February 23, 2016

Go Fish, or Why e9digital Needs a Bigger Boat

At e9digital we solve problems for our clients every day. But now we have one of our own, and I’m happy to say it’s a good one: we’re growing. How did we achieve this during an economy everyone agrees is still pretty sluggish? We took a $6,000 marketing investment and converted it into over $150,000 in new business in six months through the power of our brand, a well-run digital marketing campaign, and hooks.

To mix metaphors, we went fishing with the right tackle and achieved a 25x ROI. In fishing patois, we caught a 500-pound marlin, and now we’ve got to have him mounted. That’s what I call a good problem.

If you’ve read this far, you’d probably like to catch your own 500-pound marlin too, and I’m going to tell you how.

Let’s start with what not to do: you wouldn’t fish for marlin in a rowboat, and unless you’re exceptionally fast, you’re not going to catch anything with your bare hands. You need the right bait and tackle.

Some people think a professional website is enough, that if they build a site, somehow, magically their target audience will flock to give business. You might as well row into the middle of a lake and wait for something to happen.

Here’s how e9digital goes fishing, and how your business can do the same.

Your Brand is Your Boat

Yes, I’m the captain of the great ship e9digital, and she’s a fine and sturdy vessel indeed, but I’m not the brand. The brand is our website, our social media, and how we communicate with blog posts like this. It all matters. We think our boat looks pretty slick out there on the high digital seas. We keep our social media groomed and current. We blog and try to share our hard-won knowledge. Our clients like us and respect our work and professionalism, so we tend to get great testimonials and reviews. And we’re consistently told how our impressive our website is, how it pre-sells and gives us instant credibility. In short, people look us up online and want to give us the opportunity to earn their business.

Now I can hear someone out there saying, “Sure, Captain Strabone. Your website has to be impressive. You build websites!” It’s true, we do build websites (that build businesses). But that doesn’t let you off the proverbial hook, whatever you do in business. A branded, effective website that loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and has clear hooks is necessary for all businesses today, from the smallest solo-preneur to the largest Fortune 500 behemoth. Anyone who tells you otherwise is feeding you a line.


If someone arrives at your website, and it doesn’t load fast, you make a negative impression. Time to load is your first hook. Consider the way you navigate the web. “Subconsciously, you don’t like to wait,” said Arvind Jain, a Google engineer who is the company’s resident speed maestro. “Every millisecond matters.”

e9digital’s website loads fast. Great. It looks good on mobile. Hurrah. But what happens next? We use our site to put our hooks in the water. Take a moment to look at e9digital.com from your desktop, laptop or tablet, if you haven’t already. Our phone number appears prominently. Users see immediately what we’re about. Our work is showcased prominently, along with testimonials. The first copy users read concludes with a clear call to action: “Think it’s time we talked?” A contact form appears on the homepage, where interested users can tell us about themselves and their project. These are all hooks, and they lead to emails and phone calls from potential new clients who are already predisposed toward our approach. They picked up the phone, didn’t they?

Go Fish with Digital Marketing

All this is good and fine. You’ve got your boat (your brand), and you’ve got hooks (your well-built website). But would you rather fish in a pond or the ocean?

We’ll take the ocean every time.

New York is an ocean all its own, and most our clients are here. We love working with fellow New Yorkers who know the value of hiring a local firm that works entirely with American talent. We like meeting our clients face to face, and our clients take comfort knowing our entire team, from our copywriters to our engineers, is based in America.

Earlier this year, via Google, we put our boat into the digital waters of the greater New York area through a concentrated digital marketing campaign. This is how we converted $6,000 in marketing into over $150,000 in new business.

Now, we’re gonna need a bigger boat. And for our agency, that’s a very good problem.


Captain Conrad Strabone, Jr. is President of e9digital. The last time he actually fished was for golf balls in New Jersey, last weekend. Give him a call at 646.233.1068, and find him on LinkedIn.