Tenon Tours couldn't track the ROI of any of their marketing efforts. They were spending money on pay-per-click ads, and their cost-per-conversion was simply too high for their business model.
increase in sales revenue
increase in lead volume
Tenon Tours is a Boston-based travel company operating tours to Ireland, the UK & beyond.
Tenon Tours had three main marketing goals: (1) to drive traffic to their site, (2) to increase their overall number of leads, and (3) to identify the lead sources that produced the highest ROI.
Back in 2010, Tenon Tours knew they wanted to be a premier player in the Irish tourism game. They needed to increase their reach, and began by using paid marketing, including Pay-Per-Click ads, to drive visitors to their site and eventually turn them into customers. The problem was not PPC's ability to drive traffic, but rather that Tenon Tours didn’t have much information about who the people coming to their site were, how those people landed on their site, or what their needs were. The travel company was spending $1000 a month on PPC ads, making their cost per conversion $20 a lead.
To manage their leads, Tenon Tours was using Excel sheets and shared documents that were organized and color coded so members of the marketing and sales teams could all have access to the same information. This manual process was time consuming, and simply didn't provide enough solid data to further Tenon's marketing efforts.
In order to be considered a legitimate provider in their industry, Tenon Tours had to execute a thriving SEO strategy that would put them ahead of the competition in search rankings. To do this, they hired an external SEO company to optimize their pages for search. This service began planting backlinks to the Tenon Tours website on irrelevant and questionable websites, a black-hat SEO tactic that Google is able to recognize and effectively won't help a website's search ranking. Tenon Tours needed a better solution.
After signing up with HubSpot, Tenon Tours’ Managing Director, Katie Fleming, used her time with her HubSpot inbound marketing consultant to learn about the recent shifts in marketing, why inbound marketing works for a business like hers, and how exactly to apply those techniques in her day-to-day marketing efforts with the HubSpot All-in-One Software.
Katie began focusing her time on creating content that her target audience would be interested in reading, such as blog posts about Irish culture, local events and travel tips. She used the HubSpot Blogging tool to publish these posts and HubSpot's SEO tool to optimize the posts for search ranking. The Keywords tool helped her organize the various search terms she wanted Tenon Tours to be ranking for. Not only can she see which keywords Tenon Tours is ranking high and low for, she has been able to segment targeted keywords into various campaigns so she can keep track of how Tenon Tours is ranking for each of their travel tours and campaigns.
Because of this optimized content creation, Tenon Tours has been able to increase their site visitors by 54%. Katie thanks their focus on content, blogging and keywords for their success and fast growth. With HubSpot Analytics, she’s able to track which specific posts are actually working to drive visitors and leads. She’s able to take that information and alter her strategy accordingly to produce even better content in the future.
When getting started with inbound marketing, it can be difficult to make a complete mental shift away from developing copy specifically for ads and PPC placement, and towards creating educational materials like blogs, whitepapers and ebooks. Katie was smart about easing herself into wearing the hat of content creator, and began seeing results quickly by simply repurposing content she already had. When they recently redesigned their site, they wanted to have a central FAQ page for her to direct visitors towards. She decided to first gate this page by using a Landing Page with a form that would collect just a few pieces of information from visitors in exchange for the content. Later on, she developed a full-blown PDF with deep-dive answers to frequent traveler questions.
Every time Tenon Tours posts a new tour, they include a full-blown itinerary showing all the trips, offers, and attractions. They began only posting a shorter, annotated version of these itineraries, with a CTA that allows visitors to view the full itinerary as a download. These itinerary Landing Pages have not only been successful, but account for some of Tenon Tours highest conversion rates at an average of 33.5%.
Katie also began using Calls-to-Action all over her site to drive visitors toward the point of conversion. Her HubSpot consultant helped her to understand how having various CTA options and offers works to grab a lead, and Katie says this has been the #1 challenge that HubSpot has addressed for Tenon Tours. Efforts like clear CTAs along with Landing Pages have helped Tenon Tours increase their visit to lead conversion rate by 285% and overall lead volume by 504% since beginning with HubSpot.
Tenon Tours had set up a partnership with another website that would help to promote their offerings. They paid for this through subscription-based pricing. However, after recent revisions to the partner’s website, Tenon began to question the worth of this partnership. Instead of coming to the partner with concerns that their new revisions may affect visitors ability to get to the Tenon Tours site, Katie was able to use HubSpot’s Analytics to justify the amount they pay for their partnerships. By using HubSpot’s Tracking URL builder, they’ve been able to track each campaign with their partners through a unique tracking URL. This doesn’t just tell Katie how many visitors are coming to Tenon Tours through their partnership, but also tells her how many actual leads and customer that partnership is bringing her. Now she’s able to justify and alter her subscription with the partner accordingly.
By using HubSpot’s Analytics, which are integrated with all of Tenon Tours’ marketing channels, Katie is able to see which channels have been the greatest source of leads and customers. “With the data we've received since using HubSpot we are able to prepare a more accurate budget and focus our attention on the lead sources that provide us the biggest return.” However, as a business grows using inbound marketing, this budgeting process is not always 100% accurate. That’s not such a bad thing for Tenon Tours though. Based on some of their past results, Katie allocated a budget for paid marketing in 2013. However, inbound marketing has been working so well for Tenon Tours that their number of leads has continued to increase through organic and direct traffic to the point where they haven’t had to dip into any of their paid budget yet in 2013. They had to actually turn off their paid marketing spend just to keep up with all of the organic leads they’ve been able to attract.
The Analytics in HubSpot have allowed Katie to use her data in ways she couldn’t have previously imagined. “I didn’t realize how much of a data dork I was until I had all of this. We have a lot of positive numbers, and it’s great to compare them year-over-year...HubSpot gives me more information than I would have ever had before.”
HubSpot’s Smart Lists have been a huge time-saver for Katie. “When I had to send out a newsletter prior to Smart Lists, I knew it was basically an entire day for me.” Katie had to pull information from all of their various forms and imports, and make up a new list every single time. “Now that I’ve made a database of Smart Lists, I just whip up the email and put in which list I’m sending it to.”
When communicating with leads and customers, Tenon Tours wants to make sure that they’re targeting the right people with their emails. Using Smart Lists, Katie has been able to segment out leads based on their interests, such as which tours they’re interested in, and then only sends them information relevant to those tours through the HubSpot Email Marketing tool. She finds this essential since she doesn’t want to be reaching out to someone who is specifically interested in self-driven tours with an offer for an escorted tour. She also targets communication based on personas, such as a travel agent versus a normal visitor. Obviously the language and offers that she presents to each of these groups will vary, and she’s able to easily manage these communications with lists and marketing automation Workflows in HubSpot. This type of targeted communications helps Tenon Tours better identify and provide solutions for its prospects' travel needs, which is one of the reasons why the company has seen their sales revenue increase 129% in the two years since adopting HubSpot.
Tenon Tours used to use a CRM that didn’t give ownership to sales reps. They recently switched over to Salesforce not only because they needed to be able assign certain leads to sales reps, but because they needed more data in their CRM about a leads activities, and needed to be able to close the loop between their marketing and sales efforts. They've implemented HubSopt's Salesforce Integration and have been able to tie the rich marketing data from HubSpot to sales reps in Salesforce. Using HubSpot and Salesforce together has made her entire database much cleaner and easier to manage. In HubSpot, they’re able to create a new landing page for each tour they offer. They can use the same form across all of their Landing Pages, which ensures that they never have duplicate information in their contact records. Because each field in these forms gets synced to the contacts record in Salesforce, the information Katie has about each lead is consistent and clean across platforms.
When Katie has a question about using the HubSpot software, she can call HubSpot directly for an answer. “The support line is helpful and helps you at the time you need the help.” She also found getting onboarded with HubSpot to be an extremely helpful process not only in getting used to the software, but in expanding her knowledge of inbound marketing in general. “Our account manager from the beginning was always helpful and continues to be until this day.” Her love for using HubSpot goes beyond just the software itself, “Upon adopting other softwares lately we have realized a major lack in service [in the other softwares] which has made us appreciate who HubSpot is as a company and not just a software.”
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