See how we boosted Gemba Academy’s conversion rate by 166.64%

Gemba Academy is a popular online learning platform that specializes in Lean & Six Sigma training. They’ve been successfully operating for 7 years and consistently achieve thousands of visitors each week.

We teamed up with Gemba Academy in February 2017. Although the company had been performing well for 7 years, they felt that improvements could be made to the functionality of their website. Specifically, they felt their copy, pricing page, and free preview strategy were costing them leads and subscriptions.

Gemba Academy receives hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors, so traffic acquisition wasn’t a concern to them. Their main focus was to increase the average value of their visitors by improving their website’s conversion rate.

After two months of thorough testing and small improvements, we discovered a growth hack on their preview signup page that led us to increase their conversion rate by 166.64%.

The Problems

The Gemba Academy website has built a strong search-engine and social-media presence over the years, and they’ve been working hard to boost traffic even further through the contracting of an ad agency.

The high volume of traffic has helped sustain the company due to their compounding recurring subscription model; however, despite having large amounts of traffic, it was clear to co-founder, Kevin Meyer, that there was more room for growth through conversion rate optimisation and customer retention.

What We Did

The first phase of the project was to assure that we were tracking everything we could. We performed an Analytics audit and quickly noticed a number of issues with conversion tracking that needed to be fixed in order to work with solid data.

We also added a customer behavior analysis and A/B testing tool to the website in order discover friction points throughout the sales funnel.

Due to the large amounts of traffic, we were able to collect data fast and quickly pulled together a conversion rate optimisation (CRO) strategy to present to the team at Gemba Academy – the execution of which would take 2-3 months in order to reduce variables on any given experiment.

At the same time, we began working on new email sequences and email marketing strategies to improve engagement and the conversion rate of customers that were using the free preview.

Analytics

A/B Testing

Conversion Rate Optimisation

Email Marketing

Copywriting

Email Marketing

The Results

Email marketing

While we implemented many changes in the email marketing for Gemba Academy, the biggest effect was seen from one simple growth hack, which has, over time, almost doubled their email open rate.

Using their marketing automation software (SalesForce Pardot) for each email we created an automated segment of all contacts that didn’t open any given email within the first 3 days of receiving it. This segment would then be sent the exact same email again, only with a different subject line.

As you can see from the image, on our first test with this strategy, the second email received 3769 opens, despite not having been opened by these people the first time they received it.

A/B Testing

We began by performing multiple tests throughout the website. While we saw small improvements in engagement, click-through rate and other metrics, for the first 6 weeks we weren’t able to find the key growth hacks we were looking for.

We then focused on testing their web form used for their preview signup. Since this was essentially their lead magnet, it was important to ensure that it was working as effectively as possible.

The data soon came in and the results were clear – the abandonment rate on the form was alarmingly high.

Further investigation revealed that the biggest friction point was at the end of the form, where users were expected to fill out an obligatory text field (here named “description”):

At the final step of the form, the user was asked to answer three questions that needed detailed answers. It was clear that asking the user for creative input at this step of the funnel was causing friction, so we created a quick split test to see if this could be improved.

We created a second version of the page with a slight change: we reworded the questions to make them easier to answer and removed the “*”, making the fields optional.

We launched the new page and redirected 50% of the traffic from the original page to the new variation. The data came in fast and the results were impressive.

In the first week alone, we saw a 166% increase in conversion rate on the new variation, as shown in the graphics below:

Conclusion

The objective of this project was to increase conversion rate using existing traffic. This was achieved in just 3 months through a series of experiments that ultimately lead to large increases in preview signups on the website and much higher engagement through email marketing.

“A couple of other things that we got out of the relationship was focusing our human efforts on the highest value opportunities. This meant improving the automation (via SalesForce Pardot etc.) or follow up to single site inquiries, and focusing our sales team on enterprise level opportunities – always focusing on the highest value enterprise opportunities. This delivered real, measurable value. Single site sales have gone down a little so we’re tweaking the automation a bit, but the improved enterprise sales dwarf that small downturn. One of the biggest impacts is having a second follow-on newsletter about 2-3 days after the first, just to people that didn’t open the first. That has doubled overall opens.”

Kevin Meyer
Co-Founder & Partner, Gemba Academy

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