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Platinum Performance: What Happens When A Metal Company Goes Inbound

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Posted by: Clare Richards on Thu, Jun 28, 2018

I’ve got the answer to the question I know you’ve been asking your whole life. What happens when a metal company goes all in with their marketing? Okay, so maybe that wasn’t one of your burning life questions. But it should matter to you, and here’s why: $376,000 generated from inbound efforts alone in less than 18 months. That’s why.

Mead-Metals-Impact-Graphics-Money-01

Does Mead Metals sound familiar? We wrote about them last year to talk about some of the amazing things that have happened with their website redesign. But their story is too big to sum up in one blog post. Today I want to tell you about what happened when they went all in with their inbound marketing strategy (Hint: It was big).

Mead-SiteWe started working with Mead Metals in fall of 2016. They’re a metal service center that serves a wide variety of needs but specializes in high quality, low volume specialty metals. Fun fact: they’re the nation’s third-largest supplier of space-aged beryllium copper. Which is exactly as cool as it sounds.

They initially came to us because they needed a new website. That project was so incredibly successful (seriously the website is gorgeous) they partnered with us to help in other areas, namely their marketing strategy and execution. I’m serious, if you haven’t read the last blog, you have to. It’s the all-important prequel to this story. 

 

The Challenges & Solutions

The story is like an onion. It has lots of layers. You’ll have to stick with me because we’ve got a big story to tell. Within the inbound campaign, there were three primary areas of focus: Forms, Content Creation, and Sales Enablement. 

THE FORMS & LANDING PAGES - Fall of 2016

One of the only pieces of Mead Metal’s previous website that actually worked was a Quick Quote form. This, along with a boatload of persona research, indicated to us that their users are very active online users. They prefer succinct forms that give them results quickly. The previous forms were long and not very user-friendly.

 

Our solution was the marriage between good design and great inbound marketing tactics. First, we stripped as many of the unnecessary questions from the form as possible. What was the bare minimum that we could ask end consumers to get them the quote they needed? In addition, we followed best practices for landing pages. This included things like removing the navigation from the landing pages and adding white space.

MeadMetals_old-new_quote

(See this bad boy in action here)

THE CONTENT - Mid-2017 to Present 

Another challenge facing the Mead Metals team was the flow of information to the end consumer. Metal, as you might guess, is very precise and specific. Everything from the color to the physical and chemical properties matter. There were a lot of questions, but not a lot of answers available online. Instead, the valuable time of the Mead Metals sales reps was taken up by answering these consumer questions.

 

Our team pinpointed this as an opportunity almost immediately. There was a dire need for educational content about each of the products that Mead Metals had to offer. This would not only showcase Mead Metals as a thought leader in the industry, but we knew that this content would stand out. Frankly, there just wasn’t much out there for clear, easy-to-consume content about metal materials.

As part of the overarching inbound strategy, we created 10 white papers that covered all the important details about their metal products. We also proceeded to write and publish over fifty blogs about everything from industry innovation to specific FAQs regarding each metal type.

Resource-Mead-Mockup

(Come on. We know you want to see this thing live. Check it out!)

 
SALES ENABLEMENT - Early 2018 

Really successful people don’t quit while they're ahead. Neither should businesses. We saw some incredible results from the inbound marketing efforts immediately after the website launched, and have seen an impressive ramp up since. But neither LI nor Mead Metals was satisfied with keeping efforts status quo. We knew there was an entire world of opportunity just waiting to be explored. We quickly identified sales enablement as one of the first opportunities to dive into.

 

This breaks down into two parts:

  1. Cold Customer Engagement: They’ve been around for 50 years. As you can imagine, they’ve had a lot of clients over the years. What they didn’t have was a great way of re-engaging cold clients. And now, with a 46 percent increase in new accounts since the website was launched, their sales reps didn’t exactly have time for outreach to these cold leads.

    We knew from our own experience, as well as from what we’ve done for many of our clients, that we’d be able to help alleviate this pain for the Mead Metals team. We automated the process by creating an “Information Update” landing page and emailing 995 of their old accounts asking them to update their details for us. This gave us an easy “in” with some of the old clients to start nurturing them again.

  2. Better Sales Process: Okay, so anyone in sales knows that a good process can make or break you. And Mead Metals had a problem - albeit a good one. Their sales increased pretty dramatically over a short period of time, giving them very little time to install some important foundationally processes to help things go smoothly. The kicker was that one of Mead Metal’s value offerings - truly a differentiator - was that they promised to get back to consumers within four hours of a request. In the persona research early on, we found that this quick response time was incredibly important in obtaining new clients. YIKES. I mean, that’s amazing. But SO hard.

    Once again, we knew that we could help with this pain point. With a lofty promise of a four hour response time, we knew we needed to help automate the contact process. We set up a workflow to assign an “owner” per contact that alternated between their five internal sales reps. From there, the rep would be sent a notification whenever a contact filled out a Quick Quote or Contact Us on the website. Not only did this distribute the leads evenly amongst the sales reps, but it streamlined the response process by eliminating a middleman to organize the leads.

The Results

I mentioned this before: This blog is a lot. I realize that but I’m not a quitter, and neither are you! Plus, this is the best part of the entire blog. This is where my nerdy, marketing brain gets to spew some fat stats at you. 

THE FORMS & LANDING PAGES

These new forms and landing pages were well designed, optimized, and easier for the user to fill out. They focused on the user’s preference, rather than assumptions about what the Mead Metals team would eventually need. They streamlined the contact process by grabbing a user’s attention with high-contract Calls-To-Action. All-in-all, they were pretty nice. And what did all that work get us?

  • Landing page views are up by 70 percent since mid-2016
  • Submissions are up by 77.5 percent since mid-2016
  • Conversion rate is up by 4.3 percent since mid-2016
  • Their average landing page conversion rate is 27.1 percent
  • Their best landing page is converting at a 57.2 percent with 131 submissions year-to-date.
  • The 2nd best landing page has a 49.5 percent conversion rate with 118 submissions
  • Their bottom-of-funnel landing page to “Request a Quick Quote” has a 37.9 percent conversion rate with 430 submissions so far this year. This is up from the previous 25 percent conversion rate from the previous website. 

Mead-LP-Stats

 
THE CONTENT

We all know that content is important. I probably don’t need to remind you why, but just in case: SEO baby! How do you expect Google to find you if you don’t have content? So yes - having optimized content on their website has done wonders for their organic search. Behold:

Mead-Ogranic-Search


But not just the organic search has seen huge increases. After all, our initial desire was to get important and complex information into the hands of the consumers who craved it. And let’s just say, mission accomplished.

People are finding and consuming the blog:

Mead-Blog-Performance 

People are downloading the whitepapers:

Mead-LP-Performance
SALES ENABLEMENT

Streamlining the customer re-engagement, as well as streamlining the contact submission process, has proven to be an extremely successful endeavor. The user responses for the cold lead “Update Your Information” landing page was much higher than we anticipated. These emails averaged a 47 percent click-through rate to the landing page, which in turn received a 57 percent conversion rate.

The results of creating a workflow to streamline their sales process is a little harder to show with screenshots and numbers, but the effects are possibly even more impactful. Ensuring that Mead Metals is able to serve their customers quickly without inflicting internal pressure has enormous value. After all, the conversion rate doesn’t matter if the customer service sucks.

 

The Impact

You might be a little overwhelmed with all of the data. I’m not done.

The simple fact of the matter is that everything connects with everything. And everything is inbound. So I’ve got to share some of the overarching metrics to really give you an understanding of the success Mead Metals has seen as a result of our partnership efforts over the last year and a half.


OVERARCHING METRICS

  1. In late 2016, they generated 143 new contacts and $177k in new customer revenue
  2. In 2017, they generated 161 new contacts and $199k in new customer revenue
  3. In 2018, they're pacing to generate 210 new contacts and $235k in new customers revenue.

 

Mead-Metals-Impact-Graphics-Quote-01-01

 

So far in 2018 alone, the Mead Metals website has had (compared to the previous period)...

  • A 122.4 percent increase in Sessions
  • A 61.2 percent increase in New Contacts
  • 96 closed customers
  • Email sends are up 168.8 percent
  • Email opens are up 81.2 percent
  • Email clicks are up 192.6 percent

Mead-All-Marketing-Stats

 

Turns out that all you need for solid success is an optimized website, a solid inbound marketing plan, a couple workflows, and maybe just a pinch of space-aged beryllium copper.

Mead Metals, we love being your partner as much as you love annealed spring steel, phosphor bronze, and beryllium copper combined.

Mead-Metals-Impact-Graphics-Love-01

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Clare Richards

About The Author

Clare Richards

A deep love of art and design drives me as I navigate the ever-changing waters of marketing. I am constantly looking for new and better ways to give the inbound marketing methodology the beautiful face it deserves. As the Art Director, I ensure that all of the design work we produce is top notch and designed with a purpose. When I’m not trying to solve creative problems, my life revolves around my family and friends, my passion for music, and my addiction to stories.

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