Turn Content into Customers [PODCAST]

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Are your readers on a clear course toward conversion? Image by Marko Derkson via Flickr.

Having awesome content isn’t the be-all and end-all of a successful content marketing strategy. If you’re not being deliberate about how you send your readers down your marketing funnel, you’re not going to see results.

In this episode of the Call to Action podcast, co-founder Oli Gardner recalls how Unbounce used an ebook to generate leads before our product was even ready.

Then, Unbounce’s content strategist Dan Levy and Michael Karp of Copytactics discuss tactical ways that you can put your content to work and gain qualified leads in the process.

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In this episode: Stephanie Saretsky chats with Oli Gardner, Unbounce’s co-founder. Then, Dan Levy, Unbounce’s Content Strategist, interviews Michael Karp, founder of Copytactics.

Stephanie Saretsky:  Let’s go back to the very beginning, shall we? Almost six years ago, six men got together and decided to start a business. That business would result in over 2 million landing pages being created. But first, it had to let marketers know that it existed, and that meant generating some leads.

Oli Gardner: I’d never even heard of the term before. I mean, I became a marketer the day we started the company.

Stephanie Saretsky: That’s Oli Gardner, cofounder of Unbounce. And the term he’s talking about is lead generation. The Unbounce blog launched months before the product was ready. And Oli’s early posts focused on educating marketers about what landing pages were and why they needed them. But in order to get people to fork over their e-mail addresses, he needed to put together something even bigger.

Oli Gardner: Kind of a funny story. I decided I wanted to do an ebook for lead gen. And our CTO Carl said in passing to Rick, “What, is he really gonna waste two weeks writing an ebook? Surely there are more important things to be done, like building our website, blah, blah, blah.” I held a two-hour brainstorm, got a whole bunch of stickies on a wall. Then went and pulled an all-nighter, wrote the ebook, came back, slapped it on the desk (digitally) the next day. Kinda of an f you.

Stephanie Saretsky: That f you came in the form of Unbounce’s first ebook, 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips. The ebook took off and generated around 1,200 leads for the fledgling company, which had the team pretty excited.

Oli Gardner: It’s so exciting when you’re starting a company. I remember – same as when we started getting our first – we’d have four customers in a day, and we’d be like, “Ooh, this is so amazing!” We’d get leads. And then you look at them, and some of them are total spam. But then you get some real ones, and you get – the exciting part is when you get ones with an actual company name in them, so not Gmail. That’s kind of exciting.

Stephanie Saretsky: That’s the power of great content. It’s not only beneficial – and dare I say delightful – for the audience you’re targeting, but when great content has a solid strategy behind it, it can turn your readers into eager leads that are pumped to try out your new product. But it’s not as easy today as it was back then.

Oli Gardner: But really, I mean, there weren’t many inbound marketers at that time. There was HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and things like that. But Unbounce was one of the early pioneers of content marketing, to be honest. It was much easier to be special, I think, then. Now there’s just a webinar every 15 seconds and too many ebooks.

Stephanie Saretsky: You gotta redefine the ebook then.

[theme music]

Stephanie Saretsky: I’m Stephanie Saretsky, and this is Call to Action, Unbounce’s podcast about doing marketing better. It doesn’t matter how awesome or delightful your content is; if you’re not being deliberate about how you send your readers down the funnel, you’re not going to see results. You need to have a clear plan that gets people from your awesome content to your leads list because people won’t randomly find their way there. This means we have to get a little bit more creative about how we generate leads. So we spoke to a guy that has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Michael Karp: Michael Karp, and I work at Copytactics.com.

Stephanie Saretsky: Unbounce’s Dan Levy spoke with Michael about generating traffic and turning that traffic into leads, which Michael wrote about in a post for the Unbounce blog, “A Step-by-Step Guide to Generating Leads With Your Content Marketing.”

Dan Levy: Your post is really refreshing to read as a content marketer because so much content about content dwells on that agonizing question of why businesses should be creating content and yours goes straight into the how. That said, I’m gonna ask you to take a step back for a second and explain why you think content’s primary objective should be lead generation.

Michael Karp: I think that lead generation is definitely a top priority of content marketing. But – I’ll explain this in a little bit – I wouldn’t say that it is content marketing’s primary objective.

Dan Levy: Okay.

Michael Karp: I think that content marketing’s primary objective is to gain exposure for your business. I’m sure you’ve heard that there’s this notion that buyers don’t really wanna be sold to anymore. They’re doing more research before making buying decisions and all that. So I would say that your goal with content marketing is to be the business that shows up when these prospects are doing their research. So you wanna get found. You wanna get found in Google. You wanna get found in all these distribution channels online. You wanna get found on social media. And that’s the primary objective of content marketing: to gain exposure and to get found.

And then after that, you start worrying about how you’re gonna generate leads and optimize your website. Because if you don’t have that exposure and you don’t have people coming to you for this information, you won’t be able to generate leads with your content.

Dan Levy: Right. So your content needs to be there in the right place at the right time when your prospects are looking for that information.

Michael Karp: You don’t wanna make that mistake of thinking that if you just produce content, then they will come. I see a lot of businesses who – their blogs are kinda just crickets, you know? There’s not really much going on there. It’s because they have this false information that just blogging is going to bring people to you. But you actually need to promote your content and actively put in the work to get that readership and to get people coming to read your blog. And that’s when it becomes effective content marketing.

Dan Levy: I guess lead generation is a really useful metric to determine whether or not your content marketing is performing – whether it’s ultimately generating leads. But in order to generate leads, you still need to bring in some traffic, as you said. Your traffic, though, in order to be effective, ultimately needs to be made up of potential customers. How do you make sure your traffic is qualified traffic?

Michael Karp: Right, yeah, that’s extremely important. I always say that to get qualified traffic and to get the people coming to your website who are potential customers, you need to create content that solves the same types of problems that your products and services solve. So you don’t wanna go too far with your content to where people don’t need your products and services anymore. People read content and are attracted to content because it solves some sort of need and desire that they have. And if you match the needs and desires that attract people to your products and services with your content, you will naturally attract the people who need and desire your products and services.

Dan Levy: Right. And in your post, you have a lot of different tactics for finding and bringing in that qualified traffic, including some really cool Twitter hacks.

I wanna go straight to something else which I think is a bit less known but I hear people talk about it a lot, which is using online forums or groups or question and answer sites to target niche communities. How do you participate in those forums, though, in a way that doesn’t seem salesy or self-serving?

Michael Karp: Yes, this is a big concern, not so much for solo bloggers like myself, but especially for bigger companies and agencies. It can really hurt their brand image to be too salesy or too self-serving. So what you wanna do, first off, make sure that what you’re promoting is not necessarily your products and services but your content. So make sure you’re promoting content, but make sure it is the most valuable content you can possibly create on that subject.

So the issue arises when people are promoting, like, a 500-word article. Say you go on Quora. You answer someone’s question a little bit, give them some information, and then you provide your content as a natural place to get more information. So when people see that, they read, okay, like, this person knows what they’re talking about. Let me click over here and get some more information.

If they’re disappointed when they get to your website, then they view you and your business as salesy and self-serving, like, you’re just trying to get your traffic stats up or you’re just trying to get people to your website; you’re not really trying to help people. But if they get to your website and they are blown away by the piece of content you created, they completely forget that you even promoted it. They start to thank you for showing it to them.

So it really comes down to the type of content you’re creating and how valuable it is, but then, yeah, also how you’re promoting it.

Dan Levy: So as long as you identify the right questions and provide answers that actually solve their problem, then –

Michael Karp: Yeah.

Dan Levy: – you don’t have that much to worry about. Can you share some tips for identifying those questions that your product or solution happens to have the answer to?

Michael Karp: Yeah, yeah. So there’s this – it’s called the Five Whys method, and it’s for determining your customers’ pain points. You end up asking “why” five times. And you pretend like you’re talking to your ideal customer. And you start off with a very specific problem. So my problem is I’m not generating any leads. Why? Because my site isn’t ready to generate leads. Why? And you go through all of that. And that’s where you start to dig really deep into the issues that your potential customers are having. So that’s one method you can use.

You can also go to places like these forums and Q&A sites and LinkedIn groups and literally just read through all of the discussions that these people are having and create a spreadsheet and jot down the ones that pop up over and over and over again. And these are the questions that you wanna answer. And then go back into these groups and communities and present your content as the answer to these questions.

Dan Levy: So once you have that traffic, you’ve gotta convert those visitors into bona fide leads. One popular technique is through popup forms, which are exactly what they sound like: windows that pop up and ask people for their e-mail address. We’ve talked about using popups on the podcast before. And the question that always pops up is, “Yeah, we know those things convert, but at what cost?” So how do you test whether the increase in leads that you get from these things is worth a potential decrease in user experience?

Michael Karp: That is definitely a major concern. What you have to do is look at your specific website, and you have to test this for yourself. So I would suggest running a split test or doing, like, 30 days with a popup, 30 days without a popup. And measure your change in user experience signals – so like your bounce rate, your time onsite, your pages visited – and measure the amount of leads you generate and how many of those leads converted into customers. And look at how having a popup form versus not having a popup form affected the business objectives that you’re going for.

So I can’t really say – there are case studies that say, “Oh, you need it to do this. You, like, you need to have a popup form.” But in reality, it depends on your business; it depends on your market. If you look at, say, a marketing blog like mine or any of the other marketing blogs that are read by a lot of marketers, they’re used to seeing popup forms. And odds are you’re gonna reach those business objectives better with a popup form than without one. But if you look at more consumer niches, they’re used to more being spammed by popups and stuff like that. So in that case, odds are having a popup form will probably hurt your lead generation. But you can never say that definitively until you test it yourself.

Dan Levy: Have you experienced any blowback from having popups on your site?

Michael Karp: No, I haven’t. And not on my clients’ websites either. I have one client who is in more of a consumer niche. He’s in the commercial drone industry. And we’ve done a little test, and definitely having a popup is leading us to the objectives that we want.

Dan Levy: It’s funny; I think a lot of us share these concerns as marketers. But at the same time, whenever I ask people whether they’ve received any negative feedback, no one’s said anything. So maybe it’s time for us to stop worrying and love the popup.

Michael Karp: Yeah, it could be. And I even saw a case study from Dan Zarrella. He went on the very extreme end of having a popup show up every single time a visitor goes to any one of his pages. So no, like, “If a visitor comes once, it doesn’t show up for ten days.” It showed up every single time. And he didn’t see any major decreases in user experience at all.

Dan Levy: Oh, wow. Huh. I feel like this is the slippery slope that we don’t wanna go too far down. But –

Michael Karp: Exactly.

Dan Levy: – it’s – yeah, that’s interesting. Another technique for capturing traffic that you talk about is something you call content upgrades. I must admit I’d never heard of content upgrades before, at least I hadn’t heard them called that. So what are content upgrades, and why are they an effective way to generate leads?

Michael Karp: So I discovered content upgrades from a case study on Brian Dean’s blog. And he got a 300 – I believe it was 385 percent increase in e-mail conversions from having just two of these content upgrades on his website. I don’t remember the length of the case study, but it was pretty convincing. And a content upgrade is – so if you think about your lead magnets on your website and your opt-in forms, they’re typically site-wide general lead magnets. So you have it, say, in a feature box on every page of your website or in the sidebar on every page of your website, or an opt-in form below the post that’s pretty general.

With a content upgrade, you create a resource that is specific to one piece of content that will help people get the results that you’re teaching, make it easier for them, or make it faster or something like that. So it’ll be like a checklist that instead of reading through every word of your post again, they can just go through the checklist and do it faster. Or like I did for my first Unbounce article. I created a list of resources and links to the resources and what each resource was used for within the steps that I presented in the article. And so it’s very specific. I can’t use that content upgrade on anything else, so it’s specific to that piece of content. And the reason it’s so effective is because this lead magnet is hyper-targeted to the content that person is reading right now. The idea is they have a stronger need for that lead magnet at that point in time than the other lead magnets on your website. So it’s hyper-targeted.

And then the way you deliver it is through a popup light box. So, you’ll basically have a link or a box within the actual content – so between paragraphs in your article – so they’re forced to scan over it. When they scan over it, it says something like, “Click here to download a free checklist of these steps.” They click on that. A popup form comes up, and they put their e-mail address. Then you’ve captured a lead. And then they get redirected to the free resource, and then they can go back and continue reading your content.

So it’s hyper-targeted, it’s within the body of the content so they pretty much can’t ignore it. They can, yes, scan over it and not read it. But it’s much more likely that they will actually scan and read this opt-in rather than something on your sidebar or your feature box or below your post, where they’ve seen these opt-ins before and they’re used to it, so they’ll come to your website and sometimes they’ll ignore it. But if they’re reading your content, then it’s hard to ignore this opt-in.

Dan Levy: And I mean, the key here is that it’s actually providing value to readers because it’s an extension of what they already came for, right? It’s not just a distraction.

Michael Karp: Exactly, yeah. It definitely has to provide value. Otherwise, people won’t opt in. It needs to be something that’s really gonna help them.

Dan Levy: In a way, it’s like the perfect compromise solution to that age-old problem of whether or not to gate a piece of content. It’s like, you keep it ungated to bring people in and benefit from that traffic, but you embed lead gen opportunities throughout the post.

Michael Karp: Definitely. That’s a really good way of putting it.

Dan Levy: Can you talk about how you’ve created your own content upgrades using dedicated landing pages?

Michael Karp: Right. I actually need to upgrade my content upgrades on my blog.

Dan Levy: You need a content upgrade upgrade is what you’re saying?

Michael Karp: Exactly, yeah, a content upgrade upgrade. My content upgrades right now are just .pdf versions of the article. The benefit is just that you can read it offline; you can take it with you on your tablet and all that. But it’s not as good of a content upgrade as I could be making. But either way, no matter what type of content upgrade you have, one of the ways that I’ve delivered it is through a landing page. So if you don’t use a service like – for WordPress, there’s a plugin called SumoMe.

Dan Levy: Right.

Michael Karp: And within that, they have the leads app. And it’s a content upgrade delivery app, pretty much. If you don’t wanna use that, what I’ve done is you can literally just link to a landing page wherever you would put a content upgrade anyway. So you could just put it in brackets and say, “Download this article as a .pdf.” They click on it, they go to a new tab, and then it goes to your landing page, which is optimized for conversion. And then they put in their contact information and get delivered the content upgrade that way.

Dan Levy: So landing pages are obviously our bread and butter here at Unbounce. But I think most people associate landing pages more with AdWords and performance marketing than content marketing. Can you talk a little bit about what a dedicated landing page could do for your content marketing, as opposed to just sending that traffic to your blog or your homepage?

Michael Karp: Right. Definitely. Instead of, like, a sales funnel, I would think of it in terms of a content marketing funnel. So say you create a piece of content, and then you go out and drive traffic to it. You promote it, drive traffic. People come to your blog or they come to the article, they see the link to your content upgrade. They move from the article to the landing page, and then they convert. And that’s kind of the end of your content marketing funnel, and then you go into your sales funnel.

I think the difference between sending them to your homepage, or just sending them to your blog in general, is that you’re gonna convert a lot more visitors with the landing page as a part of your funnel, rather than maybe they’ll opt in to your sidebar or your popup or something like that. If they go – if you include a landing page in your funnel, it doesn’t mean that all of those other opt-ins suddenly go away. It just means you have another highly optimized place for website visitors to opt in. And the more of these you have, the higher your conversion rates are gonna be.

Dan Levy: So the last tactic you mention in your post is a bit more philosophical than the ones we’ve covered so far. You call it genuine content marketing. What does genuine content mean to you, and what does it have to do with generating leads?

Michael Karp: Right. So this is something that came to me when I first started learning about content marketing. It just kind of clicked. And it’s a philosophy that I’m pushing myself with my blog and with my interactions with people. Genuine content marketing comes from having a genuine caring for the people that your business serves, so your potential customers, your actual customers, your clients and all that. And it’s a mindset and a notion that permeates all the content you create and how you promote it into the world and how you then interact with people that come to your blog and all that stuff. It’s just an idea that content is not just a marketing asset. It’s a way to improve the lives of the people that your business serves. It’s a way to improve lives; it’s a way to provide value, I would say.

Dan Levy: Right. And the idea is that if you’re doing that, if you’re providing value, if you’re answering the right questions, then of course people are going to want to sign up for more. And that’s where the lead gen aspect comes in, I guess.

Michael Karp: Yes, exactly.

Dan Levy: Cool. So let’s say I’m ready to create genuine content that brings in targeted traffic and turn it into qualified leads, kinda putting together everything that we’ve talked about so far. Where’s a good place to begin?

Michael Karp: Right. I would say you wanna step back from the metrics and the stats and all that for a bit, and really get down to your mission as a business and what you truly want to do – the type of service you truly want to provide in the world and how you wanna help people. So I would go so far as to actually have a meeting. Sit down with people and brainstorm and map this out.

No matter how big your company or business is, make sure everyone understands this vision, understands this mission. It’s something that I know Apple did very well and something that Steve Jobs was very good at: making sure that the mission is clear cut and understandable, and then letting that permeate through everything including your content. And then move on to all of the tactics and strategies that drive traffic and generate qualified leads and ultimately grow your business.

Dan Levy: That’s really good advice, and I’d add, probably something that’s good to do again every once in awhile. We actually just did something really similar here at Unbounce, even though we’ve been creating content for five and a half years now. As your team grows and your product and your audience evolves, you wanna keep checking in and making sure that you’re starting with “why” and you’re all clear on what purpose your content serves in the first place and why it matters.

Michael Karp: Exactly. You definitely never want to lose sight of that “why” and that purpose.

Dan Levy: Great. Well, I think that’s a good note to end on. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat, Michael. It was a pleasure.

Michael Karp: Yes, thank you very much for having me.

Stephanie Saretsky: That was Michael Karp, founder of Copytactics. You can find his blog post in this episode’s show notes at Unbounce.com/podcast.

So we’re six months into the production of Call to Action, and we’d really love to hear what you think. So if you have a sec, please drop us an e-mail at podcast@unbounce.com, and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

That’s your call to action. Thanks for listening.

Transcript by GMR Transcription


Turn Content into Customers [PODCAST]

4 Ways You’re Using UTM Tags Wrong

The only way for us marketers to run more successful campaigns is to track what works and what doesn’t. Without proper tracking in place, we’re basically driving with our hands over our eyes, hoping it’ll all work out.

blindtest-650
Yeah, not the brightest idea. Image source.

One of the ways that marketers track the success of their campaigns is with UTM tags, which allow you to append a unique string to your URL so you can track the traffic that a particular source sends to your page.

They make your links look a little something like this:

Sounds pretty basic, right? Well it is, for the most part.

Except for when you’re using your UTM tags incorrectly or — even worse — not at all. When this happens, you can’t track traffic from each referral source and most importantly, you can’t keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not.

Which means you’re not likely to improve your campaigns and conversion rates.

But before we go into what not to do with your UTM codes, let’s start off with the basics of what you should be doing.

How to create a UTM tag

You can build UTM tags through Google’s free URL builder.

It’s a super simple form that’s easy to fill in once you’ve got a landing page URL and some basic information about your campaign.

create-a-utm-tag
 

All you need to do is:

  • Paste your campaign landing page URL under “Website URL.”
  • Choose a source. This is the referral origin, which is typically the site, platform or search engine people are coming from (for example: Google, Twitter, blog, etc).
  • Choose a medium. This is the generator of the traffic, such as a particular ad, image or piece of content (for example: cost-per-click, email, social, banner, etc).
  • Choose a name. This name is for your own internal tracking purposes and so each campaign has a unique identifier (for example: promo code, product launch, sale, etc).

“Campaign Term” and “Campaign Content” are optional fields which allow you to include additional information (read about how to use those here).

Once you plug in this information, Google will generate your UTM link and you can copy/paste it for use in your emails, blog posts, social and any other method of distribution you’re using to spread the word about your campaign.

UTM_example
An example UTM code which shows how Website URL, Campaign Source, Campaign Medium, and Campaign Name appear.

Alternatively, you can use this free UTM builder than can be installed directly in Chrome, which saves you at least one step when you’re building out UTM tags.

utm-builder-chrome-extension
 

Okay, now that you know what to do, let’s jump into what not to do – here are four common ways people fail at using UTM codes.

1. Not keeping tabs on the performance of each distribution channel

When you run a marketing campaign, you’re likely going to promote it through multiple channels: paid advertising, email, social media, your blog and whatever else you can dream up.

Let’s say you’re launching a new feature and you want to promote a landing page that flaunts it. You might want to send a blast out to your email list, social channels, and maybe even guest post on someone else’s blog to spread the word to a different audience.

If you neglect to append a unique UTM on the link you’re placing on each channel, then how will you know which channel is driving traffic to your post?

The answer is you won’t.

And you’ll likely miss out on some key insights down the road, such as which source of traffic and which campaign is sending the most qualified leads to your page.

For every channel, be sure that you’re keeping tabs on each referral source for every campaign. And use unique naming conventions so that you don’t get any wires crossed.

2. Neglecting to use link shorteners

Getting specific with the data you track is great, but there are things you have to watch out for. When you append a UTM tag to a URL, that URL becomes really long and bulky. Like this one, for example:

As you can imagine, this isn’t conducive to a good user experience. Your links can look a little unwieldy in campaign emails and on social media, and they can even come across as spammy – which is why you should always use link shorteners to clean up those ugly links.

Use services like bit.ly or Google URL shortener, or simply hide the ugly UTM code by linking to it from cleaner-looking anchor text.

3. Tracking clicks but not conversions

Assuming you have Google Analytics set up, you’ll be able to see the performance of your URLs with unique UTM tags by going to Campaigns > All Campaigns.

While tracking referral traffic from your UTM tags is incredibly helpful, you should go a step further and create Google Analytics goals so you can see which referral traffic converts the best as well.

If you’ve never set up a goal in Google Analytics, it’s a simple process:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Select the “Admin” tab and navigate to the desired account, property and view.
  3. In the “View” column, click “Goals.”
  4. Click the red “+NEW GOAL” button.
new-goal-small
Click for larger image.
  1. Next, you’ll want to follow the instructions of the “Goal setup” wizard, depending on what kind of conversion you’re looking for. For example, if you were collecting leads on a lead gen page, you might set the goal as “Engagement” > “Sign up.”
goal-google-analytics-650
Click for larger image.

Setting up goals in GA allows you to look beyond which channel is driving the most traffic – and it gives you insight into which channel is actually converting best.

If it’s AdWords, then you know you can up your spend and focus on conversions to get the most lift. If it’s email, then you know to double-down on building your email list and focus more converting those subscribers.

4. Creating meaningless UTM campaign terms

When you’re building your UTM tag, it’s important to remember that you’re doing so because you want to be able to track each individual campaign and sources easily. So, if you name each campaign something weird, such as “f3356” you’re going to end up mixing campaigns up and wasting time decoding your campaign terms.

Do yourself a favor and only write short, descriptive campaign terms such as “04_15_newsletter” or “summer_15_promo.”

For example, take a look at this CTA from a Jackthreads’ email newsletter:

jackthreads-newsletter-utm
 

When you click-through on this image, this is the UTM:

https://www.jackthreads.com/?utm_source=members&utm_medium=email&utm_content=main_sale_img&utm_term

 

=sale&utm_campaign=JT_MainSale_05072015_Thursday%20Noon_%5BEngaged

 

%20B%5D&tmem=bpindulic%40gmail.com

They are very descriptive here. They cite the source (members – meaning their active members group), campaign term (sale – as in a promotional sale), the time and date the email went out, and even the email of the person who clicked through!

Each one of these assets can be found directly in the UTM link – and you can get the same level of detail out of each of your campaigns if you take the time to create detailed and data-rich UTM links.

Wrapping up

As data-driven marketers, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our campaigns.

When you have the tools to track referrals, you get insight into which channels are bringing you the most traffic. Better yet, when you combine UTM links with Google Analytics goals, you can look deep down into your funnel and determine which sources are bringing you the most conversions.

It’s all pretty straightforward – as long as you’re doing it right.

4 Ways You’re Using UTM Tags Wrong

The Top Five Kissmetrics Reports Every Ecommerce Marketer Needs

Today’s ecommerce marketers have a tough job. Their main objective: get the messaging out about the store and deliver sales. You have the website at your disposal and a mediocre advertising budget.

The challenge for you, as an ecommerce marketer, is how do you compete against a service like Amazon? They’re big, they can undercut your prices, and they can handle low margins while you cannot.

You need to optimize everywhere you can, including your funnel and your marketing channels, and you need to build a loyal customer base. Fortunately, Kissmetrics is here to help. Our software provides insights that can help visitors into customers. And once you get those customers, we provide data that can help you acquire more of the loyal ones.

Let’s see how.

1) Purchase Funnel – See Where You’re Losing Customers

Every website has a set of steps visitors need to go through before they can purchase. The Kissmetrics Funnel Report is used to help marketers identify the areas of their website where visitors depart. Once they identify those areas, they can then A/B test their way to growth.

Here’s how a funnel for an ecommerce site might look:

ecommerce-purchase-funnel

What we know from viewing this graph is that visitors have two big roadblocks to becoming customers. Of those who view the product page, only 33% convert to adding a product to their cart. And once they do add a product to their cart, only 13% of them end up purchasing. If you’re a marketer and this is your data, you know you can do better than a 13% conversion from cart to purchase. And if you do improve, you’ll end up getting more purchases for your company. Cha-ching!

To get you on your path to increased purchases, you’ll need to run A/B tests on the product pages and throughout the shopping cart checkout process (more on that later). You can create your A/B tests in whichever tool you use – Optimizely, VWO, etc. – and then track the results with the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report.

The cool thing about this report is that you can see how an A/B test impacts your entire funnel. So if you run a test on the product page, you can see how it impacts further on down the funnel, all the way to the purchase! You aren’t limited to testing only to the next conversion step.

You can also set up a funnel to view how people move through the checkout process. Let’s get into that now.

2) Funnel Report – See Where Customers Drop Off in the Checkout Funnel

You can break funnels into two categories – macro and micro. The macro funnels take a bird’s-eye view of your site, often viewing your whole site. The purchase funnel is a lot like that. It goes from the start of the funnel all the way to the end. A micro funnel allows marketers to zoom in and see a specific flow within their site. A funnel report on the checkout funnel is one example.

Here’s how it might look:

ecommerce-checkout-funnel

Looking at this graph, where would you say drop-off is occurring?

Without question, most people who end up putting a product in their cart don’t even advance to the next step in the funnel (the Payment Page). If we can increase the people who convert from the Added Product to Cart page to Payment Page, we’ll have a pretty linear increase in purchases.

So if you’re a marketer and you want to increase conversions (who doesn’t), here’s what you do:

  • Use the Kissmetrics Funnel Report to see where visitors are dropping off.
  • Run A/B tests on those pages. Track the tests in the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report. The more tests you run, the more winners you’ll find, and the more purchases you’ll bring.

With Engage from Kissmetrics, you’ll be able to put modals on your site that can increase conversions. A lot of our customers have experienced a conversion boost by using Engage.

The best marketers are able to drive loyal customers. Lucky for marketers, Kissmetrics has a report that shows marketers where their most loyal customers come from.

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics Funnel Report.

3) Cohort Report – Find Customers Who Repurchase

Businesses live and die on their ability to attract and retain customers. To track customer retention, marketers can create a cohort report that shows them how often customers come back and repurchase products. They can even group them together and see which products or product lines have people coming back for more.

A cohort is a group of people who share a common characteristic or experience within a defined period. For example, people who purchased from your site during April are in a cohort because they all did one thing (purchase) during a defined period (April).

Taking this a step further, the Kissmetrics Cohort Report allows you to group people by any characteristic and then segment them by any property. Let’s see this in action.

We want to track repurchase rates (i.e., people who purchase, then purchase again). We can find those people, but what do we group them by? Time? Marketing channel? Product? Product category? As long as you’re tracking the property in Kissmetrics, you can segment people by it.

Let’s use marketing channel as our example. This segments people by the channel they came from. The higher the percentages (darker shade of blue), the better.

channel-purchases-cohort-report-kissmetrics

On the left side we get the number of people from each channel who have purchased. This is not a traffic report. We’re looking at purchases. We see that most of our purchases are from people in the Social channel. The right side (all the blue shaded cells with percentages in them) shows us how many of those people came back and purchased again, by month.

Social looks like it delivers a lot of purchases and repurchases. If we can acquire more people from this channel, chances are we’ll be acquiring loyal customers. The more targeted we can make our marketing, the more loyal customers we’ll attract. And businesses that win have loyal customers.

As mentioned above, we aren’t limited to grouping people only by channel. We can group them by product (see which products get the most repurchases), product line, any UTM parameter, time, etc. As long as you track it, you can get the data that matters to you.

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics Cohort Report.

4) Revenue Report – See Which Products Bring the Most Valuable Customers

Your revenue is probably coming from dozens (hundreds) of sources. Maybe a feature on CNN got you a ton of orders, or you get a lot of purchasers coming from Google searches.

The Kissmetrics Revenue Report is used to segment your revenue and see which sources are bringing you the most valuable customers. Here is how it could look for a company selling clothes:

kissmetrics-revenue-report-ecommerce

We’re segmenting revenue by collection (aka product category). The In-House Generic Tees bring tons of revenue (over $630k) and customers (over 9,700). The other metrics (average revenue/person, lifetime value, and churn) tell us how valuable these collections are for our business. We want high numbers on average revenue/person and lifetime value, but low percentages for churn. (Churn represents the percentage of people who ordered from that collection but did not order again within a defined time period.)

Just like the Cohort Report in the above section, we aren’t limited to segmenting only by collection. We can also segment by marketing channel, so we can see which channels bring us the most valuable customers. By the way, the channels property works automatically in Kissmetrics. There are no custom rules or custom code needed.

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics Revenue Report.

5) People Search – Find People Who Have Abandoned Their Cart

The biggest problem for a lot of ecommerce companies is customers who abandon their cart. They view a product, add it to their cart, but never return again. They’re missing out on a big opportunity if they don’t make an effort to re-engage these people. If marketers can get them re-engaged (through cart abandonment emails) they are giving themselves a better shot at recapturing these lost orders.

The problem for many marketers is they don’t know where to start to get a list of these people. The Kissmetrics People Search makes this process easy. All you have to do is set your criteria to get a list of people you are looking for. There is no need to bug engineers to run a SQL query.

Here’s what our criteria looks like. We’re looking for people who have added a product to their cart but have not purchased. We want to see all the people who fit this criteria in the past 7 days.

people-search-add-product-to-cart-ecommerce

We click Search and get our list of people:

people-search-kissmetrics-cart-abandonment

There are a few things we can do with this list:

  • We can click on each person and get a Person Details report. This will show us all the events and properties the person triggered (i.e., what they’ve done on the site) as well as tell us the last time they were seen.
  • We can export the list to a CSV file and then upload it into an email service provider like MailChimp and send an email to each person to get them re-engaged and hopefully recover some lost sales.

Important note: You’ll get a list of email addresses only under certain circumstances:

Click here to watch a short demo of the Kissmetrics People Search.

Optimize Your Marketing with Kissmetrics

These are just a few examples of what Kissmetrics can do for ecommerce companies. Our reports are more than useless metrics – they provide insights into how users are behaving on your site. Once you see this data, you’ll know what needs to be improved. Once you see this data, you’ll know what needs to be improved.

Head on over to the Demo site and see how Kissmetrics works for ecommerce sites. Or better yet, schedule a personalized demo.

Ready to get straight into the action? Just click the button below to sign up for a free 2-week trial of Kissmetrics.

cta-6-11-2012

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

The Top Five Kissmetrics Reports Every Ecommerce Marketer Needs

Using the “So What?” Test to Transform Your Copy

Take a look at various products and services around the web, and you’ll find one common theme.

They all talk about themselves and what their product does. Few of them talk about what they can do for you. This is a devastating mistake that marketers and copywriters make.

To write effectively, you can apply a simple test to all your copy.

The “So What?” Test

You want customers, right?

Then start telling them what your product does for them!

Stop simply reciting what your product does. For every line of copy you write, ask yourself “So what? What does this do for them?” Let’s use Dropbox as an example:

Dropbox stores your files in the cloud.

So what?

It means you can use Dropbox and retrieve your files from any device. The files don’t have to be stored on the device.

Now put that in a short sentence.

Dropbox keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share.

Okay, great. Now I understand what it does for me.

What Does Your Product Do for People?

Customers don’t care about your product itself or how hard you work on it. They care about what it does for them.

So what does your product do for customers? What are the benefits, and how do those benefits solve problems?

Let’s take a look at a couple of products.

Salesforce

Check out this copy for Salesforce:

salesforce-copy

It’s a simple, benefits-focused opening sentence. They don’t write about the product. They write about what it does for people: it helps them sell smarter and faster with the biggest CRM in the world.

They could write this:

Salesforce puts all your leads and sales into one database.

So what?

What does that do for me? I can just use a spreadsheet for that.

Let’s move further on down the page, and you’ll see that it’s all about the prospective customer and what Sales Cloud can do for them:

salesforce-copy-page

Sales Cloud handles a lot, so you can take on even more.

The [what the product does], so you can [how this helps you] is a good template for copy. Explain what your product does, and then explain how it helps the customer.

As you can see above, throughout the rest of the page, all the copy is benefits-driven. Even the video isn’t about the product. It supports the top line copy (sell smarter and faster) with a testimonial from a customer.

Let’s take a look at another product, this one in the B2C space.

Sonicare Toothbrush

Toothbrushes are a big market. The majority of people on Earth need one, and they will need to keep repurchasing them until they die. There are a lot of toothbrushes out there from many different companies.

So if you’re responsible for marketing a toothbrush, how do you make yours stand out? Philips Sonicare has done a good job of this. Let’s examine the copy:

sonicare-toothbrush-copy

People don’t care about a toothbrush. They care about what it can do for them, the effect it can have on not just their teeth, but their overall health and appearance.

In the above three sections of copy, we get concrete numbers on why the Sonicare toothbrush is better than the traditional manual toothbrush. It removes 7x more plaque, improves gum health in 2 weeks, and whitens teeth 2x better than a manual. This is what people care about – healthy, shining teeth. They don’t care about how many bristles are in each brush or how the toothbrush works. They care about what it can do for them.

The remainder of the page discusses some extra features of the toothbrush:

sonicare-copy-part-2

Do you think Philips hired a copywriter to write this? Probably not. There are no clever headlines or fancy writing here. It was likely written by someone on the product marketing team. Does it matter? No.

You don’t need to hire a copywriter in order to put together an effective landing page. Just speak directly and tell the reader what your product can do for them. You’ll be putting yourself in a good position to boost conversions and bring high quality leads to your sales team.

Hat tip to James Currier for providing us with the “So What?” framework.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

Using the “So What?” Test to Transform Your Copy

How to Take Advantage of Machine Learning and Kissmetrics to Reduce Churn

Oh you, young and motivated SaaS company. I know you very well. You have a disruptive way of seeing things, a cool product, reasonable prices (well…), and just want to make the world a better place. But you won’t be able to do that if you don’t try to understand the behavior of your hard-earned customers.

You know (well informed that you are) that the “Leaky Bucket theory” is a real thing. Acquiring a new customer will cost you more than trying to keep the ones you already have. And that’s where Kissmetrics in-app analytics and machine learning can help you make better-informed decisions for your customer retention campaigns.

If you’re reading this, I must assume that you already have a fairly good idea of how Kissmetrics works, but, you may have encountered some problems when trying to set machine learning on top of it, and get precise answers. And that’s what we are going to be talking about today: “For machine learning to answer my burning questions and help me reduce customer churn, what should I track in Kissmetrics?”

The good news is that it is easy to get your Kissmetrics tracking plan well suited for machine learning (in case you weren’t following earlier, customer retention goes hand in hand now with predictive analytics and thus, machine learning). With just a few tweaks to your Events, Funnels and Marketing Campaigns, you’ll be getting the exact answers you’re looking for to keep your customers happy and drive growth.

So…follow the lead!

What you need to do first: Prepare your dataset

First thing’s first, you need to know that Kissmetrics lets you export your data. If you think you can manage this on your own (for this part of the process), then just skip this part and jump straight to: “Enter the fray: Define your targets and events”.

For all the others that stayed with us, let’s press on. So, Kissmetrics has a Data Export feature that’s easy to set up. If you’re already lost, check this link and then come back to this section. Interesting enough, your data even goes to S3 on Amazon.

Anyways! After exporting your data, you will get files with JSON lines. Amongst these lines, some are events, some are properties settings, some are aliases…etc. There is definitely some data preparation work to be done here. In particular, you need to reconstruct aliases history, and gather your users’ properties.

It might not seem very user friendly at first, but this export format has a crucial advantage for machine learning. Indeed, most analytics apps map user properties for a single day. But machine learning needs to access user data over a large period of time. The longer the available period, the more accurate the predictions on the user’s behavior will be. And this is just what I love about Kissmetrics compared to other analytics: you can reconstruct the properties state of every user at any point of time!

Once you’ve built nice data tables, you need to define how far you will look into the past, how far you will look into the future (who will churn in the next 7, 14 or 30 days?), and you need to gather your targets (aka the answers to the above questions). Only then will you be ready to use machine learning. So, without further ado, let’s move on to defining your targets and events.

Enter the fray: Define your targets and events

Machine learning is good at answering binary questions: “Will my user convert or not”, “Remain active or not”, “Upgrade or not?”, etc. Ask the machine and it outputs a ‘score’ for every single customer. A score is a probability for the answer to be “yes”. The higher the score, the more likely your user is to behave like the target (got it ? :P).

Step 1: List out what you need to predict

The first rule to uphold is: track anything that describes the target’s behavior, i.e. what you want to predict. To predict conversion, you need to define a conversion event, and to predict churn, you need an unsubscription event. Make sure these events are included in your tracking plan.

For all ‘retention’ type questions, you’ll need to choose a global activity metric based on your events. Classically, you can use stickiness, number of events, engagement indices or power usage.

If you choose stickiness, you ideally want to track daily visits to your app. “Log-in” events are tricky since a user can be logged in for several days without logging out. So instead, some companies track massive events with very little information, like “Page View”. But “Page View” is expensive for most tracking plans and too general to help. My advice is always to spend your money on valuable events, such as your key features and funnels! You’ll miss the few visits where users did not trigger any of your interesting features, BUT you will focus the machine on what really matters in your app.

That being said, be careful not to fall into the trap of overly specifying events that are too rare to build reliable statistics on, or too numerous to be understood by a human – or sometimes even by the machine.

Step 2: List your app’s key features

Machine learning is not magic and it’s not a palm reader either (even if we want it to be just that). It predicts the future by analyzing the past, and looking at usage patterns which drove certain behaviors or targets (e.g. conversions, upgrades, etc…). Then, based on recent behavior, it computes the chances of observing the target in the future. The word “behavior” is important. The machine reads behavior in your events, and the success of your predictions clings to your tracking plan and its precision.

Obviously, business outcomes such as conversion, upgrades, or churn will depend on how users interact with your app. List the key features in your app and make sure that each of them is properly tracked with one specific event.

For better readability, I strongly suggest naming events by clearly referring to their respective app features. For instance, don’t name a click event by its button shape (e.g. “right corner red button”) but rather by its functionality (e.g. “delete project”). This way the machine could output “Users which delete projects more than15 times in the last 3 days are 2 times more likely to churn”. Good naming will also help you in your daily usage of Kissmetrics.

But don’t be too hasty when creating your tracking plan! Not all events are valuable. It seems reasonable to say that “You know that an event is valuable when, by removing it, you lose global value”. Losing value in machine learning means degrading the predictions. So a valuable event is an event that drives predictive power. Yep! Sometimes, more is actually less. 😉

So in short:

  • Track anything that describes what you want to predict
  • Track all the key features of your app
  • Don’t use too generic events
  • And don’t be overly specific in your events’ definition

If you want more information about event tracking, Diana Smith from Segment gave a great presentation a few weeks ago. You can find it here.

All of this constitutes your tracking plan, so you can now move on defining your funnels.

Step 3: Define behavioral funnels

I am sure you have defined marketing funnels in Kissmetrics, such as a signup conversion funnel “Viewed HomePage -> Viewed Sign Up Page -> Completed Sign Up”. Marketing funnels are key to monitoring your main business KPIs.

From a product perspective, behavioral funnels are valuable to measure task/feature completion in your application, e.g. Added Member -> Created Task -> Assigned Task in a project management app. Analyzing these funnels helps you point out, on your user paths, actions driving engagement and those causing frustration (eventually churn).

user-behavioral-funnel

Behavioral funnels will require you to track more events, and can turn out to be expensive. However, I recommend that you keep them in place as long as they are notably improving your predictions.

Step 4, AKA The end of the road: Make your tracking stable

As stated before, machine learning builds models based on past events and looks at present events to predict future events. Changes in your event tracking plan may harm your predictions. Therefore, it’s very important to carefully plan the redefinition of each event. Ideally, events should only be changed when major versions of your service are released. I would recommend to:

  • Introduce versions of the same event “feature1_v1″, “feature1_v2″…
  • Spot the events that are bounded to be unstable and suffix them with “_noML”. Thus ignoring them in the machine
  • Ignore the adding, removing or renaming of an event (new or old feature) for some time, or ignore it retroactively
  • Lower the level of detail of your targets in unstable times, e.g. “Pay Event” instead of “Pays $19 Event” will make transitions smoother between Pricing Plans.

After all these magnificent tips, you’re ready to use Machine learning. There are Open Source Libraries (Scikit-learn, Shogun, Mahout, Spark MLlib…), and Predictive APIs (PredicSis API*, Google Prediction API, prediction.io…) here to help you out. Several SaaS companies have recently appeared to offer an end-to-end service, from Data Export to Scores (ChurnSpotter.io*, Preact.com, Frontleaf.com…). Keep an eye out for them; some of them already support Kissmetrics.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor: Track your campaigns

Finally after this long journey of events and tracking, you hold your scores in hand, AKA the answers to questions like “Who will stop using my app tomorrow and why?”, or “How many return customers can I expect?”. One score per user depending, of course, on the chosen target.

Anyway, now is the time to take action on your scores and to convince the hesitating users to become great customers.

First, push the scores to Kissmetrics as user properties so that you can segment users by scores. My advice is to round scores in order to get 10 segments “0-0.1″, “0.1-0.2″, …,”0.9-1″.

Suppose you need to increase your expansion sales, and you’re sending emails for an upgrade campaign. You will use the “upgrade” scores, which reflect the propensity of each of your users to upgrade. In Kissmetrics, track your campaign and build your campaign report by segmenting by scores, and filtering on people to whom you send the email. Build a control report, also segmented by scores, this time, filtering on users who did not get the email.

You will probably notice that very high scores upgrade anyway (“loyal” users), and very low scores do not upgrade whether they were sent the email or not (“lost” users). However, your campaign was effective on middle scores (“undecided” users), and you learned (wait for it…) who are the “undecided-but took-the-right-decision” users who compose your target for this particular campaign.

tracking-results-applied-to-marketing

The next time you send emails, you can differentiate your message based on scores, or adapt to the likelihood of your user to upgrade. This allows for a better communication with each user, the detection of dissatisfied users early enough, and the reduction of the marketing pressure thanks to optimized targeting. That is how machine learning will boost your upgrades hence your expansion MRR!

Conclusion

As the saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so, without further ado, here is a little picture summarizing the idea behind this article.

machine-learning-predictions

Machine learning has never been so accessible to non-machine learners; and could bring significant benefits to your business once fed by analytics. You’ve already gotten off on the right foot by using Kissmetrics, now get the machine to help you anticipate customers’ behavior, and move to data-driven predictive marketing!

* Full disclosure, I work for PredicSis as a machine learner, and participated in the birth of our ChurnSpotter product, which do all the hard work for you and enable you to better retain your users.

About the Author: Florence Bénézit currently works at PredicSis on the ChurnSpotter.io project. She holds a Ph.D. from EPFL, Switzerland, in Distributed Signal Processing. She has been working as a Data Scientist in the industry for the last 4 years.

How to Take Advantage of Machine Learning and Kissmetrics to Reduce Churn

Learn to Create Emotionally Engaging Landing Pages with These 4 Examples

Emotional Targeting

40% of web users will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. But they’re not just waiting for a page to load — they’re waiting for you to get to the point. Three seconds to make an impression before they hit “Back”

 

in their browser.

 

Of course, it’s not enough for a landing page to load. A landing page has to persuade, and it has to do so immediately. And there’s no better way to do that than to connect with your visitor on an emotional level.

In a recent Unwebinar, Talia Wolf of Conversioner made the case for the value of emotional targeting by examining what is perhaps the most emotional industry of all: dating services. It’s an incredibly crowded field, with each service vying to cut out its own slice of the market by providing unique value.

In the process, she explored how you can emotionally target your audience by helping them envision a better version of themselves (due to your product, of course!).

Read on for Talia’s expert insights on the emotional resonance of three of the world’s biggest dating services, and takeaways from an A/B test of her own.

Dating service #1: match.com

Matchcom

Talia praised Match.com for the combination of already-filled form elements and a call to action that actually promises photos of potential partners. Combined, these two elements are persuasive and make it feel easy to get started.

But the kind words ended there. In particular, Talia slammed Match.com for their poor use of photography. For starters, they miss the opportunity to use the images to actually assist in the conversion.

One of the smart ways you can use photographs of people on your landing pages is as directional cues, with them looking or subtly gesturing in the direction of your call to action. But on Match.com’s page, they serve to distract from the CTA. This could’ve been avoided by heeding Talia’s advice:

60% of our brain is geared towards visual context, so the first thing we see is visual. It’s important to use the images on your page in order to guide user attention.

The other problem is that these photos are stock photos. They look fake, and there are good odds that a visitor could’ve seen the photo elsewhere before. That’s a deal-breaker if you’re trying to seem unique (or even credible).

The images on your page are not mere ornamentation. They are an integral part of your page’s value proposition and its content structure, and Match.com fails that test on both fronts.


Use images on your page to guide visitors to the call to action.

 

Click To Tweet

 


Dating service #2: Zoosk

zoosk

Next, Talia looked at Zoosk’s page, and praised their compelling value proposition — “get smart about online dating” — for connecting with the prospect’s desire to be intelligent:

I like this angle. If you use Zoosk, you will feel smarter than others.

Unlike Match.com’s “#1 in dates, relationships, and marriages” headline, which is all about Match.com and the quality of the service it offers, Zoosk’s headline is actually about the user themselves.

Unfortunately, Zoosk fails in the imagery department in much the same way Match.com does. Pretty much all of the imagery is of software — not something that’s likely to resonate emotionally with someone who is looking for love. And as Talia pointed out, it doesn’t really mesh with their value proposition:

I don’t get the sense that this will make me smarter or give me smarter matchmaking.


Use your value proposition to make your reader feel empowered.

 

Click To Tweet

 


Dating service #3: Beautiful People

BeautifulPeople

In case the name didn’t make it clear, Beautiful People is “online dating for beautiful people only.”

This is pretty exclusionary, but it’s also a compelling proposition: if you use the service, you must be beautiful, and you’re guaranteed to only meet people who deserve to bask in your radiance. As Talia notes, this value proposition is designed to make you feel better about yourself:

You deserve better. You deserve to find the best looking people.

Physical attraction is definitely the cornerstone of a service like this, and Beautiful People supports this message with their use intimate imagery.

Unfortunately, the copy weakens what could’ve been a very persuasive offer. This page features the dreaded “welcome to domain.com,” a type of fluff message that usability expert Steve Krug refers to as happy talk in his book Don’t Make Me Think:

If you’re not sure whether something is happy talk, there’s one sure-fire test: if you listen very closely while you’re reading it, you can actually hear a tiny voice in the back of your head saying ‘Blah blah blah blah blah….’

Worse, the call to action eschews the sexiness of the rest of the page, opting for the utterly libido-killing “create free membership here.” Yes! That’s why I’m here! I’m ready to embark on a steamy adventure toward membership.


Make sure the tone of your call to action matches the rest of your page.

 

Click To Tweet

 


Talia’s A/B testing case study for an unnamed dating service

Emotion Case Study

For her final example, Talia shared a case study for one of the dating sites she optimized herself. The initial example has some good elements already: the couple’s gaze draws attention to the call to action, the form is short and a testimonial provides some social proof. But it doesn’t make a compelling offer, nor does it engage the visitor’s emotions.

Talia tested two variations of the page.

Variant 1

Case Study Variation

The first variant was similar to the original page, but there were some changes made to connect with the visitor on a more personal level. The addition of a headline — “find your perfect match” — is a small but effective way to let the visitor imagine the positive impact of the service.

This variant keeps directing attention to the call to action using the woman’s gaze, but opts to have the man facing forward, using the power of eye contact to instill a sense of trust and reliability.

The biggest change, though, was the addition of a powerful background image. Adding a locale to the image allows the user to imagine themselves not just in a hypothetical relationship, but in an actual, physical situation. The colors are not coincidental, either; as Talia’s own research on color psychology illustrates, green instills a feeling of freshness and renewal, whereas blue is the quintessential color of trust.

This variant lead to a 24% increase in signups and a 48% increase in paying customers. Certainly a solid win, but could it be improved?

Variant 2

Case Study Variant 2

The second variant sacrifices the intimacy of the initial imagery for an increase in variety by opting to show dozens of potential candidates. But there’s something even more interesting at play here.

These headshots have been arranged in such a way as to subtly guide a visitor’s eyes to the form at the center of the page. Look closely; while there are some exceptions, most of the people shown are either tilted slightly towards or glancing directly at the form, even as most of them maintain direct eye contact with the viewer.

What’s perhaps more interesting is that these are all actual members of the service, and each photo has been edited to have a crisp white backdrop and a slightly blue tint, which contrasts against the pink form.

The results speak for themselves: a 38% increase in signups, and a whopping 304% increase in paying customers, proving that this page did its job in attracting the exact right kind of customer.

It’s not about you or your product

Trying to appeal to the emotions of consumers is something that marketers have grappled with understanding pretty much since the advent of marketing. But as Talia notes, the landscape has changed:

Emotion in advertising and marketing has been done for years, but in the offline world.

 

[…] But they can’t track it. Online, you can combine and track emotion and user experience.

 

Not only can we now measure the performance of our tactics, we can segment our audiences into smaller groups and create campaigns and landing pages that speak directly to them.

No matter what kind of product you sell, the story that will resonate with your customers is not about your product; it’s about the person your customer wants to be, and how your product can help them realize that dream.

Learn more about emotional targeting by checking out the complete Unwebinar recording here.


Learn to Create Emotionally Engaging Landing Pages with These 4 Examples

How to Start Using Explainer Videos (Infographic)

Tell me if you’ve experienced this problem. After sitting at your computer for a couple of hours writing copy for your product/service, you have your first draft complete. Then you realize it’s over 1,000 words long, and no one is going to read it.

For many companies, explaining a product/service through text can seem like writing a book. That’s why video has become so appealing, and why it has been widely adopted as a means of explaining an offering.

There are a few advantages video has over text-based copy:

  • Visuals help people understand
  • You can convey more information in the same amount of time
  • In general, people are more likely to watch video than read text

Given these benefits, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many marketers achieve a conversion boost after implementing an explainer video. Tech products like Slack, Salesforce, Crazy Egg, and Help Scout are all currently running videos on their homepages for a reason. Why not give it a try?

Today’s infographic provides guidance on why videos work so well, the different types of videos (along with how much they cost), and tips for producing a great video.

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Killer Explainer Video
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

If you don’t produce in-house, check out firms like Demo Duck, Grain and Mortar, Switch Video, or Sean Duran. All are quality producers and will deliver excellent work.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is a Content Writer for Kissmetrics.

How to Start Using Explainer Videos (Infographic)