Best In-House Marketing Campaign

Facing a housing marketing at 40-year lows, Squirrel, a Kiwi-owned and operated business that built its reputation as a mortgage broker, needed a campaign that not only fit the budget, but also fostered trust with homebuyers and levelled the playing field for homeowners and savers.

Cracking investor trust

Squirrel’s ‘First 100 Get $100’ campaign was a strategic and successful initiative which focused on building awareness, increasing investor registrations and generating trust in Squirrel’s saving and investing proposition.

Squirrel had ambitious growth targets for its saving and investment business. However, the proposition had relatively low awareness nationwide. To address this, Squirrel’s in-house marketing team leveraged data insights to design a campaign that would reach a wider audience and make a significant impact within a limited budget.

The campaign’s main goals were to build awareness and understanding of Squirrel’s saving and investing proposition and to grow new investor registrations.

The challenge was to overcome the trust barrier that new investors often face, as Squirrel was a relatively new player in an industry plagued by scams and scandals.

To address this challenge, the campaign centred around a creative concept that removed barriers to investing and built trust, lowering the minimum investment amount from $500 to $100, making it more accessible for hesitant investors.

A key part of the campaign was the “First 100 Get $100” offer, where the first 100 people who registered using the promotional code ‘100’ received a $100 credit in their Squirrel account to make their first investment.

The campaign tied in well with Squirrel’s brand and marketing strategy, which focused on value innovation and delivering what matters to customers. By directly generating new registrations and creating talkability, the campaign increased brand visibility and awareness of Squirrel’s saving and investing proposition.

Strategically, the campaign employed a tactical mix of radio and social media channels. In the first week, the promotion was exclusively advertised on radio in the Auckland region to maximise audience reach and impact. The second week saw the campaign shift to Facebook and Instagram, leveraging the shareability and talkability of social channels. This media split allowed for better tracking, control, and cost-effectiveness.

The results of the campaign surpassed expectations. Over the two-week period Squirrel had more than doubled its target of registrations per week and the impact was further amplified when it was shared on a popular deals website, driving a significant spike in registrations. 

Among the 100 promo recipients, 87 remained as investors, with 72 depositing their own money into the platform, totalling over $1.3 million.

The campaign delivered an impressive return on investment (ROI) of 388 percent and a cost per acquisition. Furthermore, the ongoing lift in new investor registrations continued even after the campaign concluded, smashing the businesses 2023 growth objective.

Squirrel’s “First 100 Get $100” campaign effectively achieved its objectives and, combined with a tactical mix of radio and social media channels, and an in-house execution, allowed for cost-effective reach and impact. These outstanding results, including high retention rates and ongoing increases in registrations, demonstrate the value of Squirrel’s investing proposition. 

Best In-House Marketing Campaign


Marketing Initiative:
Squirrel’s ‘First 100 Get $100’

Marketing Partners:
Words for Breakfast (Helen Steemson)

Judges’ Comments:
Well written, clear objectives, sensible media mix given the objectives and smart approach to testing the different channels. Very strong tactical conversion campaign, solving clear business problem by smartly identifying and removing the barriers to trial, resulting in very strong business outcomes.

Cookie Time, Fullers360, Invivo, J.H. Whittakers & Sons, Kids Ride Shotgun, Lotto NZ, NZ Herald/NZME

This article was originally published in the September/October 2023 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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