Case Study


Maximizing Results when Optimizing Ad Spend: AUBG Boosts Started Applications with 82% with VertoDigital


increase in started applications


decreased cost per started application



The American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) partnered with VertoDigital, a digital advertising agency, to increase the number of student applications started while improving the cost per started application. AUBG had a limited budget, and it was crucial to optimize its digital advertising spend to maximize results.

Services & Platforms

  • Google Search, Performance Max
  • User ID, Data Stitching
  • Google Analytics
  • Big Query
  • Budget Efficiency & Cross-channel optimization
  • Multi-channel attribution


To achieve this, the goal of the partnership between AUBG and VertoDigital was to increase the number of applications started while improving the cost per started application. It was important for AUBG to achieve this goal, despite the challenges posed by a limited budget.


VertoDigital needed to analyze the admitted students’ touchpoints with paid campaigns and identify the most profitable channel and initiatives. 

The measurement method applied was blending two data sources in Looker Studio. VertoDigital recorded user IDs in the client’s Google Analytics account, which were used as a join key to map application statuses from the client’s CRM system to paid campaign sessions from GA. This method allowed for a comprehensive view of the customer journey, from the initial touchpoint with a paid campaign to the application status in the CRM.


After analyzing the data, VertoDigital identified Google Ads as the most profitable channel, with two specific campaign types: Search and Performance Max. The most successful initiatives were an ongoing presence in Google Search (Evergreen Campaigns) and a focused tactical campaign around the Early Admission deadline to AUBG.

To implement the strategy, VertoDigital increased the budget by 29.14% to allocate more resources to the most profitable initiatives. The campaign period measured was September 26, 2022, to March 23, 2023, compared with the same channels and campaigns from the previous year.


The measurement data highlighted significant results for AUBG. The number of started applications increased by 82.64%, projecting a significant improvement in the enrollment numbers. At the same time, the cost per started application improved by -29.30%, indicating an optimized digital advertising spend.

In conclusion, AUBG’s partnership with VertoDigital allowed the university to optimize its enrollment strategy and achieve significant results. The analysis of admitted students’ touchpoints with paid campaigns helped identify the most profitable channels and initiatives, and the optimization of digital advertising spend maximized results. The success of the focused tactical campaign around the Early Admission deadline highlights the importance of data-driven insights in digital advertising. By blending data from multiple sources, VertoDigital was able to accurately track the impact of paid campaigns on the enrollment process and allocate resources to the most profitable campaigns and channels.

Don’t just take our word for it

VertoDigital's data-driven approach was crucial in helping us at AUBG achieve our goals of maximizing results while optimizing our digital advertising spend. They developed a customized solution for us, based on the analysis of students' touchpoints with paid campaigns and identified the most profitable channels and initiatives - thus catering to the unique needs of our organization. VertoDigital's partnership with AUBG serves as an excellent example of how data-driven insights can lead to significant results.

Teodora Georgieva

Digital Strategy Manager American University in Bulgaria

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