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Lesfurets increases conversions with target CPA

  Article , Financial Services , Success stories

Finance aggregator matures its digital strategy with auto bidding

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Game-changing customer acquisition

Clément Bécaud is not a man who minces his words: “I would not have said this two years ago, but I can say with confidence now: Microsoft Advertising has become a game changer from an acquisition perspective.” As Head of Acquisition for leading French household finances aggregator Lesfurets, it’s Clément’s job to ensure that his digital marketing budget delivers leads not just to compare, but to convert.

Finding a quality converting audience that aligned perfectly with its business needs, Lesfurets has steadily increased investment and prominence with Microsoft Advertising over the last year. With advances in Microsoft’s auto bidding strategies, Lesfurets began testing enhanced cost per click (eCPC) and target cost per acquisition (CPA) strategies to further its business.

Spending our energy optimizing our Microsoft Advertising campaigns can bring a big impact on revenue for relatively little effort.

— Arthur Behague, Digital Acquisition Manager, Lesfurets

Rebalancing the traffic mix

The acquisition team at Lesfurets was looking for inspiration to drive more quality leads to its website. After some analysis they noticed that the mix of traffic was heavily skewed towards Google, and that time invested in optimizing Microsoft Advertising campaigns was very low.

As Digital Acquisition Manager Arthur Behague explained, this discovery presented an opportunity to Lesfurets to make some big gains for comparatively little effort: “We feel we are pretty advanced in our optimization of the Google platform but Microsoft Advertising holds a lot of opportunity for us. Spending our energy optimizing our Microsoft campaigns can bring a big impact on revenue for relatively little effort.”

Automated bidding strategies were highlighted as a simple but important implementation to improve account performance. Ambre Savidan, another Digital Acquisition Manager on the team explained: “We knew that auto bidding strategies functioned really well on Google so there was no reason that they wouldn’t also work on Microsoft Advertising.”

Starting with one of the smaller product lines in home insurance, Ambre implemented eCPC and target CPA strategies and saw very quick returns. Within two weeks CPA was stable and started to deliver high-quality converting customers. With a successful test case completed, the team decided to roll out auto-bidding across the majority of its portfolio.

The impact of COVID-19

It was about this time that COVID-19 hit continental Europe. Faced with unprecedented circumstances and swiftly changing customer behavior, brands were having to make tough decisions about their marketing investment.

Clément recalls: “We had a meeting with our board of directors to discuss what we should do. Many brands were pulling back significantly on advertising spend, but we decided to push forward to maintain market leadership and capture new opportunities.”

With this bold decision made, the team continued with its plan. However, it wasn’t long before the wisdom of that decision was tested. “When we started implementing these strategies on the bigger campaigns the results did not go well,” said Ambre. “The CPA went up a lot in the first two weeks and it was a lot higher than we expected.”

Despite the initial spike in CPA, Ambre’s experience told her that the algorithms would need time to adjust before performance could be properly optimized. “The key factor utilizing these auto bidding strategies is patience. If it doesn’t work in one week it needs to have more time and you cannot make radical changes if the machine learning period is not over.”

Four weeks after implementation, Ambre’s patience paid off. The CPA on the accounts started coming down significantly and led to a doubling of conversions for Lesfurets.

“COVID-19 gave us more space to implement this risky strategy,” she said. “When others were pulling back, we were pushing forward. Before we didn’t have the time and the competition was too fierce, but because we were prepared to let performance dip, when the algorithms started responding our volume and impression share really started to take off.”

Performance above expectations

As a result of implementing target CPA and eCPC, Lesfurets saw clicks increase by a massive 187% and conversions go up by 182% year-on-year (June 2019 – June 2020). The average CPC has also risen by 37%, but this cost increase was more than offset by the performance and high rate of conversion. According to Arthur, the next step for Lesfurets is to implement Google Import functionality on key campaigns to further reduce duplication of account optimization.

“Microsoft Advertising is an environment that is full of opportunity for us to explore,” said Arthur, “This is a place we can find more performance and volume for a good price, so now are willing to try more.”

The key factor here is patience. You cannot make radical changes if the machine learning period is not over. But the results are worth the wait.

— Ambre Savidan, Digital Acquisition Manager, Lesfurets

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