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3 Landing Pages Tactics You Need to Test

Conventional landing page tactics may seem like they are working for your business and it’s a great place to start if you are new to the ecommerce game. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that what works for other companies landing pages may not work for yours. After you’ve gained some experience and knowledge about your user demographic, it’s time to start exploring other techniques that are unique to your audience.

Here are 3 best practice landing page tactics to test.  As always, any new tests should be run through split A/B testing.

Less is More

Using lots of white space, a single font, and a maximum of 3 colors supposedly makes the user feel peaceful and distraction free. A perfect example of this is the DropBox for Business landing page below.

Dropbox graphic

Depending on the age of your audience, this hard-and-fast tactic may not be as effective on say, the millennial generation, who like a bit more stimulation on a landing page. It’s a good idea to test out variations of the design to see which one has more conversions.

Featuring Sensible Service Packages

Everyone loves a good bargain and comparison shopping is a reality of consumers, particularly online. Standard practice is to offer sensible package options on a pricing page while still maximizing your revenue.

However, marketers have found a higher conversion rate when an irrational offer is included on a pricing page. As we’ve mentioned before it’s a natural instinct to compare prices. When the consumer sees an obvious inferior option that is similar to the desired sale package, the user is easily converted into purchasing the desired package.

Price comparison testing

Say Cheese

Using an actual photograph of a person smiling on your landing page is thought to compel your visitors into taking action, and it can work, as long as it’s used correctly. Stock photos with pasted on smiles can actually turn people off and kills a possible conversion. The stock photo can appear fake and reduce trust in your website. Hubspot recommends, “High quality photos of real people are the best way to go, but again, they won’t for every one of your landing pages.”

To keep your landing pages relevant to your audience, keep testing new techniques, ideas, and designs. The most important take away is this: what works for other websites may not always work for yours, the cookie cutter approach is not always your best practice.

 

10 Tips To Get Your Emails Noticed

When it comes to getting an email from a company that I’ve subscribed, I typically do three things.  First, I see who it is from, secondly, I read the subject line. Finally, I make a decision:  do I delete the email, file it into the appropriate folder, or open it and read. More often than not, I find myself deleting the email before I’ve even opened it.

In this time of all things electronic, we are inundated with marketing and promotional materials to the point of ad nauseum. This begs the question, what can your company do to get your audience to open the emails you are sending out? The key for digital marketers is the subject line. Here are 10 tips on how to get your emails noticed.

Hubspot email inbox image

Tip #1 – Keep it concise.  Email subject lines should be a maximum of 50 characters.  It can be difficult to get your point across with so few words, but the results are effective.

Tip #2 – Be human.  Imagine your frustration when you can’t get in contact with a live person when you are dealing with a problem. This is why it’s recommended to never use a “noreply@companyname.com” type email address. It will also deter people from adding your business contact information into their contact list.

Tip #3 – No false promises.  Do not dupe your audience into believing something from the email subject line that’s not really inside the email. Building trust will build a customer base, not false advertisements.

Tip #4 – Use urgency.  Many people will react to urgent requests when they see a subject line in the email stating, “24 hours only!” or “Sale ends at 8pm EST”.

Tip #5 – Use numbers.  Similar to blog titles, using numbers in a subject line is effective. People love to read a numbered list and are faster to click on an email when there are promises of one.

Tip #6 – Asking the right questions.  Putting a question in the subject line will also engage a reader. Questions such as, “Do you know what your website is missing?” or “Do you know these SEO mistakes?”

Tip #7 – You and you’re.  If you want to personalize an email, but can’t use the recipients names, using you or you’re will work as a great fill in.

Tip #8 – More personalization.  To personalize a subject line in a different way, try naming the city that your readers are located in. Livingsocial and Groupon are experts at this technique.

Tip #9 – Make them feel good.

The English Proverb, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” holds true when it comes to email subject lines. You’ll have a greater return in opened emails by just being nice, rather than pushy.

Tip #10 – Turn off the caps lock key.

Using all caps should never be part of an email subject line. You might think it’ll attract attention, but it does quite the opposite. Only use all caps when it’s grammatically correct.

Do you currently follow some of the above tips in your email marketing campaigns?  If you have any other tips you’ve seen success with, please share in the comments below.  We’d love to hear from you!

Top 4 Tips for using Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools you can use to track your website traffic and overall performance, but it can be completely overwhelming if you don’t know how to properly use it.  How do you know if you are using all the apps to your advantage? It never hurts to have a little refresher on what Google Analytics can do for you.

Here are 4 tips for using Google Analytics:

Tip #1:  Consolidate Analytic Platforms

By installing one piece of tracking code on your website, you can integrate Google Analytics data with additional analytic tools and platforms to learn more about who visits your website. Segment allows you to oversee data from over 100 different platforms all in one place. Segment offers a free plan for using Google Analytics with 20 other platforms, a premium plan will get you more platform integrations and starts at $29 a month.

Google Analytics

Tip 2:  Google Updates

Sign up for a free Fruition Google Penalty Checker account to see how past Google algorithm changes and updates might have affected your website. It will also help you stay competitive with keywords and content to improve your website’s traffic.

Google Analytics 2

Tip 3:  WordPress and Google Analytics

If you have a self-hosted WordPress website, you can add the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin. It allows you to track your blog stats and stays up-to-date with the newest features in Google Analytics. This will allow you to track lots of advanced features like outbound clicks, downloads and internal links that redirect to external websites.

Tip 4:  Email Marketing Traffic

Email marketing platforms are a great way to track traffic from links in your emails to your email campaigns. MailChimp, GetResponse, and Constant Contact are a few platforms that can help you accomplish this.

MailChimp lets you customize your settings, such as adding UTM parameters to links when you create an email campaign so you can view traffic from those links inside Google Analytics.

Google Analytics 3

Still have some questions about using Google Analytics?  Leave your question in the comments below and we’d be more than happy to help!  Better yet, give us a call at 800.260.6406 to learn more about how Mission Web Marketing can help you improve your website performance and tracking with Google Analytics.

 

What You Need To Know About Facebook’s Algorithm Update

Facebook recently developed 3 new algorithms to balance out News Feed content. Feedback from users dictated that user experience was not satisfactory, there was too much promotional content and not enough friend updates. Facebook’s goal was to balance the updates from the user’s friends versus updates from public figures and business pages.

So what are the changes and how will they affect your company’s page?

The Updates

  • More content for users who want to spend more time reading their News Feed

Facebook had rules in place to prevent users from seeing multiple posts from the same source in a row. Facebook’s Newsroom says, “With this update, we are relaxing this rule. Now if you run out of content, but want to spend more time in News Feed, you’ll see more.”

  • Close Friend Updates will show up higher in the News Feed

Users were afraid they were missing important updates from close friends. So the second update ensures that content like video uploads, photos and status updates from close friends are higher up in the News Feed. This won’t eliminate Pages, but it will prioritize the News Feed to show close friend updates first. The update will be individualized for each user.

  • Friends that have Liked or Commented on a Post will be lower in the News Feed

This was one of the biggest complaints. Users did not like seeing stories that their friends had liked or commented on, they will be lower in the news feed or not shown at all. You will likely see the stuff you care about directly from friends and the pages you have liked.

Facebook Post Example

What You Can Expect From These Changes

Facebook says, “The impact of these changes on your page’s distribution will vary considerably depending on the composition of your audience and your posting activity.”

Consider This

Evaluate why your traffic has slowed. Posting valuable and relevant content to your target audience should be an ongoing practice. And, don’t overwhelm your audience with lots and lots of posts.

After fortifying your website content, you can also improve your social sharing options. Hubspot offers, “That way, instead of your content getting on Facebook only by publishing on behalf of your brand, you’re getting more people to share your content on their personal Facebook accounts — which could ultimately help you reach a larger audience.”

 

Should Your Website Have Infinite Scrolling?

Infinite scrolling is a hot trend for web design and can be often seen on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The further you scroll down the page, more content populates without having to use a scroll bar.

Content creation will always be critical for digital marketing, and now the display of that content is equally important. But how do you know if infinite scrolling is right for your website? Here are a couple of things to consider before instituting infinite scrolling.

Content and Images

Companies that have lots of content and images on their websites are perfect for infinite scrolling. Websites that display this type of content are typically used for entertainment or are browsing particular subject matter. The user is given lots of information in the form of graphics and bold headlines, it makes for quick browsing. Mashable is a great example of heavy graphics and bold headlines.

Mashable Homepage

 

In contrast, an ecommerce website needs to have a footer that contains contact and account information or company policies and privacy notices. In a non-ecommerce site, a menu button containing pertinent information can be tucked up at the top of page, making the layout work well.

Searching For Products and Services

If your company relies on the website for searching, then an infinite scroll design is probably not the best option. Hubspot recommends, “if your company relies on navigation or sending readers through a funnel (to buy, to learn more, and so on), infinite scrolling could make it harder for the user to navigate.”

When Etsy attempted to use infinite scrolling, it didn’t pan out the way company had hoped. When a user receives 16 options to choose from, the need for additional products becomes redundant. Dan McKinley admitted that they should have put idea through A/B Testing and gotten to know the users who use Etsy better. The bottom line: for folks who are searching rather than browsing on a website, infinite scrolling does not work well.

Still not sure if infinite scrolling is right for your website?  Here are a few pros and cons of infinite scrolling:

 Pros:

  1. It doesn’t slow down your website
  2. Easier to display large amounts of content
  3. Great for updating real time information

Cons:

  1. There isn’t a search option
  2. Readers can’t skip around easily
  3. Heavy JavaScript

In conclusion, there are many pros and cons, so it’s best you get to know your users before bringing on a new interface. If you do decide to make the switch, try to test it out before making it a permanent change.

4 Tips and Tools To Attract Bloggers

Popular blogs can be a great resource for your brand and can help you build a community. The more popular the blogger, the higher the value their endorsement is worth to you and your company.  Bloggers with larger followings are contacted frequently by marketers asking them to endorse their brands. The trouble is, because they are inundated by so many offers, how do you get yours to stand out?

Here are a few tips and tools to attract bloggers to your product or company.

1 – Customize Your Offer

If you’ve been using the bulk-email technique, you’re likely not getting any responses from your emails. Remember, the most read bloggers are getting offers all the time, make your offer look the most attractive.  Personalizing your offer to a blogger makes your proposal stand out among all the others; it shows that you’ve done some research on who they are and what their followers want to read about. Find out what types of blog posts they are publishing and play to those interests. It also proves that there is a human behind the curtain, not some machine pulling the ropes.

2 – Be Clear and Concise

This tip seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people are not using their brain when they are contacting bloggers. Proofread what you have written, and make sure that it makes sense. Explain clearly what you are offering to the blogger, and why working together would be beneficial to both of you.

Here is an example of what NOT to do.

Blogger Outreach Tip

3 – Don’t Use the Interns For Outreach

Leave the outreach task to the more experienced professionals so that you aren’t having to apologize for any unprofessional emails or other correspondence. Ann Smarty of HubSpot Blogs says, “Interns are wonderful – but they likely don’t have much of a feel for your industry and how to navigate the politics of reaching out to other professionals.”

4 – Use Blogger Outreach Tools

Blogger outreach tools are used to identify which blogs you want to target. When you identify those with significant influence you will get much better results. There are lots of different types of blogger outreach tools out there, and they all have their own unique attributes of accomplishing outreach.  Here are a few options that HubSpot recommends:

  • BuzzSumo finds key influencers to promote your content
  • Circloscope is a Google Plus Circle tool that will find niche influencers
  • Traackr is an enterprise level influencer research tool that makes it easy to prioritize your outreach efforts
  • LittleBird can help you filter through the noise and cut through to the real influencers that fit with your target audience

We’d love to hear your blogger outreach tips, please share any success stories in the comments section.

 

How to Keep Your Social Media Info Private

With social media an ever present fixture in most people’s lives, the need to share feelings, pictures, and opinions has become the norm.  The phrase, “pics or it didn’t happen!” has almost made it feel necessary to share pictures of life events, just to prove to others that you in fact have a life.

The fact that social media sites are, well, social creates an environment that encourages sharing as well.

But where do you draw the line of who your pictures and information are shared with?  You probably don’t mind if your friends see pictures from your 21st birthday party, but do you want your parents to see?  What about your boss? Or a random stranger who you’ve never even met?

Each social site has different privacy settings and different user interfaces, so it can be very tricky figuring out how to secure your personal information and photos.  This infographic, posted by Hubspot, will help answer all your questions!  Each section will walk you through step by step, with images, how to update your privacy settings on various social media platforms.

HubSpot Infographic

3 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Lead Generation

Does your LinkedIn profile read like a resume and cover letter? Does your profile have a call-to-action in it? Are the majority of your contacts currently in your field?

Here are 3 tips for the best ways to optimize your LinkedIn leads generation.

#1:  Show Me What You Can Do For Me

Including your resume and cover letter on your LinkedIn profile is a good place to start when building your profile, but is that all you are including? Brynne Tillman from Social Sales Link shares, “prospects don’t care about what you’ve done- they want to know how you can help them.” By showing prospects your potential value, they will be more apt to find you through searches. Be like the “Show Me” state of Missouri, and show your prospects what makes you stand out from the rest.  Fill out your profile completely and include why your solutions to possible problems are the best; this will make your profile a powerful marketing tool.

LinkedIn Summary Example

 

#2:  Marketing Your Content

A great way to engage LinkedIn users is to include content marketing as call-to-action posts.  Not only does this give your prospects something to click on to learn more about you, it creates more leads and opportunities for you. The content could range anywhere from a giveaway, employment opportunities, or a white paper, the goal is to get people curious to who you are and what you can offer them. The stronger the content you post, the better results.

#3:  Cull Your Contacts

It’s tempting to add every Tom, Dick and Harry as a contact, the more the merrier, right? But are they relevant to your business? It’s imperative that your contacts are actually related to your business, industry, and field. With the understanding that these folks you have as contacts will be viewing and hopefully clicking your posts to learn more about you or your business and vice versa.

LinkedIn Connections

When you are searching for contacts, pursue the decision makers and strong influencers. Social Media Examiner’s Kristina Jaramillo says, “Define who your primary and secondary prospects and influencers are, and then use hot-button topics to connect and engage with them.”

Remember, the most important thing to remember on LinkedIn is: “sell your value, not your accomplishments.” Tell prospects how you can help them. Use your entire profile and all of LinkedIn’s tools to show how your value contributes to their success.

 

Top 4 Tips to Connect with Your Audience on Social Media

If you are only focusing on business in your social media posts, you’re doing it wrong. The reason it’s called social media is to socialize. If you are at a dinner party, you wouldn’t talk only about work, you share funny stories, jokes, and personal experiences. You might talk to someone about how you know the host, about the food that is being served, or learn something about the people you are talking to. Social media content is not much different than this.

Here are 4 ways to make better connections with your audience on social media:

1)  Cultivate Relationships

Instead of giving a hard sell to your followers all the time, it is essential to create goodwill with them.  Posting things that people can relate to or find humorous is a good way to cultivate these relationships. This creates a sense of personality and makes your online presence appear less robotic.  For example, Miller Lite posted this funny internet meme on their Facebook page.  It’s culturally relevant, funny, and mostly likely would appeal to their target demographic.

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2)  Integrate Relevant Events

Find ways to integrate relevant events into your brand posts. For example, Tide used The Dress Debate to tie in their product to this wildly popular controversy. It’s current, lighthearted, and easy to relate to, which also helps cultivate relationships with your followers. This post ended up having almost 2000 shares, 16,800 likes and almost 800 comments. I’d say they nailed it.

Tide Facebook Image

3)  Create Calls-To-Action

Creating a call-to-action allows your followers to interact with your brand, for example liking a post or sharing a photo. This in turn will enhance your business goals of either purchase or lead generation. Pampers campaign of #PampersFirsts encourages their followers to post photos of their baby’s firsts, from the first time they smiled or had solid food or spoke their first word.

Pampers Tweets

4)  Curated Content

Social Media Examiner proposes that sharing curated content that is relevant to your product or brand will also create goodwill. It shows that the business is not all about them all the time.

Chobani’s Pinterest account is an excellent example of this. Kierra Stein says, “A yogurt brand associated with health living, Chobani caters to its audience with tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They use their Pinterest account to share recipes, workouts, inspirational quotes, ideas for setting up your kitchen and more; and most of these are repins or pins from other sites.”

Chobani Pinterest

 

 

The business side of your work is important, but so is cultivating relationships within your online presence. Applying these tips to your social media posts will give your content the best online personality.

3 Myths About Inbound Marketing

All businesses use their own jargon when discussing internal projects, and it can sometimes be a little confusing. Marketing is definitely not an exception to this rule, and inbound marketing is one of those often confused terms.

Inbound marketing is the creation of quality content that attracts people toward your business or product. “By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic.”  Even with this defined, there are still many people confused about what it means and there are many misconceptions surrounding inbound marketing.  Here are 3 common myths that surround inbound marketing:

Myth 1:  Inbound marketing is a fancy way of saying SEO.

SEO is actually a fundamental part of inbound marketing, but it’s just one part of it. Inbound marketing brings traffic, that traffic turns into leads, which eventually and hopefully, turns into sales.

Inbound-Marketing Graphic

Myth 2:  One person can handle doing all the inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing needs all hands on deck. It really shouldn’t be one person’s responsibility, there are many skill sets needed. It’s SEO, social media, content writing, design, development, strategy, project management, data analysis, business thinking, and audio/video production.

Myth 3:  Inbound marketing is formula driven.

Inbound marketing isn’t a to do list of things to check off:  writing blog posts, tweeting, publishing white papers and Facebook posts, and done! While these things are important, they don’t necessarily need to be done each day or week. Personalizing the content to your audience is the key to successful inbound marketing.

HubSpot agrees that “it’s a commitment to focusing on your customer/client, not you. It’s a focus on creating a business that matters. It’s a decision to be a human business that shows personality.”

At the end of the day, creating a big online presence for your business takes more than just a few clicks of the mouse. Inbound is a mindset. Specific strategies should be developed for this online presence.  Learn more about your consumer first and serve them what they want, and in turn it will help you build up your business’s personality.