Pioneering Australian Education Company Increases Leads 4X through Inbound Marketing with HubSpot

LearnFast brings specialized, online programs to students including those with learning difficulties in home settings, schools and professional clinics. LearnFast’s suite of online neuroscience based courses improve a child’s cognitive development, reading and learning skills so they become better learners. The company’s main challenge was lead generation and cobbled together marketing technologies that led to inefficiencies. They were seeking an automated platform to serve their lead generation goals and they implemented HubSpot after years of unreliable service from point solutions vendors.

9X

increase in monthly website visits in 18 months

4X

increase in monthly lead generation in 18 months

28%

increase in email open rates in 18 months

About LearnFast

LearnFast provides neuroscience-based online learning programs in Australia and New Zealand. The company sells to schools, parents at home and clinics to deliver the online courses to students. The LearnFast programs are developed from decades of neuroscience research that help boost a child’s reading, literacy, memory and attention skills.

Transforming Accessibility of Educational Resources for Students

When teacher or parent inquires about LearnFast’s services, an educational consultant follows up to recommend the most appropriate mix to match the child with specialized programs to suit the student’s needs. LearnFast is a lean team of education consultants, speech pathologists, and business administrators. The business side of the house includes one marketer. The company’s track record proved that if they can generate the leads, the education consultants can sell the online courses due to such a high demand in their market. That said, lead generation was becoming the bottleneck to growing their business and the team at LearnFast decided they needed a solution. 

Switching Marketing Technology Providers

Previously LearnFast used a variety of point solutions including AdWords, Silverpop Engage, and Constant Contact for about three years. Integrations between these tools and their CRM were not seamless and data often was lost due to manual or duplicate processes. Their sole marketer was also frustrated with the experience of using and engaging with Silverpop in particular. It was time-consuming to call support with technical questions as she rarely receive actionable answers to bugs in the software. The cobbled together technologies also created inefficiencies in lead generation activities and massive costs leading to a negative ROI of LearnFast's marketing activities.

Peter Barnes is LearnFast’s Chief Learning Innovator who is responsible for growing the business from both new products and applications, but also a revenue perspective. Peter was first introduced to HubSpot by a friend’s recommendation. Peter and Julie George, the head marketer, researched inbound marketing and HubSpot through blog posts, downloadable content and reviews on third party sites like G2Crowd. After completing their due diligence, they decided to purchase HubSpot based on the suite of tools provided and the success stories they read about similar HubSpot customers.

Creating Content and Increasing Lead Generation

Peter’s first initiative after purchasing HubSpot was to build and scale content via a blog. Post include content about neuroscience and learning difficulty research. In the first 18 months using HubSpot, Peter and his team published 158 blog posts. A particular feature he finds helpful is the integrated best practices sidebar built into HubSpot’s Blog app with quick tips and best practices for writing a post. It includes suggestions for titles, meta descriptions and a checklist of essential aspects of a blog post to get found by search engines.

Following the inbound methodology, LearnFast was inspired to start a weekly newsletter called ‘The Learning Brain.’ It features ground-breaking research discoveries and the company’s most popular blog articles. Using HubSpot Academy and customer knowledge articles, Peter and his team learned best practices in email marketing, such as including enticing images, how to write bold and concise headlines, and sending emails from a real life person instead of a generic email address.  

LearnFast also created a seamless integration of their HubSpot portal with Salesforce CRM. Peter recalls, “Right from the beginning, it was easy to do it and we’ve never had any problems. It’s been a joy.” Working with their customer success manager, LearnFast was able to build this integration right from the start without the need for any third party help. This has allowed LearnFast’s education consultants to be much more efficient because client data is not lost in a poorly built integration.

Measuring Results and Teaching Children

The LearnFast blog has grown from absolute zero to more than 9,500 views per month. Coupled with content offers and calls-to-action on blog posts, this led to a 4x increase in lead generation. Peter and Julie have doubled open rates and tripled click-through rates of the email newsletter within 18 months.

They’re continuing to iterate on their marketing creativity with new campaigns and sharing cutting edge neuroscience research with parents. He is particularly excited about the new blog and email editors HubSpot released at the end of 2015, which were created for even more ease of use and efficiency.

Additionally, Peter and his team loved the onboarding process so much that they’ve cloned the structure for their own onboarding of new school clients. Peter says, “It’s one of the best things we’ve seen in a long, long time.” Now their onboarding process includes an account manager who works with new clients during the first 90 days, quarterly calls with existing clients and continued educational resources throughout the lifetime of a client.

LearnFast is looking to the future with the steadfast mission to help as many children as possible be successful in the classroom. Refined from the latest brain science research over the past 15 years, LearnFast’s programs have helped over 15,000 children in Australia and New Zealand.

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