An award-winning SEM initiative: From $200K monthly ad revenue to $1.2 million – a 500% increase
The Company: Transportation Compliance Service
It’s a noble business to be in to help trucking companies and transportation services stay on the road during a global pandemic.
Transportation Compliance Service (TCS) manages federal and state regulatory compliance requirements for trucking companies and transportation businesses to ensure they can keep on trucking and bringing goods and supplies to American businesses and consumers. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in expensive fines and, in some cases, could lead to vehicles that are sidelined and unable to drive – adding to the pandemic-induced supply chain crisis.
When TCS first approached SEMbyotic in October 2019, it used a single website (freedotnumber.com) for advertising with the goal of lead generation. The site’s purpose was to provide a free consulting service to trucking and transportation companies by helping them properly apply for a federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) number, which is a general requirement for most transportation companies.
While on the phone with leads, a TCS compliance specialist would also review any other compliance requirements that may be needed, and if so, they would help process the remaining requirements for a fee.
Reaching and compelling potential customers to make that initial call for help with regulatory compliance is critical to the growth of this business.
The challenge: How do you reach and convert the most qualified leads without increasing ad spending?
By TCS’ account, things were working pretty well in October 2019. They were spending about $40K per month on ads, which resulted in around $200K per month in ad-driven revenues. But management felt they could extract much more ROI from their advertising programs by working with a new agency.
Although the impression was that things were working pretty well, advertising and sales data and insights were slim to none. Like many businesses, TCS operated on a hodge-podge of enterprise software, spreadsheets, PDFs, and even handwritten paper documents. Without a consolidated business system, it was nearly impossible to align advertising efforts with sales data.
As the SEMbyotic team dug deeper into TCS’ business, they asked questions to learn more about the compliance services TCS was selling and performed keyword research to determine whether there was a demand for keywords that extended beyond “USDOT number” and closely related keywords. The ad management team uncovered a trove of keywords that would offer a significant amount of advertising potential.
Unfortunately, TCS did not have a brand they were proud of or a website to which they could direct people for any of these new keywords.
The solution: Optimize and connect. And then optimize some more.
Once SEMbyotic was engaged, the agency began optimizing the FreeDOTNumber Google Ads account. The team corrected issues with their conversion tracking, transitioned their campaigns to leverage CPA bidding, removed poorly performing keywords, and adjusted and created new ads. They also broke out geographies state-by-state to allow for more granular control over our geographic bidding.
Within the first few months of these optimizations, TCS achieved a 41% boost in conversion rates.
A revamped TCS brand identity
SEMbyotic suggested to TCS that they would benefit from a new modern brand and website design that could be used for future advertising campaigns. The creative team predicted that truckers would respond positively to an American brand that communicated in a knowledgeable yet approachable manner.
Despite the time and costs involved in these projects, the management team at TCS decided to take bold steps to create a new brand and website during the turbulent first year of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
New and improved TCS ad campaigns
After the launch of the new website, SEMbyotic got to work on the new TCS advertising campaigns. Most of the focus centered on a new Google Ads account dedicated to the transcompservice.com (new TCS) website. With new and improved web content to promote, the team was finally able to create more relevant and compelling campaigns around the full suite of services being offered by TCS.
The ad management team decided to keep the FreeDOTNumber campaigns running because the day-to-day operations for TCS depended on the leads flowing from the FreeDOTNumber website. Despite that, the SEMbyotic ad management team theorized that the TCS site would outperform the FreeDOT site over time, even on the same offers, due to brand loyalty and preference.
Connect ad platforms to an optimized digital marketing technology stack
Once the TCS management team bought into the data-driven model informing our advertising decisions, they decided to go all-in and change their business systems. They realized that if they could answer questions like: Which services are most profitable? Or which states drive the most revenue? Then the SEMbyotic ad management team could further optimize and direct their ad spending toward the content and services that achieve the most profitable outcomes.
Starting in 2021, SEMbyotic began working with TCS to transition its business and customer relationship management systems to Salesforce.com to solidify its digital marketing stack.
With an updated digital marketing technology stack, TCS and SEMbyotic can now optimize campaigns using dashboards that answer questions like
- Which campaigns produce the most unqualified leads?
- Which states are most profitable?
- Which campaigns produce the most qualified leads?
- Which products sell the most?
- Which products are most profitable?
The results: Ad-driven revenue is consistently up 500%.
With more than two years of data, the findings are clear. Cost-per-conversion for TCS ad campaigns driving traffic to the new website consistently falls below half the cost-per-conversion of FreeDOTNumber while maintaining higher conversion rates and overall conversions.
With the new data-driven model, TCS and the SEMbyotic ad management team can make informed decisions down to the smallest of details. TCS’ ad-driven revenues now regularly exceed $1.2M each month…a 500% increase. In addition, they’ve outgrown their offices twice since September 2019. Bonus: their growth has led to new jobs for the local community.
Want to achieve similar results for your business?
Integrate key digital marketing tools to move the needle.
Do you really know what your top-performing ad channels are based on how those leads interact with your sales team? If you are generating leads that flow into your sales team, but the sales team has learned over time that those leads do not actually convert after the initial sales call, your sales team will stop trusting those leads. This may mean leads from a particularly poor-performing channel will be de-prioritized or ignored by your salespeople.
If you spend the time and effort to install and connect better business systems, such as those implemented for TCS, you’ll be better able to identify which channel produces the highest converting leads and most closed sales. This, in turn, will lead to a higher-performing sales team that more proactively responds to all leads generated.
But go the extra mile and regularly review the insights garnered from your ad platforms. This includes your CRM and all tools in the marketing technology stack. Then leverage those insights to bias your ad budget where you are most likely to see results. This will drive quality leads to your sales organization.
Need help achieving your digital marketing and lead generation goals? Contact the team at SEMbyotic for more information.