National Student Loan Provider

Scaling Results with Performance Marketing & Closed Loop Reporting


Scaling Through Performance Marketing

We helped a national student loan provider scale its business through sophisticated performance marketing campaigns and integrations

Closed Loop Reporting to Drive Growth 

Implemented a closed loop reporting framework that enabled us to tie leads to applications and loan disbursements, and therefore optimize to bottom line business results 

Targeting the Right Audience with the Right Message

Used data, technology and insights to identify and target the right audience with the right message, in the right channel and at the right time in their customer journey

Constant Competitive Analysis

Tracked and reported on competitor activities in market and recommended strategies based on analysis, all powered by our award-winning technology

The Challenge

The client needed a partner who could strategically scale its performance marketing program to efficiently meet aggressive YoY growth goals.

Strategic Thinking Rise Brought

Our analysis of their historical marketing efforts identified opportunities to improve efficiency by increasing the granularity of their audience segments, better identifying top performing audience segments and tactics through a closed loop measurement framework, and then more aggressively bidding on the top performing audience segments most qualified to drive growth in loan approvals.

The Strategy

Full-funnel, data-driven acquisition with unique strategies catered to user signals across campaigns for 14+ different audiences

Seized opportunities to capture more demand via budget automations and competitive conquesting

Implemented closed-loop, advanced measurement reporting which drove constant optimization toward the most qualified audience throughout seasonal and evergreen campaigns

Two-Pronged Approach to Granular Audience Structure

Based on the historical context for each individual, we focused efforts on users with the highest propensity to convert. We layered in two main audience targeting strategies - CRM lists and Paid Search segmentations - which trickled down into fourteen distinct audiences with individual goals and corresponding ad sets and creative.

Results-Driven Audience Prioritization

We used backend analytics to determine how likely each audience segment was to convert, and built messaging and creative accordingly. We then leveraged each user’s signals to identify them within an audience group and traffic the right creative to match where they were in the funnel and how likely they were to convert successfully.

  • Worked with our client to identify the top US segments that drove value for their business, which we layered with advanced analytics data for prioritization
  • Leveraged user signals to organize accounts to capture and interpret user behavior to properly address and prioritize based on backend propensity to become a borrower
  • Shifted from using web visits as an indicator for remarketing to using onsite behavior such as navigating to a certain page or session time to help determine whether a user was likely to convert 
  • Deprioritized or excluded existing customers from campaigns, except for those with upsell or cross-sell goals

Identified Platforms for Seasonal & Evergreen Efforts
  • In addition to Paid Search, we identified cross-channel opportunities to support specific campaigns and successfully launched Programmatic and YouTube.
  • We leveraged our audience prioritization strategy for these channels, and targeted users based on audience behaviors and how they were interacting with the client online.
  • These audience signal-led strategies prove especially important when preparing for peak season efforts, where we focused 75% of the budget on capturing the most qualified users as they started getting ready for the next step after graduation.

Constant Competitive Analysis Drove Conquesting and Strategy Optimization

We performed frequent analysis of auction insights and competitive impression share through Connex Alerts.

  • Every two weeks, we performed a competitive analysis within each audience segment and used that data to optimize our campaigns.
  • To do so, we used Connex Alerts to track competitive impression share in real time so we never missed a beat. We built a “stoplight methodology” that sent our team a Connex Alert notification based on the degree of the performance change and its determined impact on the overall goal. If it was a “green” change, the notification would be sent via SMS or Slack. A “red” change could be emailed, as opposed to a more urgent alert. 
  • We saw positive performance in our conquesting campaigns, and used our competitive analysis to drive future conquesting strategy and forecast future metrics.

Closed-Loop Reporting & Advanced Measurement Drove Business Results
  • We gathered offline conversion points such as calls, applications, approvals and loan disbursements, and integrated those offline metrics into Search Ads 360 to enable optimizations of digital media based on both online and offline conversions
  • While campaigns could have been optimized for cost per acquisition, our focus was to drive cost per approval - ensuring we not only captured applications, but also that we were attracting users who were likely to get approved

The Result

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