Kurt Wagner, owner of Wagner Machine Company in Champaign, Illinois, runs his business “The Wagner Way.”
“We aim to be the most knowledgeable, capable, and innovative source for high-precision manufacturing,” says Kurt. “Our mission is to positively impact American manufacturing by building lasting relationships with employees, customers, and vendors.”
Kurt and his team pride themselves on having tenured employees, with many being there for 10+ years and several others for over twenty. They also have a unique rule: before you can quote, you must know how to machine, meaning anyone in a management position is also an experienced machinist and knowledgeable about their specific mix of capabilities.
All of these competitive differentiators are listed clearly on Wagner Machine’s website. But what if nobody ever visited their website?
Historically, Wagner Machine relied on word-of-mouth referrals for new business, with its website primarily serving as a reference for existing clients. But three years ago, Wagner Machine invested in a website rebuild.
“We had this fresh new website and had just added the Paperless Parts Request for Quote (RFQ) form to drive more leads,” reflects Kurt. “But we weren’t getting the traffic we needed to make it effective.” With limited visibility in search engine results, Kurt knew they were missing out on potential opportunities. “Younger engineers and buyers are increasingly using Google to find machine shops, and we needed to be visible to tap into that potential market.”
Wagner Machine made the strategic decision to partner with Paperless Parts Marketing Solutions, recognizing the need for a structured marketing approach that would drive quality traffic to their website. The competitive pricing and reasonable time commitment required on Kurt’s end to implement the program made it a clear choice.
As Wagner Machine’s marketing partner, Paperless Parts produces blog posts and other long-form pieces of content, social media posts, and marketing emails while also conducting consistent search engine optimization (SEO) and website audit reporting.
As a successful business owner, Kurt knows how to delegate. “I’m a machinist by trade, not a marketer,” he says. “What Paperless Parts does for us, technically we could do, but we don’t have the time or the skill set to do it properly.”
Paperless Parts’ Marketing Solutions team works exclusively with job shops and contract manufacturers, so unlike other marketing agencies out there, they have a comprehensive understanding of Kurt’s industry. Not dissimilar from “The Wagner Way,” understanding machining is a prerequisite.
“We show up on page one of Google for ‘high volume machining.’ I can’t believe we did that.”
Kurt emphasized that the process defined by Paperless Parts was a game-changer: “We have a monthly, one-hour content call where I help Paperless Parts understand our company mission and vision,” explains Kurt. “It’s my company and vision, so who better to make sure that our messaging is correct? For me, it’s time spent wisely.” And as a bonus: “It’s one of the most fun meetings I have on my calendar; I always look forward to it.”
After those monthly calls, all Kurt is in charge of is reviewing the content that the Paperless Parts Marketing Solutions team writes on his behalf. “I tend to ramble, and I’m also super picky—but the Paperless Parts team does a great job of understanding me and turning those conversations into awesome content that I don’t spend much time editing.”
Wagner Machine’s blog is updated with fresh new content every month. The ideas come from Kurt, but the long-form content is written and published by Paperless Parts.
While the writing is always on brand, it’s also developed for search engine optimization (SEO). “We show up on page one of Google for ‘high volume machining.’ I can’t believe we did that,” expressed Kurt. “With Paperless Parts Marketing Solutions helping us drive inbound leads, we have new, quality requests coming in almost daily.”
This graph shows the Wagner Machine website’s position on Google from March–October, with the volume of their website being ranked increasing over time.
Just last year, Wagner Machine added half a dozen new customers sourced from organic web traffic, with one of those becoming one of their top three clients. “We’ve certainly felt the long-term benefits of this program,” Kurt states.
The consistent content generation also keeps Wagner Machine top of mind for its existing customers, fostering engagement and trust. “Our monthly newsletter consistently generates responses from customers seeking our expertise on the topics we write about,” explains Kurt. “We share information that’s actually valuable to our audience, at a reasonable cadence—we only ever get compliments, no complaints!”
After implementing Paperless Parts’ Marketing Solutions program, Wagner Machine has experienced the following results:
- 20% more RFQs, indicating a surge in interest from multiple new buyers, helping to diversify Wagner’s pipeline and customer base.
- 40% improved search engine visibility, allowing Wagner Machine to be more easily found by potential customers.
- A 60% increase in website traffic driven by Google’s organic search results.
Want to learn more about Paperless Parts Marketing Solutions?
Younger engineers and buyers are increasingly using Google to find machine shops, and we needed to be visible to tap into that potential market…With Paperless Parts Marketing Solutions helping us drive inbound leads, we have new, quality requests coming in almost daily.