case study

Longhorn Solar

Revenue

$10M/ year

Employees

50

locations

Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas

Problem

Longhorn Solar approached Hot Dog Marketing after spending years paying for leads from a website called SolarReviews.com. They realized that they had lost brand equity in the solar panel space by not marketing themselves more aggressively and they were falling behind the competition.

The business’s dependency on leads from SolarReviews.com put them at risk for slowing future growth. Their customer acquisition cost (CAC) exceeded the budget of $1,000 per closed deal as SolarReviews.com continued to increase the cost per lead.

Longhorn Solar was trapped in a predatory engagement with a marketing vendor that continued to raise costs even as they produced fewer results. They needed a marketing partner that would regain lost brand equity and provide creative solutions for generating new leads at increasingly lower costs.

Solution

Hot Dog Marketing worked with Longhorn Solar on a digital marketing lead acquisition strategy that involved building an interactive, proprietary solar calculator that enabled potential customers to easily conduct their own cost/benefit analysis of “going solar.” The company’s website, interactive calculator, and all webforms were updated to funnel data and contacts into HubSpot for reporting and monitoring. Hot Dog Marketing ran 100% of the marketing activity out of HubSpot to provide transparent, consistent reporting.

In addition, Hot Dog Marketing programmed automated promotional and educational emails that were distributed to leads after they opted in to use the calculator. Existing customers and new contacts were also added to a monthly email newsletter that encouraged referrals and introduced new Longhorn Solar products and services.

First Year Results

Using digital advertising through search engines and social media campaigns, both paid and organic, Hot Dog Marketing brought in qualified leads at $563 each, with a final customer acquisition cost (CAC) at $850 per customer. The typical value of a new customer for Longhorn Solar is approximately $40,000.00, making their CAC percentage only 2%.

Second Year Results

In the second year, Hot Dog Marketing grew Longhorn Solar’s website traffic 40% over the previous year. Industry benchmarks state that 1-2% of website traffic converts into contacts that can be sold or remarketed to. In Longhorn Solar’s second year, Hot Dog Marketing converted 3.52% of the website traffic into qualified leads. By the end of the second year, the cost per lead dropped to only $86.52 as the company’s brand awareness and equity in the solar panel space grew. Assuming Longhorn Solar continued to close new customers at their previous rate, the company’s new CAC became $175 per customer, only .5% of a customer’s average value.

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