How I'd grow MentorCruise

November 4, 2020

MentorCruise is a website that lets you apply for long-term mentorships with someone who has experience in the tech industry.

You pay a monthly fee and during that time, you have an open chat connection with your mentor. You can organize the mentorship however you like.

In my opinion, the homepage isn’t clear enough about addressing their core audience and making the benefit evident.

I understand that they want to keep the market as big as possible but often, trying to appeal to everyone means that you end up appealing to no one.

Pro tip: to nail positioning, talk to your best customers, the ones that pay and stay.

Try to get a sense of who they really are, and what pain points your product solves. 

Once you find a pattern, adjust your website copy to resonate with people like them.

Talking to the founder, it turns out that he actually did this and knows the answers:

Who is MentorCruise for? For tech company employees.

What can it help with? Grow their careers.

I’d use this to make a new hero section. Visitors should immediately recognize that MentorCruise is made for them and their needs.

Funnily enough, when you scroll down, you find a part that frames MentorCruise almost perfectly, so they could just fine-tune and reuse that.

Before focusing on new traffic, I think MentorCruise should improve the results from traffic they already get.

There are 2 improvement areas: increase conversion rate when someone browses the site, and decrease churn when someone starts a mentorship.

Conversion rate: think about the customer journey. When a visitor first lands on the site, they’re not ready to commit based on just a description.

Add a Call-to-Action to book a 30-minute, no-commitment call to see if the mentor is the right fit.

Churn: increase the average duration of mentorships. The problem for these kinds of products is that a lot of people will just do the first month, then quit.

When someone wants to cancel, I’d offer them a discounted plan with a different mentor in the same field.

There are enough mentors already, so I’d focus on demand generation: get more mentees to sign up.

First, I’d come up with a way to make the mentees share their mentorship experiences with people in their networks to increase word of mouth.

If you think about psychology, users are most inclined to tell others about MentorCruise at the end of a satisfying mentorship.

They could come up with an automated way of asking mentees to support their mentors by sharing their experience and results at the right moment.

Search is MentorCruise’s biggest channel at the moment. Their categories are targeting commercial KWs, and blog posts are targeting informational KWs.

They need more backlinks. Their domain authority is decent, but not high enough to get the first spots in the SERPs.

I’d ask mentors to link to their profiles from their websites’ “About” pages.

This is unlike a cold pitch:

- They already know and trust MentorCruise
- Getting more mentees is good for them too

Social is a big growth opportunity for MC. They have a few profiles across platforms but their reach is limited.

My hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that they started experimenting with FB paid ads with promising results. However, I think there is room for improvement.

First, the creative. Search intercepts people expressing interest, but social gets the word out to people who have no idea about the possibility.

A good creative takes the unawareness level into consideration, and moves the viewer from unawareness to desiring the product.

Second, targeting. They don’t have enough data for lookalike audiences, so they’re creating them from site visitors.

It’d be better to create a lookalike audience based on the data from the most engaged customers. Time spent on site can show how interested they are.

Learn marketing from case studies

Every month I pick a new website and write a marketing case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it