Pricing page optimization and highlighting a choice

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I came across a great piece of content by a UI expert on tips for improving on page performance – both user experience and conversion.

One of the ideas that really resonated with me was on presenting a recommendation on the pricing page. I’ve had success with this idea in the past, but the way this was presented was novel to me and I really want to try it now:

pricing page designThe paradox of choice is a real effect – people get overwhelmed by too many choices. (Although here is a nice critique of the hypothesis – a little choice is a good thing, which is pretty obvious.)

The thing I like about this design idea is that the recommend price is displayed in a very different way than the other choices. I’ve seen things where one price has a little banner over it or is slightly larger, but making the entire placement and design of the highlight choice different is really smart. Now I want to try it!

 

What’s the deal with these spammy blog comments

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I thought everyone knew that Google killed the spam comment SEO trick. It seemed to me like the volume of comment spam had gone down over the past 6 months or so, but I’m noticing a lot more of it all of a sudden… including these gems promoting prom dresses:

spam blog comments ss 2014-02-14 at 9.48.23 AMThe one that really surprised me was the last one, because it was disguised as a link to Sears – for half a moment I thought Sears had hired a spammy SEO consultant!

 

Smart post on growth hacking

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The term “growth hacking” has kind of jumped the shark. But something I’ve really noticed since I’ve been consulting with a number of companies is that my marketing consulting looks a lot more like product consulting. Understand what people are doing with a product, figuring out which actions make a good user (as in establishing KPIs), getting my arms around what causes a person to not be retained (sometimes it’s a channel problem, sometimes it’s a product issue)… that’s what I’ve been doing with my marketing consulting.

I loved this piece on TC by Justin Caldbeck. This quote, from the end of the article, really hit home:

The problem right now is that many companies seem to be operating under the total misconception that growth fixes all. That leads them to bring on self-proclaimed “growth hackers” who rapidly acquire more customers through spammy viral techniques, but when those customers don’t engage, or — worse — have bad experiences and tell their friends about it, that growth curve crashes. By that point your growth hacker is on to his or her next gig, and you’re left with what you had to begin with: a product that either hasn’t found its audience yet or hasn’t yet given people a reason to engage with it.

So if you’re thinking about hiring a growth hacker, find someone who’s a great product person and who really knows user experience and understands user value, not just someone who knows all the tricks to ratcheting up your growth curve.

I like this piece on content marketing

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This post on content marketing as a way for salespeople to stay relevant is really good. The real, real trick is to make the content marketing personalized AND automated. That’s when content marketing takes off and produces scaleable ROI. Hard to do, but a content library, plus smart social media curation, is a great way to start.

Time and day matters for sending marketing emails

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marketing emailLet’s say you are sending 100,000 emails out for something like a newsletter or CTA to your user base. Getting the best time of day and best day of week matters. If you have sophisticated internal analytics you should try to track all the way back to the desired CTA of the email. As in, did the email generate users upgrading to paid at a particular time of day, or did you get more transactions or whatever your goal was with the email. But an easy, and important, metric that most marketers can track is the click/delivery rate.

Let’s focus on that 100,000 email send example. A swing of 3% in your click/delivery is 3000 extra clicks! I’ve seen swings in the 10% range, easily, depending on when an email is sent.

There are a couple of ways to find out what your best time of day is to send.

  1. You could A/B test time of sending. This will help you slowly learn which times and dates work best. Your ability to learn anything in a statically significant way will be dependent on the volume of emails you are sending. This may take some time, but you will likely eventually figure out when you should be sending to your users.
  2. You can also look at your transactional email metrics. This is a great place to start your hunt because you are likely to have a lot of data in here to play with. If you can extract transactional emails that are as close to the type of newsletter email you want to send you can analyze the best day of week and time of day to send your newsletter.
  3. As a bonus idea, if you are lacking in real email interaction data (as in you are really just starting your email marketing) then you can use the time of day data from your service’s analytics package. When are people most likely to use your product? You can use this as a rough proxy to begin A/B testing time of day/day of week email campaigns.

Mailchimp has great stats on generic marketing email sends, and you should read their post on best time to send emails here. It’s a good place to start if you have no data, and it is also cool to see high level data/aggregated data.

When you get really big lists you can start to test within segments. For example, if you have some business users and some consumer users, they are very likely to react differently to different email timing. (Of course you should also be sending them different email copy, but that’s a whole other topic.)

Finally, every company that I’ve worked with has had Tuesday and Wednesday be good days to send emails. Maybe not the best best day (that really varies by company) but those days usually don’t disappoint. Time of day, on the other hand, has been different for every product I’ve ever worked with.

Really well done customer testimonial video

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Hubspot just released a great customer testimonial video. I like how they even were cool with the customer talking about the actual competitor he evaluated vs. Hubspot. This was well done, and I’m putting it here partly as a way to reminder to myself on how to make a customer testimonial video!

Google juice in 2014

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I came across this great infographic on iboxseo – it’s nicely lays out the tactics you need to get Google juice for one of your web site’s pages. The bottom of their blog post has ‘ranking factors’ – basically a cheatsheet on what matters, now, for Google’s ranking engine.

They list the top on page factors as:

  1. Keyword use anywhere in title tag
  2. Keyword use as the 1st word(s) of the title tag
  3. Keyword use in the root domain name
  4. Keyword use anywhere  in the h1
  5. Keyword use in internal or external link anchor text on the page
  6. Keyword use in the first 50-100 words

It’s a great post; check out all the tips at the bottom of it!

Google juice infographic