DigitalBooker has just hit the 1 million bookings mark, a big milestone for the somewhat Finnish company. It’s had to pin down because the team is distributed all over the world – with CEO Fredrik Rönnlund based in Turku, Finland, with the rest of the team spread out between Singapore, Norway, and the UK.
The company has been around since 2007 but right now they see that they’re starting to really grow. Currently their big customers are split equally between the hair/beauty sector and Yoga classes. An online booking solution is pretty straightforward, so we talked shop with Rönnlund about how they got to the 1 million mark.
“The thing that we’re doing at the moment is creating a lot of metrics, and investing a lot of money into ads just to see what works and what doesn’t work,” says Rönnlund.
By doing so, their ads are bringing in 100-150 uniques a day, but their goal is to still get a percent conversion out of that, hitting at least one signup a day. What it basically comes down to is a simple equation – if they invest X amount of money into Adwords here, then they can expect X many euros in cash per month.
“We have a lot of metrics that we’re tracking in a Google docs spreadsheet… We’re tracking pageviews, we’re looking at how many people exit the page and so forth.”
One of the reasons Digital Booker is so focused on metrics is because they have a completely online sales funnel. Rönnlund explains that other Finnish and international booking solutions have a much stronger emphasis on telemarketing or face-to-face meetings, but they see online funnels as the only way to scale correctly.
“That’s been a problem for us in the past, and our growth has been slower because of that. But now that we have enough customers and references that brings us to the situation that sales are much cheaper to us than other companies.”
When asked about a general strategy for building Adwords conversion funnels, Rönnlund says it’s pretty straightforward. You first need to figure out what you’re going to track, and then put together the whole analytics funnel from beginning to end. If visitors are landing on your page and leaving 5 seconds later, it’s not a successful ad.
“What we’re trying to test is who should we target, what landing page should we take them to, and how do we get them from there to the next step,” says Rönnlund, also adding that the landing page should inform visitors and drive into a specific action.
A strategy they’ve used quite heavily is posing a question in the ad to drive interest. Phrases they’re using include “Are you looking for a booking solution?” or “Are you selling your services online?” The logic is to then drive these ads to a landing page where you provide a brief amount of information, and giving some references so that people can see that it will solve their problem as well. After that, you just need to drive people to some action – which in DigitalBooker’s case is their online demo.
Much of this ad testing comes down to the lean startup methodology of staying flexible and testing results. Even though they’ve been around since 2007, 1 million isn’t an insignificant number of bookings. Growth seems to bring more growth, so I wonder how soon they’ll double that, especially as they bring what they’ve learned in the Finnish markets to Canada and Germany, as well as test out their ads in new markets.