Stagnation can be scary.
You took the business from 0 users to 500, 2000, 5000… then growth starts stalling. Existing users are leaving. New ones are barely signing up. And you know ‘no growth’ is quite tantamount to ‘dying’. What do you do? Do you need a new marketing strategy? Is there a problem with the product? Did you suddenly drop in the SERPs?
Growth stalls can occur for a number of different reasons. It could be:

  • New competition
  • Economic downturns
  • Customer service problems
  • Government policy changes
  • Evolving consumers
  • Etc.

But regardless of why your growth has stagnated, what’s most important is how you bounce back, and that’s why today, we’ll be looking at 4 accessible growth hacking techniques you can use to kickstart your business out of a funk.

1. Check For New “Wow” Factors In Your Industry

New entrants or existing competitors often come up with new features your products don’t have. And many times these features become the “wow factors” in your industry. But many companies ignore these factors and fall prey to growth stalls.
A study on the growth experiences of a number of top organizations reveals that a cycle of disdain, denial and rationalization keeps many teams from responding meaningfully to market changes.
But instead of ignoring these competitor-induced changes, adjusting your product ASAP may be your best bet to sustaining growth in any industry. That is, you look at those “wow factors” and learn from them. That’s what your prospects want. If you don’t give them what they want, they will move on to wherever they can get it, and your business will plateau.
Take Windows PC vendors, for example. They enjoyed the vast majority of market share for many years. From 2006 to 2013, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Dell, Asus, and Toshiba kept occupied the top 5 spots for personal computer sales.

PC sales market share

PC sales market share – Image source


Apple was barely even in the picture during those years, and the all of sudden, they snatched the 5th spot in 2014 and have held the spot ever since. Why? They identified two wow factors in their space – design and simplicity – and leveraged those factors to quickly gain market share.
Competitors caught on and adapted, and now you can find many different PC vendors offering products with Mac-inspired designs and features.
Mac-inspired design

Mac-inspired design – Image source


See how they all look like Macbooks?

Describing HP’s strategy to keep its growth and market share amidst all the improvements in Macbooks, the team at Trefis — a financial advisory firm — said “…we believe HP has taken some prudent steps such as the launch of new advanced thin clients at lower prices, to ensure that it maintains its market share.”
But obviously, HP isn’t the only PC brand protecting its share of the market from Apple. Other PC manufacturers that have withstood the test of time understand that looking out for wow factors and adapting to market changes keeps them relevant and in business.
If you are experiencing stagnation in your business, it might be time to adjust. Look at the fastest growing business in your space, and see what you can learn from them.

2. Try Something Different

Growth doesn’t always come from genius. Sometimes all it takes is common sense. If you’ve been doing the exact same thing, but it’s stopped working, it might be time to simply try something new.
 
For example, PPC agency KlientBoost had spent over a year investing heavily in content marketing. They had pulled in some of the most prolific authors in the marketing space and were churning out well-received articles on a regular basis, but at the end of the day, their strategy wasn’t bringing in leads.
They decided to change things up and doubled the length of all their content, producing 3,000-4,000 word blog posts instead of the usual 1,500-2,000, and over the next year, the company ballooned from $100k MRR to $300k MRR.

You don’t always know if a new strategy will pan out. But guess what? You know EXACTLY how your current strategy is performing. If it’s not working, try something new.

3. Maximize Every Available Resource

 
Is there anything available to you that you aren’t taking advantage of?
Does your friend have a column on Entrepreneur.com, but you’ve never taken the time to work out a post featuring your business?
Does your quarterly webinar perform well, but you just haven’t bothered to invest in setting up more webinars?
Do you know Facebooks ads work really well in your industry, but you just haven’t gotten around to setting up a campaign yet?
These types of available resources are fine to ignore when business is growing and other strategies are working, but when growth is stagnating, it’s time to maximize these resources before you even consider looking elsewhere.
One example of this in action comes from Benji Hyam of Grow & Convert, who took notice of how poorly Airbnb was utilizing its blog:

“You see, to my surprise, when I went to the Airbnb blog recently, I saw the typical self-serving brand related content that most companies put out. You know what I’m talking about…”

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These same posts could have been used as a tool to drive brand awareness and growth for Airbnb — if they were on topics that would attract new Airbnb users. But they weren’t. However, Airbnb now seems to have recognized the value their blog can bring and have more recently begun publishing the types of content Benji suggested.
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This is an example of a company maximizing an available resource.
Look around. What resources are you currently failing to fully utilize? What has worked for you in the past but you never followed up?

4. Entertain EVERYONE’S Ideas

When growth is stagnating, it’s time to start listening to the people you don’t normally listen to – the people who AREN’T driving your current marketing direction.
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Different people in your company bring different skills to the table. Engineers understand your product. Salespeople understand persuasion. Customer services reps know exactly what’s on your customers’ minds.
Instead of hunkering down on the same-old, same-old, look to bring in new perspectives and insights. Listen to everyone willing to offer feedback. Creativity is not exclusive to the field of marketing or growth hacking.
Navalent Ron Carucci puts it this way: “Too often, we think of creativity as an individual pursuit. However, the Latin roots of the word “creative” — which describe a social, communal experience — reveal a fundamental truth: Creativity is founded upon collaboration.”
Collaboration is one of the best possible ways to kickstart growth.

Growth Stagnation Doesn’t Have To Be Permanent

Stagnating growth is nearly impossible to avoid, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. As your marketing strategies begin to decline in ROI, use these 4 simple growth hacking techniques to kickstart growth and resume your climb.
 
Victor Ijidola is a content marketer and freelance business writer (for hire). He runs Premium Content Shop where he offers premium writing services that drive leads, and has been featured on sites like Inc.com, The Next Web, Kissmetrics and many more.

What’s the first thing visitors see when they come to your site?

If the answer isn’t a promotional video, you are probably missing out on a sizable chunk of conversions.

In addition the broad trend of increased video consumption – projected to reach 80% of all web traffic by 2019 – promotional videos in particular are having a significant impact on conversion rates across multiple industries. The addition of promo videos has led to 300% conversion increases in email blasts, 80% boosts on landing pages, and 20% improvements on ads.

But most importantly, users are 64% more likely, on average, to purchase a product after watching a related video.

Of course, not all promotional videos are created equal, so today, we’ll be looking at 5 essential qualities the highest converting videos tend to have in common.

1. They Get Straight to The Point

For most new website visitors, you only have one chance to make a killer first impression. In fact, Diode Digital discovered that 60% of visitors will watch your pomo video before reading any site text and will even share their experience when you present them with a “share this video” button. Even more encouraging, Invodo reports that 92% of mobile video viewers share video. So not only will a solid promo video help with conversions, it can benefit your inbound marketing efforts as well.

This suggest that users are likely to begin watching your promo video, but for how long?

Studies on internet browsing show that the average attention span of browsers in 2015 was 8.25 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. Another study done by Vidyard concluded that if you didn’t gain your audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds, you would lose 20-25% of your viewers.

What this means for you is that the first 10 seconds of your video are critical. You can’t waste time setting up a payoff. You need to get straight to the point.

And this urgency doesn’t just apply to the first few seconds. You can’t afford to waste time at any point in your promo video. According to Wistia, optimal video length is around 2 minutes. Beyond two minutes, there is a significant drop-off in engagement.

Wistia graph on video engagement over time

Wistia graph on video engagement over time

If for some reason 2 minutes just isn’t going to cut it, you can go up to 12 minutes without seeing the next dropoff in engagement. The most important thing here is the video itself. If you’re holding people’s attention, you can go longer without losing as many viewers. If your video sucks, keeping it to two minutes isn’t going to magically make it effective.

2. They Have Higher Production Quality

With shorter attention spans and a rising volume of videos being made, companies need to make sure that their videos meet a competitive level of production quality.

We have all seen low production quality videos. They sound like garbage. The camerawork is shaky. The editing (if there is any) is about the quality you’d expect from home movies. To increase conversions you have to capture your audience’s attention and nothing says “don’t buy from me” like a low quality promo video.

So what can you do to increase video production quality?

Obviously, the camera you use is important, but with the quality of smartphone cameras these days, virtually everyone has access to a camera that meets the cut for video quality. For our purposes, we are going to focus more on three areas that are often overlooked.

  1. Sound
  2. Lighting
  3. Framing

If you don’t do a good job in these three areas, even a $5,000 camera won’t be enough to save your video.

Sound Quality

For recording videos where a subject will be speaking to the camera, you should purchase a lapel microphone. Lapel mics attach directly to the subject’s clothing, making it an ideal choice for recording interview-style footage. These mics will help make the audio more crisp and focused while also reducing sound interference from unwanted sources.

lapel mics don't have to be expensive

lapel mics don’t have to be expensive

As you can see, these types of mics can be required relatively cheaply, but you’ll want to do your research to find out what you need for your shoot.

Lighting

Proper lighting is another essential component of making high quality promo videos. You don’t want your footage to be under or over exposed, so setting up lights will eliminate any unwanted shadows. Even the most basic lighting set up in a production will make a huge difference on set. The three point lighting technique (shown below) is well known in the video production world and is probably the most versatile lighting technique.

3 point lighting technique

3 point lighting technique

  1. The key light is the main light in the video and is used to help light the subject of the video. Typically the key light is placed offset to the side of the camera as shown in the diagram above.
  2. The fill light is considered a secondary light and is almost always placed on the opposite side of the key light. The purpose of the fill light it to fill the shadows casted by the key light.
  3. The back light somewhat speaks for itself in that it is the light that is placed on the back of the subject you are shooting. It aids in distinguishing the subject from the background of the scene and gives them more of a three-dimensional look on camera.

Lighting is one of the biggest differentiators between professional and amateur videos, so even just using this basic technique of three point lighting will improve your video production’s quality immensely.

Video Framing

The rule of thirds is a critical building block to the rules of high quality video composition. It is a simple technique to apply to your video setup that will make a big difference with no extra effort.

To apply this technique, mentally draw a tic-tac-toe board across your screen, like you see below.

The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds

Now try to keep the subject and other points of attention along those lines. The positioning is pleasing to the eye and allows the viewer to observe the background as well. Like lighting, it’s something you might not be aware of unless you’re looking for it, but if you compare a professional video and an amateur video side by side, it will immediately jump out at you.

3. They Make Your Brand Likeable

Written communication is extremely limited. With video, you have a chance to tap into the non-verbals that are so important to communication.

That can be both a blessing and a curse, however, as it means you must be aware of the more subtle vibes you are sending out in your videos. The buying process, as you know, is not always a rational process. At the end of the day, people trust and buy from people and brands they like. And while it’s difficult to put a metric to likability, in most cases, you still need to achieve it.

Fortunately, the likeability standard doesn’t require rocket science to achieve. Sometimes all it takes is a genuine smile. A split test conducted by Wishpond showed a 10.7% increase in profits when their ad showed someone smiling versus someone not smiling. That’s a huge increase for such a small change. While natural smiles are not always easy to pull off, especially if you are trying to make videos with non-actors, having the participants relax and watch funny videos pre-shoot can help.

Everybody loves a smile

Everybody loves a smile

4. They Explain The Product & It’s Value

Educating potential visitors through video is one of the best conversion techniques out there. In fact, 98% of users say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.That is why 45% of businesses who use video marketing said that they have an explainer video on their home page. Of those businesses, 83% said that their home page explainer video was effective.

When making an explainer video, try to follow this structure:

  1. Identify the problem that your product or service is trying to solve for your customers
    • What are they struggling with? What are their pain points?
    • Aim to highlight them in the first sentence of the video as a question. This sets the tone and grabs their attention. Immediately follow up with 2 other questions to really hook them in the first 8 seconds.
  2. Build the need for your product or service
    • How will the product make a difference?
    • Introduce who you are, why you are credible, and why you have created your product or service.
  3. Present the solution
    • How specifically does it solve their problems? What can they expect after purchasing?
    • Tell them about your product or service and highlight the end results.
    • What benefits does each element of the product give them? Break it down piece by piece so they understand the full value.
  4. Create a sense of urgency
    • What will they miss out on if the don’t buy it immediately? What will they gain from buying immediately?
    • Outline why solving their problems sooner than later will make their life better. This will prevent them from bouncing after the video and compel them to purchase.

5. They End With A Clear CTA

The video is over and your viewer watched the entire thing, congratulations!

Now what?

This is where you prompt the viewer to take action. They have demonstrated a clear interest in the video (otherwise they would have bounced after 15 seconds) so now you need to give a clear call-to-action (CTA). A recent study by Quick Sprout showed that conversion rates increased by 144% when you showed a CTA after the video.

Since they are already on your website, you likely want to get them to either purchase or opt-in so you can place them into a funnel. This process should be as simple and straightforward as possible.

One way to add a CTA is to prominently display it outside the video. The key here is that it needs to be be obvious and clearly connected with the video itself.

CTA to the side of the video

CTA to the side of the video.

Another option is to actually overlay the CTA on the video itself.

CTA overlay

CTA overlay

 

Summary

A promotional video can be a huge asset to your business, and if you haven’t considered making one before, you should definitely re-evaluate.

Remember that you can always outsource various pieces of the process if fully outsourcing is too expensive, but you don’t feel capable of doing everything yourself. Remember to invest in a competitive level of production quality, be authentic, get to the point, try to be likeable, and add a clear call to action that is simple for your viewers to follow. That recipe alone will put you light years ahead of your competition.

Have you tried running a promo video before? Tell us about your results in the comments.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Learn how to advertise top-of-the-funnel content (Tofu) with this Facebook ads guide. Use retargeting to increase conversion rates and build trust with your audience.

Facebook advertising has become the premier B2C online sales platform.

The numbers don’t lie—Facebook raked in $27 billion (with a “b”) in ad revenue just a few years ago. And it’s not hard to see why people are flocking to the platform for their B2C marketing needs—it has vast consumer data through the Open Graph, innovative ad units, and a user-friendly DIY ad creation interface. The platform allows for incredibly sophisticated consumer advertising campaigns.

Simply put, if you aren’t running Facebook ads, you are leaving money on the table.

But you know this, so what’s holding you back? Why is clicking that money-draining “Boost Post” button the furthest that most businesses have ever gone with Facebook advertising?

Friction.

Maybe you opened up the Ad Manager, took one look and thought… “nope” (been there, done that). Maybe you tried to launch a campaign and ran into a bug. Maybe you succeeded in actually getting an ad campaign in motion but didn’t see an ROI (my first three campaigns).

What you probably don’t realize is that the most universally successful way to use Facebook is also one of the absolute simplest ways.

It’s called Tofu, and it’s what I’m going to be teaching you today:

Facebook Ads guide – Simplified.

Facebook Ads guide – Simplified.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to cook Facebook-style Tofu and you’ll finally understand how to turn Facebook ads into a profitable marketing channel for your business.

But before I get into the juicy details, there’s a key concept we need to understand.

Facebook Push Marketing vs. Google Ads Pull Marketing

When somebody conducts a Google search and clicks on one of the ads at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), that’s considered pull marketing. Since the user has already established his intent with the search query, the ad he receives is highly relevant to what he’s looking for. He ‘pulled’ the ad to himself.

Facebook ads, on the other hand, are push marketing. This means that when he sees a Facebook ad in his Newsfeed, it’s actually interrupting what he’s doing—’Liking’ family photos, posting food pictures, getting into political arguments, etc. He’s not on Facebook with the specific intent to buy (or even research) anything.

The difference between pull and push marketing is crucial to the state of mind of the person reading your ad, hence crucial to your advertising strategy.

When it comes to push marketing in the Internet Age, people don’t like to be sold to during their first interaction with your brand—especially on Facebook. They need to develop some form of relationship with the brand first.

Facebook Ads Guide – Simplified

As you already know, content marketing is one of the best ways to develop a relationship with your target market. With content marketing, you are creating and delivering a significant value at the top of your funnel. This Top-of-Funnel… or Tofu… content allows you to develop a trust-based relationships with your target consumers.

Facebook ads allow you combine the relationship building of content marketing with the immediate results of direct advertising.

The Facebook funnel is ridiculously simple:

  • Facebook ad
    • Content (blog post)
      • Retargeted Facebook ad
        • Landing page/ecommerce page
          • Sale/Lead

This basic sequence is how thousands of businesses right now are driving insane revenue with Facebook ads. And it’s stupid easy to get up and running.

The first step is setting up your Facebook Pixel.

The Facebook Pixel

If you don’t have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, please do so now. Seriously, I’ll wait. Go on—here’s what it is and how to implement it.

Why you need to install the Facebook Pixel?

  • Custom Audiences (retargeting)
  • Conversion tracking
  • Lookalike audiences

For our purposes, the Facebook Pixel allows your Facebook ads to talk back and forth to you website—who clicked which ad, who visited which page, who filled out a form, etc. This is all incredibly useful to your advertising campaigns and reporting.

It’s a really simple 2-step process. Here’s how it works:

Step 1. Use the “Traffic” Objective to Season Your Pixel

Find one of your best top-of-funnel (ToFu) assets in terms of engagement or traffic. These are usually blog posts or publicly viewable resources that offer objective value without attempting to specifically promote your business.

Got the URL? Great.

First, head over to the Audiences tab of Facebook Ads Manager:

Facebook Ads Manager.

Facebook Ads Manager.

Next, click Audiences:

Audience tab of Facebook Ads Manager.

Audience tab of Facebook Ads Manager.

Then select Create Audience > Custom Audience:

Facebook Ads Manager How to create lookalike Audiences.

Facebook Ads Manager How to create lookalike Audiences.

Select Website Traffic and then enter the URL of your Tofu content:

FB Ads Manager: Use website traffic.

FB Ads Manager: Use website traffic.

Name your audience, add notes, adjust as necessary, and then click Create Audience:

Ads Manager enter blog post URL.

Ads Manager enter blog post URL.

Now, anybody who visits that blog post (regardless if they came in from a Facebook ad or not) will be tracked by Facebook. Cool.

Next, send some traffic to that blog post!

  1. Create an ad
  2. Choose “Traffic” as your objective
  3. Fill out your audience targeting, budget, schedule, etc.
  4. Plug in your ad creative
  5. Launch the ad

What you’re looking for at this point is to get the cheapest clicks possible. This will come down to a few more complex factors:

  • Making the ad compelling (related to how compelling the Tofu content is but the ad itself still needs to be good)
  • Targeting the right audience (bigger scope than we have time for, so check out this guide to ad targeting)
  • Other unique factors specifically related to your niche

OK, so we’re generating quality traffic efficiently—but where is the money and/or leads?!

Keep reading…

Step 2. Retarget Tofu Visitors With an Offer

If the Tofu asset you sent the traffic to is any good, you’ll have accomplished the following with your target consumers:

  • Introduced your brand
  • Provided value for free
  • Built trust
  • Convert a few into email subscribers
  • Dropped a cookie into their browsers

You let them read your content and walk away without shoving a sales message at them. Now it’s time to bring them back to you.

Create a new Facebook ad campaign, but this time, instead of using “Traffic” as the Objective, use “Conversions.”

When setting up your audience targeting, instead of using demographic/psychographic data like you did last time, just click Custom Audiences and choose the one you set up earlier. Remember? It’s the one recording people who visit your blog post.

Create a new Facebook ad campaign, but this time, instead of using “Traffic” as the Objective, use “Conversions.”

Create a new Facebook ad campaign, but this time, instead of using “Traffic” as the Objective, use “Conversions.”

Now, instead of sending these retargeted users to another blog post, send them to a piece of conversion-oriented content. For advanced marketers, this will likely be a lead magnet, which trades premium content for an email address. From there, they’ll attempt to close the lead or create the sale through email nurturing programs.

If you don’t have a lead magnet and the corresponding email automation system in place, this is the time to use your ecommerce, sales or landing page.

Just make sure that the conversion-oriented asset you send the retargeted traffic to is related to the original ToFu asset! That’s what got them to click in the first place, so stay on topic.

Facebook Ads Guide: Facebook Conversions

Lastly, make sure that you’re using the proper Facebook Standard Events on the conversion page. Standard Events are little extra bits of code that help your website communicate with the Facebook Ads Manager reporting interface.
This is hugely important for the ability to accurately record conversions.

More about Standard Events here.

If you implement your Standard Events properly, you can do a lot of really cool things.

For example, your website can dynamically pass revenue data to Facebook so that you can have your ROI calculations done for you automatically! Pretty nifty for ecommerce stores with a variety of products and price points.

Optionally, if you don’t want to use Standard Events, you can use Custom Conversions to record conversions.

Basically, you tell Facebook that if somebody loads a certain URL (like store.com/umbrella/thank-you) to record a conversion. You’ll miss out on some of the more advanced features, but it’s a good place to start if you don’t have access to the technical skills required to implement Standard Events.

Facebook Ads Guide Bonus Round: Create Lookalike Audiences

You want to hear something embarrassing about me?

I’ve spent countless hours on cold targeting and retargeting strategies for various clients. I like to think I’m kinda good at it.

But roughly 75% of the time, when I let Facebook do the targeting for me, its campaigns out-perform mine!

You might be wondering what I mean by “let Facebook do the targeting for me.”

I’m referring to Lookalike audiences, which are a vastly underutilized tool of the Facebook ads platform.

The purpose of a Lookalike audience is to use a given parameter and let Facebook use the data in its Open Graph to find people who are just like that parameter.

For example, you can ask Facebook to send your ads to people who are similar to your Facebook Page’s audience, an email list you have, or better yet, people who have already bought from you.

Seriously, does it get any better than that? “Hey Facebook—here are a bunch of people who bought my widgets or became leads. Can you send my ads to people who are similar to them?”

To set up a Lookalike audience for people who have bought or converted from you, follow these steps:

  1. Click Create Lookalike audience
  2. Select audience (You’ll need to create a “customer” custom audience first)
  3. Create the audience
To set up a Lookalike audience for people who have bought or converted from you, follow these steps.

To set up a Lookalike audience for people who have bought or converted from you, follow these steps.

Now that you’ve created the audience, choose to target it when you create your next ad campaign (instead of cold targeting or retargeting).

Choose Lookalike Audience.

Choose Lookalike Audience.

Test the Lookalike campaign against your other campaigns and see which performs better.

You’ll never actually know exactly what is similar about your conversions and your Lookalike audiences — Facebook keeps that data semi-private. This isn’t ideal, but hey—if you’re getting conversions and making money, it could be worse.

Conclusion: Tofu Is Your Friend

Facebook doesn’t need to be complicated. You can get some truly incredible results with simple Tofu campaigns.
If you follow these steps, you will create a Facebook ad campaign that uses customer experience and natural buyer behavior to drive conversions.

So stop wasting your money on the “Boost Post” button, and start getting real ROI via Facebook ads. Now, check out these inspiring examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

The other day, I was working with a client who had well over 30,000 email subscribers. I initially anticipated that any campaigns we sent would receive a decent amount of traffic, yet when I looked at his send history, I discovered his click-through rates were abysmally small. On average, barely half a percent of his subscribers were clicking on his emails, netting just 150 clicks per send and a sale every few emails.
A similar client, on the other hand, was getting 500+ clicks and 2-3 sales per email with only a 5,000 subscriber list.
What was the difference?
Why was the smaller list performing so much better?
There are, of course, many factors that go into email marketing, but today, I want to discuss the one that tends to be the most misunderstood.
The lead magnet.
Your lead magnet determines who subscribes to your list and sets the tone for their experience with your brand. When you get it right, you position yourself for purchases down the road. When you get it wrong, the leads might as well not even be there.
In this article, we’ll look at why great lead magnets work so well, and by extension, we’ll shed some light on why others (possibly including yours) fail to perform.

What Is A Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is anything offered for free in exchange for the recipient’s email address.
The immediate goal of a lead magnet is to get email subscribers. There are only so many people who will like your content SO much that they’ll just subscribe to your list in order to receive emails from you. A lot of people will simply read a bit and then leave, and a lead magnet is designed to incentive some portion of those people to give you their contact information for later follow up.
Where many business make a mistake is in thinking that “some portion” means “as many as possible”, but we’ll get to that later.
Because you are giving away the lead magnet for free, it’s typically important that it costs you little to nothing to create and distribute. This is why ebooks are one of the most commonly used types of lead magnets. As a digital product, once the initial file is created, it costs nothing to copy and give away as many copies as you like.
Here are several different types of leads magnets that are commonly used:

  • Whitepaper
  • Coupon or Discount
  • Ebook
  • Video Series
  • Access to a Database
  • Checklist
  • Case Study
  • Downloadable Blog Post
  • Webinar
  • Email Series
  • Educational Course
  • Free Software Tool
  • Free Trial of Premium Software

The type of lead magnet you choose will depend on your business. What does your audience want? In what ways do they consume content? What is your team even capable of producing?
But ultimately, a great lead magnet comes down to two simple things:

The Two Primary Objectives of a Great Lead Magnet

A great lead magnet accomplishes two things above all else:

  1. It attracts the right people
  2. It positions those people to purchase

If your lead magnet fails at either of these, it fails period.

Objective #1: Attract The Right People

A common misconception with lead magnets is that more = better. If Lead Magnet #A gets double the subscribers of Lead Magnet #B, it must clearly be the superior choice.
Right?
A 30 second conversation with anyone in sales will tell you otherwise. If option #B is getting highly qualified leads while option #A is getting unqualified leads, it’s not even a contest.
If quantity was all the mattered, we could just do Macbook Pro giveaways all day and get “leads” by the thousands. And barely any of those people would be even remotely interested in purchasing our product.
Quality is even more important than quantity when it comes to evaluating a lead magnet. You want to attract as many of the right people as possible while not appealing to those outside your niche.
A great example of this in action comes from Ulyses Osuna of Influencer Press. Influencer Press is a PR agency that gets people published on popular business blogs like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, etc. Accordingly, their sitewide lead magnet deals specifically with this goal.

A great lead magnet example from Influencer Press

A great lead magnet example from Influencer Press


For anyone interested in getting published on a site like Forbes (the target market), an inside look at Ulyses’ email correspondence is a very attractive offer. At the same time, it’s not going to be a must-download for virtually anyone outside the target market.
In other words, it hits the nail right on the head.
When pitching your lead magnet, try to hit on the following four points whenever possible:

  • Promise: promise something specific in exchange for the user’s email
  • Target: make it very clear who the lead magnet is intended for
  • Key Benefits: like with direct response copywriting, address all key benefits the lead will get from your lead magnet
  • Call to Action: call the reader to take action, enter their email, and receive the lead magnet

Attracting the right people is a big first step, but it’s still only half of the story. We still need to do one more thing…

Objective#2: Position Leads For Purchasing

Your lead magnet’s usefulness doesn’t end when the visitors clicks “subscribe”. In fact, it’s just getting started.
The lead magnet will set the tone for your relationship with the lead, so even if you attract the perfect leads, it won’t mean much if engaging with your lead magnet leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
This is where a lot of businesses and marketers mess up. It’s somewhat easy to think of a lead magnet pitch that will excite your audience and get them to enter their email. It’s a lot harder to deliver the goods with quality that is worthy of the hype.
“Download the 10-step process I used to make $100,000 in 3 months with no prior experience.”
That sounds great. I want to make $100k in 3 months. If you don’t seem like a hack, I’ll probably give you my email on the off chance you can deliver on such an insanely big promise.
And when you inevitably don’t, you will never hear from me again.
That’s an extreme example, but it illustrates how simply getting the email address doesn’t mean you have a legitimate lead. If you don’t deliver the goods, you can kiss that lead goodbye.
But fulfilling your promise is the easy part.
The trickier part of this second objective is actually positioning the lead for purchasing. The goal here isn’t to simply not annoy the lead. They’ve just requested a custom piece of content from you. They have literally asked you to send them a pitch.
Obviously, you can’t give them a pitch disquised as a lead magnet. That fails everything we just talked about. Deliver on the promise first and foremost. But take every opportunity to establish your expertise, demonstrate your past results, highlight your value, and position yourself as a great purchase in their minds.
A great example of this comes from Dave Rogenmoser of Entrepreneur Alliance. Dave’s lead magnet promises to help users create a $10k per month cashflow business, and instead of providing a simple PDF, he directs leads to a lengthy, well-designed HTML page, complete with multiple chapters, real data, and step-by-step instructions. Throughout the guide, he references products he sells, pitches his membership site, and positions the reader to respond to the follow up emails in his autoresponder.

A great lead magnet example from Entrepreneur Alliance

A great lead magnet example from Entrepreneur Alliance


Remember:
You can’t skimp on quality, and you can’t forget to position the lead for purchasing.
Both are essential to your lead magnet’s success.

10 Reasons Lead Magnets Don’t Perform

Now that you know what to aim for, let’s go through some of the reasons that lead magnets don’t perform well. Most of the problems come down to failing our two objectives, but even if you knock those out of the park, there are other factors that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  1. Generic promise that doesn’t appeal to a specific audience
  2. Intriguing promise that appeals to the wrong audience
  3. Weak content that doesn’t deliver on promise
  4. Solves a problem, but not an urgent one
  5. Lack of trust signals or social proof on landing page
  6. Poorly designed graphics on landing page
  7. Weak headline or CTA on landing page
  8. Solid content that fails to position lead for purchasing
  9. Autoresponder content doesn’t synergize with lead magnet
  10. Lead magnet doesn’t synergize with tripwire product

While we don’t have time to dive into each one of these mistakes, any one of them can derail your lead magnet’s performance.

Conclusion: Optimize Your Lead Magnet

Creating a great lead magnet that performs well for your business is really not that hard. It’s simply a matter of attracting the right audience and positioning leads for purchasing.
Unfortunately, many businesses create their lead magnets as a sort of afterthought, failing to invest the time and energy required to make something special.
Don’t fall into that trap. If you sort of just threw up your own lead magnet, take this opportunity to re-evaluate and make sure you’re hitting the right objectives.

When you think of email marketing for your eCommerce site, what comes to mind? Like most eCommerce business owners or managers, you might be thinking about the newsletters you send to your email list subscribers or the transactional emails that go out automatically once a shopper on your site completes a purchase.
But think about this:
Time and time again, email has proven to be an excellent tool to help you not only engage with your shoppers but ultimately increase conversions for your eCommerce site.
With that in mind, what if you could leverage the power of email to convert more traffic into sales?
I’m talking about using automated email responses to bolster your conversion rate optimization strategy.
If you’re wondering what email and CRO have in common, not to worry. (We’ll get to that in a minute.)
As an online retailer or eCommerce manager, your ultimate goal is to convert your site traffic into sales, right?
In this article, I’m going to share with you the powerful connection between email marketing and conversion rate optimization, plus I’m going to show you the exact four automated email campaigns you can use to drive a winning conversion rate optimization strategy for your online store.

Using Email to Convert More Window Shoppers Into Paying Customers

The scary truth about eCommerce is this: Most of your traffic isn’t converting. That’s traffic that you’ve likely put in a lot of effort to driving to your store, in the first place, whether it be from PPC, SEO, or social media.
Naturally, this is where CRO comes in.
And as you probably already know, optimizing your site for conversions is truly a science.
It takes careful examination of data to really win at CRO. And in 2017, there’s no shortage of tools at your disposal to do so.
Have a look at this eCommerce site’s analytics, for example:
image05
In this case, nearly 90% of this eCommerce site’s traffic left without adding anything to a cart.
Generally, only about 5% of your website’s traffic will make it to your cart page, so while it’s great to implement on-site CRO tools to keep shoppers on your site for as long as possible in the hopes that they’ll complete a purchase, there’s got to me more that can be done to leverage the rest of your site traffic that’s slipped away.
At this point in digital marketing history, most retailers and marketers know about and may be using cart abandonment emails to bring back lost traffic. Cart abandonment campaigns and exit-intent technology powering on-site messaging are just two examples of how you can increase the reach of your overall conversion rate optimization strategy.
But how can you take that same approach of addressing seemingly lost shoppers who’ve expressed high levels of purchase intent and apply it to more of your site traffic to lift conversions?
The answer is Browse Abandonment Emails.

Browse Abandonment Email Campaigns: The Key to Unlocking More Conversions

Automated email responses can address visitors at all stages of the purchase decision.

Browse automated email responses can address visitors at all stages of the purchase decision.


What is browse abandonment?
As you can see, your eCommerce site traffic reaches various steps in the shopping funnel. About 30% reaches a category page; 20% reaches a product page.
When you take a look at this data, you may be asking yourself, how can I effectively convert shoppers at each step of the way rather than losing them?
The most common tactics for getting more site traffic to convert generally address the elements on your actual site.
On-site optimization is great. You can:

  • Add strategically placed popups to various pages and keep shoppers on your site for longer
  • Optimize your pages with trust signals like ratings and reviews to increase the likelihood that a shopper will purchase
  • Incentivize shoppers with special offers and discounts
  • Improve UX/UI to make it easier for your shoppers to sail through the checkout

But what about when the shopper leaves before completing the purchase? Are you just going to let them get away forever?
Enter Browse Abandonment Email Campaigns.
Similar to cart abandonment email campaigns, browse abandonment campaigns help you engage with these shoppers through automated emails that bring them back to your site. This helps you recapture the site traffic you nearly lost.
How much more?
They can be used to reach up to 5x more shoppers, bringing them back to your site to complete a purchase.
These emails are great because you can send them to the shoppers who drop off at various steps in the shopping funnel, creating more engagement and conversion opportunities, and therefore, getting more out of your site traffic.
Here’s an example.
If a shopper left after visiting your homepage, you can send a Homepage Browse Campaign.
If a shopper viewed a category but never went on to check out individual products, you can send a Category Browse Campaign.
If a shopper viewed specific products on your site yet never added any to their cart, you can send a Product Browse Campaign.
Another point in the shopping funnel you can address is your site search. If a shopper searched for a term or product keyword on your site yet never continued in their shopping journey, you can send a Site Search Abandonment Campaign, too.
Take a look at how well browse abandonment campaigns perform:

Browse abandonment email had a conversion rate six times that of newsletter email.

Browse abandonment email had a conversion rate six times that of newsletter email.


In this case, browse campaigns converted almost 7x higher than all other channels and campaigns, including the site’s newsletter.
Automated email had a 3x the conversion rate of the sitewide average and was the highest converting channel.

Automated email had a 3x the conversion rate of the sitewide average and was the highest converting channel.


Here, the conversion rate of automated email responses beat the conversion rate of all channels by more than three to one.
What makes these automated emails so effective?
For one, these campaigns engage the shoppers who dropped off earlier on in your shopping funnel, so your reach is much greater than other email campaigns.
It gets better.
Browse abandonment emails can be highly personalized, which means they can work extremely well for any online retailer. Given that 81% of shoppers report they are highly likely to purchase from a site that sent them personalized emails, these behaviorally-triggered and highly personalized messages work.
Now that you know how browse abandonment campaigns work, I’m going to show you examples of the 4 automated emails we spoke about earlier so that you can send them to your shoppers and convert more browsers into buyers.

Capturing Emails For Automated Responses

So how do we capture emails when users are just browsing?
The simplest answer is that there is no correct answer. There are literally hundreds of lead capture strategies, with new technologies coming out every day.
That said, here are a few different methods you might use to grab browser emails:

  • Exit-intent popups
  • Discount offers
  • Newsletter signups
  • Site login
  • Lead magnets
  • Etc.

It’s also possible that you already have the user’s email address through previous engagement or the way they arrive at your site.
For example, if you run a cross-promotion with a 3rd party’s email subscribers, you can set it up so that when they click-through from the email to your website, you automatically receive their email address.
Regardless of how you collect the email address, these are some of the best automated email responses you can send to visitors after they leave your site.

Automated Campaign #1: Homepage Browse Abandonment Email

Choxi showcases its best deals for homepage automated email responses.

Choxi showcases its best deals for homepage automated email responses.


Homepage browse emails are a great way to engage with shoppers who landed on your homepage but never went on to explore your site further. Invite them back with product recommendations that showcase your site-wide top sellers.

  • Average open rate: 22%
  • Average CTR: 16%
  • Average revenue per email sent: $0.61

Automated Campaign #2: Category Browse Abandonment Email

J. Crew can lead visitors back to the category page they favored with abandonment email.

J. Crew can lead visitors back to the category page they favored with abandonment email.


You can send category browse emails to the shoppers who expressed interest in a category, brand or department on your site but did not proceed to view any individual products.
Peak the interest of these shoppers by displaying product recommendations that are related to the category they viewed and additional options that include site-wide top sellers.

  • Average open rate: 42%
  • Average CTR: 27%
  • Average revenue per mail sent: $1.71

Automated Campaign #3: Product Browse Abandonment Email

French Connection uses abandonment email to bring prospects back to the products they dwelt on.

French Connection uses automatic email responses to bring prospects back to the products they dwelt on.


Product browse emails are very similar to cart abandonment emails in that you can use them to engage with abandoning shoppers who expressed a high level of purchase intent. The kicker here is that there are a lot more of your shoppers looking at products than those who click “add to cart” so your conversion potential here is much greater.
Invite these “warm leads” back to your site by displaying the product they viewed plus related product recommendations.

  • Average open rate: 52%
  • Average CTR: 26%
  • Average revenue per mail sent: $3.42

Automated Campaign #4: Site Search Abandonment Email

In this Calvin Klein example, shoppers get automated emails that reflect their search activity.

In this Calvin Klein example, shoppers get automated emails that reflect their search activity.


Site Search emails are important because they allow you to reach out to shoppers who were clearly searching for something on your site yet for some reason they did not find what they were looking for.
Use these emails to invite back those lost shoppers and help them find what they were looking for.

  • Average open rate: 52%
  • Average CTR: 28%
  • Average revenue per mail sent: $2.85

The Expert CRO Strategy That Most Merchants Aren’t Using

By now, you may be asking yourself, if browse abandonment emails perform so well, why aren’t more online retailers using them as part of their CRO strategies?
Larger retailers like Amazon have been sending personalized email messages like these for ages, but smaller guys, not so much since it used to take large development and marketing teams and even larger budgets to implement strategies like this one.
Luckily, things are now changing.
With more automated personalization tools for email available to eCommerce businesses, you can now send highly-targeted, behaviorally triggered browse abandonment email campaigns to your shoppers, no matter how big or small your business might be.
This year, optimize your business for higher conversions by using the most effective marketing channel to leverage more of your site traffic, and reap the rewards all year long.
 
 
Daniel Kohn is the CEO and co-founder of SmartMail.io, a company that helps eCommerce stores and online retailers increase sales, average order value, and lifetime customer value through email. Download SmartMail’s 4 highest converting email templates to help jumpstart your eCommerce email marketing program. 

Email is one of the highest converting marketing channels today, and few activities drive a higher ROI than building an email list.
But having 50,000 email subscribers doesn’t really matter if you can’t get any of them to open your emails.
Today, I’m going to show you five relatively simple (yet criminally underused) strategies that are GUARANTEED to increase your email open rate.
I’ve used these strategies with great success across numerous niches, and my open rates are consistently double the industry average.
By the end of this post, you will have an actionable plan for significantly boosting the ROI of every email you send.

1. Match Your Lead Magnet To Your Content To Your Product

There’s a lot of content out there about how to build an email list.
I know because I’ve written a lot of it.
But one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses and bloggers make is thinking too short-term with their lead magnets and other lead acquisition strategies.
Email marketing is a scalable form of relationship marketing. It’s meant to be a long term pursuit, and accordingly, it’s important that what you are talking about remains consistent throughout that process.
If you attract someone to your list via an ebook on increasing web traffic, then start emailing them about how to run an ecommerce store, and then try to sell them a product on increasing productivity, you won’t have much success.
Every part of your funnel should be designed to appeal to the same customer profile.
When someone signs up to your list to hear about a given topic, the emails they receive should also be on that topic. By aligning your lead magnets, emails, and products, you can significantly improve your conversion rates across the board.

2. Split Test Until You Find The Optimal Send Time

One of the easiest ways to increase your open rate is to send your emails at the right time.
How do you find the right time? Two words: AB testing
This requires a little bit of intentionality upfront, but it’s so easy to do, and it can have a MASSIVE impact on the reach of your content.
Here’s one way to do it.
Schedule your next 7 emails to go out on different days of the week. For each email, break your subscribers into 4 identical groups and send to each group at a different time of the day.
This will give you a total of 28 different send times to compare against each other. If you have a smaller list, you might need to run this experiment several times in order to get statistically significant results, but what you should start to see is that certain days and times will consistently perform better than others.
By sending at these optimal times, you can significantly boost your open rates.

3. Put Some Effort Into Your Subject Lines

Listen, you and I both have an email inbox. We understand how cluttered they can be. We understand how many emails we get every day.
We are not unique.
Pretty much everyone these days is dealing with a crowded inbox.
Your job is to differentiate yourself within that inbox, and the only way to do that is with your email subject line. But it’s not just about standing out. What is most important is that your subject line is relevant to the people you want to open your email.
Let’s take a look at some examples from my inbox:

email open rate

Be honest. You’d open these too.

  1. Sujan’s email uses a pretty standard article headline. This will really only appeal to me if I want to get more out of my video, and that’s actually a good thing. Using a good blog headline is usually a fine strategy for email subject lines.
  2. Brian’s email will appeal to me if I feel confused or have been searching for some specific answers. That said, this subject line won’t really be enough unless I already have built some trust with the sender. In this case, Brian has already done a great job of establishing himself as my go-to SEO expert, so it works.
  3. Mary’s subject line makes use of an eye-catching emoji, which is good for differentiation. At the same time, the promise is a bit too broad for someone like me to be interested. In all likelihood, however, Mary is targeting a less experienced audience, which might be intrigued by this subject line.
  4. Drew’s subject line is a bit confusing, but it also provokes my curiosity. He is hooking me in with this idea of “9/10 experts DISAGREE”. That’s interesting, and now I’m curious to see what they disagree about.

Remember that the goal of a subject line is not to get just anyone to open the email. You have a specific audience you’ve built, and it’s important to use the types of headlines that will resonate with that audience.

4. Resend To Unopens

This is the easiest strategy we’ll discuss today. Even when you do everything right, a lot of your emails will never even be seen.
This is primarily thanks to Gmail’s inbox categorization. A lot of emails now fall under the promos tab. There are some things you can do to try and get in the primary inbox, but that’s a bit too complicated for today’s post, so instead, I’m sharing a simple trick that anyone can use to instantly increase opens, often by an additional 25%.
Simply resend the email to anyone who didn’t open it up the first time. I like to wait around 3 days to resend, but you can experiment for yourself and see what happens.

email open rate

One email is nice, but two gets the job done.


In the example above, my original email performed pretty well, so the resend was a bit less powerful than usual.
But even if your list is as small as 5,000 subscribers, that additional 7% in total opens means nearly 400 more people are seeing your message.

5. Make It Personal

One of the first things people notice when signing up to a new email list is tone.
A lot of marketers and business owners nowadays are just running email marketing because they’ve been told to. They are following a template and trying to sell products.
And while there is nothing wrong with that, it’s very, VERY obvious to your readers.
The most successful email marketing campaigns often come from the biggest personalities. When you sign up for their list, you aren’t introduced to a sales pitch. You are introduced to a personality.
You read personal stories about their background and experiences. You read about their fears and failures and ultimately, their successes.
Pretty soon, you feel like you know this person sending you these emails.
That’s the power of being personal.
And while I can’t teach you to have a personality, I can give you some pointers:

  • Start your emails with brief, relevant anecdotes
  • Use a conversational tone in your writing
  • Talk about real failures and successes that you and your customers have experienced
  • Always be relevant to your audience

Being personal is not hard, but it does require you to get out of “marketer mode” from time to time.

Conclusion: Increase Your Email Open Rate

Let’s review:

  1. Keep customer targeting consistent from lead to sale
  2. Split test until you find optimal send times
  3. Be intentional with your subject lines
  4. Resend emails to subscribers who didn’t open the original
  5. Include personal elements (particular stories) in your emails

By implementing these strategies, you can immediately increase the open rates of your email campaigns.
Easy.
Before you go, I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried any of these strategies or do you have any tips of your own to add?
Let me know in the comments!
 

Phone calls don’t get cold.
Phone calls are answered and voice mails are returned. There is no CRM icebox where your contacts can be sent to chill while everyone updates their lead reports.
Even if you have highly sophisticated marketing automation campaigns that move people through the sales funnel, none of them is as efficient and successful as a human being — listening, answering questions, and handling objections.
In our experience, inbound calls are worth between 500% and 1,000% (that’s five to ten times) more in revenue than a completed contact form.
Your business wants more calls. Your sales team wants more calls.
Today, I’m gong to give you a 4-step process for drastically increasing your inbound calls.

Understanding Your Inbound Callers

Before we attempt to increase calls, we must first understand who our callers are.
There are two kinds of people coming to your website who need to talk to someone. They won’t be satisfied by completing a form or reading a report.
We know something about these two kinds of people.
The first kind has a Myers-Briggs type index including NT, iNtuiting and Thinking. Well-known consultants Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg call them Competitives. They are on a mission to find the things that make them better. They expect things to work logically and abhor sloppiness. They are smart and goal-oriented.
The second kind has a Myers-Briggs type index that includes N and F, iNtuiting and Feeling. The Eisenbergs call them Humanists. They don’t do business with companies, they do business with people. They seek relationship and connection. Trust and empathy are the things they look for.
When you say, “Let’s put a phone number on our site because someone might actually call,” you are thinking of these visitors. The problem is, that adding a phone number as an afterthought is exactly what these visitors don’t want. The Competitive sees it as sloppy. The Humanist sees it as stand-offish.
Increasing inbound calls is both about appealing to these users AND making it easier for everyone else to call your business as opposed to contacting you via different channels.

Leverage Your Growing Mobile Traffic

If you are equipped to accept phone calls, you have an advantage over businesses that can’t. Too many businesses are ignoring their mobile traffic because it converts at a quarter to one-half the rate of their desktop traffic.
We have more than one client whose mobile conversion rate is higher than their desktop conversion rate. This is because they accept calls.
Buried deep inside every mobile phone is a phone. That’s why we call them mobile phones. With the right testing program, we can find the right calls to action and proper placements to turn tepid mobile traffic into gold.
Regardless of where the calls are coming from, there are some important steps to take when optimizing for phone calls.

Step #1: Improve Your Website Data Tracking

In order for this to work, dear marketer, you first need to get credit for these calls. Instead of slapping the company sales number on the website, you need to be able to measure calls sent from the site. Inexpensive services will give you a unique number. We use Grasshopper for our 800 number service. Google Voice is a source of local phone numbers. Counting calls will be largely done by hand.
To tie calls back into an analytics package, we’ve worked with a number of services, including IfByPhone and Marketing Optimizer. Others on the market include Mongoose Metrics, LogMyCalls, and RingRevenue. This allows you to calculate a conversion rate with more accuracy.
The ways these packages work are different and beyond the scope of this column. Nonetheless, they let you take credit for real activity in sales.

Step #2: Perfect Your Offer

We too often think that those who would prefer a call will think of calling. It ain’t true. Someone predisposed to call still needs to understand why they should call and what to expect. The only number that doesn’t need a call-to-action is 9-1-1.
Those who bother to write an invitation alongside their phone numbers resort to engaging messages such as, “Call,” “Call us,” “Call us today,” or the daring “Contact us.” None of these offers a why or tells you what to expect. Adding an exclamation point doesn’t help.

Inbound Calls

Home Instead Senior Care is really working hard to get visitors to pick up the phone.


There are four things that you can use to make your phone number more enticing to those who would call:
Alignment means that your “call-to-call” mirrors the need of the visitor. Often, it is sufficient to match the invitation in the ad or link what brought them to the page.
Adding Emotion shows that you relate to their real non-logical pain or desire.
In the example above, “Struggling with caring for a parent” would be aligned, but not emotional.
“Feeling guilty about caring for a parent?” definitely carries emotion. If you think that this kind of message is too bold, think again. We had a 43% increase in calls for an invitation that read, “Ready to stop lying to yourself? We can help. Call …”
Emotion is a powerful tool.
The visitor wants Clarity about what will happen if they call. Who will be on the end of the line? Will they be an expert? Will they try to sell me or educate me? Can I call on weekends? Be clear about what will happen on the call.
Finally, you must build the Value of the call. Like all good calls-to-action, the call-to-call must reek of WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”). It has to promise enough to the visitor that they would prefer to call you over any alternative. Lay it out there.
These four components — Alignment, Emotion, Clarity and Value — make for effective calls-to-call, and are great for other calls-to-action as well.

Step #3: Put Things In The Right Place

Just sticking the number in the upper right corner isn’t going to get you those calls that make you powerful. The number should be there, as this is where callers look. But the other two places that make the phones ring are:

  • In the headline at the start of content.
    About 75% down a page of content.

The following image shows a wireframe of a typical content page with proper placement of calls-to-call. We’ve tested them all over the page.

Ask for the inbound call in the headline and again about three-quarters of the way down the page.

Ask for the inbound call in the headline and again about three-quarters of the way down the page.


We tested messages at the top, left, right, bottom and middle. These are the places that worked for us on several sites. Bigger and bolder text can also increase your calls.

Step #4: Make Your Contact Forms Long & Unattractive

You may have noticed an item on the wireframe image above: “Long, ‘Nasty’ Form.”
To maximize the number of calls you get and cast fewer of your visitors into the frigid desert of the CRM, make your forms long, and ask for some personal info. Yes, this is the opposite of what we tell you to do when you want visitors to fill out a form.
This will cook your noodle. When trying to maximize the number of calls we get, a long, nasty form works better than no form at all. That’s right. No form generates fewer calls.
I think this highlights the way our visitors assign a price to their time and attention. On its own, a phone call may seem “expensive.” However, when a long, nasty form is on the page, it makes the cost of taking action by form more “expensive.” The call looks cheap by comparison.
This is a pricing exercise, but the cost isn’t money. It’s time and attention.
The power of a ringing phone gets noticed. If visitors to your site start calling your sales team, it will be noticed. You need to be able to measure the calls and toot your own horn as well. Unlike leads, calls have a power beyond a graph in a PowerPoint presentation. To become an indispensable marketer, make the phone ring.

Bonus: Make Click-to-Call Prominent on Mobile

Maximizing phone calls from the web means maximizing your mobile traffic. There is an entire separate set of strategies for getting more mobile calls.
Visitors on a mobile phone are coming with a completely different mindset from those coming on a desktop computer or tablet. To understand how to engage these visitors, download Designing for the Mobile Web 2.0.
[mobile-ebook]

Conclusion

There are three kinds of visitors visiting your website:

  1. Those that will not call under any circumstances. They hate the human touch.
  2. Those who are going to call because they trust the human voice explicitly.
  3. Those who might call if given the right incentives.

When you focus your strategies on getting group 3 to call, you can enjoy significantly higher sales rates, bigger average order values and new customers that are more satisfied with their first buying experience.
Make calls a key part of your focus, and harvest more of those fickle visitors coming on mobile phones.

Searching for taglines for business growth? Take a look at these 9 business tagline examples that drove multi-million dollar growth. Understand when taglines and slogans are important and how to write a winner.

Taglines and slogans can get a bit of a bad rap in the conversion world.

When the goal is immediate conversion, a targeted, well-written value proposition will beat a vague tagline every day of the week.

But that doesn’t mean taglines aren’t important.

In fact, depending on your company size and marketing strategy, a tagline can have an even greater impact on your total revenue than your highest converting value proposition. The key is to understand when taglines are important, why they are effective, and how to write a winner.

Today, we’re going to cover all that plus look at 9 tagline examples that helped drive multi-million dollar growth.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
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When & Why Taglines Are Important

Just so we’re on the same page, a tagline is a catchphrase or slogan used to advertise a brand. It’s a short phrase or series of phrases, often presented in conjunction with the brand logo, that is intended to add meaning to the brand.

So, when is it important?

The simplest way to put this is that if branding is very important for you business, your tagline will also be very important.

Now, you might say, “Branding is important for every business,” and while you wouldn’t be wrong, the spectrum from “important” to “very important” is actually quite large.

Let me explain.

Business #1 sells clay coasters on Amazon. Their #1 marketing goal is to get their Amazon listings to show up at the top of both Amazon and Google’s algorithms for that product category, and they spend 90% of their marketing budget on PPC.

Branding really isn’t that important for Business #1.

Not everyone needs to invest in a compelling tagline.

Not everyone needs to invest in a compelling tagline.

Business #2 sells luxury cars. Their #1 marketing goal is to be top of mind year-round for consumers making between $85k – $300k per year, and they spend 75% of their marketing budget on television ads.

Branding is VERY important for Business #2.

Taglines can really help if you need to stay in your prospects' minds.

Taglines can really help if you need to stay in your prospects’ minds.

These two examples demonstrate both ends of the branding spectrum, with most businesses falling somewhere in between.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll just say that you will typically want to use a value proposition when you are looking for a direct response and a tagline when you are looking to make a brand impression that leads to a sale down the road.

That said, a good tagline will often demonstrate similar traits to a good value proposition. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. They just have different purposes.

A value proposition’s goal is to explicitly describe why the product is the best available option for the consumer and should be purchased immediately. A tagline’s goal is to attach significant, lasting meaning to the brand in a way that resonates with the consumer.

So how do we create a compelling tagline?

How To Create A Compelling Tagline

There are 3 primary qualities every brand tagline should have:

  1. It captures your mission
  2. It reflects your persona
  3. It resonates with your target audience

Your tagline is your chance to immortalize your company’s purpose in a brief phrase or series of phrases. It first and foremost needs to reflect your mission.

Your tagline is also a prime opportunity to reflect your brand’s persona or personality. It’s important that your tagline communicates an idea about not just what you do but who you are as a brand.

Finally, the goal of your tagline is to resonate with your target audience and connect your brand to a powerful set of positive emotions and ideas.

In order to best demonstrate these qualities in action, let’s take a look at several exceptional tagline examples that helped their companies create multi-million dollar brands.

1. Skyrocketing Business Profits: SoulCycle “Find Your Soul”

Co-Founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice wanted to create an exercise experience that was fun, exciting, and felt like a community. Noticing a void in the market, they opened the first SoulCycle in a former New York funeral home in 2006. Since their scrappy beginnings of handing out fliers for free classes (it was against building regulations to put up any signage), they’ve expanded to 85 locations and continue to expand to new locations in 2017.

SoulCycle’s tagline:

“Take Your Journey. Change Your Body. Find Your Soul.”

Soul Cycle’s tagline focuses very much on their target customers – fitness enthusiasts who see exercise as something physical, mental, and spiritual. The statement exudes a sense of excitement and empowerment for riders, and implies that something metaphysical can come out of an intense 45 minute stationary bike session.

The tagline is sometimes shortened to simply “Find Your Soul”, which emphasizes the brand’s mission of connected, community-based workouts.

Tagline examples: SoulCycle doesn't say "find a cycle," they say "Find your soul"

Tagline examples: SoulCycle doesn’t say “find a cycle,” they say “Find your soul”

The key idea here is that SoulCycle plays into the innate human desire of being part of a community. It’s exceptionally smart, because how we relate to others and the world around us affects our buying decisions. This explains Soul Cycle’s customer loyalty, which has skyrocketed the business’ profits.

This tagline isn’t just a tagline either. It is reflected in everything the brand does. Cyclists ride by candlelight in ‘epic spaces’ where they feel like they’re part of a ‘tribe’, and instructors constantly howl motivational phrases and speeches at the riders.

The Business Results

Even with a costly fee of $35+ per session and minimal discounts for monthly memberships, SoulCycle has still found its niche in the world of standard gym equipment.

  1. The business amassed a rider base of nearly half a million people by catering to their specific customers. For example, they play different music for the 5pm university crowd compared to their 6am pre-work crowd.
  2. Their explosive growth is partially fueled from upsold products, including branded swag, bottled water, and shoe rentals, adding another $85 million in revenue on top of monthly fees.
  3. Each franchise earns an average of $4 million per year.
  4. Their total revenue grew from $36M in 2012 to $112M in 2014.

2. TOMS: One For One

TOMS shoes started when founder Blake Mycoskie went to Argentina in 2006 and saw children running around without shoes.  He also took note of the Argentinian traditional shoe, the soft alpargata that TOMS shoes are modeled after. He came back to America with a vision of the “buy one, donate one” and had 250 samples made. He approached American Rag to sell the shoes, and the LA Times picked up the story. The story created a demand for nearly 10 times as many shoes as what was in stock.

TOMS shoe company was officially born.

TOMS Socially Conscious Tagline

“One for One”

Tagline examples: Tom's pioneered the One for One business model and the tag line says it all.

Tagline examples: Tom’s pioneered the One for One business model and the tag line says it all.

TOMS tagline is incredibly powerful because of the message it communicates. Buy one pair of shoes, and one additional pair of shoes is donated to a child in need.

Not only is this a brilliant business model, as 62% of modern consumers are willing to pay more for socially or environmentally conscious goods, allowing TOMS to sell $4 worth of shoes for $40, but it also directly counters the often vague language and spending that accompanies most charities. The consumer knows exactly what is happening. The get a pair of shoes they want, and a child in Africa gets a pair of shoes they need.

This tagline hits on all the right notes. It communicates the mission and resonates with the target audience. You could even argue that it communicates a straightforward personality.

Not only that, but 86% of those customers tell their friends and family, giving socially conscious businesses like TOMS plenty of free advertising.

The phrase is also crystal clear: it describes the company’s business model in 3 words.

The Business Growth Results

The “One for One” tagline and business model has been a huge success for TOMS:

  1. The company has donated over 60 million pairs of shoes.
  2. As of 2016, they have made over $625m in revenue.
  3. The company is now as widely known as Nike and Adidas.
  4. They have expanded the one-for-one model to other products.
  5. For every pair of sunglasses they sell, TOMS provides a full eye exam and prescription glasses to those in need.
  6. For every purse TOMS sells, the company provides medical materials to help with safe childbirth.

Fastest Growing Private Company in the U.S.: “Discover a different nite out”

Tagline examples: Paint Nite is not a painting class, it's a different nite out.

Tagline examples: Paint Nite is not a painting class, it’s a different nite out.

Paint Nite’s tagline is deceptively powerful. It’s communicating something very specific to it’s customer base comprised of 90% women.

By offering a “different nite out”, they’ve attracted a crowd that still want to get out, socialize, and have some libations but outside the usual scene of bars or clubs. This is a brilliant strategy as the bar and club scenes have experienced declining popularity with millennials. One study found that those under 35 felt that the traditional night out is too impersonal and too exhausting.

Paint Nite met this need by creating a fun group environment where participants have common ground to talk to one another. Sitting and painting while sipping wine requires a lot less energy than drinking and dancing until closing time, and this “differentness” is reflected beautifully in their slogan.

The Results:

It turns out Paint Nite is on to something, as demonstrated by their remarkable success:

  1. It’s revenue has grown by more than 36,555% in three years.
  2. Is now available in 155 cities world-wide.

4. Canada Goose: Canadian Craftsmanship

Canada Goose began nearly 60 years ago and became popular in the 1980’s when their red down-filled coat (aka Big Red) was developed for scientists at Antarctica’s McMurdo Station. Its popularity increased further in Europe due to its decision to keep manufacturing in Canada, and Americans took to the brand when celebrities like David Beckham and Kate Upton were spotted sporting their signature coats.

Canada Goose’s tagline:

“Our uncompromised craftsmanship defines Canadian luxury.”

Even when it was vogue to move manufacturing overseas for cost reduction, CEO Dani Reiss knew that keeping the manufacturing in Canada was a huge selling point for customers, so Canada Goose reaffirmed its value proposition around that selling point.

The above tagline is more of value proposition mixed with a tagline, and a simpler version with only “Canadian Craftsmanship” can be found on the site as well.

Tagline examples: Canada Goose, Craftmanship

Tagline examples: Canada Goose, Craftmanship

This tagline is a great example of matching mission to customer in as little as two words. “Canadian Craftsmanship” speaks volumes about both the products being produced as well as the consumers who purchase them. This focus on quality craftsmanship is further enforced by the brand’s lifetime guarantee on it’s signature products.

The Results:

Canada Goose coats are not only known for their high quality but also for being some of the warmest on the market. Because of their commitment to quality, expressed beautifully in their tagline, they achieved incredible success.

  1. Expanded brand recognition when movie crew members were spotted wearing the coats while shooting in cold locations.
  2. Featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition, modeled by Kate Upton.
  3. Grew their revenues from $3 million in 2001, to $200 million in 2014.

5. GoPro: Be A Hero

GoPro is the brainchild of Nick Woodman who noticed that the only way to capture a surfer’s tricks was from land or on a jetski. He bootstrapped the company by selling belts decorated with beads and shells out of his van, and the prototype was born.

GoPro’s tagline:

GoPro actually has two primary landing taglines.

  1. “Be a HERO.”
  2. “Capture + share your world”

Both of these taglines do a great job of representing the brand, albeit in different ways.

Tagline examples: GoPro, Be a HERO.

Tagline examples: GoPro, Be a HERO.

GoPro was invented for the purpose of capturing extreme sports like skydiving or snowboarding, and their taglines encapsulate that, inviting users to “be a hero” and take extreme action, capture their exploits on film, and then share their adventures with the world.

These taglines are very customer focused, which fits with GoPro’s marketing strategy. GoPro’s marketing revolves around user generated content, and their taglines help to invite new users to participate in sharing their GoPro captured activities with their friends.

The Results:

While GoPro has recently been having to compete with smartphone cameras and mounts, they are still a massive success:

  1. GoPro made $150,000 in revenue from the Home Shopping Network in its first year of official sales in 2004.
  2. As of 2016, GoPro has grown to be a $2.5 billion enterprise.

6. Stella Artois: Be Legacy

Stella Artois has a nearly 700 year history, so their taglines have evolved over the better part of a millennium.

Here’s a brief history of how the brand has evolved:

Stella has been around since 1336 and was originally brewed as a pricey, limited edition treat for Christmas. That was until 1981 when they turned their price point into a positive with a “Reassuringly Expensive” tagline. The statement worked and Stella Artois successfully flipped the narrative from “too expensive” to “classy”.

Stella Artois turned high price into a selling point. 9 tagline examples for business growth.

Stella Artois turned high price into a selling point.

That was until football fans realized that Stella contained a higher percentage of alcohol than other beers and began drinking it to get drunk. It caused a rift between the company’s brand and public perception as fans were pictured rioting with a Stella in hand.

To turn their image around, they repositioned themselves in 2008 with a new tagline: “A thing of beauty”. The marketing campaign displayed their ‘9 Step Preparation Guide’ that implied the consumer needed skill and a certain amount of grace to pour the perfect pint of Stella.

Stella Artois tagline:

“Be Legacy”

Last year saw another revamp in their marketing, as the company sought to make its beer appear not only more classy, but more personal.

Stella’s new tagline shows off their brand personality by reaching back into their history to the beginnings of Sebastian Artois, a man who sold all of his belongings to buy the brewery down the street.

Tagine examples: Stella Artois, Be Legacy

Tagine examples: Stella Artois, Be Legacy

They also preface their tagline with the phrase, “what will you be remembered for?”. It does a great job of targeting an emotion behind their beer that isn’t partying on a boat. You drink their beer to live life.

The Results:

Not many products survive for centuries, yet Stella Artois’ has used their branding to achieve success and longevity:

  1. Stella is the best selling beer brand from Belgium and is sold in over 100 countries worldwide.
  2. The beer has is also widely recognized as being “sophisticated” by consumers, and “the best premium lager” in 2013 by the Morning Advertiser.

7. BuzzSumo: Find Shared Content and Key Influencers

BuzzSumo allows people to find the most popular content around a given keyphrase. Instead of manually searching websites for your keyword, Buzzsumo amalgamates the most popular content for that keyword, how many social shares it received, and who shared it.

BuzzSumo’s tagline:

“Find the most shared content and key influencers”

Tagline examples: Buzzsumo's tagline is found in its interface.

Tagline examples: Buzzsumo’s tagline is found in its user interface.

This tagline doubles as a value proposition. It’s a no fluff explanation of the real value being provided by the brand. Do you want to find the most shared content? Are you looking for key influencers? Well, then you’re in the right place.

The Results:

Even though Buzz Sumo is a young business (not even 3 years old), it has gained incredible traction:

  1. They received 160,000 “freemium” subscribers and 2,000 paid subscribers in their first year.
  2. After 1 year of operations, Buzz Sumo generated $2.5 million in revenue.
  3. Used and promoted by Neil Patel, Matthew Barby, and Mari Smith.

8. Headspace: Treat Your Head Right

Headspace began with a meeting between two men. Andy Puddicombe, an Englishman, became a monk after having the traumatic experience of losing two friends and a step-sister. He wanted to bring the technique of mindfulness to the masses, and created a meditation app called “Jeeves”.

At the same time, Richard Pierson, another Englishman, was burned out from his job. To help calm his anxiety, a friend of his had recommended Jeeves. Inspired by the app, he approached Puddicombe with a proposition – he’d market the meditation app in return for one-on-one meditation lessons.

The men tapped into the 1.2 trillion dollar mindfulness industry in 2010, when they brought meditation to where most people were spending their time – their phones.

Headspace’s Tagline:

“Treat Your Head Right”

Tagline examples: Headspace's tagline makes mental health common sense

Tagline Examples: Headspace’s tagline makes mental health common sense

Traditionally, the general public in North America has viewed meditation as something exclusive to monks, hippies, or other niche groups. Headspace has helped change this perception withe their broad outreach.

Through their approachable brand personality, exemplified through their tagline, they showed that meditation isn’t some ethereal experience meant only for “mystics”, but rather, something anyone can do to “treat their head right” as part of an everyday mental health routine.

The Results:

The app’s approach to meditation worked. Headspace has gained huge traction over the last few years:

  1. It received $30 million via a Series A in 2015.
  2. The subscription based model of pricing has resulted in the app reaching a net worth of $250 million.
  3. Headspace has been adopted by celebrities like Richard Branson, Jessica Alba, and Lebron James, fueling its growth.
  4. It is ranked as the highest quality “mindfulness-based” app according to the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research.

9. Dollar Shave Club: Shave Time. Shave Money.

Dollar Shave Club was born out of a party conversation between Mark Levine and Michael Dubin, where they shared their frustrations on the high cost of razor blades. They came up with the idea to send blades via a monthly subscription box for $1 (with $2 shipping). The pair launched Dollar Shave Club’s website in 2011.

Dollar Shave Club’s tagline:

“Shave Time. Shave Money.”

Tagline Examples: Dollar Shave Club's tagline is the perfect pun

Tagline Examples: Dollar Shave Club’s tagline is the perfect pun

Dollar Shave Club showcases brand personality incredibly well in their tagline, website, and across all of their marketing campaigns, branding their company as a club for common sense, sarcastic smart alecks… you know… what every guy aspires to be.

Up until Dollar Shave Club’s existence, many had griped about the absurd cost of disposable razor blades, but very little had been done about it. Dollar Shave Club cashed in on the strategic idea of delivering blades bought in bulk but repackaged for individual use, capturing the sentiment that we all need to save time and money, even in the smallest of ways.

The Results:

Questioning consumer norms paid off for Dollar Shave Club in big ways:

  1. Their initial ad in 2011, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great”, went viral and got

    12,000 subscribers in 48 hours

    . The add also attracted $1 million in investment in the company.

  2. The following year, the company raised $9.8 million to expand internationally into Canada and Australia.
  3. In 2016, Dollar Shave Club was bought out for

     $1 billion by Unilever.

Conclusion: Business Tagline Example Takeaways

Now that we’ve seen what a winning tagline looks like, let’s review the key qualities you should include in yours:

  1. It captures your mission
  2. It reflects your persona
  3. It resonates with your target audience

Create a tagline that reflects these qualities, and you’ll have secured a key piece in your branding campaign.


21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

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Copywriting is the focal point of conversion rate optimization. It’s the glue that holds the conversion funnel together.
Without copywriting, your business has… well, nothing.
Unfortunately, most people (and dare I say most copywriters) are just awful at writing copy. They can tell you all the right principles and even write a fantastic blog post on the best copywriting tips, yet when it comes to actually writing the copy, all that knowledge goes out the window.
So that’s what brings us together… today.
We’ve already discussed the psychology of persuasive writing, but in this post we’re going to focus on some incredibly practical and insanely important copywriting tips that most everyone can recite in their sleep yet somehow rarely make it the published landing page.
You can’t afford to get these wrong.

1. Take Your Readers Through A Narrative

They say that good storytellers make the best salespeople, and that’s not a hard concept to believe.
We all know those people – the people who have a way with words and make anything they’re talking about interesting. When you hear someone telling a story (and telling it well), it’s easy to feel like you’re a part of it. We get sucked into the flow of words, thoughts, and ideas.
The psychological term for this phenomenon is called “neural coupling“, and it describes how the listener’s brain patterns tend to mirror that of the speaker during communication. This coupling occurs when the listener is engaged with the flow of communication and breaks when they get distracted or are unable to comprehend what’s being communicated to them.
Now, notice this point didn’t read “tell a story”.
Storytelling has a place in marketing, but when we’re writing copy for a website landing page, telling a story in the traditional sense isn’t always the best use our limited space.
Instead of story, think narrative.
A narrative is an account of connected events, with connected being the key word here. It’s very, VERY important that every piece of copy on your landing page is connected.
Many landing pages I see today consist of a bunch of copy segments that cover a range of topics and hit on everything the site owner thought would be important to cover. In the worst cases, the site owner selected a WordPress template and then hired a copywriter to fill in the text spots.
There is no flow. There is no connection. There is no chance to create that neural coupling effect with the reader.
Instead of creating multiple segments, think through the journey you want to take your readers on. Where are they when they land on your page? Where do you want them to be when they get to your final Call to Action (CTA)?
To help you get started, here’s the narrative template I like to use with many of my clients:

  1. Open with your value proposition to let the reader know exactly what you’re offering.
  2. Hit on the core problems your product/service is designed to solve.
  3. Transition into the way your product/service solves those problems.
  4. Hit on all the key benefits that go along with using your product/service.
  5. Paint a picture for the reader of their lives with your solution.
  6. Call the reader to take action.

Connecting your landing page in a narrative flow will go a long way in engaging readers with your message.

2. Simplify & Condense Whenever Possible

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”
– Thomas Jefferson

You have a limited amount of space and time to communicate your value and capture your reader’s’ interest.
55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds viewing a landing page before deciding to leave. It’s incredibly important that you effectively communicate your core value proposition within that brief window.
You already know the importance of a great value proposition, but this condensed approach shouldn’t end after the fold. Each segment of your landing page needs to be treated as though you have an extra 15 seconds to compel the reader forward to the next section.
At no point do you the luxury of babbling. At no point can you take the reader for granted.
Every word on a landing page needs to be optimized. Every sentence needs to be intentional, clear, and concise, from the opening headline to the closing CTA.
This does NOT mean your page should be brief. It’s important that you say everything you need to say. It simply means that you should communicate everything you need to communicate in as few words as possible. Every segment needs to be the optimal version of itself.

3. Keep The Visual In Mind

When writing the copy for a landing page, it’s important to remember that the copy will be viewed within the context of a visual design.
Reading a landing page is not at all like reading a letter, a blog post, or even an email. Images, video, visual design elements, and even interactive features can be a big part of the user experience. The copy is still THE most important element, but it will be viewed in the context of the page’s design.
It’s important that you keep this visual experience in mind when writing the copy.
In other words, NO WALLS OF TEXT.

  • Utilize headings and subheadings.
  • Keep paragraphs to 2-3 sentences.
  • Use bullets and numbers.
  • Use proper spacing and kerning.
  • Make sure there is plenty of “white space”.

In other words, don’t do this…
Visual elements like those I just recommended allow the eye to easily track from point to point without distraction. While the copy is king, it needs to play nice with the design to ensure its narrative is easy to read, follow, and comprehend.
This is why I always recommend my next point…

4. Collaborate With The Designer

When creating a new landing page, you should always have your copywriter and designer work together from the beginning. This should be standard practice for ANYONE hiring a copywriter… and yet, in my experience as a freelance copywriter, it’s very rare.
Too often, copywriting is viewed as a “fill in the gaps” activity that occurs after the website design is finalized.
This is a massive mistake. The purpose of the copy is NOT to fit the design. The purpose of the design is to highlight and facilitate the copy. If your copywriter is filling in lorem ipsum text blocks, you are seriously hampering their ability to create a compelling narrative.

At the same time, copywriters (especially beginning or intermediate copywriters) can be a bit text heavy and ignorant of how to create copy segments that are compatible with modern design, resulting in the problems I mentioned in Point #3.
This is why I always recommend that clients have their copywriters and designers collaborate on landing pages simultaneously. When the two work together, the copy can be highlighted without compromising the visual design.

5. Write With Personality

Look, have you ever talked with someone who has no personality?
Yeah, that’s what it feels like to read formal copywriting.
If you are anything like everyone I’ve ever known, you will nod your head sagely and agree with this point. You probably even have a blog post on your site with this exact copywriting tip proudly displayed in a list similar to this.
This seems to be one of those points that is widely understood yet somehow flies right out the window the moment fingers hit keyboards.
The reality is that most people struggle getting thoughts to paper. By the time they are able to articulate what they’re trying to say, there’s no mental capacity left for personality or nuance, and as a result, the copy comes out sounding formal and stale.
Or worse, it’s nothing more than a paragraph full of buzz words…

Write copy like you are speaking directly to your target audience. How do they speak? How do they like to be spoken to? If you are talking to doctors, your copy might need to be academic or a bit more formal, but if you are speaking to patients on behalf of doctors, your copy shouldn’t sound like a medical conference presentation.
If you struggle with this, either hire a copywriter, pay for tone-focused editing, or write, write, write until you don’t have to think so much in order to translate your thoughts to words on a page.

6. Write Multiple Drafts

Remember in high school when you had to submit a 1st draft and then a 2nd draft and then a 3rd draft?
There was actually a reason for that, and the reason is that your 1st draft usually sucks.
Don’t believe me? Maybe you’ll believe Ernest Hemingway:

'The first draft of anything is shit.' - Ernest Hemingway Click to Tweet

So yeah, stop settling for your first draft like a chump and start taking advantage of the revision process. Even better, create multiple versions of your most important talking points and then get 3rd party feedback on the variations.
And ultimately, you really don’t need to guess perfectly with your copy. The ideal copywriting strategy is to write multiple versions, each optimized around a different conversion hypothesis, and then A/B test them with real site visitors.

7. Prioritize Clarity Over Cleverness

If you were super into Mad Men, you probably suck at digital copywriting.

Clever copy doesn’t convert. Clear, compelling copy converts (say that 5 times fast).
Your goal as a copywriter is to clearly communicate the value of the offer, the problems it solves, and the benefits of using it to the intended user. If you can be clear and clever, that’s fine, but only one of those will pay you back for the time you spent writing it.

8. Focus On The Emotions Behind The Decision

“Sell the sizzle” and “be emotional” are pretty stereotypical copywriting tips, and while they are not universally applicable, they tend to be correct more often than not.
Human beings very rarely make decisions from a purely analytical standpoint. We are an emotional species and our emotions heavily dictate our behavior.
There are two primary ways in which emotions affect our decision-making:

  1. Immediate emotions
  2. Anticipated emotions

Immediate emotions are those experienced in the moment the decision is being made. These can be related to the decision itself or they can be the result of other external stimuli.
For example, if you get in a big argument with your spouse, leave angry, and then begin evaluating a purchasing decision, that anger is an immediate emotion effecting your decision-making.
Anticipated emotions are the emotions someone anticipates experiencing as a result of a given decision.
For example, if you are debating whether to purchase a new SaaS product, and you are thinking about all the time it could save you, the associated emotions are anticipated emotions.
When you are writing your copy, it’s important to think through any consistent immediate emotions that might surround your visitors’ journey to you. What motivated them to click that add or search for that keyphrase, and how might that give you a read on their immediate emotional state?
Even more importantly, how can you resonate with the problems your readers are facing and then help them genuinely imagine a positive future with your product?
This is what your copy should be focused on.

9. Write To One Person

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with their copy is trying to communicate to everyone at once. It’s been quite surprising to me how often a business owner will come to me to write copy, and when I ask them, “Who is your target audience?” they reply, “Everyone”.
Here’s a secret. “Everyone” is NOT your target audience. In fact, The more people you are trying to fit into the same sales pitch, the less effective it will be.
The best copywriting is written to a single reader. It’s focused on a specific customer profile and the interests, needs, and aspirations that come along with that profile.
If you don’t already have that profile defined, all you have to do is go talk to your customers.
A great example comes from Sujan Patel, who spent hours upon hours reviewing customer support logs and talking directly with the customers themselves. The onboarding improvements that came from those conversations resulted in an incredible 250% lift in conversions for his business.
Write your copy to someone specific instead of using a catch-all mentality.

10. Break The Rules & Test The Results

General rules and best practices are great. When you start with what works on average, you will probably end up in a better spot than if you were to just winging it.
That said, if you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll get the results everyone else is getting. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to break the rules and try something new.
But the difference between strategic rule breaking and “winging it” is data. You should always be A/B testing your copywriting, but if you are going to break away from best practices, you absolutely need to begin A/B testing your content.

The difference between strategic rule breaking and “winging it” is data. Click to Tweet

Conclusion

Okay… my sermon is delivered, and now I’m washing my hands of this.
You can’t afford to get these wrong.
Whether you write your own copy or bring in outside help, it’s critically important that you follow all 10 of today’s tips when creating your landing pages and conversion funnels.
Obviously, there are many more important tips for great copy, and I’d love to hear your favorites. Let me know your #1 copywriting tip in the comments.
 
Jacob McMillen is a freelance copywriter and the content manager for Conversion Sciences. He enjoys boosting conversion rates for a living and pretending to think in his spare time. Follow him on Twitter @jmcmillen89 … if you dare.

Let’s explore the meaning of behavioral science and why it’s so important — more so, critical — to increasing online conversions.

As data becomes cheaper and more accessible, behavioral science becomes an increasingly important term for anyone serious about marketing and conversion optimization.

Examples of Behavioral Science in our Everyday Lives

Many people think of behavioral science as a field of academic study or the domain of dedicated data scientists, but it’s much broader in scope than that.

In fact… it’s everywhere you look:

  • When you check to see how many people liked your most recent Facebook post, you’re using behavioral science.
  • When you decided to buy a certain pair of shoes based on their star rating, you were using behavioral science.
  • When you chose not to by that espresso machine because of the reviews, you were using behavioral science.

The Billboard music charts, the New York Times Bestseller list, the Rotten Tomatoes Freshness Score, the laugh track on The Big Bang Effect. Behavioral science affects our thoughts and decision making on a daily basis.

So what is behavioral science? And why is it a MAJOR key to increasing a website’s conversion rate?

If you’d like to learn more, watch my presentation on using behavioral science for your business.

What Is Behavioral Science?

The simplest definition of behavioral science is that it’s the study of human behavior. For those of us in the digital marketing profession, behavioral science is the science of predicting the future. Understanding how people have behaved in the past will help us understand how people will behave in the future.

It encapsulates multiple fields of study, including psychology, sociology, social neuroscience, and cognitive science, and many others, and it focuses primarily on controlled observation of behavior patterns in response to external stimuli.

Behavioral science differentiates itself from fields like social science in that it is driven by rigorously obtained empirical data, and this data-driven approach is what led us to fall in love with the field here at Conversion Sciences.

Why Behavioral Science Is Instrumental In Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

In the early years of this century (no, not the 1900’s), I was a corporate marketer responsible for generating leads and sales from the relatively new worldwide web. It was my job to create advertising, compose the emails, design the landing pages, develop the content and build the website that would attract people to us and convert these visitors into leads when they arrived at the website.

It was a frustrating job.

Because in the digital world you can do anything. Any image, any copy of any length. I could add video, animations, live chat, ratings and reviews.

Sometimes I would mash the best ideas together into a mush that only served to confused my readers.

Other times, I would have to pick one consistent message. But was it the best one? Really? I didn’t know.

This is why the carousel was born. Marketers couldn’t decide what to put on their home pages, so they just rotated through a bunch of options.

Not a good plan.

This was all frustrating because my only form of research was “launch and see.”

Launch and see (also called “launch and pray”) is the most expensive way of collecting behavioral data. An entire design has to be completed and launched before we have ANY idea if it will work.

Redesigns have become the primary way businesses test their websites: spend a lot of money, launch and see.

Analyzing Behavior to Increase Website Conversions

Fortunately, I’ve got mad programmer skillz. I wrote a little program that collected data on my visitors. Whenever they arrived at my website, I would store the source of their visit and then track them to see if they completed a form. At the time, I didn’t even know that this was called a conversion.

With this simple program, I was able to track and measure how visitors interacted on our website. I now had data with which to make informed decisions about our site content.

In 2005, Google released Google Analytics, and suddenly, an entire new realm of online behavioral science data was opened up to webmasters at no cost.

Research vs. Intuition: The Importance of Behavioral Science

In 2014, Marks & Spencer redesigned their apparel website. Marks & Spencer is a GBP10 billion company running food and apparel stores in the UK and Europe. In 2013 13% of their sales went through the web. That’s about $1.5 billion. With a B.

In 2014, they launched a website redesign. The effort cost GBP150 million. Today that would be about $180 million.

Marks and Spenser new home page offers "The New Look"

After two years and approximately $180 million spent, Marks and Spencer launched a new website. Source: Digital Tonic

The UX community–and their designers–thought the redesign was “positive.”

More research would be needed for us to give a thorough UX opinion but our first thoughts are that it’s a positive redesign.

— ExperienceSolutions

The customers didn’t agree. Upon launch, the site saw an immediate 8% drop in sales. That’s about $10 million per month in lost sales. This number doesn’t take into account the loss of brand trust.

The best way to build brand online is to deliver what your visitors want.

For $180 million, we expect that they did a great deal of research into their customers and visitors. So, what went wrong?

This is the battle being waged in your businesses. Intuition vs. research. Best practices vs. behavioral science. Left brain vs. right brain. Both are necessary. But if you continue to find yourself struggling to get value from the visitors that you pay to bring to your site, there is an imbalance.

Intuition is our ability to apply our experience to new situations. We admire those who can discern the important aspects of something without study.

When behavioral data was expensive to acquire, most campaign planning and development time was spent in the domain of intuition. Any research was done at the beginning of the process, and this was primarily qualitative data based on surveys and focus groups.

Then the designers and developers applied the data to the best of their ability relying heavily on their intuition to make thousands of little decisions necessary to complete a project.

The old "Mad Men" way of design left most decisions up to experience and intuition, not data and research.

The “Mad Men” way of designing a website.

It is at the end of this process that true behavioral data is collected. It’s called results. If the results were positive, then the campaign can be replicated and continued. If the results were disappointing, then the campaign would be scratched, and the process would start over.

This is the classic launch and see approach.

What Using Behavioral Science Data Looks Like

What does a campaign development process look like in an era of cheap behavioral data. For most businesses, it looks the same. But for industry leaders, it looks like this:

Effort is split between experience or intuition and data or research.

This is how we design a website when data is abundant and cheap. Like today.

Qualitative data is collected at the beginning. But now we can go back and test components of the campaign again and again. And we collect inexpensive quantitative behavioral data.

Intuition has its place and always will. But now we have balance. At several points along the development path, we can answer specific questions about our campaign.

Conclusion: What Is Behavioral Science and Why Is It Critical For Conversion?

Every marketer will need to add behavioral science in their diet. What is behavioral science and how does it lead to winning campaigns?

We’re going to be diving deeper into behavioral sciences in the coming months.

We’ll be discussing the rules of behavioral science, examining case studies, and providing practical strategies for application.

If you’d like to learn more, watch my presentation on using behavioral science for your business.