Tag Archives: online marketing


Get Access to All the Recordings From Marketing Optimization Week

Just last week you may have joined us, along with 8,000 other marketers online for our first ever Marketing Optimization Week. Held over four days (February 20-23), experts from Hanapin, Emma, Zapier, Drift, Microsoft and more shared their tactics for refreshing your marketing and getting past a results slump.

Running 14 sessions total with 13 amazing partners, we were pretty excited to see marketers get so much out of the event:

I presented on the topic of “How to Improve Your Adwords Conversion Rates” as part of the PPC track (we had four tracks in all, including PPC, AI, Marketing Strategy and Automation). Today I’ll share some of the PPC-related takeaways, both from my session and others.

Making the Most of Your PPC Spend

To start, here’s my pop quiz:

If you’ve optimized your AdWords campaigns to no end, but are still seeing smaller and smaller efficiency gains, do you:

  1. Throw more money at it (cost per acquisition be damned!)
  2. Keep on truckin’. (Refine your keyword strategy further and test new ads), or
  3. Start looking at where your ads are pointing to

Call me crazy, but option 3 seems like a no-brainer, right?

It’s like my pal Joe Martinez, Director of Paid Media at Granular Marketing says:

“Ads get traffic. Landing pages get conversions.”

In other words, no matter how good your keyword and bidding strategies are, your ads can’t do the work alone.

The savviest PPC marketers are optimizing as much of the funnel as they can get their hands on, because AdWords CPC’s have nearly tripled since 2012. To ensure you’re not blindly spending, you need to look at where your ads are pointing to.

The question I have is: with landing pages being such low-hanging fruit in terms of paid ad success, why haven’t all marketers figured this out yet?

I tackled this in my presentation covering:

  • What landing page changes you can make now to lift conversion rates
  • How to make these changes without talking to your developer
  • How to set up an A/B test in less than 30 seconds
If you haven’t already, you can sign up to get all the recordings here

Other PPC-Specific Sessions You Can Check out

Throughout the week it was pretty satisfying to see a big focus on post-click optimization as a major area to consider for improving results and getting the most out of your PPC ad spend.

My personal favourite talks within the PPC track were:

  • PPC Woes And What To Do About Them by Beth Thouin and Richard Beck of Acquisio
  • Beef Up Your Quality Score With Landing Page Updates by Jeff Baum and Diane Anselmo at Hanapin, and
  • Unicorn Marketing: Getting Unusually Great Results Across Every Marketing Channel by Larry Kim of Mobile Monkey

Finally, here are some of my top takeaways from the talks above:

1. Optimize your landing pages to get ahead

Acquisio structured their session around addressing the biggest woes PPC marketers face everyday and they provided actionable tips for prolonging the effectiveness of your campaigns past three to four months.

According to Beth and Richard, one of the best ways to get ahead of the competition (and keep your campaigns fresh and high-converting) is to work on your landing pages. Make sure your images are high-quality, pages load fast, and there’s clear message match between your ads and resulting landing pages.

It’s like Richard said during the session: “[forget] the bucket with holes in it! Not having a good landing page is like having a bucket with no bottom in it when it comes to PPC campaigns.”

2. Focus on navigation to increase your Quality Score

So often we get caught up with page load time, copy, and SEO that we forget to focus on intent and how people expect or want to navigate through our landing page information (i.e.: easily). Hanapin’s session went over just how important Quality Score is for PPC campaign performance and how one factor in improving your score via the landing page experience is navigation.

Jeff and Diane use the analogy of a shoe store: the experience after clicking through on a search ad should be akin to walking through a neatly organized shop where everything is labelled, certain types of shoes are grouped together, and you can easily find what you’re looking for in a matter of minutes. When in doubt: the simpler you make your landing page navigation/information hierarchy, the better.

3. Stop trying to optimize donkeys. They will always be donkeys.

During his session at Marketing Optimization Week, Larry Kim outlined the difference between a unicorn and donkey. What’s a marketing unicorn? Typically, these are the pieces of content or campaigns that outperform the rest. They usually make up only a small percentage of everything you run. One of the main points in this talk that resonated with me was that we should stop trying to optimize donkeys and focus exclusively on the unicorns.

Unicorns are unicorns across channels, so when you find one, take it and apply it across your other channels, including PPC. To find unicorns we need to audition lots of content ideas, identify which ones have unusually high engagement rates, and optimize those few for engagement even further.

These takeaways just scratch the surface from Marketing Optimization Week (there are more tracks and engaging speakers). Be sure to grab the recordings and share them with your team!

More – 

Get Access to All the Recordings From Marketing Optimization Week


Marketing Machines: Is Machine Learning Helping Marketers or Making Us Obsolete?

Hollywood paints a grim picture of a future populated by intelligent machines. Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix and countless other films show us that machines are angry, they’re evil and — if given the opportunity — they will not hesitate to overthrow the human race.

Films like these serve as cautionary tales about what could happen if machines gain consciousness (or some semblance of). But in order for that to happen humans need to teach machines to think for themselves. This may sound like science fiction but it’s an actual discipline known as machine learning.

The machines are coming. But fear not — they could help you become a better marketer. Image via Shutterstock.

Still in its infancy, machine learning systems are being applied to everything from filtering spam emails, to suggesting the next series to binge-watch and even matching up folks looking for love.

For digital marketers, machine learning may be especially helpful in getting products or services in front of the right prospects, rather than blanket-marketing to everyone and adding to the constant noise that is modern advertising. Machine learning will also be key to predicting customer churn and attribution: two thorns in many digital marketers’ sides.

Despite machine learning’s positive impact on the digital marketing field, there are questions about job security and ethics that cannot be swept under the rug. Will marketing become so automated that professional marketers become obsolete? Is there potential for machine learning systems to do harm, whether by targeting vulnerable prospects or manipulating people’s emotions?

These aren’t just rhetorical questions. They get to the heart of what the future of marketing will look like — and what role marketers will play in it.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a complicated subject, involving advanced math, code and overwhelming amounts of data. Luckily, Tommy Levi, Director of Data Science at Unbounce, has a PhD in Theoretical Physics. He distills machine learning down to its simplest definition:

You can think of machine learning as using a computer or mathematics to make predictions or see patterns in data. At the end of the day, you’re really just trying to either predict something or see patterns, and then you’re just using the fact that a computer is really fast at calculating.

You may not know it, but you likely interact with machine learning systems on a daily basis. Have you ever been sucked into a Netflix wormhole prompted by recommended titles? Or used Facebook’s facial recognition tool when uploading and tagging an image? These are both examples of machine learning in action. They use the data you input (by rating shows, tagging friends, etc.) to produce better and more accurate suggestions over time.

Other examples of machine learning include spell check, spam filtering… even internet dating — yes, machine learning has made its way into the love lives of many, matching up singles using complicated algorithms that take into consideration personality traits and interests.

Machine learning may be helpful in getting products or services in front of the right prospects.
Click To Tweet

How Machine Learning Works

While it may seem like witchcraft to the layperson, running in the background of every machine learning system we encounter is a human-built machine that would have gone through countless iterations to develop.

Facebook’s facial recognition tool, which can recognize your face with 98% accuracy, took several years of research and development to produce what is regarded as cutting-edge machine learning.

So how exactly does machine learning work? Spoiler alert: it’s complicated. So without going into too much detail, here’s an introduction to machine learning, starting with the two basic techniques.

Supervised learning

Supervised learning systems rely upon humans to label the incoming data — at least to begin with — in order for the systems to better predict how to classify future input data.

Gmail’s spam filter is a great example of this. When you label incoming mail as either spam or not spam, you’re not only cleaning up your inbox, you’re also training Gmail’s filter (a machine learning system) to identify what you consider to be spam (or not spam) in the future.

Unsupervised learning

Unsupervised learning systems use unlabeled incoming data, which is then organized into clusters based on similarities and differences in the data. Whereas supervised learning relies upon environmental feedback, unsupervised learning has no environmental feedback. Instead, data scientists will often use a reward/punishment system to indicate success or failure.

According to Tommy, this type of machine learning can be likened to the relationship between a parent and a young child. When a child does something positive they’re rewarded. Likewise, when “[a machine] gets it right — like it makes a good prediction — you kind of give it a little pat on the back and you say good job.”

Like any child (or person for that matter), the system ends up trying to maximize the positive reinforcement, thus getting better and better at predicting.

The Power of Machine Learning

A lot of what machine learning can do is yet to be explored, but the main benefit is its ability to wade through and sort data far more quickly and efficiently than any human could, no matter how clever.

Tommy is currently experimenting with an unsupervised learning system that clusters landing pages with similar features. Whereas one person could go through a few hundred pages in a day, this model can run through 300,000 pages in 20 minutes.

How do your landing page conversion rates compare against your industry competitors?

We analyzed the behavior of 74,551,421 visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages. Now we want to share average industry conversion rates with you in the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.
By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

The advantage is not just speed, it’s also retention and pattern recognition. Tommy explains:

To go through that many pages and see those patterns and hold it all in memory and be able to balance that — that’s where the power is.

For some marketers, this raises a troubling question: If machine learning systems solve problems by finding patterns that we can’t see, does this mean that marketers should be worried about job security?

The answer is more nuanced than a simple yes or no.

Machine Learning and the Digital Marketer

As data becomes the foundation for more and more marketing decisions, digital marketers have been tasked with sorting through an unprecedented amount of data.

This process usually involves hours of digging through analytics, collecting data points from marketing campaigns that span several months. And while focusing on data analysis and post-mortems is incredibly valuable, doing so takes a significant amount of time and resources away from future marketing initiatives.

As advancements in technology scale exponentially, the divide between teams that do and those that don’t will become more apparent. Those that don’t evolve will stumble and those that embrace data will grow — this is where machine learning can help.

Marketers that don’t embrace data will fumble. Those that do will grow — ML can help.
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That being said, machine learning isn’t something digital marketers can implement themselves after reading a quick tutorial. It’s more comparable to having a Ferrari in your driveway when you don’t know how to drive standard… or maybe you can’t even drive at all.

Until the day when implementing a machine learning system is just a YouTube video away, digital marketers could benefit from keeping a close eye on the companies that are incorporating machine learning into their products, and assessing whether they can help with their department’s pain points.

So how are marketers currently implementing machine learning to make decisions based on data rather than gut instinct? There are many niches in marketing that are becoming more automated. Here are a few that stand out.

Lead scoring and machine learning

Lead scoring is a system that allows marketers to gauge whether a prospect is a qualified lead and thus worth pursuing. Once marketing and sales teams agree on the definition of a “qualified lead,” they can begin assigning values to different qualified lead indicators, such as job title, company size and even interaction with specific content.

These indicators paint a more holistic picture of a lead’s level of interest, beyond just a form submission typically associated with lead generation content like ebooks. And automating lead scoring takes the pressure off marketers having to qualify prospects via long forms, freeing them up to work on other marketing initiatives.

Once the leads have reached the “qualified” threshold, sales associates can then focus their efforts on those prospects — ultimately spending their time and money where it matters most.

Content marketing and copywriting

Machine learning models can analyze data points beyond just numbers — including words on your website, landing page or PPC ads. Machine learning systems can find patterns in language and detect words that elicit the most clicks or engagement.

Is emotional copywriting on your landing page effective in your industry?

We used machine learning to help create the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report, which shares insights on how different aspects of page copy correspond to conversion rates across 10 industries.
By entering your email you’ll receive other resources to help you improve your conversion rates.

But can a machine write persuasive copy? Maybe, actually.

A New York-based startup called Persado offers a “cognitive content platform” that uses math, data, natural language processing, emotional language data and machine learning systems to serve the best copy and images to spur prospects into action. It does this by analyzing all the language data each client has ever interacted with and serving future prospects with the best possible words or phrases. An A/B test could never achieve this at the same scale.

Think this is a joke? With over $65 million in venture capital and a reported average conversion rate uplift of 49.5% across 4,000 campaigns, Persado’s business model is no laughing matter.

Still, there is no replacement for a supremely personalized piece of content delivered straight to your client’s inbox — an honest call to action from one human to another.

Recently Unbounce’s Director of Campaign Strategy, Corey Dilley, sent an email to our customers. It had no sales pitch, no call to action button. It was just Corey reaching out and saying, “Hey.”


Corey’s email had an open rate of 41.42%, and he received around 80 personal responses. Not bad for an email written by a human!

Sometimes it’s actions — like clicks and conversions — you want to elicit from customers. Other times the goal is to build rapport. In some cases we should let the machines do the work, but it’s up to the humans to keep the content, well, human.

There is no replacement for personalized content and an honest ask from one human to another.
Click To Tweet

Machine learning for churn prediction

In the SaaS industry, churn is a measure of the percentage of customers who cancel their recurring revenue subscriptions. According to Tommy, churn tells a story about “how your customers behave and feel. It’s giving a voice to the customers that we don’t have time or the ability to talk to.”

Self-reporting methods such as polls and surveys are another good way to give a voice to these customers. But they’re not always scalable — large data sets can be hard for humans to analyze and derive meaning from.

Self-reporting methods can also skew your results. Tommy explains:

The problem with things like surveys and popups is that they’re only going to tell you what you’ve asked about, and the type of people that answer surveys are already a biased set.

Machine learning systems, on the other hand, can digest a larger number of data points, and with far less bias. Ideally the data is going to reveal what marketing efforts are working, thus leading to reduced churn and helping to move customers down the funnel.

This is highly relevant for SaaS companies, whose customers often sign up for trials before purchasing the product. Once someone starts a trial, the marketing department will start sending them content in order to nurture them into adopting the service and become engaged.

Churn models can help a marketing team determine which pieces of content lead to negative or positive encounters — information that can inform and guide the optimization process.

Ethical Implications of Machine Learning in Marketing

We hinted at the ethical implications of machine learning in marketing, but it deserves its own discussion (heck, it deserves its own book). The truth is, machine learning systems have the potential to cause legitimate harm.

According to Carl Schmidt, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Unbounce:

Where we are really going to run into ethical issues is with extreme personalization. We’re going to teach machines how to be the ultimate salespeople, and they’re not going to care about whether you have a compulsive personality… They’re just going to care about success.

This could mean targeting someone in rehab with alcohol ads, or someone with a gambling problem with a trip to Las Vegas. The machine learning system will make the correlation, based on the person’s internet activity, and it’s going to exploit that.

Another dilemma we run into is with marketing aimed at affecting people’s emotions. Sure copywriters often tap into emotions in order to get a desired response, but there’s a fine line between making people feel things and emotional manipulation, as Facebook discovered in an infamous experiment.

If you aren’t familiar with the experiment, here’s the abridged version: Facebook researchers adapted word count software to manipulate the News Feeds of 689,003 users to determine whether their emotional state could be altered if they saw fewer positive posts or fewer negative posts in their feeds.

Posts were deemed either positive or negative if they contained at least one positive or negative word. Because researchers never saw the status updates (the machine learning system did the filtering) technically it fell within Facebook’s Data Use Policy.

However, public reaction to the Facebook experiment was generally pretty scathing. While some came to the defense of Facebook, many criticized the company for breaching ethical guidelines for informed consent.

In the end, Facebook admitted they could have done better. And one good thing did come out of the experiment: It now serves as a benchmark for when machine learning goes too far, and as a reminder for marketers to continually gut-check themselves.

For Carl, it comes down to intent:

If I’m Facebook, I might be worried that if we don’t do anything about the pacing and style of content, and we’re inadvertently presenting content that could be reacted to negatively, especially to vulnerable people, then we would want to actively understand that mechanism and do something about it.

While we may not yet have a concrete code of conduct around machine learning, moving forward with good intentions and a commitment to do no harm is a good place to start.

The Human Side of Machine Learning

Ethical issues aside, the rise of machines often implies the fall of humans. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

“You want machines to do the mundane stuff and the humans to do the creative stuff,” Carl says. He continues:

Computers are still not creative. They can’t think on their own, and they generally can’t delight you very much. We are going to get to a point where you could probably generate highly personal onboarding content by a machine. But it [will have] no soul.

That’s where the human aspect comes in. With creativity and wordsmithing. With live customer support. Heck, it takes some pretty creative data people to come up with an algorithm that recognizes faces with 98% accuracy.

Imagine a world where rather than getting 15 spam emails a day, you get just one with exactly the content you would otherwise be searching for — content written by a human, but served to you by a machine learning system.

While pop culture may say otherwise, the future of marketing isn’t about humans (or rather, marketers) versus machines. It’s about marketers using machines to get amazing results — for their customers and their company.

Machine learning systems may have an edge when it comes to data sorting, but they’re missing many of the things that make exceptional marketing experiences: empathy, compassion and a true understanding of the human experience.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in The Split, a digital magazine by Unbounce.

See original article – 

Marketing Machines: Is Machine Learning Helping Marketers or Making Us Obsolete?

[NEW E-ZINE] Humanizing Marketing in an Increasingly Automated World

Advances in technology bring about a lot of buzz and excitement, but also a lot of anxiety. Case in point? Look what autocompleted when I entered “machines will” into a Google search bar:



Will robots replace us in our jobs? Will they be better at them? Will they convince us that they are conscious? Will they embody human qualities?

“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Digital marketers in particular may be wary of the rise of machines, as more of their jobs become reliant upon analytics and algorithm-based machine learning systems.

On the one hand, they help us work more efficiently and learn more about our target market than ever before.

On the other, listening blindly to what the data says can sometimes lead to marketing collateral devoid of any human emotion.

So are spreadsheets, data and machines friend or foe?

In Unbounce’s new e-magazine, The Split, we explore the world of machine learning, analytics and automation to answer the question: can creativity jive with data to create better marketing experiences?

Check out the free e-zine below.


Originally posted here:

[NEW E-ZINE] Humanizing Marketing in an Increasingly Automated World


Would You Rather? The Marketing Edition [Interactive Infographic]

Would You Rather? is a popular party game amongst college students. You’ve probably played it before: someone asks you to pick between two terrible things, and you pick one, and then everyone laughs at you for your decision.

Good news! You’re an adult now. And a marketer, at that. You’re used to making uncomfortable decisions literally all of the time. You might sigh whenever you get hit with an exit overlay, but damned if your conversions don’t go up when you use them on your own site!

It could be worse, though — just leave it to us to show you.

We’ve come up with some situations where picking the lesser of two evils is a pretty torturous task.

Let us know what you’d do in these brain-busting marketing scenarios, and be thankful your reality isn’t anything like this.

Which situation sounds the worst to you? Let us know in the comments!

– Brad Tiller


Read this article:  

Would You Rather? The Marketing Edition [Interactive Infographic]


A Step-by-Step Guide to Running Successful Marketing Campaigns (+ 9 Tools to Help)

On marketing blogs everywhere (including this one), you hear a lot of lip-flapping about the importance of meticulously planning your marketing campaigns.

But what many don’t address is that marketing campaigns aren’t specific to product launches – if you want to achieve measurable results with your marketing, you need to treat every single one of your marketing activities as a marketing campaign.

Successful Marketing Campaigns:  What If I Told You Meme

For every single project you take on to move the needle for your business, you’ve got to have a master plan: a set of clearly-defined goals, a finite start and end date, and a means of tracking your successes (and failures).

So what extra baggage comes with this “campaign mentality”? What’s the ideal order of operations? What extra resources will you need?

Here’s a step-by-step blueprint for planning and launching your next campaign – with a selection of hand-picked tools to help you through each step.

1. Ideation, research and goal setting

Have a brilliant idea

I’m willing to bet that you’ve got more brilliant ideas floating around than you realize – but are they getting lost in the shuffle?

Organizing your ideas goes a long way in helping to identify the opportunities with the most potential.

Get a Trello board started for your marketing ideas, with columns for each stage of the planning process:

Successful Marketing Campaigns: Trello Board
This is the Trello board for Unbounce’s marketing campaigns. “Brilliant” campaign ideas have been omitted. ;)

Start by brain dumping cards into the “Ideas” column. For each campaign idea, identify the scope of the project:

  • How long will it take?
  • What resources will it require?
  • What sort of results do you expect?

As each campaign gets off the ground, move the card through each stage of the planning process, from “Validating” to “Underway.” Keep a “Done” column as well so you can track your progress and prove that you’re getting shit done.

Organizing things in this way helps you prioritize and holds you accountable for your ideas from start to finish.

Know your audience and what resonates

When validating ideas, always keep your audience top-of-mind.

Ask yourself:

  • Which part of the marketing funnel are you targeting? What sort of content or campaign will resonate with those prospects?
  • Which topics are popular with your audience? Which of your campaigns have resonated in the past? Which ones have failed miserably?
  • What is there a need for? Are the same questions appearing in blog comments, on social channels and with your customer support team?

Always ask yourself how you can deliver as much value as possible to your prospects.

There’s a reason why people say, “The customer is always right” – at the end of the day, if you give them what they want, they’ll thank you with conversions.

Be as specific as possible when setting goals

Once you’ve identified a ripe opportunity, get super specific about what you expect from the marketing campaign.

I’m not talking about simply declaring that you “want more sales.” You want to be as specific as possible so you can measure your success later.

For example, when we launched our Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting, here were the results we estimated:

  • 1,000 new leads
  • 100 new trial starts

Ask yourself which key performance indicators matter most to your business and what results you can expect.

If you don’t have previous campaigns to refer to, take your best guess. At the very worst, you’ll be way off and will have more realistic expectations next time. :)

2. Building (and testing) your campaign landing page

If you want your campaigns to inspire action, then you’ve got to make the intended goal crystal-clear. After all, your users deserve a delightful, seamless marketing experience, don’t they?

If you agree, then you’ve got to create a dedicated landing page for every marketing campaign you launch.

Successful Marketing Campaigns: Dedicated Landing Page

Having a dedicated landing page for every marketing campaign allows you to direct prospects toward the goal in a concise, compelling manner – and allows you to easily track the success of your campaign.

Use the five elements of a high-converting landing page

Every campaign landing page should lead with the question that prospects have on the brain:

What’s in it for me?

That includes talking about benefits, not features – and making sure you supply prospects with all the information they need to make a decision.

A simple way to achieve this is to be sure that your landing page includes the five essential elements of a winning landing page.

Have a look at the landing page we created for the launch of our mobile responsive feature:   

Successful Marketing Campaigns: 5 essential elements
Click for full-length landing page.

Notice how all five elements appear above the fold?

  1. Unique value proposition
  2. Hero shot
  3. Benefits
  4. Social proof
  5. Call to action

Once you’ve got all the elements in there, don’t forget to test your heart out.

Checking “hero shot” off the list isn’t enough. You’ve got to make sure that you’ve got the optimal hero shot!

Ask if video can add value

Sometimes, your offer is hard to summarize above the fold.

Maybe it’s a complex offering, or maybe you want to show your product in action so prospects can picture themselves using it.

Including a video on your landing page (with the help of a service such as Wistia) could be exactly what you need to counter objections that prospects have when they just don’t get what you do.

When we launched mobile responsive, we decided to include a video on our landing page. We wanted to inject a little more delight and we wanted to be able to clearly illustrate exactly what mobile responsive is (and what it looks like in app):

But does video really work?

I could link to a super convincing case study that indicates that videos increase conversions on landing pages. I could also link to one that suggests the opposite.

One thing is certain: A/B testing is your friend.

If you do go with video, remember that it’s a time-intensive venture that will require lots of resources. Make sure you’re not neglecting the other important elements on your landing page.

‘Cause if your copy falls flat, your video won’t shine either.

Set up the delivery mechanism

As people fill out the form on your landing page, you want them to be added to a relevant list that you’ve created in your email service provider (such as AWeber). Create a dedicated list or segment for that campaign so you can track sign ups easily and keep in touch.

Then add a follow-up message that delivers the offering, or deliver it on the confirmation page.

Don’t leave anyone hanging!

3. Setting up goal tracking

If you’re going to invest time and resources into your brilliant ideas, you’ll want to know how your campaign is performing.

Google Analytics can be useful in tracking straightforward goals and conversions (such as an ebook download) – but often, campaigns involve more than one touchpoint with prospects.

Go deep with your analytics

Tools like KISSmetrics address some of the frustrations marketers (especially SaaS marketers) have with Google Analytics.

KISSmetrics makes it easier to tag your campaign data and build a simple custom report to display results. We’ve found it extremely valuable that the tool allows you to pull customer data from your billing system so you can accurately track their progress all the way down the funnel – and even after they become a customer.

For each campaign, you’ll want to set up events for every micro and macro conversion. For example, you may want to set up an event when a prospect completes each of the following:

  • Visits the campaign landing page
  • Signs up for a free 30-day trial
  • Uses your product

Then you can set up funnel reports so you can see the point at which people are dropping off – and optimize accordingly.

Successful Marketing Campaigns: KISSmetrics Funnel Report
Funnel reports like this one pulled from KISSmetrics give insight into where prospects are dropping off in the conversion funnel. Image source.

To get started with goal tracking, check out these helpful beginner guides here and here.

4. Distribution and promo

After you’ve created all the things and set up all the tracking, you’ve gotta devise a game plan for getting it all out there.

Which channels will you use to promote your campaign? Email, co-marketing initiatives, social, press releases – maybe even a contest?

Whichever channels you choose, remember that distribution and promotion should never be an afterthought.

All this prep work should run parallel to content production so that much of the legwork is done before your launch date.

Campaign promo should never be an afterthought. Prep work should run parallel to content production!
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Announcing the campaign on social media

Your fans on social media have followed you because they’re interested in what you’re doing and what you have to say. So tell ‘em what’s up!

Every marketing campaign needs a corresponding social media campaign to spread the word. At the very least, you should:

  • Create a variety of social assets that have design and message match with the landing page you created earlier.
  • Tag the URLs you are using to distribute content on social so you can measure the results of your campaign (check out a simple tutorial on that at the end of this post).
  • Schedule promotional messages in advance with tools like Hootsuite to coincide with the launch date and avoid last-minute scrambles.
  • Keep your ear to the ground on social media to collect feedback and respond to comments/questions about your campaign.

Announcing the campaign in a blog post

If you’ve already got a group of engaged readers on your blog, why not use it as a platform to break the news about your campaign?

You could write a post on a related subject to pique your readers’ interest, and then insert a CTA at the bottom of the post for your campaign. (Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what I mean… ;)

Alternatively, you might decide to write a post that simply announces the launch!

When we launched our copywriting ebook, we found that explicitly announcing the launch (rather than burying a CTA in a post with related subject matter) resulted in more sessions and downloads:

Successful Marketing Campaigns: Blog post
Explicitly announcing the launch of our latest ebook (instead of burying the lede in a post on the same subject) resulted in more views to the campaign landing page and a higher percentage of ebook downloads.

Your campaign may have a finite end date, but your blog post is around forever – so make sure that you pay attention to SEO and do appropriate keyword research.

If you’re running an evergreen campaign, also consider optimizing your landing page for SEO so that people can stumble on it organically. (Psst: If you’re an SEO noob, tools like Moz can help.)

Announcing the campaign to your email list

If you’ve already got an engaged list, announcing your campaign via email is an easy win. After all, these people have already self-identified as being interested in what you do.

Here are some best practices to help get you started:

  • Make sure your email copy matches that of your landing page.
  • As Joanna Wiebe explained at last year’s CTAconf, your subject line has one job: to get the prospect to open the email. It needs to grab the reader’s attention, but should still be clear. Test subject lines to learn more about what triggers subscribers to open.
  • Your body copy should be concise, and speak clearly to the benefits of your campaign. Your body copy’s “job” is to get people to click on the CTA in the email.
  • The CTA in your email has to pop and describe what people get when they click the button. Test CTA button copy that answers the question, “I want to…”
Successful Marketing Campaigns: Launch email
The CTA for this webinar announcement email is easy to spot and finishes the sentence, “I want to _____.” Click for full email.

There are of course tons of other methods for getting your campaign out there – I haven’t even touched on paid methods such as PPC.

You’ve got to find what works best for you – and then find ways to do it better than everyone else.

5. Lead nurturing

After your campaign is launched, your work isn’t done.

No matter the goal of your campaign, you want to continue the relationship so you can make leads into customers and customers into repeat customers.

I’m talking about lead nurturing.

The more touch points a lead has with your business, the hotter they become.

Successful Marketing Campaigns: Hot lead

You’ll want to keep track of those interactions (Customer Relationship Management tools such as HubSpot can help make this easy) – and then find ways to keep offering value.

Keep delivering value

The more details you have about your leads, the more opportunities you have to send them targeted offers that will make them happy – and more likely to do business with you.

When we recently launched an ebook campaign, we set up separate email marketing campaigns to fire based on answers prospects provided in the opt-in form.

Successful Marketing Campaigns: Opt in form

For example, if they answered “We don’t use landing pages” to the question above, we sent them a follow-up email schooling them about the importance of landing pages (and telling them about Unbounce).

Taking this approach gave us insight into the behavior of each subscriber, and allowed us to target subsequent offers based on their answers.

If you listen closely enough, you’ll have a good idea of what your prospects want. And that puts you in the unique position to give them exactly what they need.

6. Rinse, lather, repeat

When your campaign has come to an end, it’s time to look back and take in all the results.

Hold a postmortem with everyone involved to discuss your successes and shortcomings. For example:

  • Did you meet the goals you laid out in step #1?
  • What could have been done differently?
  • For anything that didn’t work out, what’s your best guess at why it went wrong?
  • How can you do things better next time?
  • What have you learned about your audience?

Holding meetings like this and keeping the notes on record allows the entire team to learn from each others’ mistakes and become better marketers.

And that will make your next marketing campaign that much more awesome.

Treat all your marketing activities as distinct campaigns

There is no such thing as the perfect marketing campaign.

There’s always room for iteration and improvement – not to mention more conversion lifts.


If you’re deliberate about all of your marketing activities and break things down into smaller, digestible chunks, then you can get a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not.

And that brings you one step closer to the unattainable.

To recap, here’s the grocery list of tools I mentioned throughout the post:

  • Trello to keep track of all your brilliant ideas
  • Unbounce to create stellar, high-converting landing pages
  • Wistia to add explainer and product videos to increase your conversion rates
  • AWeber to collect email addresses, deliver incentives and follow up with prospects later.
  • Google Analytics for tracking straightforward goals and conversions.
  • KISSmetrics for getting into the nitty gritty of funnel reports and where people drop off
  • Hootsuite for spreading the word about your campaign
  • Moz for making sure your announcement post and landing page are search engine friendly
  • HubSpot for nurturing all your new leads so you can make them into raving customers.

While this is a solid start to running a marketing campaign, there are tons of other considerations that I didn’t touch on here. And there are tons of other tools that go into the planning of a campaign (at Unbounce, we’re big fans of RealtimeBoard and Basecamp to name a few).

So help me out. Which tools and tactics have you found invaluable in your marketing campaigns?

– Amanda Durepos

Successful Marketing Campaigns:  What If I Told You Meme

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Running Successful Marketing Campaigns (+ 9 Tools to Help)


What Are Your Marketing Predictions for 2015? [Interactive Infographic]

The new year is officially here and you know what that means: time to purchase that gym membership and make a commitment to call your mother more often. And finally get your inbox to zero (or at least closer to zero… you’re only human after all).

For marketers in particular, it also means the arrival of the yearly “predictions” posts. From conversion marketing to content marketing to PPC marketing, every nook and cranny of the marketing landscape will be put in front of the crystal ball.

And while we have our own ideas, we’d much rather hear from our fellow comrades in the marketing trenches. What do you predict will shape the year ahead?

Check out the interactive infographic below and let us know what you think. Then go call your mom.

Thanks for your contribution. Happy new year!

– Amanda Durepos

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 2.38.19 PM

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What Are Your Marketing Predictions for 2015? [Interactive Infographic]