Internet Marketing in Italy – A Case Study

Learn how I helped a tour business in Italy QUICKLY scale their customer leads with a simple digital marketing campaign.

A few years ago, I worked with Laura from “Digging up Roots in the Boot.” She’s an American woman living in Calabria who performs family document research, and conducts heritage tours for the descendants of Italian immigrants from the U.S., Canada, and Australia. When I met her, she was doing a pretty good job establishing a name for herself via word of mouth. And that was fine, but as we all know, these days information travels at the velocity of high-speed Internet.

I was glad that Laura had such a good business model in place, which was key, because nothing helps a bad business fail faster than effective marketing. Put another way, some people (falsely) believe that you can sell anything if you just market it well.

So with Laura, there were no issues with the quality of her services—she’s top notch all the way. But there were a few challenges in getting her message heard beyond the reach of her own voice.

Some of the challenges that we faced:

  • Limited experience in technology and marketing. While she’s an undisputed expert in genealogy research and heritage tourism, her knowledge of tools like WordPress was limited. Further, she’s never really considered herself a good writer—although I personally dispute that point.
  • She’s a one-woman operation. She’s doing it all on her own. Yes, she worked with me to get her platforms all set up and running smoothly. But at this point, she’s doing everything from answering emails to writing blog posts to connecting with people on social media. All of that in addition to the actual activities of her business.
  • Hers is not really the biggest niche in tourism. Millions of people visit Italy every year, but not many want to travel to the remote villages of their ancestors. Even people with Italian heritage usually gravitate to the tourist centers of Northern and Central Italy.
  • Competition. Despite the specificity of her niche, there are still plenty of people doing almost exactly what she does. And many of them have had an established online presence for a while.
  • She’s in a small town, not a big city. Since she lives in an area of Calabria where few other expats live, it’s harder for her to network in person.
Internet Marketing in Italy
  • Small social following. Before starting our collaboration, Laura wasn’t very active on social media, consequently her numbers of friends, followers, and fans was low. Thankfully, at this point, it’s growing fast. About a week into her launch one of her Facebook posts “went viral,” reaching almost 4,500 people and getting shared 49 times! (See Facebook Post above.)
  • No email list. I tell all my clients that building an email list should be your top priority. Laura didn’t have one, but we set one up right away and she was able to capture 130+ email leads in the first week alone using an excellent opt-in offer that we created.

Internet Marketing in Italy – the Results

Laura’s website took off almost immediately. Just 11 days after the official launch, she was getting over 1,600 hits per day to her site. People started emailing her left and right—so much so she was overwhelmed. Here’s an exact quote from what she wrote to me:

“OMG!!!!!!!! Rick, I can’t keep up! As I am responding to 1 email, 3 more come in. I have responded to over 50 since yesterday and have another 20 in the queue. They are coming in around the clock from the USA, Canada and Australia.”


Owner, Digging Up Roots in the Boot

increased website traffic due to Internet Marketing in Italy

Before creating her website, social profiles, and email list, she wasn’t getting that many inquiries in a month—not even in two months! Needless to say, she’ll now be bringing in as many leads as she can handle.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Laura. She was the perfect client; she knows her business and her “ideal” customer; she’s flexible and open to creative suggestions; and she realizes that having a professional platform is only half of the job—the other half requires active participation by her, the business owner.

Together, the end result was exactly what we had both hoped to achieve.

Let’s Talk!

So if you believe that your business activity could benefit from the same type of online success, please get in touch with me. The initial consultation is always free, and I’d be happy to give you my insights on your current digital marketing efforts. Ciao!