Plum Guide is the destination for finding the best vacation homes. I worked with them to better understand the needs of rental hosts so they could encourage more people to join their growing platform.
Plum Guide were seeing good conversion rates for new hosts joining the platform, however their sales process involved a phone call with the host. Added up, these phone calls were costly and difficult to scale. I worked alongside a freelance Product Manager to see if we could remove the phone call from the process without harming conversion rates.
During the first few weeks we spoke with 15 hosts to better understand the business of hosting as they see it. We learned that the most important things for them were high occupancy rates and reduced risk of damages. We also learned about the importance of locality; getting region specific language right (such as Vacation/Holiday) led to increased confidence that the platform was the right place for their home.
We tested Plum Guide’s previous methods of reaching out to hosts, giving us valuable and direct feedback on language and messaging that helped us rethink how we could better communicate the benefits of Plum Guide.
A cross-functional effort
We held workshops to engage the collective mind of the sales team and spoke with each of them directly to understand what had or had not worked for them in the past. We brought design, marketing, sales and engineering together to ensure quick progress. We built Slack bots that integrated with several tools we were using to keep everyone informed on our progress.
Make, test, learn
We worked in quick, iterative cycles. We continually adapted our approach based on the research and data we gathered each week.
Over the course of six weeks we tested four iterations of a landing page to see which led to higher conversion. Similarly, we tested over 15 different email variations that were written to communicate the benefits of Plum Guide and encourage hosts to join.
Putting it all together
We created a recommended collection of emails that would be sent to potential hosts on a scheduled basis. This formed a skeletal template for reaching out to leads with the view that the sales team could adapt them to respond to current events such as issues or opportunities created by the pandemic. The emails prompted hosts to visit our landing page where they could sign up to the platform.
The highest performing landing page was picked and we refined the design accordingly. This page was filled with lots of dynamically generated data specific to the host’s region.
Sam Judge · Designer, user researcher Laurel Gray · Product manager, maker of bots