ECS Increases SQLs 63% by Implementing the Flywheel on HubSpot's Growth Suite

OVERVIEW Safety Manufacturer Looks to Inbound Marketing

Team members at ECS (Engineered Corrosion Solutions) based in St. Louis, MO, can recite the company’s values: science and service. ECS provides high-quality products and services to clients to keep their fire sprinkler systems safe.

The company is its own flywheel. CEO Jeff Kochelek’s science background feeds product development and company culture. The resulting products and services feed the education-focused business development approach. 

GOALS ECS approached us with a set of objectives:

  • Create marketing and sales systems efficiencies to improve the bottom line
  • Industry penetration against larger competitors through education and awareness
  • Implement the flywheel; replicate ECS' relationship-based approach to business through online channels

We saw the opportunity to transpose ECS' customer-centric business model to a digital flywheel using HubSpot.

ECS has a metrics-driven culture, so it was important to them that we implement the flywheel in a way that allows us to measure and benchmark performance to make strategic decisions.

At the outset, we focused on three primary metrics: sessions, leads, and SQLs. We started with these metrics because they were already measured through a combination of their old CRM, Sugar, and Google Analytics. That way, we could measure progress, while also beginning to create benchmarks for additional KPIs in HubSpot.

SOLUTIONS A phased approach to inbound success.

We set SMART goals, demonstrated progress, then worked with the client to add HubSpot suites and tools as needed to meet more demanding goals.

Phase 1: Build the Foundation


  • Increase monthly traffic by 37% in 6 months.
  • Increase lead count by 20% in 6 months.
  • Increase SQLs by 20% in 6 months.

We focused on tactics that would allow us to create the greatest impact on our goals, leveraging as many as possible to build a solid foundation without diluting the outcome. Therefore, we focused heavily on SEO efforts, with the strategic bet that some simple fixes to the conversion elements of their digital ecosystem could yield great results, especially with an increase in traffic boosted by SEO and paid media. 


In keeping with ECS' service-minded approach, we implemented the industry's first eCommerce store by integrating HubSpot and Shopify to improve the user experience and reduce friction.

We also created chatbots to quickly provide information to site visitors.


  • Pillar & Cluster Article Strategy
  • Keyword Research
  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Site SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Automated Behavioral Email Sequences
  • eCommerce Store Build
  • Video Strategy
  • Chatbot Implementation
  • Lead Qualification & Nurturing Automation
  • Content Gating
  • Omni-channel advertising
  • Growth-Driven Design Analysis &
  • Implementation
  • In-person Course Registration

Phase 2: Conversion Optimization and Lead Count Growth

New Goals:

  • Maintain current pace of website traffic increases (>20%).
  • Increase lead count by 20% in 1 year.
  • Increase SQLs by 20% in 1 year.

After Phase 1, we were ahead on traffic goals so we decided to lean heavily into Engage & Delight tactics while still maintaining the SEO foundations we built. We further built out the resources program with the aim of serving Partners and developed the scaffolding to promote ECS University, ECS' in-person training program (and lead generator), based on the strategy developed in Phase 1. The aim was to drive repeat business and boost revenue with a network of loyal customers build mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with contractors position ECS as an authority in the industry, and designate ECS as a "go-to" hub for all education, resources, and products.

New Tactics:

  • Video
  • Website & Blog Post UX Updates Based on GDD Analysis
  • New Chatbot Playbook Creation for Most Trafficked Pages
  • Resources Area Development
  • Persona-Based Newsletters
  • Dormant Lead Workflow to High-Value SQLs
  • Testimonials

Phase 3: Build Brand Evangelists


  • Maintain current pace of website traffic increases (>20%).
  • Increase lead count by 20% in 1 year.
  • Increase SQLs by 20% in 1 year

We felt confident in our pace toward annual goals by the end of Phase 3. Therefore, we recommended that we turn our attention to the Delight stage and implement Service Hub to generate new business in the form of repeat and referred customers. 

New Tactics:

  • Service Hub Implementation
  • NPS Surveys
  • Knowledge Base Build
  • Brand Evangelist Identification and Nurturing
  • Workflow Optimization

Phase 4: Tie Leads to Revenue Contribution

New Goals:

  • Increase SQLs by 20% in 6 months.
  • Increase revenue contribution by 10% in 6 months.

After a successful Phase 1-3, we wanted to focus on lead quality, not just lead volume. So, in addition to a quantitative increase in SQLs, we took steps to ensure a parallel qualitative increase. Secondly, after having collected benchmark data since Phase 1, we were able to finally create a revenue contribution increase goal of 10%.

New Tactics:

  • Convert PDF Case Studies to Website Pages
  • Nurturing Workflow to Targeted Accounts
  • New Videos: Product Promotion, ECS U Promotion, Testimonials
  • Abandoned Cart Nurturing to Recover Revenue
  • SQL Definition Refinement

Phase 5: Adapt Lead Generation Tactics for the Pandemic

New Goal:

  • 28.4% increase in conversions from MQL to SQL by 6 months.

At this stage, the world was just on the cusp of the pandemic and there was much uncertainty about what would come next. We seized this opportunity to turn the in-person ECS University series into a digital course, complete with a Learning Management System (LMS) integrated with HubSpot. We were able to take old footage shot the year before and guide the instructor, Bill Aaron, through the process of creating new and updated video while travel was near impossible for our video team. Through a combination of the LMS and Vidyard, we could determine the % of a video that has been viewed, quiz participants, and ultimately create an industry-recognized certification and increase SQLs through this new offering.

Phase 6: Close the Deal with Sales Enablement

  • Increase SQLs by 20% by 1 year.

After Phase 5 and an exponential increase in ECS U registrations since going virtual, we focused our attention on converting our influx of middle-of-the-funnel leads. We worked directly with the Sales team to identify assets that would be useful in building relationships with potential customers. Additionally, we applied extra resources to ECS U including specialized tracks to educate and reach a wider audience.

ECS saw the following results as they implemented their flywheel on HubSpot.

RESULTS Scaling success of three years of partnership

1,910 %
4,551 %
63 %

ECS continues to drive results from the foundational elements of their flywheel. As our relationship continues, we will continue to leverage and optimize new and existing features from HubSpot by looking at the data and seeing where we can make the most impact with the tools. Ultimately, ECS has a flywheel system built on HubSpot that represents the best of their organization's core values and will serve them for years to come.

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