May 02, 2024
Case Study

Low-budget Lifts: B2B example of getting big results with a small marketing budget


If you’d like a bigger marketing budget but can’t get it (yet), this article is for you.

Which means…pretty much every marketer and entrepreneur on the planet.

We’d all love more money to throw at a problem, but it isn’t easy to get and isn’t always the solution. So in this article we’ll give you a real story from your peer to spark your next great (and affordable) idea.

Read on for an example from a backup software company that spent (close to) $0.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

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Here’s another no-budget way to improve your marketing – MeclabsAI. It has 14 experts and a guided headline pathway, all built on MECLABS parented methodology discovered from 10,000 marketing experiments. And it's totally FREE to use, for now. (MECLABS is MarketingSherpa’s parent organization).

And get more low-budget ideas from this case study…

Quick Case Study: How reducing form fields on tech company’s software trial form improved conversion by 43%

Bacula Systems specializes in providing secure data backup and recovery for medium- and large-sized companies.

BEFORE – Lead qualification fields in trial sign-up form

The backup software company’s customers typically start their sales journey with a trial version evaluation, similar to other software companies. To download the trial version, users need to fill in the trial form and provide a certain amount of data both for contact and validation purposes.

Being an enterprise-grade vendor, Bacula does not focus on small organizations. Therefore, it is crucial for it to identify the number of computers or servers in the customer’s organization. This helps the company determine if the prospect would be a good fit, and it was very important for Bacula’s sales team to request this lead validation information in the trial form. Based on this data, its salespeople sorted leads among each other and followed up accordingly.

Here is how Bacula’s trial form looked before any changes:

Creative Sample #5: Control (original) lead gen form for trial software signups

Creative Sample #5: Control (original) lead gen form for trial software signups

At the bottom of the form are the two qualification fields – ‘Using Bacula already?’ and ‘Total Number of Machines to be protected (servers, Clients, VM’s).’

After being tasked to improve the amount of leads without a change in marketing budget, Bacula’s digital marketing director got an idea at Google’s SMX event in 2022 – reduce all unnecessary steps for the prospect before the conversion happens.  “Sources from MECLABS proved that having more fields typically renders a reduction of conversions,” said Andrei Iunisov, Director of Digital Marketing, Bacula Systems.

Creative Sample #6: Visual from MECLABS/MarketingExperiments article presented at SMX Search Marketing Expo showing the benefit of reducing form fields

Creative Sample #6: Visual from MECLABS/MarketingExperiments article presented at SMX Search Marketing Expo showing the benefit of reducing form fields

The team started by focusing on these two qualification fields. These form fields didn’t only present length-oriented friction, but involved difficulty-oriented friction as well. “Why should our prospects need to spend time collecting the number of machines used in their company?” asked Iunisov.

In addition to friction, another aspect of such validation fields is that sometimes prospects intentionally fill them out incorrectly. In Bacula’s case, a lot of leads that had selected 1-10 machines in the dropdown field (the lowest number option) were providing incorrect information to test how the company treats small customers.

Based on this information, the team decided to run an A/B test and remove the two qualification fields.

AFTER: No qualification fields in trial sign-up form

To make the results of the A/B test easier to interpret, the marketing team only removed the two fields and did not change any other elements of the form or messaging.

Creative Sample #7: New (treatment) lead gen form for trial software signups

Creative Sample #7: New (treatment) lead gen form for trial software signups

RESULTS: Improved conversions with equal lead quality

After achieving statistical significance in the A/B testing tool, the team determined that its trial form conversion rate improved by 43%. 

To quantify the improvement, the team tracked the number of submissions for both the original and modified forms over a 30-day period. The results were as follows:

  • Original Form: Received 120 submissions out of 5,000 visits (2.4% conversion rate)
  • Modified Form: Received 172 submissions out of 5,000 visits (3.44% conversion rate)

The team conducted a chi-square test to determine if the difference in conversion rates between the two forms was statistically significant. The test yielded a p-value of 0.001, indicating that the results were statistically significant at a 99.9% confidence level.

The 95% confidence intervals for the conversion rates were calculated as follows:

  • Original Form: 2.0% to 2.8%
  • Modified Form: 3.0% to 3.88%

To assess the impact of removing the qualification fields on lead quality, the team tracked the grade distribution of leads before and after the change. The results indicated that the quality of leads remained consistent.

Prior to the form modification, the percentage of 'A' grade leads (ready to replace their backup system within 2-4 weeks) was 22%, and 'B' grade leads (planning to replace within the nearest quarter) accounted for 30%. 'C' grade leads, those evaluating backup solutions without a specific deadline, comprised 35%, and 'D' grade leads, not target leads due to low enterprise criteria or just educational interest, made up the remaining 13%.

Following the reduction in form fields, the distribution was virtually unchanged with 'A' grade leads at 21%, 'B' grade at 31%, 'C' grade at 34%, and 'D' grade at 14%.

This demonstrates that the streamlined form effectively maintained lead quality without compromising the depth of prospect information crucial for effective sales follow-up.

“This result is significant for us, because we managed to grow seamlessly and without additional investment. We plan to capitalize on this test even further and scale this positive change on all our webforms,” said Iunisov.

Related resources

Website Optimization: How to reduce friction in purchase and registration processes

MeclabsAI’s Problem Solver in Action

Marketing Budget Chart: Is budget size the real challenge? Or is it how you allocate your budget?

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