Where does your brand struggle most? Capturing a potential customer’s attention? Fostering engagement with that customer once you’ve come to their attention? Or building a relationship after they’ve engaged with your brand?
Whatever part of your funnel you’re looking to improve, in this article we have a case study to help you get unstuck and spark your next great idea. Read on for examples from global law firm Nixon Peabody, a SaaS company, and an affiliate giftspiration website.
This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
“People are not falling into our funnel; they are falling out. The metaphor must be inverted,” Flint McGlaughlin teaches in Sales Funnel Copy: Five questions to help you create powerful message levers.
To spark your best ideas for getting more people into your funnel, and keeping them flowing through, in this article we bring you a case study for each of three key steps in your funnel:
The team behind ParentPresents.com has pivoted its strategy several times. They bought the domain last February and created the website last March so it is still really early in the company's history. However, they believe they are now on the right track. Let’s see what you can learn from this journey to capture attention for your brand.
When they first created the site, they hypothesized that this "giftspiration" space lacked a brand and that there was an opportunity to create a brand that young adults could rely on to help them find gift ideas for their parents.
“We monetize the site through affiliate programs – right now primarily Amazon,” said Matt Carlson, Founder, ParentPresents.com.
“This online affiliate giftspiration space is heavily dominated by SEO-optimized websites like; giftlab.co , dodoburd.com, thegiftyak.com to name a few,” Carlson said. The team’s plan was to compete in this space, but with a slight social media play to go along with it.
“For Mother's Day and Father's Day of 2022 I was doing static posts on Instagram and Pinterest that I was designing on Canva,” Carlson said.
Creative Sample #1: Instagram post for affiliate giftspiration website
The team would then boost these posts to garner a higher reach. “I had virtually no reach on my Instagram with these static posts. I paid $50 to boost a post on Pinterest and made $21 in affiliate income in return,” Carlson said.
The team decided that the only way to really scale this brand to capture attention of shoppers before the holiday shopping season was to try to make viral video content. “So I partnered with a video production agency, Good Monday Productions, and started putting out funny relatable content in early October,” Carlson said.
He worked closely with them and is featured in much of the content himself. “We are posting the same videos to our Instagram, Facebook Reels and TikTok,” Carlson said.
They had several types of creative:
But for the most part the goal was to have funny and entertaining social media accounts. “Overall, the goal of our Instagram page is to be entertaining,” Carlson said.
Creative Sample #2: Street interview Instagram video for affiliate giftspiration website
“I believe the secret sauce to our success which has been a lost art in the recent years is Guerilla Marketing and Street Marketing – the world has gone so digital that it is almost unheard of to do street marketing anymore. Modern-day startups throw money into SEO and social ads – any company that is willing to go out and do guerilla marketing is going to garner attention and stand out because nobody else is doing it,” Carlson said.
Creative Sample #3: Sign for affiliate giftspiration website on local ABC news station’s coverage of SantaCon
“We have also been at every Jets and Giants home game since Thanksgiving as well as the Patriots/Bills Thursday night game and had someone at the Bucs/Saints Monday Night game. We were also at the Rockefeller Center Tree lighting in New York City on November 30th,” Carlson said.
Since deciding to prioritize short-form video content on October 28, 2022, the company’s Instagram reach has grown 456,700% to 2,334,287 and the account now has 2,489 followers.
“Guerilla marketing got us to #1 on Google for our branded search term. I strongly believe that ‘Parent Presents’ got Googled and clicked on enough as a result of our guerilla/street marketing and social content that we climbed the rankings and now rank at the top of Google for our brand term, with hardly any backlinks,” Carlson said.
“ParentPresents.com isn't even a year-old yet but both of these strategies were highly cost effective, and we have reached a really large audience and got to that #1 spot on Google which was a major goal of ours,” he concluded.
“As we considered ways to highlight Nixon Peabody’s focus on creating positive impact, we knew that reimagining our website would be an integral part of the process,” said Danielle Wuschke Paige, Chief Marketing & Growth Officer, Nixon Peabody.
The previous website was difficult to navigate and included a wealth of outdated information (more than 12,000 pages).
“Our website is our most valuable digital asset, visited by current and potential clients, prospective job candidates, and the firm’s community partners, among others. It was imperative that we created a seamless and human-first experience for these audiences, getting them to their preferred content as efficiently as possible,” Paige said.
The Am Law 100 firm worked with Merkle to redesign its website (Am Law 100 is a list of the 100 highest-grossing law firms in the country). Here are three specific before-and-after examples from the overall website redesign to give you ideas for engaging your prospective customers with your own website redesign projects.
The previous website for the global law firm included a “Team” callout in the navigation, but rather than linking to its own dedicated page, there was a search dropdown. Employee images were not featured alongside team member profiles and there was no way to obtain individual contact information on the website if a client was looking for a specific attorney.
Creative Sample #4: Before – ‘Team’ search dropdown on global law firm’s website
For the new website, the navigation was designed so clients can click on the people page featured directly in the site navigation and find the city, phone number, and email address next to each attorney’s picture to help website users connect with Nixon Peabody’s people.
Creative Sample #5: After – ‘Our people’ page on redesigned website for global law firm
Nixon Peabody’s previous thought leadership consisted of about 12,000 pages of content that were tedious to maintain and update, causing much of it to become quickly outdated. When prospective clients had difficulty locating the right legal resources on the website, it hindered how effective thought leadership was for attracting potential clients.
Creative Sample #6: Before – ‘Thought leadership’ page on global law firm’s website
The new website’s foundation is on Sitecore Experience Platform with an integration of Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) and headless architecture. This means instead of a prospect sifting through pages of outdated information, Nixon Peabody can maintain its content with recent and relevant alerts, articles, and podcasts – all while maintaining a consistent omnichannel experience due to the headless architecture.
Creative Sample #7: After – Featured insights, alerts, and articles on redesigned website for global law firm
The original search function on the website was a basic dropdown with categories for individuals to click. However, website users could not use their own words to type in what they were looking for. This limited users to choosing one of the practices or industries listed and trying to find what they were looking for from there.
Creative Sample #8: Dropdown-style “search” functionality on previous website for global law firm
Keywords for industries, legal practices, and value-added services were used throughout the website copy, with locations listed multiple times to improve the likelihood that the individual finds Nixon Peabody through search. Nixon Peabody also opted for Solr search-like facets and suggester text to engage and guide the user through the website and will integrate GeoIP for location-specific dynamic content in the future.
Creative Sample #9: After – True search functionality (with suggester text) on global law firm’s website
With the launch of its new website, Nixon Peabody has seen improvements in website performance, including:
“We've been experimenting at Plainly quite a bit when it comes to marketing,” said Nebojsa Savicic, Co-founder, Plainly.
At the end of pages in the video tool’s Workflow Gallery, there is a CTA for a demo. The demo is delivered by the company’s small sales team. “As for my sales team, it’s just me and another person. We’re a bootstrapped company that got the first investment from the National Innovation Fund and are now a part of the startup accelerator program,” Savicic said.
Creative Sample #10: Book a demo CTA for SaaS company
The team originally had a standard 30-minute demo call but wondered if the call was too long. “We’re more about showing what the software can do than convincing the prospect to subscribe,” Savicic said.
With the 30-minute demo call, Savicic believed that people feel the obligation to fill out the entire meeting time, which leads to them asking questions they are not genuinely interested in, just to keep the conversation going. It looked something like this:
They decided to experiment with a 15-minute demo call, believing that much of this was unnecessary.
“I have a set of prepared questions as I do my research on the company once they book a demo via the Calendly link,” Savicic said. On the discovery call, they state that it’s not a sales call but a demonstration of Plainly and a conversation. And the call has been tightened up to:
If it’s a larger account, they usually do one more demo with a larger team.
“The thing about the 15-min demo CTA is that it’s essentially a psychological hack,” he said. The meetings usually go over 15 minutes, because prospects are interested and start asking questions and talking. They even start apologizing for taking more of Plainly’s time. “Also, in my Calendly, I have 15-minute breaks between each time slot, which allows me to extend the time if the prospect is all fired up and keeps asking questions,” Savicic said.
Shortening the demo from 30 minutes to 15 minutes improved the team’s close rate by 27%.
“To better serve the customer, I’ve learned I need to be respectful of their time and give them the answers that they want, not the answers that I would like to share. I don't believe in aggressive selling or being pushy. I’m here because I’ve built a great product and it takes just 15 minutes to become aware of that fact,” he concluded.
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