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Travel Marketers Have a Trust Problem

As a travel marketer or agency marketer servicing the travel industry, you have a tricky gig. You need to convince your prospects to spend thousands of dollars and precious vacation time.

Meanwhile, your prospects are increasingly wary of the legitimacy of your offers (thanks a lot, Fyre Fest).

Here’s to hoping your vacation is memorable, but not in a meme-worthy kind of way.

Your challenge then is to effectively convey trust on your travel landing pages. Doing so can help ease prospects’ conversion anxiety, resulting in more travel leads and sales for your business.

The importance of trust on your travel landing pages

We often talk about the importance of trust and credibility on your landing pages — this isn’t a new idea.

But for some industries, a lack of trust can have hugely detrimental effects on conversion rates.

In a recent analysis of 74,551,421 visitors to 64,284 lead generation landing pages created in the Unbounce platform, data scientists found that travel landing pages can realistically achieve conversion rates of at least 12%. Even more impressive is within the travel and tourism industry, the very best pages convert over 25% of their visitors (schwing!).

Notice the dramatic conversion rate difference between percentiles? If you’re part of that percentile getting 2.1% or lower conversion rates, your pages have lots of room for improvement. Image via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

If you’re not hitting these benchmarks, it might be time to take a hard look at your marketing and ask yourself if you’ve done enough to make your prospects trust you.

And don’t worry if your answer is “No” or “I’m not sure.” We’ve compiled four data-backed ways to boost trust on your travel landing page. Use them as a jumping off point for your optimization efforts.

1. Bolster your copy with trust words

Using an Emotion Lexicon to analyze copy, Unbounce data scientists found evidence that visitors to travel landing pages have slight concerns about the legitimacy of the offers.

However, they also found that using at least 7% (and up to 10%) of your copy to establish trust could result in conversion rates that are up to 20% better.

Notice the uptick in conversion rate once trust-infused copy is used more liberally? Image via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Unbounce data scientists found that these are some of the words that impart trust on travel landing pages:

enjoy, perfect, secret, top, team, guide, save, personal, spa, food, planning, policy, provide, star, award, real, share, friendly, recommend, school

(Keep in mind, though, that these words were generated by an algorithm and should still be applied using common sense. Just adding the word “spa” to your page — especially if you don’t offer spa services — is not going to increase your conversions.)

The travel experts at Nordic Visitor do a great job of using trust words to build confidence on their Iceland site. It’s not a landing page per se, but the same principles apply.

“Team,” “planning,” “provide” and “personal” are all words found to positively convey trustworthiness. Adding these and other trust words to your copy could be the subconscious nudge your prospects need to convert.

Take stock of the trust words you’re using in your marketing, and particularly on your landing pages. If they’re looking a little sparse, test out using confidence-building words to describe destinations in detail.

2. Cut copy that brings up emotions of fear and anger

Just as trust words can drastically improve your conversion rates, words that subconsciously trigger fear or anger will have a negative impact on travel landing page conversion rates.

In fact, Unbounce data scientists found that if even 1% of page copy reminds your visitors of feelings of anger or fear, you could be seeing up to 25% lower conversion rates.

No one wants to be angry while on vacation. Image via the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Words that may instill fear or anger in your prospects include:

limited, tree, money, hot, desert, endless, challenge, treat, fee, feeling, rail, stone, bear, buffet, bang, cash, cross, despair

So instead of…

“Feeling endless despair this Canadian winter? Warm yourself up with a limited-time-only vacation in the hot Mojave desert.”

Try…

“Escape the Canadian winter at a five-star award-winning vacation rental in sunny California.”

Get even more industry-specific emotion and sentiment copy suggestions

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how emotion and sentiment may be impacting conversion rates in your industry.
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3. Leverage social proof to build visitor trust

Persuading your prospects to put their trust in you is tricky business, and it’s even trickier when it comes to travel, because they’re likely working with a tight budget and only a few weeks of precious vacation. They don’t want to take a leap of faith — they want a sure thing.

A proven strategy for easing prospect anxiety is to use social proof. It’s the “everybody’s doing it” mentality that helps convince your prospects to convert.

Testimonials

When you let your satisfied customers sing your praises, your credibility goes through the roof. Including testimonials on your travel landing page can have a positive impact on how trustworthy your prospects perceive you to be, but not all testimonials are created equal.

To best enhance your chance of conversion, heed the following testimonial commandments:

  • Be specific
  • Include a photo of the person
  • Avoid hyperbole (i.e., This pedicure literally saved my life!)
  • Choose testimonials that demonstrate the transformative effect of your product or service on the lives of your users

Nordic Visitor takes it one step further with a video testimonial from several happy customers:

Don’t tell your prospects how great you are, show them with real live, happy customers.

Reviews

Similar to testimonials, including reviews on your travel landing page can help convey trust to your prospects.

The luxury travel designers of Jacada Travel have embedded reviews from Trustpilot, a reputable online review community, directly into their landing page.

Awards

If you recall, the word “award” is associated with trust on travel landing pages. So if your company or client has won any reputable awards, be sure to flaunt ‘em.

Tour guide company Kensington Tours not only includes several trust seals on their travel landing page, they also mention in their Adwords ad that they’re a National Geographic award winner.

Highlight awards strategically to build confidence in your offers.

4. Security measures

Persuasive trust-infused copy and social proof are wonderful, but when you’re collecting travel leads and even money, you need to assure your prospects that their data and money is safe.

There are many ways to do this, but the two most impactful strategies are to enable SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and to include trust seals.

SSL

SSL creates an encrypted link between your landing pages and your visitor’s browser. It’s identified by the little lock icon and the “https” (vs. http) in the top left-hand side of your browser search bar.

Enabling SSL on all your web properties (but especially on your lead gen and ecommerce landing pages) assures your visitors that they’re not at risk of being hacked.

Psst: SSL is available on all paid Unbounce plans. Don’t publish a landing page without it!

Trust seals

Trust seals help to reinforce the message that your landing page is secure. These can be obtained by whichever third-party security vendor handles your SSL certificate, and easily added to your travel landing page with a few lines of JavaScript.

Nordic Visitor nails it yet again with a trust seal from GeoTrust and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017, further reinforcing their credibility.

All aboard the Conversion Cruise

A lack of trust in any industry can hurt conversion rates, but in the travel industry the stakes are extra high.

Fortunately, this means the opportunities to improve your conversion rates are plenty. And if you nail the whole trust thing down, you could be seeing some of the highest conversion rates across any industry.

Leveraging a combo of effective copy, social proof and security measures, you can make your prospects forget about the stress associated with booking a vacation. Skip that trip to Poor Conversions-ville and instead put your feet up with a Mai Tai in hand on the Conversion Cruise.

For even more data-backed conversion insights in the travel industry, or for insights into industries such as health, finance, higher education and more, download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.

Get data-backed conversion insights across 10 popular industries

Download the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report to see how your conversion rates stack up against the competition — and how to improve them.
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Launching a travel landing page from scratch? Try out one of our travel landing page templates, designed specifically to boost conversions.

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Travel Marketers Have a Trust Problem

Future-Proof Your Marketing with Call to Action Magazine

The Call to Action Magazine
A good marketer is like a doomsday prepper (bear with me here…)

Instead of preparing for a global cataclysm, learning about water storage and building bunkers, they’re constantly on the lookout for ways they can proof their marketing for, or get ahead of, inevitable and dramatic changes to the marketing landscape.

Frequent and mysterious algorithm changes. New ad platform features. Emerging trends, dying fads. Amidst all this, only marketers who understand these new conditions — then adapt and innovate within them — will see exponential returns.

At Unbounce, we’ve been really lucky to have a network of expert marketers around to ask about the always-changing marketing landscape. We can turn to forward-thinking strategists like Mirum’s Mitch Joel, Moz’s Rand Fishkin, Love Your Customer’s Claire Suellentrop, and even our in-house-experts, like Alexa Hubley, Carl Schmidt and CRO Michael Aagaard. We ask them things like:

  • What does the ever-increasing prominence of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning mean for marketers and their jobs?
  • Are “tried-and-true” frameworks like the buyer persona still relevant, or are there new ways of digging deeper to speak more closely to my target market?
  • Have traditional SEO tactics become completely outdated? Why are the most successful SEOs now becoming well versed in conversion rate optimization?
  • How can you use data to inform your marketing without letting personal biases get in the way?
  • Should marketing stop after the conversion? (Or is customer marketing where it’s at?)

These are questions we’ve seen tossed around recently in our newsfeeds and at conferences.

So we set out to help answer them.

In Call to Action Magazine, we aim to address these questions and dig into some of the recommendations the experts in our network have shared — those that will help you create exceptional marketing no matter what new algorithm comes along.

So, what do you say? Do you want to get lost in the rubble… or do you want to learn how you can future-proof your marketing?

Ready to Future-Proof Your Marketing?

Call to Action Magazine is filled with recommendations from marketing experts to help your marketing thrive — no matter what algorithm gets changed tomorrow.
By accessing the magazine, you’ll receive actionable marketing content from Unbounce. 
You can unsubscribe at any time.

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Future-Proof Your Marketing with Call to Action Magazine

Top 7 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty

Brand Consistent

Modern customers scour websites and research products they’re thinking of buying before making their actual purchase. When customers are 60% to 80% of the way down the funnel before they talk to anyone at your business, you can’t rely on traditional methods to generate loyalty. At the same time, fewer and fewer clients remain loyal to one specific brand. Loyal customers are profitable customers: repeat customers are cheaper to market to, spend more, and make more frequent purchases. Yet, only 27% of initial sales go on to become repeat customers. Companies need to invest in building loyalty among their customers….

The post Top 7 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Top 7 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty

8 Overlay Examples to Inspire More Clicks, Sales & Signups [FREE LOOKBOOK]

Need some inspiration for your overlay design? No problem.

overlay-inspiration
Image source.

Oh, sorry, you didn’t mean an inspirational quote?

Let me try that again.

Inspire more clicks, sales & signups with your overlays

Download our free Spring Overlay Lookbook, featuring 8 oh-so-beautiful, Unbounce-built overlays.


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Feature image via Shutterstock.

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8 Overlay Examples to Inspire More Clicks, Sales & Signups [FREE LOOKBOOK]

Building an App or Online Business in 2017? Here’s A DIY Resource Kit of Free Tools & Tips!

building an app

Last year, I started working on an idea for a platform, called Counsell, currently available as an app on iOS and Android devices, that lets all professionals give and get paid advice. As a designer, I was fortunate to be working with an incredible developer from the very start so we knew we could turn the idea into a working product. However, it was only when I, bolstered by my marketing background, decided to build a business around the app that I realized how haphazard and unsystematic the realities of setting up a new online business could be. Thanks to…

The post Building an App or Online Business in 2017? Here’s A DIY Resource Kit of Free Tools & Tips! appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Building an App or Online Business in 2017? Here’s A DIY Resource Kit of Free Tools & Tips!

Don’t Ever Launch an Overlay Without This Checklist [FREE DOWNLOAD]

24-point-overlay-checklist-650

Did you know I’m psychic? It’s true. Your favourite color is orange. You once lived on Chestnut Lane. You’ve googled “email best practices” at some point in your marketing career.

Okay, so one out of three ain’t bad — amirite?

The point is, best practices are important to marketers. Whether it’s email, landing pages or social media, best practices provide a jumping off point for a lot of what we do. And guess what, overlays — whether you’re already using them or thinking about using them — are no exception.

Overlays can sometimes get a bad rap for being intrusive or irrelevant. Often, though, these UX offenders are simply not designed or targeted with best practices in mind.

So, before you launch a new overlay…

Download the 24-Point Overlay Checklist

Never launch another mediocre overlay.
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Don’t Ever Launch an Overlay Without This Checklist [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Our Gift to You: The Ultimate Holiday Email Marketing & Landing Page Guide

Eggnog and rum, chestnuts and open fires, turkey and cranberry, email marketing and landing pages: there are some things that are better together.

Did I lose you at email marketing and landing pages? Well, pour yourself a holiday drink and let me explain.

As a marketer, you know that email is one of the most impactful marketing tools in your stack. In 2015 alone, 25.1% of Black Friday ecommerce sales came from email marketing and over one-third of holiday shoppers say they used retailers’ emails to keep track of deals.

But email marketing is just one half of a successful campaign. Those emails need to lead somewhere…

A landing page is the ideal destination for your email marketing campaign because it focuses your visitor’s attention on a single conversion goal. This lack of distractions could mean the difference between a bounce and a sale.

Using email marketing and landing pages together is thus the perfect combo to drive more sales — it’s the spiked eggnog of marketing and conversion tactics.

May we pour you a glass?

Run high-converting campaigns using email and landing pages

Download Unbounce and Campaign Monitor’s Ultimate Holiday Email Marketing & Landing Page Guide
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Our Gift to You: The Ultimate Holiday Email Marketing & Landing Page Guide

Why Traffic Shaping is So Dang Fantastic for Conversion Rates

Do you remember the Windows game Pipe Dream? In it, the player creates a continuous “goo” path using randomly assigned pieces of pipe.

pipe-dream-traffic-shaping

Fail to build a path in time and the goo oozes everywhere… Game over.

For a marketer, the pipe pieces are your web pages. And the goo? Your visitors. Fail to provide your visitors with a logical next step and it’s game over.

A logical next step could mean many things, like a sale or a signup. Or maybe it’s simply to keep your prospects on your website by strategically presenting them with opportunities to learn more about what you have to offer.

Like pipe building, traffic shaping is all about creating incentivized pathways that convince users to go where you want them to go. It’s effective for:

  • getting visitors from low-converting to high-converting pages.
  • showing visitors relevant offers based on what they’re currently browsing.
  • recommending further reading thereby keeping visitors on site.

But first, why is this tactic even necessary?

Take a look at your analytics. You’ll probably find your highest-traffic pages aren’t necessarily your highest-converting pages. In many cases, that’s okay; the purpose of a blog post is different from a pricing page. But that’s not to say you should ignore your organic visitors. Instead, you should provide them with clear paths to the “next step.” And that’s when traffic shaping comes in.

Using overlays as a traffic-shaping tool

So how can marketers engage users on high-converting pathways that produce better results? How can we move users through the pipes and follow our desired path?

One great way of doing this is by using a traffic shaping overlay.

Psst: Unbounce recently launched our own suite of overlays called Convertables. Install one in seconds on any of your web pages, and set it to trigger on exit, on arrival, on scroll or after delay.

Traffic shaping overlays are designed to either move visitors from low-converting pages to high-converting pages or to re-engage them with additional content. They never have a form, and they’re best triggered either on exit or after delay.

Here’s a diagram of how traffic shaping with overlays works:

traffic-shaping
Not unlike Pipe Dream, amirite?

As you can see, traffic shaping overlays offer a unique way to better align your needs with the needs of your visitors: you want to move them farther down your sales funnel and they want the incentive to do so.

Here are a few use cases with real-life examples to get you thinking ‘bout how you can use traffic shaping overlays in your own overlay strategy:

Use case #1: Cross-Sell

Blog visitors are prime candidates for traffic shaping overlays because they’ve already spent time absorbing your content and familiarizing themselves with your brand. They likely recognize your brand — heck, they may even be regular readers — but they may overlook your on-site calls to action.

A cross-sell overlay can help focus a user’s attention on a relevant offer.

Here’s an example…

cta-conf-traffic-shaping-overlay

This overlay (yes, it’s ours) was installed on a high-traffic post about the best digital marketing conferences to attend in 2016.

Figuring that people who read about conferences also go to conferences, we saw an opportunity to cross-sell tickets to our own conference at a greatly reduced price.

Use case #2: Re-engage with more content

Keeping visitors on your blog or resource library has a lot of advantages. The more they stick around, the more opportunities you have to:

  • Show visitors that you understand their pain and are uniquely qualified to help alleviate it
  • Educate visitors about your solution (ideally the solution to their burning marketing pain)

A strategically placed exit overlay on your blog can help keep visitors on site by recommending content similar to what they were reading previously:

content-re-engage-traffic-shaping-overlay

This type of overlay is most effective when targeted at first-time visitors. These are the prospects that need a lil’ warming up before you ask them for their email address.

But back to Pipe Dream…

When you think of traffic shaping like playing Pipe Dream, you realize that building a logical path is just as important for you as it is the user. You don’t want to lose your visitors any more than your visitors want to be stopped in their tracks.

By implementing traffic shaping overlays on your web pages, you can better align your needs with the needs of your visitors. And that, my friends, is how everyone wins.

Find out how you can use overlays for traffic shaping, lead gen, sales and more!

Download Unbounce’s newest ebook, 12 Proven Ways to Convert with Overlays
By entering your email you’ll receive weekly Unbounce Blog updates and other resources to help you become a marketing genius.

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Why Traffic Shaping is So Dang Fantastic for Conversion Rates

How Big Brands Use Urgency to Drive Conversions During the Holidays

urgency-holidays-blog
Hurry! Holiday shopping is upon us, which means big conversion opportunities await. Image via Shutterstock.

What’s worse than not being able to find the perfect Christmas gift for someone you love?

How about finding it, then realizing it’s sold out? Sold out.

The thought alone is enough to cause a pre-Christmas meltdown, but while we’re all fretting over the perfect gift, big-brand retailers and ecommerce site owners are off singing carols, waiting for the dollars to roll in. But how do they do it? How do they make us want to buy so feverishly every year? It’s not as if holiday marketing differs significantly from one year to the next.

Holiday marketing is — and always has been — all about urgency, about creating a real (or at least semi-real) timeframe in which people need to act, or they’ll miss out.

In this post, we’re going to look at how brands including Apple, Toys R’ Us, Target and Starbucks use the power of the ‘limited time only’ offer, to turn browsers into customers, who combined will spend billions of dollars online and in-store over the holidays. Then, we’re going to show you how to apply those same principles to your landing pages, so that you can create high-converting offers in time for the Christmas sales.

Urgency: Nothing new at Target

If anyone knows when these Target ads are from, please drop a comment below. They certainly predate the internet, but look at the copy; it wouldn’t look out of place on landing page made today.

The ad features a catchy headline with a clear CTA (“Charge it!”), a descriptive subheader (“Open to midnight! Every weeknight till Christmas.”) and a few simple visuals to show the reader exactly what to expect.

target-full-page-ad
This ad may be decades old, but the principles that made it a success then still ring true today. Image via Target.

It might be a print ad from the 1950s or 60s, but this Christmas ad from Target has almost everything a great landing page needs. Let’s examine it a bit more closely.

target-headline

We talk about headers and headlines a lot at Unbounce. They’re the first port of call for visitors to your landing page, and if you’re not pitching something worth their time, they’re going to bounce.

Your headline creates intrigue, suggests benefits and, especially in the case of holiday campaigns, creates urgency.

Target’s “Be gifty, be thrifty” approach is cutesy and memorable, but also totally appropriate for introducing a holiday sale — it’s about gifts and savings. But “Be gifty, be thrifty” isn’t strong enough on its own. Adding ‘but hurry!’ turns the appreciative smile that comes with a good rhyme, toward a sense of urgency. Better hurry, this ad says, or all the best deals will be gone. It’s a technique that’s been used since cavemen first scratched ads for saber-toothed tiger skins onto the walls of their caves, and it works every time.

Show ’em what you’ve got

Here’s something else we see on modern landing pages — show the people what you’ve got. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an ad, a landing page or an overlay, it’s a pitch. You’re showing people what you’ve got, and at Christmas time, the best way to show people what you’ve got, is to literally show them what you’ve got.

target-featured-products

Make it easy

There’s another key tactic at play here: Make it easy. That means, make it clear that shopping with you is going to be simple and straightforward (more so than if you were to shop with the competition). Time is short, and you need gifts — we’re here to help. Target makes it easy by telling its customers that their Dayton’s credit cards are good there.

Apply it: Target’s four simple rules for creating urgency

  1. Create an attention-grabbing headline which mentions gifts, savings and timeframe.
  2. Ramp up the urgency by getting specific about limited availability.
  3. Show the people what you’ve got.
  4. Suggest to the people how easy the shopping experience can be.

Buy one get one free at Starbucks

For Starbucks lovers, the BOGOF on holiday drinks offer is legendary. And so is the three-hour window in which you can redeem that offer. You’ll rally your friends, you’ll take a half day if need be, but you’re getting to Starbucks between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00.

starbucks-bogo
One for me, one for you… or maybe two for me, none for you. Image via Starbucks.

The variety of holiday drinks on offer is actually secondary in this ad. The focus here in on getting you into the store at a very specific time (between 2:00 and 5:00, when Starbucks is likely to be less busy because everyone’s at work.)

Where’s the urgency? It’s unlikely that they’ll sell out of your favorite, unless they run out of gingerbread syrup. The urgency lies in getting in before the offer closes. You can always come back tomorrow, but Starbucks has us by the brain and we want it now.

The BOGOF offer is so effective, and not just on Starbucks holiday drinks, it almost doesn’t matter what you’re giving away, because one of them is free. That’s evidenced here by the headline and subheader, which are literally a statement of the what/when/where of the offer — no frills required!

Use images that resonate

You go to Starbucks for one reason and one reason only — coffee. Starbucks creates urgency with its visuals by showing customers what they want to see — red cups.

Apply It: Create urgency using limited time offers

Whether it’s a countdown, an end date or a specific timeframe during which people can redeem your offer, or sign up for your webinar, create urgency on your landing page by guiding visitors towards not only what they can get, but also when. Making your countdown highly visible, with either a static image or an animated countdown, only adds to the sense of urgency, too.

Super crazy Christmas cracker bonanza!

If it looks urgent, it’ll make people feel urgent. Most of us are highly receptive to design elements such as color, font, font size and the shape of various elements. Seeing lots of different sized fonts on an ad can be distracting, but it can also create a sense of urgency and liveliness. Look at this example from Toys R’ Us:

toys-r-us
Only a toy store at Christmas could get away with design this over the top. Image via Toys R’ Us.

Most of this is just branding — it’s the way Toys R’ Us does its thing — but around the holidays, the mixing of lower and upper case letters, the bouncy font and the enlarging of certain words has the effect of creating a sort of… hysteria. That’s perhaps not the right way to describe it, but you get the idea, right? It’s all SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! THOUSANDS! TOYS! SHOP EARLY! BIGGEST EVER! QUANTITIES ARE LIMITED!

Apply it: No holds barred

Let’s just go ahead and list every bit of urgency and sale-related copy in this ad:

  • Biggest Cyber Monday Sale Ever!
  • Online only!
  • Save up to 60% on THOUSANDS of items!
  • Quantities are limited, so SHOP EARLY!
  • Shop now

Liberal use of the exclamation mark, capital letters in the middle of sentences and restrictions on when and where you can shop, turn this ad into an assault on your sense of urgency. You know what they say: Go big, or go home. When you’ve got product to move, and if you’ve got the confidence to shout about it from the rooftops, then you go all in.

Stuff, stuff stuff: Shop now for some stuff

What was true fifty years ago is true now; people love stuff, and if you show it to them in a thoughtful way, they’ll buy it.

apple
Apple might have all the budget in the world, but the principles they leverage are free for the taking. Image via Apple.

This ad from Apple is actually for the Black Friday sales, but it works just as well as a Christmas sales ad. Remember in our first vintage Target ad where they showed us what was on offer? Apple doesn’t just show us what’s on offer, they base their entire design on it.

Normally, it’d be pretty crude (and difficult) to sneak your logo into the same ad five times, but don’t forget, when it comes to Christmas sales and ecommerce, as with your landing page, those who dare, win.

Ready. Set. Shop.

How many times do we need to say this? There’s nothing subtle about creating urgency in Christmas sales ads. Apple’s “Ready. Set. Shop.” headline pulls no punches. This is a race, son, and if you’re not quick, all the best stuff will be gone, gone, gone before grandpa nods off after his second cup of eggnog.

And, like old-school Target wanted you to know that your Drayton’s credit card was ok with them. Apple wants you to know that you can shop online or in-store, it’s totally your choice.

Apply It: Leverage your products

There’s a theme running through most of these Christmas ads, and it’s that your product is your greatest asset when it comes to creating urgency.

There will be people who want what you’ve got, and those people are your target audience. The Christmas sales are not a time to pitch for new customers, necessarily. What they are, is a chance to ride the wave of urgency and raise both awareness and revenue. If that means pushing your product more than usual, now is the time to do it.

As quick as a kiss underneath the mistletoe

There certainly is plenty of room for festive cheer, and we encourage you to Christmas up your landing pages as much as possible. But the fact is, people respond to urgency, we don’t want to miss out. It’s why the same techniques work year upon year, and why creating a high-converting holiday landing page really isn’t so complicated.

Still not sure how to build high-converting holiday landing pages?

Download Unbounce and Campaign Monitor’s free guide: The Ultimate Holiday Email Marketing + Landing Page Guide
By providing your contact information, you’re authorizing Unbounce and Campaign Monitor to contact you with marketing materials. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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How Big Brands Use Urgency to Drive Conversions During the Holidays

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

get-100000-views-on-your-blog-post-featured-650
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.
By entering your email you’ll receive weekly Unbounce Blog updates and other resources to help you become a marketing genius.

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.

1503101-koolaidman
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:

script-2

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.

This article is from:  

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