The evolution of Spokeo and how PayPal is helping drive conversion

Spokeo is all about finding and connecting people as a way of fostering trust and transparency across relationships, companies, and technology.

Founded as a startup sixteen years ago, Spokeo was initially designed to help people keep up with friends on social media. Soon, customers began requesting more detailed information, data sourced beyond social sites, and the idea evolved from aggregator to search. Today, Spokeo is a people intelligence service housing more than 12 billion records from thousands of data sources.

Prior to March 2021, Spokeo’s services were limited to accepting credit cards only. When Spokeo decided to integrate PayPal via PayPal’s Braintree, they conducted a controlled A/B test in one of their funnels to analyze PayPal’s conversion and overall impact. The results revealed:

  • A staggering 20% increase in their conversion rate within the first week of testing1
  • ~25% current lift in conversion.2
  • 14% increase in net new customers.2

We were fortunate enough to speak with Eric Liang, Co-Founder and CIO, and Maggie Cheung, VP of Operations at Spokeo, to discuss the impact of PayPal and why it has quickly become a critical part of their business.

Customer demand, and a straightforward integration lead to positive performance

As a “mature startup” Spokeo developed many of their own internal systems, including their in-house payment platform. When they decided to integrate PayPal via PayPal’s Braintree, Liang commented, “It was very straightforward and there were no real challenges. It was easy to implement and get off the ground.”

Liang continued, “having worked with other companies, sometimes it’s challenging to figure out exactly how to implement and how to get that integration into a working state. But with PayPal and Braintree, I think one of the benefits was that the documentation was really good compared to other organizations.”

Spokeo integrated PayPal after reviewing several alternative payment options and assessing customer demand.

“Our customers repeatedly requested PayPal. They wanted to be able to pay with their preferred payment method and we listened to them,” recalls Cheung.

Upon integrating PayPal, the Spokeo team conducted a controlled A/B test in one of their funnels, to analyze PayPal’s conversion and overall impact. Their data scientist team built in their hypotheses to predict the potential outcome and according to Cheung, “PayPal has surpassed all projections and expectations.” The results revealed a staggering 20% increase in their conversion rate within the first week of testing.

“I have been with Spokeo for 6 years and I had never seen that kind of lift before,” states Cheung. The team extended A/B testing in other funnels and according to Cheung, “they have experienced a 20 – 30% increase in conversion.”

It was at that point that Spokeo decided to roll PayPal out sitewide. Since doing so, PayPal accounts for 35% of total sales and a 14% gain in net new customers.

Another spoke in Spokeo’s wheel

Spokeo’s goal is to be a transparent and trusted people intelligence service. And as a subscription service, they have their own set of unique challenges.

For instance, gift and prepaid cards are not ideal vehicles for their model because they’re not long-term payment options. The team needed a solution that would promote secure credit card use for the duration of a subscription.

“Some customers don’t want to disclose their personal card information, so we gave them a payment method with less risk and more protection,” states Cheung. “We gave them PayPal.”

Along with built-in fraud detection and a responsive resolution team, PayPal helps Spokeo reduce cost because they do not need the same fraud tools that other methods of payment require. If customers feel protected, they may be more inclined to make first-time and repeat purchases.

Adding PayPal to the Spokeo experience provided immediate and positive results at checkout but it also revealed some unexpected benefits.

“PayPal has opened doors for us to showcase our services and be accessible to customers who may or may not know us yet,” states Liang.

What’s next

Spokeo will be adding Venmo to their payment platform soon as yet another way to broaden their customer base and attract new users.

As Spokeo continues to ride the tide of marketing trends and forecasts, PayPal remains a steady beacon at checkout, affording customers the peace of mind to subscribe without additional concerns over security. Connecting people is what Spokeo is all about. With PayPal, making those connections safely, without worry, is as easy as tapping a button.

Spokeo Case Study (PDF)

Spokeo Case Study (PDF)

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