Creating growth machine for Whalelend in a hyper competitive market

Type: Inbound Marketing

Client: GetJenny Oy

Deliverables: eBook

WhaleLend is a crypto loaning wallet, which is the product of Tesseract Group Oy. Whalelend wanted to acquire a large number of users for their cryptocurrency HODLing app after they was launched. In three months of running marketing for Whalelend, Aurabear helped WhaleLend acquire 70 % more users.
NOTE! : Whalelend was rebranded the name:

The Goals

After months spent in building the crypto-based saving platform, Terrasact Group launched Whalelend and aggressively searched for the best channels to acquire users for Whalelend. Like many early-stage startups, user acquisition with a tight marketing budget was the biggest challenge for the founding team at Terrasact Group. Terrasact Group is a Finnish company that is backed by big Finnish fintech VC. 

Besides acquiring users as aggressively as possible, Whalelend wanted to build a systematic user acquisition machine that combines content marketing, community management and analytics. 

“Any product, however good, doesn’t have a lot of value unless it has enough users,” says Ilkka Salo, COO of WhaleLend. Salo provides the Aurabear team with directions and makes decisions based on the growth marketing plan, content strategy and execution plan that Aurabear team provided.

The Execution

It’s a big challenge to define and run user acquisition for Whalelend because of three main reasons : 1) a huge lack of human resources for marketing 2) Whalelend released their product at the time the crypto industry was experiencing major corrections and 3) we did marketing from scratch so there was little data for us to do conversion optimization faster.

First, we had a one-day meeting with the founding team at Whalelend to understand their product (unique selling points, potential WOW points etc.) and define key target customers. We built comprehensive personas  of several target users. Then, we created a sprint-based growth marketing framework for Whalelend. For startups, it is important to identify the winning channel to acquire users. Besides the growth marketing framework,  we adopted the Bullseye Framework to get traction especially for user acquisition.

User Acquisition – User Activation – User Retention- Measure

From Awareness to Acquisition: Content Marketing First 

Standing out in the crypto market is difficult as the market is filled with noise and brands – big and small. The marketing in the crypto market is aggressive with big budgets poured into affiliate marketing, bounty, and referral marketing: using money incentive in referral to acquire users fast. With our tight budget, we got started in a different direction: we focused on building awareness and trustability through content marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and community marketing. 

During the first 2 months, our marketing goals were to bring traffic to the Whalelend website, build a subscriber list, and convert visitors to users as much as possible. We run data analysis 2 times per month to evaluate our content, keywords, and experiments for conversion. 

Content marketing deliverables we did in the first 2 months include:

  • Keyword research 
  • SEO audit and optimization 
  • SEO Link building 
  • 4 blog posts per month 
  • 1 white paper to educate visitors about the concept behind Whalelend 
  • 1 webinar hosted to educate visitors and users 

The user research we conducted for Whalelend helped the team identify the pain points of users; which shaped the brand messages and topics in blog posts and social media marketing. Then keyword research was done to list out the best keywords with high search volume and low competition. We created blog posts based on user research, keyword research and topic research. Our blog posts were created to target different buyer personas of Whalelend

Without the budget to run advertising to promote blog posts (as some part of the budget is to run UA ads), we used other tactics to grow organic traffic to the blog page. Forum sharings, Quora and Reddit marketing, Medium marketing, social media marketing and video marketing are among the tactics we used to bring traffic to the blog page FAST.

Medium & Blog Page Content

“a more systematic approach, running marketing campaigns, testing, growth experimenting, getting records of the results and being more disciplined with data analytics.”

Ilkka Salo

Grow- Analyze- Convert

Bringing traffic to blog posts is not not enough for user acquisition but it was a part of our framework. The more data to the website, the more hypotheses we could have to run experiments for conversion optimization. Besides running remarketing to converting website visitors into signups and paying users, we ran several experiments for conversion optimization:

Our data analysis report helped us ramp up the conversion optimization. Several tactics and experiments we did : 

  • High converting copywriting of the front page and A/B testing 
  • Funnel marketing reporting 
  • AARR Monthly reporting 
  • Pop-ups with different messages and testing the conversion
  • Triggered live chat conversations
  • Social proof pop-ups
  • Targeting landing pages 
  • Count-down competition and other gamification tactics

Improve User Activation and User Retention via Marketing Automation

15 minutes to the first three days after users sign up is very important to converting a free sign up to a paid client and long-term client. Our goal is to activate the trial sign up via using in-app messages, and onboarding email sequence. 

We set up Intercom behavioral message sequences, in-app messages and on-boarding email sequences to nurture users after signing up. We ran A/B testing and personalization for Intercom chat messages and on-boarding email sequences. 

Besides on-boarding email sequences, we also create email marketing campaigns to grow users and increase their usage activities (upsell),  as well as drip emails for education purposes. The drip email sequence provides educational values for Whalelend users. 

Data analytics is the backbone of our GROWTH machine 

Our data analytic team set up tracking tools ( Google Analytics, GTM, Amplitude, Hotjar), event tracking, key metrics and reporting dashboards. We provide real-time dashboards so our team and Whalelend’s team can easily check data and measure the success of experiments before scaling up. 

Data analytics helped our client and our project team in marketing and product development. The data analytics helped our client team create better UI/ UX for their users as well.

The Results

Whalelend grew their users more than 70% within 3 months and …. Within 6 months. Whalelend website also increased their ranking 30x in their major SEO keywords in Europe and USA without using paid advertising for blog posts. 

The content Aurabear created provides quality organic traffic. Google, Facebook and Twitter do not allow ads for cryptocurrency, so organic traffic is mission critical. Aurabear’s blog post about crypto margin lending ( published in January 2019 is still is in the top 10 of Google organic search results and continues to deliver more of the right audience to WhaleLend’s website. We also helped Whalelend grow  293% in Facebook followers and Facebook contributed more than 30% to the user sign ups.