Strategic lead generation and paid media campaign increases email subscriber list by 73% for SME Climate Hub

Ben Matthews

By Ben Matthews

In Case Studies

Reading Time: 4 minutes

SME Climate Hub Logo

“The Empower team were great partners to the Hub, through using the opportunity of this campaign to grow our membership and explore new audiences. We’re really pleased with the benchmark-surpassing results, new subscriber list generated and the valuable strategic insights.”

– Sasha Chebil, Communications Manager, SME Climate Hub

About SME Climate Hub

The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative that aims to mainstream climate action in the small to medium sized business community, and enable SMEs to build resilient businesses for the future.

Businesses with under 500 employees represent 90% of business globally, and affect the livelihoods of over 2 billion people. The SME Climate Hub supports these businesses as they commit to their net zero journey, helping SMEs overcome the common obstacles to taking action — whether curbing emissions in their own business or getting green solutions to market. 

The first step is making the commitment: to halve emissions by 2030 and to become net zero by 2050 or sooner. The SME Climate Hub has developed free, practical resources specifically tailored to support SMEs on their net zero journey through strategic emission reductions and opportunities for climate leadership.

The SME Climate Commitment is the official pathway for small and medium sized businesses to join the United Nations global Race to Zero campaign.

The Challenge

SME Climate Hub partnered with Empower to devise a paid media strategy and lead generation campaign to:

  1. Drive further commitments from SMEs in US, UK, India and Spain
  2. Educate Meta and LinkedIn users on what the SME Climate Hub is and the tools and resources available for those who make a commitment
  3. Capture contact details to enable contact points with interested users beyond the life of the LinkedIn / Meta ad campaigns
  4. Create an engagement journey for SMEs new to the Hub to lower the barrier from seeing an ad on LinkedIn / Meta through to making a commitment
  5. Showcase case studies of small businesses around the world that have benefitted from making a commitment
  6. Create content that can be used as part of wider SME Climate Hub marketing activity (e.g. organic social media, future paid media activity)

The Approach

As SME Climate Hub’s main objective was to gather leads, we used the inbuilt platform lead generation form capabilities as the core action to send audiences to, while also setting up Brand Uplift studies and traffic-driving ads.

The Empower team designed new visual assets and wrote the accompanying ad copy that communicates SME Climate Hub’s mission and the imperatives of taking action as a small business, ensuring these were aligned with best practices for paid social. 

Empower’s team also targeted multiple regions in our outreach with tailored content and messaging, including for key campaign moments, such as Earth Day, Climate Week and COP

Empower set up, executed and managed the ad campaign, including supporting technical set-up for email marketing in Mailchimp. This included nurturing new leads through an industry-specific email campaign, educating users who have completed the lead gen form about how the SME Climate Hub can support their small business to take climate action, and profiling success stories from other committed businesses. 

Audiences were encouraged to access free tools and resources available to them and to make the SME Climate Commitment. Through A/B testing, we helped the Hub’s team to understand what messaging, tools and resources are the most effective at encouraging SMEs to take climate action.

Throughout the campaign, we monitored performance, frequently communicating key opportunities for improving performance to the Hub. 

Working as a client-agency team, we made agile decisions together, including on the distribution of budget between platforms, ads and regions, adjusting targeting, setting up or switching off ads as the performance developed.

The Results

Adding the lead generation element as part of the paid media campaign was a success, as we increased the Hub’s email subscribers by 5,099 (a 73% increase) from SMEs that we can continue to engage with through email and encourage to make a commitment. 

Alongside the lead generation campaign, Empower ran ads driving traffic directly to the Hub’s website, where users could make the SME Climate Commitment directly. We saw a higher bounce rate on these ads, but nonetheless drove 4.3 million clicks across the campaign, surpassing platform benchmarks.

Furthermore, our ads surpassed all of LinkedIn’s benchmarks by at least 50% for Click Through Rate, Engagement Rate, Conversion Rate and Lead Generation Form Completion Rate. 

Each region provided valuable insights – from India’s high lead volume, UK’s balanced success, and Spain’s strong engagement rates. Ultimately, Empower drove 4.3 million clicks across the campaign, surpassing the campaign’s objectives..

In terms of commitments, the campaign resulted in hundreds of new small businesses making the SME Climate Commitment, pledging to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach Net Zero by 2050. This figure will grow via continued engagement with the client’s new leads.