DelCor provides digital and IT services strictly for nonprofits and associations. They wanted to amplify organic attraction of those audiences and had manual processes in place for qualifying leads that met 501C status. With only one person running DelCor’s online and offline marketing program, capacity was a serious challenge.
To overcome these challenges, DelCor required:
- Clearly defined buyer personas to guide messaging, drive organic visits to the website and convey the precise ways that DelCor could serve their audience.
- An overhaul of the backend of their HubSpot portal for improved strategic planning, reporting and user experience — from template development to form strategy and lifecycle stage implementation.
- A team to support and implement inbound strategy, search optimization and website optimization.
DelCor needed a partner who could establish the foundations for inbound success, act as an extension of the marketing department and provide ongoing optimization of the website and lifecycle nurturing strategies. They came to New Breed because we could help clean up the data and design files and provide extensive knowledge of the ways to attract and convert a defined audience, as well as support them with expert, attentive customer service.
New Breed's solution
1. Establish inbound foundations.
Our first project with DelCor involved establishing buyer personas and creating conversion maps to breathe life into the team’s inbound methodology. With a clear understanding of the influencers and decision-makers within prospective 501C organizations, we could then establish the right conversion strategies to engage these audiences.
Next, we brought DelCor through our Inbound Readiness workshop, which is designed to configure marketing and sales platforms for better team alignment, provide clear documentation of internal processes and create a full-funnel reporting structure. In this workshop, our team mapped DelCor's funnel to their new buyer personas, standardized their form strategy and established lead qualification and handoff processes to move leads efficiently through their marketing and sales funnel.
Since DelCor only works with 501C organizations, form strategy was critical in automating the qualification process. By simply adding a drop-down field where the contact identifies whether they work for a nonprofit, association or for-profit organization, we were able to assign the “other” lifecycle stage to any unqualified leads, so the internal DelCor team wouldn’t waste time researching and hand-qualifying every single conversion.
2. Establish a unified SEO and content strategy.
The New Breed team created a persona-based editorial calendar and merged it with DelCor’s internal editorial calendar.
Our SEO team provided keyword research for all topics, so now each new blog post is optimized for search and internal linking. The SEO team also re-optimized scores of older blog posts to build off of the search authority already being generated.
We also set up the HubSpot Content Strategy tool and built out topic clusters for strategically selected phrases meant to fortify DelCor’s service offerings. Now, optimized blog posts are linked to and from optimized pillar pages for a holistic approach to organic traffic growth.
3. Create a user-friendly web experience.
To say the webpage templates from the previous agency were a tangled mess would be an understatement. When we’d try to make an update to a service listing, we’d notice a corresponding design breakdown in the resource center. What started out as basic web support quickly turned into full-scale website premier services. Our web team developed new sub-page templates that looked better to the end-user, encouraged engagement and were easier to update from the back end. We updated the homepage design to reflect DelCor’s modern and authoritative standing as an IT leader for nonprofits and associations and added more conversion opportunities above the fold.
Additionally, we redesigned and launched a new blog section with a more navigable and pleasing design.
4. Develop conversion opportunities and post-download nurture campaigns.
DelCor has a great selection of top-of-the-funnel resources, so it was just a matter of making them more visible to site visitors. We built visual calls-to-action and implemented them along with lead flows on related blog posts and site pages.
We optimized DelCor’s landing pages by updating the copy and A/B testing designs and headline text. We also built out thank you pages to help the visitor continue their journey on the site. After implementing these best practices, we began to achieve more views and conversions on more offers and will continue optimizing based on test results.
Since it’s not always the case that a first-time visitor or converter is ready to talk to DelCor’s sales team right away, we needed nurture campaigns to keep prospects engaged and educated toward taking their next step in the buyer’s journey. We started out by taking the four top-converting content offers and building out post-download nurture campaigns with related content that ultimately demonstrates DelCor’s value and invites the recipient to request a consultation.
We’ve also supported in the development, publication and promotion of two new content offers. One of which is an interactive tool that helps the participant identify their level of IT Maturity, which then ties into DelCor’s claim to fame, the IT Maturity Model. Together, these resources help 501C professionals identify their current IT Maturity level within the nonprofit/association landscape and then reveals the next steps to take to reach a new level of maturity.
5. Reduce the noise from unqualified traffic.
In terms of the actual count of contacts being generated, DelCor seemed to perform around the industry benchmark. This is because there was one gated offer that, due to its general and broadly appealing topic, was generating a disproportionate amount of non-501C leads each month. Unviable prospects were cluttering the contact database and inflating conversion metrics.
The solution was to un-gate the offer so when people happen across it organically, they don’t need to become a known contact in order to access the guide. By un-gating this offer, we ended the influx of junk leads filling the database.
6. Clean up an outdated database.
More than 50 percent of DelCor’s contact database were contacts migrated from a previous CRM — and just as many had gone untouched in over a year. To better understand the viability of nurturing DelCor’s contacts, a permission pass campaign and contact cleanout were in order.
The premise of the permission pass campaign was to “check in” and make sure DelCor was providing the most relevant information, so the request within the email was to update email preferences. We segmented the emails by clients and non-clients and whether they were currently engaged or unengaged.
Through these sends, plus the help of the incredibly useful Kickbox integration, we purged the database of outdated contacts. We expect to see better email metrics and a proportionately more responsive contact database.
Results and impact
Over the course of the year, we were able to increase overall traffic by 60% and organic traffic by 69%.
By gating and promoting content offers and un-gating an offer that generated valueless contacts, we increased total count of qualified leads within the year by 107% and decreased the number of unqualified leads taking up space in the contact database.
- Increased qualified online sourced leads generated by 107%
- Increased qualified online sourced leads from organic by 553%
Before the engagement, DelCor’s top searched non-branded queries were terms that did not align with their actual solutions and were part of the reason so many unqualified leads were entering the system.
As we near the end of 2018, their top non-branded search queries were directly related to their solutions. Since setting up the Content Strategy tool and building out strategic topic clusters, DelCor’s top clicked search queries have dramatically increased in volume and the terms have shifted from irrelevant to high-fit, lead-generating terms that bring quality traffic to the blog and the most contextual site pages.
- 10,025% increase in non-branded search impressions
- 3,240% increase in non-branded clicks
DelCor’s marketing team may be small in size, but with the right inbound pieces in place, they can now attract, convert and nurture new prospects at scale, while tending to myriad other marketing efforts.
By implementing a form and conversion strategy based on qualifying criteria, we reduced the time needed to investigate leads that were never qualified to start. Removing unengaged contacts has given us the opportunity to declutter the contact database and focus our segmentation and nurturing efforts. By making the most of the existing templates, we improved UX and sitewide engagement metrics in the interim while new templates are being created. With a focused SEO strategy, we used the Content Strategy tool to optimize existing posts, identify new topics and boost DelCor’s organic ranking for non-branded terms.
Ultimately, we built an inbound engine starting from the solid foundation of persona development and HubSpot configuration all the way up to contextual messaging, aligned SEO and content and an improved onsite experience.
As the engagement continued into 2019, the New Breed and DelCor team took a strong focus in web design, nurturing and optimization to continue engaging high-fit leads onsite.
We planned to build upon the inbound foundation with new landing page, email and thank you page templates. From there, the plan was to redesign the homepage to match DelCor’s updated branding and provide clear and value-adding conversion paths for visitors.
All of this would culminate in filling the rest of the pipeline with contextual nurture campaigns and strategies to drive bottom-of-the-funnel conversions by leveraging lead flows, bots, continued form strategy and landing page optimization.