Is It Time To Retire MQLs As The Measure Of Successful Marketing?

Source: https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/is-it-time-to-retire-mqls-as-the-measure-of-successful-marketing

If So, What Are The Right Metrics For Measuring Marketing In 2020?

I don’t write this article casually. The idea of retiring the key indicator of success for my entire profession, my 17-year-old agency and perhaps what has become part of my DNA isn’t easy.

But change isn’t easy, and for 17 years I’ve been advising business leaders to make hard changes based on data.

Here we are, talking about how marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) might not be the right measure of success when it comes to the effectiveness and efficiency of your marketing programs.

Of course, a lot of thinking, research and experiments have gone into this consideration. I should also be transparent that many more experiments are underway to continue to inform this decision.

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How Will the Facebook Boycott Impact SMBs?

Source: https://postfunnel.com/how-will-the-facebook-boycott-impact-smbs/

If you’re reading here, you already know the basics, at least. From Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s stance over Donald Trump’s to how huge brands recently stopped their ad spend with the company – the #StopHateForProfit campaign has been all over the news in recent days. And rightfully so.

The campaign was launched by advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Common Sense Media – and it urges brands to boycott Facebook.

More related B2CRM News items from PostFunnel:
Boycotting FB? Tik Tok’s Waiting for Your Brand

The North Face was the first brand to show solidarity. Now more than 100 A-list advertisers have joined the movement.

This updating list on CNN is keeping track with some of the bigger names on it, also providing some needed context. It currently includes:

  • Adidas*
  • Arc’teryx
  • Ben & Jerry’s (of course)
  • Beam Suntory
  • Birchbox
  • Blue Bottle Coffee
  • Clorox*
  • Coca-Cola
  • Dashlane
  • Denny’s
  • Diageo
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Ford
  • Hershey’s
  • Honda
  • HP*
  • JanSport
  • Levi Strauss
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Microsoft
  • Patagonia
  • Patreon
  • Pfizer
  • Puma
  • The North Face
  • REI
  • Starbucks*
  • Upwork
  • Unilever
  • Vans
  • Verizon
  • Vertex

Company’s marked with an (*) asterisk above are mentioned in the CNN piece as brands that “did not indicate [they were] joining the #StopHateForProfit campaign.” (though still stopping FB ad spend in some way)

This list from The New York Times is a little different than CNN’s – and the added context here focuses on the ad spend amount these companies are pulling back.

You can find the full list on StopHateforProfit’s official site.

And when it comes to seeing who’s next, NYT is reporting that “Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser, said it wouldn’t rule out a pause on Facebook ads. (Its big rival, Unilever, is stopping ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through the end of the year.) ”

Can SMB Join?

Obviously, reactions have been loud, coming and going all over the place. Most are, obviously, looking at things from FB’s perspective.

Today’s most quoted figure shows how only 6% of FB’s total revenue comes from its top 100 advertisers. And so, as much as this boycott may hurt FB’s bottom line, most of its potential to bring a change is rooted in the sentiment and discourse surrounding it. Currently, no one seriously thinks it poses a real financial threat to FB in the foreseeable future.

But for us, as we care about brands, we wanted to ask a question from that angle. And so, the question is, how will this affect other brands? Are they still going to use the platform organically? Would they be “punished” by FB’s algorithm?

“To affect real, significant change with Facebook’s content moderating rules and all related issues, probably thousands of major brands would have to pull their ad budget for a month or more. Most likely, major brands are just not going to do that when it impacts their own bottom line,” said Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, in an email to CBC News.

“And if small and medium businesses cut their ads altogether, even for one month, this could cause a massive loss of revenue for those business owners,” Smith said.

Similarly, Nina Goetzen, an analyst at Insider Intelligence, said on an eMarketer podcast that she doubts that any of this will impact Facebook’s revenue. “During the pandemic, small local brands are relying on Facebook, especially since they have been forced to turn to digital marketing.”

“Many brands won’t be able to leave the platform for good and restructure their entire advertising system,” she added.

In that aspect, the pandemic might limit the boycott as small brands increasingly rely on eCommerce and social media for advertising and sales.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

FB’s Response

In response to the boycott, Andy Stone, Facebook’s Policy Communications Director, posted this on Twitter:

And in a statement to CNN on Friday, Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions, responded by saying, “We deeply respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.”

And how about you and your brand? Are you going to join the boycott? Tell us in the poll below.

 

The post How Will the Facebook Boycott Impact SMBs? appeared first on Post Funnel.

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7 Biggest Marketing Mistakes You Have to See to Believe

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/7-marketing-mistakes/

We all make mistakes.

Even big-name companies like Coca Cola and McDonald’s do.

And in fact, mistakes are actually the best opportunities for growth

We need to make them in order to improve and adapt.

And if you want to become a better version of yourself and build a stronger business, you need to learn from your mistakes… and from the mistakes of other marketers and entrepreneurs. 

That’s why today, I’m going to share with you the biggest marketing mistakes I’ve seen even the most recognizable brands make. 

In today’s article, I’m showing you:

  • The top 7 marketing mistakes by big companies like Apple, Adidas, and McDonald’s.
  • A few key takeaways from each marketing mistake that you can use to help your business avoid serious pitfalls. 
  • Several proven strategies for making sure your marketing is on-point and doesn’t alienate your target audience.

Ready to get started? Let’s go…

In a rush? Want to download this article as a PDF so you can easily take action on it later? Click here to download this article as a PDF guide.

 

 

Marketing Mistake #1: Apple’s Heavy Handed “Gift” That No One Could Refuse

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Apple is one of the biggest names in tech. 

And in the past decade, it’s really tried to expand its reach into other areas like entertainment production, payment processing, and licensing. 

It’s entrance onto the music scene has been particularly successful. 

However, Apple’s love of music clashed with its customers when the trillion-dollar company forced the new U2 album “The Edge” onto more than 500 million devices. 

Source

The act was meant to be a promotional stunt. “Hey!” Apple was saying. “Here’s a free gift from us, on the house.”

The problem, however, was that not everyone wanted the new U2 album pushed onto their phones. 

And worse yet, the album was also difficult to delete. Some companies even developed ways to hack into the system just to get Bono and The Edge out of the damn library.

As a result, the reaction to the stunt was largely negative—a disappointment since the deal reportedly cost Apple at least $100 million according to the New York Times.

What Can You Learn from This Marketing Mistake?

First off, don’t force anything onto your customers.

That should be obvious. 

But if you dig a little deeper, there’s also another lesson to learn from this example. 

And that’s the value of A/B testing

A/B testing is the absolute best way to test the viability of a marketing hypothesis. 

If, for example, Apple had A/B tested their idea, they probably would have found that most of their customers didn’t want to be forced to have the new U2 album in their iTunes library. 

And if you aren’t A/B testing your marketing, then you run the risk of making a serious marketing mistake (hopefully not as costly as $100 million though). 

Marketing Mistake Example #2: Coca Cola’s Failed Attempt at Reinventing the Wheel (i.e., “New Coke”)

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No article on marketing mistakes would be complete without mentioning Coke’s famous (or infamous) attempt at releasing a fresh new take on their much beloved product. 

New Coke (the mention alone may still be enough to elicit shudders in some of you) was released on April 23rd, 1985. 

It was a sweeter reformulation of the classic, launched mostly to compete with their biggest rival, Pepsi. 

TIME’s’ food critic Mimi Sheraton described the flavor like this:

“New Coke seems to retain the essential character of the original version… However, it is sweeter than the original formula and also has a body that could best be described as lighter. It tastes a little like classic Coca-Cola that has been diluted by melting ice.”

Mmmm, diluted Coca Cola…

And while New Coke was more sugary than the original (which you’d think many people would love), it turns out that New Coke was hated by the majority of those who tried it. 

The product was such a flop that it was removed from the production line a mere 3 months after launch. 

When all was said and done, Coca Cola spent a reported $4 million on research and marketing New Coke and lost about $30 million in unsold inventory. 

Yeesh. 

What Can You Learn from This Marketing Mistake?

Now, there’s obviously a lesson to learn here about A/B testing. I mean, how could a company as massive and experienced as Coca Cola not know ahead of time that this was a bad idea? 

But since we already looked at A/B testing with Apple, there’s another takeaway here that’s worth discussing…

Don’t fix what ain’t broken. 

If you have a flagship product that’s killing it with your target customer, don’t you dare take it off your production line. 

You can diversify the products and services you offer, of course. 

And in fact, people love having multiple choices when it comes to finding what’s right for them. That’s the Law of Range at work. 

But just because you’re offering more options doesn’t mean you have to replace the old ones. 

In fact, if you do have a great product that’s bringing in amazing numbers, you may want to double down on it too. 

And if you are going to risk the farm by changing your core product on a fundamental level, you’d better be prepared for the consequences…

Marketing Mistake #3: Adidas Overlooked a Major Marketing Mistake In Light of Current Events

Source

On April 15th, 2013, two bombs went off during the Boston Marathon. 

3 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured. 

It was a tragedy. 

Now, in times of major current events, big-name brands need to be extra careful about the messages they’re sending. 

One example of a company that did not do this after the Boston Marathon bombings was Adidas. 

Soon after the disaster, those who subscribed to the company’s email list received an email with the following subject line…

Source

Now of course, this was a mistake. And Adidas was quick to send out an apology email soon after they realized what had happened (see the email above the congrats one). 

They also sent out a heartfelt apology tweet too. 

Source

And since it was an honest mistake and Adidas was so quick to heartfully apologize, most people ended up forgiving them (it got 3.3K likes after all). 

What Can You Learn From This Marketing Mistake?

There are 2 main takeaways from the Adidas blunder. 

1. Audit Your Marketing After Big Events – Major events call for major audits of your marketing messaging. Are there any words or phrases that, in light of what just happened, may come off tone deaf or offensive? If so, try to remove it as fast as possible. If it’s too late, be transparent and call it out, even if only a few people have noticed. That way, you can control the narrative and apologize before the massive backlash.

2. Authenticity Is Key – If you do end up offending your audience accidentally, be sure that you apologize in an authentic, meaningful way. Authentic marketing is not just a way to help your business stand out. It’s also a way to remind your audience that your business is made up of real people, just like them. 

Marketing Mistake #4: McDonald’s UK Commercial Tests the Waters of Child Bereavement 

Source

It’s important that the biggest international brands try to connect with their audience on an emotional level. 

Why? 

Because emotion oftentimes drives action. And studies have shown that emotional memories tend to stick in our mind more than neutral ones. 

Now, most marketers know this. It’s why we included emotion as one of the 11 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics.

But when the way you’re trying to elicit emotion seems a bit off, it can actually cause backlash instead of buying

Case and point, this McDonald’s UK ad.

 

For those that would rather read than watch, the commercial follows a young boy asking his mother about what his father was like before he died. 

As she lists off his qualities, the boy becomes increasingly sad because it seems the two didn’t have much in common. 

That is until he sits down to eat a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish.

With a smile, the mother says, “That was your dad’s favorite too.” 

Cut to the son, wide eyed. 

After this ad aired, many people shouted that it was exploitative of child bereavement. 

Outrage rose. Cancel culture calls abounded. Grief centers and the Advertising Standards Authority were flooded with complaints. 

Offended parties also took to social media…

Source

And within 1 week, McDonald’s removed the ad

What Can You Learn from This Marketing Mistake?

Despite the value of using emotion to influence your target market, doing it tactfully is walking a fine line. 

See, the problem with the McDonald’s ad isn’t that it was done poorly. It isn’t that it didn’t hit the right emotional cues (I actually found it kind of sweet). And it isn’t that it was unrelatable.

The problem is that an experience as monumentally life shattering as losing a parent should not be evoked in the service of a $1.25 Filet-O-Fish (or any other unrelated product).

A sandwich, no matter how tasty it is, shouldn’t be put alongside something as big, as formative, and as heart-wrenching as bereavement because the two have far different levels of gravity to them. 

The problem gets down to alignment or making sure your product and marketing meets the expectations of your audience (another of the 11 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics).

If you’re trying to reach out to families who have lost a loved one, a Big Mac won’t help them with their grief. 

See how that works? 

So make sure you employ emotion carefully and wisely in your marketing. And above all, make sure that the type of emotion you’re trying to bring out matches well with your product or service. 

Marketing Mistake #5: GAP’s Flip-Flop Logo Flub

This one’s a quickie, but it’s important.

Since 1986, GAP has had one of the most iconic logos in the clothing industry. 

But for a quick stint in 2010, the company made a short lived rebranding effort. 

Check it out below. 

Source

To put it lightly, fans of the brand were less than enthused. 

Okay, they were pissed

All in all, the rebranding effort and failure cost GAP a reported $100 million

Yikes.

What Can You Learn from This Marketing Mistake?

Now, there are 2 lessons here. 

First, great design is incredibly important to your branding. 

Whether you’re creating a new lead magnet to bring in high-quality prospects or trying to make sure your website’s look is unique and attractive, design definitely counts. 

So don’t skimp on hiring a great designer for your business (by the way designers, we’re hiring!). 

And second (like Coke), don’t fix what ain’t broken

GAP’s logo was a success for decades. And over the years, they’d built up a hefty fanbase that loved it. 

Switching it out so quickly (and with something so drastically different) alienated lots of loyal fans. 

So when it comes to your business, find what works and stick with it. And if you do decide to change, try going with small changes first, like those outlined in our Proven Sales Conversion Pack

Marketing Mistake #6: DiGiorno’s “What Were You Thinking” Tweet

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Back in 2014, there were a series of hashtags that were trending on Twitter. 

They were “#WhyIStayed” and “#WhyILeft.”

The goals here were to help reduce the stigma around talking about domestic abuse and encourage current victims to get the help they needed. 

People would tweet what kept them from leaving their abusive partners and what finally got them to pick up and leave. 

Now, it’s not unusual for brands to try piggybacking off of trending topics. But DiGiorno did so in a spectacularly terrible way. 

Check out their tweet below. 

Source

*Shudders*

Of course, DiGiorno was quick to send out an apology tweet after the backlash…

But by then, the damage was done and Twitter was alight. 

What Can You Learn from This Marketing Mistake?

So, what’s the lesson here? 

Well, the most immediate problem is that DiGiorno was using language it didn’t entirely understand. 

Obviously they weren’t trying to say that their pizza is so good, it can outweigh the hell of living in an abusive relationship. That’s just crazy. 

So in that sense, you should always be sure you fully understand any worldwide event before deciding to have your brand comment on it. 

But the bigger picture problem here is a lack of understanding of the audience. 

See, DiGiorno simply didn’t put in the time to learn more about who the audience for that hashtag was.

If they would have done that, they would have quickly realized that this wasn’t just some meaningless phrase to stamp on any old message. Instead, it had deep emotional resonance and a very specific meaning to tens of thousands of people. 

So if there’s one overarching lesson here, it’s that no matter what type of marketing project you’re creating (whether it’s a landing page, lead magnet, or newsletter), it needs to be built on a strong foundation of understanding your core audience. 

Because the more you understand them, the better able you’ll be to speak to their problem and show why your offering is the right solution. 

Marketing Mistake #7: McDonald’s (Again)—But This Time, It’s About Their Special Sauce

Source

If you’re not a fan, Rick and Morty is a cartoon for adults. 

And since its start back in 2013, its popularity has exploded

Now, the much-awaited premiere of season 3 featured one of the characters (Rick) revealing that his primary motivation for his entire life, including inventing a dimension shifting portal gun, is to taste something called Szechuan Sauce. 

This sauce was released by McDonald’s for a limited time to help promote Disney’s Mulan back in 1998. 

Well, after a swell of support from Rick and Morty fans, McDonald’s decided to re-release the sauce for an incredibly short window of time… just one day.

Why not try to capitalize on the surge in interest, right? 

Well it turns out, McDonald’s severely underestimated the demand the sauce was going to generate. And they simply could not produce enough Szechuan Sauce to meet that demand. 

People were outraged

Crowds in the thousands chanting “We want sauce!” had to be held back by police…

Source

Others went to great lengths to get the sauce only to be disappointed…

Source

And McDonald’s, after surveying the destruction, both apologized and agreed to add more Szechuan Sauce to their menu for more locations around the country.

Source

What Can You Learn from This Marketing Mistake?

The lesson here is pretty obvious… give us more Szechuan Sauce!

Just kidding. 

McDonald’s main failing was that it didn’t properly estimate the demand for their promotion. 

And the lesson here is that if you are going to offer a deal (a discount, a free trial, a bonus resource—whatever), you need to be sure your business can actually accommodate that deal. 

Make sure you have the right staffing set up to absorb a surge in work requests. 

Make sure you have systems in place to keep things efficient, even when you’re flooded with orders. 

And make sure that your business’ mouth is only writing checks that its butt can cash. 

Because if you don’t, and your popularity explodes, it can actually end up doing more harm than good if you can’t keep up. 

Conclusion

Download the “7 Biggest Marketing Mistakes You Have to See to Believe” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

So there you have it!

These are the 7 biggest marketing mistakes I’ve seen from some of the most well-known brands in the world. 

I hope that this article has helped you understand that yes, even billion-dollar companies aren’t perfect. 

And on top of that, if you take the time to study these mistakes, you can actually avoid them in the future. 

To review, here are some of the core takeaways from this article to help your business keep on growing:

  • Always A/B test your marketing efforts to know if people will actually respond to it or if launching it full-scale will turn into a PR disaster.
  • Be careful about taking a stance on an issue. But if you do, be prepared for the consequences and do it in an authentic, compassionate way. 
  • Always audit your marketing messaging after big events (like national tragedies). And if you make a mistake in your messaging, be authentic with your apology. 
  • Make sure your marketing messaging is aligned with your audience. And use emotion to a degree that’s proper for your product (e.g., not Filet-O-Fishes with child bereavement).
  • Don’t skimp on great design and don’t fix what ain’t broken with your marketing!
  • Always take extra time to understand your audience and especially the language they’re using (i.e., don’t be like DiGiorno’s).
  • Be sure that your business can actually handle any influxes caused by discounts, coupons, or new deals. Otherwise, you may piss off more people than you please. 

Now, which of these mistakes has your business been guilty of in the past? Has this article helped you catch any that you were on the verge of making yourself? And what other major marketing mistakes have you seen big brands make in the past? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused,

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23 Principles to UP Conversions w/ Landing Page Optimization

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/landing-page-optimization-tips/

High conversion rates are the holy grail for online businesses.

Because traffic means nothing if your conversion rates are low… lower than the limbo bar set by your favorite masochistic co-worker at an office party.

Everyone wants a high conversion rate but most don’t know how to achieve it.

You see, many marketers and business owners think that increasing conversions refers to getting more clicks and more impressions.

And that’s true, right?

Wrong!

Increasing conversions must be all about :::drum roll::: driving more sales.

Because, when prospects visit your site, they engage with your offer on different levels. 

They read your copy. They see your web design. And they absorb the value of your offer (and how it is presented… Oh, and they notice EVERY error).

But that’s why the marketing Gods invented the landing page optimization.

This is where you make tiny tweaks or deep structural changes to each of your landing pages.

And as a result, your conversions go UP and you start seeing more people hitting the buy button to checkout or book a call.

In today’s article, I’m showing you…

  • Why your landing page optimization is a process you must follow to increase conversions.
  • The 23 proven landing pages best practices you can apply immediately to start seeing your conversions rise.
  • And why you should focus first on your copywriting tactics, design second, and quality assurance last.
  • Plus, a bonus video walk-thru…

Let’s dive into these 23 landing page optimization’s best practices.

In a rush? Want to download this article as a PDF so you can easily take action on it later? Click here to download this article as a PDF guide.

What Are the Principles of Landing Page Optimization & Why Do You Need to Follow Them to Boost Conversions?

The principles of landing page optimization are the best practices you *must* follow on each of your landing pages to increase conversions.

Unfortunately, a survey by Databox shows that the majority of marketers’ landing pages have a conversion rate below 10%.

Source

According to Wordstream, landing page optimization not only boosts conversions, but it also raises the ROI of your PPC marketing campaigns.

Some marketers may consider this process to be a few simple tweaks to be made on your landing pages. Others may consider them deep structural changes of your funnel.

But the truth is, optimization is a process that all your landing pages must go through at some point.

Think of it like this.

Your landing page is like a person.

It needs certain elements to be alive.

For example, a person needs oxygen and blood to live—the same way your landing page needs copy and design to convert.

If any of those vital elements (oxygen, blood, copy, and design) are removed, then there won’t be any pulse.

In the case of your landing page, the pulse is the leads it converts

If no leads are converting, then your landing page needs serious surgery.

And here’s when the optimization process comes in.

You need to make sure all your landing pages that have no pulse and don’t convert are put under a microscope. Really take the time to analyze what the problem is.

This’ll let you determine where your landing page is leaking leads and money.

Then, and only then when you optimize or fix those bottlenecks or issues, your business will be able to breathe again and see your conversions rise.

Now, it’s time to strengthen the pulse of your landing page. And for that, let’s put your landing page under the microscope.

I organized these landing page optimization principles in 3 categories (copy, design, and quality assurance).

This’ll let you evaluate and determine easier what’s causing the lack of conversions.

Let’s start with copywriting first and here’s why you should start with it.

Landing Page Optimization for Sales-Focused Copy—How to Apply These Principles to Your Copywriting

When optimizing your landing page, your starting point should be your copy because this is what’ll get you the sweet, sweet sale. 

And not only that, but you can easily come back to your copy to optimize it without needing a designer to do any tweaks to your landing pages.

You can always log in to your landing page builder (we at AutoGrow use Leadpages to create our landing pages), edit the copy, and make the changes go live.

Without any further ado, let’s review the best practices you need to apply to your landing page copy.

1. Speak With Emotion & Directly to Your Audience… Or Risk Attracting the Wrong Audience 

The first thing you need to do is to know and understand your audience.

You can’t write solid copy if you don’t know who you’re writing it for.

Do you really think that by writing copy directed specifically to high-level executives (like in the example below) you’ll be converting freelancers or startups’ business owners?

The answer is pretty clear.

Heck no. 

It’s like writing a letter to someone you don’t even know.

You must understand your prospects’ needs, problems, who they are and what they want.

That’s the only way you’ll know how to nail that perfect copy that’ll satisfy all of their needs and solve all of their problems.

And don’t forget to nail the right tone and language too.

Even if you know who your target audience is, you must talk to them in the way they want you to talk to them.

For instance, keep a conversational tone, avoid using corporate and formal language (we all hate that!), and inject some emotional language into your copy. 

Because as neuroscience has proven, people buy on emotion and justify their purchase with logic.

2. Write a Crystal Clear Headline—Are You Being Clear Instead of Clever?

Most marketers fail here.

They think that writing a super clever headline with some overcomplicated quote from a 600 year old philosopher is going to explain their products or service better.

One of the 11 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics—the Law of Clarity—is to be clear, not clever. Don’t use fancy words to try to sound too smart like in the example below.

Too many unnecessary adjectives used, don’t you think?

And if you understand something from the example below, please let me know…

Source

Simplicity and clarity are the most important elements when it comes to your headlines.

This text will tell your readers the single most important thing about your product or service.

Your headline should entice visitors to keep reading and it’ll be the first thing that’ll capture your prospects’ attention.

Don’t let your prospects wonder what your headline means. 

If you get the headline wrong, prospects will end up leaving your site—no matter how good your offer is.

Here are some examples of clear headlines you can take inspiration from…

After taking a look at those examples, read your own headline and ask yourself if it really is clear enough.

And use Buzzsumo’s suggested most engaging top headlines phrases as inspiration.

3. Headlines Shouldn’t Be Too Long nor Too Short—Find the Right Length

Headlines shouldn’t be a long testament that’ll take your prospects forever to read.

But they shouldn’t be either 3-words long.

Write a clear and compelling headline. 

Don’t expect that with a long headline people will understand you better.

Simplicity and clarity are key on your copy. Especially when it comes to your headlines. 

So keep your headline short and sweet. They shouldn’t take up more than 3 or 4 lines (maximum) in the design.

In fact, using a simple, short, and clear headline can equate to 388% more opt-ins to download a lead magnet. 

And that’s exactly what happened in one of the 313 case studies analyzed in our Proven Sales Conversion Pack that you can find in our brand new AutoGrow Marketplace.

After reducing their headline (5 lines vs 4 lines) and being more clear, they saw spikes in their opt-ins.

Before…

After…

See how “You’re about to learn the secrets that most people will never know about buying a single engine airplane” was way too complicated?

There are always better alternatives to simplify and add more clarity to your copy.

In this website’s case the better alternative was “Here’s what every pilot should know before buying a single airplane.”

4. Write a Sub-headline That Supports Your Headline & Gives Your Readers More Clarity

Adding a subheadline to support your headline is a great way to explain your products or services to your site’s visitors in more detail. 

It goes right below your headline.

Take a look at our homepage…

See how the subheadline supports our headline and adds some more information about our offer?

This is your opportunity to expand on what you’re selling, clarify whatever you’re saying in the headline, and hook the reader to keep reading.

What you propose in your sub-headline will be followed by a CTA. 

This will be the answer to your sub-headline—what do you want them to do with what they’re reading?

Here are some examples of clear sub-headlines that support the headline’s main idea.

5. Write Clear Text for Your CTA Buttons—Accurately Guide Prospects to the Next Step in Your Funnel (Law of Alignment)

Your CTA buttons’ copy is as important as your sales page copy.

You won’t convert a prospect if your landing page copy is clear and compelling, but then the CTA button copy is not aligned with your offer.

As a matter of fact, research shows that adding a clear call to action to your landing page can cause as much as 250% more visitors to convert.

Your CTA buttons’ text must guide prospects through your funnel. 

They are the arrows on the road showing you where to drive your car.

Your CTA buttons’ purpose is to make your site’s visitors do whatever you want them to do.

For instance, if you want them to learn more, add a CTA that says “Learn More.”

If you want your prospects to download your lead magnet, add a CTA that says “Download Your Lead Magnet.”

Don’t expect them to watch a demo video if your CTA button’s text says “book a call.”

Your CTA buttons will boost conversions if they’re aligned with your offer.

Think of the CTA as the answer to your sub-headline. 

You’ve proposed something to your audience with your sub-headline. What do you want them to do now?

For our homepage, our CTA buttons are very clear (“Watch the Video” and “See Pricing”).

And after people click on “Watch the Video”, our demo video is displayed so the prospect can watch it…

See the alignment? 

The CTA button invites people to watch a video and we show them the video immediately so they can watch it.

It may sound dumb but most marketers actually miss this important point.

6. Put Your Finger on Your Audience’s Problems & Agitate Those Pain Points

Empathize with your readers by mentioning and reminding them of the problems they’re experiencing. 

That’s why they’re visiting your website anyway. They’re looking for a solution to their problems.

And you have that solution!

You just need to make your site’s visitors think (and feel), “Hey, that exact same thing has happened to me.”

And you can create this connection with your reader simply by letting them see their problems reflected in your copy and acknowledged by someone else (you).

This’ll make them feel understood and hopeful that someone can help them.

Try starting with a brief story anecdote where you put yourself in your readers’ shoes.

Storytelling can boost conversions and increase your audience’s engagement. We use this technique all the time.

You can even start your landing page optimization process by introducing the problem(s) your readers are struggling with.

See how high-converting websites use this powerful technique?

They all start by twisting the knife a little.

But don’t worry, you’re not being mean here. Your readers will actually thank you for describing their problems as clearly and vividly as possible.

7. Introduce the Solution Your Prospects Need for Solving Their Problems (AKA: Your Product or Service)

It’s time to….:::drum roll:::….introduce your products or service.

Did you introduce your offer to your audience or did you miss this critical step?

At this point, your prospects want to hear what your solution for their problem is.

Here, you’ll go into more detail about what your product is, and what it does. 

Clearly state what the solution to their problems is—that thing they’re waiting for to make all their pain points go away. 

The more descriptive and unique you can be, the better. 

So start by telling people what you want them to do. Use strong verbs and an authoritative voice.

Show them how your product or service will make their lives better. 

And if you’re already introducing your products or service in a clear way but still don’t see any conversions. Don’t worry.

Make sure you answer the question “How will this product add value to my readers’ lives”? 

Most business owners feel too proud of the product or service they’ve created and see no flaws in it.

And here’s where so many businesses don’t even make a single sale. And even worse, 90% 90% of new startups fail according to Medium.

Because they’re too blind to see that their products or service aren’t really solving a problem for their audience.

For instance, be transparent and don’t try hooking prospects with false promises or with a product that doesn’t really add any value to their lives.

8. Explain Your Products or Services’ Irresistible Features & Benefits

People are naturally interested in knowing what benefits they’d get by using your products or services. 

So this is a good opportunity for you to list down at least 3 or 5 of the main benefits and features or end results your customer would get by using your product or service.

Some people may just want to cut to the chase on your landing page, skim through it, and only check out your products or service’s benefits and features.

So write for skimmers and use bullet points and numbered lists. 

This form of copy will attract attention because structurally and visually they’ll stand out. 

Take a look at the examples below…

9. Explain How Your Products or Service Works—Finally Tell the World How in 3 Easy Steps They’ll Use Your Products or Service

Explain to your prospects how easily your product can be used and how simply your service works. 

This is your opportunity to clarify those questions to them.

Nail that explanation down in 3 short and easy-to-understand steps.

Don’t write a long sales page on how to use your products or service. 

This’ll make your prospects think of it as a complicated product that requires a long instruction book in order to use it.

It’s ok if your products or service requires more steps in their explanation. But in your landing page optimization, make sure you nail the full explanation in 5 steps maximum.

Otherwise your products or service will look too complicated and no one will want to try them.

10. Include Social Proof in the Form of Testimonials, Vanity Stats, Reviews, & More to Add Credibility

Adding trust badges to your landing pages can uplift sales conversions by a whopping 32%

This is because relevant trust badges are an easy way to unlock sales growth. 

Adding any form of social proof to your website reassures potential customers and grows sales. 

In fact, according to Medium, landing pages that have social proof in the form of copy have an average conversion rate of 12.50%. And landing pages without social proof only convert at 11.40% on average.

Source

A trust badge can be something as simple as a reassuring visual element with some copy like a checkmark + “free shipping”. 

Another example of social proof is logos. 

But in some cases, less is more. 

And this simple tweak this website made helped them earn a 15.7% conversion rate.

Before…

After…

The reason why less social proof in the example above converted better is that too many customer logos may actually be distracting. 

In other words, more logos can actually increase on-page friction. 

The additional logos move the page further out of alignment by looking like the site is trying too hard.

So when adding social proof, be sure not to overdo it. 

People may perceive it as “trying too hard” or it might just be distracting from the message. 

And be sure to increase visibility for testimonials (especially the ones that work to reframe the value and increase urgency) by placing them directly above the CTA too.

Landing Page Optimization for a High-Converting Design—How to Apply It to Your Web Design

After going through your copy and making sure all the landing page optimization principles listed above are followed, it’s time to jump into the design phase.

The reason why you should be checking your design second is because design amplifies the copy.

So let’s review which best practices you must follow for your landing page.

11. Make Sure All Design Elements Feel Integrated & Aren’t Randomly Placed

All visual elements on the website must feel integrated. 

They shouldn’t be randomly placed.

Graphic/web design amplifies the copy and your whole website. 

When the elements from your landing page (text, headlines, logo, images, footer, sub-headlines, etc.) are placed randomly or without care, your website won’t meet its goals (to convert leads into buyers). 

The user experience must feel integrated when navigating through your site. 

You’ll want to be sure the images aren’t cookie-cutter or seem like they were just “thrown” on the page for instance.

There has to be a connection between your brand, your logo, colors, and the font style and size you choose. Otherwise, your brand ideas won’t be understood.

12. Use As Many Real Photos As Possible & Avoid Using Stock Photos

Making sure your brand is perceived as authentic is vital for your conversions.

Even if you do not always have the real photos of the people you feature in your testimonials, or any photo you add in general, you should always try to avoid using stock photos.

People notice it when you add fake pictures where the people look like models.

The idea is to convey as much realness as possible with your site. To make your visitors trust you and to feel empathy for whomever they see in your landing page.

Including human faces into your landing page design is a proven method for upping your conversions. 

Take a look at this image, doesn’t it look super fake?

Of course it does look fake because that’s Bradley Cooper, you know, the Hollywood actor.

Your prospects notice that fakeness too.

As a matter of fact, a repeating conversion pattern I’ve found when I created our Proven Sales Conversion Pack was that using an authentic photo instead of a stock photo converted significantly better, to the tune of 20-30%, or more. 

Using a more personal photo resulted in an increase in webinar sign-up rates by 66% in the case study below.

Before… 

After…

Over time, consumers have become more sophisticated at identifying anything that stands out as an ad or as something fake. 

But by adding real images to your landing pages you can gain as much as 34.7% more subscriptions.

13. Keep Your Design Elements Consistent & Symmetric—Watch Out for Unnecessary White Space

There must be consistency and symmetry along with the website. This translates to:

  • The font size and font style are consistent. This means all headlines on your landing pages have the same font size and font style, all subheadlines have the same font size and font style, and all body text have the same font size and font style.
  • Spacing consistency above and below sections, between text and headlines, between images and text, and between images and sections.
  • Consistency with margins along the page.
  • Columns are balanced and have the same width and height.

Most designers don’t realize that when they create different landing pages for the same client, they’re still creating pages for the same client. 

And that means each page shouldn’t feel completely different from each other. They need to feel integrated

Keep an eye on your white space too because people tend to not know how to use it correctly.

White space is an element that when used properly, it adds to the quality of your design.

14. Don’t Overlap the Text With People’s Faces on the Images 

Your hero section is one of the most important sections of your landing pages because it’s where prospects first land on your page. 

It’s the very first impression they get from your website. 

A poorly designed hero section can make your prospects leave immediately without even knowing what your core offer is. 

To avoid this, the text in your hero section (headline and subheadline) must not overlap people’s faces in the background image like in the example below…

It’s much more enjoyable to look at people’s faces clearly, isn’t it? 

15. Keep Your Primary CTA Button Is Above the Fold

If you bury your CTA on the page, you’re likely to lose sales because you’re making it more difficult for your site’s visitors to buy. 

When visitors are either returning to your website or already familiar with your offer, they’re expecting to see the button they need to click right there in front of them. 

They’re not expecting to scroll down to find the button.

As a matter of fact, a simple CTA button placed above the fold increased conversion rates by 31.12% to this website.

Before…

After…

And they not only displayed the button above the fold, but they actually turned the text link that was buried at the bottom of the page into a noticeable button.

Your CTA simply must be visible in the hero section. Prospects shouldn’t scroll down to look for it.

And this validates one of the 11 Laws of Sales Funnel Physics—the Law of Visibility. 

This law says that people will convert on offers that are highly visible and noticeable to them. If they don’t see it, they won’t convert.

If people see your CTA button, they’re more likely to click it and buy as well.

So, increase visibility in terms of placement of the CTA button and use a more noticeable color to create irresistible CTAs. This will lead to more clicks to checkout. 

16. Make Sure Your Logo Has Good Readability & Contrast

Your logo is the strongest symbol of your brand. 

It builds brand recognition and it helps your target market recognize you wherever you are displayed on the web.

In order to give your logo maximum legibility and exposure, you must use a high-contrasting background color to make it stand out. 

Add some areas of clearance around the logo to give prominence. 

And don’t forget to keep the logo high-res.

Do you notice in the example below how pixelated the logo is? 

Not good at all…

And by the way, did you notice that the logo actually has some small blue squares? 

Of course you didn’t notice because it was placed on a blue background.

Those are the exact types of errors you must avoid on your website and make sure you fix in your landing page optimization process to increase conversions. 

17. Be Sure Your Text Has Good Readability & Contrast

So, what’s the point of writing awesome copy if when it’s added to the landing page it doesn’t have good readability?

Take the example below.

It’s completely hard to read. 

It’s text-heavy, the font size is too small, text color doesn’t contrast, and there isn’t enough spacing between lines and paragraphs.

All headlines, subheadlines, CTA button text, and body text in your landing pages must have good readability.

Letters should have enough space between them and there should be enough space between lines too.

Also, don’t forget to use a background color that contrasts with the text.

Don’t make your prospects work. 

Make the reading experience for them as smooth as possible.

And as a matter of fact, contrasting colors in your landing page can make people purchase 57% more, and using high-contrasting color on a landing page can translate to a 10.66% increase in sign-ups. 

And that’s what happened to the website below…

This means that the colors you use for text and/or your background can provide an incremental (or better) increase in conversions.

The text has a better contrast against a white background and makes the reading experience easier. More comfort and a better experience mean less friction in deciding to sign up for your trial or not.

18. Use Bright & High-Contrasting CTA Buttons That Stand Out—Avoid Using Passive Colors

Don’t spend countless hours crafting the perfect button color for your CTA buttons. It doesn’t matter too much, it just needs to contrast with the background.

And this is one point where marketers and business owners tend to lose conversions.

Your CTA buttons are meant to be clicked. They’re not decorative elements in your website.

They have a purpose. They’re the elements that will take your prospects to your checkout page.

For instance, don’t make them look just nice. 

Make them stand out.

See the difference below?

Which one looks more clickable?

Highlighting your text links with color or by simply turning them into buttons is always a safe bet to get more people to a key landing page. 

And it’s a great great landing page optimization best practice (that’s why it’s included in this article =)).

Take this website as an example.

Changing just the color of the CTA button translated to a 35.81% increase sales…

For your CTA buttons, use a noticeable color. 

Red, green, orange—these often work well. 

But it’s not about any single color. 

If you have a website with a “green-ish” theme and a green button, green won’t work so well because it’ll blend in with the rest of the site. 

Also, use a contrasting color for the text in the button too. 

Because tweaking the font color of the CTA buttons on the example below resulted in an 18.01% decrease in click-through rates.

Landing Page Optimization for Quality Assurance—How to QA Your Website to Avoid Zero Multipliers

Enough with copy and design.

Now it’s time for a critical part of your landing page optimization that most marketers neglect.

Did you know that you can actually boost conversions with quality assurance

This is an overlooked part of your conversion rates and I’ll show you which are the most important areas to look for.

19. Make Sure All CTA Buttons in Your Landing Page Work

Ensuring all your CTA buttons work is a fundamental step in a well-constructed funnel.

Why?

Because with misdirected CTAs, you are essentially preventing your leads from buying your product or service. 

So if you’re seeing lack of sales or zero leads coming into your key pages, test absolutely all your CTA buttons.

For just one missed CTA could really hurt your conversions.

At AutoGrow, we actually triple check all of our clients’ landing pages for errors like this and always make sure their funnels’ stages move prospects along in the right direction. 

20. Check That All Opt-in Forms Work & Redirect to the Right Pages

Similar to testing your CTA buttons, test your opt-in forms.

This is a common place where websites leak leads.

People don’t realize that their forms aren’t working because they don’t check.

And who’s really going to take time to email the website and tell them “Hey, your opt-in form doesn’t work.”

Those prospects will more likely simply leave your site.

You’ll also want to make sure your email automation is properly set up and that the prospect filling out the form will be redirected to the next step of your funnel and receive your email follow-up sequence.

21. Ensure All Buttons Redirect to the Right Pages—Does the Funnel Flow Make Sense?

Ok, so you won’t believe how many times I’ve seen websites leaking money in places that are completely preventable.

Last week, a customer bought one of our info products.

She reached out to me with a question.

And when I took a look at her website, I found so many areas that were more likely making her leak money and leads.

She’s selling an info product for $37.

But the landing page was too long and too complex for an info product sales page. 

In fact, according to Medium, 29.5% of landing pages have too much copy and an average conversion rate of 11.10%. 

And landing pages that are word-count-cautious convert on average at 14.30%.

Source

And not to mention the quality of the graphics was very poor. And a bad use of colors (she’s using red and yellow which are colors that conflict). 

And all that, of course, hurts trust because the page being that long makes it look like she’s trying too hard to sell the product.

Plus there was too much friction on the homepage.

It was too complicated to land on her info product sales page.

So anyway, when it comes to your landing page optimization, you must ensure that all CTA buttons redirect to the right pages.

Those pages must follow the flow of your funnel. 

If for example you’re selling high-ticket products or services, then your funnel would look like something like this…

So you must ensure that each page redirects your prospects to the right pages so your potential customers’ journey through your site makes sense.

22. Make Sure All Landing Pages Are Mobile Optimized—Most People Check Your Website from Their Phones

Is your website mobile friendly?

This could be a major area where you’re losing potential customers.

In fact, according to Statista, in 2021, 53.9% of all retail e-commerce is expected to be generated via m-commerce.

This means, having your website working perfectly for mobile is mandatory.

According to Medium, landing pages that have a mobile page have an average conversion rate of 11.70%. And the ones that don’t have a mobile page convert on average at 10.70%.

Source

Always be sure you check from a phone, tablet, and desktop to make sure all elements in your landing pages are displayed correctly. 

See how in the example below, that website was not mobile optimized?

This easily makes people leave your site and even worse, makes them not come back ever again.

23. Check That Sections Aren’t Duplicated

Make sure your landing pages’ copy flows and that there aren’t any duplicated sections.

If your prospects visit your site on mobile and come across a section like this, they’ll likely think you’re not a serious or professional business. 

I could have listed this point under the design section, but in my experience, most designers are more careless and don’t catch these types of errors.

That’s why we always make sure this point is covered in our thorough quality assurance process.

BONUS 24: Do a User Test—Have Your Family & Friends Test Your Landing Page(s)

So at this point you know all the best practices for increasing conversions on your landing pages.

But my gift to you is this bonus principle.

This is an effective and proven-to-convert best practice that only requires you to ask a favor to a friend or family member.

Ask them to visit your website and navigate through all of your landing pages.

This simple action will give you important feedback on how the user experience is like for someone visiting your website.

Because, no one’s more honest than a family member or friend to give you feedback or constructive criticism, right? 

Ask them what navigating through your site is like.

  • Is the navigating process complicated? 
  • Is it easy to understand the end goal of your page?
  • Is the copy clear?
  • Is your offer valuable?

All this will let you determine areas of improvement and have them fixed so a prospective customer visiting your site will end up hitting the buy button instead of the exit button.

Conclusion

Download the “23 Principles to UP Conversions w/ Landing Page Optimization” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

There you go. 

These are the 23 overlooked areas you must ensure to optimize to boost conversions…

For copywriting:

1. Speak With Emotion & Directly to Your Audience… Or Risk Attracting the Wrong Audience 
2. Write a Crystal Clear Headline—Are You Being Clear Instead of Clever?
3. Headlines Shouldn’t Be Too Long nor Too Short—Find the Right Length
4. Write a Sub-headline That Supports Your Headline & Gives Your Readers More Clarity
5. Write Clear Text for Your CTA Buttons—Accurately Guide Prospects to the Next Step in Your Funnel (Law of Alignment)
6. Put Your Finger on Your Audience’s Problems & Agitate Those Pain Points
7. Introduce the Solution Your Prospects Need for Solving Their Problems (AKA: Your Product or Service)
8. Explain Your Products or Services’ Irresistible Features & Benefits
9. Explain How Your Products or Service Works—Finally Tell the World How in 3 Easy Steps They’ll Use Your Products or Service
10. Include Social Proof in the Form of Testimonials, Vanity Stats, Reviews, & More to Add Credibility

For design:

11. Make Sure All Design Elements Feel Integrated & Aren’t Randomly Placed
12. Use As Many Real Photos As Possible & Avoid Using Stock Photos
13. Keep Your Design Elements Consistent & Symmetric—Watch Out for Unnecessary White Spaces
14. Don’t Overlap the Text With People’s Faces on the Images 
15. Primary CTA Button Is Above the Fold
16. Your Logo Has Good Readability & Contrast
17. Text Has Good Readability & Contrast
18. Use Bright & High-Contrasting CTA Buttons That Stand Out—Avoid Using Passive Colors

For quality assurance:

19. Make Sure All CTA Buttons in Your Landing Page Work
20. Check That All Opt-in Forms Work & Redirect to the Right Pages
21.Ensure All Buttons Redirect to the Right Pages—Does the Funnel Flow Make Sense?
22. Make Sure All Landing Pages Are Mobile Optimized—Most People Check Your Website from Their Phones
23. Check That Sections Aren’t Duplicated
BONUS 24: Do a User Test—Have Your Family & Friends Test Your Landing Page(s)

If you’re looking to optimize your copy, all it takes is going to your landing page builder and fixing it directly in there.

If you’re looking to optimize design elements on your landing page, you may or may not need a designer to give you a hand with that.

And if you’re looking to QA your landing page, you can simply do it yourself or ask a friend to do a user test.

But of course, if you don’t want to do anything by yourself, AutoGrow can take care of all of your digital marketing tasks.

We can do all of your landing page optimization process for you from start to end so you can increase conversions while watching us do the hard work.

Now tell me something, have you tried optimizing your landing pages to knock out a high-converting copy? 

Have you tried any of the principles listed above in terms of QAing your own website? 

Which ones have helped you up your conversions?

Let me know in the comments below.

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused,

Read more

Keep Churn to the Bare Minimum Using Lifecycle Marketing

Source: https://postfunnel.com/keep-churn-to-the-bare-minimum-using-lifecycle-marketing/

You don’t need to be a marketing guru to know that customer churn is bad, and customer retention is good.

It’s odd, then, that sales and marketing teams around the world use the sales funnel as a guide for how consumers should flow through their organization.

 

 

See, funnels are built so that whatever’s inside will eventually depart. In using a funnel as an illustration of the customer journey, we acknowledge the idea that customer churn is inevitable.

 

(Which, to be sure, it is: 100% of your customers will eventually part ways with your brand at some point in the future.)

 

But:

 

Acknowledging that churn is inevitable can unwittingly cause your team to become complacent—creating even more churn as a result. If your sales and marketing teams see churn as imminent and unavoidable, they might not put all that much effort into trying to avoid it.

As helpful as the sales funnel may be in terms of visualizing your customer journey, it can also make churn somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy within your organization. Couple that with the sales funnel’s impersonal, templated approach to engaging with customers at each stage of their journey, and you’re going to be losing customers left and right.

Luckily, there’s a better way to visualize your customer’s journey with your brand—one that doesn’t focus on the inevitability of customer churn.

Enter lifecycle marketing.

What is Lifecycle Marketing?

Lifecycle marketing is the practice of tailoring the way you approach individual audience members based on where they are in their journey with your brand.

Note the key differences between lifecycle marketing and marketing using the sales funnel:

For one, lifecycle marketing focuses on providing individualized value to each and every customer based on their specific needs at any given time. The sales funnel model, on the other hand, can easily lead teams to take a “one-size-fits-all” approach where they deliver the same value to all customers at each stage of the funnel.

Secondly, lifecycle marketing aims to continue building the relationship with individual customers at all times—with a major focus on post-conversion engagements. In contrast, the way the sales funnel is often visualized focuses on the leadup to the sale—and neglects continued engagement with current customers.

(Again, this leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy of “inevitable” churn.)

The main difference between the two:

Sales funnel marketing focuses on the company’s goals, while lifecycle marketing focuses on the customer’s. In taking a customer-centric approach to engaging and providing value to your audience, you’ll have a much better chance of staving off churn as time goes on.

Using Lifecycle Marketing to Minimize Avoidable Churn

From a bird’s-eye view, there are five key stages to the customer lifecycle:

  • New Prospects who have just hit your radar and just learned about your brand
  • New Customers who have recently converted but are not yet acclimated with your brand
  • Active Customers who have been with your brand for a while and used your products or services with great success
  • At-Risk Customers who’d previously been active and engaged but whose engagement levels have since dropped
  • Churned Customers who are no longer doing business with your brand

In contrast to the sales funnel, the goal isn’t always to move the customer through the lifecycle. Rather, it’s to elevate them to active status—and keep them there. Knowing that a decrease in engagement is a key indicator of imminent churn, it’s crucial to keep your audience as active as possible.

Now, let’s look at the key ways to make this happen.

Proactively Avoiding Churn in New Prospects

In the early stages of a new relationship with a potential customer, it can be easy to focus on making a sale at any cost.

That last part—”at any cost”—is the problem: making a single sale usually doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t lead to long-term gains for your company.

So, instead of looking to convert just any ol’ prospect, you’ll want to ensure that doing so will be the start of a long-lasting relationship.

Above all else, this means attracting only the highest-quality leads. That is, the ones who will be easiest to convert—and most likely to stick around for some time to come.

One key way to do this is by utilizing Lookalike or Similar Audiences in Facebook or Google, respectively. Focus on mimicking your most valuable and most engaged customers—while also taking note of how your team nurtured them to this status. This will allow you to deliver highly-targeted ads and content to these prospects, who will then take their first steps in their journey with your brand.

Once a prospect has taken this initial step, you then want to get on the same page as them regarding their goals and expectations for engaging further. You can do this by sending out pre-purchase surveys and feedback forms with your initial welcoming messages.

The idea is to get started on the right foot with your best-fit prospects—and weed out those who are a poor fit for your company. If you can make this happen from the get-go, you’ll likely see immediate improvement in your churn metrics.

Avoiding Churn in New Customers

Once you’ve converted a customer, you’ll immediately want to focus on retaining them for the long haul.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean focus on getting them to buy again.

Rather, concentrate on giving your new customers exactly what they need to move forward in their journey and begin accomplishing their goals.

As the provider, you have a number of tasks to take care of.

First, you need to provide a comprehensive, intuitive, and empowering onboarding experience to your new customers. Here, you’ll be:

  • Delivering robust instructional content tailored to specific use cases
  • Reaching out with timely and/or behaviorally-triggered prompts to keep customers on track
  • Gradually unrolling features to users as they need and are ready to use them

You also want to showcase any tangible growth your new customer has shown since they converted. This may be easy to do in some cases (e.g., tracking SaaS tool usage and progress), but more difficult when it isn’t possible to directly observe your customers. In these cases, you can make it easy for them to track and share their progress on their own. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, you might create an app for your customers to schedule their gym sessions and log their workouts.

Finally, you need to prepare your new customers to take the next step toward even bigger goals—ones they’re only just beginning to recognize. So, your hypothetical fitness company might showcase more advanced equipment to fledgling customers who have shown quick progress with your baseline offer.

As your new customers look back on what they’ve already accomplished, and look forward to what they could accomplish in the future, they’ll be primed for true activation. Once they’ve reached this point, their chances of churning before engaging further are slim.

Avoiding Churn in Active Customers

Your active customers are those who have become regular users of your product and patrons of your company.

Needless to say, you don’t want these individuals to churn. For one thing, you’ll lose a ton of recurring revenue that had almost been guaranteed up until that point. And you’ll lose out on potential future gains—turning back toward acquisition to replace this value.

To keep your active customers active, you’ll need to continue providing increasingly personalized value to them.

A few examples:

  • Laser-focused upsell and cross-sell offers
  • In-depth content addressing their specific needs and interests
  • Development of additional products and services tailored to the needs of “power users”

It’s also essential to personalize the delivery of these offers. This means sending them at the right time via the right channel and/or platform—doing whatever you can to ensure the offer is received loud and clear.

You can keep active customers on board in more “meta” ways, too.

For example, soliciting feedback lets your customers have their voices heard, and potentially improve the value they receive from your company.

In turn, this can enhance your relationship with the customer in question—and allow them to look forward to the next big thing you have to offer them.

Similarly, soliciting social proof and user-generated content enables your customers to recognize and showcase the value your brand brings to their lives. This can keep them engaged in between purchases—and spur additional engagement.

Your active customers are your most valuable, but are also the easiest to take for granted.

Instead of assuming your active customers will always be around, it’s important to know they won’t be. How long they stay on board depends on how long you’re able to provide more and more value to them over time.

Avoiding Churn in At-Risk Customers—and Keeping in Touch with Lost Ones

Just because customers will eventually leave doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight to keep them around for as long as you can.

Now, in some cases, you might simply need to shoot your at-risk customers timely reminders to stay active with your brand. These reminders, of course, should be tailored to the individual customer’s engagement patterns.

For example, perfume producer Lancôme emails customers when the company starts running out of a previously purchased product:

(Note that this email also includes cross-sell offers in the hopes of getting at-risk customers even more engaged than they were at their peak.)

You also want to avoid instances of involuntary churn, such as when a customer’s repeat order fails due to a technical glitch. Ideally, you’d want to reach them before this happens, and also follow up with them in case they don’t respond.

If it’s clear the individual isn’t worried about missing out on their next round of service, you might need to down-sell them. This may mean offering lower-priced products or subscription tiers, or allowing them to continue using your freemium services:

If you still aren’t able to get your at-risk customers back on track and they end up churning, remember:

They haven’t dropped out of a funnel; they’ve just reached another part of their lifecycle.

Instead of thinking of your churned customers as lost, think of them as dormant. Or, more accurately, dormant for the time being. Unless they’ve specifically requested that you leave them be, make sure to reach out to your churned customers from time to time to stay on their radar.

Want to learn more about how to re-engage your churned customers? Check out our guide to dive deeper.

The post Keep Churn to the Bare Minimum Using Lifecycle Marketing appeared first on Post Funnel.

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How To Avoid Wasting Money When Working With A Digital Marketing Agency

Source: https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/how-to-avoid-wasting-money-when-working-with-a-digital-marketing-agency

The Secret Might Be In How The Agency Works With You

Having run an agency for almost 18 years and also providing agency consulting in my free time, I am intimate with the way agencies work with clients.

Unfortunately, a lot of waste is baked into the way most agencies work with their clients.

It’s not the agency’s fault. Some of it is legacy operational thinking, some of it is bowing to clients and how they think they want to work with agencies, and the rest of it is directly related to the new technology offerings many agencies now provide.

Clients need to ask new questions. They need to look for more efficient engagement models and they need to rethink how they invest in agency programs.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures

Source: http://focus52.blogspot.com/2018/06/news-new-representation-tea-water.html

I’m pleased to announce that I am now represented by Tea & Water Pictures in New York, London and Beijing. They are an exciting agency that have a some great production experience and a team with really diverse but complimentary backgrounds, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve together over the next few years!

They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here 

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