Less can be more: intelligent strategy backed by testing

Industry
Finance
Market
B2C
Country
New Zealand

MyTax were one of New Zealand’s largest Tax Refund business, specialised in making the process of obtaining a tax refund fast and easy for New Zealanders.

Their challenge was the ‘traditional’ thinking around search that was holding them back. All of the major competitors were smart and using advanced strategies. 

To win, MyTax needed to think differently.

At a glance

25,997+

sign-ups (Nov 2018 – Apr 2019)

$257,377

reduction in ad-spend YoY

41,943

increase in overall clicks (+21%)

The campaign

What compounded the challenge was that 2018 was the most competitive year to date, with all the major players increasing their digital advertising spend in excess of $1.5 million on search alone.

“I was hoping for a slight growth year, but really I was just trying to defend the position we’ve held. In previous years our new business search target was 3,000 new customers, but it seemed that was always out of reach as our previous agency struggled to get over 2,500.” — Lester Binns, CEO of MyTax.

A slight growth year!? We knew we could do better, a lot better. After we completed an account audit and ‘gap analysis’  it was clear that opportunity was rife in SEM. Although the competitors were using advanced strategies, they weren’t using any machine learning to increase performance, nor were they focussing on the right segments of the market.

Audience
Impressions
Ad click rate
Ad clicks
Clicks to site
Click to site %
18-34
107,715
5.51%
5,936
560
9.43%
35-44
82,162
7.29%
5,990
735
12.27%
45-54
69,280
11.94%
8,274
996
12.04%
55-64
54,468
16.63%
9,059
1,046
11.55%
65+
58,901
23.40%
13,785
1,656
12.01%
Broad travel interest
134,680
9.81%
13,207
1,433
10.85%

A real-time bidding strategy:

In a competitive auction space this approach excluded us from the most expensive auctions.
We saw a slight decrease in average position, but a huge decrease in cost per click.

In 2017 the average position was 1.1 compared with our 2018 campaign the average position was slightly lower at 1.5. However the cost per click was down almost 43% from $3.79 to $2.15.

Cross-channel, aligned creative:

We included the media schedule and rotated ad copy around the heavily weighted TV and Radio slots. As there were different messages at different times, we would adjust these out dynamically.

We found a 10% higher increase in click-through-rate when we matched the Google and Bing Ads with the TV and Radio advertising messaging.

Gmail: an even bigger success:

We tested Gmail Ads as a means to tap into the market in a very direct and innovative way.

We identified several audiences, and layered in previous but disengaged MyTax customers to target, while testing multiple sets of headline and body copy to determine the most compelling combination.

The results

Paid search excellence:

The core indicators for performance in search lifted significantly by the use of our scripts and dynamic creative. The results were:

Channel
Passport application starts
Media investment
Cost per new application
Gmail
172
$4,491.72
$26.11
Display
92
$4,452.58
$48.40
Total
264
$8,944.30
$33.88
25,997+
sign-ups (Nov 2018 – Apr 2019)
$257,377
reduction in ad-spend YoY
41,943
increase in overall clicks (+21%)

Gmail, an even bigger success:

The Gmail Advertising channel has been extremely successful for MyTax - so much so that we extended the initial test into ‘always on’ activity through the entire busy season of 2018-19 to make the most of the opportunity to acquire cost effective sign ups.

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