Recent LTV post by David Skok

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I had the pleasure of being a board observer to a company that had David Skok on the board. He is a pretty amazing operator turned VC, and his most recent post on LTV is just great.

For some reason, a lot of entrepreneurs forget to use gross margin when calculating long term value of a customer. David’s formula is pretty clear on how to use churn rate, gross margin and of course revenue to calculate LTV. Check it out!

Ogilvy on direct response advertising

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Ogilvy, the master of direct response (DR) advertising, speaks about why data should drive advertising. I think this is pretty obvious today for online marketing, but as as larger companies work to pull in offline advertising into the online world (in particular, social) his words still ring true.

Lazy Aviation Recipe

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I happen to love gin drinks, and the Aviation is a favorite. Lemon, gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette and a maraschino cherry. Incredibly refreshing.

However, I don’t always have fresh lemons on hand, and even if I do, I can be lazy. So I’ve come up with a pretty darn good aviation recipe that uses San Pellegrino Limonata soda.

Lazy Aviation Cocktail

Lazy Aviation Cocktail – substitutes out fresh lemon juice

Lazy Aviation Cocktail Recipe

1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce San Pellegrino Limonata (lemon) soda, chilled
3/4 ounces maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce crème de violette
1 maraschino cherry – the sweet ones you loved when you were a kid!

Pour the gin, maraschino liqueur and crème de violette into a shaker, over ice. Shake until chilled.

Add the San Pellegrino soda to the shaker, stir lightly (don’t shake, the soda will foam up like crazy and make a mess)

Drop the maraschino cherry into a martini glass. Maybe just a drop of the sweet syrup that’s in the cherry jar too…

Pour the liquor mix into the glass.

Optional: I sometimes hold back the crème de violette and pour it into the glass first, then add the other liquor on top with a slow pour. The best bartenders often layer on the liquors in their Aviation cocktails… making it look like a sunrise when you are on a plane.

There you go – an original cocktail recipe by Healy Jones.

Google, Facebook and Mobile

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Facebook is allowing Google to index some user profiles for mobile searches. Check out the piece on MediaPost.

Other interesting tidbit from the article:

“Facebook accounted for a 17.5% share of worldwide mobile ad spend in 2014, sliding to 17.4% in 2015, per eMarketer. Google’s worldwide mobile ad market share in 2014 was 38.4%, falling to 33.7%, a higher percentage than Facebook.”

Two great pieces that I’ve read recently

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I’ve come across two pieces that really resonate with my current marketing efforts.

Customer Journey Analytics

The first is on customer journey analytics – this is the first time I’ve heard this term, but considering the fact that I’m currently working with analytics as it relates to my customer’s journey, I guess it shouldn’t be!

Basically, with enough data, you can plot a customer’s journey from awareness -> consideration -> purchase -> retention -> loyalty/referring.

I’ve been mapping this journey and looking for particular instances where the metrics can be improved. It’s kind of like funnel optimization, but has a lot of interaction/touch point strategy as well as remarketing/information architecture.

This piece highlights the interaction between campaign sequencing, customer lifecycle and ad purchasing (which the author refers to as marketing timing).

Facebook Growing Ad Revenue like Crazy

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s either validating or scary to see that I’m not the only person investing in and seeing success with Facebook advertising.

Validating because I’ve tried a few times and this is the first time it’s working really well. So good for me, since I’m not failing where others are succeeding.

Scary because I wonder if this means that ad pricing will go up. I guess it’s a race between demand and additional Facebook usage?

 

Reusing old blog posts with traction

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I came across an interesting question on Growth Hackers and decided to respond – What’s the best way to clean out old blog posts?

This particular poster has a large number of blog posts that no longer apply to the company’s current business model. They get web traffic, and interest from potential customers, but the company doesn’t actually offer that product anymore.

I haven’t been in this extreme of a situation, but I have made hay from older posts and web pages in numerous web make-overs and relaunches.

The truth is that older web pages and blog posts do build up a lot of good Google juice. Both traffic and authority can develop out of older content that’s had a good run.

But things change, and so can your site’s content.

Here is how I’d approach this particular problem.

1st, I’d rank monthly traffic to the old posts in question. Below some cutoff, I’d characterize the posts into two or three segments and permanently redirect each segment to the best page from a related content perspective. As in, find the closest similar content on the site and point all of the low-traffic posts in that segment to that page.

The reason I’d do this is to preserve what you can of the link juice, while eliminating the content on the site that causes confusion for the visitors by offering a product that you just don’t sell anymore.

For the higher traffic posts, I’d find a way to rewrite the post to apply to the current business model. Unless the business had DRAMATICALLY changed, as in you used to be an uber for dog sitters and now offer marketing automation software, I think you can come up with content that is related enough to keep Google sending the traffic.

I’d approach the rewrite from a customer experience perspective. The goal is to provide something of value to the visitor. Google appreciates new content on well ranking pages, so ‘refreshing’ the content in a way that it overlaps with the visitor intent and your company’s new direction should be successful from retaining your ranking and providing a visitor experience that keeps the person engaged with the page.

A few SEO notes on the refreshed content:

  • I’d keep the URL the same.
  • If you can use the main keyword of the page (the former title probably) in the first or second paragraph to try to preserve some of the juice.
  • The goal should be engaging content that scoots the visitor toward your current business model

Facebook advertising tips

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I’m finally marketing to a demo that uses Facebook, which means that there are some fun social efforts that we get to do.

I came across a really well done, in depth post, about Facebook best practices for paid ads and thought I would share it.

The summary, which I agree with, is keeping the copy short but sweet, linking to a dedicated landing page and having a lot of creative to keep your audience interested.

Below is an example for the article that works well – short copy, focused on the “you” – as in, here is what the reader can do/get out of it.

facebook ad example

It’s a very solid article – check it out.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

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I haven’t posted any recipes recently, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been cooking! Here is a taco seasoning recipe I like to make. It seems spicy given the large amount of chili power, but it’s not – most toddlers can handle it easily. And you can add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper if you want to make it have real heat.

Also note that I’m a big cumin fan, so this may be more cumin heavy that what you are used to. If you aren’t sure, use 1 teaspoon vs. two.

Healy Jones’ Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried epazote (substitute oregano if you don’t have epazote, which is available in most Mexican groceries and Whole Foods.)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt (use lemon salt if cooking for fish)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon dried cilantro

Simply mix all of these spices together, then use as a rub on the grill or add to ground beef when cooking on the stove.

About Healy Jones

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Howdy folks, I’m Healy Jones. I’m a former venture capitalist who now enjoys startup and growth stage marketing. (Disclosure: I work for ForUsAll. All comments are my own and do not reflect any opinions of my employer, and I am not offering any stock advice or investing advice!)

I haven’t published in a while – been really busy – but am hoping to create content on a more regular schedule.

More on Healy Jones

I realize that I don’t have a great “about” section on my blog – you can find out a lot about Healy Jones on my Linkedin profile.

A basic summary:

I am the head of marketing for ForUsAll, a venture funded FinTech company based in San Francisco. I ran demand generation at Sunrun, and I kept a large and growing sales team busy. Previously I’ve worked with a couple of smaller startups, Boundless and OfficeDrop, both of which have been acquired. The first ten years of my career were in finance – mainly private equity and venture capital.

Healy Jones image

4 Great website testing ideas

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Optimizely has a solid list of 71 different website testing ideas – check it out here. (Side note: this content has existed for a long time, but they recently re-shared it with me. Re-sharing solid blog content like this is a great nurturing tactic!)

I have tried a number of these 71 tips with varying levels of success. Below are the top four that have worked for me. What works on one site may not work on another, users’ behaviors change over time, and mobile will have totally different success than desktop (and don’t even get me started on tablet.) So even if you’ve tried some of these before, it’s worth considering retesting at some point.

Here are the four most successful testing tactics that I’ve found, as listed on the Optimzely blog post:

Buy Now? Purchase? Checkout? Add to Cart? Change the call-to-action (CTA) text on your buttons to see which word or phrase converts more visitors.” I’ve had success with this sort of a test every time. You never really know what a visitor is hoping to see, and different CTAs on particular pages may improve conversion too. Matching CTAs with on page content often is helpful.

Test multiple CTAs per page against one CTA per page.” I sometimes joke that every other line of copy should be a CTA button… that’s extreme, but having different CTAs in different places on the page may help a visitor find the ‘thing’ that entices them to move forward in your funnel.

Test different types images on your landing page. People versus product is a good place to start.” Sometimes this fails for me, but recently I’ve had good success. Always worth a test, but sometimes the results are so small there is no statistical significance. Big tests are often better here, so I’d start with huge differences in images before testing if the female customer beats the male, etc.

Test removing navigation to any pages outside the checkout funnel.” I call this a prisoner page, and it works for SEO and other bottom of the funnel pages… but it can also backfire if someone isn’t ready to commit. Sometimes adding high conversion navigation links (vs. what you may have on your regular site nav) can help the prospect find out more info, but also stick to pages that convert, keeping the conversion rates high.