Boosted Off-Peak Visibility and Achieved ROI

Shield Total Insurance enjoyed a huge boost for their off-peak season with an innovative strategy involving unused display channels and brand awareness across GDN

Shield Total Insurance offer insurance for leisure vehicles like motorhomes and caravans, operating in an extremely competitive market.

Their Challenge

There is a very strong seasonal element to the types of insurance that Shield provides, and their peak months are traditionally March to October. Search Engine Results Page-based paid search doesn’t work for the business in the ‘off-peak’ months the same as it does during the ‘peak’ months – so the traditional approach was to conserve the budget over the winter and condense it all into the ‘peak’ months.

However, this meant that there was a missed opportunity for Shield to stay relevant during quiet months. Even though the audience was not necessarily purchasing insurance during this period, there was the opportunity to influence them to consider Shield when they were ready to buy.

Our Solution

We did some research into search volumes and identified that they did drop right off over the months in question. More generic, prospecting terms that worked during ‘peak’ months saw a large increase in avg. CPC (cost per click) and with it, a decline in conversion rate.

Instead, we devised a plan to utilise display channels which had not previously been used. We ran some brand awareness across the GDN and in Gmail Ads, as well as some educational copy to promote Shield and their most popular insurance types. If the audience engaged with the ads and landed on the website, we then collected the users into a Remarketing list, so that we could then serve them ads as soon as the peak season started again.

We kept the Branded Search Campaign on – this was so existing customers, and new prospective customers could find Shield easily when they went to Google. The messaging in the Search Ads supported the GDN/Gmail messaging, so that the activity all tied together.

Their Results

Rather than paying a premium trying to achieve immediate conversions, paying for people who were in the mindset to browse and research, we played the long game. The GDN and Gmail advertising was never planned to achieve direct conversions – we always planned to measure the success of the project by looking at Google Analytics data (from all sources), and by measuring the success of the ‘traditional’ Search advertising when it relaunched in the first ‘peak’ month. Any conversions we thought would be achieved during the ‘off-peak’ season would be a bonus – the real payoff would be during ‘peak’ time.

Although the volumes were slightly lower than the ‘peak’ months, the cost per conversion in the ‘off-peak’ season matched the best ‘peak’ month in the previous calendar year.

In the first ‘peak’ month of the new season, we saw 589% more conversions than the same month YoY, and 367% more conversions than the same month two years ago. This was achieved with the same monthly budget as previous years.


  • Session Increase YoY

  • New User Increase YoY

  • Goal Completion YoY

“I’m very pleased with the innovative solution presented by Gravytrain. The results and subsequent ROI speak for themselves.”

- Stuart Craig, Sales and Marketing Manager