Act-On Success Story
“Act-On is so easy to use, I can set up and run a program in minutes. I’m implementing four times as many campaigns as I did before I had the platform.”
Act-On Helps Quantum Learning Network Expand Its Marketing and Activate Sales
- Time needed to set up and run programs reduced to minutes
- Campaign implementation increased 4x
- Relaunch of product through Act-On campaigns made sales jump from 0 to 30
4X INCREASE IN CAMPAIGN IMPLEMENTATION
Technology is rapidly changing the way businesses engage their buyers, and even market leaders with a long record of success are racing to keep up. The Quantum Learning Network (QLN) had been empowering youth through its SuperCamps for 35 years, but the limitations of its ESP were restricting both its marketing and sales efforts. By adopting Act-On, QLN was able to quadruple the number of campaigns it was running and provide sales the intelligence it needed to better prioritize and follow up on leads and convert more prospects into customers.
Teenagers today face a host of challenges. Their free time is down, bullying and obesity are up, and the pressure to get into a good college is enormous – most ivy league schools accept less than ten percent of applicants. Even the most capable adolescents can struggle to succeed.
The Quantum Learning Network (QLN) is helping youth meet these challenges through SuperCamp, a series of summer programs designed to boost academic achievement and facilitate personal growth. Since 1982, SuperCamp has served 75,000 students from 85 countries, and it’s produced incredible results. Seventy-four percent of graduates increase their grades, 84% increase their self-esteem, and 93% report improved peer relations.
With a track record this impressive, you’d think the camps would sell themselves. But like many businesses, QLN was wrestling with growing competition and an increasingly digital marketplace.
“I knew Act-On would help align our marketing and sales efforts, and I liked its native integration with Microsoft Dynamics.”KEVIN RICE
“QLN was a pioneer in the world of educational and motivational camps, but the field has become more crowded with options, and it was impacting our revenue,” said Kevin Rice, QLN’s Technology Coordinator. “Our leads were declining, and the ones we had were becoming harder and more expensive to capture. But SuperCamp still offers kids the same life-changing experience it always has, so I knew the solution was to strengthen our ability to market and sell it.”
SuperCamp’s main prospects are upper-income moms, and most of them enter the sales funnel by finding the programs in a Google search or responding to a Facebook ad. Kevin used MailChimp to nurture them through the evaluation process, but the software’s limitations were stifling his marketing.
“Every time we built a list, we had to manually clean it, export it to our database, and then import any new contacts back into MailChimp. And if we decided to segment a list based on a student’s age or other factor, we’d have to repeat the process,” Kevin said. “We’d wind up with multiple lists, and even syncing them together was difficult. The whole process was labor-intensive and prone to error.”
Kevin’s sales team was just as hindered. “MailChimp doesn’t integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, so our reps couldn’t tell when prospects clicked on our emails or visited our website,” Kevin said. “Not knowing how engaged our buyers were made it difficult to further nurture and convert them.”
Kevin knew marketing automation would give him the power he needed to revitalize SuperCamp’s marketing and sales, so he began evaluating several platforms. He participated in extensive demos of each one, but soon realized Act-On was the right choice. He was impressed with its functionality and ease of use, but the deciding factor was its native, out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft Dynamics.
“I knew Act-On would help align our marketing and sales efforts, and I liked its native integration with Microsoft Dynamics,” Kevin said. “One of the other packages I was considering also integrated with Dynamics, but it cost more and required the involvement of a third-party, which made me leery.”
Kevin’s instincts paid off. “Implementing Act-On and connecting it with Microsoft Dynamics went quickly and smoothly. We had everything up and running in two weeks, and probably could have had things in place sooner, if I had known how easy it was going to be,” he said. “I expected there to be more technical requirements than there were, and I even spent time writing some plug-ins that we didn’t need. My over planning slowed us down.”
“Act-On’s reports help me optimize my campaigns by providing web tracking and other details that reveal what’s working and what’s not. The platform is helping me market more efficiently and intelligently.”KEVIN RICE
Kevin may have inadvertently delayed Act-On’s implementation, be he wasted no time putting it to good use. He had an agency develop content that addressed the needs of his buyers at each step of their journey, and then built an automated drip campaign in Act-On to deliver it. The program included a trigger to resend an email with a new subject line to recipients who didn’t open the first one, which increased the open rate.
Email metrics like open and click through rates are just some of the information Kevin pulls from Act-On to help him refine QLN’s marketing strategy. “Act-On’s reports help me optimize my campaigns by providing web tracking and other details that reveal what’s working and what’s not,” he said. “And improving a program makes me more confident in repurposing it, which saves me development time. The platform is helping me market more efficiently and intelligently.”
It’s also helping him market more precisely. QLN has SuperCamps for different age groups, and students move through the camps sequentially. Kevin uses this information to divide his audience into sub-groups and send targeted messages to each one.
“Segmenting lists in Act-On is intuitive, which makes it easy for me to deliver more relevant communications to prospects, such as promoting our Senior Forum to students who just completed the Junior Forum,” Kevin said. “I can also tailor messages based on the actions prospects have taken. For example, I can send one email to leads who recently requested information, and a different one to those who contacted us several years ago. Personalizing my content makes it more effective.”
Act-On is empowering QLN’s sales reps as well. They can view prospect behavior through a dashboard in Microsoft Dynamics, and Kevin scores each prospect action to identify the most qualified leads. “Sales reviews the dashboard daily and receives an alert when a lead reaches a certain score,” Kevin said. “This enables them to respond quickly and with greater knowledge, which helps them make the sale.”
Adopting Act-On has enabled Kevin to streamline his workflow, elevate his marketing, and dramatically increase his productivity.
“Before Act-On, I would have had to send one campaign to graduates from the past five years because it would have been too time-consuming to go back and re-import all those separate lists. Now I can easily segment my audience and speak directly to the alumna of each camp in ways that are more meaningful and engaging,” Kevin said. “And Act-On is so easy to use, I can set up and run a program in minutes. I’m implementing four times as many campaigns as I did before I had the platform.”
Act-On’s lead scoring helps our reps prioritize their leads and call only the ones who are close to purchasing.”KEVIN RICE
Act-On has also made QLN’s sales team more efficient. “Without knowing how engaged their leads were, sales would sometimes reach out to prospects who forgot they had even expressed interest in our camps,” Kevin said. “Act-On’s lead scoring helps our reps prioritize their leads and call only the ones who are close to purchasing.”
QLN’s campaigns are also delivering better results. In addition to running SuperCamps, the company sells teaching resources on its website. As part of QLN’s technology due diligence, Kevin used a free-trial of a competing marketing automation platform to launch one of its products, but it took him a month to build the campaign and the response was dismal. A year later he built the exact same campaign in Act-On in a day and the results were exponentially better – QLN gained 30 new customers.
“Our initial campaign sold zero product, and triggered so many email bounces and spam complaints that it froze the launch,” Kevin said. “The campaign we ran through Act-On had none of those deliverability issues, and within weeks we had made 30 sales.”
Act-On is helping Kevin reach his full potential in the same way SuperCamps prepare their students for success. “One of the things I like most about Act-On is their marketing expertise and how willing they are to share it,” Kevin said. “They offer a wealth of information online in the Act-On University, and their onboarding process taught me more about marketing and marketing automation than I ever could have imagined. It’s given QLN new strategies we can use for years to come.”
About Quantum Learning Center
Over the past 35 years, QLN’s academic summer camp, youth programs, in-school and workshop programs in the areas of learning-and-life skills, teaching and training, and effective learning environments have become a leading resource for students, parents, teachers, school administrators and businesses.