A second batch of my key Traffic & Conversion Summit takeaways from the 2016 conference in San Diego.
(If you missed part 1 – featuring tips from conference host Ryan Deiss and keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk – you can catch up right here.)
#4 – Successful Digital Campaigns Utilise Three Types Of Traffic…
Host company Digital Marketer’s Molly Pittman focused on paid traffic and media in her presentation.
She continued the branding + direct response theme Deiss had opened with (see part 1) and explained how running branding-type ads is no longer financially impossible for smaller companies.
Thanks to tracking and retargeting, you can now attribute sales and revenue to branding ads, as with direct response.
She went on to outline how Digital Marketer invests in their own ads: the 6-3-1 rule.
- 60% of their ad budget is spent on cold traffic
- 30% goes on warm traffic
- 10% is spent on ‘hot’ traffic (people who’ve already made a purchase or a download)
With cold traffic, you’re introducing your brand to the market and establishing authority – so focus on offering value, not products yet. Send your ad traffic to useful blog posts, videos, podcasts, surveys (or even free lead magnets).
Make sure to offer something of real value up front – it’s too early to ask for the sale at this point.
Once you’re getting opt-ins and retargeting opportunities (pixels etc), you can introduce this warm traffic to stuff like webinars, books/ebooks (free or paid), and low-cost lead magnet products.
At this point you’re making your first withdrawal from the ‘relationship equity’ balance with your prospect.
And when you’ve qualified your prospects into interested buyers – aka hot traffic – you can start offering higher-priced products, courses, event invitations and done-for-you services.
Be patient (and don’t expect to make a return on your cold traffic ad spend!) – treat your prospects well, establish that you’re a reliable source of value, and the sales will come.
Molly’s post at the Digital Marketer blog is a perfect next-step for digging deeper into this system.
#5 – Focus On Creating A Community Around Your Brand
When information is cheap, attention becomes expensive.”
– James Gleick, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood
Think about how Disney have always combined content with commerce to build their brand. It may take you 2 or 3 years to build yours, but if you’re not in this for the long haul, you’re not really committed.
DM’s Ryan Deiss talked about creating an affinity with your market, not just getting eyeballs on your offers.
If you can create a community around your brand, you’ll be able to market much better to an educated, engaged and brand-aware audience. That makes the selling part much easier.
The smart folks at Copyblogger, CopyHackers and CopyChief are all doing this (and that’s just the copy & content niche!)
- Build your tribe
- Engage with the tribe
- Market to the tribe
#6 – Death To Churn In 90 Days!
Of course, building a brand, an audience, a community – building anything, really – is hard work…
(Hell, I find it hard to build anything that involves nails or instructions. I can just about manage a pop-up tent – but struggle to get the bugger back in the bag afterwards.)
…and you’re always going to lose a few customers along the way.
But, according to DM’s Richard Lindner, the first 90 days post-sale/post-joining are crucial.
And in the first 30 days of your customer’s cycle, you should focus on consumption, little victories, micro-commitments and social proof to limit churn.
How to do that?
Good ol’ email marketing is a fine place to start.
Send all your new customers or members onboarding emails and videos that show them how to use your product inside the first week.
Because there are always people prepared to abandon a group or return a product they don’t know how to use.
No matter how simple your product is, it’s your job to educate your users – not just sell to them and turn your back.
Even better, if you can show them how to do something that gets them that little victory – that first, fast win – you’ll delight them and see engagement skyrocket.
(Need help optimizing your email onboarding copy to reduce churn? Get in touch here.)
In week two, send them some testimonials that demonstrate – with the magic of social proof – how others are using your product to get great results.
Use a “join me in congratulating so-and-so” email to show that you reward testimonials and like to high-five your community.
Be careful not to make anyone feel inferior though – the focus must be on welcoming new members/users and showing the simple power of the product, not the pro-tip stuff.
In the second month, set a measurable result your user can likely achieve, and encourage them to hit that goal. But be sure to show them how to get that result, and future pace the benefits for them.
Then, give them what they need to share that result with the community and their own social circle.
In days 61-90, you can ask your users to become advocates by sharing their experiences with others. You’re making a withdrawal from the ‘relationship collateral’ at this point, so only do this once you’ve delivered awesome value first.
Results show that once people have recommended a product or service to people they know, they’re even less likely to return the product, or opt-out.
And again, remember to walk them through this stage – don’t take anything for granted.
(If you haven’t yet chosen your email marketing tool, here’s a terrific in-depth comparison post to help you decide which CRM is best for you.)
#7 – Self-Segmenting For Agencies
A quick lead-gen tip from the world of digital agencies:
Agency advisory consultant Jason Swenk explained how he recommends his clients use ‘progressive profiling’ to qualify their subscribers.
You do this by asking people to self-segment themselves at the point of opt-in, asking a simple question like
“Which best describes you: digital agency owner, freelancer, entrepreneur or marketing professional?”
Once the subscriber selects one, you can start curating your information to their specific niche or interests, increasing engagement and the likelihood of converting subscribers into leads.
I’ve seen this done with many markets of course, but not really with agencies.
And apparently, you can expect a high completion rate (Swenk quoted 99%) from this self-segmentation – so it’s gotta be worth a shot if it means you can deliver more relevant content to your subscribers.
#8 – A New Gmail Hack For Targeting Cold Traffic On A Budget
Towards the end of 2015, Google introduced native Gmail ads for AdWords customers.
DM’s AdWords expert John Grimshaw showed how marketers can use this new feature to show offers in Gmail’s ‘Promotions’ tab to users based on keywords in their last 200 emails.
It’s cold traffic of course, which means CTR is lower than search ads – but DM saw good returns when promoting higher-priced offers – particularly to older audiences.
(Can you see how this might be useful for companies who want to market to their competitors’ lists, for instance?)
#9 – Stay Humble. You’ll Grow Your Biz Faster
Of course, after 3 days rubbing shoulders with 3000 marketing pros, and being surrounded by dozens of sponsors’ booths, it helps to have a little… contrast.
I had a great time at T&C2016, made some sweet connections and introduced at least 4 grateful co-attendees to the wonders of Coronado Mermaid’s Red amber ale (mmmm…)
But sometimes something can get buried in the super-motivated, speaker-whooping, frantic-networking, sun-baked madness of it all.
So it was something of a relief – at least to me, cuz I’m sensitive, people ; ) – when Laura Fitton showed up in ballroom 3 (three ballrooms! Eat that, Kanye) to talk about humility in marketing.
Regular readers will know I consider “rock & roll copy” to be about smart, ethical marketing for kick-ass products without the sleazy boasting.
Direct response doesn’t have to mean relentless exit pop-ups and barely-legal spammery, after all.
Laura is Hubspot’s inbound marketing evangelist, and preaches doing things with a bit of class. A bit of humility. You know, the things that people actually LIKE about other people : )
Of course, in keeping with this year’s theme, this isn’t about getting more sales overnight – it’s about a winning approach in the long-term.
Laura pointed out how the five main traits that make up humility are all to be found in the smartest marketers:
Think about yer man Seth Godin. Pretty much emblematic of the above, right?
Having humility doesn’t mean being weak.
It doesn’t make you a doormat.
Marketing with humility doesn’t mean doing it with low self-esteem.
It means being bold, selfless, respecting your market and, crucially – being curious about them.
Don’t make assumptions. Ask them about their desires and worries.
According to bestselling biz author Jim Collins in his book Good To Great:
Companies with humble CEOs are consistently more profitable“
With transparency in marketing & biz becoming more and more essential – along with the rise of social media and its power to make and break brands – small & medium businesses can close the gap on their bigger competitors by demonstrating humility.
If you’re a coach, consultant, entrepreneur or startup, humility in your marketing can be a real advantage. It can give you the edge over the less likeable brands in your space.
I always recommend my clients show a little of their humble side in their marketing, and it was good to be reminded of that at T&C2016.
You can check out Laura’s presentation slides in full on Slideshare.
There was so much crammed into the 3 days, I was only able to get to a handful of sessions. But it was well worth the trip. The beer, frozen yogurt and sunshine weren’t bad either.
Hey, were you at Traffic & Conversion 2016?
I’d love to hear about your takeaways from these and other sessions in the comments below.