Leads, engagement and brand building – Email marketing specialists Winbox case study
We’ve been working with Bristol-based email marketing agency Winbox since January 2015. Managing director and founder, Marc Woodland, told us how his content has driven awareness, generated leads and converted new business.
New clients in past quarter
Increase in sales conversion rate
Increase in blog traffic quarter on quarter
Email marketing specialist Marc Woodland is happily recounting a recent conversation with a business contact. “I went to a networking event,” he says. “Someone said to me, ‘I read your blog the other day. I see a lot of blog posts and often I skip through them but I actually read yours and I thought it was very well written and actually helpful.’ Being involved in marketing I know that an inbound marketing strategy is what works effectively in this day and age. It’s a really good technique because you can create content and make it specific to a certain audience, to get people to engage with your brand and build a relationship with your brand, all driven by the content you give them.”
As a young, ambitious and focused business owner, Marc is keen to talk about the difference Future Content is making to his venture, Winbox. Since signing up with us he has seen traffic to his website increase by thirty per cent. Simply put, Winbox creates newsletters and emails for companies to communicate with a defined target audience. Marc, 26, was working as a marketing executive for a firm when he the saw opportunity to set up on his own in 2013. Today he has 35 mostly SME clients in a wide range of sectors and his business has tripled in size since 2014.
Marc is passionate about the importance of connecting with potential clients and existing ones through his blog and social media channels. “I am a believer in creating good content on a regular basis rather than now and again,” he explains. “It is a big commitment to dedicate time to writing a good content piece each week. You can’t just knock it out straight away. I didn’t have the time or resources to produce it myself. It was a problem that needed solving.”
How we helped
The solution was Future Content. “I knew that by having my blogs written on a weekly basis by a professional specialist the strategy would have a head start on anything else I could do,” reflects Marc. “I took a three month minimum contract, understanding that it’s got to be a consistent ongoing strategy to get the full effect. You can’t expect to blog once and expect that post to perform miracles, it’s something that’s got to be done over time, you build those relationships, build that trust, build that authority, get your content out there so that people enjoy it, follow it and like what your company is.”
A campaign strategy was formed from his initial meeting with Tom Sandford, Future’s Content Strategist & founder and Stuart Roberts, the company’s Head of Content. Tom and Stuart asked Marc about his target audience, the kind of content he wanted and what he thought his audience wanted to know. They were curious too about the personality of Winbox. Marc was clear that he wanted to connect with small businesses, of five to twenty employees, and for the style of his blogs to be “professional but light hearted and fun at times, a cool branding”.
Future Content put together an action plan tailored to Marc’s business and produced guidelines on its tone of voice as well as ideas for an editorial calendar for him to approve. Each week its team of writers produce a blog of around five hundred words to be shared via the Winbox website and its social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. “Mostly the content is email marketing advice,” elaborates Marc. “To improve the reader’s knowledge and understanding of email as a marketing channel, following the practices and the tips that we give them. It’s all about helping the reader rather than trying to sell to them which, in my opinion, doesn’t work so well any more. It’s helping people as much as you can until they like you and trust you and, when the time’s right, use your services. We have a small call to action at the end saying that if they want more help contact Winbox.”
Future Content uploads the copy to the Trello platform – a web-based project management application – for Marc to read and check. He continues: “I have always been impressed with the copy the writers write and the research they do. I do very little tweaking and it doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes. I try not to get too involved because I want to give their content writers the freedom to do what they do best. I don’t have to be involved if I don’t want to. If I am having a busy week I know that my content is still being created to a high standard.”
With each piece of copy Future Content provides three different Tweets, and Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ headlines to generate traffic. Marc’s own preference is to publish the material himself and he uploads some further social media headlines into a buffer that staggers their release throughout the week. Future Content assists where necessary with images to run alongside the copy and Marc also commissions an animator to produce an associated video on YouTube once or twice a month.
The agency holds quarterly review meetings with Marc. “We look at the analytics, how much traffic it is driving to my website, how many views, likes and comments I am getting on social media channels and also how the content has helped someone along the journey on the buying experience with me,” enthuses Marc. “When I was doing the content myself it was a lot less frequent so I had kind of spikes and dips in the traffic through my different channels. Now because I am having regular content created it’s generating regular traffic and people come through to my website more often as well – thirty per cent more.”
At the review meetings the next batch of content is determined and a schedule drawn up with Marc. “What I have seen from talking and working with Future Content – and they work with some of my clients as well – is that their skill is coming up with regular content, useful topics and a good quality of copy writing, that people actually want to read and is helpful for them,” he adds. “We have got a good relationship. Stuart is brilliant, he is very responsive, every time I contact him with ideas and the strategy from Tom is great, it all makes sense.
“The quality of their writers is consistent throughout. It’s economically viable and I can see me keeping with them for the long term really because I know the value. We’re learning more with each piece of content we write about what my audience enjoys. So the content is going to get more specialised, to show my expertise. I would say it is imperative as part of my integrated marketing strategy to help everything all work together, to help grow my business.”
Future Content also produces case studies for Marc, detailing how he works with clients, which he can supply to potential customers to support his credibility as a business. “I was with a prospective client the other week,” he concludes. “And they said the case study that they read was what pushed them over the edge to book a meeting with me. I see Future Content as an extension of my business, my content team that I can call upon.”
“The quality of their writers is consistent throughout. It’s economically viable and I can see me keeping with them for the long term really because I know the value.
“We’re learning more with each piece of content we write about what my audience enjoys. So the content is going to get more specialised, to show my expertise. I would say it is imperative as part of my integrated marketing strategy to help everything all work together, to help grow my business.”Marc Woodland