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How To Make Use Of Weekly Design Meetings

How do you keep a team engaged? How do you make sure the team gets up to date with everything that’s being released? How often do the team members talk to each other face to face? Do they have enough support to finish their tasks or to pursue their growth?
These are questions that popped in my head once a design team started to grow quickly in front of my eyes.

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How To Make Use Of Weekly Design Meetings

How to Get 100,000 People to See Your Blog Post

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What would more traffic to your blog post mean to you? Image source.

What would 100,000 views on a blog post mean to you?

Depending on the goals of your blog, it could mean thousands of new subscribers and fans.

But it could also mean new customers — big traffic means big exposure and big exposure means big growth.

We’ve been publishing content at Groove for the last five years. We’ve messed up a lot, we’ve learned a lot more and we’ve grown from nothing to over $300,000 in monthly recurring revenue through content marketing.

Today, our blogs are the single biggest driver of growth (as in, real money) for our business.

A couple of years ago, we published a post about how we successfully drove traffic to our blog. It outlined the step-by-step system that we used for influencer outreach.

That post, not surprisingly, has become one of our most popular. We still use the basic foundation of that old system today, but it’s come a long way.

This is the updated version.

Below, we’ll go through the entire “lifecycle” of a blog post, from idea generation to writing to publishing to promotion, to show you how to generate lots of traffic.

We’ll use another one of Groove’s most popular posts — “We Deleted Our Facebook Page. Here’s Why.” — as an example.

Let’s dig in.

1. Picking a topic: Go big

If your goal is to get 100,000 people to see your post, then you need to pick a topic that a lot more than 100,000 people are interested in.

What that includes:

  • Painful problems that lots of people or businesses have
  • Aspirational goals that lots of people or businesses have
  • Controversial issues that lots of people or businesses are divided on

What that doesn’t include, from a content perspective:

  • Your product, service or sales pitch
  • Hyper-niche problems or goals that tiny corners of your market have

There’s huge potential in writing insanely targeted pieces, but if you want lots of traffic, start with a topic that already gets lots of traffic.

Think of a highway with thousands of cars on it. It’s a lot easier to build an off-ramp and siphon some of that traffic off of the highway than to build a whole new unconnected road and try to get cars to drive to it.

highway

How do you know you’re picking a big enough topic?

Start with the problems that you know your market has (if you’re lost, here are some questions to ask to get you started).

Then validate the idea by searching for it

Start with simple Google searches, trying different terms around your topic (think like your reader, and use the exact language that you’ve heard your market use).

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It’ll become clear to you pretty quickly whether it’s a crowded market with tons of content written about it (good), or something that very few people write about and, therefore, care about (bad).

Validate further by using Keyword Planner

Just log in to Google’s Keyword Planner tool and select “Search for new keywords.”

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You don’t need expert-level Keyword Planner skills here. Type some topic ideas into the “Your product or service” box, and click “Get ideas.”

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This is what you’re looking for:

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Keywords around the exact topic you want to write about should add up to a lot more than 100,000 searches per month.

This is what you’re NOT looking for, as you’ll have a hard time scrabbling together 100,000 views:

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Again, we’re not going into advanced SEO here, and there’s lots more you can do with tools like this.

But you don’t need to be an SEO expert to get lots of traffic. This step is all about getting practical validation about the audience size for your topic.

You’ve got the traffic — now how do you convert it?

Here’s a little inspiration: 10 overlay examples to turn your blog traffic into leads.
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2. Writing the post: Be bold

Once you’ve picked a topic you want to write about, you can write your post.

There are three things that every post needs to be if you want to succeed in content marketing:

  1. Valuable: Can readers take your post and DO something with it to improve their current condition?
  2. Interesting: Does your content make reader want to keep reading from beginning to end?
  3. Unique: Does your content stand out from the rest of the content being written about that topic?

All three are “table stakes” for effective content marketing. But for the purposes of this post, where we’re focusing on traffic, let’s assume that you can handle making your post valuable and interesting… so let’s focus on the third: being unique.

Imagine a choir singing a melody; everyone looks the same and sounds the same, so you can’t really tell the difference between any two voices.

byu_concert_choir_with_poppies
That’s what most content markets look like. Homogenous. Image source.

Now imagine Kool-Aid Man busting through the brick wall at stage left and belting out a tune that nobody in the choir had ever even considered before.

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Kool-Aid Man turns heads. Kool-Aid Man is impossible to miss. Don’t join the choir. Be Kool-Aid Man. Image source.

How can you be bold like Kool-Aid Man?

Approach the topic in a way that nobody else has before

The first step of which includes looking at how everyone else is approaching the topic.

In our case, there were hundreds of articles about how to write for your business’ Facebook page, tips for promoting it, how to make sure that people saw it, what kinds of content to produce for it and so on. Everyone was part of the choir, talking about the best ways to approach Facebook for business.

We decided to be Kool-Aid Man and give our readers permission to not spend time on Facebook at all. Here’s the post title we chose:

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Facebook simply hadn’t worked for us for lead generation as well as other channels had, so in the spirit of focusing our very limited resources on only the highest-ROI efforts that we knew would work, we decided to delete our Facebook page and not spend any more time on it.

We were happy that we did, and we thought that others could benefit from a bit of focus, too. And beyond that, we wanted to offer a reality check to remind readers that just because all of the “experts” talk about something, doesn’t mean you have to do it.

And so we wrote the post, the one that busted through the brick wall and didn’t look or sound anything like the choir.

Of course, when you write a post like this, a lot of people will disagree with it. Many will even be offended.

But a lot of people will agree, too. And the more worked up someone gets about your post, whether they agree with it or not, the more likely they are to share it with others.

So pick a side. The more contrarian, the better. And defend it vigorously.

3. Find distribution channels: Identify the gatekeepers

If you had 100,000 people on your email list, then getting 100,000 views wouldn’t be that hard. But let’s assume that you, like most people, don’t have a list that big (yet).

Well, there are lots of people out there that do.

This step is driven by simple math: it’s a lot more time-consuming to get your post in front of 100,000 people, one by one, than it is to put it in front of 50 people who will each want to share it with 2,000 others.

That’s distribution strategy. It’s the “influencer marketing” that has become a bit of a dirty word because so many marketers are doing it poorly.

Let’s go over how to do it well.

First, identify the influencers (the gatekeepers to your 100,000 people)

This is the most time-consuming part of the strategy, but it’s critically important. Skip it or skimp on it and you can kiss your traffic dreams goodbye.

This used to be an extremely painstaking process for us that involved hundreds of hours of Google research. Now it’s just a pretty painstaking process that involves several hours of Google research, plus a few hours using BuzzSumo.

Here’s what you do:

First, find as many content pieces as you can that have done well and that relate to your topic using BuzzSumo’s topic search:

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Next, click on “View sharers” for each post.

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You’ll get a list of influencers that shared the post:

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This makes for a terrific place to start your outreach.

Get as many influencers as you can, cutting out the obvious dead ends (bots that curate content, fake accounts), and put them into a Google Sheet (here’s the one we use — just make a copy and steal it).

Try to get your list to at least 100 great leads whose total audience exceeds 5 million people (that means that you just need to get in front of 2% of them successfully to get 100,000 readers!), and add to your BuzzSumo-sourced list with:

  • Google research (search for the topic you’re writing about, and see who’s already written about it)
  • Twitter search (same approach: see who Tweets about the topic you’re covering)
  • Quora (if the question that you’re asking has been asked on Quora, see which influencers posted opinions)
  • Influential members of online communities and platforms related to your market
Quick side note:

Content marketing is a long game, and you’ll be a lot more successful if you view it that way. Nowhere is that more true than with influencer outreach.

You’re a lot more likely to have success with influencers who know and trust you because you’ve put in the time to follow and read their content, share it with others and contribute thoughtful perspectives in their comments sections. These are efforts that pay off dramatically over time, and I recommend you begin blocking off an hour or two each week to do that with everyone whom you see as an influencer in your market.

That will increase your success with this next tactic exponentially, though it will still work if you haven’t done this yet (it’ll just be harder).

4. Tell influencers about your post: Stand out

The next step is to tell influencers about your post.

The approach that we’ve used (something we originally saw in a Derek Halpern video many years ago) rests on three key pillars:

  1. Take the time to make every outreach email deeply personal and honest: Mass emails are annoying and, often, useless. Nobody will want to build a relationship with you when it’s obvious that you’re sending them a canned outreach email. Personalize each email with an authentic reason as to why you’re reaching out to this person.
  2. Never send your content in the first email: Almost everybody does this (“Here’s my post, please share it”). Not only is it rude, but it makes you look like everyone else. If you don’t understand why this is rude, read Permission Marketing.
  3. Ask for feedback, not promotion: Again, everyone asks influencers to promote their posts. Remember: don’t be the choir. Ask them for something that’s not only more valuable, but that they’re probably more willing to give: their feedback.

Here’s a script we use:

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The “authentic” in “authentic reason” is key. Find a post that they’ve written before, and actually do something with it.

Example:

“Hey Len,

I loved your post about email marketing myths; I had no idea that Tuesday isn’t actually the best day to send. Just shifted an upcoming campaign to Friday to see what happens :)

I know you’re an expert on this, and I’d love to get your thoughts on a post I’m working on about some surprising results I found when A/B testing subject lines.

Do you mind if I send you a link?”

Now, one of a few things will happen:

  1. They’ll ignore you. Cool, move on.
  2. They won’t give you feedback, but they’ll respond. In some cases, because you didn’t do what 99% of marketers do (ask them to promote your post), they’ll do you a solid and share your content.
  3. They’ll give you feedback.

#3 is the absolute best outcome you could hope for, because not only do you get helpful feedback from an expert on the topic, but now they’ve invested time in the creation of your post. Now it’s their post, too.

So when you incorporate your feedback and come back with a request to share, they’ll be more than happy to help:

script-3

5. Find what works: Have fun with it

If you repeat this process across 100+ influencers, you will eventually get big traffic. In the example above, the post hit 100,000 unique page views around 80 days after publishing.

If you do this across 10+ different blog posts and different influencer markets, you’ll get even more traffic over time. And if you do it for a long time, you’ll turn your content into a significant and dependable source of new leads for your business. Because the first step to converting on-site visitors is getting them there in the first place.

You’ve got the traffic — now how do you convert it?

Here’s a little inspiration: 10 overlay examples to turn your blog traffic into leads.
By entering your email you’ll receive weekly Unbounce Blog updates and other resources to help you become a marketing genius.

But you’ll get the best results if you have fun with the process. Play with it and test different things at every step of the strategy:

  • Choose topics that seem weird to you (but that have big audiences)
  • Experiment with making your argument in different ways and formats (infographics, videos, etc.)
  • Try different scripts and calls to action for your outreach emails

You won’t break anything, I promise. The worst that you’ll do is get a negative data point that you learn and grow from.

Viral content marketing is both art and science

As you can see, getting 100,000 readers takes both art and science.

On the art side, writing is important and you have to make an interesting, useful and unique case. And you have to pitch it to influencers in an empathetic and honest way.

But ultimately, the art gets you nowhere without understanding that achieving your 100,000-reader goal can be broken down using science: start with a much larger pool of readers, test different ways to build relationships with the gatekeepers, track what works and what doesn’t and keep experimenting until you get there.

And don’t forget that you won’t win by joining the choir.

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How to Get 100,000 People to See Your Blog Post

Learn From The Best: An Interview With Basecamp Product Designer Jonas Downey

Believe it or not, a lot of your success when you’re running an online business comes down to how you approach design. Design is one of those subtle things that really make or break the experience you give your customers. We reached out to one of our favorite designers – Jonas Downey – to ask him a few questions. Sometimes getting into the head of a great designer can be the ticket to your next product breakthrough! 1. How do you define UX/design? UX has become such a nebulous, overused term — it can mean many different things in different…

The post Learn From The Best: An Interview With Basecamp Product Designer Jonas Downey appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Learn From The Best: An Interview With Basecamp Product Designer Jonas Downey

5 Email Automation Campaigns That Can Drive Revenue While You Sleep!

It’s every marketer’s dream. To lay your head to rest at night with the knowledge that when you wake, your bank balance will be just that little bit bigger. The passive income dream is common enough among marketers and entrepreneurs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch their bank balance grow as they sat back with their feet up enjoying a cold drink? But it’s always been an elusive goal. The dream of making money while you sleep often remains exactly that, a dream. It’s difficult, but definitely not impossible. There’s countless examples of solopreneurs, small businesses and huge corporations…

The post 5 Email Automation Campaigns That Can Drive Revenue While You Sleep! appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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5 Email Automation Campaigns That Can Drive Revenue While You Sleep!

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Behind Every Click, There’s a Person [PODCAST]

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Image via thestoacks.im.

Every marketer (and their mom) knows the importance of running campaigns that are data-driven.

But if you’ve got your head down optimizing for conversions, you can become blinded by that data — and forget that behind every click, there’s a person.

Creating better marketing experiences for the person behind the click was a recurring theme at MozCon 2015 — and it’s what Chelsea Scholz, Campaign Strategist at Unbounce, discusses passionately in this week’s episode of the Call to Action podcast.

You will learn:

  • The three key ingredients that make up a solid brand strategy.
  • Why content written for everyone really winds up being for no one.
  • Unbounce’s recent outside-the-box marketing campaign idea which has been effective at providing value to people and collecting leads.

Listen to the podcast

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Mentioned in the podcast

Read the transcript

Unbounce’s Content Strategist Dan Levy, interviews Chelsea Scholz, Jr. Campaign Strategist at Unbounce.

Dan Levy: All right. You wrote in your post that if you’re feeling frustrated by the results that you’re seeing from your campaigns, it might actually be because you’re focusing too much on the medium that you’re using to reach people and not the people themselves. What do you mean by that?

Chelsea Scholz: So we get really focused on doing things like writing emails to see click-throughs or optimizing a landing page so that Google recognizes it. And that really ends up making us forget the who that we’re actually sending these marketing initiatives to. We’re sending emails to our customers and we’re creating customers for our leads. Those are people back there. And they’re ultimately what drives our bottom line; not the metric. So I find it to be kind of like one of those things that seems so obvious. It’s not obvious. We focus on the analytics when there’s a person back there who’s making that happen for us. And the more we understand that person, I think we’d see a better lift. And we do, in fact, see a better lift in our conversions than our click-throughs, what have you, because we’re focusing on the person.

Dan: Right. And you take us through different strategies that you could use to make sure you’re creating more person-centered marketing experiences. The first one was kind of surprising, though. It was developing a solid brand strategy. And I feel like the word “brand” is a bit controversial, maybe; like some use it way too loosely and vaguely while others tend to dismiss it as, like, fluff and not a tactical word. So I was wondering, what does the term “brand strategy” mean to you?

Chelsea: Brand strategy to me means that you’ve developed a solid core reasoning behind why your business does what it does. And you’ve clearly developed the story around that. It’s a bit like building a snowman. Your business is the snow but you present it to the world in a way that’s delightful, recognizable and interactive by creating snowballs. And then you decorate the snowman with a hat and buttons so that it’s uniquely your own. And this is something that I’ve heard from a lot of different people, that you should envision your brand as a person. In my case, it’s a snowman but same dif, you know?

Dan: How about the carrot nose? What does that represent?

Chelsea: The conversion carrot, Dan.

Dan: Oh, of course.

Chelsea: Ho, ho, ho. There are layers, right, like to your brand and it has to be organized in such a way that everyone can buy into it and believe in it, both internally and externally. Otherwise, you just end up with a pile of snow in your front yard that looks like anybody else’s yard, you know?

Dan: Yeah, so at MozCon, Dana DiTomaso said that the idea of a strong brand strategy needs to go beyond what most people think about it, which is like logos and colors and just dressing, and that it involves three key ingredients. Can you take us through what those were?

Chelsea: Sure. So for the record, Dana is one of my favorite marketers on the planet. She is incredible and I loved hearing her talk –

Dan: She’s great.

Chelsea: – at both MozCon and our own CTA conference this year. So her three key ingredients to a strong brand strategy are keeping it as simple as possible, which again seems so obvious. It’s not obvious. It’s not rocket science. Just lay it out there in really clear, simple language. So the second is keeping it consistent across all channels, both online and offline. So for example, if you host an annual conference each year, and that looks and feels nothing like an email you’d send on an average day, there’s an issue there. And number three is make it a living, breathing document that is a true expression of your company and reflects your company’s core values. So this is something that really resonated with me because it sparked a conversation between believing in brand coaching, not brand policing. So there are companies that have one person who lives and breathes the brand and that’s fantastic. But if everyone at your company doesn’t understand why somebody is doing that, it comes off as a brand dictator of sorts. What you want is to be able to explain and embrace the brand among a lot of the people at your company – if not everybody – by coaching them through why you do what you do, as well as things like what colors you should use and what logos go where.

Dan: Yeah, so I mean I guess you said a living, breathing document meaning that it needs to be something transparent and accessible to all people in the company, that they could kind of refer back to and use as a bible, right?

Chelsea: Yeah, definitely.

Dan: Cool. Well, one thing I know you took away from Wil Reynolds is that when you understand the people behind the click, you’re coming up with a solution that can easily be disrupted. Can you unpack that one?

Chelsea: I think what Wil was talking about here is that you get to a point where you know your audience so well that you can picture a face and a name that you’re talking to. That’s personas, right? But when you do that, you’re crafting a message so targeted and so convincing because you’re talking to the person like a human; it seems really, really simple. You can convey a message properly because you know them intimately. And when you do that, the person feels connected to you, to your brand and to your product in return. This makes your service or whatever you’re offering indestructible.

Dan: Right, because I guess the market could change and tools could change, but people fundamentally will always be the same.

Chelsea: Right. Companies pivot all the time, and it’s especially true of startups. So if you establish a brand that’s so strong and you talk to people like you know them, they’re gonna come with you.

Dan: Well, you mentioned personas, so let’s talk a little bit about personalization and segmentation, which seem to be major buzz words this year. Kristina Halvorson, I think, said that if content is for everybody, then it really is for nobody. And you know that resonates with me as a content strategist; that applies to campaign strategy, as well. And Cara Harshman at Optimizely proposed a three-tiered who, what, how framework for personalization. I was wondering if you could break that down and maybe tell us what that would look like in the context of a campaign that you’ve actually worked on.

Chelsea: Yeah. So again, it’s all about relating back to your user. If you know who you’re talking to, it’s going to be a much better experience for everybody involved — as the marketer on this side of the computer, as the recipient on the virtual other side. So the best example I can think of is something that we recently did — the email marketing for CTA Conference. Our goal was to sell tickets in an online medium to attend an offline event. And it can get tricky. But we broke down a series of emails based on target audiences, messages and intent. Big props, again, to our event marketing manager at the time, Stefanie Grieser as this was a bit of her brainchild. Together, we looked at where people were physically coming from to attend the event and came up with an email campaign called “You Fly, We Buy,” and that email had us target people who weren’t in driving distance of Vancouver. And we sent them an email explaining that we recognized that they’d have to travel a long way to get here and would give them a huge discount on tickets if they paid for their flight over. It worked tremendously well because we understood their dilemma; that flights in combination with tickets was going to be too expensive for them. Similarly, we targeted people who were actually in the area or within driving distance of Vancouver, like Oregon and Washington, and gave them also an incentive to buy a ticket because they were so close to us already.

Dan: Oh, that’s cool. So in that case, you used the fact that they were close so you might as well take care of a ticket for them?

Chelsea: Yeah.

Dan: Then what were some of the results of these campaigns?

Chelsea: Those are one of the two highest-performing emails we had had for the Call to Action Conference. I really attribute it to the fact that we recognized what somebody’s problem might be. Because attending events can be expensive and cause a lot of travel. You’ve got to take time off, you’ve got to go through your boss to get some sort of networking budget to cover going to these things and justify your reason to go. So we put that all into a simplified email. Our language showed our solution to their problem was simple and those emails had an incredible conversion rate to people who actually bought tickets.

Dan: It’s funny. I feel like sometimes just letting people know that you understand their problem is half the battle.

Chelsea: Amen.

Dan: Right? Then they’re just more likely to say – especially when it’s an event — “Well, actually these people really understand and they understand where I’m coming from as a marketer so I’ll probably get a lot of value out of this event.” So it actually dovetails pretty well with the content that you were providing.

Chelsea: Yeah. I mean think about it like you were standing on a street corner and you had two different people trying to sell you tickets to the same event. One guy is just repeating the name of his conference over and over and over again at you. And you’re kind of like: oh, that’s weird and robotic. And then you get another guy who is like: hey, Dan, I really want you to come to this conference but I know you live far away. So how about we work out a plan where you buy your ticket to fly here and we’ll help you out on the ticket cost for the actual event? And then we can both hang out.

Dan: Totally, yeah. And you know, that guy’s like: I’m a marketer, you’re a marketer; I understand your problems.

Chelsea: Exactly.

Dan: And I guess that’s one of the benefits of being marketers marketing to marketers is you kind of get that.

Chelsea: Yep.

Dan: So your post is a great distillation of the speakers at MozCon. But you went to Seattle to launch one of your own campaigns, as well, which was live note taking. Can you tell us where you got the idea for that and what it looked like?

Chelsea: Yeah, totally. So earlier this year, around February or March, we were talking about sponsorships for conferences and what we could do that was different that made us stood out as a company but still provided a lot of value for the audience we were hitting (instead of doing something just like a trade show booth). And what we found valuable from one of our last conferences was when you take notes, it’s a really easy way to distribute and pass along information that’s valuable to a lot of people who are there and not there. So what I came up with was a way to turn a landing page into a live blogging tool where we embedded a Google Doc and had a couple of writers live note take the entire conference. And then in return, we would advertise during that conference — on things like social and via word of mouth from networking — that you could download a PDF of these notes at the end of the conference and that there were a couple of writers from Unbounce who were just taking care of this for you. And it was a wonderful campaign because it was a way to highlight different way of using landing pages, how our tool worked, and offering a valuable marketing piece for those who were attending because you always want to take notes back to your boss, or to your other colleagues… or just plain remember what you had listened to while you were there. And what I turned our live note taking into was an incentive for brand awareness, as well as a way for us to capture new subscribers for our blog list.

Dan: And what were some of the results? I know that you did this I think at a couple other conferences as well, right?

Chelsea: Yes. I did this at Hero Conf in Portland –

Dan: Yep, I was there. I was a note taker there.

Chelsea: You were? Traction Conf in Vancouver, which you were also a note taker for.

Dan: Yeah, I was the note taker at that one. That was exhausting.

Chelsea: And then we did it at MozCon and I actually switched roles a little bit and was a writer there, along with our other Unbouncer Cody. That was a different experience for me. I totally understand some of the pain you go through, now. Of course we do it for our own conf, as well. But I think MozCon was definitely the most successful of all of those this year because of the size and the kind of audience that Moz already brings in. they have over 1200 attendees, I believe, and they have a similar audience of marketers to what Unbounce has. And we have a great relationship with them as a partner. So it was all around a great fit and we were a sponsor of that conference. My main goal for the note taking part for that campaign was brand awareness, of course, followed closely by blog signups. And I set a goal for myself of 1400 unique, non-customer users to my landing page which would essentially help hit almost every marketer that was attending and some outside that maybe couldn’t make it. And 250 new subscribers for our blog as a result of people wanting the PDF.

Dan: So that was your goal.

Chelsea: That was my goal. And what I actually ended up with was 2,063 unique non-customers to my page and 372 new blog subscribers in just one month after the campaign had run.

Dan: Wow, that’s awesome.

Chelsea: Yeah. And I’ve also found that these note taking landing pages have withstood the test of time, as people always want to read about conferences even if it’s well after they’re over. So today – I checked back this morning – and we have over 800 unique new blog subscribers as a result of that note taking initiative from Moz alone. They can live forever. They act as a great way for people to come up and search for you if you’re doing your SEO right. And a couple other of my posts had been picked up by other publications so it kind of spread that message again and it’s just been a great way and a great campaign for brand awareness and blog.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, we’ve used it – talking about conversion carrots, we’ve used that in some of our blog posts and also in some of our blog posts that have been syndicated in other places like Search Engine Journal. It’s a great way to continue to get that content out there and continue to generate leads from it.

Chelsea: Yeah.

Dan: So the year is drawing to a close, believe it or not. And I think now is a time when us marketers get a little bit more reflective. So I was wondering, what would you say were your biggest lessons of this year in terms of what goes into running a successful marketing campaign?

Chelsea: Yeah. For me personally, I think the biggest lesson was that we need to market for the man and not the medium or the metric. And it was a really big wakeup call for me because as marketers, we get really focused on performance reports and hitting KPIs. And you forget that there are people back there that are interacting with your product and paying you for your product. If you can relate to them a little more by interacting with them as a friend and as just a general person, it really helps conversion rates. It’s easy to forget this because we’re shielded by our screens. You wouldn’t talk to your sister or your best friend like she was a stranger, so why would you do that to somebody you want to join your mission?

Dan: So have you taken that lesson and applied that to the way you approach campaigns that you’ve run at Unbounce?

Chelsea: Well, specifically for email I find myself asking, like, if I were to read this cold to my personal Gmail, do I relate to this person? Do I understand, like am I seeing a face, are we using people that are real? Do I feel like this person actually wrote this email and it’s not just coming from somebody as a sign off? Like I really try and work with our copywriters to get to the core of the thing.

Dan: I was just going to say it’s funny because you talk about writing emails as if you’re just a human writing an email to a friend of yours. But at the same time, you mention like multiple reviews. So I imagine that with like multiple people reviewing an email and weighing in, it must be difficult to maintain that singular human voice.

Chelsea: Yeah. I mean this is the challenge marketers face, right? Like if you’re a one stop shop, it could be easier to pull that off. But at the same time, it’s really good to work in collaboration with some really smart people, but you have more cooks in the kitchen. So I’m finding a really good balance between having one copywriter right now and one or two reviewers because we all understand the brand, we all understand the message of the campaign and it’s actually not that bad when trying to solidify a single voice. It comes with challenges, of course, and sometimes you’ll never agree. But again, like I mentioned, the pure thought of just going through that process with the goal in mind of talking like a person and reading like a person helps immensely.

Dan: Right. And I think what you said about actually putting yourself in the position of the person receiving the email, like imagining you getting that email in your own inbox probably helps a lot because you’re not just thinking about your voice and the voice that you’re putting out there, but you’re thinking about the person receiving that message and what they’re hearing. So you are getting back to that singular person in that case.

Chelsea: Yeah, definitely. And we at Unbounce have a really good culture of like talking about other people’s emails and how great they are, and how personalized they feel. Or like, that image was great. And so I think the conversation is always open, which is really nice; we’re not stuck by any means. And we’re even starting to do experimentation with things like plain text emails. So it even just looks like somebody just wrote you a straight up Gmail email.

Dan: Right, something that our copywriter is putting together based on our brand voice and our brand guidelines is like an email specific kind of editorial bible that everybody could refer to.

Chelsea: Yeah, it’s gonna be awesome.

Dan: Any other big lessons from this year that you want to share?

Chelsea: Yeah, I think aside from like doing things like being more personal and getting a really strong brand strategy, I think it’s really hitting home lately that we take more risks and we move more quickly where we can. The internet really waits for no man, right? So digital marketing needs to do the same and the more we can kind of make those quick wins, the better it will be. And it gets harder the bigger we get. But keeping that in mind is allowing us to do exactly that and I think 2016 will be filled with areas for us to take more risk and disrupt ourselves a little bit more.

Dan: I wanted to ask you about that. What are your New Year’s marketing resolutions? What do you hope to do better in 2016 than you did this year?

Chelsea: Besides hitting the gym more often?

Dan: That counts.

Chelsea: I’d like to keep developing our brand in email strategies and keeping them fresh. It’s something I’m very active and passionate about and I can’t wait to keep getting really personal with all of it and working with our team to do that same sort of brand coaching where we all get it, we all understand and we’re getting right there to the point with our emails where it’s one-on-one, it feels like, with our audience.

Dan: Yeah, and that’s a really good point about keeping it fresh, as well. Because once you do have your brand set in writing and guidelines there for anybody to go and refer back to, I guess the danger is that you – they’ve become canonized and they’ve become stuck and you don’t want to get yourself in that situation, either, do you?

Chelsea: Yeah, everyone faces that problem with developing and maintaining a strong strategy for brand. It’s something that needs to remain constant but requires work. It’s like a marriage, in that sense. You put time into developing and growing together and it’s really great when you finally have that bible and you get married. But if you don’t work on the relationship between you and your brand, you’re headed for a big, colorful divorce.

Dan: Right. Yeah, it’s good to keep growing but you need to grow in the same direction.

Chelsea: Yeah. Yeah, I really like it. I really like talking about this stuff to you and I think aside from the additional stuff we talked about, with like what are the biggest things I learned this year, I really hit a point in my career, personally this year, where I think my shtick is like human-centered marketing.

Dan: I like that. Yeah, it’s funny. I’ve been thinking about that and the term I’m using is like humanistic marketing.

Chelsea: Yes!

Dan: I’ve actually been thinking about writing a blog post about that.

Chelsea: Yes, yes, yes. Sometimes it’s really, really hard for me because I’ve worked with people for so long who are so numbers focused. And I get it. I get that it’s important and we’ve got to reach certain targets. But it kills me a lot of the time to think about the person and how they’re feeling, but what is the number?

Dan: I think that’s one of the things that sets us apart, though. Like really important in, like, definitely in content. Andy Cresodina calls it empathetic marketing or empathetic content marketing. It’s like you start with the person’s problem and how you could solve it.

Chelsea: Yes.

Dan: Well, thank you so much for the marriage advice and the marketing advice, Chelsea.

Chelsea: No problem.

Dan: Great to chat.

Chelsea: It was great. Thank you so much for having me, guys.

Stephanie: That was Chelsea Scholz, Jr. Campaign Strategist at Unbounce.

Transcript by GMR Transcription.


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