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Taking an Instagram company from 0 to $630k in annual revenue 

From 0, to literally hero. Authentically came to us with big aspirations and a drive that matched ours. With the help of Hubspot, we took them to new heights and beyond.

 

Introducing Authentically 

Authentically is an Instagram platform that helps companies and influencers organically grow their audiences and engagements at an incredible rate.

The team at Authentically wanted to dramatically upscale their operation while still ensuring their customers that account security and authenticity was their number one focus.

Have a read below on how we grew their subscriber count stupidly fast!

TLDR: they had the goods, we had the techincal smarts, and now they have a booming business that's doing far too well! 

iMac Authentically Website

The Problem

Authentically was a fresh-faced brand new business with a relatively new offering. They had two main problems;  

  1. They were unknown. As Instagram growth platforms are recent in design, there has been a huge influx of competitors all trying to establish themselves in the market first. 
  2. Trust. In an industry full of businesses simply selling easy fixes, fake followers, and spam bots, Instagram growth platforms had earned themselves a lot of negative connotations and negative google reviews. 

The Goal

  • To make sure that Authentically was incredibly visible on every social space; Google, Instagram, facebook etc. 

  • To ensure that once potential customers were aware of Authentically's service, they knew Authentically had a clear point of differentiation from any other Instagram growth platform. 

  • This point of differentiation was an emphasis on relationship and trust building. Our goal was to ensure Authentically's customer's knew they were a genuine, trustworthy service who placed a huge focus on their client account security and operational transparency. 

The Challenge

  • Authentically was a brand new company with no brand recognition.
  • Authentically's website was receiving on average, 1 visit a day.
  • Authentically didn't have a single subscriber.
  • Authentically was making no profit.

The Outcome

  • After 28 days with us, they were seeing an average of 800 website visits a day. That's 22,000 website visits a month!
  • After 28 days with us, they had 628 subscribers paying monthly memberships of approx $30. 
  • After 60 days with us they had 1500 paying monthly subscribers.
  • If those 1500 subscribers stay on board for 12 months, that equates to $630,000 of profit just from the first month of subscribers.

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 2.15.15 PM

Instagram Story Advertising

Intstagram Stories Mock Up

When we looked into advertising, we decided the best way to directly engage our audience was to reach them on the platform they would be in the best mindset for. Obviously in this situation, this was Instagram. We looked into both newsfeed and story advertising and decided ultimately to test out story advertising. Being a new medium in the advertising space, it was likely the market was more primed to notice and react to it. We decided to go with incredibly authentic and simple advertising design, as we wanted to appear as connected to the platform as possible. The above is just a snippet of some of the creatives we launched. 
 
This was just phase one of multiple levels of work we were going to do on driving visitors to the website with intent to convert them into loyal and dedicated customers.
 
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Service Hub

Service Hub was a new addition that arrived, early into our relationship with Authentically. Immediately, we saw the value in employing its capabilities as it would allow us to better analyse the market but also engage with current users, helping Authentically develop better relationships with it’s customers but also starting to develop a ‘delight’ phase to the relationship, with the ability to provide active feedback and provide active solutions to known issues.

When we first launched Service Hub's features, we immediately saw that it was going to be more crucial than we could have expected. The initial balance between detractors and promoters was a stark reminder that listening to the customer was so crucial:

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 4.21.06 PM

This initial insight into the customers opinions and feelings about the brand was a shock for the client but also a much needed wake up call into how their product and service was matching customer expectations. Following the results, they quickly expanded their customer support team and upskilled them to better deal with customer concerns. The feedback received also started developing out the framework for a detailed Knowledge Base, another feature Hubspot provided. Examples of feedback received included:

 

Terrible service, didn't answer to my email when I asked why I got charged my credit card when in trial period. Also, never replied my email.

 

I feel you guys are over promising and under delivering. Majority of my follows are ppl that I myself have already followed, not new follows.

 

Weeks to get an email response - no new followers - no answer to the question when finally did hear back ... no contact to call a real person to help.

CES 1

From the feedback, Authentically was able to take away key, personal insights into their service, product and offering. Not only did the feedback talk about experiences with the product but it opened up a discussion around customer support, something new to Authentically that quickly became a focus point.

 

They then hired a team of 3 full-time support staff to help improve communication, onboarding and support and rapidily increasing the level of support. NPS has improved and so has the customer effort score. From a score of 60% difficult, we're now finding 62% of customers finding it easy to talk to support and get their issues sorted!

Help

Email Automation

One area of Ecommerce we believed could be heavily utilized for Authentically was email, and particularly, automation. While email is considered a dead marketing method to many, we saw it differently (along with the team at Hubspot) and believed with the right tools, timing, segmentation, personalization and placement, it could be a brilliant way to engage a quickly growing contact base to increase conversions, develop a relationship with the contact base and upsell many existing customers.

We initially decided on implementing three email recipes based on three different observations in the checkout/onboarding process. People who signed up were given a 7 day free trial, meaning there was a period of time where delight and nurture was still required after initial conversion. The three recipes we launched all served a purpose and all delivered incredible results, even in their first 2 months of action. The results are below each recipe title.

 

Abandoned Cart Series 

54 conversions in the first month of launch ($1890 a month in recurring revenue)

One thing we noticed was a high volume of abandoned carts throughout the process, and at any one given time, we were averaging about 250 of these sitting in lieu.

Screen Shot 2018-06-13 at 4.31.05 PM

To help nurture some of these into conversions, we decided to add an email series touch point, that would allow users who had got this far in the process, to complete their transaction. Abandoned carts can happen for a variety of reasons, some being a lack of trust, doubts or concerns, but others can merely be forgetting what they were doing or being distracted. We initiated a 3 part email recipe that spanned over 9 days, with the first email being sent out after as little as 30 minutes.

Welcome Series

30% of users that sign up for the free trial end up signing on to be a paid subscriber!

The first email recipe we went with was a ‘welcome series’ that acted as a nurture process, following the activation of a free trial. This recipe followed a simple structure that based on a set of rules, would deliver 3 emails over the period of a week, with a ton of value to help the customer get the most out of their experience but also help them to convert into paying customers once the free trial finished.

Welcome Series Sequence Revised

Pending Payment Sequence 

464 paying conversions in the first month of launch ($16,240)

The final recipe was one very specific to the client. An area that had been restricting paying conversions, was people who had set up pay-pal but not set up a funding source, meaning their transaction was sitting in pending for an extended period of time. A lot of the time, they wouldn’t even be aware of the payment issues and would be frustrated when no activity was happening with their supposed service. We set up a ‘pending payment’ recipe with a very unique set of rules, to help convert more of these payment issues and deal with a problem before it got out of control.

Pending Payment Sequence Revised

The building of the on-boarding process

The Onboarding Process was a crucial element that would really focus on helping users find the easiest possible route to their end goal. In many scenarios, the level of detail required could lead to multiple touch points that could frustrate potential customers and was causing a high churn rate. One of these even involved the customer having to manually respond to an email with answers, completely outside of the sign up process, which was where a lot of customers were being lost. 

Our biggest targets with our onboarding process was to reduce our Churn Rate, Increase the legitimacy and trust in the brand, reduce the time for onboarding and overall increase the user experience with Authentically from the get go.

We built out a detailed yet simple process that incorporated all the necessary elements right into a one-and-done onboarding process, bringing together all the touchpoints and making the onboarding process a simple, quick and painless procedure: an instant reflection on the brand and it's abilities.

 

Conclusion

'We are massively pleased with these results to say the least. In under two months turning an idea into a profitable start-up is no easy task but working closely with the Authentically team and helping enable their vision has been rewarding beyond measure. We are keen to see where the next 10 months takes us in this journey; to help build two new platforms for Authentically, to help enable their sales and support team and most important of all, to help them deliver the most value to their customers'. 

Steven Male, CEO of Inbound

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