30% YoY Customer Acquisition Growth Via Search and Viral Referrals

Partnerships & Referrals
Organic Search & SEO
CRO
October 1, 2020
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Search interest around international money transfers has grown by 21% in 2020. Transferwise saw identical growth in their global traffic to its website in 2020, while site visits to the Canadian website grew even faster with a +32% increase in 2020 vs. 2019. A company’s approach to customer acquisition can be rather described as investing in its own channels rather than spending on the external ones.

User Acquisition – Gamify Referral Programs: Transferwise leverages its current client base to drive referrals. Email is the main channel to inform, remind and incentivize current users to invite friends and family. Transferwise has triggers set up to notify clients when their referrals created an account and sent their first transfer to encourage further invitations.

User Acquisition – Optimize Organic Search: Transferwise built an extensive blog and resources area on the website. They capitalize on the search terms that indicate an intent to send money overseas and effectively compete on such popular searches such as bank’s swift codes and currency exchange rates. In addition, they maintain an evergreen blog area with relevant tips for living in different countries written in local languages.

User Acquisition – Conversion-focused Landing Page: The landing page is tailored to reinforce two key USPs of the service—low fees and speed. Transferwise encourages users to get the estimates for their specific transfer rather than showing hypothetical examples. Hence, the transfer calculation module is prioritized on the landing page, taking up 90% of the mobile screen and about half of the desktop landing page.


Search interest for “sending money abroad” grew by +21% YoY (2020 vs 2019). Transferwise saw identical traffic increase to its global website. 


Growth to the Canadian site spurred in March (+44% vs. Feb. ‘20) and outpaced the global rate, averaging at 32% YoY (2020 vs 2019).


Organic search (50%) and Direct (45%) are responsible for 95% of the website traffic. Social, email, referrals, organic search and direct channels drive 99% of all traffic to the website, while paid (search and display ads) contribute ~0.5% each. While the traffic from organic search tends to surpass that of direct, some seasonality is observed when direct visits outperform organic search: year end (December) and September.


In Canada, Transferwise relies on three client acquisition tactics: customer referrals, search optimization and conversion-focused landing page. 

  1. Customer Referrals. Transferwise is focused on measuring and continuously improving its NPS (net promoters score) and leverages gamified referral programs to acquire new clients.  
  2. Search Optimization. An extensive volume of keywords is focused on capturing those who show an intent to send money abroad—bank’s swift codes and current currency exchange rates.
  3. Conversion-Focused Landing Page. Main landing page features a large module allowing visitors to estimate the fees and time to transfer money overseas. 

1. Customer Referrals

Transferwise actively leverages the email channel to extend its client base—approximately 10% of all emails (including transactional) sent throughout 2020 were targeted on driving referrals.

Referrals are incentivized by money bonuses ($75 for every three referrals) for existing clients and waived transfer fees for new clients. 

Additional emails are also triggered when referrals register an account and transfer money. Such follow ups serve as a call to action to invite more friends. 

The “Invite & earn 75 CAD” call to action is visibly positioned in the client’s dashboard. Referral process leverages some elements of gamification, such as referral status and invitation tracking to encourage more invitations. 

2. Search Optimization.

Transferwise has been upkeeping a sizable amount of relevant keywords in the blog area and news section, currency converter and evergreen resources pages.


Content marketing is tailored to capture and dominate high volume search terms, such as current currency exchange rates and bank swift codes—searches signalling the interest in overseas money transfers.


Transferwise shows up on the first Google results page for the bank’s swift code searches and has a well optimized page descriptions to capture users interest. 

Organic Google position in the last 30 days

3. Conversion-Focused Landing Page

CTA module takes 90% of the mobile and 50% of the desktop screen. This component has been a part of the initial MVP and proved its effectiveness over the years. 


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