Case Study: Acres

Scaling Campaigns That Generate High-Value Customers for a Fintech Client, Backed by Comprehensive Tracking and Reporting

How we created and executed a paid media strategy that grew active subscribers by 272% in three months.

The Partner

Acres is a one-stop fintech platform for land data on 150+ million U.S. properties. It’s available on the web and as a mobile app, providing reliable information for landowners and sales. It combines data on vegetation, soil, elevation, and market factors to give a complete picture of farmland value. Users can use it to compare land, check recent sales, and make smart decisions about investing in farmland.

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A Quick Look

up arrow 272%

Increase in Active Monthly Subscriptions

up arrow 45%

 Increase in Premium Subscriber Growth in Month 1

up arrow 31%

Increase in Lead to Premium Subscriber CVR in Three Months

TL;DR: From July to October 2023, we created and implemented a performance-focused paid media strategy with a comprehensive measurement framework. Our goal was to pinpoint the most effective tactics for efficiently boosting sign-ups and subscription growth. To achieve this, we redirected funds from strategies that had a low cost-per-signup but were not contributing to revenue and channeled these resources into acquiring higher-quality sign-ups. As a result of these changes, we saw a 272% increase in active monthly subscriptions in three months.

The Challenge

Creating a winning user acquisition strategy: Growing sign-ups at scale and focusing on revenue-generating subscriptions for Acres.

Acres, like many forward-thinking scaleups, had ambitious conversion goals and a pressing need to fine-tune their user flow and media strategy to achieve the most efficient growth possible. They were facing two significant challenges:

  • What’s the optimal user flow to drive revenue?
  • How can we effectively consolidate data from various sources to make more informed decisions?

Let’s dive into the first challenge:

When Acres began collaborating with our team, they were utilizing two primary user flows:

  • Mobile App: Directing traffic from paid campaigns straight to the app store to encourage installations.
  • Web App: Channeling traffic to the website, where users could complete the sign-up process entirely through the web experience. They could do this on mobile or desktop.

Sending users to the mobile app generated a high volume of traffic but resulted in very few conversions. On the other hand, directing users to the web was costlier, even though it had a much better conversion rate than the mobile app.

Apart from defining the right user flow, Acres also needed to gain a comprehensive understanding of conversion rates at each stage of the funnel. This involved consolidating data from various sources, including GA4, Appsflyer, Ad Platforms, and Hubspot. App tracking can be notoriously tricky, but obtaining a clear overview of performance at every funnel stage is vital for making informed decisions about budget allocation and resource management.

The Strategy

Focusing on the right customer journeys that maximize user engagement and long-term value.

We started by conducting a thorough analysis of the two primary user flows to gauge their revenue potential. What quickly became evident was that a significant portion of the media budget was funneled into driving users to the mobile app. While this approach did result in a surge of installs and sign-ups, it didn’t translate into paying subscribers or substantial revenue for our brand.

In response to this insight, we devised a fresh media strategy centered around two crucial components:

  • We opted to channel all our performance spend into the website user funnel instead of the mobile app. We anticipated a drop in sign-ups at the initial stage of the user journey but had confidence that this shift would lead to an increase in subscribers and revenue.
  • Concurrently, we introduced top-of-funnel campaigns designed to enhance brand awareness. These campaigns heavily relied on compelling storytelling and utilized ad formats like YouTube to generate demand for Acres as cost-effectively as possible. Our goal was to boost direct and branded search revenue.

As we rolled out the revamped media plan, we closely collaborated with the Acres development team. Together, we established a centralized reporting hub, leveraging HubSpot dashboards through Segment data. This measurement approach allowed us to track both app and web sign-ups and the revenue stemming from premium and enterprise subscriptions. Instead of relying on aggregated platform data for attribution insights, we created a dependable source of truth that guided our optimization efforts.

We started by conducting a thorough analysis of the two primary user flows to gauge their revenue potential. What quickly became evident was that a significant portion of the media budget was funneled into driving users to the mobile app. While this approach did result in a surge of installs and sign-ups, it didn’t translate into paying subscribers or substantial revenue for our brand.

In response to this insight, we devised a fresh media strategy centered around two crucial components:

  • We opted to channel all our performance spend into the website user funnel instead of the mobile app. We anticipated a drop in sign-ups at the initial stage of the user journey but had confidence that this shift would lead to an increase in subscribers and revenue.
  • Concurrently, we introduced top-of-funnel campaigns designed to enhance brand awareness. These campaigns heavily relied on compelling storytelling and utilized ad formats like YouTube to generate demand for Acres as cost-effectively as possible. Our goal was to boost direct and branded search revenue.

As we rolled out the revamped media plan, we closely collaborated with the Acres development team. Together, we established a centralized reporting hub, leveraging HubSpot dashboards through Segment data. This measurement approach allowed us to track both app and web sign-ups and the revenue stemming from premium and enterprise subscriptions. Instead of relying on aggregated platform data for attribution insights, we created a dependable source of truth that guided our optimization efforts.

  • Identify the Acres tech stack, user flows, existing tactics, and goals.
  • Design a cross-functional media strategy and campaign testing structure.
  • Implement a single source of truth for user attribution via Hubspot and Segment.
  • Analyze down-funnel revenue metrics to identify areas for improvement.
  • Optimize according to performance data, zeroing in on winning strategies to scale results.

After four months of testing, here’s what we found ↓

The Results

Active subscribers surged by 272% in just three months, all without without a single increase in ad spend.

We boosted our conversion rate by 31% from sign-ups to paid subscribers by identifying the highest-performing user flow and selecting the optimal channel mix. Today, we’ve reduced our cost per acquisition by 28% while growing our subscriber base by 17%.

Our paid media strategies, precise reporting, and continuous refinement have directly increased conversions and expanded the brand’s customer base.

Key Takeaways

Picking the right metric for success is crucial for growth: You might see big numbers in things like app installs or free sign-ups, but what really matters is turning those into paying customers and growing your customer base. Our strategy combines building interest and leads at the top of the funnel, ensuring those turn into actual sales. This dual focus not only increased brand awareness but also boosted revenue.

Data creates feedback loops that are essential for effective strategy: When you have a single, reliable source of truth through a centralized data system, it’s like having a radar that can quickly pinpoint where we’re doing well and where we need improvement. This allows us to swiftly expand successful efforts and eliminate wasted spend.

A holistic approach to growth compounds results: By having specific, well-defined goals and objectives for each campaign type that’s in-flight (awareness, performance, etc.), we can quickly identify areas within our funnel that need improvement or are ready to scale.

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