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- Jeff Bezos | Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.
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18 months to achieve an astounding 8.2% lead conversion and exceed a quarter billion in revenue

Maturing a lead gen engine to build a robust pipeline for sustained growth

Client Access Provided Lead Generation + Digital Marketing + Sales Enablement
Project Building an online lead gen engine Year 2015-Present
The Challenge

The executive leadership team looked to Muhlenhaupt to drive lead generation and accelerate sales with a new SEM budget, approved in 2015. If the test proved that SEM was a viable medium for cost-effective marketing, it would mean more hot leads for sales team members. If it failed, the bottom line would suffer with wasted cash and lost potential. This was a big opportunity for Access, and Muhlenhaupt + Company was appointed to make sure it was a success.

“Despite increased qualification standards, our hot opportunity pipeline input is now 3.7x heavier than it was 18 months ago - and includes prospects like the new $2.1 million lead (now a hot opportunity) which came in last month. The leads keep growing - and growing - and growing!”
– Rob Alston
“They have led virtually all aspects of our branding and marketing and helped me shepherd our company through a whopping 470% growth as we approach $300 million in annual revenue.”
– Rob Alston
The Process

First on our list was the basics - geo-targeting, ad creation, keyword research build-out and integration, negative keyword build-out, campaign structuring, CPC research and initial bids. When we started, we had a conversion rate of 1.3% just using the existing website for our landing pages. Not bad for the industry, but far below our own goal for Access. This was a good starting point - but only a starting point.


During the course of 18 months, our team ran extensive A/B testing of ads, landing pages, and calls to action, and targeting. From analysis of the data, we drew out key insights to improve. The keywords shifted drastically as we added and removed keywords, adjusted bids, cloned and tweaked champion ad variants, tested entirely new keyword and ad concepts, built out an ever-growing list of negative keywords, ran heatmaps, held user testing groups, and refined every aspect of the website and campaigns.

Problem Solved.

The value creation is ongoing, and we continue to achieve incredible success. In the words of Access CEO Rob Alston, “In just 18 months, our cost per lead by 92% and increased our SEM conversion rate to 319% higher than our industry average! Successful conversion optimization improvements (website conversion rate up 342%), rapid AB testing of ads and landing pages (major CTR and Quality Score gains), and other critical improvements have dropped our cost per lead by 12.5x. Despite increased SQL qualification standards, our hot opportunity pipeline input is now 3.7x heavier than it was 18 months ago. Ryan, Adam, and Rip have been a valuable part of making Access the largest and most successful privately held company in our entire industry - worldwide - with an obsessively service-centric company culture. Together with their team of specialists, they have led virtually all aspects of our branding and marketing and helped me shepherd our company through a whopping 470% growth as we approach $300 million in annual revenue.”

“Cut our cost per lead by 92% and increased our SEM conversion rate to 319% higher than our industry average!”

– Rob Alston