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If You’re Not Mobile, You’re Just Treading Water

August 2, 2013 Digital Media Solutions

The integration of mobile has become a key strategy for strengthening conversion results of a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. In a revealing case study that we partnered with Google to produce, we show that mobile inquiries are three times as likely to actually start classes with nearly one half less than the target goal. The case study focuses on the results of a click-to-call (CTC) campaign managed on behalf of one of our larger clients in 2012. While desktop PPC campaigns had been working well for this client, we expanded into the growing mobile market in an effort to increase the volume of inquiries and starts while keeping acquisition costs to a minimum.

CTC campaigns present the opportunity for a prospective student to literally click to call (CTC) a school directly from the search results on their mobile phone. During the working hours of a school call center, students can bypass the website and inquiry form to speak directly with an admissions representative. If your school’s call center can handle it, incorporating inbound phone calls to your PPC campaigns is a no-brainer. Having a motivated potential student live on the phone is extremely valuable as this instant connection translates into higher conversion rates and less work for your call center.

For our the school featured in our case study, the mobile search campaign with CTC provided a cost-effective way to reach this mobile audience and made it easier for potential students to convert on the go.

Performance highlights:

  • 26 percent of total quality inquiries delivered came from calls
  • 6 percent start rate was three times higher than other online marketing channels
  • Gross cost-per-start of the mobile campaign came in at more than 40 percent below client’s targeted goal

The recent Google Adwords Enhanced upgrade encourages mobile-responsive websites and allows for multiple-device targeting managed within one campaign. As a result, we are no longer able to run CTC-only campaigns without a mobile landing page because, while the CTC phone extension can be scheduled, the device targeting cannot.

For campaigns with a mobile component, the mobile URL is required during the hours when the CTC phone number is not displayed (when the school call center is closed). A desktop URL can be used if no mobile page is available, but this presents a less than optimal user experience resulting in lower conversions – recent Google data cites that mobile-optimized education sites have a 50 percent higher conversion rate than those not optimized for mobile devices.

Google projects that by the end of 2013, approximately 25 percent of searches will be conducted by mobile devices with further growth predicted. Advertisers who have not yet made plans for appropriately targeting mobile devices are already falling behind the curve. With more advertisers focused on the mobile audience following this Google upgrade, the market is expected to become even more competitive with time.

If you haven’t already taken the plunge into mobile, now is certainly the time. Mobile is an intrinsic part of the new reality, and your advertising campaigns need to keep up with the evolving industry.

About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Founded by a team of lifelong athletes, Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. The company’s set of proprietary assets and capabilities in the world of performance marketing and marketing technology allow clients to meticulously target and acquire the right customers. DMS relentlessly pursues flawless execution for top brands within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, careers and automotive.

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