1400% lead growth to scale PPC

Challenge
I needed to put together a plan to scale the Paid Search Program and convince senior leaders to invest $750k in media, new vendors, and best-in-class A/B testing technology.

Opportunity
The profitability demonstrated in the move from Genworth-branded to AARP-branded showed proof that if we committed to making improvements in the Pre-Click and Post-Click pieces of the ecosystem, then the market was big enough to support growing Paid Search from 20 leads a week to 300 leads a week, and remain within profitability targets.
 
Pain Points

  1. Our Paid Search vendor was too expensive for us and we didn’t matter enough to them.
  2. We had no A/B testing platform.
  3. We had no testing strategy.
  4. We weren’t focused on conversion optimization.

 
Approach
I created a business case, pitched to Senior leaders and cross-functional colleagues across the company, recommending an overhaul of the approach that would address each of the Pain Points.   The plan included sourcing a new Paid Search vendor, source and implement a best-in-class A/B testing platform, develop a testing strategy that focused on Ad Copy, incorporating functionalities that Google AdWords and Bing Ads offered (i.e. Keyword Insertion in Ad Copy), and commitment to testing different landing page designs including copy, calls-to-action (CTAs), and lead forms.

Results
I assembled a great team, put an Ad Copy testing strategy in place, re-structured campaigns to be more keyword-focused, adopted a bidding strategy based on ROI, implemented an A/B testing platform and hammered away on conversion optimization. After the first month, lead volume grew 100% from  20 to 40, cost per lead dropped to under from $200, and with sales conversion rate remaining steady at 7%, our costs to generate a customer dropped by 60%, to $1400. Paid Search became a scaled and efficient program within the first 3 months of the new approach, and a core digital program for years.