Case Study: Nova Credit

Overcoming Regulatory Roadblocks by Reimagining Paid Media Strategies for Fintech

How we leveraged performance creative to reach target audience segments and drive lead volume – all while passing strict compliance.

The Partner

Nova Credit is a financial technology company that enables global access to credit by connecting lenders and credit bureaus across different countries. They help immigrants and ex-pats access credit in the U.S. by using their international credit history. Nova Credit also partners with financial institutions, like American Express, providing the credit model and data to enable access to new, previously unavailable customers.

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A Quick Look

down arrow 55%

Below Target CPA

up arrow 72%

Increase in Total Conversions MoM

up arrow 111%

Increase in Total Impressions MoM

up arrow 299%

Increase in Conversions from Q4 → Q1*

TL;DR: In the first quarter of 2023, our paid media experts deployed a social ads strategy that enabled segmented audience targeting despite fintech advertising constraints, resulting in the most cost-effective acquisition results recorded by the brand to date.

The Challenge

Increase purchase volume compliantly: launch cost-effective prospecting campaigns on Facebook with a CPA below $40.

In late 2022, we successfully acquired new customers on LinkedIn by leveraging the platform’s engaged professional audience. However, we reached the point of diminishing returns in terms of budget and scalability, prompting us to bring new channels into the mix.

Our challenge: to optimize and scale up LinkedIn acquisition tactics on Facebook while navigating Facebook’s Special Ad Category targeting limitations, strict content guidelines, and added approval processes. The complexity of this challenge was further amplified by our partner’s request to allocate more resources toward the worker segment, which historically experienced more consistent demand than the seasonal student segment.

This challenge gave us a unique opportunity to retrofit our social ads approach to efficiently find and convert individual audience segments, despite having fewer levers to pull.

Here’s how we tackled the challenge. ↓

The Strategy

A creative approach to audience segmentation

We launched parallel prospecting campaigns that paired personalized, segment-specific creative with relevant interest-based targeting, effectively circumvented regulatory obstacles to expand Nova Credit’s reach, boost channel diversity, and achieve cost-effective outcomes.

What We Did:

  1. Develop creative assets with highly specific, compliant messaging and imagery for students and workers (see below)
  2. Secure approval copy + creative from Nova Credit’s legal team
  3. Configure ads to ensure compliance with Facebook’s Special Ads Category
  4. Secure approval (again) from Facebook and launch campaigns
  5. Measure performance, validate hypotheses, and call out top performers
  6. Optimize and scale up the campaigns that drove the highest CPA

After three months of testing and iteration, we delivered these results to our partner. ↓

The Results

Record-breaking acquisition at scale: a 3x increase in conversions in Q1 while maintaining a CPA below target by 50+%

By pairing targeted performance creative with applicable interest categories, our team successfully engaged and converted both audience groups on Facebook. Our efforts increased conversions by nearly 300% compared to the previous year’s LinkedIn ads, positioning Facebook as the top-performing channel for Nova Credit to date.

Not only did this strategy help us identify and target the two segments individually, but it also validated our hypothesis that the worker segment was both: (a) more prevalent on Facebook and (b) more engaged with posts related to financial products and services.

This data informed our decision to reallocate student segment budgets to the worker segment to minimize wasted spend and continue driving high-intent, worker segment traffic to the site.

The Data

*Note: conversions increased significantly from Q4 2022 (265) to Q1 2023 (1058). While our campaign efficiencies on Meta and LinkedIn contributed to this increase in lead volume, Nova Credit also increased spend in Q1 2023 by 307%.

Key Takeaways

Roadblocks create opportunities: Campaign constraints, whether regulatory or budget-related, fuel our curiosity, strategic thinking, and adaptability. We’re constantly refining and improving our strategies to meet the moment and keep things operating smoothly, no matter what roadblocks arise.

Compliance doesn’t rule out personalization: personalization and privacy are not mutually exclusive. When balanced correctly, brands can deliver high-impact, contextually relevant messaging while maintaining compliance and building trust with their audience.

Long live performance ad creative: we’ve seen it time and time again – strategically designed and positioned creative assets are an integral growth lever that helps us maximize spend and answer big-hitter questions.

Think outside the box: companies operating in highly regulated or niche markets don’t have a full suite of targeting options at their disposal. To overcome this, we did (and continue to) think strategically about the user journey, both online and offline, to identify new avenues to reach our target audience.

Scale up what works, scrap what doesn’t: the Facebook metrics indicated that the worker segment drove higher CPAs than the student segment by a significant margin. So, we quickly sidelined the student segment to optimize spend, resources, and time.

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