Empathy in PPC ads


Door To Door Organics was a subscription based grocery delivery service. We had recently released a newly designed About section and were seeing good performance numbers from Google Analytics.

However, the marketing department wasn’t seeing any change in acquisition rates…and they were spending more on Facebook campaigns and search engine marketing (SEM).


I was unable to talk to customers or conduct any analysis that would cost money.


Toni Rosati – Lead Researcher
Lindsey Hoffmann – Marketing Analyst

Process, Research Design

I worked closely with Lindsey to understand:

  1. Where and how the marketing department was promoting subscriptions
  2. How they calculated the acquisition rates
  3. Their understanding of the acquisition funnel
  4. What behavior they expected to see through the funnel (i.e. drop off percentages)
  5. Average Lifetime Value of each acquisition

Key Findings

  • We were stuck in a cycle of promoting with discounts, but there was nothing this research project was going to be able to do about that.
  • We discovered that acquisition rates were being miscalculated and some of Google Analytics needed updating. This became another project.
  • Injecting broader design thinking and human psychology into the understanding of the funnel was very insightful for the marketing team.
  • Many of the Pay Per Click ads linked to URLs that provided minimal information about what the customer was signing up for. Instead of moving through the funnel, they left the site.


Perspective customers were being taken to a page that was nothing but a zip code check to see if we deliver to their area. There is no context between the ad they clicked on and what the company provides and how. Design thinking methods helped the marketing department understand the disjointedness of this experience.


After this study, prospective customers were correctly sent to the redesigned About section.


When the ad links were changed to actually send prospects to the beginning of the About pages, magic happened!

Pageviews of the signup funnel section – by day
Pageviews of the signup funnel section – by week
Comparison of signup funnel pageviews the week before and the week after the change.

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