Trinity Credit Services is a Texas-based credit repair company that helps those with less than perfect credit take steps toward financial freedom.
Traditionally, Google AdWords had always been an excellent source of profitable credit repair leads for companies like Trinity. However, recent changes to the dynamics of the credit industry created a number of challenges.
Realizing that their existing model of using Google AdWords to fuel one-time credit repair deals would not be sustainable forever, the executive team at Trinity began to rebrand their company under a new umbrella called Sperity Credit Repair.
The Trinity brand would continue to operate as a one-time solution for those in need of immediate assistance, whereas Sperity would focus on helping customers fix their credit, and then provide additional resources that empowered customers to improve their overall financial well-being.
They brought on AdVenture Media in August of 2016 to help manage this brand transition and to develop an effective long term marketing strategy.
Out first task was to improve the efficiency of their PPC campaigns. We worked with their developer team to accurately set up conversion tracking from form submissions, and to install call tracking software onto their website.
The existing AdWords campaigns were not structurally sound. Many keywords and ad groups were duplicated two or three times, the budget was mismanaged, and quality search terms were coming in at an astronomically high cost-per-click.
We hate the term best practice. If a strategy works in one account, there is no guarantee that it will translate into a similar account. This was never more true than when we began working with Trinity. Any preconceived notion of search query intent, ad relevancy, or landing page content had to be thrown out.
We relied entirely on creative thinking, advanced A/B split tests, and an understanding of consumer behavior to turn this account around. So we put away our AdWords for Dummies books and dusted off our Psych 101 textbooks. (We don’t actually own an AdWords for Dummies book, if such a thing exists).
For example, one would assume that someone searching for “credit repair company” is more valuable than someone searching for “how to improve my credit,” because the former is implying that they’re willing to pay for a service. However, both users are ultimately searching for the same solution, and if we can acquire the latter user at a much cheaper cost-per-click, then both users can play a key role in our growth.
What’s more, best practices would say that a user searching for “credit repair company” should be shown ad copy that specifically says “credit repair company,” in an attempt for higher ad relevancy. However, when there is a full page of competitor ads that say “credit repair company” in the headline, we found that using completely different terminology helped us stand out from the rest.
This practice helped us achieve higher click-through-rate, lower cost-per-click, and higher conversion rate in many competitive areas of the account.
Over time, we found that there were two main segments of our user base. There are those that need this service for a specific purpose (financing a home, for example), and there are those that need more comprehensive service offerings. People that recently filed for bankruptcy and need to rebuild their credit from scratch fell into the latter category.
There were many differentiating factors that separated these two audiences. Those that only need help financing a home are more time-conscious than price-conscious. They want short-term results, and they’re probably not interested in the long-term benefits of credit repair. They’re also more likely to be searching on their mobile device (perhaps, while they’re at an open house or meeting with a real estate agent).
We saw the opportunity for custom landing pages that would cater to these two audiences. This would be the first step toward effectively transitioning the bulk of the ad spend from the Trinity brand to the Sperity brand.
The main challenge of any lead generation initiative is evaluating each lead that comes through and optimizing for better lead quality. When we began our partnership with Trinity, their sales team was closing leads at a rate of about 10%. We knew that if we could improve the quality of leads, we could actually afford a higher cost-per-lead in the AdWords campaigns and ultimately drive more business.
We established feedback mechanisms with their sales team so that we could get a better understanding of quality leads.
This helped us discover that many leads in search of credit repair for a specific reason (financing a home, for example) were rarely declaring their intent in their search query. That is, they were more likely to just be searching for credit repair, as opposed to credit repair for home financing. Armed with this knowledge, we ensured that we had the most relevant content on our landing pages, resulting in a greater conversion rate and lower cost-per-quality-lead.
We also found that most leads that did not close into deals did so because of the cost of the service. As a result, we launched remarketing initiatives specifically geared toward former leads from 2-3 months prior that did not close into deals. It was our hope that these leads had time to reevaluate their decision and might now be able to come back and sign up for the service.
While not an instant success, an additional test offering a 10% discount to these former leads helped generate a significant spark with this audience.
Thanks to the improved structure of the AdWords account, accurate conversion tracking, meaningful multivariate testing, and effective feedback mechanisms, our team was able to slowly grow the amount of Sperity leads in proportion to Trinity leads over time.
Both of these brands are important components in sustaining the business in the long term. We found that users that are looking for one-time credit repair solution would be better suited toward the Trinity brand, whereas users interested in a more comprehensive solution that will benefit their overall financial well-being were better candidates for the Sperity brand.
AdVenture Media was able to help grow the Sperity brand in a unique space of credit repair and mentorship, while maintaining a steady flow of one-time credit repair leads for the existing Trinity brand.
Thanks to ongoing testing and optimization of custom landing pages and other website content, we saw an increase in conversion rate of 9.5%.
Thanks to ongoing feedback with the Trinity sales team, we were able to help improve their close rate from 10% to 18.5%. A percent-change of 85%.
The improved lead quality put less restraints on the break-even cost-per-conversion from our PPC efforts, which allowed us to experiment with new initiatives that ultimately brought in more business. Overall, the cost-per-new-client improved 37%.
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