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Product Awareness Month: Why I’m Writing 30 Blog Posts in 30 Days

alt : https://unbounce.com/photos/30-in-30.mp4https://unbounce.com/photos/30-in-30.mp4

We Have 1.06 Products.

I wrote that statement on a whiteboard at the start of a website brainstorm session.

What does 1.06 products mean?

1.06 sums up my frustration at the adoption rate of our new products. Yup, Unbounce is now more than just a landing page builder. We released two new products, namely “overlays” and “sticky bars”, and we grouped them together under an umbrella term “Convertables”.

The number 1 represents our flagship industry-leading landing page product (100% of our customers have adopted it), and the .06 represents the tragic adoption rate of our new products (6%).

And yes, you’d be correct if you noted that “Convertables” isn’t a real word, but then neither is Unbounce, so we went with it after a notable amount of company-wide polling, and general corporate groupthink. More on that later.

So, how does this scenario result in me writing 30 blog posts about our products?

Rewind to October 5th: I was in a meeting with fellow co-founders Rick, Carl, and Carter, openly expressing my frustration with the adoption numbers, and Carter interrupted me to ask, “Okay, fine, but what are you going to do about it?”.

Then this video happened…

Awesome, right?! Yeah, it is, until the moment I realized it’s been exactly 301 days since I last wrote a blog post (I’ve been focusing on public speaking), making this level of bravado a tad audacious at best. Aaand, yes I realize I was a little intoxicated in the video.

But, I’ve learned over the years, that being a bit ridiculous in my promises is the only way I really know how to get shit done. When I tell everyone that I’m doing something big, the self-imposed peer pressure is what motivates me to make sure I complete my mission.

Enter Product Awareness Month (PAM)

This brings me to our blog. We’ve never written much about our products on the blog, in fact, we’ve actively avoided it to let the content speak for itself as an educational pillar of the community, and to remain non-salesy.

I’ve realized though, that it doesn’t make much business sense to be that overtly humble in all marketing communications. There has to be a way to balance exposing people to your product without it detracting from the experience.

It’s my fault in many ways. When I started our blog back in 2009, I had a mission to be different from our competitors, to not come across as a salesperson, and just to provide value and entertaining content that stood out.

We dominated the realm of conversion content for many years, but in an increasingly competitive SaaS martech space, our content is no longer number one, and it’s time that we change our approach.

Which is why we’re doing a blog takeover for the whole of January.

Our goal is to explore a blog topic we’ve not covered before, but also to expose a transparent window – transparency is one of our six core values at Unbounce – into our journey as a company, as a marketing team, and myself personally, to become better at marketing our new products.

For me, it’s the first time I’ve ever been involved in product marketing, which will make it a fascinating personal journey reinventing myself as a different kind of marketer.

I’m also cutting the number of speaking gigs I do in 2018 in half, because let’s be honest, in this moment, the success of Unbounce can be more rapidly impacted by me staying home than being on the road.

Transparency

Along the way, I’ll be opening up the Unbounce vault to share our core metrics with you. This will include our churn and product adoption metrics, which we hope to be able to lift in a big way throughout this 30-day experiment. There will be data check-ins throughout, with a halfway report, and then a full “Results Show” at the end.

I’ll also be digging into our analytics to see what the engagement and attribution looks like for every one of the 30 blog posts.

Some of the content will revolve around the learnings and experiences of becoming a better product marketer, and the rest will be an exploration of the ways we’re trying to rethink what our products are, what they mean to our customers, and how we can do a better job communicating their benefits (with some case studies and new ways of thinking – I hope).

I say “I hope” because I’m writing this as you read it. That’s what tends to happen when you commit to something as absurd as 30-in-30.

Follow Along << Mid-Post CTA

I encourage you to follow along by subscribing to our weekly update emails at the bottom of the page. I’m really keen to have our community (that’s you) help us explore how to do this properly, and hopefully, we’ll all learn how to do a better job of marketing our products.

This is a screenshot of the subscribe form at the bottom of the post. Thought you should know.

You can also subscribe by clicking here to launch a popup (using the on-click trigger feature) which contains the subscribe form. << product marketing much?

Aaand I’ve configured it so you’ll see an exit popup when you leave this page. Note, that I’m doing this to show the product in a relevant and hopefully useful manner.

Unbounce Product Adoption Metrics

How do we measure adoption at Unbounce? To understand, it helps to explain a little about how we define a customer. In the old days, a customer was any signup, someone who started a 30-day trial. Over time we learned we should be measuring a little deeper into the customer lifecycle, and decided a customer was someone who paid us twice; once after the 30-day trial, and again after sixty days.

In 2017 we modified this further to someone who pays us three times, giving us a much better sense of true churn numbers.

To be considered a customer who has adopted our products, we have an additional set of app usage criteria:

For landing pages adoption means: a customer who has built and published one or more pages, has set up a custom domain, configured an integration with another tool, and has paid us three times.

For “Convertables” (Overlays & Sticky Bars) adoption means: a customer who has built and published a popup or sticky bar, installed our one-line global Javascript on their website, received at least 10 conversions, and has paid us three times.

Full transparency: 6% adoption for a new product sucks.

So what went wrong? Why was adoption so low?

Well, first, and most importantly, product marketing is really hard.

We also made a few (well intended) mistakes, namely…

Mistake #1: We called a popup an overlay.
Mistake #2: We created a fictitious umbrella term “Convertables” for only two child products, and for a few months, only one child product.
Mistake #3: We assumed that people would find and use these two products, hidden behind said umbrella term in the app.
Mistake #4: We assumed that the functional user of our landing page product would be the same person who needs to use popups and sticky bars.

How do we un-f*** this problem?

The first thing we’re doing is removing public-facing mentions of the term “Convertables”. This has excited the marketing team because it’s much easier to market something when you know how to describe it, and a multi-product value prop is much harder than a single-product value prop.

Beyond that, the approach I’m taking is a combination of four primary tenets:

  1. First, is a concept I call “Productizing Our Technology” or POT for short. This is about discovering new and novel ways that our platform can be used, that people either haven’t imagined or simply didn’t know was possible.
  2. Second, is exploring the entire Unbounce ecosystem, from the app, to the website, our content channels, and our community, to see how we could do a better job of exposing the benefits of our products to those who can benefit from them.
  3. Third, is using the Product Awareness Month blog takeover to create interactive demonstrations right here on the blog – the goal of which is to reduce the Time to Value (TTV) by creating more obvious ah-ha moments.
  4. Fourth, understanding who the various target personas and functional users of the different products are, and adjusting our targeting and marketing communications to find and speak to those potentially different users.

In regards to #3 the blog takeover, if you take a look at the top of the screen, you’ll see a header bar like this:

Or this one, if you have scrolled down the page:

If you look at the hierarchy of information from left to right, you see: 1) Who we are: logo, 2) What we do: value prop, 3) How to take action: the three big orange buttons.

This is hugely different to the rest of the blog, which retains the navigation of the whole site (I’ve thought that was incongruent for a long time).

My hope is that the new header bar helps more people know what we do, and how our products can help. I’ll be tracking engagement with the 3 CTAs and comparing these 30 posts against our other blog content in terms of its ability to get people to sign up.

Productizing Our Technology: Landing Pages, Popups, & Sticky Bars

I had my own ah-ha moment when I started imagining all the ways that I could hack/modify/extend the ways the Unbounce conversion platform can be used. We have 3 core pieces of product technology (not including our AI/Machine Learning efforts that will power our technology in the future): landing pages, popups, and sticky bars.

By taking our core tech, combining the available features, with new jQuery scripts, CSS, and some 3rd-party integrations, it’s possible to create a plethora of new “mini-products” that if embraced by the community, might inform future product direction.

Take a look at the spreadsheet below. This is my POT matrix. The complete sheet currently houses over 120 new product ideas.

Productizing Unbounce Technology
(Click image for full-size view)

Across the top (in yellow) are the core products, their features (such as targeting, triggers, display frequency), and the different hacks, data sources, and integrations, that can be combined to produce the new products listed in green in the first column.

Each product is flagged as being in one of three states:

NOW: These products are possible now with our existing feature set.
MVP: These products are possible by adding some simple scripts/CSS to extend the core.
NEW: These products would require a much deeper level of product or website development to make them possible. These are the examples that came from “blue sky” ideation, and are a useful upper anchor for what could be done.

I’ll be explaining these use cases in greater detail as the month progresses, and I’ll be building some of them directly into these blog posts as I write them. << FTR this will involve me reverting to my long-extinct coding background to hack the shit out of the blog to show you what I’m talking about.

Please Follow Along

That’s the intro, that’s what happened, and what we’re going to do to try and fix it. Subscribe to the weekly email updates, join the discussion in the comments, and chat directly with me on Twitter.

There is also a calendar at the bottom of every post that will link to all 30 PMM topics as they roll out.

What’s coming on day 2 of PMM?

Tomorrow’s post is called “50 Creative Ideas Your Marketing Team Can Use to Improve SaaS Product Adoption & Awareness”. It’s based on the results of rapid-fire brainstorms which exposed quick-win tactics all product marketers can use to expose your products in small and simple ways, to build to a critical mass of awareness.

This should be very relevant to anyone in marketing, and doubly so to those working for a SaaS business.

Here’s to kicking off 2018 in a blaze of product marketing glory.

Cheers,
Oli Gardner

p.s. Please jump into the comments below to let me know what products you’re currently trying to take to market.

Original article: 

Product Awareness Month: Why I’m Writing 30 Blog Posts in 30 Days

Building Accessible Menu Systems

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Inclusive Components. If you’d like to know more about similar inclusive component articles, follow @inclusicomps on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. By supporting inclusive-components.design on Patreon, you can help to make it the most comprehensive database of robust interface components available.
Classification is hard. Take crabs, for example. Hermit crabs, porcelain crabs, and horseshoe crabs are not — taxonomically speaking — true crabs.

Read article here:

Building Accessible Menu Systems

9 Customer Re-Engagement Emails You Need to Steal

emails you should steal

If you had one shot at a 100% guarantee that your customers will open every email you send, how would you do it? Will you tempt them with massive discounts on your products and services? Will you extend their free trial period? Will you add a free upgrade to their account? Whatever method you choose; one thing remains true: Forever does not exist. Your customers will get tired of you eventually. Acceptance Is Key Once you have come to terms with the fact that not all your email subscribers will be with you for the rest of your marketing career,…

The post 9 Customer Re-Engagement Emails You Need to Steal appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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9 Customer Re-Engagement Emails You Need to Steal

Giving Your Product A Soul

After a few years of designing products for clients, I began to feel fatigued. I wondered why. Turns out, I’d been chasing metric after metric. “Increase those page views!” “Help people spend more time in the app!” And it kept coming. Still, something was missing. I knew that meeting goals was part of what a designer does, but I could see how my work could easily become commoditized and less fulfilling unless something changed.

This article:

Giving Your Product A Soul

The one segment you probably aren’t (but should be) looking at

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Let’s say you’re segmenting traffic to your website.

You’re segmenting traffic because, in a digital world brimming over with messages, you want to make sure that the messaging on your site is Relevant to the right user at the right time.

And segmentation allows for personalization.

You believe that a more customized user experience will lead to more orders, demo requests, phone calls etc. So, you have structures in place to deliver appropriate messages to your different audiences, each with distinct needs and expectations.

But I must ask, how are you segmenting your visitors?

You might be grouping them by device, by traffic source, by demographic data.

General_Segments
People often segment general visitors by device, by traffic source, and by demographic data.

And these buckets are all viable:

  • Your desktop visitors may behave differently than your mobile visitors
  • Visitors coming from a Facebook ad may respond better to social proof triggers than those coming from organic search
  • Older visitors may browse your products differently than younger visitors

But the ultimate goal of segmentation, like conversion optimization, is to increase conversions. With that in mind, this post is all about that one segment you probably aren’t looking at: converters versus non-converters.

To clarify, your converter segment is not necessarily the same thing as your repeat-customer or Loyalty segment. Your converter segment includes anyone who converts, whether or not they’ve converted before.

Rather than focusing on different general visitor segments, you should turn your attention to the behaviors that differentiate visitors who convert from visitors who don’t.

When you focus on general visitor segments, you’re working from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Why not work from the bottom of the funnel, up? After all, that’s where the money is!

Correlation vs. Causation

First things first: when you’re looking at differences between converters and non-converters on your site, you must be wary of correlation versus causation.

It’s almost impossible to know whether converters are behaving in a distinct way because they’re already motivated to buy (correlation) or because the elements on the page have enabled those distinct behaviors (causation).

For example, does a converter browse more products than a non-converter because they’re already motivated to buy before arriving on-site? Or does an on-site UI that emphasizes browsability encourage converters to browse (and therefore convert)?

It’s similar to the search bar quandary: typically, visitors who search convert at a higher rate. But do they convert because they search (causation) or do the search because they’re already more motivated to buy (correlation)?

It’s a bit of a “the chicken or the egg” situation.

Fortunately, at WiderFunnel, we’re able to test on many retailers’ websites and take note of certain patterns. On multiple instances with different clients, we have observed clear and drastic differences in key user behavior metrics between visitors who convert and visitors who don’t convert.

These differences paint a picture of how your visitors shop. You can use this information to improve your UX and add features that’ll help your general visitors behave more like converters than non-converters. The hope is that encouraging non-converters to mimic the behavior of converters will lead to them actually becoming converters.

Moral of the story: If you observe impactful differences between converters and non-converters on your site, you should create a hypothesis that targets these differences.

WiderFunnel Optimization Strategist, Nick So, recently ran a test that did just that.

Let’s buy some shoes

One of our biggest clients is a global shoe retailer. Over the past 6 months, Nick noticed some patterns in their analytics:

  1. A high percentage of visitors that convert (like 60%) are returning visitors
  2. Converters visited 186% more pages per session on average and spent more time on page per session than non-converters
Converter_Stats
Converter vs. Non-Converter behavior on this client’s site.

Meaning, the majority of converters on this site have already been to the site at least once before and they seem to spend much more time browsing than their non-converting counterparts.

Nick So

It’s common sense that visitors who convert behave differently than those who don’t. But it wasn’t until we pulled the report and saw how big the difference was in their shopping behavior that we really thought to go down this path.

Nick So, Optimization Strategist, WiderFunnel

In previous testing, Nick had also observed that visitors to this site are responsive to features that increase the browsability of multiple products. He’d noticed the same sensitivity with some of our other retailer clients, where features that made it easier to compare products helped conversions.

We decided to run with this data. Our hypothesis was based on the idea that visitors who convert are most likely returning visitors, therefore, pointing them toward products they’ve already viewed will guide them back into the funnel.

The hypothesis: Increasing the browsability of the site by displaying recently viewed products to increase relevance for the visitor will encourage higher engagement and increased return visits, which will increase conversions.

Nick and the team tested a single variation against the Control homepage. The Control featured a “Recommended Products” section just below the hero section, displaying four of the client’s most popular product categories.

In our variation, we replaced this with a “Your Recently Viewed Products” section. We wanted to target those visitors who were returning to the site, presumably to continue in the purchasing process. The products displayed in this section were unique to each returning visitor.

Converter_Test
The Control (left-hand) versus our variation (right-hand), which highlighted “Your Recently Viewed Products”.

Our variation won, consistently outperforming the Control during this test. This client saw a 6.9% increase in order completions.

Bottom to top

When you’re segmenting your audience, don’t forget about the segment that floats at the bottom of the funnel. Instead of identifying the differences that characterize visitors coming to your site, why not work backwards?

Look at the behavioral differences that distinguish converters from non-converters and test ways to help non-converters mimic the behaviors of converters.

Have you noticed drastic behavioral differences between your visitors who convert and those who don’t convert? Do you tap into this particular segment when you plan tests? Tell us all about it in the comments!

The post The one segment you probably aren’t (but should be) looking at appeared first on WiderFunnel Conversion Optimization.

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The one segment you probably aren’t (but should be) looking at

A Never-Ending Story On Ad-Blockers

Desperate times call for desperate measures. In attempts to fight back against the growing adoption of ad-blockers, many publishers and ad-dependent websites adopt all kinds of techniques from introducing “light” paywalls to limiting access to the site to fully blocking ad-blocker users from accessing the content altogether.
It seems a bit ironic that a website would send away potential customers that are taking measures to actually access the site faster, and read the content published on the site without annoying distractions.

More here:  

A Never-Ending Story On Ad-Blockers

Nobody Wants To Use Your Product


Every morning, designers wake up to happily work on their products, be they digital or physical, with an inner belief that people will want to use their products and will have a blast doing so. Perhaps that is a slight generalization; however, as designers, we tend to have a natural desire for each project we work on to be the best it can be, to be innovative and, most importantly, to make a difference.

Nobody Wants To Use Your Product

Here is a little revelation. People are not really into using products. Any time spent by a user operating an interface, twisting knobs, pulling levers or tapping buttons is time wasted. Rather, people are more interested in the end result and in obtaining that result in the quickest, least intrusive and most efficient manner possible. And these are two fundamentally different concepts — usage versus results — which, at the very least, differentiate good product design from poor product design or, on a smaller scale, a good feature from a bad one.

The post Nobody Wants To Use Your Product appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Nobody Wants To Use Your Product

Decoupling HTML From CSS

For years, the Web standards community has talked about the separation of concerns. Separate your CSS from your JavaScript from your HTML. We all do that, right? CSS goes into its own file; JavaScript goes in another; HTML is left by itself, nice and clean.
CSS Zen Garden proved that we can alter a design into a myriad of permutations simply by changing the CSS. However, we’ve rarely seen the flip side of this — the side that is more likely to occur in a project: the HTML changes.

View original post here – 

Decoupling HTML From CSS

The Elements Of Navigation + 6 Design Guidelines

When users look for information, they have a goal and are on a mission. Even before you started to read this article, chances are you did because you either had the implicit goal of checking what’s new on Smashing Magazine, or had the explicit goal of finding information about “Navigation Design”. [Links checked February/11/2017]
After a couple of seconds of scanning this article, and maybe reading parts of the introduction, you may have started to ask yourself whether the information that you’re consuming at the moment is actually relevant to you—the user.

Read this article: 

The Elements Of Navigation + 6 Design Guidelines

15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design

Selling online can open up huge new markets for many businesses. When your store can be open 24⁄7 and you can reach a global market without the costs of mailings and call centers, it can be a huge boon to your business. But there are plenty of things to consider when designing an ecommerce site. It’s not as simple as throwing up some shopping cart software and plopping products into a database.

Continued here – 

15 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Design

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