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How We Grew This Home Builder from $8M to $26.3M Using Content Marketing 

CASE STUDY: See the simple, repeatable strategy for increasing inbound traffic, leads, and sales for businesses that sell high-end products or services. 
 

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The 3 big problems facing businesses that sell expensive products or services...

 
Problem #1 - Lack of a predictable way to generate new business

A boutique home builder came to us with one main problem - they only had a handful of leads coming in each month.

Barely enough to sustain their business, let alone grow it. 

They needed a way to generate a steady, predictable flow of leads to keep their business going. 

As we'll learn, they'd tried lots of different things already, and been burned in the process.

But nothing had worked consistently to give their sales team good quality leads to follow up and close...

Problem #2 - Lack of differentiation from competitors

They were having trouble setting themselves apart from other home builders. 

Without anything really showing they were different, they were reduced to competing on price.

They were not seen as thought leaders in their industry, but were another "me too" company. 

They needed to find a way to stand out from their competitors, show how they were different, and stop competing merely on price. 

Problem #3 - No process to educate and nurture leads until they’re ready to buy

Their sales team was wasting time following up bad leads. 

The sales process was clunky. A lead would come in and a sales rep would send out the company brochure.

Then the lead would be left to figure things out for themselves, coming back to the sales rep with any questions they had. 

Because of the long sales cycle in buying a home, it would often take 6-12 months for the person to be ready to make a decision. 

(A lot of times leads would gravitate across to a competitor who had stronger brand awareness). 

The only contact they had from the home builder during this time were the infrequent check ins from the sales rep. The rep didn't have a lot of value to add other than saying "have you made a decision yet?".

The result of this problem was a low win-rate of deals with time wasted on manual work in following up. 

Other problems 

This boutique home builder also struggled with:

  • Lack of clarity around the ROI on their marketing spend - they simply didn't know what to spend time and money on because they had no idea what was working and what wasn't. 
  • Trying to get their different sales and marketing systems (website, CRM, email tool, etc) talking to each other - they were trying to manage 5+ complicated sales and marketing tools, all while trying to run the business at the same time. 
  • Lack of internal marketing resources and knowledge to know what to do, or to implement a plan - as a small business, this home builder did not have a dedicated marketing team needed to create and implement an overarching strategy. 

 

THE SOLUTION

 

As you'll see later, this home builder had experienced "one disappointment after another" when trusting external provides with their marketing, and were ready to try something new. 

They approached us after a public speaking engagement at a marketing event and asked for help. 

Even though we mainly worked with B2B companies, this builder believed that our inbound & content marketing approach could work well for their business model because they were selling a high-end product with a long sales cycle. 

We agreed to work with them and immediately got to work implementing a content marketing game plan. 

 

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FIRST STEP - Building the Platform

The first thing we did was to set up HubSpot's all-in-one sales and marketing software for this boutique home builder. This would allow us to carry out the plan effectively, replace all the tools they were using unsuccessfully, and provide several other benefits:

  • A way to have all marketing assets in one place, including email marketing, lead gen landing pages, ad management, social media, and more.
  • A single source of truth when it came to tracking and reporting results. We could see the entire customer journey in one place.
  • Automation tools that would free up sales reps' time and nurture leads with effective content on autopilot.
  • "Closed loop" combined marketing and sales tools so sales reps could see marketing activity along with sales activity in the CRM.

We also worked closely with the home builder's team to understand their needs and challenges, and to train them in getting the most from their new all in one sales and marketing platform. 

Requirements for this step: HubSpot Marketing Pro software license

 

SECOND STEP - Creating the strategy and getting to work

We created a plan for this building company that would use inbound and content marketing to achieve several goals:

  • Increase organic rankings by publishing content that answered their customers' biggest questions.
  • Set them apart from their competitors by growing their brand and establishing them as the "go to" expert in their industry.
  • Provide their sales team with resources to share with prospects, giving them something to say other than "just checking in".
  • Educate and engage leads about the company's process and excite them by showing them completed projects

The way this looked was a weekly blog article addressing a new topic each week. For example, we'd blog about the differences between the way this home builder approaches design and what separates them from other builders

We'd write posts about how much you should expect to pay for a custom designed home, and whether you could get finance on certain types of homes such as kit homes. 

At the same time we performed conversion rate optimisation on their website, testing different content offers in different places, and using HubSpot's "Smart CTAs" to show different offers to people from different sources (e.g. email vs social media) based on their customer lifecycle stage. 

Image: Our most popular lead gen landing pages generated tens of thousands of leads and hundreds of customers with an average sale price of over $300K.  

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Requirements for this step: Content strategy roadmap; calls to action; landing pages; blog platform; conversion rate optimisation.

 

THIRD STEP - Amplifying the content and driving results

We promoted the content we created for this boutique builder using paid and organic strategies, including:

  • Paid search - Google ads to attract people actively searching for keywords around custom home building
  • Social media - regular posting to social media, as well as paid social to drive traffic to blog posts and lead gen pages
  • SEO - building links to key pieces of content to boost domain authority and rank higher in search across the board
  • Email marketing - As their email list grew, more and more people came back to the site from email updates

By amplifying the content in this way we ensured that as many people as possible saw the right content at the right time in their journey. 

Using clever ad targeting like "Lookalike" audiences and retargeting previous visitors, coupled with compelling and relevant content, we were able to get a low cost per lead from paid search and social. 

At the time of writing this case study, this client is generating, on average, 59 leads per day through their website alone, mostly from organic search and social (i.e. free leads now that the system is built and optimised). 

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Requirements for this step: Google Ads strategy; Facebook page and ad account + strategy; SEO strategy for driving organic traffic.

 

FOURTH STEP - Making the most of the leads generated

For the leads that we were now capturing, it was important not to leave them hanging indefinitely. 

So we created a lead nurture email drip sequence that would take our best content and put it in front of people who had just signed up. 

To do this we calculated the average time between someone going from a early stage lead to a customer, and mapped out content across that time period. 

If we published a great article 6 months ago, someone finding the site today might never see it. So we used the power of email automation to get these key pieces of content in front of new subscribers at the right time. 

The way we did this was to create a 10-part email drip sequence, with each email around 3-6 days apart. This meant that for the first few months after signing up, contacts would get helpful articles educating them about custom home building and the company's process. 

Every few emails there would be a customer success story, and occasionally an invitation to visit a display home or take a virtual tour, but only after providing lots of helpful information first. 

Tip: For email and social media, a good ratio of providing value vs "selling" is around 4:1. 

This automated email nurturing achieved three things:

  • It educated contacts about the product so they could make an informed buying decision
  • It achieved the 10+ touches required to build trust with a customer before they are ready to buy
  • It brought contacts back to the website to read the content and engage with product pages once again

After the email drip sequence finished we still needed a way to keep engaging contacts for the 6+ months sales cycle on buying a home. 

The way we did this was to send out an email every Saturday morning with that week's blog post. 

This would bring literally thousands of people back to the website each week to read the latest article, a percentage of whom would go on to browse product pages on the site and move closer to purchasing. 

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Requirements for this step: Email copywriting; HubSpot's email marketing tools.

 

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RESULTS

 

In the words of this home builder's Managing Director, "the results were amazing":

  • Website traffic increased from 8K visits per month to more than 25K visits per month
  • Email list growth to more than 29,000 subscribers (despite deleting hundreds of inactive subscribers each month)
  • Conversion rate on the website of visitors into leads increase by 273%
  • More efficient sales team who could now spend more time dealing with inbound leads who are ready to buy and less time "following up" 
  • An automated lead generation and sales machine that can be scaled up and down at will

 

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OVERALL IMPACT

 

All of these changes worked together to dramatically increase this home builder's annual revenue.

They went from around $8M turnover in 2015 (the graph says $4.5M because we only started tracking in May), to $26.3M turnover in 2019

This allowed them to supply hundreds of families with affordable, sustainable homes.

Most importantly, this growth allowed them to provide hundreds of new jobs in their local community and contribute to worthwhile community causes.

 

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During this time we worked with this client as if (in the Managing Director's words) we "were part of their team". We were their only marketing resource and continue to work with them closely.

This home builder is now set for their biggest year ever, with more than $6.8M pipeline revenue generated last month alone:

hubspot-home-builder-deal-pipeline

 

 

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ABOUT US

We help companies that sell high-end products and services attract, convert, and close more customers using content and inbound marketing. We only work with a handful of clients at time so that we can give each client the attention needed for results like these. Click the button below to get apply for a free strategy session, and start implementing these strategies in your own business. 

 

Core Team

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Damien Elsing

Founder & Lead Strategist
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Marinda Wilkinson

Content Strategy & Copywriting
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Jamie Gemell

Google Ads & SEO

 

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SERVICES WE PROVIDE

 

We provided a range of services to this client including:

  • Marketing strategy, training, & consulting
  • Content marketing, including content strategy and copywriting for blog posts, emails, and landing pages 
  • Advertising on Facebook, Google, Instagram, and LinkedIn
  • HubSpot marketing & sales software set up and management
  • Social media strategy & management of client Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts

If you'd like to see if we can help you achieve results like these, click on the button below, fill out the quick survey to determine if we can help, and if it's a good fit we'll prepare a plan of action and pricing for you. 

 

 

Get a Free Quote

 

 

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Who Is This For?

We will be able to help you if your business matches the following:

Must Have High Customer Value

Your customers/clients must have a high lifetime value of $3000 or more and a long sales cycle for this system to work. 

You Are a Small- to Mid-Sized Business

We act as an outsourced marketing department for small- to medium sized companies with turnover between $1M-$30M.

You Have a Way to Follow Up Leads

You must have one or more trained sales people who are able to follow up and close the leads we will generate for you. 

It Will Take Time to See Results

We don't offer a "magic bullet" for desperate businesses. We DO help you build an automated marketing funnel that attracts and nurtures inbound leads over the long term. 

Customer Reviews

For several years now I have entrusted Damien and the CLCK Digital team with my most precious business asset – my customers! I’ve never regretted it! Damien and his team handle this with aplomb, and I’m comfortable for Damien’s team to liaise with our customers directly.
Bruce Rasmussen
Managing Director, Carpe Diem Consulting
CLCK re-trained our staff and supplied them with an appreciation of who their customers were, where they came from and how they could engage with them. The results were amazing. We regularly achieved more solid leads in a week using the CLCK approach than we had been receiving on an annual basis.
Brian Mulcahy
Owner, Village Lifestyle Park
I had the pleasure of working with Damien on a number of web marketing projects at the Barefoot Investor. Damien brought a fresh perspective and professional approach to our team, and he was an absolute pleasure to work with.
Lauren Molan
Chief Writer/Producer, ABC
CLCK was a pleasure to work with and structured our campaign perfectly. It has been a massive success… I’ve had to pause the campaign because we have TOO many leads!
David Metekingi
Solar Watchdog

After experiencing one disappointment after the other in the online lead generation industry, we were ready to try something new. The CLCK team understood our challenges and got to work quickly.

The results have been amazing. Our Sales team have more than sufficient leads to draw from, sales are increasing beyond target and CLCK work with us as if they are part of our team.

Managing Director
Boutique Home Builder

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INCOME DISCLAIMER: The sales figures stated above are sales figures from (personal results, client results). Results are not typical. We are not implying that you will be able to duplicate these results and are using these references for example purposes only. Your results will vary and depend on many factors...including but not limited to your background, experience, and work ethic. All business entails risk as well as massive and consistent effort and action.