Case Study: Justworks: Scaling PPC by 10X in B2B Lead Generation

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Case Study: Justworks

Scaling PPC by 10X in B2B Lead Generation

Explosive Growth Year over Year

Justworks is the fastest growing HR technology company in the country. Founded in 2012, Justworks helps entrepreneurs and their teams get access to big-company benefits, automated payroll, compliance support, and HR tools – all in one place. Justworks has raised $93M from some of the country’s leading venture capital firms and has over 600 employees.

OpenMoves began working with Justworks in 2017. We were contracted by Justworks’s Demand Generation team with a clear mission – manage, optimize, and grow new customer acquisition through digital paid media. Over the last 18+ months, OpenMoves has succeeded in meeting and exceeding goals and helping Justworks become a powerhouse of online acquisition.

Bottom-line results

-66%

Reduced cost for Sales Qualified Leads

10X

Scale of Media Spend

500+

Local PPC Markets Developed

16X

Paid Social Media Spend

62%

Conversion Rate Increase

Focus on the Funnel

In B2B lead generation, our team has learned the importance of true deep-funnel analytics and integration. Justworks, like many other B2B firms, is only targeting a specific slice of the broader market, and only counts success when specific lead qualification outcomes occur.

This is a classic challenge for PPC, since native digital platforms like Google Ads and Google Analytics are not very good at reporting lead quality – usually you’ll just see total lead volume and CPA. For a company like Justworks, this level of reporting and optimization will not suffice.

To overcome this issue, OpenMoves worked closely with the Justworks team to pass precise UTM campaign data across all platforms integrated directly with the Justworks CRM. A combination of various analytics tools allowed Justworks and OpenMoves to communicate regularly on the true quality of leads and progress towards actual business goals. As OpenMoves analyzed this reporting, we found and developed solutions including:

Comprehensive Firmographics and Geotargeting. As a team, we worked hard to develop a true firmographic profile for Justworks to understand companies that really buy compared to those that are not a fit. Based on this profile, PPC mechanics were optimized aggressively to meet firmographic targets. For example, we found that geotargeting and bid optimization around key cities, and exclusions around less effective areas, was key to driving PPC efficiency and lead quality.

Messaging Optimized to Real Conversions. It’s one challenge to optimize creative messaging for front-end metrics like CTR or quality score. It’s completely another to find creative that says the right ideas to the right audience. Over time, Justworks and OpenMoves worked together to develop static and video creative that combined both front-end and back-end success metrics to drive affordable media costs and high engagement, as well as communicating conversion-oriented messages to the target buyers.

Building the Marketing Technology Systems. Marketing technology is a field still maturing, and real success involves collaboration across teams, platforms, and tools. OpenMoves worked closely to learn the martech stack used at Justworks and integrate PPC into platforms like Salesforce, Pardot, Bizible, Tableau, and more. Our team was willing to take on the complexity of learning and supporting a growing marketing technology infrastructure, and as a result, the OpenMoves team had a deep knowledge of Justworks’ lead tracking, scoring and attribution processes.

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“The OpenMoves team is frankly the best PPC agency I’ve worked with – and I’ve worked with a bunch. Their professionalism, expertise, and strategic thinking allowed us to substantially grow paid digital as a performance channel while also hitting CPA goals and other targets. The team at OpenMoves is always prepared, creative, and driven to meet the performance goals we establish. They’ve become an extension of my team and they come strongly recommended for anyone looking for a serious PPC firm.”
-Doug Nelson, Director of Revenue Marketing, Justworks

Creative Fuels Growth

One of the most exciting elements of the Justworks PPC project was the collaboration between OpenMoves and Justworks on creative concepts, strategy and execution. We found that creative became one of the most important levers for generating both growth and efficiency within campaigns and channels that we might have previously considered fully built.

Facebook Growth. B2B marketers may be tempted to ignore the Facebook/Instagram PPC platform, considering it insufficiently serious for real B2B buyers. These same marketers may consider ad creative second fiddle to media mechanics, features and benefits, and salesmanship. In our experience with Justworks, we toppled both assumptions and through creative brainstorming and iteration were able to scale Facebook massively for Justworks through continued improvement in creative message, asset, and testing.

MobileWorks Partnership. As a certified Facebook Marketing Partner, OpenMoves works closely with Facebook’s agency team to access the latest Facebook beta opportunities and value-added services. One such opportunity is the Facebook MobileWorks program, wherein Facebook’s creative partners provide optimized creative assets for custom campaigns. OpenMoves worked with our Facebook agency team and their creative partners to develop unique, Facebook-first creative that met unique platform needs and succeeded in getting both clicks and conversions.

Programmatic Success. OpenMoves and Justworks partnered with a leading Demand Side Platform to deliver a comprehensive programmatic strategy including both remarketing and prospecting. As with Facebook, we found that creative optimization, testing and brainstorming was key to finding success with programmatic.

Conversion Rate Optimization. Conversion rate optimization was critical to the continued growth and success of the Justworks PPC project. After all, getting the click is only half the battle – the user has to be quickly impressed by the landing page design, offer, and usability to actually convert. Using platforms including Instapage, Google Optimize, Lucky Orange and more, OpenMoves worked with Justworks to continually test and refine a large number of landing page variants to drive conversion rate improvements over time.

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PPC Mechanics and Channels


OpenMoves operates a large and complex PPC effort for Justworks across a large number of channels, including Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, and Display. It would be impossible to offer a comprehensive analysis of all channels and efforts, a few other things we learned included,

Google Bidding Complexities. One key tactical challenge in managing Google Ads was bidding. This included testing and evaluating manual bidding options compared to Google Smart Bidding. It also included aggressively leveraging all aspects of Google’s bidding options including age and gender, RLSA, time of day and day of week, and more. The combination of the right core bidding strategy plus the right modifications, carefully tested and managed over time, allowed our team to find incremental efficiencies in mature campaigns.

LinkedIn Remains Challenging. The fit between LinkedIn and Justworks is obvious in concept. LinkedIn’s platform gives us great power to reach users based on their job titles, company size, company location and much more. The creative format is similar to Facebook’s and allows us to express a sophisticated and engaging message. It sounds great in theory, but in practice we find the LinkedIn platform today is usually not a great value for the media cost. Perhaps because LinkedIn’s users are accessing the platform mostly to do something like find a job or research a company, the ads seem to capture less engagement and less conversion than other channels.

Quora as an Emerging Platform. Justworks entered into a number of exploratory campaigns on Quora, a growing question and answer social platform. We experienced mixed results in terms of raw performance and finding an audience fit. With that said, the OM team enjoyed using the Quora PPC platform, and we found the cost of media quite affordable. We consider Quora to be a solid emerging platform with future value for many clients.

Bing in Flux. When it comes to Bing advertising, an honest question asked by clients is “who really uses Bing?” The answer is complex, but in short we know that Bing usually gets around 10% of the volume that Google does, and for some clients Bing clicks are cheaper and convert better. Microsoft has also been investing in the Bing platform, with new features like the LinkedIn data integration. For Justworks, the jury is still out on Bing’s performance, though OpenMoves remains optimistic in general about Bing.

The Justworks PPC project continues to be a major success, and OpenMoves is excited to be part of the growth and success of one of America’s fastest growing companies. This project continues to be a fantastic experience for our team and we look forward to growing with Justworks in 2020 and beyond. The OpenMoves team is accepting new clients in B2B lead generation. Contact us today to learn how we can grow your business through digital media.

The Result

  • Reduced cost for sales qualified leads by -66%
  • Scaled media spend by 10X from start to present day
  • Developed 500+ local market specific campaigns
  • Facebook performance exploded by 16X with our strategies
  • 62% Conversion rate