How we've helped

Digital Marketing Turnaround

C2 operated over 175 high school tutoring centers nationwide and had aggressive growth targets - but its digital marketing was ineffective and unreliable.  Ted Wilkins served as Interim VP Marketing and managed the internal marketing team and external partners (digital agency and call center), reviewed all digital assets and marketing programs and instituted a broad set of changes to improve performance.

Key improvements included website optimization (including a new approach to local SEO), the successful re-launch of Non Brand PPC, and Marketo implementation. Other impactful improvements included the restructuring of the agency relationship, the development of insightful reporting and analytics and the creation of a new budgeting & forecasting process. As a result C2 gained a stable and profitable digital marketing program to drive growth, which was transitioned to a new permanent VP.

“Ted led our transformation to become much more focused on digital marketing.  He jumped right in and managed internal resources as well as our digital agency and call center partners, built a reporting and analytic infrastructure and quickly established a successful digital marketing foundation upon which we could build.  All of Ted’s insights and recommendations were driven from data analysis. Overall, Ted was a very effective member of my management team and we look forward to continuing our relationship.”

Lisa Compton – CEO, C2 Education

Direct Mail Scale and Optimization

ZipRecruiter was an online job board for employers to post jobs and recruit new employees. Digital B2B marketing had maxed out and the company needed new channels to drive growth. Direct mail had been tested with promising results and DIRECTed was retained to advise on strategies to profitably scale the channel.

We reviewed all aspects of Zip’s direct mail program and focused on three critical opportunities: Targeting was dramatically improved by the development of predictive models, costs were significantly reduced with data licensing agreements, and creative development was enhanced with a goal of achieving “breakthrough” results. As a result direct mail became Zip’s most important channel - mail volume increased 350% to 42 million pieces annually, which generated $39 million incremental long term value.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your help on our direct mail program throughout the last several months. We’ve really come a long way, many thanks to your valuable insights and experience. We’ve improved our modeling, driven down data costs, negotiated net name terms with specialty lists, and really pushed the envelope on creative development. Thank you!”

Esmaeel Paryavi – Manager, Performance Marketing, ZipRecruiter


Happy Money was a personal loan FinTech with over $1 billion in annual originations. The prescreen marketing program, which used credit bureau data to target consumers and delivered offers via the direct mail, email, and social media channels, lacked leadership and was not growing.  DIRECTed was engaged to revive the program, institute best practices and increase loan originations.   

We reviewed all aspects of Happy Money's prescreen program and identified three primary opportunities for growth, which included increasing campaign frequency, expanding the email universe, and testing new creative packages to increase response rates.  In conjunction with other program changes, annual prescreen originations increased 73% to $450MM. In addition, we instituted a broad array of best practices to increase the efficiency and quality of the campaigns, as well as trained and mentored junior staff.

"I engaged Ted to manage our prescreen marketing program, which is a critical driver of new loans for Happy Money. He jumped right in and increased originations substantially by optimizing the direct mail and email channels and instituting a range of best practices. Ted integrated smoothly with the Happy Money team and was very easy to work with - he is a consummate marketing pro!"

Dan Sinner – Chief Customer Officer, Happy Money

Digital Marketing Transformation

Meteor was an early-stage online program management (OPM) company with clients such as Boston College and Houston Baptist University, generating inquiries and enrolling students in Masters and other programs. Digital marketing was ineffective and inefficiently split amongst 2 agencies, hampering its ability to grow.

As Interim VP Marketing, Ted Wilkins managed all marketing activities, including the creation of multi-channel marketing plans, the consolidation of digital work into one agency, and the enhancement of content and webinar strategies. Employer partnerships were enhanced with new social media programs targeting their employees. Other key improvements included the creation of insightful reporting & analytics and the development of a budgeting & forecasting process. A new marketing coordinator doubled the marketing team’s capacity. From this work Meteor gained a reliable and profitable digital marketing program to drive growth.

“We started working with Ted during a critical time of transformation – we needed to significantly enhance our digital marketing capabilities and develop a data-driven approach to marketing optimization. Ted jumped in right and delivered the goods. Throughout the engagement Ted developed great working relationships with our team and was a valuable member of my executive team. I am so appreciative, and I am sure that this will not be our last collaboration.”

Bill Rieders – CEO, Meteor Learning

Direct Mail RE-LAUNCH

Health IQ marketed life insurance that featured discounts for individuals who could demonstrate a healthy lifestyle. The company wanted to grow, but digital could only deliver so much. Direct mail had been tested previously without success. DIRECTed was retained to re-launch the channel with the belief that a data-driven approach to targeting and compelling creative would establish direct mail as solid contributor to growth. 

We reviewed all aspects of the previous campaigns and identified that enough data existed to build a custom response model that would effectively target consumers who would be most interested in HealthIQ's offering.  DIRECTed sourced a partner to build the model and managed its development and implementation.  We also sourced a partner to develop two creative packages to test that would effectively communicate HealthIQ's brand and value proposition and drive response and the issuance of new policies.  The program was re-launched with a positive outcome: The model effectively ranked the target population and a "Control" creative package was established.  A foundation for success had been established.

"I first worked with Ted at ZipRecruiter where he helped us scale and optimize our B2B direct mail program.  In my next role as CMO at HealthIQ I asked Ted to help us re-launch our direct mail program - and he successfully created a solid, data-driven foundation from which we could operate. In both engagements Ted was very easy to work with and demonstrated his passion for and expertise in data-driven marketing optimization. I look forward to our next collaboration!"

Ryan Iyengar - CMO, HealthIQ

Strategic growth Project Management

Zovio was a $400MM EdTech company featuring online program management (OPM) services that recruit and enroll new students for institutions such as Ashford University. Due to internal resource constraints, a number of strategic projects key to future growth were on hold. DIRECTed was retained to manage those projects, which involved working with multi-functional internal teams and external vendors to accomplish.

As a result of this work, a new strategic process guides the identification, prioritization and testing of new digital channels. The new Multi Touch Attribution (MTA) analytic capability is generating valuable insights regarding the impact of some channels that was not previously known. A deep analysis of marketing investment profitability at the regional level provides the insights to optimize spending based on geography. Together these projects have significantly increased Zovio’s ability to grow in a strategic manner.

“Ted was a great help when we needed someone with deep digital marketing experience. He drove several key projects for me which included digital attribution measurement, spend optimization and new media testing. He developed several key frameworks to prioritize tests and optimize the spend. He is also an excellent project manager and kept things moving to successful results. We greatly appreciated his work and would use him again.”

Tom McCarty – CMO, Zovio