Do you ever have those moments where you’re sitting at your desk and you know that you’ve just struck gold? While, as marketers, we don’t have a crystal ball that tells us what campaigns will reach their goals and which ones won’t - we felt it in our bones this time. This was going to work.

STS & Stratus

Substitute Teacher Service, Inc. (STS), is a client of ours. They engaged Stratus to help them reach a very specific goal: to register more substitute teachers. STS is the largest employer and provider of substitute teachers and paraprofessionals in Pennsylvania and they currently supply personnel to over 60 school districts throughout the state.

As with all of our clients, we kicked off their engagement with a strategic planning workshop where we recommended that we first update their current website to offer a more user-friendly experience, followed by a robust integrated marketing strategy. We also strongly recommended that STS leverage a powerful marketing-automation platform, HubSpot. STS’ stakeholders agreed with the holistic approach and we went to work.

Let’s Get to Work

Wasting no time, our team jumped right into the uplift of the website - designing and launching a clean, user-friendly site that allowed visitors to quickly navigate through their options and contact STS if they were interested in becoming a substitute teacher. Upon the completion of the website, we took a deep dive into the analytics provided by HubSpot’s reporting tool. The first thing we noticed was that quality traffic was not an issue for STS. With an average of over 23,000 unique visitors coming to their website each month, STS had been doing a great job with their brand promotion and awareness. The challenge became clear, however, when we found that only 0.4% of that traffic was converting.


(Traffic to Lead Conversion Rate 10/10/2015-11/20/2015. Provided by HubSpot Reporting.) 

We had no way (prior to Stratus) to get people interested in becoming a substitute and track who was interested on our website.

- JR Godwin, General Manager of Substitute Teacher Service

Through interviews with STS’ stakeholders, buyer persona research, and analyzing the traffic patterns on their site, we concluded their poor conversion rates were the direct result of a crucial missing step for the interested visitor. For an interested person, the only next step that the website offered was to fill out an application for a position. We learned that the majority of visitors weren’t comfortable with making a commitment to applying when they still had questions.


STS-OfferOur solution to this was a fairly straight-forward one. We developed a campaign called ‘Get Started Substitute Teaching in Pennsylvania Today('Get Started,' for short.) This campaign consists of a landing page, digital eBook, delivery page, and three automatic emails designed to further engage the prospect with STS.

The ‘Get Started’ eBook has a dual purpose:

  • To inform the prospective new substitute about what being a substitute entails including an inside view of the position, state requirements and all the next steps required to become a substitute in Pennsylvania. It also provides in-depth information about substitute positions available other than teaching roles.

  • To aid STS in not only converting their interested visitors on the website, but to also aid their Human Resource department by providing frequently asked about information in a proactive manner, relieving HR of fielding questions via phone and email.

We took a multi-channel approach when launching this campaign. We began to share the offer via social media, through blog call-to-actions (CTAs) and on the most highly-visited page on their website: Job Postings.

The All Important Results

Back to that crystal ball. As marketers, you can never truly know the outcome of your campaigns until after they’ve launched. You do the research, you listen to your client, and you follow your gut, but the proof is always in the pudding. At Stratus, we blend our instincts with metrics, offering us the ability to be creative and nimble, but in a really smart way. So, naturally, after we launched the ‘Get Started’ campaign for STS, we aggressively (some might say obsessively) checked in on it.

At the end of the first full week (7 days) being launched, the ‘Get Started’ campaign generated 35 new leads from visitors, many of which were from organic search. This was obviously beyond exciting and we continued to watch the trends of visitors and how they engaged with the drip emails automatically sent through HubSpot using the workflow and email tools.

Within 45 days of launch, the ‘Get Started’ campaign converted 236 new visitors into leads. This increased the overall website conversion rate 375% from 0.4% to 1.9%.


(Traffic data from 11/11/2015-12/31/2015. Provided by HubSpot Reporting.)


The Impact

We think that JR Godwin, General Manager of Substitute Teacher Service, said it best,

“This 'Get Started' Campaign guides our potential new employees through what jobs are available, how to get the necessary clearances, and what to expect moving forward. While this tool is very detailed, it seamlessly allows our potential employees to gather all the necessary information in one place, and decide if working within their local school districts is the right fit for them.

Through the 'Get Started' Campaign we can track those potential employees and monitor their progress with our HR Department. This 'Get Started' Campaign is the single greatest tool in our arsenal for following up with potential employees because we now have the information in what trades/fields the potential employees would like to work in.

Our HR team follows up with candidates who have not finished the application process to see if we can get their applications completed and begin working with STS.

Stratus Interactive gave my company the necessary medium to attract, filter into a decision, and most importantly, let our HR Department track those who would like to substitute with STS. This new approach using HubSpot has allowed our management team to view, track and analyze our advertising campaigns to ensure that we are attracting all of the correct persons for our clients. The 'Get Started' Campaign has been a total game changer for our company.

Total. Game. Changer. Those are powerful words and even better, we hear it all the time!  Inbound marketing combined with a sophisticated tool like HubSpot and a marketing team that’s truly committed to internalizing the client and their goals is a recipe for “Get Started”- style success.  If you’d like to talk with Stratus about your business goals, marketing challenges and the best solutions for your unique objectives, we’d love to hear from you!


New Call-to-action

Topics:   HubSpot

Lisa McDermott

In life I crave relationships and honest connections with people – I use this unwavering need for human interaction to make Stratus Interactive a strong, growing and culture-focused agency. When I see an opportunity to educate, guide or solve, my strategic wheels start turning- challenge accepted. New business development and account strategy are my two areas of focus and I’ll go to my grave undecided on which I love more! The feeling of helping a prospect understand how we can solve their pain and problems and make them successful is beyond-fulfilling, but then again, the feeling of collaborating on a strategic plan and seeing it produce measurable results is a thrill all its own. I’m so grateful to work for an agency like Stratus that allows my individual and professional strengths to thrive instead of having to choose between these two great loves! Besides my Stratus life, I have one husband, one dog, one toddler and one bun in the oven (due 2016!). I’m a wine enthusiast (as in I love drinking wine), not-so-mildly-obsessive photo-taker and photo-album maker, and I get abnormally excited about grey, cloudy days. I hope I have a chance to build a relationship with you sometime soon – feel free to call, social or email me anytime! See all Lisa McDermott's posts.

Connect with Lisa McDermott