Steve Gottschalk is the Director of Digital Marketing at Ellie Mae, a leading cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage finance industry. Ellie Mae is a publicly traded, $4 billion market cap company that streamlines and automates the process of originating and funding new mortgage loans and facilitating regulatory compliance. In fact, Ellie Mae processes roughly 35% of all mortgage applications in the United States.
For Steve, the idea of using Drift stemmed from his past experience of using real-time chat to better engage website visitors and improve conversion on their landing pages. He strongly believes in giving potential buyers choice when looking to engage with a vendor about one of their products or services.
Ellie Mae, like many customer-centric companies, is focused on creating as frictionless of a buying experience as possible for their potential customers. Their goal is to provide potential customers with choice so that they can engage with Ellie Mae under their own terms rather than being forced down one path.
In just twelve months after choosing Drift, Steve and the Ellie Mae team have seen their pipeline continue to grow with leads directly influenced by their chatbot.
Overall, Ellie Mae has had over 18,000 conversations, generated 217 leads per month, converted 19% of leads to opportunities, generated 419 opportunities, increased demo request leads by 72% and increased daily demo requests by 165%.
So why did Steve decide to choose Drift in the first place? There were two main reasons:
There are so many different ways to engage with potential customers on your website – whether that’s through chatbots, live chat, or even a form on a landing page. But every buyer is different, and in today’s world, buyers have all of the power. They want to engage with a vendor under their own terms. Not everyone wants to fill out a form.
Steve knows this and understands that you need to provide your potential customers with choice when it comes to engaging with your business. So he set off on a mission to find a solution that would allow him to cast a wider net and engage with more people who came to Ellie Mae’s website. He had experience working with chat solutions in the past and knew this would be a good channel.
Steve wanted to go all-in and not only build a few chatbots for Ellie Mae’s website, but also roll out Drift to the sales team to provide potential customers with real-time messaging. But the problem was he couldn’t get the sales team to commit to supporting live chat. However, he knew that once he got the momentum going by proving the value of chat, he could go back to the sales team with proof on how powerful Conversational Marketing is and why the Ellie Mae team should leverage it to build more pipeline and close more deals.
When Steve first put Drift on the Ellie Mae website, he started seeing results immediately. About 5% of their total contact sales lead volume was sourced by Drift. This wasn’t anything eye-opening, but he knew that he could easily get this number into the double-digits. After about a month of making some changes to the webpage (e.g. style and layout) and a few tweaks to his bot playbooks, Steve was able to drive that 5% WAY up.
So you may be thinking, wow that’s great, but there had to have been some level of cannibalization in contact sales form fills.
As Steve explained:
The cannibalization was minimal. We actually saw a 72% increase in request a demo leads. To go deeper, we saw a 165% year-over-year increase in average unique demo requests per day.”
This is just the beginning for Steve and team. What he’s been able to accomplish with Drift over these last twelve months is just the tip of the iceberg. We can’t wait to see what Ellie Mae can do when they double down – we know they’re hungry. I’ll be back in 2020 to give you the summary.
Here’s a quick summary of the results Ellie Mae has been able to achieve since going live on Drift.
In just twelve months, Steve and the Ellie Mae team have…
In today’s world, buyer expectations are higher than ever. They are on their own clock, taking action on their own time. It’s no longer okay to just meet them where they are, you need to give them choice and be ready to greet them when they are ready.
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