❓ Problem Statement
Over the past 12 months , inspite of the growth of their organic channels edureka havent been able
to scale growth of the company. Which means - inspite of growth in leads which was around 30k 6 months back to 50k today - there revenue is around 1 million MRR and hovers around 1 to 1.2 million
ou are a PM who joins edureka and is given the charter of growing their certification business
from 1 million to 2 million MRR in the next 6 months.
BackgroundAn SDE at a mid cap IT firm with 2 years of experience in the field
Primary AppealHe is looking for taking his career to the next level(ie hikes) and wants to know the best path for him
Secondary AppealIs also looking for something that gives him a solid foundation for the next stage (proof of work)
Ticket sizeAround 350 dollars
BackgroundAn HR manager in a big IT firm and looks after 20-25 SDE in the organization
Primary AppealTo upskill her team so that they can stay relevant with time & employees don’t leave the firm
Secondary AppealTo get talent management portal and access to high talent pool
Ticket size20000 dollars per year (almost 4 courses per employee)
For the sake of the problem we will majorly focus on our Raj s as they will be the ones who will take ours individual certification program. But eventually we would try to create an ecosystem where the
To give the context of the whole operation. Our top of the funnel/acquisition is heavily product led as we are getting organic traffic from our freemium youtube channel and blogs. But it is the further down the funnel where we miss the point and become heavily sales led. So to move forward we need to experiment around how to get the in website experience more product led than sales led. Eg - nudge to login rather than phone numbers
🖥️ Landing Screen
So Raj figures out he might need to learn something new comes across edureka and visits this page.
Well he clearly understands that there is a sale going on courses but the question on his mind is “Ok, but what are the courses. How will you benefit me and how will I learn”.
We’ve to understand that the price is not a primary appeal for Raj. He is not on an ecommerce store buying a shirt. He wants to know what’s the value proposition of these courses and how will the be taught
- Vertical thinking as we are improving on an already set framework
- Traffic to leads
- Have much more targeted and benefit focused heading with regards to your core traffic. This benefit focused heading is an industry standard and is used by other players too. Here are a few examples that we can experiment with and look for what benefits us
1-on-1 with industry experts
Offers from 1000+ companies
Use of targeted numbered headlines leads to a 20-30% increase in the traffic to leads cycle
🔍 Personalized Search(better point of sales)
- Let’s now move forward in user journey.
I am now interested how edureka can help me. So I want to explore your courses I go to search or explore courses.
I am faced with this huge catalogue of courses which are even well categorised.
But, I am not even clear as to what I want so how am I going to make a choice of which course to pursue. Catalogues are a great way to view data but only when there is a good visual representation of it. So what I need here is a kind of career counselor who understands both -my experience & my desire and suggests the most fit course to me.
thinking as we are bringing a paradigm shift in the product usage
User journey -
Traffic to Leads
The probable solution will be a mix of personalization & gamification of the search experience
The feature would be similar to a mix typeform & tinder where a set of questions will be first asked to understand the user’s background. Eg - what languages have you worked on, What frameworks you already know(choices given), Type of industry worked in etc
The next set would be gamified set of questions. Each question would have 2 choices which will make us better understand where the user will want to drive his career towards. Eg - Being a Java dev which excites you more - Being an android dev or being a system dev
As time goes on and users interact with the questions our search capability will increase and we will be able to reach the solution with lesser number of questions. We can also add a lead form after a set of questioning and given solution as after the given activation conversion will be much easier
*Note - this will not be hinderance to users who are clear on what to use as we will have the CTA for the given form flow on top of the page above. Thus not scraping out the current flow itself but nudging user towards a better experience
For the set of users gone through our form placement of lead form/login nudge just after course card click won’t be a big hindrance as well
As the solution is both a gamification (25% increase)and personalization(20% increase) of the courses. We will see an increase of 45-50% in traffic to leads journey
📄 Course page (Instructor as an influencer)
So finally we come down to a course that seems a perfect fit for Raj
We have general information, student reviews, info regarding price, batches, projects(which is not projects but rather tech requirements for the project) and only a very small section on why the course is good. This seems a page of someone who has registered for the course. But Raj hasn’t
We’ve to understand that we’re still selling our product and can’t afford to put generic info on important retail space
Vertical thinking as we are working on already existing solution
User Journey -
Leads to sales(focussing on users who have been through personalization funnels) & traffic to leads for people who’ve landed randomly
- the first 3 things that we’ve to focus on are
How is this personally benefitting me (a generic part is already given in why devops but it is not personalized) eg - people with your background got 1.5x hike in their salary after the course (5%)
Build up the instructor and showcase their portfolio of work (link it to other page). Now these can be group of them but this builds powerful brand. Market validation - while reading through the app’s playstore reviews 3 out of 10 people are commending the faculty. This builds trust.(3%)
Past student reviews (5%)
This will result in an increase of upto 12% conversion rates as we’re focusing deeply on how to personalize, build brand & build trust via each of these actions
🧑💼 Learners to Mini Recruiters (using LinkedIn to reach out to the ones recruited)
Now Raj has passed out(probably with a few courses) and got an excellent opportunity. The thing is we’re not able to retain Raj to product. He might return for his next set of upskilling but won’t be really retained for a long time.
Why? well there is no need for Raj to come back. We don’t have anything to offer to him for the given time. But how can we still turn his this newfound achievement into revenue for us. Well referral is an easy option and we would take that up on another experiment
Lateral solution / Integration. I am planning an integration here that ensures inter playing between different user cohorts
User Journey -
NPS & Lead generation
Let’s look into one of the other user cohort we have - HR managers. One of their secondary appeal was access to talent pool for hiring purposes. Now we will always have a batch passing out but tech demand is always to high. Now we have a lost user with a pretty decent connection of developers on platforms like linkedin so how can we leverage that
In comes Weekday. What is weekday you ask. Well weekday is a startup, part of the YC W21 batch, solving the age old problem of tech hiring. How you ask. It is Simple, they do it via anonymous referrals. They’ve 3 easy steps for this -
Import your linkedin contacts
Refer top 10 engineers from your network anonymously & win upto $1500(paid by recruiter) if they get placed anywhere
Weekday helps recruiters to tap into a very important talent resource i.e. passive job seekers, people who are not looking for jobs actively but will be open to new opportunities that come there way. We work this integration to enhance our talent offering that is not only from our courses but from our passed out students too
Coming back to Raj he now has a reason to come back to product and refer engineers thus improving retention and creating habituation. Increasing the probability of him choosing us for further more career opportunities
But how does this help the certification revenue you ask. Well we get 10 extra leads. Out of these almost 4 respond to our recruiters(20% is industry average response rate to inmails & and almost 16% jump if you personalize and keep message short like “you’ve been referred”,”expected increase in salary” etc). We convert these users into much more heavily activated set of leads and track their experience with weekday. This helps us know the following metrics from our recruiter models -
What type of work best suits them?
How has there experience been?
Which industry will be best for them(based on interview performance)
An access to their linkedin profile
After tracking all this data over a period of 3-4 weeks. We can just drop an inmail(CAC:$25) that we’ve a course and we’re giving you first 2 classes for free (a free tier). As these are a passive user set we can keep the initial ticket size a bit low but we will be able to set up a strong LTV once they starting using our product again & again
Now how do we execute this -
Firstly we & our instructors choose the top 40% of the class based of their activation and in class interaction
We create an integration with weekday where they recognize our students & recruiters and share the leads that’ve been generated and the data regarding the same
Eventually if the MVP succeeds and is able to deliver we would need to expand the charter and work more deeply around our data collection. We can actually ask our initial users to tag these prospects accordingly ie cloud computing, devops engineer, frontend developer. We will also increase our mini recruiter program to include 60% then eventually whole of the class
To have such greater improvements to be done for the product innovation of weekday we need to have a strategic + business partnership with them. One of the obvious way to do this is take substantial amount of stakes probably in their next round of funding.
Their current valuation is around $2MM. By industry standards they will be looking for the next valuation to be around $10MM. Thus for a substantial stake we will have to raise nearly $2.5MM
The product not only helps us to build our certification course leads system but also focuses on our retention engine & develop a stronger company portfolio
The following experiment helps us with qualified lead generation which includes each of the following -
In-Mail reach outs (2.5%) that are personalize (20% increase)
Discounted ticket price (350 usd)
Thus, we’ve an added revenue from the experiment that comes out to be = (3000 * 50%) * 4 * 2.5% * 1.2 * 66% ~ 120 sales.
This brings an increase of around 4% in our certification sales
Now this number seems to small but there are a few factors to consider
The experiment will be more effective when we have increased our total enrolled students will have increased beyond 3000 via previous experiments
We’re only considering the certification courses here.
We’ve to also consider that this is a growth loop which is boosting quality lead generation with every iteration and thus industry standards of conversion rates is something that might underwhelm the metric itself.
Moreover these loops are exponential in nature and will show their true power in a very long time
Learners to Mini Creators (Projects on course page + referral links)
There are 2 problems that we’re trying to solve via this experiment:
Our top of the funnel content (blogs & youtube) generation is pretty linear as it is only being handled via our internal content team which can only do so much. The focus here is how do we make it more exponential while being relevant with our content
When coming onto the course(product) page. We’re not still appealing to the secondary need of the user i.e. proof of work. Now he/she sees the price, how the course benefits them, who are the teachers and even testimonials (social proof) but there is no place for showcasing how capable have the alums are.
Lateral solution as we’re trying to bring in something new to retain the passed out students and reiterating on marketing of the product
- Traffic quantity & traffic to lead conversion
The solution is pretty straight forward turn your passed out students into passive creators. Convert their on going job related cases into content pieces and turn that effectively your top of the funnel
How will this be done? Well Here are a few steps to take this forward -
Firstly as we did in our recruiter program pick up top 2% of the most activated student (filtering will also be done via analysing their writing skills of submitted reports).
They will go through some sessions with the content team and they would be asked to setup a personal wordpress blog and a blog on our site with a referral code(10% of ticket sale) that will be given to the whole batch
Further 2-3 discussions regarding what cases to pick up how to write and structurise and then finally these blogs will be published eg - How IPL ads resulted in a false DDOS alarm by AWS at CRED (this actually happened 😛)
Now once the blogs are published these students will be asked to take necessary step to ensure a certain amount of traffic. This could be done via ensuring SEO, publishing on social media thus converting them creator and influencer
*Note - Traffic from these pages will have a layer of personalization attached to them as the blog was regarding a topic. Eg - A person reading about python would be more interested in python courses
Now, if these context related projects are showcased at course page this builds an extra layer of trust. Something similar to a model wearing a jacket you ordered or an influencer video describing how a cream helped her skin rejuvenate
Let us see how much increase does the experiment does in each of our metric
Traffic to lead - Couldn’t find the effect of direct customer success stories on the metric but review lead a 30% increase in conversion
Traffic generation from top of the funnel - Each of the user has approximately 900 linkedin connections with a 6% conversion rate from the platform for their blogs and a further 1.5% conversion rate. We can obviously see that the affect won’t be that huge as these are not influencers yet but once they write more we will be able to drive higher numbers. Moreover again this is a growth loop with the central focus to create a community
🥅 Final change in MRR
Now let’s lookout if we’ve been able to push our MRR upto 2MM. It is a fair assumption to make that increase in any user action prior to sale would effectively trickle down to our sales as conversion rates act independent to each other
Final Monthly Recurring Revenues(Post all the experimentation = 1 million * (1+25%) * (1+45%) * (1+12%) * (1+4%)*(1+30%) =
~ 2.74 MM MMR
This is a very good news as this gives us a buffer for 740k usd. Thus in case of under performance of any of the experiment the final revenue would be reached
With regards to the time of 6 months ,
Most of our experiments can be achieved in a month or 2
Regarding the 2 growht loops one of them don’t have a significant contribution right now and on the other end for this 6 months content creation for showcasing on course page is much more
The most important experience here is regarding the search experience. We’ve to ensure that it is released on time and we enable powerful engine around it to actually reach to these numbers
🧢 Type of PM
As we’re going to be so focused on personalization for our growth. I think a tech PM with a bit of growth skills to manage the family of metrics will be best fit
📉 Company stage
I think the company is in a decline stage as even after having such a strong organic top funnel the sales conversion low. Well the probable further set of solutions would be -
To set up a community. There is nothing of that sort right now in place
Somehow enable students to convert to instructors (checkout Blue learn)
More focus on byte sized modules so people can keep up with course with their job while ensuring retention for a really long time
Working on improving our search experience and growth loops