How SmileDirectClub is working with Accrue Savings to create incremental sales

Accrue Savings White Wordmark Symbol
Accrue Savings
October 2023
5 min read


Accrue Savings partners with leading brands to help customers for save up to buy the things they want. In late 2021, Accrue launched an initial test with SmileDirectClub – one of the most innovative, customer-centric brands started in the last 10 years.

As consumers dealt with the economic impact of COVID-19 and rising inflation, SmileDirectClub was looking for a solution that could help make their products more accessible. Accrue worked with SmileDirectClub’s marketing and sales teams to introduce savings plans for aligners, down payments, and retainers.

In just 10 months, Accrue Savings has made a major impact in the upper funnel – driving a 73%* conversion lift from a hyperlink in the footer of their homepage. This has resulted in hundreds of account signups and less than 1% abandonment on all active savings plans. In July 2022, SmileDirectClub expanded placement to their pricing page and has seen an unprecedented 16% conversion rate.


SmileDirectClub has been an amazing early partner for Accrue. What is your role on the team and how long have you been at the company?

I lead our digital experience and CRM teams at SmileDirectClub, which involves the website and the app, as well as outbound customer communications – so all the emails, texts, notifications, etc. I’ve been at the company for five and half years. So a lifetime.

What does success look like for you and your team?

At a high level, SmileDirectClub exists to bring more people access to teeth straightening and to make it more accessible. We’ve been really successful with that and we’re really proud of that. Specific to digital experience and CRM, we focus on how we can make the site and the app seamless and intuitive throughout the entire treatment journey.

We want it to feel convenient for people looking to straighten their teeth, so we look at conversion rates, total sessions, and all those things. On the CRM side, it’s similar. We want a really smooth journey communicating between them and their doctor, them and their dental team and that they’re achieving the outcomes that they want.

You all have definitely made something that has been historically prohibitive more accessible to a lot of people, which is a huge positive. On the other side, what are some challenges your customers are facing today?

Our core demographic is a $75,000 household income. If folks listen to our earnings call or follow our business, they know that this demographic was hit hard by COVID and now is being hit hard by the resulting inflation. They’re having to make a lot of tough decisions about where to spend their money. That’s a challenge for us, and a good reason why Accrue is a great partner. We can help them make teeth straightening a realizable and achievable thing, not only for the health benefits but the benefit of confidence that comes with a new smile.

We’re thrilled that our partnership has helped make teeth straightening more accessible, and at the same time convert more passive customers into active savers. What was exciting about the opportunity to partner with Accrue? What problem were you hoping we could solve for you?

So obviously when you’re deciding to straighten your teeth, it’s a big decision for a lot of people, and often something they’ve been thinking about for a long time. For us it’s about creating options. We want them to find a way that this fits in their lifestyle and in their budget. Accrue is a new and innovative way to reward a savings plan and incentivize customers to hit their goals. It’s a great option.

How do you define success in our partnership?

We want to see a steady volume of savers taking advantage of the Accrue option. We also want to know that Accrue is driving an incremental percentage of orders. It’s early in our partnership, but we believe anecdotally that purchases so far have been incremental, which is great.

What ways might you expand how you use our product in the future?

I’d say a few things that could come into play at different points in the customer journey. The first is that some audiences convert fast, some convert slow. There may be different audiences that we want to expose to Accrue depending on where they are in their journey. That’s where CRM comes in, because we can target a specific segment that hasn’t converted for x number of days and ask if they want to take advantage of this option.

The second is app integration, and finding a way to place Accrue into that experience. And lastly, we’ve expanded the offering to our direct sales team who can now offer this savings option to customers on the fence about investing in straightening their teeth. This is another tool that they can use.

Our mission as a company is to bring credit-free payment options to all Americans so it’s easier for them to save up for major purchases. Have you personally ever saved up for a major purchase?

Pulling anecdotes from the past is not my strong suit! Everybody certainly has a childhood story of saving up for a purchase that was important to them. What I remember is putting money under my mattress, something like $60, and then forgetting about it. A few days later I was crying and upset because I thought I lost this money, but then I remembered I put it under my mattress because I probably saw it on a cartoon or something. Let me tell you, Accrue is way better than putting money under your mattress! Everything is tracked and you can see the savings bar going up. It makes everything so much easier.

“For us it’s about creating options. We want them to find a way that this fits in their lifestyle and in their budget. Accrue is a new and innovative way to reward a savings plan and incentivize customers to hit their goals. It’s a great option.”

— Blake Area, Vice President Digital Experience and CRM at SmileDirectClub