With more than $7 billion in assets, Énergir is a diversified Québec company in the energy sector. Based in Montreal, the company’s mission is to meet the energy needs of its some 520,000 customers and the communities it serves in an increasingly sustainable manner.
Lead generation for energy efficiency programs can be tricky given the range of decision makers on the client side and the overall lack of familiarity with such initiatives. Énergir needed to communicate the key benefits of its programs and solutions to engineers. “We also need engineers to help us promote our programs,” said Valerie Verpraet, Communication Advisor at Énergir.
The lockdown and distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic had greatly limited the company’s promotion efforts. “Our engineers no longer had the opportunity to attend conferences and spread the word,” Verpraet said. “That’s why we developed webinars.”
Webinars would introduce engineers to Énergir’s leading natural gas solutions and energy efficiency programs. “In the meantime, webinars generate sign-ups and leads for their business development team,” said Simon Lahaie, Digital Media Strategist at Adviso, Énergir’s agency partner.
Énergir and Adviso searched for the most appropriate platform to reach potential registrants. Recognizing the full breadth of targeting capabilities on LinkedIn, the team selected it as their platform of choice. “As the attributes of the audience are declarative, we were able to target our engineer niche audience in a seamless fashion,” Lahaie said.
Originally, the team was considering LinkedIn Sponsored Content to drive registrations, but the LinkedIn team suggested a new solution in beta at the time: Conversation Ads. LinkedIn Conversation Ads send a personal message directly to a user’s inbox and initiate an interactive engagement. “When you have to communicate something, having a conversation is a nice way to go,” Lahaie said.
Thanks to a Lead Gen Form submission rate of 71%, more than a quarter of the webinar registrations came from the LinkedIn Conversation Ads. The cost of driving those registrations was also 87% less than the standard lead ad format, at a CPL of $10CA. “LinkedIn Conversation Ads performance was astonishing,” Lahaie said.
As a result of the campaign’s success, the team integrated LinkedIn Conversion Ads as the main tactic to reach their audience for their second webinar. “When optimizing, we allocate our investments on the most efficient initiatives. Even though we assigned much more budget to the Conversation Ad format, we were able to scale with even better results,” Lahaie said.
“Conversation Ads worked better than the standard ads for leads. The fact that they are more personal and delivered directly into the inbox of engineers helps us grab their attention.” — Valerie Verpraet, Communications Advisor, Energir
A perfect format for the target audience
Conversation Ads and their ability to let you choose your customer experience pathway proved to be the ideal vehicle to communicate with this particular audience. “These engineers are people that want more information,” Lahaie said. “A Conversation Ad, which allows engineers to ask questions, and get more information or resources, is a valuable format in this particular case.”
One-to-one messaging and macros foster personalization
Adviso and Énergir noticed that the direct messaging capacity of LinkedIn supported more efficient communication, especially compared to competing platforms on which users need to be connected to send messages. The team also used the macro function of Conversation Ads to add job titles and company names in the message copy.
Énergir saw a 48% increase in the open rate with the job title macro and a +21% increase in the click-through rate using the company name macro. “It just helps to get attention,” Lahaie said. “It’s human. If someone came in here and called my name, I would turn my head.”
“Having Conversation Ads and Lead Gen Forms on the same platform, along with LinkedIn profile data, helped us optimize our conversion rate on two fronts. There is less friction in the user experience, and we have more information to better target our audience.” —
Simon Lahaie, Digital Media Strategist, Adviso
Easy integration with email and webinar platforms
LinkedIn supports a large community of marketing partners who integrate with Lead Gen Forms. Energir was able to leverage marketing partner Zapier to automatically sync their webinar registrants to their GoToWebinar instance and was also able to push them directly into HubSpot. Communications and reminders were then sent leading up to the event.