The Rules of Effective Copywriting

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ducttapemarketing/nRUD/~3/5k6UvPwWtMo/

The Rules of Effective Copywriting written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Joanna Wiebe

I’m back at it again with another episode featuring a copywriter who just happens to think that effective storytelling is effective copywriting.

joanna-wiebeMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Joanna Wiebe. Wiebe is co-founder of Copy Hackers, a website dedicated to helping marketers boost website and email conversion rates. She is also co-founder of Airstory, where she helps writers write better and faster.  She and I talk about the art of copywriting and how it can be used to increase engagement.

Wiebe is the original conversion copywriter. She helps startups use their words so people fall in love with them, flood them in cash, and tell all their friends about them. Wiebe can be found speaking at numerous conferences, helping top businesses optimize their copy and working with researchers to test “wild ‘n’ crazy ideas.”

Questions I ask Joanna Wiebe:

  • Has the art of copywriting changed in the last decade?
  • How do you make email more engaging?
  • What is Airstory?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to effectively use copy to generate results
  • How storytelling can improve conversion
  • Why testing and targeting are the keys to success

Learn more about Joanna Wiebe and Copy Hackers here. To learn more about Airstory, click here.

This week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by magicJack for BUSINESS, trusted by a quarter million small businesses. Reliable phone service at an incredible price: plans from just $14.99/month per line – flat. Get two months FREE service when you sign up at magicjackforbusiness.com/ducttape. The first 100 listeners will receive a FREE IP phone for every line (each an $85 value)!

Stop Building Traffic, and Start Converting It. Here’s How

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/YPkqB70J5iw/

I’ll let you in on a little marketing secret.

In the grand scheme of things, building massive amounts of traffic doesn’t really matter. What matters is converting that traffic.

Everyone talks about building traffic. That’s fine, but it’s not the end of the story. If you don’t convert your traffic, building it is pointless.

Building traffic is like building a shopping mall. You can easily get people to come through the doors, but if you have only a few lackluster stores, none of those people will turn into customers. You have to give them a reason to stay.

I’ve seen tons of sites fail miserably because they didn’t convert their traffic. A site can have the best idea in the world, but if it doesn’t focus on conversion, it’ll flop.

Funnily enough, that’s what happened to me with my first website experience.

The first site I ever built was a job board called Advice Monkey. I spent over $5,000 to create it and hired three lousy marketing firms. In the end, I learned how to market it myself, but the site still failed because it wasn’t set up to take payments.

Had I spent less time marketing and more time optimizing the site for conversions, the site would have done much better. Sure, I probably wouldn’t have made millions, but I would’ve converted more of my traffic and made more than $0.

Take a lesson from me: don’t worry much about getting people through the doors while forgetting to build the stores.

Here’s how to take all that traffic you worked so hard to build and successfully convert it.

Getting the right mindset

I firmly believe that conversion is an attitude, not just an action. It takes focus and dedication. You have to internalize your goals until they’re second nature.

I realize this sounds a little philosophical, but stay with me. You need to see conversion as more than just a bunch of numbers. Why? If you become obsessed with converting, you’ll fail.

Here’s an example. Say you’re hyper-focused on converting. You include a few popups and some social buttons, and before long, your site looks like this:

image04

Okay, it’s probably not that bad. But you get the idea.

It’s easy to go overboard, and I get that. But as Social Triggers’s Derek Halpern points out, going too far can actually become your conversion rate’s worst enemy.

You should definitely focus on conversion, but don’t get a death grip on it. Conversion is a long-term strategy, not a short-term win.

Now that you’ve understood the conversion mindset, let’s take a look at how to convert all your traffic.

Publish the right content

If I had to pick a favorite form of marketing, it’d be content marketing.

Great content is wildly powerful. The converse is true too: horrible content is wildly destructive.

In fact, your blog can (and will) fail if you get the content wrong. If you create too much content, you’ll fail. If you create content that’s not relevant to your readers, you’ll fail.

So it’s imperative you get the content right.

First, you have to decide on the type of content you’ll provide. There are many options to choose from: blog posts, webinars, and podcasts, to name a few.

How do you know which type of content is right for you? You have to know your audience. I know my readers are looking for thorough guides, and that’s one of the many reasons I use blog posts.

On the other hand, there are people like Tim Ferriss who use podcasts as their medium of choice.

image02

Tim knows his audience loves interviews with experts, and that’s what he gives them.

The lesson: Study your audience until you know them as well as you know your friends. Find out what type of content they respond to the most.

You also have to get the length right. I’ve found that longform content works best. You might be surprised to know that 3000+ word blog posts get more traffic than shorter posts.

Make conversion easy (but not annoying)

If you want people to convert, you need to make that process easy. If your readers love your content but can’t find an easy way to sign up for your list or buy your product, you’ll lose out.

There are a few elements you have to get right if you want to boost your conversion rate:

1. Make an irresistible offer

First things first: If your offer itself doesn’t amaze your readers, you’ll get zero conversions.

To create an irresistible offer, you have to know what your readers want. Delve into your psychographics to find out what drives your audience and why they behave the way they do.

SumoMe’s blog post called “The Definitive Guide to Content Upgrades” adds a sweet offer:

image05

Everyone who’s reading this post wants to learn more about content upgrades, so SumoMe offers a free e-book. It’s specific, relevant, and valuable.

On the other hand, if your offer is not specific, relevant, or valuable, your readers will have no reason to take you up on it. Don’t beat around the bush with general offers like a cheat sheet on being a better marketer. Your offer should be targeted specifically to your readers.

When you’re working on creating an irresistible offer, make sure it’s specific, relevant, and valuable. Your offers build the foundation on which you’ll build your conversion.

2. CTAs (calls-to-action)

If your CTAs are boring, your conversion rate will be low.

One of the best ways to write a great CTA is to be specific. “Buy now” could refer to anything, but “download your free e-book” reminds the reader what they’re getting.

Your CTA needs copy that’s exciting. It should feel like you’re inviting the reader on an adventure. It should not feel like you’re selling something.

Optimizely uses a straightforward and effective CTA:

image01

There’s no hard sell here. It’s an invitation to test out the software free. Plus, it’s a breeze to fill out.

Design matters too. Your CTA needs to be highly visible so people can find it and click it. It’s so simple, right? But many blogs get this wrong.

Brian Dean from Backlinko uses a yellow box for his CTAs:

image03

The yellow box works because your eye is naturally drawn to it. For Brian, that means higher conversion rates.

Find out what your yellow box is. Don’t forget to A/B test to figure out what’s working the best (and what you should ax).

Put in the time and effort to create an eye-catching CTA that engages your readers, and you’ll be rewarded.

3. Popups

Quiz time: How are popups like Justin Beiber?

As Hunter Boyle of Aweber puts it,

You either love ‘em, or hate ‘em, but lately you see ‘em everywhere—because they still pull in big crowds.

You might find popups annoying, but they work wonders. We successfully used popups on Kissmetrics to double our conversion rate.

Popups play a vital role in converting your traffic, but you shouldn’t go overboard. By tastefully using popups, you can skyrocket your conversion rate.

First, you need to decide which type(s) of popups to use. The days of random popups are gone. Instead, opt for triggered popups.

Let’s talk about two of my favorite types of popups:

  1. exit intent overlays
  2. scroll-triggered scrollboxes.

You’re probably familiar with exit intent popups that appear when your mouse moves to close the tab. An exit intent overlay is a full-screen popup that appears when a user gets ready to leave the site.

Smartblogger uses an exit intent overlay with a cunning strategy:

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This popup immediately engages the reader. Instead of being presented with just one option, you get two. And one of them has to be applicable to you. At the very least, it raised your eyebrows, right?

And here’s the best part: There are two different lead magnets for the two answers.

You don’t have to copy this popup, but I hope it gets you thinking about using exit intent popups. They perform well, but you have to put the work in.

Next up is scroll-triggered scrollboxes. These are the little boxes that pop up on the lower right-hand side of the screen. Usually, these popups appear after you’ve scrolled down the page.

For example, when you scroll to the bottom of any Crazy Egg post (like this one), you’ll see this:

image00

These are great because they’re not intrusive. They take up a small amount of real estate, and they’re far less annoying than random popups that cover up half the screen.

The most important takeaway here is that popups should not distract from the user experience of your site visitors. Don’t cover up the content or make closing the popup difficult. Respect your readers.

Conclusion

You’re probably drawing in plenty of traffic.

Remember, however: what matters most is what you’re doing with that traffic.

Create an irresistible offer, and make it accessible to your visitors. People are willing to check out your offer, but it has to be worth their time. So, add as much value to your offer as possible.

I won’t lie. Conversion optimization isn’t a walk in the park. But it pays off.

And if you nail conversion, you’ll have a bunch of satisfied customers in no time.

What are your biggest problems with converting traffic?

Data Studio: DoubleClick Campaign Manager Connector

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/lodpB8YmQAQ/data-studio-doubleclick-campaign.html

Google Data Studio (beta) allows users to connect, transform, visualize, and share data no matter where it lives. Today we are happy to announce that DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM) customers can pull their data into Data Studio dashboards instantly!

With this new connector, DCM customers no longer need to import data into spreadsheets. Users can now quickly create dashboards with over 50 DCM metrics and dimensions. These dashboards are an effective way to track and optimize campaign performance and share reports with client and agency stakeholders.

Creating a new report with DCM data
Ready to get started? The first step is to connect to your DCM network or advertiser through the Data Sources page.

Next you can create a new report from scratch or use our DCM template. With just a few clicks, the dashboard is populated with your data.

Want to learn more? Looking for a new connector in Data Studio?

To learn more about the new DCM connector, please visit our Help Center or post your questions in the Data Studio community forums.

Is there a specific data service you wish to be able to access and visualize through Data Studio? We welcome your feedback via the connector feedback form — we read all responses and use them to prioritize new connectors.

Happy reporting!

The Data Studio team

How To Be A Subject Matter Expert When You Don’t Know The Topic

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/Hyz0_FVVmf4/

subject matter expert

Copywriters and content marketers are often required to write about industries or topics they know little about. This can make it a challenge to position your company or client as an authoritative industry voice. You may have strong marketing chops, but what if you’re not an expert on your company’s niche? Knowing what you’re talking about is imperative to your success. Passionate audiences can smell fakes, and they won’t hesitate to let you know when you miss the mark. Fortunately, you aren’t the first intrepid wordsmith to find yourself in this situation. Others in the same position have succeeded. And…

The post How To Be A Subject Matter Expert When You Don’t Know The Topic appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Optimizing Marketing Resources – What to Automate and What Your Team Needs to Handle

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ducttapemarketing/nRUD/~3/B99Va8D_zHU/

Optimizing Marketing Resources – What to Automate and What Your Team Needs to Handle written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When you work in a small marketing department with a shoestring budget, you’re often faced with the dilemma of paying for automation or investing hours in managing the work internally.

Through my years in various marketing roles, I’ve gotten lucky and also learned the hard way about which processes should and should not be automated. The takeaway: growth has to be achieved through a various mix of human power and automated tools.

My team manages our work by being clear about what we do by hand, what’s better managed by the host of marketing tools at our disposal, and then reviewing our decisions when we reset our goals.

So, here’s the skinny.

Email: 100% Automate

Optimizing Marketing Resources - What to Automate and What Your Team Needs to Handle

The only thing you, as a marketer, should be focused on is getting the most out of each channel you’re using. Email is no different. If you have more than 100 customers, you should be automating your transactional and marketing emails.

Email is an incredibly important part of your business’s customer activation and retention funnels, so I don’t recommend cutting corners here. By some measures, it’s 40 times more effective than any social channel.

Writing email copy and subject lines and testing their relative effectiveness at every turn improves ROI, the mundane admin work behind running these campaigns does not.

Mail providers will handle all of your A/B testing, email design, delivery time optimization and opt-outs. Additionally, most of the players in the game today offer user-event based segmentation, which is a necessity for companies doing growth hacking.

My advice is to research email providers and find one that is going to fit your needs as you continue to grow, and don’t be shy about switching up providers when necessary. I’ve also found that email providers are willing to bargain with you over price a little more than other marketing SaaS companies.

For the price and feature offering, I’ve always been fond of Customer.io. They make the process of setting up automatically triggered transactional emails simple and without the need for back-end logic. I also really like Customer.io’s reliance on a template-based system for email creation, which makes collaboration easier. The dashboard doesn’t stink either.

Press: Keep it Human

One thing I cannot stress enough is the importance of getting a rock star PR person on your team.

Securing local and national press coverage for your product or service should be a top priority for your growth strategy. Besides the cost of a press manager’s salary, getting media mentions is a low-cost acquisition channel that can have a huge return.

Outsourcing media relations to an agency or paying a press distribution service will not cut it. The news cycle is too fast and media too annoyed with incoming press releases that stink. You need someone in-house who knows your business like the back of their hand and is eager to craft media pitches to get featured, preferably someone who understands the pressures of reporting and small outlets.

I’ve seen a single national press mention bring in the same amount of sales in one day that general marketing efforts bring in a month.

Invest in an eager, savvy, connected person to lead your press outreach efforts and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. It’s like Christmas when a big mention lands and you start seeing the site traffic spike.

Customer Persona Building and Target Customer Research – Automate Data Collection and Analyze with Humans

Optimizing Marketing Resources - What to Automate and What Your Team Needs to Handle

In addition to growing the business, it’s also the marketing team’s job to know whom you should be selling to in the first place.

One of the best ways to determine whom you should be targeting is by talking with already satisfied customers, and recent cancellations.

If you work for a SaaS company or sell online, you’re in the lucky group because you most likely have an email address and possibly phone numbers for customers. If you know how to get in contact with your customers, you can schedule interviews with them and also perform net promoter score surveys.

Here, I recommend using tools to collect information and then pass it to your team, who follow up. Basically, the team needs the direct insight from the customer. Interviewing allows you to hear how customers describe your product and what words they use- hello AdWords keywords.

If you outsource the interviews, you’re missing out on valuable customer insights.

If you sell through retailers, or not directly to customers, collecting contact info and building relationships with them is much more difficult.

Services like BrandLoop help companies connect with their customers who do not buy directly. They make product registrations mobile and allow customers to use Facebook single-sign-on to register their purchases. This helps retailers open another communication channel with their customers they didn’t have before.

Additionally, allowing customers to register from their phones has been proven to increase registration rates by as much as 80%. 

Analytics – Outsource Measurement, Assess with Human Rigor

Sure, I like a good spreadsheet, but pulling all the data I need from Google Analytics and Mixpanel, that’s not the best use of my time. Still, I need accurate, updated customer segments, monthly recurring revenue, conversion rates, unique traffic figures and more.

Thanks to the marvels of marketing tools, I don’t have to, so I don’t. Yes, some of these services will require a little Javascript, but they’ll save you hours once they’re deployed.

I highly recommend using Segment.io and Mixpanel for event-based metrics. If you have a mobile app, I’ve always been happy with App Annie premium and also SensorTower.

Next, it’s up to your team to determine what all that data means for your funnel.

Don’t forget that the suite of metrics you’re collecting should include an absolute quantity and a rate to ensure you hit your goals.


About the Author

Mike HouriganMike Hourigan is the Director of Marketing for Shoeboxed, a receipt digitization company used by over one million small businesses worldwide. He also serves as a digital marketing consultant and advisor. Mike is a die-hard UNC Tar Heel fan and a sucker for good documentaries.

Rethinking Marketing Measurement from the Ground Up

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/Bf9NscOvB30/rethinking-marketing-measurement-from.html

From the moment smartphones touched human hands, they began to change how people interact with brands. It happened slowly at first … but today 91 percent of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a task.1
Consumers expect more of marketers now. They expect brands to answer their questions and deliver the exact experiences they want at the moments they need to know, go, do, or buy things. They expect this across all screens and all touch points, over hundreds of interactions on their journeys.
This means there are three questions marketers should be asking:
  1. Is our brand useful to consumers at every touch point?
  2. How can we measure our usefulness?
  3. How can we be even more useful tomorrow?
To deliver, enterprise marketers need a new approach to measurement that shows them the entire customer journey and lets them see what’s working at each step along the way. The problem is that many of our measurement tools and metrics were created for a desktop world at a time when marketing focused on channel performance.
Today we need an understanding of our audiences across devices and channels. That means taking into account the impact of mobile online and offline, quickly spotting insights, and trying new ways to provide better customer experiences.
Breaking Down the Data Silos
A car shopper today can have hundreds of digital interactions — or in this case 900-plus interactions — before buying. Each one of those moments is an opportunity for a brand to be useful. And each one leaves its own data trail.
But companies that look at data channel by channel, in a silo, can miss the forest for the trees. We need to break down measurement and strategy silos and create an integrated view of the consumer’s journey. It’s likely you have found yourself in a debate with colleagues about metrics and campaign results and thought, “It’s not about what matters to channel X — we need to zoom out to see the whole picture and do what’s best for our customers.”
The truth is that the future of enterprise measurement depends on people and departments, tools and systems, all talking to each other and sharing insights in real time about what customers want most.
From Silos to Synthesis
So if we know that one session and one click doesn’t tell the full story … and if we want to connect consumer behavior dots over time … where do we start? The best place is with the classic question “What outcomes are we trying to achieve?” But then instead of saying “How do we reach our goals?” let’s ask: “How do we measure success?”
Key performance indicators (KPIs) have to reflect the new objectives of the mobile-first world. Marketers who link their metrics to business results are three times more likely to hit revenue goals than those who don’t, according to a Forrester report.2
And while more data is always great, what marketers really need are more insights. That’s why the question “What’s working?” is so crucial. If that car buyer sees a TV commercial for a small sedan or pickup truck and searches for reviews and mileage ratings on his or her mobile phone, watches videos about special features, visits a dealer for a test-drive, and then finally buys a month later, marketers must find a way to bridge the gaps between TV airings and search lift, and display ads and video views, to see where the real influence happened.
How much credit should mobile get? How many touch points were there? Marketers need to know. And if the gaps can’t be filled perfectly, we should get comfortable with new proxies that will give us a sturdy estimate instead.
Marketers, Mobile, and Tomorrow
Evolution is a good thing, even if measuring in new ways can be awkward at first. Measurement and marketing go hand in hand — both have to keep pace with the vastly rising expectations of mobile-first consumers. Discomfort means you’re working to stay ahead.
So, take stock of what you measure and how you measure. Ask if those KPIs account for all the ways consumers may engage with your brand. If not, ask yourself why you’re measuring them in the first place. Focus on the outcomes you want and map your new metrics back to your strategy.
Smartphones have already changed how people interact with brands, and they’ll surely alter those interactions even more in years to come. We can’t predict how. But we can say that the brands that measure the results of those changes first will have a major edge over those that don’t. Measurement isn’t what happens at the end; it’s where the smarter and more successful future begins.
Download “Measuring Marketing Insights,” a collection of Harvard Business Review Insight Center articles, to read more about best practices and case studies on enterprise marketing and analytics.
A version of this article first appeared as sponsor content on HBR.org in August 2016.
1Source: Google/Ipsos, “Consumers in the Micro-Moment” study, March 2015.
2Source: Forrester, “Discover How Marketing Analytics Increases Business Performance,” March 2016