Growth Driven Design: What’s Wrong with Traditional Web Design?

We’ve been doing traditional web design for almost 12 years now. In that time a common theme has continuously repeated itself. A potential client usually has one of these four problems with their website.

  • Our website is broken, features that used to work no longer function.
  • We haven’t updated our website in years, we’re too busy.
  • We need (insert hot new feature here), because everyone else has it.
  • Nobody can find us on Search engines.

If you haven’t made a blog post in six months, that’s going to hurt your rankings. Or if you’re creating content that is not being shared maybe you’re talking to the wrong people. In addition to creating a website that it woefully out of date and ineffective in building an engaged client base, traditional web design is incredibly risky. Traditional web design suffers from the following risks:

Significant up-front costs

A typical small business can expect to spend $15,000 to $50,000 on a new website. In traditional web design, this money is often paid before any measurements are taken on the effectiveness of the site. That’s just bad business.

These problems are endemic to the current web-design cycle that is prevalent in the industry. Traditional Web Design Process is built around a redesigned website every 1.5 to 2 years. The site sees modest growth after relaunch then stagnate while waiting for the next cycle to begin. The other problem with traditional web design is search engines reward sites that provide consistent content updates.

Growth-Driven Design Ebook, Sage Lion Media

Significant time commitment

Time is money, too, especially in a small business environment. Launching a new website often requires a substantial time commitment from staff and management over the course of up to six months. With everything on your plate right now, can you imagine taking all that on?

No follow-through

It’s six months after the launch of your site. You’ve spent thousands of dollars in design fees. You’ve spent dozens of hours away from running your business. The website looks great. But, does it meet your goals? Some parts of the site, probably. EVERYTHING? No way.

Web designers really don’t know for certain what is going to be effective for your unique product or service needs. Design decisions are typically based on hypothesis and experience, not data. And, traditionally, web designers are not around to follow up on the effectiveness of what they just built for you.

Growth Driven Design Can Help Your Business Grow

I hesitate to say traditional web design is broken, but it’s seriously flawed. Luckily there is a better way. Using Growth Driven Design principles we create a launchpad site that allows us to collect data on users. We use that data to refine the site over time. So instead of a huge upfront cost for a site that provides temporary success, we become a partner with you and grow a successful site based on data, not guesswork.

If you want to learn more be sure to download our Growth Driven Design Ebook. It goes into extensive detail on the GDD process and benefits of the system to your business.

Originally Published: September 28, 2016

Updated: March 7, 2019


4 Reasons Your Nonprofit Should Have A Blog

Content marketing is dominating marketing trends and if everyone was blogging and doing it well, we’d leave you alone. Due to shrinking budgets and overworked staff, blogging has taken a backseat for many nonprofits. Producing quality blogs and posting consistently can be taxing on nonprofits. But what if we told you:

These are powerful stats. As much as we want to fight this trend because of lack of time and resources, blogging can have an impressive impact on a nonprofit. Blogging gives nonprofits the chance to share their story, motivate donors, and keep people abreast of important issues.

Consistency Is Key

According to HubSpot, companies that prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. When companies produce 16+ blog posts per month, they get 3.5x more traffic and 4.5x more leads than companies publishing 0-4 a month. For nonprofits, this translates to higher awareness and a growing donor list. Now posting 16 blogs a month for any size nonprofit is asking a lot. But the point is, if you’re not blogging regularly, you won’t see positive results.

Quality Over Quantity

More blog posts can lead to higher web traffic but it is important to produce quality posts. If you’re pumping out blog posts just to hit a certain number, readers will sense that and quit reading. Not only will they quit visiting your website, they’ll tell others. Telling an effective nonprofit story that resonates with potential donors and volunteers is more important than posting three blogs a week.

Blog Content Ideas

I am aware of the time and budget constraints nonprofits have. And since I’m feeling generous, below are ideas you can incorporate into your content marketing strategy.

1. Numbered Lists

People love to read lists. They are easy to skim which encourages readership and shares when posted on social media. Here are examples nonprofits can use:

  • 5 Ways To Get Involved In Your Community
  • 8 Ways The Outdoors Can Improve Your Happiness
  • 4 Reasons Kids Should Be Outside More
  • 10 Startling Facts About Wildlife Conservation

2. Guest Blogging

When you’re short on time, asking someone else to write a post can help you stay consistent and give a fresh perspective. Ask a corporate sponsor to write a post. This can help them with brand awareness. Maybe a volunteer has been dying to share their experience and wants to write a blog. Guest blogging is a great way to mix up your blog.

3. Photo Essays

Blogs with images get 94% more views so why not create a post full of them! You’ll still want to include some copy to introduce and close the photo essay but this is a creative way to share your story. Some photo essay ideas are:

  • A successful fundraising event
  • A before and after of a project you completed
  • Faces of the people who have benefitted from your nonprofit

4. Interviews
Interview volunteers, donors, staff, or the people you’re helping. If you’ve written some lengthy blog posts earlier in the month, post the interview as a video instead. While you know the value of your nonprofit, hearing it from a donor or volunteer can help inspire others. People want to hear real stories and interviews can do just that.

Start Blogging Now!

Blogging is vital for nonprofits to share their story and create change. If blogging is not a part of your content marketing strategy now is the time to consider adding it.  You can’t have a website in 2019 without a blog.

If you’d like to learn how Sage Lion Media can help you get started with an effective content marketing strategy, contact us today.

Contact Us

Originally Published: February 1, 2018
Updated: March 3, 2019


Should You Hire A Marketing Agency Or An Internal Team in 2019?

As small to mid-sized outdoor companies grow, it becomes tougher to be the CEO wearing all the hats. You feel trapped between your need to grow and the realities of hiring an employee. Continue reading…


The Perfect Recipe To A Successful Lead Nurturing Campaign

Email marketing is an essential tool for turning qualified leads into loyal customers. For every $1 spent on email marketing, outdoor companies can expect an average $38 return. If you’re marketing to businesses like we are, 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating. And contrary to popular belief, 91% of consumers want to receive promotional emails.

What Is A Lead Nurturing Campaign?

A lead nurturing campaign is a series of (ideally) automated emails that move a lead from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Automated emails are ideal because depending on the volume of email sign-ups you receive, emailing each prospect can be timely. Hubspot has a free, automated lead gen tool we like to use for our clients. The campaign consists of 3-5 emails over a set period.

Customers and leads need to be nurtured because 50% of the time, they’re not ready to buy. And when companies focus on lead nurturing, they generate 50% more sales.

Outdoor marketers can capture leads through calls-to-action that take a visitor to a landing page where they can sign up to receive an offer or fill out a form. From there, marketers can start the lead nurturing campaign.

Welcome emails, like, “Thank You For Signing Up,” generate 320% more revenue on average than other promotional emails.

Now that you recognize the value of email marketing, would you be shocked if we said, welcome emails, like, “Thank You For Signing Up,” generate 320% more revenue on average than other promotional emails? Ok, we were a little shocked by this number too but it helps us prove to our clients that lead nurturing campaigns have a huge impact on sales. And creating an email lead nurturing campaign can help turn prospects into loyal customers.

Creating A Lead Nurturing Campaign

An effective lead nurturing campaign needs 6 ingredients:

  • Segmentation
  • Timeliness
  • Strong Subject Line
  • Relevant Copy
  • Tracking
  • Exit Strategy

Segmentation

One of the main reasons lead nurturing campaigns are so successful is it’s a chance for companies to get to know their customer. The more they know about the customer, the better they can serve them. You can’t help your customer until you understand their problem. So if they’re looking for a camo jacket for hunting, you wouldn’t send them irrelevant information on rod holders for walleye fishing. Segmented campaigns have a 14% higher open rate and 100% higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.

Segmented campaigns have a 14% higher open rate and 100% higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.

So how can you segment if you know nothing about the customer? In the first email you send, ask! One of our clients has 2 different target markets: therapists and families seeking therapy. When they subscribe to the newsletter, we have them fill out a simple survey asking them to help us curate content that matters most to them.

Image of form with multiple questions

Timeliness

The other day I was doing some online shopping on Chaco’s website. I signed up to receive their newsletter, clicked on some shoes I liked, and then left the page. I liked the shoes I was looking at but I got a call from a client and within an hour, forgot about Chaco and the shoes. A couple hours after I left Chaco’s website I got the following email. What a nice reminder!

Ecommerce Call to Action

Lead nurturing emails need to be timely. You don’t want leads to forgot your product or service and how you can help them solve their problem. But you also don’t want to annoy them. For products, we recommend emailing once or twice a week for a set period. Services take a little more time as you need to build greater trust before someone invests money into your guide service or wilderness therapy program. But these aren’t universal benchmarks. Track and see what works best for your company.

Strong Subject Line

Leads need to open your email whether it’s a lead nurturing campaign or just a monthly newsletter. Personalized subject lines perform 29% better than non-personalized. If you can personalize it, do it. You also want to add urgency and relevancy. Avoid salesy, click-bait subject lines. And always test when you can! We love A/B testing so we can better serve our client’s customers.

Young woman typing on apple mac laptop during the day

Relevant Copy

When a lead clicks “subscribe” after reading a blog on best fly fishing rivers in Montana, the follow-up email should have something to do with fly fishing rivers in Montana. Send them an email with the best bait to catch Yellowstone cutthroat trout. If the lead filled out your survey saying they are a therapist looking for educational resources on wilderness therapy programs, send them an email about what to look for in wilderness therapy programs.

You want to show leads you care about their problem and want to help them solve it. And since these are your first emails to a lead, try not to sell them a product or service right away. Provide value and nurture the lead before you pop the question.

Tracking

All campaigns should be tracked. Especially a lead nurturing campaign. Are leads opening the emails? Clicking through? What are they clicking on? What A/B tested subject line worked better? Keeping track of the success and failures of your lead nurturing campaign helps you improve. If no one is opening your third email, switch up the subject line. If leads are only clicking on one article in the email, delete the second one.

Entrepreneur speaking and laughing with a client outside

Exit Strategy

You turned a lead into a sale, now what? Attract more leads? Sure! But when we go back to Business 101, we know that gaining new customers costs 5-25 times more than keeping an existing customer. So instead of rushing to gain more leads, follow our inbound marketing methodology and delight your current customers. Leads that turned into customers through your lead nurturing campaign are engaged with your company, so keep them engaged. If they bought a boat seat, send them an email on how to install the seat. If they booked a room at your lodge, send them an email with the best restaurants nearby. Show your current customers you are the premier outdoor company by exceeding expectations.

Creating An Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign Can Lead To More Sales

A lead nurturing campaign guides your customer further down the sales funnel through a series of “getting to know you” emails. It’s easier for outdoor companies to solve a customer’s problems when they understand what they want and need. Show your customers you care through personalized, timely, and relevant content and watch your sales grow.

If you’d like to learn how Sage Lion Media can help you get started with an effective lead nurture strategy, contact us today.

Contact Us

Originally Published: August 7, 2018
Updated: March 4, 2019


Customer Retention: How Valuable Are Your Current Customers?

We talk a lot about driving more traffic to your website, converting prospects to leads, and leads to customers. All of this is great but, do you remember learning in Business 101 that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one? If not, here’s your reminder.

Acquiring new customers for your outdoor business is vital for growth. We get it. But don’t forget about your current customers. They have already purchased a product or service from you and if the experience was good, they’ll likely come back! Your current customer base can also write a review, tell their family and friends, and even defend your company from criticism. So isn’t it time to turn your customers into promoters? We think so. In this post we’ll go over:

  • How valuable your current customers are to future profits
  • Other factors that play a role in customer retention
  • How to delight customers and turn them into promoters

The Value Of Current Customers

Business executives looking at reports and discussing next steps forward

The inbound marketing process attracts new customers, converts them into leads, closes the sale, and then delights.  And yet only 29% of businesses are focused on maximizing the lifetime value (aka delighting) of their customers. All stats prove the value of current customers far exceeds the value of new customers.

  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to 5-20% for a prospect.
  • A customer is 27% more likely to purchase from you a second time, 45% a third time, and 54% a third time.
  • 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your current customers.

We are living in a time where customers have endless choices. There is no longer one outdoor gear company. There are hundreds. And if a customer has a bad experience with your brand, they can pick a new one to buy all of their summer camping gear. Separate yourself by being one of the few companies who focus on keeping your current clients more than just satisfied. Focus on wowing them at every touch.

Customer Retention Factors

Customers have so many options to choose from when it comes to the latest outdoor gear or outdoor services. Several things factor into why a customer chooses one company over the other:

  • Price: Many companies say they don’t want price-conscious customers and instead, value-based customers. And that’s great! Keep reading because delighting customers adds value to your product or service. But no matter how valuable your product or service is, the price is top-of-mind for customers.
  • User experience: If customers can’t easily book a room online at your rustic cabin in the woods, you might lose them as a lead. If your online store for fly fishing rods takes forever to load, your prospect will look elsewhere. Creating an easy online experience for prospects can turn them into customers.
  • Communication: When communication is clear, transparent, and two-way, customers are more apt to come back. Communication is more than when you’re talking to a client on the phone. It’s being honest and factual in blogs. Clear directions in an email. And fast replies to Facebook messages.

Price, user experience, and communication will most certainly help you retain customers. But now it’s time to turn those customers into promoters.

Delighting Customers

Customers want reasonably priced goods and services. They want their online shopping experience to be easy. And honest, transparent communication will keep them coming back. But when you delight your customers, you exceed their expectations and turn them into a promoter.

Delighting customers means:

  • You answer their questions. You can do this with a blog post, responding to fans on social media, or replying to an email in a timely fashion.
  • You help them out. Go beyond answering customers questions and provide additional resources or recommend additional services.
  • Customers achieve their goals. Your product or service should help customers achieve their goals. You can find out your customer’s goals through surveys and creating buyer personas. But if your customer’s goal is to catch more fish, your fly rod or fishing guide better help them achieve that.
  • You’re excited to help them. Customers take note when your team is enthusiastic and excited to help them. Even if it’s just showing a customer where the bathroom is. Customers want warm and personable interactions with your company.

Young woman looking down at laptop, smiling in a coffee shop

It’s easy to turn customers into promoters when you focus on delighting them. A promoter is the millennial’s version of word-of-mouth marketing. Promoters of your brand write reviews, engage with your company, defend your company, and tell friends and family about how great you are. You can turn customers into promoters by:

  • Giving them something. We all love free stuff so give them free stuff! It doesn’t have to be huge either. Send them an exclusive hat only available to customers who have purchased a certain amount. You can also give them a discount for being such a loyal customer.
  • Get their feedback. If a customer keeps coming back to buy your company’s goods or services, there’s a reason. So get their feedback! Loyal customers want to be heard and if you recognize them by inviting them to a focus group they’ll feel extra special.
  • Providing even better service. Southwest Airlines is known for their exceptional customer service. But loyal customers get even better service. A-List Preferred customers not only earn more points but they have a special number to call for quicker service.
  • Inviting them to a special event. Invite your loyal customers to the grand opening party of your second rock climbing gym. Take your top clients to a sports game and wine and dine them in a suite.

Put Your Current Customers First

Delighting customers is the last part of the inbound methodology and one many marketers forget. Putting your current customers first turns them into second, third, and fourth-time buyers. Bonus: they also become brand promoters!

If you’d like to learn how Sage Lion Media can help you get started with an effective inbound marketing strategy, contact us today.

Contact Us


Are Meta Descriptions Hurting Traffic To Your Website?

In December 2017, Google upped the character limit to 320 and it left us wondering, “do I need to update my client’s meta descriptions?” This thought snowballed into a series of questions around meta descriptions followed by a lot of Google searches and researching. What we found out was:

  • They’re important
  • Character length matters depending on the article you read
  • Meta descriptions affect click-throughs
  • How to write an effective meta description

Meta Descriptions Are Important

Meta descriptions are those little blurbs that appear underneath your search results. Google pulls in thousands of search results for products and services so you need to stand out.

Image of Sage Lion Media's Meta description from a Google search

We had a client who wanted to improve their SEO. We ran a web analysis on their site and while there were several things we needed to fix, we noticed they had zero meta descriptions for their products. I chatted with our content creation specialist and we decided to create meta descriptions for each page on the site. We knew it’d be timely and she was given her a tight budget to stick to. She worked her tail off and updated all the meta descriptions and then we waited. Within a month, we saw huge improvements on Google Search. I can’t attribute all the success to updating the meta descriptions but we found more people were clicking on the links because they provided an accurate description of the product.

Character Length

Creepy coin eating piggy bank GIFMoz is an SEO tool we use for our clients and they wrote an in-depth blog post on how many words you should include in your meta description. And instead of boring you with all the details, I’ll just tell you that 150-160 characters are the sweet spot. And the fact that Google reverted back to shorter meta descriptions.

So to answer my first question, “do I need to update my client’s meta descriptions?” No.

Click-Throughs

Meta descriptions alone won’t affect your SEO rankings but the copy you create can affect how many people click on the link. It’s important to use captivating copy that is relevant to the page. Nobody likes clickbait articles and landing pages so make sure your meta description is accurate.

Another thing to include in the meta description is keywords. When people search for “custom built sprinter van,” Google will highlight those keywords in the meta descriptions in the search.

Image of Van Life Custom Meta Description in a Google Search

When Google highlights the keywords I typed into Search, I’m more apt to click on those links than pages that don’t. This again goes back to creating relevant and accurate meta descriptions.

Creating An Effective Meta Description

Meta descriptions are similar to any copy you create that needs to be short, concise, and attention-grabbing. But they can be quite challenging since meta descriptions need to use keywords, encourage clicks, and stand-out. It’s often the first touch your brand has with a new prospect.  You only have 160 characters to get people to click on your link so:

  • Use action words: The point of the meta description is to get people to click so tell them to click! Or learn, discover, find out, read, experience.
  • Use keywords: I mentioned this in the section above but it’s worth noting again. Keywords show that your content is relevant to the person searching. But don’t go overboard. Make sure keywords are used in an authentic and natural way.
  • Be accurate: This is worth noting again. Don’t increase your bounce rate on the site by providing inaccurate information. Clickbait articles are tacky and unprofessional and you don’t want potential customers to think that about your business, do you?
  • Answer the prospect’s question: Don’t you love it when you type in Google, “family-friendly campsites over Memorial Day,” and the first 5 searches that appear answer your exact question? I do too! So write meta descriptions that do that. Think about what your prospect will be typing in Google and how your site can provide value to their search.

Stop Hurting Traffic To Your Site

Everybody wants more traffic to their website so they can convert, close, and delight. Since Google is always changing their algorithms, one thing we can hold onto is creating engaging and relevant meta descriptions that provide answers and benefits to a prospect’s questions.

If you’d like to learn how Sage Lion Media can help you get started with an effective content marketing strategy, contact us today.

Contact Us


The One Tool You Need For Better Engagement At IFTD

IFTD is coming up quick and if you’re like me, you’re looking for leads. Of course, I’m excited to check out the shiny, new gear and have late-night “meetings” with old and new friends. But if I came back to the office with a tan, hangover, and no leads, my team of marketing gurus would not be thrilled.

There are several things you can do before, during, and after the show to maximize ROI but the most important thing is to have a CRM. Now before you roll your eyes and say, “Not another ad for some expensive CRM system that my sales team and I will hate,” what if I told you it was free? And it’s easy? Automated? Easily organizable?

Are you still rolling your eyes? I’m sure some of you are and if so, I get it. Luckily this is a short read so you won’t get dizzy with your eyes rolling around. So let’s get to the point.

Hubspot CRM

Hubspot CRM is 100% free and will stay that way forever. There are some really amazing CRM systems out there and I’ll admit that Hubspot isn’t the best one on the market. But a lot of those CRM systems cost a gazillion dollars and have way more features than any small to mid-size company needs. And if you’ve ever been in sales and were forced to input a ridiculous amount of information into a CRM after one call, email, or visit than I’m sure you understand that CRM systems can go overboard.

So why not take advantage of a completely free CRM system that you and your sales team might actually like? And if you try it at IFTD and hate it, you didn’t spend a dime. Okay, moving on for those still rolling their eyes.

Email Notification

If you’re reading this then you most likely received an email from me and clicked-through to this blog post. Not to creep you out but I know exactly how you got to this blog post. Yes, I’m talking to you, Tom. How? With Hubspot’s email notification.

With Hubspot’s free CRM you can track exactly who is opening your emails, what they’re reading, and what they’re clicking on. From there, you can spend more time reaching out to prospects that are actively engaged in your product or service. And sure, other CRMs do the same thing but do they also give you real-time notifications directly to your email or even Gmail account? And is it free?

Build Custom Sequences

There is too much happening at IFTD for me to waste time sending emails during the show. And after the show, you and I will probably be getting a beer together. Again, talking to you, Tom. So quit wasting time in the hotel room sending emails and set-up automated and personalized emails to your prospects. You can easily spend one hour setting up a series of emails and schedule them to go out before, during, and after the show to a select group or individuals.

Meeting Calendar Scheduler

I remember the days when I sent at least 5 emails to one person just to pin down an hour of time to meet. No more! With Hubspot you can send a shareable link to prospects that syncs with your calendar and lets leads pick a time right away.

Interactions In One Place

It’s easy to see how your prospect is engaging with your service or product with Hubspot’s CRM. Find out if they opened your email or clicked on any links. And if they did, you can create a task to send a follow-up email or give them a call.

Image of Hubspot's contact record dashboard

Convinced yet?

Yes, I’m partial to Hubspot because they make managing marketing initiatives for our clients and Sage Lion Media simple. But their CRM offers everything our agency needs for managing contacts, automating processes, logging activity, and providing robust data. We’d love to help you get it set up, there is still time before IFTD this year.

Book a 10-minute chat with me and we can help you implement the CRM heading into IFTD.



How We Crushed Our Client’s Sales With Databox

We juggle a lot as an inbound marketing agency. Each client has a different product or service which requires a different strategy to achieve their goals. While some agencies struggle working with a variety of clients, we thrive! I’m not saying we don’t want to pull our hair out sometimes but we love the challenge!

Technology has made staying on top of client tasks and goals much simpler. You hear us rave about Hubspot all the time and I’m not going to say they’re my number one choice in managing marketing goals, tasks, and automation but…(they’re definitely #1).

Databox logoAnother tool we started using this year is Databox and they quickly moved into our top 5.

What Is Databox?

Databox keeps “your KPIs front and center” by pulling data and analytics from different sources like Google Analytics, Hubspot, and Facebook. From there, you can create Databoards that track different goals.

Track Google AdWords

Databox data dashboard. Figure 1.

Track Facebook Ad Campaigns

Databox data dashboard. Figure 2.

Databoards are simple to manage and can easily be shared with my team as well as clients. Everyone is able to log-in to Databox and see how sales, marketing, and the overall business performed on a daily basis. From there, we can manipulate our strategy to make sure we crush our monthly, quarterly, and annual goals.

Crushing Goals

We are constantly finding new ways to improve with Databox and last month we crushed it! Our clients have lofty goals heading into the summer and one client in particular set a goal to increase online sales in April by 180% from last year.

Spoiler! We hit our goal by 134%! Almost double the sales from last year.

Databox data dashboard. Figure 3.

But how?!

We are lucky to have a Google Adwords whizz on our team and for this particular client, we wanted to attract more people to the site with ads from Google. We created a Databoard that tracked our Google Ads and keywords and kept an eye on it daily. We’d see which ads and keywords were performing the best and the worst. We’d remove ads that were getting zero clicks and put more money toward ads performing well.

Databox data dashboard. Figure 4.

Not only were we tracking ads and keywords but the performance of landing pages, emails, and overall conversion rates.

Databox data dashboard. Figure 5.

This plethora of data helped us easily stay in control of our Google Adwords campaign and maximize our client’s ROI. Needless to say, when we called our client for their monthly review they were ecstatic.

Give Me More Data!

We like tooting our own horn with all the positive data Databox provides but it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes when we log-in we notice traffic to the website is down, conversion rate is dropping, or blog views are low.

Databox data dashboard. Figure 6.

And instead of running to my closet to cry for 20 minutes like my youngest daughter likes to do, we dig through the data a little more to find out why. Why are views, traffic, and clicks down? The “Goals” section allows us to quickly check in on our client goals and adjust our efforts accordingly.

Are You Convinced?

If you are a data junkie like we are then Databox is your new BFF! If you want more information on Databox, head on over to their site or contact us below to schedule a free consultation.

Contact Us


Are You Missing Leads By Not Tracking Calls From Your Website?

Are you that person that rolls your eyes when you see a friend calling you instead of texting?

Yea, me too. But when it comes to business, phone calls are important. Especially when your product or service can’t be sold through e-commerce. One of our clients manufactures and distributes heavy machinery. Their product is not something you can “add to cart” after you’ve perused the site.

With inbound marketing techniques, we increased new user traffic to their website by 131%!

Our client noticed an uptick in phone calls to the company but there was no way to track if those calls came from our superhero inbound marketing efforts (even though we knew they did). Insert: call tracking. Tracking phone calls to your sales department can help guide your digital marketing efforts.

Today we’re going to go over what call tracking is, why digital marketers should be tracking calls, and our favorite call tracking service.

What Is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is exactly how it sounds. Digital marketers can use unique phone numbers on digital ads, CTAs, etc. to see where the calls came from. Depending on the call tracking service, outdoor marketers can also record the phone call, see the length of the conversation, track if it converted to a sale, and several other metrics.Tracking users web activity after they call your business

Why Digital Marketers Should Track Calls

Outdoor companies that close sales over the phone or provide a service should track their calls. And if I’m being 100% honest, I think every company with a phone should track their calls. The insight companies receive through call tracking can help maximize their ROI on marketing campaigns or help them understand their customer base more.

Real-Time Analytics

Call tracking allows you to have unique phone numbers on each digital ad or CTA your company has created. Every time the number is called, you can see exactly what advertisement led to a phone call. Based on the phone calls, you can see what ads are working and which ads you need to stop wasting money on. You can also adjust the tone, play with wording, and see if the ad performs better. Marketers can even track the customer’s journey on your website depending on the service you choose (we use CallRail).

Quality Assurance

If one salesperson is outselling another, wouldn’t it be wise to understand why? Call tracking services allow you to record inbound calls so you can help train your sales team. Salespeople can learn from each other how to close sales and delight customers.

Integrate With CRM Systems

Salespeople can save time tracking phone conversations when a call tracking service integrates with your CRM. Certain call trackers (like CallRail) will automatically send calls as leads and activities to our CRM of choice Hubspot. Marketing and Sales can see where and when the lead found your outdoor business on their dashboard.

Screenshot of the Hubspot contact record dashboard highlighting web analytics

How Do I Start?

There are several call tracking companies that provide a laundry list of benefits. If you didn’t notice, the service that got us hooked to tracking calls is, CallRail. After speaking to different companies, we found CallRail offers the best features for our outdoor clients at a fair price. The reports we provide each month help us make better marketing decisions moving forward. It also helps us become more transparent with our clients as we can show them when a digital ad flopped and what we’re doing to fix it.

Call tracking services provide a plethora of information that outdoor digital marketers can get lost in. While you don’t need Sage Lion Media to get a CallRail account, we could help you save time and money if you do. CallRail is a service anyone can sign up for but when you work with us, we take care of creating an effective lead nurturing campaign.

We take the time to make sense of the data and provide you the most meaningful information. We manipulate the tone, images, and content of advertisements and CTAs so your sales team gets the most qualified leads. We integrate your CRM, Google Analytics, and website with CallRail.

If you have the bandwidth to take full advantage of a call tracking service then we recommend CallRail. But if you’re not sure and want more information on how Sage Lion Media can convert, close, and delight customers through CallRail contact us today.

Contact Us


How To Get More Customer Reviews & Improve Your SEO

People want to be heard loud and clear when they’ve had a negative experience with a product or service. Rarely do people leave positive reviews. Even though you might get repeat customers and awesome sales, you could lose potential customers who saw your 1-star average on Facebook, Google, or Yelp. Maybe it’s time to, dare I say, ask for reviews?

Yes! It’s OK to ask customers to leave reviews. Especially since only 23% of customers review your business online. Today I want to discuss the importance of online reviews, how to increase your reviews, and why you should monitor them.

Online Reviews Matter

We all know word-of-mouth marketing is the best kind of marketing. We trust our friends and family to steer us in the right direction for a quality product or service. Online reviews are the digital version of word-of-mouth marketing. 93% of consumers say online reviews affect their purchasing decision!

If people are deciding between two companies that rent converted camper vans and they see one company has an average of 4-stars and the other has 2-stars, who do you think they’ll pick? Now you could argue and say 4-star has over 100 reviews while 2-star only has 5. But, when companies don’t have many reviews, bad reviews will skew the overall average. Since 68% of customers want to read four or more reviews before they can trust your business, you better find ways to increase your reviews. We’re here to help with that!

Ways To Increase Reviews

Before you ask for reviews, make sure you have an easy review process. Have a link handy that you can email to customers. Put it in your email signature. Create a cool business card with the link to hand out. Add a call-to-action on your website. Whatever it is, simplify the process. If your customers don’t know where or how to leave a review, they won’t do it.

1. Ask In Person

When a customer returns a converted camper van and is handing you the keys, ask them to leave a review! That simple. Give them a business card with a link or ask for their email so you can send the link. A person-to-person request is effective when you’ve performed a service. Most likely, you’ve spent more time with this customer so it won’t be awkward.

2. Send An Email

Sending a personal or automated email asking for a review is another way to increase online reviews. If your business is performing a service, I’d recommend sending a personal email. Actually, if you have the time, always send a personalized email. People miss the “personal touch” from business so this is another chance for you to make them feel special.

But I get it. You’re busy! So am I. Sending a personalized email for each product or service sold takes a lot of time. Setting up an automated email is more efficient and you can still add a personal touch. Every time I order something on Amazon, a week later I get an email asking to leave a review. I don’t leave a review for every product but I leave more reviews than if they didn’t ask. Creating an automated email like Amazon can help increase the number of reviews your business receives. As proud Hubspot Partners, we have created several workflows for our clients that makes automated emails a breeze.

3. Ask On Social Media

If you have a large following on social media and few reviews, ask your fans! You can even ask your small fan base for reviews. Include links to Google and Yelp.

Monitor Reviews

Once you ask for reviews, people will leave them. And when that happens, it’s important to monitor and respond to them. If someone leaves a positive review, thank them! Ask how your converted camper van made their road trip to the Grand Canyon better! Get the name of the sales rep that recommended that awesome pair of hiking boots. You want your customers to stay engaged with your company so keep them engaged.

It’s even more important to respond to negative reviews. Getting feedback on a product or service can help your company do better. If the review is about a poor attitude from an employee, respond and let them know you’re having a company-wide training on customer service. If a customers ski jacket zipper broke on the first-run, ask for their address so you can send them a new jacket.

People look at positive and negative reviews. If customers see you are trying to rectify a negative experience, they’ll trust you have their best interest at heart.

Leave Us A Google Review

Online reviews can be that one last piece of information a potential customer needs to pick up the phone and call or press, “add to cart.” And how you handle reviews can show off your company’s awesome culture. So leave us a review on Google. Do you find our blogs helpful? Or are our topics irrelevant? Did we increase your companies leads? Whatever it is, we’d love to hear from you.