How a collaboration between experts challenged the business model for new customer acquisition by focusing on tailored journeys for visitors.

About Visma Spcs:

"We at Visma Spcs are considered “the favourite of the SME’s (small/medium enterprises)” in Sweden. Statistics show that most SME’s have chosen Visma Spcs for their bookkeeping, invoicing and salary management in past years. This is something that makes us very proud and even more motivated to innovate; building smarter & safer products and services. We go above and beyond to enable you to do what you do best – taking your company to the next level. We only consider it a success for us when you succeed. This is what makes us stronger – together."

Background

The overall strategy for customer acquisition revolved around getting as many people as possible to purchase Visma Spcs software. Given the brand itself, Visma, is considered one of the, if not the, biggest brand in Sweden for bookkeeping, particularly Visma Spcs flagship product Visma eAccounting. The company wanted to test the hypothesis that the business would be able to generate more transactions, and thus revenue, by simply removing the feature where users can try out the software before purchasing.

Initial Results

The number of transactions from branded traffic increased dramatically. The hypothesis seemed to be correct, people who knew the Visma brand didn’t need any time to think/try out their software prior to purchasing. This increase in transactions was logically driven by a significant increase in the conversion rate. However, after digging deeper into the data, the conversion rate from Non-Branded traffic (which is not only a more competitive auction for paid search but the users generally have less brand awareness and less intent) dropped drastically.

Given that Non-Branded traffic is only a minor proportion of total sales for Visma, this reduction in non-branded conversion rate was considered by the business to be a necessary and an acceptable by-product of removing the “try before you buy” feature as the bottom line increased overall. 

Problem

The Visma Spcs marketing division, together with Precis, saw the flaws in this tactic as the real opportunity for Paid Search is from Non-Branded traffic. It was from here the “really” new customers would come, customers that hadn’t already been influenced by ads from other marketing sources.

The new customers, with minimal prior knowledge of Visma as a company or their service offering, need the option to try out the software before purchasing it. The threshold and commitment to pay from the outset for the program with its SaaS-model appeared to be too high for the non-brand traffic.

Idea

It was agreed that the current landing page used for the majority of the traffic couldn’t be changed due to the overall conversion rate improvement seen. As a team we came up with a secondary solution; design another landing page strictly focused on Non-Branded traffic, which would enable Visma to be more appealing to customers in a crowded market place.

Execution:

Looking up the top 3 Non-Branded searches in relation to Visma’s core product offering, Bookkeeping, the SEO-team at Visma started to tailor this new page based on the assumed needs of the potential customers with limited previous knowledge of the brand.

An old page no longer in use was revived, vismaspcs.se/produkter/bokforingsprogram, which was very similar to the  current page, and had free rein to suggest changes and improvements to it. The biggest change made was to customise the landing page with call-to-actions focused on trials rather than only showing purchasable options with hidden trial-buttons as the original page.

By giving the users an option to try out the program before purchasing they were incentivised to make a low/no-risk commitment of testing the product instead of bouncing off the website. The landing page did not just focus on this, but the content itself was tailored to meet the intent behind popular search terms.

Results

On launching the new page we quickly saw positive results with the number of trials increasing to  “normal levels” for non-brand campaigns. The hypothesis proved correct and the rest is history.

As a bonus, this did not only help our SEM-mission, but the refined page also ranked very high in the organic search results for one of our biggest non-brand keywords.

Numbers

The conversion rate between the period September → November (September was the launch date of the new page) had a great CR increase which was a huge turn-around of the long-term declining CR.

Q3 versus Q2 saw an increase of a whopping 307% and the same period year-over-year increased by 156%.

But, since the purchase call-to-action wasn’t pushed as heavily as before, the CR for Transactions did, of course, see a drop. However, the reduction was nowhere near the gain that we saw in overall trials.

Worth noting: A Transaction does hold a much higher conversion value compared to a trial, but since the gain were much bigger than the drop (with the multiplier in consideration) the switch between the conversion types was still a huge success.

Period Conversion Q3 vs Q2 YoY
Sep→Nov Trials 307% 156%

 


Recommendations

Put yourself into the situation of the business. Try to picture the user journey and what it is that they want – how do they feel, what do they look for, how would the advertisements affect you: it probably affects them in the same way. Treating those that know of your business the same as those that don’t know you is not always correct and most of all make sure that the journey is tailored to the potential customer.


Authors

Precis Digital: Oskar Thunmarker, Ambrosius Rogensson, Mikael Sidrot
Visma Spcs: Björn Hartig, Gabriella Eriksson, Karoline Petersson