East Texas Hot Tub is a Tyler, TX-based family business that provides wellness options to customers through hot tubs, swim spas, and saunas. Morether Creative Agency provides oversight, training, creative input, and a set of processes and systems to take the angst out of marketing. The result is measurable growth for small businesses.
East Texas Hot Tub, like many small businesses, was thriving at the start of 2020. In March, COVID-19 hit the US, and businesses nationwide shut down. ETHT relied significantly on walk-in sales at two showrooms and was suddenly without their best sales asset. As the coronavirus made its way to Texas, store locations were forced to close and rely on digital and phone sales. For ETHT, March is traditionally the best season of the year.
ETHT had a strong digital presence, but it was not robust enough to withstand both storefronts shutting down. Additionally, hot tubs are a luxury item. So with the economy plummeting, ETHT was bracing for disaster as consumers tightened their belts.
In early April, after a mediocre March and anticipating more bad months, Morether and the ETHT team did a deep dive into messaging and engagement strategies. Morether helped ETHT scale back bulky marketing costs and slim up the monthly budget. Finally, with the right message aimed at “vacationing at home” and a refined budget, Morether began the work of attracting the right leads and nurturing them to conversion using the power of digital marketing.
The plan included:
- A marketing strategy and response that tapped into the “stay at home” demand of a hot tub and monitored monthly and weekly changes to the tone and mood of the pandemic.
- Social media and Google Ad campaigns based on the analysis to capture prospects on their timing and state of mind.
- Migration to a leaner, more powerful SharpSpring CRM to reduce cost and increase prospect engagement.
- Connecting the CRM to the stores’ operations software to track sales attribution of marketing efforts.
- A weekly “huddle” to check sales, inventory, the mood of the consumer nationally and locally, project status, and strategy.
ETHT received up to 60 leads per week and an additional 1500 hits on the website. At the end of 2020, ETHT experienced two record-setting sales months and growth of nearly 20% over 2019.
Because of factory closings in the fall, hot tub and swim spa supply became almost nonexistent. Morether and ETHT shifted to a “Get on the Next Truck” campaign and pre-sold 3 truckloads of spas before they arrived at the store.
“While other agencies would give us analytics like CTRs and impressions, Morether learned our business software & translated our leads into names of actual customers and where they came from,” noted Laurie Glaske, head of Customer Relations. “I can’t say enough about the hard work and dedication this team has had to our success.”
When all signs pointed to a loss for a company known for luxury products, ETHT has not only survived, they have thrived.
“What could’ve been a dark season for our business became a huge opportunity for growth! When the supply does catch up, we will be poised to take advantage of every opportunity and hopefully keep alive the demand for our wellness products. We could not have done this without Daniel and his team helping us with their creative ideas and knowledge of digital marketing.”