Horizon Distributors Experiences a 200% Increase in Leads Since Switching to Act-On from HubSpot

Industry: Manufacturing and Distribution
Highlights:
  • Achieved 200% increase in leads since switching to Act-On
  • Experiencing 24% email open rates
  • Credits Act-On’s ease of use with empowering a one-person marketing team to execute dozens of campaigns

The Challenge

Horizon Distributors is a wholesale distributor specializing in products and services related to landscape, irrigation, and outdoor living, as well as the equipment needed to tackle those projects. 

With 70 stores in 11 states, Horizon is proud of their mission “Big enough to be professional. Small enough to be personal.” But despite their size, Horizon’s marketing team is a one-woman show. Mary Martinez, the Director of Marketing at Horizon Distributors has been with the company for 21 years and is responsible for all brand and product marketing. 

While some competitors in the wholesale outdoor distribution space continue to use more traditional marketing strategies, Horizon was trying to adopt a more sophisticated approach through SEO, email marketing, and social media campaigns. To accomplish this, Mary was tasked with creating lots of content (blogs, whitepapers, videos, emails, etc.) and then activating that content in a way that got it in front of the right audiences at the right time — a lot to ask of any marketing department, much less a single marketing professional, no matter how talented and experienced.

The Solution

Prior to implementing Act-On, Horizon Distributors had been using HubSpot, which Mary described as “extremely clunky” and “archaic.” She said that even simple tasks like creating and sending emails were extremely difficult, so Mary began researching other platforms. 

She looked into Marketo but determined early on that it was too expensive for their needs. Then she read a profile of the top 10 marketing automation systems and was impressed with the section on Act-On. She looked into our platform more closely and eventually brought in Horizon’s parent company’s IT department for final approval, which they were happy to grant.

“Act-On’s support team is the best in the industry. They are just so locked in. So by the time we were ready to flip the switch, everything was built and ready to go.”

Mary Martinez Horizon Distributors

MARY MARTINEZ
Director, Marketing

According to Mary, “When we saw Act-On’s ability to do so many things so easily, especially creating emails and landing pages, we were hooked. But then the other big selling point was the easy and effective integration with Microsoft Dynamics — HubSpot wasn’t able to do that at all.”

When Horizon Distributors signed with Act-On, they still had more than two months remaining on their contract with HubSpot, which gave them plenty of time to get up to speed with their new platform. They used this period to learn how to design emails and segment their customer lists, and they also put our customer support team and Act-On University to good use. Said Mary, “Act-On’s support team is the best in the industry. They are just so locked in. So by the time we were ready to flip the switch, everything was built and ready to go.”

Horizon Distributors

“I just find the whole thing very easy to use. And the fact that it connects with our CRM saves me so much time being able to automate manual processes. I don’t even have to touch it. I completely trust it to do what it’s supposed to do.”

MARY MARTINEZ
Director, Marketing

The Result

Since Horizon made the switch to Act-On in 2017, Mary has been using the platform to  coordinate and execute all of Horizon Distributors’ marketing campaigns and is also using the tool as a single content repository for all of their marketing materials, which is helping Mary leverage content in new and innovative ways. 

With Act-On, she’s able to automate all their email trigger campaigns, which allows her to be more targeted with hot prospects and dormant customers. As a result, Horizon is experiencing 24% email open rates on average. 

She’s also creating landing pages, developing more accurate lead scoring, and executing social media campaigns by integrating Act-On’s Advanced Social Media Module with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. So far, that work has translated to a 200% increase in professional leads compared to Horizon’s time with HubSpot.

More than anything, she likes the Act-On Website Prospector to help track website visitors and turn unknown users into known leads. Mary says of the feature, “It’s so much easier than Google Analytics.” Now Mary is able to qualify her leads more accurately and differentiate between homeowners and professionals businesses, which is especially important for Horizon, as they’re a wholesale distributor. 

The next step for Mary is to get better acclimated with Act-On’s measurement tools to track Horizon’s return on investment with the platform. She’s confident that once she becomes more familiar and comfortable with those features, she will be able to A/B test and optimize Horizon’s marketing efforts, leading to even greater ROI.

On the whole, Mary is thrilled with Act-On’s ease of use and performance: “I just find the whole thing very easy to use. And the fact that it connects with our CRM saves me so much time being able to automate manual processes. I don’t even have to touch it. I completely to trust it to do what it’s supposed to do.”

Horizon Distributors

With over 60 years of experience in the landscape and irrigation industry, Horizon has learned the most important thing–how to take care of its customers. Horizon is dedicated to providing customers with the products they need and delivering excellent expertise and customer service along the way.

Horizon Distributors