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Case Studies

  • Teachers Building Society

    • We’re delighted to be able to introduce these improvements to give our customers and other users a more efficient and interactive online experience. Other developments planned for this year include a live chat service to further enhance our capability and presence in the online market. As a mutual, with a focus only on customers rather than shareholders, this kind of investment is in line with our philosophy of providing competitive and innovative products and services for people in the teaching profession and other consumers.

      Author: Alan Gravett Company: Head of Sales and Marketing at Teachers Building Society

    • Client: Appius
    • Industry: Financial Services
    • Project website:
    • Implemented by: Appius
    • Industry
      Financial Services
    • Background
      Teachers Building Society was formed in 1966 and provides mortgages to people who work in education, local residents (with a BH or DT postcode) as well as a competitive range of savings products to the general public. Teachers Building Society is a mutual organisation run for the benefit of its members, meaning that instead of having to pay dividends to shareholders, great deals can be offered to mortgage and savings customers.
    • Challenge
      Teachers Building Society required visitors to engage with a more user-friendly and efficient online experience, including a new savings calculator to help people work out the return they can expect on their savings. The new site also has an improved mortgage calculator to illustrate how much they might be able to borrow. The site needed to be rebranded in line with the refreshed Teachers Building Society brand identity.
    • Why Sitefinity
      Sitefinity provided a content management solution that was robust, flexible and at a low cost, providing a user interface that is easy to navigate by Teachers Building Society staff. Workflow, audit and version control could be implemented to vitally track rate changes and comply with strict FSA regulations. The .Net platform and developer APIs allowed custom modules to be developed to manage base rates for both mortgages and savings tools. Sitefinity also allows the quick creation of new pages with search engine friendly URLs and easily indexed HTML pages as well as dynamic content pulled through from the main site.
    • Technology Highlights
    • Using the Telerik Rad Slider control, our developers were able to leverage the extensive JavaScript and Server side APIs to deliver a very interactive and quick way for users to “tweak” the parameters of the mortgage product selector helping them find the right mortgage product. 
    • A custom mortgage product module has been developed from the generic content module to allow the content administrators to enter structured content that can be utilised in multiple ways throughout the website. This module “plugs into” Sitefinity and thanks to the flexibility of the Sitefinity API, our developers were able to seamlessly integrate this functionality and provide a consistent look and feel throughout the admin area. 
    • The custom mortgage product module was implemented using Entity Framework 4.0, Microsoft’s latest Data Access technology. This provides a flexible and reliable platform to enable cost effective future enhancements to the Teachers website. This allows us to effectively use the customer’s budget to provide more “cutting-edge” functionality without having to spend as much resource on writing data access code. 
    • The Teachers website provides a custom built “plug-in” for the Sitefinity indexing module to allow the contents of PDF documents to be indexed and then searched for using the standard Sitefinity site search functionality. The ability to be able to provide this functionality was another example of how extensible the Sitefinity API really is.
    • Results
      Teachers Building Society wanted to increase visitor levels post-launch via optimised content, old page redirects and good SEO practice. Traffic increased by 20% in the first three months (1 February – 30 April 2011) in comparison with three months prior to launch (1 November – 31 December 2010). Online enquiries have increased by 27%. The new site also received a 9% increase in visitors engaging with the mortgage calculator tool and 3% increase in visitors to savings applications. Finally, there has been a 3% increase in new visits, showing that pages are beginning to be indexed by Google.
  • The Challenge

    Teachers Building Society were rebranding, and wanted a new site that reflected their "truly personal service" giving visitors a user friendly and effective online experience.

    A new flexible and intuitive content management system was essential to manage rapidly changing rate and product information in-house. In addition, Teachers BS were looking for robust workflow and audit trail capabilities allowing them to move away from the labour intensive, paper based approach to logging site changes due to the level of regulatory and compliance requirements in their sector.

    The site needed to provide a consistent user experience throughout all sections, establish strong user journeys and ensuring visitors can complete key goals. A proven content management solution with extensive out-of-the-box functionality was vital to enable the rapid creation, deployment and management of an interactive website. Strong developer API’s were needed to allow the development of custom modules to support key tools on the site such as the mortgage and savings calculators.

    The site needed to provide a strong platform for future development, including phase two plans to offer online savings, live chat, and build communities with blogs and forums.

    The Solution

    As a local Building Society, Teachers Building Society required a CMS solution that was robust, flexible and low cost to compete with larger companies in the financial services space. Sitefinity provides the perfect content management solution as the rich, intuitive browser-based user interface grants real ease in navigation for all Teachers Building Society staff to upload / manage content online.

    Appius implemented Sitefinity workflow, facilitating multiple Teachers Building Society authors and editors to create content concurrently and ensure that pages can be properly reviewed and approved by the compliance team before being published. Audit and version control were also executed to track content changes and comply with strict FSA regulations. The .Net platform and developer APIs allowed Appius to develop custom modules to manage base rates for both mortgages and savings tools.

    High impact and visual banners were required to be content managed by Teachers, as rates needed to be changed easily, instantly and be aligned with current special offers.

    Landing pages can be rapidly created and implemented to support eMarketing campaign activity. Sitefinity allows the creation of new pages with search engine friendly URLs, pulling in dynamic content such as "calls to action" from the main site, as well as displaying customised navigation.

    Ongoing pro-active project management and dynamic analytics means that site performance can be constantly measured, comparing visitor levels and goal completion with pre-launch statistics.

    Image, PDF and file uploads throughout the entire site were also evolved, ensuring the upload and management for all back end users is quick, efficient and can be deployed in house. Finally, search engine optimisation capabilities were increased using search engine friendly URLs, metadata and clean, standard HTML markup that can be easily indexed by Google.

    The Results

    • 20% increase in visitors since launch (comparison of 1 November - 31 December 2010 with 1 February - 30 April 2011)
    • 27% increase in online enquiries;
    • 9% increase in visitors engaging with the mortgage calculator tool;
    • 3% increase in savings application conversion;
    • 3% increase in new visits

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