Category Archives: Affiliate Marketing

Pinterest Creative hosts meetups: LA, Austin, & more

Source http://blog.pinterest.com/post/77106493033

There’s a lot to be said for taking the scenic route in life. In that spirit, a few intrepid Pinterest creative team staffers are headed out on a great American road trip from our HQ in San Francisco all the way to Austin for the SXSW conference.

Good news: We’ll be hosting a series of meet-ups along the way! We’ll be headed from our studio to yours, and want to meet and greet with as many creative folks as we can on the way. Are you a designer, photographer, illustrator, artist, woodworker, or other creative professional? Grab a spot!

LOS ANGELES, CA

We’ll be taking over Day 19’s photo studios for a night of inspiration. Bring your prints, promos, or fab business cards to pin to a cork wall at the event (we’ll also add them to a board on our Pinterest Creative team account).

Day 19 Studios:, March 3, 7 – 10 pm, Sign up here (space limited)

MARFA, TEXAS

We’ll meet up at a studio and artspace and share a few cold ones with the creative community in this inspiring art town in West Texas.

Private studio: March 6, 7 – 9 pm, Sign up here (space limited)

AUSTIN, TEXAS

We’ll take over la Barbecue’s giant beer garden (it could be considered a studio too — if you don’t think barbecuing is an art, you’ve probably never been to Texas). We’ll have live music, great food and beverage, a range of activities and gifts from the Pinterest creative team at this Saturday afternoon event.

la Barbecue: March 8, 1 – 4 pm, Sign up here (sold out!)

Stay tuned as we announce a few more meet-ups along the way!

—Laura Brunow Miner, Brand Designer, Currently pinning to It’s Sunny Somewhere

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Online Testing: 3 test options, 3 possible discoveries, 1 live test from Email Summit 2014

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MktgExperimentsBlog/~3/emXJNVLfb-E/live-test-email-summit-2014.html

Executing tests live from Summit has become a MECLABS tradition. It’s a great way to give the audience a glimpse at real-world online testing, while also involving them in the process.

At this week’s MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 in Las Vegas, the MECLABS live test team is shaking things up along with the test’s sponsor, BlueHornet. Typically, the team picks one research question and then creates multiple treatments and/or variables for the audience to pick from to run against the control. This year, we’re putting the research question at the hands of the audience.

Over the last two months, the live test team has been developing not one, not two, but three tests the audience can choose from.

“We all have gaps in our customer theory. Which gap do we want to fill? What do we want to learn about our customer?” Austin McCraw, Senior Director of Content Production, MECLABS, asked.

Offering three different research opportunities allows the audience to pick the possible discovery they want to see in action.

This MarketingExperiments Blog post will reveal the details of those three test options, including the research question each would set out to answer.

 

Control

 

The team designed all of the test options so that one control would work for all three. As you can see below, the email is pretty general and the landing page is a standard lead generation page.

 

Live Test Option A: Static incentive vs. dynamic incentive

Research Question: Are visitors more likely to provide us with their interests if they get a piece of content specific to the interest they indicate?

 

Option A also used the control email.

Monetarily speaking, the incentive in the control and those offered in the treatment have the same value. However, will the added intrinsic value of being able to choose their Quick Guide topic add to the incentive’s value in the minds of the MECLABS list?

 

Live Test Option B: Details in email vs. details on landing page

Research Question: Is it better to include e-book details in the email or on the landing page?

 

Should you sell in your email or on your landing page? Option B puts that question to the test.

The control email includes only enough basic information to ask for the click, and those who do click through get more in-depth information on the control landing page. The treatment email includes all the specific information readers would need to make a decision, and the landing page includes just a headline, sub-headline and the form.

 

Control Email:

 

Treatment Email:

 

Live Test Option C: List segmentation vs. list growth

Research Question: Are visitors more likely to complete a lead gen form or share via social media?

 

For Option C, the control email will be used for both the control and the treatment.

Instead of filling out a standard lead gen form to download the Quick Guide, those who land on the treatment must share the page through one of three social networks: Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Then, those who come to the page through one of those shared social links will all land on the control page to build the list.

Which do consumers perceive as the bigger cost: filling out a lead capture form or sharing a link through their social media accounts?

 

And the winner is …

After polling nearly 900 Email Summit attendees, Option B was selected with 46% of the vote. The audience chose to learn about where is the best place to sell: the email or the landing page.

“We don’t know if it will end positive or negative, but either way, we’ll get some insight,” Austin said.

Check back in a couple of weeks, and we’ll share that insight in a special case study featuring this test and its results to be published in the MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Newsletter.

 

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MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, Las Vegas

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German Courts Not Seeing Eye-To-Eye On Facebook

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/-DSMfqxvg7E/german-courts_b129340

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Facebook Streamlines Billing For Advertisers

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/A_B33onfK3E/streamlined-billing_b129336

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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How to Get Your Keyword Data from Google Analytics Part 2

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/KISSmetrics/~3/UCHPuImr5_c/

Today’s video is a continuation from last week’s video. Last week we talked about how to get around the “Keyword Not Provided” issue in Google Analytics. This week we’re going to tell you how to increase your conversion rates once you know what keywords are sending you traffic.

Important Details to Note

Translating your content for international visitors — This is a great idea to get more traffic to your website. However, you need to be really careful about how you do this. Be sure to read this article first: International SEO: Dropping the Information Dust

Keywords — This mention briefly mentions to place your keywords in your title tag and meta description. The most important takeaway here is to write natural looking titles for your title tags. Don’t repeat keywords or list multiple keywords by commas in your title tags. Specify one targeted keyword within your natural sounding title per webpage. For example, let’s say you want to create a title tag for a page that sells magic carpets:

  • Good: World Famous Magic Carpets at CarpetGenie.us
  • Bad: Magic Carpets, Carpets, Flying Rugs, and More

Additional Resources

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Facebook Testing ‘Subscribe On YouTube’ Links?

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/v88-l196PLs/subscribe-on-youtube_b129331

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Facebook Director Of Engineering Jocelyn Goldfein: ‘We’re Not Done With Home’

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/2OfXdD4deF4/jocelyn-goldfein-home_b129329

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Unmetric Names New Head Of Global Marketing

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/HpBnFavpuAE/unmetric-rick-liebling_b129325

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Facebook Weekly Highlights Brings You ‘The Beatles — A Grammy Salute’

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/yd-lLrifhCQ/facebook-weekly-highlights-021414_b129318

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Socialbakers Reveals Facebook Stars For January, Completes Financing Round

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/SGf_NZ8Cjww/socialbakers-january-2014-funding_b129310

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Link Pruning Best Practices to Help Recover from a Google Penalty

Source http://www.verticalmeasures.com/search-optimization/link-pruning-best-practices-to-help-recover-from-a-google-penalty/

If you’re a webmaster today, you might have received a Google Penalty on your site. If you’re an SEO/Marketing/Internet-Anything Agency, you’ve probably seen a client or two with a penalty by now. So what’s a webmaster to do? First of all – don’t panic. There is a process to follow and steps to take care to do well. Most importantly, it’s all about being methodical in your link pruning process to assess if a site is worthy of your link or not. More often than not, bad or spammy sites with your link on it are a big contributing factor to your Google Penalty recovery. Here are some steps to help you decide which links you keep and which links you should take immediate action to remove.

The First Steps of Backlink Removal: Reviewing Links

Say you have found multiple sites with questionable links pointing back to your site. What you need now is a roadmap to help lead your action plan. Start by pulling a list of all of the backlinks and anchor text pointing to the site(s) in question. There are a lot of options on how to do this, but the most commonly done combo is to pull a list from Open Site Explorer Data and Google Webmaster Tools. Create for yourself a nice Excel sheet with this column formatting:

  • URL of the link
  • Anchor text of the link (if possible)
  • A space for notes
  • A column to mark YES or NO to add to your disavow list (title it simply “Disavow?”)

This spreadsheet is your fast track back to rankings and traffic, so make sure you are saving often as you make your way through the backlinks of your site. We actually put together a free guide walking people through the whole Google Penalty process, so if you want a free spreadsheet that lays out this format, feel free to download it here.

Getting Cozy with Google Again

Google may not know what it wants in a website, but it sure knows what it doesn’t want. They put out tons of information on what the best practices are for websites. You may be a fool for chasing every nugget, or a fool for not reading any of it.

What they do convey is that each individual link should be reviewed for its integrity and benefit to your site. You might find it best to review a site in two stages: domain level and link level. Since you should be disavowing at the domain level, it is easiest to check out the home page of a site, and subsequent pages as needed, and make an assessment based on the site’s metric and on-page content.

After a site has passed this initial test you can go back and look at your leftover link portfolio. Ask yourself a couple of questions and follow these recommendations:

  • Is there exact match anchor text that needs to be cleaned up? Set aside a list of links from which you can contact the webmaster and ask them to change the anchor text if possible.
  • Is there an internal page of your site that has a decent majority of links pointing to it? If so, you will need to study this page and find out if action is warranted.

I suggest looking at metrics such as social shares and traffic to this page to determine if you should in fact be keeping all of these links pointing to a single internal page, as it is unnatural in Google’s eye. If you made an awesome infographic or video and it got picked up ad reposted, you won’t want to disavow those links just for the sake of sculpting a “natural” backlink portfolio.

Find Metrics That You Are Comfortable With

There is no one definitive metric that serves up a passing grade to a website. There are so many different factors to take into account when assessing a website and even more tools to measure them, so how can you decide which ones to use? It depends on what you are interested in measuring. Let’s look at a few.

  1. Backlinks. Some people are interested in backlinks of their backlinks and hence Majestic SEO’s citation and trust flow make great metrics.
  2. Traffic. Other people pay attention to traffic and will obsess over SEMRush and Compete data.
  3. Page Rank. Many people care about Page Rank like it’s the end of the world, and so they take that into account (even though it hasn’t been updated since December).

A great tool to use to pull backlinks and go even further is Majestic SEO. Key things to look at: citation flow and trust flow.

With all this said, you need to find a set of metrics that make sense to you and use the same set of metrics for every website you evaluate.

Other Elements to Pay Attention to

Just don’t forget that there is more to a website than metrics, just like there is more to a person than his or her age, weight and resumé. Check out the blog of the site and see if they post often. Does the content seem original at first glance, or do they show the PR Web link under every post (i.e. they post duplicate content or act as a curated feed)? Do they link out to an external site with exact match anchor text in every post? Are people commenting on the posts and sharing them or is there no activity whatsoever?

You can also look to the Contact pages for information about the founder and the “Disclaimer” section for anything that sets off bells.  In essence, what is the purpose of the website? If the purpose is to sell links or aggregate spun or scraped content, the chances of a link passing useful juice is very low and the decision to link prune it from your backlink portfolio should be an easy one. Make notes in your designated column for each link your site has so that if you need to go back, you have proof of what you were thinking at the time. This record keeping also serves you well when you need to provide Google documentation of your efforts for a reconsideration request.

Take it Slow

It might take a lot of time for you to check through all of your backlinks and it most certainly will be frustrating and tiring. Sometimes it is necessary to ask yourself what your time is worth and what your website is worth. Taking the appropriate amount of time to review your backlinks will mean the difference between one reconsideration request and having to go through the whole process again.

Here at Vertical Measures, we take a holistic approach to a website and look at as many factors as we can within reason so that we may fully understand a website. We encourage you to do the same. Once you disavow a link, you can never get it back.

Are there any metrics that you rely on to check your backlinks or tricks you use to sniff out spammy sites? Share your triumphs in the comments! If you’re feeling way over your head in all this, we offer Google Penalty Recovery services.

 

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Facebook Mobile Measurement Partner Kochava Releases Version 2.0 Of Its Platform

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/XR0vhgsNDQI/kochava-version-2-0-platform_b129305

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Do You Want Your Website To Tell a Better Story?

Source http://feeds.copyblogger.com/~/56966302/0/copyblogger~Do-You-Want-Your-Website-To-Tell-a-Better-Story/

Paralyzed.

That’s how you feel some of the time, maybe a lot of time, when you sit down to deliver your message to your audience.

How do I know? Because it’s how I feel some of the time (okay, a lot of time) too.

You want to tell a story. I want to tell a story. But so often when we tell stories on the Internet, our words have to do all the heavy lifting.

That’s pressure.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a design with the strength and style to lighten the storytelling load?

That’s parallax.

And what if such a design were simple to set up? What if it were as easy as slipping a cashmere sweater over a pressed collared shirt and the perfect color tie?

That’s Parallax Pro for Genesis … the next generation of storytelling on the web.

What is parallax, anyway?

Despite its jargony name, Parallax is actually a pretty simple concept: the change in the apparent position of an object when viewed from two different vantage points.

Have a look:

You see the perspective shifting from right to left and left to right. Do you see how the objects in the background appear to move slower than those in the foreground? That’s parallax.

Parallax scrolling is used in graphics and web design to create this effect and give a two-dimensional world a three-dimensional feel.

For a simple example of how this works horizontally in gaming, click here.

For a simple example of how this works vertically in web design, click here.

Parallax web design

In case you didn’t click on that last link, it takes you to the demo of Parallax Pro, the latest child theme released for the Genesis Framework by the StudioPress team.

Do you notice how, as you scroll down the page, the words appear to move faster than the beautiful, high-resolution background images?

This is the present and future of web design, and something tells me this isn’t the first time you’ve been exposed to it (even if you didn’t know what to call it).

Award-winning examples of Parallax design include the official website for the movie Life of Pi, Lexus, and NASA Prospect.

That NASA Prospect one? Wow. Talk about storytelling with design.

Don’t you want to make people say “Wow” when they visit your website too?

And without knowing anything but the basics about design?

Then Parallax Pro may be for you

It was just two weeks ago that Parallax Pro was unleashed on the world. Yet, already there are stunning examples of its storytelling magnificence live for us to use as reference points.

Check out Growly Books.

It’s not nearly as complicated as the award-winning examples I linked to above. Which is fine. You don’t need that level of complexity to tell your online story effectively.

Here is another example: Minima Designs.

You increase conversions when you invoke positive emotions and a human touch. That is exactly what is going on here.

Parallax Pro makes it simple to provide the subtle human touch that makes for great subliminal storytelling.

It also never hurts to have a jaw-dropping design on a site that is selling design services.

And if you’re one of those who expects eat-your-own-dogfood leadership by designers …

Have a look at the latest design for StudioPress founder Brian Gardner’s site.

Scroll down and check out the “Welcome to My Space” section at the bottom. That’s how you tell a story through the seamless integration of words and pictures. It’s what Parallax Pro is designed to do.

What you should do next

Simply put: No other recent web design technique has done more to impact the way we tell stories online than parallax. And now you’re just minutes away from having it on your website.

That’s not to say it’s for everyone. I still use the 411 Theme on my personal website, because it fits better (for now).

But I’ve also tripled on-site engagement with my media and built a substantial email list from nothing since converting to a parallax-style design on my other side-project site. The story the design helps me tell visitors immediately is a big reason why.

Do you want your website to look like it was designed in 2015, not 2005?

Do you want it to pull people in while they scroll, not push them away?

Do you want your website to tell better a story?

You know what to do …

Pick up a copy of Parallax Pro today

Wikipedia Creative Commons Image: Parallax

Jerod Morris is the Director of Content for Copyblogger Media. Get more from him on Twitter, , or at JerodMorris.com.

The post Do You Want Your Website To Tell a Better Story? appeared first on Copyblogger.

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David Neale: Handcrafted, Treasure maker

Source http://blog.pinterest.com/post/76966332303

As a kid visiting museums, David Neale saw ancient artifacts and knew he wanted to make treasures. So, armed with his imagination, he ventured into the art of gold and silversmithing. Now, with an artist’s touch and a steel rod called a mandrel, David produces custom handcrafted jewelry and treasures of his own from his studio in Australia that are in-demand all over the world. Read how David uses Pinterest for inspiration, discovery, and even for his business!

Tell us about your background and how you ultimately ended up gold and silversmithing?

I’ve got keen eyes- I notice the small wonders. When I was a kid I loved to visit museums. I was awestruck by mineral specimens and artefacts from ancient civilisations – I knew I wanted to make treasures like these. I took jewelry making lessons with a local goldsmith and later on, I assisted him in his shop. Eventually, I studied Fine Art at university, majoring in Gold and Silversmithing.

We noticed your “Wedding Rings” board. For our readers who don’t know much about the art, can you tell us more about creating a finished piece of jewelry from start to finish, say for a wedding ring or even an earring?

One of my popular rings is made from unrefined Australian gold nuggets – it’s like wholemeal, organic gold – if you will. This material is sourced from small-scale prospectors. I put the nuggets in a charcoal mould, and heat them with a 2000F degree flame, until they melt together as a liquid. When this ingot has cooled, I make a hole right through the middle, using a hammer and punch. Without removing any metal, I stretch out this hole by gradually hammering the ring down a tapered steel rod, called a mandrel. For this, I use an antique hammer, one I picked up on my travels in Italy, because it gives a subtle, ancient-like texture.

Jewelry making can be laborious, is often tedious and frequently hazardous- some folks don’t realise this. It’s my view that cheap, exploitative imports have skewed the way we value an object- especially the skills and effort required to make it. So the studio jeweler has tough competition; we have to persuade people to skip the cheap factory trinkets and instead chose jewelry with lively presence; something worthy of becoming an heirloom.

What is the most rewarding part about being a jewelry maker?

To make wedding jewelry is an enormous privilege. I feel honoured when a couple chooses me to make the rings that symbolise something sacred. This often results in long-standing custom. They feel that I am ‘their’ goldsmith, which is a reward that goes beyond a mere business transaction.

In your “Jewelry board” we find a variety of pieces, not just earrings and rings, but vases, models, combs, and other intricate collections. How do you use Pinterest, find inspiration and decide what to make?

I use Pinterest to present a whole visual mood for my jewelry design. I pin images of my own work, as well as images of anything that inspires me, like historical jewelry, art and design objects. Over time, as the pins build up into a ripe collection, you’ll get a strong sense of David Neale’s aesthetic. Apart from my own content, some of the images come from other Pinners, but I also draw on many different sources. I especially love to ‘rummage’ through any online Museum collections.

I also make use of ‘secret’ Pinterest boards; if a client has particular ideas for a custom piece, I invite them to pin images to a shared secret board. Then we can refer to these in our discussion, as we collaborate on a design. This is a really convenient tool.

Follow The Golden Smith’s board Jewelry on Pinterest.

Some ideas grow from previous work, pushing the edges of what I’ve already explored. Certainly, Pinterest is a great tool for inspiration; having built up a lot of pins, I can see strong patterns in what materials, finishes and styles that I’m drawn too. It’s not hard to then imagine something that hasn’t yet been made, but would totally fit in with the aesthetic that I’m presenting.

My mind wanders all over the landscape of metalwork. Sometimes I make items that people are switched-on-to right now, such as earrings or cuffs. But other times I’ll make something that I’m not seeing everywhere. For example, I really wanted to hand-make metal combs; and no-one was notably doing that. So I set about cutting some- and the response has been great.

Do you have a work of art that is your favorite, or most fulfilling to produce?

I love making my Horse Pendants – when I make them, I try to re-tell the the happy sight of a cantering horse- with just some simple, moving parts; a little golden poem.

What new treasures are you thinking about next?

I’ve started to work with some talented Australian bespoke gem-cutters, which is really exciting. There are so many unusual minerals and creative faceting designs – the world of gems is a sea of color–Im looking forward to diving in!

Thanks David for giving us a peak into your treasure chest. If you want to see what David is creating next, visit his website and Pinterest boards!

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Facebook Users Rally Around Their Broken-Hearted Friends

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/tWgnRtQiG74/breaking-up-facebook-data-science-team_b129298

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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Facebook Revamps Power Editor

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/XhNaUqZYTrw/power-editor-revamp_b129290

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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How Paying for Postage Made me a Better Marketer

Source http://feeds.copyblogger.com/~/56895891/0/copyblogger~How-Paying-for-Postage-Made-me-a-Better-Marketer/

I have a confession. I’m a direct mail guy.

I’ve been responsible for over a billion pieces of mail. And when I say “mail,” I mean those paper things that come to your physical mailbox. (Good thing I didn’t have to lick the stamps.)

I’ve learned a ton from the online marketers I’ve been hanging around with the last few years. Your expertise in harnessing technology amazes me, and the speed with which you execute astounds me.

But as we all know — especially in the Copyblogger community — good great copy and creative raises all boats.

And anyone who claims to be “crushing it” online could, well, “crush it even more” if they paid as much attention to their copy as they do to the technology.

I have told the (almost true) story of my “childhood” in direct mail many times:

I walked 12 miles, uphill and barefoot, to work every day as one of the largest users of direct mail in the country early in my career … AND I paid postage!

Direct mail means discipline

What do I mean when I use the word discipline?

It means that everything I sent through the United States Postal Service had to be thought through in a way so nothing was wasted. Every test had to mean something. Every test needed to light the path to a potential breakthrough (and a new control package).

(A control package is the best-performing marketing piece you have so far. It’s the reigning champion, which means that it has to keep defending its title against punky up-and-comers. Direct mail marketers are always testing new approaches against that control to find the new winner.)

In fact, with the cost of postage and printing, the sale had to come quickly. To use Gary Vaynerchuk’s language: in direct mail, it’s harder to “jab” and you have to go for the “right hook” faster.

In other words, you don’t get much chance to build audience rapport with content alone, and you need to ask for the sale sooner rather than later.

But wise online marketers have an opportunity that should be used and not abused, given that its unlikely you’ll have to pay postage anytime soon …

Waste still sucks

The fact that you don’t pay for postage to send your marketing messages is not a license to beat your list into submission until they buy.

And discipline isn’t just something for guys like me who pay postage. It benefits every marketer, no matter what tools you use.

In the spirit of trying to take the discipline of direct mail into email and content, here are nine things that every marketer should consider before sending a billion pieces of mail … or before any marketer “hits send” to any number less than a billion.

#1: Use content strategically

Everything you send doesn’t have to sell something, but everything you send must achieve something.

Familiarize yourself with what different types of strategic content look like, and how they fit together.

#2: Deploy the ninjas

Hire or network with some heavy hitters who understand direct response and copy. (You can find smart people like this in the Authority forums.)

Get them signed up for all of your messaging. Listen carefully to what they tell you about how your copy looks when it gets where it’s going — and where you should be tweaking.

#3: Learn what you can’t know

You also want to find some “secret shoppers” who represent your ideal audience.

These aren’t experts in direct response and advanced copy … they’re the type of people who can potentially be your best prospects, students, and customers.

Side note: There are actually world class copywriters who use this technique and pay a panel of “people like their customer” to read their copy, so they can get opinions and reactions well before they send the copy to their client. The content gets tested two steps removed from when their client hits “send.” (Whether that’s to a direct mail campaign, e-mail promotion, or other.)

#4: Sweat the details

Take the time and effort to agonize over every word in your copy. And always ask, “Who is the audience this will most appeal to?”

Conversely, think about who your copy could possibly alienate. If your copy does have the potential to alienate, consider if those people are a good fit to become your customer.

It’s okay to scare off the peanut gallery who will never buy from you anyway.

#5: Look at your message in terms of consequential thinking

I learned the term consequential thinking from my mentor, Marty Edelston

It means putting yourself in the prospect’s shoes and seeing how you react to the elements of the copy.

Does it take you through a process that makes sense? In direct mail, this is a science in terms of how the mailing piece is received — the placement of the address, and the order the recipient sees the pieces in the envelope.

Online, of course, you have many more choices to guide your prospect through the story. Navigation and site design play an important role here, and you’ll want to think through how your audience goes through your landing pages.

Consequential thinking means taking a careful look at how you’re guiding your prospect through your marketing story.

#6: What’s the logic line?

This is another one I learned from Marty.

Is there a “logic line” that you believe? Does each part of the story follow from what comes before it? Is it logical (and believable)?

The purpose of each sentence is to make sure you can move the reader to the next sentence.

You need a logic line for each marketing message you send, but you also need a logic line for your business. Is this message congruent with your marketing message overall? Will it resonate with what you’ve sent in the past? Does it contradict earlier messages?

If so, you need to decide if you truly want to move in a new direction, or if you want to rein this piece in to better fit your business’ overarching message.

#7: Do you care?

No matter how hard hitting the copy might be, is there empathy? And is there some element of care and concern for your ultimate target?

Does the message communicate respect and care for your audience, or is it short on G.A.S.?

#8: Give them a reason to care

Audiences — for direct mail or for online content — are basically selfish.

It’s not their job to care about your business or what you do. To that end, write assuming that nobody cares what you have to say … and give them a reason to care.

No matter how much you believe your product, service, or message is a “need to have,” always assume you are only “nice to have.” Your job is convincing your audience to go from “nice” to “need.”

#9: Understand the basic rules of English

(Or, of course, the language of your chosen audience.)

You don’t need to be obsessed with correct grammar or perfect punctuation. Enjoyable content and copy usually use informal language.

But when you do violate the rules and standards of the English language, know what you are violating. It needs to be in line with your audience and how they speak and write. Using their language always trumps “perfect” grammar and usage.

The stakes are high for you, too

Okay, maybe you don’t have to pay for physical postage.

But you have an audience whose opinion and respect you depend on. That puts your reputation and authority at stake.

That’s why there’s so much to learn from the direct response principles of the past. The discipline of my field can be applied to everything happening in marketing and creative today.

Because of the amazing accountability and measurement tools available on the web, I believe it’s all direct marketing now.

We’re not “online marketers” or “direct mail marketers” — we’re just marketers.

How can “paying for postage” make your marketing better?

Learn more …

Click here to listen in on an interview I recently did with copywriter Daniel Levis. We talk about what it was like to work with some of the great copywriters and marketers of all time, including Gene Schwartz.

About the Author: Brian Kurtz has generated more than $300 million in sales over his 32-year career and has overseen the mailing of approximately 1.3 billion pieces of third class mail. Get more from him at BrianKurtz.me.

The post How Paying for Postage Made me a Better Marketer appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Where Marketing Ends, Branding Begins

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/KISSmetrics/~3/oGUQZVkC6Sw/

So you’ve got a business and you’re ready to push your branding efforts online. The first question you encounter is “How do I go about with branding?”

What I’ve noticed from my years of experience in online marketing is that you probably think branding involves the following:

? Logos, color schemes, and website design – What should my logo be? What colors represent my business best? How do I go about with my web design?
? Brand mentions, links, and social popularity – I have to be as visible online as possible, because this promotes brand recall
? SERPs visibility, ad campaigns, and other promotional efforts

If you answered any of the above, then you’re looking at branding the wrong way. The items I mentioned are all marketing tools and strategies, and they only scratch the surface of branding.

What’s the difference between marketing and branding?

Marketing is the set of processes and tools promoting your business. This includes SEO, social media, PPC, local search, mobile, and traditional promotional methods and tools. Branding, on the other hand, is the culture itself, the message that permeates and rules all the process of your business.

Common Misconceptions about Branding

Mixing up marketing and branding is only one of the most common misconceptions about branding that you will encounter. Many businesses and marketers handling branding tasks also make the following misconceptions:

Misconception #1: Branding is marketing / advertising / promotion / anything to that effect.

As mentioned earlier, this is a misconception because branding goes deeper than marketing. Marketing, advertising, and other promotional activities only communicate your brand personality and message. Your brand is comprised of your personality, your voice, and your message; branding is the process of establishing these traits.

Misconception #2: You are the ultimate authority when it comes to your brand.

This is a very common misconception, especially among first-time business owners. The truth is while you set the tone and get the ball rolling so to speak, and you set the guidelines that your organization will follow and live by as they work with your brand, this does not automatically make you the ultimate brand authority.

Your customers are the ones who ultimately define your brand. Their perception of your brand is what sticks with the people they influence. This is why it’s very important to select your brand values carefully; otherwise, your brand may be taken the wrong way – or worse, it may fail when you don’t see repeat customers.

Misconception #3: There exists a formula for success when it comes to branding.

Just because everything in online marketing can be measured doesn’t mean everything has a formula. No two companies are alike. While a similar process for developing a brand may work for businesses in the same field, for example, these businesses will still have unique identities and needs.

The truth is that there is no formula – branding is and will always be a customized experience. The good news is you can measure the success of your brand easily. What you should look at in this case is the behavior and the interests of your target audience.

Branding the Right Way

In order to create and establish a strong brand, you’ll need to ask the most fundamental questions behind its development. Before you begin to plan your online marketing strategies, you need to do the following first:

Establish Your Purpose
The first thing you need to clarify is why you do what you do. You won’t get the answers right away – you’ll need to ask yourself why several times before you get to the root purpose, the very core of your business. Start with questions like:

  • Why did I build this business?
  • Why do I want to help out this specific group of people?
  • Why does it matter to me that these things get done?

As you keep going, note the answers you are giving each “why” – these answers will form your purpose. Walt Disney answers this question very well, and is a good example of a company that knows why they exist: they want to bring joy to children everywhere. This permeates everything that they do.

Choose Your Personality and Voice
After asking why you do what you do, ask yourself: What is my brand? This will help begin to shape your brand, becoming a skeleton on which you will attach the rest of the ideas, values, and messages. At this stage of brand building, ask yourself the following:

  • What kind of voice do I want to use for my brand?
  • How do I want to be perceived – do I want to be approachable and casual, corporate and formal, etc.?
  • Will I be able to stay true to this identity throughout the existence of this brand?

The last question is specifically important because your audiences will be looking for a solid, consistent identity. Your ability to stay true to your brand is one of the most important elements that will earn you customer loyalty.

Outline Your Values
Once you finish asking yourself what you are, it’s time to ask yourself “Who am I?” The values that you get from the previous step will define who you are as a brand. List these down and define these values in light of your business.

Zappos does a great job of outlining and defining their values. They have ten core values that they live by, and if you go through their blogs and their website, you’ll see these values permeating every process they have. You’ll also notice the people following these values to heart, from the blog posts, to their performance, to their customer service. Defining a good, solid set of values will help you become consistent and serve as your company’s guiding principles for work.

Define Your Culture
Your integrity as an organization depends heavily on the culture you cultivate in your business. Happy employees are productive, passionate, and cohesive, making your business stronger and your processes more easily manageable. This is why it’s important to establish what kind of culture you want to nurture in your establishment.

Google’s culture is very famous for encouraging creativity and innovation by giving their employees time and resources to explore new things. Their 80/20 policy had paved the way for innovations like Google Glass and Android. Although it is not being implemented as a policy anymore, their engineers are still encouraged to take on side projects that allow them to innovate. You can see how the culture lives on despite the fact that the policy has been removed – that’s the power of culture.

Communicate Your Brand to Your Audience
Finally, you get to the point where marketing comes in – you now have to decide how you want to raise awareness about your brand. The previous steps, combined with market research and analysis, will play a huge role in determining how and where you communicate your brand to reach your target audience effectively.

The following will be the most important points to discuss when planning communication strategies:

  • Your company’s mission statement, which you can easily derive from your purpose;
  • The benefits your customers will get from your business, which is also answered at the beginning of this process (the answers to the why’s)
  • Your chosen platforms and the appropriate media for each
  • Your calls to action – what goals do you have, and how do you plan to entice your audience?

Conclusion

Branding isn’t the same as marketing – branding is the core of your marketing strategy. In order to build an effective brand, you need authenticity and clarity in each of the steps discussed earlier, allowing your target market to identify with your brand personality and values successfully.

One final thing to remember – and a very important point – is that branding isn’t a one-time thing that you do at the beginning of establishing your business. It is an ongoing effort that permeates your processes, your culture, and your development as a business, and it requires your dedication and loyalty in order to reflect in your work. At the end of the day, the true measure of your branding success is in earning loyal customers who become your brand ambassadors as well.

About the author: Clayton Wood is the Marketing Director of SEOReseller.com. He is passionate about educating the industry about the impact that technology has in online marketing and about inbound marketing. You may connect with him and ask him questions through his LinkedIn profile.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Maximize Your Click Through Rate: Tips on Writing Killer Ad Copy

Source http://www.verticalmeasures.com/ppc-advertising/maximize-your-click-through-rate-tips-on-writing-killer-ad-copy/

Your ad is the first impression your organization makes on each individual searcher. It’s also the strongest tool you have in your PPC Management Toolbox that will directly influence your ad’s click through rate (CTR). Ad copy is the “face” to your organization, and it is instrumental to ensure that the first impression searchers are presented with is compelling and created with the intent to drive clicks to your site.

There are two main components of PPC ad copy: the ad headline and ad text. Think of your ad as a team that works together as one cohesive unit towards the same ultimate goal. If one part is not optimized to reach your CTR goals, then the other parts aren’t going to be as impactful either. You’ll then experience a domino effect on your ad effectiveness. If you don’t have a strong headline, your ad text won’t be as likely to be read by the searcher and will be less effective; therefore it won’t drive the amount of clicks you may have ideally wanted. Conversely, with a strong headline, your ad text is then more likely to be read; therefore being more impactful, driving more traffic to your site.

Writing Engaging Headlines

The most important fact to always keep in mind when writing headlines for your ads is that these 25 characters are the first portion of the ad the searcher will read. So it’s even more important to ensure that the headline is speaking to the exact audience you want to target. If you are a Roofing Contractor whose intention is to capture leads for residential projects, speak to Residential Roofing within your headline…i.e. use your headline as a tool to help pre-qualify the traffic you want to build.

Another resource to help ensure that your ads are highly targeted to your searchers is using Dynamic Keyword Insertion headlines. By using DKI in your headlines, you are able to have a headline that adjusts to each individual searcher’s query, therefore making your ad highly targeted. However, one incredibly important point to keep in mind when using DKI in your headlines is that you want to be 100% certain that the keywords you’re bidding on are going to bring in the type of targeted queries that would be most likely to convert. For a deeper look into using DKI in your ads, visit the Adwords Help Center.

An example of Dynamic Keyword Insertion used when building your ads

Ad Text Matters Too

This is the bread and butter of your ad copy, where you have 70 characters to convince searchers whom have read past the headline to click on your ad. The absolute, most important component when writing ad text to ensure quality clicks is the call to action in the ad. Another important thing to note is the ad relevancy/keyword use within the actual ad copy.

Similarly to the Roofer example above, if a Roofing Contractor is looking for Residential projects, the most effective way to bring in those leads is by speaking to experience, mentioning promotions, or including any other call to actions directly dealing with Residential work. Other than the obvious relevancy benefits the help to pre-qualify traffic, using your keywords within the ads and keeping the ads targeted to your chosen keywords, you are likely to cause an increase in your keyword’s quality score. For a complete overview on Quality Score, see Google Adwords Back To Basics — Quality Score.

So now that we’re positive that the text within the ads is relevant and follows the best tactics to ensure quality performance, one more factor comes in to play: formatting. Google has been presenting longer ad headlines for ads in the top positions by either inserting your Display URL, or the first line of ad copy. Not as many advertisers as you would expect are taking advantage of this feature, even though this can dramatically alter the CTR performance of the ads. To ensure that the first line of ad copy is shown instead of the Display URL, add a period at the end of Description Line 1 and this will give you control over how the ad actually displays within the top positions of the search results page.

Competitive Analysis

Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of completing a competitive analysis to give you a holistic idea of what the competition in your market is doing with their PPC campaigns. When analyzing this information, keep the following questions in mind:

  • What would cause my ad to stand out from the competition?
  • How can I differentiate my ad?
  • What are my key businesses main benefits?

Pro Tip: Don’t Forget About Landing Pages & Ad Extensions

Your ad is only as effective as the landing page you’re leading people to. Driving in traffic to a relevant landing page is the most efficient way to ensure that you’re bringing in cost-effective leads. Additionally, including ad extensions may not directly increase your ad’s CTR, but including them does cause your ads to take up more real estate on the page. By pushing other ads lower on the page, you’re increasing your chances to drive clicks to your ad and indirectly increasing your ad’s CTR. For further information on making best use of ad extensions, see our Ultimate Guide To Adwords Ad Extensions.

 

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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

The Truth Behind the Yin and Yang of Conversion Rate Optimization

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Widerfunnel/~3/HH3VNhal7cY/the-yin-and-yang-of-conversion-optimization

I’m going to advocate for the flip side of the conversion coin today. I’m delving into the “dark side” that is rarely discussed.

At WiderFunnel, we always advocate the importance of testing and data-driven decision making. The truth is that you can’t do conversion optimization without testing and web analytics is important for identifying optimization opportunities.

But, testing and data alone don’t tell the whole the story.

The truth: testing is the easy part.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

Gasp!

Yes. It’s the how and what that determine the results you achieve from your testing.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

The so-called “left brain” perspective full of logic and analysis only tells half the story.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

(Let’s ignore for a moment that the whole left/right brain meme isn’t supported by the latest research for this discussion.)

I believe the left brain aspect gets more attention in the CRO discussion simply because it’s been neglected by marketers for so long. That’s one reason I called my book “You Should Test That!“; to help wake up marketers relying solely on gut feeling and unproven ideas. But, the creative side of solving problems is just as critical as the testing side.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

There’s a creative Yin to the rigorous Yang

Just as important as testing is innovative big ideas.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

The Yin is innovative, intuitive, messy, artful marketing ideas. The Yang is the proof in the pudding, the sunshine of truth searing the reality from the fog. Yes, we test, but without the great ideas, there’s nothing to prove.

Creativity is needed because every situation is unique. Context is key.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

There is no conversion optimization rule book

When we started WiderFunnel in 2007, we initially imagined we’d optimize to find the perfect landing page design that we could replicate for any situation. Well, I don’t know if we really believed that, but it was at least a hope.

Back then, we certainly thought we’d find the “best” button colour, the “best” headline approach and the “best” website layout.

In reality, what we’ve found are more universal and exciting: principles, patterns, and processes that we can confidently apply to any situation, platform, target market and media. We continue to test on websites, mobile sites, mobile apps, video game interfaces and more, all with the same system. Much like the fabled Canadian RCMP Police who “always get their man” WiderFunnel always get to a winning test result.

A Right Brain Test Example

When WiderFunnel optimized the Expensify home page, the variations clearly weren’t developed by an algorithm. The cross-functional team, led by an experienced strategist, developed new approaches that no software alone could conceive.

For context, Expensify is a fast-growth startup with a lean team facing large competitors. The expensify.com home page is the company’s primary landing page for free online signups and it needed to be improved to produce more signups. The page had been developed with clean design “best practices” but the Expensify team believed it could be improved.

Here’s the original home page the company came to us with.

Our strategists identified 16 conversion barriers using WiderFunnel’s LIFT Analysis system and prioritized 12 primary hypotheses to test. They translated the hypotheses into four initial test variations to discover answers to the major hypotheses and isolate a few important questions. WiderFunnel’s design team brought the wireframes to life, then developed and launched the first test on the page.

When you compare the winning page we tested, you’ll see that it clearly required creativity to design. No algorithm could come up with that combination of headline, design and benefit copywriting. On the winning variation, we:

  • Added a new headline reflecting the company’s unique positioning and brand
  • Moved the form field up on the page
  • Created visual emphasis on the signup form
  • Added anxiety-reducing message on the call-to-action (CTA)
  • Added a strong CTA subhead
  • Isolated features vs. benefit copy points
  • Designed new colour and font treatment for support points

Of course, we also tested other variations that isolated questions and led to insights, or what we call “Aha!” moments, about persuasional triggers for this target audience.

And, the testing didn’t end with a single winning test because CRO is an ongoing process.

The latest winning page clearly took another dose of creativity and could only be arrived at with a combination of creativity and rigorous testing.

This winning page not only looks great, it produces a 47% higher signup conversion rate than the original control page.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

For more detail, check out Expensify’s SaaS conversion optimization case study.

As an industry, I believe we’ve made good progress in convincing marketers of the need to test, use big data, and become experts in analysis. Now, let’s remember that the creative side is still needed to imagine new solutions to old challenges.a.tooltip {outline:none;text-decoration:none; color:#000} a.tooltip c {min-height:30px; border:solid 2px #ccc; padding:5px; background-color:#FFF;margin-top:0px; display:block; width:290px;-webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px; font-size:14px; font-family:sans-serif;color:#333;} a.tooltip > span { width:300px; padding:6px 13px 10px 13px; margin-top: -7px; margin-left: -27px; opacity: 0; visibility: hidden; z-index: 10; position: absolute; font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -o-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px; -webkit-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -moz-box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; box-shadow: 2px 2px 2px #999; -webkit-transition-property:opacity,margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -webkit-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -webkit-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -moz-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -moz-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -moz-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; -o-transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; -o-transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; -o-transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; transition-property:opacity, margin-top, visibility, margin-left; transition-duration:0.4s, 0.3s, 0.4s, 0.3s; transition-timing-function: ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out, ease-in-out; } /*a.tooltip > span:hover,*/ a.tooltip:hover > span { opacity: 1; text-decoration:none; visibility: visible; overflow: visible; margin-top:-7px; display: inline; margin-left: -27px; } a.tooltip > span { color: #000000; background: rgb(255,255,255); /* Old browsers */background: -moz-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%, rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* FF3.6+ */background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%,rgba(255,255,255,1)), color-stop(100%,rgba(229,229,229,1))); /* Chrome,Safari4+ */background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Chrome10+,Safari5.1+ */background: -o-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* Opera 11.10+ */background: -ms-linear-gradient(top, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* IE10+ */background: linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,1) 0%,rgba(229,229,229,1) 100%); /* W3C */filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient( startColorstr=’#ffffff’, endColorstr=’#e5e5e5′,GradientType=0 ); /* IE6-9 */ border: 1px solid #AAAAAA; } a.tooltip span b {font-weight:bold; font-size:14px;} .tooltip .btn {background-image: -khtml-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#33BCEF),to(#019AD2)); background-image: -moz-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -ms-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,color-stop(0%,#33BCEF),color-stop(100%,#019AD2));background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); background-image: -o-linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2);background-image: linear-gradient(#33BCEF,#019AD2); -webkit-border-radius: 6px;-moz-border-radius: 6px;border-radius: 6px;webkit-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);-moz-box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,.1);box-shadow: inset 0 1px 0 rgba(255, 255, 255, .1);filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=’#33bcef’,endColorstr=’#019ad2′,GradientType=0); color: white;
text-shadow: 0 -1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, .25); background-color: #019AD2;background-repeat: repeat-x; position: relative; display: inline-block;overflow: visible;padding: 5px 10px;font-size: 13px;font-weight: bold;line-height: 18px;border: 1px solid #CCC;cursor: pointer;margin: 0;text-indent: 0px; left:230px;border-color: #057ED0;}
function popitup(url) {newwindow=window.open(url,’name’,’height=450,width=400,toolbar=no,menubar=no’);if (window.focus) {newwindow.focus()}return false;}

The post The Truth Behind the Yin and Yang of Conversion Rate Optimization appeared first on WiderFunnel Marketing Conversion Optimization.

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Facebook Interactions Before And After The Start Of Relationships

Source http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/allfacebook/~3/sNCKmiFGFUU/interactions-relatonships_b129285

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Pinterest Picks: Weekly Roundup 02/14/14

Source http://blog.pinterest.com/post/76654129077

Every Friday, we showcase your favorite Pins and boards right here on the blog. They usually revolve around funny out-of-the box videos, pictures, and basically anything you guys send to me that’s popular or trending amongst the Pinterest community!

This week, we take our hats off in tribute to President’s Day, figure out how to enjoy V-day even if you’re riding solo, and chat about how to enjoy a long weekend.

Pinners give tribute to President’s Day:

Monday is President’s Day, which is a national holiday here in the US. Originally in honor of Washington’s birthday, it has now become a federal holiday honoring both Washington and Lincoln. Pinners are giving their tribute across Pinterest, like Kelly Smith, who shares a board to showcase a bit of history and how to honor our leaders, especially with some traditional food!

Follow Kelly Smith’s board President’s Day on Pinterest.

#Yolo solo or a bicycle built for two:

It’s Valentine’s Day today. So, if you’re flying solo or need to send a last minute token of affection, check out our Send a Valentine board. We got Pins for all situations.

Follow Pinterest’s board Send a Valentine on Pinterest.

Get out for a quick long weekend trip:

If you’re planning on getting some fresh air this long weekend, check out these boards from Pinners, Amanda Everett, John Outen, and Lisa Jones on how to venture into the outdoors, game-plan for a mancation, or even plan a quick girls night out.

Plan a hike –

Follow Amanda L. Baker Everett’s board Hiking the AT on Pinterest.

A quick mancation –

Follow John Outen’s board Mancation on Pinterest.

A relaxing girl’s weekend –

Follow Lisa Jones’s board Girls Weekend on Pinterest.

Enjoy the storm of the day:

If rain or snow is headed your way this week, check out how Pinners Katie Tibbetts and Deanna Smith embrace the downpour with beauty and seeing the brighter side of life:

Have some more Pinterest gems to share? Simply CLICK HERE to submit your own Pins or boards. I’ll take a look and share them every Friday for everyone to turn any end of the week frowns upside down.

I’ll see you back here next Friday.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Life is Funny

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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

The Lede: Michael Stelzner on Capturing Emails and Committing to Quality

Source http://feeds.copyblogger.com/~/56601800/0/copyblogger~The-Lede-Michael-Stelzner-on-Capturing-Emails-and-Committing-to-Quality/

From nothing to Technorati’s #1 business blog in a little over four months.

That’s quite a story.

It’s Michael Stelzner’s. And on the latest episode of The Lede, he shares two of the most important ingredients in his online success — ingredients that too often get overlooked.

Capturing emails and committing to quality … Stelzner has been steadfast with both since launching Social Media Examiner, and the site’s sustained success is a testament to their importance.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Michael’s early commitment to email
  • The specific strategies he used (and you can, too) to attract 10,000 email signups in four months
  • The “hardest part” about email campaigns
  • How Michael and his team get the information that lets them plan their editorial calendar
  • The meticulous editing process each piece of content goes through
  • Tips you can implement today to improve your own content quality

We also discuss the upcoming Social Media Marketing World event Michael is hosting in San Diego, where Brian Clark is among the loaded list of presenters.

Listen to The Lede …

To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

The Show Notes

The Transcript

Click here to read the transcript

Please note that this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and grammar.

The Lede: Interview with Michael Stelzner

Jerod Morris: Welcome back to The Lede, a podcast about content marketing brought to you by Copyblogger Media. If you want to get a content marketing education in the morning while you’re getting ready for work, or at night while you’re cooking dinner, this podcast is the way to do it.

In this episode I am joined by Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner and host of the Social Media Marketing Podcast. He is also the host of the upcoming Social Media Marketing World event in San Diego, where our very own Brian Clark will be presenting. Have a listen as Michael and I discuss the crucial role that e-mail marketing played in Social Media Examiner going from launch to Technorati’s #1 small business blog in under five months. Plus, Michael describes his meticulous editorial process and delivers advice you can begin applying today to improve your content quality.

The importance of email marketing

Jerod:Michael, you launched Social Media Examiner in October of 2009, and just five months later you had achieved measurable successes like traffic in excess of 100,000 visitors per month and a #1 ranking on Technorati’s list of small business blogs. You also had 10,000 e-mail subscribers, a number that has grown to over 230,000 today. Now, obviously a site called Social Media Examiner has used social media to grow, but how important is capturing e-mail addresses along the way been in growing and nurturing your audience?

Michael Stelzner: Well, it’s been essential.

You know, from day one — and I’ve had conversations with Brian Clark from Copyblogger about this — from day one I knew from my other businesses that in the end, what was most important was going to be e-mail, not RSS. And I started blogging back in 2005-2006. Social Media Examiner started in 2009. So I’ve kind of learned my lesson a little bit that RSS, unfortunately, was something you didn’t have a lot of control over, but e-mail is something that you did.

And to your question of how important was it, it was absolutely essential. Because our marketing plan, always, from day one, was to create some of the best content that anyone could find focused around social media marketing. And that content would, naturally, be shared over social channels and draw people to our website, and I knew that a subsegment of those people would say, “I want more,” and they would simply fill out the little form.

The idea was to try to get these people to be daily fed at our trough, if you will. And we knew that if we had them on the e-mail list, we would be able to e-mail them every day that we had a piece of content. And in the beginning it started out three days a week, and eventually went to six days a week.

So every single day, 230,000 people plus are getting an e-mail from us. And that is just a way, from a marketing perspective, to be extremely top of mind with your prospects, and I think that’s really been the key to our success.

Jerod: And despite the proven success of e-mail marketing, it still seems like there are people who either don’t believe it, or are uncomfortable with it; maybe fear that they won’t do it right. What advice would you give to someone who’s attempting to build an audience online right now about incorporating e-mail marketing into their strategy?

Michael: Well first of all, you have to have great content in order to ever grow an e-mail list.

So fundamentally, if you don’t have great blog posts, for example, that people say, “Wow, that was awesome,” then you’re never going to get them to the point where they’re going to want to get on your list.

The second piece of advice is, make sure that getting on your list means getting more content … getting more free content, not “Please sign up for my list and you’ll get a free consultation,” right? Which kind of sends the message that you’re going to pitch me something.

So what we did, another thing that we did, we’ve always done, is we’ve had a video tutorial. In the beginning it was a free one-hour Twitter marketing video tutorial that we had as an incentive to get someone on the list. Today it’s a Facebook video tutorial. But the idea is great content, plus a nice little carrot, if you will, are very, very powerful ways to get somebody on the list.

So once you get someone on the list — and the hardest part, Jerod, is getting someone on the list — you don’t have to e-mail them every day. You don’t have to e-mail them, hardly, at all. The key is to get them on the list.

Jerod: So you don’t necessarily just want them on the list, where you’re just sending them links to your blog posts. You want to give them something extra, like you said. An incentive to actually sign up in the first place.

Michael: Absolutely. And there are a lot of e-mail marketing people that are a lot smarter than I am, but what we do at Social Media Examiner, at the bottom of every single article, we have something that’s, you know, psychologically when someone gets to the bottom of the article they have a choice. They can leave, they can leave a comment, or they can respond. And basically, we say “Get Social Media Examiner’s future articles in your inbox.” Then we say how many people are on the list, and then we say, “Get our free Facebook marketing video tutorial.”

So we’ve got that, literally, at a logical location at the end of the post. And yeah, I I think if we didn’t have that free little bonus in there, I know we wouldn’t have as many people on our e-mail list.

The importance of a meticulous editorial process

Jerod: Social media marketing, e-mail marketing … all of these different tools and ways of promoting content and building an audience, it’s all got to come back, and you mention this, to good content. You have to have quality content, and clearly the quality of your content has played a huge role in your site’s success, and it’s no accident.

One of the most important lessons I learned as soon as I joined the Copyblogger team is the importance of planning ahead and paying attention even to the most minute of details. Describe for us, and for the listeners if you would, your editorial process, which I know is similar.

Michael: Ah. Well, first of all, we survey, every year, thousands of our readers, and we ask them what they’re most interested in learning more about, and we ask them where they plan on investing their time in the future in various different categories, and we use that to plan out our editorial calendars. So we give them exactly what they want.

Secondly, we have a massive editorial team. There are at least seven editors that touch every single article. We politely refer to it as the “beautification process” here at Social Media Examiner. Because everyone who writes for us, for the most part, are volunteers. They are experts in the community that want to be in front of our audience, which I think is different from what you guys do over at Copyblogger, because I think you have mostly staff writing.

We have probably 20 to 50 people a month who want to write for us. So we actually have more people who want to write and be in front of our audience than we do actually available slots, because we only publish one article a day. So the end result of this is all these people have different levels of experience in writing. Some are spectacular, some are not; and in the end we have a very detailed, eight-page editorial guide that helps people, in very easy language, understand what our standards are.

Once they actually get to the point where we have accepted their article, then it goes through all these different editors. And they all serve different roles. Some people are basically working on the structure of the article to make sure there is a thread or a story line. Other people are actually working on the copy to make sure the language is perfect grammatically. Other people are fact checking. Other people are actually involved with creating the visuals and putting it into WordPress, writing headlines and intros. All of these different things.

The end result is something that’s very attractive. It takes an enormous amount of work, but our standard is extremely high, and because of that people share the heck out of our content, and our list grows. And it’s all kind of a nice perpetual circle.

Jerod: So what would you suggest for someone who is committed to improving the quality standards of their site, and maybe it’s just a single-person blog, or maybe they’re trying to accept guest posts, or trying to create an online magazine like you have. What would you suggest if they may not have the budget or the assembled team like you do, or like Copyblogger does, to where they can still implement some of these steps like you have?

Michael: Well first of all, make sure that you are accommodating the skim reader. This is the biggest mistake that most writers make: they have big, big paragraphs.

One of the things that we almost always do at Social Media Examiner is, we lead with a question. For example, I’m looking at one today that says “Three Ways to Boost Your Lead Generation with Social Media.” First question: Are you looking for new ways to generate leads with social media? Next paragraph. So the idea here is to actually create some short, one-sentence paragraphs to lure them in.

Secondly, we use lots of subheads. Lots of bullets. Lots of bolding of key points. Lots of graphics. And the end result is something that is a longer article physically, but is much easier to read.

And if you look at any one of Social Media Examiner’s articles you’ll see that they’re very long. They’re at least a thousand words, sometimes longer. But even if they’re not a thousand words, they’re just super easy to digest.

And you don’t need to be hiring an editor to be able to pull this kind of stuff off. Think about when you were in college, and when I was in college. What did you hate the most? Reading those books that had a paragraph that was three pages long, right?

Jerod: Oh, yeah.

Michael: There’s no way to get through it. And most people have time not on their side. So you’ve got to create content that really makes it easy for people to read, and this is just something anyone can do, just with a simple carriage return, and bolding, and subheads.

Jerod: Social Media Examiner is not the only web property that you have. Do you treat all of your sites, from a quality perspective, exactly the same way? Do you have the same checks in place before a piece of content goes out?

Michael: Yes. MyKidsAdventures.com is our parenting blog, and it’s exactly the same, except it’s more complicated because it’s a consumer blog. So in that case, we actually have graphic designers that are creating Pinterest-friendly images, and Facebook Open Graph images, and stuff like that.

In some regards, because they’re not marketing professionals, they’re just everyday people like you and me that have creative ideas to do with kids — we have to edit even more. So we actually have an extra layer of editorial on the My Kids Adventures property. But yeah. As far as the way we format things, it’s exactly the same. They almost always open with a question or two.

Another little tip is to create a little graphic, and I’m pretty sure you guys do it at Copyblogger. We do it on My Kids’ Adventures and Social Media Examiner. It’s a little graphic that sits at the right side of the page, right justified, and it’s a graphic that somehow implies what the theme of the article is.

So for example, if it’s an indoor article we’ve got a kid with a mixing bowl. If it’s an outdoor article in the city, we’ve got a kid hiding behind a deli sign. And we use these graphics kind of as visual indicators to our readers what the theme of the article is about. We do the exact same thing at Social Media Examiner.

The key thing here is, what it does is it takes the first column of text to the left of that graphic and makes it narrower, which forces the reader down the page quicker and into the article, and actually increases the likelihood that they will remain with the article, because it’s a very narrow, easy-to-read column. It makes that one-sentence paragraph look like it’s a little meatier.

Social Media Marketing World

Jerod: Yeah. Now, coming up March 26th through the 28th in sunny San Diego, is Social Media Marketing World, an event, as you describe it on your site, designed to provide highly valuable pitch-free content. Our own Brian Clark is among the Who’s Who list of presenters that you have who will be there. What else can you tell our listeners about that event?

Michael: Well, Brian and I are going to be on a panel about how to actually build a multi-author blog. We’ve got, gosh, pretty much like you said, the Who’s Who.

First of all, it’s in San Diego. So if you’re somewhere cold, this is somewhere warm. (laughs)

Jerod: Yeah. (chuckles)

Michael: Secondly, we have — and what I think differentiates this conference beyond the fact that it’s social media marketing, is the networking.

We’re having our opening night party on an aircraft carrier, so you literally walk onto an aircraft carrier, are handed networking bingo cards, and you have to try to find people that have — you know, maybe people from Canada, or people that are on Facebook, or whatever. And it forces you into this really great opportunity to get to network and meet people.

We have dedicated, what we call networking ambassadors, that we hire. And their job is to do nothing but to assist people in finding other people of similar interests.

We have a big space called The Networking Plaza. We literally bring up the lights after the keynotes and do networking exercises. We’ve just got tons of stuff going on.

But as far as the content goes, there are nine simultaneous tracks. Social tactics, social strategy, community management, and content marketing. And then underneath content marketing, we’ve got blogging, podcasting, and video marketing. So it’s a huge conference. Two thousand marketers from literally 35 countries all around the world. And it is a blast.

Jerod: Wow. It sounds like it will be. It sounds like a great event. We will link to the event page in the show notes, certainly, and would encourage everybody listening to check it out. Michael, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it.

Michael: Jerod, it was my pleasure.

Jerod: Thank you very much for listening. If you enjoy what you hear here on The Lede, please consider telling a friend about us, or giving The Lede a rating and a review on iTunes.

Tune in next week when Demian Farnworth and I continue our series on The 11 Essential Ingredients of a Blog Post. Our next topic: Using persuasive words. You absolutely won’t want to miss this new episode because it’s free advice that will instantly make you a better communicator.

See what I did there? Listen next week, and I’ll tell you.

# # #

*Credits: Both the intro (“Bridge to Nowhere” by Sam Roberts Band) and outro songs (“Down in the Valley” by The Head and the Heart) are graciously provided by express written consent from the rights owners.

Coming up …

Next week, Demian and I will be resuming our series on the 11 essential ingredients of a blog post. We’ll be discussing persuasive words … and you won’t want to miss it.

Jerod Morris is the Director of Content for Copyblogger Media. Get more from him on Twitter, , or at JerodMorris.com.

The post The Lede: Michael Stelzner on Capturing Emails and Committing to Quality appeared first on Copyblogger.

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How to Learn from Your eCommerce Customers in Real-Time

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One of the biggest disadvantages of running an eCommerce business is that you can’t physically watch HOW people shop in your own store.

When you run a brick and mortar store, you can see who browses what products, what customers pick up and inspect, and what they put back. You also get to see what items they completely neglect.

The good news is KISSmetrics Live provides a solution for this online barrier. Watch the video below to learn more:

Sign Up For KISSmetrics Today

Additional Resources

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How Email Design Limitations Can Actually Be Liberating

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Long before email newsletters became a central part of my life, I harbored dreams of being a famous jazz guitarist.

While I know now that fame and jazz is a mythical combination, akin to a unicorn triple-crown winner, that was my goal in my early twenties.

One of my jazz improv teachers would force his students, including me, to practice for hours using only two fingers (on the piano or guitar). It was frustrating, annoying … and then, eventually, freeing.

One day, it clicked.

Freed from the pressure of virtuosity, I could focus on just keeping it simple.

Similarly, limited by inbox space, mobile devices, noise, attention span, and reader habits, email offers an opportunity to distill your content, align it to your goals, and share something that works.

Skip the email newsletter intro

Jakob Nielsen’s research shows that email recipients spend less than a minute reading your newsletter and simply scan the content.

Eye tracking showed that readers didn’t waste any of that time on introductory content and instead scanned the headings (mostly the first couple of words) looking for content that offered value and interest to them.

Your readers have asked to receive your emails, and there is an implied agreement that the content you send will be the content they want. So skip the intro, throw away the fluff, and get right to the point.

Make it happen now

As writers, we have the instinct to embellish, expound, and explain. We say the same thing in three different ways. We tell a story and draw the reader in. We take them by the hand and metaphorically walk them down the path to …

Stop! (Or at least wait.)

Here’s the thing about email presentation on any screen, desktop or mobile: there’s a fold. That’s the bit that is visible without needing to scroll.

Your email newsletter should have a goal, and you should be able to achieve that goal above the fold. Craft your content so that whatever you truly need to say is said, right there, up at the top.

Be aware of that severely limited space and take advantage of it.

You can allow yourself to write gorgeous copy below, but if you have five seconds of attention span to make something happen, then it needs to happen above the fold.

Shape your content visually

Guil Hernandez of Treehouse says, “Most readers are usually looking for reasons to stop reading. Whether it’s subconsciously or not, readers will base it on how the text is laid out.”

He’s referring to the following things:

  • Headings
  • Paragraphs
  • Images
  • Lists
  • Line length
  • Line height

When reading, a natural rhythm occurs. We scan the content for the things that interest us, and when the writer ignores the way we read, it becomes difficult to find that content.

By keeping a visual hierarchy with shorter paragraphs, elements to hang the eye on (like lists and images), and a comfortable line length and height, you do your content justice. If your reader isn’t able to find her rhythm when looking over your email, her eye will drift to the noise surrounding it.

Good copy is good design

I used to consider this stuff “design” instead of copy. That was a mistake. Now, I go over everything I write and make sure I slim it down and shape it and mold it into something that works visually.

Often, I need to choose a different word, longer or shorter, to get the block of text looking like, well, a block. Sometimes, this means a title that doesn’t convey all the details. Occasionally it even means leaving out thoughts I felt were important.

This is the hardest part of all. Very few people write because it looks good … but in an email, with the clock ticking and the unsubscribe link enticingly present, visually appealing copy can mean the difference between success and failure.

Free yourself and achieve your goals

These limitations of space, attention span, and design elements are simply encouragements to get to the heart of your message. By accepting these constraints inherent in email, you’ll free yourself to achieve your goals in a way that’s true to the medium.

Take a look at these high-performing email newsletters and see if you think they succeed within email’s limitations.

Network with Dean and other influencers

Dean Levitt will be joining Seth Godin, Darren Rowse, Brian Clark, and an esteemed list of others at Authority Intensive this May in Denver. As of this morning, there are only a 10 spots left, so reserve yours now.

About the Author: Dean Levitt is the Chief Of Culture at Mad Mimi — a service for people who want email marketing to be simple.

The post How Email Design Limitations Can Actually Be Liberating appeared first on Copyblogger.

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