Interview: How Agora Financial Increased Monthly Average Revenue by 167% With A Customer Data Platform

March 10, 2017

We know that personalized marketing delivers the right message to the right person at the right time, but what sort of results can companies expect after executing a website personalization strategy? Agora Financial, a leading digital media company, adopted a customer data platform to execute personalized web campaigns and saw a 167 percent bump in website-specific revenue.

We recently had a chance to catch up with Agora Financial’s web director, TJ Tate, to learn more about the the specific business challenges that the popular finance publisher was trying to solve, why they chose a customer data platform with a built-in web personalization tool and kinds of results they’ve seen so far.

Lytics: Was there a business pain or opportunity that initially pushed Agora Financial towards onsite web personalization as a marketing strategy?

TJ: Yes, there were several challenges that we were trying to solve:

  1. Our means of advertising on our own web properties was limited to traditional banner placements. The vendor we used was very rigid and we could not really leverage the data we had on our users to make the experience more personalized.
  2. We wanted to be able to market to our audience based on where they are in our subscription sales funnel.
  3. Our customers range from financial to health to lifestyle affinities and we wanted a way to determine how interested our users were in certain types of content (topics, blogs, etc.) and how engaged they were with certain authors.
  4. We wanted to be able to trigger personalized experiences based on certain user behavior as well as what subscriptions they may or may not have.

Lytics: Why did you choose a Customer Data product versus other tools?

TJ: Quite simply, Lytics Customer Data Platform lets us pull in various types of customer data and is very easy to use. There are many tools that promise web personalization but a majority of them come at the cost of either being too controlling in one aspect or another or not supporting every data source we have at our disposal. Lytics does a great job of collecting, unifying, structuring and audience segmenting data regardless of its source and provides a user interface that allows our marketing team to effortlessly create website personalization campaigns in minutes.

Lytics: What’s your campaign schedule like? Are you executing on any specific use cases?

TJ: We have a rapidly changing promotion/production schedule. Our promotions change with the news so being nimble and testing quickly is key — and Lytics fits perfectly into that schedule. We are able to segment groups of our audience based on affinity for our current working promotions and start testing them across all of our websites in a matter of minutes.

We also have key moments in the customer subscription lifecycle that warrant very specific messaging. When our customers’ subscriptions are about to lapse, we can prompt them with a special renewal offer when they log into our site. When certain customers have more than one subscription, we can promote bundle offers. We can also send subscription offers to customers based on which authors and topics that interest them.

We also have plans to begin testing Lytics’ built-in data science scoring. We’re interested in using the user propensity score — which is a score that predicts how likely someone is to return with subsequent activity — to re-engage customers that are showing signs of becoming disengaged.

Lytics: What sort of results have your seen from your web personalization campaigns so far?

TJ: The results have been great! We are up 167 percent in website-specific monthly average revenue since launching onsite personalization. We have published 45 campaigns to date and some of them reach as high as 30% click through rates. Lytics has also provided us with insights into where our customers are located across our various marketing channels. Because of how usable and marketer friendly the product is, we’ve saved lot of time and reduced the level of effort to create and execute website campaigns.


About Agora Financial:

For over 25 years, Agora Financial, a subsidiary of Agora Inc., has been a leading innovator in the financial publishing industry. Agora Financial specializes in independent financial, health and lifestyle commentary through print and online publications, books, films and products.