Case Study | Paid Search, Domain Management, E-commerce

Clearlink Powers 45% Increase in New Installations for Leading Energy Company

Clearlink uses a connected approach to digital marketing and sales for a leading energy provider to deliver 45% growth in sales while boosting brand reputation through exceptional customer experience.

In the deregulated energy marketplace, customer experience and brand perception are key competitive differentiators. Customers are more informed and empowered than ever before. Meeting their expectations throughout the purchasing journey is necessary for success in the ultra-competitive landscape. A leading energy company enlisted Clearlink to see what it could do holistically to increase sales and improve brand reputation.

The Background

Working with a performance marketing company can be an attractive way to fast-track growth. In a market like deregulated energy, where qualified customers make up a small percentage of overall prospects, not all performance marketers are created equal. The term “performance marketing” encompasses a broad spectrum of services as well, so it’s vital to pick the right partner who can acquire customers with the highest lifetime value.

Companies that buy customer lists and then call the leads on their client’s behalf represent a bare-bones approach to performance marketing. Such an approach also requires other vendors or in-house teams to manage the rest of the customer journey. This strategy leads to disjointed experiences and dissatisfied customers. In the era of digital disruption, leaders in the energy industry are looking to more full-service offerings from performance marketers. These leaders need a partner that delivers a connected customer experience, not just a cold call. 

A premier energy supplier in Texas was searching for a new performance marketing partner after getting subpar results from a previous company. The customer experience the previous company provided was lacking, which had resulted in complaints to the Public Utilities Commission of Texas. Poor communication and opaque business practices made the partner difficult to work with, and the brand felt the combination of these issues was impeding its growth. 

It wanted a partner that was transparent, ethical, and effective at delivering incremental, high-value customers to the brand. It also wanted a customer experience that reduced the number of PUC complaints. Transparency, integrity, and outstanding customer experiences are the core of Clearlink’s client partnerships, making the company an ideal candidate for this role.

The company looked for a new partner that would help eliminate any Public Utilities Commission Complaints and would provide transparent communication...

The Methodology

With the goals of the partnership established, Clearlink looked at the best way to meet the client’s needs. Growth would come from increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the brand’s paid search campaigns and creating a customer-centric focus to the brand’s dot-com experience. The first step, however, was to establish a strong foundation of transparency and collaboration between the brand and Clearlink. 

Step 1: Establish a Baseline of Transparency

To establish a healthy level of transparency and open communication with the client, Clearlink regularly shared marketing plans, campaign tests, and traffic/conversion data. The client got a complete walk-through of Clearlink’s commission structure, which outlined an initial bounty as well as a bonus when customers hit lifetime milestones. This showed that Clearlink was committed to delivering an experience that would keep customers around for the long term.   

Step 2: Coordinate Paid Search Management

Paid search costs can spiral out of control if not managed properly. Brands that handle paid search in-house may not have the experience or technical infrastructure a company like Clearlink does. In that case, a performance marketing partnership can make a significant impact on PPC performance. Coordinated management of the top three positions allowed Clearlink to help maximize the ROI on the paid search auctions while minimizing competitors’ ability to bid on the client’s branded terms. 

Step 3: Monitor, Test, and Optimize Paid Campaign

This process included using machine learning to dynamically adjust bids on branded and nonbranded terms. Clearlink then began A/B testing ad copy to determine the most effective campains. For campaign personalization, Clearlink then structured the paid search accounts to surgically target specific regions’ interests. The final step was optimizing the call center IVRs for customers who connect via paid search ads.

Step 4: Optimize Brand Domain 

Clearlink then moved on to re-platforming, creating content for, and maintaining the day-to-day operations of the energy brand’s domain. The site was given a total UX overhaul: it was optimized for SEO and outfitted with additional multichannel sales functionality, including chat, phone, and online enrollment.

88.55%

The Results

A year after Clearlink began managing the energy brand’s domain, the partnership was unanimously declared a runaway success. The domain saw an 88.55% increase in sessions year over year, a 43.83% increase in organic sales opportunities, and a 40.27% increase in units sold. On the paid side, sales opportunities increased 53.04% and installations were up 50.32%. 

The combined organic and paid results resulted in an uptick of 48.81% in sales opportunities and 45.80% in installations. 

Clearlink was able to achieve these increases while boosting the energy brand’s reputation through an improved customer experience. This was evidenced by Clearlink keeping a flawless record for the brand with the state Public Utility Commission. In the competitive deregulated energy industry, a full-service performance marketing partnership like this is a powerful advantage. 

  • 88.55% increase in domain sessions year over year.
  • 48.81% increase in sales opportunities and 45.80% increase in installations.
  • A flawless record with the Texas PUC.

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