F1F9 is a financial modelling company with a global reach. Its tagline is “make better decisions”, and in 2013, it made an important one itself. It needed to generate more inbound leads but the collection of marketing tools that it was using wasn’t up to the challenge. Since using HubSpot, it has revolutionised how its marketing and sales process works, and the company now generates 600 new leads each month.
New leads generated each month
Organic traffic conversion rate
Increase in website traffic
Established in the UK in 1999, F1F9 is now the world’s largest financial model building and training firm. It pioneered a uniquely transparent, efficient and maintainable modelling methodology now known as the FAST Standard. Today, it builds and maintains financial models that are used by leading corporations, advisors, banks and funds. It also trains clients to build better models themselves, through courses delivered worldwide.
By mid-2013, F1F9 was already using a number of inbound marketing tools; the problem was they didn’t integrate or help to generate the leads that the company needed. According to Stephen Daniels, marketing director at F1F9, “We were using a lot of disparate systems: a WordPress site for blogging, Hootsuite and TweetDeck for social media and Infusionsoft for email marketing. Using so many tools was time consuming and made it difficult to get things done.”
Stephen discovered HubSpot online – a prime example of inbound marketing in action, he says. “We read the HubSpot blog and tried to improve our marketing through the knowledge that HubSpot was sharing. When we saw the HubSpot Marketing Platform in action we realised the software has everything we need.”
After evaluating other marketing automation tools, including Marketo, F1F9 quickly decided to choose HubSpot. Stephen explains that there was a “definite personality match” between both companies, in terms of knowledge sharing and customer focus.
“We knew HubSpot would put us first when responding to any queries and that they would be receptive to new ideas if we wanted to try something different. That was massively important. Plus, the HubSpot software is so comprehensive, we could stop using many of our other tools.”
Stephen says that the initial goal he had for the HubSpot software was lead generation. The marketing team created a host of content – ebooks, free courses, webinars and SlideShare presentations – and they set up each piece on a Landing Page. They then used Forms to capture visitor details and followed up with automated emails.
“Landing Pages revolutionised how we use our content. Before we implemented the HubSpot software, it would have taken at least a month. Now we could do it within a few hours,” recalls Stephen.
“Through Forms, all of the contacts go into the one system and the email automation follows on from that.” Once leads are captured, they are then nurtured with Workflows, something Stephen says F1F9 has “gone to town on”.
“We have created some spectacular Workflows! We had these ideas and the HubSpot software made it possible to carry them out, so we just went for it.”
By using the HubSpot Marketing Platform, F1F9 set up what Stephen calls “a lead-generation machine”. The next step was to continue to process through to the sales team. The company had previously been using CRM software but decided to make the change to the HubSpot Sales Platform.
“We realised that our old CRM was redundant, it was actually overcomplicated for what we needed it for. The HubSpot Sales Platform’s interface is so easy to use and being able to track everything from one place is really useful for reporting.
“Now our salespeople are able to see the history of what a contact has done, not just what they downloaded but how they found us, whether it was through an organic search or a social link. We can look at their behaviour, what pages the person visited and see at what stage they became a sales contact. When they do get in touch with them, we’re able to personalise the conversation.”
- Stephen Daniels
Stephen “couldn’t be happier” with the gains F1F9 has achieved since partnering with HubSpot. Within three months the results were spectacular. “Before, we were a small company in a niche industry, so we were getting small levels of traffic. With the HubSpot software and inbound marketing methodology we were doubling our web traffic every month and that carried on for a sustained period. We went from 2,000 visitors to 5,000, to 12,000, and it has kept on growing.”
The company’s organic traffic conversion rate has grown to an average of 8%. Leads, the metric that the company most wanted to improve, have grown from a handful to an average of 600 a month.
One of F1F9’s most successful pieces of content is its “31 Days to Better Financial Modelling” course, which is delivered to users by email. It was a course that the company had created prior to implementing the HubSpot Marketing Platform, but back then, it wasn’t delivering enough leads or interest. That soon changed.
“The combination of the content, plus the landing page have been wildly successful – over 20,000 contacts have now signed up for the course. That’s not the exception, either. Our other courses and ebooks have been massively successful too,” says Stephen.
Generating leads is no longer a problem for F1F9; looking to the future, Stephen plans to use the HubSpot software to further refine them. “Getting content out into the wider world hasn’t been a problem, the HubSpot Marketing Platform has done that for us. Over the next year, what we’re looking to do is focus on using the software to help us identify those leads who are most sales-ready, through lead scoring, email automation, tracking and personalising the website.”
Stephen is sure that F1F9 will continue to achieve its goals through its use of the HubSpot software. “Its revolutionised our marketing. We now have a much more professional and strategic approach that’s generating leads and sales. HubSpot has helped us rapidly grow and scale our business.”
- Stephen Daniels
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