Wild Apricot Case Study

gunpanicyInternet and Web Development

Jun 26, 2012 (5 years and 28 days ago)

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Marketing Solutions
Challenge

Raising awareness for a small company

Gathering credible recommendations for products

and services, to drive word-of-mouth referrals

Establishing credibility as a stable, long-term service

provider
Solution

Created LinkedIn Company Page

Encouraged customers to recommend products

Highlighted LinkedIn recommendations on company’s

website

Leveraged recommendations for additional marketing
Why LinkedIn?

Highly engaged, professional audience

High awareness and approval of LinkedIn brand

Connected members value others’ recommendations
Results

Conversion on home page rose 15% when using

LinkedIn recommendations and branding
• Company Page and followers increased credibility of

business
• Recommendations improved value of incremental

marketing campaigns
Generating awareness for a growing business

Wild Apricot, which offers membership management and
website development software for nonpro￿ts and associations,
has been in business since 2000, which gives it elder-statesman
status in the software world. However, while the 30-employee
Toronto-based company now claims 4,000+ customers for its
subscription-based software (and many more for the free
version of its product), it had to work hard to generate
awareness of the business.
“We build software for member-driven organizations that don’t
have the resources to set up a big website or an online payment
system,” explains Jay Moonah, Wild Apricot’s vice president of
marketing. “People can buy into it for a small investment per
month, and they don’t need a consultant or a big staff to
implement it. The biggest challenge for us is simply letting
people know that this kind of software is out there in the world.”
The company was using Google AdWords, SEO marketing, and
social media to connect with nonpro￿ts and other associations.
“But we knew that one of the best things for any company –
particularly a smaller one – is good word-of-mouth from
current customers,” Moonah says. “Direct recommendation
from a peer matters more than anything.” It’s the “real
people” message that convinces someone to try a product,
Moonah explains: “If you come to me and say, ‘I’m trying to
take membership payments online,’ and I say, ‘I know this
great system called Wild Apricot,’ there’s no better advertising
in the world.”
Wild Apricot
Case Study
Building brand awareness
and credibility with LinkedIn
Company Pages
Showcasing LinkedIn recommendations on our
home page raised conversions by 15% – it has
encouraged people to dig deeper into our
product reviews and to find out more about us.”
Jay Moonah
Vice President of Marketing, Wild Apricot

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“They realize that the recommendations come from real
people – that they can reach out and contact them if they
want to,” Moonah says. “They know that we’re a real
company, with real products. It’s one thing to read a product
review – it’s another thing to read a review and know that the
person is a friend of yours, or is connected to a friend. That
connection has a strong in￿uence on buying decisions.”
Recommendations have also given Wild Apricot real-life
testimonials to use in other marketing material. For a mailer to
community associations, the company reached out to
Company Page followers in this segment who had submitted
recommendations. “LinkedIn makes it easy for us to contact
other members in speci￿c industry areas, thank them for their
recommendation, and ask them for permission to use their
name and a quote in our mailers,” says Moonah.
LinkedIn’s Company Page and recommendations combine to
help Wild Apricot “establish our business credentials,”
Moonah explains. “People can use LinkedIn to connect with
me and my colleagues and ￿nd out about our business
background, and who else we know in the industry. It gives
prospective customers a high comfort level about investing
their money with us.”
Visit
marketing.linkedin.com
to learn how other marketers
have successfully met their marketing objectives.
LinkedIn connections in￿uence buying decisions
The LinkedIn logo and a link to recommendations on the Wild
Apricot Company Page are now permanent ￿xtures on the
company’s website home page – and as of January 2012,
Wild Apricot has more than 50 recommendations from
LinkedIn members.
Promoting LinkedIn reviews on the Wild Apricot website
home page
Product recommendations boost conversions
Wild Apricot created a LinkedIn Company Page in mid-2010 in
order to raise the company’s pro￿le among prospective
customers. Shortly thereafter, the company took advantage of
the Company Pages recommendation feature, which allows
members to post product and service reviews.
“We started reaching out to customers who had given us
feedback by email or through our customer survey,” Moonah
explains. “Any time we respond to feedback, we include a link to
our LinkedIn page and encourage people to post reviews – we do
this in our newsletter as well.” Within a few weeks, Wild Apricot
was able to gather 25 recommendations from its customers.
Curious to see how LinkedIn Company Page product
recommendations might in￿uence purchase decisions, Wild
Apricot decided to test the recommendations on their website.
Moonah and his colleagues created three different website
home pages: one with a link to Wild Apricot’s recent user survey
results, one with a link to an online software directory, and one
with a link to the LinkedIn product reviews, along with
LinkedIn’s logo.
Conversions for the home page with information about LinkedIn
reviews easily bested the other two examples. “Showcasing
LinkedIn recommendations on our home page raised conversions
by 15% – it has encouraged people to dig deeper into our
product reviews and to ￿nd out more about us,” Moonah says.
“LinkedIn is a recognized and respected brand. Our audience
knows that it’s the social network for professionals, not the place
where people share wild-weekend pictures.”
Recommendations on Wild Apricot’s LinkedIn Company Page