CONQUERING CLOUD-BASED ACCOUNTING
The accounting software space is extremely competitive—industry giants like QuickBooks demand the majority of the sector’s market share, with up-and-coming platforms such as FreshBooks and Xero competing for the remainder. However, new developments in the space have created additional opportunities, especially for solutions such as ZarMoney that appeal to small and mid-sized businesses’ flexibility requirements.
Knowing that targeting the SMB segment would be critical to their campaign’s success—but mindful of their limited budget, especially compared to deep-pocketed competitors such as Intuit—ZarMoney needed a creative, cost-effective way to get the attention of their target market.
The most important—and certainly the first—step of any marketing campaign is identifying exactly who the consumer is for the product or service being advertised. In the case of ZarMoney, this was clear immediately: for small businesses, it was typically the owner who performed all accounting responsibilities, whereas for mid-sized companies it was almost always a dedicated accountant or bookkeeper.
Since all businesses have accounting requirements, there was no need to target specific industries or regions, only individuals with these particular job roles.
To gain exposure among these individuals, our graphic design team created a series of display advertisements, then worked with our programmatic experts to test them with contextual, behavioral, and direct placements. These served the ads to individuals who were either browsing related pages (about accounting software, for instance), individuals who were likely to be business owners or accountants based on their online behavior, or individuals browsing specific websites (for example, the online versions of Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur magazines).
LinkedIn is a natural choice for many B2B campaigns targeting individuals with specific job titles, and ZarMoney was no exception.
Using LinkedIn’s robust database of professional contacts, our team targeted advertisements to owners and CEOs of businesses listed as having fewer than 50 employees, utilizing display advertisements, sponsored posts, and InMail messages to maximize visibility. For companies with more than 50 employees, the campaign targeted individuals who help CFO, accountant, or bookkeeper roles within their organizations.
By deploying advertisements both directly (in the case of InMail) and indirectly (in the case of display advertisements and sponsored posts) across these various channels, the campaign generated multiple touch points with each prospective customer over time, establishing ZarMoney as not only a viable accounting software alternative but also as a thought leader in the space.
With site traffic from LinkedIn already pre-qualified (based on job title and company size), conversion rates exceeded expectations, resulting in over 5,000 trial signups.
SCALING DIRECT MESSAGING EFFORTS
With a clear idea of who they needed to reach—but a nuanced value proposition that was often difficult to convey succinctly via short-form advertising copy used in display advertisements—direct outreach proved to be the most effective channel for ZarMoney, particularly on LinkedIn (where the campaign’s direct InMail messages outperformed display advertisements and sponsored posts).
However, despite the efficacy of the approach, the comparatively high cost of InMail messages and the limitations on who could be contacted (by its nature, the channel requires recipients to be active LinkedIn users) created scalability issues for ZarMoney. They needed a way to continue reaching key decision makers in a cost-effective way, without being restricted to LinkedIn users.
Our B2B direct email system offered the perfect solution: by applying similar targeting filters (with regard to job title and company size) to a larger database of contacts—along with employing the automated follow-up capabilities afforded by the direct email software—we were able to successfully expand the reach and profitability of ZarMoney’s direct outreach efforts.