Stafford Global works with some of the UK’s foremost universities to bring distance learning to students globally. Attracting and engaging students online is a crucial part of its business model, but the marketing software it was using failed to hit the mark. Its search for an all-in-one marketing automation platform led it to HubSpot. Since signing up, Stafford Global now generates 1,500 leads every month and 65% of students are acquired each month via its website.
Of students acquired via website
Leads generated each month
Increase in organic website traffic
Founded in 1993, Stafford Global serves distance learning students in the Middle East, Africa, Canada, the USA and Eastern Europe. With a mission to provide lifelong learners with quality education at an affordable price, it has partnered with some of the UK’s foremost universities to offer courses that lead to a range of undergraduate, postgraduate masters and doctorate degrees.
Distance learning pioneer Stafford Global knew that attracting potential students online was crucial to its continued growth.
“We needed to increase our organic traffic and leads, but we also wanted a way to measure the ROI of our activities,” explains Nabeela D'sa, marketing manager with Stafford Global. “We were using Google Analytics and Excel sheets, but they didn’t give us a full view of the effectiveness of our marketing. We were constantly guesstimating the source of our leads, and we didn’t have a way to produce accurate reports.”
The company decided that a marketing automation platform was the way forward, and signed up with SharpSpring. However, it did not meet the reporting requirements of the company and the tracking abilities of the software were limited in relation to what they required.
Nabeela then heard about HubSpot and thought it was better suited to help Stafford Global pursue a more joined-up inbound strategy.
“We needed something as adaptable as we are, and HubSpot Marketing Hub ticked all the right boxes. It was incredibly easy to use, and it would allow us to truly personalise the visitor’s journey. As well as that, its built-in analytics would give us the ability to make smarter, data-driven decisions.”
HubSpot’s “always-on” support was also a big draw for Stafford Global.
“We felt that this was a company that was really invested in our success. We made the switch in January 2016.”
Stafford Global transferred its website to the HubSpot CMS and then used HubSpot Analytics to measure the effectiveness of its keywords, meta descriptions and page titles.
“That gave us the information we needed to optimise our pages and drive organic traffic. We also imported our contacts and began generating reports to see what Landing Pages, Calls-to-Action and blog posts were encouraging the most conversions,” says Nabeela.
Those insights helped the company to define its personas and then create new content to appeal to them. It also set up detailed Workflows to ensure that its leads were being nurtured in the right way.
“For example, prospects from the US and Canada prefer to get text messages and emails before we contact them by phone. However, prospects from the Middle East and Africa would rather receive a phone call first. With Workflows, we can make sure that everyone gets their optimal experience.”
Stafford Global’s salespeople are now using the HubSpot CRM, which means that they have instant access to information on every lead.
“It has become a real timesaver for them – it’s synced with their email accounts, so they don’t have to do manual updates. It also gives management visibility over their activities. We are alerted if a lead hasn’t been contacted in more than ten days, if they have submitted a form or visited our Facebook page. There’s total transparency, and we don’t have to badger the sales team with unnecessary questions.”
Today, the company’s website is a model of all that can be achieved with the proper implementation of inbound marketing strategies.
“The support available from HubSpot has played a big part in that. Our onboarding experience was just fantastic. I’d speak to my customer success manager every week, and he walked me through everything and explained the methodology behind it. Even now, I know that if I ever have a question about the platform, I can contact HubSpot Support and they’ll get back to me right away. The HubSpot Academy is also a great resource; I’m inbound certified, while other team members have taken the design certification and the content marketing course.”
- Nabeela D'sa
Since partnering with HubSpot, Stafford Global has boosted its organic web traffic by 11%, and it is getting an average of 1,500 leads a month, a 50% increase.
“It used to take us eight months to convert a visitor into a sales qualified lead. That’s dropped to 100 days – a reduction of 58%. They are getting the information that they want straight away, and our nurturing process is a lot more successful. We sign up thousands of students to our courses every year, and last year 65% of them came through the website.”
Nabeela would recommend the HubSpot software to any other education provider that wants to supercharge its inbound marketing.
“It’s been a great decision for us. It’s intuitive yet powerful, and it’s helping us to attract and convert students in a cost-effective way. It’s an integral part of our strategy for global growth.”
- Nabeela D'sa
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