Tag Archives: advice


The Missing Advice I Needed When Starting My Career

Do you ever wish you had a time machine? I certainly do, but not for the usual reasons. I want a time machine so I can go back and have a frank conversation with my younger self. I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret: My younger self was an idiot!
I have been working on the web for over 22 years now, and I feel like I wasted so many of those years.

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The Missing Advice I Needed When Starting My Career

Are You Forgetting To Optimize For Awareness & Intent When Designing Landing Pages?


The best color for your CTAs. What hero images work best. How to tweak your headlines. Writing conversion focused copy. All of these are the bread and butter of writers like me. We know these articles are going to grab attention because, well, people are always looking for an easy fix. Marketers the world over dream of changing their button color and seeing a 200% increase in conversions. They fantasies about using a headline template that’ll skyrocket their income, and honestly believe that a better hero image could save a failing business. And so we create content that plays to…

The post Are You Forgetting To Optimize For Awareness & Intent When Designing Landing Pages? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Are You Forgetting To Optimize For Awareness & Intent When Designing Landing Pages?

10 Free Marketing Ebooks That Will Make You a Better Marketer in 2016

The holidays are a time for decompressing, spending time with loved ones and overeating. But they’re also a time to clear your mind and make way for new resolutions and new beginnings.

So this holiday season, why not curl up by the fire with your e-reader and take in one of the actionable marketing ebooks released this year?

Phone and ebook
Is roasting chestnuts even a thing anymore? Curl up by the fire with an actionable marketing ebook. Image via kaboompics.com.

These actionable gems may not be totally free, but we think they’re more than worth trading your email for.

So sit back, pour yourself some eggnog, release your not-so-inner-nerd — and prepare to rock your marketing in the new year.

1. 25 Actionable Social Media Strategies You Can Implement Today by Buffer

Buffer social media strategies ebook cover

If you want to learn more about social media, why not look to the very people who do it to pay the bills? The Buffer team has compiled a list of social media strategies you can implement today to tackle social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

What to expect:

  • Tactics for keeping your evergreen content alive on social platforms
  • Tips for catering your messaging to each unique social media platform
  • Testing ideas for the placement of social share buttons on your website

2. Social Media Data Cookbook by Hootsuite

Hootsuite ebook cover image

Social media marketers know the importance of collecting data, but knowing where to start can be tricky. The social media management system Hootsuite has put together some helpful recipes that don’t require an entire team of data scientists to implement.

What to expect:

  • Tips on how to make the most of the social media data that you already have
  • Step-by-step instructions for determining the ROI of your social media campaigns
  • A whole lot of additional resources and videos for social media marketers who like to go deep

3. Data-Driven Content Marketing by Uberflip


Marketers are expected to keep tabs on how their content is performing, but they’re also expected to use that data to inform future content strategy.  If you’re not already doing this, don’t sweat it! This ebook by Uberflip, the content management tool, teaches how to craft an effective content strategy that uses data as its backbone.

What to expect:

  • A comprehensive guide to crafting a content strategy with data at its core
  • Tips on how to measure the effectiveness of your content distribution
  • Step-by-step instructions on how you can use data from your previous campaigns to inspire future content marketing efforts

4. The Performance Marketer’s Guide to Retargeting by Adroll

Adroll ebook cover image

You may have seen those pesky ads following you around Facebook — they’re taunting you with that sweater you’ve been dreaming about or those shoes you were Googling last night. Retargeting has become a necessary part of performance marketing and is essential to many paid acquisition strategies. There’s more to retargeting than meets the eye, and advertising retargeting giant Adroll has broken it down for you.

What to expect:

  • An overview of the basics of retargeting
  • Retargeting strategies for web, social and mobile
  • Tips on how to measure your ads’ performance
  • Case studies, checklists and optimization tips galore

5. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz

Moz ebook on SEO cover image

SEO isn’t just for performance marketers. It’s a topic that marketers of all stripes need to know about — from content marketers to social media marketers to copywriters and beyond. If you feel like you could use a refresher, check out this beginner’s guide by analytics experts Moz, which covers the history of SEO along with recent changes and developments.

What to expect:

  • An overview of how search engine optimization and search engine marketing work
  • A breakdown of the importance of keywords, title tags, URL structure and other factors that influence SEO
  • Keyword research basics and pointers for measuring your success
  • A series of SEO myths, debunked

6. The Optimization Survival Guide by Optimizely

Optimizely ebook cover image

Whether you’re new to conversion rate optimization (CRO) or a seasoned pro, it’s never too late to build these strategies into your marketing practice. This guide from Optimizely the website optimization platform, is meant to inspire you to “always be testing” — by standing on the shoulders of giants (to the tune of 30+ heavyweight CRO experts).

What to expect:

  • Inspiration and best practices for A/B testing
  • Advice and insights from 30+ industry professionals
  • Strategies on how to overcome roadblocks that are keeping you from A/B testing (and growing your bottom line)

7. The Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting by Unbounce

Unbounce ebook cover image

Marketing campaigns of all flavors depend on strong copywriting to help them succeed — especially when it comes to landing pages. Is your copy converting visitors into customers or is it falling flat? In this ebook, Joanna Wiebe shares her secret recipe to copywriting success.

What to expect:

  • Insights and tips from some of the world’s most successful conversion copywriters
  • Step-by-step copywriting tips for all landing page elements
  • Shortcuts for writing click-worthy calls to action
  • Landing page examples and critiques to illustrate the above

8. The Optimization Benchmark, Q2 2015 by Optimizely

Optimizely Benchmark ebook cover image

What better way to improve your conversion rate optimization strategy for next year than to look back on what has worked for others in 2015? In this report, Optimizely shows you how your organization stacks up against industry standards in a variety of areas: from A/B testing frequency to resources allocated.

What to expect:

  • A rundown of why optimization is essential for growth
  • A glimpse at how successful conversion rate optimizers build their teams
  • Insight into how others are managing and streamlining their experimentation

9. Conversations, Not Campaigns by Marketo

Marketo ebook cover image

Email is still the most direct way to contact your customers or clients, but with open rates plummeting, it can fall flat if you’re not doing it right. As Marketo, the marketing automation software company,  explains in this ebook about the finer points of customer engagement, the most effective way to drive sales is having real conversations.

What to expect:

  • Case studies that illustrate what engaging conversations look like
  • Tricks for scaling one-on-one conversations
  • Email automation explainers and examples

10. Attention-Driven Design: 23 Visual Principles For Designing More Persuasive Landing Pages by Unbounce

Unbounce ebook Attention-Drive Design cover image]

So you’ve built a landing page, now what? If you need help trying to make your landing page, convert we’ve got the solution for you. Written by our very own Oli Gardner (Yes we’re totally plugging ourselves) this ebook comes with 60 pages of crucial explanations of every element that make up attention-driven design and will help your landing page drive more conversions.

Ever have a sneaking suspicion that your landing page could be converting better? Well, you’re probably right — and you can get closer to perfection by employing the principles of attention-driven design, broken down by Unbounce’s Oli Gardner in this ebook.

What to expect:

  • An overview of all 23 visual principles, with useful case studies and examples
  • Psychology and interaction design theory and tips
  • Pointers for designing pages with perfect attention ratio (plus a definition of what attention ratio is, exactly, and why you should give a hoot)

Get ready for the new year

We’ve picked marketing ebooks that touch on everything from content marketing to performance marketing to A/B testing (and everything in between). They cover the full spectrum of marketing and are packed with the tools you need to become the full-stack marketer you resolved to be in 2016.

Did we mention they’re all easily downloadable and perfect for traveling (or for cozying up with on your couch)?

Let us know if we missed any amazing ebooks you think should have been featured by sharing them in the comments below. Happy reading!

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10 Free Marketing Ebooks That Will Make You a Better Marketer in 2016

Why Perceived Performance Matters, Part 1: The Perception Of Time

Those of us who consider ourselves developers, including me, are very task-oriented. We like to be guided towards optimal results, and we find ourselves uncomfortable when there is no clear path to follow. That is why we all want to know how to do things; we like step-by-step tutorials and how-tos. However, such guidelines are based on certain theories, deep knowledge and experience.
Further reading on Smashing: Front-End Performance Checklist 2017’“) Getting Ready For HTTP/2 Everything You Need To Know About AMP Progressive Enhancement Improving Smashing Magazine’s Performance For this reason, I will not provide you, the reader, with a structured answer to the question of how to make a website faster.

Original source – 

Why Perceived Performance Matters, Part 1: The Perception Of Time


No Email Marketing Strategy is Complete Without These Two Tactics

Here’s why segmented emails and landing pages are conversion soul mates. Image by Kelly Keeton via Flickr.

Conversion rate optimizers make landing pages. Email marketers send emails.

The problem, however, is that the two departments aren’t always in sync. And if your marketing strategy isn’t unified across all channels, chances are you’re leaving conversions on the table.

Email marketers must work hand-in-hand with conversion rate optimizers to create dedicated landing pages for specific email marketing campaigns.

So what are the elements of a successful, unified email marketing strategy?

  1. Each email marketing campaign should have a corresponding and dedicated landing page.
  2. To serve this targeted approach, marketers should segment their email lists to drive the right customers to the right landing pages at the right time.

Sound simple enough? Let me explain each point in detail.

Create specific landing pages for specific email marketing campaigns

The internet is full of articles about how you should send your ads to a dedicated landing page – and while not everyone is following this advice, it’s still widely accepted as a best practice.

1. search for SEO software

So far, so good. That’s nothing new.

Let’s contrast this with email marketing. Here’s an example that I randomly snatched from my email inbox. The email is a typical once-every-week-or-so promotion from an ecommerce retailer:

3. ecommerce email marketing
4. Kohls email landing page

This page is nothing special. And it’s not targeted.

The email is essentially a template for their website. If I click on the “men” panel, I get a page that shows me a bunch of pants.

Where is the focus? (There isn’t one.) Where is the specificity? (There’s none.) Where is the goal? (Lacking.) In other words, this is the mud-on-the-wall strategy of marketing. Throw an email to a few thousand customers, get a few click-throughs and hopefully score a few conversions.

Let’s take a look at a better example:

5. Email designed as a landing page

This email is targeted, specific and focused. Its goal? To get click-throughs for their promotion. And this is where the click-through takes me:

6. Optmize the landing page form an email

I can’t help my conversion rate optimizing self from quibbling just a tad at the lack of visual continuity and absence of a single coherent offer.

Nonetheless, the example still suffices. This type of email marketing experience will drive far more conversions than the “Ooh, let’s send an email!” approach to email marketing.


Humans respond positively to clarity. If you address the right people at the right time, and send them to targeted pages with one clear and continuous goal, you create delightful marketing experiences that people will naturally want to follow.

To improve the efficiency of your email marketing, you should:

  • Create a single goal for each and every campaign email. (Focus!)
  • Develop a landing page for the email that continues the conversation about the same, singular goal.
  • Drive customers to the dedicated landing page and then optimize the heck out of it.

That’s the first part of combining email marketing with landing page optimization. But there’s more…

Develop segmented email lists and send focused emails

This strategy — create dedicated landing pages for emails — is just the beginning. There’s much more you can do to refine your approach.

In order for your marketing efforts to be laser-focused and successful, you should also create segmented email lists.

Your email list is made up of contacts who are at varied stages of interaction with your business. And at each stage of the buyer’s journey, your prospects will respond to different types of content and language.

Email segmentation has a proven track record of value and profitability. An eMarketer study cited by Hubspot showed that “39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates and 24% experienced greater revenue.”

When you create a segmented email list, you are able to:

  • Develop highly relevant and specific offers.
  • Optimize the landing pages from the email marketing efforts to exactly match the motivations of the segmentation group.
  • Align your marketing strategy with each contact’s needs, thereby creating awesome experiences and increasing conversions!

We’re applying one layer of strategy (email segmentation) upon another layer of strategy (a dedicated landing page for every campaign).

Now, how do all these pieces fit together? Let’s walk through the process of segmenting our emails and targeting customers.

An example of the process, beginning to end

From this list, let’s take just one segment: repeat customers. These people have had multiple touch points with your business and are educated about your solution. You already know that these people are likely to buy. Now, you simply need to create a targeted email and landing page that will increase that likelihood and get them purchasing.

Based on this data and the selected segment, here’s what you’d do:

1. Create a targeted email that speaks to your prospect’s emotions

Since you already know that you’re sending this email to repeat customers, you want to praise them for their loyalty and wise decision making. Basically, you want to flatter them. You can say something like, “You know how to buy great products” Or, “You do a great job choosing products.”

When you make statements like this, the customer is likely to undergo an experience of “self-verification.” When a customer hears themselves described in a positive manner, they begin to believe this about themselves and then become more likely to act on that belief.

If you were addressing new customers, then you may want to approach it differently. You may want to use a technique that advances the psychology of curiosity, rather than self-verification.

The point here is that you’re trying to elicit feeling and emotion, not just a raw display of stuff for the customer to buy.

Let me show you an example of this.

7. using emotion in email marketing

The marketing email above is inviting women to attend a conference. The message reminds prospects that they are loved and creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. The call to action resonates with this emotion and is focused and clear.

2. Create a focused call to action

Next, you’ll bring the email to a powerful conclusion. In other words, you want to focus persuasive power, data, argumentation, or any other elements of the email to a final call to action.

To bring the email to a climax, create a final paragraph that sums up the email and inspires the user with a sense of urgency and emotional interest. Don’t lose your readers in this paragraph. It’s the most critical paragraph for them to stay engaged.

After this paragraph, insert your CTA button. It’s important to create a compelling and inspiring button text that continues the conversation from the final paragraph and explains what the prospect will get after the click.

As a good example of this, check out the marketing email below.

8. Example of having a storng CTA in email marketing

Notice how the email builds up, bullet-by-bullet to focus on that one central CTA: “GET CASH.” There is a direct connection in the reader’s mind between what she reads (build your business, make it work, etc.) and what the outcome of clicking (“Get cash!”). Since the target audience consists of small business owners, this is a highly-focused and effective email.

3. Develop a landing page that corresponds to the email

If you want to avoid cognitive dissonance (the ultimate conversion killer), the “one goal” from your email marketing should extend to your landing page.

Beyond that, the aesthetic of your email should carry across to your landing page.

Additionally, you need to ensure message match from one channel to the next. This is all about creating a unified experience that will indicate to prospects that they’re in the right place after the click.

Let’s look at a couple examples.

The first one comes from Airbnb. Even though their marketing email is simple, it is effective. Here’s why. The intriguing and wanderlust-provoking question is all that they need to inspire their target audience — inveterate globetrotters — to click, click, click:

9. an example of developing a landing page that corresponds to the email

And here’s the corresponding landing page for the first CTA:

10. corresponding landing page for the first CTA

I love the way that the CTA is tied to the landing page. Not only is it targeted, but it even answers a question. “Where is this? It’s on the Canary Islands.”

Plus, the landing page makes it easy for the visitor to book his request. All it takes is a three-form entry and a big pink button. Airbnb wins.

Connecting the dots

When you separate email marketing from landing pages, you lose out on precious conversion potential. A disconnected marketing approach produces fractured results.

Next time you set out to improve your email marketing campaigns, look beyond personalizing your greeting or subject lines.

Ask yourself what kind of experience you’re creating both before and after the click.

Connect the dots. Create focused and segmented emails. Tie those targeted emails to a specific landing page.

I think you’ll find that a unified email marketing strategy leads to long-lasting relationships – between departments and with your prospects.


No Email Marketing Strategy is Complete Without These Two Tactics

The Delightful Dashel Iconset [Freebie]

There are icons that you can find quite easily, and icons that are difficult to come across. With this iconset, we are humbled to release a set of 45 free icons available in SVG, PSD and PNG formats, released exclusively for Smashing Magazine and its readers. Designed by Print Express.
This iconset is licensed under a Creative Commons. You can use the icons in your commercial as well as your personal projects, including software, online services, templates and themes.


The Delightful Dashel Iconset [Freebie]

Career Advice For Graduating Web Design Students

It’s that time of year again: graduation, when students transition away from the classroom to what will hopefully be a long and successful career in their chosen industry. I recently said goodbye to some of my own website design and development students. Instead of teaching lessons in design principles or responsive websites, I spent our final evening together answering their questions. One of those questions was, “What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?


Career Advice For Graduating Web Design Students


10 Habits Of Successful New Web Professionals

Starting a position in an organization, especially if it is your first in the industry, can be as nerve-wracking as it is exciting. Practices that seem like common sense to those of us who have been in the Web industry for some time might not be as obvious to designers and developers without the benefit of our experience. [Links checked February/20/2017]
Part of our responsibility as veterans in this industry is to mentor new team members and share with them the knowledge that we know they will need to succeed.

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10 Habits Of Successful New Web Professionals

How Do You Deal With Overstressed, Irrational Clients? An Entrepreneur’s View

As an entrepreneur who has been on the client’s side of the design and development process, I’d like to discuss the thought process of the client, as well as some effective ways to interact with them. For example, why do they ask for Shakira music on the home page? And how do you respond to that?
I was recently referred to Sam Barnes’ piece on Smashing Magazine “How to Explain to Clients That They Are Wrong.

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How Do You Deal With Overstressed, Irrational Clients? An Entrepreneur’s View

Optimizing Long Lists Of Yes / No Values With JavaScript

Very frequently in Web development (and programming in general), you need to store a long list of boolean values (yes/no, true/false, checked/unchecked… you get the idea) into something that accepts only strings. Maybe it’s because you want to store them in localStorage or in a cookie, or send them through the body of an HTTP request. I’ve needed to do this countless times.
The last time I stumbled on such a case wasn’t with my own code.

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Optimizing Long Lists Of Yes / No Values With JavaScript