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How to Build a Sticky SaaS Product

It’s Day 4 of Product Marketing Month. Today’s post examines churn, and accelerating your customer’s Time to Value. — Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner

What’s The Easiest Way to Make a Sticky Product?

Build a product and call it a Sticky Bar. Look over there >>

With that dad joke out of the way, I want to talk about some important SaaS metrics, that will help product marketers understand what is or isn’t sticky about the products you’re building. I’m also going to talk about how to find some clues in your data, and finally how we’ve been working on fixing our own stickiness problems at Unbounce.

What makes a SaaS product sticky?

In short, it’s a product that becomes part of someone’s daily routine. Something they can’t do as good or enjoyable a job without. It’s something they need. But even more than that, it’s something they love. And that love comes from two main places; either it’s a one-of-a-kind solution that’s simply awesome, or it’s a many-of-a-kind solution that includes a superior customer experience.

Unless you’re selling frying pans, having a product that isn’t sticky just means that you have a churn problem.

Why do people churn from a SaaS product?

There are many reasons why someone would decide to stop paying you money every month, and a great way to find out what they are is simply to ask. At Unbounce we have an in-app cancellation survey that gets seen by anyone who downgrades to free from a paid plan. It’s a single open-ended question: “What is your reason for downgrading?

On average, about 27% of people answer the question. Here’s a pie chart showing the breakdown of responses over a 6-month period.

There are some fascinating responses in there, but the one that stands out the most is the “Under-Utilized” (31.40%) category. This is the response you don’t want to hear. They were using it, and probably deriving value from it, but they weren’t using it enough to warrant an ongoing subscription.

We noticed that certain cohorts of customers were more likely to see fluctuating value from using landing pages. This could be due to an irregular number or timing of campaigns, so when there’s nothing going on, they cancel or downgrade their plan. They may come back again, many do, but the inconsistent behavior – known as flapping – can be a symptom of a product that isn’t fully sticky.

It could also be because they were not able to effectively calculate or realize the ROI of our solution properly, which can happen when customers are running campaigns not directly tied to paid spend. When there is money involved, it’s easier to calculate your returns, speeding up the time to value (TTV).

Increase Stickiness by Reducing Time to Value (TTV)

Time to Value (TTV) is the velocity of a customer seeing the value from your product – how long does it take them to get to those ah-ha moments that make them see the benefit?

It’s a great way to think from the customer’s perspective. The tough part is discovering what those ah-ha moments are. But when you do, product marketing has its mission.

When your TTV goes down, your stickiness and your LTV (Lifetime Value) goes up.

One of the ah-ha moments we’ve identified for Unbounce is when people get inside the builder, and they see how easy, yet how powerful and customizable it is. The problem is, they don’t get to see that until they slap down a credit card.

To amplify this, we just released a preview mode of our builder, designed specifically to help shorten the TTV.

You can check it out at preview.unbounce.com.

If you click the image, you’ll notice that upon arrival, you see a popup with a welcome message and a bit of contextual information about where you are and what you can do.

Speaking of popups, I’ve heard this question a lot in the past 6 months:

“Why did you choose popups and sticky bars as your next products?”

Why did we choose popups and sticky bars?

With the landing page product, we knew we’d solved the pain of customers increasing conversions for their paid traffic, but those same customers (and their teams) also need ways to optimize the organic traffic they already have.

Popups and sticky bars are both tools that have a short time to value, for three reasons:

  1. They are less complex than a landing page (to build and to understand)
  2. Most businesses get more traffic to their website than they do to their landing pages, so they’ll see conversions coming in more quickly
  3. After installing a single line of Javascript, you can place them anywhere on your site without technical help.

If you remember back to the chart at the beginning, 4.45% of canceling customers said they had “poor campaign performance”. This is important to note because getting something up and running quickly and easily is one thing, but being successful – especially as a marketer – is another thing altogether.

Which is why our job as product marketers doesn’t stop until the customer is being successful using your software.

The other way to increase product stickiness

I mentioned earlier about needing to provide a superior customer experience, especially in a crowded competitive landscape. You need to have a company people trust more than the competition, and trust comes from transparency, security, reliability, and just giving a human shit about your customers.

I love how Andy Raskin puts it in his recent post about “The greatest sales pitch I’ve seen all year, it’s Drift’s and it’s brilliant”:

Product differentiation, by itself, has become indefensible because today’s competitors can copy your better, faster, cheaper features virtually instantly. Now, the only thing they can’t replicate is the trust that customers feel for you and your team. Ultimately, that’s born not of a self-centered mission statement like “We want to be best-in-class X” or “to disrupt Y,” but of a culture whose beating heart is a strategic story that casts your customer as the world-changing hero.

How are you reducing your time to value (TTV)?

I’d love to know the techniques you’re using to discover your ah-ha moments, and what you’re doing to accelerate your customers’ access to them. Lemme know in the comments.

Cheers,
Oli Gardner

Continued:  

How to Build a Sticky SaaS Product

A Sneak-Peek Inside The Southeast Asian Web Community

A few weeks ago, Vitaly Friedman (co-founder of this little magazine) and I had the pleasure to join the Mozilla’s Developer Roadshow, traveling through four countries in Southeast Asia in just two weeks. We visited cities that are buzzing with life and met people who share our passion for the web. Our mission: To get up close with the Southeast Asian web community. We wanted to learn how different local communities are compared to Europe and the US.

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A Sneak-Peek Inside The Southeast Asian Web Community

How Do I Know If Venture Capital Fits My Business?

There is a popular image in the world of software which many young and inexperienced entrepreneurs are becoming infatuated with. It’s the idea that when you come up with an awesome idea, the highest peak to strive for — the ultimate goal — is getting in front of a venture capitalist and receiving a huge lump sum to propel your business to unimaginable heights and bring tremendous personal wealth. Well then, let’s explore what it really means to fund your business with equity capital.

Link – 

How Do I Know If Venture Capital Fits My Business?

4 Ways to Use Typefaces on Your Landing Page to Elevate Your Brand

There’s a reason you can recognize an Apple ad right away. Same with Nike and Airbnb. A big part of that is because of imagery, copy, and layout, but typefaces play a huge role as well.

Although the ROI of having a strong brand is harder to measure than, say, clear button copy, it’s telling that some of the most respected companies in the world have strong design cultures and distinct aesthetics.

Brand recognition via typefaces and design

Examples of Apple and Nike’s on-brand design aesthetics.

When designing landing pages, you need them to be on-brand, pixel for pixel. Great design is often a tell-tale sign of more sophisticated marketing (and can give you an easier time getting conversions as it can help convey that you’re well established). One of the most obvious elements that need complete design versatility on your landing pages is your typeface.

This is why Unbounce launched built-in Google fonts in September of this year. Now there are 840+ fonts to choose from for all your text and button needs, straight from the text editor’s properties panel:

New Google Fonts in the Unbounce builder

For some inspiration on how to best use this newfound world of hundreds of fonts, we’re passing the mic to some of our in-house designers at Unbounce. See what they have to say about everything from the best fonts for creating a visual hierarchy to how your text can communicate emotion. Plus see what types of fonts they’re excited to use in their upcoming design work in the builder.

Break the rules where possible

Cesar Martinez, Senior Art Director here at Unbounce, hears a lot of talk about rules. But they’re not the be-all-and-end-all. As he tells us:

“Often when discussing typography with my peers, I hear about all sorts of design principles, some of which I’ve always challenged myself to learn almost as commandments. I realized that is very easy to fall into a vortex of overused principles of visual communication that can potentially damage your integrity (or what some call originality) as a brand.

When designing landing pages that need to feel especially branded or out of the box, try breaking these rules every now and then
(then A/B test to see what works and doesn’t). For example, you could use more than two typefaces in one paragraph, break the kerning on your headers, use a big bold-ass serif on a semi-black background and see how it looks with a thin handmade brushed calligraphic font as the subheader…I know it sounds crazy, but this can lead to unexpected results and it’s something I’m really looking forward to doing with the builder’s new built-in Google fonts.”

Some of Cesar’s favorite out-of-the-box examples of typography?

“I love what ILOVEDUST does when it comes to typography. I also recommend reading Pretty Ugly2 as an introspection of “bad” typography applications that succeed in the way they communicate a visual idea.”

Which font is Cesar most excited to use in the builder? A few: Roboto, Playfair, and Abril Fatface.

Try Roboto, Playfair and more in your next landing page design. See how to create a landing page in Unbounce and experiment with typefaces in a free 30 day trial.

Use fewer fonts to clarify information hierarchy

Denise Villanueva, a Product Designer, created our Unbounce Academy with clear and consistent hierarchy in mind.

“Good typography is the most straightforward way to create a clear content hierarchy. That, above anything else, should be the main criteria of choosing typefaces for your brand.”

Denise provided some specific pointers to help you achieve sound content hierarchy on your landing pages:

Denise

“When in doubt, using one font family in 2–3 weights (or two font families in 1-2 weights) will work the vast majority of the time. Using more than three typefaces can be distracting and chaotic — avoid doing it.”

As an example, Unbounce’s Fitspo template features the Raleway font (in all caps for headers and sentence case for regular body copy) and a clear, attention-grabbing header with supporting sections that guide you further down the page. Think of it as presenting your information in clearly defined levels that are easy to read.

Unbounce's Fitspo landing page template

Create a new landing page fast with the Fitspo template — or browse through other stunning designs you can use today.

Give someone all the feels with typographic details

For Denis Suhopoljac, our Principal User Experience Designer, using the right typography can evoke feelings in your audience:

Denis Suhopoljac

“Typefaces are all about composition, harmony, and mood rolled into one. By matching the right typography traits with voice, style and tone of a brand, you can enhance the wit, humor, or seriousness of a piece of copy. When it’s done right, typography makes your copy (and your entire brand experience) legible, readable, and appealing.”

Typefaces can convey emotion

Different fonts convey different types of emotions via text — what do these typefaces make you think of? Professionalism? Reliability? Playfulness? Timelessness?

Try incorporating typeface as part of your message

To Ainara Sáinz, our Interactive Designer, good typography can do double duty and save you from having to use other supporting imagery.

Ainara Sainz“If typography is done well, you don’t always need extra elements like images, backgrounds or even colors to reinforce the message. And sometimes, the execution is so flawless that the audience might not even need to know how to read to understand and feel the message behind it. Like Ji Lee’s Word as Image project—just… wow.”

Image via Ji Lee’s Word as Image project.

Your landing pages can make use of stunning fonts too

Having solid branding does wonders for a brand’s credibility, and our customers have been telling us that they want to get in on the action. Get into the builder today to explore the 840+ new typeface options available, and find your favourite pairings for your next landing page.

Original article: 

4 Ways to Use Typefaces on Your Landing Page to Elevate Your Brand

Confessions Of An Impostor

Five years ago, when, for the first time ever, I was invited to speak at one of the best front-end conferences in Europe, I had quite a mixture of feelings. Obviously, I was incredibly proud and happy: I had never had a chance to do this before for a diverse audience of people with different skillsets. But the other feelings I had were quite destructive.
I sincerely could not understand how I could be interesting to anyone: Even though I had been working in front-end for many years by then, I was very silent in the community.

Taken from:  

Confessions Of An Impostor

What You Need to Know About Visual Perception and Website Design

visual perception

There’s no lack of data to suggest how visual-oriented we are as humans. For instance, “90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.” Or this:  “65 percent of people are visual learners, and one of the best ways to drive messages home is through visual content.” This data helps explain why visual marketing has really exploded recently, and visual-centric content such as infographics are so popular. Seeing is one of our primary senses by which we intake information and understand the world. Basically, it’s a big deal….

The post What You Need to Know About Visual Perception and Website Design appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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What You Need to Know About Visual Perception and Website Design

Neil Patel’s Advanced Content Marketing Summit

The best part of attending a conference is getting all the latest juicy knowledge in one place, all at the same time, and before the rest of the world knows about it. When a conference is good, you frantically write down notes, future to-dos, new strategies and you can’t wait to get back to eagerly implement all your newfound knowledge. But then there are the down sides: Booking flights and hotel rooms Remembering to do all your expensing Forgetting something at home Completely fudging up your schedule Putting your dog in the kennel And the sheer exhaustion by the end…

The post Neil Patel’s Advanced Content Marketing Summit appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Neil Patel’s Advanced Content Marketing Summit

Learn From What You See: It All Starts With Inspiration

The world around us is full of little things and experiences that shape us, our way of thinking, but also how we tackle our work. Influenced by these encounters, every designer develops their unique style and workflow, and studying their artwork — the compositions, geometry of lines and shapes, light and shadows, the colors and patterns — can all inspire us to look beyond our own horizon and try something new.

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Learn From What You See: It All Starts With Inspiration

Join 14 Performance Marketing Experts for PPC Week, August 14-18

You know that opening scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark? Just when Indy thinks he’s successfully Jones’d the Golden Idol, the ominous rumble of a booby trap sounds and he’s being chased through a tunnel by what I’d wager to be the world’s most famous celebrity boulder.  

I’d also wager that PPC marketers are somewhat familiar with this feeling.

As soon as you get the notion you’ve got this whole paid marketing thing down, a Google update or new study (or surprising result from your own campaigns) appears out of nowhere to crush it.

The only way to save your butt is to stay ahead.

Enter PPC Week, August 14-18:

Fourteen of the smartest minds in performance marketing, hailing from LinkedIn, AdFury, Optmyzr and more, will be leading a series of sessions over five days to give you an edge on the competition and get better results from your campaigns.

And if you’re thinking, “As if I can make time for a week when I’m dodging boulders left and right over here!”, know that we’ve designed PPC Week with your (lack of) time in mind.

Each day is categorized by vertical and features three webinars:

  1. One for PPC beginners
  2. One for intermediate/advanced marketers
  3. An extra if you fancy a bonus round

Registration gives you full access, so you can choose to attend all 15 hours, hit up Wednesday’s sessions only to hone your Excel skills, or skip everything and watch the recordings on your own schedule.

Get your free pass to PPC Week

Once you sign up, we’ll send you a confirmation email. We’ll email you the agenda and webinar links a week before the event so you can access the live sessions straight from your inbox on the day.
By submitting this form you expressly consent to receive Unbounce Marketing and PPC Week Partners content such as best practices, tips & tricks and ebooks. You can always unsubscribe at any time.

So who are these PPC peeps and what will you be learning from them? Here’s what’s on deck.

Day 1: Search Advertising

AdWords Organization and Management Techniques for Maximum Performance (Beginner, 8am PT)

Matt Macchia, CEO of AdfFury

Google AdWords is the most effective yet complex web advertising platform around. Learn how to better organize and manage your AdWords account settings and see the performance of your paid ad campaigns skyrocket overnight.

How to Test Ads to Gain Insight (Intermediate/Advanced, 10am PT)

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of AdAlysis

Learn how to pull rich data insights from your paid ads to fuel your PPC campaigns. Specifically, we’ll show you how to use demographic testing data and data from thousands of ads.

Automate PPC with AdWords Scripts – No Programming Skills Needed! (Bonus, 12pm PT)

Frederick Vallaeys, CEO of Optmyzr

Learn how to get started with AdWords Scripts – the new AdWords tool that lets you automate virtually anything in AdWords, from reporting to managing bids, budgets, ads and keywords.

Banish those pesky spreadsheets for good!

Day 2: PPC Optimization

When (and How) to Optimize Your PPC Landing Pages (Beginner, 8am PT)

Corey Dilley, Director of Campaign Strategy at Unbounce and Joe Martinez, Senior Manager of Paid at Granular Marketing

If your PPC campaigns are driving good traffic but not converting well, your biggest ROI gains might come from optimizing your landing pages. Learn how good (or bad) your PPC landing pages are and when you should (and shouldn’t) optimize them. Come with your landing page conversion rates in hand to compare them to industry benchmarks.

Brilliant Facebook Shortcuts for PPC (Intermediate/Advanced, 10am PT)

Chad Powell, Senior Account Analyst at Hanapin

Learn the shortcuts and optimizations that can help your campaigns perform better and help you work faster. We’ll examine the ad creation process using the Power Editor tool, finding and tuning your audiences with the Audience Insights tool and structuring and segmenting your campaigns for success.

Properly Valuing and Optimizing Paid Search Traffic (Bonus, 12pm PT)

Emily Kirk, Paid Digital Marketing Manager at Workshop Digital

Aligning your paid search traffic with your business goals can be challenging. Learn how to set smart bids that align with your KPIs. We’ll explore bidding layers, setting predictive bids and valuing traffic based on lead type or conversion goal.

Day 3: Excel Tricks

10 Must-Haves for PPC Newbies (Beginner, 8am PT)

Alaina Thompson, Account Manager at Hanapin

Hanapin will share the 10 Excel skills that every PPC newbie should know, from conditional formatting to pivot tables. Join us to learn how to use Excel for faster, more effective PPC analysis.

Geek Out with Advanced (Yet Practical) Excel Tips for PPC (Intermediate/Advanced, 10am PT)

John Lee, Sr. Client Development and Training Manager at Bing Ads

Unlock your Excel merit badge with these PPC spreadsheet tips. Learn how to troubleshoot low Quality Score with the Bing Ads Intelligence Excel plugin. Discover a method for filtering search query data with conditional logic. And hey, while we’ve got your attention – let’s build a keyword health dashboard, too!

Visualize Your PPC Data Like a Pro with Power BI (Bonus, 12pm PT)

John Lee, Sr. Client Development and Training Manager at Bing Ads

Excel is nice. But are you ready to uplevel your PPC dashboard skills? Discover the reporting marvel that is Power BI. Learn the ins and outs of this dynamic reporting software and how you can easily plug in your PPC data to create beautiful (and insightful) visual dashboards. Build your Power BI skills by learning how to build reports for geographic, demographic and keyword data.

Day 4: Audience Strategy

How to Reach Your Best-Fit Customers Across Search and Social (Beginner, 8am PT)

Michael McEuen, Director of Marketing at AdStage

Some of the best opportunities to drive sales already exist in your database. Learn how to reach and nurture prospects and accelerate sales with audience targeting options from Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Getting Creative with Audience Targeting (Intermediate/Advanced, 10am PT)

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of AdAlysis and Maria Corcoran, Search Marketing Platform Manager at Adobe

Learn how to get creative with remarketing (including remarketing lists for search ads [RLSA]), customer match, similar audiences and demographics and leverage audience targeting to its full potential.

Audience to Outcome: The Next Generation of Programmatic (Bonus, 12pm PT)

David Simon, CMO of Steelhouse

As the next chapter of programmatic advertising begins, connected technology is ready to make millions of simultaneous decisions a minute, automatically moving ad dollars across channels, formats and publishers. Join our webinar to understand how dynamic, fully optimized ad plans that value outcome and sublimate the meaning of audience are the future of programmatic advertising.

Day 5: Tracking Conversions

Tracking Conversions That Matter: Aligning Your Business Goals With Your Digital Strategy (Beginner, 8am PT)

Zack Bedingfield, Search Engine Marketing Manager at CallRail

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for conversion tracking. Learn how your conversions goals differ between your landing pages, what kind of data you can pull from different conversion types and which on-site conversion actions you should be tracking.

Going Beyond Leads: Full Funnel Tracking from Leads to Revenue (Intermediate/Advanced, 10am PT)

JD Prater, Head of Customer Acquisition at AdStage

Learn how to track your campaign performance data from leads to revenue and how to use this data to optimize your maximum return on advertising spending (ROAS).

Delivering ROI with LinkedIn Demand Generation (Bonus, 12pm PT)

Tyrona Heath, Agency & Partner Education Program Lead at LinkedIn

B2B marketers are feeling the pressure to use complex data, but this can be pretty challenging. Learn how to use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and LinkedIn Matched Audiences to get more ROI from your LinkedIn campaigns and get tips for improving your campaign’s success.

Are you in?

As mentioned above, join in for every webinar, a select few, or simply sign up to get the recordings and geek out on PPC, Netflix style. You’ll come away with more than a few Golden Idols in the form of actionable insights you can really use.

And no snakes, Jones, we promise.

Get your free pass to PPC Week

Once you sign up, we’ll send you a confirmation email. We’ll email you the agenda and webinar links a week before the event so you can access the live sessions straight from your inbox on the day.
By submitting this form you expressly consent to receive Unbounce Marketing and PPC Week Partners content such as best practices, tips & tricks and ebooks. You can always unsubscribe at any time.

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Join 14 Performance Marketing Experts for PPC Week, August 14-18

Free Business Icons For The Startup World (28 Icons, 5 Formats)

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “business”? White collars, cubicle offices, and encrusted habits? Not when you ask the folks at Vexels. Their Business Concept icon set manages to break free from the conceptions that are stuck in our heads and paints a fresh and creative picture instead. One that captures the liveliness of today’s startup world. And, well, we are very happy to present you the icons as a freebie.

Business Concept Icons

Colorful, friendly, but nonetheless straight to the point, that’s Vexels’ take on the business subject. There are 28 icons in the set in total, depicting concepts that help a business thrive — from vision and strategy to teamwork and competition. All icons are available in AI, EPS, SVG, PSD, and PNG formats.

The post Free Business Icons For The Startup World (28 Icons, 5 Formats) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Free Business Icons For The Startup World (28 Icons, 5 Formats)