Using Gmail Ads and a mobile-first approach helps UNICAF generate 210% more leads year over year

January 2017

UNICAF strives to increase access to quality higher education by offering internationally recognised master's degree programmes in developing countries at a very low cost through the UNICAF Scholarship Programme.


Drive high-quality, high-volume leads

Reach mobile users


Launched Gmail Ads

Optimised according to creatives’ performance


15% increase in VTR

Gmail campaigns increased leads by 210% year over year at same cost per lead

Using mobile-ready creatives reduced cost per lead by 46%

UNICAF is a long-time user of the Google Display Network and AdWords targeting. With the majority of African users visiting the internet via mobile devices, the company wanted to adjust its digital marketing targeting tactics to reach these mobile users. For example, in Nigeria – UNICAF’s biggest market – 83% of users go online via mobile phones.

In shifting to a mobile-first strategy, UNICAF’s main goal was to secure high-quality leads while maintaining large volumes. Gmail Ads provided the ideal format for achieving these ends. The team began by testing different creatives, including custom creatives, creatives featuring just one image and mobile-first creatives. These campaigns were continuously optimised according to how the creatives performed.

These tactics produced excellent results. Maintaining the same cost per lead as before, UNICAF was able to increase lead generation by 210% year over year, allowing more efficient spend. Meanwhile, the use of mobile-friendly, Gmail-ready creatives has allowed UNICAF to reduce the cost per lead even further. Since transitioning to a mobile-first strategy, this metric has dropped by 46% compared to the previous period when only custom creatives were used. Thanks to outcomes like these, UNICAF has opted to have an always-on presence in Gmail going forward.

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