Improving lead quality and reduce cost per sale with a webinar funnel

The client worked in the field of providing services for the placement of Ukrainian future students in universities in Slovakia.

The main source of leads was advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

The niche of education abroad is very competitive, so advertising activities required constant updates and testing of new hypotheses.

But still, the results were constantly deteriorating, even to the point of unprofitability.

The client turned to us with this problem – they needed to bring advertising into the black. Later, it was necessary to identify new advertising settings that would show stable results and be ready for scaling.

From the very beginning, we conducted an audit of advertising activities. Here are the key changes that were implemented based on its results:

Before: ad campaign groups contained all variants of placements (ad impressions) and were launched without

After: campaigns (excluding remarketing) are divided into Facebook impressions and Instagram impressions. Some campaigns had even narrower placements.

Result: Later on, Instagram was used mainly in retargeting due to its niche effectiveness compared to Facebook. This resulted in a 35% reduction in the cost per lead (CPL).

Before: no campaigns to audiences similar to the target users (LALs) who left an application and/or signed a training agreement.

After: the client requested lead and customer databases to create similar audiences and exclude these users from the impressions. “Warm leads were added to the retargeting database.

Result: Reconfiguring campaigns increased the conversion rate (CR) by 20-25%.

Before: targeting the widest possible audience, even without excluding those who were not targeted or had already left an application.

After: the target audience was segmented according to the developed hypotheses. Next, each segment was launched into testing, where the performance metrics were conversion to leads/applications (CR), cost per lead/application (CPL), and quality.

Result: 4 out of 12 test segments were left in operation. They showed a 60-70% increase in efficiency compared to the previous settings. Another 3 segments were postponed for further refinement. The rest did not show satisfactory results.

Before: lack of a clear USP in advertising offers.

After: Together with the client’s marketer, we analyzed competitors’ offers, after which we formulated three main differences of the company, which were later used as the basis for the offers.

Result: The most noticeable result of the changes was a 30% increase in ad click-through rate (CTR) within the first week.

Before: all advertising campaigns were based solely on filling out a lead form without driving traffic to the site.

After: since a visitor can get much more information on the site than from an ad, some campaigns began to switch to traffic. Together with the updated offers (see the previous point), we started receiving more high-quality and relevant applications, although their price was on average 20-25% higher than the price of Facebook leads.

Result: as expected, applications on the website were more expensive than leads on social media, but such applications were 60-70% higher quality, which fully justified their higher cost.

The analysis, development, and implementation of these changes took 1.5 calendar months. The overall performance improved by about 20-25%.

Of course, the optimization work did not stop, which continued to yield gradual improvements.

The next step was to introduce webinars to attract a new audience. The client had long wanted to implement and thoroughly test this tool.

In addition, this practice was noticed by some competitors.

Two funnels were developed: live webinars and auto-webinars.

The first option was held live once a week. Its content was built for those who had already decided on a country to receive education or even a specific university.

In other words, it was aimed at those who already understand the benefits of education abroad and are actually at the stage of choosing an operator company for paperwork.

Therefore, the funnel was short:

  • Stage 1 – invitation to the webinar;
  • Stage 2 – those who attended the webinar and went to the website but did not submit an application were sent a reminder and a certain bonus for services.

Those who registered for the webinar but did not attend were shown an invitation to the next event.

The advertising settings for the 1st stage were maximally aimed at those who already had some understanding of the peculiarities of higher education in Europe.

The auto-webinars, on the contrary, were aimed at newcomers who may not have thought about this option for their children.

The webinar series included 3 episodes with a company representative, who gradually revealed all the advantages and nuances of education in Slovakia.

There were also 2 additional recordings with current Ukrainian students who spoke about their impressions and experiences of staying and studying abroad.

By the way, these 2 videos were used to attract an audience of high school students.

In this funnel, the user received a link to the next video after watching the previous one. In fact, the user could move through the funnel without additional advertising costs.

After each video, the user was offered either consultations with the company’s specialists or additional materials (articles on the website) related to the topic of the video.

At the same time, we tested different options for offering bonuses and gifts.

The number of relevant leads received from such funnels was 30-35% higher than in campaigns without funnels.

The cost per lead was only 10-15% higher.