As a Y Combinator top company in 2021 and 2022, PointCard is determined to allow debit card users to earn rewards without high APRs, late fees, or annual fees from credit cards.
To do this, they offer perks typically reserved for credit card holders, like travel rewards, cell phone insurance and liability protection to attract their target audience of High Earners, Not Rich Yet (HENRYs).
Behind this big idea is a dream team of meticulous design professionals, including a creative director, a narrative architect, a brand designer, a typographer and a motion designer.
Working alongside Superside and PointCard was Dan Birdwhistell, a growth marketing consultant who uses social ad budgets to build, optimize and scale paid user acquisition programs.
Many startup brands use subtle, neutral tones and are a masterclass on minimalism. To elevate the brand past another piece of plastic, PointCard’s design team had shifted into bold, more dynamic neon colors, pushing the design envelope as vibrant and “hyper-real”, which had brought them some early success.
With PointCard’s initial design work sparking interest, it was time to launch the product to the masses, build awareness and create customers in a highly competitive financial ecosystem.
They needed to change the spending paradigm away from banks—how people think about banking and spend their money. Their goal was to become the de facto standard payment platform for everyday spending.The bold design, the orange and yellow, [we knew] people were engaging with the ad. But we needed help packaging and pairing the design with the benefits of the card and preparing the user for the steps they to go through to sign up.”
—Dan Birdwhistell, Growth Consultant
PointCard came to Superside looking for an extension of their design team capable of speaking the same language contained within PointCard’s definitive brand guidelines. Its brand book included:
Superside’s adherence to the guide was essential, and so was open communication with the entire PointCard design team. Their team provided feedback and suggestions in a “studio-like” environment for rapid ideation and testing to find templates and approaches that work.Once we had some interesting results, we got more granular and started driving conversions. As a group, we discussed each request, framed the next one based on data and kept a fast pace of new ads or concepts every 3-4 days.”
—Dan BirdWhistell, Growth Consultant
To attract its audience, PointCard needed high-quality designs, fast, with talent who quickly immersed themselves in the brand to deliver results and, based on data, were able to iterate on successes and develop fresh ideas for new ad campaigns and concepts. PointCard used Superside for collaboration and open dialogue among professionals to make smart bets at high-speed.
Birdwhistell uses his tried and true “test & learn” method to help his clients learn fast, decide quickly and test new hypotheses at scale.
Here’s the cycle the teams repeated:
PointCard wanted to improve its CTR from social media ads under the Facebook umbrella from 0.54% to 1%.
After four weeks, the CTR beat expectations hitting 1.84%—a 240% increase in clicks from color testing, positioning and messaging tweaks.
After the first projects, some common traits appeared:
Basic ad iteration is one thing: changes to copy, backgrounds and colors are simple for anyone (even AI robots). Concept development is uniquely human, based on hypotheses, data and design capabilities.
After extremely positive static image CTR results, they wanted to test the motion graphics variable. In the face of their early learnings, they reintroduced the yellow color and the points and perks narrative in true scientific experimentation style.
They showcased travel by testing the idea of “PointCard goes on vacation with you” to appeal to their HENRYs. The bigger win came by clarifying what amount of points it would take to fly to a dream destination like Bali. And the idea of becoming a customer could pay for a vacation with your earned points.
With a touch of motion design work, the UGC ad generated the lowest CPC and an impressive CPL (1.41%), so they added more testimonial videos to the mix.
These user testimonials showed high engagement rates and a low cost per subscriber but ultimately lower conversion rates to product subscriptions.
Knowing they had built great brand awareness, their focus shifted to conversion rate (CVR) for app installs and card purchases.
The video with motion design “unboxing” ads above had CTRs of 1.20% and 1.16%, respectively. The conversion rate to app install for both was 24%. They also did well for conversion to the card itself, with the orange owning a slight advantage over the yellow at 14.3% to 13%.
The travel and points narrative revealed great app install conversions (21%) and card conversions (11.5%), but the CTR was below the desired target coming in at 0.60%.
The key takeaways from these ads are:
Knowing what was working from CTR to CVR, PointCard aimed to refine its concepts further, focusing more on the details, hoping to engage with its target audience.
They tried pricing, with messaging around value and style. Notice the return of the semi-transparent overlay on the far left.
To appeal to the HENRY aesthetic, they referred to one of the hottest lines by Mad Men’s Don Draper.
And attempted to speak to those who paid attention to the finer things in life—the details that make the mundane and trivial feel akin to beautiful design and artwork.
Using a double entendre, they alluded to career potential and earning rideshare points.
Using PointCard is rewarding thanks to its valuable points and ease of use.
They positioned the card and its pricing as a cost of access to the elite. Free? Nope. Worth it? Yes.
Knowing your audience is the first step to creating any content.
PointCard further pushed into their design-first mentality, further aligning with its target audience. Yet, still reminding them of the frictionless experience.
The more they learned, the more concepts and ideas they could bring to life—together, the teams started combining what works.
They paired testimonials with travel (the repetitive arrows pointing to the sign-up buttons were repeatedly the top performers). In other examples, they played with repetition—value and price, then unboxing and points.
Using Superside, PointCard unlocked high-quality performance marketing assets that keep the product-centricity of their design-driven, future-forward brand achieving better performance and top-of-funnel growth.
Their goal was to improve their click-to-install conversion rate from 8% to 16%. Together, their collaboration meant the CVR often floated around 28-30%—hitting 88% above the target or a growth of 275%.
In 6 months, with rapid iteration, creative collaboration and rigorous allegiance to brand guidelines, Superside served as the creative engine, delivering 441 creative assets and nearly 30 new concepts surpassing growth expectations.
With Superside, you don’t have to be an Ads expert to improve CTR and CVR. We build you a design team of the top 1% of global talent to match your needs and fulfill your desires. Get experts across multiple platforms and unlock access to motion graphics, video production, and AR/VR. Discover how over 450 ambitious brands use Creative-as-a-Service (CaaS) to scale.