Creating powerful conversions for SMEi

Building a long-lasting relationship based on insights and collaboration

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SMEi is an award-winning insurance broker, finding policies for over 19,000 small businesses around the UK.

Business insurance is a competitive market, with consumers overwhelmed by choice. SMEi’s exceptional customer service helps it stand out, winning a Feefo Gold Trusted Service award in 2018.

Our partnership began in 2014, when we were asked to increase lead generation through the website. Since then, we’ve helped SMEi go from strength to strength.

The challenge

SMEi had never heavily invested in digital marketing, instead focusing on its call centre to generate leads and conversions. This required a lot of resource and meant that other lead generation methods were overlooked. Consequently, the website didn’t generate as many leads as it could.

There was also an infrastructure challenge as SMEi couldn’t identify which digital channels its leads came from or which leads turned into conversions. This, in turn, meant it spent its marketing budget but struggled to see which channels generated the highest value or best quality leads. As a result, it didn’t know what activity to focus on to increase the number and value of leads.

Our approach

We identified three clear courses of action for SMEi:

  1. Implement tracking so SMEi had a clear understanding of where leads came from, how they progressed through the business, and the value of each conversion.
  2. Identify and optimise key policy pages to give them the best chance of generating leads and so reducing the pressure on the call centre.
  3. Produce and execute a digital strategy to raise brand awareness among trade and relevant audiences. This will, in turn, deliver a consistent stream of high quality leads with an intent to convert.

Before we set to work, we needed to understand how SMEi handled leads coming into the business.


We used a series of unique identifiers that filtered through from the marketing activity and into SMEi’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. This helped us to see where leads were originating, understand which channels and policies produced the most conversions, as well as the value of each conversion.

The data gave us really clear insights which helped SMEi better understand which channels to invest its marketing budget in.

After we tracked leads and identified their value, we focused on generating more conversions.


Optimising the website for conversions

To understand which pages to focus on, we looked at data across organic search and paid channels to find the insurance policies with the most demand.

After identifying the policies and pages, we created a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) plan to ensure the website worked as hard as it could at converting high-quality leads. Each test was informed by a user experience (UX) review and designed to optimise key landing pages and forms so there was always a consistent number of quality leads for SMEi.

The results of our CRO tests indicated SMEi’s website needed refreshing to improve the user experience. While doing this, we also implemented the successful CRO tests and updated the website to reflect SMEi’s brand.

Once the website was generating plenty of leads, we turned our attention to improving SMEi’s brand awareness.

Reaching a relevant audience

SMEi is passionate about British business, so we ran campaigns to highlight our independent businesses and home-grown talent. This improved brand awareness by generating press coverage among national, local, and trade press.

  • Britain’s best beer garden: This campaign sought to find the best beer garden in the country. We invited people to nominate pubs they thought were deserving of a grand prize and sent press releases to local and trade press to generate interest in the competition. We had 68 entries from around the country, generated 98 headlines, gained over 80 backlinks, and brought about a lot of conversation on social media too.
  • Get the look: To help the high street flourish we need to celebrate the next generation of business owners. We tapped into the talent in the hair and beauty industry and asked beauty students to show us their best looks for the chance to win kit that would help their career. We ran the competition two years in a row and over 100 students entered, showing off their make-up, nail, and hair skills. The campaign caught the attention of the press, generating 89 pieces of coverage and 46 backlinks.

Increased session to lead rate

Session to lead rate average grew 57% from 11% to 18%


Growth in leads

Leads grew an average of 178%


More quotes generated

SMEi quotes generated grew an average of 230%


Improved lead to quote rate

The lead to quote rate grew an average of 0.4% to 23%



Increased earnings

Earnings increased an average of 208%


Growth in average policy value

Average policy value increase of 7%


Our relationship with SMEi has grown alongside its business and its acquisition by the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh McLennan Companies. Over more than five years, we’ve partnered with SMEi to make its marketing work harder, improved the website’s conversion rate, and helped it generate more high quality and valuable website traffic.

This has been so successful that we also worked with them to recruit its own in-house digital marketing team. We now act as a strategic consultant, providing advice and guidance on a number of digital marketing topics.

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