Two Effective Strategies For Improving Lending Application Quality From Your Paid Media Campaigns

This week I’ve been speaking to a number of lenders and one of their key challenges that keeps coming up is improving lending application quality from their paid media campaigns.

The first question I always ask is “what are you doing to track which of the lending applications you’ve generated go on to get approved?”. Because as the saying goes, if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.

Most usually answer that they have some sort of UTM tracking set up so they can create a spreadsheet showing which lending applications go on to get approved.

But with Google moving towards value based bidding and sunsetting tCPA, having this data outside of Google Ads is no longer enough if you want to get the best possible performance. 

Advertisers need to be able to get data that is stored in their CRM showing users moving through their lending process from application to approval and all of the steps in between back into Google Ads. 

That way they can see at keywords level not just the number of lending applications generated but also see which of those applications progressed to underwriting, which got approved and which got rejected.

The most sophisticated advertisers will also be importing the value of the approved applications back into Google ads and Google Analytics so they can bid towards profitability as opposed to lending application volume or lending application cost.

How to track application progress in Google Ads & Google Analytics

Importing the CRM data to show where applications are in your lending process back to Google Ads and Analytics is done via the offline tracking function.

Offline tracking works by storing a unique identifier when somebody makes a lending application either online or on the phone in your CRM. In the case of Google Ads it’s called a Google Click ID. 

Everytime someone clicks on your advert Google assigns a unique Google Click ID that is associated with the keywords and campaigns that triggered your ad to show. 

This identifier is placed at the end of your URL as a UTM parameter and looks like this: Demandmore.co.uk/?GCID=354325n3425 34j53252345

As somebody fills out your lending application with their information you will need to add a hidden form field for the Google Click ID. It acts like any other form field like name or email address in your lending application but it will not be visible to users on the website.

Using a piece of javascript code you can grab the Google Click ID and take it from the URL and place it in the hidden form field. When somebody submits the application form it gets sent to your CRM with all of their other details they have filled out.

Finally once somebody’s application gets approved you can import the Google Click ID back into Google Ads with the value of the closed application. 

Google then assigns a conversion to the keyword that generated that application in the conversion column as well as the value of the application in the conversion value column.

You can do the same in Google Analytics by storing somebody’s user ID (similar to Google Click ID) and then importing it back into Analytics using the Measurement Protocol API.

Adapting your strategy to improve lending application quality

There are two main strategies that you should use to improve lending application quality once you’re able to see which lending applications get approved and the campaigns and keywords that have generated them.

The first is to segment your campaigns based on keywords that have generated approved lending applications and those that have not. You should then allocate the vast majority of your budget to the campaigns that only contain the keywords that have converted into approved lending applications.

Secondly you should AB test tROAS or Max Conversion Value bidding against tCPA now you’re bringing conversion values back into Google Ads. This will optimise bidding towards generating lending applications that are likely to be approved as well as higher  value lending applications.

Conclusions

To improve lending application quality you must first understand which applications are being approved and what campaigns and keywords are driving those high quality applications using the offline tracking function.

Once you have this data there are two main changes that you need to make to your strategy. First of all you should segment your campaigns into keywords that have converted into approved lending applications and distribute the majority of budget towards these campaigns. 

Secondly you should AB test tROAS or Max Conversion Value bidding vs tCPA to see which drives the greatest level of profitability.


About Wes

Wes is the Managing Director of DemandMore. He is columnist for several leading marketing publications including Campaign Magazine, Econsultancy and Search Engine Land where he shares his expertise in search marketing.