Gun Trust Depot is a website that helps customers easily create their own gun trust.
We wanted our users to always have access to a clear method of moving forward. To accomplish this, we created a simple call to action panel as part of our template. Users are easily able to login with facebook or sign up with just their email address using this panel.
When performing a competitive analysis of the online gun trust industry, we found that most of our competitors presented all of their questions up-front. We didn't want to intimidate our users with large overwhelming forms. For this reason, we broke our process up into multiple steps and provided detailed information along with way.
We built a custom analytics system which monitors a variety of user behaviors. This system allows us to to track where users come from, what page they sign up on, what percentage of users create new trusts, how long users spend on each step of the process, and see how many users stop the process (get stuck) on a per step basis. This information allowed us to identify and improve the most difficult or confusing steps of the process. Our system also tracks which websites our users are coming from, as well as which calls to action are most effective.
In addition to our custom analytics system, we leveraged Google Analytics to give us even more user information. Google Analytics provides more general data such as: daily unique visits, which devices and browsers are most popular on our site, and how users tend to move from page to page, etc.
We used a variety of marketing strategies to bring the service to the attention of potential buyers and affiliates. We leveraged Google and Bing advertising services, social media, banner advertisements, direct mail, email marketing, and search engine optimization.
We set up multiple pay per click (PPC) campaigns in order to promote the services. To optimize our campaigns, we used Google Keyword Tool to evaluate the cost, relevance, and search volume of our target keywords. We used these insights to emphasize specific keywords, making our pages more relevant on search engine result pages.
We created Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin accounts in order to reach out to our customers. On those accounts, we posted articles about gun trusts, gun law, gun-related news, as well as promotional offers for the services. Our social media also served as a great way to receive and answer questions from potential buyers.
The ATF provides a document that lists every registered FFL dealer. We parsed this data to obtain the addresses of potential affiliates, and mailed postcards to a selection of them. From this, we onboarded a sizable number of affiliates who are now earning commissions by reselling our services.
We built a system that allows affiliates to resell gun trusts. Affiliates can refer their customers to Gun Trust Depot using their own custom coupon code or white label our service using the voucher system. Customers using an affiliate's coupon code receive a discount on their trust and the associated affiliate is rewarded with a commission. Our white labeling solution allows affiliates to pre-purchase trusts in bulk and so that affiliates can resell them at their chosen markup.
We wanted to make it easy for affiliates to promote themselves. To accomplish this, we provided affiliate users with business cards and fliers that our system automatically customizes with their coupon code. We also created easy-to-use embeddable advertisements that affiliates can place on their websites. When a user clicks one of these advertisements, they are navigated to Gun Trust Depot with their affiliate's coupon code pre-supplied.
In addition to providing marketing materials and referral links, we also created a directory of FFL dealers that our affiliates can use to advertise themselves. Any of our affiliates can find their business in our directory, claim it, and customize it to promote their business.
Our custom coupon code system allows for the creation of promotional offers and helps to encourage referrals. The admin backend can create codes with varying discount amounts, expiration dates, usage limits, applicable package types, and more. The system automatically assigns every affiliate who signs up with a unique referral code. These special codes track how many times they're used and award their owners with gift cards or commissions.
Because each code tracks its usage, we were able to use the system to understand the effectiveness of various advertising campaigns so we know exactly how many sales each of the campaigns generated.
At the beginning of the this project, our development team didn't know much about trusts, what the benefits of gun trusts were, or how they worked. Therefore, it was neccessary for us to conduct extensive research on the subject to ensure that all of the information we presented to users was accurate and up to date.
Gun trusts are not a simple subject and we faced challenges condensing the material into digestable pieces. We created an informational PDF, preview trust documents, and webpages explaining various subjects: what gun trusts are, why they're useful, what NFA firearms are, which NFA firearms are legal in which states, what the NFA is, which ATF forms our users will need, and an extensive FAQ page.