Tag Archives: competition

8 Ways to Make Brilliant, Captivating Product Photos

Having product photos that stand out is more important than any other piece of content on your product page. One study found that 67% of people rate the quality of product images to be “very important,” more than product information, detailed descriptions or even reviews! Source Knowing this, what can you do to make sure your product photos stand out and are the best they can be? The tips in this post will help you ensure the quality of your images and make sure your product photos stand out amongst your competition. 1. Start by using a Tripod and Lightbox…

The post 8 Ways to Make Brilliant, Captivating Product Photos appeared first on The Daily Egg.

View article:  

8 Ways to Make Brilliant, Captivating Product Photos

4 Ways to SEO Proof Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

influencer marketing and SEO

A few years ago, there was a joke that was going around on the internet. It goes something like this: “What is the best place to hide evidence of your wrongdoings? Page 2 of Google Search results!” While the joke itself may have been created in good humor, it does imply something extremely important. It’s crucial for businesses to compete for higher visibility in search results. Consumers are more dependent on the internet than any other medium, making search ranking crucial for businesses to attract potential customers. More often than not, people only look at the first page of search…

The post 4 Ways to SEO Proof Your Influencer Marketing Strategy appeared first on The Daily Egg.

View original post here – 

4 Ways to SEO Proof Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

What is Web Spam?

Web Spam: Intentional attempts to manipulate search engine rankings for specific keywords or keyword phrase queries. But isn’t that what SEO is? Trying to get your website content to rank better in search engine results? Well… There’s a fine line between doing everything you can to give your website content the best shot at ranking well in the search engines, vs. trying every sneaky trick possible. The Old Days of Web Spam – Keywords, Keywords, Keywords Everywhere! The first search engines (Lycos, HotBot, AltaVista to name a few) used a fairly basic approach to ranking webpages. For the most part,…

The post What is Web Spam? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Read the article: 

What is Web Spam?

Master Your Next Feature Launch: How Vimeo Uses Unbounce Landing Pages to Go to Market Faster

You’re a product marketer and it’s five weeks away from a major launch.

The office is buzzing with excitement and tensions are rising by the day. Your marketing team is busy prepping all the essential pieces in your marketing launch toolkit, from email communications to paid advertising to PR initiatives and beyond.

But something’s missing.

Your website needs updating to reflect the launch of your new feature or product… and then you need somewhere to send your paid campaign traffic.

If you’re relying on your developers to build a new page for you, it could take weeks (or longer). Besides, shifting your devs’ focus away from the product launch probably isn’t the best use of their time. Adding work to their plates could mean having to delay going to market (and miss your launch deadlines) — and that could be deadly for business.

The marketing team at Vimeo has experienced this stress first-hand. Garrett Bugbee, Manager of Search and International Marketing, recently described to me how product launches have put a strain on his team in the past:

We had a huge creative backlog, especially during product launches. We relied on our devs to build our pages for us. It was a slow and painful process, from design to the kick-off meetings and then actually waiting for it to be built and QA’d… It was a massive issue.

Fast forward to today, Garrett and his team have removed many of these pre-launch bottlenecks. When it came time to launch their new product, Vimeo 360, they’d mastered the art of going to market with new products on time and on budget.

So what’s Vimeo’s secret recipe to making every product launch a smash hit?

Garrett teases at it in the video below. Have a look, or read on for the blueprint to their success.

Make every product a smash hit: Watch this video to learn how Vimeo removed bottlenecks from their launches so they could go to market faster.

Meet Vimeo and their latest product, Vimeo 360

As one of the internet’s most popular video sharing websites, Vimeo attracts more than 100 million unique visitors per month and is home to over 50 million creators worldwide (and counting).

As their popularity increases so too does the competition.

In order to stay on top, Vimeo has to evolve and innovate. With at least four new video products or features being introduced to the platform each year, a failed launch for Vimeo could mean a loss of thousands (dare we say millions) in company dollars, so there’s infinite pressure to get it right — every time.

You can imagine then, the pressure that Garrett (the hero from our intro) must have felt when he and his team set out to launch Vimeo 360, a new product that allows users to upload 360-degree videos in stunning high quality:

Because some of Vimeo’s competitors were already dabbling in 360-degree video, Garrett knew they had to launch quickly — and with a splash:

It’s a tool that other platforms have already, and it’s something that we wanted to give our creators so they have a new venue for expression and a new way to produce, make and showcase content.

Removing bottlenecks from the campaign launch

Vimeo’s main goal for the 360 launch was to drive engagement, measured by new subscribers and 360 video uploads.

While part of their homepage was to briefly feature Vimeo 360, Garrett and his team wanted to build out a page to better explain the product and all the amazing things it could do, including:

  • An example of a 360 video for prospects who were not yet familiar with the technology (shown above)
  • A showcase of 360 video content created by some of Vimeo’s power users
  • A detailed breakdown of features that make Vimeo 360 stand a cut above the rest (high-quality resolution, intuitive controls, powerful integrations)
  • A promo for their 360 video school, which teaches creators of all stripes to make better videos

That’s a lot of heavy lifting for a website that is also serving a general audience, so Garrett and his team turned to Unbounce to create a click-through landing page for their campaign:

Garrett’s team used Unbounce design features like parallax scroll to appeal to his visually-inclined user base. Click to view full-length landing page.

Beautiful isn’t it?

Garrett explained why empowering his marketing team to build this page themselves was key:

The big benefit here is the flexibility we have to produce a marketing-specific landing page without the help of our engineering team.

Our devs get to focus on building a great product, and we can focus on designing a page built specifically for marketing purposes without pulling our front-end devs away from their work. We can go to market a lot faster by parallel-pathing both the product build and the page build.


Don’t pull devs away from work – your marketing team can build launch landing pages themselves.
Click To Tweet


The best part? The campaign landing page that the Vimeo marketing team created drove engagement, which was the campaign goal.

Garrett explains:

[Using scroll mapping,] we saw people scrolling all the way down the page, interacting with the content throughout. It really achieved the goal which was to drive engagement, not just with our paid subscribers but with everybody on the platform.

Better performing paid and social advertising campaigns

A beautiful, engaging landing page is well and good, but at the end of the day, your boss wants hard numbers that show that your campaigns performed.

Since adding dedicated campaign landing pages to their marketing launch toolkit, Vimeo has also seen better results for their paid and social advertising campaigns.

Some paid ads created by Vimeo for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Before Unbounce, Garrett humbly admits that they were letting their website get in the way of their campaign success:

Before Unbounce, we simply directed prospects to a page [on our website] with a pricing grid, and that’s pretty extreme to just throw that in someone’s face right away.

But now that Vimeo is sending paid traffic to product launch-specific landing pages like the one above (as opposed to generic pages like their /upload/ page and homepage), their campaigns are kicking serious butt. Check out these impressive results:

  • 730% increase in subscribers from 360-related paid keywords
  • 4529% increase in total video uploads from 360-related paid keywords

Bonus: Dedicated landing pages aren’t only bringing Vimeo better campaign results — Garrett explained that they’re also improving user experience and Google’s relevance score:

Unbounce has allowed us to target specific landing pages for top keywords, which is a huge win. I think that this one of the best use cases for Unbounce.

You can use Dynamic Text Replacement or make specific pages, and you just target your top terms, it’s highly relevant… I have complete control of that experience and that’s the marketer’s dream.

Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR) feature gives Garrett and his team the capability to swap out text on their landing page — so that their ads and landing pages present exactly what visitors searched for.

Unbounce’s Ryan Engley explains how Dynamic Text Replacement works. See DTR in action here.

That level of message match across the entire buyer journey is key to strong PPC performance.

When prospects click on an ad and see a landing page with a headline that matches exactly what they searched for, they’re reassured that they’ve made a “good click” and are more likely to stick around (and even convert) — and that in turn positively impacts Quality Score in AdWords.

What you can learn from Vimeo’s success

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Vimeo’s 360 campaign, it’s this:

Yes, product launches are a lot a pressure, but they don’t have to be painfulnot when marketing teams are empowered to move nimbly without bottlenecks.

According to Garrett, it’s all about focusing on your core competencies:

With Unbounce, we can now generate marketing-specific landing pages quickly and easily and translate those across different languages.

It takes the pressure off our devs and engineers, and lets them focus on what’s core — what’s vital to the business — which is building video tools for creators. We handle the marketing side.

By making Unbounce landing pages an essential part of your marketing launch toolkit, not only can you gain the competitive edge by going to market faster, you’ll also:

  • Free up dev resources so they can focus on building and innovating your product
  • Convert more prospects by sending paid traffic to relevant, high-converting pages
  • Create beautifully designed pages that showcase your product in the best light possible
  • Make your boss really happy by saving the company precious time and money

And that folks, is why you should NSAPLCWADLP… Never Start A Product Launch Campaign Without A Dedicated Landing Page. ;)

Follow this link: 

Master Your Next Feature Launch: How Vimeo Uses Unbounce Landing Pages to Go to Market Faster

Save the Date for Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference 2017 [Discount Code Inside]

unnamed

I know you’re busy, so let’s cut to the chase.

Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference is back on June 25th – June 27th in beautiful Vancouver, Canada.

What’s in it for you?

First off, we’ve carefully curated a star-studded speaker lineup that includes the likes of Mari Smith, Scott StrattenKindra Hall and Rand Fishkin. See the full agenda here. (Fun fact: We made a pledge to have 50% female speakers this year, and we stuck to it.)

insidepost3

Additionally, unlike other conferences where you’re torn between tracks, this conference is single-track. No need to miss a thing or weigh up your love for PPC or CRO. You can have it all and bring back stellar takeaways to your team on each of their respective specialities. #Teamplayer

We’re also working closely with our speakers to ensure talks are as actionable as possible. (This is our conference’s promise).

Explore the topics below to see featured talks and get a sense for the ones most exciting to you:

PPC
SEO
Copywriting
Social
CRO

Jonathan Dane — The PPC Performance Pizza

Jonathan DaneIn this session, Johnathan will cover 8 ways to make any PPC channel work with positive ROI. He’ll guide you through a simple framework, The PPC Performance Pizza, that will double performance on any PPC channel, from Google Adwords to Facebook.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use search, social, display, and video PPC to your advantage
  • Which channels and offers work best in tandem for more conversions
  • The frameworks KlientBoost uses to double your performance within 90 days

Rand Fishkin — The Search Landscape In 2017

Rand FishkinMuch has changed (and is changing) in SEO, leaving us with an uncertain future. In this talk, the one and only Rand Fishkin will share his view on the search landscape 2017, dive into data on how users behave in search engines, explain what the election of Donald Trump means to site owners and, most importantly provide you with the essential tactics every marketer should embrace to be prepared for the changes.

You’ll learn:

  • How has search behavior changed and what does it mean for marketers seeking organic search traffic
  • What new tactics and strategies are required to stay ahead of the competition in SEO
  • How might new US government policies affect the web itself and future platform and web marketing opportunities

Amy Harrison — The Customer Disconnect: How Inside-Out Copy Makes You Invisible

Amy HarrisonWhen you write copy, there are 3 critical elements: What you KNOW about your product, what you WRITE about your product, and what your customer THINKS you mean. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to have a disconnect between all three, and when that happens, customer’s don’t realize the true value of what you have to offer. In this talk, you’ll identify any disconnect in your own marketing, and learn how to write copy that breaks through the noise, differentiates your brand, and speaks to your customers’ desires.

You’ll learn:

  • How to recognize if you even HAVE a disconnect
  • How to beat the blank page – know what to include for every piece of copy you create
  • How to make even commoditized products sound different and fresh to your customer

Mari Smith — Winning Facebook Advertising Strategies: 5 Powerful Ways To Leverage Your Results & ROI

Mari SmithFacebook is constantly adding new features, new products and new ad units. What works today and what’s a waste of time and money? How should marketing teams, agencies and brands focus their ad spend for maximum results? In this dynamic session, world-renowned Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith, will answer these questions and more.

You’ll learn:

  • Simple processes for maximizing paid reach to build a steady flow of top qualified leads
  • How to make your Facebook advertising dollars go much further, and generate an even higher ROI
  • The top ten biggest mistakes marketers make with their Facebook ads and how to fix them

Michael Aagaard – Your Brain Is Lying To You: Become A Better Marketer By Overcoming Confirmation Bias

Michael AagaardHave you ever resisted or ignored a piece of info because it posed a threat to your worldview? If you answered “yes,” you’re like most other human beings on the planet. In fact, according to the last 40 years of cognitive research, favouring information confirming your worldview is extremely common human behaviour. Unfortunately, being biased towards information confirming what we already believe often leads to errors in judgment and costly mistakes in marketing. But how can we overcome this?

You’ll learn:

  • The facts about confirmation bias and why it is such a dangerous pitfall for marketers
  • A framework for becoming aware of and overcoming your own confirmation bias
  • Hands-on techniques for cutting through the clutter and getting information rather than confirmation

Did we mention the workshops?

We’re bringing back workshops (see Sunday’s tab on the agenda) and we’ve tailored the topics based on your feedback. We’ll be talking hyper-targeted overlays, how agencies can leverage landing pages and getting people to swipe right on your landing page. The best part? They’re all included in your ticket price. Most importantly, marketers who purchase CTAConf tickets, get notified first once registration for workshops opens. Workshops were standing room only last year and we’re bringing them back bigger than ever, so first dibs on registration’s a real bonus.

Finally, we want you to have a ton of fun while you learn. We’re talkin’ 8 food trucks, incredible after parties, all the dog hoodies you can handle, wacky activities and full access to the recordings of every session. SPOILER: we’re looking into renting a Ferris wheel (seriously, this is a thing).

Convinced? Grab your tickets here.

(Hey, blog reader. Yeah, you. We like you. Get 15% off ticket price when you use discount code blogsentme.” That’s cheaper than our early bird price.)

Want to see the excitement in action?

Here’s a peek at what we got up to last year:

The countdown is on

Regardless or whether you’re a PPC specialist, conversion copywriter, full-stack marketer or living that agency life, we’ve got something in store for you. Our workshops and talks touch on everything marketing: pay-per-click, agencies, copywriting, conversion rate optimization, landing page optimization, branding and storytelling, email marketing, customer success, search engine optimization and product marketing.

Check out the full agenda here.

insidepost5

See you at the conference (and on that Ferris wheel)!

Grab your tickets here and remember to use discount code “blogsentme” at checkout for 15% off that ticket price!

Read the article: 

Save the Date for Unbounce’s Call to Action Conference 2017 [Discount Code Inside]

How to Supercharge Growth and Overcome Competition with Added Value

Working in a competitive, oversaturated industry is not easy. There are dozens of similar companies, each and every one fighting for the same customers. If you are working in an industry like that, how do you survive? Undercutting the competition on prices is not sustainable. Sooner or later the margins will become so small that you will start losing money. You can start developing a new feature or improve what you already offer, but that takes a lot of time and resources. However, there are some other ways you can grab the attention of potential customers. You can add value…

The post How to Supercharge Growth and Overcome Competition with Added Value appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Read More:  

How to Supercharge Growth and Overcome Competition with Added Value

Experience Design Essentials: Animated Microinteractions In Mobile Apps

Dariel Fitzkee, the famous magician, once said, “Magic is both in the details and in the performance.” Interaction design is just like that. Designers love to get the big picture right, but if the details aren’t handled properly, the solution will fail. The magic is all in the details. That’s why well-designed microinteractions make experiences feel crafted.
To get a better understanding of how your design benefits from microinteractions, it will help to sketch out your app ideas.

See original article:  

Experience Design Essentials: Animated Microinteractions In Mobile Apps

Resolving User Pain Points Across eCommerce Conversion Funnel

As reported by Internet Retailer, the projected online global consumer spending by 2019 will more than double to $3.551 trillion of the global spending in 2015, accounting for 12.4% of the total retail sales.  These numbers show that consumer inclination toward online shopping is increasing. However, the gap between what consumers want and what they get is also widening. This is where the importance of providing visitors a friction-free experience across an eCommerce conversion funnel stems from.

Competition also has been becoming increasingly fierce. Global marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba are eating into a large share of the retail market. Numbers from Ecommerce News suggest that by 2020, Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba will own at least 40% of the global retail market. eCommerce enterprises and retailers, however, are confident that they can one-up players like eBay by providing enhanced customer experience and services.

eCommerce enterprises also realize that the modern consumer/customer journey is complex. Empowered and informed consumers neither have the patience nor any reason to buy from eCommerce establishments that fail to provide instant gratification.

In this blog post, we talk about how eCommerce enterprises can smooth out friction at each stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel—awareness, consideration, and purchase. We discuss how enterprises, regardless of where the customer enters the funnel, can provide an enhanced and optimized customer experience.

Addressing Pain Points at the Awareness Stage

A consumer at the awareness stage already has a preconceived notion, which is molded by social and digital content. The ability of consumers to create, absorb, and distribute information has increased manifold. The following Deloitte Consumer Review 2014, which represents consumer attitude toward digital content, validates the same.

user engagement through digital content
Source

To stand a chance of gaining user attention/awareness in the digital eCommerce arena, online enterprises need to ensure that they have a strong digital content strategy in place, which consists of formulating a clear objective, understanding the target audience, determining the brand’s voice, and more.

Let’s also not forget the impact of search engine optimization on accessibility and online presence. Forbes talks about SEO key trends 2016 for eCommerce, highlighting the measures that enterprises can ensure  to grow their online presence . A MOZ post discusses the changing face of search in the age of video transcription.

With mobile usage on the rise, consumers expect high quality and variety of content to be available on their smartphones. However, according to BrightEdge Content Engagement Report 2015, more than 1 in 4 mobile sites is misconfigured, which results in an average 68% loss of smartphone traffic to that content. These statistics don’t frame a great picture, given that the Google searches via mobile have already surpassed desktop searches.

While eCommerce enterprises need to optimize quality content for awareness through search, they need to do so with the goal of acquiring quality traffic. Analyze where most of your traffic is coming from. Go a step further to find out the traffic sources that are driving most engagements.

After you have figured out the traffic sources that are driving most conversions, you can create a winning user engagement strategy for those channels. Here’s an interesting case study on how Michael Kors integrates Instagram and other social media to boost eCommerce and store revenue.

awareness stage strategy example for eCommerce
Source

Addressing Pain Points at the Consideration Stage

A consumer at the consideration stage is well aware of your existence. The problem for eCommerce enterprises to address at this stage is understanding their visitors’ intent and motivations—what do the visitors want and what would make them convert. Addressing the following questions can help eCommerce enterprises ease the users’ pain points.:

  • Why certain visitors don’t buy right away while others do?
  • What can alter a visitor’s buying behavior?
  • What distractions can put off a potential customer?

Taking a predictive action approach at this stage of the funnel is one way of dealing with the friction before it happens. This approach requires creating customer personas, mapping user journeys to understand how users interact and engage with your website, and then using this information to work out tactics that ease user interactions and experiences.

Visitor recordings and heatmaps, as well as user feedback gathering tools such as on-page surveys, can be deployed by eCommerce enterprises to gain clear insights into the what and why of on-site behaviors of visitors.

Losing potential customers to competition at the consideration stage is another big challenge for eCommerce enterprises. Although an understanding of customer intent and motivation can make visitors’ experiences delightful—even to the extent that they  come back or spread a positive word around—there are high chances that even a positive on-site experience doesn’t make them buy from you.

Reason? Visitors at any stage of conversion are continuously relying on their own research and user-generated and influencer-generated content to reconsider their purchase decision.

Influencing Purchase at the Consideration Stage

There are a number of things influencing buyer behavior at the consideration stage. A ready-to-convert visitor might interact with your website and go back to the consideration stage if he/she is able to find a better deal elsewhere.

One of Harvard Business Review posts talk about why users need not choose a fixed path to conversion. An extract from the same HBR article is quoted below:
“Julie Bornstein, CMO at Sephora, has seen social media change how people buy beauty products. Recommendations from friends have always been important, but now these recommendations spread ‘quicker, faster, and further’ at every stage in the funnel. The decision on what to buy increasingly comes from advocates who share their experience in a way that pulls in new customers and informs their purchase decision. Sephora’s response has been to bring all the stages of the funnel together at a single place, creating its own online community where people can ask experts and each other about brands, products, and techniques.” 

From a user’s perspective, User-Generated Content (UGC) helps build trust  and mitigates the fear of buying, which could otherwise have been a huge point of friction. It has also changed the way eCommerce businesses build engagement. For a complete picture on how UGC can be leveraged, check out this article by MAVSOCIAL. Using trust seals and testimonials is equally important for easing out the fear of being cheated or misled. For more insights on the importance of trust, read how this eCommerce business established credibility by adding a trust badge and increased its conversion rate by 72.05%.

The takeaway here is to keep the visitor engaged through your eCommerce website and build trust. This can be achieved using a good mix of predictive analysis, user-generated content, and leveraging principles of persuasion that can turn user buying behavior in your favor (consider FOMO). User interface is another parameter that eCommerce enterprises must test and improve for driving more visitor engagement at the consideration stage of the funnel.

Addressing Pain Points at the Conversion Stage

The decision is made in your favor, and the visitor is going through the checkout on your site to buy the product. What could stop a visitor from converting at this stage? Is it that the visitor’s preferred mode of payment was not available? Is it that your shipping costs are exorbitantly high? VWO’s Shopping Cart Abandonment Report 2016 states, “One-fourth of the respondents will not check out if they encounter unexpected shipping cost.”

Regardless of the length of the checkout, the goal for eCommerce enterprises should always be to make the checkout distraction-free.

Consider Amazon’s example: At checkout, they have only two options listed—place order or close the window. Not providing unnecessary navigation options on the checkout eliminates distraction at this final step.

Amazon's example of distraction free navigation
Source

A thorough usability study for their checkout can help eCommerce enterprises find out what needs to be fixed and what can be made better. Here’s a usability benchmark of 100 eCommerce sites that have been ranked by Baymard, according to their checkout usability performance.

eCommerce checkout usability performance benchmark
Source

Another article by Baymard talks about mobile checkout usability, which is no less important than website optimization, considering that people are browsing their phones more than ever. However, there is still a huge potential for retailers to drive conversions directly from mobile.

Optimizing for mobiles and tablets becomes all the more important because consumers often browse one device and buy from another. The meandering that happens between different devices before a visitor converts, requires eCommerce enterprises to track and analyze cross-device behaviors.

Conclusion

An ideal funnel in the current dynamically changing times is not only the one that drives more conversions, but also the one that is able to provide exactly what customers want. Whether consumers are in the awareness, consideration, or conversion stage of the buying journey, eCommerce enterprises can help improve the online buying experience by understanding and addressing frictions at each stage.

What do you suggest can ease user pain-points at each stage of the eCommerce conversion funnel? Comment and let us know.

CTA Solving user pain-points in eCommerce conversion funnel

The post Resolving User Pain Points Across eCommerce Conversion Funnel appeared first on VWO Blog.

View post: 

Resolving User Pain Points Across eCommerce Conversion Funnel

The Definitive Guide to Agency Marketing Automation

Nurturing seeds
Grow, little leads, grow! Image via Shutterstock.

Most agency websites suck. (For the longest time, mine was no different.)

But it’s not your fault.

You’re strapped for time as it is — too busy running around, responding to clients ASAP and leaving little-to-no time for yourself.

This problem can be extended to most agency promotional efforts. Your blog struggles for consistent publishing. Social could use some work. Outgoing emails are inconsistent at best.

Marketing automation can help dramatically, but it’s typically only reserved for clients.

Well not anymore. Because spending just a few hours setting up an effective email automation workflow can net you 20% more sales opportunities, letting you spend more time focusing on your current clients.

Here are a few sample workflows to show you how any agency can start employing its own marketing automation campaigns to nurture leads, close clients and onboard them painlessly.

Sample automation email workflows

An introductory guide to marketing automation

When used properly, marketing automation can deliver a 451% increase in qualified leads. It can also increase average sales by 34%.

79% of the best marketers have already been using marketing automation for years now.

But… it’s typically only the largest marketing teams who’re implementing successfully.

While 60%+ of marketers use email to keep in touch with customers and prospects, only around 13% use marketing automation. (Despite the fact that marketing automation can deliver twice as many leads as the normal mass email approach.)

Even more concerning, only 85% of B2B marketers reportedly feel like they’re not using it to its fullest extent.

That’s a shame. Because beyond the amazing lead nurturing powers we’ve already discussed, it’s ALSO one of the best ways to scale the efforts of any small, scrappy team looking for an automated way to nurture prospective leads (so it’s not another thing that falls into the lap of the founder, principal or partner).

Marketing automation is also an excellent agency tactic because it perfectly aligns with a consultative sales process that you should be using (here’s a primer on SPIN selling I wrote for HubSpot with more background information).

Here’s how it works.

Using one of your favorite email marketing tools (we use and love HubSpot and recommend AutopilotHQ as an alternative, but you can even use MailChimp if money’s tight) you can set up workflows that automatically trigger pre-crafted emails at predetermined intervals.

Example workflow

Each of these workflows should have a goal or objective, like “Fill out Form XYZ” or “Purchase Widget ABC”. When someone on your email list achieves your desired goal, they’re automatically removed from this list so they don’t receive any other now-irrelevant offers. (Many times you’ll even simultaneously add them automatically to a new workflow in order to achieve a different purpose.)

You can also get uber-nerdy, creating different If, Then conditional statements for people who DO (or don’t) open or click an email, creating endless branches of customization until your heart’s content.

Agencies and marketers everywhere commonly implement this stuff for clients. It ain’t brain surgery. For example, ecommerce shops commonly have ‘Cart Abandonment Workflows’ that follow up with people who add products to their cart but don’t follow through with a purchase.

For example, you can sweeten the deal with a timely discount or free shipping. You can also introduce scarcity by urging people to purchase one of the last remaining items before they run out of stock. Or, highlight any other limited-time bonus, like Audible sent me recently:

Audible email

These emails are popular, because they work. Personalized, timely emails like this result in 14% better click-throughs and 10% better conversion rates.

Marketers are very familiar with setting these up for clients. Trouble is, they rarely set them up for themselves.

It’s obviously not a lack of knowledge or skill. It’s usually some combination of meeting existing client deadlines, responding to urgent requests and pricing out new projects.

But don’t worry, because I’ve already done the work for you. Simply adjust the following workflows for your own agency.

Maximize Your Conversions with Email Campaigns

Download the FREE Smart Guide To Email Marketing Conversion!
By entering your email you’ll receive weekly Unbounce Blog updates and other resources to help you become a marketing genius.

Workflow #1: site visitors -> interested contacts

Your first objective is to grab the attention of current website visitors and turn them into interested contacts.

These are people who aren’t quite leads yet, but can be in the future if you nurture them properly (and if the timing is right for them).

People at the top of the funnel (TOFU, in HubSpot parlance) lack awareness for your services. (In other words, they don’t necessarily realize that they need you just yet.) More likely, they’re looking for SEO tips, web design trends or similarly educational, information-based content.

Grab people’s interest with topic-focused content offers. Viral-inducing infographics are perfect, like this excellent Landing Page Anatomy gifographic from KlientBoost.

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the customary CTA featuring a proposal offer.

KlientBoost CTA

Most people find your blog posts through one of two ways:

  1. Referrals (at the beginning)
  2. Organic search (over the long-term)

Blog posts like the example above that targets “Landing Page Anatomy” will generally bring people in through organic search. As such, they’re probably looking for information and education. (In other words, they’re likely not looking for expensive, custom, done-for-you services quite yet.)

One thing to try testing here if these people aren’t ready to talk proposals, is to try a softer sell with a downloadable guide, checklist, ebook and so on.

The benefit of leading with a soft sell (i.e., downloadable guide) over a hard one (i.e., consultation) is getting more leads to opt-in, giving you the chance to nurture them over time with inbound marketing campaigns.

IMPACT does something similar right on their homepage, offering a free guide to download immediately.

Impact homepage form

Workflow #2: interested contacts -> marketing leads

The second step is to subtly get your new interested contacts to raise their hand and become a marketing lead.

That gives you the cue to begin proceeding with a more direct, hard sale.

How exactly?

Continue building interest and trust in your services through case studies and other educational resources that bridge the gap between information and solutions your services offer.

You can get super sophisticated with clever lead scoring techniques that give you quantifiable averages based on pageviews, site visitors and more. But that’s time consuming and imprecise.

If we’re emphasizing speed here, just create a basic service-related offer and ask people to download it if they’re interested.

For example, when you try reaching out to San Diego firm Digital Telepathy, they’ll send you a playbook which provides some more details about how they work (and what you can expect).

Playbook form

People who make this subtle transition to inquiring about your services are now entering that middle of the funnel (MOFU) step. By filling out a service-related form on your website, they’re  expressing explicit interest in what you have to offer.

Digital Telepathy uses their Playbook to provide more information about how their services work. However you can also use a calculator-like tool to show the ROI, or even a video/webinar that details what a typical project looks like (and what it might cost).

Here’s a simple cadence to get them there:

  • Day 3: Tips article
  • Day 7: Opinion article
  • Day 10: CTA – MOFU offer
  • Day 14: Tips article
  • Day 17: Opinion article
  • Day 20: CTA – MOFU offer
  • Day 24: Tips article
  • Day 27: Opinion article
  • Day 30: CTA – MOFU offer

These emails should be personal and largely unstyled, because the one thing that separates services companies is YOU. Everyone “does SEO” or “designs websites.” Look around at the biggest agencies, and you’ll quickly notice they’re selling themselves, their people and their culture.

Codeless email

From a design standpoint, this email sucks. Especially that awkward looking guy’s face. But it’s personal, meant to prioritize a one-on-one connection (rather than our design brilliance).

And most importantly, it was easy to create. If marketers can strip away additional required resources (e.g., design and development), you can speed up creation and deployment (which is critical if you’re building out ~30 of these over the next few days).

PRO TIP: Upload your segmented email list (for example, one ‘group’ or segmented list for each step of the funnel discussed so far) to create a Facebook Ad Custom Audience and run remarketing campaigns to make multi-channel marketing a practical, scalable and affordable reality for scrappy upstarts.

Workflow #3: marketing leads -> sales leads

People can be qualified as a marketing lead when they’ve met some basic criteria and shown some interest in your services.

You want to move people from the middle of the funnel (MOFU) to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

The goal is to turn these middle of the funnel (MOFU) leads into ones ready to move into the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) and get on the phone to discuss scope, pricing and more.

How?

Benchmark your prospect against the competition to quickly highlight where they are now with where they want to be (or where their competition already is).

Here’s the next workflow cadence to implement:

  • Day 3: Detailed ‘How-To’ article
  • Day 7: Case study
  • Day 10: CTA – BOFU offer
  • Day 14: Detailed ‘How-To’ article
  • Day 17: Case study
  • Day 20: CTA – BOFU offer
  • Day 24: Detailed ‘How-To’ article
  • Day 27: Case study
  • Day 30: CTA – BOFU offer

Look: I’m no sales expert.

But I do know that if you can show people (quantifiably) where they are now alongside where they want to be and where their competition already is, your chances of closing that sh*t just went up exponentially.

So instead of the basic free consultation that excites no one, offer something that compares and contrasts a company with their own aspirations.

For example, Wordstream found huge success when they shifted their initial offer to an AdWords Grader that breaks down how a company’s campaign performance is doing currently with what they could (or should) be doing.

Moz Local does something similar, highlighting the amount of inconsistent, duplicate or missing local listing information that’s holding you back.

(Here are a few more B2B offer examples like these if you’re interested).

The goal is to detail your prospect’s problems in real time and offer up compelling solutions to fix them (which is the exact Problem Agitate Solution copywriting formula employed on the daily).

One example that makes me infinitely jealous and I will NOT hesitate to steal emulate is IMPACT’s ROI calculator:

ROI calculator

Your emails to get people to these offers can be the same style and tone as previous ones (more-or-less). Here’s another imperfect, yet implemented email example:

Codeless email

Same crappy email template. Same goofy looking dude.

But the overall goal is the same: come across as a real, friendly person who can be a helpful asset.

Workflow #4: sales prospect -> happy new client

Once you’ve had the chance to meet one-on-one with new prospects, you’ll probably start following up personally.

But there’s no reason to stop automating your efforts just yet — use it to help build trust and urgency (or simply take care of those leads that become unresponsive when attempting to follow up).

Here’s the next workflow cadence to implement:

  • Day 3: Meeting notes or recap
  • Day 10: Video overview of the next steps
  • Day 17: Calculator (their expected ROI)
  • Day 20: Case study and testimonial
  • Day 24: Case study and testimonial
  • Day 30. Breakup template

That last step is especially important. You know when you follow up with a new prospect, over and over and over again, only to hear crickets in return? Break up, don’t follow up.

Even something simple should do:

Hi $FNAME,

I’ve tried following up a few times but haven’t heard anything back. I’m going to assume this is no longer a priority for you right now.

Best of luck going forward!

– Brad

When all’s said and done, you’ve turned strangers into contacts or subscribers, turned those contacts into true marketing leads, and then whittled down a list of sales prospects who want to talk shop one-on-one. And they’re about to finally close.

Well played. You should celebrate. Go on, you deserve it.

celebrate
Say it with me now, “I. Am. The. Best.” Image via Giphy.

But don’t stop automatically following up with clients once they sign on the dotted line.

Instead, remove the possibility of buyer’s remorse and encourage referrals by continuing to send emails consistently to new clients.

Pawel Grabowski wrote an excellent agency onboarding template recently on Agency Analytics that suggested the following sequence:

  1. Welcome message: Exactly as it sounds. Welcome new clients and continue reinforcing the value you’ll deliver. You can also send over important documents that might require their feedback as well.
  2. Break the silence: Explain your agency process and provide quick updates while your team is busy heads down getting the project rolling.
  3. First deliverable: Send frequent deliverable updates as items within the project’s scope get accomplished.
  4. Educational materials: Provide supporting details or documents that help set the context and expectations for clients.
  5. Follow up: Feign face-time with consistent project updates to make sure clients know they’re loved, appreciated and understood.

You can also use these automation techniques to de-personalize some interactions.

Here’s what I mean:

I’ve often found it’s difficult, awkward or just uncomfortable to ask clients for direct feedback to improve or for testimonials when a project is winding down.

It’s natural to feel like you’re imposing when asking this of clients. And many times they feel put on the spot and don’t react as you’d like (candidly).

To avoid this, bolster your onboarding sequence with simple project management email templates and surveys to go out after 30 or 45 days of working together:

Codeless feedback email

Using a single, all-in-one tool for all your client communication also has the added benefit of banking answers. For example, HubSpot’s smart form fields will save answers previously provided (like name, etc.) so that future forms won’t keep asking for duplicate information (thereby annoying clients who’ve responded to a few of these).

There’s a delicate balance that you need to strike when using automation with agency clients, because you don’t want to come across as unprofessional by asking redundant, duplicate questions that may have been already been addressed.

Conclusion

Marketing agencies struggle on a daily basis, just like our clients, to find the time and resources to properly promote our businesses.

Being in a client services position only exacerbates this problem, forcing us to continually put client needs ahead of our own.

When you’re slammed with projects, consistent agency promotion declines (or stops entirely).

Marketing automation is the perfect solution, tailor-made to help you nurture and follow up with interested leads at scale.

It can help you bridge the gap between site visitors ready to receive a proposal from… the other 98% of your website visitors.

And when executed properly, marketing automation should also seamlessly fit into your consultative sales approach.

That means a few days of hard work can deliver you with a systematic process to incrementally build trust over the long-term, until your prospects are ready to become clients (and even loyal referrers).

Jump to original: 

The Definitive Guide to Agency Marketing Automation

BLUF: 4 Examples of High-impact Copy Inspired By this Military Tactic [+ Free Downloadable Worksheet]

Woman morse code
Imagine you’re tapping out a telegraph the next time you write your landing page copy. Image by Everett Collection via Shutterstock.

Right before the Titanic sank, at around 1:00 a.m. on April 15, 1912, somebody sent the following telegram, an incredible — albeit sad — example of BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front):

CQD CQD SOS SOS = FROM MGY (RMS TITANIC) = WE HAVE STRUCK ICEBERG = SINKING FAST = COME TO OUR ASSISTANCE = POSITION: LAT 41.46 N. = LON 50.14 W. MGY

BLUF is originally a military communications technique, in which the conclusion — the most vital information and actions — is placed right at the start.

As a copywriting tool for your landing page, BLUF is effective for a few reasons, including:

  • highlighting your best copy right away,
  • reducing the likelihood of people bouncing due to lack of clarity and
  • giving the reader what they need to make an informed decision (respect people’s time and intelligence and they’ll respect you).

Look at this example from the Starbucks website:

Starbucks ad
Starbucks proving that sometimes less is more.

When the folks at Starbucks released their Italian-Style Ham & Spicy Salami sandwich in January, they knew that all they really needed to do was show the sandwich and tell you what’s in it. Throw in some colorful words, like handcrafted, splash and tangy, and you’re salivating.

This is BLUF. Starbucks has given you everything you need to know about whether this sandwich is for you, all in about 30 words. If you really want to “Learn More”, you can  (it has 480 calories and little pickled peppers, if you’re interested).

Now that you know what BLUF is and have some idea of how it works, let’s look at some more examples, and then how to put BLUF into practice on your own landing pages. Get ready to nerd out.

Download Your Free Learn How To BLUF Worksheet

Craft killer BLUF-inspired copy that converts with this FREE downloadable worksheet.
By supplying your email address, you authorize Unbounce to update you with content from the Unbound Landing Page and Conversion Optimization Blog.

BLUF example #2: Gumroad

Gumroad landing page
Gumroad’s landing page is a strong example of BLUF, giving visitors the pertinent info they need right up front.

What is Gumroad’s BLUF?

Sell music directly to your listeners.
See higher conversion, lower fees and more customer control.

Gumroad’s bottom line is that it allows musicians to sell directly to listeners. That might be enough for some people, but the landing page includes some key features of the service, like lower fees and the possibility of higher conversions. If you’re a musician, Gumroad is sounding pretty good by now, so the next logical step is to attempt to seal the deal by inviting you to sign up for free.

There’s more information in the page section below if you’re in need of a bit more convincing, but essentially everything you need to know to make a decision is right there up front.

BLUF example #3: Human

Human landing page
Human recognizes that we humans have very limited attention spans.

What is Human’s BLUF?

Human’s BLUF is even simpler than Gumroad’s; its app will encourage you to do 30 minutes or more of exercise every day. It’s a fitness tracker that feeds you little nuggets of praise, pushing you to do more.

Like Gumroad, the copy on Human’s landing page passes the Blank Sheet of Paper test, giving visitors only the bare necessities in order to make a decision.

Again, the call to action mentions that the app is free to download, making it harder to refuse.

BLUF example #4: Dyson

What if the thing you’re offering is complex? Further, what if you want to highlight the fact that it’s complex, but still have people understand it? All the more reason to use BLUF. Nothing changes.

The Dyson team prides themselves on making things that are intuitive and easy to use. They also want you and the competition to know that there is absolutely nothing else like a Dyson. They’re not shy about giving you the technical details, but look at how they do it.

This unique 360 vision system uses complex mathematics, probability theory, geometry and trigonometry to map and navigate a room. So it knows where it is, where it’s been and where it’s yet to clean.

What is Dyson’s BLUF (and what else have they done right?)

Dyson landing page
Dyson effectively blends simplicity using the BLUF tactic with the complexity of it’s high-tech product.

Nobody who’s just looking for a bog-standard vacuum cleaner is going to be interested in the ins and outs of the 360 Eye — or its $1,200 price tag. The people who are interested in this cleaner are gadget geeks and tech brains with money to burn.

The folks at Dyson know that, and they sell based on the vacuum’s features. The bottom line is that the people who are most likely to buy the 360 Eye will be attracted by certain words and phrases, like “robot navigation technology” and “probability theory.”

Dyson knows that the people who buy this cleaner will want to stand and look at it with their friends and say,

It uses trigonometry to figure out that it still needs to clean near the fridge.

Plan your copy using BLUF

Planning what to write on your landing page with BLUF is easy.

If I’m a visitor to your landing page, I have a specific need to fill. I want you to:

  • show me how your offering meets my needs (whether it’s a car alarm or a cake decorating set),
  • give me reason to think that your thing is better than everyone else’s and
  • invite me to learn more, sign up or buy.

If I want to know more, I can scroll, but if you can fulfill my need convincingly right there in your opening, I’m less likely to visit somebody else’s landing page, right?

Consider this: How often do you stare at an article or landing page and have no idea what you’re reading? Let’s avoid that.

Exercise: Learn how to BLUF

This is just for fun, so don’t panic. Thinking about the examples above, pick a product or service (your own or someone else’s) and have a crack at this. I’ve filled it out for PayPal as an example:

Words/phrases you associate with this product/service Problems this product/service solves Things which make this product/service better than the rest
Money, finances, security, payments, safety, ease, simplicity, universal, send, receive, business, invoice, used by millions, trusted, fraud protection • Sending and receiving money safely
• No need to hand over bank details
• Trade in different currencies
• Keep track of business payments
• Can receive payments/send invoices to people who don’t have PayPal
• Work easily with any currency
• Access your money anywhere in the world

Visualizing your thoughts and features like this starts to give you an idea of what your conclusion, key points and actions might be. It’s the framework for your BLUF copy.

We’ve now got plenty of material to create a PayPal landing page with. We might say something like:

Send and Receive Money Safely
Access your money anywhere. Trade business invoices in any currency.
Start trading today

Outlining your copy first can be useful for informing your design. It’s something that copywriter Alastaire Allday talks about in his ebook, Think Like a Copywriter.

Wrapping up

The essence of BLUF is about giving your reader the information they need right away, and allowing them to make an informed decision about a follow-up.

While being so scant in your introduction may sound scary, just like in dating, confidence pays off big time. It’s much easier for people to buy into your idea when you’re completely behind it yourself. You still need to be descriptive, but highlight your best parts straight away. Don’t beat around the bush.

Good luck using BLUF to take your landing page copywriting to another level.

From:

BLUF: 4 Examples of High-impact Copy Inspired By this Military Tactic [+ Free Downloadable Worksheet]