Uses “Traffic Shaping” to Fuel Sign-up Growth

by Angus Lynch on February 20, 2015
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oneclass promises college students “Better grades in less time” through a textbook search engine, study resources, and a live homework Q&A.

OneClass also maintains an active blog offering additional resources to students.

To increase paid subscriptions, OneClass sought to channel more traffic from the blog area to its signup page–something a bit more bold than simple CTAs and sidebar callouts.

The answer? Traffic shaping, i.e. using exit overlays to move abandoning visitors from low-converting to high-converting pages.


Step 1: Finding high-traffic, low-converting pages

This type of page is called a source page.

OneClass’ source page was its blog, which draws in college students seeking help with academic life.

OneClass’ blog page

OneClass hypothesized that although the blog used callouts and CTAs throughout the content, many students still may not be familiar with the paid offering (including the cheap textbook finder…where was this when I went to college?!)

Blog visitors, though always a lower-converting segment than paid traffic, are prime candidates for traffic shaping campaigns for one main reason: they’ve already spent time absorbing your content and familiarizing themselves with your brand.

Step #2: Identifying relevant high-converting pages

Target pages are high-converting pages, usually landing pages, with limited distractions and preferably very few links competing with the CTA.

OneClass’ target was its subscription signup page, which introduces the benefits available to members.

The OneClass signup page

Relevancy is important here. If your source page doesn’t discuss what you’re promoting on your target page, you’re unlikely to see an increased conversion rate.

Establishing relevancy is one thing, but OneClass still needed to build a bridge between the pages. Read on!

Step #3: Crafting exit overlay pitch and design

Exit overlays should always promise helpful, relevant information that visitors can use. Here’s OneClass’ exit overlay for its target page:

Exit overlay on, activated when users begin to abandon the page

The overlay uses many conversion-centred design principles, including:

  • Urgency in the headline
  • Telling users exactly what will happen when they click
  • Avoiding elements that distract from the CTA
  • Using contrast to clearly separate the CTA from other elements

OneClass then took the campaign one step further by adding an exit overlay to the target page itself:

Image Source

This overlay was targeted at users who 1) clicked the call-to-action on blog page exit overlay, and 2) browsed the subscription page, but began to abandon the page without clicking the call-to-action.

Step #4: Targeting and launching the exit overlay

OneClass used advanced targeting rules for its campaign:

  1. Blog page targeting: First-time visitors who had read blog content, yet were about to abandon.
  2. Subscription page targeting: Users who had come from the blog to the subscription page via overlay #1, yet but were about to abandon.

Image Source

Targeting rules can be applied much more specifically, targeting users such as cart abandoners, organic visitors, or specific referrers.

Ultimately, the strategy you decide on depends on your situation.

Results from’s traffic shaping campaign

During October and November 2014,’s traffic-shaping campaign generated some impressive results:

  • The blog exit overlay funnelled 1.59% of abandoning users to the subscription page
  • The subscription page exit overlay re-engaged a phenomenal 14.03% of abandoning users

Interested in seeing how traffic shaping can improve your metrics? Try a free 30-day trial of Rooster.



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