Key Customer Metrics You Need to be Tracking (Infographic)

In order for a business to generate a long-term, sustainable profit, new customers need to be driven to your site, existing customers need to be satisfied and ideally, existing customers should become repeat customers. For this to happen, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of how your customers behave in relation to your brand- luckily, the tools to get these insights are more readily available than ever before.

With key customer metrics such as churn rate and average revenue per user at your disposal, you can determine which parts of your business strategy are effective and which parts need a fine tune! Taking a data-led approach to analyzing the behavior of your customers will allow you see why they chose you over a competitor, how they respond to your marketing and in precise detail, how they interact with your brand online.

For more information on which customer metrics you should be looking at, check out our infographic below:

customer-metrics-final-infographic

 

About the Author: Ciaran Daly is the Copywriter for Mammoth Infographics.

India Unveils the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant

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Kamuthi in Tamil Nadu, India is now home to the world’s largest solar plant that adds 648 MW to the country’s generating capacity.

Previously, the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which was completed two years ago and has a capacity of 550 MW, held the title. Aljazeera reports:

5 Ways Your E-Commerce Business Can Recover From A Growth Setback

Facing growth setbacks is part of the risk of doing business.

While most companies may only highlight their successes to the public, it’s important to understand that every business has its own group of challenges. The key is to recognize the issues and take the necessary actions to move forward.

“You may be facing your share of woes from financial problems to employee shortages to increased competition. Just because those setbacks are occurring and you are struggling to survive, doesn’t mean you can’t turn your circumstance around,” says Inc. contributor Carolyn Brown.

Let’s explore how your team can bounce back from a growth setback.

1. Reassess Your Business Strategy

When major issues arise, reevaluating your strategy is essential to realizing what happened. Moreover, your team can pinpoint the mistakes that stunted your ecommerce business growth.

So, where do you start? Begin with the problem.

Learn why the setback occurred, when it began, where it originated, and how it flourished into a setback. Dive deep into your analytics to assess your sales and reveal any gaps in your system.

Senior management recognizes that failure isn’t caused by a singular event. Instead, it’s usually a series of activities that slowly lead up to a business disaster. So, examine your current procedures to set up safeguards.

“The way we win business has changed radically, largely thanks to the internet and social media. Companies that are not up to speed digitally won’t exist for much longer, so make sure the business is using all the technological tools it can to build momentum,” states Andrew Morris, CEO of the Academy for Chief Executives.

Nike reworked its international expansion strategy. Rather than spending an exorbitant amount of money on sponsorships to gain a global audience, the athletic apparel company initiated the NikeID co-creation platform. Allowing customers to design their own products helped the business deliver unique products that align with different cultural preferences and styles.

nike-id-inspiration

Upgrade your business strategy. Keep what works well and toss the rest to the side.

2. Deliver Customer Value

Research shows that “for every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent.” In a market full of competitors, it’s easy for consumers to try another brand.

To deliver remarkable customer value, start by analyzing your consumers’ purchasing habits. Learn what they like and how specific brand interactions make them feel.

For example, if you know consumers prefer assistance via live chat rather than by phone, your team should take steps to be available online.

Collect this data by instructing your sales representatives to jot down notes during customer conversations. Or simply ask consumers to complete a short suggestion form.

Think of customer value as a cycle. You must discover the opportunities, create the offering, deliver the value, and communicate it to your audience. Then, the process starts over again after receiving the customer feedback.

customer-value-delivery-cycleImage Source

Peepers, an eyewear company, offer shoppers more value by customizing the checkout experience. With personalized messages, customers trusted the brand and believed their credit card information were safe. As a result, Peepers received a 25-30% increase in its organic traffic conversion rate and 15%-20% increase in its average order value.

Offer unprecedented value that your consumers can’t receive anywhere else. They’ll be happy and your ecommerce company will reap the revenues.

3. Differentiate Your Product

Sometimes, your team must do things differently. And it might just include changing the product.

In today’s economy, consumers possess a wide variety of choices. They don’t have to settle for products that fail to solve their problems or fall short of satisfying their needs.

Product differentiation is a marketing technique to make your product more attractive than the alternatives in the marketplace. This difference could include customer value, design, price, or even quality.

“Don’t focus on features alone, then. Instead, emphasize the benefits of those features. Your advantage lies in how your product or service ties into the emotional needs of your target audience. People make decisions on the basis of either logical reasoning or emotional impulses,” writes Entrepreneur contributor Ray Beharry.

Conduct market research to learn if you should modify your product or change the way you sell your product. To find pertinent data, host a focus group or invest in heatmap tools to monitor website interactions.

Oscar Health Insurance offers customers transparency and only focuses on a small, niche network in four U.S. states. The brand separates itself from the competition by presenting health plans in common language without the jargon.

health-plan-simple-oscar

It may be time for a product change. Find out how to fulfill your customers’ desires through differentiation.

4. Hire Employees With Diverse Skill Sets

During tough times, employees are the best assets for your business. And as your company begins to change directions, you will need people invested in your brand values.

In a recovery transition, recruit talented workers with skills that complement your current workforce. Experts claim that future work environments will need people who know how to work with data, understand virtual reality, and can apply the Internet of Things to industries.

Beyond technical skills, interpersonal character traits matter, too. Focus on hiring individuals who know how to develop connections, work on multiple cultural teams, and make creative decisions. Personal finance writer Erika Rawes agrees:

“Your ability to engage in conversation, get to know someone personally, and develop meaningful relationships will provide a competitive edge over the future.”

In addition, retrain your current employees by informing them about new business strategies and expectations. It’s a chance re-engage employees and to develop people professionally.

disengaged-employees-statImage Source

Revitalize your workforce during growth challenges. Let your business experience new talent with different possibilities.

5. Continue to Seek Growth Opportunities

Whether your company is undergoing a setback or not, your team should always continue to seek ways to expand. A proactive plan prepares your brand to handle challenges better.

Opportunity is a subjective term. What’s great for one business may be a disaster for another.

Therefore, before making any hasty decisions, work with your team to know what your business needs to recover. Do you need more qualified traffic to your website? Or more skilled sales reps to close deals?

And refrain from relying only on your own experience. Your company may benefit from building ongoing partnerships with other brands.

“Don’t limit yourself by your own knowledge base and expertise when your back is against a wall. Find partners who can help you implement the new strategy that makes the most sense, not the one that’s easiest to execute,” writes Fast Company contributor Carson Tate.

Below is a brand partnership example from Adidas and Spotify. The companies teamed up to offer their consumers a new product called Adidas Go. The app lets customers who exercise with their iPhones listen to music through Spotify that is automatically linked to the pace of the workout.

adidas-spotify-partnershipImage Source

Growth is a continuous process for companies. Uncover new opportunities to respond to infrequent difficulties.

Aim to Recover

Challenges are inevitable in business. It’s vital to understand how to handle setbacks when they occur.

Reevaluate your strategy to ensure it fits your desired outcomes. Deliver unmatched customer value that competitors can’t duplicate. And continue to seek partnership opportunities that will benefit your brand.

Push through setbacks. Grow your business.

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

Stop Building Traffic, and Start Converting It. Here’s How

I’ll let you in on a little marketing secret.

In the grand scheme of things, building massive amounts of traffic doesn’t really matter. What matters is converting that traffic.

Everyone talks about building traffic. That’s fine, but it’s not the end of the story. If you don’t convert your traffic, building it is pointless.

Building traffic is like building a shopping mall. You can easily get people to come through the doors, but if you have only a few lackluster stores, none of those people will turn into customers. You have to give them a reason to stay.

I’ve seen tons of sites fail miserably because they didn’t convert their traffic. A site can have the best idea in the world, but if it doesn’t focus on conversion, it’ll flop.

Funnily enough, that’s what happened to me with my first website experience.

The first site I ever built was a job board called Advice Monkey. I spent over $5,000 to create it and hired three lousy marketing firms. In the end, I learned how to market it myself, but the site still failed because it wasn’t set up to take payments.

Had I spent less time marketing and more time optimizing the site for conversions, the site would have done much better. Sure, I probably wouldn’t have made millions, but I would’ve converted more of my traffic and made more than $0.

Take a lesson from me: don’t worry much about getting people through the doors while forgetting to build the stores.

Here’s how to take all that traffic you worked so hard to build and successfully convert it.

Getting the right mindset

I firmly believe that conversion is an attitude, not just an action. It takes focus and dedication. You have to internalize your goals until they’re second nature.

I realize this sounds a little philosophical, but stay with me. You need to see conversion as more than just a bunch of numbers. Why? If you become obsessed with converting, you’ll fail.

Here’s an example. Say you’re hyper-focused on converting. You include a few popups and some social buttons, and before long, your site looks like this:

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Okay, it’s probably not that bad. But you get the idea.

It’s easy to go overboard, and I get that. But as Social Triggers’s Derek Halpern points out, going too far can actually become your conversion rate’s worst enemy.

You should definitely focus on conversion, but don’t get a death grip on it. Conversion is a long-term strategy, not a short-term win.

Now that you’ve understood the conversion mindset, let’s take a look at how to convert all your traffic.

Publish the right content

If I had to pick a favorite form of marketing, it’d be content marketing.

Great content is wildly powerful. The converse is true too: horrible content is wildly destructive.

In fact, your blog can (and will) fail if you get the content wrong. If you create too much content, you’ll fail. If you create content that’s not relevant to your readers, you’ll fail.

So it’s imperative you get the content right.

First, you have to decide on the type of content you’ll provide. There are many options to choose from: blog posts, webinars, and podcasts, to name a few.

How do you know which type of content is right for you? You have to know your audience. I know my readers are looking for thorough guides, and that’s one of the many reasons I use blog posts.

On the other hand, there are people like Tim Ferriss who use podcasts as their medium of choice.

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Tim knows his audience loves interviews with experts, and that’s what he gives them.

The lesson: Study your audience until you know them as well as you know your friends. Find out what type of content they respond to the most.

You also have to get the length right. I’ve found that longform content works best. You might be surprised to know that 3000+ word blog posts get more traffic than shorter posts.

Make conversion easy (but not annoying)

If you want people to convert, you need to make that process easy. If your readers love your content but can’t find an easy way to sign up for your list or buy your product, you’ll lose out.

There are a few elements you have to get right if you want to boost your conversion rate:

1. Make an irresistible offer

First things first: If your offer itself doesn’t amaze your readers, you’ll get zero conversions.

To create an irresistible offer, you have to know what your readers want. Delve into your psychographics to find out what drives your audience and why they behave the way they do.

SumoMe’s blog post called “The Definitive Guide to Content Upgrades” adds a sweet offer:

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Everyone who’s reading this post wants to learn more about content upgrades, so SumoMe offers a free e-book. It’s specific, relevant, and valuable.

On the other hand, if your offer is not specific, relevant, or valuable, your readers will have no reason to take you up on it. Don’t beat around the bush with general offers like a cheat sheet on being a better marketer. Your offer should be targeted specifically to your readers.

When you’re working on creating an irresistible offer, make sure it’s specific, relevant, and valuable. Your offers build the foundation on which you’ll build your conversion.

2. CTAs (calls-to-action)

If your CTAs are boring, your conversion rate will be low.

One of the best ways to write a great CTA is to be specific. “Buy now” could refer to anything, but “download your free e-book” reminds the reader what they’re getting.

Your CTA needs copy that’s exciting. It should feel like you’re inviting the reader on an adventure. It should not feel like you’re selling something.

Optimizely uses a straightforward and effective CTA:

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There’s no hard sell here. It’s an invitation to test out the software free. Plus, it’s a breeze to fill out.

Design matters too. Your CTA needs to be highly visible so people can find it and click it. It’s so simple, right? But many blogs get this wrong.

Brian Dean from Backlinko uses a yellow box for his CTAs:

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The yellow box works because your eye is naturally drawn to it. For Brian, that means higher conversion rates.

Find out what your yellow box is. Don’t forget to A/B test to figure out what’s working the best (and what you should ax).

Put in the time and effort to create an eye-catching CTA that engages your readers, and you’ll be rewarded.

3. Popups

Quiz time: How are popups like Justin Beiber?

As Hunter Boyle of Aweber puts it,

You either love ’em, or hate ’em, but lately you see ’em everywhere-because they still pull in big crowds.

You might find popups annoying, but they work wonders. We successfully used popups on Kissmetrics to double our conversion rate.

Popups play a vital role in converting your traffic, but you shouldn’t go overboard. By tastefully using popups, you can skyrocket your conversion rate.

First, you need to decide which type(s) of popups to use. The days of random popups are gone. Instead, opt for triggered popups.

Let’s talk about two of my favorite types of popups:

  1. exit intent overlays
  2. scroll-triggered scrollboxes.

You’re probably familiar with exit intent popups that appear when your mouse moves to close the tab. An exit intent overlay is a full-screen popup that appears when a user gets ready to leave the site.

Smartblogger uses an exit intent overlay with a cunning strategy:

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This popup immediately engages the reader. Instead of being presented with just one option, you get two. And one of them has to be applicable to you. At the very least, it raised your eyebrows, right?

And here’s the best part: There are two different lead magnets for the two answers.

You don’t have to copy this popup, but I hope it gets you thinking about using exit intent popups. They perform well, but you have to put the work in.

Next up is scroll-triggered scrollboxes. These are the little boxes that pop up on the lower right-hand side of the screen. Usually, these popups appear after you’ve scrolled down the page.

For example, when you scroll to the bottom of any Crazy Egg post (like this one), you’ll see this:

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These are great because they’re not intrusive. They take up a small amount of real estate, and they’re far less annoying than random popups that cover up half the screen.

The most important takeaway here is that popups should not distract from the user experience of your site visitors. Don’t cover up the content or make closing the popup difficult. Respect your readers.

Conclusion

You’re probably drawing in plenty of traffic.

Remember, however: what matters most is what you’re doing with that traffic.

Create an irresistible offer, and make it accessible to your visitors. People are willing to check out your offer, but it has to be worth their time. So, add as much value to your offer as possible.

I won’t lie. Conversion optimization isn’t a walk in the park. But it pays off.

And if you nail conversion, you’ll have a bunch of satisfied customers in no time.

What are your biggest problems with converting traffic?

How Fixing Client Analytics Can Help Agencies Sell More

A completely accurate client analytics account is few and far between.

That forces you, brave agency veteran, to roll up your sleeves and try to make sense of the chaos you’re looking at for each unique scenario.

You didn’t plan for it. You didn’t charge for it. And now, if you don’t fix it, you’ll face an uphill battle in trying to prove the resulted you delivered.

Like it or not, addressing this issue head-on and fixing client analytics can help you sell more, and sell more profitable work.

Here’s why.

The Problem with Pricing Digital Services

Most clients have no idea what we do.

They pay us – very well in some cases – despite not truly grasping how we’re going to deliver the goods for them.

Sure, they might grock the buzzwords a little bit. They understand the jargon and the high level perspective. But it’s mostly a superficial understanding.

When you get down in the weeds, and start describing how exactly to get from A -> B, you start to lose them a little as glazed over eyes stare back at you.

That’s not a knock; it’s just reality.

In the same way you probably could care less about what’s wrong with your car engine and how a mechanic is going to fix it. You just want to know if you’re going to be able to make it to Happy Hour in time this afternoon.

More often than not, clients are paying us based on trust. Or a leap of faith. Or our smiles and fashionable clothes.

And when they don’t fully grasp the full context of their problem, or the work involved in each painstaking individual step you have to take to fix it, they gravitate towards the one thing that’s easy to separate you from everyone else that says they do exactly what you do: price.

Cue competitive bids and escalating downward pricing pressure.

So what do you do the next time around?

You piece together a meager cost plus estimate that rarely includes Profit (and you’ve undoubtedly underestimated Project Management), double check the marketplace, and rush it out the door.

In contrast, the best, most profitable agencies use value-based pricing. Instead of starting with what their internal costs might be, they start with forecasting:

  1. The new revenue a client can generate, or
  2. The cost savings a client might see as a result of working with them.

For example, you can take a look at their historical averages of traffic and leads. If you’re able to come in and bump that conversion rate by 10%, 15%, or even 30% over the course of a few months, what does that look like in new revenue based on their average customer value?

sensitivity-analysis-lead-conversion-rate

Boom. If simple conversion tweaks and changes can lead to $40K-$160K+ in new revenue, there’s MORE than enough room to pay you 20-30% of that.

That covers your software, payroll, meetings, and then some. You can actually scale a business on that.

Even better, is if you can show how increases in results – less your agency costs – results in NET gains too.

organic-search-growth-revenue-growth-spreadsheet

But there’s a problem.

You can’t even begin to forecast potential revenue for clients like this when they’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle.

Why Fixing Your Client’s Analytics Should be Priority #1

Value-based pricing includes showing a client the outcome and end results of your work in clear-cut business objectives that they can understand (like leads gained or costs saved).

But…

If they don’t have a complete view of their marketing and sales funnel – which, like 97.75% of companies are guilty of – you’ve got a problem.

To make matters worse, these issues can be tough to spot ahead of time, before you dive into their account (which means you probably didn’t plan for it in your timeline and you sure as hell didn’t charge for it as a line item).

Maybe the conversion-tracking pixel is on the wrong page (or even worse, sitewide). Or perhaps they’re using legacy CRM software that doesn’t allow you to figure out what happens after someone becomes a lead (like, where’s da revenue coming from?!).

Either way, before you even touch a single line of code, fix a broken link, or put together a wireframe, you need to get an accurate benchmark of where a company is at right now.

Here are three reasons why.

Reason #1. Determine Where Results are Currently Coming From

A quick view of a company’s Acquisition Channel performance in Google Analytics can give you a snapshot of where they’re at, and how they’re doing.

Sure, the visits or sessions piece is moderately helpful, cluing you into which campaigns are delivering (or not).

But the real value comes in analyzing which channels specifically are driving leads and customers (and how much each is worth).

Now you start crossing over from raw data to insight. You’re able to draw lines between where budget is being spent and where results are coming from.

This helps you figure out what’s already working for clients so you can pour on more, and spot what’s already been tried that hasn’t worked (so you don’t make the same mistakes).

Arguably more important though, is that it will provide you with a baseline to compare against after you deliver your services.

revenue-report-tracking-advertising-kissmetrics

Reason #2. Isolate Campaign/Promotion Attribution

You hear that?

The screeching tires. The scent of burning rubber. A loud crash.

That catastrophic train wreck of epic proportions you’re about to witness is your new client’s analytics.

Their complex, multi-faceted business has taken its toll, with independent systems for each department that don’t work well together (and would require a quant-jock, Business Intelligence analyst to figure out).

Instead of relying or messing with existing systems, setting up a third-party analytics solution to isolate how your campaign and promotion is performing might be an easy way to sidestep the nightmare.

fall-promotion-landing-page-new-funnel-report

This Funnel Report will not only show you which promotional efforts are driving awareness, but also give you insight into the funnel performance for each channel, helping you identify patterns and discrepancies between how visitors from each channel (like cold vs. warm traffic) add items to your cart or complete a purchase.

You can dive even deeper into the individual customer profile, taking a look at the specific steps they took prior to purchase. This can help you identify which pages are assisting conversions, and also spot any bottlenecks or gaps that others keep hitting that causes them to bounce.

person-details-kissmetrics

Reason #3. Make Better Marketing Decisions

Leading indicators are helpful. To a point.

They give you a preview or snapshot of what might potentially happen on down the line.

For example, SEO is a lagging indicator. Sure, you can measure new pages built and new links generated, but it’s still gonna take some time for Google to reindex, new rankings to fluctuate, traffic to start dribbling, new leads converted from said traffic, and only then do you get some verifiable sales opportunities to start tracking.

That means you’ve got a waiting game, and in the meantime you’re making a bunch of changes and assumptions based on incomplete information.

Things get especially challenging when some of these indicators can lead you astray, like when that high conversion rate might backfire.

Here’s how it works: you run some headline A/B tests with generate more initial leads. Numbers go up and you pat yourself on the back. Only problem? Sales – the number that actually matters – go down as a result.

Fortunately, the Kissmetrics A/B Test Report can help you run split tests that will only declare a winner when an event is met further down the funnel, which helps you avoid getting too excited over an increase in clicks (which aren’t super helpful) and waiting for the big payoff instead (conversions).

kissmetrics-ab-test-report-on-engage

How to Sell Extra Work with Analytics Insight

Design is subjective. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

My favorite thing to witness is a fiftysomething executive who has literally zero knowledge of art and design, or the owner of an old-school insurance brokerage, make specific design critiques and changes (like, “I think that shaded border should be gold instead of gray”).

Which, if I were a designer, would surely cause me to become a statistic you hear about on the Nightly News.

So how can design, something so subjective that every client thinks they can do better than your Creative Director, deliver quantifiable results that will allow you to charge more?

Look for leverage points.

For example, why does someone need that new landing page?

“I need a landing page design for an AdWords campaign,” says the client.

Ok cool – then in reality they don’t just want or need one landing page, but they’re gonna want (and need) multiple ones. Here’s why (and how to sell it).

Landing page design will help dictate Quality Score, which has been proven multiple times to influence your Costs Per Click (and thus, Cost Per Conversions).

cost-per-conversion-quality-score-graphImage Source

“If your quality score increases by 1 point, your cost-per-conversion decreases by 13%,” according to Jacob from Disruptive Advertising.

Awesome. So in order to increase that quality score as much as possible, you’re going to need specific and relevant landing pages for each campaign you’re running. Which means you’re going to need multiple versions of the same page so that you can align message match to drop your Cost Per Conversion and increase the total conversions you’re getting.

Now, that’s going to require some extra work.

You, dear client, will also want to make sure that copy and content changes for each page and that you set-up at least basic analytics to make sure we can track all of this and make iterations on-the-fly. That’s going to require these new additional line items to our scope.

We recently went through this exact process on a new website redesign and performed a quick analysis after 30 days with the new AdWords landing pages.

The results?

We compared results to the same period, prior year to rule out seasonality. So in 2015, their Cost Per Converted Click was $482.41 and their Conversion Rate was only 4.08%.

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During the new 30-day window in 2016, their Cost Per Converted Click dropped to $147.65 and their Conversion Rate jumped to 12.76%.

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Total score?

  • Cost/Converted Click: 69.39% cost reduction
  • Conversion Rate: 212.74% conversion rate lift

Now multiply those ‘efficiency’ metrics against the results (like total leads, or the amount spent for those leads), and you can quickly highlight your financial value.

Think there was enough room in that budget for a few extra landing pages? And now some more work?

Our only job as a consultant is to improve the client’s position. (I think that comes from Alan Weiss.)

You’re the expert, not them. And as such, you need to fight for the scope (and thus the required resources and budget) it’s going to take in order to deliver the results a prospect or client is looking for (whether they understand what it’s going to take or not).

Because my hairline is becoming increasingly more like Jason Statham’s, and jawline has never resembled Brad Pitt’s, the only way I can figure out how to do this is through cold, hard, analytical data.

Conclusion

Clients commonly don’t fully understand the scope of what you’re being asked to do.

That’s OK. It’s manageable.

But only if you can translate your value into something they do understand – like marketing KPI’s or business objectives like revenue and costs.

The problem is that becomes impossible without a strong foundation for analytics.

There’s no way to benchmark past performance, to isolate your individual campaigns, or spot customer bottlenecks along the way.

Fixing or addressing a client’s analytics problems then should become priority #1.

Because it will not only help you justify the current work you’re doing for them, but also sell the results in the future to them and new ones just like them.

About the Author: Brad Smith is a founding partner at Codeless Interactive, a digital agency specializing in creating personalized customer experiences. Brad’s blog also features more marketing thoughts, opinions and the occasional insight.

Why I Choose to Focus on One Marketing Channel at a Time

I feel like there’s an overarching maximalist mindset in marketing these days.

And it’s easy to see why.

Brands have never had more strategies to choose from.

There’s content marketing, social media, SEO, email, PPC, and influencer marketing, just to name a few.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and this doesn’t even take into account more traditional offline techniques that many companies still utilize.

In turn, I think many brands are suffering from exhaustion and fatigue.

They’re experiencing marketing overload.

I also think marketers don’t always extract the full potential from their strategies.

Before they can see one channel through to completion, they’ve already started working on three more channels.

If I’ve learned anything during my years as a marketer, it’s that simplicity is usually the key to success.

Because of that, I choose to focus on only one marketing channel at a time.

Here’s why.

I don’t spread myself too thin

You know that old saying that if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one?

I think this applies to marketing as well.

Jumping in head first and attempting to manage, say, four or five different channels can be overwhelming, and you’re unlikely to kill it at any strategy.

Even if you’re a savvy marketer who knows the ins and outs of the process, you simply can’t devote the necessary time to extract the full potential of any single channel.

Just look at the amount of time most marketers spend each week performing routine tasks:

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But when you concentrate wholeheartedly on one channel, you can give it a 100% effort.

This helps you not only run your marketing campaign at a high level but also achieve the desired results faster.

Working on too many marketing channels at once is kind of like being a jack of all trades and master of none.

Placing your attention on a single channel allows you to master that channel before moving on to the next strategy.

Managing multiple channels can quickly become chaotic and stressful

Did you know that the average B2B content marketer creates 13 types of content?

You heard it right-13!

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That, in and of itself, is a lot of work.

And just imagine combining that with multiple other channels at the same time.

Things would get hectic in a hurry.

Social media can be pretty intense as well. The average B2B content marketer is active on six different networks:

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Even if you’re posting the same content on each network, it’s still going to be time-consuming.

I can almost guarantee you’ll feel burned out and the overall effectiveness of each channel will be marginal.

And this is going to be even worse if you’re new to marketing and/or have a small marketing team.

Or what if you’ve got a mountain of other business-related tasks on your plate?

There are just not enough hours in the day to devote to your marketing to ensure everything is operating at full capacity.

As a result, certain areas of your marketing campaign are bound to suffer.

Focusing on one marketing channel allows me to continually chip away at it and be highly effective.

I’m far less likely to become overwhelmed, and I can ensure that the specific channel I’m working on is reaching my target audience, generating leads, and leading to conversions.

In other words, it allows me to maximize my ROI without losing my mind along the way.

I ensure I get it right

Would you rather be a virtuoso at playing one musical instrument or a sub-par musician playing four or five?

I personally would prefer to be an expert at a single instrument.

I apply the same approach to marketing.

I would much rather devote the majority of my time to a single channel and completely crush it instead of working on a handful of channels and being painfully mediocre.

After all, what’s the point of spending any time whatsoever on a tactic if it’s not giving you any tangible results?

To me, it makes way more sense to give maximum effort to a single channel and make it incredibly successful rather than working on multiple channels half-heartedly.

Multitasking minimizes my impact

Working on multiple marketing channels simultaneously is a lot like multitasking because you’re constantly bouncing from one technique to another.

But numerous studies have found that multitasking isn’t as good as it may seem.

In fact, it can be quite detrimental to your efficiency and overall productivity.

A study from the University of London even “revealed that subjects who multitasked while performing brain-intensive tasks demonstrated IQ drops similar to people who are sleep-deprived or smoked marijuana.”

If you’re looking for a scientific explanation of this phenomenon, neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin offers one.

According to him,

Multitasking has been found to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which can overstimulate your brain and cause mental fog or scrambled thinking.

image02

The founder and chief technology officer of Wordstream, Larry Kim, even stated in an article for Observer that…

…you’re actually hurting your brain by juggling several undertakings at once.

The bottom line is that trying to focus on too many marketing channels at the same time is usually counterproductive and is only going to reduce the impact of your overall campaign.

But focusing on just one at a time allows you to be as effective and efficient as possible.

It costs less

There’s also the topic of money.

It’s been found that 89% of marketers are maintaining or increasing their inbound budgets.

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Implementing only one marketing channel at a time will cost you considerably less than pursuing a multi-channel approach.

According to an article on LinkedIn,

…it has even been estimated that a single-channel marketing strategy can cost as much as one-third less than multiple-channel strategies.

If you’re dealing with a fairly small budget, utilizing several techniques may simply not be in the cards for you from a financial standpoint.

Things can get especially ugly if more than one of those techniques tank, and it’s obviously going to hurt your ROI.

When I was starting out, the financial resources were often scarce.

Focusing on one marketing channel at a time enabled me to maximize the money I funneled into my campaign.

It allows me to outperform my competitors

When it’s all said and done, the absolute most important part of any marketing campaign is its ability to target the right demographic.

And let’s be honest. Using a smorgasbord of techniques typically means that each individual technique is less likely to hit its target.

When I divvy up my time across multiple channels, I minimize the effectiveness of any single one.

For this reason, it makes it really difficult to truly stand out from the competition and thrive within my industry.

I’m not really doing anything special or excelling at any particular strategy.

But concentrating on only one channel puts me in a position for success.

Because I eat, sleep, and breathe that one channel for a period of time, it’s more likely to flourish and grow.

In some cases, I can even dominate.

That’s because most of the competition has a maximalist mindset, trying to have their hand in everything rather than focusing on-and succeeding-in one area.

A final note

Just to be clear, I’m not saying you should limit yourself to just one marketing channel.

That’s not what I’m saying at all.

In fact, I would never recommend putting all your eggs in one basket.

What I am saying is that you’re likely to reduce your marketing impact if you go overboard and spread yourself too thin-especially during the initial stages of a campaign.

For me, it makes way more sense to focus on a single channel, bring it to full capacity, and maximize its impact.

Once it’s established and stabilized, you can move on to the next channel.

In other words, simplify your efforts by working on one channel, and get it running like a well-oiled machine before moving on.

Over time, this approach should help you develop a strong marketing campaign, with no weak links but with techniques that carry their weight.

Conclusion

I know it may seem tempting to experiment with a plethora of marketing channels.

After all, you’ll want to see what sticks.

But I know this mentality has gotten me into trouble in the past, and I know it can curtail the progress of each individual channel.

For me, a more effective and practical approach is to focus on one marketing channel at a time.

Doing so allows me to:

  • Manage each channel at a high level
  • Minimize my stress
  • Maximize my impact
  • Save money
  • Better reach my core audience
  • Outperform primary competitors

Only once I’ve gotten a channel to where it needs to be, I move on to the next.

That way I know I’m never shortchanging a marketing channel, giving it the best possible chance to prosper.

How many marketing channels are you currently implementing?

PPC Advertising Hack: Super-Targeted Live Chat Prompts

How do I get potential customers to engage on my site?

If you’re trying to run a business online, this is a critically important question to answer-especially if you’re running any sort of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Clicks and site traffic simply aren’t enough. If you want your business to succeed, you need conversions and sales.

Now, hopefully, since you’re here on the Kissmetrics blog, you already know that. You’re constantly improving your PPC traffic and optimizing your landing pages for maximum conversion rate.

But still, you want more out of your site. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to get even more people to engage on your site and convert?

Well, fortunately, at Disruptive, we’ve come up with a PPC advertising hack that uses live chat prompts to quadruple chats and increase conversion rates by up to 20%.

Here’s how it works:

People Love to Talk

Whenever someone visits your site, it’s because they need something. Maybe they have a problem they need fixed. Maybe they have a question they need answered. Maybe they simply want to feel understood.

No matter what the reason, people come to your site because they need something. If you can get them to talk about what they need, they are much more likely to feel connected to and engage with your business.

In fact, if you can get people talking, you’re much more likely to win their business-half of leads choose the first company they speak with.

The good news is, people love to talk and they especially like to talk about their problems, concerns and frustrations-the exact things that brought them to your site! All you have to do is find a good way to start the conversation.

Vanilla Chat Prompts

To better understand this, pretend you’re a guy who’s going to propose to his girlfriend soon. You enter a local jewelry store and start looking at the diamond engagement rings. A salesperson walks up and greets you with a cheerful, “It’s a pleasure to see you today! What can I help you with?”

How would you respond? Odds are, if you didn’t already have a specific question in mind, you’d probably just shrug and say “Oh nothing, I’m just looking.”

That’s not very helpful to either of you, is it?

Well, guess what? Most chat prompts start with generic questions like, “Can I help?” For example, check out the chat prompt below:

answering-service-care-good

This doesn’t really do much for them or you, unless you show up on their site with a burning question you’re dying to ask.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this sort of chat prompt is great if you’re in the customer service department, but we’re marketers. We’re trying to start a conversation, not fill a troubleshooting queue.

Useful Chat Prompts

So, what sort of chat prompt start a conversation? Let’s go back to our engagement ring example.

After a somewhat underwhelming experience at the first jewelry store, you check out a second place and a new salesperson appears. This guy, however, asks you a specific question that relates to what you’re looking at, like “Is there specific cut you’re looking for?”

This is a much better conversation starter now isn’t it? It’s an open-ended, specific question that shows the salesperson’s interest in helping you.

Let’s apply this to chat prompts.

Instead of leading with “Can I help you with anything?” consider leading with something more directly relevant to your business. For our answering service, that might look like this:

answering-service-care-better

A chat prompt like this uses something the answering service knows about their visitors (they are probably there because they need a high-quality answering service) to try and start a conversation.

After all, if you want to prove that you’re a high-quality answering service, what better way than to let people try before they buy?

It’s a great idea, but the problem with this prompt is that it still doesn’t really draw people into a conversation. If someone is seriously considering this service, they’re probably going to chat in, but a lot of those people probably would have converted anyways.

Engaging Chat Prompts

Truly engaging chat prompts aren’t just focused on meeting customer needs-they actually get people to talk about those needs, wants and desires.

Back to our engagement ring salesperson example. You still weren’t sold in store #2, so you head to jeweler #3. Here, the salesperson came up to you and said, “I noticed you’re checking out our engagement rings. When are you popping the question?”

The answer to that question will give the salesperson everything he needs to get a conversation started, steer you to your ideal ring and close the sale.

For example, if you answer, “I want to ask her in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to see what my ring options are,” he might respond with:

“Great! Congratulations! I asked my wife to marry me in December, too. Do you have any idea what sort of cut she likes?”

Look at that! You’re only a few sentences into the conversation, but the salesperson has already identified your needs, made a connection with you and shown that he’s on your team.

Assuming each salesperson has a ring and a price that fits your needs, which store are you more likely to buy from? If you’re like most people, the answer is jeweler #3!

Crafting a Conversation Starter

Now, all of this is great advice for jewelry salespeople, but how do you start a conversation like this online?

Well, the secret to salesperson #3’s success was the fact that he used what he knew about you and why you were there to draw you into a conversation. Your PPC ads tell you the exact same information-all you have to do is use it!

For example, let’s take a look at how I ended up on that call answering service page. I found their page by searching for “virtual answering service” on Google.

answering-service-ads

The search term I used and the ad I clicked tells them a couple of important things about me:

  1. I’m looking for a virtual answering service. The fact that I typed in “virtual answering service” means I know what a virtual answering service is, what it does and I think I might need one.
  2. Their ad resonated with me in some way. Quite a few selling points appear in this ad (call recording, price, family owned, etc), but the main message seems to be “24/7- Never Miss Another Call!” Clicking on their ad tells them that this idea probably resonated with me.

Taken together, these two points tell a story about me that the answering service can use to create a great conversation starter-possible something like this?

answering-service-care-best

Odds are, if I’m looking for a virtual answering service and clicking on an ad that tells me “never miss another call,” missing calls is a real problem for my business. I’m probably frustrated, angry and would love to vent to someone about it.

What better way to get me talking than to ask me about the very thing that brought me to their site in the first place?

Not only will this start a conversation, it will also tell the chat operator a lot about what I am looking for in an answering service, which will allow the operator to emphasize the selling points I really care about.

For example, if I talk about a valuable prospective customer that I lost because no one was there to answer the phone at 3 in the morning, then the operator can emphasize that their service can respond to calls at all hours of the day.

See how powerful starting a conversation can be?

How To Customize Chat Prompts

Now, at this point, you may be thinking something like, “Well, that’s all great, Jake, but how would I ever even start customizing my chats like this?”

It’s actually pretty simple. All you have to do is use your UTM parameters.

Setting Up UTM Parameters

Hopefully, you’re already using UTM parameters to track marketing performance in Google Analytics.

If you’re not, don’t worry, it’s easy. Google has an online URL builder that’s quite easy to use. All you need to do is enter your landing page’s URL, put in the info that you need tracked and then Google will generate the UTM parameters for you:

utm-parameters-demo

In addition to helping you track your PPC results, UTM parameters also create a unique URL you can use to customize your chat prompts.

Using Your UTM Parameters

Personally, I find that the easiest way to set up custom, highly targeted chat prompts is using Olark (note, I don’t have any financial relationship with Olark, they just have a great tool). So, for the purposes of this article, I’ll show you how to set things up in Olark.

To set up customized chat prompts, all you have to do is log into your Olark account and choose Settings, then Targeted Chat, then +New Rule.

setting-up-targeted-chat

Once you’ve done that, add a UTM parameter that’s specific to your ad to the “Current URL contains” section and change “Expand the Olark chat box” to “Send this message to your visitor” as follows:

targeted-chat-demo

Last of all, add your conversation starter and hit “Save Rule.” You’re good to go!

Once you’ve got this in place, when someone clicks on your PPC ad and arrives on a page with your UTM parameters, your custom, targeted conversation starter will pop up and get them talking!

Conclusion

Remember, as you’re getting used to this, you may not get a ton of chats right off the bat. As with site optimization, you’ll probably need to test a bunch of different prompts until you find one that really catches your traffic’s attention.

Still, in our experience, creating targeted, conversation-starting chats can be a tremendous way to boost the conversion rate of your page.

So, take a bit of time, come up with some chat prompts that address the real reasons why people are on your site and start testing!

What do you think of this strategy? Does it make sense to you?

Once you’ve tried this tactic, let me know what your results were in the comments!

About the Author: Jacob Baadsgaard is the CEO and fearless leader of Disruptive Advertising, an online marketing agency dedicated to using PPC advertising and website optimization to drive sales. His face is as big as his heart and he loves to help businesses achieve their online potential. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.