10th of July

Homepages vs Landing Pages: Where to Drive Paid Traffic for Higher Conversions


I’m going to give this to you straight. If you’re directing your hard-won PPC, Facebook, Twitter or banner ad traffic to your homepage…

There is a better way.

Conversion happens on landing pages.

And your homepage is not one of them.

Why?

Your homepage is a hub. It’s a jump off point to the rest of your site’s content. A landing page is a destination. It’s where you want visitors to end up.

Let me show you what this looks like.

Where to Go (and How You Get There)

Picture this:

You’ve decided to go on vacation. You call up your travel agent. You tell him you’re in the mood for tropical climates, white sand beaches, and public intoxication.

I know just the place, he says.

Your travel agent, who moonlights as an Uber driver, picks up you up and you’re away. Ready to soak up that mojito-laden air.

But, instead of taking you to a resort, he drops you off at the airport. He leaves you there — with no idea where you’re going or what to do next.

See where I’m going with this?

You are the prospect and your travel agent/Uber driver is your ad.

You had an idea of what you wanted and where you wanted to go. But instead of him taking you there — you’re left in a crowded terminal with only one question:

What now?

Sure, you may meander around for a bit. You might even stumble upon a flight to a coastal city.

But, odds are, you’ll find someone else who will actually send you somewhere. Someone who will set you on the path to a beautiful and exotic land—ing page.

It’s About Awareness, Intent, and Direction

Every visitor who clicks on an ad, comes to your site or buys from you, is in a certain stage of problem awareness.

Here’s a brief a rundown on the five stages:

  1. Unaware – The first stage The prospect doesn’t know they have a problem. Enter Dwight. The marketer who works his nine to five, five days a week without issue or complaint.
  2. Problem-Aware – This stage comes after something triggers a feeling of discontent. A disconnect between desire and reality. It’s Dwight at his desk at 9:37am, realizing he feels burnt-out. He doesn’t know what he needs. He only knows he has a problem.
  3. Solution Aware – Vacation. He needs a vacation. The solution stage is when a prospect identifies a way to solve their problem. But, still unaware of the options. He doesn’t know where he can go to get the relaxation he needs.
  4. Product-Aware – Iceland? Sydney? Hawaii? The next stage is awareness of the available options. It’s a prospect knowing your solution exists and what it can do.
  5. Most-Aware – Dwight likes Hawaii. The final stage is when the prospect is not only aware of your solution but when it’s also the top contender.

What does this have to do with paid traffic?

Two things.

First, the awareness stage dictates what they’re looking for, why they’re looking for it and how they got there.

In a word: Intent.

Second, knowing which stage a prospect is in allows you to write targeted ad copy. It’s the copywriting adage of joining the conversation that’s already going on in their head — in action.

And it’s not only your ads. Every page on your website addresses concerns at different levels of product awareness. The goal of paid ad campaigns is to prime for conversion by moving them through these stages.

So, which would better fulfil this goal? A homepage or a landing page?

If you answered homepage. Read on.

If you answered landing page. Nice. Read on.

Why Copywriters Hate Writing Homepages

I know what some of you are thinking:

Our homepage has the product on it. By sending traffic there, we’re making visitors product-aware. Plus, it’s littered with information about our value proposition. And THAT will move them into the most-aware stage. It’s the ultimate landing page. Bazinga.

Fair point. But, remember the ultimate goal is conversion. Convincing Dwight that Hawaii is the best place to be, doesn’t mean he’s booked the ticket. Getting to the final stage of awareness is still only awareness — not action.

And although visitors are “landing” on it, I’ll say this again:

A homepage is not a landing page.

Homepages are the gateway to the rest of your site. They are for visitors at every stage of awareness. This makes writing homepage copy a bit of a doozy.

But, landing pages are purpose-built conversion-machines. They follow an optimized set of design principles. Squeezing out every sign-up, opt-in and sale possible. They do this by adhering to a staple of conversion copywriting:

The Rule of One.

The Rule of One is to design each page with one reader and one big idea in mind. For example, Spotify’s landing page for a product-aware prospect (one-reader) with a free trial offer (one big idea):

spotify premium

No more, no less.
The purpose of the Rule of One is to convert. It gives a single visitor a single path.

This is why homepages are troublesome for copywriters. A homepage is for everybody, and so, it converts nobody. Sure, you may have a CTA above the fold, smack-dab in the center. But, how many conversions do you get compared to a purpose-built landing page?

A lot less, I’d assume.

Focus Trumps Clutter

The real problem with sending visitors to your homepage is onus of responsibility. You make them responsible for navigating through your site. You make themresponsible for finding your landing pages.

You make them responsible for your conversion rate.

Let’s go back to Dwight. He knows he has a problem. He needs a solution — so he Googles:

feel less stressed work google query

Dwight’s problem aware search query
And this ad comes up. What do you think he’d prefer to see when he clicks on it? A solution to his workplace woes? Or a page cluttered with links and information that may or may not be relevant?

Directing paid traffic to conversion relies on visitor expectation — join the conversation that’s already going on in their head.

If they’re in the problem stage, they’re expecting a solution. If they’re in the solution stage, they’re expecting a product.

Give it to them.

The first page they see plays a pivotal role in convincing them your offer is worth their time and attention — make it count.

There is already plenty of content out there on designing landing pages. So we won’t get into that here. But, there is one aspect of landing page design that makes it a conversion beast:

Variation.

As in, multiple, targeted and focused designs. Here’s an example: Instapage — a landing page building platform.

If anyone knows how to design landing pages, it should be them, right?

Now, here’s where you come in. You have a problem. You need landing pages. And you need them now.

You go on the Google machine and search for “how to build landing pages”. You scroll down and click a link to Instapage’s homepage:

instapage guarantee

Not a landing page.
Immediately you see menu items, a CTA button, and a video play button. There’s also “3 Brand New Design Features” to check out. You don’t even know the old features yet.

You’re at the airport.

Why are you here? Where do you go? What’s the next step?

Now for comparison, here is the landing page after clicking on the PPC ad for the same search query:

instapage landing page

Two roads did not diverge in a yellow wood.
See the difference?

The landing page has a clear path for the visitor to “GET STARTED NOW”. Clicking either button takes you to a page with a simple signup form — and nothing else. Below the fold, you see the features most pertinent to your search query: how to build landing pages.

instapage below the fold landing page

Should you get started or get started?
What’s more, every single clickable element leads to the same sign-up page as the first CTA button. Like Spotify’s landing page, it gives a single visitor a single path to conversion.

instapage customers tweet

Yes, even these testimonials at the bottom of the page are clickable.
The focus is on the visitor’s intent — anticipating their needs. And by presenting the right information, they meet their expectations.

Now, let’s see the search query: “high converting landing pages”. This is the PPC ad’s landing page:

instapage advertising landing page

Not only is the headline more ROI focused, but the hero image is also analytics-themed.
Again, above the fold there is a central focus — get started now. Below the fold are features relevant to the visitor’s intent and expectations. In comparison, the homepage now looks cluttered and directionless.

Targeted, focused, and relevant landing pages are the key to high conversions.

One company found their ad-specific landing pages outperformed their generic pages by 115%. And companies have seen a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.

This is the beauty of directing paid traffic to landing pages. You can create them based on exactly what the visitor needs to see at their stage of awareness.

Homepages are static — There can be only one.

The Bottom Line

If you’re directing paid traffic to your homepage — you’re wasting your marketing budget.

Your homepage was never meant to be more than a central hub. A starting point. Whereas landing pages have every single element designed, tested and optimized for conversion.

You are paying money for this traffic.

If you currently have ads directed to your homepage, direct them to a relevant landing page. Go, now.

If you already direct them to a landing page, ask yourself:

  • Is this the most optimized landing page for the intended reader’s stage of awareness?
  • Does the landing page present information that they’d expect to see?
  • If it doesn’t, can I build another landing page that would be better suited?

Remember, Dwight needs the vacation. Don’t leave him wandering through the airport.

If you show him the boarding gate — he’ll get on the plane.

5th of July

How to Use Facebook as Your PR Engine


A PR agency’s job is to get your story in front of the press and potential customers.

It might set you back $5,000 per month.

But what if you could get the same—if not better—results yourself, by using Facebook ads?

Facebook ads are one of your biggest business opportunities. The targeting capabilities, the tracking functionality and the low cost of getting started means they beat any other form of advertising hands down. If you’re not using Facebook ads as part of your overall marketing strategy, you’re missing a trick.

Facebook has a neat little feature called workplace targeting that many people don’t even know about—and from a PR perspective, it could save you thousands of dollars every month.

Let’s see how.

How to Target the Media on Facebook

When you think about Facebook targeting, you might think it’s all about location, age and interest-based targeting. But when you dive into the demographical data we can use to target people, it goes much deeper than that.

Let’s take a second to think about the data Facebook has. There are 1.94 billion active monthly users on Facebook, and over 1 billion people use the platform every single day.

That’s a lot of data. I’ve personally been on Facebook for over 10 years. During the course of those 10 years, Facebook will have amassed a huge amount of data about me: the pages I’ve liked, posts I’ve reacted to, photos I’ve uploaded, places I’ve checked in, links I’ve clicked on and sites I’ve visited, to name a few. They’ll understand how my behavior has changed over time. When we combine that with the data they have about my Instagram and Whatsapp usage (not to mention data from third-party partners), we’re starting to talk real big data.

As they say, if you don’t pay for a product, you are the product. This might sound slightly daunting to a user, but as a marketer, it’s a huge opportunity—an opportunity you need to be taking advantage of.

When we use workplace targeting to target people based on where they work, we’re simply using the data Facebook gathers when you create your profile.

It’s a targeting feature that many people don’t know about, but it’s one that can be super powerful. Here’s how to do it:

Using Facebook Workplace Targeting

Presuming you already have an advertising account, when you’re in the ads manager, click on create advert.

You’ll be taken here, where you need to choose your campaign objective. You can target the media through any objective, so what you choose here will be entirely dependent upon your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to take a specific action, such as download an eBook, you’ll want to choose the conversions objective. If your goal is to drive traffic to a blog post, you might want to use the traffic objective.

The objective you choose will alter how Facebook optimizes your ads (if you choose conversions, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to convert. If you choose traffic, Facebook will show your ad to the people it thinks are most likely to click through). Again, Facebook has data on what action you’re most likely to take, based on your user behavior.

Facebook auction advertising options

Name your campaign and click continue.

You’ll then be taken to the ad set level where you get to choose your targeting options. Your ad set is basically a place where you tell Facebook how you want your advertisement to run. Your options here include:

  • Targeting
  • Placement
  • Budget
  • Bidding
  • Scheduling

Targeting is what we’re interested in here. Find the detailed targeting box, then hit browse > demographics > work > employers.

Here, you can enter the names of the companies you want to target. This will target the employees of the companies you choose. If we’re looking to get some PR, we want to choose media companies as the employers.

targeting bbc facebook

You can go ahead and fill that detailed targeting box with as many companies as you’d like to target.

facebook targeting

I’d recommend creating a list of all the media companies you think might be interested in what you do and any stories you produce. You can then save that audience and come back to it whenever you want to target the media again. I’ll often target the media companies even when I don’t have anything to pitch them—just to keep myself top of their minds.

save audience Facebook ad manager

You’ll then have an audience you can target whenever you have something you feel is media-worthy! Here’s an audience I created of people who work for media companies:

employer targeting media Facebook advertising audience

As a marketer, getting into the media and onto podcasts, writing guest blog postsand connecting with influencers are all great ways to reach and provide value to new audiences. But the people with the power to get you onto these mediums (the owners, journalists, hosts etc.) are inundated every day by people requesting to be on their show or to write a guest post for them. Do you think they want to receive any more requests than they already do?

Definitely not.

Why not do something to stand out from the crowd? Jump on to Facebook, find the person who owns the podcast/blog you want to appear on, see what they’ve put as their company name and then create an ad targeting employees of that company.

In your ad copy, you can specify that you love their podcast/blog and would like to appear on it. What’s gonna stand out more—a boring email pitch or a creative ad?

The ad will win all day long—it’s fun, it’s different and it’s relevant.

Alternative benefits

Workplace targeting doesn’t just offer media/PR benefits. It can literally be used for anything, whether that’s lead generation, getting meetings with specific people or using it to get your next job.

I’ve used this tactic to get meetings with people many times. For example, I wanted to meet the team at Social Chain. After emailing a few times to no avail, I decided to run an ad targeting employees of Social Chain.

man targeting media through Facebook advertising

After only $.39 spend, I had a message from the CEO inviting me down to the office the next week. Crazy, right? Every marketer has a list of companies they want to meet/work with. Rather than sending them cold emails, why not create Facebook ads targeting the employees or CEO of that company?

Relevancy

Relevancy is the key to why this works so well. If you pinpoint an ad to someone and call them out based on how you targeted them—for example, by targeting people that work for ‘x’ company and using copy such as ‘work for ‘x’?’—of course they’re going to click on that ad! Why wouldn’t they when it’s so relevant to them?

But at the same time, just because you’ve used their workplace or job title as the identifier, it doesn’t mean the ad or message you’re trying to get across is interesting to them. There are more than 5 million advertisers on Facebook, of which a small percentage will be targeting you, trying to get their message in your feed. Some of them may have identified you by your job title, while others may have identified you by your interests.

This is where having great ad creative is important. The targeting functionality allows us to get our message in front of the right people with ease. But that doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to be interested in what we have to say. Great targeting can’t fix poor messaging. Understand the mindset of Facebook users and serve them an ad that is truly valuable and relevant to them.

Final Thoughts

How can a PR agency compete with results like this—instant results for a tiny spend? Now, the point of this article isn’t to suggest that PR agencies are dead. They still have a place, but if you’re looking to get into the media or to target specific companies, Facebook ads might be your best bet.

The great thing is, you don’t need huge budgets to get results. You can get started from as little as $1 a day. Once you’ve tested and played around with this method, you can scale your budget to as high as you like.

30th of June

29 Inspiring Examples of Behaviorally-Targeted Emails You’ll Need to See to Believe


When it comes to creating behaviorally-targeted marketing emails, we could all use a little inspiration.

After all, there are so many potential actions a customer can take that would trigger an email – how do you decide which ones are worth investing the time to create? Below are some of our favorite examples from brands across a wide range of industries. In addition to the examples, you’ll also get invaluable tips on what makes them so appealing to the customer. Read on for all the details.

  1. Onboarding Email Examples

  2. Airbnb
  3. Runkeeper
  4. Kissmetrics
  5. Asana
  6. Cart Abandonment Email Examples

  7. Pinterest
  8. Chewy
  9. Adidas
  10. Upsell Email Examples

  11. Men’s Health
  12. Women’s Health
  13. Dropbox
  14. Spotify
  15. Harry’s
  16. Follow-up Email Examples

  17. MeetEdgar
  18. Airbnb
  19. OptinMonster
  20. Kickstarter
  21. Pinterest
  22. Codecademy
  23. Bodybuilding.com
  24. Upwork
  25. Notification Email Examples

  26. Slack
  27. Redfin
  28. Spotify
  29. Netflix
  30. Quora
  31. Facebook
  32. Trial Ended Email Examples

  33. Avocode
  34. Kissmetrics
  35. Shopify

Onboarding Email Example

Onboarding is the process of getting a user or customer acclimated to your brand and product. Although it’s most often used in human resources departments to get an employee up to speed on company culture and processes, it can also be used in email marketing to help prospects become more comfortable with your product or service and more receptive to an offer.

Airbnb

airbnb make yourself at home email

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Airbnb immediately tickles your travel fancy by showing you the average rate of places in a variety of cities that are perfect to visit in the fall. Whether you love the foliage of Vermont or the azure skies of New Mexico, you’ll be tempted to start clicking right away.

This is a great way for Airbnb and its hosts to make extra money during typical travel downtime. Since the summer rush is over, homeowners in popular areas may be looking for ways to keep up their earnings in the off-season. This onboarding email welcomes clicks with open arms while appealing to customers who want to avoid the summer crowds. The SuperHost mention also helps newcomers know what to look for when choosing a place, so they feel safer and more secure in their decision.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper is an app that helps you track and save your runs and other physical activity. But if you haven’t used the app or a fitness tracking device before, where do you start? Many people never take the time to start an activity even if they have the tools because getting started can be confusing and challenging.

RunKeeper’s onboarding email helps take all of the mystery out of logging fitness activities with this step-by-step example. Whether you decide to track and save your runs through the website or through the app, these simple instructions and the large call to action button will help make the process much simpler and easier to understand.

Kissmetrics

As an analytics and engagement platform, Kissmetrics requires a pretty extensive setup process – which makes onboarding crucial. There are a number of steps a user has to go through before they can really start using Kissmetrics and getting the full value out of it. The first step is installing the JavaScript. After a user does that, they receive this email:

javascript javascript installed email

They also include the progress bar, to see how far along they are in completing onboarding as well as the next steps they need to take.

Asana

Asana makes it clear how many emails the new will receive, and the CTA is unmissable – just click the Play button to get started.

asana new user onboarding email series

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Cart Abandonment Email Examples

Cart abandonment reminders are one of the most common types of behaviorally targeted emails. But that doesn’t mean they have to be bland or canned-sounding responses. Check out what these companies have done to make their cart abandonment emails more enticing to the recipients:

Pinterest

pinterest cart email

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Pinterest always does a good job with their emails and this one is no exception. If you’ve pinned an item that’s for sale, but you ultimately don’t purchase it, Pinterest will notify you not only to remind you of the item, but when the price is lowered on it as well. So not only does the user get a reminder that one of their for-sale pinned items is still available, but that they can also get it at a discount — a win-win in the customer’s eyes!

Chewy

chewy saved your cart email

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Sometimes the simplest, most direct emails are the best — and Chewy.com demonstrates this perfectly with their saved cart emails. Not only do they give you one-click access to view your cart, but also let you know how you can save by enabling autoship.

They further help seal the deal with mentions of free shipping when you spend a certain amount, 24/7 customer service, easy returns and a satisfaction guarantee. And should the user have any questions, there’s a fully staffed customer service toll free number ready to lend a paw.

Adidas

adidas out of stock cart email

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Adidas has a unique spin on how they handle their shopping cart. Rather than leaving you empty handed when the item you’re looking at is out of stock or otherwise unavailable, they’ll send you an order update when the item is back in stock. You can then choose to continue shopping or browsing. But rather than keep you waiting forever, this email notification only updates you if the item is found within two weeks.

Upsell Email Examples

But wait, there’s more! Upsell emails are designed to make you an irresistible offer. These brands have learned that the more enticing the upsell, the more likely you’ll want to take advantage of it. Each one of these brands has approached it in their own unique way, however, that fits in perfectly with their end conversion goals.

Men’s Health

mens health upsell email

This email comes from a Men’s Health online program called MetaShred. It’s a free day-by-day workout plan delivered by email. This email, sent on day 1, showcases not just the steps to take, but why you should do them. Each day a new muscle group exercise is sent via email, so the user is never left feeling bored or uninspired.

On the last day of the free workout plan, an upsell to MetaShred Extreme is provided. But rather than the focus being all about the paid program, the author of the course still focuses on providing value through tips and suggestions:

The free offer is essentially designed to give readers a taste of what the Extreme version is like — without the hard sell on the paid version. Every email is all about delivering value, which in turn makes users more comfortable with taking them up on the offer to the more extreme version after they’ve seen results from a week of following the free plan. In the reader’s mind, if this is what the free version is like, the paid one must be even better!

Women’s Health

womens health magazine subscription email

Women’s Health magazine follows a more visually oriented approach – tempting users with a free issue first and foremost, along with a whopping 15 different guides on everything from eating better to better sex. When you load the free offer with other items of similar value, and no obligation to continue, people will often take the initiative to try things out — if only just to get the freebies.

However, what often happens is that the advice is helpful to the point where they’d like to continue receiving the magazine and learning even more tips — which in turn opens up the opportunity for even more upsells in the future.

Dropbox

This list would be remissed if it didn’t include a collection of emails from everyone’s favorite online storage service. And Dropbox doesn’t disappoint. When you first sign up, you’re encouraged to download the Dropbox app on your phone and computer:

dropbox onboarding email

But that’s only the beginning. Once you install Dropbox, you’re given the next step:

dropbox linked to computer email

The user can continue following the guided tour online, but even after finishing the setup process, Dropbox still nudges the user to install it on multiple computers – without being intrusive:

dropbox download email

As the user continues to work with the program, Dropbox will periodically send emails offering more space — either by referring friends, upgrading to the Business suite and so on. It only does this if the user’s existing Dropbox space is getting a little cramped, so these perfectly timed emails represent the perfect opportunity to gently guide the user from free to paid status.

Spotify

While Spotify receives the majority of their revenue from user subscriptions, they have another revenue channel – merchandise and concert sales. If you listen to any specific artist enough, you’ll receive offers when the artist goes on tour.

spotify lcd soundsystem early access email offer

These emails are behaviorally triggered because the user listens to a particular artist and receives an email based on their listening history. This makes them very targeted as well.

Harry’s

Harry’s, the shaving company competing with Dollar Shave Club, sends this upsell email to customers.

harrys foaming gel upsell email

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Since Harry’s sells shaving products, this foaming gel is relevant to 100% of their customer base. So when they release a new shaving product, they can email their entire customer base and know there will be interest. Or, to behaviorally target them, they can be sent to customers who recently purchased, or may have purchased a shaver without a shave gel.

Follow-up Email Examples

Not quite a cart abandonment email, but not quite an onboarding email, follow-ups fall somewhere in between — often teaching the user a new tip or trick to getting the most out of their favorite services. These can be sent to users who have signed up but not completed the process, requested an invitation but not followed through, or who simply haven’t logged in for awhile.

MeetEdgar

meetedgar follow up email

MeetEdgar is a social media management and integration suite, and they start off their onboarding process after you sign up by asking you a simple yes or no question about how you currently manage your social media updates. They follow up by letting you know how much Edgar will simplify your social media management, and the large call to action button makes it plain to see precisely which action they want you to take.

If you don’t respond, however, they follow up with another email – encouraging you to accept the invitation to “MeetEdgar” and then sprinkling in a few testimonials sharing how Edgar has helped others:

meetedgar drip email

If that still doesn’t encourage you, they decide to switch tactics a bit, and focus less on you meeting a digital cephalopod and more of you meeting and working with a human being:

meet edgar schedule demo drip email

With your Outreach Specialist, you can then schedule a demo to see how the platform works. Further follow-up emails invite you to participate in a Getting Started webinar, and so on — demonstrating that Edgar has his tentacles in a wide variety of channels to make users feel more comfortable and empowered in how they manage social media.

Airbnb

Been looking at a specific location on Airbnb? Expect to receive an email with top destinations at that location:

airbnb destinations triggered email

These types of retargeting emails will only work if you’re an Airbnb user and logged in while browsing those locations. Amazon sends similar emails when they email you about items that are similar to the ones you’ve been shopping for.

OptinMonster

This optin plugin has a very clever set of follow-up emails that bank on urgency to encourage the user to take action. The first is a simple check-in with the subject line – “is everything ok?”

optinmonster everything okay drip email

This follow-up email is a hybrid — it looks like an order fulfillment “oops!” at first glance, but mingles in elements of a typical abandoned cart message as well. If you don’t follow through with your purchase, however, things turn a bit more concerning:

account on hold optinmonster email

This type of “one on one approach” — that “I found your order” and that “your account is on hold” may be enough to spur action, but unlike other emails in the onboarding collection you’ll find here, there’s no compelling reason to want to continue with the order process. Where are the user testimonials? The demo or getting started video?

This should serve as a reminder that urgency alone isn’t often enough to seal the deal – even if it’s targeted by a customer’s behavior. OptinMonster makes another last ditch attempt with another compelling subject line:

optinmonster deleting account drip

“I’m deleting your account” sounds pretty harsh.The open rates on this email might be decent, but one has to wonder if this sense of “your account will be gone forever…but it can still be saved!” is a bit too dramatic. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

This set of follow-up emails was included in this list as it may be the right angle for some services. However, I’d suggest that if you are creating a follow-up sequence, to try out the Edgar approach over the OptinMonster one, as I personally wouldn’t be inclined to take any action if there was a risk of my account being deleted – even if it is a bluff.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is great for getting funding for projects and ideas – but what happens after your idea is funded? To avoid people using the system once and leaving, Kickstarter sends this follow-up email when a user’s project is successfully funded. It not only provides tips and insights into what makes a successfully-funded project really shine, but also how to keep project backers in-the-loop.

kickstarter abandoned user email

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Pinterest

Pinterest’s emails are always a treat for the eyes, and the marketing brain. Here, they encourage users to follow up by starting a conversation around a pin (or sending one back). Many people who use Pinterest for the first time primarily use it to save pins to their pinboard for future inspiration. But there are many more uses for Pinterest, and this follow-up email encourages users to get back into the action and start conversations around their favorite pins.

pinterest followup email

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Codecademy

SaaS companies need their users to login and use the product. If they aren’t logging in, they aren’t using the product. And if they aren’t using the product, they aren’t getting value out of it, which means churn is inevitable.

Here’s the email Codecademy sends when a user stops logging in and taking a course:

codecademy follow up email

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This email encourages the user to “join the crowd” and keep coding.

Bodybuilding.com

As an e-commerce company, bodybuilding.com sends their customers emails if they haven’t ordered in a couple months:

bodybuilding.com come back 10 percent off order

While this email seems like it’s coming from the CEO, it’s actually triggered after their system sees that the customer hasn’t re-ordered.

Before that email is sent, they send a follow-up email to get the customer re-engaged with the content area of their site:

bodybuilding.com promoting content

In some cases, they’ll point people a specific article that is related to their purchase:

bodybuilding.com follow up email

These customer service emails are great because they let the customer know that they care about their order, makes it easy to email them, and keeps them engaged with the company.

Upwork

Freelance marketplace Upwork (formerly known as oDesk) sends an email to users after they stop using the services for a few months.

upwork customer win back email

The subject line for this email was, “Save $100 when you come back to Upwork”. $100 in free work may seem like a lot, but it can be enough to entice an abandoned user to come back and try the service, and they may end up spending more that it makes up for the cost that Upwork has to expend up front.

Notification Email Examples

These emails are sent as a result of inactivity or simply when new things happen and the user hasn’t been seen it yet. These emails serve to alert your users of important activities going on in your app or store.

Slack

If you’re a Slack user, you’ve undoubtedly received the email notification when someone sends you a message that you haven’t read.

slack unread message sent email

These sort of “inactivity” emails are a very common triggered email. They’re similar to an e-commerce sending emails to customers who haven’t ordered in a while, or have abandoned their cart.

Redfin

Looking to buy a home? If you use Redfin and are looking in a specific area, Redfin will send you a monthly “market report” that contains all the market details for the area that you’re looking at.

redfin triggered email

They’ll also send you emails when new homes are available in the area you’ve been searching.

redfin new homes available triggered email
What’s great about this email is the format and CTAs. You have two options – view more details or go straight to scheduling a tour.

Spotify

For Spotify, a listening user is an engaged user. If they’re listening, they’re engaged and getting value out of the product. And part of staying engaged is listening to new music from their favorite artists. So when Spotify knows your most-listened to artists, they’ll send you an email when they release new music.

ryan adams prisoner spotify release email

The CTA “Listen Now” takes you straight to listening to the new album.

Netflix

Much like Spotify, Netflix will send you an email when a show you’ve been watching releases a new season.

netflix triggered email

They’ll also send a “suggested” show based on your viewing history and rating.

netflix adds new show you may like

And if you’re not interested in the new suggested show, they have popular options that just dropped.

Quora

Quora wants most or all of their users to be registered. And there’s a reason for this – they want to know who you are, what you’re reading, so they can send you emails with new threads that are relevant to your interests. If you’ve been reading about airplanes or have it as a topic of interest, they’ll send you emails to new threads, threads with new answers, or threads you haven’t read yet.

quora reading digest behavioral email

And this goes for all topics – it isn’t just airplanes. They may also send you more popular threads that may not be a topic of interest to you, but nevertheless get you to open the email and click through to the app or website.

Facebook

Been out of Facebook for a while? Prepare for a barrage of notifications and emails telling you what you’ve been missing. Facebook will do everything short of sending Mark Zuckerberg to knock on your door and ask you to log back in.

Facebook someone commented on someone's status email

These notifications, while annoying, often work for a company like Facebook. They exploit the fear of missing out in people, which causes them to log back and start using Facebook and being a part of the community once again.

Trial Ended Email Examples

Goodbye doesn’t have to mean forever – and these example behaviorally-targeted emails perfectly demonstrate that although the free trial is over, the really good stuff is just getting started.

Avocode

trial ended behaviorally triggered email

If you design layouts regularly in Adobe Photoshop and want to convert them to an app format, Avocode is an intuitive way to do just that. But if your trial ends, does that mean all your designs are gone too? Fortunately, that isn’t the case. After your trial ends at Avocode, you’re encouraged to continue the service and reinstate access to your designs by simply entering your billing information.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics’ email focuses on what the user will get if they don’t upgrade the plan.

kissmetrics upgrade plan email
The two CTAs make it clear what the next step is – upgrading the plan so they can keep using the analytics & engagement platform.

Shopify

store closed triggered email

Much like Avocode, online store platform Shopify follows a similar tactic in letting users know that their free trial store is closed, but that it’s easy to reopen and get back to selling as long as you enter your billing details and pick your plan. Should the user have any questions, a toll free number or online contact form are available within a single click to help.

With both of these trial ended options, the user’s data is kept intact at all times, and they only need to enter billing details to get back up and running. This is an excellent strategy not only for helping build customer goodwill and retention, but also one that demonstrates the company’s service in a way helps build trust and credibility.

Getting Started with Behaviorally Targeted Emails

By now you should be bursting at the seams with new ideas for your behaviorally targeted emails. But how do you get started?

Kissmetrics Campaigns is a great way to start creating behavior-based emails and improving customer engagement while increasing retention rates and lessening churn. Learn more about Kissmetrics Campaigns by watching the video below:

And if you’re already using behaviorally targeted emails in your campaigns, tell us about it! Have you used any of the methods or strategies shown here in your own campaigns? How did they work out for you? We’d love to hear about your triumphs and success stories, so be sure to share them in the comments below!

29th of June

The Power of Email + The Psychology of Social Proof = The Social Email


Out with the old, and in with the new. That’s the expression. The old? Email marketing. It’s just so 2010. The new? Social…media, proof, marketing.

Just look at the proliferation and popularity of social media platforms – Facebook alone has 1.94 billion monthly active users – and the increasing use of social ads. Facebook again leads the charge, earning $7.857 billion in the first quarter of 2017 from advertising revenue.

So, goodbye email. Hello all things social. That’s the way of the future.

But the thing is, no one told email that it’s past its prime. In fact, it continues to run circles around all other marketing tactics. Email marketing alone drives as much revenue as all other digital channels combined according to a survey of US marketing execs.

The most recent research says there are roughly 3.7 billion email users worldwide (makes Facebook look puny by comparison, no?). We send a collective 269 billion emails each day, and that’s predicted to hit just under 320 billion by 2021.

Email is far from obsolete. It’s far-reaching. It’s effective. And it’s still growing.

email marketing acquisition and retention
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consumers prefer at least monthly promotional email
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Email is where it’s at. Still. It’s affordable. It’s easy. It’s fast. It checks all the boxes. It absolutely must be part of your marketing plan.

“If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot.” ~ Derek Halpern, Founder of Social Triggers

Harsh, but so very true.

But here’s the kicker: you can make your email marketing – a wonderful tactic all by itself – even better. In the email vs social debate, it’s not an either/or choice.

Use both. Together. Ladies and gentlemen, the social email.

The Power of Social Proof

This is not an article on email marketing best practices, per se. There are plenty of those out there. Instead, we’re going to look at just one tactic. Just one often overlooked strategy you should be using with your email marketing.

Social proof. And it’s a lot more than just social media.

Together, it combines the power and effectiveness of email with the popularity and psychology of social proof. That’s a dynamic duo.

What is Social Proof?

Ever choose a restaurant because of how many rave reviews it had on Yelp, or decided to subscribe to an online business because of the number of fans, likes, or followers they have? That’s social proof in action.

Put simply, people trust people, not ads or self-promotion. We want to see or hear or read about others using, enjoying, and succeeding with a product or service before committing to it ourselves. Safety in numbers.

social proof stars

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It plays off our basic human need to belong. Our behavior is influenced by what the majority is already doing. We want in that group.

Social proof is so compelling that Robert Cialdini made it one of his six “weapons” of persuasion in his landmark book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

You want that kind of strength in your email campaigns. And you can get it.

Email + Social Proof = The Social Email

Adding a dose of social proof to your emails is easy, and there are many ways you could do it. Finding the right one is a combination of research and testing on youraudience.

Ratings, reviews, media logos, testimonials, endorsements, trust badges, shares, social counts, case studies, user-generated content, and more.

To get started, try these 4 workhorses and build from there.

Show Them the Numbers

Everyone gets numbers. Simple. Straightforward. If you have 207,000 subscribers, mention it. If 87% of first-time buyers become repeat customers, tell them. If users save an average of $73/week using your service, highlight it. If you have 22,000 clients, include it in your headline or subject line.

Impressive numbers establish trust, increase your credibility, and appeal to our sense of wanting to belong. Use it.

While you’re at it, make it easy for them to share your email content by including social sharing buttons. Just keep it reasonable: 2-3 seems to be the sweet spot. Too much choice and they won’t bother. Neil Patel saw a 29% decrease in sharingwhen he went from 3 to 5 sharing buttons.

What’s the Word?

Reviews, ratings, and testimonials are the simplest and most effective way to leverage social proof.

Nearly 70% of Americans turn to review sites when making a purchase decision, while 82% look for recommendations. Remarkably, 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

So include them at the bottom of your email. Use real photos of real people whenever possible. Link to favorable review sites.

You can even feed this machine by using a “Review This Item” link in confirmation and receipt emails. 70% will leave a review if asked according to BrightLocal.

The Halo Effect

By including the names and logos of well-known brands that you work with or have used your product, media outlets that have featured you or your brand, or awards you’ve won, you can harness the power of the halo effect.

kissmetrics social proof on homepage

Because people already know and trust recognizable brand names and logos, they tend to have a higher, more positive opinion of you by association. And that typically means more conversions.

It’s best to use logos that link directly to the corresponding article, press release, or website. Quicksprout saw their CVR dip by 9.9% when they removed logos from their site.

The more famous and favorable the logo or award, the stronger the halo effect for you. An “As Featured In” or “Awarded/Certified” blurb in your email signature shows them you’re legit and can be trusted.

The Case Study Nudge

For more expensive purchases or lengthier commitments, you may want to include a case study to give them an extra little push.

Case studies are social proof to the nth degree, your greatest hits, your best side to the camera and best foot forward. It shows exactly how real people or businesses are using your product to wild success in the real world.

Necessary for a one-time purchase of $25? Probably not. But a recurring monthly fee of $399? It provides the extra proof they might need to pull that trigger.

Entice them with a brief headline – “See how I increased ROI by 348% for John Doe” – and link to the case study in your email signature.

Getting It Done

Most email marketing solutions like MailChimpSmartMailKissmetrics Campaigns, and AWeber have tools and integration to make it easy. That’s your best bet.

Plugins can help with social countersreviewsratings, and social sharing.

Analytics can provide conversion and traffic numbers.

An email signature generator like these from Hubspot or Exclaimer can simplify including everything you want.

Use screen capture services like Skitch.

The tools are available. It’s up to you to find and use them in these and other ways. Make it a core strategy on your email channel. Look to others for inspiration.

Exceedingly effective and incredibly irresistible. That’s the end result of email and social proof.

28th of June

The Importance of Pairing Analytics with Engagement


When was the last time you took a look at your analytics dashboard? I mean a truly in-depth look?

Sure, all those high-performing landing pages and conversion numbers are great — but there’s something your analytics isn’t showing you —

Engagement.

“Well, that’s not true”, you insist. “I can see how many users clicked on this link or bought that product and ultimately converted into paying customers — isn’t that a form of engagement?”

The problem with analytics is the more we know, the more we realize we don’tknow — and “engagement” is one of those elusive quasi-metrics marketers keep chasing after, as if to hold it up as the ultimate measure of a site’s success.

We can tie it to different data-backed metrics, but they don’t really give us the full picture. They tell us that the customer clicked on this, or bought that, but they don’t tell us anything about the customer experience that we’re all so keen to improve upon.

Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, explains it this way:

“The reason engagement has not caught on like wild fire (except in white papers and analyst reports and pundit posts) is that it is a “heart” metric we are trying to measure with “head” data, and engagement is such a[n] utterly unique feeling for each website that it will almost always have a unique definition for each and every website.”

Analytics are Meaningless, Unless…

Unless you tie them to something that matters. You can think of analytics like the “Check Engine” light on your car. It tells you that something is wrong, but it’s up to you to fix the problem. Analytics give you raw numbers for different touch-points and informs you, but they won’t adjust for you if, for example, you see a drop off in your conversion funnel. That’s all on you.

No pressure, right?

Of course, by the same token, you can’t have engagement without the data to back it up. Otherwise you’ll never know which channel delivers the best ROI or which landing page is converting the highest. Analytics and engagement are not standalone silos that are independent of each other. They need to be able to mesh together in a way that not only gives you workable data, but makes that data actionable.

How to Correctly Measure Engagement

So if analytics give you the raw numbers, how do you actually measure engagement? As every site has a different purpose and different end goal, there is no “one size fits all” blanket metric that engagement can substitute for.

You can’t tie it to click-throughs because they don’t tell you what happened after the click. And you can’t pin engagement on conversions either because you’ll be continually moving the goalposts as to what a conversion actually is as the customer progresses through your funnel.

As Kaushik advises, you need to boil down “engagement” into what it truly is — by asking why your website exists. At its core, your website has a unique purpose, and properly defining that purpose and then defining which metrics lend themselves to it are going to make your marketing life a whole lot easier (and more measurable!)

You can look at key analytics data to help you get a better, data-backed picture of your customer engagement, using things like customer retention, number of unique visits and how recent they are, as well as regular customer surveys and market research. But again, you’re trying to apply quantitative data to a very qualitative metric, so you’ll still be getting pieces of the puzzle rather than seeing the full picture.

Fortunately, you can have both your analytics and your engagement metrics working together to provide you with the kinds of findings you need to optimize your business growth even further.

Kissmetrics: The Best of Both Worlds

There are three key parts to Kissmetrics that helps marketing and product teams engage and grow their customer base.

    1. Analyze: This contains reporting tools like Funnel, Cohort, A/B testing, and the soon-to-be-released Activity Report. Use these tools to track and analyze user behavior.
    2. Populations: Keep track of your user base by viewing how many users are in a “Population“. Quickly and easily know if signups are increasing, if more users are engaged than 90 days ago, and much more. Check out this video to learn more:
  1. Campaigns: Where the rubber meets the road. After tracking behavior in Analyze and Populations, send behavior-based messages to users to nudge them towards conversion.

We call our platform Customer Engagement Automation, or CEA if you’re into acronyms.

With CEA you’ll be able to measure, track and act upon customer-based behaviors. See what a customer or user is doing with our reporting tools, and provide a “nudge” with behavior-based messaging.

There’s no need to export your data into a third party tool to analyze it — the platform handles all of that for you. You get the data you need in order to make confident marketing decisions, along with the measurable customer engagement tools that move your business forward — all in one streamlined, highly efficient package.

What’s more, you don’t even need any third party integrations to make Campaigns and our other suite of tools work for you. But Kissmetrics does play nice with others, by integrating with all your favorite tools including Woocommerce, Salesforce, Shopify, Optimizely, and more.

So stop digging through your analytics trying to find those elusive nuggets of “customer engagement” and start focusing on the metrics that matter. Because your data lives within the Kissmetrics platform, you’ll discover all kinds of powerful insights that analytics alone can’t provide. And when analytics and engagement are both working together like a finely oiled machine, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your business to the next level — full speed ahead.

Have you used Kissmetrics in your own business? We’d love to hear about your experience with the platform. Which engagement metrics have you found best reflect your business goals and objectives? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

27th of June

Inconvenience to Opportunity: How to Tackle the Customer Engagement Gap


We’re living in a new reality.

For decades, companies dictated their interaction with consumers. Brands chose how they would communicate and when to deliver messages.

However, the consumer climate has dramatically changed. Technology has enabled and empowered customers to control the types of conversations they have with companies.

The rising issue is that most companies haven’t adjusted to these new changes. They’re stuck doing things the old way. As a result, their outdated systems lead to unengaged consumers and declining sales.

That’s why it’s so important for teams to create a bridge that closes the customer engagement gap. It’s an opportunity, not an inconvenience, for your business.

Let’s examine how your company can discover hidden inefficiencies and develop solutions to connect with your audience.

Defining Your Customer Engagement Gap

It isn’t wise to use best practices to solve your customer engagement gap. Every eCommerce business operates differently.

On top of that, most companies approach this problem in the wrong manner. They identify whether they have an engagement gap from a limited mindset. Rachel Happe, co-founder and principal at The Community Roundtable, explains the concept:

“We know that customer engagement matters. Yet much of our thinking about engagement remains simplistic. Most current definitions of engagement are bimodal – someone is either engaged or they’re not. But this is a limited view that hampers our ability to manage engagement in meaningful ways.”

So, what should you do instead?

Sit down with your team and define customer engagement for your organization. Some businesses want to boost customer satisfaction, while others desire to increase the average revenue per customer.

Then, you want to analyze the data that affects your goal. For example, tracking your Net Promoter Score can gauge customer satisfaction.

It’s critical that your team reimagine their roles when creating solutions to this problem. The engagement gap doesn’t revolve around the company. Yet, it should focus on the customer, the market, and the brand promise.

IBM reimagine roles engagement
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Move past the old way of closing the customer engagement gap. Your business can achieve more with data and a new holistic approach.

Building Cross-Functional Teams

At some companies, the engagement gap is a singular issue tasked to one team. It’s usually the marketing or customer success department’s responsibility.

Without any push back, that one team maps out a plan with all the bells and whistles—objectives, strategies, tasks, and outcomes. It’s only after the execution of the plan that they realize the need for input from their sales, product, and customer support teams.

Working in silos is common for some eCommerce businesses. Managers miss how every team plays a role in customer engagement. Christy Pettey, contributor at Smarter with Gartner, offers her perspective:

“Although silos are a natural outcome of the way modern business is organized, the poor customer experience that they create can turn customers into ex-customers. Some customers become frustrated and abandon their customer journey altogether, taking their business elsewhere.”

The customer engagement gap can expand across the entire customer journey. It can be the convoluted copy on your website, the misguided messaging from a sales rep, or even long wait times for support tickets.

By building cross-functional teams, your organization can tackle the challenge from multiple vantage points. Every department brings its expertise, and it helps eliminate the misalignment of future goals.

Personalizing the Customer Experience

With new eCommerce businesses popping up every day, the competition to attract and retain customers is fierce. Personalization is driving companies to rethink the customer experience.

Lack of customer engagement can stem from a business’s inability or unwillingness to adapt to their target audience’s needs. It’s visible when brands offer one solution that’s supposed to fix various issues. But customers don’t see the benefit.

You’ll also notice brands only personalizing the experience at one part of the customer journey. They personalize to acquire the customer, but fail to take similar actions to retain.

acquisition retain customer engagement funnel

The best personalization techniques use data to uncover the likes and dislikes of your customers. With accurate information, you can transform a generic experience into a customized shopping adventure.

For instance, subscription-based men’s clothing service Bombfell leverages datafrom a customer’s style survey and budget to curate clothing packages. Retailer OfficeMax uses its email subscriber’s location to send targeted campaigns to customers in a specific zip code.

Personalization shouldn’t be a one-off task for your team. Rather, it’s a chance to show customers that you understand their desires.

Collaborating with Your Customers

It’s hard to solve a problem without the necessary stakeholders present. So, it makes sense to add customer collaboration to your strategy.

There are several ways to get feedback from customers. Implied and expressed are two forms of customer collaboration.

Implied collaboration involves customer behavior and how their interactions with your brand affect their shopping experiences. These actions may include the number of times they visit your website, when they open your emails, or their product choices.

From these behaviors, your team can assess what content resonates with customers or which products offer the most benefit to your audience. Implied collaboration doesn’t require the customer to tell you anything; you’re simply making educated conclusions from their actions.

On the other hand, expressed collaboration is directly asking for customers’ opinions. You may request for the customer to fill out a survey or have the customer reply to an email.

It’s also possible to bring your consumers together in a Facebook group to casually address brand engagement. Here’s insight from Danyl Bosomworth, managing director of First 10 Digital:

“One of the most powerful ways to remain valuable is to enable the consumer to connect and share with other like-minded consumers, this allows the like-minded to flock together and simultaneously deliver ongoing insight for the brand hosting the platform.”

To truly turn the engagement gap into an opportunity, you must involve the customer. Find ways to incorporate their feedback into your plans.

Planning Ahead for Future Engagement

The engagement gap isn’t going anywhere. With ongoing advancements in technology and changes in consumer taste, your company must constantly strive for new ways to engage.

And as consumer preferences overlap, you may learn that one of the best strategies is to build external partnerships. Connecting with partners places your product in front of different audiences and strengthens your brand perception in the market.

Brand partnerships range from co-marketing opportunities to revenue-sharing models. The key is to find the right partnership that benefits all parties. Plus, you want the partnership to directly impact your customer engagement goals.

In 2015, CoverGirl teamed up with the Star Wars franchise to create a limited edition makeup line. Because Star Wars is often marketed to men, the partnership encouraged more women to watch the movie. CoverGirl also earned more brand visibility by associating itself with a notable film series.

star wars mascara

Prepare your team for future hurdles in customer engagement. Sometimes, the strategy will involve uniting with other companies.

Filling the Gap with Engagement

There’s been a shift in communication power—from the companies to the consumers. Your target audience can decide when, how, and even if they want to engage with your brand.

Start by defining the problem within your company and build cross-functional teams to develop a cohesive strategy. Personalize the shopping experience with collaboration from the consumer and continue to think about the future of customer interaction.

This is your opportunity. Tackle the customer engagement gap.

26th of June

Behavioral Marketing: A Closer Look at What Gets Consumers Clicking


In the past, marketing to consumers based on things like how many pages they visited on a site were rudimentary at best. They could tell you, in broad strokes, what a customer might be interested in — but they weren’t very specific. It was a lot like trying to guess what kind of picture a puzzle might make when you only have a couple of the pieces.

Behavioral marketing has changed all of that. But what should you know about it, and how do you get started? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Behavioral Marketing?

Rather than throwing a bunch of ads at consumers and hope some of the marketing message sticks, behavioral marketing takes all the available information — browsing and search history, IPs and cookies — and uses it to build a more definitive profile of the user, and then tailor marketing messages accordingly.

As the consumer visits more pages, browses more products or lingers on certain coupons, deals and offers will become more targeted and precise. The more information an ad network has, for example, the narrower they can define an ad’s segmentation to reach the right people at the right time.

Ingenious, right? But actually seeing behavioral marketing in practice can really stoke the fire in terms of generating new ideas. Rather than just give you examples, however, we’ve gone a step further to list out some of the best tools you can use to get started with behavioral marketing as well.

Examples of Behavioral Marketing

Behavioral marketing actually encompasses a wide range of marketing strategies — including retargeting (also known as remarketing), email marketing, product suggestions and much more. All of these are facets of behaviorally-based targeting and can be used as standalone strategies or coupled together for even greater effect on your target audience.

Retargeting

Retargeting and remarketing take into consideration the pages and products you’ve viewed, and then show them again even if you’re not on the original website. Both Google and Facebook offer retargeting options in their respective advertising platforms. You’ll need to think about which segment of your audience you want to retarget, and what kind of offer(s) you want to present to them.

How to Set Up Ad-Based Retargeting

To Set Up Retargeting in Google Adwords

  1. Sign into your Adwords account
  2. Click on Campaigns and click the +Campaign button
  3. Select “Display Network Only” (click here if you want to set up a remarketing campaign for the Search network)
  4. Leave “Marketing objectives” option selected and check “Buy on Your Website”
  5. Enter your campaign name, bidding strategy and budget
  6. Click Save and Continue
  7. Enter your ad group name and bid
  8. Under the option “Choose how to target your ads” click “interests and remarketing”
  9. In the “Select a category” drop down menu, choose “Remarketing Lists” and then click Set Up Remarketing
    At this point, Adwords will create a remarketing tag for you. You can send it to yourself or your developer along with instructions on how to add it to your website. If you have Google Analytics running, there’s a checkbox to “use the tracking code that’s already on your website” instead.
    Adwords starts you off by creating an “All Visitors” list, so you don’t have to have a remarketing list already made up. When you’re just starting out, this list includes anyone and everyone who has visited pages on your site with the remarketing tag.
  10. Next, enter your ad group name and bid. You’ll see the “All Visitors” list added to your ad group under the “Remarketing lists” tab
  11. Then simply click Save and Continue to start creating your ads, or Skip ad creation to do so later. It’s a good idea to create both text and image ads in various sizes so that you’ll have an ad ready to show no matter what other pages your ideal customer visits.

To Set Up Retargeting in Facebook

  1. Login to your Facebook Ad manager and choose Audiences
  2. Click on Create Audience and choose Custom Audience. For this example, we’ll retarget people who have already visited your site.
  3. Under “How do you want to create this audience?” choose Website Traffic
  4. Choose your target audience from the dropdown menu. You can target a wide range of users, including
    Anyone who visits your site
    People who visit certain pages
    People who visit certain pages but not others
    People who haven’t visited after a set amount of time
    A custom combination of your own choosing
  5. Then, you’ll simply get your pixel code and you’re ready to start retargeting.
    As a side note, if you don’t yet have a Facebook pixel code, you’ll need one in order to accurately track visitors for Facebook retargeting. Here’s a step by step guide from Facebook on how to do this.

In order to get the most momentum out of your retargeted Adwords and Facebook ads, you’ll want to plan your campaign accordingly. Who do you want to target? Create an ad that appeals to that specific segment. For example, people who looked at a specific product and possibly added it to their cart, but didn’t make a purchase may benefit from a retargeted ad offering a discount or free shipping.

Here are a few examples to get you brainstorming:

Amazon
This Amazon retargeted ad on Facebook shares Valentine’s day deals to last-minute shoppers and throws in free one-day shipping to help seal the deal.

Best Buy
This retargeted Best Buy ad lets you know you have items in your cart and helps ease any reluctance by reminding you of their Price Match Guarantee, free in-store pickup and free shipping.

best buy retargeting ad
Expedia
This ad from Expedia targets last minute shoppers looking for a great travel deal.

expedia advertisement

Behavioral Email Marketing

Behaviorally-targeted email is another example of behavioral marketing. Instead of using the pages that users visited or the actions they took on those pages, behavioral targeting via email targets users based on their status or actions with the site (whether they’re subscribed, added an item to their cart, and so on).

Nordstrom
Nordstrom shows you the item(s) in your cart and lets you view your bag directly. This ad could still be improved, however, by linking to a method of contacting support or live chat should the user have any questions before checkout.

nordstrom behavioral email

Birchbox
Here’s an example retention email sent to users who unsubscribed from the Birchbox service – with a 20% off discount for rejoining.

birchbox behavioral email

If you’re looking for more examples, we have 29 examples of behaviorally-targeted emails.

How to Set Up Behavioral Email Targeting

You can use Kissmetrics Campaigns to set up behavioral email targeting in just a few simple steps. Watch the video below to learn more:

The types of emails you can send through a behaviorally-targeted campaign are virtually unlimited. The most common types include messages like:

  • Abandoned cart notifications
  • Come back/login and see what you’ve missed
  • Onboarding/Getting started emails
  • And much more

Here’s a helpful guide that gives you tons of examples of the different types of behaviorally based emails you can try.

Demographic Targeting

This is one of the most common types of behavioral targeting and looks at things like gender, age range, education level, geographic location, race and other traits to essentially “paint a picture” of a user based on their browsing habits.

You may not think that something as simple as the websites you visit can reveal anything about you on a physical level, but you’d be surprised. And, of course, advertisers are keen to these differences and often repackage and rebrand their products accordingly:

product design colors

Products geared toward women often contain pink and pastel tones, while those targeted to men have much simpler, conservative designs and colors
Even when you’re not online, demographically-targeted ad examples are all around you:

Toyota
An ad promoting the fuel efficiency of the Toyota Prius – targeted to those who are looking for ways to help the environment:

go green prius

Pepsi
A “skinny” can of diet Pepsi targeted to women who are trying to watch their figures

the new skinny can
Not surprisingly, you can target your behavioral marketing ads to specific demographics of users, right down to their professed interests. Facebook has turned this kind of targeted advertising into a fine art.

Suggested Selling

Suggested selling pairs additional (or larger/better) items based on things you’ve already bought. Common examples of suggested selling are up-sells and cross-sells. You can think of a cross-sell as ordering a burger and being asked “do you want fries with that?” Whereas an upsell to your burger would be the offer to “make it a meal with fries and a drink for $X”. Suggested selling is often used to great effect on sites like Amazon, where buying certain items will tell you not just what others bought, but what they bought together.

Amazon
An Amazon behaviorally-marketed suggested sell with the current item, as well as accessories that users often buy in addition to the original.

Godiva
You’ll often see suggested selling used on flower and gift websites, where upsells can include everything from chocolates to popcorn.

go deluxe suggested selling

This is an extension of behavioral marketing in that it doesn’t dissuade the customer from their current order, but rather advises them or suggests other relevant items based on their current purchase behavior.

Taking the Next Step in Behavioral Marketing

Now that you have some powerful examples of behavioral marketing, as well as a wide range of tools and guides at your disposal, the next step is to try it out for yourself! Make a plan, then try out some campaign ideas to see how your customers respond. You may be surprised at the money you’re leaving on the table by not including behavioral marketing as part of your strategies!

And if you are using behavioral marketing tactics as part of your advertising and promotions – we’d like to hear about it! Share your thoughts and success stories with us in the comments below!

24th of June

How to Use the New Lifetime Value Feature in Google Analytics


You’re drowning in data.

You’ve got enough KPIs to track and report on already.

Why would you possibly need another one? What good would come of adding yet another hour to the end of you’re already long work day in order to dig it up?

The truth, in this case, is that you can’t afford not to.

Lifetime Value isn’t just another vanity metric. It’s THE metric. The one that stands head and shoulders above all others.

IF there was one and only one metric you were tracking, this should be it.

And now you can do it simply and easily inside Google Analytics. Here’s how.

What is Lifetime Value (And Why Does it Matter?)

Metrics often lead you astray.

Take Cost Per Click.

They range wildly from industry to industry. $2 bucks in one industry, but $50 bucks in another.

Crazy, right? Surely that $50 is just “too expensive.”

Not necessarily, obviously.

The first easy answer is your break-even point. If your Cost Per Acquisition is less than your initial average order value, you’re golden.

But sometimes, in some cases, you actually want to willingly lose money initially.

amazon revenue net income overtime

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Ever heard of Netflix? How about Amazon?

Amazon routinely enters a new market with razor thin (or even negative) profit margins so they can grab market share. Only to then turn the dial back once they’ve gained a market leadership position.

amazon revenue from retail and web services

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So what’s a reasonable Cost Per Click in that scenario? Now it depends.

This can even change from company to company within a vertical (and their appetite for risk).

Let’s talk insurance.

Two ways to make money:

  1. Upfront commission when you close a sale
  2. Ongoing residual payments over the life of each deal.

So you’ve got a new company. Entering a new market and trying to expand.

Would you willingly, purposefully sacrifice #1 in order to scale #2?

Of course you would.

Why? Because the lifetime value of a customer.

The full potential value of each new client you add will eclipse the initial commision. So as long as you can stomach the negative cash flow for a bit, you’d probably be willing to drive that Cost Per Click as high as humanely possible.

You go all in, when the stakes are right, and drive everyone else out.

All of this sounds perfect, except for one teeny, tiny detail.

Does your company track lifetime value? ‘Cause most don’t.

I’ve personally worked with dozens (hundreds?) of clients over the past few years and I can count on one hand the number who were actually tracking conversions properly. Let alone seeing anything past the first purchase.

One of the reasons is because tracking this info, with current systems, isn’t always easy. It might be easy if you’re using a Shopify and do all sales in a single channel or two. That way, everything happens inside one platform.

But usually your business is spread out. Each department has their own independent systems. So it’s tough to bring everything together.

Thankfully, Google Analytics has been hard at work recently.

Their new Lifetime Value report helps business owners acquire data to understand how valuable certain users/customers are to their business based on their lifetime performance.

And best of all, it pulls together lifetime values for people acquired through different channels and mediums, like social, email, and paid search. You’ll also be able to view data by engagement (pageviews, goals, events) and then trends (like 90 days after customer acquisition).

Using this will help you determine which sources are driving the most valuable traffic and which corresponding marketing investments are truly delivering an ROI.

Here’s how to run a lifetime value report inside Google Analytics.

How to Run a Lifetime Value Report

Start by signing into your Google Analytics account and then follow these simple steps:

    • Step 1: Click on

Reports

    •  Section

 

    • Step 2: Click on

Audience

    • Step 3: Click on

Lifetime Value

find lifetime value in google analytics

Note: The Lifetime Value feature should already be available inside your GA account (no need to change your code!).

Now let’s get started generating a report. Here’s how to setup your graph first:

setting up lifetime value in google analytics

Start by setting your acquisition date range (the option on the far right). Any customer acquired during this date range (May 2017 on this example) will be included in the LTV report.

Let’s say you ran a promotional campaign or online sale during the month of May, you can easily analyze the data for these customers and segment by date based on your campaigns.

For steps two and three, you can select the following list of metrics to compare:

lifetime value metrics comparison
Now let’s break this graph down a bit to help you understand what the heck is going on:

lifetime value google analytics

Essentially, this graph is showing site users acquired during the month of May, and how their lifetime value changes based on the page views and session duration metrics over a 90-day period on the site.

These are obviously engagement metrics, you can customize this even further to track the exact amount spent if you have eCommerce tracking enabled.

Now, let’s jump to the table below:

acquisition channel google analytics

Now we’re able to compare the number of acquired users (and the Pageviews per User) in this case by acquisition channel.

Click on the dropdown above the table to pull up different granular sorting options like Source, Medium, or Campaign.

acquisition channels in google analytics lifetime value

How is this helpful? Check it out:

google analytics channels attribution

Let me break it down:

  • Blue: Acquisition channel. This shows what channel the users were acquired through, i.e, direct, organic, social, referral.
  • Pink: Users. The amount of users in the specified acquisition date range (May 2017 in this example)
  • Purple: Your selected lifetime value metric. In this example, pageviews per user is the LTV. This column is where the data begins to get interesting.

Let’s zoom in on the last column in detail to see if there’s any insight we can already glean from these reports.

pageviews lifetime value

Now we start to notice patterns among the different channels. For example, Referral traffic has double the pageviews per user (LTV) than almost every other channel. While Organic pageviews per user (LTV) is beginning to fall behind.

Want to pull back the curtain even more? Like being able to see things what individual Referral sites are driving higher LTV’s?

Head back over to the “Acquisition Source” on your table. Now we can break down which individual websites are sending us the most valuable traffic (based on LTV). And the winner is…

lifetime value acquisition source example

Kissmetrics! What, what! 🙌

Here’s why this new insight important.

Data Lies. LTV Forces it to Tell the Truth

Data lies to you daily.

For example, pull up your Goals inside Google Analytics to conduct a similar analysis to the one we just did.

You can even view the Reverse Funnel Path to see which pages, posts, or campaigns delivered the most conversions. This report is helpful… to a point. If you understand its limitations.

For example:

❌ Problem #1. These could be subscribers or leads. Not solid purchases. So you’re basing hard decisions off of ‘top of funnel’ data.

One campaign or channel might send 100 subscribers while the other only sends 20. But none of this takes into account how many of those people are converting. Or even how much money each is spending.

❌ Problem #2. Oh, these are sales, you say? Ok.

Except for one thing: You can’t tell if they’re one-off or repeat. So you can’t tell if each customer is a $100 order or a $1,000 one.

Which is kinda important when you’re looking backwards to see how that content investment performed vs. the paid campaign.

❌ Problem #3. A/B tests lie, too.

Things start off great. That new button resulted in a big conversion rate leap.

The only problem is that these small, temporary fluctuates often regress back to the mean. Larry Kim likened it to “moving desk chairs around the Titanic.”

ab testing reverts to mean

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There might only be a literal surface level change, without ever fundamentally improving the organization as a whole.

When does this commonly happen? When you over-optimize.

❌ Problem #4. Over-optimization.

A/B tests that increase top line metrics often backfire.

For example, another study from Larry Kim showed that for every increase you made in a conversion rate, the lower your rate of Marketing Qualified Leads.

landing page vs mqls
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In other words, the more aggressive you at are collecting that initial opt-in or lead can often lower the overall quality of the leads that are getting in. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the grand scheme of things when you think about it.

The point is that there are many, many ways data often lies to us. We think we’re seeing the whole picture, when in reality, it’s only a tiny slice of it.

Conclusion

Metrics aren’t always they appear. And data often lies.

What’s an “expensive” Cost Per Click for one business, isn’t for another. And sometimes that overall conversion rate we’re looking at to base our decisions around is fraught with peril in reality.

The one savior is Lifetime Value.

It gives us a broader, big picture context when viewing other bits of information. It helps us put things into proper context.

So we can not only make better decisions to drive additional revenue. But also realize when we’re about to make a few costly mistakes.

24th of June

11 Customer-Centric Ways to Grow Your Ecommerce Revenue


There are three general ways to grow revenue in any ecommerce business:

  1. Increase the total number of customers.
  2. Increase the average number of times each customer buys from you.
  3. Increase the average order value (AOV) from each customer.

As ecommerce marketers, knowing what to prioritize can be the difference between a standard year of growth and a phenomenal one. So, what should be your next move?

Take another look above at the overall ways to grow revenue and you may notice each has a common thread: the customer. It can be a game-changer if you start with what your buyers want (and perhaps more importantly don’t want) and let them be your guiding light for everything you do in your marketing.

In 2011, Jeff Bezos said“If you’re truly obsessed about your customers, it will cover a lot of your other mistakes.”

Learn 11 specific ways to implement more customer-centric marketing that can lead to more revenue for your store. These are categorized in ways to grow:

  1. New Customers

  2. Product Feeds
  3. Dynamic Retargeting on Facebook
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Repeat Customers

  6. Psychographic Segmentation
  7. Automated Email
  8. Targeted Promo Emails
  9. Conversion Rate

  10. Customized Checkout
  11. Chatbot Conversion Optimization
  12. Non-Boring Product Descriptions
  13. Authentic Reviews
  14. Amazing Customer Service

New Customers

1. Product Feeds

Selling on Google Shopping is a great way to market your products in a customer-centric way. Product images, pricing, reviews and brand name are all displayed in Google so that shoppers no longer need to click through to see all of that critical information.

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It works a lot like traditional Google pay-per-click campaigns. It’s set up by connecting your store’s product feed to Google Merchant Center, which then feeds into your AdWords account. Once you successfully start displaying Product Listing Ads, it is easy to begin grouping your store’s products into ad groups in AdWords.

shoes results google shopping

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Note: Typically once you have 150 or more store reviews within the last 12 months, review star ratings will display in Google Shopping.

Saving your customers time is unlikely to go out of style any time soon. Nobody ever said, “I want a great deal, but I’d first like to blindly visit 10 different stores.” By marketing on Google Shopping, you provide your future customers with a better experience.

Additionally, it is easy to connect your store’s product catalog to Facebook’s Business Manager. Uploading your product feed to advertise in a customer-centric way on Facebook (displaying product images, descriptions, price and other information) works especially well for the next section.

2. Dynamic Retargeting on Facebook

Research from 2017 shows the global conversion rate from a visitor, to add to cart is just under 3%.

us and uk conversion rates

Not everyone who adds products to their cart will complete the purchase. So for the more than 97% of people who didn’t purchase, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to return and buy.

Dynamic retargeting with Facebook works well for this because it combines an image of the exact product your visitor added to cart/viewed, with info-like descriptions, pricing of that particular product and the custom copy you add. Beautiful! Your shopper only sees exactly what they were interested in plus any sort of offer text.

Facebook shopping ads

Setup for Facebook dynamic retargeting is pretty easy. First, create a product catalog in FB by hooking up your product feed. Next you’ll need to add a few events found in the Ads Manager for your store to successfully pass the product information to Facebook that corresponds with each user, which may require some dev work depending on how savvy you are with your code. Once you’ve got the events firing properly, the last step is to set up your first dynamic retargeting campaign and ad. In no time, you’ll be remarketing in a customer-centric way to your visitors who have yet to convert.

3. Content Marketing

Now that we’ve covered a couple of buyer-focused ways to advertise, it is important to note the vast majority of shoppers looking for products on Google and other search engines will bypass paid listings altogether. According to the Similar Web Search Report, it’s not even close when you examine paid vs. organic (on desktop only). The non-paid search results get 18 times more traffic.

organic search 18 times more than paid

People trust Google and other search engines to rank the best natural results, so give search engines reasons why you deserve to outrank your competition. Several factors go into SEO for ecommerce, but content marketing is arguably the most customer-centric way to improve search engine rankings.

Helping the customer is the name of the game with content. All things being equal, whoever helps users in the most valuable way, ranks the highest.

For example, campers search the phrase “how to build a campfire,” or something similar, every month. A big reason why REI ranks #1 in Google for the term is because they answered the question in the most helpful and thorough way.

rei campfire article

This well-written article dominates the competition. It has over a thousand words describing every step of the campfire building process. It’s also supported by several great images and a video. REI has created an entire ‘Expert Advice’ section of the site dedicated to answering questions and solving problems pertaining to anything they sell.

Are there common problems and questions your potential buyers have? Listen to what your customer base says and use AnswerThePublic.com to find out other ideas to help. Search Google to find out what questions pertaining to your industry could be answered in a much better way than they currently are. To give your store a good shot at outranking the “partial helpers,” you want your content to be 10 or more times better than the best results for the topic.

Repeat Customers

4. Psychographic Segmentation

Demographic information of your buyers, like age or gender, can be useful in many cases. Knowing where they live and tracking their behavior is important as well. But these will only tell you part of what you need to know. Psychographics, however, include the goals, emotions, values, hobbies and habits that help drive purchase decisions, which helps us understand our customer’s why.

market segmentation factors

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Psychographic segmentation is crucial for marketing in a customer-centric way. If we better understand the “why” of a particular buyer segment, the likelihood of positively influencing a group’s reason to buy goes way up! Learn as much as you can in order to deliver more details and serve customers even better.

5. Automated Email

Automation is an excellent way to keep your team or business lean, but still provide a personalized experience for your customers based on their actions.

This example from the marketing automation campaign builder inside Infusionsoftshows how an Ecommerce business can treat customers differently each time they buy from the company.

marketing automation map

In this example, each sequence pushes the customer toward making another purchase. Inside the “new customer welcome, shipped” sequence (pictured below), a series of emails thanks the customer for “joining the family” and offers them a coupon code as gratitude:

drip campaign message thread

In addition to incentivizing repeat purchases, these emails can be created in plaintext, meaning it looks to the end customer like a customer service rep sat down and wrote them a personal email. This can have a huge impact on the user experience of your site, and turn people into raving fans of your brand.

6. Targeted Promo Emails

Email is an effective (and cheap!) way to market to your existing customer base. So how do you stand out in your buyer’s inbox amidst the swarm of the rest of the world’s offers?

Focus on customer experience. A big reason why Chewy.com does well with promotional emails is because they’re laser-focused. For example, cat owners only see offers for cat products.

chewy triggered email message
You won’t see any dog food offers unless you make a dog food purchase. Better yet, these cat product offers are based on prior purchase behavior. So the brands and types are all familiar.

Quickly blasting your email list with offers may generate an uptick in conversions. However, if your product set is diverse, it will likely be worthwhile to spend the extra time to deliver deals that line up with exactly what matches your customer’s interest.

Conversion Rate

7. Customized Checkout

Nobody ever said, “I just wish this checkout took a little longer.” Easy and as quick as possible, especially in the world of online shopping, will never go out of style.

Standard checkout layouts created by the top ecommerce platforms have improved over the years, but the conversion rates you can expect from them are…. well, standard. Below is an example of a default checkout page layout with BigCommerce:

checkout example flow

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Basic stuff. The good news is this page can be modified to be a lot more customer-focused with some dev work.

After studying videos of real-life customers using the default checkout, the Ecommerce Crew put together an eight-step checkout page customization checklist, which soon yielded the following customized layout:

single page checkout

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The results were immediate. Modifying the page to make the process smoother, less time consuming and more trustworthy for users translated into a 30% lift in conversion rate.

8. Chatbot Conversion Optimization

One huge way to increase your conversion rate is to add a chat function to your store’s website. This gives users a way to interact with you and ask questions about what they need. In turn, it gives you an opportunity to drive them exactly where you want them to go.

Don’t have the time or the staff to sit around manning your website’s chat feature? Automate it with a chatbot. Here’s an example:

chatbot setup

Based on common customer inquiries, you can build different conversation paths for people to self-select their way through. Each ends at the critical stage of collecting the lead without the use of standard forms.

This will not only dramatically increase the conversion rate of the visitors to your site, but it has the added benefit of answering frequently asked questions for your customers, meaning you can outsource at least some of your customer service, while being more helpful to visitors than your competitors who don’t have this capability.

9. Non-Boring Product Descriptions

Product copy, when done well, is proven to sell. But what if your competitors also provide users with robust product descriptions featuring a comprehensive list of features and benefits in an easy-to-read format?

So Worth Living changes the game to stand out by injecting personality into their product descriptions that they know their buyers will enjoy and appreciate:

good product copy

Being helpful doesn’t mean being boring. Get to know your buyers better than your competition. Find ways to entertain them in product descriptions, while informing them about all the features and benefits.

10. Authentic Reviews

Back in the early days of Amazon, when the ecommerce mammoth was a book store only, the company’s employees were writing the majority of the reviews. Jeff Bezos had instructed his team to leave 100% genuine reviews. Naturally, their honesty translated into negative ratings on some books.

good amazon review of book

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Publishers got ticked off with what Amazon was doing and one told Bezos his job was to “sell books, not trash them.” Bezos didn’t waver.

How did he know Amazon was doing the right thing? Authentic reviews can seem counter-intuitive when they are bad. But they’re truly in the best interest of the customer, and therefore the right move. Helping your visitors make the right buying decisions with reviews (good, bad and ugly) puts your customer’s interests first and foremost.

11. Amazing Customer Service

Customer service is perhaps the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. In today’s world, treating people like they’re real human beings, and showing them empathy, has the power to make you stand out from the crowd in a big way.

A strategy we use frequently is every time someone has a bad experience, we give them a $5 gift card. This does more than reduce people’s angst. It turns a negative experience into an overwhelmingly positive one. Sure, this may slightly reduce the margin you make on their next purchase. But if it brings someone back a second, third, or fourth time, it’s worth the $5 all day long. Here’s a real response from June 20th as an example:

coupon code turns happy customer

Treat your customers well, and they will reciprocate.

Conclusion

Successful ecommerce marketing takes into account several factors to grow significantly. Use the customer as your north star and test, test, test to find out what works best for you.

What customer-centric ways are you using to grow your store’s revenue in 2017? Comment below and let me know.

20th of June

Introducing Customer Engagement Automation by Kissmetrics


We are thrilled to announce that Kissmetrics has added email campaign automation to our behavioral analytics platform. We’re calling it Customer Engagement Automation. Now you can seamlessly analyze, segment and engage your customers all from within our platform.

Why did we do this?

The main driver was the massive market shift and we were feeling the pain first hand. Effective customer engagement needs to happen beyond the top of the funnel, and we were fed-up with the endless struggle to engage with people based on their activity, behaviors or traits.

Yes, we have a marketing automation tool, but to get a segment from here to there and then trying to measure results was a pain. And why do we need this costly, heavy lifting tool when all we want to do is connect with people based on their behavior, with a message that’s going to help them through the trying, buying and using process.

There needed to be a better way to automatically engage with people, based on their behavior, to help them at just the right time. A tool that our growth team and product team could use to engage people from prospect to advocate. And I’m not talking about simple open-and-click type behavior, I’m talking about signed-up–>logged in–> did feature A but not feature B within 3 days — type of behavior.

Like you, we’re trying to deliver the best experience possible to our prospects and customers. To make their process easier, more pleasant, fun or whatever you strive for in your business. We’ve been providing the insights into what works and what doesn’t for years. But to take action on that insight was tough, and to truly understand the results even tougher.

So we closed the loop. Now you can understand who you want to engage, whenand why. Set up a campaign to do just that. See the results, and tweak and tune. It’s an opportunity to continuously improve the customer lifecycle. You learn where people are getting stuck and help them along their way. Everybody wants that kind of help, and everybody likes to give it. It’s a win-win.

We built Kissmetrics Customer Engagement Automation platform to serve as a great way to understand and engage our prospects and customers. It’s a powerful analytics, segmentation and engagement tool all in one place. It enables us to deliver that great customer experience through timely, relevant engagement. And lo and behold, a bunch of our customers feel the same way. So away we went.

Acquisition of Knowtify

We didn’t want to start from scratch or learn along the way. In order to accelerate the development, and to bring on great people with deep expertise in email automation and message delivery, Kissmetrics acquired Knowtify. The release of Kissmetrics CEA is the integration of Knowtify’s products into our behavioral analytics platform. And additional Knowtify features will be coming soon.

It’s Here and Now

Campaigns is available today. And we have a bright new bold look too to reflect the changes in our solution offering.

With Campaigns, you’ll create automated or manual email messages based on any combination of behavior, or profile data, to drive engagement across your entire growth funnel.

  • Want to create an onboarding campaign for new trial users based on what they’re doing in the product and who they are?
  • Want to announce a new feature (like this) to users who fit a specific profile – and then follow-up 7 days later if they haven’t tried the feature?
  • Want to drive more repeat purchasers to your ecommerce store?
  • Want to target messages to customers who sign-up from a specific ad campaign?
  • Want to win back previously loyal users?

Or anything you can think of to improve conversions, engagement and retention.

Why Kissmetrics Is the Perfect Platform for Customer Engagement Automation

For nearly a decade, Kissmetrics Analyze has been used by marketing and product teams to understand the behavior of their prospects and customers to increase customer acquisition and retention.

What we’ve learned is that deeply understanding user behavior is paramount to knowing what actions you can take to drive engagement. Doing effective engagement requires a view of customer behavior well beyond opens and clicks found in many engagement tools. It requires a much broader view of behavior in order to properly segment and engage people at the perfect time. Likewise, in order to measure the true impact and effectiveness of the engagement, a broad view beyond clicks and views is also required. You need to see where people went after the click and if it led to your ultimate conversion goal.

We like to use the analogy of a guy standing on the corner looking at a map and looking up and around. His behavior indicates he’s looking for something or lost. You engage him by offering to help with directions. That’s what CEA does – we see the behavior and provide the perfectly timed, relevant engagement that makes your customers happy and loyal.

Doing effective behavioral analytics is required for effective customer engagement. So don’t settle for lightweight reporting or you’ll be flying blind. Behavioral analytics is our core competency and differentiator.

Analytics is Our Differentiator

We want to be clear – our analytics platform and our focus on delivering great analytics isn’t going anywhere. Analytics is the enabler of CEA and a great differentiator for Kissmetrics.

In fact, we just rebuilt our entire analytics infrastructure to make it better in so many ways. Bottom line, you can’t do proper customer engagement without a deep analytics platform like Kissmetrics.

The Three Features of CEA

We’ve broken CEA into three key features – Analyze, Populations and Campaigns.

1. Analyze – Understand User Behavior

Analyze is a collection of our analytics reports that allow you to slice and dice to surface the insights that matter most to your business. These reports help marketing & product teams understand user behavior to see how people are interacting with their website and product. This isn’t merely visits and clicks. You’ll learn what’s working, what’s not, and who’s doing it. These reports include: Funnel, Metrics, People, Cohort, A/B testing, and the Power Report.

2. Populations – See How Key Groups are Performing

Populations makes it easier for growth marketers and product teams to track and understand segments that are key to their growth and business.

You’ll quickly see how these critical Populations are performing, and in just a few clicks easily segment your Populations for greater insights.

The image below is tracking signups over the last 30 days, and comparing it to 90 days ago.

signups-last-30-days-kissmetrics-population

From the main Populations page, you’ll see the list of Populations you have and the general trends:

populations-overview-page

See where you stand in every stage of your growth cycle with Populations – from acquisition to retention & engagement.

3. Campaigns – Engage and Retain More of Your Customers

Campaigns is where the rubber meets the road with analytics & engagement. Send behavioral-based & automated emails to people that match a criteria you set.

You undoubtedly have some place in your funnel that you’d like to improve. Some place that is a bit of a “dark area” and needs customer engagement. Here are some general ideas:

E-Commerce companies:
Using the Funnel Report and seeing that most people drop off after adding a product to their cart but not completing the purchase? Create a trigger that emails them a few days after this occurs to nudge them towards completing their purchase.

SaaS companies:
Noticing free trial users signing up but not logging in? Then it’s time to fix your onboarding! Set up a Campaign that sends users a reminder to login so they can discover value of your product.

No matter your use case, you’ll be able to track these emails and Campaigns all within Kissmetrics. It isn’t just tracking opens and clicks; it’s setting a success criteria and then seeing if your campaigns are succeeding. Easily make adjustments on the fly to continually optimize.

The Campaigns overview page shows the campaigns you have running, as well as how each are performing:

all-campaigns-kissmetrics

Click on a campaign and you’ll see the messages that are in each campaign:

product-launch-announcement-kissmetrics-campaigns

From here you’ll be able to monitor the performance for each message, create a new message, or pause any messages.

You Have All This in One Platform

With CEA, you’ll get behavioral analytics, segmentation and engagement solution all in one place.

Use analytics to see what needs attention, and take the action all in the same solution. No longer do you have to use analytics in Kissmetrics and export the data to another tool to try and then track those results in multiple tools. Everything you’ll need to analyze, segment and engage is in one place – Kissmetrics.

That being said, we are not a proposing to be a replacement for MailChimp, Pardot, or any marketing automation platform. Those tools and great for top of the funnel lead capture and nurturing. In fact, you may find yourself using these tools alongside Kissmetrics as we complement each other.

What’s CEA Good For? And What Isn’t it Good For?

To best understand who CEA is and isn’t for, let’s first go through some common use cases.

SaaS:

  • New monthly visitors – Go beyond just tracking the total amount of people coming to your site. Create a Population to find how many new visitors have come to your site without ever previously visiting. Then segment it to see what’s driving the Population.
  • Active trial users – Getting people to see the value of your product during the trial phase is the most important step to getting them to convert to paying for your product. Creating an engagement to track active trial users (the ones who are actually using the product) will help provide clues as to whether your trial process does a good job at showing customers your product value.
  • Monthly trial conversion – Tracking the conversion from those trial users into paying customers will help you see if the changes you make over time are impacting this conversion.
  • At-risk customers – Engagement is crucial for SaaS companies, and if users aren’t logging in, it may be an indicator of a future churn. Track these people and prevent the churn before it happens by creating a Population.

E-Commerce:

  • Monthly buyers – Purchases are the lifeblood of e-commerce companies. How many people bought this month? How many of those were new customers purchasing for the first time? Tracking these Populations can help you understand how your overall sales are performing.
  • Loyal purchasers – Repeat purchases are necessary to sustain an e-commerce company. A Population that tracks repeat purchasers over time will show if you’re gaining loyalty or if you’re losing it.
  • One and done buyers – Are there people that purchase but never return to buy anything again? Hopefully not, but with Populations you’ll quickly and easily see how many (or how few) one and done buyers you have.
  • Browsers – How many people are browsing your store without buying? If there’s a lot (of a large percentage of your overall traffic) it may indicate that your site doesn’t convert well or it isn’t attracting your target audience.

Just as it’s important to understand what CEA does, it’s equally important to know who CEA is for and who it isn’t for. We’ve made CEA for a specific group of users. Here are some people that will be a good fit:

✔️ Growth teams – These teams improve marketing efforts based on user behavior. They are focused on improving engagement through email campaigns and optimizing nearly every stage of the funnel.

✔️ Product teams – Launching a new feature or iterating and want to see the traction and engagement? Use a Funnel Report and improve the weak areas with Campaigns. Track product engagement among segments of users with Populations.

✔️ Customer success managers – Populations will track your “at risk” customers and then you can use Campaigns to send triggered emails to these customers. Identify, track, and engage all in the same solution.

✔️ Demand Gen marketers – These marketers work on the top of the funnel, doing everything they can to bring in more quality leads. CEA can help show where people are dropping off and if making changes to the site will drive conversions and increased engagement.

Here’s who will not be a good fit for CEA:

✖️ SEO managers – Kissmetrics is not an SEO tool. If you’re looking to improve rankings, gain more organic traffic, and insights on how to improve your SEO, you won’t find it in Kissmetrics.

✖️ Social media managers – Kissmetrics will not help you increase your Twitter followers to get more Likes on Facebook. If you’re looking to get more engagement on any social media platform, we’re not the tool for you.

CEA is the New Phase of Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics was born out of a frustration with other analytics tools. Most tools only provide metrics, but they weren’t all that useful. Kissmetrics was started to show you more than just what’s happening on your site – it started to help you understand who is doing it and the patterns of user behavior that you need to change to increase conversions.

With the reports we’ve created, we helped marketing and product teams understand their users and easily identify where the weak points are happening.

Now, we’re taking the next step in helping them take analyze, segment, and engage users to deliver more of what they want and love – all in the same solution.

We would love to tell you more about it. Visit our website here to read more, sign-up for a trial or to see a demo.