Increasing Activation Rate To Optimise For Lead Generation
Blend Network is a property lending marketplace for investing in UK residential development projects. Since its inception in 2016, more than 100+ loans unlocking £100m+ in property development projects.
In September 2020, we started our long-term collaboration with Blend Network to fulfil their needs to generate more leads which would increase the number of lenders on their platform.
The Radar Chart
Since the company already had a few years' worth of data, we started our Launch Sprint by studying their numbers. In particular, we noticed early on that the platform had a 10% activation rate. What was even more worrying at first glance is that +80% of their users never completed the signup.
As such, we knew that to double the number of new lenders onto the Blend Network platform, we first needed to create a consistent system that delivers better activation results before focusing on the top funnel.
When you drastically increase your acquisition volumes, your down-the-funnel conversion rates will likely drop, and we need a system to prevent and mitigate the effects to the bare minimum.
We aimed to increase the activation rate to 20% in the short term. It may sound small as a nominal value, but it's actually a 100% increase in the overall activation rate. Or a 50% decrease in your cost per activated user.
The Map: Segmentation: the key foundation for growth
How we've segmented the existing database
To reactivate existing lenders, we need first to understand who they are:
- Individual Lenders vs Company Lenders (i.e. they invest different amounts on average)
- Did they complete the entire signing-up process?
- If they didn't, where did they stop?
- Example: Did they satisfy mandatory compliance requirements
Answering these types of questions for each individual who signed up to BLEND is crucial to understanding how to activate them. With over 3000 existing users, we knew we couldn't communicate with everyone similarly.
How've set up automated processes for segmentation as a preparation for growth
This segmentation was used on the existing list of users and moving forward. Naturally, our long-term goal was to increase users over time. As a result, this segmentation wouldn't be conducted manually. So we've introduced the BLEND team to the endless opportunities of automation.
We recommended a specific platform, customer.io, because of its powerful data-driven approach. It'll enable us to set up these various segmentations easily.
On top of this initial segmentation, we could also easily create further data-driven segments on customer.io based on BLEND's customers' platform behaviour, which complimented our initial foundations for growth.
Email Marketing: tailored email journey for each segment
Creating email journeys for people to complete their sign-up
Once the segmentation is completed and ready to be deployed, one of the goals behind segmenting your audience according to your funnel is to know how to tailor your communication and content. In that sense, we created bespoke email sequences to push every segment towards the next step of the funnel.
- The ones who had just signed up: Push them towards full activation by investing in the platform.
- The partially signed-up one: Push them to pass the KYC & AML tests.
Signing up to BLEND is a lengthy process due to the product's nature and its regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). As a result, the messaging had to be effective while maintaining trustworthiness without being pushy whilst respecting all FCA requirements.
So our emails featured:
- More details about BLEND and how it works
- Q&A opportunities around residential real estate or BLEND in general
- Dedicated support opportunities with a member of the BLEND team
Creating onboarding programs for each type of lender
Once new customers fully register on the platform, they join bespoke onboarding programs. Their goal is to continue the lenders' activation further by guiding them on using the platform.
The structure of the onboarding journey follows a mix of different types of emails:
- Content-first emails: focused on the brand, a welcome message from the founder and what to expect.
- Platform-related emails: including BLEND's loan selection process and tips on specific features.
As we reiterated these automation-led processes, we pushed the segmentation further based on an investor category. As a result, we could design and implement dedicated follow-up emails for activation based on this key criterion.
The results from an automated activation journey
We’ve been gathering so much data and continuously improving their funnel to get significant results to help them achieve profitability from a marketing standpoint:
- The ratio from sign-up to KYC registered is now above 80%—a huge increase from 20% when we started.
- The ratio from user to sign up to making an investment on the platform is now stable and above 20%, an increase from 10% when we started.
The ratio could have been much higher than 20% if we hadn't acquired so many new users in that time. Still, we always wanted to keep a high amount of activable users to maintain a high-quality investor liquidity pool as new projects came on the platform.
BLEND continues to grow alongside these processes as part of the dedicated funnel to lenders (one type of customer). Plus, this part of their funnel has been entirely internalised.
Throughout our collaboration with BLEND, we've continued testing, experimenting, and improving on these processes and messaging. We've extensively worked on activation for lenders and developing their top-funnel lead gen. We'll cover our B2C lead gen strategies in an upcoming case study.