How South Asian Investment Bank Capital Alliance Limited (CAL) Transformed Their Sign-Up Funnel and Drove 52% Higher Digital Sign-Ups to Their Investing Portal

Capital Alliance Limited (CAL) is a full-service investment bank that is a leader in the Sri Lankan market and maintains a strong presence in Bangladesh as well.

Their traditional focus of corporate/institutional clients and HNIs underwent a strategic shift, with greater emphasis being placed on retail investors more recently. One of just five licensed non-banking primary dealers on the island, they offer investment and capital market products ranging from unit trust funds, and treasury bills, to stocks.

Over the past two years, CAL has embarked on an organization-wide transformation drive to simplify investments for retail investors and improve their experience, while streamlining internal processes in areas such as application, client onboarding, and investments.

A first in Sri Lanka of this size and scale in the investment space, retail investors have flocked to CAL’s Digital Investing platform to enjoy ease and convenience in making alternative investments not offered by traditional banks.

Below, we look at a gap in their digital portal sign-up funnel, which required Beta Launch to devise a custom digital solution to deliver specific business outcomes that CAL sought including digital growth and efficiency.


Gaps in the Digital Portal Sign-Up Funnel Leading to Low Digital Sign-Ups and Continuous Manual Outreach to Staff

An investment bank with 22+ years of experience operating in the region, CAL had made a strategic shift in recent years to open investments and capital markets to the island’s retail investors. And in serving this now critical segment, the firm’s Digital Investing portal was central. It also represented a core part of the firm’s wider transformation efforts involving digitalization of many of its product, service, and operational aspects.

On the one hand, it improved customer experience greatly and allowed retail investors to sign-up for the portal completely digitally, invest in products, and obtain services. On the other hand, it reduced the volume of manual onboarding and servicing their staff had to perform and created many efficiencies.

However, the sign-up funnel leading to their Digital Investing portal had not been considered closely, and there were issues such as low digital sign-ups as a result.

Potential retail investors continued reaching out to them via phone, email, and by coming into the investment bank’s physical premises. Parallelly, there was the issue of lower awareness of investment products such as Unit Trust Funds, as was noticed in these inquiries and conversations.

The customer’s digital journey from becoming aware of a product, through to considering the different options, onto making a purchase decision weren’t tended to fully. There were gaps in the digital touchpoints.

It was against such a backdrop that CAL first engaged Beta Launch to formulate a solution, firstly, for their Unit Trust Funds product funnel and digital sign-up issues.

A potential solution would require extensive marketing strategy plus product and sales funnel knowledge to execute. Mere web design and development wouldn’t do.

Dissection and Approach

Discovery to Understand Unit Trust Funds Product and Existing Digital Customer Journey plus Data Analytics Tooling to Capture Direct Insights

Through close coordination with their Unit Trust Funds product, marketing, sales, and digital transformation teams, we gained a strong understanding of Unit Trust retail investors as well as the current digital sign-up journey a customer had to take.

As highlighted in the ‘Problem’ section, the gaps across the sign-up funnel became clearly visible. To gain further insight from actual users, as standard practice in all our engagements, we helped set up a range of web and data analytics tooling to monitor user behaviour.

This allowed us to conclude, for example, that the high-volume of traffic being directed to their digital investing portal-entry page from their social media posts and other means converted poorly to digital sign-ups.

To highlight this with an example, the firm would regularly create awareness on specific products such as Unit Trust Funds via social media and place promotional posts on interest rates, with a link to their Unit Trust Funds website page. However, as the page didn’t carry the kind of content or visual communication needed to ease a visitor’s product queries in a simple way, we observed that low awareness of the product continued digitally.

Their portal page, another touchpoint in the digital sign-up journey, was bare and didn’t contain much information to engage, convince and create trust in the visitor to perform a digital sign-up.

It was evident, there were aspects of digital self-service potential portal users expected but didn’t receive, right from accessing information involving the products through to clarity on signing up digitally to the portal.


Increasing Digital Sign-Ups by Relooking the Sign-Up Funnel to Improve Digital Customer Experience and Reduce Manual Inquiries

To get to the bottom of the issues that potential digital customers were experiencing and fix CAL’s problem of low digital sign-ups, our solution was to relook their portal sign-up funnel touchpoints.

A two-part engagement, we developed a Unit Trust awareness creation landing page and a Digital Investing portal page.

And as proof of concept of our approach, an objective design test involving the previous portal page and the fresh one we designed was run. Google Optimize was used to facilitate this A/B test to see which converted visitors to digital sign-ups better.

The Unit Trust Funds awareness creation landing page communicated the product as a great alternative investment to options such as traditional deposits. It took potential customers through a journey of what exactly the product was, how it matched their lifestyle needs, the benefits offered, testimonials of customers, CAL’s standing as a credible investment solution provider, and so on.

A great starting point to the web sign-up funnel for their Unit Trust Funds product, it was linked to the Digital Investing portal landing page we developed next.

A first in the local space, we designed CAL’s portal-entry page in the manner of a landing page.

At the top of the page, a quick statement was made on ‘Digital Investing’ while drawing a comparison to digital banking to establish familiarity but create intrigue. And the portal was branded the ‘CAL Digital Investing Portal’. A testimonial was also included right at the top, to show how another individual similar to the visitor has signed up digitally and benefitted.

Progressively, the page helped CAL address the audience with content displaying credibility, benefits, and handling objections on a single page, to ease their journey to perform a digital sign-up to the portal.

Once the page was taken live, the analytics tooling set up previously were utilized to make ongoing improvements to the design and content to improve conversions. Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager were used to understand visitor numbers, behavior and to track conversions to digital sign-ups.

FullStory was used to record user video sessions and identify see exactly how visitors were interacting with the portal landing page. This provided valuable insights into where visitors were getting stuck or losing interest and allowed Beta Launch to make changes to the page to improve the user experience and improver digital sign-ups.

Google Optimize helped run the experiment involving the previous portal-entry page and the new Digital Investing portal landing page, to see which converted to portal sign-ups better.


A Process of Continuous Transformation to Match Retail Investor Needs and Ensure Digital Growth

The awareness creation landing page build for the Unit Trust Funds product had already gained considerable traction by the point. It ranked second in the most visited pages on the CAL website, just behind the CAL home page.

The significant organic traffic flow to the website was complemented by the newly designed Digital Investing Portal landing page. In just a few weeks after its launch, CAL noticed a steady increase in digital sign-ups to their portal.

As each week went by, Google Optimize showed that the fresh page was converting to digital sign-ups at a much higher rate. And in just 3 months, the portal landing page had helped CAL increase digital sign-ups from potential Unit Trust Fund customers by 51.2%.

The targeted landing page and analytics tooling philosophy Beta Launch advocated as being essential parts of a sign-up process for a digital product such as a portal or an app, had been proven effective.

The solution contributed heavily to CAL’s wider goal of increasing digital investments in their Unit Trust Funds product, and the overall business outcome expected of higher revenue digitally.

It shed light on the need for innovation among investment banks and other financial institutions in the region, to grow and streamline their business digitally while meeting contemporary retail investor needs.