12x PPC Profit Increase

Amazing results through understanding the clients needs, and delivering a strategic and technical solution.

Cost-per-Acquisition reduced by 73% YOY in 3 Months for a wide range of Protection Products including Group Critical Illness and Pensions.

Mercer Marsh Benefits has over 75 years’ worth of experience when it comes to employee benefits for professionals, helping companies of all sizes provide a range of market-leading benefits to their staff including life cover and private medical insurance.

The Brief

According to Google Keyword Planner, the average Cost-per-Click (CPC) for the term “Small Business Health Insurance” is circa £50. When Mercer Marsh Benefits came to Gravytrain for their Elect Employee Benefits PPC campaign, their current Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA) was between £130.59 and £444.79 per month. Their aim was to reduce this spend, and by doing so improve both their PPC revenue and profit margins.

The Goals

Here at Gravytrain we put technology and data at the heart of everything we do, which is how we were able to come up with our own bespoke AdTech Suite. Our technology enables us to drive record-breaking efficiencies across PPC accounts, reducing wasted ad-spend and increasing lead quality at all times.

PPC was an important marketing channel for Elect Employee Benefits, however they had yet to unlock its true potential. Their aims were therefore:

  • Investigate and uncover new opportunities for PPC for a range of products including group pensions, group life insurance and group private medical insurance.
  • Utilise AdTech to reduce total Cost-per-Acquisitions and improve the quality of leads delivered via PPC.
  • View PPC as an efficient marketing channel that delivers ROI on a monthly basis and increases profit margins.

Our Approach

Gravytrain has a vast amount of experience when it comes to digital marketing for insurance companies, and over the years we have managed numerous successful SEO, PPC, CRO and Digital PR campaigns for insurance specialists.

One thing we have learnt during this time is that protection products, particularly those involving medical/life cover and pensions, are some of the most competitive on the market. In terms of PPC, terms surrounding Elect Employee Benefits’ core products have some of the highest average CPCs, which is why their PPC accounts needed to be as targeted and efficient as possible.

Gravytrain’s exclusive AdTech was designed to help clients manage their PPC campaigns as efficiently as possible, working 24/7 to ensure that budgets are spent wisely and savings are constantly applied to the account. By using our AdTech, Gravytrain aimed to dramatically reduce Mercer Marsh Benefits PPC spend month on month, year on year.


Since its creation, Gravytrain’s CPA Management Application has been one of the most successful pieces of technology in our AdTech Suite. This piece of technology has saves hundreds of thousands of pounds across dozens of PPC campaigns and at the same time ensures lead quality is better than ever.

The CPA Management Application automatically reviews and updates bids at a keyword-level based on how well each keyword has performed over the previous 30 days in relation to the individual product’s predefined target Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA). The new daily MaxBid for each keyword is calculated using the below formula, which makes use of client’s sales and AdWords data.

IPL = Average Income per Lead (per product)

PM = Desired Profit Margin

In order to make the most out of our technology, Gravytrain worked closely with the Mercer Marsh Benefits team to analyse and understand the financial information behind each Elect Employee Benefits product. Here at Gravytrain we believe that the more we know about our clients’ businesses and products the more we can deliver, which is why we regularly contacted Mercer Marsh Benefits to discuss all available options.

The Results

When Mercer Marsh Benefits first came to Gravytrain their average CPA for their Elect Employee Benefits’ PPC campaign was between £130.59 and £444.79 per month . After just 1 month we were able to reduce this figure to £118, by month two it was down to £55 and halfway through month three we have already reduced the CPA to just £35.

Month 2015 CPA 2016 CPA Improvement
February £236.06 £118.03 50%
March £206.07 £55.57 73%
April £130.59 £34.70 73%
May £444.79 £36.06 (projected) 92%

In some months, our AdTech is able to provide savings of over £400 (12x the amount originally spent on each PPC acquisition). Take this number and apply it across the Elect Employee Benefits PPC account and you can imagine just how much additional revenue and profit Gravytrain has provided Mercer Marsh Benefits in as little as 3 months.

On top of this, Gravytrain also achieved:

  • Conversion rates increasing month-on-month, year-on-year. In April 2016 the PPC conversion rate was 7.02% – a year ago this was just 1.87%.
  • Total amount of monthly conversions increasing from 38 in April 2015 to 143 in April 2016 – an increase of 73%.
  • By December 2016 we forecast profit margins to increase by over 1000% compared to the same time last year.

Even though we have already delivered numerous successes for Mercer Marsh Benefits, Gravytrain are still constantly ensuring that their PPC account is delivering exceptional results. In the coming months we are planning on applying even more AdTech to the account to not only increase profit margins even further but also allow Elect Employee Benefits to increase their market share across the board.

Gravytrain have taken a poorly designed, under performing website and without changing the site itself, doubled the amount of leads we are receiving within two months. Their clever and unique approach is now providing us with less media spend whilst numbers and quality of leads are increasing monthly. In short, these guys know what they are doing and are a pleasure to work with!

- Mercer Marsh Benefits