At Plexent, we sell IT improvement consulting and software.  Our biggest challenge is helping our prospects understand what’s at stake if they don’t make this investment, and showing them how much is involved in improving their IT systems. We had already started blogging and sending email newsletters, but we still needed to bridge the gap between getting leads and turning them into customers.

We noticed in our organic search results that one of the top five phrases that people Googled to bring them to our page was "Service Management Office" and "SMO." This presented a great opportunity to capitalize on those searches, help those visitors learn what an SMO was, and explain all the important components of setting one up.

We figured that most of the customers searching for this term were looking for education and information regarding the subject.  Our goal was to build a lead nurturing campaign that provided tons of educational information and then smoothly brought the properly qualified organizations to our doorstep.

Results

In 6 months, we have gained seven new customers from this campaign.  Our deals are large, as we sell to large corporations, so this is substantial.

Here’s how we did it:

Campaign Overview - What is the Conversation?

Goal: Turn qualified website visitors into participants in our SMO™ Jumpstart Workshop.  This would position us to sell ITIL training and consulting services to them.

 

Timing

Piece

CTA

Success

Teaser/Promo

SMO Startup Kit

Download the Kit

45% conversion

 

Day 1

Getting Started:  Your SMO Startup Kit

Free SMO Consultation

1% clicks

 

Day 5

SMO Interview Guide:  Building Your Team

Download the Guide

10% clicks

 

Day 10

6 Gotchas When Building Your Own SMO

Download the Paper

12% clicks

 

Day 15

SMO Jumpstart Workshop

Buy

5% clicks

 

Teaser/Promo -  We call this our “go fishing” piece.  This is what we promote via email campaigns, blog entries, and social media to get attention.  Once downloaded, this is the trigger event that initiates the rest of the campaign.  We know that if somebody downloads a “SMO Startup Kit” then that organization is strongly considering SMO adoption.  Bingo.  Ideal customer. With a 45% conversion rate on this page, this is clearly a strong piece for us. 

From here, we developed a campaign where the follow up emails:

  1. Acknowledged what we knew about our prospects
  2. Introduced the next important concept in the process
  3. Were anchored with a Call to Action

For example:

  • Day 1:  Getting Started: Your SMO Startup Kit.  This email is a friendly reminder to read their new ebook and offers an opportunity to talk directly with a consultant to review the piece.  Although we have not had a huge volume of conversion on this step, the few that have requested the consultation have become customers.  This step converts highly-qualified leads who are ready to go.
  • Day 5:  SMO Interview Guide.  Following the story of our lead nurturing, if somebody has downloaded a SMO Startup Kit and is trying to do it independently, they will need staff to execute.  Thus, our interview guide is a logical next piece that they need. This landing page is highly popular and seems to get found outside of the lead nurturing campaign. We found a hot topic within the SMO discussion and have a 10% unique click rate on this step.
  • Day 10:  6 Gotchas When Building Your Own SMO. The customers attracted to this campaign are clearly considering a Service Management Office implementation.  Whether or not they downloaded the “Interview Guide,” this step works to gain awareness that “doing it on your own” has some downside. Obviously, we would like them to engage with us and let us help them skip those bumps.  
  • Day 15:  SMO Jumpstart Workshop.  In this step, we packaged a day-and-a-half-long workshop for $3,500. The workshop offers a clean, swift way to launch a SMO adoption program. We have had seven customers this step.  Although those are highly qualified leads, we are not yet satisfied with the volume of conversion here. Perhaps we are trying to sell too soon in the relationship. Perhaps the $3,500 is too large of a price tag for this step. We are examining this offer and will most likely make is something cheaper or free to allow us to engage with these potential customers in some more meaningful fashion.
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Gaining seven new customers in a six-month period is awesome in our business and we attribute the success of this to the strong story line in this campaign.  

Plexent’s Director of Marketing, Julie Montgomery, is a driving force behind the company’s dynamic corporate culture.  A respected industry leader in the IT industry with 15+ years’ experience in marketing, IT recruitment, and corporate human capital management, she graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a marketing emphasis. 

I HubSpot Because…

I HubSpot because Inbound Marketing is the way customers want to engage with us today.  It’s the new world!

 

tell-us-your-story_v2

Originally published Apr 24, 2012 10:00:00 AM, updated January 13 2014