Secret Escapes tests a new bidding set-up, manages to cut cost per lead by 38%

August 2018

Secret Escapes is an exclusive members-only travel club offering discounts and deals on handpicked luxury hotels and holidays. Digital marketing initiatives encourage new leads to sign up for membership via the Secret Escapes website, but the company’s bidding solution was struggling to hit its target cost per lead goal. The team decided to test an new bidding setup with a view to improving the results.

About Secret Escapes

Luxury travel deals

Founded: 2010

Headquarters: London


Improve cost per lead

Test new bidding setup


Conducted test using Draft & Experiments in Google Ads

Adopted Google Ads Smart Bidding approach tCPA


23% better click-through rate

65% more conversions

38% lower cost per lead

100% greater impression volume in some accounts

Using Draft & Experiments in Google Ads, Secret Escapes set up a test to see how using the Google Ads Smart Bidding approach Target Cost per Acquisition, or tCPA, affected their key success metrics. The test started with a seven-day initial learning phase, then continued until the results reached significance. The team tested across multiple markets at the same time so they could compare outcomes and collect more insights.

When the test was complete, they saw that using tCPA bidding on average produced a 23% better click-through rate and 65% more conversions at 38% lower cost per lead than their previous bidding setup. In some accounts, they even saw 100% greater impression volume.

“Machine learning is evolving and automation within Google Ads is getting better and better, which give us confidence to continue using automated bidding at scale.”

– Rumyana Miteva, Head of Search, Secret Escapes Ltd

Since the test, Secret Escapes has switched to using Google Ads Smart Bidding across multiple accounts and report that since these solutions have proven to be very effective they will incorporate more machine learning technologies into their marketing strategy moving forward.

Kelkoo Group dramatically increases their clients’ traffic with Shopping Ads