Internet marketing can take on many different forms, all of which require a high level of expertise to properly formulate a strategy that works well with each individual piece of the puzzle. In this case study, we’ll take a look at the work we at Simple SEO Group have done for AllWorship.com, a non-profit ministry that reaches over 200 countries around the world.
Case Study Overview
We’ve broken this case study down into 5 core areas that we assisted AllWorship with (click to jump to any of these sections):
Problems Facing AllWorship
AllWorship is a ministry that is nearly 100% online based, meaning they receive all their visitors, donations, and attention through their website. This helps the ministry significantly reduce their overall operational costs, but also means they have a dire need to have state of the art technology in place to assist with keeping their operations running smoothly and efficiently.
Prior to us working with AllWorship, they hadn’t had any major changes to their system for years. Their website was showing it’s age both in terms of design as well as functionality and usability as was their email newsletter. Their technical processes were dated as was the server they were using and structure of that server. And lastly, they had never worked with an internet marketing firm to assist them with ensuring everything they were doing would maximize donations and ensure they can continue to help the world for years to come.
Our team accepted this large challenge to bring all of AllWorship’s systems up to date with the latest and greatest technology we could deliver, as well as several online marketing best practices to help them continue to drive more quality traffic to their website.
Site Design / Development
Prior to getting started with the website, the old site was extremely dated and didn’t have any sort of content management system in place to aid AllWorship staff and volunteers in updating content and posting announcements.
The overall navigation of the site was extremely poor, which yielded poor metrics for time on site, bounce rate, and conversions. The site was centered around several free offerings provided by AllWorship, yet did a poor job of driving visitors to the main conversion goal of the site which is the donations page as well as the sub-goal which is the email-newsletter.
Our design and development team came in and determined the best option available for AllWorship would be a WordPress site. Wordpress is a powerful content management system (CMS) which would allow for AllWorship staff and volunteers to easily make changes to the site’s content and post new information on the site. It also aids us as a development firm to easily make larger changes to the site as well as tap into thousands of plugins and extensions available to further enhance the user’s experience on the site.
We started this project out giving AllWorship a face lift. While we knew the backend system we wanted, we still had the task of fully updating the front end of the website. After several design changes and revisions, we settled on a new layout and look for the site that would drive visitors to the donation page while still giving the site all the free functionality it currently has. The design was updated, mobile friendly, and an enormous step up from the current design of the site:
Beyond the new design, we also added several new elements to the site to further improve the functionality of the website. To start, AllWorship offers four Christian music streams which previously had to be launched using either Windows Media Player or QuickTime player. While the streams worked, there were three main problems with this setup:
- It required visitors to leave the AllWorship site to listen to music, which in online marketing we always want to keep visitors on the site whenever possible
- It had technology issues as it depended on users having an updated version of Windows Media Player and/or QuickTime player
- It wasn’t as user friendly as having the streams embedded directly on the website
We redesigned the listen page to include embedded stream options, an embedded “now playing” option, and incorporated ad space to help AllWorship generate revenue.
The final main change we made to the site came on the actual donation page. First off, we installed full tracking codes so we could properly track donations via Google Analytics, a feature which was missing on the old site. This custom setup allows us to track the donation amount, where the visitor who donated came from (Search traffic, referral, etc), and other important metrics on anyone giving a donation to AllWorship. Further we completely redesigned the donation page with conversions in mind, adding additional ways to donate and streamlining the entire donation process to make it fully digital and automated. We worked with AllWorship to identify the most common donation amounts to ensure donating in those amounts would be as easy as possible:
Overall, every element of the design and development phase went extremely smoothly, and the entire project was completed in just under two weeks.
Server Cost Savings
Sometimes saving money is equally as important as making money, and that definitely was the case for AllWorship. As a marketing focused firm, we’re always looking for ways to help you make more money and improve your business, but we go even further than most to help our clients also find fantastic opportunities not only for improvement but also for cost savings.
AllWorship was using six different servers to power their organization:
- The website server was a solution with a retail price of $600 per year, however the server was under powered for AllWorship’s traffic and usage levels. The next option available would cost AllWorship $2,400 per year for website hosting
- The email newsletter was going through a third party solution with a retail value of $2,000 per year for sending out weekly email newsletters and storing the newsletter list
- The music streams for AllWorship were hosted on four servers, costing a total of nearly $7,000 per year for hosting and feeding music
We were able to setup in and find a cost saving, feature rich solution to each of these problems:
- We were able to host the AllWorship website on an under utilized server for a company the director of AllWorship works for, saving them an estimated $2,400 per year, plus they received a much faster, improved server
- We were able to host the email newsletter right within the new WordPress site, saving them an estimated $2,000 per year, plus they received a much more powerful system to send email newsletters
- We were able to combine their music streams from four servers onto one server, saving them an estimated $5,400 per year, plus they could now control all 4 streams from one server instead of logging into 4 servers to make minor changes
When you add up the server savings, they come to just under $10,000.00 per year in savings. These savings come just from doing a few hours of leg work to determine better solutions for our client, and these savings will continue to add up year after year.
For whatever reason, online marketing firms often leave out email marketing. When you think about spending thousands and often tens of thousands of dollars on improving a website and driving traffic to the website, why wouldn’t you want to capture emails to keep in touch with those visitors for the long run? Most websites only have 10-20% of their visitors ever return to the website, so email marketing is a fantastic tool to use to improve that rate and get the most out of your marketing dollar.
In the case of AllWorship, they were doing email marketing for years, but they just weren’t going about it the right way. Like many of our clients, they were making four critical mistakes in their email marketing:
- They weren’t protecting their list. The list was hosted on a single server, was never backed up, and the over 25,000 subscribers could vanish at any time
- They were sending out all their content in the newsletter instead of redirecting email subscribers back to the website
- They weren’t using proper Analytics to track metrics related to the campaign and understand and test ways to improve the campaign
- They didn’t have their opt in forms displayed in the right spots on the website
So our team made improvements, one step at a time to fix all four of these critical issues.
First off, we provided AllWorship with a new email newsletter solution that is extremely user friendly to use in sending out email newsletters. This solution takes backups two times per week to ensure the list is always protected, and we also exported the list in an Excel file to store on our company server as well as with the client on their personal computer to fully protect this valuable email marketing list.
Secondly, we redesigned the newsletter to be more marketing focused. Instead of giving away all the content in the email, readers now are redirected back to the website to finish reading the content which has resulted in fantastic improvements in visitors to the site and donations as well as a much higher level of interaction from the newsletter, better open rate, and fewer unsubscribes:
Third, we setup proper tracking and Analytics (some of which is pictured above which shows the percentage of people clicking a link in the newsletter) which is discussed more in the next section of this case study.
And lastly, we setup new opt-in forms throughout the website and also implemented a non-intrusive popup to request repeat visitors to opt-in to the email newsletter. This popup was done to further improve opt-in rates, and once a visitor views it once it will never popup to bother them again due to the cookie system we implemented on the site.
Results & Testimonial
If you read any section of this case study, be sure to read the results. AllWorship has seen fantastic results out of the new website, newsletter, and marketing efforts we’ve put into their organization.
With numbers like these, our client is extremely happy with the work we’ve been able to do for AllWorship and the results we’ve seen. General Manager Bill Hardekopf had these kind words to say about what we’ve done for them:
If you’d like to learn more about what we did for AllWorship or would like to see these kind of results out of your online marketing efforts, contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about our online marketing services.