Below are 8 questions that were posted almost 10 years ago by Seth Godin, one of my favorite marketing authors. I had originally answered these questions back in early 2010 in a blog post and thought it would be interesting to do it again 10 years... Keep Reading: 8 Critical Questions About Our Business and Yours
System Integration & Migration Challenge
When PilotWorkshops came to FirstTracks, they were running their operations out of three primary systems: Membergate for their continuity programs (which was built in ColdFusion), Concrete5 for all of other e-commerce, and WordPress/LeadPages for all marketing and sales content. This setup had existed for the better part of 12 years. This added up to a lot of challenges for breaking down and rebuilding the system. Our goal was to disassemble all the data from Membergate and Concrete5 (products, customers, subscriptions, forums, orders, etc.) and rebuild it all in WordPress and WooCommerce using Memberships and Subscriptions with basic Products, while losing no data, access rights, content, or sales.
E-commerce Control with WooCommerce
The main driver for this project was to end up with a single system that would allow for more flexible marketing and much more accurate data tracking for PilotWorkshops. With the new site now built, PilotWorkshops is able to run marketing campaigns that land on pages with seamless “Add to Cart” buttons and a simple two-step checkout process. The site also features some one-click upsell functionality that is helping to rapidly expand the subscriber base. Early returns in the first three months of running the new fully integrated system have been amazing. PilotWorkshops is set to end 2018 with a roughly 20% increase in revenue and is projecting aggressive growth for 2019.
Mobile First Design Improvements
The biggest reason to pull all of these working systems together was to make the mobile user experience more consistent and successful. We did this by streamlining the presentation. This made the registered user experience exceptional on small devices. It also made all PilotWorkshops training products more accessible to all users—on any device. Since the site launched in early September 2018 the proof has shown in the numbers. Tablet conversion rates are up 1500%. Bounce rate is down 90%. Average session duration is up almost 70%!
Content Migration Highlights
Content migration was no easy feat. But the FirstTracks team seamlessly migrated more than 100,000 orders and customers, along with their subscriptions and renewing billing, from three existing disparate systems. When it was accomplished everything worked like clockwork. Customers had little to no outage time, and all their existing orders, credit cards, forum posts, and more were all perfectly intact. This massive data migration included:
- 114,000+ Orders
- 46,000+ Customers
- 9,000 Monthly Subscriptions
- 5000+ Forum Posts
Conversion to MailChimp
We moved PilotWorkshops’ email marketing from Interspire over to MailChimp. MailChimp offers a tighter e-commerce integration with WooCommerce. PilotWorkshops’ email list is the company’s biggest revenue driver. They have been carefully building one of the cleanest and highest performing email lists we have ever seen. The pressure was definitely on. We had to make sure that this transition of roughly 200,000 email addresses went smoothly and produced no negative effects to deliverability and open rates. The process took a few weeks to work through and properly test, but the results have been phenomenal. Everything transferred successfully. There was ZERO loss in performance. And the enhanced e-commerce integrations allow for more dynamic purchased-based segmentations to the customers. PilotWorkshops also gained marketing automation features, which now help support continuity programs for new and expired members.
We Couldn’t Be Happier with the Results!
“We bet our business on FirstTracks and we’re glad we did.”
“FirstTracks recently completed a massive website build for us, moving our entire business to a modern, high-performing WordPress/WooCommerce platform. Figuring out how to move 12 years worth of customers and their purchase history, continuity billing, discussion forum posts, online courses, shopping cart, and the millions of details this all entails is an enormous challenge. Now our customers have a better experience and we have a strong platform that will enhance marketing and revenue.”
—Jeff Mulligan, Co-Founder of PilotWorkshops