Pharmaceuticals is a rather difficult industry in terms of promotion. Online pharmacies are even more difficult. Direct advertising of most products is prohibited, Federal laws are also not on the side of online pharmacies, and advertising platforms dictate their own rules. How to set up a campaign in such conditions and increase the effectiveness of advertising? We had a plan that, after a year, resulted in a 13x increase in transaction revenues.
Who is the client?
Eapteka online pharmacy with pick-up points in our own offline pharmacies. At the start, she worked in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tver, during the year she went to Vladimir, Tula and Nizhny Novgorod.
At the time of contacting the agency, only the K50 generator campaigns were working for the client. They used a feed with drug names, prices, links, and other parameters that were used to build the campaign. Advertising brought transactions, but their cost and quantity did not suit the client. Before the start of work, the transaction rate was 0.56%, the cost of the transaction, in the client’s opinion, was very high. Only 40 low income transactions were generated per week.
We were faced with four tasks:
- Reduce the cost of transactions by 2.5 times.
- Increase their total number.
- Increase transaction income.
- Attract transactions only from non-branded traffic.
When working with a topic such as pharmaceuticals, it is important to understand that its promotion and advertising is very regulated and limited.
First, the Federal Law “On Circulation of Medicines” restricts distance selling of medicines. That is, you cannot advertise and have information on the delivery of medicines on the landing pages and the ability to choose delivery when placing an order. You can only offer the formation of an order on the site and self-pickup from an offline pharmacy.
Secondly, Google and Yandex advertising systems have their own rules. It is prohibited to advertise online pharmacies on Google. It is allowed to advertise online pharmacies in Yandex, but with restrictions. The company must provide licenses, letters of guarantee and other documents.
If we talk about the creatives themselves and targeting, then here are the difficulties we faced:
- you cannot advertise prescription drugs;
- some advertising messages cannot be used, for example, to guarantee the safety of the drug, its effectiveness, solving the problem without the need to see a doctor, etc.;
- you cannot use audience selection conditions (audience targeting) as targeting. At that time, Yandex had not yet run medical ads for behavioral targeting and retargeting and audience matching. Even if she passed moderation.
Yandex also has other restrictions on medical advertising. You can read about them in the help.
Even when you try to circumvent the rules in an original way, you won’t succeed:
Yandex will not miss such ads.
“Survey” of current advertising campaigns
We conducted an audit, identified weaknesses in existing campaigns and uncovered semantics categories. At that time, the work was carried out on specific OTC drugs and covered only the semantics associated with them. Among those not covered were competing brands, general inquiries about online pharmacies, inquiries about specific categories on the site, diseases and ailments, prescription drugs, non-medical drugs and products. All cities of the pharmacy’s presence were not covered, targeting was only to Moscow.
The settings for existing campaigns also had their own shortcomings. The generator formed incorrect keywords in some cases, campaigns were poorly promoted. Targeting worked for all of Moscow, although at that time self-pickup could be arranged only from a small number of pharmacies – about ten outlets. In addition, the ads in many cases did not attract users.
First of all, we expanded the existing campaigns to all regions of our presence and created a campaign for general inquiries about an online pharmacy.
Next, we tested and implemented on an ongoing basis adjustments to the location of pharmacies and self-pick-up points – within a radius of 1 km from them. The bottom line is that we have set the minimum rates for search (2-4 rubles) and created a multiplying coefficient for people who are often near pharmacies + 400%.
Thus, campaigns were shown at high rates only to those users who were most likely to be able to pick up their order from a nearby pharmacy.
Here is the result we achieved in four weeks:
- consumption decreased by 68%;
- transactions have doubled;
- income increased by 86%;
- the price per transaction fell 6.5 times.
Now we were given the task of scaling, that is, keeping the same CPO level, maximizing the number of transactions.
We started expanding semantics and systematically began testing and introducing campaigns:
- for various diseases;
- by competitors;
- by categories of goods from the site.
The distribution of the number of transactions by semantic category for the last 30 days looks like this:
In parallel, work was carried out with campaign settings. We have introduced bid adjustments based on user behavior levels on the site. The entire audience was divided into five levels. The narrower was excluded from each wider level.
As a result, adjustments to search campaigns began to look like this:
We constantly monitored and updated our geosegment in Yandex.Audience. During the year, the client has increased the number of pick-up points and own pharmacies. With the increase in the number of pick-up points, the geo adjustment was no longer so important, since it covered almost all of Moscow. As a result, we have lowered this adjustment, allowing more active retargeting levels.
Playing by the rules
A separate and important point was that we created generator campaigns for prescription drugs. We could not promote the drugs themselves, but no one forbade us to use their semantics to advertise a pharmacy (without reference to a drug). We have compiled a general ad from the landing page to the home page of the site.
These campaigns generated significant high-income transactions in their first month of operation.
If you look at the overall performance, here’s what we managed to do in a year:
- The price per transaction is 2.5 times lower than before.
- During the week, more than 200 transactions are generated from non-branded traffic versus 40 that were before the start of work.
- Weekly transaction revenue increased 13x.
- The transaction ratio increased from 0.56 to 2.3%.
Promotion of online pharmacies is always a challenge. But also interesting tasks. Once again, we made sure that the competent use of existing tools, a little creativity and well-coordinated teamwork can bring impressive results. Even if these are tasks of increased complexity.