We will leverage the following growth experiments to double Simply Wall St’s paid subscribers by end of FY22. To that end, we will consider 28-day upgrades as our north star metric and prioritise each tactic based on its impact, effort and how quickly we can evaluate its results.
The following assumptions have been made prior to analysis:
Simply Wall St’s current acquisition channels are ONLY comprised of SWS News, Yahoo Finance, Apple News, Organic and Direct. Recommended growth tactics are based solely off 2020 data as the most recent source. Any recommended optimisations to the Simply Wall St product is based on user testing on the production environment. Customers achieve the ‘aha moment’ when they first add a stock to their Watchlist and are able to receive market insights on each company. All experiments will be as lean as possible. In our selection framework, we will define: Impact as the scale of effect achieved by implementing an experiment Effort as the amount of resources required and ease of implementing an experiment (a score of 1 being high effort required and vice versa for 10) Timeliness as the amount of time required to evaluate the results of an experiment (a score of 1 being results can only be evaluated after a long period and vice versa for 10) In our selection framework, the aggregate score will be calculated by (Impact x Effort x Timeliness/2) Simply Wall St has the means to track user interactions across all existing channels, allowing for clarity over all experiments.
Proposed Strategies for Experimentation
Optimise Simply Wall St’s blog for SEO success
Based on 2020 Q4 funnel data, SWS News accounts for 15% of customers who have upgraded within 28 days, highlighting strong performance but also significant opportunity for improvement.
We will restructure our articles for improved conversion rates and explore creating high traffic content pieces. This includes leveraging tools such as SEMRush to identify high volume keywords and creating new blogs to provide insights on them. We will then fit them with clearer call-to-action banners and lead magnets to improve customer sign up rates. Long term adherence to this strategy will see significantly improved top of funnel metrics, based on the volume of blog posts written.
We can implement this experiment by identifying and writing ONE article for the long term investor persona (44.56% of SWS customers have been investing for more than 10 years). This includes retaining the Free Research Report lead magnet and include a CTA banner asking customers to sign-up for deeper company intelligence. We will A/B test against existing SWS articles for a period of a month and evaluate this experiment’s success based on traffic and sign-up metrics.
Improve customer onboarding and personalisation
In 2020 Q4, we can see an average of only 22.94% of registered customers were retained after the 1st week and only 1.3% of users would upgrade to a paid plan within 28 days of registering. A stronger focus on customer retention is required to ensure sustainable growth.
Our approach is centralised around helping customers to realise Simply Wall St’s ‘aha moment’ as quickly as possible post sign up (see assumptions). This includes building in a 2-step onboarding flow that requires customers to input their companies to discover OR stock portfolio and automatically populates their Watchlist and Portfolios features on the platform. The aim of this build is to help customers to realise value in the shortest possible time frame and therefore encouraging them to utilise SWS for longer and boosting retention rates.
With some dev effort, we can build out and release a lean onboarding flow so that customers are directed to a personalised experience of SWS. This will include a 2-step questionnaire following the tutorial pop-up for first time visitors, with inputted stocks being carried over to the Watchlist and Portfolio features. We will A/B test this onboarding experience against the existing flow for a month, observing 1 week retention rates via cohort analysis and 28 day upgrades as our key metrics.
Leverage affiliate companies to increase top funnel traffic
Direct channels were evaluated to be the most effective, comprising of 44% of all 28-day upgrade customers in 2020 Q4 and 56% of registered customers would revisit SWS within the first week. Additionally, 13% of visitors from direct channels are converted into registered customers, compared to an average of 9% across all channels. This represents a channel that naturally draws in engaged customers in large volumes and is worth investing further.
This strategy expands on existing direct channels by having SWS partnering with affiliates such as online brokerage platforms, banks and other entities, leveraging their channels to access their customer base. SWS will serve as an additional product offering in our affiliates’ platform, enabling customers to inform their stock trading decisions for little cost. In practice, affiliates will recommend us via a banner, pop-up or any other digital means that leads to a landing page that provides customers immediate access to our product.
To execute this experiment, we are only required to agree terms with TWO affiliates, ideally another digital platform such as CommSec Pocket, Spaceship or Stake and settle on a channel that befits all parties’ requirements. We will observe the flow of new users directly acquired from both affiliates for a period of a month and compare the functional differences in channels and the number of customers that upgrade within 28 days. If we can capture even 3% of our affiliates monthly customer base then we will count this experiment as a success.
Moving ahead, we will select affiliate partnerships as our core experiment to run. This is due to its high impact on top of funnel customer acquisition and low effort required to execute.
By partnering with digital brokerage firms Stake and eToro, we can leverage their product as a channel to promote SWS. This will convert a portion of their monthly customer base to becoming SWS customers.
Leveraging two affiliates as additional channels will lead to a 5% increase in customers that upgrade to a paid plan coming direct sources.
We will leverage an A/B test for this experiment, testing out different means to communicating this CTA whether it is through a banner or a pop-up or email. We will also implement a revolving-door control whereby a rollback will be initiated for the affiliate if there is over 5% decrease in customer experience and we will re-evaluate the experiment’s implementation.
Given that our goal is to validate the impact of leveraging affiliate partnerships at speed, we want to be as lean as possible with our affiliate’s build. With Stake, we will assist them in implementing a simple CTA banner on their Markets feature that leads to our sign up page. On eToro’s side, we will do the same thing on their Watchlist with an additional email campaign to be sent 1 day after to customers that have seen but not clicked through the banner. We will run this experiment for the period of 1 month and re-evaluate the need for changes according to whether they have met our success metrics.
Break Glass & Rollback Protocol
Rollback experiment if there is over 5% decrease in customer experience across the duration of a month. Tracking this metric will be reliant on our affiliates’ ability to measure CSAT.
Given our affiliates will have their own ways of tracking user data, we will rely on them to provide us metrics on user engagement and acquisition.
Alternatively, we can use google analytics to receive insight into the number of additional customers who have clicked through onto our sign-up page and where they have come from. We can then relate this data to our existing systems of capturing conversion rates via channels to measure success (see figure A1 in appendix).
A1. Number of 28-Day Upgrade Customers by Channel in Q4 2020
A2. Channel Conversion Rates in Q4 2020
Registration to First Week Return
First Week Return to 28-Day Upgrade
Registration to 28-Day Upgrade
In 2020 Q4, an average of only 22.94% of registered customers were retained after the 1st week. Subscriber renewal rate is not an issue - SWS has an average of 64.43%. The goal is to successfully convert users in the first place. 54.9% of all accounts are Churned Trials Key demographics - Investing Experience Investing more than 10 years - 44.56% Investing 1-3 years - 23.7% Investing 4-10 years - 20.42% Investing less than 1 year - 11.32%