Save Money on Early Years Products with YPO Banner
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300 Qualified Leads in 3 Months

By Jennifer Esty  |  September 28, 2018

Sharp Ahead provide digital marketing consultancy and lead generation services to YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation.

Our latest campaign for their Early Years range produced outstanding results in the first three months of its launch:

  • 300 qualified leads (and counting)
  • Cost per lead of less than £19
  • 82% opt in for further marketing communications

The campaign focused on paid media and conversion optimisation, using a combination of search, display and social.

It proved that YPO’s unique value proposition for this sector is servicing latent demand for high quality, cost effective products in UK nurseries, clubs and preschools.

For more information on this campaign, or how Sharp Ahead could provide similar results for your B2B organisation, please contact Jennifer Esty.

Google Search Results Showing YPO
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Your landing page subdomain: a conversion optimisation opportunity?

By Jennifer Esty  |  August 1, 2018

Every letter counts in a paid search ad. With only 140 characters of copy to play with in the main part of the ad – 80 characters for the body of the ad, and two 30-charcter headlines – it’s a constant challenge to craft an ad which achieves its marketing objectives within such tight copy limits.

So, we are always on the lookout for ways to squeeze a bit more meaning into a search ad. One component of the ad which is usually overlooked is the landing page subdomain.

Although the landing page subdomain is invisible in many types of advertising, it WILL normally be visible in a search ad – Google shows the landing page subdomain as part of the ad copy. And it will often also be visible in the user’s browser after they have clicked.

It’s a subtle feature, and many users will not notice it, but some will. Choosing an appropriate subdomain helps to build user confidence and will increase conversions. Conversely, choosing a subdomain that is confusing or distracting will undermine user trust and harm conversions.

A Subdomain Case Study

Recently we set up a new subdomain for one of our clients, YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, in order to test a new set of marketing landing pages.

For technical and analytical reasons which I won’t go into in this post, setting up a new subdomain was the best way to ensure we could get good, clean results from our test.

The test itself was unrelated to the search ads in anyway so the only difference that users could see in the ads was the display URLs—and the only difference in the display URLs was the subdomains.

In this case our original subdomain was the generic ‘info’ and the new domain for the test was ‘catalogue’ – which we chose as an alternative simply because receiving a free YPO catalogue was the call to action for the campaign.

The test campaign, however, resulted in an unintended but extremely interesting outcome: changing the subdomain for the lead generation campaign resulted in a significant increase in the click through rate from our paid search campaigns.

And by significant, we mean very significant. The new subdomain had a 51% higher relative CTR on a like-for-like basis.

Now I would love to say we intended to achieve this impressive conversion improvement—but actually we were testing something entirely different at the time.

However, we’re now reviewing our use of subdomains across campaigns and looking at them not simply as part of the technical set up, but as a conversion optimisation opportunity.

Maybe you should too?

Oxford Business Breakfast Information
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Oxford Business Breakfast September 20

By Jennifer Esty  |  September 7, 2017

Sharp Ahead director, Dr John Woods, will be presenting What Success Looks Like in Digital Marketing on September 20 at 07:30 at the De Vere Oxford Thames Hotel.

John will present a case study demonstrating how to generate sales ready leads using digital marketing. The session will be full of practical advice to help you understand the best practices of digital marketing in order to drive growth in your own business.

What will you gain?

  • Learn why Google is your new home page, and why you MUST reflect this in your digital strategy
  • Understand why a new website won’t fix your digital problems
  • See a detailed end-to-end example of modern digital marketing done well

Where can you find out more?

For more information on the session, why not download this useful flyer?

Alternatively if you’d like to register now or need directions for travel, please visit the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce site.

Members and non-members alike are invited to intend!

What are the Oxford Business Breakfasts?

The Oxford Business Breakfasts are designed to give you insights and informed opinions on topics that can impact your business, as well as great opportunities for networking with other local organisations. These events will provide you with a closer look at ’bigger-picture’ subjects, as well as giving the SME sector regular skills and knowledge updates from a range of speakers, generously prepared to share their experience with us. The breakfasts will also be a focus for our regular local and sector campaign activity throughout 2017.

Fareham Innovation Centre
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Fareham Success for Sharp Ahead Client

By Jennifer Esty  |  August 18, 2017

The Fareham Innovation Centre, operated by Sharp Ahead client Oxford Innovation has been given the green light for a £6m-plus extension.

Read the Fareham press release to find out more about the new centre.

Lead Generation Case Study

The current £5.3m innovation centre, with 24 offices and 15 workshops, was fully occupied within 12 months of opening in April 2015. Oxford Innovation run the Centre on behalf of Fareham Borough Council.

Sharp Ahead, Oxford Innovation’s digital marketing agency, helped fill the centre two years ahead of schedule, with a 600% increase in qualified sales leads and a 90% reduction in customer acquisition costs over the traditional broker model.

Read the full case study on how the centre achieved its stunning success.

What our client says

“Sharp Ahead have transformed the way Oxford Innovation approach marketing for our innovation centres, and as a result we have seen a 90% reduction in client acquisition costs and a significant improvements in the quality of our leads.”

Jo Willett

Marketing & Business Development Director, Oxford Innovation

Fareham in Greyscale
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Increase qualified sales leads by 600% with Digital Transformation?

By Jennifer Esty  |  March 3, 2016

Digital Transformation

Sound too good to be true? That is exactly what Oxford Innovation achieved as part of their strategic digital transformation work with Sharp Ahead.

Oh, and they also saw a 90% reduction in client acquisition costs and were 120% ahead of their sales targets for the launch of their Fareham Innovation Centre.

Don’t take our word for it

Come hear Oxford Innovation’s Marketing & Business Development Director, Jo Willet, share her experience of digital transformation at this year’s B2B Marketing Summit.

Jo will give a detailed case study of the digital strategy that started with a single centre launch and has since transformed the way OI market their centres around the UK.

Outlining the specific challenges and marketing strategies design to overcome them, Jo will discuss geo-targeted search marketing, Google My Business, paid search for both branded and generic keywords, mobile, retargeting and more.

To secure your place to see Jo, register today.

Can’t wait for June? Get in touch with us directly and find out how Sharp Ahead’s team of B2B digital marketing experts can help you.

About Oxford Innovation

OI manages a network of business and innovation centres across the UK, providing a supportive home for a community of growing businesses. Visit their website or Google them and check out their Google My Business listing.


About the B2B Marketing Summit

Held this year on June 22 in London, the B2B Marketing Summit is an extravaganza of the great and good in B2B and a chance to refresh the way you look at your marketing.

The event is designed for those marketers at the sharp end of B2B – those leading the charge within their organisation and always eager to keep ahead of the curve.

Find out more or register here.