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Hook, Line and Sinker: How Inbound Marketing Keeps Reeling In New Business

Ryan Parlee

By Ryan Parlee

This might come as a shock, but hippos don’t camp. No, really. We tried pushing each other through the camper door and it just wasn’t working for us. We were totally pumped for our big adventure! Fishing gear packed. (Rather large) hiking boots on. But there was just no way we were going to shove our two-ton bodies into those seriously tiny door frames. And so our grand dreams of RV escapades were over before they even started.

We might not be able to squeeze 4,000 pounds of awesome into those ridiculous doors, but we do know a couple tons about branding and inbound. Recognizing our passion and willing to overlook our size issues, our friends at Good Life RV, formerly Webster City RV, let us take the wheel and steer their marketing. These friendly fellas have always come to play, but they needed a marketing strategy that worked just as hard as they did to win the hearts and minds of their target audiences.

A Match Made at the Fishin’ Hole.

From the get-go, it was obvious that Flying Hippo and Webster City RV went together like campfires and marshmallows. We had an enormous task of finding a rock star name for their newly formed trio of sales locations, and ultimately settled on “Good Life” to encapsulate everything that owning an RV and living the RV lifestyle represents. The down-home genuine attitude on the sales lot and the zany creative hippos joined forces to form a perfectly melded power couple. The product of this marriage? The strikingly handsome company (with a little country flair) and the brand that we affectionately know and love today as Good Life RV.

Fixin’ to Fly.

The company already had a great digital start as they had been using social media to leverage crucial markets and expand their reach beyond those. When they sought the counsel of Flying Hippo, they had a broken brand after merging three locations across the state. We repaired their image by giving their new group cool branding to reflect their merger, showed them the wonder of leveraging HubSpot inbound marketing methodology and made it work double-time for them.

Good Life had talked to their prime customers time and again, but hadn’t aggregated those little details that make all the difference in a relationship. To delight their customers, the company needed to know who they were talking to (and remember more than just their name).

Flying Hippo walked them through the process of learning who their target buyer personas were so we could get a better understanding of what types of customers they wanted to attract. They were getting a little of everything. But they needed the one: that special person that has everything you’re looking for in a customer. The company settled on three “ones.” The first group were seasoned campers looking to purchase an RV upgrade. Another was a family that enjoys the outdoors. The final customer persona was one who once owned an RV, sold it and wants back in the game.

Great – We’ve Got Our Audience! Now What?

After the hard work of initial brand development was complete and a new website had been published, the real fun began. Those same hippos that tried so eagerly to squeeze through the RV doors were much more successful carrying out Good Life’s inbound strategy. They might not have been able to get the full RV experience, but they were determined to help customers understand the value and expertise Good Life brings to their purchase.

Flying Hippo created a series of eight gated content pieces highlighting resources for purchasing and tips for living the Good Life. These valuable gated content offers were embedded into each blog post, which was an easy way to guarantee cohesive monitoring and distribution of materials. The partnering of the two helped nurture leads coming from Good Life’s website to bring highly qualified leads to their sales team. 17 more have been added in the last year to Good Life’s online arsenal. These include checklists for purchasing an RV; local, regional and national travel guides; feature comparisons; and advice from real RV owners.

The next step was to develop a list of keywords and SEO-optimized blog topics so that readers would be able to find relevant posts. A content calendar was created, drafted and published to help dictate content and art direction and keep the team on point for publication. Using inbound marketing methodology, visitors that downloaded gated content offers became members of awaiting workflows and were logged in Good Life’s HubSpot CRM, where their sales team secured them as leads, and eventually, customers.

Hook, Line and Sinker.

In the first month working with Flying Hippo, Good Life’s website saw only 15 visitors. By the next year, their website had a total of 18,560 visits, which translated to a more than 12,373% increase. Fast forward to this year, and a whopping 554,665 visitors have come to Good Life’s web pages (more than 96.6% increase so far since last year).

inbound rv marketing

Alright, so for those of you numbers folk just itching for the bottom line, here it goes. 425 leads originated, were nurtured or are still being nurtured via GLRV’s inbound content, and 42 of those converted to customers, making the close rate of customers engaged with inbound 9.88%. We get it. Sometimes you just need to see (even more) numbers to know it’s working. With that in mind, here are a few more stellar stats:

  • In the last 12 months, the site has seen a 35% increase in traffic (9,098 additional visits).
  • Over the course of the last year, 193,186 emails were sent and yielded a 20.3% open rate. 28.9% of opened emails were clicked, resulting in a 5.9% total click-through rate.
  • In the lifetime of the campaign, there has been an 87.4% increase in email subscribers.
  • The top-performing landing page, Good Life’s Family Activity Guide, has garnered an 31.4% submission rate.
  • 72.3% of inbound customers have interacted with at least one blog post.
  • Of the number of leads in Good Life’s funnel, 35% came from inbound marketing, and 42% of customers came from inbound nurturing.

Bringin’ the Good Life on Home.

Since implementing inbound marketing, Good Life RV has seen a tremendous influx in their traffic and sales, especially as they’ve reached their 20 month anniversary with HubSpot’s CRM. The company enjoys a shorter sales cycle because their leads are more qualified when they come to their sales team, leaving them free to nurture each customer and cater to their needs. They have become more prominent in their industry, even attaining a handful of leads in Canada.

Without a doubt, Good Life RV has picked up steam like a barrel moving downhill over the last year, and especially in the last six months. This being said, the work of inbound marketing is never done. There are always ways to better your performance, add content and maintain your site. With that in mind, we expect even bigger things from this inbound marketing campaign next year. In the meantime, you can find us lobbying for expanded-mammal-size RV doors so we can get in on enjoying the Good Life.


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