AAG lowered its cost per lead with Microsoft Audience Ads
American Advisors Group (AAG) is a lead-generation mortgage lending company founded in 2004. The business has grown into a national firm with 1,200 employees. It takes a lot of strategic thinking to continue this kind of growth — that’s where Vivian Dang, senior director of marketing analytics at AAG, comes in. “We’re evolving our business model to be more efficient, so we can expand further,” she says. “We’re developing a campaign strategy that helps generate leads and growth.”
AAG has faced a number of challenges, including a negative perception surrounding reverse mortgages. Recently, the most significant challenge has been new federal regulations that tightened rules about who qualifies for a reverse mortgage and reduced the lending limit for seniors by 20%.1 As a result, AAG has seen a 20% increase in its cost per acquisition.1 Because of the regulations, fewer leads are qualified. “Getting a reverse mortgage is an intense process that can last four to five months,” says Peter Hsiao, senior digital marketing analyst at AAG.
In addition, the industry has become hyper-competitive. There are more startups in the space than ever before with new competitors popping up regularly, and they’re taking a lot of search volume.
AAG needed to find a way to increase volume and become more efficient.
Microsoft Audience Ads has allowed our business to be in front of tens of thousands of users with minimal setup time. It’s given us the opportunity to target the right people at the right moment and generate more qualified leads.
Vivian Dang, senior director of marketing analytics, AAG
Bing Ads drives AAG's account volume and search channel lead volume
To grow its business, AAG uses a variety of digital marketing channels to capture leads. AAG sees Bing Ads as a critical strategy component. In fact, paid search through Bing Ads drives over 20% of the company's SEM channel lead volume.1 “With Bing Ads, the cost per acquisition is way more efficient compared with Google AdWords,” Hsiao says. The goal with Bing Ads is to drive awareness and inspire direct response from seniors looking for home-equity solutions. “With a growing user base on the Bing Network that aligns with our target market, Bing Ads plays a vital role in efficiently generating quality leads for us,” notes Dang.
AAG has been extending its search campaigns with Microsoft Audience Ads, In-market Audiences and Universal Event Tracking (UET) since October 2017. The volume from Microsoft Audience Ads is already over 50% of the entire account.1 AAG is also pivoting its approach to targeting a more relevant audience, even outside of search. “We aim to be present during two critical, high user intent micro-moments: ‘I want to do’ and ‘I want to know,’” Dang explains. “Microsoft Audience Ads has allowed our business to be in front of tens of thousands of users with minimal setup time. It’s given us the opportunity to target the right people at the right moment and generate more qualified leads.” The company’s cost per lead (CPL) is 75% less with Microsoft Audience Ads than their regular search CPL.1 The In-market Audiences feature has given deeper visibility into the performance of different audience segments and provided an additional layer of targeting, allowing laser-focused budgeting on sub-segments that are producing leads efficiently.
UET has helped AAG capture conversion volume, and they’ve seen a 32.8% increase in conversion rates as a result.1 “UET is the all-in-one solution for providing visibility into our target metrics, and it helps us create various remarketing lists with ease” Dang says. “With its flexibility, we can define and measure conversions that matter and bucket visitors from different marketing channels into various remarketing lists.” In addition, AAG’s back-end analytics show that the Bing Network drives more of their target-audience traffic. “The Bing Network’s growing user base closely aligns with our target market,“ Dang adds. “The wide and growing selection of targeting features helps us quickly hone in on the right audiences compared to other marketing channels. This allows us to define sub-segments within our target market and double down on high performers.”
The Bing Network’s growing user base closely aligns with our target market. This allows us to define sub-segments within our target market and double down on high performers.
AAG has come through its challenges stronger than ever. In fact, they’re one of the most well-known reverse mortgage lenders in the nation. “We’ve got brand recognition, Tom Selleck, who’s an amazing spokesperson, and Bing Ads helping us evolve our digital marketing strategy,” Hsiao says. “All of this helps customers find and connect with us, and when the time is right, choose us.” AAG’s strategic campaigns with Bing Ads have been key components to their successful growth. “Over the years, Bing Ads has evolved,” Dang shares. “We’re enjoying the experience and are happy about the advanced features it’s adding regularly. We’re very excited to see what the future of Bing Ads holds for us.”