The StudyMode premium subscription model is all predicated on the acquisition of user generated content, curation of that content, and strategic promotion. At it's basic it's a supply and demand business where users land on the network of sites with a specific need and the success of subscriptions are having content that matches a users needs to illicit a purchase and return engagement.
Legacy Content Acquisition Page
Looking at the legacy content upload page on all essay sites within the network the page was structured from top down asking users to first fill out 9 metadata fields prior to a single file picker action button. Here was a critical page in the conversion funnel and the driver of the recursive business which represented a wealth of potential. So when you look at the page from top down the least valuable data points were upfront where the most valuable being the the document ingestion point was below the fold and impacted by natural user attrition.
Updated Upload Form
Breaking down this process to it's most basic I refactored the upload flow with a focus on document acquisition first and the meta-data as a second conditional step. Logic here is if we are able to get X many more documents by putting that process at the top of the funnel we have the ability to apply retargeting on the page or via email to complete any missing information. Access to the application was tied to this metadata completion to minimize user attrition. What was developed then was a clean multi file drag-and-drop experience with the optional ability to upload content via a third-party followed by a centralized metadata management screen for completion. While seemingly basic the understanding of user attrition behavior resulted in the significant gains we were able to realize.
Drag and drop plus third party integration
We employed a seamless drag and drop experience with clear user messaging of file success to focus our attention on what was the most critical, acquiring a document.
Following the primary upload page users were then provided a refactored my uploads management center where we highlighted document status as related to metadata requirements and upload process success. Through this exploration we were also able to remove 4 unnecessary input fields that were providing no internal or external value.
So what did that net us? With this updated flow we realized a 400% increase in upload rates with the average per upload document count moving from 1.1 documents to 1.5 therefore getting more out of each user with a significantly higher funnel success rate. This flow was proven on domestic properties then rolled out to all international sites resulting in a global UGC library of 27.6M documents. StudyMode at the time alone housed 650,000 documents to which we were able to acquire an additional 1M documents in just one years time.
Following this exponential growth period we were able to acquire so much content that we strategically decided to halt content uploads for a short period as we validated document dispersion in the major topical areas that drove our traffic. Focus here went into curation of content and applying additional concept and topical graphs via investments into our internal tech stack and the integration of NLP technology.