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Are AMP Landing Pages All They’re Cracked up to Be? A Look Into Page Speed

AMP landing pages worth the fuss?

For a while now you may have heard the buzz surrounding Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and—if you haven’t already done some research—you might be wondering what all the fuss is about (or wondering why a landing page and conversion platform like us hasn’t mentioned this trendy topic yet).

Well, we’ll get to all of that! Today we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about AMP as a marketer and why your Google rep has likely been singing its praises.

First up: What is AMP?

AMP is a project that was first announced by Google back in 2015 as a means to serve up mobile pages faster. Accelerated mobile pages use a restrictive HTML format to serve up web pages almost instantly to your visitors, with the added benefit of pages being cached and pre-rendered by third parties (like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bing News, and Cloudflare).

This is a stark change from waiting for every single element on your page to load and, at its core, it’s a way of developing simple web pages that meet strict guidelines for preventing slow load times. It’s helping bring the internet back to basics.

AMP pages on mobile
How AMP pages look in mobile search results.

Early adopters of AMP included publishers like The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. Much like Facebook’s Instant Articles, AMP gave these publishers a way to reach audiences in an almost-instant way (ultimately important for decreasing bounce rate, and signalling to Google your content is satisfying visitors). Since publishers run their business on page views, this was a natural place to start and great fit for AMP.

Google then created extra incentive for publishers by prioritizing AMP articles in their “top stories” carousel. You can currently spot AMP articles in your own mobile search results by looking for the AMP thunderbolt symbol.

Some AMP myths, debunked

The AMP Project has come a long way since 2015, but it’s still having a hard time shaking some of its roots. Here are a few of the myths floating around:

Myth 1: AMP is only for online publishers
AMP landing pages are a perfect match for publishers, but serving up news faster is not its only use case. Believe it or not, even eCommerce brands are increasing their revenue with the same traffic by converting their product pages to AMP.

While this giant conversion over to AMP may sound like a massive undertaking, remember: You don’t need to create an entire AMP mobile website like Aliexpress. You can start with a single landing page that lots of customers reach from organic or paid search. Simply decreasing your bounce rate on the visitor’s first entry and speeding load time up can have a big impact on first impressions, and ultimately your conversion rate.

Myth 2: AMP is owned by Google
We can’t deny that Google has been the driving force behind the AMP technology and its adoption around the world. But despite its massive role in driving AMP forward, the team is insistent that AMP is not a Google project, but rather an open-source project. Although the lion’s share of the more than 500 contributors on GitHub are Googlers, they’re not the only ones.

Myth 3: AMP is only for mobile
It’s true mobile is a huge part of Accelerated Mobile Pages (it’s in the name, after all), but that can be a little bit misleading. As Paul Bakaus from Google explains, AMP HTML is mobile first but not mobile only. He believes you’ll see better gains from AMP on mobile pages, but recommends trying AMP on desktop as well.

What are AMP landing pages good for?

We know that fast-loading pages equal lower bounce rates and higher conversions, and AMP provides an almost foolproof way of achieving fast mobile landing pages. Its strict guidelines for what can be included have speed best practices built in, which is why AMP landing pages have a medium load time in under one second. And let’s be honest: We could all use some extra conversions on our landing pages via speed increases.

So what does AMP mean for SEO?
While an AMP landing page does not necessarily equal a higher search ranking, Google recently announced that, starting this summer, page speed will finally become a ranking factor in its mobile search algorithm.

While Google has always favored content with a positive user experience (speed being a part of that) speed did not previously have a direct effect on the ranking algorithm. Before July 2018, it might be a good idea to do some spring cleaning of your mobile landing pages (swapping out massive images and keeping things small)—whether these pages are accelerated or not.

What do AMP landing pages mean for PPC?
For a long time now, “landing page experience” has played into your Ad Rank on AdWords, and we know that page speed factors into this experience. One of AdWords’ five tips for improving landing page experience is to “decrease your landing page load time,” for which they suggest to “consider turning your landing page into an Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP).”

AdWords expert and ex-Googler Frederick Vallaeys has even called AMP landing pages “the best kept AdWords secret” due to the opportunity for improving conversion rates.

It’s really all about page speed

At the end of the day, the reason you’d create an AMP landing page is to improve your page speed. By creating these pages, you ensure fast load time, but this doesn’t guarantee your content is good enough to keep people around. Page speed is only one factor in a positive landing page experience, and won’t solve the problem of bad content.

Moreover, if page speed is what you’re after, AMP is only one way of achieving it. Even the AMP Project’s website admits that the format puts user experience above the developer experience. Simply put, it’s not the easy way to do things. So before jumping straight into AMP, consider whether or not you can reduce page speed in simpler ways, like cutting back on scripts and image sizes.

Not sure where to start, try running your landing page through our free Landing Page Analyzer for some actionable tips.

What are the limitations?

AMP can do wonders for your page speed, but it doesn’t come without a few caveats. In fact, the reason the AMP framework creates a fast page is because it is so restrictive. AMP is constantly being improved, but it’s still far from perfect. Here are a few limitations to consider before going all in on AMP:

Scripts are often not supported

landing pages built with AMP sacrafice scripts
Photo by Henri L. on Unsplash.

Scripts are a speed killer, period. Support for JavaScript is incredibly restricted in the AMP framework, so if you build an AMP landing page, you won’t be able to add all the scripts you currently use. As an example, if you want to connect your page with your CRM (a pretty common integration via a script), you’d need an AMP version of this script to be supported. Scripts are supported currently on a case-by-case basis and more often than not they’re unsupported at this time.

Analytics aren’t straightforward

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash.

One of the best features of AMP is also one of its biggest drawbacks. Since the AMP pages are pre-cached, they are served from a different domain than your own. That means that your website visitor might click an ad, then visit your AMP landing page served up pre-loaded from Google.com, and then click through to your website.

This can really throw off your site’s analytics, splitting up your user sessions between your domain and third-party domains. If you’re not comfortable giving up perfect analytics for gains in load time, AMP might not be for you.

Worried about your website visitors seeing inconsistent domains? As of last month, AMP released an update that will keep the display URL as your own domain even if the page is being served from another domain such as Google.com.

Even though AMP Analytics are available, there are a limited amount of options available. Here’s what you’ll be able to track:

  • Page data: Domain, path, page title
  • User data: client ID, timezone
  • Browsing data: referrer, unique page view ID
  • Browser data: screen height, screen width, user agent
  • Interaction data: page height and page width
  • Event data

Setup isn’t super quick
Just because AMPs format is restrictive doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park to implement. Developing AMP pages could take your developers significantly longer to create than a non-AMP page. They’ll then need to validate that their code ticks all of the boxes of the AMP format and also upkeep the pages to make sure they continue to comply with these restrictions.

Browser versions are limited
A smaller restriction (but one nonetheless) is that AMP only supports the most recent two versions of major web browsers. This means if your visitors are hanging onto a circa 2014 version of Chrome, they won’t see your AMP page.

What naysayers are saying

Like anything, there are two sides to the AMP story. Because of its close ties to Google, some think the company has too much control, using its power to shift the internet to a new way of developing web pages altogether. Some think it’s unfair for Google to pressure companies to adopt the framework in order to reach the top stories carousel or maintain their organic rankings. Others worry that Google could abandon AMP at any moment, after more than 1.5 billion web pages have already been published using the format.

On the other side of the argument, web users are speaking for themselves by abandoning slow pages at a faster rate. They’re also choosing Google more than any other search engine. Although there are alternatives, Google holds 90% of mobile market share. There must be a reason for this, and I’d hazard a guess that it’s because Google gives a better user experience than its alternatives.

From the AMP Project’s website:

“The companies involved in the project want to make the mobile web work better for all — not just for one platform, one set of technologies, or one set of publishers, or one set of advertisers. Making the project open source enables people to share and contribute their ideas and code for making the mobile web fast. We are just at the beginning of that journey and we look forward to other publishers, advertisers and technology companies joining along the way.”

What Unbounce is doing about AMP

This info’s all well and good, but you’re probably wondering: what’s Unbounce—best known as a conversion and landing page platform—going to do about AMP?

I’m glad you asked.

We’re happy to share that we’re currently building AMP capabilities into the Unbounce builder.

We’re premiering this functionality with a tight-knit group of customers in an alpha test before we open up to a wider closed beta of additional customers. The reason we’re working with a small group first is to ensure that we are able to get early feedback while we work on adding more capabilities. We’ll be closely monitoring conversion data from the alpha participants to ensure customers are seeing the value that we think they’ll see with AMP.

Here’s a taste of what it might look like in the Unbounce builder:

What took us so long?

By now you’re likely convinced that fast pages are critical to your conversion rates, and AMP can help, so you may be wondering, what took Unbounce so long to build (let alone talk about) it?

Well, we began investigating AMP and how it would work in the Unbounce builder back in 2017, and our friends at Google have been supporting us along the way. We made the decision not to publicly share our progress on AMP until we officially kicked off the development of our alpha program last month.

Trust us, page speed is something that’s been on our mind for quite some time. Last summer, our team became one of the first to complete Google’s Mobile Site Certification, and in September we returned to Google’s Canadian HQ in Toronto to join the search giant in co-hosting a mobile speed hackathon. Most recently, Google mentioned our alpha at their annual developer conference, and in a few months, they’ll be hosting the very first Canadian West Coast date of the AMP Roadshow right here in our Vancouver office.

Sign up for the AMP Roadshow at Unbounce HQ hosted by Google, on September 5, 2018.

We had hoped to bring you AMP a little bit earlier, but our team has been heads down for the past several months focused on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Keeping your data safe and secure is our top priority, and we believe it is important to provide you a landing page solution that is GDPR compliant as this sets a critical foundation.

We are proud to say after months of hard work, Unbounce is GDPR compliant. Less than a month ago, AMP also released an update designed to help AMP pages become GDPR compliant as well.

Not sure what we’re talking about? Learn all about GDPR and how it affects your business here. (It’s a big deal).

Our next steps with AMP

Now that we’ve got your data safe and secure via GDPR compliance, our team is full steam ahead experimenting and developing AMP capabilities in the Unbounce builder. We’ve made some great progress and it’s looking pretty darn cool if I do say so myself (seriously, we can’t wait to show you). Once we’ve completed our alpha test, we’ll be widening the scope to a closed beta test.

The progress will look something like this:

  • Alpha >> Closed Beta >> Open Beta >> General Availability >> Public Launch

We’ll be sharing our progress right here on the Unbounce blog, and—if you’re a current customer (or about to create landing pages with us)—we invite you to sign up for early access to the beta once it’s launched.

Not sure whether AMP is for you? You can still achieve faster pages without this markup. Try running your landing page through our free Landing Page Analyzer to get some quick tips on how to improve your landing page today.

Read more: 

Are AMP Landing Pages All They’re Cracked up to Be? A Look Into Page Speed

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Announcing Call to Action Conference 2018: A Revolution for Today’s Marketing Evolution

Webster’s Dictionary defines a ‘conference’ as, “An event at which industry professionals talk at other industry professionals who’ve stockpiled seven complimentary croissants in their bag to eat later. See also: Room temperature orange juice.”   

Whether it’s to learn some new tricks, make some new connections or drum up some new business, conferences are a necessary (and sometimes cool) part of being a marketer—but not all of them are worth your time. While your typical marketing conference has morphed from weak coffee and dry PowerPoints to free t-shirts and celebrity thought leaders, it can be tough to leave feeling like you’ve really gotten something out of the event.

We saw a need to change the conference experience. Because the experience of being a marketer has changed. 

Marketing now is harder than ever— it’s hyper-competitive, oversaturated and comprised of tired tactics that used to work. We need new solutions to old problems and actionable solutions to new problems. Especially when we’re forking out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a conference ticket (money we could’ve sacrificed to the AdWords gods).

Enter Call to Action Conference.

“CTAConf has set the bar for what a marketing event should be: fun, engaging and insightful. No matter the experience level or skill set, every attendee left with a new set of philosophies and tactics to apply in their marketing practice”

Ray Silva, Strategy Lead at Apply Digital and CTAConf 2017 attendee.

Now in its fifth year (only 55 more ’til we get that diamond!), CTAConf 2018 is going to be more exciting, more targeted and more committed to your future success than ever.

Already sold on joining us? Get 10% off Early Bird tickets by using the promo code “CTAConfRevolution” at checkout.

Why this conference is different (we promise)

CTAConf merges carefully curated, usable content with…well, having a great time. It’s single track, allergic to fluff and ensures you’ll walk away with leading-edge tactics, all wrapped up in an amazing experience you’ll truly enjoy.

We’re talking hands-on workshops, a concert atmosphere, all-you-can-eat snacks and gourmet food trucks, organic networking, a genuinely friendly team and fun parties in the beautiful setting of Vancouver, B.C. (Credit to Mother Nature for that one.)

Even the sessions themselves, held in the historic and fully immersive Queen Elizabeth Theatre, will make you feel less like you’re at a “work event” and more like you’re at a Broadway show about email marketing called Don’t Spamalot. 



Most importantly, it’s designed to deliver practical know-how and future-proofing strategies from true experts covering every facet of digital marketing.

A glimpse at who’s talking and what you’ll learn

April Dunford, Wind at Your Back: Making your Market Category Work for You

April has spent her career launching innovative tech products and is a seasoned expert at getting traction in increasingly noisy markets. Prior to founding Rocket Launch Marketing, where she works with companies on market strategy and positioning, she was VP of Marketing at a series of successful high-growth startups and an executive at global companies including IBM, Nortel and Siebel Systems. She was also the top-rated speaker at last year’s CTAConf (she happens to be equal parts genius and hilarious).

In her talk, you’ll learn :

  • How to shift to a favourable market category to give your marketing programs added velocity
  • How to completely change the way customers think about your offering to remove friction in your funnel
  • The three steps for shifting market categories, from isolating your differentiators to finding your downstream customers and picking the best market current to ride
Rob Bucci, What Google Serves Up For Local Searches

Rob is the founder and CEO of STAT Search Analytics, a rank tracking and SERP analytics service for SEO experts. A developer and entrepreneur in the SEO space since 2005, Rob especially loves tackling big-data challenges in data mining and analytics.

He’ll be bringing his SEO expertise to the stage to teach us:

  • How Google interprets different levels of local intent and what searchers are seeing most often
  • How to refine your SEO keyword lists by comparing SERPs
  • How to better tailor your content to build more targeted ad campaigns that achieve better results
Hana Abaza, Product Marketing: Inside and Out

Hana is the Head of Marketing for Shopify Plus, a division of Shopify that powers some of the world’s fastest growing and most iconic brands (Rebecca Minkoff, Nestle, The New York Times and FAO Schwartz, to name a few). Prior to joining Shopify, Hana led marketing and growth in a variety of industries and has a proven track record for scaling teams, revenue and customers.

You’ll leave her talk knowing:

  • The guidelines for how and when to invest in product marketing
  • How to develop a go-to-market framework for your company
  • How to set up product marketing as a cross-functional powerhouse
Ross Simmonds, Beyond Google: How To Attract Relevant Traffic Through Diverse Channels

Ross is the founder of Foundation Marketing and creator and co-founder of content curation tool, Crate, and Hustle & Grind, an online store for entrepreneurs.

Over the last several years, he’s worked to help some of the fastest-growing startups and a variety of Fortune 500 brands succeed in their digital marketing efforts. His talk focuses on typically under-used and ignored channels as missed opportunities for quality traffic.

During his talk, you’ll learn:

  • What brands can do to spread their story beyond SEO & SEM
  • How brands can leverage communities and other networks to drive consistent traffic
  • Research and data on the importance of diverse channels
  • Examples of what happens when you embrace a more diverse content approach
Krista Seiden, Measurement for Growth

Currently a Product Manager and Analytics Evangelist for the Google Analytics team, Krista is a leader in the digital analytics industry and co-chair for the San Francisco chapter of the Digital Analytics Association. She has nearly a decade of experience in digital marketing, analytics, and product management, having led analytics and optimization at Adobe and The Apollo Group prior to joining Google.

Her talk will cover:

  • What growth marketing really is, beyond the buzzwords
  • How effective growth marketing is rooted in analytics, experimentation, and product development
  • How to strategically measure and use data for targeted growth
Cyrus Shepard, SEO Success: The One Engagement Metric to Rule Them All

Former Head of SEO and Content Development at Moz, Cyrus now runs Zyppy, a fast-growing SEO company. When he’s not consulting with companies big and small on how to improve their rankings, traffic and profits, he travels the world as a speaker, making complex SEO equations easy to understand.

This August Cyrus will take the stage to teach us:

  • How much speed and rankings matter and steps to improve the right areas
  • What “fuzzy” engagement metrics like bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit really mean and what you need to focus on
  • How to use SEO data to improve conversions
Oli Gardner, Content Marketing is Broken and Only Your M.O.M. Can Save You

Oli is not only an Unbounce co-founder, he’s an expert and international speaker on conversion optimization, data-driven design and landing pages (he claims to have seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet).

He’s often the highest-rated speaker at events around the world, including previous Call to Action Conferences. This year, he’ll be talking:

  • Data and lessons learned from his biggest ever content marketing experiment, and how those lessons have changed his approach to content
  • A context-to-content-to-conversion strategy for big content that converts, based on designing for your customer’s “aha!” moments
  • Advanced methods for creating “choose your own adventure” navigational experiences to build event-based behavioural profiles of your visitors 
  • Innovative ways to productize and market the technology you already have, with use cases your customers had never considered

What’s happening off stage

Learn by doing with Unbounce workshops

Get your hands proverbially dirty with interactive workshops on A/B testing, landing page optimization, PPC, analytics and mastering Unbounce for more conversions across every type of digital campaign. A full-day event prior to the conference, the workshops are a chance to work directly with seasoned pros on solutions to real marketing problems. Workshops have been so popular in previous years they were standing room only.

Make your first (or hundredth!) landing page, popup or sticky bar with us at the workshops, and learn all the insider tips you can take home to your team.  

Eat to your stomach’s content, on us

Call to Action Conference food trucks
When we say free food, we don’t mean “Enjoy these sweaty muffins! If you want lunch, there’s a Chipotle two blocks away.” We mean constantly replenished drinks, foodie-approved snacks and a lunchtime convoy of the city’s finest food trucks delivering everything from truly tasty salads to life-changing mac ‘n’ cheese. All included.

Meet, connect and party with great people


Call to Action Conference hovers around 1,200 attendees for a refreshingly intimate experience with the buzzing energy of a big-time event. Meet fellow passionate marketers from cities all over the world, mingle with industry leaders and see just how stereotypically Canadian the friendly Unbounce crew is.

“CTAConf was amazing! My favourite part? The caliber of attendees and the energy they brought. Met so many remarkable marketers!”

—Jes Kirkwood, Head of Content Marketing at ProsperWorks and 2017 attendee.

Soak up Vancouver at the best time of year


Business and pleasure do mix! Especially in summer. CTAConf 2018 is happening August 27-29, smack dab in the middle of Vancouver’s sunshine season. Take a seawall stroll between sessions, taste-test your way through a diverse food scene, hone your craft beer palate at one of many world-renowned breweries or tack on an extra day and get outside the city to those calling mountains. We turn into human prunes waiting out months of rain for a Vancouver summer and it’s totally worth it. Come see for yourself.

Enjoy champagne hotels at boxed-wine prices


We’ve secured 40-50% discounts on rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Delta Hotels Vancouver Downtown Suites, exclusive to CTAConf 2018 attendees and just steps away from the conference venue. Rooms are at first come, first serve and book up fast so grab yours ASAP and prepare your senses for the fluffiest of robes.

Join the revolution

Call to Action Conference 2018 is coming up fast and early bird prices are ending soon. Get your single, group or customer ticket before May 31, 2018 and come hold us to our promise. You’ll leave feeling inspired, energized and ready for marketing victory with tactics and strategies you can put into action the very next day. In other words, you’ll really get something out of this.

Don’t forget to sweeten that Early Bird deal. Use the promo code “CTAConfRevolution” at checkout to get 10% off all ticket rates. See you in August!

P.S. If you’re joining us from the United States, you’re in luck. Ticket prices are in Canadian dollars. Your boss basically can’t say no (and if you happen to be the boss, you can take your whole team). You’re welcome, eh.

Original article: 

Announcing Call to Action Conference 2018: A Revolution for Today’s Marketing Evolution

11 Awesome Popup Design Examples – Scored by The Delight Equation

I admit it. I’m a geek. Or am I a nerd? Definitely not a dweeb, but probably a keener (that’s a Canadian term).

One of my favorite things to do (as a marketer) is to reverse-engineer marketing experiences – good and bad – to define an equation that can be used to score them. It’s primarily a heuristic exercise, but I find it’s an incredibly helpful way to analyze a design, especially when it has the ability to leave you with a simple checklist of things to consider to make it better.

In the past, I’ve created The Clarity Equation (for value propositions), and The Testimonial Equation (for customer social proof).

For today’s post, I focused on popup design examples that exude positive characteristics, to create The Popup Delight Equation.

What Makes a Popup Design Delightful?

Hands up if you thought “That’s an oxymoron.”? I know, I know, how can a popup be delightful? Well, just like any other aspect of marketing and web design, it’s all about the details, and finding those magical ways of combining what makes your brand special, with a dose of responsible interaction design.

I see delightful popups all the time, usually because the copy is hilarious, or the design is surprising.

If your perception of a popup is one of those ugly WordPress template type things with three big green checkmark bullet icons (see below), and a Johnson box (those fat dashed red lines that resemble a coupon cutout), then no, that’s not delightful. That’s just shitty.

It is possible to make a popup delightful, and it’s not that hard if you know which aspects of interaction and visual design are required to do it right. Which brings me to…

The Popup Delight Equation

The equation (shown in the image at the top of the post) is broken down into 7 principles; Clarity, Control, Creativity, Relevance, Charm, Value, & Respect.

Each principle has a few checklist questions that build up a score between 0 and 1 (you can choose 0.5 for any of them if you like) for a maximum score of 7. These are then combined and turned into an overall percentage score as shown below:

EXAMPLE POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
0 1 1 1 0 1 0 57%

I’ll explain each of the delight principles, and then I’ll get to the popup designs.
(skip to the examples)

Principle #1 – Clarity

The clarity principle represents how easy it is to understand the offer presented by the popup. First, there’s the immediacy factor, can you read and understand it very quickly. The second part concerns the use of a primary “hero” image and whether it helps or hinders visual communication.

Clarity = ( Immediacy + Hero ) / 2
Immediacy Can you explain what the offer is after looking at it for only five seconds? Yes 1, No 0
Hero Is there a primary image (not a logo) that shows what you will get (or who you will get it from)? Yes 1, No 0
If it’s a generic site-wide offer like a discount that doesn’t need an image, score 1.

Principle #2 – Control

The control principle represents a visitor’s ability to fully control the experience. This includes being able to easily accept, reject, or discard the interruption.

Control = ( Close [On] + Close [Out] + Close [Esc] + Continue + Cancel ) / 5
Close [On] Is there a close button (typically an x) on the popup? Yes 1, No 0
If it’s a fullscreen “Welcome Mat” you can take a 1 here unless there’s no “No thanks” button.
Close [Out] Does the popup close if you click on the background surrounding it? Yes 1, No 0
If it’s a fullscreen “Welcome Mat” you can take a 1 here.
Close [Esc] Does the popup close if you press the escape button on your keyboard? Yes 1, No 0
Continue Is it clear what you need to click in order to accept the offer? Yes 1, No 0
Cancel Is it clear what you need to click in order to decline the offer? (Score 1 if there’s only one option) Yes 1, No 0

Principle #3 – Creativity

Like any type of marketing communications, a creative popup will be more likely to be well received. This principle is comprised of visual design esthetic, the inclusion of (non-tacky) animation, and how on-brand it is.

Creativity = ( Design + Animation + Brand ) / 3
Visual Design Esthetic Is it unique looking (non-rectangle), or just look awesome to you (some subjectivity is okay here)? Yes 1, No 0
Animation Does it include some motion as it appears that makes it more noticable. Yes 1, No 0.5, Yes, but it’s annoying 0
On Brand Does it match the site’s design or look like a cheap template that could be from any site? Yes 1, No 0

Principle #4 – Relevance

A popup that isn’t highly relevant will convert poorly and moves you closer to the wrong end of the interruption spectrum. This principle includes congruence (how aligned the offer is with the page you are visiting) and targeting.

Relevance = ( Congruence + Targeting ) / 2
Congruence Does the offer feel related to the page you’re on? Yes 1, No 0
If it’s somethng like a site-wide discount it’s a 1, but if it’s a blog subscribe popup on a homepage, product or pricing page etc. (not your blog), that’s a 0.
Targeting Score 1 unless one of these scenarios is true: it doesn’t apply to you (such as wrong country), or it’s referring to you coming from a page/partner/place that you didn’t come from (and in general if it’s making assumptions about you that are incorrect), in which case it’s a 0

Principle #5 – Charm

You know a charming marketing experience when you see one. Same goes for popups. If the design and/or copy make you laugh, or smile, or want to share it with someone, it’s a winner.

Charm = ( Smile [Design] + Smile [Copy] ) / 2
Smile [Design] Does the visual design make you smile? Yes 1, No 0
Smile [Copy] Does the copywriting make you smile? Yes 1, No 0

Principle #6 – Value

Some popups only contain information, some have a discount, others ask you for personal information in order to claim the offer. The value principle is concerned with how fair of an exchange it is, and it’s completely binary. If the reward is equal or greater than the ask/effort, you win.

Value = ( Reward >= Ask )
Reward > Ask Is the offer worth more than or equal to the requested information/effort? Yes 1, No 0
Score a 0 if it seems unfair, such as a ton of form fields for very little in return.

Principle #7 – Respect

The respect principle leans on the concept of “a responsible use of technology”. The biggest offense in this regard is the idea of “Confirm Shaming”. This is where there are two options (continue or cancel), but in order to cancel, you have to click a button/link with offensive copy – such as “I don’t like free money”. You get penalized extra for this offense.

Respect = 1 – 2*(Confirm Shaming)
Confirm Shaming If this is a two-button Accept/Decline popup, and the decline button is offensive in any way, it’s confirm-shaming. Yes 1, No 0
A 1 here results in a -1 score for principle 7.

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Brands Appearing in Today’s Popup Design Examples

Thanks to these awesome companies/people for inspiring me to include them: Tim Ferriss, Leesa, ClassPass, How-To Geek, Groupon, Tasting Table, Get Response, Lemonstand, PetSmart, Travelzoo.

Note: None of these popup designs score 100%

I’m sure you’ll like some, and dislike others. I’m including a wide variety of examples because they each show different aspects of the delight criteria.

Popup Design #1: Tim Ferriss

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
0.75 0.8 1 0.5 0.5 1 1 83%

Analysis

This fullscreen “Welcome Mat” popup takes over the screen when you’re leaving. I dislike this style when it happens when you arrive, but on exit, it’s totally cool. It’s a simple and classy design. Let’s score it!

  • CLARITY:
    I gave it 0.5 for immediacy as I had to figure out what the content was (fortunately I just bought a book about Seneca so I caught on). Having Tim in the background makes it very clear it’s coming from him.
  • CONTROL:
    The only failing here is the lack of the escape button working, which is my favourite way of dismissing a popup (I’m a big keyboard shortcut fan). It’s much faster than hunting for a close icon/button.
  • CREATIVITY:
    I love the design. It’s fresh and open. The visual hierarchy of the buttons is perfect: dominant continue, secondary cancel.
  • RELEVANCE:
    It loses out a bit on relevance, as it’s a speaker contact page, making this popup incongruent.
  • CHARM:
    Visually, yes. His authentic smile makes you feel welcome.
  • VALUE:
    It’s a 2-step opt-in form (email address if you click “Unlock”), which is a fair deal.
  • RESPECT:
    “No thanks, I’m not interested.” is great. It’s all you need to do on your cancel button. No confirm shaming here.

Popup Design #2: Leesa Mattress – Countdown Timer

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 1 0.83 1 0 1 1 80%

Analysis

There are so many mattress 2.0 companies out there now, it’s hard to tell them apart aside from the colour. This one’s really plain, and quite boring, but it does get bonus points for the countdown timer, and not breaking any of the fundamental delight rules.

  • CLARITY:
    Easy.
  • CONTROL:
    Full control.
  • CREATIVITY:
    It got it’s creativity 1/3 only for being on brand, but I added a 0.5 bonus for the countdown timer, which is a nice touch for ecommerce.
  • RELEVANCE:
    Timely and on point.
  • CHARM:
    Nah. They could do way more with the copy and the visuals are kinda bleh.
  • VALUE:
    Hard to argue with a discount.
  • RESPECT:
    No problems here.

Popup Design #3: Tasting Table

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 0.8 0.17 1 0 1 1 71%

Analysis

I like the use of a question headline in this popup. If you aren’t then you probably shouldn’t be on the site, so they’re helping to self select their ideal customer/subscriber. I’m not a foodie, however, so I’m closing it ;)

  • CLARITY:
    Get an email, about food. Easy.
  • CONTROL:
    No escape button close on this one either. Grrr.
  • CREATIVITY:
    It gets a few points for being on brand, but nothing original otherwise.
  • RELEVANCE:
    It’s food.
  • CHARM:
    Lots of potential, but doesn’t deliver.
  • VALUE:
    I was going to ding it for asking for a zipcode, but it probably increases the value so it get’s a pass.
  • RESPECT:
    Great.

Popup Design #4: Get Response

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 1 0.67 1 1 1 1 95%

Analysis

Simple and a bit weird (and basic) looking, but it rocks the scores beacuse it doesn’t break the fundamental delight rules, and adds some playfulness to stand out. Give it a little wiggle animation to go with that cute little alien thing and it would get a perfect score.

  • CLARITY:
    Pretty clear, and they get a few extra seconds of reading because it’s cute.
  • CONTROL:
    Full control.
  • CREATIVITY:
    Not the slickest design, but I think it’s got a lot of fun in it.
  • RELEVANCE:
    It’s SaaS, and this is for a free trial. Totally relevant.
  • CHARM:
    This one made me smile based on the copy and the design. Nicely done.
  • VALUE:
    It’s no different than clicking any other signup button on the site, so it’s regular ol’ fair.
  • RESPECT:
    Yes.

A quick contrast break…

Some pretty amazing score so far, and that’s because they’re doing it right. Before I continue, I just want to run one of the examples from yesterday’s “6 Really Bad Website Popup Examples” post through The Popup Delight Equation to provide some perspective.

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
0.5 0.6 0 0 0 0 1 30%

NOT delightful.

Popup Design #5: Groupon

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
0.75 0.4 0.67 1 0 1 1 69%

Analysis

  • CLARITY:
    I would’ve given it a higher score if there had been a photo of Vancouver in the popup, as it gives that immediate sense of locale.
  • CONTROL:
    Neither the escape key or clicking the background close the popup, which is really annoying when the “No thanks” link is so tiny. I dinged it extra for that.
  • CREATIVITY:
    This is what I’m referring to re: looking different from a shape perspective. Yes, it’s a circle and not a rectangle, but that’s the point. 99.999999% of popups are rectangles. So this simple change makes a world of difference. And the transparency allows lots of breathing room, and for it to not look like it’s completely shutting out the site.
  • RELEVANCE:
    Perfect.
  • CHARM:
    None.
  • VALUE:
    Hard to argue with deals.
  • RESPECT:
    Good job.

Popup Design #6: How-To Geek

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 1 0.17 1 0.25 1 1 77%

Analysis

I bet you didn’t expect a score like that. Which just goes to show that when you do some of the fundamentals correctly: it’s very clear, it’s easy to control, relevant, fair value, and respectful. It looks pretty awful, but that’s why it scores so poorly on creativity and charm. The fundamentals matter a lot. Get those right, and you can spend your time being exceptional.

  • CLARITY:
    Super obvious.
  • CONTROL:
    All functional.
  • CREATIVITY:
    On brand but nothing else positive from a creative standpoint.
  • RELEVANCE:
    Yup.
  • CHARM:
    I gave it a tiny bit cos of the nerdy logo guy.
  • VALUE:
    Standard newsletter value.
  • RESPECT:
    All good.

Popup Design #7: ClassPass

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
0.5 0.4 0.33 1 0 1 1 60%

Analysis

I thought this would do better when I first saw it, then after playing with the interaction it let me down a bit.

  • CLARITY:
    This is an entry popup, so the visuals are covered. Having a photo in the popup would help with the clarity around what kind of class they’re talking about for a first-time visitor.
  • CONTROL:
    no on, out or esc. The reason having no visible close button is undelightful is because it forces you to choose (and read) one of the buttons to close it. That’s too much effort when I’ve decided I want to get rid of it.
  • CREATIVITY:
    On brand, nothing else.
  • RELEVANCE:
    Yes.
  • CHARM:
    A bit cold.
  • VALUE:
    Without question.
  • RESPECT:
    Good job.

Popup Design #8: Lemonstand – Squishy Animation

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 1 0.67 1 0.25 1 1 85%

Analysis

I stuck an animated GIF in for this one so you could see the animation. It’s a prety plain looking popup aside from that, but you can see how it does add that extra attention-grabbing effect.

  • CLARITY:
    Ebook with an image of a book. Done.
  • CONTROL:
    Full control.
  • CREATIVITY:
    Scores for animation and being on brand. Mix in a different shape or a design like a lemon stand for bonus points :D
  • RELEVANCE:
    It’s on the blog, so full points.
  • CHARM:
    Only the squishy animation saves it here.
  • VALUE:
    Fair indeed.
  • RESPECT:
    No confirm shaming here.

Popup Design #9: PetSmart

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 1 0 1 0 1 1 71%

Analysis

Granted, this is the lamest of the bunch, but I included it because of its simplicity. Sometimes an offer is just an informative statement.

  • CLARITY:
    Crystal.
  • CONTROL:
    Complete.
  • CREATIVITY:
    Nope. Sorry.
  • RELEVANCE:
    It’s an ecommerce store. Yes.
  • CHARM:
    Nope. Add some kittens!
  • VALUE:
    Definitely.
  • RESPECT:
    All good.

Popup Design #10: Travelzoo << The worst!

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 0 0.67 1 0 0 -1 24%

Analysis

Looks sure can be deceiving. At first glance I really like this one. Then I started playing with it. And it became the worst popup of them all.

  • CLARITY:
    Yep, super clear with the photo of Ireland.
  • CONTROL:
    Can’t click the background to close. Oh, and wait, no matter what you do, IF you manage to close it you get turfed to the homepage. Horrible.
  • CREATIVITY:
    Minor points for the rounded corners.
  • RELEVANCE:
    Very.
  • CHARM:
    Started with zero, got worse from there.
  • VALUE:
    See respect, below.
  • RESPECT:
    Wow. If I were critiquing this solely on a screenshot, I’d have given them a 1 for respect. But I just tried to interact with it. If you close the popup (without signing up) it redirects you right back to the homepage. You can’t even see the deal. That’s seriously gnarly. Shoulda put this one in yesterday’s post.

Popup Design #11: Tim Ferriss

POPUP DELIGHT SCORE
CLARITY CONTROL CREATIVITY RELEVANCE CHARM VALUE RESPECT TOTAL
1 0.6 0.67 1 0.5 1 0.5 75%

Analysis

We close it out with another from Mr. Ferriss. It’s from the same page as the first one, but instead of being an exit popup, it’s triggered when you click a small banner that appears in the lower-left as you scroll down the page. Because it’s an on-click triggered popup, you typically get full points for relevance and clarity as you asked for it specifically.

  • CLARITY:
    Super clear
  • CONTROL:
    No escape key function, and the close (x) button doesn’t always show up.
  • CREATIVITY:
    Looks great,and on brand.
  • RELEVANCE:
    Perfect.
  • CHARM:
    As before, the friendly photo works.
  • VALUE:
    As expected.
  • RESPECT:
    Not quite as nice as the other one on the cancel link, so I’m dinging him a little.

Alrighty then, that’s a wrap for those 10 delightful popups, and one most certainly not delightful (Travelzoo) popup. Let me know if you agree/disagree with my ratings.

How Delightful are Your Popups?

I showed you mine, now show me yours! I hope you enjoyed learning about the delightful side of the website popup. I’d really love to see some of your popups, and how you score them, so drop a URL in the comments with your score and we can see if I agree.

Cheers
Oli

p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly updates.

This article is from – 

11 Awesome Popup Design Examples – Scored by The Delight Equation

Instagram Ad Campaigns: 4 Tips For a Better Mobile Experience

My first camera belonged to my mother.

I’d sneak it out and take photos of the dog, the sky and even take photos of photos — this was in the days of film, when every photo was precious. Of course, she’d get mad when odd photos would pop up between shots of birthdays and family outings.

little girl taking photos
Improving your skills is as simple as knowing your tools inside and out. GIF via The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain.

I continued taking photos all the way through university and later, ended up being a paid photographer for Airbnb.

The giddy feeling I remember feeling while stealing my mom’s camera came back to me when I heard Instagram was available to marketers. In some ways Instagram has replaced that old Kodak, except the stakes are much higher than a spoiled roll of film.

With 400 million active users spending over 21 minutes a day on the platform, Instagram is an opportunity that performance marketers can’t ignore.

The key to figuring out how to market on Instagram effectively is to understand that Instagram is a mobile tool and that people have different behaviors, expectations and needs when they’re in the mobile environment.

We combed through hundreds of Instagram ad examples and examined what works and what doesn’t so you can begin your next Instagram campaign on the right track.

1. Create Mobile-Friendly Forms

People have short attention spans — and there’s nothing more distracting than a mobile phone.

Your ad is competing for attention against other Instagram accounts as well as every other app on your prospect’s phone. It’s impossible to determine where and how they will see your ad. It’s likely that they are juggling many things at once: groceries, a dog and a flurry of Facetime calls from their mom. Why not make things easy for them?

If you’re looking to generate leads from your ad, provide an opt-in form that’s easy to read and simple to fill out.

Example: Easy2buytool

Easy2Buy is a tool that will let you sell directly from your Instagram feed. What they’ve made here is a nice and simple lead generation ad.

Instagram Ad and Mobile Landing page

Some breathtaking clouds with a bright colored logo. Okay, I’ll click.

This ad is clear and actionable. It uses distinct imagery, copy and branding from start to finish. There’s no friction and that’s what makes it inviting to click on.

The signup form is easy to understand and fill out without distractions. The greyed-out text lets the visitor know what information they need to share.

An added bonus is that the entire landing page fills my screen, which means there’s no need to scroll and I can keep multitasking while sharing my information.

Download Your Free 12-Point Mobile Landing Page Checklist

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Example: Foundr Magazine

Foundr magazine is a digital publication for entrepreneurs that curates insightful interviews, case studies and ebooks.

Instagram Ad Campaign images

Their ad copy s-p-e-l-l-s out what the prospect will receive when they click. The title of the ebook, “How to Convert Your Followers Into Dollars,” is included on both the ad and the landing page copy.

As you scroll down, there’s a form with a nice bright call to action button: “Download The Free Guide.” The color of the button makes it stand out from the rest of the form. And we know that the word free is an effective way to convert.

The simplicity of this form results in efficiency. You enter your information and you’re done!

2. Use Responsive Landing Pages

What makes Instagram so addictive is that it’s a minimalist experience. The main action is scrolling and the primary visual assets are images and video. Such simplicity requires the corresponding landing page to be simple too.

Using a responsive landing page goes beyond having a page that scales to fit the device; it’s about creating a truly frictionless experience.

This means using a landing page that:

  • loads fast
  • has several prominent CTA buttons
  • uses design elements to support the CTA

I can’t over-emphasise how discouraging it is to land on a page that isn’t responsive. They’re hard to navigate, they usually don’t render, and they make me want to tear my hair out. This is the point where most prospects just bounce. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Creating a responsive landing page is one way to combat against this frustration. If you don’t believe me, just check out the examples below.

Example: Photoshelter

Photoshelter is a marketplace that provides cloud storage, website templates, business guides and more for photographers.

Example of how to market on Instagram

Look at all that shiny new equipment! As a photographer, I couldn’t help but click.

I landed on a page that didn’t elaborate on Photoshelter’s “Sign UpCTA. So, I kept scrolling because I wanted to know more about the features and benefits offered. Unfortunately, I scrolled for a very long time.

After bumping into a few people on the street, I finally landed on the “Start Free Trial” section at the bottom of the page.

This landing page scales to fit the screen, but it creates friction when it assumes the prospect will sign up using the first CTA button presented. What if a prospect needs more convincing?

The CTA button in your ad serves to prime people. It’s how you let them know what to expect: learn more, shop now, sign up or install now. Make sure to have multiple CTA buttons that reinforce your campaign goals throughout your landing page.

Making them scroll to the bottom of your page feels like an unusual form of punishment for a someone that liked your product enough to click, doesn’t it?

Example: Sonos x Apple Music

Sonos is an electronics company that creates wireless speakers and other products. They partnered up with Apple Music for a new campaign to curate music for your speakers.

IMG_8125

I’ve heard a lot about Sonos, so I was curious when I saw their carousel ad. It had cute images of a father and daughter participating in “unquiet time.”

But I was confused by what I landed on.

About 80% of the images on the landing page were GIFs of cool artists having a great time. There were so many different elements to click on it was hard to focus. Every scroll was met with friction: images and GIFs that simply wouldn’t load.

I was curious, though, so I kept scrolling. As I explored, my Instagram app crashed – not once, but five times.

Sonos’ landing page was more confusing than enlightening. Their CTA said learn more but there were no other places on their landing page that invited me to actually learn more.

Using GIFs is a cool way to attract attention but it was a poor way to communicate the value proposition of the ad. A responsive landing page makes sure the elements on the page support the CTA and don’t distract from it.

Besides the lack of clarity from ad to landing page, this page was so long and robust that my phone couldn’t handle it. This is a case where curiosity killed the app.

Example: Canadian Tire Canvas Lighting Collection

Canadian Tire is an iconic home and hardware store in Canada. With this Instagram ad campaign they are introducing Canadians to their new Canvas Lighting Collection.

Example Instagram Ad Campaign

Cool stuff! Canadian Tire used carousel ads to showcase their new collection of lamps in different settings.

I’m a sucker for accent lighting so I decided to click. I was surprised by the beautifully-curated campaign-specific landing page.

The experience from first click to last click was seamless. The page loaded fast, was fully responsive and it also expanded on the story introduced in the ads. As I scrolled through the landing page I was reminded why I clicked on the ad in the first place.

I loved this experience so much that I shared this ad with friends that are in the process of moving. Amazingly, Canadian Tire, an old retail store my mother used to bring me to, gave me a reason to want to shop more.

3. Be Adventurous, Test Video

Images and videos are what Instagram is all about, so make sure they not only stand on their own, but that they stand out from the crowd, too.

Your product or brand will be inspected within seconds and scrolled past even faster. Get it ready for its closeup so it can be seen in the best light.

Video, in particular, offers you a new way to engage with your prospects. Make sure to test things like video length, sound and format, and whether landscape or square video works best.

Now you can stand out from all those bespoke lattes set against marble countertops.

Example: Andy Boy’s Eat Broccoli Rabe

Yes, this is an ad about broccoli! Andy Boy has dedicated an entire account to it, and created an eye-catching and mouth-watering Instagram campaign around broccoli rabe (also known as rapini).

Example of an Instagram Ad

The fast chopping movement and the text across the video would draw anyone’s attention. I never thought I’d say this, but this was the most action-packed broccoli ad I’ve ever seen.

The CTA button on the ad led me to a page that fulfilled the “learn more” promise. Not only did I learn about the health benefits of broccoli rabe, but the landing page was filled with recipes, each of them enticing me to learn more.

A slick brand awareness campaign from beginning to end.

4. Think About Clarity

Instagram is all about consuming images and videos. Simplicity and clarity are key elements in the Instagram environment that should be defining principles when you’re building your next Instagram ad campaign.

Think of your ad as a  trailer for your landing page. The best movies trailers give you a teaser of what’s to come without giving it all away.

Your Instagram ad should do the same by cultivating interest and enticing people to click. Your landing page needs to deliver on what your ad promised, by matching the design and copy in your ad and giving the people what they came for in a clear, frictionless way.
Clarity is your friend. It’s what will ensure that prospects don’t become anxious and leave your landing page.

Example: The National Finance Journal

Instagram Ad campaign example

Bold flashy text and cool cars? Great. You’ve got me.

But when I click through, my excitement vanishes – and is replaced with insurance forms. There may be a wee bit of design match with some of the colors of the typeface on the ads and the CTAs on the landing page, but there is very little message match from the ad to the landing page.

I get that insurance is a highly regulated industry, but some sense of continuity would be great here. Matching the text over the images with the headline on the landing page would be a great start.

As a prospect I was compelled to click because of the image of cars and the associated monthly ticket price was attractive, but now I find myself on a lead gen form for car loans.

Is this what I originally clicked on? Giving up my name and email address seems like a lot of commitment with little explanation. Unfortunately, The National Finance Journal lost me.

Example: Videofruit

Instagram campaign example and landing page

You know what? This is actually a pretty good ad. Their value proposition is clear: “Get Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers.”

When I click through, I see an eye-catching visual: a giant illustrated hand. The progress bar at the top of the form creates a sense of urgency.

However, the visuals in the ad and landing page simply don’t match up. The lack of design match makes me question what I’m signing up to and reduces the sense of clarity I had before I clicked the ad.

Thinking about clarity is important when designing a campaign; without it, you may end up with leads that aren’t worth the cost.

Now go forth and create the best Instagram campaigns

Image of Captain Planet
Captain Planet’s Instagram campaigns would be clean, direct and responsive. Image source.

The core elements that make up an Instagram campaign are the same as any other social ad campaign — the main difference is that the entire experience, from start to finish, is mobile.

A great Instagram campaign needs to provide a great mobile experience by using mobile forms, responsive landing pages, unique creative and above all, clarity.

When you’re designing an Instagram ad campaign, make sure your landing page is responsive. Always check to see what the experience feels like before launching your campaign. Grab your phone and your friend’s phone, scroll and click. This is how you get better at the craft — by being your own best critic.

And remember: Instagram is a tool, much like a camera. You’ve got to know it inside out. Once you understand the platform, the mobile environment and what your prospects are expecting from you, you’ll be taking shots just like the pros.

Read more – 

Instagram Ad Campaigns: 4 Tips For a Better Mobile Experience

How New Balance Drove 200% More Sales at Half the Cost Using Unbounce

For most online marketers, getting customers to enter their payment details and click “purchase” is the ultimate conversion. But for New Balance Chicago, online sales are kind of the enemy.

Chances are you’ve worn a pair of New Balance sneakers or know someone who swears by them. Headquartered in Boston, New Balance is an international, 109-year-old brand endorsed by Australian cricket players, Canadian tennis stars and American cyclists.

new-balance-case-study-650
Image by Alicia A. L. via Flickr.

In the Chicago area, however, New Balance’s brick-and-mortar stores are owned and operated as a family business – with a local marketing budget. Since ecommerce sales go straight to the parent company, their business depends on getting people’s actual feet in the literal door.

So you can understand why, until recently, online marketing seemed like more of a threat to the company than an opportunity.

“Their typical ad buy was during a Cubs radio broadcast, not a cross-device digital campaign,” says Brian Davidson, co-founder of Match Node, the digital marketing agency tasked with helping New Balance Chicago drive – and track – its in-store sales through online channels. “We knew that we would face some challenges.”

Over the course of a few months, Brian’s team tackled those challenges feet first. Using a combination of targeted Facebook ads, campaign-specific Unbounce landing pages and personalized emails, they were able to generate hundreds of leads and drive thousands of dollars in sales at half the ad spend.

This is the story of how they did it.

The first campaign: Facebook offers don’t offer enough

Match Node’s original strategy for New Balance revolved around Facebook Offers, which allow marketers to embed discount codes in Facebook display ads.

The first campaign, which launched during a cold Windy City winter, allowed a customer to receive 15% off when temperatures were freezing and 20% off if the weather fell below zero Fahrenheit. Brian’s team aimed the ads at a wide audience of people who:

  1. Lived in zip codes near New Balance stores in Chicagoland (the greater Chicago area)
  2. Looked similar to previous New Balance customers: Using Facebook ad targeting, they created a “lookalike audience” based on customer emails, which the stores had been collecting at checkout.
  3. Had relevant interests like “fitness” and “Chicago marathon” listed in their profiles.
new-balance-chicago-facebook-ad

The ads reached 136,541 people and resulted in 600 offers being claimed. This generated more than $5,000 in sales, which Davidson considered a success.

“These were solid results as they exceeded same-month ad spend and we know the customer ROI extends out over many months and multiple purchases,” Brian says, “but we knew that tracking needed improvement.”

In fact, they were only able to track 32 individual purchase codes. The problem was that in order to track the codes, the company had to rely on customers and clerks taking the time to report the discount codes at the point of purchase. The codes themselves were unique, but the 15% discount was promoted on various channels, meaning customers could have heard about the sale in a number of places.

They could have tracked the codes using customer emails, except Facebook won’t give advertisers the names or email addresses of users who download coupons. Despite the campaign’s relative success, using Facebook Offers proved to be a frustrating experience for a data-driven, optimization-minded marketer like Brian.

“The limited ability we had to track success was far from real time,” Brian says. “Every week or two we’d get sales volume by promo code, but the in-store nature of the purchase limited any real-time conversion data that we’d normally use to tune and refine a pure e-commerce campaign.”

Then one day, everything changed.

Mobile responsive landing pages to the rescue

Another limitation of the Facebook Offers strategy was that there was no relevant online destination to send users to once they claimed the coupon. Directing them to the New Balance website was out of the question since it only increased the likelihood of an online purchase, which didn’t benefit Brian’s client. It also didn’t give them the opportunity to create a dedicated experience for each specific campaign.

Moreover, given that the majority of Facebook ad clicks came from mobile users, sending potential customers to a page that wasn’t optimized for mobile users would have been like “cutting off our nose,” says Brian.

Suddenly, that was no longer a problem.

“When Unbounce launched mobile responsive landing pages, we were thrilled,” Brian says.  “We had used Unbounce for numerous landing pages and with its mobile launch, we made a tactical shift away from using Facebook Offers and utilized Unbounce to capture email address conversions.”

new-balance-landing-page-in-unbounce

Using Unbounce’s landing page builder, Brian says his designer “virtually cloned” the national New Balance website as a starting point, but then made a few key tweaks to make sure it was optimized for offline conversions.

Instead of website navigation and links to purchase products online, the page featured information about New Balance’s Chicago stores, including Google Maps, phone numbers and in-store benefits like old-school fittings, something few other shoe stores offered.

unbounce-logo-100pxPssst. Need a flexible landing page template that allows you to maintain your or your client’s brand identity? Unbounce gives you hundreds of beautiful templates to start from and customize with a simple drag n’ drop interface. Check them out!

Once the landing page was built, Match Node created a series of Facebook ads aimed at very specific segments. The first campaign promoted a discount for U.S. military veterans (New Balance’s “Made in America” credentials are a key differentiator for the brand):

facebook-ad-specific-segment-new-balance

Clicking this ad…

new-balance-ad

… sends you to this landing page:

new-balance-american-heros-landing-page

Aimed at an ultra-targeted audience of 45,000 military vets, the ads generated more than 200 coupons, which were sent to leads after they entered their emails on the landing page. This meant that instead of crossing their fingers that people would print out the coupons and bring them into the store, they were able to collect the emails of interested buyers – and follow up with them.

In just two months, New Balance Chicago’s email list grew by more than 10%.

“Unbounce was very helpful in this case because we could directly tie the New Balance landing page to any Mailchimp or Constant Contact email marketing account,” Brian says. “For organizational and segmenting purposes, we created specific email groups for each campaign we were running.”

With these emails tied into specific campaigns, they were able to go “one step further in the funnel” and send out reminder emails, urging leads to claim their discounts.

Open rates for these reminder emails were 5-10% above New Balance’s regular promotional emails, says Brian.

new-balance-promotional-email

The lead gen component of this strategy was the cherry on top for Brian’s client.

“There’s an internal value put on email,” Brian says. “It’s something tangible to them.”

unbounce-logo-100pxPssst. Want to generate more leads like New Balance and then nurture them into paying customers? 31.4 million leads have been generated using Unbounce, which integrates seamlessly with MailChimp, Marketo, HubSpot, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, InfusionSoft, AWeber, Salesforce and other marketing software. Start generating leads now.

Optimizing for conversions and replicating success

There’s one more element that made these campaigns so successful. Using Facebook’s ad platform, marketers can choose to optimize their ad spend either for clicks or for “website conversions,” which means actions taken outside of Facebook’s ecosystem.

Once they started sending people who clicked on the ads to dedicated landing pages, Brian’s team could optimize their campaigns for landing page conversions, which is far more efficient than gunning for clicks.

With this strategy, they were able to spend 50% less and drive 200% more in sales compared to the Facebook Offers campaigns they ran previously.

The military veterans campaign was just the beginning. Using Unbounce, they could easily duplicate the original landing page and tweak the design for any other offer New Balance wanted to promote.

Throughout the year they’ve run successful promotions for everything from Foot Health Awareness Month, to athletic apparel, to kids’ shoes. They’ve perfected the formula along the way, testing copy changes (such as leading with the discount vs. leading with the “free fitting” benefit) and swapping out photos on the landing page to match the ads that Facebook’s algorithm identified as the most successful.

new-balance-case-study-fb-segment
new-balance-case-study-landing-page

By making incremental changes, Brian says they’ve been able to boost conversion rates by 5-10% throughout the course of a given campaign (which often translates to 5-10% more sales).

One change that worked especially well was specifying on the page that New Balance’s in-store fitting is 100% free:

Variant A

new-balance-landing-page-variant-a

Variant B

new-balance-landing-page-variant-b

The variant with the word “free” boosted conversions by almost 20%. That may seem fairly obvious, but it’s yet another reminder that once you have the right strategy in place, small steps can take you a long way.

If the shoe fits

Some solutions are so good that they solve problems you didn’t even know you had. Looking back, the challenges Brian’s team was hired to help solve were:

  • Using online marketing channels to generate in-store sales rather than ecommerce purchases.
  • Finding an efficient way to track whether they were doing so effectively.

And using Unbounce, they were able to:

  • Drive sales.
  • Grow their email list with qualified leads.
  • Nurture those leads.
  • Reduce their cost per acquisition.
  • Target high-value mobile users.
  • Easily replicate and optimize their most successful campaigns.

Needless to say, the folks at New Balance Chicago are digital marketing skeptics no longer. And lots of agencies would like to be in Brian’s shoes right now.

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How New Balance Drove 200% More Sales at Half the Cost Using Unbounce

Why You Should Get Excited About Emotional Branding

Globalization, low-cost technologies and saturated markets are making products and services interchangeable and barely distinguishable. As a result, today’s brands must go beyond face value and tap into consumers’ deepest subconscious emotions to win the marketplace.
The Role Of Brands Is Changing In recent decades, the economic base has shifted from production to consumption, from needs to wants, from objective to subjective. We’re moving away from the functional and technical characteristics of the industrial era, into a time when consumers are making buying decisions based on how they feel about a company and its offer.

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Why You Should Get Excited About Emotional Branding

How To Design Global Applications For Children

The entire process of designing digital applications comes with many challenges and decisions. For the majority of projects, you will be designing in somewhat familiar territory. But what happens when you have to design something to be used by hundreds of children around the world? How do you accommodate your design for kids of different ages and backgrounds? What special challenges emerge, and how can they be overcome?
For a project of this scale, the design process we follow might require modifications.

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How To Design Global Applications For Children

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: April 2011

We always try our best to challenge your artistic abilities and produce some interesting, beautiful and creative artwork. And as designers we usually turn to different sources of inspiration. As a matter of fact, we’ve discovered the best one — desktop wallpapers that are a little more distinctive than the usual crowd. This creativity mission has been going on for almost two years now, and we are very thankful to all designers who have contributed and are still diligently contributing each month.

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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar: April 2011

Ask the Expert – Design Discussion with James White

Ask the Expert is a popular series here on Design Informer. “Design discussion” is the theme for this interview. The renowned designer, James White is this week’s expert.
James White is a graphic designer from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. His personal art and design ambitions has landed him in many worldwide creative publications such as Computer Arts magazine, Computer Arts Projects, Advanced Photoshop magazine, Wired UK and the spanish DT Platinum magazine where he was included in their ‘21 People of the Century’ article.

Link – 

Ask the Expert – Design Discussion with James White

The "Wow" Factor in Web Design

Everyday, we go through hundreds of different websites. With Twitter and RSS feeds, we are able to see an excessive amount of sites in just a short time. Most of the websites that we visit are forgettable, they don’t leave a lasting impression.
You may want to take a look at related articles:
Original And Innovative Web Layouts Beyond The Boring: The Hunt For The Web’s Lost Soul Web Design Is Dead.

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The "Wow" Factor in Web Design