maps and user recordings we continued monitoring and tweaking to improve metrics.
- With traffic data and keyword movement we were able to demonstrate lift easily.
- With progressive profiling and our lead management system inside HubSpot's CRM we kept eyes on the entire sales cycle.
Wow, look at that traffic to COURSES and PRICING!
And look at all those clicks for SIGN UPS on their PRICING page! (that's where attribution is born)
The Undeniably Impactful Results
Results have been measured from the first day the website went live in September 2015. While there are all kinds of different metrics to report on we care the most about the results the client themselves value. Here's the dirt on the stuff that has them so excited and officially expanding into new markets just 12 months after this story began:
1. Driver's Education Classes are up 52%
During their busiest season of the year, WSDI taught 175 students at their Littleton location (our campaign's main focus) during the summer of 2016 after only placing 115 butts in their chairs the year before at the same location.
2. Website traffic is up 73%
The blogging, SEO, and social have continued to increase site traffic and the break by referral type is strong.
3. Traffic from Search Engines is up 88%
While all traffic channels are contributing and growing the greatest success has been organic traffic.
4. Website lead production is up 73%
- The month before their website launched they had 0 qualified leads.
- The first month on the new website they had 33 qualified leads.
- 11 month's later they hit a record of 57 qualified leads.
- Next month will be more, and when their new location opens in December shit's gonna get real fun.
5. Website leads from search engines is up 59%
- The month before their website launched they had 0 qualified leads from search.
- The first month on the new website they had 22 qualified leads from search.
- 11 month's later they hit a record of 35 qualified leads from search.
- They've went from not having a single relevant keyword ranking in the top 100 to pulling 35 qualified leads per month through Google and friends.
- They went from zero-to-relevant with @RevenueRiver. that's a good tweet, we'd appreciate you sharing
Check out the finished product
What the Client We Solved For Has to Say
“From the foundation up. This company stands out from any other. When we first approached Revenue River, they did what no one else would. They took the time to sit down with us and get to know what our company was about. Instead of pushing prices in our face they built a plan that would work for us but not before we went over what we were looking for and a budget that we wanted to keep. This company is beyond professional and help you through the entire process. They have completely changed our marketing strategies and built an absolutely beautiful website that has changed the way the web sees us.”
– Josh Rossi: Western Slope Driving Institute
Some Final Q&A
- Did we solve for the customer? We think the results speak for themselves.
- Did our client benefit? Greatly, their classrooms are full and they're expanding into another city.
- Does the website look great? Our client thinks so, and UI/UX has been tested and proved effective.
- Is it built to industry best practice? Everything we build is built to WC3 Standards and coded clean.
How This Article Can Help You
This particular COS website redesign and inbound marketing strategy might not be exactly what you'd want for your website redesign. We understand that, because every client we work with is different. We're also positive our team of web design and development experts can bring your inspiration to life, just like we did here.