Inbound in Action: 5 Inbound Marketing Examples That Prove ROI

If you scour the Internet for new marketing trends, it’s hard to miss the plethora of case studies reporting phenomenal returns from inbound marketing.


No matter the industry, the results due to inbound marketing are impressive. It’s not uncommon to see case studies from thought leaders and industry influencers with headlines that highlight 250 percent, 500 percent, or even 1000 percent ROI compared to marketing dollars spent.

CEOs and other executives are constantly searching for new methods to direct their marketing dollars. They might find gold with inbound marketing, which accounts for consumer behavior and consumer needs.

Marketing executives frustrated with diminishing returns on traditional marketing campaigns (e.g., bulk emails and purchasing phone lists) are embracing intuitive solutions to reach new customers. A plus to inbound is that it defines buyer personas and the buyer’s journey to learn and plan for what motivates customers.

Consistency Over Time is Key

Understanding consumer problems–and the value of resolving those pain points–helps companies develop directed marketing strategies.

Sustained inbound activities drive real results. A 2014 MIT study of almost 2000 marketing automation users shows that inbound marketing increases leads three times in six months, six times in twelve, and 24 times in two years. Because of trends like this, marketers are diverting more dollars to inbound solutions that improve conversion rates and increase sales.

Here are five companies that have successfully increased ROI by attracting new visitors, leads, and customers online.

Case Study #1: Square2Marketing & Arbill

Square2Marketing is an inbound sales and marketing agency on a mission to get their clients leads. An example of their success is Arbill. Airbill ensures on-the-job safety for workers with products, services and training.

Arbill wasn’t generating leads with its past messaging and marketing efforts. Square2Marketing developed a message that addressed “the pain points of their prospects” with a tagline that read: “Everyone Goes Home Safe Tonight. Square2Marketing also created blog posts to support that message. The results were increased leads by almost 500 percent, increased traffic by 325 percent and almost 25,000 views of Airbill’s blog posts.

Square2Marketing developed a campaign for Arbill that addressed problems facing prospective customers. Inbound marketing used this line of thinking to create approximately a 500 percent increase in new leads. According to Julie Copeland, CEO at Arbill, “When we worked with the team at Square2Marketing, we learned to speak to our customers’ pains and crafted a message with this line of thinking. Our business took off!” Square2Marketing and Arbill understood the challenges their prospects faces and used inbound to address those needs in a meaningful way.

Case Study #2: Kuno Creative & Just Add Ice Orchids

Kuno Creative is a leading inbound agency that works with clients to provide solutions with measurable results. Kuno Creative worked with Just Add Ice Orchids, a company that sells orchid decor for the office or home, which relied on a loyal following but was not well known to new customers.

A marketing strategy was developed to focus on the needs of the retailers and consumers, versus directly promoting the flowers. Kuno created a brand strategy encouraging an innovative watering method of only three ice cubes per week for one plant and committed to continuously striving to best serve consumers and the environment.

In addition, Kuno created content, including watering reminders, blogs, and orchid care guides, to entertain and educate consumers, drive new leads, and increase brand awareness. The overall inbound strategy resulted in a 75 percent increase in sales in one year. Focusing on the consumer increased engagement and opt-ins for more content.

brain-on-inbound.jpgCase Study #3: Marketingzillas & Laser Institute of America

Marketingzillas is an inbound agency with experts who put strategy first. The Marketingzillas team develops inbound strategies based on identifying your ideal buyer. The team helps companies design an inbound strategy focused on improving the customer’s complete purchasing experience. Marketingzilla has expertise in developing content that is engaging and educational to attract increased visitors to a site.

Marketingzillas developed an inbound strategy for Laser Institute of America focused on their safety courses to generate new leads who were interested in enrolling in online and in-person courses. The strategy included educational blogs and premium content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. The results were impressive with new organic search traffic increasing by 68 percent.

The digital content strategy included educational information that was offered through videos and ebooks. The premium content resulted in attracting new users, with 63 percent of users visiting the Laser Institute website were new to the site. In addition, the average session length for users averaged a little over three minutes, while other sites averaged much less. The longer users stayed on the site to learn more, the higher the likelihood they converted to a sale.

Case Study #4: Versio2 & Brillantmont International School

We teased this one in the introduction, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again. Versio2 is a full-service online marketing agency with a personalized approach to client management that follows ROI-focused online marketing, which is 100 percent measurable.

Versio2 helped Brillantmont International School in Switzerland attract more visitors to their website and enroll qualified students. Regular contact was the driving force behind this inbound campaign, encouraging social sharing as well as providing fresh, keyword-optimized pages. This campaign yielded an exceptional return on investment. More than 10,000 visitors viewed the associated calls-to-action with 1700 views of landing pages that created 123 new leads and nine customers, exceeding client goals by 125 percent.

Versio2 wrote four monthly blog articles, as well as two pieces of advanced content per year, such as ebooks or slideshows, all of which were syndicated across social media. The inbound strategy was a cohesive integrated approach across blogs, web pages, SEO, and social media to increase school applicants coming from the website. The key was to increase traffic to the site, which resulted in more leads and ultimately enrolled more students.

Case Study #5: SmartBug Media & StudioPMG

SmartBug Media is a team of inbound marketers with experience in generating leads and customers to help companies exceed their goals. The team at SmartBugMedia helps companies focus on identifying quality prospects and creating a strategy that focuses on their needs. Their inbound strategy features persona development, content marketing, blog management, white paper marketing, brand monitoring, real-time marketing support, social media, and link building.

SmartBug worked with StudioPMG, a pioneer in advanced interactive marketing, to penetrate new markets and increase its organic search presence. As one of the primary pieces of content, SmartBug helped StudioPMG create a new white paper titled “Reaching Your Next Best Customers: How Immersive Convention Marketing is Increasing Trade Show Results.” This strategy helped build a foundation for long-term growth and an impressive 1,047 percent ROI in the first six months.

The inbound plan focused on the client’s long-term needs. Education content was effectively used to drive leads to the site. The cohesive inbound strategy resulted in 3,179 percent monthly increase in website traffic, 1,775 percent monthly increase in organic search traffic, 2,486 percent increase in social media traffic, and landing page conversion ratios 200-300 percent above industry average.


These highlighted case studies are from different industries but have one underlying theme in common: The inbound strategies focused on the needs of the consumer and strived to resolve their pain points. Investing marketing efforts toward the consumer paid off. If your company’s marketing ROI isn’t reaching the levels shown here, it might be time to reconsider your strategy and recalibrate your efforts to harness the power of inbound.