When David Crosta and Ami Desai founded Early Earners in 2005, they realized that they were not Web analytics savvy.
The Web site at www.earlyearners.com launched Jan. 11, 2006, and the two founders desperately needed help in understanding visitor patterns, needs and expectations.
“We did not understand how search marketing worked even though paid search makes up 80 to 90 percent of our marketing budget,” Mr. Crosta said.
Mr. Crosta said the evolution of the business would be driven mostly by customer feedback, which would be garnered from Web metrics.
He felt it was critical to understand exactly how the site is navigated and what specific factors contribute to a conversion.
The two searched for Web analytics tools and rejected Google analytics.
“It was free but really clunky,” Mr. Crosta said. “We can’t sit around all day writing query strings to get information about our site visitors.”
Early Earners teaches people about savings. It partnered with HSBC bank so individuals can open a savings account right on the site and begin saving right away.
“Our largest problem was the inability to see how people used our Web site,” Mr. Crosta said. “We needed to know how our navigation and structure were helping customers to find what they need, and to ultimately open high yield savings accounts.”
Mr. Crosta and Ms. Desai evaluated six different tools. In the end, the founders chose ClickTracks because it provided the information needed to make critical business decisions.
“One of ClickTracks’ valuable features is its navigation view, which helped us to do click stream analysis immediately,” Mr. Crosta said. “We could compare how people navigated the site and did not convert versus those who navigated the site and opened an account.”
ClickTracks gave them information on how to evolve the information architecture look and feel of the site. The software provided them with a better understanding of how customers interact with the site. As a result of the software, Mr. Crosta and Ms. Desai could determine what type of design and keyword choices would improve the conversion rate.
“By using ClickTracks we were able to test different creatives and layouts to choose those that would maximize usability and utility of the site for our customers,” Mr. Crosta said.
The navigation report on ClickTracks provided a visual depiction of how user groups interacted with the site.
Mr. Crosta and Ms. Desai were able to understand how to best optimize the user experience by comparing this and other key reports across different versions of the site and segmenting visitors with labeling.
“The product didn’t just present our site metrics, but also helped us to understand what we should be looking for in the data as well as how we should use the results to make substantive improvements to the site,” Mr. Crosta said. “The navigation view helped us do click stream analysis before we even knew what it was. We could look at how people navigate the site against how people that convert navigate the site.”
As a result of using the ClickTracks software, the number of Early Earners families opening accounts each week went up 41 percent from January to March 2006. The number of Early Earners families applying for accounts each week increased 36 percent during the same period.
“After only one year in operation, 1,500 families have opened savings accounts via Early Earners and we have helped families save more than $20 million,” Mr. Crosta said. “The site is averaging 15,000 visitors a month. We attribute this strong early success, and continued success, to the use of ClickTracks and improvements we have made to the site and PPC campaign.”