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Date added: 05 March 2020

Update: 26 May 2024

How do we generate B2B leads for a software development company?

The decision-making process in software development companies is often lengthy, making it difficult for them to scale their operations quickly and efficiently.

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  1. The main problem with generating B2B leads
  2. High CPC doesn’t always mean high sales
  3. The audit
  4. Implementing new solutions
  5. Building a new strategy
  6. The results after 1 month
  7. Some useful tips to improve your strategy

A client of ours had some experience with lead generation campaigns, but two major issues got in the way.

The main problem with generating B2B leads

  • The average lead cost was too high, making relying on Google Ads to grow a business impossible.
  • Lead quality was lower than expected, and contact queries didn’t lead to sales.

Our job was to:

  • understand our client’s mode of operation better 
  • alter the sales funnel to increase the average lead quality 
  • reduce the price for each conversion.

High CPC doesn’t always mean high sales

In Google Ads campaigns, software development companies usually target costly keywords. They may not be as expensive as those related to law, insurance, or medical fields, but covering dozens of keywords related to software development is also pretty expensive.

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After looking at some generic keywords above, we conclude that each click would cost us $10 on average. Our client was fine with high CPC as long as it attracted potential customers – except it didn’t. Most of the submitted contact forms didn’t bring any money, and this alarming trend had to be reversed.

The audit

First, we needed to audit existing campaigns and analyze their performance to find out what worked and what had to be improved. What we found out gave us a better understanding of the situation. Most of the campaigns were based on expensive short-tail low purchase intent phrases. This strategy could have worked in a consideration phase (and under particular circumstances), not when we wanted to increase sales. 

Implementing new solutions

Once we had established that, we were able to plan all the necessary countermeasures:

– creating several ad groups with long-tail keywords with higher purchase intent to make sure we can decrease average CPC and reach people who exactly know what they are looking for (tech stack, platform, or any other information that implies that the customer is ready to sign a contract, but is looking for someone who understands their needs);

– optimizing Landing Pages and creating multiple versions of ads in each group to make them as accurate as possible. Designing numerous A/B tests to determine which ads, LP versions, and ad extensions work best. Due to the nature of the offered service, it was necessary to accurately measure what was going on on-site and take advantage of a higher-than-average interaction rate. Doing that was pivotal to creating remarketing lists for Google Display Network and RLSA search campaigns. In the case of such campaigns, potential customers rarely find what they want immediately. Hence, it was our top priority to ensure they would still consider the company even after leaving the website. We used scrolling depth, session time, and website traffic checker to create remarketing audience lists that included people who seemed interested in what our client had to offer.

Building a new strategy

We realized we couldn’t miss out on any potential leads simply because they required a little more time. We segmented the traffic based on the consumed types of content to apply a proper sales funnel and push visitors from consideration to direct contact. After visiting a website, we made sure they saw ads regarding similar projects, blog posts about the professional approach to software development our client was known for, and, last but not least, reminders to contact our client for a free quote. All those steps – taken in the right order and within the right time frame – could increase the conversion rate.

Our strategy was a bit more complex and included several stages, making our client slightly concerned about the potential costs of employing this method. Still, most expenses at that time were related to highly competitive short-tail keywords. Implementing a switch to long-tail keywords would have decreased average CPC by several dollars if we had also taken care of optimizing ads and Landing Page to improve the Quality Score.

Search campaigns were just a start in our funnel. Of course, there were also RLSA campaigns, yet, they were not aimed at driving large traffic but at reminding potential customers of the brand. The real magic happened in remarketing campaigns on Google Display Network. We successfully guided potential leads through a journey that allowed them to learn more about why the company in question was precisely what they had been seeking.

The results after 1 month

After just one month, we increased the volume of conversions (by 166 free estimations), contact form submissions, or mailing list signups and improved the Conversion Rate. And the cost? We did all that without spending even one dime more than the previous month.

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Some useful tips to improve your strategy

Below, we share several tips to help you make your campaigns equally successful:

  • Create a proper funnel. It may seem more expensive, but it’s not always the case. And even if it is, would you rather have cheaper leads that don’t buy or a bit more expensive ones that do?
  • Remind the audience of your brand. Use RLSA campaigns and GDN remarketing, as well as Facebook campaigns. Don’t let people forget that they once were interested in your offer.
  • Analyze and track everything that happens on your website. You may use that information to learn more about your potential customers and locate the bottleneck in your funnel.
  • Provide a journey – don’t think sending a user to your Landing Page will do the work. Educate them, and tell them more about your company and what they need. Services like these are never purchased overnight.

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