The Back Story

Yankee Barn Homes (YBH) is a national designer, manufacturer, and builder of  high-end, custom barn homes. YBH’s marketing had encompassed press releases and print advertising with a secondary focus on online marketing including blogs, PPC Management, and email campaigns.

The Goal

After conducting a marketing audit on the PPC campaigns, strategy, and landing page process, FirstTracks (FTMG) implemented the following steps:

  1. Tighten the lead qualification process
  2. Reduce PPC spending
  3. Implement standard testing processes

A Responsive Package

It’s not a trend specific to YBH, but as mobile and tablet visitors were increasing conversion rates were falling. The solution was to create a device agnostic template with a focus on content parity. In other words, the decision was made to stop prioritizing desktop users at the expense of mobile and tablet users—who once had a difficult task of navigating a static 960 pixel design (pinch and zoom = an easy lead generation process). At the same time, all customers needed to be served the same content—potential home builders are always in search of images and specs, whether on phone, tablet, or desktop. By implementing a responsive template, cross-device, FirstTracks ensured every potential customer is presented with the total picture, in the appropriate package.

Adding Phone Call Tracking

Online conversions mean sales but they can also mean better ad spend. With a phone-based business tracking form, entries and email signups can get you only so far. FirstTracks installed dynamic phone tracking which provided more concrete data and optimized the PPC efforts with great confidence. Cost-per-conversions drastically decreased by automating the PPC management/bidding strategy and by focusing on the highest converting keywords. At the same time, responsive design changes nearly tripled mobile and tablet conversions.

Getting More Qualified Leads

Lead quality improved dramatically and quickly. “The filtering process used to generate our PPC leads was really tightened,” said Mike Schmell, who managed YBH’s marketing efforts at the time. “With the help of FirstTracks Marketing, we started reducing ad spend and didn’t have our sales team spinning its wheels on unqualified leads.”

By decreasing PPC spend through more targeted ad campaigns, FTMG also helped YBH better allocate its ad spend across its product line. Return on investment increased by 200% over a 12-month period.

A “Big” Design

Today it seems like every top-tier website is breaking the outdated 960 pixel grid and going full-width. It’s a difficult task to pull off. Only brands/companies with the most spectacular photos and content can pull it off. Yankee Barn Homes is of this caliber and had the content to back it up. Coupled with a high number of referrals from full-width luxury home websites, social networks (such as Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook), and niche sites (such as Houzz), FirstTracks knew it had to go big for YBH.

    The Results

    FirstTracks helped Yankee Barn Homes achieve a 21% increase in "action." By tracking all form entries, email signups, and phone calls across organic and PPC traffic, YBH has experienced a 21% increase in completed goals. At the same time, YBH's total spend decreased by 60%. Overall, annual revenues generated from the campaigns totaled over $5 million in sales.

    • 32%
      Decrease in PPC spend/Cost-per-conversion
    • 17%
      Increase in average session duration
    • 61%
      Increase in mobile form conversions