Improving clicks-through-rates based on insights from top FinServ advertisers

By: Eric Tutlys, Analytics and Media Manager

In a 2019 study of 50 financial services brands, top-performing advertisers saw, on average, 2.9x higher click-through rates, 1.5x higher daily reach, and 1.6x higher six-month rolling reach than other advertisers.

Story highlights:

In a 2019 study of more than 50 brands in the financial services (FinServ) category (insurance, brokerage, credit cards, and banking) advertising with Amazon, we found that top-performing advertisers saw, on average, 2.9x higher click-through rates (CTR), 1.5x higher daily reach, and 1.6x higher six-month rolling reach than other advertisers. They also made more use of three key advertising strategies:

  1. Always-on campaigns
  2. Audience remarketing
  3. Diverse ad spend

This article provides insights on these strategies and recommendations for improving them.

1. Top-performing advertisers run always-on ad campaigns more often

Insights

Top-performing advertisers delivered 6% more impressions than other advertisers. Additionally, top-performing advertisers ran always-on campaigns for 25 weeks (for each six-month period), while other advertisers ran always-on campaigns for 14 weeks (for each six-month period).

Recommendations

Consider keeping advertising campaigns running throughout the year. Customers are always online, and always-on campaigns can help reinforce advertiser brand to customers in every stage of the marketing funnel all year round, and in turn, can lead to better CTRs and greater reach. Additionally, always-on campaigns can help improve advertising performance over time. The longer campaigns run, the more data-driven insights you will have to optimize your campaigns.

Always-on works best when awareness, consideration, and conversion tactics are implemented together. Awareness and consideration tactics, such as branding campaigns and Streaming TV ads, help new customers down the funnel; and conversion tactics, such as remarketing, may drive conversion.

2. Top-performing advertisers use audience remarketing

Insights

Top-performing advertisers were 6x more likely to use audience remarketing than other advertisers.

Recommendations

FinServ advertisers should consider remarketing tactics because it can help drive CTRs, consideration, and conversion. Remarketing can also help build customer loyalty. To improve remarketing success, advertisers should consider:

  1. Remarketing at the right time in order to help drive first-time conversion.
  2. Leveraging Amazon events such as Prime Day, Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and upper-funnel advertising products such as Streaming TV ads and Amazon DSP to help increase awareness and consideration—then following up by remarketing to help convert landing page views.
  3. Diversifying investment mix with budget allocation across ad products and inventory types including mobile, video, and display.

3. Top-performing advertisers diversify their ad investments

Insights

Top-performing advertisers used a minimum of four ad products and inventory types across desktop display, mobile display, tablet display, Amazon DSP, Streaming TV ads, and audio, while other advertisers used only two products and inventory types.

Recommendations

We recommend FinServ advertisers consider diversifying their ads across multiple ad products and inventory types because it can help form a full-funnel strategy that helps you reach today’s omni-channel shoppers. To build awareness, try expanding reach via Streaming TV ads, audio ads, and display or online video ads through Amazon DSP. If done correctly, advertisers can increase reach across multiple channels.

Methodology

We analyzed over 50 advertisers in the FinServ category in the United States in 2019. The FinServ category includes advertisers in insurance, brokerage, credit cards, and banking.

We created a composite score of CTR, daily reach rates, and six-month reach rates. The composite score includes CTR, average daily unique reach, and average six-month rolling unique reach. Daily reach is a measure of daily messaging strength, while six-month rolling reach is an approximation of total audience reached.

We then identified the top advertising strategies to help increase the composite score with machine learning algorithms (Stepwise Linear Regression and subject matter expert suggestions are used to assign features weights).

Index campaign performance (Baseline = bottom quartile)

Top quartile color

Top quartile

2nd quartile

2nd quartile

3rd quartile

3rd quartile

Bottom quartile

Bottom quartile

CTR

CTR. Top quartile: 2.9; 2nd quartile: 2.4; 3rd quartile: 1.6; bottom quartile: 1.0

Daily reach

Daily reach. Top quartile: 1.5; 2nd quartile: 1.3; 3rd quartile: 1.2; bottom quartile: 1.0

Six-month rolling reach

Six-month rolling reach. Top quartile: 1.5; 2nd quartile: 1.4; 3rd quartile: 1.3; bottom quartile: 1.0

How does the clustering work?
We labeled advertisers that ranked in the top 50% across all three components as “one,” and otherwise as “zero,” We then applied an XGBoost classifier to identify which features and with which weights best predict these labels. In doing so, we considered Amazon Ads or retail actions as features such as ad product usage intensity and mix, timing of advertising support, tactics of targeting, creatives and placements.
Using the identified features and weights above, we then applied a k-medoid clustering algorithm to classify advertisers into clusters. Note that we classified advertisers by their actions rather than by the components of their composite score. Next, we ranked the final clusters by their composite scores from high to low. Cluster 1 is the most successful cluster with the highest composite score, and Cluster 5 is the least successful.