A few months ago, we decided to let our interview marketing technology out onto the internet to see what kind of results we could generate. We invited one of our customers to buy ad space on bankrate.com and to use an interview, rather than a banner, to prospect for new customers. The campaign targeted prospects living in our customers designated market area. Here’s what it looked like.
The results were not what we expected but, upon reflection – made perfect sense. Here is what we observed:
- The click through rate (CTR) for the ad interview was about the same as for banner ads (0.05 – 0.1%). Given we run 10 – 100X higher CTRs in the secure space – this was not what we expected.
- The conversion rate for the Ad interview was 25%, or about 5X industry average.
- The amount of information we received from the interviews was extraordinary!
Table 1 enables us to see how people reacted to our offers, given the situation they were in, and start the continuous improvement process:
- The fraction of people expecting a life event is consistent with what we see on the secure side of digital banking – that is, about 1/3 of customers are expecting a life event (in the above data, it’s 31%; 100% - 69%).
- Some prospects that requested a phone call did not leave their phone number; we need to determine why and solve that problem.
- Our mortgage offers fared well with near-term home buyers but, not as well with people anticipating a move further in the future; we need to review and update those offers.
- No one having a baby accepted our offer to speak with a financial consultant; we need to review and update our offers.
More broadly, the higher conversion rate observed is simply due to the speed of the discovery process in the absence of landing page loads and navigation. Page loading time is a major factor in abandonment: the user has no patience for a page that takes too long to load. A 2-second delay in load time during a transaction results in abandonment rates of up to 87%, which is significantly higher than the baseline abandonment rate of 67%. So why load the landing page if you don’t have to?
Prospecting through interviews is much faster and the fact that the offer is made before the landing page load yields higher conversion rates; it’s just a faster and easier interaction. While this campaign was conducted by a financial institution looking to acquire new customers from the internet, it is clear that prospecting new clients using interview marketing is not limited to the financial services vertical. Now, any business in any part of the world can prospect anywhere ad space can be purchased more productively. If you’d like to learn how to conduct prospecting interviews more productively, give us a call – we’ll be happy to show you how.