Changes to the website increased the conversion rate by 25 percent 

When Hawkes Bay car dealer Stephen Hill responded to a client’s request for finance almost 20 years ago, he inadvertently launched a new business. Future Finance retains the philosophy it was built on, responding to every client’s unique circumstances with a genuine desire to help.

While Stephen still buys and sells cars, his business partner Lee Davies leads the Future Finance team of 11 staff, who describe themselves as regular Kiwis who know what it’s like to need a loan from time to time. A culture of everyone mucking in to get the job done leads to great outcomes for clients and staff who are happy in their work.

The team takes pride in responding to enquiries and approving applications quickly. They won’t lend more than they think a client can afford, and they reveal all costs up front. The aim is to help clients get the cash they need, pay it back comfortably, and get on with life.

The background 

Future Finance already had a good online presence with paid advertising, but Lee was becoming increasingly frustrated with the service their marketing company was providing.

“It was a massive company and we kept getting bounced from one campaign manager to another. They were undoing previous work that had been done and there was a lack of communication.”

Future Finance’s marketing was losing traction each time a new person was assigned to the account. “We felt like a number,” Lee says.

Eventually, after another meeting spent introducing the business to yet another campaign manager, Lee started looking for a more client-focused provider. Following a recommendation by her website developer, Lee met with Ark Advance online, then flew to Auckland to meet Chris in person.

“My specialty is finance, not Google Analytics, and I needed someone who could explain it clearly and simply, and that’s what Ark Advance does.”

Working with Ark Advance  

Lee appreciated immediately that Ark Advance was a good ‘fit’ for Future Finance, with a small team led by Chris, the managing director, promising a more personal service.

With Future Finance already doing well with its digital marketing, Ark Advance focused on getting the best value for money and pushing the company’s organic ranking higher, meaning more traffic from search engine results that are earned, not paid.

Chris and his team analysed the traffic coming into the website and worked with Lee to make some changes, which included joining Trustpilot for customer feedback. Ark Advance took care of all the back-end website work to make the transition seamless for Lee and her team.

Lee, Stephen and the in-house accountant flew to Auckland to complete Ark Advance’s one-day course on Google Analytics and AdWords, which Lee says provided a good overview of digital marketing and helped them understand the terminology used.

“The thing I like about working with Ark Advance is that they make it simple, and the reporting isn’t complicated. They’re just real people, great to deal with and available any time you need them.”

The results  

Changes to the website not only increased traffic but also increased the conversion rate by 25 percent. At the same time, Future Finance reviewed its minimum loan amount to reduce small, uneconomic lending. These measures resulted in a small but significant increase in ROI.

“Ours is such a competitive industry that just holding our own is a win,” Lee says. “Even though a lot of Australian companies are coming into the market, we’ve still improved our ROI and are ranking well on paid advertising. We’re very happy with our results.”

Looking forward 

Improvements to the website are ongoing and Lee is looking forward to working with Ark Advance on a social media and email marketing campaign this year.

“We’ve just discovered Chris’s skills with email marketing, and he’ll help us with that in conjunction with another social media company we use,” Lee says. “To have those skills in the background is really handy.”

After looking after Future Finance’s needs for about three years, Chris recently introduced Lee to a new campaign manager but remains closely involved in reporting and communicating with Lee.

“The service is fantastic and if I ever have any questions or concerns, I can call Chris and he’s straight onto it.”