Improve return on financial application activations with Twilio Engage

Signing up for a loan application product is often a confusing process, because many new users get stuck before even completing their application. This could be because their UX is confusing and the user is not sure how to proceed, or because the user simply forgets to upload required documents required to complete the application. Whatever the cause, our customers have found that by identifying users who are dropping at certain stages during the application process, you can create a personalized journey that can drive a 2-3x higher application rate! In this recipe, we'll show you how to accomplish this with Segment and Twilio Engage.

Made by Justin Baghai

What do you need?

  • Your Segment Workspace

  • Twilio Engage

Easily personalize customer experiences with first-party data

With a huge integration catalog and plenty of no-code features, Segment provides easy-to-maintain capability to your teams with minimal engineering effort. Great data doesn't have to be hard work!

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Step 1: Create your funnel events

For most finance-related applications, there is a sequence of steps you’d expect new users to take to achieve an ultimate goal or conversion.

The first step is to create a list of key conversion events in a notepad or spreadsheet.

The end goal is to approve a loan to a customer, but the steps leading to the approval must be done correctly! While individual cases may vary slightly in the detail, here are a few generally-helpful tips we’ve found:

  • Track impressions as well as events. You want to see how many people filled out your form, but also how many people got there in the first place. Make sure you are making page calls or tracking events when a user first enters a funnel step as well as when they leave it.

  • Take it slow. Don’t agonize over getting individual steps in your funnel exactly right. What's most important is that you have a definition of the funnel that you can iterate on over time.

  • Minimize the effort of each step. The best funnels we’ve seen balance the value the user gets from the cost to complete that step. If the cost is too high, users will drop off.

Step 2: Sending events into Segment

Now that you’re tracking the right events,  you will want to send funnel events into Segment. Ensure you have a Javascript or Mobile sources created within Segment that are tracking your key goals and metrics and the steps leading up to it.

If you don’t know what your key goal or metric is, we suggest reading our article on choosing the “one metric that matters”.

Whatever yours is, make sure it ties to some meaningful part of your businesses’ revenue. Examples of common conversation events could include Applications submitted, account funded, or users signed up. 

Once you have the one metric that matters, make sure you’re tracking the 3-5 steps which lead a user to that point.

Step 3: Create a user-specific journey within Twilio Engage

Navigate to Journeys within Engage and Create a new Journey:


Next, you will set the entry condition into this journey. To create this audience, you are looking for all customers who have signed up for a Loan Application within the last 30 days:


Next, you will have a choice of next steps on how you want your journey to flow. Examples include setting time delays, behavioral conditions, various splits, as well as the option to send emails or text messages.


For this recipe, it is important to give customers time to start their application process before targeting them for an improved customer experience. You can set a time delay of a day:


Next, you will make use of the funnel events that you created earlier in the recipe to create a true/false split. This will allow us to target applicants who have submitted their ID verification documentation differently than those who have not.


Here is what our journey looks like currently:


Next, your customers will move down one of two different paths depending on if they have submitted their ID verification documentation or not. First, let's discuss the next steps if a customer has submitted their documentation:

After submitting their documentation, you want to ensure that the customer finishes their loan application. Using the same method you used earlier, you can create a true/false condition on whether they submitted their loan application.


If they did submit their loan application, you have the ability to send this list of customers to Facebook Audiences to create Suppression lists and lookalike audiences. This will enable you to increase your Return on Ad Spend by not targeting customers who have already applied and getting deliberate on who you do want to target. 

Using the Send to Ad Destinations functionality within Engage, we can send our list over to Facebook easily. 


For those who have not submitted their application yet, you can send them a follow-up email to remind them to finish submitting their application.


Next, you want to complete our journey for users who have not submitted their ID Verification Documentation yet. You can set another time delay for a day to give customers more time to submit their documentation before contacting them. 

Next, you can use Engage to create a randomized split to analyze how many of your customers respond to a text message versus an email. You can send 25% of customers an email and 75% of customers a text.


Email and SMS are powerful tools to bring people back

If all else fails, email and SMS are two of the most powerful ways to target users who abandoned the application to improve activation rates. We’ve seen our conversion rates increase substantially thanks to a few well-timed emails.

You can create a conversion goal (ID Verification Submitted) within the Email and SMS builder to gauge success. 


Wrapping up

In this recipe, we learned an easy way to build a Journey in Twilio Engage that will identify applicants who have dropped off before submitting their completed application and nudge them to finish it. Now, let's take a look at our whole user journey from start to finish:


Getting started is easy

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