Case Study: Locally-Targeted Ads Drive Donation Volume Growth

Client:  Non-profit organization providing support to low-income families seeking home ownership

Overview: The challenge presented was to grow our client’s donation volume and donation value within a limited ad spend budget in an intensely competitive market.  We knew could find gains with a data-driven approach,  and by both maximizing the efficiency of their media buy and selectively delivering ad impressions to audiences where conversion and ROI are highest.

Analysis of a rich historical data set for nationally-targeted campaigns, including ad network data, conversion data from third-party tracking tools, and donation records revealed strong correlations between audience locations and donations. We also found that donation volume increased during periods when our client was actively working in a local area and soon after their work in that area was complete.

To leverage efficiencies observed in different areas of the United States, campaigns were created to more easily optimize around audience performance trends at the local level. Campaigns were also created to target ad delivery to audiences in locations where our client was currently working, or soon would be, and resource needs were greatest. Ad creative focused on the core values of the non-profit and featured the location targeted by each campaign.

Results: In the nine months since implementing local audience targeting and optimization strategies, overall campaign profitability increased by 10%, cost-per-donation improved by 6%, and donation volume increased by 15%.

Case Study: 104% Gross Profit Increase Using Google Shopping / PLAs

Client:  E-commerce retailer that sells seasonal residential products nationwide

Overview:  Our client’s focus is to acquire customers cost-effectively over the spring, summer and fall seasons.  Google’s Product Listing Ad (PLA) program had produced sales for them in the past and once the program shifted to a paid model mid-year, we began managing the campaign on their behalf.  By using a tiered approach in which we targeted products and categories that had historically produced the most sales, we were able to mitigate risk while allowing testing to go on during their slower Fall season.  In addition to the product-specific campaign, we created an ”All Products” PLA campaign, which included all products in their feed at bid prices lower than the product-specific campaign.

Results:  The ”All Products” campaign reached profitability within its first month. PLA monthly sales, as a whole, increased 27% with a 41% higher average order size and 104% higher gross profit per sale than original PLA campaign.  All of this occurred during their “slow” season.

Case Study: Closed-Loop Marketing for E-Commerce Business

Client:  Discount online retailer selling products in the home décor and furnishings space

Overview: Our client’s success is built on cost-effectively converting online visitors to their website into sales via their online store.  To help grow their web store activity and help measure and understand the efficacy of their paid advertising, we worked with the client to obtain granular margin information and detailed order reports. This combination of data allowed us to tie profit back to the individual keywords that generated those orders and to fold that data into our custom bidding model for ongoing bid optimization.  We  then crafted an expansion strategy using this data to rapidly drive our profit-focused optimization process.

Results:  Through our performance-based modeling techniques and other optimization efforts, weincreased conversion rate 36% from early baseline results and decreased ad spend as a percentage of revenue by 34%.

Case Study: Effects of Seasonality and Brand Traffic on Campaign Performance

Client: Non-profit organization relying on monetary donations to fund core programs

Overview: Our client is a non-profit organization that relies on monetary donations to fund their mission. Their success is built on cost-effectively acquiring donations through in-kind, dollar, and airline mile donations programs via online and offline channels.  In analyzing their historical data and in advising on better tracking of donor activity, we found that there were substantial areas for increased efficiency in new donor acquisition through their paid online marketing programs.  In particular, a better understanding of non-brand keyword behavior and how to better understand the value of their strong and established brand as it relates to new donor acquisition led to dramatic breakthroughs in marketing efficiency.

Results:  The understanding of seasonality and differing donor behavior and donor value by segment has allowed us to dramatically increase the efficiency in acquiring new donors, and to best budget and execute to take advantage of highly seasonal trends.  These insights combined with efficient execution of the digital campaigns will yield significantly stronger results both during and outside their seasonally strong peak season and will allow them to more comfortably extend their digital programs into new areas.

Case Study: 140% Increase in Sales using Retargeting

Client:  Leading provider of labor law compliance materials

Overview: Our client’s goal was to maximize order volume and revenue from a highly-relevant audience at the beginning of the new year, when the demand for updated materials is at its highest.  To help achieve this goal, Working Planet launched retargeting campaigns that would deliver ad impressions to previously non-purchasing site visitors prompting them to return to our client’s site and order updated material. Because measuring lift would be difficult during a seasonal period of higher activity, we utilized tools that allowed us to test the effectiveness of retargeting campaigns on the targeted audience against a control group of previous non-purchasing site visitors. Doing so allowed us to understand the rate at which visitors would return to our client’s site and purchase without ever seeing a retargeting ad.   Banner ads included a strong call-to-action linked to a button, highlighted updated products, and created urgency by emphasizing posting deadlines for employers.

ResultsSales from returning visitors increased by 140% compared to expected sales from returning visitors without ad retargeting. Additionally, the retargeting campaigns contributed 6% more sales and 8% more revenue than would have been generated from all traffic sources without active retargeting campaigns.

Case Study: Social Media and Retargeting Increase Trials 42%

Client:  California employer advocate offering HR law guidance to members

Overview:  During a period of seasonally low user interest, our client’s goal was to attract fresh prospects by promoting a free trial membership to site visitors.   To do so, we supplemented our client’s search marketing efforts with campaigns focused on reaching HR decision-makers where they congregate online by developing display ad campaigns to run on major social media sites, where customization options allowed us to deliver tailored marketing messages to users.  Ad creative featured the benefits of membership and incentivized audiences with a small gift in exchange for the completion of a trial registration.

After a sizable audience had reached the specialized landing page designed to convert traffic to trials, retargeting campaigns were activated to reincentivize visitors who left our client’s site without registering for a free membership trial.

Results:  During the four-month display ad promotion, total membership trials increased by 42% over the previous four months. Membership trials from out-of-channel sources increased by 26% during the first 15 days of display ad activity.

Case Study: Free Online Promotion Increases Revenue by 78%

Client:  Highly-specialized, hands-on music production and performance school

Overview:  Our client’s success is built upon offering full courses of study for students interested in taking live or online classes. They turned to Working Planet to promote an offer that would allow users to survey a course online before paying to register in exchange their for their contact information. Search campaigns were created to deliver ad impressions to audiences performing relevant search engine queries and interacting with related content online. We leveraged our client’s strong social media presence by creating campaigns to reach out to audiences with compatible interests while interacting with friends online. In addition, the landing page experience was tailored to maximize visitor-to-registration conversion, incorporating interactive content, credibility content, straightforward copy, and a bold call-to-action.

Results:  Paid course registrations increased by 45% in the month following the promotion, and total revenue increased by 78%, even though only 1% of users who registered for the free course paid for another course within the next two months. The average value of a paid registration increased by 23% as well, as more students registered for multiple courses. The impact of the promotion was sustained into the second month after it ran, with paid registrations up 47% versus the month that the promotion ran and revenue up 120%.

Case Study: Retargeting Yields 13% Lead Volume Growth

Client:  Full-service real estate agency representing buyers and sellers in large U.S. metro area

Overview:  Our client’s goal was to grow lead volume from visitors who landed on their site too early in the home buying process to commit to engaging with a real estate agent and enter the lead nurturing process.  To reengage with these audiences, who arrived largely through non-branded real estate-related search queries, we developed an ad retargeting strategy with messaging focused on our client’s key differentiators.

Success was measured by evaluating registration volume lift over baseline for traffic sources that would benefit from user interaction with display ads, including conversions from paid and organic branded links, and from visitors navigating directly to our client’s site (direct traffic).  Additionally,  an increased average length of time between initial site visit and registration would indicate that the retargeting ads were influencing more users to return and register than before the launch of the retargeting campaign.

Results:  Successful reengagement with users beyond the normal visitor return period was indicated by a 14% lengthening of the average conversion cycle during the first two months of retargeting activity.

In the same time period, total lead volume increased by 13%. Registration volume from branded paid search ads increased by 24%, with a corresponding 14% lift in registrations from branded organic links. Additionally, lead volume from direct traffic increased by 3%.

Case Study: Leveraging Google Shopping Ads (Google PLAs)

Client: B2B retailer selling medical devices and accessories

Overview: Our client’s success is built upon converting qualified visitors into sales from their online marketing efforts, including comparison shopping engines.  One of the larger networks, Google Shopping (formerly Google PLAs and Product Search before that), transitioned from a free model to a commercial model that requires merchants to pay for traffic on a cost-per-click (or cost-per-acquisition) basis, and to migrate to Google Shopping, which show search ads that contain product-rich information and are managed in AdWords.

Knowing that this transition to a paid model could have an impact on our client’s ability to capture sales on the Google Network, we worked closely with them on the set-up, implementation and optimization of this AdWords program to ensure their continued visibility and profitability on Google Shopping, in advance of the program’s transition.

Our strategy included:

  • Adding custom fields to product feed based on important product attributes necessary for tracking and monitoring product performance
  • Defining and breaking out potential audience segments at the product-level for granular targeting, bid optimization and messaging in AdWords
  • Expanding the campaign in a tiered fashion, focusing first on high profit- producing products and categories

ResultsThe campaign reached profitability after the first full month of deploying this strategy. Initial results showed that Google Shopping ads provided a 10% and 4% increase in total paid Google online sales and revenue, respectively. These results, backed by the weight of our success with other e-commerce clients, have shown that ads in Google Shopping can be a great cost-effective and efficient way to grow e-commerce business in both the B2b and B2C space.