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Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization, Visual Communication

Hot or Not? 🔥 Check Your Images with Heat Maps by @NikkiElizDeMere

heatmaps

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (@yazsedky).

Do you suspect that your sales page leaves people cold? Do you think nobody’s reading your content – or, at the very least, they’re ignoring your Call to Action (CTA) buttons? Are the images on your website turning visitors off – or confusing them?

What are your visitors thinking?!?!

If you’ve posed any of these questions, or just want to know what your visitors like and don’t like, heat maps are the super simple (and crazy valuable) answer.

Copywriters and designers take note: This will change the way you do everything. Ready? I’m going to show you how to use heat maps to get the most out of your visual content. Best part? These programs are usually free or affordable (I recommend five favorites at the bottom).

Read More on SEMrush


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Conversion Rate Optimization, Customer Development, Customer Success

Customer Development: 4 Steps for Decreasing Churn by @NikkiElizDeMere

4StepsForDecreasingChurn

If you had to sum up conversion, customer success and retention into one phrase, that phrase might be “customer development.” Customer development doesn’t have a succinct and pithy definition – it’s just too complex of a concept to smush into a neat sentence. The best definition I’ve come across is from Patrick Vlaskovitz in The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development:

“Customer Development is a four-step framework to discover and validate that you have identified the market for your product, built the right product features that solve customers’ needs, tested the correct methods for acquiring and converting customers, and deployed the right resources to scale the business.”

Clear as mud, easy as an appendectomy.

Which is to say, it’s not easy at all. So let’s break it down in terms that lend themselves more to concision: Conversion, customer success and retention.

It’s like the circle of life. They’re all connected and flow into each other. To eliminate churn and increase customer success, you should constantly optimize your conversion process (hello retention!).

Read More on Conversioner


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Content Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization

Good Copy, Great Copy, and Copy That Converts by @NikkiElizDeMere

conversion-copywriting

Good copy is readable, maybe even enjoyable, and probably free of spelling errors, grammatical snafus and typos. But it’s not going to win you customers (though it might show Google your website still has a pulse, which isn’t nothing). Great copy is the kind of thing people talk about and share with their friends. Great copy makes the rounds on Twitter and Facebook, garners high page views, and contributes something of genuine value to the world – or it’s just really, really funny.

But I’m not here to talk about good copy, or even great copy. I want to talk about a very specific kind of copy: Conversion copy.

Read More on SEMRush


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Conversion Rate Optimization

Hiring For Conversion Rate Optimization by @NikkiElizDeMere

By now, most companies know enough about data-driven marketing to ask for it. They want real numbers backing every decision, and marketers have narrowed down the “intangibles” by finding new ways to measure nearly everything. Have we entered a Golden Age of personalized marketing? Perhaps. One thing we know for sure: Conversion Rate Optimization is poised to become a highly valued, integral part of the digital marketing landscape.

If you want to be part of this up-and-coming specialization or are planning to hire for Conversion Rate Optimization, here’s how a Conversion Rate Optimization specialist should be like.

Read more on Visual Website Optimizer


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Conversion Rate Optimization

The Quick n’ Dirty Guide to Landing Pages That Convert by @NikkiElizDeMere

the-quick-and-dirty-guide

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (‏@yazsedky).

Landing pages may be a science and they’re certainly an art, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be as easy as 1-2-3. By following a few best-practices, you can optimize your landing pages to convert better than they ever have before (you’re tracking that, right?). Let’s break it down in one quick n’ dirty guide.

  1. Employ the Quick Wins (because some things don’t need a paragraph to explain them): 

    Your mantra: One page, one purpose.

    Place form here: Right side of the page, above the fold if it’s an easy sell, below the fold if you have to explain it.

    Make sharing easy: If you want people to share your offer on Social Media, reduce anxiety by telling them they can customize their message.

    Increase E-book Downloads Instantly: Just tell users how long it will take them to actually read the thing.

    Halt Ad Bounce Rates: If your landing page bounce rate from online ads is high, check your messaging. Nine times out of ten, messages and images on ads don’t match their landing pages, which is a huge conversion-killer!

  2. Understand the Philosophy of the Landing Page:
     

    The first rule of landing page design is: Never start a marketing campaign without a landing page! I’d repeat it, but it’s long, so just read it one more time, write it down, and hand it to your tattoo artist along with your right arm.

    The second rule of landing page design is has to do with what we call the “Attention Ratio.” Attention ratio is the ratio of all the things you could do on a given page to the number of things you should be doing. And that ratio should be 1:1. Ie. One page, one purpose, one action, no distractions. Follow this rule and conversion rates will rise.

    The third rule of landing page design is: Be very, exhaustively clear. People get confused rather easily when presented with a form, so be sure to tell them what the form is, what the form will do once filled out, and how they will benefit from filling out the form. Be explicit. And, bonus points for putting all of this information succinctly on the form itself.

    The fourth rule of landing page design is: Know who’s using it and what their expectations are. The landing page you create for your grandmother (who uses Facebook and email like a pro) versus the landing page you create for your sister (who schools you when it comes to phone apps and internet memes) are very different pages. What are the expectations of your target audience?

  3. Understand the Philosophy of the Form:

     
    I adhere to Form First Design, which essentially means that your form should act like a miniature landing page, communicating what it’s for and why users should care. You can use a framework similar to an old-fashioned news story: What, Why, Where, When, and How. Your form should now look something like this:

    • Headline: What is your offer?
    • SubHead: Why should the user care?
    • Benefits bullet points
    • Form fields: To be described adequately so users know what they’re supposed to do
    • TA: Describe what’s going to happen next
    • Social Proof: Testimonial quote

You might wonder how many fields your form should have, and that is up for debate. Would you like lots of conversions, or only high quality conversions? The longer and more detailed the form, the higher quality those leads are likely to be. Look at a typical HubSpot form, for example. Those puppies are long. Why? Because they only want to send high-quality leads to their sales reps.

Yes, you can and should do A/B testing to optimize your landing pages. Yes, there are many other tweaks you can employ to really give them that final polish. But most people aren’t even mastering the basics. Now you have no excuses. Don’t be one of them!


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Conversion Rate Optimization, Curation, Metrics, Tools

34 Tools for Conversion Rate Optimization ft. @MorganB

tools-for-cro

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (‏@yazsedky).

Qualitative, quantitative, testing, and workflow tools for conversion rate optimization.

Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the most powerful levers for driving online business growth.


The Conversion Rate Optimization process includes quantitative and qualitative data and testing with a scientific approach.

As Peep Laja mentions, “[CRO] tools aren’t as important as knowing what to do with them. Putting a scalpel in someone’s hand doesn’t make them a surgeon.” That said, building a CRO stack won’t make you an expert, but it’s a good place to start when familiarizing yourself with related methodologies.

The tools listed here were curated by Qualaroo and Segment.io during a webinar about how to build the perfect conversion stack. There isn’t an accompanying video for it, but if you have questions you can direct them here.


Quantitative Tools

The What

Google Analytics (@googleanalytics)
An ad click here, a page view there, a video watched on a tablet before bed… but which one clinched the sale? Google Analytics has the latest in full-credit measurement, so you see all the stops people take on the road to action. The result: a measurable way to improve campaigns and reach new audiences as they go through their days.

KISSMetrics (@KISSmetrics)
Google Analytics tells you what’s happening. KISSmetrics tell you who’s doing it.

Mixpanel (@mixpanel)
Mixpanel lets you measure what customers do in your app by reporting actions, not page views.

Woopra (@Woopra)
No more guessing what customers did on your site or app. Know how engaged each customer is, and exactly what actions they performed — all in real-time.

Omniture / Adobe Marketing Cloud (@AdobeMktgCloud)
Analytics, social, media optimization, targeting, web experience management — and now cross-channel campaign management with Adobe Campaign — Adobe Marketing Cloud does it all.

Clicky (@clicky)
Real-time analytics.

Adobe Analytics (@AdobeAnalytics)
Adobe Analytics helps you create a holistic view of your business by turning all customer interactions, including offline data, into actionable insights. The marketing reports and analytics, ad hoc analysis, and data workbench technologies give you access to easy-to-use, interactive dashboards, reports, and visualizations. With the market-leading solution, you’ll better understand the whole customer journey.


Qualitative Tools

The Why

Qualaroo (@QualarooInc)
Analytics tell you what people are doing on your website. Qualaroo tells you why. Qualaroo insights lead to smarter tests and faster improvements in your website’s performance.

Survey.io (@QualarooInc)
Create an initial customer development survey.

Survey Monkey (@SurveyMonkey)
SurveyMonkey is the world’s most popular online survey software. We make it easier than ever to create polls and survey questionnaires for learning about anything from customer satisfaction to employee engagement. Sign up to access our library of sample survey questions and expert-certified templates. Customize your survey questions, distribute your questionnaire on the web, and start collecting responses in real time. Our Analyze tool helps you turn survey data into insights and create professional reports.

Olark (@olark)
Experience the easiest way to boost your sales, help solve issues and understand your customers with Olark live chat.

SessionCam (@SessionCam)
Session replay, heatmaps, and conversion funnels.

Inspectlet (@Inspectlet)
Analyze user behavior instantly with eye-tracking heat maps, screen capture (record and playback actual visitor sessions), and user-interaction analytics.

ClickTale (@ClickTale)
ClickTale takes the guess work out of website optimization, conversion analysis and usability research. Knowing how visitors use your website will enable you better target specific audiences, improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion. Use ClickTale to analyze the performance of your online forms, keep visitors engaged in page content, and lead them through the conversion process.

CrazyEgg (@CrazyEgg)
The original heatmapping technology.

UserTesting (@usertesting)
Get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they use your website or mobile app.

FiveSecondTest (@fivesecondtest)
Fivesecondtest helps you fine tune your landing pages and calls
to action by analyzing the most prominent elements of your design.

Silverback 2.0 (@silverbackapp)
Guerrilla usability testing software for designers and developers.

Hot Jar (@HotjarApps)
All-in-one analytics and feedback.


Testing Tools

The How & When

Optimizely (@Optimizely)
Increase engagement, interactions, and conversions.

Unbounce (@unbounce)
Marketers: build, publish & A/B test your landing pages without I.T.

Ion (@ioninteractive)
Easily create and test app-like digital experiences that generate leads, enhance brands, and drive revenue.

Visual Website Optimizer (@wingify)
Create and test different versions of your website to continuously discover the best performing versions that increase your online sales.

AppsFlyer (@AppsFlyer)
Mobile apps installation referral and conversion tracking service.

Adobe Target (@AdobeTarget)
Most marketers want to test and target but don’t think they have the time, expertise, or tools. Adobe has simplified it to a click.

Yozio
Yozio makes it easy for organizations with mobile apps to develop a deep understanding of their users and drive acquisition, engagement, revenue and retention.


Workflow Tools

The Learning

workflow_tools

Google Drive (@googledrive)
Drive starts you with 15 GB of free Google storage, so you can keep pictures, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos — anything.

Panic (@panic)
We make Macintosh software: Coda, Diet Coda, Transmit, Unison, Prompt, and more.

PowerPoint
Build the story, present with presence and inspire your audience

Excel
Unlock insights and tell the story in your data.

Experiment Engine (@expengine)
Build your testing plan, source variations, run experiments, and gather results–all from one platform.

Python (@ThePSF)
Python is a programming language that lets you work quickly and integrate systems more effectively.

Geckoboard (@geckoboard)
Use data to make better decisions and motivate your team.

Confluence (@atlassian)
Give your team one place to share, find, and collaborate on information they need to get work done.


Company Stage Matters

Company stage matters when conducting CRO. Morgan Brown goes into detail about that here.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.

Content Marketing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Customer Success, Growth Hacking

10 Growth Hacking Epiphanies From a Customer Success Genius ft. @LincolnMurphy

10-growth-hacking-spiphanies

Image created by Yasmine Sedky (‏@yazsedky).

On January 13th at Inbound.org, Lincoln Murphy, Founder at Sixteen Ventures, said “Ask me anything.”

The four things that he LOVES to talk about (“won’t shut up about, actually,” as he puts it) are the same four things I LOVE to talk about:

  1. Customer Success
  2. Growth Hacking
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Conversion Optimization

If you missed Lincoln’s AMA, then I’ll wrap up the session’s highlights for you.

Lincoln Murphy’s January 13th Ask Me Anything on Inbound.org — Highlights

First, why you want to ask Lincoln Murphy anything:

In the past nine years, he’s helped more than 300 SaaS companies grow faster than duckweed (a pond-dwelling plant with superlative reproductive skills) by optimizing the Customer Lifecycle. Lincoln Murphy is also one of the top thought-leaders in Customer Success and Growth Hacking for the SaaS industry, and his Twitter feed contains a Master Class in web marketing. Recent Twitter gems include “You keep saying ‘price point’ … Just say ‘price.’” Right? Stuff of genius.

Note. These are not all the questions and answers, and some questions and answers listed here have been shortened. To read the full text, click here.


Pricing

Q. What are some good indicators you’re undercharging?

A. It’s hard to know for sure, but…

  • You aren’t making money
  • You can’t afford marketing
  • Everything seems expensive
  • You’re charging less that all of your competitors
  • Your market refers to you as a toy or otherwise doesn’t take you seriously
  • You’re eating ramen noodles in a shared dorm in a non-ironic way and you’re 35 years old
  • You don’t know what your product is worth to your customers
  • You want to be low-touch
  • You complain about not having money, even though you have a lot of customers
  • Your churn is 0%
  • Your sales cycle is 3 minutes
  • You’ve never had anyone complain about the price& ever

Q. Should you do a pricing page on its [sic] own or put the pricing on the homepage with the rest of your SaaS product details?

A. The general rule for me is the less complex your product and the more your customers are already sold on what you do — the quicker you can present a price to them AND expect that they’ll take action on that.

Q. How important is it to nail your price proposition before launch? Is it safe to best guess and adjust based on feedback/onboarding metrics?

A. Try to get pricing as right as possible out of the gate. That said, pricing is not a set it and forget it event. . . . Whether it’s to better align with your customers (always a good reason), or because you left money on the table (most companies start out by pricing too low, not too high), or because you want to segment your pricing tiers to reflect more accurate use cases, your pricing will evolve over time.

Q. Price changes — Your feeling on grandfathering clients forever in to their current price point or giving them a window of time until they are moved to the new pricing based on their current plans?

A. If you raise prices, you grandfather current customers in at the current rate. If they ever stop being a customer and want to come back, they’ll come back at the new rate.

If you lower prices, you should lower prices of existing customers, too, unless you want some sort of revolt. Never underestimate spite as a driver of business decisions! That means if you lower prices for new customers but not existing customers, some customers may leave — even if they’re happy with the service and otherwise have no complaints and regardless of switching costs… because they hate you now. So keep your current customers in mind when you do things like change your public pricing.

When it comes to grandfathering, though, one thing I try to do is have a way to eventually get people off of grandfathered plans… usually, that involves some incentive to move to the new plan (maybe a big, but time-limited discount)… it’s not required, but I like dealing with as few grandfathered folks as possible. Something to think about at least.


Growth Hacking

Q. What are some channels someone can look into to really get engrossed in and learn about growth hacking?

A. Join http://growthhackers.com and just start absorbing all of the content there. And then as quickly as you can find something to grow. Go to work for a company in a GH capacity, join a startup, start a startup, start a website and sell something and use GH tactics to grow it. Volunteer to GH a charity campaign. I don’t know how to become fully engrossed in Growth Hacking without actually doing it at some point.


Leveraging Content

Q. How can you use content and social media and generate traffic and generate more leads over time?

A.

  1. Content and Social are two different things and — while thats obvious — it helps to keep that in mind.
  2. Think of it more like Content and Distribution, where social media is the distribution modality if thats what makes sense for your audience. Use the appropriate distribution channels to reach your customers. That’s all that matters when it comes to distribution (vs. leveraging a channel that you’re used to or good at).
  3. If content is part of distribution — guest blog posts, email drops on other peoples lists, etc. — then you want to have pillar content that those pieces link back to on your owned properties.
  4. Your owned content is key. No algorithm changes at Google can change that. No policy changes on social media channels can change that.
  5. Everything you do should revolve around that content in some way.
  6. And that content should be surrounded by Calls to Action to opt-in to your email list, sign-up for your Free Trial, request a Demo, sign-up for your email course, etc. etc. Whatever the appropriate CTA is, that content should drive people to take that action.
  7. Use social channels that are where your audience is to distribute and amplify that content, but ultimately drive people back to your content.
  8. And also use your email list to drive people back to your content.
  9. But a good rule of thumb is to spend 90% of your time promoting content and only 10% of the time creating the content& regardless of the channels you use.

Q. Do newsletters still work, or is it best to stick with blog posts?

A. Most blogs that have a ton of traffic (and social shares) do so because they have a newsletter that they use to promote their content. Yeah, maybe they didn’t start out that way, but they used the blog (and still) do to grow the list, and then used the list to promote the blog. Circular.


Lead Conversion

Q. What kind of identifiers/actions can we use to qualify leads which come through our blog (pre signup)?

A. Look at the topic of the post they signed-up on and use that to infer where they are on the awareness ladder (or in the buying cycle, sales funnel, etc.) If it was tactical and product-centric, that might mean they’re later-stage and you maybe reach out or put them into a lower-level nurture track.

If it’s earlier-stage content — more higher-level stuff that’s not tied to your product or even taking tactical action — they may be too early so you put them into an earlier-stage nurture track to get them to a point where they become interested in solving the problem with your product.


Customer Success

Q. What are the MOST important aspects of user experience that affect overall conversions?

A. Everything we do should help the customer toward their Desired Outcome, which itself has two inputs: Required Outcome and Appropriate Experience. The Required Outcome is the thing they have to achieve/accomplish/do/etc. … but how they do that is also important. What the “doing that” feels like to them, how they’re emotionally affected by the process, etc. All of that matters. Just allowing them to achieve their Required Outcome but with an inappropriate experience will not lead to a feeling of success. So the most important aspect of a good UX is understanding and solving for their Desired Outcome.

Q. If you had to narrow it down, what specific data/metrics do you think are most crucial for SaaS companies to look at when making decisions about how to improve conversion and customer success?

A. This is one of those annoying answers that starts with “it depends.”

But it does… it depends on the maturity of the company, the goals of the company at whatever stage of maturity they are, etc.

In the early days you may be more focused only on net new customer acquisition. Later, you may realize you need to keep your customers. Then you may realize it’s not just about keeping them, but growing their use and expanding their revenue. Then you may discover that getting your customers to be advocates for you is the thing you should focus on.

That said, two metrics that are almost always something to keep in mind are:

Customer Acquisition Cost and how efficient it is.

Churn and measuring it the right way. Separating avoidable from unavoidable churn, figuring in only customers that could churn to get your actual churn rate (those that can’t churn due to contracts shouldn’t count), and keeping customer and revenue churn separate (but measuring and acting on both).

Want more?

This AMA session with Lincoln Murphy was packed with excellent questions — no dumb questions in this crowd! To find out the answers to such brain teasers as “What are the first steps a SaaS company should take when creating a Customer Success initiative?” and for Lincoln Murphy’s super simple, yet detailed answer to “Give me a roadmap for B2C lead conversion best practices” — you’ll just have to read the thread yourself.

I hope these highlights help you on your Inbound Marketing journey! But if you’ve got more questions, stay tuned for the next AMA we host at Inbound.org.


Let’s Get SaaSsy – I’m offering a limited number of SaaS consulting engagements.