Sobieski Services didn't have a clear understanding of how all their various marketing tools were working in tandem with one another. They had an outside SEO consultant, and couldn't rank for keywords. They had a separate platform for email marketing, and couldn't segment their sends. They had one-dimensional, free tool for analytics, and couldn't tell who was coming to their site. They needed more robust, integrated tools.
decrease in pay-per-click spend
increase in number of closed online customers
increase in online revenue
Sobieski Services, Inc. is a subset of The Sobieski Group offering plumbing, heating & air conditioning solutions across PA, MD, DE, and NJ.
The Sobieski Group is a 26-year-old family owned and operated business that has grown to over 300 employees. Sobieski Services, Inc. is a subset of The Sobieski Group offering plumbing, heating & air conditioning solutions across PA, MD, DE, and NJ.
Sobieski Services, Inc.'s main goals were to better understand how all of their online marketing efforts were working in tandem with one another to produce actual revenue and results.
Sobieski Services was using an out-of-house SEO consultant to help them rank in search engines. However, Google was (as they always are) making frequent algorithmic changes to its search engine functionality, and Sobieski’s SEO consultant was not willing to adapt. Sobieski’s Marketing and PR Specialist, Brittany Sobieski, decided to leave them. She needed a more progressive and flexible solution.
Because Sobieski’s business model fluctuates with the seasons, it was important to them that they be able to easily reflect their changing service offerings to their audience. Unfortunately for Brittany and the Sobieski team, they had to contact an outside web development company and request for every content change that needed to be made. The turn-around time was at least two days, and required Brittany to dip into her marketing budget to pay for each site edit. This system simply wasn’t working for a company that not only needed to be agile with the changing seasons, but also was interested in testing and experimenting with marketing efforts to achieve the best results.
Though Sobieski wasn’t practicing inbound marketing before they joined HubSpot, they understood the importance of fully understanding their audience and developing helpful relationships with leads and customers. Before HubSpot, they were using a popular, free analytics tool to measure and track the success of their website. They could see numerically how much traffic they were bringing to their site, but that wasn’t enough information to establish long-lasting relationships that would delight their prospects and customers. Brittany could tell that 50 people visited her site, but she couldn’t tell exactly who those 50 people were, where their interests lay, and what their challenges were.
Sobieski was using one service for website hosting--and they couldn’t edit their site easily. They were using another service for email marketing--and couldn’t segment any of their email sends. They tracked their analytics through a free service--and couldn’t gather any lead intelligence from it. Not only were these tools inefficient on their own, none of them were communicating with each other seamlessly. That meant Sobieski had to attempt a sort of “manual integration” of their various softwares by pulling data from each platform in an attempt to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Brittany says, “Everything was disconnected and I never felt I was getting a true sense of what our customers were doing or not doing.”
PR and Marketing Specialist, Sobieski Services, Inc.
Inbound marketing is all about attracting the right people to your website, and providing them with helpful content to turn them into customers. That’s why Sobieski had to begin where the customer does, at the search box, and improve their SEO in order to rank high in search engines. Instead of contracting an inflexible, outside SEO consultant, Brittany began using HubSpot to track target keywords her buyer personas would be searching for. Because the HubSpot Blogging tool is integrated with built-in SEO tools, she was able to keep her blog posts optimized for search engines without the hassle of an outside SEO platform. In addition to this, she used the continuing education from the HubSpot Marketing Library and training from her inbound marketing consultant to learn more about what tactics would help attract the right visitors to her website. The result was a 55% increase in traffic to her website.
Brittany’s inbound marketing consultant also educated her on the benefits of creating a downloadable eGuide about Sobieski’s offerings and how to host this on a Landing Page with a form in order to capture leads and their information. Before using HubSpot, Sobieski hadn’t created actual Landing Pages before. If they did want to alter an existing website to reflect a new service offering, or add a form to mimic Landing Page functionality and collect leads, Brittany had to contract the services of an outside web developer. Now, Brittany can whip up a Landing Page in minutes, and can easily edit them, along with her website. This is imperative when she needs to advertise seasonal product and service offerings. HubSpot’s SEO Tools are also built into the Landing Page tool, which means these pages have a built-in check for optimization so they can work to increase Sobieski’s SEO ranking.
Brittany’s consultant also helped her get started with inbound marketing quickly by repurposing her blog posts and compiling them into an eGuide in order to capture lead information and further gather intelligence about what her leads are looking for. They then set up an entire lead nurturing campaign including the the thank you page for follow up communications after a lead downloads an offer, the lead nurturing emails triggered by a download, and how to promote the offer itself through blog posts and Calls-to-Action.
By offering an eGuide in exchange for a visitor’s name and email address, that visitor’s entire back-browsing history, as well as any future interactions, are stored in Sobieski’s HubSpot Contacts Database. The contact profile has a detailed timeline of all the interactions a lead has had with Sobieski. That includes every blog post and web page a visitor has read, every email they’ve received, including whether they opened or clicked it, the offers they’ve downloaded from Sobieski and even the links they’ve clicked on over Social Media.
Using HubSpot’s Contact Timeline view, Brittany has been able to gain insight beyond numerical pageviews with Marketing Analytics that depict actual people. Brittany says, “All we had before were analytics that told us how many people came into the website, but you don’t really know who those people are.” Now, she can see every interaction and behavior each of her leads and customer’s has taken in their contact record. “It’s real-time, I can follow that person through their whole entire journey.” Using this lead intelligence, Brittany was able to understand what her target audience is looking for, and develop a marketing strategy that revolves around the needs and challenges of target buyer personas--not arbitrary numbers.
Before using HubSpot, Brittany was unsure of what content to produce that would attract prospects and nurture them into warm leads that drove actual revenue. Brittany says, “Marketing before HubSpot meant trying to make decisions based off of numbers that were pieced together from various sources, and then trying to verify that information based off reports from our customer service department.”
Using HubSpot, Brittany can now connect certain content and behaviors to the ROI they produce. Those insights are then delivered right to her desktop, no manual integration required. “HubSpot allows us to see customers that came in from a particular source, and go back and view how they interacted with our website, our blog, what information they're looking for, etc. I can then start to see commonalities between that particular group of customers and get a sense for what they want from us as a company.” Using this newfound sense of what challenges and needs her audience has, Brittany was able to focus on and develop content that performs well with various buyer personas and leads to revenue. That means she no longer wastes times writing about topics that don’t convert customers.
Since inbound marketing aims to avoid interrupting a customer in favor of providing them with helpful content to establish a relationship, it was invaluable for Brittany to fully understand who was at the other side of the computer screen. HubSpot has allowed her to not only track her leads and customers’ activities, but to constantly react to it and provide even more relevant content back to them. “I'm not sitting at my desk trying to come up with ideas for people I know nothing about. I feel like I'm getting to know our customers, and as a marketer, that's exciting information to have!”
Since Brittany can see which marketing channels produce the highest ROI, she can redirect her resources towards those channels that work. “Before, we just lumped everything together as ‘internet’” Brittany tried to take the revenue numbers she had from her customer service team and match them up to her internet traffic numbers to better measure and direct her efforts. However, she says, “Going back to [our previous analytics provider] the numbers were so different.”
Because HubSpot’s marketing tools are integrated with the HubSpot Contacts Database, Brittany can track which channels produced actual customers, without having to inefficiently match numbers from various systems.
Brittany can also compare channels, like organic search, social media, and PPC, against each other to see which drive the most customers. “HubSpot makes it that much more accurate, and now we can know really what’s working and what’s not, and we’re not just staring at a bunch of data on a screen and not knowing what to do with it.” Because Brittany was able to see that organic search produced much higher ROI than PPC, she realigned her efforts to put more resources into SEO and less into PPC. In fact, starting in early 2013 Brittany began using the services of HubSpot Gold Partner Agency MLT Creative to make her SEO efforts even more of a marketing weapon.
The problem with PPC was not a lack of leads, but rather a lack of conversion from lead to customer. In addition, the cost of those leads was extremely high compared to the revenue that came in from this channel. However, Brittany found that instead of pulling her PPC spend completely, she could use HubSpot tools to increase the ROI of her PPC efforts. Brittany began executing on some of her PPC efforts in-house instead of through an outside company, and re-strategized how she targets her PPC efforts.
Before HubSpot, Brittany treated all of her PPC and marketing efforts as “bottom-of-the-funnel”. Her strategy assumed that everyone that landed on the site “must be here because they need something right now.” Her PPC ads reflected this, and didn’t link her targeted search terms to specific, relevant offers. Now, she targets her PPC search terms in accordance with associated offers.
For example, as the spring and summer seasons approach, Sobieski offers specials on air conditioning repair and tune-ups. When a prospect searches for air conditioning repairs, Sobieski’s PPC ad shows up with language to reflect a special offer specifically on this type of repair, and directs visitors to a dedicated Landing Page for that air conditioning repair offer. Brittany says, “Using the Landing Page concept, we are seeing not only more visits and contacts coming in, but more conversions as well - meaning a more qualified lead.” Because of this increase in PPC lead quality due to its association with HubSpot’s easy-to-create Landing Pages, Sobieski has been able to decrease their PPC budget by 33%, leaving marketing spend for other efforts.
In addition to increasing their PPC lead quality, Brittany says, “What we’ve found now is that SEO will boost our PPC and we’ll be ableto get more out of PPC for less money.” Because her dedicated Landing Pages are more relevant to her PPC search terms, Google considers her website to have a higher quality and authority rank than before when she was simply directing people to Sobieski’s homepage. The result: Sobieski’s PPC quality score was enhanced by her inbound efforts, meaning a lower cost-per-click and higher ad placement.
Using the rich intelligence in HubSpot's Lead Management tools, Brittany began evolving her lead nurturing strategy to focus on the person at the receiving end of her messages. If a lead comes in through a Google search, Brittany can tell what they were searching for, and thus what they’re interested in. She can then follow up with relevant communications and offers. If a lead downloads a guide and reads three blog posts about heat maintenance, Brittany can send them an email with HVAC promotions instead of one on plumbing. “We’re able to really dissect our data and pick out who to send a particular email to.”
Essentially, Sobieski is now able to deliver more personalized and relevant content to her leads through this insight. Brittany says, “You can see a common thread amongst a group of people, and target them with either an email or some other kind of guide.” Of course this has been helpful in targeting specific, personalized content towards the unique interests of certain segments of her Contacts Database. Further than that, Brittany is able to look back at the trends of her new and existing customers. She’s been able to pinpoint the types of services that long-term customers tend to purchase, as opposed to the messaging and offerings that first-time customers gravitate towards. Brittany has been able to use this data to nurture her leads better than when she was using a generic analytics platform, “It allows you to react a lot better to real people rather than just numbers.”
When a prospect downloads a guide on something like an air conditioning tune-up service, they’re entered into the Customer Service Representative (CSR) queue as a lead, where a CSR can actually get on the phone with the potential customer to discuss the details of Sobieski’s service offerings. When the two have their first phone call, the CSR is not blind-sided by the lead’s needs. “We know who [the person] is, and we can see them before we even get on the phone. It helps the CSRs prep and know who they’re dealing with.” Since the CSRs have already had access to a lead’s entire interaction with Sobieski Services, they’ve had the time to prepare the best service package and frame it in a way that will be most appealing to the person on the other end of the phone. “It creates a sense of realness and a conversation that wasn't there before.” This makes Sobieski’s marketing strategy about more than just providing prospects with helpful content, but with a complete, relevant, and optimal experience--both on and offline.
The 125% increase in revenue that Sobieski Services has seen can be attributed to a variety of factors. Brittany believes it’s a combination of not only inbound marketing and the HubSpot All-in-One Marketing Platform, but also the educational resources and support that come along with being a HubSpot customer.
During her time with her Inbound Marketing Consultant, Brittany learned the philosophy behind and best practices of inbound marketing. “Having that consultation of teaching us inbound and how to use the tools of HubSpot at the same time was great.” Brittany wasn’t just learning how to use marketing tools for the sake of using them. She’d been down that road before using HubSpot, “We did blog, but just to do it because someone told us to do it, we had no strategy.” With HubSpot, Brittany’s been able to learn not just how to use certain tools like the Blog, but why she should be using those tools.
Instead of just blogging for the sake of blogging, she’s writing about topics her target audience is looking for. She’s using CTAs at the bottom of posts for related eGuides and offers that help her capture interested, high quality leads. She’s nurturing those leads with relevant Email Marketing and collecting lead intelligence along the way through HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics. “That’s something we never did before.” Without the education from HubSpot, Brittany wouldn’t have had the knowledge of how to use those tactics to attract prospects, convert them to leads, and nurture them to the point of customers.
Brittany says the educational resources and support that she’s received have been two of the paramount things that differentiate HubSpot from other softwares and platforms. Brittany elaborates and says, “A perfect example is [our old analytics platform]. Their system seems so complicated because their education is so hard to come across. They have their support blogs and whatnot, but you really have to dig, dig, and dig to get anything. With HubSpot, it’s constant education along the way, and it’s a push to do well with everything--and therefore, you do.”
Brittany’s time with her Account Manager, Kara, has helped her innovate on her strategy past analyzing various reports and analytics. “Kara has been great to bounce ideas off of...that’s not something you get with any other program I’ve seen out there. There’s not that kind of support and cheerleading. Other outside vendors are very cold, and have dry relationships.”
“A business should get HubSpot if they want to take the guesswork out of how a customer interacts with their website - and how to attract them there in the first place."
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