Invoicing software business Zervant targets small businesses with their solution for creating and sending online invoices in any format. Based in Finland and with a focus on growing their international user base, Zervant are achieving the fast growth they need with Google.
As a business based in a country with a population of just 5.5 million, Zervant’s main strategy from the outset has been to expand internationally and build a global business. It has very quickly grown from one to seven markets with its focus on acquiring international users.
“Finland is small; coming from a tiny market you need to be global,” explains CEO Mattias Hansson. “We selected specific markets, initially starting with Sweden and then spreading to Central Europe, where it’s possible to serve several markets with the same product.”
Google AdWords has proved invaluable for achieving this fast global expansion. Quickly becoming their most profitable channel, Zervant use AdWords for search, display, remarketing, Dynamic Search Ads, and Gmail sponsored promotions. The results say it all, says CMO Matias Vahtola: “We’ve been able to triple our users in one year from 30,000 users to more than 100,000, and we can attribute a lot of that to Google Search. We realised that this is the way to achieve the growth we need. You can see the results immediately and measure everything.”
AdWords has also proved to be the most effective channel for scaling Zervant’s marketing. As a result, they now put approximately 70% of their marketing budget into AdWords, with around 80% of this focusing on international markets. “Given the market situation, it’s important to expand really quickly, doubling or tripling the markets we’re in,” says Hansson. “We’ve tried a lot of different channels but online is the only one that works for our segment.”
Different markets require different approaches however, so Zervant use Google Analytics to drive its advertising on a market-by-market basis. Google Analytics provides Zervant with valuable insights based on what people do on their site, while Consumer Barometer and Google Trends allow them to analyse consumer behaviour and interest. Finally, A/B testing helps them identify the best approaches for driving traffic. “We know which sources drive good quality traffic and which sources don’t,” Vahtola explains. “Based on the data, we can then focus on the good ones.”
Of course, achieving Zervant’s ambitious growth targets couldn’t be done without paying close attention to results, and Google provides the necessary visibility. “We measure everything from ad click to conversion and customer lifetime value,” says Vahtola. “We have really good visibility on Google. Overall we’re seeing around 70% of traffic coming from search, both organic and paid, and it’s easy to see how much revenue it brings in.”
“The AdWords platform makes sense to use if you’re selling anything from services to goods,” adds Vahtola. “Any business should definitely start testing to see what results they can get.”
“We’ve been able to triple our users in one year from 30,000 users to more than 100,000, and we can attribute a lot of that to Google Search.” Matias Vahtola, CMO, Zervant