Restructured Paid Search Program Reduces Merchant Processor CPA by 58%
Enterprise payments brand taps Crue to improve lead gen, gain budget efficiency and boost customer acquisition with enhanced SEM program
Merchant Processor Business Challenge
Respected as one of the biggest payment processors in the US, this brand is a 20+ year established leader in traditional, online and contactless payment processing for 275,000 merchants nationwide.
Its in-house marketing team had only been running demand generation programming for about a year, as they previously leveraged a more traditional sales infrastructure to fuel growth. As they built their program, the goal was two-fold: 1) continue to demonstrate the value of digital marketing for payments to encourage increased investment, and 2) scale their various offerings in a highly competitive fintech landscape.
Chief problem: Awareness wasn’t the challenge. It was performance efficiency at the bottom of the funnel. That’s where Crue stepped in.
Not all leads are created equal
“Leads on their own don’t move the needle in efficiency or profitability in marketing,” said James Kukie, paid search manager on the account. “To solve for this, we noticed that both high performing and high priority verticals weren’t specific enough, particularly from an ad copy to landing page experience. Not only do we want to show the search engines optimal relevancy against a prospect’s search, but we want to make sure consumers make the connection as well.”
In addition to the new ad copy, our media team developed tailored landing pages for this fintech paid search program that spoke to each vertical the brand wanted to target. We worked hand-in-hand with the brand’s marketing leaders and product marketing team to couple our knowledge of: A) a prospective customer’s intent behind their search, and B) the brand’s in-depth understanding of their ICP’s motivations and pain points. This combination helped us deliver best in class landing pages that not only resonated but also incited action.
What’s even cooler is that James and his team intentionally left the legacy campaigns running so they could monitor both structures and create an internal environment where they could study both campaigns, comparing their respective results and conclude why the team was seeing certain levels of performance between the two.
“By tracking both the old and optimized campaigns, we could see how to create a better structure in search with even stronger strategies for bidding, keywords, ad copy and landing page experiences — all with an emphasis on driving performance for specific business verticals,” explained James. “Solid campaign structure turned into better optimization strategies, which led to us achieving an unprecedented cost per lead.”
Not only are our teams inherently passionate about and persistent in our pursuit of testing, but we’re also trained to design our programming with a contender in mind. Some of the areas where we activated our contender mindset on this project were:
- How does one headline compare to another, and another, and another?
- Are we fully utilizing the platforms for all they have to offer? Features, functions, etc.
- Does one campaign or ad group within the legacy structure perform better than the restructure? Or vice versa? Why?
- How do we capitalize on this by either dialing up what we have been doing, dialing one part down, or relying on our newly restructured program to drive better results?
There’s a lot of hypothesizing, testing and experimenting we do that allows us to take the most profitable next step.
Paid Search Program Results
Overall, our team paid close attention throughout the payments paid media campaigns. We listened to the client, understood their goals and also challenged them around their objectives to understand where they originated. By restructuring the campaigns, studying the impact and optimizing based on data, this client earned outstanding results against their primary objective.
58% Reduction in CPA Goal
- The target cost per lead prescribed by the payment processor company was a $100 CPA.
- Crue was able to reduce that cost down to $42 in Google in just one day, hitting under $40 in Bing.
125% Improvement in CTR
- Click through rate (CTR) on Google YoY improved by 125%.
- This illustrates the Crue creative team’s ability to construct compelling ad copy that attracts an audience right away, particularly in the copy of our responsive search ads.
Ad Rank Improvements
- Overall, we ensured that both people searching – and the search engines themselves – received the best experience possible across all components of search, and that we maintained the highest ad rank possible to achieve maximum visibility against our budget.
- The team heavied up on negative keyword targeting overall for the fintech paid search program, and operated consistency in these efforts across the search platforms. This gave greater assurance that we were remaining efficient and not bidding on those who would not drive value (or efficiency) for the business and the paid search campaign.
- We removed audience segments that restricted ads
- We ensured proper scheduling of ads to be served, optimizing for the most quality leads
Generating these results required a systematic, team approach and strong collaboration with our client. We adhere to a “sum of the parts” approach with media, creative, tech and data insights departments fully integrated on this project, and every project.
Advanced Data insights
We at Crue are best set up for success when we have access to our clients’ CRM integration so we can collect feedback on lead quality in real-time and optimize based on quality score. Data, analytics and insights are core to our fintech marketing strategy. We love having a front-row seat to watch lead activity and making adjustments based on the cause and effect of our efforts.
“When it comes to telling a story with data with fintech paid media specifically, we have the opportunity to work with the ‘writers’ and the ‘editors’ of the story and really evolve the marketing so that it’s the most strategic,” explained James. “With media, you need to continuously optimize towards the objective. The fruitfulness comes down the line over time when you’ve got it dialed in.”
Director of Digital Solutions Brian Ryback agrees. “The data our analysts collect and scrutinize is pure gold. The data doesn’t just help your marketing, it helps your business. The recommendations aren’t based on gut or anecdotal evidence. True business conclusions can be made on that data.”
With the significant increase in click through rates and incredible decrease in cost per acquisition, this merchant processor was able to acquire more transacting customers at a fraction of their original investment.
Our deep knowledge of both paid media and the fintech industry combined allowed us to quickly optimize this brand’s program and implement a testing strategy that is still paying dividends today as we've scaled into other channels.
Driving optimal performance and efficiency for paid media programs involves far more than tactical channel expertise. We consider a channel’s role in customer acquisition and how we leverage creative, media and technology to provide a comprehensive approach to program delivery that drives exponential growth. And that’s exactly how growing fintechs grow faster.
If you’re seeking efficiency in your bottom-funnel performance so you can grow faster as well, reach out to Crue today to book a strategy session around your fintech marketing goals.