CASE STUDY: 250% increase in subscription sign-ups in 6 months

Incify Team

Incify Team

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If you are in a similar B2B business, where you have a service that you want to sell to business owners, the number 1 thing you need right away is having calls with prospects.

If you’re on a budget, your options are limited. You can’t afford a significant brand awareness campaign or spend thousands of dollars on advertising, leaving you with only a few viable choices. Unfortunately, most startups fail to discover the correct combination because they have insufficient resources.

In this case study, we will talk about a SaaS business startup in a very competitive space.

Let’s get started!

Brandripe is a SaaS company that provides unlimited designs and revisions on a one fixed monthly fee that starts from $399/mo.

They provide beneficial solutions for agencies and businesses who constantly need designs and who don’t need designs; almost every business needs it at some point.

Brandripe started in 2021, and just like any startup, growth and having daily meetings with prospects is difficult to obtain in a short time, especially with a limited budget.

The competition was high, and many ideas emerged because of the pandemic; many businesses and agencies shifted their model to adapt to remote work and self-sustained businesses that could operate from anywhere.

Starting in Malaysia and expanding to Singapore soon after, Brandripe sought an agency that could help put them on the right path with a strategy that maximizes profit and long-term growth.

Challenge

  • A new business that launched in 2020 without any direction or strategy on acquiring new customers. 
  • No content other than a few solution pages. They needed direction, a growth plan, and a way to reduce their customer acquisiton costs (CAC).
  • Their primary way of acquiring leads was through cold emailing, referrals and mostly done manually.
  • Many leads book a call and they don’t show up.
  • There is no visibility from search engines and no way for a prospect to find them without a referral or seeing an ad somewhere.
  • High target of marketing qualifed leads (MQLs) to obtain in a short time

I worked with many startups, and the points above are a common challenge.

The pain is real if you run a startup and build an exciting idea.

Not only do you need to reach your goals fast and prove your concept, but you also do it with limited resources and can’t afford any mistakes.

I also faced the same things; I started an agency during the pandemic as a side business while I was a full-time employee and bootstrapped everything from scratch.

I couldn’t afford ads; I could only afford sweat equity by pouring my skills and what I learned into marketing.

But I was lucky that I had the experience to do that and had clients who stayed and supported me along the way.

The point is, startups or any business that starts new faces a lot of challenges, and knowing where to start and where to get the most out of your bucks can save your business and put you on a growth trajectory.

Back to our case study, I will show you the things we did to put Brandripe in a growth trajectory so they can keep on growing their businesses year over year.

The solution

  • We did a complete competitive analysis on similar brands to understand the market, the target pain points, and the journey to conversions. 
  • We analyzed hundreds of competitors’ reviews to understand the pain points, likes, dislikes, and from that, we built a 12 monthly content strategy. 
  • We activated the blog with pillar pages targeting broader keywords categories.
  • We set up reporting dashboard for stakeholders utilizing GA4/GTM and data studio. 
  • We launched multiple outreach campaigns to build links and establish trust with Google. 
  • We set up marketing automation and cold email campaigns targeting three audiences, each with personalized messaging aligned with their pain points.
  • We set up marketing automation to align marketing with sales, reducing time spent on sales activities. 

A lot of things going on, right?

but, let me explain each and why; perhaps it will be helpful for you through your journey of building your business

The strategy – top level view

Competitive analysis

Whatever you’re selling, products or services, someone else already did it, and they went through hell to reach that level of success. Unless your idea is new and no one thought of it before (less than 0.001% of the cases).

Why bother and go through the same hell if you can learn the path they took, their mistakes, and what worked for them.

By looking at your competitors, you can learn.

  1. Their best strategies for acquiring customers and what channel worked the best.
  2. Their page 1 keywords and their market visibility share.
  3. Their best backlinks and why other sites are linking to them
  4. Their best content and what type of content delivers the most traffic
  5. Their traffic intent is based on the customer’s journey
  6. Their customer’s pain points and frustration through reviews

A gold mine.

If you dig deep enough, you can reveal insights that guide your strategy with minimum risks.

I’m not saying copy, but learn and do better.

For example, a quick look at a competitor page 1 ranking can give clear idea of what type of keywords they rank for and the intent of each keyword. (Source: SEMrush)

Learn how we do competitive analysis here.

Content

You will be surprised how many SEO agencies do SEO without content, scamming clients with automated ranking reports and useless technical stuff that won’t do anything but burn clients hard-earned cash.

Don’t fall into that trap.

SEO is all about optimizing your content.

Winning the SEO game is 50% content; the rest is backlinks. Technical SEO and other things are basic, and the algorithm is smart enough to know what content provides the best value for searchers.

With Brandripe, we looked at the content consumed by TOFU, MOFU, BOFU, and we matched that content CTAs & Offers with the traffic temperature to maximize value.

That is the stuff that any search engine love—providing value, answering questions, and leading them to conversion points.

On average, we published 4-6 blog posts a month targeting top/middle of funnel to expand the keywords universe.

Learn more about how we do a 6-month content plan for startups.

Data tracking/reporting

Data tracking can be simple, as long as you know your KPIs and what matters to your business.

We use two types of reports, one for stakeholders and one for the executing team. You can learn more from this post: What marketing metrics do we use to evaluate our performance?

For Brandripe, we used GTM, GA4 to measure top-level performance, and ActiveCampaign advance site tracking to measure the individual activities, giving us full access to every touchpoint.

Learn more about setting up data tracking for new sites using GTM and GA4.

Simple dashboard that measure what’s important. Traffic growth monthly, quarterly, # of leads (Scheduled a call), # of leads (subscribed), keywords movement tracking.

Outreach Campaigns

If you know something about SEO, you will know that backlinks are an essential part of the algorithm, and there are many ways to obtain backlinks. Still, we prefer running outreach campaigns to acquire editorial links.

Our target was 7-10 natural links a month from relevant sites to design and multimedia.

Screenshot from the PitchBox campaigns. We kept this going monthly targeting 50-100 new prospects for link opportunities with a focus on building editorial links.

Learn about our approach to building links from here.

Cold emailing campaigns

The best way to acquire leads fast at a low cost is through cold emailing or cold calling. We prefer cold emailing because it’s fast, cheap, and automated with the highest level of personalization.

We used SalesHandy for this, as it provides a high level of automation backed by ActiveCampaigns.

The process is straightforward, prospect qualified contacts from targeted accounts, send personalized email to get them engaged, once they visit the site or reply to an email, retarget them with ads.

If you want to explore activating this channel for your business, schedule a call with me and I will show you how!

Marketing automation

I can’t express how important this is to any business, especially startups with limited resources.

We both know how traffic is essential, and most of the time, traffic is lost and never recovered.

But…

suppose you have a system in place to convert that traffic into leads (either by an offer or by giving them some valuable info in exchange for their emails). In that case, you stand a better chance of recovering that lost traffic by doing marketing automation.

There are many things you can do with automation.

Some of the things we do with marketing automation:

  1. Lead scoring: can tell you who is engaging with your content and why; you can trigger targeted campaigns via ads or emails.
  2. Email follow-ups: for open deals or no-show-ups leads.
  3. Autoresponders: when someone sends a message, they get a personalized email explaining the next steps.
  4. Marketing and sales alignment: filter out the leads and sort them into MQLs/SQLs for your sales rep.
  5. Nurture campaigns: nurture your existing list with valuable info to keep them engaged.
  6. Trigger remarketing ads based on specific activities.

Many tools can do that, but we prefer and always recommend ActiveCamapign for startups/small businesses and Hubspot for mid-size businesses.

Learn how we do marketing automation with ActiveCampaign from here.

Paid ads and remarketing

Ads can be expensive, but there is a trick to it.

When you do 360˚ marketing, activate all of your inbound channels, and have automation and lead scoring in place, there will be a lot of interactions.

Traffic will flow from your content, email campaigns, cold emailing campaigns, social media, even awareness ads or affiliates.

That traffic often comes to visit your site and leave, then gets distracted by something else or goes to a competitor.

Running remarketing ads on that traffic will keep them thinking about your services or products, especially if you have a system in place that can track their activities.

The Results

When you activate all of your marketing channels, know your customer’s pain points, have an offer for them, and understand the journey to purchase, results are guaranteed.

250% increase in subscription sign-up in 6 months.

From 28 to 92, and this is the highest goal since those are signed-up customers.

82.10% increase in scheduled a demo call in 6 months

Source: GA 3/Goals report

When you do 360˚ marketing and activate all of your channels, you will notice an increase in your leads. Having 40 meetings a month is not unheard of; it’s possible.

We did the same things for our agency pipeline, and we have at least 30 meetings a month, and our customer’s average lifetime value is >$10k

140.95% Increase in organic traffic in 6 months

Traffic is the source of life for your business, and when you focus on your inbound marketing, your content and optimize for keywords, your traffic will grow no matter what, as long as you doing it the right way.

100% of the targeted keywords are pushed to page 1

Our target was to rank for 40 keywords on page 1, most of the keywords are high intent, competitive keywords and we pushed all targeted keywords to page 1. Now we adding another 100 keywords for 2022.

Most of the organic traffic is coming from the page 1 ranking, it’s rare that a searcher will go to page 2 looking for answers, and visibility drops to below 5% as soon as you reach page 2.

With every SEO campaign, our goal is always to push as many keywords as we can to page 1 and increase the low-hanging fruits keywords (those that sit between pages 2 and 5).

80% reduction in time spent on sales activities

ActiveCampaign automation to follow-up, qualify and score leads and to route them to the sales team

If your sales activities are disconnected from your marketing, expect to lose hours on sales activities that suppose to be done by marketing.

When you do marketing automation and allow that to be the umbrella for all of your channels, marketing will be aligned to sales, and your sales reps will get qualified leads and lots of data to help them close that deal.

And that is just one out of many clients we worked with, and all got the same results.

Conclusion

Digital marketing can do wonders for your business, but only when you do the right mix.

If you don’t have enough money to wait for your SEO to function, email marketing, cold emailing, and cold calling are your best options.

If you can afford marketing but are limited to a budget below $2000; SEO, cold emailing, and some automation while you write the content yourself or leverage on your well.

Ads are always expensive unless you are willing to burn some money early to learn what works for you. But it can work well If you have a landing page & an offer that matches the traffic temperature.

The point is, start with the right strategy mix by doing an assessment first from an agency or a consultant who has done this before and knows the path to success.

Speaking of web assessments, we offer that for free but for a limited time; check it out here; there might be a spot opening.

If you are stuck somewhere, let’s talk, I’m sure we can figure something out!

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