Short term loan provider marketing strategy with CreditStar as an example

The current market competitor analysis shows that the following would work best for Creditstar: continue 20%-40% of time focus on optimizing current channels but invest the rest for testing and finding the new ones.

Plus, focus on creating a strong brand awareness in certain geographies and higher level of client advocacy. Create funnels to support it. Additionally, grow relationships with traffic partners, as well as industry professionals and opinion leaders.

The company

CreaditStar is an Estonian based short term loan company with operations in 8 countries. The group has over 500,000 registered customer accounts and total assets of over 65mln euros. The company has different market penetration on each of the markets it operates in. For this analysis I will focus on Spain and Poland.

Current Marketing Strategy

CreditStar relies heavily on the following new customer acquisition methods:

  • Search (paid and organic)
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate partners

Also, about 50% of their traffic is coming from direct visits – either from repeat customers or people that have seen their ads offline.

In other markets the company relies more heavily on display ads as well.


The cost of customer acquisition through is getting expensive and buying traffic is eating into the profits of short term loan companies.

Considering this, constant testing of new channels for client acquisition should be priority #1. Some of the channels I would consider:

  • Ads on question/answer websites, like Quora
  • Advertising through influencers (Instagram)
  • Domain redirects through platform
  • Local search engines (example is
  • Push notification ads
  • Native ads
  • Twitter and Reddit

Creating a strong brand presence

This strategy is called “branding through performance” – the use of performance marketing methods to create a strong brand presence.

This is a longer term strategy aimed at building awareness among potential clients. The goal here is not to convert people into clients right away but have them in the database (retargeting, emails, chats, social, etc.) and market later.


Investing into the trifecta of onsite content creation, SMM and link building should be the first thing to consider.

In case of CreditStar it is worthwhile to start with the “low hanging fruits” first (onsite SEO) – building content around the topics with lower competition on search engines.

There is a big potential here. For example, in the Spanish market Creditstar gets about 5-6K visitors from search, while a competing 50 times more (image below):

A lot of factors play role in the SEO today – social media signals (engagement, shares, etc.) is one of them. Another one is visitors’ behavior on site, which is also considered as a ranking factor by search engines. So it is important to work on both on-site content creation and social platforms simultaneously.

As an idea for content, it is worth checking Financer (loan comparison website with 85% of traffic being organic). For social media ideas, I like how is managing their Facebook page.

Synergies and knowledge sharing

Test how same piece of content performs in different countries. I would start with one country at a time. Replicate success to other geographies.

Also there is a big untapped resource in a form of data that Creditstar has collected over the years. Anonymised it could become a great source of new unique content ideas.

Growing relationships

The company should continue to build relationships with new and old marketing partners (networks, super affiliates). Network with opinion leaders (financial bloggers, journalists) for future content distribution to get backlinks and PR. These people are always in search for good quality content.

New funnel creation

To support the brand growth strategy a new funnels needs to be developed.

There are many different tools that can help making this process faster and would not require a web development team (Infusionsoft for example).

The idea of such funnel is to build relationship first – giving value with occasional promotion (“give, give, give, sell” approach). The value could be monetary or not – either in form of a special offers or simply in form of a useful content. Providing real value establishes stronger ties with the brand.

An example of such funnel on Facebook:


Finally, with all the traffic coming in, how  to make sense of it all?
What to optimize for?

The most important metrics in case of CreditStar are cost per conversion and ROAS.
Secondary metrics – traffic to website by channels, growth of subscriber base and their behavior. Other things to track are customer retention, social media activity, brand mentions.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.