We were briefed to grow subscriptions versus last year, whilst maintaining a target cost per acquisition (CPA).
Although we didn’t have specific instructions to grow non-brand by a certain amount, we identified an opportunity to do so, making it a focus from the start of our partnership.
We began with revisiting our audit of the account, implementing some quick-wins which would provide Birchbox with immediate results. We then restructured the account in a way which allowed us more control over the keywords.
Initially, the improvements which delivered the most impact were as follows:
- CPC analysis, which clearly showed certain clicks were being overpaid for, and some core keywords weren’t showing at all. We overhauled the bidding strategies and realigned budgets for maximum visibility.
- Simplifying the account structure, so we could easily distinguish top-performing keywords and ensure they’re never limited for budget. This reduced keyword overlap too.
- Refreshing all ad copy and extensions, to make them super relevant to each keyword, whilst promoting key benefits and a clear call to action.
From there, we had a solid base to start optimising our non-brand keyword performance. Some of the key drivers of growth came from making use of similar audiences, smart display and Gmail ads.
- We used Similar Audiences targeting to prospect to people modelled off our most valuable customers.
- We used smart display as a form of branding, making use of CPA bidding to only pay when a subscription met our target.
- Gmail campaigns gave us freedom to talk to our new and existing customers with tailored messaging and offers.
We were able to successfully scale up subscriptions via non-branded keywords and campaigns, without compromising CPA.
Comparing 1st October 2019 to 31st January 2020 to the same period last year, we’ve seen some incredible results:
- 379% increase in traffic
- 72% increase in subscriptions
- 66% decrease in CPCs
- 7% decrease in CPA
This non-brand activity also has a direct impact on our brand campaigns. Over the same time frame YoY we saw significant improvement across key metrics for our core brand term:
- 42% increase in traffic
- 28% increase in CTR
- 64% decrease in CPCs
- 36% increase in subscriptions
- 62% decrease in CPA