[SaaS] MQL to Opportunity Conv. Rate Increase of Over 139%

Table of Contents

Advertising Agency

Who We Worked With

Source Intelligence is a team of environmental scientists, military supply chain managers, software engineers, and a host of regulatory experts with their fingers on the pulse of ESG regulation. Source Intelligence delivers software and services that streamline the evolving complexities of product compliance and ESG management.

Why They Chose Us

Initially, Source Intelligence was managing their Google ads account on their own, in-house. They were struggling to get acquire leads at a reasonable cost, and qualified leads from their campaigns were rare.

They reached out to us because they wanted to try to outsource their ad management to an agency that specialized in paid media, and they knew we had a solid Google media buying team. They wanted to see if we were up for the challenge of turning around their Google ads account, optimizing performance, and increasing the number of qualified leads that came through from their advertising efforts.


Source Intelligence’s main goal was to increase the number of leads that came from their Google ads efforts, primarily the number of qualified leads.

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The major challenge for us was acquiring qualified leads because Google ads can primarily target keywords and audiences but ensuring that these leads fit the criteria needed to be a qualified lead for our client is difficult.

Our media buyer reviewed the ad account in detail, diving into every nook and cranny which could lead to finding ways to improve the overall performance of the campaigns.

One of the findings after managing the account for some time was that there was a high percentage of invalid clicks happening on the campaigns.

Additionally, though the campaigns resulted in a number of leads, a large percentage of those leads coming through were not qualified leads for Source Intelligence.

One of the biggest signs of underperformance was the number of campaigns that were active, all with relatively small budgets, which caused the campaigns to be heavily constrained by budget, immediately we knew that we had to restructure the account, and campaigns and consolidate the campaigns for improved performance and budget efficiency.

The Solution

We assigned the account to one of our most senior Google media buyers with years of experience under his belt and whom we knew could take our client’s campaigns to a hyper-profitable state.

He reviewed the account, previously running campaigns, the nature of the business, and the goal of advertising.

To reiterate, Source Intelligence was previously running multiple search campaigns – one for each of their different programs – and all the campaigns were limited by budget with a very small percentage of the leads coming through being qualified leads.

Steps taken to bring the account to a better-performing state:

1. Restructure of the Account:

The account was not well structured. There were too many campaigns, all used for Maximize Conversion bidding strategy, and not enough conversions to feedback enough data to Google, all while the campaigns were all limited by the budget which was the main reason the campaign structure didn’t work. So we have worked on a better account structure that would:

  1. Provide a larger budget to a single campaign, which would lead to no (or fewer) budget constraints.
  2. Feed more conversions data back to Google.
  3. Automatically distribute the budget to the ad groups containing keywords with higher search volume as well as increased probability of larger lead flow with a higher percentage of qualified leads.

2. Integrate Hubspot CRM with Google Ads:

The native Hubspot <> Google Ads integration makes it relatively easy to (1) track conversions on specific events, such as contact lifecycle change events and (2) push audiences back to Google.

    1. This integration enabled us to understand which leads were qualified or unqualified directly in Google Ads, without having to manually check each of the leads inside our client’s Hubspot CRM. Doing this easily enables our media buyer to check which campaigns/ad groups/ads are driving qualified leads (as well as opportunities, deals, and customers) and which aren’t which in turn provides better visibility into performance for faster optimization on our end since lead qualification happens automatically inside of Hubspot, those events are then sent back to Google as they happen.
    2. The ability to push audiences to Google ads makes it easier to exclude audiences of people who’ve already converted as well as other criteria; this then allows us to create different audiences(such as similar audiences) and target different audience segments which then results in the improved overall performance of the campaigns.

3. Deploying technologies for improved budget utilization:

After seeing that the campaigns had a relatively high percentage of invalid clicks, we deployed Clickcease, a click fraud & ad fraud prevention software, to exclude fake & bot traffic. This drastically improved invalid click rates, and automatically blocked IPs with high-invalid click rates, saving us a budget that can now be better utilized for more lead flow.

How We Did It

After that, we understood the business and client’s goals and researched and analyzed the business and competitors.

We started working on restructuring the account. Because of the limited budget, we set up the campaigns with multiple ad groups by service. We did in-depth keyword research for each ad group of the campaign, and we used an automated bid strategy in the campaign, so Google will serve more converting ad groups and ads to get more leads.

We couldn’t optimize search campaigns based on qualified or unqualified leads. Therefore, we have to be more focused on a campaign set-up and structure. So we set up the campaigns with best practices and used ClickCease to block the invalid click IP addresses.

We have also set up a Performance Max campaign and added an audience signal with best practices.

The Results

We have increased the conversion by over 78% and reduced the cost per conversion from $774.35 to $288.27 in a month – a 62.77% decrease.

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When looking at the previous quarter (Oct. 1st – Dec. 31st) compared to Quarter-To-Date, you can see the impact these optimizations had on the account.

Screenshots below are from the reporting dashboard we created for Source Intelligence, the following modules showcase the contact pipeline stage respectively.

You can see that although the number of MQLs saw a decrease, the quality of those MQLs was stronger, leading to an increase in conversion rate from MQL to Opportunity of over 139% (17.31% → 41.38%) QoQ (Quarter over Quarter-To-Date) and an overall (pipeline stage) conversion rate increase of over 198%.

Likewise, we can also see an increase in the conversion rate from Opportunity to Customers of 25% (33.33% → 41.67%) QoQ.

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