MF Fire is a fire technology company leveraging advanced combustion science to engineer superior fire products. They are the brand behind the world’s first and only smart and efficient in-home wood burning stove - the Catalyst. Built by fire engineering students from the University of Maryland the Catalyst competed in the 2013 Wood Stove Decathlon and beat out every major manufacturer as the most efficient and clean stove ever tested.
At that point the student team realized they hit on a product they needed to bring to market and teamed up with 28 year business veteran Paul LaPorte to work on a commercial model for the stove. The Catalyst hit markets a couple of years later and has been received with awards and accolades for its clean and efficient burning.
The Catalyst team faced the challenge of educating potential customers about the enormous benefits their stove provided over the more well known products in the space. The question they faced was, how do we appeal to potential customers when they don't know they want?
Our job was to guide new customers to the key selling points of the Catalyst and explain the consumer benefits so they can make a completely informed decision when considering the Catalyst as a potential purchase.
Understanding Buyer Intent
Early on in the search strategy our team was directing all search traffic to a single landing page on the MF Fire website. We began to pick up trends that our site visitors were using specific product benefits as unique search identifiers to find our product. By sending each visitor to the same landing page we weren’t giving ourselves the opportunity to tailor the user experience and focus on the individual benefit that had been the driving identifier in the search for our product.
The challenge we faced was creating an environment in which our site pushed the one product benefit that mattered most to each individual customer. For example, one customer would be interested in purchasing the most efficient wood stove and another would be looking for the safest. Understanding what benefit drove our customers to our website and applying this strategy would ultimately be our ticket into our customer's decision process.
Step one would be to dive into our search term data in AdWords to determine what specific searches drove the highest quality traffic to the site. Once we narrowed down 4 key search terms that repeated themselves and resulted in quality traffic we began to draw up our plan to create a full circle, highly customized funnel for each group.
For each one of the the key benefits that were being searched we created a dedicated landing page on the site that explored the Catalyst from that particular angle. This allowed us to use relevant language from keyword to ad copy and then ultimately on the landing page the customer visited. The results were instant. We immediately saw a jump in time-on-site, a drop in bounce rate and a higher visit-to-lead conversion rate. Step one was a success.
Step two would be to focus on all of the other half of our customer base who did not search for our product using a specific feature. Many of those searches were vague or general in nature and gave us no insight into the customer’s decision process. For example, a general search for ‘wood stove’ or a vague search for ‘best wood stove’ would challenge our ability to give the customer the site experience what they want.
Our solution was to create a fifth landing page to help us answer the question “what feature does this customer care about most?” Together with the team at MF Fire we created a ‘rubber page’ that included all four key features along with outbound links to each one of those individual landing page. Once we had driven enough generic traffic to our rubber page, we scoured the behavior flow reports in Google Analytics and learned which individual feature pages received the most visits from our rubber page. Once we had the numbers clear we then started to cut out the rubber page and send general searches to the most popular individual page. We repeated this process a few times and ran A/B tests to ensure the best results. Again we saw significant jumps in the site performance numbers compared to the rubber page, validating our strategy once again.
Now that we had a clear understanding of each buyer’s intent and created a unique shopping experience for each group we moved on to addressing the inevitability of when a visitor leaves the site without performing the intended conversion actions.
Phase 3 would be a strong remarketing strategy that again played to the specific interests of each customer segment.
Our design team developed targeted ad copy and design for each key benefit as a next step in the funnel for users that did not convert. If a user visited the ‘safest’ landing page and did not make a purchase or submit their contact details for more information they would then be served a display ad that focused on the stove being the safest on the market.
If a user performed a non-sale conversion such as adding the stove to their cart or submitting their contact information, we could then serve an ad that would have a sale offer convincing them to come back and perform the next step in the conversion funnel, a sale.
Using this method we were able to effectively nudge customers through to the next steps of the funnel and ultimately to the final step of a purchase.
Taking the time to fully understand MF Fire’s customer’s thought process allowed us to successfully build an individualized funnel from first search all the way through to purchase.
Our campaign efforts have generated a 170% increase in conversions since September 1, 2017 and we have driven 267% more traffic in that time period with the confidence of knowing each site visitor is enjoying a high quality, tailored experience.
MF Fire has been able to grow and invest more into their online presence than ever before. And we don’t plan to stop anytime soon!
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