How a Culligan Water Franchise realized 30% year-on-year growth for 3 years through improved SEO, PPC, and email marketing. A case study.
High cost-per-lead. Poor new business tracking. Inaccurate online reviews. Culligan Water of Kansas City needed a major marketing reset.
Candice Shum, CEO and a third-generation owner of this 70-year Kansas City business, is proud to be heading up Culligan Water as a certified woman-owned company. She follows her mother’s footsteps in this successful family endeavor and knew the organization could improve its marketing effort to better reflect the quality of its people, products, and services.
COST PER LEAD REDUCED FROM $450 to $38
INCREASE IN TRAFFIC FROM THE WEBSITE
INCREASE IN TRAFFIC
INCREASE IN LEADS FOR
The Culligan Water of Kansas City team prioritized its resources on providing excellent water purification products, water delivery, and serving the needs of its commercial and residential customers. It was difficult to find the time it needed to focus on marketing efforts.
“Our cost per lead was simply too high to remain sustainable,” Shum said. “We were not doing a good job of tracking leads or sharing performance data internally. We were using an antiquated phone tree and were simply not up-to-date in terms of our website. On top of all that, we had a handful of negative reviews online, which conveyed an inaccurate negative image of our organization.”
When a colleague of hers invited Shum to a Fusion Inbound Marketing presentation about overcoming barriers to social media marketing, she eagerly attended. After seeing results for another Fusion client, Shum felt that this firm would be a marketing partner she could rely on to act as her outsourced marketing team and drive the results she needed to grow.
“I wanted someone upfront, and honest,” Shum said. “The Fusion team thinks out-of-the-box when it comes to creating and building campaigns and doesn’t simply provide a one-size-fits-all solution.”
In addition, Fusion Inbound Marketing promises transparency. “It’s important to us that our clients own all their data and have full access to any accounts, profiles, and dashboards that we use for them,” said Yosef Silver, founder of Fusion. “We build our company on core values of acceptance, empathy, originality, transparency, and well-being.”
The team at Fusion decided to approach Culligan Water of Kansas City’s challenges by starting from the ground up.
“We approached this campaign as though it was a brand new business,” Silver said. “We had limited access to historical data and assets so we began by building a brand new website as the foundation for lead generation. We also replaced the dated automated phone tree with a direct dial solution that tracked dates, times, and values of every call.” These changes helped Culligan Water get a better handle on new inquiries coming in, helping the team follow up in an efficient and timely manner.
Then, to help fill Culligan’s sales funnel more rapidly, Fusion developed a year-round content calendar that fueled email marketing, blog posts, and social media efforts. Targeted content was sent to newly created audience segments, and paid media complemented lead generation campaigns.
“We recognized that Culligan Water had missed opportunities to capture segments of both residential and commercial markets,” Silver said. “In order to fill its funnel with high-value, high-quality leads, we launched a new PPC campaign that considered the franchise’s near and long-term goals. For example, high-ticket leads mean higher profits in the long run.”
Finally, Fusion created an aggressive review solicitation solution, which removed hurdles in the review process.
“When we started to work with Culligan, its review solicitation program was clunky,” Silver said. Too many steps were required to get from the request to the submit button, and as a result, most people didn’t leave reviews unless they were particularly unhappy.”
Fusion streamlined this process so users can leave a five-star review in just one click.
As a result of the partnership between Fusion and Culligan Water, the franchise has seen an increase of 36 percent in organic annual revenue, significantly affecting the organization’s bottom line.
“Although the 410 percent increase in traffic to the website and 75 percent increase in traffic from SEO efforts have been impressive, we are excited about those metrics that illustrate how our costs have decreased, and our margins have increased,” Shum said. “Our cost per lead was reduced from $450 to a mere $38, and we experienced a 3550 percent increase in leads for our high-margin items.”
Culligan also went from collecting a handful of disgruntled reviews each month to an average of five 5-star reviews a week, which better represented how its customers really felt about the quality of service they were getting. “We removed significant barriers and created a one-click process, which had made happy customers feel that it was too difficult to share their experience,” Silver explained.
The campaign resulted in a 43 percent open rate of the nearly 13,000 reviews requested, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 and an average net promoter score of 8.8. This painted a much more accurate picture of customer satisfaction and feedback for the franchise.
Fusion Inbound brought in BerganKDV, a leading professional services firm, to help Culligan Water of Kansas City replace outdated systems and technology, which enables the organization to serve more customers in an efficient and timely fashion.
“This has further helped drive our revenue up and our costs down,” Shum said. “We are excited about the future as we look for new ways to grow our online presence.” Currently, the business is planning the launch of its dedicated Grow Flow brand, which focuses on selling hydroponic systems in the Kansas City market.
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