Recommended Readings

Posted in Channel: CMO Zone, Marketing Day

Marketing Day: Data reports, ad copy & the martech landscape with Scott Brinker

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:


Business Issues

Content Marketing


Email Marketing

General Internet Marketing


Mobile/Local Marketing

Social Media


Posted in A-From SEL, Channel: SEM, Column: Paid Search

Bridging data and action: How to create killer reports

Ask any digital marketer about the prerequisites for a successful campaign, and undoubtedly many of the answers will revolve around obtaining or making use of data points. Simply put, marketers — especially digital marketers — love data.

But despite the love for pulling data, reviewing stats and identifying trends and outliers, it is no secret that formalized recurring reporting can sometimes be a bit of a drag to compile and put together. (What, you thought you were the only one dreading that Monday morning number pull?)

It isn’t so much the time that it takes — although depending on the complexity, it can add up and become quite tedious. But no, the main reason that reporting becomes a dreaded task is usually that the report isn’t impactful enough and begins to feel like busywork.

So how can you create reports that are worthwhile, sustainable, and most importantly, impactful?

Keep it focused

Some of the most common reporting issues result from good intentions. For example, in an effort to be inclusive, reports can quickly become an attempt to boil the ocean. Massive, ocean-boiling reports are the reports that become dreaded because you have to sift through so much information to get to what is important.

If you create a powerful report, recipients will read through it. If the report is watered down, people will skim it or ignore sections (and maybe eventually the entirety). This is a slippery slope — even if they continue to consume part of the report, they could miss out on things that you really wanted them to see.

Here are a few tips:

  • Instead of starting the report by creating a list of metrics that you (or your client) want to see, start by identifying the questions that you want to answer with the report, and then build the report to answer those questions.
  • If a client or stakeholder provides a laundry list of metrics that they want to see, dig into their reasoning and make sure that those are the right metrics to address the goals of the report and ultimately the campaign success metrics.
  • Remember that sometimes less is more. If a stat isn’t useful, don’t include it — no matter how pretty the graph looks.
  • Don’t try to create a one-size-fits-all report. Different time frames tend to call for different reports. Likewise, if there are multiple stakeholders with different interests, it can be beneficial to create separate reports, as opposed to a watered down report. For example, if one report is for the marketing manager and the other is for the CMO, it may be pertinent to keep the CMO’s report distilled so that he or she isn’t overwhelmed with information that he or she isn’t interested in.

Now you have your report, but so what?

If your reports aren’t getting the attention that they deserve, and you’ve already tackled the steps listed above to keep them laser-focused on only the most important analyses and data points, then you should ask yourself this question: “So what?”

No, really — so what?

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Martech: Marketing, Martech Column

Time: Marketers’ most precious resource & ways to maximize it

It’s August. The perfect time for a summer holiday break. But wait, there’s no time. We’ve got programs to deliver, content to craft, nurture tracks to build, new martech to scope and implement, and endless stuff to get done to execute against second-half 2017 pipeline and revenue targets.

What happened to the summer slowdown? It no longer exists. Business is always on. That means marketing has become a 24/7, high-acceleration profession. And overnight, time — NOT data — has become marketing’s most precious resource.

I work in marketing for a high-growth SaaS organization. From our own experience and talking with hundreds of marketers, cycles just keep getting faster, customer expectations higher and the list of things to do longer. In addition to daily hacks, we’ve been brainstorming — inside and outside our company — on how to better use our time to meet ever-increasing expectations.

The conclusion is that we must change how we approach our days, drop some bad habits and make tough choices about what we focus on. Here are four things we see working to tackle marketers’ time challenge.

1. Know where to apply ‘good enough’ marketing

As a group, B2B marketers are high achievers with incredible attention to detail. We obsess over every detail from the colors used in our social images to our website pages to each line item in our quarterly business reviews. But here’s the reality: Not every project or task has to be done perfectly. In fact, most don’t.

The world isn’t going to end just because a caption on an image in your collateral or the fourth paragraph in your blog isn’t ground-breaking. Each of us can calculate the hours wasted working on stuff that really isn’t going to make any meaningful difference.

The key to making the most of your precious time is differentiating the tasks that require 100 percent effort from those where 80 percent, for example, is good enough. The adage, “done is better than perfect” applies to so many areas of marketing. You just got eight to 10 hours a week back using this mindset and approach.

2. Prioritize business-advancing initiatives over simply getting tasks done

Most of us work off a list, coming to work each day with a set of tasks we must knock out. They’re often deadline-driven, set by ourselves, colleagues or our boss. They can include repetitive things we’ve always done and always done the same way — without questioning their value.

While there is tremendous satisfaction from checking things off our “to-do” list, it’s time to reassess our priorities. A smart approach is to ask every day, “What are the initiatives, projects and tasks that will have the biggest impact on the business?” Focus on these first and foremost. We must shift focus from the day-to-day tasks and redirect our time to programs and projects that will transform our contribution to the greater organization.

In addition to assessing and prioritizing regularly, we should measure and reward marketers and teams based on outcomes versus task completion. A prime example today is marketers being evaluated on hitting customer revenue and upsell goals rather than the task of generating MQLs (marketing qualified leads), which turns into a time suck for the entire organization.

This refocus of tens of hours a month ensures our precious time is aimed at marketing’s direct contribution to the business.

3. STOP doing stuff that can be automated

Getting to observe hundreds of marketing organizations and how they work, I’m blown away by how much time is spent on “marketing janitorial” work. This is especially true when there are pretty good marketing technology and viable process hacks that are accessible in the marketing community.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Posted in Advertising

7 Biggest PPC Nightmares Sinking Your ROI

PPC advertising should be straightforward.

You buy an ad. Your ad appears on Google. That ad gets clicked.

You spend a little dough per click, and voila – you’re a marketing genius.

Traffic is booming and you’re appearing in all the right places.

Except that’s not always how it works.

And for some strange reason, you can’t quite figure out why.

Not to worry. Most of the time, you just need to know where to look.

You need to be able to spot those common problem areas. Many of which might be lying to your face.

Here are the seven biggest pay-per-click nightmares that can kill your ROI before it even gets off the ground.

1. Neglecting Attribution Models

It’s painfully obvious to say that Google Analytics can help you track traffic and conversions.

It will show you exactly which areas of your sales funnel are working vs. which ones aren’t.


The trouble is that tracking PPC conversions in Google AdWords isn’t quite the same.

Google AdWords uses a “Last AdWords” click attribution model.

Meaning that the last PPC ad someone clicks before conversion gets all the credit for that conversion.

This can make it harder to know exactly where users are engaging, what’s bringing them back, and why they converted.

That’s because PPC attribution is designed to build demand now that you’ll convert later on. It’s less like “click > conversion” and more like:

Generic impression > generic click > generic impression > brand click > conversion

To top it off, there are different attribution models that actually tell you where the credit for your conversions is coming from based on what you find important. You could assign every touch point equal credit for conversions, for instance.

Basically, it’s not as easy as saying, “I got a click and therefore my AdWords are working.”

A better solution is to focus on (1) URL tracking and to (2) create an attribution model that meets your conversion goals.

This is important because some devices act like conversion helpers but they don’t actually obtain the conversion credit.

Correct attribution tracking will display your Google AdWord conversion paths more clearly. Breaking these down into micro-conversions can help you tweak each little step.

That’s why first and last-touch attribution models don’t always cut it.

How many steps do it needs to take before the buyers can be converted?

Did they actually convert from your PPC ad the very first time?


People just used it last.

✅ Social referred them.

✅ Organic found you.

✅ Email nurtured them.

❌ PPC swooped in to steal all the credit.

Put everything in its place. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.

2. Incorrect Conversion Tracking

The thing about PPC is that your ad isn’t the be-all-end-all.

You don’t sell in an ad. You just get people to click.

PPC ads typically go to landing pages that have CTAs and the CTAs are the thing that’s driving the conversion. (But how would you know if you’re not tracking attributions, right?)

Yet conversion tracking isn’t setup properly.

The primary CTA is ignored.

Or worse, you’re counting clicks as conversions.

It’s not that they were just counting the wrong conversion metrics, though. This example was actually ignoring their CTAs completely.

The primary page CTA was a phone number. Anecdotally, phone calls brought better customers that converted faster.

And yet, no call tracking.

You have nothing without historical conversion data.

❌ You have no idea which campaigns are performing best.

❌ You have no idea which keywords are performing best.

❌ And you have no idea where you’re overspending to cut back.

You’re flying blind. Any campaign tweaks or changes are shots in the dark at best.

Neglecting attribution is one thing. But screwing up conversion tracking is quite another.

Notice that this still applies to things outside of “AdWords conversions.”

More often than not, that ringing phone in the background is the direct result of your digital efforts.

70% of phone calls are driven by digital channels, according to Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index that tracked over 30 million calls.

Now compare that to the pitifully low lead generation rates in the Unbounce Benchmark Report that hang somewhere between 2.8% and 6%. And those are just leads, not even closed customers!

Those phone stats are impressive as hell now.

‘Cept for one teeny, tiny problem.

PPC gets the credit about 0.0% of the time in this instance.

Which means you, dear marketer, get 0.0% of the credit. Which nets you 0.0% of the budget required to keep those calls coming in.

Sure. AdWords call extensions are a start.

But more often than not, someone’s clicking through to your site. They’re browsing around. They’re learning and comparing before dialing.

Those call extensions catch none of this.

You need something, anything, like custom phone numbers to track dials from each page.

3. Ignoring Revenue-Based Metrics

PPC “conversions” aren’t always conver$ion$.

If your conversions aren’t making you money, they’re not conversions.

PPC success is about the big picture and the customer journey, absolutely.

But ultimately that journey should lead to a purchase. It should lead to revenue.

Clicks, impressions, and CTRs matter. To a point. But not in the big picture.

But the same holds true when PPC conversions = leads.

Just because campaign A delivers more leads than B doesn’t mean it’s “better.”

Yet that’s what happens. Every single day. In the team talks and discussions with clients or bosses.

Budget gets pulled from B and put behind A.

You need to dig a little deeper. You need to analyze how Cost Per Lead, Revenue Per Lead, and Lifetime Value of a Customer look before making those resource calls.

If you were trying to track LTV, for example, you would want to open up your Google Analytics, set the acquisition date range, select your LTV metrics, and select a few comparison metrics.

This would show you whether or not all your blood, sweat, and tears were actually making you money. Or if you’re still just measuring things that don’t matter in the long run.

4. A/B Testing Bad Offers

Uh oh! Ad CTR is low.

Better A/B test to make sure things are working smoothly, right?

Yes and no.

A/B tests can often be a huge waste of time.

It’s not to say that testing is totally useless. But most of the time you’re not actually ready for it.

Many small businesses and startups simply won’t have the transaction volume when they launch a campaign for A/B testing to make much of an ROI difference.

Roughly speaking, when you have less than 1,000 transactions (leads, signups, purchases and so on) per month, you will be better off pouring your efforts into other areas.

But look.

I know you’re probably going to A/B test anyway. I get it. Some growth hacker said it was a good idea.

If you do want to double check whether or not your campaigns are working, you should focus on testing your offers. Not fiddling with colors or CTA buttons or other A/B testing elements.

Offers are the most important determining factor sabotaging your conversions.

Want better results? Un-suck your offer first.

Don’t spend so much time and energy obsessing over A/B testing PPC ads.

Not when your offer needs help. Not when your landing pages are fugly.

And not when your unique selling proposition isn’t so unique after all.

5. Focusing on Keywords Instead of Search Terms

Google often recommends that you bundle single keywords in an ad group that revolves around the same common theme.

In fact, they recommend you “start with 10-20 keywords.”

This is great advice.

If you are Google. Because it means you make more money – off of people that follow this advice, get terrible results, and then have to spend more on ads.

That many competing keywords makes message match impossible to pull off.

You’ll end up bidding too broadly or bidding on short-head terms.

You won’t be able to laser target ads or landing pages. And you’ll overpay to get competitive traffic that’s not ready to convert.

You might select keywords. But you’re paying for search terms.

And one look at your search terms report will unveil the reason PPC conversion are nil.

In an ideal world, you should keep your keywords as tight as possible in each ad group. Some say limiting it to just a single keyword per ad group.

The reason is because you want to constrict the number of variations each ad shows up for.

Then you can refine with negative search terms to disqualify the leftovers and squeeze more from less.

6. Missing Message Match

The last tip sets up this one.

That way, each one is laser targeted to the ad and landing page.

People will convert better because your results perfectly line up with their query. And you’ll get an added bonus of better quality scores to pay less per click.

  1. The keywords someone types in, should
  2. Show up in the ad you show them, which
  3. Repeats the same messaging on the landing page

That’s how message match should work in an ideal world.

However, that’s not always how it does work.

One day, Oli from Unbounce decided that he was in too good of a mood. So he decided to make himself miserable by clicking on 300 different ads.

The result was that 98% did not match correctly.

Thankfully, there are two easy solutions to solve this problem.

AdWords Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

Create a list of keywords that can be swapped in-and-out depending on what someone searches for.

Let’s say you sell multiple types of furniture.

You can use one basic ad template that will automatically switch out the exact product keyword someone uses (like “Couches”).

Image Source

Dynamic text replacement on landing pages.

Same idea, but this time on your landing pages.

You can run the same scenarios to make sure that the product ad people searched for lines up with the same ad and landing page.

Image Source

In the Stone Ages of digital advertising (like seven years ago), you used to have to do all of this manually.

You would literally create variations of both ads and landing pages to literally match every single keyword you advertised on.

Technology saves the day yet again.

7. All-Around Bad Ad Creative

Sometimes, you just suck.

Own up to it. Admission is always the first step.

Your ad text is still lame. Or, God forbid, your ads or landing pages are not mobile optimized (← yes, this still happens in 2017).

Some PPC hack once told me that, “Most of the time we’ve found that people don’t even pay attention to the ad, it’s the landing page or website impression that matters most if we get that click.”

So maybe the problem you think is a problem isn’t really the problem.

But the good news is that this one is easy to fix.

You just have to avoid some of the most rookie mistakes and focus on the tried-and-true PPC methods like using headline formulas, landing page formulas, and, where appropriate, power words.

If you try to run through the exact process your customers will, these problems should become obvious.

Here’s a perfect example.

This morning I looked for a “aptitude test for digital marketing” for hiring new people.

Everything started off great, until the first result’s ad text started going into MS Excel and a bunch of other random stuff that has very little to do with marketing.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, though.

I decided to overlook the irrelevant ad copy to click on their site and check out if they had what I was searching for.

I immediately regretted it:

There are so many issues with this page it’s hard to know where to start. But here goes:

  • Zero message match. Page headline doesn’t match ad text or search query.
  • Cheesy stock photos don’t perform well.
  • A wall of text. Seriously. No one’s reading it.
  • Random salary and employment stats.
  • “Free Trial” CTA that doesn’t communicate benefit you’re signing up for.

You can see the page right here for yourself.

I’m not trying to be a jerk. (Not completely, anyway.) But so you can see how obvious these issues become.

Scroll down below the fold and here’s what you see:

More random junk.


They’re paying good money for these ads! I bet it’s not cheap.

Yet they’re shooting themselves in the foot with basic errors.

There are plenty of places you can go to learn about this stuff. You just have to do your own research. Spend an hour reading any good blog on PPC and you’d spot these issues instantly.

At the end of the day, you have to know the game in order to improve your game.

Not taking the time to learn the basics, or not learning which metrics are important or which ones you should ignore, can sabotage your PPC results.


Nobody said PPC was easy.

But there are certain things you can do to make it easier.

And there are many cases where you make it harder on yourself then it needs to be.

Look for conversions that lead to revenue. Track metrics and data that matter.

Don’t bother A/B testing miniscule information when it’s your offers and value props that dictate results.

Segment your funnels, but make sure each step in that funnel aligns to everything matches properly.

All of these mistakes are common. But they’re not surprising or new.

The solution is out there if you know where to look for it.

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.


Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Martech: Marketing

Scott Brinker: How the martech landscape fits together

When you look at Scott Brinker’s famous — and increasingly crowded — Marketing Technology Landscape, it resembles a wall of tiny bricks.

But when you talk to Brinker about how marketing tools are actually used these days, it’s not a wall that comes to mind. It’s more like a group of islands connected by an ocean of data and a fast-moving ferry.

Brinker — the co-founder and CTO of content marketing platform Ion Interactive and the program chair of our MarTech Conference — recalled for me recently that major marketing clouds used to give the impression that they provided “one platform to rule them all.”

But, he said, “like politicians’ promises,” the rhetoric didn’t match the reality. It was never really a one-platform world, Brinker said, and now it’s abundantly clear we’ve entered what he has described as a “post-platform era.”

In this topology, businesses employ multiple tools. Some are “like tent poles,” he said, serving as basic structural components — such as Adobe’s Marketing Cloud or Marketo — while there’s a data and functional integration fabric that connects them all.

One tool might perform a central role, acting as a kind of conductor, but which tool that is depends on who the user, need or department is. For a social media manager, for instance, it might be Sprinklr. For an email manager, it could be MailChimp.

Additionally, small and medium-sized businesses generally have different configurations than large enterprises. But the basic trend is the same: an orchestra of tools, connected through data and functionality.

But an orchestra needs a conductor so that all the players follow the same score and the same beat.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Posted in General

4 Easy-to-Implement Tactics to Increase Your Newsletter Subscribers (FAST)

Can I go out on a limb here?

I’m going to guess you’re already sold on building an email list.

After all, you’ve heard the advice many times over:

“Build an email list. It’s where the money is.”

If you’re remotely interested in growing a business with staying power, it’s the wise thing to do.

It’s reported that for every dollar spent on email marketing, there’s an average $44 return on investment.

Here’s the thing though.

List building can be quite puzzling for both Internet marketing newbies and veterans.

Marketers agree. A whopping 63% say generating leads is their top challenge.

SOI blog top challenges4 1 png 1 000 500 pixels

The source of this confusion?

The massive amount of conflicting information out there.

There are about 198 MILLION posts on how to build an email list:

how to build an email list Google Search

That’s insane!

I’ll tell you one thing.

You don’t need to spend weeks creating a 45-page e-book as your opt-in offer. And you don’t need to read another “197 Ways to Grow Your Email List” post.

You can simply tweak your website to instantly boost your subscriber count.

Best of all, many of these tweaks will take less than an hour to implement.

That translates to more leads with less work.

Exciting, right?

In this article, I’ll give you four ridiculously easy to implement tactics. None of them require you to start from scratch.

Instead, you can make a few adjustments to your website for a more efficient list-building system.

Ready? Let’s start.

1. Funnel existing traffic to high-performing landing pages

Like I promised, we won’t be reinventing the wheel here.

Brian Dean calls this the Landing Page Funnel (LPF) Technique. It requires two things you should already have:

  1. traffic
  2. a landing page designed to convert leads.

Don’t worry, you don’t need tens of thousands of visitors a day or a landing page that converts at 50%.

Here’s how this works.

First, identify the landing pages that convert the best on your website.

Then, direct traffic you already receive to these pages.

Easy stuff, right?

Most people want more traffic. Some even take the necessary steps to get these much-coveted website visitors.

But they miss out on the golden opportunity to convert that attention into leads.

Once you have the two elements, it’s not difficult to do.

All you have to do is link extensively to these high-converting landing pages.

Place a link at the top of your website’s pyramid (in the main navigation menu):

Internet Marketing Strategy Social Triggers 1

You can also put a link in the comment section of posts as I do on

How to Skyrocket Your Traffic by Bringing Your Old Content Back From the Dead

Or place links to landing pages for your top resources in your sidebar:

Starting and growing a blog Social Triggers

My point here is this: you may not need more traffic or opt-in offers to increase the number of your subscribers.

Track where your current web visitors spend the most time and ensure they have easy access to a high-converting landing page.

It’s as simple as adding a few links.

But what if none of your current landing pages convert well?

Improve them.

A basic email grab form is not enough.

You need to have all the persuasive elements on your landing page.

Here is how to improve your landing pages:

  • reduce the number of form fields. One form field is excellent, two is enough, and three is too many.
  • add social proof elements. Got an endorsement from a big name? Show it off. Have 15 000 subscribers? Let people know. Got one raving testimonial from a reader? Feature it.
  • have a strong value proposition. I’ll demonstrate with an example from SmartBlogger.

10 Creative Places for Opt In Forms That ll Supercharge Your Signups

They’ve had this same lead magnet for ages.

And I bet it converts like crazy.

It’s a valuable resource for writing headlines.

They don’t ask people to

download these headline formulas.

Instead, they lead with a compelling value proposition:

write viral blog posts quicker.

Makes sense?

2. Create content upgrades

I am a big fan of content upgrades.

You can uplevel your content by adding bonuses unique to each piece of content.

Let’s say you write an ultimate guide on promoting a blog post. You can create a quick cheat sheet for blog post promotion.

Like this:

17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Work Fast

You just have to extract the key points from your already-written blog post and create your bonus content.

I recommend keeping it short, snappy, and easily consumable.

Lead magnets, including content upgrades, should be something that subscribers can consume and implement quickly.

This way, there’s a sense of instant gratification, and your perceived value goes up.

It’s exactly what you want.

I’ll admit. This is the most time-consuming tactic on this list.

After all, you have to create a unique bonus for each post.

There are some clever ways around that, and I’ll share them with you.

1. Create multi-purpose content upgrades.

In other words, create a bonus that can be used for several blog posts.

This is easy to do if you’re blogging about the same topics.

2. Use the content you already have.

Let’s say you write a blog post entitled “27 Ways to Generate More Leads Using LinkedIn.”

You can feature 21 of these strategies in your blog post and provide the rest as a bonus.

Like this:

How To Get More Twitter Followers Fast Authority Hacker

3. Have a formula for creating your upgrades.

You don’t need to have every type of bonus under the sun to see results from this tactic.

Have a podcast? Stick with giving out transcripts.

Create only long-form and comprehensive content? Stick with PDF versions of your posts.

Decide what type of content upgrade you want to give to your readers, and go all in on it.

The process will become formulaic and efficient when you do it this way.

Whether you use these time-saving strategies or not, content upgrades are still worth the time you put into them.

Depending on what the actual upgrade is, it may take you an hour maximum.

Don’t neglect to prominently feature your content upgrades. Don’t bury them in the middle or at the bottom of your posts.

Instead, make readers aware of this bonus from the beginning.

What are some examples of content upgrades?

  • PDF version of a post
  • cheat sheet
  • checklist
  • additional strategies
  • list of resources or tools
  • printables and templates
  • transcript
  • video or audio recording
  • a challenge

The list goes on, but these give you enough food for thought.

If you’re serious about increasing your email list, here’s my challenge to you.

Step #1: Go through your website analytics, and pinpoint five blog posts with the most traffic.

Step #2: Create one content upgrade for each blog post. Spend less than an hour on each one.

Put these steps into action, and you’ll see a difference.

3. Create a vault of subscriber-exclusive content

It’s true.

Traditional opt-in offers don’t work anymore.

I’m talking about bulky reports and e-books.

Even if people sign up for these resources, they typically put off reading them.

The result? They never consume the information, yet alone implement it.

Think about the last time you downloaded an e-book. You tell yourself you’ll read it later and never get around to it.

I bet it happens all the time. I know it does for me.

Is there an easy solution?

Put all your free resources in one place so subscribers can have easy access to them.

Here’s an example from Blogging Wizard:

Blogging Wizard Discover Actionable Blogging Tips You Can Use

When you click the “exclusive content” link, it takes you to a high-converting landing page with 15+ resources.

15 Guides To Accelerate Your Blog s Growth By 425 Blogging Wizard 1

These resources are found on a password-protected page.

When you sign up, you get the password, and that’s it.

You’ve got a lifetime access to a vault of valuable resources.


Blogging Wizard married this strategy with the content upgrade.

Within blog posts, they feature their collection of subscriber-exclusive resources as a content upgrade.

How To Get More Twitter Followers 24 Effective Tips To Grow Your Following Fast

Now, that’s smart.

Here’s another example from Melyssa Griffin:

Melyssa Griffin Entrepreneur Blog Tips

Again, you don’t have to start from scratch.

I’ll give you the step-by-step play.

Step #1

Gather all the free resources you’ve created in the past. It could be ultimate guides, checklists, webinars, cheat sheets, etc.

Here’s a list of what Blogging Wizard has in its vault so you can get an idea:

15 Guides To Accelerate Your Blog s Growth By 425 Blogging Wizard

Step #2

Create a specific website page to host these resources. I recommend using the Essential Grid WordPress Plugin to display your content in a customizable grid.

Step #3

In WordPress, set the visibility of your page as “password protected,” choose your password, and publish your page.

Add New Page ContentHaven WordPress

Step #4

Create a landing page for your exclusive content, and funnel traffic to that page.

You’ll instantly have an opt-in offer that will keep converting leads.

You won’t have to create a new offer every few months when the one you have feeds you.

Be sure you keep adding fresh content to your vault, and you’ll be good to go.

4. Optimize these two most valuable website pages

There’s a good chance you’re not making the best use of crucial website real estate.

I’m talking about the two pages most people do nothing with.

The Home page and the About page.

Do a quick audit of your website.

If you don’t have more than one (minimum two) opt-in forms on both of these pages, you have a problem.

Fortunately, it’s an easy fix.

Let’s start with the Home page

Have you ever seen websites with home pages taken up almost entirely by opt-in forms?

Or at least, the first thing you see is a call to action to sign up for something.

Here’s what I mean:

Storyline Blog

Here’s another example from

Neil Patel Helping You Succeed Through Online Marketing

Derek Halpern has about six calls to action on his homepage, inviting visitors to subscribe.

Five of them are presented in the first half of the page:

Internet Marketing Strategy Social Triggers

Too much?

Maybe, but it works.

Just ask his 300K subscribers.

Internet Marketing Strategy Social Triggers 2

The point is, you need to make optimal use of your homepage.

It’s often the most visited website page. You just have to do a few tweaks to add those opt-in forms.

Here are two quick fixes you can do right now:

Step #1

Add a HelloBar to your homepage to divert traffic to a landing page of your choice.

This is an opt-in tool that converts like crazy.

It’s as effective as a pop-up but less obtrusive and annoying.

About The Nectar Collective 1

Step #2

Add a link to an opt-in form or page in your main navigation menu.

Simple, right?

Let’s talk about your About page

There are few website pages as important as this one.

When new readers come to your blog, they’re guaranteed to visit this page.

They don’t know, like, or trust you yet.

That’s what your About page should be geared towards.

More importantly, it should convert these web visitors into subscribers.

How do you do that?

  1. Make your About page persuasive
  2. Add a few opt-in forms

I’ll tell you the key to making your About page subscriber-worthy.

Don’t make it about you.

Conflicting, I know.

Here’s a unique way to look at it.

Your About page should tell a story. Your audience should be the hero of that story. And you should position yourself as a trusted adviser to the hero.

Makes sense?

After you’ve amped up the quality of your About page, sprinkle in a few opt-in forms.

About Social Triggers

Beautiful designs like the one above work, but you can keep it simple with an inline opt-in form.

About The Nectar Collective


Profitable businesses are built on the relationships they nurture with their audiences.

Right now, the best (and only) way to do that effectively is through email marketing.

At the center of that is getting people to trust you enough to give you their email addresses.

And you know what?

It’s way less complicated than people make it out to be.

You really don’t need to spend hours creating bulky opt-in offers.

Double down on a few strategies that have been proven to work. In this article, I gave you four you can start using immediately.

They’re super actionable and easy to implement.

Put them to work, and I guarantee your subscriber count will increase.

What are your best strategies for gaining new subscribers fast?


Posted in Channel: Retail, E-Commerce, Holiday Retailer, How To Guides: Retail Marketing, Retail Column

The holidays hinge on your marketing ecosystem

The holiday season is in the air. Can you feel it?

It’s almost like that first day of fall, when the weather changes, the air gets a little crisper, the wind a little chillier, and the leaves start rustling. Except in retail, the stress becomes palpable, and co-workers are starting to run around aimlessly, always in a hurry with nowhere to go, while crazy projects fill up your inbox as “high priority.”

It may seem early, but that “first day” of the holiday season has already come-and-gone for retail marketers. The ramp-up starts now, and getting your cross-channel lifecycle in place can save a lot of headaches later.

Consider that 55% of consumers begin researching products before November rolls around, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2017 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook. More astounding, 30% of consumers start researching before October even arrives.

For many consumers, gifting is a prolonged experience; it’s not as spontaneous as many other purchases are throughout the year. Research and awareness take time to build. The right product is fostered over time and across many touchpoints with a retailer.

It’s not a random act; it’s often a mix of subconscious or long-lead behaviors (e.g., photography, lifestyle, brand alignment, product descriptions) and conscious, reaction-driven behaviors, such as urgency, promotion and product reviews, that drive the desired outcome of a conversion.

For retailers, it’s imperative that their marketing ecosystems are comprehensive, timely, efficient and deliberate in their efforts to foster those behaviors and funnel them to conversions.

Here are some strategies to consider:

Drive loyalty now

As most retailers have learned by now, loyalty members are more likely to interact with a brand, follow it on social channels, purchase products, and make return visits, so work on building loyalty enrollment right now.

Loyalty members are your best customers, and even if it has the potential to lightly increase liability in the short-term, you’ll gain lifetime customers and increase holiday sales from a membership push.

The most challenging aspect of marketing during the holidays is cutting through the noise. Yet with loyalty, retailers gain a direct line of access to their members. Whether it’s email, SMS, push notifications, direct mail or through a portal, retailers have direct access to influence a segment of customers that are already primed to buy.

Get to them early before they have a chance to align with another brand.

Don’t forget to follow through

When the stakes are high, leadership always gravitates toward email during the holidays. And with good reason: It’s one of the most successful channels based on impact, sales and measurability.

However, marketers often cut their strategies short at the first click. Where consumers land is just as important as what they open, especially during gifting.

What information is provided once consumers click through? How does it align with their expectations? What’s their path to conversion? Is there opportunity to upsell or cross sell? Those questions are often afterthoughts, but according to the NRF report cited above, more than half of consumers purchase items that were recommended to them by retailers online.

The overall impact on revenue during such a high-traffic time can be staggering.

Consider the user experience

While email has a fairly intentional path to purchase, the current state of digital advertising is essentially the Wild West. Measurement is challenging, and placement lacks transparency. But without the added traffic from the holidays, retailers would suffer.

To support those efforts and reduce the hurt of exorbitant ad costs, the user experience needs to be streamlined for conversion.

Landing pages are the key. Keep them short and simple, and do not personalize them. Consider that this is a gifting time; it’s essentially impossible to know what items a person is buying and what gender the recipient might be during the holidays. Directing to the homepage is irritating — it’s too early in the funnel — and directing too far down the funnel will most likely lead to a bounce.

So, curate pages to make life easy for customers. Stick to high-level gift guides and top-rated products and categories across genders, and always display promotions. The goal is to give consumers an easy next step and reinforce the incentive.

Build cross-channel alignment

Bad customer experiences aren’t driven by a lack of insights; they’re driven by in-fighting and competition from marketing channels. Everyone has performance indicators that they’re trying to hit, and they’ll sacrifice anything to make sure they reach their numbers.

But nothing happens in a vacuum, and no channel can be successful without other channels supporting it. In the end, marketing teams are driving towards the same end-goal, and performance is increased across the board when everyone is working together.

As such, make sure your teams are all in alignment. Identify “north star” metrics that every marketing team is striving to hit. It avoids fragmentation, and customers have a much smoother experience that leads to higher conversion rates.

The holidays starts now

The seeds for a successful holiday season are planted now in late August and September. Customers aren’t out of reach, they aren’t inundated, and they aren’t as promotionally driven — yet.

Everything transforms in October, so take advantage of the time you have. And don’t just focus on strategic planning. The framework of holiday execution can be built upon loyalty membership, email growth, SMS list building, wish lists, brand activation campaigns, and much more.

Remember that customers are already beginning the early stages of research. Identify your core metrics for the holidays, produce strategic concepts aligned across all channels, and get them in the marketplace before the noise drowns everyone out.

The fun begins now.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Posted in Channel: CMO Zone, Marketing Day

Marketing Day: Robots replacing marketers, interactive native content & more

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:


Business Issues

Content Marketing


Email Marketing

General Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing Industry


Mobile/Local Marketing

Social Media


Posted in A-From MTT, Channel: Martech: Marketing, Martech Column

Don’t worry, marketers. Robots won’t replace you… yet.

When two of the world’s leading AI research firms, Google DeepMind and Open AI, team up to research the “safety challenges” of artificial intelligence, you know the threat is real. While we may not have a sentient Skynet in the next decade, the greatest risk AI poses today is to your job.

Fear of replacement by robots has been a reality for workers in manufacturing for decades, but due to advancements in artificial intelligence, computers are now capable of automating many fundamental “white collar” professions.

In fact, just this year, a Japanese insurance company replaced 34 employees with IBM’s Watson. More recently, a programmer sparked a viral discussion across internet forums over the ethics on automating himself out of his own job.

And that’s only the beginning. An Oxford research study predicts up to 47 percent of US jobs (PDF) will be automated in the next decade. However, there are fields in which automation is unlikely, according to the same researchers.

Jobs like surgeons and lawyers have a 0.42 percent and 3.5 percent chance of automation, respectively. Slim odds compared to accountants’ 94 percent chance. Interestingly, marketing managers, too, appear safe from the oncoming wave of automation, scoring only a 1.4 percent.

What’s saving marketers from automation? Human connection.

A great marketing campaign requires an even greater connection with customers; that’s something only humans are capable of.

That said, refuge from the oncoming robot revolution is no reason to rest. The same breakthroughs in programming that will take jobs from white-collar workers will radically change marketing as well.

Now, more than ever, the role of the marketer is to be both a technologist — an expert in automated technology — and, perhaps more importantly, to be human — to actively connect and empathize with customers at every point of engagement. Otherwise, it’s time to get friendly with our robot overlords.

Software will eat the bottom of the marketing ladder, so get ready to climb

Today, hundreds of marketing automation solutions are already tackling many basic marketing activities, from email blasts to real-time ad purchasing, giving marketers unprecedented reach. Any marketer with an internet connection can now reach millions of prospects across the world with the push of a button.

But our reliance on automated programs has resulted in an industry focused on metrics that don’t move the bottom line — vanity metrics like clicks and views.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.