Remote Year needed to build enough trust with consumers to make it easy for them to pay $27,000 for someone else to arrange their lives for a year.
To customers, Remote Year was a travel and hospitality experience. For the business, it was an attempt to consolidate and collect consumers housing, travel, entertainment, and office expenses for an entire year. When I joined the team, the yearly cost was $27,000 - almost double what the average American pays for housing for the same amount of time.
Accomplishing such a feat at scale required a big marketing lift, and I was brought on to design and build the web and paid acquisition parts of the machine.
Bringing the website into the 21st century
In spite of itself, Remote Year got its early traction and raised a series A on a really awful Squarespace website. To reach the market we had our targets set on, we'd need a much more robust site with thoughtful content to support users through the buying cycle.
We needed to create strong content to support buyers through long sales processes for very high ticket transactions. We tackled this in a few different ways.
Persona Specific Landing Pages
Through research and sales data, we had several personas we were building for that had quite divergent value propositions. We split them by work situation, since the biggest hurdle a potential customer faced before going on a Remote Year was whether or not their work situation could and would support it.
We built customized landing pages for each of our major consumer personas (Freelancers, Employees, and Small Business Owners) that re-framed our core value proposition and addressed the issues and objections we'd found each persona to have that interfered with their ability to join a Remote Year program.
Focusing on Community Members
Not much is bigger in consumer e-commerce than social proof. We built out a strong Community section of the website and filled it with stats from our existing community, profiles on community members (existing customers), links to live events and charity work completed, and projects our customers had started while on Remote Year.
The goal here was to both underline that the experience was both refined and well-reviewed, but also to obliquely support our core value propositions of Remote Year being a boon to your career, not a hinderance.
"Working with Colin is an absolute pleasure... Colin takes the initiative, is determined and always strives to do the right thing for the user. Colin is a talent growth marketer that is both knowledgeable in all the digital acquisitions platforms but more importantly cares deeply about the user experience and their journeys."
Senior Director - Growth at Remote Year
Building an Educational Lead Scoring Flow
Remote Year faced a fundamental problem. It had a sexy product that everyone wanted to do, but only a small portion of them could do it. What's more, most people didn't yet know if they could do it, and they often needed a lot of support to get to the point where they could.
To combat this, we built an educational lead scoring flow where we pulled all the important information from leads (state of readiness, job situation, etc.) and scored them for our sales team so they could prioritize lead follow up. We also changed our CTAs from "apply Now" to "Is it for me?" to reduce the perceived commitment to "applying".
Once this was in place, we were able to really focus on driving traffic to our landing pages and converting them to leads.
Building an inbound lead machine
A sexy, novel product and extremely high LTV - an inbound marketer's dream. Remote Year had the right ingredients to build a powerful lead-gen machine using social ads.
Travel and hospitality is a very visual-friendly medium, so we first scripted and commissioned a core sales video to serve as the raw material for our ad creative.
We then cut it into multiple 15 second increments for testing on Facebook and Instagram. We developed a story structure and testing cadence, and started scaling spend as soon as our cost per lead ration was economical, which didn't take long.
Over the next several months, we were able to scale spend profitably well into the 6-figure monthly range.
We experimented with many channels - Twitter, Linkedin, Pintrest, Reddit, Quora, and Google Ads - but none were able to touch the performance we were able to achieve using Facebook/Instagram.
In the end, we were able to increase site conversion by over 300%.