“Monzurul is an upstanding person, and the best marketing specialist that I’ve ever worked with.”
– Angela R., Founder & President, Trinity Credit Services
Trinity Credit Services is a Texas-based credit repair company that helps those with less desirable credit take steps toward their financial freedom.
Although, Google AdWords has traditionally been an excellent source of profitable credit repair leads for companies like Trinity, recent changes to the dynamics of the credit industry created a number of challenges.
One major factor of their business was using Google AdWords to fuel one-time credit repair deals. They realized this would not be sustainable forever, so the executive team at Trinity began to rebrand their company under a new umbrella called Sperity Credit Repair.
The change they proposed was for the Trinity brand to continue to operate as a one-time solution for those in need of urgent assistance, whereas Sperity would focus on helping customers with long-term solutions to fix their credit and improve their overall financial well-being.
In August of 2016, they invited Monzurul.com to help manage this brand development and transition and to create an effective long-term marketing strategy.
Laying the Ground Work
Improving the efficiency of their PPC campaigns was the first task at hand. I worked with their developer team to accurately set up conversion tracking using form submissions, and to install call-tracking software onto their website.
I noticed their existing AdWords campaigns were not structurally sound. For example, many keywords and ad groups were duplicated two or three times and the budget was mismanaged. I also saw that quality search terms were coming in at an astronomically high cost-per-click.
Throwing Our Best Practices
Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s responsible to apply best practices in many cases, especially when it comes to managing a business. However, when it comes to Google AdWords, there is no guarantee that the same strategy will have equal results for two businesses, even if they are similar. When it came to developing a plan for Trinity, I really had to ignore “best practice” knowledge and rely on creative thinking to construct the best plan of attack. There was no point in working from preconceived notions of ad relevance, search query intent or landing page content!
Instead, we implemented advanced A/B split tests, and an understanding of consumer behaviour to turn this account around. We put away our “traditional thinking” and dug into psychology to help us devise an effective campaign.
For example, by testing different keywords such as “credit repair company” and “how to improve my credit”, we were able to determine which set of keywords was more cost-effective. This not only lowered the CCP, but it also increased the click-through and conversion rates on the account. What’s more is that we were able to help Trinity stand out from their competition by using different terminology that was just as effective but at a lower cost.
Understanding User Mindset
Psychology plays a big part in the development plan of a marketing strategy. As I continued to analyze data and gained a better understanding of Trinity’s customers, I found there were two main groups in the user base. There are those that need the service for a specific purpose (financing a home, for example), and there are those that need more comprehensive service offerings (such as people that recently filed for bankruptcy and needed to rebuild their credit from scratch).
Many factors separated these two audiences. With those that only need help to finance a home, time is more of a deciding element than price. They are seeking short-term results, and are probably not interested in the long-term benefits of credit repair. They’re also more likely to be using their mobile device for searching on-the-go (perhaps while viewing a home).
I could see a great opportunity for custom landing pages that would accommodate these two audiences. This was also a way to effectively start transitioning the bulk of the ad spend from the Trinity brand to the Sperity brand.
Improving Lead Quality
With any lead-generating initiative, the main challenge is evaluating each lead that comes through and optimizing it for better lead quality. When my partnership with Trinity began, their sales team was closing leads at a rate of about 10%. My plan was to improve the quality of leads they received so they could afford a higher cost-per-lead in the AdWords campaigns and ultimately drive more business.
The next step was to establish feedback mechanisms with their sales team so that we could get a better understanding of quality leads.
This helped us discover that many leads were rarely declaring their intent in their search query (like financing a home, for example). They were more likely to just be searching for credit repair, as opposed to credit repair for home financing specifically. Once we had this data, we took steps to ensure we had the most relevant content on our landing pages, resulting in lower cost-per-quality-lead and a greater conversion rate.
We also found that the most common cause for leads not closing into deals was because of the cost of the service. This led us to launch remarketing initiatives that were specifically geared toward former leads dating back 2-3 months prior that hadn’t closed into deals. We then incorporated a test offering a 10% discount to these former leads, which helped generate noticeable interest with this audience.
Transitioning To A New Brand
I was able to slowly increase the amount of Sperity leads in proportion to Trinity leads over time. This was done by improving the structure of the AdWords account, setting up accurate conversion tracking and effective feedback mechanisms, and conducting multivariate testing.
Although both brands are important components in sustaining the business in the long-term, we identified which brand was best-suited to specific clients and initiated campaigns that targeted those particular audiences with the brand that was a better match. We targeted users seeking one-time credit repair solutions with the Trinity brand and then advertised the Sperity brand to those interested in a more comprehensive and long-term solution to improve their overall financial wellbeing.
Putting It All Together
The sign of success for these accounts was that the Sperity brand grew in a unique space of credit repair and mentorship, while the existing Trinity brand continued to see a steady flow of one-time credit repair leads.
Overall, I helped the client achieve a 9.5% increase in their conversion rates, thanks to ongoing testing and optimization of custom landing pages and other website content. Along with ongoing feedback from the Trinity sales team, I was also able to help improve their close rate by 85%.
Because of the improved lead quality, the client had fewer restraints on the break-even cost-per-conversion from their PPC efforts. This allowed me to experiment with new initiatives that ultimately brought in more business. These initiatives improved the overall cost-per-new-client by 37%.
A great team to work with. I was impressed by their attention to detail and genuine desire to learn about our company before they took on our ads. They have a very talented design team and their ad copy was also top class.
– Niall Barry, User Acquisition Manager, MyWallSt
MyWallSt is a fintech / SaaS company with the goal of educating their community on investing principles and sharing insights on their set of hand-picked stocks. The MyWallSt app is a hub of educational content, investment analysis, market updates, stock picks of the month, and even allows users to invest through the app by connecting their brokerage accounts.
A subscription to MyWallSt allows access to the top 1% of investment opportunities that are handpicked by the MyWallSt analyst team and consistently outpace the S&P 500 by more than 50%. MyWallSt proves that investing is for everyone, and they will show you how to succeed.
Advertising Platforms Leveraged
- Facebook Ads
- Instagram Ads
- Google Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Fintech is a competitive industry. MyWallSt is a unique platform that offers content and analysis, thus competing with players like The Motley Fool, but is also an investing tool, pitting them against the likes of Robinhood and E*trade. Our advertising efforts needed to clearly and effectively articulate the value of MyWallSt to prospective customers in this busy, competitive market.
- Embracing a rebrand. MyWallSt was originally founded in 2008 as Rubicoin, but completely revamped their brand image under the name MyWallSt in 2019. Every rebrand comes with a unique set of challenges that will impact short term advertising performance. The rebrand also came with changes made to the overall conversion process. We had to recreate every conversion action to ensure we were tracking properly and redefine our target audience to match up with the new brand strategy.
- App retention rates are difficult to control when basing performance off of app installs. Although we saw a significant amount of app installs, the quality of the install was lacking. The overall conversion rate from download to customer was low.
When our partnership began, our goal was to drastically increase the quantity of users on the MyWallSt app, as was the goal they carried over from their previous agency relationship. The bulk of our ad spend was dedicated toward Facebook App Install campaigns, as we felt that was the felt channel to drive low cost app installs.
At the time, our goals were to increase the total amount of app installs given a break-even cost-per-install. The MyWallSt team had determined this cost-per-install based on their average back-end conversion rates.
We achieved these results almost instantly, but over time we realized that very few of these app installs were translating into paying customers. The low install-to-customer conversion rate was just as much our responsibility as it was the clients. We set out to help the client improve the app and the conversion funnel within the app, but we also knew that our strategy needed to be reworked to help increase back-end conversion rate.
While our original strategy was effective in driving low-cost app installs, it was possible that this strategy was acquiring the wrong kinds of app installs, even if they were low-cost installs. We eventually would conclude that cost-per-install is not a metric we should be optimizing for, nor should it be a KPI that we use to evaluate performance. The only KPI that we should focus on is cost-per-acquired customer.
We implemented a new strategy to be more segmented to our highest quality audience. For example, instead of targeting a lookalike audience of all previous app openers, we created lookalike audiences of the top 1% of past purchasers. We wanted to train Facebook’s algorithms to understand which of our users not only opened the app, but actually purchased on the app and would ultimately generate more lifetime revenue.
In order to avoid the issue of customer retention, we changed our goals in both Facebook and Google Ads to focus on users who start their trial as opposed to only app installs. Not only did this change help to increase retention rates, our start trial focused campaigns actually generated a significantly better cost-per-start-trial than our app install campaigns.
We opted into Facebook’s best practices to ensure our campaigns stay efficient, scalable, and are set up for long term success. We used video and created two versions (:30s and :15s) in order to show on both Facebook and Instagram placements. As a result, video has significantly outperformed still-images on Facebook. Campaign budget optimization and automatic placements are among Facebook’s best practices that allowed us to expand our reach and increase algorithmic learnings by showing ads to an audience we did not previously identify as our target market.
The previous creative strategy focused heavily on highlighting the individual companies that were included as part of the MyWallSt short-list of valuable stock picks, and showing how MyWallSt was a place to invest in, and stay informed with news surrounding these companies. We later concluded that this strategy was appealing to the wrong audience – These ads were great at driving app installs, but did not appeal to the savvy investors that would ultimately drive the most amount of value on the app.
We also created a fifteen second version of the video in order to opt into Instagram placements, which ultimately increased our total amount of free trial signups.
By successfully leveraging automation across the Facebook and Google Ads networks, we were able to expand our reach to more potential subscribers. When we began our partnership with MyWallSt, it was believed that the ideal target customers were made up of middle aged, first-time investors. Through proper implementation of automation and automatic placements, we were able to profitably expand beyond this limited market and acquire customers from all different backgrounds. Today, our ad campaigns successfully target investors of all ages and levels of experience.
- Better understanding of goals, attribution and return on ad spend
- 244% Increase In Free Trial Signups
- 45% Increase In New Customers
- 79% Increase In New iOS Subscribers
- 264% Increase In Profitable Average Monthly Ad Spend