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Qualified leads increase 238% for SaaS company using machine learning

140%

83%

23%

238%

AdVenture Media Group is not an "agency," they are a partner vested in our success. They took the time to really understand our business, industry, technology and needs and have continually increased the quality and quantity of our leads. They are trusted advisors who operate with integrity and commitment.

- Elsa Guerrero, VP of Marketing, AudioEye

Overview

AudioEye, Inc. (AEYE) is a publicly traded software as a service (SaaS) company that provides digital accessibility solutions. The company was founded in 2005 and their solutions help make digital content accessible for individuals with a variety of disabilities.

More than 41M Americans are affected by at least one condition that would make it challenging to interact with web content that is not deemed accessible. Thankfully, these individuals are protected by a myriad of legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508 Refresh of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and the Global Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). 

AudioEye provides an end-to-end accessibility tech stack. Once an initial diagnostic is complete, AudioEye’s software will remediate millions of accessibility barriers and continue to monitor and correct issues on an ongoing basis. Those that are at-risk of being sued for digital accessibility non-compliance can use AudioEye to achieve compliance within 24 hours. 

The digital accessibility market is rapidly expanding and has been making national headlines with possible Supreme Court implications for Domino's Pizza and other major brands affected by litigation. Thousands of companies, large and small, are affected by non-compliance, and many competitors have arrived into the space. 

It was crucial for AudioEye to partner with a digital agency that could move-quickly, help them better understand their own market and how it has changed over time, bridge the gap between marketing and sales, and develop unique strategies to foster rapid growth that would capture as much market share as possible.

In short, AudioEye needed a team that would help them achieve the following scalable results:


SaaS Company Growth on Google Ads



Advertising Channels Leveraged:

  • Google Search
  • Programmatic Display 
  • Facebook Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Bing / Microsoft Ads


Additional Tech: 

  • Salesforce
  • Pardot
  • Zapier
  • WordPress
  • Webflow
  • Hotjar
  • Google Optimize



Challenges

Digital accessibility remains a topic that many are still unfamiliar with, despite the fact that many business owners, web developers, and other stakeholders are directly affected by this topic and could be issued a non-compliance demand letter at any moment. 

When an organization is informed that they are being sued for non-compliance, they would quickly turn to Google to find a solution. However, dozens of companies have popped up in recent years that claim to offer accessibility products at a low cost, but do not actually provide the ongoing support that is necessary to remain compliant and avoid legal action.

In short, potential customers that were looking for a cheap, quick fix were likely to end up frustrated by the competition and less trusting of all players in the accessibility space. We needed to find a way to break through the noise.

AudioEye needed to position themselves as a knowledgeable resource where individuals could learn more about the benefits of accessibility and the risks of non-compliance. They needed to leverage this content to help build trust with the market at large and be respected as a leader in the space. 

For a long time, AudioEye lacked the ability to clearly articulate their value proposition and why they were different from the competition. We helped them fix that. 

A unique challenge includes the need for all of our advertising content to be 100% accessible to remain consistent with the AudioEye brand. Entire advertising channels are off limits if they do not meet certain criteria. Similarly, new landing pages, ads, and products take longer than average to complete as they must endure several rounds of audits by compliance officers. 

Lastly, as a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ, AudioEye (and therefore, AdVenture Media) is held to high expectations and aggressive growth targets set by shareholders. 


Strategies

Automation & Machine Learning To Fuel Growth

Important anecdotes to keep in mind: 

  • Not all people who perform the same keyword search are created equal
  • Not all leads are created equal
  • High quality leads come from all walks of life; Google search, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. This strategy helped prove this to be true

It is therefore extremely important to feed this data back into the machine-learning algorithms that make up the various ad platforms. If you can tell Google, Facebook and other platforms that Lead A turned into a closed/won deal, but Lead B did not, then the algorithms will understand to favor other individuals that are similar to Lead A and less similar to Lead B. 

In regards to the sales funnel, top funnel conversion actions refer to quality actions that are at the beginning of the sales process, such as filling out a contact form. Likewise, a bottom funnel conversion action would refer to an event toward the end of the sales cycle, such as a proposal being sent out or a customer officially closing into a deal. 

Many more people fill out contact forms (top funnel) than close into customers (bottom funnel). In an effort to guide the machine to optimize for our revenue-generating goals, we needed to develop as much bottom-funnel conversion data as possible. 

Over time, the algorithms would learn more about the specific characteristics of our bottom-funnel converting audience, and place more emphasis on users that were likely to convert into customers (as opposed to top-funnel leads that would never close into customers).

Once we started to flood the system with more bottom-funnel conversion data, we were able to begin removing top-funnel conversion actions from individual campaigns (using a new feature called Selective Optimization that was released by Google in 2019). 

In short, we were guiding the machine to optimize for higher quality conversions. 

As our leads-to-MQL ratio and MQL-to-SQL ratio began to improve, we were able to drastically increase total advertising spend. 

An added bonus was that, as lead quality improved, the AudioEye sales team was not wasting their time chasing after lower-quality leads.

(For more information on how machine learning helps drive Google Ads performance, see our blog post: PPC Garage: Under the Hood of Google's Target CPA Algorithm)


Salesforce / Google Integration

In order to reap the benefits of proper machine learning, a complete feedback loop needs to be established between the primary CRM system and the various ad platforms that you are investing in. 

And before you can link up these two platforms, you need to ensure that your CRM data is actually correct, and that data-integrity is being enforced throughout your organization. 

Our team uncovered that there were many integration errors that were leading to a lack of proper information being associated with customer contact records. Lead source, for example, was incorrect more than 50% of the time. 

Our integration specialists helped resolve these issues so that accurate information could be processed through Pardot forms, sent to Salesforce, and ultimately fed back into the ad platforms to help fuel the machine learning algorithms. 

Conversion Rate Optimization

As mentioned, the digital accessibility space is a competitive market that many are still unaware of. Therefore, once we acquire traffic through advertising, it’s extremely important that we do everything we can do to clearly explain who we are, what problems we solve, and ultimately make it as simple as possible for users to convert into leads. 

Some of our CRO strategies included:

  • Usability testing
  • Heatmap analysis / Screen recording analysis
  • User heuristics analysis
  • A/B test landing pages
  • Ongoing comprehensive competitive analysis


This deep understanding of AudioEye’s traffic and competitive landscape allowed us to make data-driven recommendations for an overhaul of the website copy. We worked with their team to ensure that copy on all pages was clear and developed with conversions in mind. 

From a content perspective, we recommended building out a massive FAQ library, along with other helpful resources, to help educate the broader public about digital accessibility and the legislation that surrounds it. We were able to leverage this content to scale our campaigns to reach more top-funnel traffic, and optimize these individual pages to drive additional conversions.

As more content was added to the library, AudioEye was able to become a trusted source of all things accessibility.

(For more on Conversion Rate Optimization strategy, see our post: How To Double Your Leads Without Increasing Traffic)


Social Media Advertising 

Social media advertising is typically considered an after-thought for B2B companies, but we were able to effectively use unique features and the machine-learning components of Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to effectively reach our target audience and tell our story at a low cost. 

These platforms played a key role in distributing our top of funnel content and for audience identification. That is, if we wanted to aggressively target a specific sector, we would first target these users via social channels. We can then tailor future remarketing strategies around this concept, and factor that into more relevant search ads when a specific individual would perform a vague Google search. 

(For more information on B2B social media advertising, see our blog post: Why Use Facebook Lead Form Ads?)


Video Production & Advertising

AudioEye needed an effective way of telling their story to the masses, and it was clear to us that carefully crafted video advertising campaigns would be the best way to achieve that. 


The results of the YouTube and Facebook video prospecting efforts were dramatic. After just two months, branded impressions nearly doubled from the previous period (an increase of 96%), and a correlation analysis proved that our ability to tell AudioEye’s story to the masses via YouTube was resulting in positive brand recall and traffic. 


Using Data To Improve Sales Process

AudioEye has a multi-stage sales funnel, where several weeks could go by between the time someone submits a contact form on the site and when they ultimate close into a deal.

We ran analyses on how long it would take a user to convert into a lead after first seeing an ad, how long it would take for a lead to be contacted by a salesperson, how long it would take for the salesperson to send out a proposal, and so on. 

This data was extremely valuable for us and the AudioEye sales team alike. We were able to craft advanced remarketing strategies around the various stages of the funnel, and the sales team was able to improve their cadence of communication and follow-up. 


Results

All of these strategies put together helped AudioEye see massive growth in qualified leads over the last two years. 


SaaS Company Growth on Google Ads


Specifically, since in the first half of 2019, we were able to profitably grow their business in a significant way. 


Our conversion rate optimization helped increase conversion rate by 83%

Our lead-quality optimization helped decrease cost per lead by 23%

And most important, our automation-fueled ad strategies helped grow total leads by more than 238%


SaaS Company Google Ads Results


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