Clearbit’s qualified traffic from paid channels grows 6X
Clearbit · San Francisco, California, US · clearbit.com
3X paid channel contribution to pipeline
40% average paid pipeline growth QoQ
$6.6 million generated pipeline from paid channels
“Since partnering with Outshine and launching our ICP activation strategy, we’ve seen a 6X return in qualified traffic from paid channels. It’s an enormous improvement and it means that the customers we care about are seeing the content we want them to see.”
Colin White Head of Demand Generation, Clearbit
Building brand awareness to facilitate growth
Clearbit is a data activation platform that helps companies grow faster and smarter with real-time marketing intelligence. We help teams create demand, capture intent, and optimize pipeline.
Clearbit approached Outshine with the goal of scaling up their ad programs and building out their underlying strategy with new channels, campaigns, and offer types.
Colin White, Head of Demand Generation at Clearbit, says, “We needed someone to come in and operate our advertising. We wanted to invest money and turn on our ad programs. We wanted advertising to be a major source of pipeline.”
A great ad program was key to unlocking more leads and closing more sales, developing long-term awareness, and carving out a competitive advantage. But first, Clearbit needed a clear picture of how marketing activities were driving revenue for the business.
Colin explains, “A great ad program means great ROI on your advertising investment. To get that ROI, you need to fully understand each channel and be very good at optimizing each of them.”
Hiring in-house specialists to manage each channel is expensive. So Clearbit partnered with Outshine — an agency that already knows how to navigate the complex modern advertising and marketing technology landscape — to help create and manage revenue-driven ad campaigns.
“If you try and hire in-house, you basically have to spin up a mini-advertising agency. And to be the best at anything in advertising, you need to be a specialist by channel. So you might need to hire three or four people depending on how many channels you’re running on. That’s a large cost to any business. By hiring Outshine, you save money and you get the specialist attention you need,” Colin says.
“We needed someone to come in and operate our advertising. We wanted to invest money and turn on our ad programs. We wanted rapid growth.”
Measurable awareness- focused ad program
Outshine started by helping Clearbit build out an awareness program targeting their ideal client persona (ICP). The mission was to prime, educate, and build awareness for the product with the end goal of driving more demo bookings.
Measuring the ROI of awareness campaigns is notoriously difficult. So Outshine used proxy measurements to gauge success. They analyzed bid search results, lead growth, and demo sign-ups from each channel, in addition to metrics like ad clickthrough rate and visits to awareness-building pages.
Outshine then delivered one comprehensive view of which channels drive the most revenue and how each tactic impacted the customer journey from lead to deal closed. “We were hesitant to spend much money on our top-of-funnel awareness programs. Outshine pushed us to invest in and iterate on our broader awareness strategy. They helped us see bigger success versus the path we were on,” Colin says.
Broadening the ICP to increase engagement
Outshine’s analytics revealed a large untapped audience within reach. With that data, Clearbit made a strategic decision to broaden their ICP’s definition to include people who had never heard of the Clearbit brand before.
To reach this audience, Clearbit increased their content spend and put additional emphasis on creating and marketing educational ebooks and webinars.It was a two-pronged strategy: prime people on their problem and then show them how to solve it. People who otherwise might never have heard of Clearbit were now signing up for demos.
“I’ve worked with other agencies before that were ‘ticket takers’ — they did exactly what we asked. But part of why you hire a specialist is to ‘level up’ your team. You want a relationship that’s strategic and feedback that generates better outcomes. That’s what Outshine delivers,” Colin says.
Increasing touchpoints with prospective audience
As Clearbit expanded their ICP and began doubling down on more educational content, Outshine was helping them optimize ad strategy through new channel diversification.
They began testing content across Google Display, YouTube, and LinkedIn in addition to the channels they were already using, like Facebook. Outshine analyzed each campaign’s results and used the findings to refine future campaigns. This built awareness by enabling potential leads to engage with the brand through ads across multiple platforms.
“Other agencies measure the performance of the campaigns they’re running. Period. Outshine digs deeper. They’ll pull insights on specific parts of the campaign or keyword groupings you can try. They’re really trying to improve performance week after week. It shows a high level of care and quality of service,” Colin says.
Weekly check-ins and funnel analysis
At every weekly check-in, Outshine delivers new insights, shares results, and discusses new opportunities to test. Colin loves that Outshine:
Generates reports that clearly tie marketing efforts to revenue, giving him a full-funnel view of the value of various tactics across the customer journey.
Presents a weekly analytics slide deck on-call and sends the deck to Clearbit so that they can share it internally.
Maintains a shared Slack channel allowing for instantaneous two-way communication at any time.
“We generally receive one or two interesting analytics deep dives each week from Outshine. It’s not stuff that we thought to ask — but it helps us improve performance. It might not seem like a huge thing, but one or two insights a week over a year is a lot of information and we can make a lot of new decisions based on that,” Colin says.
“Part of the reason why you hire a specialist is to ‘level up’ your team. You want a relationship that’s strategic and feedback that generates better outcomes. That’s what Outshine delivers.”
6X increase in qualified leads from paid channels
Since launching the new awareness advertising strategy, Clearbit’s qualified traffic from paid channels has increased by 6X.
“Since partnering with Outshine and launching our awareness strategy, we’ve seen a 6X return in qualified traffic from paid channels. It’s an enormous improvement and it means that the customers we care about are seeing the content we want them to see,” Colin says.
Paid channels now contribute a much larger portion of Clearbit’s overall pipeline. In under two years, Outshine helped generate an additional $6.6 million in revenue. Additionally, Clearbit’s pipeline growth from paid channels increased by an average of 40% quarter-over-quarter, and it continues to consistently exceed lead targets. Colin says Outshine made this rapid growth possible.
“Clearbit is a fast-growing SaaS company. We need to perform month-over-month and quarter-over-quarter. If we’d tried to build this out in-house instead of partnering with Outshine, it would have been a massive internal project and take way too much time,” Colin says.
As a direct result of these efforts, a lot of big competitors and even small, niche competitors are now bidding on the Clearbit name in search results — a testament to burgeoning brand recognition. And that, Colin says, is just the beginning.
“We’re hoping to open up different channels that we’re not operating on. We’re looking to Outshine to be a major partner when it comes to that, both in terms of the actual execution and the strategy across those channels too,” he says.
“Clearbit is a fast-growing SaaS company. We need to perform month-over-month and quarter-over-quarter. If we’d tried to build this out in-house instead of partnering with Outshine, it would have been a massive waste of time and budget.”
Don’t wonder how advertising helps you achieve your goals—prove it.