Minimizing churn and increasing share of wallet from Reddit’s SMB advertiser base

Customers

Challenge

Reddit, labeled as ‘the front page of the internet’, is a social news aggregation website and forum that boasts roughly 1.5 billion unique monthly visitors from an active global user base. This web traffic wasn’t fully harnessed, though, as there was no advertising on the website at the time. In an effort to monetize all that traffic, Reddit rolled out a self-serve ad platform. This, of course, caught the attention of advertisers who were keen on getting their ads in front of all those eyes - particularly SMB advertisers, for whom this was a massive opportunity. 

Before long, however, Reddit noticed a problem: SMB advertisers were only investing miniscule amounts of money in the platform, and worse still, the rate of churn was extremely high. This came as a blow to Reddit, as they were looking to gain a strong foothold within this advertiser base.

Reddit’s search for a solution to this problem led them to Regalix. They approached us with a clear-cut task: Increase the share of wallet from SMB advertisers and keep them from abandoning the platform altogether.

Analysis

Regalix’s first order of business was to understand the full scope of the issue. To do so, we, in collaboration with Reddit, conducted a comprehensive study of the entire advertising process: what advertisers’ expectations were, which platform features they used, what difficulties they faced, how those difficulties were addressed and what kind of results the advertisers achieved.

The analysis revealed that there were significant gaps in product adoption; we identified three root causes. 

Firstly, advertisers failed to recognize the uniqueness of the platform; they tried to use it as they would some of the more ubiquitous advertising solutions on the market. This was destined to fail, as Reddit’s platform has a very different set of targeting tools and setup options than the typical ones advertisers were used to. As such, they weren’t able to utilize its features and offerings effectively.

Secondly, they approached the platform with the wrong expectations. Having interacted with some advertisers during our analysis, we found a common theme. They initially invested small amounts to test the waters, and depending on the results, would decide whether or not to go further. However, this, too, would fail, as the sums invested were often below the threshold required to see respectable returns on Reddit’s platform. The advertisers’ usual tactics wouldn’t work.

Finally, Reddit’s staffing levels, user onboarding and support processes couldn’t keep up with the sheer volume of the rapidly growing SMB advertiser base. Being a unique tool, advertisers had a hard time understanding how to use it, and weren’t receiving the level of support necessary to harness its full potential. All of these factors combined led to a high rate of churn for Reddit’s platform.

Solution

To remedy the situation, Regalix worked with Reddit to develop a scalable, in-depth onboarding process that would be conducted via calls and emails, to set advertisers up for long-term success with the platform. We also deployed customer onboarding teams to supplement Reddit’s onboarding efforts.

On the first call, our experts would try to understand the goals of the advertisers, inform them of what to expect and educate them about the platform, its features and best practices. We’d then give each of them customized instructions on how best to achieve their goals through the platform — which features to use, how to configure them, the recommended level of investment to see appreciable results and more.

This would then be followed by an audit to gauge the effectiveness of our recommendations and to fine-tune them for optimal campaign returns. A second audit and then a series of follow-up calls would take place subsequently to ensure that the campaign was on track and that the advertiser was comfortable with the platform — comfortable enough not to have any blocking questions. 

Finally, we implemented a consultative selling approach, which meant that only those advertisers whose expectations and requirements were well-aligned with the advertising platform’s capabilities were onboarded as users. For those who didn’t fall under this category, we recorded their requirements and passed them on to the platform team. If the requested features were on the platform roadmap, advertisers were informed about the expected date of implementation. If not, the platform team would consider feature implementation depending on request volumes.

Impact

Within just a few months, significant effects were felt. As a result of the enhanced onboarding process, advertisers were able to use the platform as intended and reliably achieve their desired results, thus boosting the number of ads per advertiser by 91% and average daily budget by 40%. With advertisers receiving the necessary level of support and realizing their goals, they were more than twice as likely to be retained into the second month than before Regalix’s intervention.

2.3X
Month on month retention
> 91%
No. of ads per advertiser
> 40%
Avg. daily budget

“Regalix is a pleasure to work with; their support helped us completely turn this situation around. They took our customer experience a notch higher, and it shows — churn rates have reduced drastically.”

— Director of Sales Operations, Reddit

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