How Voice Apps will Change E-Commerce Forever

Marketers say that in order to anticipate what the customer wants, you have to know what they’re thinking. With voice apps becoming more and more commonplace — now the customer can actually tell you.

Perhaps the biggest evidence that shows a marked shift in how customers search is found within the biggest movers and shakers in both e-commerce and search — Amazon and Google.

Google search voice queries show explosive growth of voice search queries (Image Source)

Within 2016 alone, voice-based search went from zero to 10% of all search volume. Today, 20% of all searches have voice-based intent, and by 2020, ComScore estimates that half of all searches will be done by voice. But there are a few notable stumbling blocks.

The Issue with Accuracy

Back in 2013, Google’s spoken word accuracy was below 80%. A few years later, it has improved to above 90%. Chinese search engine Baidu’s voice recognition accuracy rate is above 95%. This sounds great on paper, but 99% accuracy is what everyone is striving for. The difference can be profound — as in the old joke of Jeff Bezos asking the Echo to buy olives at Whole Foods when instead, it understood that he wanted it to buy “all of Whole Foods”.

We’re not there yet, but we will be soon — and when that happens, you can expect voice-enabled search adoption to explode.

Skewing the Playing Field

Beyond the accuracy of the spoken word, however, there are also significant differences in how we speak to search versus how we type. While you may search for “pizza places near (your city)”, you’re much more likely to be conversational with a voice-enabled device. Amazon Echo understands that you want a “pepperoni pizza with extra cheese” from Dominos, and can have it delivered to your door. No typing necessary.

You can see how this would blow right by competing ads — both paid and organic — and instead skew the playing field in favor of those companies that want to invest a sizeable amount in being the preferred provider for that product or service. Service providers like Uber, Kayak and Dominos have already made huge gains in setting themselves up for such a voice-based brand domination windfall.

In the meantime, there’s a rush from both Amazon and Google to dominate the automated home assistant market. With the release of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, there’s a definite face-off between the leader in e-commerce and the leader in search. What remains to be seen, however, is just how much of a role these apps actually play in promoting a purchase.

Got Skills?

With the Amazon Echo, voice-based commands are denoted into specific categories called “skills”. Although Amazon won’t reveal how many categories there are or how many of their voice-based skills are branded, some estimates believe the number currently hovers around 25,000.

Using skills, you can, for example, have Tide help you get stains out, or question Nestle for a good dinner recipe. Patron launched it’s voice skill last July as part of a larger marketing campaign known as the Cocktail Lab. With the Cocktail Lab, fifty different bartenders from around the world shared their tequila-infused drink recipes. Over 350,000 users tried the Cocktail Lab, and 10% of those users came from using the Alexa (Echo)-based skill.

Traffic to the company’s website was up over 4% as well, and the research revealed that Echo users spent more time on site browsing and saving recipes as well. Worth the investment? Only time will tell.

Revealing Customer Intent

Not surprisingly, much of what can be done with voice-based search is centered around analytics. GoodNes, the Nestle app that uses Amazon Echo skills, lets you search recipes, see (or tell) what ingredients are needed, email you the recipe or show you nutritional information, among other things.

Determining how the user searches and what they search for using voice could very well shed light on potential new products or combinations. It’s the kind of one-on-one insight that traditional focus groups simply can’t compare to.

Change is Happening…Slowly

Much like how the early versions of web pages were simple brochures, the beginnings of voice apps are more gimmicky than practical. In addition to its selection of branded skills, Amazon also carries apps that start a “psychopath test” or “open a box of cats” (the app will meow or make an animal sound).

However, as these devices continue to gain more traction in voice accuracy and more proliferation in homes, you’ll start to see a marked trend toward asking them to help with nearly anything. Much in the same way that today’s websites go well beyond their brochure-based forebears, to be accessed and interacted with from smartphones and other devices, so too will voice-based search make it easier to quickly browse and order the products and services you use most.

Should Business Owners Be Concerned?

Although it seems like only big brands will be able to take advantage of the shift in voice-based searches and purchases, we’re only truly scratching the surface of the full potential of these types of apps. Both Amazon and Google know that it’s not in their best interest to simply become a herd pen for branded apps — and that relevancy is the name of the game.

For business owners, the push is on to keep doing what we’re doing — cultivating customer engagement, open discussion, problem-solving and an overall helpful experience. No matter what the underlying technology driving a customer’s inquiry, excelling at these skills will set you far ahead of your competition.

Even though we’re in the infancy of voice-driven e-commerce now, the breakneck pace with which new devices are made, coupled with the increase in voice-based accuracy, are going to create more and more opportunities for apps to transform the e-commerce marketplace.

In a year or two, it’s possible we’ll look at text-based search the way we look at our old MySpace page — with a twinge of nostalgia and an overwhelming sense of relief over how much better, faster and more intuitive things are today.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Authors: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

6 Marketing Tactics You Can Use to Boost Email Subscribers

If you’ve been involved in marketing for a while, you’ve probably heard the phrase: “The money is in the list.”

With new technologies on the rise, email marketing can feel antiquated. In reality, email marketing is still incredibly effective – both in terms of long-term brand building as well as generating profits.

In a 2016 study, 86% of marketers stated that they were planning to increase their upcoming email marketing budgets.

For those willing to take the time to grow their lists and regularly craft high value, personalized messages for their audiences, the rewards can be exceptional.

According to DMA, email has an average ROI of $ 38 for every $ 1 spent.

For online services and ecommerce businesses alike, growing your email list as quickly as possible should be a priority.

Here are some of my favorite growth hacks that you can immediately deploy to increase your list of email subscribers.

1. Content Upgrades

Oftentimes, marketers will create useful lead magnets in the form of ebooks, webinars and checklists. All of these things are great, but it’s hard to create a lead magnet that resonates with everyone.

For instance, look at the huge umbrella of internet marketing. A visitor that would be interested in a free ebook about infographic design may not care for information about longtail keyword research, and vice versa.

In order to capture the maximum amount of leads, it’s important to think about context. Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all lead magnet, consider including a content upgrade at the end of your most popular posts.

A content upgrade is simply a lead magnet that relates to an existing article and delivers extended information and value in exchange for contact information. They look like this:

The highlighted box is an example of a content upgrade

Content upgrades are laser-focused on the reader’s interests. If someone is reading an article about DIY whiteboard explainer videos, then a checklist containing useful resources about video design would make an excellent content upgrade. Or if they’re viewing an article titled “5 Google Analytics hacks” then the content upgrade may offer “Download these 3 super-powerful hacks that have been a secret until now.” You’ll then ask for name and email and in return they get a PDF containing those 3 hacks.

Consult Google Analytics and identify your most popular posts. Next, think of a way to enhance the informational value of the post by including a content upgrade at the end.

If you add a unique content upgrade to a handful of your best posts, you’ll dramatically grow your list. If you can aim for a 5% conversion rate, this can have a big impact on your email subscriber list.

2. Leverage Instagram

Thanks to the rapid rise of mobile internet access in recent years, photo sharing platforms are more popular than ever before.

Marketers are very aware of this trend. According to Emarketer, 70.7% of US businesses are now using Instagram, compared to just 48.8% in 2016.

In my opinion, Instagram is a great platform for engaging your audience with compelling imagery, but it’s also extremely useful for converting your audience into email subscribers.

The following Instagram tactic is ridiculously simple, yet underutilized.

Instead of using your Instagram bio to link to your homepage, link to a landing page containing a lead magnet that users can download in exchange for contact details.

It’s important that your lead magnet is something that provides genuine value to your audience. Hopefully you’ve done some buyer persona research and know exactly what frustrations and pain points people have – so you can offer a solution with a free ebook.

Given Instagram’s significant mobile user base, it’s important to ensure your landing page is optimized for all devices.

Next, visit the Instagram pages of competing brands in your niche (or any accounts that would have followers who would be interested in your brand) and start following everyone who leaves positive comments.

A percentage of people who you follow will follow you back. If you spend several hours per day doing this and you’re regularly posting high quality images to keep people engaged, you will notice a consistent stream of Instagram users clicking through to your landing page and hopefully, converting.

3. Retargeting

If someone arrives on your website and doesn’t make a purchase or subscribe to your email list, it’s easy to assume that they’re simply not interested in what you have to offer.

In my experience, this is often not the case.

We’re living in a world of perpetual distractions, and there are millions of reasons why a person wouldn’t engage with your site on their first visit. For instance, I notice that conversions are very low during the night hours, yet if the same person arrived on my website during the afternoon, they’d be much more likely to sign up to my list.

Fortunately, you can use Facebook retargeting to reconnect with these lost visitors and give them a second chance at subscribing to your list.

First, you will need to create a pixel in Facebook ads manager.

Next, install this code onto your site so that you can track the interactions and movements of your visitors.

Next, click on the “Audiences” tab in ads manager and create a new custom audience.

I recommend creating one audience for all website visitors, then a separate audience for all the people who have visited your lead magnet landing page but who haven’t converted.

This can be achieved by including people who have visited the URL of the landing page, but excluding people who have seen the thank you page for your email list subscription.

You can fire off adverts promoting your lead magnet to both audiences, and see which converts better. In my experience, retargeted visitors always convert at a higher rate than cold traffic – since they’re already familiar with your brand.

4. Cross Promotion

The quickest way to grow your list is to grab people from someone else’s list.

Make a list of other companies who serve a similar demographic, but who are not competitors.

For instance, if you sell dog training books and courses, a company that sells dog food and accessories would be a wise choice.

Next, get in contact and suggest a mutually beneficial agreement where you recommend each other’s products and services to your own lists. You can promote special deals, free giveaways or even just a lead magnet if you think it will entice people to subscribe.

When people receive an email from an unknown brand, they’re immediately thinking: “What’s in it for me?”

Begin your email by mentioning that you want to promote their products to your list for free, then you can ask for something in return afterwards.

5. Contests and Free Giveaways

You know who likes something for free? Everyone.

As a consumer, I always feel a sense of excitement when someone offers me something for free – even if I probably wouldn’t have purchased it in the first place.

Running a contest can be a great way to build a sense of community around a brand, but it’s also useful for generating email leads that you can market to at a later date.

So long as you promote your contest properly and the prize is something that is genuinely valuable to your audience (hint: you should know your audience intimately), you’ll definitely receive an abundance of entries.

Obviously, it’s important to ensure that people submit their entries via email so you can add them to your list.

Alternatively, free giveaways can be a great way to get people on your list. However, it’s important to have a good understanding of your customer lifetime value (CLV) before you consider free giveaways.

If you know that your average email list subscriber is worth $ 30 in revenue for the first 6 months they’re on your list, then it’s a no brainer to send them a free product which costs $ 5 to manufacture in exchange for their contact information.

So long as you keep tabs of the numbers, this tactic will scale your email list rapidly. The more money you put into free giveaways, the more money you generate on the back end.

6. Exit Intent Popups

Exit intent popups are used to capture leads that are about to leave your website.

This technology works by monitoring mouse movements. If it appears that the user is likely to leave the page, then a popup will appear imploring them to sign up for a free lead magnet.

When using exit intent popups, it’s important to keep user experience in mind. When done poorly, a popup can look spammy and annoying.

Google is already penalizing mobile sites with spammy pop ups. This change may occur for desktop as well in the near future.

An exit popup should be displayed clearly and in an unobstructive manner. Remember, it’s there to provide something of value to your audience, not just to acquire an email address by any means necessary.

Concise copy with a clear call-to-action is recommended. Also, you may wish to incorporate colors which contrast with the rest of your site in order to grab attention (think about the neutral themed ecommerce site which feature bright orange “Buy Now” buttons).

Here is an example of a nice concise exit intent popup by Wishpond, which ironically corresponds to the subject of creating a great exit intent popup.

Conclusion

While there are many marketing techniques that promise a faster ROI than email marketing, it’s important not to neglect one of the best methods for staying in contact with your audience.

Techniques for acquiring customers come and go, but building a relationship with your existing customers is essential if you want to stand the test of time.

If you’re serious about building a long-term brand rather than a short-term money making enterprise, growing your email list must be a priority.

Can you think of any other growth hacks to boost your email subscribers? Please let me know in the comments below.

About the Author: Mo Harake brings over 12 years of ecommerce and digital marketing experience leading brands like FIJI Water, 7Diamonds, Kill Cliff and venture-backed startups to his work as Managing Director of Stray Digital. For more on his approach to ecommerce, content marketing and growth hacking, visit him on LinkedIn or at the Stray Digital blog.


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

5 Signs it’s Time for an Email Marketing Makeover

These days, just about anyone can create and send out email campaigns to their list of prospects. But just because it’s nearly push-button simple to do, doesn’t mean it always gets the results you want.

And if your beautifully-designed, precisely-formatted and succinctly-written email went over like a lead balloon, it doesn’t mean the end of the world. It just means that you should take a step back and consider making some changes to your approach.

The thing is, you know your email marketing isn’t working as well as it could. The results you’re getting are tepid at best and engagement levels are plateauing, or worse, falling. You’re just not sure what to do to fix it.

The good news is, you’re about to learn. And even better, it’s easy to implement these changes and start seeing a measurable increase in all the email engagement metrics that matter — opens, clicks and conversions.

1. The Sign: Your Email List Isn’t Growing as Fast as it Once Did

Much like a doctor diagnoses your symptoms to determine the best course of action to make you better, you’ve got a sick email campaign (and I don’t mean that in a good way!) and you’ve got to find a remedy.

One of the key signs of a floundering email campaign is that the list just isn’t growing. People may subscribe, but they also leave just as quickly — if they even subscribe at all. The rate of growth for your list has slowed, plateaued, or worse, reversed.

The Fix: Create a New Offer

Take a look at what you’re offering your prospects in order to get them to join your list in the first place. Oftentimes this is an eBook or a video. But how old is it? Is the information you’re sharing outdated or no longer applicable?

Try creating a new offer — a new ebook, a new video, or something completely different. Things like templates that your prospects can just “fill in the blanks” with or roadmaps that outline different strategies in a step-by-step way are always popular no matter what industry you’re in.

2. The Sign: Prospects Simply Don’t Engage With Your Message

Maybe you’ve got a sizeable email list, but the open rate barely registers as a blip on the email marketing radar. And the click-through rate is even more abysmal.

If you only send emails out when you want to sell something, and you don’t take the time to get to know your prospects and their goals as they relate to what you’re selling, no matter how great your sale is, it will find itself squarely in the recipient’s trashcan.

The Fix: Start an Email Marketing Calendar

The best email newsletters don’t just sell — they go much further. They share stories of the people behind the company. They ask subscribers to share their own stories. They go behind the scenes and share insights about their product — where it comes from, who makes it, why people love it.

And they don’t do this once or twice, but consistently. They establish rapport with their subscribers so that the subscribers actively look forward to receiving the company’s messages.

One of the easiest ways to start building an email strategy like this is through the use of an email marketing calendar. Just as you schedule out sales emails now, look for ways to fit in emails about other things your customers value.

Are there any new laws that are going to change your industry? Any big developments on the horizon that customers should know about? Any interesting stories about where their product comes from or how it got started? Schedule these into the calendar as well. It’s a different type of marketing — one that fosters open communication and mutual respect between subscriber and sender.

3. The Sign: You’re Sending Out a Blanket Message to All Your Subscribers – And Getting Little in Terms of Interaction

If you’re sending out the same message to everyone, don’t be surprised if your open and click-through rates are low. This happens because not everyone is at the same stage in the customer journey or the sales cycle.

Some users are simply looking for more information, while others are ready to buy. Still others may be somewhere in between. By sending the same message to all of them, you’re mistakenly assuming that they’re all starting at the same place. As a result, readers will find that your sales announcement or any other message you send them isn’t really tailored to their needs — and that your product may not be, either.

The Fix: Start Segmenting Your List

Most modern email marketing platforms allow you to segment your list, and it doesn’t cost you anything except a little time to make it happen. The great thing about segmentation is that you can segment by nearly any criteria. Want to segment your users by demographic? By product purchased? By whether or not they even bought in the first place? Provided you have that information, you can do that.

And if you’re looking to convert people from prospect to customer, you can put together a drip campaign that overtime builds prospects interest to eventually getting them to convert.

And if you don’t have that information, it may be time to upgrade to a platform that collects it for you, like Kissmetrics.

 

4. The Sign: Everyone’s Getting the Same Message So You’re Not Sure What’s Causing Opens and Clicks to Rise or Fall

If you haven’t segmented your list yet, but you’ve just sent out a campaign and are seeing a surprisingly high response — that’s great!

What caused it?

Was it the subject line? The design? The offer?

Not sure?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find out? You can.

The Fix: Start A/B Testing Your Emails

Just like with ab/b testing your landing pages and other areas of your site, so too should you be a/b testing your emails. This works even better when paired with list segmentation since you can determine what, precisely, encouraged customers to click or convert.

What resonates with one group of people (for example, customers just looking for information) may not necessarily “click” with people who are ready to buy. By segmenting and a/b testing your emails, you’ll see exactly what energizes each segment of your list and propels them to convert.

5. The Sign: People Open Your Message or Click, But Don’t Purchase

It could be that your open rate or click-through rate is good, but you’re not getting that all-important conversion. People just aren’t buying. And while the reason could lie in your site itself — that’s a topic for another post.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume that your site is also converting at a steady clip, but conversions from emails directly aren’t getting the results you’d hoped for.

The Fix: Start Retargeting Campaigns

Most prospects come to a site, look around, and leave. You’ve worked hard and spent money getting them this far. Are you just going to let them go so easily?

No! Which is why it’s a good idea to get started with retargeting campaigns. Retargeting can show your customer a relevant ad for your site across a wide range of other web properties — even those you don’t own. What if they could be reminded of a product they looked at yesterday while browsing the morning’s news or weather?

This is just one example of what a retargeting campaign can do. Done correctly, it serves to not only remind customers of your product or service, but also capture their attention again — essentially giving you a second chance to make that connection.

A Makeover Doesn’t Just Mean a Fresh, New Design

As you can see, an email marketing makeover doesn’t mean slapping up a fresh coat of paint on your existing email design. It means digging below the surface to find out why users aren’t acting when they receive your message.

You want every email you send to be something a user looks forward to receiving – and when that happens, you’ll discover that it wasn’t so much a makeover, but a rebirth — of email that’s more relevant, more social, and more compelling than before.

About the Authors: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

4 Data-Backed Conversion Hacks that Cost You Nothing

Conversions are in the toilet.

Traffic is still coming in. But your bottom line isn’t changing.

Sales are slower than ever. People simply aren’t buying right now.

It’s not the holiday season. It’s probably just the “off-season” for online sales.

No need to worry, right? It’s normal for this time of year…

But it’s not. Selling online isn’t only seasonal.

Conversions just aren’t happening for you. But there’s a reason.

Your conversion rate optimization tactics are outdated.

Or you simply don’t have any in place.

Those instant on-site popups aren’t compelling users to buy from you.

Social share buttons don’t lead to buying decisions.

As the online landscape changes and new technologies arise, user behavior changes.

And when user behavior shifts, marketers can’t stick to the same old tactics and fall behind.

If you don’t keep up to date with user behavior, your business and livelihood could be at risk.

Thankfully, there are a few data-backed conversion hacks you can implement that are sure to get you a better conversion rate.

So, what are you waiting for?

1. Include different checkout options

What if I told you that a few simple minutes of work (without paying anything for setup) could net you 44% more conversions?

Would you call me crazy? Maybe a used car salesman? Fair enough.

But let me explain.

Is your website optimized for mobile traffic? If not, is your name Fred Flintstone?

Image Source

In all seriousness, if you don’t have a mobile site that’s optimized for mobile sales, you’re doomed.

Why? Because the majority of website traffic is mobile now.

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If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re risking tons of conversions.

Mobile intent is big, too.

Think about it.

When you’re on the go, and you see someone wearing a shoe that looks awesome, what do you do?

You probably open up your smartphone and Google it.

You want it now. You don’t want to wait.

Why? Because you saw someone wearing it and you liked it.

Mobile intent is high because people often see something they like on the go. They don’t sit around wondering if they should really buy it.

So, where am I going with this?

You can improve your checkout conversions by up to 44% by incorporating multiple payment gateways, such as PayPal.

Pretty amazing, right?

According to Nielsen research data, PayPal transactions also have a 70% higher checkout conversion rate than non-PayPal transactions.

You need any trick in the book when cart abandonment hovers around 70%.

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Alternative payment methods are especially important on mobile, where people are otherwise forced to whip their credit cards out in public.

Adding other payment options is one of the easiest ways to solve that problem.

2. Use more videos

Video marketing is literally the future.

Research predicts that video will account for 70% of mobile traffic by 2021.

Video is already dominating the landscape of marketing.

HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound Report has shown that more and more marketing professionals are investing their budgets into video platforms like YouTube and Facebook Video:

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All of the top content distribution channels are heading towards video.

And for good reason.

Adding videos to your landing pages or product pages gives you a 50x higher chance of showing up on Google searches.

More visibility = more traffic and more conversions.

Even the simple mention of video in your email subject line can increase open rates.

That’s how popular video is right now.

If you are struggling to get conversions on your landing pages, consider creating a simple product video to help explain what your product does and why it can help the user.

People don’t like reading text anymore.

The majority of people skim text-based content online. Including that long-form sales page you just put finishing touches on.

People want you to get straight to the point. Video marketing can help you do just that.

If you don’t know where to start, try using a site like Biteable to create free videos for your landing pages.

You can create free business-style videos that have dozens of animated templates.

Plus, it’s free. It doesn’t cost you a cent.

And according to the latest data, implementing videos on your page will increase conversions.

The top companies are using videos on their landing pages right now.

Check out this landing page from Leadpages:

They use an explainer-style video to show how you can benefit from their product.

Seeing a video demo in action is much more compelling than reading a block of text about how great your product is.

3. Increase site speed

If you want to increase your conversion rates, speed is one the best ways to do it.

Why? Because we are impatient people.

Nobody wants to wait ten seconds for a site to load. Seriously: nobody.

Not when there are hundreds of companies out there selling or offering similar products/services.

Google recently released some amazing data backing this all up.

The latest data shows that if your site is slow, your bounce rate is going to increase:

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And an increase in bounce rate means fewer conversions.

Even a few seconds can cost you valuable traffic.

When it comes to an online business, traffic is money.

Walmart found that their conversions dropped rapidly when load times jumped from one to four seconds.

Every second of improvement resulted in a 2% increase in conversions.

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General data shows us an even worse outlook on site speed.

For each second that your website takes to load, you can expect a 7% decrease in conversions.

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Speed has the power to make or break your website. It can truly determine whether or not you find profit and scalable growth.

Even a single second could be costing you money.

According to Google, the majority of websites in any given industry fall way too short:

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The best practice for site speed is three seconds or less. But most of us are taking longer than eight full seconds. That’s bad.

So, what can you do about it? The first step is to diagnose your website with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Enter your website URL into the tool and analyze it.

From here, you get your website’s overall speed score for both mobile and desktop.

The great thing about this tool is the free insight that it will give you into how you can fix your site problems.

Most of the time, images are going to be the biggest culprit.

They take up tons of space on your site, slowing your speeds dramatically.

If you can compress a few images, you’ve got a good shot at improving your site speed and increasing conversions.

WordPress has tons of plugins that you can use to automatically compress your images and increase site speed.

Try using Smush It:

It’s a free tool that you can install on your WordPress site in just a few minutes. You can also try TinyPNG or ImageOptim (Mac only).

When it comes to increasing conversions, speed is the name of the game.

4. Shorten landing pages

Long-form content wins the day when it comes to blogging.

Data proves it. The longer the content, the higher chance you’ve got to rank well on Google.

We hear it all the time: the longer, the better (no innuendo intended).

Content is king. Especially long-form content.

But does that same principle apply to landing pages?

Do long-form landing pages convert better?

Well, it makes sense that a long-form landing page would be good right?

You can tell a user all about your product without them having to leave the page to find more info.

Product features, demos, and descriptions are amazing when it comes to pushing a customer to buy.

Every sector of your business can have their featured spot on a landing page. It sounds great when you think about it.

But the data actually shows us otherwise.

Shortening your landing page can increase conversion rates dramatically:

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In a case study, one company reduced the size of its landing page and found a 13% increase in sign-ups and a 35% higher click-through rate to pricing pages.

This isn’t a one-off case study either.

Neil Patel found a 13% increase in conversions on his Crazy Egg site by reducing the content amount by 60%.

Patel also worked with a client on their landing page to increase conversions.

They were using a long-form style landing page, but Neil recommended using a short-form page with video-based content.

They reduced the size of the landing page dramatically.

In the end, the conversion rate for the website jumped by 40%.

Data consistently shows that short-form landing page content converts better.

Why? Because Americans read headlines and not much else.

Typical Americans, am I right?

But seriously, Buffer found that 55% of visitors to your site will only read your content for 15 seconds or less.

If you want more conversions, try shortening your landing page and getting straight down to business.

Slack has one of the best landing pages in the SaaS industry right now.

It’s short-form and gets straight down to business with a clear-cut headline and call to action:

There is almost nothing on the homepage besides a headline, description, CTA, and a bit of social proof.

Bonus Hack: Social proof is one of the best data-backed hacks to increasing your conversion rate in seconds.

Include a few statistics on your site about how many users you’ve helped or big companies you’ve served. Orbit Media increased their conversions by 1400% using social proof.

Conclusion

Conversions are worse than ever.

You’re still driving tons of traffic to your site and product pages. But nothing is budging.

All of that work you’ve put in to bring people to your site isn’t leading to sales.

You’re screwed (kidding). You feel trapped, scared, and worried about your business.

Without conversions, you don’t have a business.

It’s probably just the slow season, right? Wrong.

There is no real slow season when it comes to generating conversions and sales online.

There is just bad conversion rate optimization.

Thankfully, it’s not that hard to fix.

There are actually multiple data-backed ways to increase your conversions for free.

Including PayPal at checkout can increase your conversions by up to 44%.

Want a fast increase in conversions on your landing pages? Include some product explainer videos.

Site speed should be a big focus, too. The slower your site is, the higher your bounce rate will be and the lower your conversion rate.

Try shortening your landing pages. It’s proven to increase conversions.

Getting conversions doesn’t require you to spend thousands on an agency to fix your site. It just requires a few simple tweaks to make it easier and faster to buy from you.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Author: Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more.


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

What Tinder Can Teach Us About Growth Marketing

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, Tinder is a hugely popular mobile dating app that matches potential partners based on user data and proximity.

Since the application was launched in 2012, it has experienced explosive growth.

Within two years, Tinder boasted 800 million swipes every single day. As of 2017, that daily figure is 1.6 billion.

So what makes Tinder so special, and what can we learn from Tinder’s growth that we can apply to other businesses?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “sex sells.” That’s certainly part of the picture, but there are many other facets of Tinder’s growth engine that are worth admiring.

Conceptual Design

If you look at all the major case studies for growth hacking in recent years, from Airbnb to PayPal, they all have one thing in common: an excellent product.

On a conceptual level, Tinder is ingenious.

All marketers know that consumer behavior is driven by emotions rather than logic. To be specific, people are motivated to act due to two reasons:

  1. The desire to move towards pleasure
  2. The desire to move away from pain

Tinder’s users are motivated by seeking out romantic encounters (pleasure) while simultaneously avoiding rejection (pain).

We’re not talking about mild emotions here. These are core human desires with an evolutionary basis.

It’s theorized that the fear of rejection stems from when humans lived in primitive hunter-gatherer societies. With limited amounts of potential mates in a small tribe, being rejected could entail the end of your lineage and in some cases, would lead to ostracization and death. Today, rejection is a stinging emotional experience that people don’t want to go through.

Google the term “approach anxiety” and you’ll find a library of articles on the subject – indicating how serious of a problem it is for people.

Since both parties have indicated a mutual attraction before a Tinder match is made, daters don’t need to go through the experience of approaching someone they’re attracted to while hoping the other person feels the same, and don’t have to worry about being approached by someone they have no interest in.

Additionally, Tinder uses the intermittent reward system. New matches are a “reward”. You get excited when you swipe right and it’s a match, you get the push notification telling you there’s a new match waiting for you when you open the app. When using Tinder, you likely won’t get 5+ matches a day, or even a match a day. So when matches become more scarce, they are more valued, and then when they come, it’s a huge (and addicting) reward. You get back into the app, keep swiping, keep messaging, and it becomes a “must have” in your life.

Rewards come early (the critical first few tries for a user, when it determines if they’ll be sticky, they quickly see the first signs of value from the app when they get new matches. Overtime, the rate of new matches will diminish, but by then you’re already hooked on the app. You get more matches because it’s suspected that new Tinder users are shown to more people, and thus achieve more matches.)

The emotional drivers of pleasure and pain are the cornerstone of Tinder’s success.

User Experience

Even with a great concept, Tinder’s success would have been severely limited if the user experience was inadequate.

Fortunately, Tinder’s creators were wise to the fact that we’re living in a culture of instant gratification. While traditional dating sites require you to read long-winded profiles for potential dates, Tinder gives you an avalanche of potential partners that you can accept or dismiss in one hand gesture based on first impressions.

In many ways, Tinder replicates real life. People make snap judgements all the time, and you’re unlikely to get to know someone’s favorite artists or movies unless there is an initial physical attraction.

Tinder’s CEO, Sean Rad, states: “We want to create experiences that emulate human behavior. What we do on Tinder is no different than what we already do.”

In order for word of mouth marketing to be effective, it’s important for user onboarding to be smooth and efficient. If your friend has got you excited about an application but you’re having trouble logging in or understanding how to use it, then it’s not very useful.

If you have a Facebook account, you simply connect it to Tinder, pick your photos, and start swiping. You don’t even have to include photos to start swiping (but you probably should considering this is dating).

The application has a four screen tutorial which you can skip at any time by logging in using Facebook. With a marvelously simplistic onboarding process, Tinder maximizes the impact of word of mouth marketing. (Image Source)

And while there’s a bio section, you don’t even have to go through the pains of creating a witty bio before you can start swiping. Tinder already looks at your Facebook Likes, Friends, and creates “shared interests” and “Mutual Friends” with potential matches.

Image Source

Compare this to the wringer that most dating sites put new users through. You have to write your bio, list your favorite books, movies, what you’re looking for, etc. By the time you can actually start viewing profiles you’ve already used 20 minutes of time writing a bio that few people will read.

Unlike the desktop, the smartphone is an ideal device for Tinder’s fast-paced dating action. Swiping left or right on a smartphone just feels natural – akin to swiping through a deck of cards.

Given that smartphone displays are image-centric, you’re compelled to make snap decisions primarily based on looks. Some would argue that this is superficial, but maybe dating is more superficial than we’d like to admit?

With an excellent product, in both concept and execution, the team at Tinder deployed some powerful growth marketing tactics in order to generate attention.

The Two-Sided Network

According to Wikipedia, two-sided networks are: “economic platforms having two distinct user groups that provide each other with network benefits.”

In the case of Airbnb, the brand was only successful because there were enough hosts and guests to facilitate each other’s interests. Simple laws of supply and demand.

For Tinder, both men and women would be required to make the app work. Additionally, a significant portion of the user base needed to be attractive – otherwise there would be insufficient matches.

In order to get heterosexual men on the platform, there needed to be heterosexual women already present, and vice versa. So, which demographic would need to come first?

Tinder came up with a smart solution to this quandary.

Having enjoyed her experience in a sorority at college, Tinder’s Vice President of Marketing at the time, Whitney Wolfe, set off to acquire campus VIPs as early adopters.

Tinder also got a fair amount of publicity during the 2014 Winter Olympics when snowboarder Jamie Anderson and others revealed that they’ve been using Tinder. This added to the social proof of Tinder, which only helped its user base grow more.

Image Source

Interestingly, former UFC champion Ronda Rousey stated that she didn’t have much luck with Tinder because of her fame, and actually signed up using a fake name before being found out. Given the UFC’s predominantly male fan base, I’m sure a significant number of UFC fans became Tinder users upon hearing the news.

With “high quality” models and sorority leaders using the application, this would do away with the negative stigma that digital dating is for lonely people. Instead, Tinder would be an application that social, attractive people use to make their good dating lives even better.

Campus Presentations

On a tour of numerous campuses in the United States, Wolfe gave group presentations about Tinder to sorority houses.

At the end of the presentation, Wolfe insisted that all the girls sign up for the application. Immediately afterwards, she would go to the corresponding brother fraternity and encourage the guys to sign up.

Right away, the guys would see profiles for the attractive girls that they already knew, but hadn’t had the opportunity to interact with in a romantic context.

Because campuses have a dense population of single students in close proximity, initial users had more than enough potential matches to keep them engaged with the application.

Parties and Outreach

In another display of Tinder’s marketing ingenuity, Tinder hosted a party for a USC student’s birthday and went the extra mile to make it amazing. Tinder paid the bill for the party in exchange for putting a bouncer at the door that only let people in after downloading the application.

When Wolfe returned after her college tour, Tinder’s user base jumped from 5,000 to 15,000. This is when word of mouth marketing gained momentum.

Parties would still play a prominent role in Tinder’s marketing strategy as the application expanded beyond the American college system. With launch parties in Mexico, Japan and England, Tinder brought nights of fun and entertainment to singletons around the world – while simultaneously promoting the Tinder brand.

As a result, Tinder’s user base expanded. In the initial months, 85% of Tinder’s users were within the 18-23 age, but by the following year that same age range represented only 57% of all users.

Conclusion

The growth of Tinder can be attributed to a quick onboarding system, an addicting product with random rewards (matches), a unique dating product that was different than current options, and successful launch parties.

Have you used Tinder? If so, what about the application encourages you to keep coming back?

Please let me know in the comments below.

About the Author: Aaron Agius, CEO of worldwide digital agency Louder Online is, according to Forbes, among the world’s leading digital marketers. Working with clients such as Salesforce, Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, and scores of stellar brands, Aaron is a Growth Marketer – a fusion between search, content, social, and PR. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on the Louder Online blog.


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

5 Post-Purchase Email Campaign Tactics Worth Trying

Woo-hoo!

Your team just clinched another new customer. That’s great news. But before you celebrate, think about the next step in the sales process.

Communication plays a critical role in fostering customer loyalty. To transform buyers into die-hard advocates, it’s important to improve your post-purchase emails.

“For a business to thrive, it must provide customers with long-term value that translates into repeat purchases and, thus, increases the customer’s lifetime value to the company. And that is where carefully crafted post-purchase emails come in,” says entrepreneur and marketer Danny Wong.

It’s time to lay the groundwork for more sales. Let’s learn five strategies to ace post-purchase emails.

1. Focus on Relevant Interests

When you’re not interested in something, the easiest thing to do is to ignore it. You mentally set whatever it is aside and move to tasks that hold more value.

In the world of email marketing, relevancy matters to your customer. If it doesn’t offer value or bring an inkling of benefit to the individual, there’s really no reason why they should care.

A relevant message after a purchase may include a receipt with the total amount, a status update about the delivery of the item, or contact information to connect with customer support. Customers desire transparency and want reassurance that they made the right purchasing decision.

“Keeping customers up to date with the status of their purchase, especially if there is a delay or another issue, is important. In fact, consumers decide not to do business again with a brand because of lack of transparency about the status of their purchase delivery,” writes Alexa Lemzy, a customer service expert and content author at TextMagic.

Below is a post-purchase email from Amazon. Along with the order total, you’ll notice a proposed delivery date and recommended items.

As you create a post-purchase email, it’s vital to ask: why should my customer care? The goal is to exceed customer expectations by delivering messages that speak to the buyer’s needs and interests.

2. Segment to Nurture Relationships

Email marketing isn’t a cookie-cutter tool because every customer isn’t the same. You may cater to eight different buyer personas—each with distinct characteristics.

So sending a generic post-purchase email will get overlooked by your audience. To nurture more customers, you’ll want to use segmentation to send relevant emails.

“Segmenting your email list helps you speak more intelligently and directly with your customers, giving them information that they want at the opportune time. And when you do it right, the payoff can be huge,” states Joe Stych, marketer at Zapier.

Segmentation enhances relationship building, giving you a chance to effectively communicate with consumers. You can drop the blanket language in your email conversations.

For instance, a major holiday may be around the corner. So your team wants to send all new customers post-purchase welcome campaigns wishing them a wonderful holiday season.

Rather than delivering a bland message to every new customer, segmentation by location makes it possible to tailor your email to mention nearby festivities happening in the customer’s area.

You also can segment emails when it’s necessary to speak your customers’ dialect. (Your team doesn’t want to get caught describing a carbonated beverage as “pop” in Louisiana.)

Segmentation is the focal point to personalizing the post-purchase experience. You’ll build better relationships quickly.

3. Engage Based on Behavior

Only a few decades ago, business teams made wild guesses about their customers’ spending habits and shopping behaviors. Marketers relied on gut feeling and historical data to drive their future campaigns.

Lucky for you, technology is advancing rapidly and you can get real-time data about your consumers with a few clicks. And thanks to Kissmetrics Campaigns your team can nudge customers toward brand loyalty with behavior-based emails.

 

You can determine which post-purchase messages to send based on customer behavior, like purchase amounts, website visits to a specific product page, date of last purchase, or a combination of these actions.

Let’s say you want to invite only your most loyal customers to a VIP rewards program. You may segment your list to deliver this post-purchase email to customers who’ve purchased more than $ 5000 in the last month and rated your support team with 4 stars or above.

If you sent the same email to everyone on your list, you may engage people still getting to know your brand. Consequently, they wouldn’t be ready to be part of the loyalty program.

New Thrive Market customers receive 20% off their first three orders. After the first order, the eCommerce retailer sends a post-purchase reminder email (below) to entice consumers to take advantage of the remaining offer.

thrive market email

Pinpoint opportunities to customize your post-purchase emails. Sometimes it takes monitoring and understanding your audience’s behaviors.

4. Evaluate Email Frequency

Your customers receive emails on a daily basis, whether it’s from their best friends or work colleagues. So knowing how often to send an email is just as crucial as the content of that email.

Nailing down the right email frequency for your target audience helps you understand when to engage and when to leave your customer alone. People need personal space online, too.

Your post-purchase emails can add up fast. There’s the order confirmation, the shipping confirmation, the product review request, and the reorder email. And don’t forget your five-part welcome campaign.

Before you know it, you’ve sent your customers 10 emails in one week. Sending lots of emails in a short period of time can lead your subscribers to email fatigue. This problem results in customers ignoring and deleting your emails or worse, unsubscribing from your mailing list.

You can combat email fatigue by observing your engagement metrics. Check your open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates to spot any fluctuations in activity. Experiment with delaying general email campaigns until after a customer receives her post-purchase emails.

Swamping customers with emails isn’t ideal. So assess the value of each message and whether another email helps or hurts your brand.

5. Run Tests to Optimize Campaigns

It’s easy to set up your post-purchase email campaigns and forget about them as you work on more pressing issues. When specific business operations are working well, complacency may have your team missing opportunities to do better.

Running routine tests to optimize your campaigns is not only a good business practice, but also an essential process to learn which emails resonate with your audience. Plus, you can identify changes in customer behavior and adapt your campaigns accordingly.

With Kissmetrics, your team can track purchases from email campaigns. You’ll know exactly which campaign engaged consumers when they bought your product or service.

The Kissmetrics Funnel Report

This report is valuable for tailoring your email campaigns. For example, if a customer bought your product after engaging with your blog newsletter, your post-purchase campaigns may include recommendations to specific blog posts to encourage repeat orders.

Or what if you notice a sharp increase when you send 15% discount reorder emails compared to a 5% savings? Now, your team can adjust your strategy to fit the customer’s desires.

Don’t be afraid to run multiple tests to learn your post-purchase email sweet spot. It’s only by analyzing the data that you can satisfy your audience and boost your sales.

The Power of Email

Email isn’t reserved just for gaining a prospect’s attention pre-sale. It’s also an effective tool for nurturing customers into retention.

Revamp your post-purchase email by staying relevant to the recipient’s needs. Send emails that engage customers based on their behavior, not unfounded hunches. And optimize your campaigns by running experiments.

There’s power in email. Now, it’s your turn.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

How to Find Which Sites are Driving Retention

I’ve previously written about how to use Kissmetrics to find which backlinks drive signups. I wrote that article because we all know backlinks are great for SEO, which is great for traffic, but what really matters is the quality of traffic you’re getting. So, what that post explained was how you can use a Funnel Report to see who came to your site, and how many of them signed up. We then segmented that traffic by the first ever link that sent them to our site.

It’s a nice, handy way to use Kissmetrics to help provide some insights and potentially future campaigns.

But what about the step after the first visit or a signup? What about retention? How do you find which sites are sending you the visitors that keep coming back?

The idea for this post came to me from my own experience. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo (DDG) lately, and one day I simply entered weather just to see what would return. I saw that DDG uses a site called DarkSky, which is one that I’ve never heard of, even though they have the #1 paid weather app in the App Store.

I liked the layout of the site, it’s ad-free content, and the forecasts have been pretty accurate. Now I use it as my primary weather site.

So this had me wondering – if I was working at DarkSky, how would I know where people are coming from? And of all the traffic channels (direct, organic search, DDG, etc.) that are sending us traffic, how could I track that to see which sources brought the highest retention? In this case, we’ll refer to retention as simply coming back to the site after their first visit.

So, here’s how to find that out using Kissmetrics.

The Cohort Report

Kissmetrics is full of reports that each serves a different purpose. Some can be used for analyzing customer acquisition campaigns; others can be used for retention analysis. And some can be used for both.

The Cohort Report is primarily used to track retention (some even use it for conversion rates). It groups people together based on similar attributes and tracks their behavior overtime. In our case, we’ll be grouping the people that have visited our site, and we’ll group them by the domains they were first referred by.

 

The set up is pretty easy. We’ll set our conditions for those that have Visited Site and Visited Site. We’ll then segment by the first referrer:

KM Referrer is simply the referring URL that brought traffic to your site. If a visitor came to your site via a Google search, the KM Referrer would be www.google.com. If they came from the Kissmetrics Blog homepage, the KM Referrer would record as blog.kissmetrics.com.

It’s also important to note that we’re tracking people on a week-to-week basis. This means that each week is a “bucket”. All visitors that came from Google in the last 6 months are put in the www.google.com bucket, then tracked each week. If they visit in the second week after their first week, they’ll be placed in that bucket. If they don’t return in the third week but do in the fourth week, they’ll appear in the bucket for the fourth week as well.

Now that we got that cleared up, let’s run the report and get our data:

The key thing to look for when viewing our Cohort Report is that the darker the shade of blue, the greater the retention.

So it looks like organic search from Google is sending us the most traffic.

However, we see our highest retention is the 52 people that came from nytimes.com. To me, this data signals that we should spend more time trying to press coverage. SEO is always great, and it has good retention, but nothing beats the traffic coming from nytimes.com.

So What Does All This Mean?

Traffic is the first step. The second step is retaining that traffic by getting those people to come back. Find what percentage of new users come back (using the cohort report) and then see where you’re getting your above-average retention (with a significant amount of traffic). That’s where the Cohort Report shines – showing you where you’re underperforming and outperforming against your baseline retention.

Conclusion

Traffic is great. Signups are even better. But the most important part is retaining those new users. That’s the only way to build quality traffic and an audience.

So how do you measure your progress on retaining users?

This is where cohort reports come in. Specifically, the Kissmetrics Cohort Report (which was the example we used here). It’s segmentation flexibility (you can group people by whatever you track), along with our person-tracking analytics means that you get not just numbers, but also who you are retaining and where they came from.

This post really started out to answer a question – how would DarkSky (or any other site) know if the traffic they get from DuckDuckGo (or any referrer) is being retained? And, perhaps at a higher level, how would they know if they’re even getting traffic from DuckDuckGo? I wrote that post to answer this question. To recap, in two steps:

  1. Run a Cohort Report, segmenting your group by their original referrer domain.
  2. See how many of the people that come from that original referrer by viewing each bucket across the row in the report’s data.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.


The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog