Sempai & Carsmile – our way to success in hard times

June 6, 2023
Reading time ~ 4 min.
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The cooperation between Sempai and Carsmile

Carsmile is Poland’s first and largest virtual car showroom that allows you to use your
car with three forms of financing:

  • leasing,
  • long-term rental
  • loan

addressed to both companies and individuals.

In terms of Google Ads, we have been working together for 4 years, but 2022 was the first such dicult year for the entire industry in Poland.

Do you want to know the details of the campaign? See the PDF version of the case study:

Read the PDF file

One goal – but very ambitious!

Due to the turmoil in the automotive market, we did not account for every segment of the campaign and focused on every single lead that was of value to us during the crisis. We rotated budgets between dierent levels of the funnel depending on performance and feedback on the quality of these leads from the sales department.

On account of the current economic situation, the pragmatic goal was to maintain the same level of “sales” with similar/same costs as that from 2021. However, continued development requires the establishment of a more ambitious goal.

Main goal:

  • to acquire contact data of people who may be interested in having a new car – 10% increase in the number of leads from the Google Ads campaign
  • obtaining contact details of people interested in owning a new car

Our target groups were people/companies wanting to purchase a car. We based our strategy on 4 foundations:

  • A/B testing – dedicated, sales funnel-dependent LPs, various types of entry forms meant to meet the expectations of dierent customers;
  • Utilization to the greatest extent of possibilities provided by Google Ads
  • Exploration of yet-unexploited forms for reaching the target group/expansion of the target group
  • Advancement to higher stages of the sales funnel – appearing in the search network for customers with no intention to purchase.

We had a lot of challenges ahead of us!

Obstacles can’t stop us! Challenges and solutions

Challenge no, 1 The glass ceiling

We are reaching more and more of our target group. We are depended on the number of searches as the most eective source of contacts.

Solution: We focused on the higher stages of the sales funnel deciding to reach people who were looking for a new car but may not have considered leasing/rental. We wanted to show them that they don’t have to own a company to get a new car without putting down cash or getting a loan for it.

Challenge no 2. Difficult situation within our industry

We faced the difficulities beyond our control:

  • limited availability of cars on the market due to the covid post-covid situation
  • growing inflation and rising interest rates,
  • “The Polish New Deal” – from January 2022, the leasing rules were less favourable and unclear,
  • war in Ukraine – companies previously doing business with Ukraine and Russia have had to look for savings,
  • rapid growth of fuel prices reflecting the situation on global markets, but also the rushing inflation in Poland,
  • changes in EU policy – phase out the production of combustion cars, increased
    interest in electric vehicles.

These diculties affected the number and types of searches (the context of search phrases connected to car leasing changed into seeking information rather than the intent to lease) as well as the conversion factor.

Solution: We decided to reach higher stages of the sales funnel within the search network as well as more creative activities within the marketing network directed at new users. We chose to utilize product feeds and dynamic marketing instead of static banners.

We focused on highly-available products expanding our message with “anti-inflation discounts”. We stressed the fact that long-term renting is more advantageous than an outright purchase of a car, extended our offer to refugefees from Ukraine who ended up in Poland and  expanded search campaigns to include the electric car segment.

We tested different types of contact forms. Those who left their data received the
benefits. The outcome? 44% more leads than before!

Challenge no 3. Fictional data entered in form
Questions containing “brand + model” are directed to the product page. What to do,
however, when the user enters phrases like “new car”, “car leasing” or “car rental”? We are not familiar with the context of a significant number of search terms, and yet we want to interest such a user in our offer. To solve this, we created a dedicated LP with a car creator. After playing around in the creator the user had to leave their contact information to get the result and monthly payment price. Many people letf fictional information which resulted in a flood of worthless leads.

Solution: Phone number verification was implemented within the form. A fake number made sending the form impossible and prompted many people to provide correct information. Additionally, we allowed the user to specify their intention to use the tool so as not to collect data from people high in the funnel. These – very often turned out to be incorrect.

This campaign showed that nothing is impossible for Sempai specialists!

Despite unfavorable trends for the entire automotive industry, strongly affected by the crisis, we have achieved results for Carsmile that we are very proud of:

  • +15% more leads
  • +80% Google Ads traffic
  • + 70% sessions
  • – 19% bounce rate
  • +121% new users
  • +17% conversions in DDA

We operated in a very difficult period for Poland and Europe – the car rental market was affected by the negative effects of the economic crisis, which led to many companies looking for savings and not being interested in leasing. We put the user and his experience at the center – we based our ads and onsite activities on user expectations.
Despite the entry of a global tycoon (Autohero) into the Polish market, thanks to our activities Carsmile maintained its leading position in Poland. We continue to cooperate – we haven’t said the last word yet!

Do you want to know the details of the campaign? See the PDF version of the case study:

Read the PDF file


Digital Marketing Agency