Sometimes you choose a hobby, sometimes a passion chooses you. And that’s exactly what happened when Peter Letts discovered scuba diving.
He first dipped his toes as a diver in 1992, but soon took to the deep end and became addicted to the sport. Almost 10 years later, he left a successful corporate career to turn his passion for the oceans into a business. “I had a midlife crisis, chucked the corporate world aside, and decided to open up a dive shop,” he explains.
Peter is now retired. His daughter, Rachael, has taken over the reins at Abyss Scuba Diving. He’s still involved in the business—in charge of their marketing efforts—and they’re doing way more than just staying afloat.
In fact, Peter is churning out PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and landing pages that see an average conversion rate of 35%.
And he doesn’t even break a sweat doing it. Why? Because he’s found a smarter way to build landing pages to turn traffic into conversions. Way more conversions.
Inspiring marketing results AND a happy retirement? Easy.
Abyss Scuba Diving, By the Numbers
|Business size:||11 to 20 full-time and part-time employees|
|Marketing goals:||Increased bookings|
|Conversion goal:||Click-through to booking page|
|The company:||Diving training and experiences (shark cage diving, free diving, etc.)|
Myself, my daughter, and the first person I’d ever taught to dive—the three of us opened up Abyss Scuba, and we’ve grown it over the last 20 years to be the second-biggest dive shop in Australia. Today we do a whole range of things. We teach people how to dive, we take them out every weekend, and we organize trips up the coast every few weeks. — Peter Letts, founder, Abyss Scuba Diving (now retired)
Psst … Wanna go straight to Peter’s landing page strategy? Click here, or start off with a peek at this snapshot of some of his results:
From Chemist, to Founder, to Marketing Trailblazer
Throughout his career in the corporate world as a food chemist, Peter Letts always thought he knew how to do the marketing side better than the pros. Shortly before he opened his own business, it was time to find out if he was correct.
As a hobby, Peter set up the website for a local dive shop. In those days, Google hadn’t come alive yet, and AltaVista was the main search engine. “If you searched for anything in Sydney, you only found this shop, which tripled their business in six months. I thought I could do the same thing when I opened up my own business. And that was how I ended up running our marketing.”
Keeping the Business Afloat After Challenging Times
Abyss’s digital marketing efforts evolved alongside the web. By 2020, the business was the second-largest dive shop in Australia. Customers that started visiting the company 20 years ago flew into Australia and other exotic locations every year to dive with the Abyss crew, and fresh faces from all over the world regularly joined them on new adventures.
As 2020 kicked off, the team prepped for another bumper season. But they had no idea of the difficulties the next couple of years would have in store.
It’s an understatement to say that the pandemic years have been challenging. People, economies, and businesses have suffered all over the world. Small businesses have been hit particularly hard, especially in the travel and tourism sector.
Australia’s borders were closed for the better part of 2020 and 2021. With Abyss Scuba relying predominantly on international visitors, it’s been tough. The team also felt the impact from environmental disasters in Australia.
Sydney has been belted by a series of problems. Three or four months before COVID, we had bushfires around the area, which blackened the water, which meant no dives. Then we had multiple lockdowns, shrinking our customer base to only our council area. Now we’ve just had floods, which have blackened the water again. It’s been two and a half years of struggling, and we’re still in that struggle stage. We’re finally about to come out of the dirty water, and then we’re heading into winter, which naturally reduces the number of people.
Abyss Scuba’s unique business model predominantly relies on returning customers rather than looking for a steady stream of new ones. “Ideally, we’re looking for six to 12 new customers a month,” Peter explains. Because most of their returning customers come from abroad, and local restrictions severely closed their pool of domestic prospects, they’ve been operating at about 40% capacity for the last two years.
Now, with the hope of the world “returning to normal,” Peter is readying his marketing funnels to welcome new customers back to the shop—and that’s where landing pages have come into the game.
It’s been tough for the business. When I set up the landing pages, the main goal was to have them there so that as soon as restrictions were lifted, we could turn the situation around and get as many people back diving as possible.
Marketing Smarter with a Smarter Landing Page Builder
Peter’s marketing strategy revolves mainly around targeting new customers about their offerings through digital advertising campaigns. Over the years, Peter has learned that pinpoint targeting hits a sweet spot for his campaigns. For example, he’s currently focused on targeting people applying for the 90-day Australian visa program to reach a high-intent international audience coming to the country for travel purposes.
“We really get our best results through PPC,” he explains. And just like the ads are targeted to specific people, so are his landing pages tied to specific experiences and excursions Abyss has on offer. Getting the right people through to the landing pages is only the start of Peter’s story, however. After all, we’re not talking about click-through rates, we’re talking about *conversions*. And for Peter, that means qualified leads that are clicking through to the company’s booking system. From here, leads either book (and pay for) an experience directly or request more information about a specific outing.
And they’re most definitely getting those qualified leads. Abyss Scuba’s average conversion rate across its live landing pages is 35%. (The median conversion rate for the travel industry is 5.2%.) Keeping in mind that Abyss is only looking for six to 12 *new* customers a month, that’s amazing!
Peter’s great landing page strategy? Smarter marketing with Unbounce’ Smart Builder. Fueled by millions of insights and data points—this next-gen landing page builder takes the guesswork out of figuring out what gets people converting. Smart Builder can accurately predict which landing page layouts and headlines will work best for each target audience. And that means Peter spends less time building and optimizing his landing pages and more time enjoying his retirement.
Just getting people to look at a page in the first place is hard enough. Once you’ve got them there, you want to maximize the number of those people who will then go on and book something with us.
Smart Builder, Smart Traffic, Smart Copy? Oh My!
When we’re talking about smarter marketing, Peter really goes all-out. Not only does he use Smart Builder to *build* high-converting landing pages, but he also uses Smart Copy and Smart Traffic to *optimize* them—all with the simple click of a button.
“That’s really what I was attracted to in the first place—the fact that it’s smart. It makes decisions that are based scientifically, rather than on someone’s gut feeling,” he says. While Smart Builder offers a guided building experience directly related to his industry, Smart Copy takes care of the wordsmithing. And then finally, Smart Traffic steps in to direct visitors to the variants where they’re most likely to convert.
Spending hours crafting the perfect landing page? Waiting weeks for A/B tests to run just to get a tiny insight? Ugh, that’s *so* 2020.
With A/B testing, you think you’ve got the right answer, and everyone comes up and says you’ve got the right answer, and then three or four months down the track, the results have just tapered down again. Whereas [Smart Builder and Smart Traffic] make decisions much quicker and lets you look at how they are going in real-time and adjust things accordingly.
And it really is as easy as that. In fact, our data shows that pages built with Smart Builder take less than half the time to build as a drag and drop system—aaaaannd it gives you increased conversions.
Top tip: Smarter marketing is not just for PPC campaigns. Peter is actually using some of these “smart” tools to do some heavy-lifting marketing maintenance work. For example, on the Abyss Scuba website, he’s been using Smart Copy to help write blog posts—and these are currently some of the best-performing SEO drivers to the site!
Work Smarter With a Landing Page Builder That Gets You More with Less—Just Like Peter and Abyss Scuba Diving
Smart Builder, Smart Traffic, and Smart Copy are all part of the Unbounce Conversion Intelligence Platform. Like Peter, we believe in the value of working smarter, not harder. We’ve analyzed millions of landing pages and conversions, and we know what works.
These tools each offer a guided experience—whether you want to build landing pages, optimize traffic flows, or create content so you can get more from your marketing efforts.
If you want to improve your marketing, reduce your effort but improve the results, that’s the best way to go because it puts together the whole package—and it works.
Looking to exceed your expectations just like Peter? Simply turn on the “smarts”—and see what happens for yourself.