StraighterLine

StraighterLine is a higher education start-up in Baltimore with a mission of making higher ed courses more affordable and accessible for everyone. I began in September 2012 as a Marketing Specialist and was promoted within a year to Marketing Manager.  Although it was my first marketing job, my managers quickly recognized my initiative, ability to learn quickly, attention to detail, and strong instincts and gave me significant responsibility.  

With my affinity for grammar and experience as a teacher, I became the go-to person for editing all promotional emails and newsletters, giving me an understanding of drip campaigns and the email service provider HubSpot.  I managed the affiliate marketing program, retargeting program on AdRoll, and the display ad program on Advertising.com.  I found these advertising platforms to be fascinating, as simple changes in copy that I made could lead to drastic results.  When we switched to Pentaho as our database provider, I taught myself how to run reports and the marketing team relied heavily on my understanding of the system.  As with my Pentaho knowledge, most of my Magento knowledge was self-taught since I was the first person in the company to create promotion codes on the system. 

I took over the LivePerson (live chat) account a few months into my time at StraighterLine.  With my problem-solver mentality, I did an analysis on how our customer support team was using it and added an email field to track conversion rate.  After gathering data through LivePerson and our database, I determined that we had a huge opportunity with live chat.  Our conversion rate of someone chatting us was more than ten-fold our conversion rate of a new visitor to the site.  I developed a proposal and business plan, presented to the executives, and got approval to hire two full-time employees for chat.  Within three months of receiving the account, I had interviewed, hired, and managed the employees and grown our volume of live chats by 215%, resulting in ~$4500 additional revenue a week. 

Another opportunity I recognized at StraighterLine was the shopping cart’s room for improvement. We had a less-than-optimal buying experience and I took the initiative of improving the UX from when someone added something to their cart to when they submitted the order.  I researched what our competitors were doing, what top e-commerce sites like Amazon and Target were doing, and redesigned the entire path based on what best fit our site.  Working directly with the tech team on this gave me cross-functional experience and the empowerment to make immediate change on our site.  My changes to the cart resulted in a drop in cart abandonment of 10.32%.    

We use a program called Conductor to track keywords, backlinks, competitors, and discover opportunities for SEO.  Through Conductor, I developed keyword reports for the content team and made recommendations for new content ideas, keywords to include, and links to add.  I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Conductor conference where I learned from industry experts and discovered the new features of Conductor.  I also became Searchlight certified and plan to expand my usage of the tool immediately. 

Conductor Searchlight Certified SEO Certification

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