marketing events

Dear Mom,
Just came back from a speaking tour of Europe. One of the highlights was Digital Elite Camp 2014 in Tallinn, Estonia. I met some of the smartest people in online marketing. We shared ideas, we danced, and we swam in the freezing Baltic Sea.
Here are some pictures from this adventure.
To new friends,
[signature]

Brian is excited to announce that he will be speaking later this week at InfusionCon. He’s ironing the lab coat and polishing his glasses to get ready for a great session in Arizona.
InfusionCon 2013 logo tag F small
What is InfusionCon you ask? Well it is the annual conference for InfusionSoft. While it originally started as a software training conference, it has since evolved into an all-inclusive sales and marketing conference for small businesses.
Brian will be taking his live landing page critiques to the conference. He will be talking directly with small businesses about how to improve their landing pages to increase conversion and get the most out of their campaigns.
If you are attending, please be sure to stop by and tell Brian hello. Maybe he’ll even let you try on the lab coat…….
For more information on his session, check out the InfusionCon agenda. Brian is on Day 3. We hope you can make it to the session!

I am pleased to announce that (finally) my new book is being launched September 5 at Content Marketing World.
The book Your Customer Creation Equation: Unexpected Website Formulas of The Conversion Scientist is a “foundational” book on conversion written for those of you who will be responsible for the performance of a website.
That means business owners, corporate marketers and search engine optimizers. It tells you how to guide your online team to the glorious ecosystems that make your site work for your visitors and your business — your customer creation equation.
As a friend of The Conversion Scientist, I’d like to offer you a personally signed copy of the book. I’ll even pay for shipping.
Request your signed copy now, because I’m only signing a limited number of these.
[signature]
PS: If you’re coming to Content Marketing World, don’t miss our book launch party on September 5, just after the Rick Springfield concert. This event will feature seven authors including yours truly all in one place.
PPS: If you want to get to know a couple of these authors, check out our Unsolicited Advice video series. You might find your site in there someday.

I was on the hot seat at the Austin Content Marketing Meetup.

This isn’t your “play nice and listen while the guy reads his slides” sort of presentation. In the hot seat, the room is actively trying to destroy you, lobbing lit questions from across the room and questioning your every word.

Yes, it even got a little ugly. I think I held up OK.

You’re invited to sit back and enjoy the occasionally heated conversation on how to make your content convert visitors into sales.

Download

Online services are making things so easy for online marketers, but they’re also creating an enormous number of blind spots. These are the services that host our webinars, sell tickets to our events, let people buy our products, manage our appointments and almost everything else we do as online marketers.

Sometimes, these services behave as if they don’t want us to know the conversion rates of their services. They are unmeasurable, opaque to analytics.

I wrote an open letter to them at Search Engine Land.

Dear Service Provider:

I expect to be able to measure you. I expect to have transparency into what my visitors are experiencing inside your systems. I pay good money to bring prospects to my site and I don’t want to send them off to a black box when they buy my products or sign up for an event.

It’s time for you to prioritize measurement and to give me control of the signup, subscription, or purchase process.

Here’s what you need to do if you want me to use your service. These features are going to appeal to the largest users, those customers that you really want because they will pay for a lot of your services.

Analytics Reporting & Integration

Eventbrite is running away with the event ticket sales market. Do you know why? Because they know what works and what doesn’t. They know what features sell more tickets for their customers. They eliminate those things that reduce ticket sales.

They recently did a study and can tell you (to the penny) the average revenue generated by a Facebook share or a Twitter tweet or an email invite.

Most importantly, they share the analytics love with people like me, their customer. This allows me to be as good in my marketplace as Eventbrite is in theirs.

I know where visitors to my Eventbrite page are coming from, and how many of them buy a ticket. If the copy on my event page isn’t working, I know it right away.

Dear everyone else: let me measure the visitors I am sending to your service. Tell me who is bouncing, who is completing the process, and make it easy for me to get to that information.

Your Service Providers Should Help You With Your Conversion Rate

Your Service Providers Should Help You With Your Conversion Rate

Customizable Steps

I can’t recommend a shopping cart to my clients. I haven’t used them all, but I refuse to work with carts in general. They are universally inflexible and opaque. It’s as if the Shopping Cart Guild has decreed that only engineers can design them, and if those engineers don’t really understand the buying process, all the better.

I want to setup many different shopping carts on my site. I want to split test them. I want to test a three-step shopping cart against a ten-step shopping cart. I want all of this and I want to know which step is causing people to abandon the process. See above.

I expect to control the placement of the buttons, the location of trust symbols, the appearance of product images and the treatment of tax and freight charges.

I demand that you let me collect a name and email address on the first step, so that I can use email retargeting, but I do not want my visitors to have to create an account.

Dear shopping cart vendors: shopping cart abandonment rates are atrocious across the web and you aren’t helping. Please start thinking about the shoppers a little more.

Control Of The Thank You Page

When I complete a purchase, signup for a webinar, download a white paper or sign up for a trial, my eyes are assaulted by the bright white blankness of the “thank you” page. Usually those words and a logo are all that appears.

This is one of the biggest missed opportunities in all of conversiondom.

What could be used in this space?

First, I need to add some copy that tells the new customer what to expect in my brand’s words.

I want to add links to my social networks. Genius.

For my events, there needs to be a link that adds an event to a prospective attendee’s calendar.

I want to list some of the other good content I have on my site.

Dear GotoWebinar: you won’t think of everything I will want on my “thank you” page. Send them to me when the signup process is complete. I know what to say to them.

This will also let me measure conversions in the software of my choice. That makes the first item on this list easier for you.

Subdomain Support

Unbounce, a online landing page platform knows that conversion rates go down when visitors are taken to a different domain to buy. It feels phishy to them. So, Unbounce enables me to send people to their landing pages using my domain. It’s called a subdomain.

Unbounce tells me exactly how to create a domain like “offer.buyschtuff.com” and point it to their system. When my visitors go from my site at www.buyschtuff.com to a landing page on their site, they see “offer.buyschtuff.com,” not “wp2.unbounce.com/id=8fdire*#$#.”

Thus, they don’t feel like they’ve been handed off to spammers. They feel at home. People who feel at home don’t abandon me.

This strategy also makes it easy to integrate Unbounce pages with my analytics package. Again, see above.

Dear online service company: don’t we all want higher conversion rates? Support subdomains, please.

Control Of Emails

The emails sent in the 24 hours following a purchase or signup will determine in large part the success of my product or the attendance at my event. It will determine how much social sharing will occur.

Unfortunately, dear service provider, the notification emails that come out of your system seem to work against me. The language seems to deter the very actions we want them to take.

I need to determine what goes into every email that gets sent out. Don’t tell me you’re trying to thwart spammers. My customers may like spam for all you know. My email service provider deals with spammers all day and night and seem to be doing just fine in the spam department.

I won’t use you if you’re going to subject my customers and prospects to your drivel written by the same guy that programmed the email delivery software. He doesn’t’ understand my business or my prospects.

In Closing, Dear Service Providers

You are benefiting and profiting from a time of great decentralization. Online marketers are using a different service for their meetings, another for their webinars, another for shopping carts, another for subscriptions, and yet another for appointment scheduling. There has never been a better time to be a provider of services.

However, if you want to be the leader in your space, you need to understand how we are using your service. You must provide measurability, customizability, domain support, and effective email tools. Then you need to watch us do our thing. What you learn will put you ahead of the competition.

Originally Published on Search Engine Land.

I love to watch Social Media Ninja Giovanni Gallucci present. He imparted a great deal of info on the intersection of social media and search to the audience at the Innotech PDX 2010 eMarketing Summit last week.

If you weren’t there, you can enjoy it through the lense of my pen.

Here is the visual live blog from that presentation.

For more of Gio, visit LearnSocialMedia.tv for hours of good stuff from the Social Media Ninja.

Visual Live Blog Innotech Portland -Giovanni Gallucci

Notes from Giovanni Gallucci Presentation on Social Media Part 1 of 2

 

Click to Enlarge Part 1

social media Portland -Giovanni Gallucci

Notes from Giovanni Gallucci presentation on Social Media Part 2 of 2

Click to Enlarge Part 2

We’re going to make people love your business through your Web site at The Conversion Scientist. There is plenty you can do to increase online sales conversions, and we share it all. Learn what that you can do to convert more of your visitors into leads and sales.

Notes from PubCon 2009 Las Vegas

Click on any image to enlarge.
Brad Geddes, bgTheory.com PubCon-Brad_Geddes-Notes
Tim Ash, SiteTuners.com PubCon-Tim_Ash-7_Deadly_Sins
Kristine Schachinger, S@schachin image
Heather Lloyd-Martin, SEOCopywriting.com
image Alison Driscoll, AlisonDriscoll.com
image Michael McDonald, iEntry.com

image
Mark Robertson, ReelSEO.com
image

Gregory Markel, InfuseCreative.com
image

Gillian Muessig, SEOmoz image

Books to Read

When I first started doing conversion science back in 2006, I ruined several laptop screens. You see, it is very important that I be able to markup pages for my clients.

I started with crayons. However, it became more and more difficult to get the colors off of my laptop screen. Plus, the markup didn’t travel with the image.

Eventually, the crayons left ghosted images on the screen, like a burned plasma display.

Then, I found the pen computer. Now, I can create, markup and take notes analog style, with instant conversion to digital.

A Snapshot of Pubcon

One benefit of the modern pen computer is the ease with which analog input can be shared. So, I thought I would share some of my notes with you.

I chose these based on the following criteria:

1. I took notes

Many presenters don’t realize this, but you have to be “note-worthy.” You have to tee us up to take notes. You’re presentation has to be somewhat logically organized. You can’t throw too much at us too quickly, because we’ll just give up.

2. I was able to take notes on my computer

Props to PubCon for providing extension cords and power strips for us.

3. My notes are somewhat legible.

You be the judge.

Some People Prefer This

Some people prefer this mix of visual cue and text. You may find it helpful.

Click on any of the images to see a full-resolution version.

Some People Prefer Summaries

Here are some of the things I gleaned from notes that didn’t pass the three-point test:

Tools to Check Out

Organic Keyword Search
SEO “Quake” Plugin
SEO for Firefox
Yahoo Site Explorer
Adwords Preview Tool
ExcellentAnalytics.com (Excel)
Tatvic
SEM Rush (Mark Jackson)
Google Trends
MSN Commercial Intention Tool
validator.w3.org
Bing Webmaster Tools

Landing Pages
RingLead.com Lead Management

Social Evaluation
Quarkbase
Woopra
Trackur (Andy Beale)
Brandseye

Twitter
Twitalyzer
WeFollow
Tracking Twitter
Twellow
Twilert

Facebook Apps
Sprout Publisher
AppBank
Involver
Facebook Notes

Site Design
MeasureIt Firefox Plugin
Aardvark Firefox Plugin
Colorzilla Firefox Plugin
Firebug Firefox Plugin
Headspace2 WordPress Plugin

WordPress Themes
Thesis ($)
Flexibility 2
Corrington
Affiliate Theme
eArtisteer (random theme generator)

Video
OneTrueMedia Video Editing and hosting
TrafficGeyser (use with care)
TubeMogul
12Seconds.tv
YouTube Insight
Google TV
YouTube Wonder Wheel
Handbrake Video Compressor

Lessons from DMA 09

It was a room full of very smart, inquisitive and curious communicators. We spent two days immersed in the challenge of giving our Web site visitors what they need, and in doing so, knew we’d be growing our businesses.

Brian Massey presenting at DMA 09.

Brian Massey presenting at DMA 09.

You know the experience: you’re engaged in a conversation or a training or reading a book, and you KNOW everything you’re taking in is true. In fact, you already new much of it.

But, at work, where you’re supposed to be exercising these truths, conversations like this don’t happen. What is that all about?

We covered a lot of ground in my DMA 90 pre-conference intensive “Optimizing Your Web Site for Conversion and Business Success.” I learned a great deal from my audience.

But underneath the energy was an undertow dragging us away from shore. It was the knowledge that we would be returning to marketing departments that are understaffed, under budgeted, and — worst of all — focused on the wrong things.

I heard it from many attendees.

We don’t have the resources to do the things we need to do

Dear CMO, have you considered building an organization that doesn’t have the resources to NOT do the things you need to do? What would that look like?

Let them communicate

It would be a group of people so focused on delivering content that the prospect needs, that they wouldn’t even consider wasting time on the self-aggrandizing, posing communication that so many brands seem to treasure.

Clear the obstacles

They would sweep obstacles out of the way (this is really your job, CMO) so that they could communicate faster, with better data and known results.

They would have ways of working with IT and legal so that their communications are frequent, human and transparent.

Let them experiment

They would make many mistakes, but they would only make them once. They would know which half of their advertising wasn’t working.

Think of an entrepreneurial product development group.

Let them publish

They would produce a volume of content far greater than they do now, with greater accuracy, consistency and efficiency.

Think of a world-class newspaper.

Marketers, take the reigns

A little of the Schwag I collected at DMA 09

A little of the Schwag I collected at DMA 09

If you want to see the most amazing collection of schwag, go to a marketing conference. What surprised me was the amount of goodies that were given away without any qualifying activity.

This is not lead generation or even demand generation.

If you get the freedom to communicate, do so with all of your heart, knowledge and art.

If you want to join a group of marketers and business owners bent on communicating, join us on December 10 in Austin, Texas for the BYO Content Extreme Conversion Makeover. You’ll soon have the leads and revenues that prove you’re a communicator.

‘Bring your most tired white papers, your most mundane articles, and your raw video. We’ll show you how to weave it into a conversion scenario that will generate leads and sales for your business.

We’ll announce the details here shortly. Don’t miss the post.

Brian Massey

Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life. Teach a woman to fish and you feed a village.

Every entrepreneur should come to understand what microcredit is teaching us. This movement is teaching us about the very foundation of our free enterprise system. It is teaching us where compassion lives within our framework of self interest. It is showing us that we are right to believe that opportunity brings out the best in us in ways that charity does not.

In terms of providing “aid” to struggling countries, the US is quite generous. However, the results of our aid are often heart breaking, with much of it being wasted by the governments that are supposed to get it to their people.

Charity has its place. Opportunity, however is the jet engine that moves charity to increase a person’s standard of living. As Americans, we believe that opportunity is the seed from which freedom springs.

Microcredit is opportunity. It is the process of making small loans to individuals in countries that do not share our freedoms… yet. These loans are given to individuals who wish to build businesses in their communities. Initial loans are often no more than US$50.00. Payback rates are well above 90%, and typically approach 100%. It is women who are taking the most advantage of microlending opportunities. This is good, because they tend to invest their profits in their children and their community.

Discover Hope uses music to foster entrepreneurship for export.

Discover Hope uses music to foster entrepreneurship for export

DiscoverHope is a “blended” microcredit organization headquartered in Austin and focusing on South America. I support DiscoverHope because they don’t just loan money, but have built education centers to teach their clients how to build and run a business.

I love the thought that my donations to DiscoverHope will create value over and over and over. This is what we want in our businesses. Why not demand it of our giving?

DiscoverHope is home-grown goodness, started right here in Austin, Texas. In classic Austin tradition, DiscoverHope is using music to express their gratitude and raise more funds for sprouting entrepreneurs in Peru. It’s Saturday, September 26.

You should buy a ticket. The $25 you pay goes right to DiscoverHope activities.

You should also plan to come. You’re going to meet people who have a positive, expansive vision for how we can give back some of the bounty we enjoy here in America.

Do you give out of guilt, or give out of gratitude? Come mingle in a room full of the grateful, and see if you don’t start the next day with a fresh attitude.

Conversion Sciences is a proud sponsor of Band Together for Hope and a donor to DiscoverHope.

Brian Massey

I apparently have set off a new fashion trend

Tom Bennett sporting his new Lab Coat

Tom Bennett sporting his new Lab Coat

During my presentation at Innotech Portland on Social Conversion Twitter was alive with chatter about my attractive Lab Coat. In generous Conversion Scientist fashion, I provided @tom_bennett of The New Group with a coat of his own, as well as @bryanrhoads and @kellyrfeller of Intel.

Clearly, a I’m not the only one that looks good in a lab coat.

But, lest you believe that the coat is only a fashion statement, be assured that it is an important protective garment for any Conversion Scientist.

In my letter to Tom,  Bryan and Kelly, I tell them that the new addition to their wardrobe is functional as well as stylish.

Brian Massey, Kent Lewis and Dylan Boyd at Innotech Portland

Brian Massey, Kent Lewis and Dylan Boyd at Innotech Portland

These coats are woven from mono-filament engagium for strength and protection. The cloth is designed to protect the wearer from all forms of marketing chemicals no matter how acidic or overblown. The material will resist most toxic marketing, including email ribonucleic flaccid, copy hydro-inflate, and Flash fires.

However, there is a danger to the appearance of unbounded intelligence intimated by such an outfit.

Be forewarned that, when wearing the coat in public, you will be expected to have intelligence far beyond normal human capacity. Nonetheless, making up answers to questions about genetics or the proper operation of an electron microscope will harm the image that we try to convey with the lab coat. It’s OK to say “I don’t know.”

Needless to say, such a garment doesn’t come cheap. Safe marketing my friends.

Brian