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Achieving an 8.8x ROI for one of NZ's pioneering Vaping Brands

Luke Chong - 04/04/2019

How do you achieve an 8.8x ROI, for a brand and product, still shrouded in the 'grey area' of legitimacy? You get creative, you double down on what works, and you challenge the status quo. We did all this, and for NZVAPOR, it paid off.



Planning, changing or executing an effective Google Adwords strategy that is highly relevant and high converting for one business is challenging enough. What if it’s for a business where the highly innovative product they are producing is considered to be in its infancy and where the category technically sits in a ‘grey area’?

You may have done your research, have the best product and the best intentions, however at the end of the day not fully understanding your audience and platform can cause you to lose thousands of dollars from your marketing budget and potential revenue.

The challenge becomes much bigger than just placement and creative, the strategy now needs to include elements that are engaging and converting yet compliant.

The Challenge

NZVAPOR is a leading New Zealand brand in premium e-juice and e-cigarettes, with a mission to help make New Zealand (and the world) smokefree through only the best and safest nicotine based and nicotine-free e-juice. NZVapor is considered a pioneer in its field as the e-juice they manufacture in-house is of the highest grade and to pharmaceutical standards.

However, conveying all of the above to Google (and subsequently to the audience in a succinct way) is even more difficult. After a short trial advertising on Facebook and Google Adwords, all of their ads were reviewed and suspended by the respective platforms, citing ‘tobacco related products’. Although vaping is seen as a game changing and innovative movement, the perception between vaping and smoking (or tobacco) remains and to some, it’s one and the same.

Understanding the value of having a strong advertising campaign to supplement their digital strategy while remaining within the bounds of the terms of service (ToS), NZVAPOR turned to us for help with their Adwords strategy.

NZVapor had no previous insights to draw upon when it came to Adwords, no benchmark for ROI, no precedent, no thought-leader or understanding of what ‘good’ looked like. This was a gamble for them and it was a job for us to reduce the risk and ensure the odds were in their favour.


The Solution

The challenge of the strategy goes beyond just keyword research and understanding the advertising platform’s ToS. Unlike the traditional above, below or through the line approach, search marketing requires a deeper and more sympathetic level of understanding of the audience.

To gain a stronger understanding of NZVAPOR’s target market we developed buyer personas off the bat. Buyer Personas allowed us to move beyond the person (vaper) as just another entity and gave us further insight into the following and more:

  • Roles
  • Goals
  • Motivations
  • Challenges
  • Preferences
  • Behaviours

We then reviewed analytics and the existing content on the site, such as blogs, to see which content and format was getting the most organic traffic, what was being searched for and how users were moving through the site.

Using our best tools, minds and HubSpot, we developed a multi-pronged approach that:

  • Focused on the brand
  • Communicated the value proposition
  • Moved along with the customer throughout their buyer’s journey

So we could achieve the following objective:

  • Attract: Using our collective expertise to create content and conversations that start meaningful relationships with the right people.
  • Engage: Building lasting relationships with people by providing the best products that align with their roadblocks and goals.
  • Delight: Providing an outstanding experience that adds real value, empowers people to reach their goals, and become promoters of NZVapor.

While traditional campaigns focus on pushing a product or service. Our inbound approach focused on the overall objective: `smoking cessation, helping and motivating those looking to quit smoking.


The Result

A picture paints a thousand words. And together with NZVapor we created a work of art.


Leveraging only $5,333 in ad budget in a trial period, we generated 673 conversions. With an average order value of $70 per order, this represents a total conversion value of over $47,110.

That’s an ROI of 8.8x

And in our best month, we generated an ROI of 14x!

Traffic growth from Adwords from the beginning to the end of the trial period increased by 573%.


Reeling from their success, NZVapor has since increased its ad budget dramatically and today, continues to see massive wins from their Adwords strategy. Perhaps the biggest win of all is how this has paved the way for similar companies in the vaping industry locally and abroad.


INBOUND’s partnership with NZVapor is far from over, having just introduced an exit intent lead flow that has already captured over 435 leads in the first 60 days of launch.

As we progress further into our already lucrative relationship with NZVAPOR, the focus is now to increase their marketing presence across the board. We are now working in Automation and Email Marketing, engaging, delighting and exciting the already massive customer base.

QJ and the team at NZVAPOR set out to bring an end to smoking in New Zealand, it's our pleasure to help them achieve that, and also smash their goals in the process.


Want to grow your eCommerce business? We'd love to take you out for coffee and hear about it

Ben Circle Crop

Ben Male, Growth Director

+64 21 1133 639

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