The Compliant Cookie: How to Collect Data in A Post-GDPR World

Source: https://postfunnel.com/the-compliant-cookie-how-to-collect-data-in-a-post-gdpr-world/

With the arrival of legislation like GDPR and CCPA, companies are under more stringent requirements when collecting and storing consumer information. But how can brands collect the data necessary to reach customers, even as the traditional cookie disappears? This guide will explore some ways privacy-conscious marketers can obtain data in 2020.

More from PostFunnel on GDPR:
Balancing Privacy Regulation and Marketing
Getting On Board For Data Privacy Legislation
GDPR Six Months Later: What Have We Learned So Far?
Gearing Up Towards The Dreadful GDPR
Ready or Not CCPA is Here (And You’re Probably Not)
The Price of Privacy

What are cookies?

Text files stored in your browser history are referred to as “cookies,” supposedly because they’re a treat with a hidden message, like a fortune cookie. Cookies store details like search history, past purchases, and geolocation data to provide a more personalized browsing experience. The data that cookies provide is invaluable to marketers. Advertisers use algorithms to bid on placements that will put their product in front of a user who’s already indicated interest in it or something like it. If you’ve ever been browsing Facebook and seen an ad for the same jacket you’d Googled earlier that morning, that’s cookies working in the background.

There are two types of cookies: first-party and third-party. First-party cookies are used to optimize a visitor’s experience on the site they’re visiting. They’re how an eCommerce site knows what you’ve put in your shopping cart, or which language you prefer. Third-party cookies do not belong to the host site you’re visiting, but may track what you’re doing there anyway. The information they collect is used to track your behavior and serve you personalized ads.

But cookies collect information without the user’s explicit consent and therefore are the target of data privacy regulatory efforts like GDPR and CCPA. Seeing the writing on the wall, the companies that create browsers have started to get in step with protecting users. Safari doesn’t allow third-party cookies, and Google plans to shut off support for third-party cookies by 2022. Many sites now display a banner asking visitors to opt-in to cookies, but users don’t have to consent to view the content. Marketers need to change tactics to keep up with the changes.

What are GDPR and CCPA?

Now that we know about cookies, we need to understand how they intersect with GDPR and CCPA. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets the rules for collecting and processing personal information. If your company does business in the EU and stores personal data such as names, addresses, or even hobbies, it must be GDPR compliant or risk enormous fines.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is similar to GDPR in that it was designed to protect the data privacy rights of California residents by regulating how their personal information is collected and stored. The CCPA differs from GDPR in certain key aspects, however, so GDPR compliance does not guarantee CCPA compliance. It’s important to note that GDPR and CCPA regulations apply to the location of your customer, not your business. If you have any clients in the EU or California, compliance is compulsory.

Give some to get some

Perhaps the easiest way to ensure you’ve got a consumer’s full consent is to give them something in return. A survey or poll can provide a wealth of insight while also making the respondent feel positive about providing their personal details. Depending on what you ask, you can use surveys to create buyer personas, collect basic demographic information, or determine elements of your business that could use improvement.

Never underestimate the power of free stuff. Contests are another light-lift method for obtaining the kind of data you need for your marketing efforts. The prize itself can help target the kind of demographic segment you want—everyone enjoys an Amazon gift card, but a smaller audience is likely to give you their email address for a chance at bookkeeping software.

Don’t overlook the value of your own information, either. Perhaps you have a decade’s worth of sales data you could turn into an infographic, or a series of explainers to help navigate a challenging topic. Putting that kind of resource behind a simple gate not only makes it compliant, but also implies that it’s too valuable to simply give away.

The call of content

Customers don’t want ads shoved in their faces, but they do want content that is relevant to their interests. Articles, podcasts, videos, and blog posts can all be leveraged to bring your ideal customer right to your doorstep. Inform them, entertain them, but above all respect them, and they’ll be more than happy to let you sell to them.

“Make great content” is easy enough to put on a to-do list, but how do you actually go about it? Think about what your customers want and need on all stages of their buyer journey. What questions do they want answers to, what guidance would help them understand their options? What follow-up support would make them feel valued and increase their likelihood of sticking around? These are the questions to ask yourself as you craft a content strategy.

Marketing without cookies

While third-party cookies’ days are numbered, first-party cookies, which is to say the kind at use on your own site, are fair game. Information from transactions, forms, and support chat can be collected safely and mined to great effect. After all, these are people who’ve at least shown enough interest in your product or service to have visited your site, which puts them on a level above someone who just wants to win a prize.

This is where your content strategy shows real dividends. By attracting a willing audience to your site, you’ve created an opportunity to collect valuable information about them during every part of their journey. At its most basic, your content needs to be authentic, helpful, and well-made. Let your customers come to you on their own terms, then deliver what they expect to receive. This increases your relationship with them, which in turn creates trust. Is there a more valuable tool in your marketing arsenal than trust?

Yours won’t be the only site with first-party cookies, of course. Other sites, notably Google and Facebook, also have access to information derived from their own first-party cookies. Companies like Amazon use persistent IDs to create a vision of a customer, based on what their account does whenever they log in. It’s such precise information that it allows them to market based on the intent that one person displays and how they respond to the ads they’re seeing. Plenty of first-party publishers will be willing to share their data with you, just be ready to pay. Nobody is going to open their vaults out of the goodness of their hearts.

The post The Compliant Cookie: How to Collect Data in A Post-GDPR World appeared first on Post Funnel.

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Hiring System Simplified: 5 Ways to Hiring Right Applicants

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/hiring-process-steps/

I’ve read “Built to Last” by Jim Collins more than once.

The book is about what are the secret recipes to creating an enduring company. 

The companies studied have been thriving and around for as long as 170 years (!) in the case of American Express.

But in re-reading the book, the same thing stands out to me…

Companies eventually fail if they’re dependent on one single person (you?) or if you hire the wrong people.

And refining a business that can prosper beyond one bad hire is the secret to success. 

Because the main output of a successful company isn’t only the implementation of a great idea or the charismatic personality of one team member. 

The greatest creation is the company itself and what it stands for (its mission).

That’s why today I’m going to tell you:

  • Why the way in which an employee connects with the company’s mission and values is critical to your business productivity.
  • How bad and good hires can actually bring negative and positive repercussions to your organization’s growth.
  • And how to hire employees effectively in 5 essential steps.

Ready to welcome to your team exclusively business-driven people?

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.

Why Hiring Business-Driven People & Filtering Out the Ones Who Aren’t a Fit Helps You Scale Your Company (Hint: a Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch) 

Talent shortage is a real problem nowadays. Especially with the economic downturn.

And finding the right candidates with the right aptitudes, well, it isn’t a piece of cake.

According to a survey by ManpowerGroup, 45% of employers are concerned about finding employees with the necessary skills and talents. And 69% of employers are having difficulty filling job positions.

Source

Additionally, 67% of recruiters say their biggest challenge in hiring is the lack of

skilled and high quality candidates according to Jobvite.

Source

And on top of that, 80% of companies fail to recruit top-quality talent according to Hueman.

Source

It’s no wonder why some recruiters have actually outsourced the hiring process entirely.

And that’s exactly why we at AutoGrow take all the headaches out of hiring for you so you can focus on delegating to us your digital marketing tasks.

Because we want to save you time and money.

Employers are spending an average of $4,129 per job on hiring in the U.S. according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Human Capital Benchmarking Report. 

Source

But even if you have the time and money to hire new employees, finding the right one (skilled and business-driven) is another part of the equation.

You see, sometimes the root cause of most hiring is poor retention (your fault). 

Just as a bad apple spoils the bunch, so to speak, a bad hire can potentially have that same effect within your organization.

That’s why we always hire super slow and fire fast.

And despite what research says that companies are more interested in hiring external talent than promoting their own employees to fill vacancies (see the graph below), I’ve always found employee referrals especially valuable.

Source

Because referred candidates are 55% faster to hire according to HR Technologist and they produce 25% more profit than hires from other sources according to a paper by Iza, the Institute of Labor Economics.

For instance, one bad hire can not only create a domino effect of dragging people down. Nearly 3 in 4 employers can be negatively affected by a bad hire according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.

And they can actually cost you at least nearly $15,000 while the average cost of losing a good hire is nearly $30,000. 

Not to mention that high performers deliver 400% more productivity than average performers according to the “The Best And the Rest: Revisiting the Norm of Normality of Individual Performance” by Ernest O’boyle Jr. Herman Aguinis.

Now that you have a pretty good idea why you need top performers on your team, it’s time to lay out the essential steps you must follow in your hiring process.

Hiring Process Step #1: Ask Applicants to Fill Out a Short Application Form to Get to Know Them Better “on Paper”

Your first step here is to ask any applicant interested in working with you to fill out an application form.

This will be your first step to filtering out those who aren’t a good fit.

On the application form, be sure to request a sample of their published work. 

This will let you take a look at the work they’ve done in the past and get a better idea of their skill level.

And although experience matters here, it’s not everything you should be looking for.

In fact, other qualities recruiters look for in potential employees are conversational skills (you’ll find out this in step #3), knowledge of the industry, and cultural fit.

Source

This application form will give you a better sense of their abilities and personality. 

Because even if you ask them hypothetical questions like “Which superpower would you have if you were a superhero?”, it will still give you an idea of their sense of humor and personality.

We always combine personal and casual questions like “What’s a normal Friday night for you?” or professional questions like “How would you solve this specific issue in our company?”

And those questions always help us filter candidates based on their answers and if they match with our cultural work environment.

Because cultural fit is often just as important as their skills. 

That’s why 95% of recruiters consider culture fit to be a critical factor when hiring according to Totaljobs.

And it’s no wonder why 90% of recruiters have rejected candidates due to their lack of cultural fit according to Cubiks.

You can also review the applicants’ profiles on job boards like Upwork, Onlinejobs, Flexjobs, and Indeed to get to know them better on paper.

But don’t make the process too long for them. Don’t ask them 100 questions or add 10 steps before making a hiring decision.

In fact, 57% of applicants lose interest in a job opening if the hiring process takes too long.

Source

And according to Recruiterbox, the best candidates are off the market within 10 days.

So be fast when moving applicants down your hiring funnel.

Hiring Process Step #2: Assign the Applicant a Skill Test or Work Sample to Test their Knowledge, Ability, & Expertise

According to Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Research report, 82% of companies use some form of pre-employment assessment tests.

Source

A work sample evaluation or skill test is the most effective assessment method because it shows 29% of an employee’s performance according to Furst Person.

In our case, we have a very detailed skill test that we assign to the candidates that score well on their application form.

In this step of your hiring process, you’ll be testing the applicants’ abilities and aptitudes through a specific project.

I recommend that you add at least 3 different tasks in the project so you can get a better sense of their abilities.

For example, if you’re evaluating a copywriter’s skills, then it would make sense to ask him/her to write copy for a landing page, an ad, and a lead magnet.

You won’t really see the full picture of what they’re capable of doing by looking only at what they wrote for ad copy.

The work sample or skill test will also give the applicant a better sense and understanding of your company.

They’ll see an example of a task that they’d have to complete in the future if they end up being hired and that really helps set the expectations.

As a matter of fact, 2 in 3 workers say they have accepted a job and later realized it was a bad fit. And half of these workers have quit within 6 months according to Career Builder.

Again, you want to avoid the bad hires no matter what.

The skill test is also a good place though to test applicants’ punctuality and responsibility and to check for typos and grammar. 

Even if you’re not looking to hire a content writer, you want that person to have impeccable writing skills.

And when you receive the submission of their work sample, make sure you inform the candidate what the next step in the process is.

Don’t let them wait for too long because they can end up applying for a different company or say yes to a different job offer.

In fact, 52% of candidates don’t receive any communication in the 2-3 (or more) months after applying to a job. This is according to the Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report.

So if you see potential in a candidate, make sure to follow up.

Hiring Process Step #3: Have Your Hiring Manager Interview the Applicant in a One-On-One Call—Time to Test Their Presentation & Personality

Time to get on camera!

Have your hiring manager hop on a 30-minute video call with the applicant.

Video technology is being used by 60% of hiring managers and recruiters nowadays according to Recruiter. 

Actually, video is the most frequently used method for doing interviews. 

Video interviews are now being used by 74% of HR professionals around the world according to LinkedIn.

And a survey by Workforce showed that 47% of companies use video for interviewing candidates to shorten the hiring timeframe. 

As a matter of fact it takes an average of 23.8 days to acquire a new hire according to Glassdoor.

Yep, hiring a new team member for your business is no joke.

Now, on the interview call, your hiring manager should evaluate the applicant’s professionalism. 

They should take note of their presentation (how they’re dressed up and the background they have for the call). They should also find out if the applicant is open to receiving feedback and/or constructive criticism when hired. And finally, it’ll also let your hiring manager get a better sense of the candidate’s personality.

By the way, being open to receiving feedback can help you grow sales.

That’s partly why sharing or asking for any feedback during the call could be a good indicator of how the person reacts to it and handles the situation.

Because the truth is, for team members to learn and improve, they need to be open to feedback. And for your company to grow, you need feedback that can help it scale.

However, according to CareerArc, only 1 out of 3 job applicants report having been asked by an employer for their feedback as a candidate.

Feedback is always important because you want to work with people who get the work done right but also with someone who’s enjoyable to work with and learn from.

At AutoGrow, we have a set of questions that our hiring manager always asks potential hires during their initial interview.

You can use them or model them for your own interviews…

  1. How would you evaluate how successful you are in this job position?
  2. Do you have questions about the compensation?
  3. We’re looking to work with someone for the long term, is that something you want?
  4. Do you have references you can provide for us if we need them?
  5. Does full-time employment at our company fit with your career goals?
  6. For all our positions, we require you to complete an initial work sample. Is this something you are open to?
  7. Do you have any questions for me about the position or company? 

And while interviewing candidates, we always make sure to communicate:

  • The compensation
  • What the next steps are in our hiring process
  • The on-spec project that will be assigned

And don’t forget to always be nice to the person you’re interviewing. 

83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked according to LinkedIn.

So always keep in mind that you’re interviewing humans that you’re looking to connect and empathize with.

Hiring Process Step #4: Time to Test Their Diligence, Efficiency, & Skills With an On-Spec Project 

Congrats, you’re very close to hiring an effective candidate for your business.

So don’t forget to keep the candidate informed about where he/she is at in your hiring process.

As a matter of fact, a whopping 81% of candidates say that the one thing that would improve significantly their overall experience as an applicant is employers continuously communicating status updates to them according to CareerBuilder.

Constant and ongoing communication is key on engaging potential hires.

In fact, only 47% of candidates say employers do a good job communicating at the beginning of a potential hire interaction. And 78% of employers feel they do a good job setting expectations upfront and communicating throughout.

Source

And 69% of candidates point out employer response time is what they would like to see improved according to CareerArc.

The bottom line here is, be transparent and don’t do anything to hurt your relationship with the applicants.

Take a look at the stages some applicants and employers say hurt the experience during the whole application process…

Source

Something we at AutoGrow have found is that hiring on a trial basis is a smart move.

Why?

Because that way you get someone from your team to train the candidate without much input from you.

Let’s say you’re looking to hire a designer, then have your current designer explain the processes to the candidate. After all, there’s no one better than someone in the same team role to share their knowledge.

But before hiring “the one”, make sure you assign them an on-spec project or task.

Any project related to the job position you’re looking to fill would be a good task for the candidate to complete.

This project is twofold.

  1. You’ll be able to see the person’s promised skills in action.
  2. You’ll be able to see if the person isn’t willing to comply with the deadline you set up for the task and asks to push it back.

It’s happened many times to us that when we’ve assigned an on-spec project to an applicant they go MIA or they’re simply not willing to do it.

They may have a good reason to not do it. But come on: if you really want to be hired by X company, then you really make an effort in completing the on-spec project on time.

We started considering this a red flag because we believe that if someone is really looking forward to being part of our team, they’ll prove it to themselves and to us.

But we’re flexible sometimes too (for the right candidates).

Keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to the on-spec project. And they can get better with some training.

But always watch out for red flags.

The other day we assigned an on-spec task to a content writer applicant.

The task was to write an outline for an article and add research and data to it.

When we shared the deadline with her, she agreed to it. Then, 2 days before the deadline she asked us to push it back because she was feeling sick.

Unfortunately, we agreed and didn’t see it as a red flag.

When she submitted the on-spec task, we noticed a lack of effort on having the outline done right. 

And she later admitted she didn’t do a good job.

Of course, she was disqualified.

And in that specific situation, we were glad we didn’t bring her into the team before the on-spec project because it probably wouldn’t have worked out.

Her performance and lack of responsibility were good filters in this step.

As you see, assigning an on-spec project isn’t only about testing a specific skill but also diligence and responsibility too.

Hiring Process Step #5: Have a Few Key Team Members of Your Core Team Interview the Applicant—Find Out If They’re a Cultural Fit!

We always hire slow and fire fast because we truly believe that making it to our team long term isn’t only about having a good set of skills.

There has got to be some engagement and interest in belonging to the team.

For instance, getting a better sense of an applicant’s personality is an important part of the hiring process.

Why?

Because would you objectively want to work every day with someone who’s always in a bad mood?

Or what about someone who’s stubborn and doesn’t like being flexible about certain tasks or requests?

Not good.

You must look for candidates who fit in your organization.

And those applicants will look to fit in your organization too. 

As LinkedIn reports, 70% of professionals in the U.S. today won’t work at a company if it means they have to tolerate or deal with a bad workplace culture.

Source

So not only look for applicants who are a good cultural fit but make your company be a great cultural fit for them too.

In fact, 25% of candidates say that a better company culture is among their top reasons for changing jobs.

And how do you look for all those qualities? In a second interview.

The first interview your hiring manager had with the applicant was a bit more formal. 

The potential hire was asked more work-related questions than personal questions.

But here’s a good moment to have a few key team members of your team to get on a more casual call with the applicant. 

It’s important to have key team members of your team lead this call because those are the people who you rely on the most and whose judgment you trust.

For instance, get on a casual call (but without it being unprofessional, of course) and have your team members ask the applicant questions like:

  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Why apply for this job position and not for another job opening?
  • What’s your availability?
  • Are you looking to work long term or short term?
  • Do you have any goals you want to achieve within the organization?

Those questions will give you a good sense of their personality. 

Do they laugh at your jokes?—Not a big deal, most people don’t have a great sense of humor =) 

Did they get dressed up for the interview?—Or were they wearing Mickey Mouse pajama bottoms during the call (yep, I interviewed someone with that outfit once).

Do they know “something” about your company?—Or did they randomly apply for the position without even knowing what the organization’s mission is?

(Almost half of applicants—59% in fact—research the companies that they’re interested in applying to according to Talent Works. So you really don’t want to hire the other half.)

How do they express themselves and/or communicate?—You certainly shouldn’t only be looking for someone with 100% perfect spoken grammar but you need someone with strong communications skills. 

In fact, requirements for strong conversational skills and enthusiasm have declined by more than 20% among recruiters according to Jobvite. 

This second interview will simply let you filter bad candidates.

It’s happened to us. But we’ve also found really cool people that have stayed in the AutoGrow core team since we relaunched our productized service in May 2019.

And before wrapping up, don’t forget to act fast. 

If you find an applicant who would potentially be a great fit for your business, then let him know that you’ll be hiring him/her on a trial basis.

Because according to Jobvite, 75% of recruiters have experienced a candidate change their mind. And in 53% of the cases, it was because, guess what? They received a better job offer.

Source

Conclusion

Download the “Hiring System Simplified: 5 Ways to Hiring Right Applicants” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

There you have it, 5 essential hiring process steps in a nutshell.

Each of them will prevent you from welcoming onto your team a bad apple that spoils the bunch. 

And even better, it will let you attract the right people who’ll help you grow and scale your organization.

Here the 5 essential steps you must follow:

  • Hiring Process Step #1: Ask Applicants to Fill Out a Short Application Form to Get to Know Them Better “on Paper”
  • Hiring Process Step #2: Assign the Applicant a Skill Test or Work Sample to Test their Knowledge, Ability, & Expertise
  • Hiring Process Step #3: Have Your Hiring Manager Interview the Applicant in a One-On-One Call—Time to Test Their Presentation & Personality
  • Hiring Process Step #4: Time to Test Their Diligence, Efficiency, & Skills With an On-Spec Project 
  • Hiring Process Step #5: Have a Few Key Team Members of Your Core Team Interview the Applicant—Find Out If They’re a Cultural Fit!

So no matter if you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or consultant who wants to scale up their people-driven company—by following these steps, you’ll nurture the relationship with job seekers until they become part of your team.

And if you need help hiring the right people to do the job for you, reach out to us. At AutoGrow, we can take care of all your digital marketing tasks without the headaches of hiring.

Or if you want to do it yourself, we also have great resources like training and customized, done-for-you products like lead magnets and Facebook Ads Sets in our brand new Marketplace.

All you have to do is browse through them in the Marketplace, order them, and start getting good use out of them.

Now tell me something, what’s the worst experience you’ve had when hiring someone? After firing a bad hire, did that help your business grow?

Let me know in the comments below.

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused.

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5 Billion-Dollar Business Landing Pages You Can Copy to Grow

Source: https://www.autogrow.co/best-landing-page-examples-to-copy/

“Never meet your heroes.” 

That’s an old phrase that I’ve always liked. 

It means that we all build up role models in our head. 

Those heroes’ successes and accomplishments paint a picture of someone who’s infallible, perfect

And when you actually meet them up close, you realize that they’re just as human and flawed as everyone else. 

I once met and interviewed Steve Case, the founder of AOL. Nice guy but… He was just a dude! A human, like you and me.

But I say you should always meet your heroes. 

Because despite them seeming less impressive in person (“oh, you’re just a person…”), your heroes have still accomplished something you can model or find inspiration from. 

That’s why today, I’m taking a look at some of the “heroes” of digital marketing—those billion-dollar companies that have become leaders in their fields. 

And a good chunk of their success is thanks to high converting landing pages. 

In this article, I’m going to show you: 

  • 5 landing pages from billion-dollar companies like Shopify, Squarespace, and Airbnb. 
  • What these super-successful “marketing heroes” did right on their landing pages, where they could use some work, and what kinds of tactics you can copy to make your pages better. 
  • Why investing the time into nailing your own landing pages could be one of the best marketing decisions you’ll ever make. 

All right, let’s do this.

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’s So Important About Having a Great Landing Page Anyway?

Duh. 

A landing page is the first impression you make with your target audience. 

It’s your chance to persuade them that whatever it is you’re offering, well, it’s  exactly what they’ve been looking for (or never knew they needed). 

And if you can nail the copy, design, and flow of your landing pages, you can boost your conversion rates and make more money. 

Simple as that. 

Now, it’s also important to recognize that landing pages also give you more control over how customized your visitor’s experience on your website will be. 

As we all know, the more personalized your messaging is, the higher the chances are that your audience will convert on your offer. 

And skilled marketers know it. 

In fact, research from Google and Econsultancy found that 9 out of 10 leading marketers say increasing personalization is connected to better business results. 

Source

We actually listed increased marketing personalization as one of the top 6 marketing trends to watch for in 2020

Simply put, people don’t like being treated like numbers according to research from Salesforce.

Source

With your landing pages, you can customize how you sell your product or service to your visitors based on their unique customer journey.

Did they reach your site through Google ads? Organic traffic? From an email campaign? 

Each source is going to have different expectations as well as different needs that your sales page needs to meet before prospects are willing to give you their business. 

And if you can create a personalized landing page for different prospects from different sources, then you’re going to be much more likely to close the sale. 

In fact, Hubspot found that there is a direct relationship with the number of landing pages a business has and the number of leads they produce. 

Source 

In a report more than 7,000 businesses, they found that increasing the number of landing pages on their site from 1-10 to 10-15 can actually lead to a 55% increase in the number of leads. 

The takeaway here is that landing pages matter

And in fact, they are one of the best tools at your disposal to attract and convert new customers and grow your business. surveying

Now, let’s take a look at how some of the most well-known multi-billion dollar companies have structured their landing pages. 

Landing Page Example #1: Airbnb Home Hosting Page Hits All the Points

What Is It?

Airbnb has taken the hotel industry by storm. Its unique take on renting a room lets travelers stay in spare bedrooms, offices, or even on the couches of anyone who has the extra space. 

It’s available in over 65,000 cities and in more than 191 countries around the world. 

In 2018 it was valued at $38 billion (though that has dropped substantially in 2020 due to the global pandemic).  

Their landing page is built specifically for people interested in renting out their property. 

What This Landing Page Example Does Right

  • Hits the #1 Pain Point Right Off the Bat – The headline makes it clear that Airbnb knows exactly why people want to rent their space out: money. In especially clear terms, Airbnb states that you can make a hefty amount of money hosting your space. Plus, the earnings actually shift to show you how much you could make per week, per month, and per year to really drive the point home. Check it out. 

  • Super Personalized Information – Another awesome detail about this landing page is it’s personalized based on your specific location. So the savings calculated actually come from where you’re located. As a result, you’re getting an accurate depiction of exactly how much you can save by renting out your property.
  • Hits All the Structural Points – This landing page also hits a lot of the structural points that we follow when we’re creating high-converting sales pages for our clients. For instance, they have an eye-catching headline, CTA above the fold, a How It Works section, social proof and testimonials, a benefits and features section, vanity stats, and an FAQ section.

Where This Landing Page Example Could Improve

  • Lackluster Design – There’s a lot of white space on this landing page. Too much in fact. This page would benefit from a few more pops of color throughout. 
  • Not Enough Pain Point Agitation – The headline section does a great job of calling attention to the main reason people are here: to see how they can make more money. But the copy on the page doesn’t do anything to actually agitate that pain (one of the best copywriting techniques to drive conversions). 

Landing Page Example #2: Squarespace Is a Visual Feast

What Is It?

Squarespace not only solved a unique problem (regular people needing to create a great looking, stylish website without having any coding or design experience). But it also did so in a visually distinct and design-focused way. 

Their website builder is as easy to use as it is pleasing on the eyes. 

It’s no wonder Squarespace was valued at $1.7 billion in 2017. 

Their landing page is their main sales page. 

What This Landing Page Example Does Right

  • Highly Appealing Design – An eye-catching design is great for most products. And it’s true—if your design sucks, then your leads are likely going to click off your page without another thought. But it’s especially important with Squarespace because beautiful design is one of their main selling points for their product. And with the cool, collected colors on their page as well as their smooth transitions from section to section, it’s clear Squarespace has their design game down. 
  • CTA Always Available – It’s always important that you make it as easy as possible for your visitors to convert on your offer. And ensuring that your CTAs are always on the page (Law of Visibility) is one of the best ways to do that. Squarespace made sure to follow this rule by actually placing their CTA right in their navigation bar that’s always visible, no matter how far down the page you scroll. 
  • Great Focus on People’s Faces – Including plenty of faces on your landing pages is a powerful way of connecting with your audience on a human level. It’s also one of the best tactics for conversion optimization. Squarespace is obviously aware of that fact and are using it to their advantage, especially in this section. See?

Where This Landing Page Example Could Improve

  • FAQ & How It Works Section Would Be Valuable – While Squarespace does a good job of appealing to a variety of industries and shows what’s possible with their platform, they don’t really get into the specifics much. An FAQ and How It Works section would be helpful in answering some basic questions and giving visitors a sense of what it’s actually like to build their own page. 
  • Missed a Price Anchoring Opportunity – When it comes to website design specifically, pricing can be a major pain point. Squarespace missed a valuable opportunity at calling this detail out and positioning their own pricing against that of other companies (i.e., price anchoring). This is especially true because they’re quite a bit more affordable than the competition. 

Landing Page Example #3: Shopify Is Chock Full of Real-Life Examples

What Is It?

One of the leading ecommerce business building platforms in the industry, Shopify was founded all the way back in 2008. And since then, its users have built more than 500,000 stores using the platform. 

It isn’t surprising, then, that Shopify brought in about $1.5 billion+ in revenue in 2019.

This landing page is its main sales page. 

What This Landing Page Example Does Right

  • Tons of Examples From Real-Life Customers When working with an online business builder, you want to know that it’s actually worked for past customers. And you also want to see just what’s possible with the platform’s tools and features. Those two needs are fulfilled in one fell swoop with the examples section. Here you can get a sense of the design aesthetics possible with Shopify while also getting a hefty dose of social proof (these are real websites from past customers after all).

  • Strong Offer Right Off the Bat – Free! People love the word. Love saying it, love hearing it. And with Shopify’s free 14-day trial, their visitors are going to be compelled to sign up. Best of all there’s no credit card required. That means you won’t be automatically charged once time runs out. It’s a powerful risk reversal (which as our Proven Sales Conversion Pack proves can help you convert 30% more) that’s bound to bring in loads more signups. 
  • Great Job at Hitting All the Major Pain Points – Last but not least, Shopify’s page does well at hitting the major pain points. First off, its main headline assures visitors that no matter what industry they’re in, Shopify can help them build a website. It also shows that the platform can support nearly every aspect of their business (selling, marketing, and managing). And finally, it hits on the pain point of not being tech savvy by pointing out that support is available 24/7, the app store integrates with tons of apps, and you can even hire a Shopify expert. The message here is clear: if you need help, Shopify can provide it. 

Where This Landing Page Example Could Improve

  • A Section That’s Just “Meh” – One problem in particular that stuck out to me was the section pictured below. The points covered here, I think, are pretty important. Shopify is great for every type of business: whether you’re just starting up, trying to bring things online, or are using another platform, Shopify is for you. But the section doesn’t do a great job of calling out these different user profiles. And beyond that, they also throw in the “Shopify Expert” section at the end, even though it’s more of a feature than a type of customer. A better way to present it would be to highlight customers’ businesses that have matched those profiles and seen success using Shopify.

  • A Few Frustrating Technical Details – First off, on my 15-inch MacBook Pro, the navigation bar reverts into a mobile version (see below). Now, this wouldn’t be too big of a deal if not for the fact that their navigation contains their primary CTA and follows you down the page. When it’s reverted into mobile though, that primary CTA disappears until you click the menu. Not good. Second, the pictures in the examples section are not hyperlinked to take you to the example page. Not a huge deal but it’s a small annoying blow to the user experience nonetheless. 

Normal Navigation

Vs

Navigation on 15-Inch Screen

Landing Page Example #4: Acorns’ Crisp (Although a Bit Impersonal) Landing Page

What Is It?

Okay, okay. So this one is cheating a bit. 

Because to be completely honest with you, Acorns isn’t a billion-dollar company. It’s an $870 million company. 

But hey, it’s pretty close. And it’s one of the best landing page examples we’ve seen. 

Acorns made a name for itself by giving its users the ability to invest small amounts of money into stocks and bonds. Doesn’t sound that special, right? 

Well, the Acorns difference is that the small amounts of money actually come from “roundups” where purchases made by a credit or debit card are rounded up to the nearest dollar. And the extra you pay goes straight into an investment account. 

Pretty neat. 

This landing page example is Acorns’ main sales page. 

What This Landing Page Example Does Right

  • Takes Advantage of Video – Acorns does a great job of including video on its main page too. True, this video is devoted primarily to selling a single feature (an Acorns’ branded debit card). But even still, it’s engaging, well-designed, and a snazzy addition to the page.

  • On-Page Pricing – This one gets an extra special callout because surprisingly, a lot of companies don’t put their pricing up front and center like this. For most, there’s an entirely different page (we do the same thing). Now, part of why this is a benefit then is that having the pricing on the main page like this is great for low risk products. This is because the low cost is actually a big selling point. Acorns’ plans start at just $1 per month—not that risky, right? But for higher-ticket items or services, you’ll likely want your pricing on its own dedicated page. 
  • Social Proof Is Ample (Though Not Highlighted) – This one’s a bit of a pro/con combination. As you may have noticed from the page, there’s quite a bit of social proof involved. There’s the “Join more than 7 million people” header of course but there’s also the entire “See what others have to say” section (pictured below). While this section contains tons of great PR from companies like The Wall Street Journal, Apple, and CNBC, there are no logos for speedy brand recognition and they’re way down the page. A simple vanity strip with the company logos would have been a great addition here. 

Where This Landing Page Example Could Improve

  • Design’s a Bit Cold – The design is sharp. It’s true. But it’s also a bit impersonal. As we’ve seen with other pages, using real life faces on your page is a great way to connect with your audience on a human level. You want to show real people using your product and ideally, enjoying themselves at the same time. But the only faces on Acorns’ landing page belong to people featured in their content section. 
  • Pricing Packages “Hide” What’s Included – The inclusion of the pricing packages is a great way to help sell the value of Acorns. But one thing I wasn’t a fan of was the fact that the differences between the packages were only visible from a dropdown menu (see below). The problem here is that visitors can’t immediately see the benefits of the higher priced tiers.

Landing Page Example #5: ZipRecruiter’s Highly Personable & Timely Page

What Is It?

ZipRecruiter is an online employment marketplace that uses AI technology to connect millions of employers and job seekers. 

They have 700+ employees around the world and in 2018, they were valued at $1.8 billion. 

This landing page example is from their main sales page. 

What This Landing Page Example Does Right

  • Clear Headline With Up-Front USP & CTA – One of the best things about ZipRecruiter is that it’s built to help anyone get a job. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you do, or what kind of background you have. They can help you. And right off the bat, their headline says just that: “Let’s Find Jobs for You — Any industry. Any location. Any experience level.” Plus, they stick the CTA (form fields to look for a position in a specific location) right under the headline. Well done here. 
  • Great “Humanity” Section w/ Video Testimonials – ZipRecruiter does a great job of connecting their brand with real people, particularly in the video testimonials section. The video does especially well at pointing out that these people aren’t actors (they don’t speak “perfectly”, they aren’t gorgeous movie stars, they’re just like us). Plus, they include people from lots of different backgrounds and professions (see below), from sales and HVAC to optometry and finance.

  • Entire Portion Dedicated to Current Events – This landing page actually has an entire section dedicated to how it has helped people recover from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic (which is on pretty much everyone’s mind right now). And while there’s a “Let’s Work Together” message at the top of the page, this section shows how ZipRecruiter is helping people during these times in a very practical way: they get you a job.

  • Lots of “You” Focused Language – Using plenty of “you” language is one of the best copywriting techniques to engage your audience. And with ZipRecruiter, a lot of the focus is on their customers. From the very first headline “Let’s Find Jobs for You” to the next section where “you” is used all over the place (pictured below), it’s clear that ZipRecruiter was using this type of language intentionally. And it’s paid off. 

Where This Landing Page Example Could Improve

  • Not Much in Terms of Features – How easy is it to create a profile? What about the 1-Tap Apply featured on other pages? Or the notifications where you can see when your application was actually viewed? And what exactly is your “smart matching technology” anyway? While I can understand the value of simplicity on their main page, including just a short section where some of these especially important features are highlighted could help make ZipRecruiter’s app stand out among the rest.
  • Let’s See the Stats – ZipRecruiter is without a doubt one of the world’s largest hiring platforms. And it’s true that there is a small vanity stat section “#1 Rated Job Search App”. But surely they could have included some more impressive numbers on their page too. How many positions have they helped fill? How many profiles have been created with them (which would be helpful particularly for employers)? How many new postings do they get each day? These types of stats would help bolster their image even more. 

Conclusion

Download the “5 Billion-Dollar Business Landing Pages You Can Copy to Grow” so you won’t forget to take action on it later. Click here to download it now.

So there you have it!

5 of the best landing page examples from billion-dollar businesses.

Some of the key takeaways from each that you can use to improve your landing pages include: 

  • Use social proof liberally (and don’t forget to throw in those smiling faces).
  • Vanity stats should be a standard part of your landing pages (people love big numbers). 
  • Employ you-focused copywriting techniques to help your visitors tie the benefits of your product back to them. 
  • Be sure to include FAQs, price anchoring, and risk reversals on your page. 
  • Don’t skimp on design: people love good looking pages and are drawn to watching video too. 

While most of these pages did a fantastic job of meeting visitor expectations and selling their products well, it’s important to also realize that there was room for improvement with each of them. 

And in the end, that means you get to learn from their mistakes and make your pages even better. 

Now, what are some of the best landing page examples you’ve seen from high-profile companies? What kinds of things do you think these pages did well or need to improve on? How have you implemented some of the lessons here into your own landing pages? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Keep AutoGrowin’, stay focused,

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When Brands Take a Stand, They Have to Be Able to Back it Up

Source: https://postfunnel.com/when-brands-take-a-stand-they-have-to-be-able-to-back-it-up/

The outrage and protests triggered by the police’s culpability in the death of George Floyd has prompted nearly all major brands to issue a statement on racial justice. While some are satisfied with getting that box checked, brands should be bracing for those who question their political stand, pointing out that talk is cheap when not backed by actual action.

One illustration of that came across in the surprisingly strong responses to Banana Republic’s Instagram posts. The brand first issued a statement on June 10:

That post got some attention, both positive and negative. Some were ticked off by the assumption of a political position for a clothing brand at all, and many others made it clear that they were not impressed by what they saw as mere lip service.

You can see similar responses to the equivalent message on the Gap Instagram post:

Responding to the comments

Though these brands didn’t respond to each comment on the platform, they clearly did note the reactions, at least the ones that demanded some level of accountability.

On June 17, Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, as well as Gap, Old Navy, and Althea, published the email it sent out to its employees, Our Commitments: A Culture of Belonging that indicates they are paying attention:

To those who have engaged in real talk with us and asked tough questions – in some cases, questions we did not have answers to – we are grateful. To those who shared feelings of isolation as the only black person on your team or instances where you felt you needed to conform to fit in – we hear you, we see you, and we are committed to change. It’s because of the honest and direct feedback, most especially from our Black employees, that we understand more deeply what it means to be an ally. We believe Black lives matter, and we are committed to doing more.

It continues with graphs of the breakdown of employees by race. What that shows is that while they can claim diversity in hiring, percentages for Black employees certainly do drop for leadership positions, which was a point raised in responses to another Instagram post.

 

The brand put up a follow-up post on June 19 that admitted they were working on fixing how they operate themselves.

As you can see from the capture above, it did garner 2,120 likes. But it also shows that among the comments are those who call out the brand for hypocrisy. And in light of the graphs that they shared on the posted email, it’s criticism worthy of attention.

The inside view is not so rosy

Viva.la.revolutionn:  I saw so much racism when I worked for y’all, from the store level up to my district managers across three different regions. After seeing a qualified (as in she was acting GM for over two years) Black woman passed up for the third time for a GM position (but of course having to train the white women that were hired instead of her) I quit.

The response it offered is typical of what you find from corporations when you complain about them on social media, “@viva.la.revolutionn Hi, thank you for reaching out. This goes directly against our values of inclusivity and diversity, and we won’t stand for that. Please send us a DM so we can look into this further.”

What’s interesting, though, is that the comment drew another comment from

travellingshell who corroborated that experience:

@viva.la.revolutionn I saw the same thing happen. As a manager I always did my best to support POC and help to get them opportunities, but I faced opposition from store manager and above. They would say things like, “the candidate needs to work on how they speak and be more professional”. When pushing back for specific examples, they could never give any. Even after reporting, nothing changed. I hope BR/Gap will begin to listen and do better!”

Along similar lines, bobbylewis701 commented:

Tangible difference is what matters. As many extremely talented people of color there are in the fashion industry, these folks should permeate every level of your business including management and obviously, design. If you make it happen, THAT will be real.

Of course, social media comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but it sheds light on how complex the issue of brands’ communication is when it comes to that sort of matter.

What’s in a name?

Aside from the concerns about what the company is actually doing, there are those who point out that its core brand identity is problematic, given the associations with the name.  Accordingly, lollllwowww suggests:

Maybe change your name for a start. It’s literally the description of a nation that was exploited by the United States. Banana Republic is entirely rooted in a destructive and deeply damaging state of colonialism that robbed nations of their valuable resources resulting in stolen economic growth.

That sentiment was echoed by natalianourani, “Time to change your name then. Start funding communities in banana republics such as Honduras, Guatemala and Costa Rica.”

In fact, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, and many more are re-branding in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Will Gap Inc. follow the trend?

What about your workers?

More than one comment raises the question of fair wages:

Have you paid your garment workers for post-pandemic cancelled orders yet!? if not, when will you #payup? It would be nice to hear ways in which you are going to be listening to and supporting your garment workers, and providing them with not only a living wage, but a wage that is fairly distributed and in line with your business worth? Equality and respect needs to run throughout the whole of your business, not just the part of the business you show on social media!!

I’d also like to know the answer to this. Where are your primary factories, how much are your workers paid? How much is the cost of living in those locations?

Some also ask about working conditions.

Directing customers to the longer story

Interestingly, the company has not sent out a response to these concerns under the Banana Republic brand name yet, though it did send one out under the Old Navy division of Gap on June 20.

That email had the subject line, “Because Black lives matter, and this is what we stand for.” It offers a summation of and a link to the email published on June 17, referred to above. It ends on this hopeful note:

Now is our chance to write the next 50 years – a future that we and the next generations can all be proud of.

We are relying on all of you to keep sharing your thoughts and asking the hard questions. We’ll set aside some time in the coming week to continue this conversation. We also want to acknowledge the importance of Juneteenth this Friday and will share more information on our Intranet about how you and your teams can use this day to listen, learn, educate and activate as we all move toward positive change. Together we can do more, and we will.

Will the brand customers buy it? Some may, perhaps, especially if it’s a brand they already shop with as they will want to find reasons to stick with it. In that sense, they’ll likely see the company’s stated commitments as demonstrating good faith. We can hope, though, that not everything is the result of a precondition status or identity, and that a genuine, diverse discussion will prevail.

The post When Brands Take a Stand, They Have to Be Able to Back it Up appeared first on Post Funnel.

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Editing Audio Glitches In Web Recordings

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheWebinarBlog/~3/-qs5Z2sxfQI/thewebinarblog~Editing-Audio-Glitches-In-Web-Recordings.html

I just created an introductory-level video describing a particular class of audio glitches that frequently show up in digital audio streams on the web. You may hear these digital artifacts in webinars, webcasts, or podcasts where presenters speak over a computer microphone.

I made the video as non-technical as I could. Networking specialists and audio engineers will cringe at some of my half-explanations and oversimplifications of concepts. I also allowed some of my demonstration edits to remain imperfect for the sake of brevity.

If you are reading this in a feed that allows the embedded video to play, you can watch it here (it is less than 12 minutes long):

Otherwise you can click this link to play the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/T8GycwnAOFc

For those who want to dig a little deeper, here are a few extra insights and amplifications on things I glossed over in the video:

  1. The types of audio glitches I highlight are NOT caused by the recording process. You will hear them in the live session as well.
  2. It is practically impossible to track down the root cause when you hear these things in a live session. It could be buffering and congestion on your side of the chain as a listener, it could be a major network problem upstream from the speaker. But the MOST common problem is temporary and intermittent congestion or signal degradation on the speaker’s home wireless internet. This can pop up at any time in a session, even when things sounded great earlier. You can help reduce the chance of it occurring by having speakers devote as much network bandwidth as possible to their webcasting/recording session. Have them turn off email, web browsers, instant messenger, and make sure that nobody else in the house is doing things on the internet (especially no movie watching or video conferencing). The safest thing of all is to hardwire your computer to your router with an Ethernet cable.
  3. Once you start chasing these things down in a post-production edit, it can drive you crazy and use up your life. You can spend five minutes on a one-second glitch. Multiply that by the number of them you can find in a one-hour recording, and it gets hard to cost-justify or time-justify the work.

Anyway, I hope you found it interesting and educational. Feel free to ask additional questions in the blog post comments.

 

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