Alton Materials and Recycling Consultants are sister companies in the scrap metal recycling business. The former is a scrap yard that also provides business services and the latter is scrap metal brokerage firm specializing in railroad scrap metals. We began our online marketing retainer with them in late 2012.

scrap metal marketing

Our assignment

Alton Materials (AM) and Recycling Consultants (RC) wanted to separate themselves from the pack and raise the industry standard on professionalism. Our challenge was to elevate their brands while simultaneously creating lead-generating opportunities online.

As a company serving both the general public (at their scrap yards near St. Louis) and businesses that produce scrap metal (construction, demolition, manufacturing…), we needed to target two separate large audiences for Alton Materials. For Recycling Consultants on the other hand, our target fell within an incredibly niche market  — railroad scrap metal.

Our strategy

Developing a brand voice and feel with overhauled websites

Both companies were operating with outdated websites that required overhauls to serve as content hubs to attract the appropriate audiences. Because the two are closely linked, we opted to draw a visual connection between the brands, as reflected in similar website design elements. Both sites were designed and written from scratch to establish a fresh brand look and voice.

scrap metal website design

Generating website traffic in a niche industry

As companies with very little web presence prior to their new websites, a higher volume of targeted traffic would be imperative to capturing leads. We made the business blog central to both companies’ marketing plans and have begun producing targeted content regularly for each of their audiences. We focused on choosing keywords these audiences might search in Google and writing blog content that would serve as useful resources for each. A few examples follow.

Targeting industrial businesses for scrap metal management:

Why we should recycle as construction and demolition professionals

Targeting the general public

The differences between ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal

Targeting the railroad scrap market:

Controlling the chaos of train derailment recovery

Converting traffic to leads

subscribeOn the lead-generation front for AM, we built in an email subscribe option for a company newsletter and another for pricing sheet updates, as metal market prices fluctuate frequently. We also developed a Scrap Management Program guide for both companies. These downloadable PDFs serve as buyers’ guides, outlining how AM and RC conduct their business services. The guides were designed to gather contact information from further-down-the-sales-funnel prospects who were willing to trade their email address for the guide.

scrap industry leads

industrial lead generation

Nurturing leads through the buying cycle

By building a marketing database through these lead-capture forms, we’ve created opportunity for marketing directly to potential customers via email campaigns. We’ve structured the campaigns around promoting new scrap metal recycling resources we consistently publish for each target audience on the AM and RC websites.


Although both websites just recently went live, we’ve begun to see positive results. We’ll update this section in a few months as more useful data becomes available. For now, a few highlights follow:

  • At the end of June 2013, AM total website traffic was up 126% compared to three months prior. Traffic from search engines was up 262%. The following graph represents the pattern of website traffic generation since the new site went live at the end of February.
    industrial website traffic generation
  • For the AM consumer market, we targeted the keyword “ferrous vs. non-ferrous” with a blog post, noting a high search volume and low competition to rank for that term. Shortly after The differences between ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal went live, Alton Materials was ranking 4th in Google for this popular search among a relevant audience. This blog post alone drove more than 2000 visits to the AM website in Q2 of 2013.
  • For the first time, both AM and RC are organically building a marketing database through their websites, seeing a consistent flow of business leads through price list and newsletter subscribes and Scrap Management Program downloads.