The Treehouse Internet Group Seymour, Connecticut
The Treehouse Internet Group
“AdWords is a business-generation tool. It’s there to get you new customers.”Richard Fencil, Internet Marketing DirectorThe Treehouse Internet Group has 85 employees.link www.treehouseinternetgroup.comThe Treehouse Internet Group began as the online marketing department for Basement Systems, Inc., generating sales leads for specialty home contractors across the country. The group renamed itself in 2010, and in 2013 began serving other, non-competing contractors outside their established dealer network. Employees enjoyed operating from what the website calls “the coolest work environment in Connecticut,” office space designed and built to look like a treehouse. “The workspace is not only unique, it’s a place that helps us attract the very best people to work here,” says Richard Fencil, Internet Marketing Director. It was also part of their rebranding as The Treehouse, distinct from their parent company.
The group uses a performance-based business model, meaning they only charge home-improvement contractors when they deliver qualified sales leads. Treehouse relies heavily on AdWords, Google’s advertising program, which produces about 40% of those leads. “AdWords gives us incredible control over that,” says Todd Hugo, Performance Director. They also see that their contractors use Google My Business, “a place for us to make sure that they are represented if somebody is searching locally,” Todd adds. Google Analytics helps them track the performance of contractors’ websites, particularly for mobile users. Treehouse employees use Google Drive and Google Sheets to collaborate and communicate internally.
The Treehouse now provides lead-generation services for seven dealer networks in the U.S. and Canada. Fifty to sixty percent of all the leads flowing through the contractor networks arrive via The Treehouse or their web program. They host two large dealer events every year, are the fastest-growing digital agency in Connecticut, and have been named one of the best places to work in the state. The group sees a healthy annual growth rate of about 20%. “But our main goal is always to drive our clients’ growth,” Richard says. “If they don't succeed, we don't succeed.”The Treehouse Internet Group has 85 employees.link www.treehouseinternetgroup.com
The Tree House Brothers Higganum, Connecticut
The Tree House Brothers
“We would not be where we are today without our website and Google AdWords.”James McCarthy, Co-founder15 tree houses built in 2014link www.treehousebrothers.comBrothers James and Ryan McCarthy are fourth-generation carpenters. So when James wanted to build a tree house for his son, the pair thought, this will be a lot of fun. "We did a great job," James says. “We knew we'd enjoy building tree houses for other people, so we put up a website." That was 2010. Within one week of launching a campaign with AdWords, Google's advertising program, the brothers started getting calls. Soon their seedling idea had branched into a thriving business. They doubled the number of tree houses they built their first couple of years and they expect 50 percent growth in 2015.
AdWords is their only paid form of advertising. "Using Google and the Internet to reach out and get customers is different from the way we used to do things,” James says. “But it's beneficial for us as builders. Being able to target the areas that we want to target—that's everything for us. It makes it possible for us to do what we do.” The return on investment has been sky-high. "One 75¢ click onto our website could turn out to be a $20,000 job," James says. The brothers use social media, including Google+ and YouTube, to showcase their work, including tree forts, luxury tree houses for adults, and tree house accessories (such as slides, pulley systems, and electric lights).
"Every year, the tree houses get more elaborate and grander," says James, who plans to use AdWords to expand into other states. "Kids love them. Parents love them. When we hand them over, there's a lot of high fives. It's really magical." Believing every child deserves a special place to hang out, the brothers have donated tree houses to children's charities, including one to the Make-a-WishⓇ Foundation and another to a homeless shelter for children in Brooklyn, the latter of which was featured on “The Today Show.” "Not only are we making their dreams come true," says James, "but it's a dream come true for us, too."15 tree houses built in 2014link www.treehousebrothers.com