Welcome back to the SiteCatalyst Finance Fundamentals blog series.  In this series we are discussing the implementation basics and example analysis of each fundamental solution that Financial Services customers should consider leveraging.  Stay tuned and please feel free to contribute your thoughts/experience as we discuss each solution.

In the previous Application Conversion post we covered implementation.  In today’s blog post, we will dive into the reporting/analysis side of the Application Conversions fundamental solution.

What the basics provide

This fundamental allows you to track application starts, application submissions, and the application completion rate for each application (use the calculated metric of Application Submissions/Application Starts to get the application completion rate).  This information can be used to identify which applications are most/least effective at driving conversions.

App Type report

To pull this report:

1)      Go to the “App Type” report under “Custom Conversion” (the exact location will depend on the eVar used in the implementation.  For example, eVars 1- 10 fall under Custom Conversion 1- 10).

2)      Click on “Add Metrics” and from the standard metrics dropdown select the “App Start” and App Submission” events.

3)      Change the dropdown type to Calculated and add the “App Comp. Rate” metric.  Remove any other events and refresh the report.

This type of data can be useful in a dashboard or with alerts setup.  I would recommend trending both the app submissions and the app completion rate over time.  Dips in these numbers can indicate issues with the application forms.  Spikes also warrant deeper investigation.  Compare apps with high completion rates against apps with low ones to identify trends in the app experience (but keep in mind that apps for different products will naturally have different completion rates).  Test different versions of the same application and measure which versions have the highest completion rates.

Get more by combining solutions

While measuring the application completion rate is useful, the biggest value of this solution comes when you combine it with other solutions.  The Application Conversion solution provides the conversion metric for other solutions.  For example, if you implement only the external campaign performance solution, then you can track campaign responses for your marketing channels.  If you also implement the application conversion solution, then you can combine the output of these two solutions to report on campaigns against application submissions:

Marketing Channels

Optimizing campaigns to Application submissions (or offline application approvals if that advanced solution is setup) is far more effective than optimizing based on click-throughs alone.  For most marketing efforts, you want to prioritize campaigns that convert over campaigns that drive high non-converting traffic.

The application submission event can also be used to measure the effectiveness of marketing pages by leveraging participation.  The sole purpose of these pages is to drive conversions, so measure them against it!  Start by running the Site Content > Pages report and filtering your page name report to display only marketing pages, then add the visits and app submission participation metrics (note, you must use the participation metric for this and not the standard metric, participation is in a separate dropdown in the add metric wizard).  I’d also recommend creating a “App Submission Page Effectiveness” calculated metric (app submission participation / visits).  This calculated metric can be used to normalize the pages so you can compare high traffic pages against low traffic pages.

Marketing Page Participation

When a conversion occurs, all pages seen in the visit prior to the conversion get “participation” credit for the conversion.  The higher the app submission participation for a page, the more often that page leads to a conversion.  Generally speaking, marketing pages with high conversion and high traffic are your rock stars.  Pages that have high traffic, but low conversion should be optimized or decommissioned.  Pages with high conversion and low traffic should highlighted through promotions to drive more traffic.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Application Conversion fundamental is one of the most important solutions to implement and leverage.  If you don’t have it already setup, then work with your IT department/web analytics team/Adobe consultant/whoever it takes to get it deployed.  We have covered the basics to this solution, but there is so much more that can be done with it when combined with other fundamental and advanced solutions.  Stay tuned as we explore the other fundamental solutions over the upcoming months!

Have a question about anything related to SiteCatalyst for the Financial Services industry?  Do you have any tips or best practices to share?  If so, please leave a comment here or send me an email at tucker (at) adobe.com and I will do my best to answer it on this blog! (Don’t worry – I’ll keep your name and company name confidential).

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