About the Client
Big Duck is a marketing agency focused on helping non-profits be better fundraisers, faster recruiters, and smarter communicators. We first collaborated with Big Duck in 2013 to redesign, rebuild and integrate their website for the first time with a CRM (Salesforce) and marketing automation system (ActOn Software). We began by creating an interactive prototype to document our information architecture and user experience design recommendations, which the Big Duck team then took and interpreted with a new visual design system. We then handled the production and integration, and trained their team on how to effectively use Salesforce and ActOn to drive new business
Since the initial project completion, we work directly with the Big Duck team on an ongoing monthly basis, helping them to strategize how to use marketing automation to achieve their new business development goals. We assist by recommending best practices and use-case scenarios for utilizing automated program workflows and lead scoring in a way that will work for their specific needs. We then review the results, make adjustments, and guide them on how to use tools, such as A/B testing, to continually optimize these campaigns.
The Results of Content Commitment
Big Duck has committed to hitting some truly ambitious benchmarks that we set before them. They have specific, numeric targets for attracting new prospects to their website, informing them with expert thought leadership content, and ultimately converting them into qualified opportunities. To do this, they are adding over 3,000 words of unique, high-quality, indexable content to the website every month, resulting in a 40% increase in web traffic, a 40% increase in organic search traffic, and an astonishing 2,500% increase in email traffic
Without a dedication to also promoting their content via email and utilizing marketing automation to send out targeted, personalized emails in a timely manner, none of this would be possible.
What makes these gains even more notable is that while increasing publication and promotion over a much larger audience, Big Duck has maintained a conversion rate on their website of 4%, meaning that 4 out of every 100 visitors to the site is responding to some sort of call-to-action, voluntarily sharing information about themselves and converting from an anonymous visitor into a known lead.
The overall result is that 95% of the leads that now appear in Big Duck’s CRM have been in some way nurtured and developed by the website.
As Big Duck’s lead volume has increased, their quality has remained very high. In fact, almost 30% of all opportunities tracked in their CRM in 2015 originated from a website call to action (resource download, webinar registration, contact form, etc.).
From Marketing to Opportunity
While the numbers are tantalizing, the stories behind some of their new opportunities are even more compelling. In August, 2014 — just 6 months after launching their site — we received an email from Sarah Durham, the CEO of Big Duck, letting us know about an exciting new development
“In yesterday’s open house, the new director of communications for one of our ‘wish list’ clients showed up. They have been on Big Duck’s wish list for years: it would be a real coup for us to get them as a client. When we asked her how she heard about us she said she googled ‘nonprofit branding’ or ‘nonprofit communications’ and we came right up! She’s poked around on the site, liked what she saw, and came by.
We won a big project with a long-time wishlist nonprofit client thanks to our overhauled SEO practices (they found us through an online search) and an automated program (they were added to a program, received invited to an event, showed up, and we got the opportunity to really connect with them). A few weeks later we signed a contract.”– Sarah Durham, Big Duck
The “Aha” Moment
For Big Duck, the value of this new opportunity cannot be understated. Not only was it a considerable feat to attract them in the first place, but since winning this new account — and doing an initial project with their new client — the subsequent opportunity available to them has grown tenfold. This underscores a profound truth for Big Duck and all agencies that employ this form of expertise-driven content marketing: that it not only creates new opportunity, but that it keeps creating opportunity, deepening the value of initial wins as accounts mature and client continue to learn what their agency is capable of.