A Hardscape Company Soft-Sells via Content Marketing

System Pavers, which provides paving stone and hardscape design and installation services, initiated content marketing as a way to increase customer loyalty and engagement toward the tail end of the housing crisis felt deeply by California, as well as the entire home-improvement industry.

That content was presented in the form of a multichannel newsletter. The program generated a 640% increase in revenue, and here’s what Director of Marketing Ila Barot-Oldakowski identifies as the three keys to System Pavers’ success:

1. Don’t hard-sell, but don’t neglect the soft-sell: The purpose of the company’s monthly “Love Your Home” newsletter was to help customers and contacts in System Pavers’ database learn how they can improve all aspects of their outdoor home environments without investing in new products and services (an important element during the crisis and its turbulent wake). Each newsletter also included a discount promotion, but the guidance was featured much more prominently.

2. Enlist outside experts: System Pavers used landscape design experts, barbeque experts, and other outdoor home writers and bloggers to develop objective, credible how-to articles and tip lists.

3. Measure rigorously: Barot-Oldakowski and her team tested the newsletter—which was mailed to all customers and contacts and made available through online channels—against a different direct mail piece, and the team continues to measure and manage the now-quarterly newsletter.

“We measure everything, from cost-per-lead to customer-acquisition costs, and the return on investment of every campaign we delve into,” she says. The company also tracks customer satisfaction statistics, which are posted on System Pavers’ website to reinforce to employees, customers, and contacts the central role that customers play in the company’s culture.

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