How can startups generate more and cheaper leads from advertising if you know nothing about your competitors?

The Client. A company offering an online email signature generator that helps create professional and branded email signatures for Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, and Office 365 clients.

The Niche. Creating online email signatures for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.

Our Task. Set up and launch effective online advertising targeted at SMB representatives and test several strategies using a limited budget.

The Goals. Identify the most efficient type of campaign that could secure a steady flow of orders and leads.

The Problems. Intense competition for ad impressions and on the market in general, high cost-per-click, limited advertising budget, and the need to identify relevant audiences.

Project Period. May 2022 — now.

Case Description

In highly competitive industries, company marketers can easily spend a lot of time and money trying to generate qualified leads from Google Ads.

This case demonstrates how IT companies can get relevant leads using Google Ads at a lower price by targeting specific audiences and taking into account competitors when setting up advertising campaigns.

We got a limited budget from the client for the first month of the project, so we decided to focus on campaigns and targeting a specific audience.

  1. Display Ads

This is advertising on Google partner sites. We targeted ads at interested audiences, interested customers, competitors' audiences, and specific audiences using keywords.

We categorized audiences into groups:

1.1 Interests and behaviors

People with interests that relate to our client’s service:

1.2 Keywords

People who have previously searched  terms in Google that are related to our client’s service:

1.3 People who browse websites similar to

We put up a list of competitor websites and targeted a campaign at their visitors:

We added responsive Display Ads to the campaign, including personalized offers and call-to-actions.

Location targeting: the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada. 

Results after the first month of advertising:

We received 18 conversions with an average cost-per-conversion of $21.23.

Then we analyzed which ad groups had been the most effective and extended their audiences. Additionally, we stopped ad groups that drove the least conversions.

2. Campaigns based on competitor websites

At the start of the project, we performed an in-depth analysis of competitor sites and the value of their offers. We also analyzed their advertising, semantics, and ad copies.

We selected competitor sites closest to our client's product typology and created a separate Search campaign for them. We categorized ads into different ad groups based on the brand queries of competitor sites.

We received 24 conversions (Sign up) with the average cost per conversion of $14.34.

We analyzed the effectiveness of all groups we created based on competitors and stopped the ones that generated a large amount of traffic to the site but did not bring any conversions.

We also analyzed the device type and demographics data (age, gender) to adjust bids within active campaigns.

Since we managed to achieve remarkable results after the first month of advertising with a limited budget, a larger budget was allocated for the next month, which allowed us to expand the audience reach of active campaigns as well as to plan the launch of additional directions.

Conclusions and recommendations

In many areas of IT, the competition and CPCs in Google Ads are very high. The cost of a single click can reach tens of dollars. Before launching any advertising activities, it is worth examining the market in advance and analyzing your competitors’ advertising efforts. It’s possible to launch ad campaigns even with a relatively low advertising budget; the main thing is to carefully select the campaign type and audiences to target.

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