We’ve all been there: you’re sitting in yet another kickoff meeting, tasked with the impossible: find a way to get more conversions from your homepage with less manpower, fewer resources and a shoestring budget. P.S., can you get it done before the end of Q1?
You leave wondering if it’s too late to take the afternoon off and just let the vodkas martinis slowly wash the pain of your work life away:
Don’t give up just yet.
One marketing team used their homepage, existing resources and some savvy know-how to increase conversions on their homepage from 0% to 6%… and you can, too. Read on to find out how (and save those martinis for a victory party)!
The Kiva Microfunds case study
Meet Adam Kirk, Head of Marketing for the US borrower program at Kiva Microfunds, a non-profit organization that connects low-income entrepreneurs all over the world with interest-free loans. Adam explains:
We’ve done just under 3000 loans to date in the US and over half have been to women-owned businesses, over half to people of color and over half to low income households.
Compared to other lenders in the biz, Kiva is impressively over-indexed in these categories — they’re clearly impacting the people who need it the most.
One of Adam’s main key performance indicators (KPIs) for the US borrower program is loan application completions.
His goal: first generate enough leads from the homepage… then drip content that encourages prospects to sign up for a loan.
His struggle with meeting this goal?
We know that when borrowers hit our homepage, they’re clearly interested in Kiva. But a lot of those visitors don’t do anything once they get there: they bounce.
Adam’s team is tiny (as in…it’s just Adam and an intern running all their marketing programs) and support is scarce. Without a ton of engineering resources, tools and A/B testing options, Adam needs to be scrappy about the projects he tackles.
The overlay conversion play
After doing some research, Adam decided his homepage needed a little something extra to give his abandoning visitors a softer step towards conversion.
Use an overlay to focus attention on a single offer and grab email sign-ups for the monthly Kiva newsletter.
What is an overlay?
Overlays appear on top of a page’s content (in a lightbox), focusing the user’s attention on a single offer. They can be triggered on entrance, on exit, on scroll, after delay and on click.
That way, Adam would give visitors a quick next step before leaving and capture their contact information for future follow up (when they’ve warmed up to taking a loan).
Since he was already using MailChimp, he was able to quickly throw together some copy and design to test their free overlay tool on his homepage.
Adam talks about the goal and design of the pop up, laughing:
Well it was pretty ugly. It was just one form field and we couldn’t do any kind of targeting so it literally popped up all the time, after five seconds on the homepage.
To test it, Adam got scrappy and split his homepage traffic 50/50 from a total of 10,000 visitors a month. He then set the overlay live and waited to see if it would make a difference.
Despite the drawbacks, Adam’s experiment worked. From that overlay alone, 3-4% of visitors who would have exited instead entered their email address.
Boom! 150 net new leads from one “ugly” pop-up!
Testing Unbounce Convertables
Adam had reaped the benefits of an overlay, but was ready to start more segmented targeting, so he decided to give Unbounce Convertables a shot. He explains:
I had already shown how the first overlay worked despite its simplicity, so I figured, why not do something now with actual logic behind it.
With the same goal in mind and an arsenal of design and copy in his back pocket, Adam got his Unbounce overlay live in only five minutes.
Since his goal was to provide value by giving abandoners an easy next step before they leave, he set the overlay targeting to appear on exit to new visitors only. This ensured that users would only ever see the overlay once, and that it’d only be presented to people who were getting ready to exit (some visitors to their homepage were likely ready to take action).
Here’s what his overlay looks like:
Of people trying to leave the Kiva borrower hub, Adam’s team is now capturing 6-7% of them. That’s 3x the conversions from what the original overlay provided.
It doesn’t end there. Adam now uses the thank you page (also an overlay) to shape his traffic to the Kiva community.
Showcasing a smiling business owner, the goal of the thank you is to put a face to the loan and entice potential borrowers to click through and read more:
From farmers and foodies to artisans and app developers, the Kiva community is filled with real-life success stories of Kiva-funded entrepreneurs.
The results from traffic shaping?
We’re still testing! But I’m pumped to see what we can do next.
Adam and his team at Kiva were able to stretch their existing resources, time and manpower to generate some pretty impressive conversion results — all with overlays.
So next time you’re in a kick-off meeting, tasked with the impossible, think of Adam’s success and remember:
What do conversions, your homepage and vodka martinis have in common?
The answer is VICTORY.