CSI Accounting & Payroll logo in blue and white 


LEAD GENERATION case study:
INCREASING TRAFFIC AND CONVERSIONS
FOR AN ACCOUNTING FIRM


 the challenge:

LACK OF STRATEGY, TRAFFIC, AND ONLINE LEADS


Many companies are still paying for contact lists and cold calling prospects out of the blue. While this type of interruption marketing has worked for professional services firms in the past, its effectiveness has definitely diminished.

To combat this issue, more and more businesses are looking to improve their online presence and lead generation efforts. CSI Accounting & Payroll is an example of such a business.

CSI has always maintained strong close rates when a sales representative is able to sit down and meet with a small business owner.

Getting that face-to-face meeting, however, became increasingly difficult with traditional methods of marketing and outreach, which meant the firm needed to rely on its website to attract and convert more contacts.

This exposed three challenges:

  1. Website traffic was too low to generate a sufficient number of contacts.
  2. If visitors did find the site, there was a lack of content and conversion opportunities.
  3. Goals for key performance indicators were not set, tracked, or analyzed.

To get more consultations, CSI needed a high-performing website, built on a platform to monitor and optimize lead generation, as well as a strategy for inbound marketing campaigns.

300% Increase in traffic
625% Increase in contacts
CSI Header 2.jpg

 
"The decision to stick with HubSpot and Denamico on a retainer basis was an easy one. Our expertise is accounting and payroll. They’ve got us covered in terms of inbound marketing strategy and campaign management."

Brian Paulson, Owner of CSI Accounting & Payroll

 THE SOLUTION:

3 Phases of inbound growth to generate new business

Our services for CSI Accounting & Payroll included developing a strategic inbound marketing blueprint, building the inbound marketing engine on HubSpot’s COS and CRM, and campaign implementation. Each phase was coordinated to address challenges CSI was facing in a strategic order of events, which we’ll illustrate here.

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Phase 1: Develop an Inbound Marketing Strategy

CSI lacked clarity and direction when it came to online lead generation. They knew they needed to rely on their website more, but didn’t know how to develop a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy.

That’s when our inbound marketing blueprint made sense. The blueprint is a strategy for inbound marketing and a specific plan for execution.

  • First, we gathered information about CSI’s marketing and sales goals, key buyer personas, current marketing tactics, website functionality, domain authority, and existing content assets.
  • Next, we identified ways to target and attract their key buyer personas, which turned out to be restaurant owners and auto repair shop owners.
  • Then, we followed up with strategies for website improvements, content creation, conversion optimization, marketing automation, email marketing, social media engagement, and search engine ranking opportunities.

CSI was now armed with an inbound strategy, but they still needed assistance getting started on HubSpot, revamping their site, creating new content, and setting up marketing automation.

Orange circle with orange number two

Phase 2: Build the Inbound Marketing Engine

Having an inbound strategy is a great start, but when it came to implementing successful inbound marketing campaigns, CSI relied on us to provide additional support.

Our team of content creators set out to create premium content offers, blog posts, monthly newsletters, and social media posts based on the two primary personas.

Each content offer was mapped to the buyer’s journey and was supported with lead nurturing email workflows.

Here’s a breakdown of the restaurant campaign:

  • 90-day editorial calendar addressing identified pain points from restaurant owners and operators.

  • Awareness Offer [excel template]: Monthly Accounting Template for Restaurants, including industry specific calculations (i.e. food and labor costs). This offer provides instant value for owners who aren’t necessarily ready for monthly accounting services quite yet.

  • Consideration Offer [ebook]: Accounting Comparison Chart for Restaurants, covering different levels of services and market differentiators between national and local accounting service providers.

  • Decision Offer [consultation]: Schedule a Free Consultation. As a goal for CSI, we wanted to nurture leads to sign up for a consultation.

We also built the marketing automation components for the campaign, including:

  • Landing pages for the offers
  • Conversion forms
  • Thank-you pages
  • Email workflows
  • Calls to action (CTAs)

With the initial campaign in place, CSI was well-positioned to start collecting new online contacts. But this wasn’t a set-and-forget scenario.

CSI website displayed on a Mac, iPhone, and iPad

 

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Phase 3: Ongoing Campaign Management & Growth-Driven Design

CSI is focused on providing outstanding monthly accounting and payroll services to clients. They wanted to remain focused on their daily activities and responsibilities. As such, we stayed on as strategic partners and content creators.

“The decision to stick with HubSpot and Denamico on a retainer basis was an easy one. Our expertise is accounting and payroll. They’ve got us covered in terms of inbound marketing strategy and campaign management.” – Brian Paulson, Owner

In addition to writing blog posts (2x a week) and conducting promotion on social media, we also created monthly newsletters to drive more traffic back to the site and to re-engage contacts with educational content.

At the same time, we monitored the content based on traffic and conversion rates, and optimized marketing automation tactics to achieve better results on a continuous basis.  

We also launched new campaigns to target other industries and supported those initiatives with industry-specific website pages as part of our growth-driven design methodology.

 


 

THE RESULTS:

CSI had little to no online presence prior to implementing HubSpot and inbound marketing. Sure, they had a website, but it wasn’t working to their goal of generating new contacts.

We knew inbound marketing would work for the accounting firm, but that it wasn’t going to a short-term fix. Although it did take time to develop an overall strategy, build a lead-generating website through content and marketing automation, and optimize campaigns based on data-driven decisions, we have seen substantial success for CSI in terms of growing organic traffic and new contacts.

 

Organic Traffic

In 2016, we focused our efforts to increase overall traffic. An aggressive editorial calendar based on industry-related keywords helped boost monthly organic traffic by 300% over the past 19 months.

monthly organic traffic

 

New Contacts

Noticing the gains in website traffic within the first quarter of 2017, we shifted our focus to optimize conversion rates. Using growth-driven design methodology, we updated website pages, navigation, and landing pages throughout Q1. Compared to the previous two quarters, new contacts were up 535%, conversions jumped 368%, and submission rates hit 419% by the end of Q2 2017. Over the same period of time, landing page views only increased by 10%.

Over the 19 month window of analysis, new contacts by month jumped 625%. The  cumulative view of the contacts report shows the impact of the website changes combined with increases in organic traffic.

contacts graph

In addition to the increased number of new contacts, CSI has also noticed a difference in quality when it comes to inbound leads. 

“Compared to the people on the lists we use for cold calling, the contacts that find us through our website are much more qualified to begin conversations with our sales team.” – Lee Goudzwaard-Vaught, Business Development Manager


 

What's next?

While the three phases have achieved great results, we are continuing to implement best practices that result in closed-loop reporting (customers from inbound marketing efforts) with the CSI team.

Phase 4 has included working to align CSI’s sales and marketing efforts to better reflect customer data in HubSpot’s CRM.

As the reporting becomes more efficient, we’ll be able to help CSI quantify their inbound marketing ROI based on dollar amounts in addition to marketing metrics. That’s certain to get any accountant excited.

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