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Inbound Growth: A Wild Success Story

Jun 30, 2016 Inbound Marketing Selina Bradley

Results that Blow the Competition Out of the Water

Latham Pool Products is already North America’s largest manufacturer of fiberglass, polymer, and steel in-ground pools, including accessories like automatic and safety covers. They have thousands of local pool builders across the United States and Canada within what's known as their Dealer Network. As a premier pool manufacturing company, they knew they needed to stand out from the their competition. Not only that, they had to figure out a way to to align their vast and splintered Dealer Network programs into a cohesive marketing strategy. After intensive research, interviews, and competitor analysis, we knew inbound marketing would be their watershed moment.

BEFORE - Treading Water

Latham Pools needed a way to generate more leads to hand off to the companies in its Dealer Network, and to expand their brand reach on products and services. After testing the waters with an Aptera-led content strategy, they dove head-first into the deep end on a full inbound strategy that promised not only to garner more traffic and convert more leads, but also provide tools for precisely measuring Return on Investment (ROI).



We Needed to Unify and Focus Latham's Marketing Programs

Latham came to us with a few issues that all needed a special touch. As with any large company with several products and services, they were tired of each initiative living in a vacuum. Even worse, the low-quality leads that were generated from their website and sent to Dealers were dismissed as a waste of time. On the back end, they had grown frustrated by the limitations of the several marketing tools used by the team. 

We needed to round up their 18 separate social media profiles, refocus their PPC campaigns to actual landing pages, roll out an inbound content calendar, score their leads, and finally track, analyze, and enhance the conversion points that matter. They needed real qualified leads growth, by at least 25% by the end of the year, in order for this to all be worth it. 

AFTER - The Watershed Moment

Just like their builders can't dig a pool with garden shovels, we knew we couldn't build their perfect program with limited platforms. We needed to get them set up with the right tools immediately. And that meant they needed HubSpot. We provided a total overhaul and comprehensive solution package to tackle the entire inbound marketing process. 

  1. We created extensive Buyer Persona Action Plans with hyper-specific campaign and promotion strategies developed to target and convert these specific customer models.  Surfacing these personas and crafting their accompanying campaign funnels was a key ingredient that ultimately added to the drastic increase in targeted site traffic and leads.
  2. Content Marketing Strategy and Distribution Plan was developed to boost organic search and establish Latham as an authority in the swimming pool lifestyle. In addition to building a new blog from the ground up with the HubSpot marketing automation and content management system, processes were put in place for content creation, distribution, and performance tracking. We worked side-by-side with Latham experts to collaborate on relevant content topics that ultimately reduced PPC spend and increased overall qualified leads. In the first year alone, there were 47,109 visits to the blog with 7.4% that converted into marketing qualified leads.

  3. The Social Media Reboot for Latham meant cleaning up and consolidating existing profiles in addition to launching an optimized strategy. The reboot empowered the company to generate brand evangelists by continuing to delight customers on Facebook after their build as well as being able to surface new sales opportunities on Houzz
    Latham aquired 5,649 new fans and followers, received 4,858 interactions on posts resulting in 18,973 visits to their website from social media and 159 new contacts.

  4. For the first time, Latham had a Lead Attraction Strategy and a defined Lead Scoring Process. Their targeted blog posts, strategically placed calls-to-action, and premium gated content including white papers, e-books, and infographics, gave them a distinct advantage over the competition. Their new process of capturing leads gives them direct insight into exactly where the prospect converted and what they are most likely interested in next (thanks to our buyer personas!). Leads are scored and ultimately distributed to the Dealer Network. For the first time, inbound leads mean something and are coveted among Dealers! 

THE NUMBERS - Making Waves

It wasn’t enough to simply get people to click on the links and visit the blog. We needed them to convert! And boy, did they ever! Latham was able to surface 5,600 original leads from over 12,000 premium, gated content downloads. But not everyone who converts into a lead is an ideal customer.

Depending on which piece of premium content converts the visitor into a lead, the potential customer is carefully guided through a custom-built workflow to determine their true likelihood of actually becoming a closed sale.  Leads who appear to be close to making a decision become a Sales Qualified Leads, meaning they are ready to be automatically forwarded to the Dealer Network for them to close. 

Latham's Dealers received over 2,000 sales qualified leads by the end of 2015. 

sales qualified leads identified by the end of the first year

original leads
from 12,000 premium content downloads

50% of PPC cost reduced 
resulting in 
3,200 new leads

boost in traffic across affiliate sites

Increase in traffic
to Latham’s main website


The Dealer Network has never been happier! Online leads, once dismissed as a waste of time, are now the 'golden egg' of new business and followed up with attentively. At Aptera, we know that the only true measure of our success lies within the success of our clients, and that's why we're proud to report that Latham's tremendous inbound growth story has been so wildly successful that they have renewed their engagement with us for another year. This means Aptera and Latham will continue to work in close partnership to monitor, tweak, and perfect these marketing programs. In addition, Latham is now entrusting Aptera's inbound experts to explore new, untapped marketing areas that need attention. Our ongoing partnership with a focus on growth ensures that Latham won't be getting dunked by the competition anytime soon.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing