Skip to main content

How Codecademy Increased Their Ad Conversion Rate by 30% Using’s Ad Audiences

Codecademy is an online-only interactive learning platform that teaches users the technical skills that they need to upgrade their careers. Founded in 2011, Codecademy has been one of the leading companies facilitating the learning of code and teaching code online. Codecademy has over 45million customers that they need to message on a daily basis.

Paid Media for Codecademy: A New Frontier

Paid media is a newer focus in Codecademy’s growth strategy. The eight-year-old company has traditionally relied on, and seen growth, from word of mouth by touting their free coding classes.

As they have grown and learned about the needs and requirements of their customers, they have shifted to a paid product that delivers more value to the user. Through this process they have found a need to run paid advertising to gain the attention of potential new users.

Initially, the Codecademy team focused their paid strategy on retargeting and brand strategy with the idea of getting people who are already familiar with Codecademy to sign up.

More recently, the Codecademy team has begun focusing on new acquisition and trying to gain the attention of people who don’t know Codecademy exists, but have a need or a desire to learn how to code.

“We see a lot of value in going after people who have never visited our site or heard of Codecademy” said Kunal Arya, who leads Codecademy’s paid marketing efforts. “We want to say, forget the bootcamps!––come to Codecademy and learn how to code.”

Before and After Audience Sync

Before Codecademy was utilizing the Audience Sync tool, they were serving the same ads to their whole audience––a giant list of millions of customers.

This strategy caused issues like inefficient spend. Either the messaging is too generic and doesn’t appeal to anyone, or it’s specific but being served to the wrong audience. Both can leave your dollars being spent in the wrong way and leads to a lot of frustration internally.

Once the Codecademy team started using the Ad Audience tool, they were able to split this one campaign into three different campaigns in Google ads. These campaigns include free users, site visitors, and net new (or people who have never heard of Codecademy).

Each of these segments have very different and particular motivations and goals. It’s extremely important to tailor your ads’ copy, visuals, and placement specifically to the audience you are trying to reach, or your efforts are essentially null and void.

Once Codecademy had determined the components of their new campaigns, they needed a way to easily and effectively put that messaging in front of the right people.

Codecademy increased their ad conversion rate by 30%.

With the Ad Audience tool, Codecademy is now able to automatically segment their audiences based on their campaign, ads, and messaging. This allows them to not only have the right ads in the right place, but to also know they are being updated and are accurate on an hourly basis–– when you’re dealing with list sizes of millions of people.

Now, as they are continually evaluating and improving their campaigns, their audiences remain updated without having to manually review, organize, and re-upload the segmented lists.

The Results

After implementing this new campaign strategy utilizing’s Ad Audience sync, Codecademy was able to achieve a 30% increase in the amount of conversions from ads served to customers. That’s no small feat!

“The biggest change we’ve made is our audience segmentation. We’re now seeing which audiences are performing well and increasing budgets accordingly, and decreasing spend where we haven’t seen as much success,” said Kunal. “It’s allowed us to spend more strategically and efficiently.”

Ready to See Ad Audience Sync in Action? Request a Demo