Optimisation has been a buzz word in ecommerce forever. We are all striving to get that little bit extra out of the traffic we have and the customers who already trust us.
Sometimes we just want to throw out the whole platform and start again. But this is expensive and often does not deliver the results to justify the investment. Sometimes it can deliver a worse experience that impacts revenue, as big ecommerce players like Marks and Spencer discovered.
Small changes can have a huge impact. At GrabOne we changed the design of a yellow box on the mobile site and improved conversion by $256,000 per year. Testing should be part of your culture but I want to hand you some quick wins that you can implement in the next 30 days.
Criteria I used to choose these:
Easy to implement
High upside, low downside – little risk
Platform agnostic – you can do all of these with what you have or simple tools
Online shopping inherently lacks the retail experience of having someone walk a customer through a purchase and deal with objections and questions as they come up. Chat is a way to improve engagement with the customer, discover frequent problems and hidden issues. I’ve seen chat linked transaction average double than those without. Anecdotally younger users use chat in higher numbers as its a more natural experience for them.
How: Olark only requires a single line of code and starts at $15 a month.
2. Payment options
Offering customers an alternative way to pay has been proven to boost conversions. Payments company SeeWhy analysed payment methods by platform and showed an increase in performance when offering customers more options.
Paypal has obviously gained market share but digital wallets haven’t really gained traction in NZ. The quick win I would recommend is you focus on payment solutions that increase your average transaction value. GrabOne’s implementation of QCard was successful in increasing transaction values.
How: Speak to QCard. It will seamlessly sit next to your existing payment gateway.
3. Social Proof and Urgency
Daily deal sites have some of the highest conversion rates online. They do this through a unique product but they have also been very successful in increasing urgency and layering social proof onto a purchasing decision. Displaying the number of purchases, how many have been sold, stock remaining or recent purchases can all be effective.
Booking.com have always been my favourite implementation and I know they have a extensive conversion testing regime so ‘taking inspiration’ from them would be wise. Look at the daily deal sites for design ideas as well.
Two important caveats don’t create false urgency and don’t overdo it.
How: Userstats offer a lightweight tool from $18 a month
Customers who have already bought from us are far easier to re-engage than new customers. Getting a new user to a purchase and experience your product as early in the relationship as possible ensures the lifetime value is maximised. Onboarding them to let them know what they can expect from you and potentially incentivising them to purchase is a fast and simple way to do this. The art is nurturing them rather than chasing them.
Set expectations about how you are going to communicate with them eg email frequency
Start to build a relationship with them eg your company’s values and usp
Let them know about any other actions that would be beneficial eg mobile, app, account preferences
Generally onboarding is done via email but a thank you page post sign up can be a good early introduction to your relationship.
The next time a customer sees and email from you or an ad out there they will be slightly more likely to engage.
How: Fire up your email program and write an email (preferably from a person) telling them exactly what to expect from you and suggest some next steps in the relationship.
5. Cart Abandon
Are people really still not doing this? If it’s not the most profitable email you send in your stack then I will personally send you $11.50 which happens to the value per email of the last onboarding email I wrote.
Seriously just do it. The customer has got all the way through to the cart and left for some reason. Give them a nudge.
Test messaging sequences, frequency and content later but please start. FYI A two email abandon reminder seems to work best for most ecommerce types. But start with a single email and find out later what is optimal.
How: It is likely built into your ecommerce platform of choice but if you need a third party solution Salescycle offer this along with remarketing functionality.
Priorities are always challenging but if there are gaps in your strategy please fill them with one of the above ideas as soon as you can. I guarantee it will make you more sales.
Want someone to make these small but important changes for you? Check out Growth Advise. There’s a waiting list right now but register and I will let you know when an opening becomes available.
Advertising legend David Ogilvy once said that “On average, five times as many people read the headline compared to the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Headlines create clarity.
They create curiosity.
When done right they compel clicks.
This simply means that you have to pay very close attention to your headline. Most of the dollars you pay for getting customers and receiving an ROI starts here.
People click on attention grabbing headlines.
Even crappy blogs get the click as long as there’s a headline that’s worth clicking. Of course, it’s way better to have a powerful duo of a great headline and awesome content. But it starts with the headline.
If you’re doing any form of marketing, whether it be content, paid, email or any other channel, then a good headline is your first chance to get it right (or wrong).
Articles, copy, email subject lines, social sharing posts; they are used all the time.
These words describe time, emotion/feeling and need.
You see many headlines that are still using these words because it triggers something in your psyche.
How? Here’s a good take backed by science.
The Science Behind a Click-Worthy Headline
Words have power. But they cannot make your customers act unless they touch a nerve, in a good way. There are words that we consider power words, but even words that are not powerful enough can get your message across using a subtle nudge.
What I’m saying is that, science and psychology has something to do with how your customers react when they see your headline – whether it’s using powerful or not-so-powerful words.
While your customers’ psyche is complicated, you can make it work to your advantage. Courtney Seiter highlighted these eight winning formulas and the science behind them, so you can craft your words in such a way that it will trigger your customers to click.
A quick overview, the following include:
Based on a study, unexpected surprises are more stimulating to the brain. It grabs attention compared to things that we already know.
Questions stimulate the brain to look for answers. So when you use a question in headlines, readers can’t help but jump in to find out the answer.
Upworthy created a buzz when they started creating brilliantly made headlines. Why brilliant? Well people click on them. People are curious about what they were talking about. They tell something about the content but not enough to fully disclose what has happened. They call this curiosity gap.
“How to” simplifies things. You can do a lot of variations, but when you use this, you can’t go wrong with your headline.
This is all about predictability and expectations. It’s all about managing expectations so your customers know what they are getting into.
7. Audience Referencing
People like to involve themselves. Using the word “you” is a good way to do that. Your audience feels a certain connection when you use it.
Specific facts stick in the mind. It’s interesting to many people because they lead to greater clarity.
Writing Your Headline: How Do You Even Begin?
Many have created secret formulas and weird concoctions to come up with different types of headlines that’s worthy of clicking and sharing. Clayton Makepeace simplified the process by asking these six questions when you want to write a power-packed headline:
1. Does your headline offer the reader a reward for reading?
2. What specifics could you add to make your headline more intriguing and believable?
3. Does your headline trigger a strong, actionable emotion the reader already has about the subject at hand?
4. Does your headline present a proposition that will instantly get your prospect nodding his or her head?
5. Could your headline benefit from the inclusion of a proposed transaction?
6. Could you add an element of intrigue to drive the prospect into your opening copy?
These questions can guide you to include all the necessary elements to make your headline clickable.
25 Headline Formulas that you can Try Today
At Growth HQ, we have gathered some of the best headline formulas and shared them to get you started. Here are some of them.
Negatives get into the subconscious. They create a reflex action to find how the threat or negativity can be neutralised. That’s why people click on these kinds of headlines.
1. Lies that [Trusted Company/People] Tell You
Example: Lies that Your Doctor Tells You
2. [Threat]: [Negative Superlative] + [Action]
Example: Lie: Worst Thing to Do When Selling
3. [People/Organisation] + [Action] + [Threat]
Example: If You are Spending on Marketing, You Will Go Out of Business
4. Warning Signs that [Subject/Product/Event] is a Scam.
Example: Warning Signs that ETrade Expo is a Scam
Headlines that Ask Questions
5. According to Ian Betteridge, any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by no. So you have to be very crafty and creative when using this formula. To make this work though, why not try adding another headline.
Example: Are you going to get rich by selling this product? Yes, if You Do this Steps.
Guide Type Headline
6. The classic “How to” headline is the best default you can use. No matter how creative you think other headline formulas are, you are probably better off using the “how to” headline. First of all, it is easy to come up with a strong and attention grabbing headline using this technique.
Example: How to Get Thousands of Traffic in 60 Days
7. The ultimate list is something that we also love. It immediately tells us that we can find good stuff in there.
“The Ultimate Guide to [—–]”
E.g. The Ultimate List of Growth Hacker Blogs
8. This kind of headline attracts many first timers.
“The Beginner’s Guide to [——]”
9. Starting an epic list post? Then you need an epic headline.
The Big List of [——] or The Complete List of [—–]
Example: The Complete List of Gory Scenes in Game of Thrones
10. People love instant solutions. That’s why headlines with quick solutions are easy clickbait items.
Example: Here’s a Quick and Easy Way to Solve Writer’s Block
11. Need a good list of rules? Do’s and Don’ts can do the job.
[Action] Do’s and Don’t
Example: Sleeping Do’s and Don’ts
Number/List Headline Formula
12. If you want an eye catching headline with a compelling promise, you can try Kozaii Marketing’s Lenka Istvanova’s formula.
Example: 25 Greatest Life hacks that will Cut your Work in Half.
13. List articles are the most powerful blog posts you can do if you want page views. Using a list type headline and followed by lessons you learned is very seductive to your reader’s senses.
Example: 10 Lessons I Learned from Reading Twilight
14. Use powerful adjectives and paint a picture with nouns. Jeff Goins believes in using the right words for your headline.
[Number or Trigger word] + [Adjective] + [Keyword] + [Promise]
Example: 10 Terribly Useful Copywriting Techniques to Supercharge your Blog Post
Headline with Social Proof, Recommendation or Backed by Science
15. Recommendations convey trust. That is why headlines using this technique get high open rates.
Example: 10,000 Customers of Starbucks said this ….
16. Social proofing is one thing, scientific proof is another. The “backed by science” headline is compelling for people who are logical. Some people are interested about facts and data more than stories.
Example: How to be Happy: The 5 Greatest Happiness Hacks You’ll Ever Need, Backed By Science
17. For a headline that prominently features social proofing – here is a good formula ad used by John Caples, author of testing advertising methods.
Who else [Action] + [Promise]?
Example: Who else wants to earn six figures using a proven system?
Mini or Zen Headline
18. Our brain immediately pushes that button in us when something intriguing gets our attention. It tells us to click that headline and get into the bottom of that secret. So we click away.
Example: The Secret of [——-]
19. The mini headline is about 4 words or less. This headline formula was popularized by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. Why is it powerful? Because it creates a sense of mystery that makes the reader curious to read more about the headline.
Example: In Praise of Limit
SEO Charged Headline
20. Of course we don’t discount seo when creating headlines. It’s still necessary for search but you can use this formula to give your title some personality.
[Adjective] + [SEO Keyword] + [Promise]
Example: Great Content Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Sales up to 500%
21. This makes a rather long headline but it does the job. Just check out this headline from Kevan Lee.
Example: The Burrito Principle and Beyond: 12 New Marketing Ideas That Are Memorable, Actionable and Useful
Other Headlines that are Worth Trying
22. If you want to use a headline where you intend to inspire your reader to achieve something greater than what they think they are capable of, then you can use this formula:
How to [do whatever] like [example of world class personality] without [something negative]
Example: How to Write Copy Like a Rockstar without any Formal Training
23. Another great headline technique is to use a colon in your headline to create a little bit of spice and avoid monotony in your writing.
Example: Buyer Persona: How to Make Your Customers Tick
24. The SHINE headline is something developed by the Braintrust of KISSmetrics. I’d like to borrow and share this formula with you because of its usefulness.
S – Specificity
H – Helpfulness
I – Immediacy
N – Newsworthiness
E – Entertainment value
Example: How to Write a Blogpost in 5 Minutes or Less Using Twitter as a Research Tool
25. Niche or Industry Specific
Industry specific headlines are great when you have a highly-targeted audience.
What [your industry or niche people] + [Adjective/Adverb] + [Action]
Example: What First Time Marketers Stupidly Sell Online
Headline formulas are good way to start. Remember though that there’s always some room to break the rules. It’s best to think of your target market and use words that trigger an emotional response from them.
Need help triggering response from your target market and becoming No. 1 in your marketplace? Download our FREE BOOK and find out our strategies for getting to number one online.
If you want help formulating a killer headline then leave a comment and we will hand you one on a plate.
How can you capture emails for your business? Is there a top secret tactic to grow an email list?
It is a core requirement of any email marketing campaign to build an email list. An email list is considered a key asset to your business; more so if you have a big list. The more recipients you have, the better your chances of making money.
As a business owner, you want to gather as many emails as you can. Are there easy ways to do it? Yes, there are!
First requirement though is you must have a well-designed capture form. This must be strategically placed on your web site. This means you need a good tool to help you design opt in forms and landing pages.
Different Email Capture Tools That You Need to Check Out
There are so many available tools in the market to capture emails. You may already be using some of them. But for business owners who want to bring their marketing to the next level, these softwares/programs should be part of your marketing tools.
One of the best landing page creators on the market. It offers several benefits to its clients. It provides email templates, integrated capture forms, newsletter builders, and some tools to create affiliate programs. These marketing tools and features can help you capture a decent amount of traffic to your site. It also integrates well with AWeber and MailChimp, which is an essential feature for online marketers.
You can try out the service for free. It allows you to create 1 landing page per site. But if you want to take advantage of all its features and create 5 landing pages on your site, you can upgrade your account to premium for 10 dollars per month.
Unbounce is a substantial landing page creator that offers several user-friendly tools for any type of marketing campaign. You can try out the 30-day trial and use the various marketing tools provided by this service. Most importantly, you don’t need any coding skills to create the pages; you can easily drag-and-drop the elements until you have created your preferred landing page.
Optimizely is an optimisation platform solution that provides A/B testing for websites and mobile apps. It has been used by various companies on the web to test the effectiveness of their landing pages. If you want to improve the performance of your website, especially its email capturing capabilities, then this is the tool you need.
This is a popular email marketing automation platform used by freelancers, small to mid-size businesses, non-profit organisations, and public administration. You can send various types of newsletters or setup automated email campaign sequences. It’s even possible to create sales processes including managing your contacts.
If you want to test out this platform, you can create a free account that allows you of up to 2,500 contacts. But you can upgrade your subscription starting at $9/month. That will lift several limitations. It also integrates well with various email marketing tools and softwares like MailChimp, AWeber, LeadPages, etc.
MailerLite is a simple email marketing tool for small businesses. It is affordable and mobile-friendly. You can easily design attractive email newsletters using its drag and drop editor. It can also track email statistics, so you will know the open and click-through rates of a particular email.
You can test its features by creating a free account that is limited to 1,000 subscribers. However, you can upgrade your account to a paying one and you can send unlimited emails from 5,000 up to 50,000 subscribers per month.
It is a popular email marketing tool that is commonly used by small businesses. You can create several email marketing campaigns through its integrated dashboard. You can also run a Facebook promotion, send email newsletters, and sync data-gathering tools like Google Analytics and Salesforce in your campaign.
You can test drive this tool for 60 days, but you can upgrade your account anytime starting at $15 a month.
Once you have the tools, it would be a lot easier to capture emails of casual visitors and convert them into returning one.
Once you have any of these tools, it’s time to capture your target audience.
Strategies to Capture Emails the Easy Way
We have listed 20 strategies that will help you capture emails of your site visitors. Some combine these strategies to become more effective.
Tempt Your Visitors with a Freebie
A freebie can be an ebook, white paper or anything that you are willing to give away to your prospects. Make sure that your freebie has the capability to encourage prospects to give away their emails.
Offer a Discount Coupon
Another good tactic is to offer a discount coupon that your visitors can take advantage of. Require them to sign-up to your opt-in form before they get the code. Lazada is a good example. It is an online shopping portal that offers huge discounts in exchange for their consumers’ emails.
Ask Visitors to Subscribe to your Blog Post
If you have written an epic blog post about a certain topic that you think is valuable, you can ask visitors to subscribe to that particular post. Offer them the opportunity to download the post in PDF form, or automatically send the file to their emails once they subscribe to your opt-in form.
Offer a Free Membership to your Site
You can sweeten the deal by offering a free membership to your site. Your site should have an exclusive page, additional benefits or functionality that can only be accessed by members. The only requirement to access the members’ page is for them to give away their emails.
Hold a Raffle or Sweepstakes in your Site
Another enticing way of encouraging visitors to give their contact information is through a raffle or contest. You can give away a special item or one of your premium products. Set a timeframe for the contest, and make sure that it is within a five-week period. This method is commonly used by ecommerce sites.
Offer a Free Consultation
If you want to engage your prospects as well as gather their emails, then you can offer a free consultation. All they need to do is to fill out a web form in your website, you can then answer their questions via email.
Let your Visitors Fill Out a Short Survey
If you want this method to be successful, you need a short survey that your visitors can answer within 2 minutes. Reward them with a free gift after they complete the form. Of course, one of the requirements for the gift is their email addresses.
Let your Site Visitors Submit a Free Classified Ad
Allow your visitors to submit a free classified ad, but require them their valid emails. This is a great strategy for acquiring targeted leads. If you are aiming for business owners, then this is the strategy that you need.
Conduct an Interactive Poll on your site
Holding a poll about a certain topic, or asking your visitors for their feedback on your product or service can also be a valid tactic for gathering emails. However, it is essential that you ask your visitors to email their opinion or vote.
Offer a Free Trial Period for your Services
If your business is service-oriented like an online marketing company or you own a car repair shop, it is possible to offer a free trial for any of the services you provide. To avail of these services, your visitors are required to input their emails in your opt-in form.
Refer a Friend Program
This method is commonly used by online marketers because it is an effective tactic. The main goal is to acquire as many emails as possible in just a short period of time. Although you need to give an exceptional reward or incentive for each email generated by your visitors or existing customer.
Invite your Visitors to Take a Test
Think of your prospects and the most popular questions they may have in their mind. Help them find the answer to their question through a test or quiz. If you want to target business owners who want to grow their email list, then you can create a quiz with a title like this: “How do I grow my email list the easy way?” They will need to enter their email address before they can take the test.
Offer your Visitors a Chance to get a Website Award
Many site owners are looking for a way to promote their site, and getting a web site award can be a big boost to their popularity. Fuel their need to be known on the web and acquire their emails in the process.
Put a Guest Book on your Site and Ask Your Visitors to Sign It
Ask your visitors to sign your guest book and offer a unique freebie as a reward for their time. Keep in mind that you need to offer a reward or else it won’t be that effective.
Utilise Pop-Up Boxes to Various Pages on your Site
Pop-up boxes are annoying to visitors, but they work and they can be an effective tool to capture emails. You should also set how often they appear on your site. Make sure the messages rotate within a certain timeframe.
Offer an Affiliate Program for your Visitors
Affiliate programs are suitable for ecommerce sites, since they usually sell various types of products. We all know the drill when it comes to affiliate programs, visitors are required to sign-up to get the commissions and marketing materials that they need for their site.
Ask for Emails During the Shopping Cart Process
For most business owners, asking emails from guests during the checkout process can be too aggressive, but you can sweeten deal by offering an additional discount. Always keep in mind that you need to give your customers the option to sign up to your opt-in form, wherever they are on your site.
Host a Forum or Message Board on your Site
Building a strong relationship with your prospects as well as your existing customers is a must. If you want to hit two birds with one stone, then you can host an online forum on your site. Your visitors will be required to register an account to access the message board. This is also a good opportunity to acquire their emails. Online forums can be a platform for engaging people to your brand.
Hold a Webcast on your Site
Holding a webcast about an exciting topic can entice visitors to participate in the program. It is also a good way of promoting your brand. You must require your visitors though to give their emails before they can attend your webcast.
Leverage Social Media to Build your Email List
You can use various social media sites in building your email list. The most effective tactic is to promote links that redirects to your email sign-up forms. Post several call to action to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn account. Try offering a discount or reward to encourage people to sign up to your opt-in form.
Sky’s the Limit
There are many ways of capturing emails and building your business’ email database. The one I have included in this article are the most popular methods used by email marketers on the web. The key to a successful list-building campaign is to use as many methods as possible. You should not limit yourself from the examples I have mentioned above. Try researching for more ways of gathering emails from your prospects. You will eventually gather the leads that will convert into paying customers.
Want to know how we are helping businesses and delivering ROI at Growth HQ. Download our FREE Book and you will see the whole process.
If you’re not building an email list you’re making a BIG mistake.
There’s one fundamental truth about email in business: if you have someone’s email address you can send what you like, when you like.
If you’re building your business on social media you’re building it on rented land. You don’t own the audience and are at the mercy of Facebook or Twitter allowing you to talk to your customers.
Email is the most scalable way to make sales with new customers and build deeper relationships with better customers.
If you give your subscribers value they will give value back.
That said, how can you capture leads and populate your email list? What strategies can nudge your audience to sign up? It is easier than you think but it requires good execution and the discipline to follow through.
It is not about the technology or the apps you use. Gaining subscribers is all about your quick and easy solution to a nagging problem.
Internet based marketers and software companies are a great source of inspiration and tactics to build your email list. Let’s look at some examples:
Example Number 1 – Smart Passive Income
When it comes to capturing leads, Pat Flynn is one of the experts. In 2008, he bought an Aweber account and grew his list from 0 to 10,000 emails in 13.5 months.
Pat created a free ebook on his site. It’s called “Ebooks the smart way” where he teaches newbies how to self-publish an awesome ebook.
He published the book as a special give-away and focused on quality even though it’s free. It’s a book full of truly useful information.
From the beginning, Pat did not create the list to hard sell his products. He created the list primarily to strengthen communication and relationships with his subscribers/readers.
I was one of his subscribers and I never felt he was selling anything to me. Why?
Because Pat Flynn is a master of copywriting.
He knows why you subscribed. You are curious about ebook creation and passive income. He over-serves you with useful information. Then, boom, you are clicking on his links whether it is an affiliate link or not.
His website has a couple of subscribe buttons on the front page. That is it. He uses landing pages via Leadpages. He also uses Viperchills’s OptinSkin to easily embed opt-in forms in his web pages.
Now, he has over 100,000 people in his community.
Example Number 2 – Zen Habits
This next example is a success story for every minimalist living in this digital era. Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits is an awesome website about living with less.
Leo is very strict about affiliate marketing. In short, he doesn’t like it much. His only subscribe link can be found on his navigation menu. In fact, it is just a simple Feedburner link. Its primary function is to push new blog posts to his subscribers.
He will not sell anything to his subscribers. Nevertheless, his email list is still valuable because he can share valuable information to people.
The people in his list will always get his blog posts via email. The newsletter drives traffic to his website. This traffic is important because this is where subscribers will get re-acquainted to Leo’s Sea Change course about minimalism.
This is how he makes his money, by selling his course. Without his list, people will probably forget to bookmark his site and he will be left shouting into a void of nothingness.
See, he is not pushing anyone to subscribe. Nor is he pitching his product in the newsletter. However, Leo has about a million subscribers.
He wants you to change bad habits. He wants you to be healthier. He wants you to be more productive. He wants you to be happy about your life.
This is the power of value and genuinely caring about your audience.
The Sleazy Side of Lead Capture?
Let me preface with a caveat. What is sleazy for some may not be sleazy for others. It really depends on your own personal ethics and principles. Part of marketing is understanding and playing into the psyche of your readers.
Now that you have read two shining examples, allow me to get into the other side of lead capture. This will sound, oh so, familiar to you.
Have you been to a landing page and suddenly or before you leave a pop-up comes filling up your whole monitor? You apparently have two choices:
Yes – Subscribe now to get billions of targeted traffic to your site.
Not now – I don’t want traffic and increased conversion.
This kind of tactic is the new normal. In my opinion, it is invasive and disrespects the reader. It is a promise that plays on our psychological weaknesses. Of course, who does not want billions (or even just thousands) of targeted traffic and increased profits?
This tactic converts so well that more and more honest marketers are using this with reckless abandon.
How to Capture Leads the Practical Way
You will find lots of information about capturing email addresses on the internet, telling you to do this and that. Is there a hard and fast rule to getting more emails and leads? There are none. However, you might get some ideas from these tactics that are time-tested and practical to implement.
Placement of Forms
Your form’s immediate visibility is important. One practice that you will notice on most websites is placing the form “above the fold”. This is the part of the web page where a reader does not have to scroll down.
Based on a study by Jakob Nielsen, “web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.”
Work turns people off. If you want to get more subscribers then you need to make subscribing easy and less like work.
Fewer fields leads to more subscribers. In this contact form study, an 11-field form was replaced by a four field form. The result? 160% increase in form submissions and 120% conversion.
For your form just ask the subscriber for their email address. Remove everything optional if you can get away with it.
The screenshot above is from Fizzle.co co-founder, Corbett Barr’s personal blog. Look at this example and see how the copy (call-to-action) and the single field gently nudges you to type in your email address.
Call to Action
Similar to the example screenshot above, you need a call-to-action in order to persuade people to subscribe. Your copy should be short but compelling. This is the reason why the best copywriters are paid so much.
However, you do not need to hire the ultimate copywriter. You just need to keep your sentences short and straight to the point.
Know your audience and distill their pain points into a few words, then present the perfect solution in fewer words. This creates motivation and that is the goal of your copy. Here’s a great article on how to create micro-copy.
There is psychology in colours. It is essentially a branch of psychology that studies the behaviour of humans in relation to colour.
According to this Kissmetrics article, the best converting colours to use for your Call to action are: red, green, orange, yellow. Just avoid too much yellow because a lot of it can cause screen nausea!
You can also use orange for your buttons because this colour creates a sense of urgency, impulse and confidence.
In the example above, the copy is clear and short. In addition, they are practically giving away the course (more on that below). Plus, they are using orange as a background and a calming green colour for the button. The button stands out because of the background.
Giveaway as Lead Magnets
Now that you have written compelling copy and you have your colours right, why not make your sign up form irresistible by giving away stuff. This step is optional but according to rewardlevel.com, conversion rate will increase.
Check out this Form from Quicksprout:
There is not much to say about giveaways aside from the fact that people love free stuff. Whether it’s a $5 voucher or a free discount code, you cannot go wrong with it.
Why do you need Lead Magnets?
Unless you are a well-known personality, people will not follow you or subscribe to your blog just because you said so. Your opt-in forms are useless without something to entice them.
Your opt-ins are only effective if you have lead magnets!
Lead magnets are ethical “bribes” so that visitors to your site will give you their names, numbers or email addresses. It sounds cool, right? More than that, a lead magnet can double or even triple your opt-in rate.
What kind of lead magnets can fire up your subscription?
We all know the term “different strokes for different folks,” this applies to everyone who goes to your site. It is good to make different variations so you can segment, at the same time, answer the different needs of your market.
I have gathered a list of different lead magnets that you can choose from. You can play with variations and add them to your opt-in forms. You can also place them on your landing pages or blog and seamlessly interweave them with your articles.
How To ebooks in PDF
This is the most common, yet one of the most effective lead magnets around.
Time is of the essence for many people. For anyone who is trying to catch-up with the fast-paced web environment, “How-to” ebooks can save you a lot of time. A person can simply follow a step-by-step guide and learn from the experience of another.
Of course, your audience might try a different method eventually, but everyone has to start somewhere. A how to guide is a good one to start with.
If you are new to blogging or using a blog to increase your traffic, you would definitely sign up. Aside from its kick ass copy, with just 8-key steps to master blogging, it only requires your name and email.
Now there are different types like checklists, mindmaps, Q&As/fill-in-the blanks. The content, most of the time, is an actual process or practices by companies giving them out.
I love cheat sheets for the sheer simplicity of the process. They cut to the chase. They are very specific.
Your prospects would love them too. They give you a simplified process to follow and save you a lot of time.
Just check out this content mapping template from CMI.
Of course the rise of video marketing is not surprising. YouTube alone receives millions of searches everyday.
Different forecasts including that of Cisco claim that there will be a rapid rise of video viewership until 2018. We have all seen videos go viral. More astounding is that there are videos that get millions not just thousands of shares.
According to a study by Content Marketing Institute, webinars or webcasts are one of the top marketing tactics that are very effective. This is across the board from lead generation to closing some sales.
Experts are sought after especially online. Everyday many emerging entrepreneurs are looking for someone to guide them. If you are an expert on your industry, then this is a good lead magnet to get a targeted audience.
Infographics are good lead magnets, a powerful one is something that your readers want to download and paste on their walls.
More than that it is a good marketing material to remind your audience how valuable your service is.
Embed Code to Infographic:
<b>++ Click Image to Enlarge ++</b><br /><a href=”http://blog.kissmetrics.com/art-of-color-coordination/”><img src=”http://blog.kissmetrics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/color-coordination-sm.jpg” alt=”The Art of Color Coordination”></a><br />Source: <a href=”http://blog.kissmetrics.com/art-of-color-coordination/”>The Art of Color Coordination</a>
I have seen a lot of opt-in forms giving away tools or resources that a prospect can use. One of them is the one below.
This is a great lead magnet especially for online retail shops. People love discounts, coupons and freebies.
Trust is something that you will not easily get online. The tendency of prospects is to check reviews or try things first for free before paying for services or products.
That is why many businesses are now offering free trials especially when it comes to services or tools.
Exclusive Invites to Join a Community or Forum
This is a site that offers a free SEO course. It has its own community where students can interact with other students and share their ideas.
In this scenario, there is high probability that anyone who signs will continue as paid members.
The Final Step
Whatever tactics and strategies you want to implement, it is always best to look at examples and A/B test your opt-in forms and landing pages. This includes the lead magnets that you plan to use so you know what converts the most for your of audience. The biggest websites do split testing, why not you?
Remember Pearson’s Law: “That which is measured, improves.”
The only way you can create relevant metrics is to test changes and make improvements as you go.
As always, you also need to provide value, as this alone can really push your business beyond the limits.
If you want some ideas on how to grow your email list post your site in the comments and I will give you specific recommendations for your business.
Now you are growing your email list you can get prospects to open more of your emails. Get the bonus guide:
10 Powerful Email Subject Lines: Your Guide to a Higher Email Open-Rate
“Just Google It” is a phrase that has entered our everyday conversation.
We search Google 3.5 billion times per day.
Over 2/3 of buyers user search when making a purchase decision. Often at the beginning of the process.
If you’re not there you WILL be losing out on business.
Having a website is the first step. Next is increasing your online visibility. Doing this requires SEO.
In fact, you need to understand the principles of SEO even if you are hiring an online marketing company to do this task for you.
The good news?
In little ole’ NZ it’s relatively easy to get your site ranking well on Google. Unless your in a highly competition category then following some basic steps can improve your rankings dramatically.
Higher rankings = better visibility = more enquiries
How does it work? How can SEO raise your online presence and give you an edge over your competitors?
These are common questions that come to mind when you hear the word SEO. There are tons of resources about it on the Internet. It is literally an endless rabbit hole you can fall into.
The web is full of clutter and you need to distinguish fact from fiction. In addition, you want a simplified guide about SEO so you can easily learn some tactics to use on your website.
What is the significance of SEO to your business?
Search Engine Optimisation is a tactic you can use to increasing your business website’s ranking. You can have the opportunity to rank on Google search’ first page if you know how to use this well.
Remember that you are up against a sea of websites. Your awesome content will remain invisible (no matter how valuable they are) if you do not employ the basics of SEO. You are practically non-existent if you are not on top of serps (search engine page results).
Though you need to understand, conducting an SEO campaign is not that simple. The web being in constant flux, Google has evolved since then. Its algorithm favours quality content over the spammy noise.
The name of the game today is earning Google’s “trust”. Proving yourself over time is the key. Though some can break the code, gone are the days when you can rank for a particular search term in just a matter of weeks. It is nearly next to impossible to manipulate the serps.
The Rise of the Three Algorithms
The Google Panda, Penguin and Pigeon are algorithms or formulas used by the search results for ranking sites. These algorithms will impose sanctions and penalise sites that fail to follow their guidelines.
The most common requirement these days is to have high quality and unique content on your site. We don’t discount the fact that having a website with exceptional user experience is always a factor in Google search rankings.
If you do not want to fall into Google’s bad graces, stay up-to-date with the latest guidelines. Usually, the updates are reported by the entire SEO community and discussed in several online forums.
Creating high quality content starts with good keyword research. This task will help you pinpoint the most ideal keyword/s for your content writing and optimisation efforts.
Note that the shorter the keyword/s, the harder it will be for you to rank it on serps. More so if your site is still new. It is advisable to target long-tail keywords as they are less competitive and far easier to rank.
How to find the right Long-Tail Keywords
You can find an ideal long-tail keyword through Google’s autosuggest feature. To use this, do the following:
Navigate to a search page for your country and type a keyword.
As you type the keyword, you will notice a drop-down box with some suggestions. Once you see the keyword suggestions, jot down all the keywords that you think is relevant to your content.
Choose at least 3 to 5 of the most suitable keywords you find in the autosuggest and head over to Google keyword planner. You can easily find this keyword tool by going to this link: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. It is advisable to create a Gmail account, so you can readily access the keyword planner without having to enter the Captcha code every time you use this tool. The keyword planner will provide you the following data:
Level of advertiser competition on your selected keywords
Amount of searches each keyword gets per month
Additional long-term keywords
An attractive primary keyword must have considerable average monthly searches. This is the average number of times people search for an exact match keyword based on their current location.
In Adwords tool, there is a column called competition. Each keyword is categorised as low, medium or high competition. Ignore that column because that is for advertisers and not search competition .
If you find Google’s Keyword Planner vexing, there are free keyword research tools out there. Try out Ubersuggest, SpyFu, SemRush, or all of them.
When you have completed your analysis, choose a primary keyword that you will use on your content. However, make sure that you have spent some time in analysing the keyword. It should be a keyword that you can compete for on the SERPs.
Creating and optimising your content
When you are creating content for your website, you must ensure that you meet the baseline specifications for a good optimised content. These specifications are as follows:
It must have one primary keyword and one or two secondary keywords
If it is an article or blog post, it should contain 500 words but a 1000-word article is recommended
It must be unique, well-researched and provide value to your readers
Another thing to consider is the on-page optimisation of the post within your site. Make sure that the primary keyword is in:
The page at least once
The title of the content
The URL of the page
The meta description
The alt title of image that you will use in the content
Now, what about the keyword density (KD)? Is it still relevant in 2015?
A 100-word article with a 6% keyword density will look spammy. For a 1000-word article, it is the ideal density for good rankings. The most important thing is that, it should be used in the most natural way as possible.
If you are using the WordPress platform, you can install an SEO plugin to make your job easier. You can use Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. It is free and contains several features that can aid your on-page optimisation efforts.
Quality Link Building
Moving your rankings up on search results require quality links. A word of caution, it is harder to rank highly for a particular keyword if you are competing against sites that have more quality links than yours.
Why is this? Links are the currency of the web. Every time your content gets linked to, it means that you provide massive value to Internet users. It is why links are such a strong factor in Google’s algorithm.
How to acquire quality links?
The general rule when it comes to link building is to avoid “spam tactics.”
Here are a few dos and don’ts to follow.
Do try to acquire links naturally, even if it takes time.
Do build your links consistently and organically, which means you should schedule your link building efforts and follow it by heart.
Do not use link farms or link directories in your campaign.
Do not use any automated tools that lets you build thousands of links in just a short period of time.
Do not be tempted to buy links or you will be flagged by Google. All your efforts will be for nothing if you get too impatient.
Where to get the link naturally?
To get quality links for your site, you can follow these link building strategies:
What about Google Penguin 3.0 which is geared to penalised manipulative link building or link schemes? Guest posting is considered by Google as a link scheme. Matt Cutts openly declared it as dead.
Can you still consider it in your campaign?
Yes you can, if you use no follow links.
It is still the best way to acquire referral traffic from popular and relevant websites. Try to focus on creating quality content since you are reaching out to other website owners. Having quality content increases your chances of getting into high-authority and credible site.
This is another effective method of building powerful links on a large scale. Is it as simple as producing valuable content? No, but you hit the right spot if you understand what people want.
To start off though, it must be free and shareable. It must be so valuable that people would be willing to share it.
There are different types of link bait and this can include the following:
How to guides
Article submission is one of the most popular ways of building back links then. This is still useful as most article directories are authority sites. You can focus on creating multiple quality and unique articles and spread them out to different directories for best result.
Broken Link Building
This is a new but powerful effective link building strategy. With this strategy, you can reach out to quality sites and use it as an opportunity to ask the site administrator to fix those broken links with a link to your site.
Video Link Building
YouTube is surpassing Google search in terms of monthly searches. If you want to capture visitors from YouTube, create a compelling video with a link on the description that points back to your site. Make sure that the video and your description are related. Also, it does not need to be a long; a 3 to 10-minute video will do with useful information about your topic.
Tools to Assess Your SEO Campaigns
To get the result of your current campaign, you can utilise free online tools like Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. Once you created a Gmail account, you can use it to access these tools.
We have made a step-by-step guide for you. Showing you how to setup Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. These are essential in tracking your goals and showing progress in your SEO efforts.
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You’ve got a website and it looks great so you’re ahead of 50% of NZ businesses who don’t have one.
….the incoming traffic isn’t what you expected and there’s bugger all conversions and sales. i.e. it ain’t making you $$.
There are well over a billion people using Google Search and yet you are invisible to just about everyone.
This makes you want to bang your head against the wall, right?
What you forget is that a website is just the tip of the iceberg. As the saying goes “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”.
Your website cannot do what you expect of it if you don’t have a plan and the right tools to get found. You can’t break the ice with just a website. You have to communicate with your prospects, give them something of value and build trust with them.
These things take time but they’re worth it. One day you will have a site that generates leads and sales automatically.
Creating Content for Search Rankings
Search engines are tools that you can use so that prospects find your website. You have to befriend Google and feed it with valuable content. By doing this you are feeding your prospects too.
When creating content for search rankings, keep in mind that your content should:
Be accurate and provide valuable information to your readers
Be relevant to your products or services
Include optimised keywords that you readers are using
Be in line with Google’s search algorithm
You need high quality content to build authority for your website and eventually sell your products or services. There is no point in producing content that doesn’t have a purpose.
That is why you need to establish your buyer persona. Get to know your audience and take the necessary steps to determine your target market. This is your key to success.
Conduct Market Research
Doing market research can be daunting. You can simplify the process by creating and using a buyer persona profile.
What exactly is a buyer persona? It is a profile of your ideal customer; the one that you need to influence with your content.
Market research will provide you with the necessary data about your buyer persona. It will decode your audience’s most urgent needs. It will enable you to focus your content on the people who are interested in your business.
The core of your research must answer the following questions:
What are their problems that need solving?
What factors are they focusing on when they make a buying decision?
What are the remedies they are looking for to fix their problems?
Planning your Content
Time to get into the meat of this. You want to know my secrets don’t you?
Before you start writing do these four steps:
Know the purpose of your content
First you need to understand why you are creating the content in the first place. What do you want to achieve? What particular group of people are you trying to reach? What are the topics that you need to highlight in your content? These are the questions you need to answer before you begin creating anything.
Determine your target audience
You must get to know the people you are targeting. Once you understand your target audience you can move onto the next step. Before you move on read my article on creating buyer personas. If you don’t have a buyer persona already take the time to create one.
Now it’s time to organise all your personal opinions, ideas, thoughts and the information you have gathered.
Get information from credible resources
When you post content on your website, it needs to be accurate and reliable. You don’t want to create the wrong impression since one of your goals is to build authority within your market. When collecting information make sure your sources are kosher and keep track of the websites you use.
Highlight your brand
Your brand should stand out in all your content, so you need to be consistent. You do not want to confuse your audience by shifting to various topics that are not relevant to your business. Make sure you only tackle topics that are closely related to what you offer in your business.
Types of Content for your Website
There are different types of content for your website. It all depends on the goal you want to achieve. You may want to write content that can:
You may think that the most important thing is to persuade your prospects and convert them into paying customers – think again! You should produce content that entertains or educates or both.
Entertaining content helps you reach your target market more effectively. This sort of content is emotional and very shareable.
But you need to give your readers some substance – you want content that educates your readers and opens their mind on how they can benefit from your brand.
Are you familiar with brand storytelling? Big names like Apple, Coca-cola and Lego are using this. Did you take your kids to see the Lego movie? It really is awesome because it is a great big piece of brand storytelling.
Brand storytelling ties emotional content that has the capability to draw in your prospects closer to your brand. Great storytelling has the power to convert the usual site visitor into an avid and supportive customer. All you need to do is to tap into their emotions and give them a reason to follow and share the content on your website.
A good example of brand storytelling is Coca-Cola and its popular 20-20 project. This emotionally connected content can be found on YouTube. Coca-Cola boldly used content marketing as a major driver of growth for their company. Consumer-generated stories are featured in their 20-20 project. Its impact is huge if we count their ads that have gone viral.
The Importance of Headlines
Do you click on articles with boring headlines? Or do you click on headlines that interest you and offer you something? Headlines are crucial and they will make or break your content.
Create clickable headlines by:
Putting special emphasis on the first three words
Make sure it’s within the 65-character mark or less for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes
Making it concise and direct to the point – your audience must immediately understand what your content is
The anatomy of a good headline starts with a good, short and catchy phrase. It must be easy to read and generate enough curiosity that the reader will be compelled to click on the article. Here are some good examples of strong headlines:
Home Saving Hacks for Busy Mothers
The Shocking Truth About Information Overload
13 Surprising Reasons Why Your Business Fails
How to Generate Leads without Burning Your Pocket
Make the Necessary Revisions
Get in the habit of revising your content until you find it worthy of your website. Keep in mind that you must post high quality and valuable content. You have to refine your content before you hit the publish button.
When revising any content, you need to check the following:
Check your grammar – you can use Grammarly or any other free online tool to check for grammar or spelling errors in your content.
Examine the structure of your content – always remember coherent content will lead the reader through a clear line of thinking.
Review all the parts – starting with your headline, then the introduction, body and ending. Each part must have a purpose and relevancy to your topic.
Assess the overall value of your content – before you publish the content put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and ask yourself this: “What value will I get from reading this?”
If you have now created an epic piece of content it’s time to publish it on your website.
Download my Content Creation Checklist and follow my easy but extremely effective guide.
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Download this checklist to use when creating your content:
You invested money, time and effort into creating what you thought was an irresistible offer. You mapped out a well-planned promotion. You started marketing it but the response was flat.
Well, you thought, I could reinvent and create a new strategy – so out went another investment of money, time and effort. Still, not many more bites. There are people who are interested and asking about your product. But, no one’s buying. You start asking yourself: where did I go wrong?
I am going to ask you a question.
Did you ever run your offer past your imaginary friends?
No, I am not crazy but I do talk to my imaginary friends. Well actually, they are my imaginary buyers and their names are Steve and Catherine.
What I am talking about are Growth HQ’s buyer personas.
Meet one of Growth HQ’s buyer personas – Steve
When marketing efforts fail to make a splash, it means that you have not checked in with your buyer persona. One fundamental concept that you must keep in mind, when developing new products and processes is an in-depth understanding of your buyer persona.
What is a Buyer Persona?
What do you say when asked who your ideal customer is? You may answer: a mother or a CEO of a multi-million dollar company or a teenager who is still getting an allowance from his parents. These descriptions are part of what makes up a persona but they are not enough. Buyer personas are so much more dynamic than this. They have to become real to you.
There are different perspectives about what a buyer persona is. It is an ever-evolving concept. There should be a continual shift and transformation in regards to your ideal customer, as your business progresses. You may have created a buyer persona at the initial stage of developing your company, but she or he will constantly change and
you need to be aware of that.
A buyer persona highlights the roles and responsibilities of your target audience. You need to now what these are so that you can communicate effectively and know what content will reach out and capture their interest.
Tony Zambito, an authority for buyer personas in B2B marketing, defines buyer personas as research-based archetypal (modelled) representations of who your buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behaviour, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions including where and when they
Adele Revella, a marketing expert and foremost evangelist of buyer personas, recommends looking at buyer persona in two perspectives. The first perspective is the “Core Buyer Persona”. This seeks to understand the buyer in his own environment – without reference to whatever you might want to sell him. It tells you whether the buyer is looking for solution like yours, or is busy with other priorities. The second perspective is the “Product Persona Connection”. It reveals attitudes about your product and company.
As you can see from these different perspectives, a buyer persona is more than just a demographic or profiling of a customer. A buyer persona is a vision of your ideal customer based on intensive qualitative research.
In order to identify your buyer persona you have to do in-depth research of your customers. You then answer the ‘whys’ because ultimately, this will point you to how they arrived at the decision making point for the first initial sale and why they came back for more.
How Important is a Buyer Persona for NZ Businesses?
Buyer personas play a central role in business sustainability and growth. We all know that customers are the lifeblood of our business.
In creating a buyer persona, you will form a strong insight into your buyers. This will provide a substantial difference when planning for effective marketing campaigns. You can then adapt strategies to suit seasons, purchase decisions and buying behaviours.
Your buyer persona will help you tremendously when aligning your content to the interests of your market. Effective content increases social shares, which amplifies your reach to new and potential markets.
Understanding your buyer persona addresses gaps in the decision making process. It allows you to understand the issues and concerns that can stop your buyers from going through with the transaction. It allows you to create a solution for these issues and concerns.
The Four Essential Questions
Who are your buyers?
What are their goals?
What are their problems or challenges?
Where do they source information?
Who are your buyers?
The buyer persona concept is a model based on actual customers. But it may not be who you initially think it is. It may be one type of person who is looking for a particular solution to a certain need, or several people with different needs.
What are their goals?
Depending on whether your business is B2C or B2B, there are varying goals. B2C persona goals are based on personal initiative. B2B are based on common ground arrived at by several decision-making bodies.
What are their problems or challenges?
There are many problems or challenges that buyers have to hurdle over before they arrive at a definite decision. We don’t exactly know how buyers think, we can only assume what these problems or challenges are and identify them by observing.
Where do they source information?
Buyers use multiple channels to source information and new ones are sprouting up all the time. Knowing where your buyers get information from is important, so that you know where to market your products or services. You will also gain an understanding of how they consume information and how to effectively engage them.
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