How to Use CallRail to Attribute Phone Calls Back to Your Landing Pages

Getting a new client always starts innocently enough. Initial talks go well. Everyone’s on board. But then you get full account access and start digging deeper…

True story: I once worked with a client who was spending tens of thousands each month on PPC. Yet they had zero conversion tracking.

The phone rang, sure. But no one knew why. Everyone just assumed it was… ? Billboards? (Let’s not be ridiculous, here.)

Image via Shutterstock.

“But I have an AdWords call extension,” you claim. “I AM tracking phone calls with events,” you say.

That’s great. A good start. But not nearly enough. Here’s why.

Problem #1: How often do you call a new company directly from an AdWords ad?

Or do you act like a rational human being and click through the ad to the website or landing page to check them out first? That way, you can see if they’re legit or not before picking up the phone to dial. But what happens with your AdWords call extension in this case?

That’s right. You get nothing.

Problem #2: Last touch attribution bias.

AdWords drove the call, but you have no idea which steps before helped to “assist” the conversion. You can’t measure the proper attribution.

Problem #3: You’re only able to see aggregate data.

Let’s suspend disbelief for a second and say someone called you without ever leaving the SERPs, deciding to hand over their credit card to a complete stranger because you just sounded so nice on the phone…

You can still only see aggregate data.

Calls aren’t customers. They’re just calls.

Maybe the prospect’s lost and needs directions. Maybe they want the hours of your location. Maybe the stars aligned and they did become a lead.

Now, all hope is not lost. There is a solution. A way out of this mess. You just need the right tool for the right job.

Enter CallRail.

How to reclaim the phone calls you so rightfully deserve

CallRail can do a few awesome things that will make many of the aforementioned problems go away.

The gold lies in their dynamic keywords pool feature.

Let’s replay the scenario from earlier to see how it works. Someone Googles you, clicks through to a landing page, and possibly might even bounce back to your homepage to find out more about you first.

In the old days, you’d be SOL.

With CallRail’s number insertion, though, your tracking phone number will follow that person from page to page throughout their sessions.

Once someone does call in, you get a wealth of data including the pages they visited during this session, their physical location, and of course, the specific ad or keyword they clicked on in the first place.

The insight will be neatly compiled inside a dashboard for that individual call:

And you know what’s even more glorious?

You can automagically pass this data back to your CRM to track subsequent calls and/or real, honest-to-goodness conversions. (Assuming, of course, that you’re not using a precious “industry specialized” piece of software that doesn’t allow you to do anything with anything.)

Call data now gets passed back and forth. You can even merge it with existing lead data. So you’re not just tracking phone leads anymore, but real dolla dolla billz y’all. #closedloopforthewin

Sounds great, right?

Here’s how to set it up on your campaigns.

Step 1: Start by creating a dynamic keyword pool in CallRail

Log into the CallRail dashboard and head to the Numbers section (denoted with a pound sign):

Next, look for the little button that says, “+ Add a Phone Number”:

After clicking, you’ll get the option to use it online or off (so you can track calls from account-based marketing campaigns for example):

Next, you’ll want to add it to your website.

And then track each individual visitor (as opposed to the campaign).

This way you’ll set up a “pool” of phone numbers that will automatically tie and rotate for each individual website visitor (as opposed to tracking by page).

So let’s now set up that pool.

Go ahead and name the pool whatever you’d like.

The “Destination Number” is the business line your company uses that you want to ultimately ring. We can also edit this later with a “Swap Target.”

Your pool size should depend on how much real-time traffic you get to your site. Generally speaking, you’ll need smaller pool sizes on low traffic sites and larger pool sizes on higher traffic sites.

I believe CallRail’s recommendation is (or was) to look at the number of real-time visitors you’re getting to your site at its peak to gauge the ultimate pool number you might need at any one time.

Next, select which traffic sources you’d like this number pool to track (just default to “All”).

Then you can select a specific area code (toll-free vs. local) you want to use on your website.

Finally, select whether you want to record calls and add a “whisper message.”

The whisper message is exactly what it sounds like.

When someone calls from your landing page, the person answering the phone at your business will hear a soft whisper message before the call connects. For example, you can set it to say “holiday sale promotion” to alert the person answering the phone to the source of the call.

This can be very helpful to know exactly how to service the customer without asking how they got to you.

(Recording calls is also free FYI.)

Easy enough, right?!

Perfect. Now let’s move on to the next step.

Step 2: Set up your landing page

We created our first dynamic keyword pool in the last step. Now we want to install the script onto our Unbounce landing pages and set up your phone number swap targets.

There are two ways to do it, so let’s start with the lazy easy solution of pointing and clicking with the official integration.

Go into Unbounce and find the company you’d like to integrate with CallRail.

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Next, click on the “Settings” gear icon:

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Now select the “Integrations” tab inside CallRail (under “Settings”).

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And click “Activate” on the Unbounce option.

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You’ll then be whisked away to Unbounce to Authorize the connection.

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You can also install the tracking script manually on each landing page if you’d rather not connect at the company level.

First, head over to the “Settings” gear icon and click on “Integrations” to find “Dynamic Number Insertion.”

Then scroll down and you’ll find the tracking JavaScript:

All you’ll need to do is copy and paste this before the closing body tag (</body>) on the pages containing your phone number.

Look for “JavaScripts” down at the bottom of your landing page builder inside Unbounce:

Then paste in your code and select the correct placement (“Before Body End Tag”).

Obviously, save your work — and you’re done. Easy peasy.

Now let’s go update any swap target details on these landing pages.

Head back into CallRail and go to the “Numbers” section again.

Now, select the number pool you just created in the last step by clicking on the little edit pencil icon:

Then, scroll down to point three (“Dynamic Number Insertion”) to add the Swap Target and edit the Pool Size (if needed).

The Swap Target is the phone number you want CallRail to look for on your website and dynamically change it with ones from your keyword pool.

So if you have 123-456-7899 as your company number, you would place that as the swap target so that CallRail can populate new tracking numbers for each visitor.

(You can also add a secondary Swap Target if you have multiple different phone numbers on the page.)

Missing out on precious phone call lead data? CallRail integrates seamlessly with Unbounce landing pages. See other industry leading tools you can connect with your landing pages.

Step 3: Integrate CallRail with AdWords

You’ve already done a lot of work. Nice job! Any calls from “organic” sources of traffic should now be tracked inside CallRail.

However, the entire point of this exercise was to demystify your PPC traffic, so let’s connect CallRail with your AdWords account.

Inside CallRail, go to “Settings,” “Integrations,” and then click on “Google AdWords.”

Once there, click the “Authorize” button at the bottom of the page.

Now “Allow” with your Google account.

Then choose the company you want to integrate with CallRail.

Hit “Activate” and you should be good to go.

Before moving on, though, let’s add keyword-level tracking.

Adding keyword-level tracking

Adding the ?keyword=link parameter to your URLs in AdWords is the last recommended step. Adding this parameter to your ad URLs will make sure individual keyword data displays on your call log and in caller’s timelines (inside CallRail).

Head to your “Shared Library” at the bottom of your AdWords account.

Then head over to the URL options in the bottom right-hand corner.

Here, you have two options:

  1. You can add a tracking template, and
  2. You can set up auto tracking

Here’s how to manually add the tracking data.

Type “{lpurl}” and add the keyword parameter. In this case, {lpurl} represents your final URL, so you won’t have to manually enter your ad URLs.

If your tracking template does not contain a “?” append: “?keyword=link” like so:

Then, hit test and wait for the green light.

Once you’re done, you will start to see keyword data from AdWords inside CallRail.

Hooray! 🎉

Step 4: Add call goals to Google Analytics

If we’re being prudent, there should also be a conversion goal inside Google Analytics.

Your data will never truly be 100%, 100% of the time. There will be flaws. There will be gaps. There will be misalignment.

Triangulating data points from several different sources helps you handicap this risk.

That means we also want to integrate CallRail with Google Analytics while we’re at it. To do so, head to “Settings,” “Integrations,” and “Google Analytics.”

When there, drop in your Google Analytics ID and hit “Update.”

Next, head to Google Analytics to create a new call goal.

Go to “Admin” (the gear icon in the lower left-hand corner), then “View” and finally “Goals” in the upper-right corner:

Click for larger image.

Now select the bright red “+ New Goal” button.

Once inside, click on “Custom” down below because we’re about to get a little fancy.

Enter the name and select event.

Now we need to customize the event conditions to make sure your data will be labelled properly.

So drop “Phone” into the Category option.

And “Save” the new goal!

Step 5: Integrate CallRail with your CRM (like HubSpot) for full-funnel Attribution

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could now see which phone calls resulted in closed deals paying you the big bucks?

After all, you should be making strategic PPC decisions based on meaningful data (revenue, Cost Per Lead, etc.) and not just vanity metrics (new leads, Cost Per Click, etc.).

The good news is that you can with CallRail.

Head back into “Settings” and “Integrations”, then look for your favorite CRM.

We’ll use “HubSpot” in this example to show you how these integrations work.

Scroll down to HubSpot and hit the “Activate” button.

Then you’ll need to grab your HubSpot ID to finalize this integration.

So head to HubSpot, log in, and grab the “Hub ID” in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

Simply copy that number and head back to the CallRail HubSpot Integration screen, paste it in, and hit “Authorize.”

You can also select to create a new lead inside HubSpot each time someone calls. You won’t have their name and email at this point necessarily, but you can merge it on subsequent calls.

Next, HubSpot will ask you to select the account to link CallRail with and then “Grant access.”

And that’s it! Now, your calls will create new leads in HubSpot and integrate the data.

Step 6: Measuring campaign performance back to ad spend

Now you’ve completed all the hard work.

The only thing that’s left is to actually use the data once it starts rolling in.

When you log into CallRail, the dashboard right in front of you will list out some of the most recent activity.

Click for larger image.

Let’s break down this down (by number):

  1. This is your Keyword Pool name for each call
  2. The campaign keywords from that drove each click and then call (if there’s nothing showing up, it’s most likely organic as opposed to a PPC call)
  3. The specific campaigns (pulling in PPC data) that drove each click and call
  4. Your landing page where the call initiated
  5. And finally the Lead Status for each (so you can record the number of good, quality leads vs. the junk)

Why is this useful?

Now this data will help you figure out:

  • Which keywords are performing well and driving calls.
  • Which campaigns are performing well and driving calls.
  • Which landing pages are performing well and driving calls.
  • And where the F*@#$ %$ your customers are actually coming from!!!

You can now also view some of this data inside AdWords, too.

Go under “Tools” and look for “Conversions.”

Then you can now see AdWords phone calls ready to track through the CallRail integration we set up earlier.

And because we dot all i’s and cross all t’s, you can see this data inside Google Analytics now, too.

Log in and head over to “Behavior,” then “Events,” and finally “Top Events.”

Here you will see the phone call goal you created earlier in this article. If you click on that phone text link, you can see even deeper data:

Click for larger image.

The reporting format varies based on whether the call was received via a source tracking number or a keyword tracking number with the following attributes:

  • Source Tracker: Incoming call via [tracking number] – [source name]
  • Keyword Tracker: Incoming call via Keyword Tracker

Next, in the event action table, you can click on each action for more details.

Like the phone number that just called you.

And that’s it!

Phew, we made it.

Thanks for sticking around to the end. I think you deserve the rest of the day off.

Before I say goodbye…

Phone calls produce the best conversion rates of any sales channel. They eclipse lead gen data from your standard website form fill.

Phone calls from AdWords are especially lucrative because these people are often already at the bottom of the funnel; they’re ready to take action and sign up or get started immediately.

But if you’re not tracking any of them, you can’t determine which campaigns, individual landing pages, or keywords are driving the best ROI (and not just lead counts).

Thankfully, there’s CallRail + Unbounce. A match made in PPC heaven.

You can run through the steps listed in this article, finally close the phone call loop, and reclaim those conversions that are so rightfully yours — because you can’t take credit for conversions if you don’t know where they came from.


Digital Marketing News: Better Text Ads, Lifestyle Templates &amp; AMP for AdWords

Seven Tips for Writing Better-Performing Expanded Text Ads [Infographic] Writing text ads is a challenge – how can you be compelling enough to drive a conversion with such limited space? There are several tricks of the trade explored in this new infographic. MarketingProfs Google to Advertisers: Get Your Mobile Landing Pages Ready Google recently announced that in two weeks, AdWords advertisers can use AMP pages as landing pages for their ads. This provides a seamless user experience when searching through Google and could have implications for page rank. Search Engine Journal The print catalog era is over — but Facebook wants to revive it on your iPhone Do you miss the good old days of ordering from a catalog? Not many do. However, the lifestyle inspiration we all get from magazines is something that we haven’t been able to replicate as well with our digital ads. Facebook is trying to close that gap with their new ‘Lifestyle Templates’. Business Insider Amazon Is Opening Up Its Ads Business, and Marketers See a Big Opportunity to Shake Up Search According to AdWeek, “After testing search-based ads with agencies and brands, Kenshoo (a company that helps marketers manage search spend across platforms) is making Amazon ads readily available to all marketers through an API integration today.” AdWeek Instagram Expands Access to Branded Content Tools After months of testing, Instagram has granted access to advertisers to its Branded Content tools. These will allow advertisers simplify the process for working with creators (and vice versa). Social Media Today Google responds to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention with AdWords tracking update The news of Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari has upset the advertising industry – but as usual, we have Google to the rescue. According to Search Engine Land, “Google has developed a new Google Analytics cookie that will be used to capture campaign and conversion data from Safari in a way that conforms with ITP.” Search Engine Land Amazon ‘1-Click’ patent expires today, get ready for faster web-wide checkout Amazon’s patent on ‘1-Click’ checkout has expired – this means that eCommerce platforms can now duplicate this functionality on their own sites. This is expected to reduce cart abandonment for shopping sites and make a more convenient user experience. Marketing Land 73% Of Broadband Consumers Want To Tightly Control Their Personal Data According to MediaPost: “A large majority (73%) of U.S. broadband consumers express a desire to keep tight control over access to their personal data, with nearly half being very concerned that someone will access the data without their permission, according to a new report by Parks Associates.” MediaPost What were your top digital marketing news stories this week? We’ll come back next week with more top digital marketing news. Have something to share? Email the newsroom or Tweet to @toprank.

The post Digital Marketing News: Better Text Ads, Lifestyle Templates & AMP for AdWords appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Social Media Marketing News

Infographic: Typography in Emails – The Divine Story of Modified Typeface

If you have ever had to hand-code an email, then you know how insanely difficult it can be to get your email looking just right. I would say it’s more tedious and tricky than regular web development. This infographic does a good job of showing you how to get your typography licked for your email campaigns. If you are serious about keeping your brand styling consistent across all marketing channels, then this is one area not to overlook. Take a look at the infographic below to learn all the tiny details of lassoing your typography for your future email campaigns….

The post Infographic: Typography in Emails – The Divine Story of Modified Typeface appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The Daily Egg

Facebook disables feature that let marketers target ‘Jew haters’

(Reuters) — Facebook said on Thursday it was temporarily disabling the ability of advertisers to target based on people’s self-reported education and job information after a report that those features allowed targeting based on anti-Semitic topics.

ProPublica, a non-profit news organization based in New York, reported hours earlier that Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had allowed marketers to target ads at people who, on their Facebook profile, had listed phrases such as “Jew hater” as their field of study or work.

Some 2,300 people had expressed interest in the topics “Jew hater,” “how to burn Jews” and “History of ‘why Jews ruin the world’,” according to ProPublica’s investigation.

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, confirmed the ProPublica investigation.

Once people put those phrases on their Facebook profiles, the anti-Semitic topics automatically migrated onto the company’s advertising platform, as if they were education or job data that would be useful to marketers, Facebook said.

“We are removing these self-reported targeting fields until we have the right processes in place to help prevent this issue,” Facebook said in a statement late on Thursday.

“We want Facebook to be a safe place for people and businesses, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to keep hate off Facebook,” it said.

Facebook initially responded to the ProPublica report by removing the topics in question from its ad system. However, other news reports, including from Slate magazine, then discovered that hateful topics were more widespread in the ad system’s targeting capabilities.

As Facebook has given advertisers greater power to micro-target their messages using a self-service platform, the company has at times failed to ensure they comply with its terms and conditions.

Last year, ProPublica reported that Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude users by race when running housing or other ads, despite a prohibition on such ads under the U.S. Fair Housing Act 1969.

Facebook said last week an operation likely based in Russia spent $ 100,000 on thousands of U.S. ads promoting social and political messages over a two-year period through May, fueling concerns about foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

The company said it shut down 470 “inauthentic” accounts as part of an internal investigation into those ads.

Facebook and rival Google, owned by Alphabet, dominate the fast-growing market for online advertising, in part because they let marketers target their ads based on huge volumes of data.

Facebook reported $ 27.6 billion in 2016 revenue, the vast majority from advertising.

Ad campaigns that used the anti-Semitic categories on Facebook were not widespread, the company said.

“Given that the number of people in these segments was incredibly low, an extremely small number of people were targeted in these campaigns,” Facebook said.

One change Facebook said it was considering was adding more thorough reviews of targeting categories before they show up in the self-service platform.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Paul Tait)

Social – VentureBeat

Social Media Marketing News

The Hurdle Between Free &amp; Paid

The Hurdle Between Free & Paid

As an indie entrepreneur, if you want to make sales and build a thriving business you need to overcome the hurdle between free and paid.

When we say “free” we mean the stuff you do for free… the content, the social media stuff, the free guides you create as lead magnets.

That free stuff is the first step in seeing if people like what you have to offer. It’s an important step.

But getting those people from interested in free things to purchasing paid things… there’s a huge hurdle between the two.

And a lot of people get stuck on that hurdle.

Many modern entrepreneurs hit this hurdle… some never fully get over it. Don’t let that happen to you. There’s no reason to let that happen to you.

There is a danger here.

The danger is that you spend a ton of time building and executing on a paid product and DON’T make any sales. Some entrepreneurs don’t ever bounce back from that, they give up all together.

Us indie entrepreneurs need all the help we can get — we do everything ourselves! So in this article we’ll show you how to overcome the technical hurdles (like copywriting!) as well as the internal roadblocks like fear of sales and imposter syndrome so you can engage your audience in a healthy flow of value.

With the insights here, there’s no reason why, with a little bit of planning and forethought, you can’t successfully launch your first paid for offering, be it a product or a service.

The hurdle is real.

Here’s what it might look like for you: after successfully offering lead magnet on your website you get inspired to finally put up your “work with me” coaching page.

This happened to Eric, a Fizzle Member who helps people overcome bad breakups.

He made a super effective free 3 week course which a ton of folks signed up for. The feedback he received was excellent — people were seriously getting their lives changed!

So, he felt like it was the right time to offer his coaching services to the audience. He made the page, launched it, promoted it…

… aaaaaaaaaand, CRICKETS. Nothing, not even an inquiry.

The same thing happened to my fellow Fizzle Co-Founder Corbett Barr.

A long time ago, when he was just getting his start in blogging, he started offering consulting on his website for the first time. He didn’t package his service together with solid copywriting at first and nobody bought. (There were a few emails back and forth, but no sales.)

clear the hurdle between free and paidEventually he made some important changes (which some of the points below are inspired by) and the results started coming in. It was a matter of days before he was booked solid.

Switching from “free because I’m growing my audience” to “I need to charge you for that” is a real big pivotal moment in modern business. It can be hard, and there are real risks.

Many of us think the sales are just gonna flow in. Or, at least, we hope they will. And, though that might be motivating enough to get you to try it, if you don’t have a plan for what to do next it can be a crushing thing to feel.

So, I’m glad you’re here to learn, because this hurdle is absolutely leap-able, and unlike a ton of biz-gurus out there, we KNOW that working with any internal fears you have around this is an important part of creating an authentic business.

Seriously, the ideas we’ll help you understand below and the process we lay out are really going to help you.

Switching from FREE to PAID is a hurdle, to be sure, but it doesn’t have to stop you dead in your tracks.

“Switching from FREE to PAID is a hurdle, but it doesn’t have to stop you dead in your tracks.”
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First, we need to talk about when to make the switch

It might be the right time to switch from free to paid for your business right now. Here’s how to tell.

First of all, let’s make sure we’re starting out with a free offering to our audience. Why? Because a free offering helps you hone your hypothesis.

Here at Fizzle we talk a lot about thinking about your business as an HYPOTHESIS. It can be enormously helpful to think of yourself not as a genius, but as a researcher. (This is one of the first mindset shifts in our 9-stage business roadmap.)

By offering a free product in the beginning what you’re doing is testing the first part of that hypothesis in an easy way. If you can’t get someone to signup for something for free then you might have a much more difficult time getting them to signup for something they need to pay for.

Also, making a free opt-in incentive doesn’t have to take that long. Our 7 day email challenge walks you through how to do it in 7 days. At the end of it you’ll have a free offer on your site that really works. Powerful stuff.

Starting with free is great because if you can’t convert people on a free offer you may not be able to convert them on a paid offer.

But sometimes we get that “but things aren’t right yet” feeling, so we don’t take action and create a free offering.

Sometimes this feeling comes from a good spot — we haven’t developed enough “know, like and trust” with our audience to feel confident about how we really help them.

But many of us hold back too long, to be honest. We’re afraid of things “not being perfect,” so we don’t take action, we don’t create our free offering.

Don’t wait to switch to free until everything’s perfect. We only get things working really well by WORKING on them.

You may feel that you “don’t know enough yet” or that you’re “not ready.”

This is wildly common when we’re just starting out in modern business. It takes time to build confidence in our expertise. But remember this:

Being an expert isn’t binary; yes/no. The real question is: do you know enough to help someone right now? If so, then you’re ready.

So, we don’t have to wait until everything’s perfect to create our free offering and start growing our relationships with our audience.

Second, we have to talk about the fears

It’s natural to feel like “I’ve been blogging or podcasting all this time and everything I do I’ve given away for free. Isn’t my audience going to be pissed if I started charging for something?”

Many of us worry that our customers will get mad if we start charging money for things. But experience shows that they almost never do! Even if you get an email or two, the vast majority of your audience only care about how valuable your offering is.

Imposter syndrome is also common; feeling like when you ask people for money they’re going to uncover some flaw that makes you a fraud.

Here’s what I’ve found is the antidote to imposter syndrome: intentionally helping people and watching the results. What’s changed my life more than anything else in my business has been seeing the RESULTS my work has on my customers. It doesn’t take very much time — when you help people and then look for the real results in their life, those results start to convince you of the honest-to-god WORTH of the work you could do for your customers.

It is normal to have some fear of sales when you get started, but you deserve to be compensated for good, valuable, helpful work you do for others.

“You deserve to be compensated for good, valuable, helpful work you do for others.”
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Third, we need to talk about the “Value Ladder”

We need to make sure that our freebie doesn’t undermine the thing we’re trying to sell.

Eric, the Fizzle member I mentioned above, experienced this in my opinion. He made a free 3-week course that kicked ass. And when he offered his consulting to those people nobody bit. Maybe his course satisfied his customers so much they weren’t hungry for more.

Always keep in mind this question: how hungry are your potential customers for the solution you’re offering them? If your free offerings “give the cow away” nobody’s gonna pay for the milk.

This is called that “Value Ladder.” It’s a sense that the offers we make to our customers have a very clear hierarchy of value. The freebie is great and super helpful (and free!), the $ 200 course is excellent and life changing (and worth every penny!).

We need to make sure our offerings (free and paid) work in harmony with each other so that each offer always feels both enticing and clearly “worth it.”

Fourth, we need to talk about effective copywriting

New entrepreneurs have a tendency to make sales pages ineffective. You need to use some kind of tool to get you out of this habit.

Listen, many of us have hangups about money, value and self worth, and the truth is our judgement gets clouded up with this stuff when we write a sales page.

So, we all need a little help getting out of our own minds for a bit and finding EMPATHY with our audience — slipping into their skins, seeing our offer from their point of view so we can focus on showing the important things that might convince someone to purchase.

Copywriting is just writing words to persuade a reader to take action. There’s an art to it. And we’ve got a killer resource for you in the resources section of this article (below) to help you see your offer from THEIR POINT OF VIEW.

Sales pages are often overwrought and ineffective. So it’s important to use some kind of tool to help you focus on what’s important in your message, making your copywriting simple, clear and EFFECTIVE.

The 5-Step process for adding paid offerings

Ok, now that we’ve addressed a lot of the preliminary issues, here’s a simple process you can follow to leap this hurdle and make your transition smooth.

1. Make your free offering work.

Spend enough time on your free offering to feel confident in its ability to convert people. Getting them to even want a free thing, this is the first mini hurdle. If you don’t have a free offering up yet, our 7 day email growth challenge walks you through it.

2. Get feedback on your free offering.

It’s important you get a clear sense of what IS and ISN’T resonating with your free offering. So, we spend a little time collecting feedback about it.

You may be able to get enough feedback through email or survey, asking, for example, what did they learn? What results did they get? What did they like most? What were they confused by? What do they still need help with?

But experienced entrepreneurs know how much more value you can get out of 1 on 1 conversations with potential customers and freebie-downloaders. We’ve got a course that will teach you how to talk to customers.

3. Define what the product will be (and how it harmonizes with the free offering).

Is the product something entirely new or is it growing the existing free offering? Could the freebie become the product and you create a new free offering that’s more specific? Get very clear about the specific problem and the specific outcome for each. If it’s a service, what is the package of the service, because people want to pay for an outcome (not an “hour of your time”). The 80/20 Sketch Sheet in the resources below will help immensely with this.

Common mistake here: defining too broadly or trying to promise way too much instead of narrowing the scope and focusing in on something specific. New entrepreneurs tend to get stuck in the creation process. Start small, clear and focused.

4. Create the product.

This is a whole separate podcast episode and article. For now, we’ll leave it in your hands. Make the product. And I’d encourage you to make a small, quick and dirty version of your product first that you can use as a “beta” version to test and see where customers get confused, lose steam, etc.

5. Write the sales page and create the launch plan.

Everything we spoke about on effective copywriting above applies here. Again, the 80/20 copywriting sketch sheet (below) will help you a ton here because it will help you think through the objections, the results, the payoff, etc. If you’re interested in creating a launch plan, inside Fizzle there’s a course that walks you through it all! Learn more about Fizzle Membership.

“Killer 5-step process for adding paid offerings to your online platform.”
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Writing copy for the web: the 80/20 guide to copywriting for entrepreneurs.

We’ve created a sketch sheet — a short, actionable worksheet you can print out and fill in — to help you with your copywriting and strategizing. With this sketch sheet you’ll be able to make much more effective copywriting for the web because it teaches you to empathize and see your offer from your customer’s point of view.

To download that worksheet, enter your info here and you’ll get it immediately after the click:

Download the 80/20 Copywriting Sketch Sheet

A deeper look with this podcast:

We’ve talked through all the points of the article above in this podcast 60m podcast episode. If you want to go deeper, this is the thing for you!
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Make a successful, smooth transition to paid offerings

If you’re feeling resistance to this hurdle between free and paid, there’s a lot of good reasons for that. Those emotional things you’re feeling are legitimate, they’re real.

And I’ll just say this: your fear will shrink and your confidence will grow the more you think of it as an experiment, something to work with over time. When we get into that “it HAS to work!” mode, it can really shut down our creativity and courage.

We hope this article and podcast helps. If you have any questions, add them below and we’ll answer what we can.

If you enjoyed the tone of this article, you’ll love the other business training we have in our Fizzle Course Library. To start a free trial and take courses immediately, click here.

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Do you ever worry you’re building the wrong kind of business?

Lately we’ve been obsessed with a simple idea here at Fizzle.

When we hear a success story from someone who built a business, there’s usually a distinct turning point in the story. This turning point revolves around something the entrepreneur changed that made everything click.

Sometimes the change is small, other times it’s a larger pivot. But in each case, the change seems to lead to building a business that isn’t just a good idea, but is also a great fit for that specific entrepreneur.

So our idea goes something like this: what if the success of a business depends less on the strength of the business idea itself, and more on how well that business idea fits the entrepreneur behind it?

If that’s the case, then the classic advice around business ideas is way off. Traditional business advice might tell you to focus on market, demand, product, operations, sales and finance. But what if your chances of success depend more on things like energy, experience, skills, money, people, lifestyle, personality and vision?

Do you ever worry you’re building the wrong kind of business? Have you tried to follow traditional business advice, but found that it just didn’t fit?

Today we’d love to hear from you. Are we on to something with this idea? Please leave a comment below and tell us if you ever worry you’re building the wrong kind of business for you.


Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create Great Landing Pages

You don’t see great landing pages often. That’s not because they can’t be made, but because it’s extremely difficult to create them well. There are design rules to follow that keep people from leaving. There are tricks to use to get your button noticed. There are words that have a way of persuasively whispering in your prospects’ ears: push the button, claim the offer.

Most people don’t know what any of these things are, though. The average landing page converts somewhere between 2 and 5 out of every 100 visitors. That means there’s a lot of not-so-great landing pages out there.

Before you set out to create a great landing page it’s important to know what your prospects want. Specifically, it changes from business to business—some want a solution for their bad back, while others want an easier accounting software—but at the core, it’s this one thing:

They want to evaluate your offer as quickly as possible.

They’re not on your page to browse or pleasure read. They want to find out if what you’ve got is what they need. Do you have what they need?

In this blog, I’ll cover how to create the best landing pages for your business, from top to bottom. 

Non-Existent Navigation

One of the reasons landing pages are highly persuasive is because of their ability to keep visitors focused. If they cannot focus on your message, prospects will not be able to determine whether your offer can meet their needs. Focus starts with no navigation, like this page from Neat:

On your website, a navigation menu can be helpful for browsing visitors who want to find out more about your business. But on your landing page, where visitors are trying to learn more about a singular offer, they shouldn’t need to browse. You should have all the information they need to make a decision right there on your landing page.

Attention Grabbing Headlines

You have to earn attention from your prospect with a headline that grabs them, quickly conveys your offer’s unique value proposition, and guides them toward the rest of your content. Here are a few tips to help you win:

  • Use the word “you” to speak directly to the reader.
  • Clarify your unique selling proposition with a benefit. What is the biggest thing your prospect will gain by converting? “How to” can be a great way to start a headline.
  • Make sure there’s message match between your headline and source. If your source is a Google AdWords ad with the headline “Make email marketing easier,” then the headline of your landing page should read “Make email marketing easier.” It boosts trust by letting your visitor know they’re in the right place.

Here’s a great example from ConversionXL:

Skimmable Copy

Remember—nobody is here to browse or pleasure read. That means your argument for why a visitor should claim your offer needs to be conveyed as quickly and as persuasively as possible.

The way to do that is:

  • Focus on benefits, not features. Your super-powerful processor means nothing to your visitor until you tell them that it transfers data faster than anything on the market.
  • Use colors and typeface that people can read. That means a dark color (go for black) on a light background (white is safest). When picking a typeface, stick to no more than two different types. Serifs and sans serif typefaces are usable for headlines, but for body copy, stick to just sans serif. It’s easier to read at a smaller size.
  • Break up chunks of text. The scariest thing to a busy prospect is a giant block of text. If you have any, they won’t get read. To ensure your copy gets read, use bullets and subheads to break up those blocks.

Here’s a great example of skimmable, benefit-oriented copy from Bolste:

Useful Media

Great landing pages don’t feature pointless stock photos. Some may include stock photos, but those photos are never pointless. Any photo or video you put on your landing page should help the visitor evaluate your offer, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t belong there. Here are a few examples of media you might want to use to help your visitor evaluate an offer:

  • An edited stock photo showing your user interface
  • An introductory video that proves you are a credible source of information
  • An explainer video that shows how your product or service solves a problem
  • Images that show the different angles and features of your product
  • A hero image that helps visitors imagine what their lives could be like after claiming your offer

Here’s a great example of a stock photo that has been edited to fit the company’s needs. It shows visitors how the user interface looks, from the Bolste page above:

Bolste Example

Frictionless Form

The form is where conversion happens. It’s the make-or-break element that can either get your visitor’s name in your CRM or scare them into fleeing your page.

Here’s how to get more prospects into your CRM:

  • Make sure your form only asks for the bare minimum that you need to qualify a prospect. You might like to know how many people work at their company, but if you don’t need to know, then you shouldn’t ask. To your prospect, every additional form field is another reason to leave your page.
  • Differentiate required fields from optional ones. On an ideal form, you’d have only required fields, but if you really want to A/B test to see if you can get a little extra information from a generous prospect, make sure they at least know they don’t have to give it to you if they don’t want to.
  • Put labels close to the fields they correspond to. If the “name” label is placed in between the “email” and “name” field, then your visitor might mistake one field for the other.
  • Do not use placeholder text. If your form has any directions (like “your password must be 5+ characters in length and contain one special character) then they should be written above the field, next to the label. Disappearing labels in form fields can confuse your prospects when they start writing and those labels vanish.
  • Ensure that error messages are highly visible and clear. If your prospect forgets a special character in that password, your error message should outline the field they made a mistake on, and tell them how they made a mistake (for example: “must contain one special character”).

Here’s an example from a short, friction-free form from eSpatial:

eSpatial Example

Compelling Call-To-Action Button

You won’t see the word “Submit” or “Download” on any great landing page. That’s because those words do not get the prospect excited to claim the offer. “Submit” sounds like work and so does “Download.” So, how do you write better ones?

  • Make your call-to-action benefit-oriented. Everything else on your page focuses on the benefit of claiming the offer, so it makes sense that yours should too.
  • Make your button stand out. If it doesn’t contrast the rest of your page, it won’t be seen. Pick colors that are complementary on the color wheel to create the most attention-grabbing effect, like a yellow button on a blue background.
  • Make your button look like a button. People are used to seeing buttons all over the internet. They don’t look like stars or circles or octagons — they are mostly rectangular. That means, to be recognizable, yours should be too.

Here’s a great example of a button change that yielded big results: When IMPACT Branding & Design changed their button copy from “Download”:

Impact Example 1


to “Show me how to attract more customers,” and conversions skyrocketed by nearly 80%!

Impact Example 2


Social Proof

A great landing page isn’t filled with braggadocious copy that says things like, “we’re the best solution on the market!” It uses a technique to convey that message with more subtlety because nobody believes the business that says “We’re the best!” Of course, you think you’re the best! You work for the company and you want your prospects’ business. Who they will believe is someone who has nothing to gain from saying, “This product or service can’t be beaten.”

That’s why the subtle technique that great landing pages employ is social proof. Social proof is the reason you think a Twitter account is worth following because it has a lot of followers already. It’s the reason you think a product is better because a stranger said so.

Here’s how to use it to create a great landing page:

  • Display counters of people who have claimed your offer.
  • Showcase high-profile places your brand has been featured.
  • Include badges of trusted clients or customers you’ve serviced.
  • Feature detailed testimonials from happy customers with their headshot.

Here’s a great example of social proof from Qlik:

Qlik Example

Making a great landing page doesn’t have to be hard! It just takes a little extra reading and some creativity. Check out these 100 landing page examples, then start converting prospects with less work.

I’d love to hear about how you’ve incorporated these tips into creating great landing pages for your business. Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

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The post Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create Great Landing Pages appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

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Autumn emails: Harvesting the best themes for the season

Unless you run a pumpkin farm, autumn sometimes brings a dip in business along with the drop in temperature. Many consumers take a spending breather after the expenses of summer vacations and back-to-school season, and before the traditional holiday shopping extravaganza begins.

The good news is that many of your competitors will likely take a bit of a marketing break, too. They’ll reserve their creativity, zest and drive for the upcoming holiday season. That means you’ll have less competition to catch consumers’ interest with your standout autumn marketing tactics!

Here are 10 clever autumnal email marketing themes, topics and tips to help your small business reap the lion’s share of the harvest this fall:

  1. Create and promote your own pre-holidays holiday. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will soon grab all the attention. Before the traditional holiday frenzy hits, cook up your own promotional holiday. For example, a florist or nursery could stage a “First Mums of the Season” event. Clothing stores could sponsor a winter clothing sale and dub it “Sweater Weather Week.” Have a hardware store? Present a “Before the First Snowflake Falls” sale on must-have items like shovels and driveway salt. Promote your special events with great email subject lines.
  2. Invite customers to “rake in” the savings with a contest. Autumn leaves look lovely on trees — not so much on your lawn and driveway. People are going to be out there raking away, so why not invite them to rake in the savings, too? Send out an email announcing a contest in which participants enter by submitting a photo of themselves raking leaves. Offer prizes for categories like the prettiest, funniest and hardest working. Sweeten the deal by offering an email coupon for a discount or freebie to everyone who enters.
  3. Personalize Thanksgiving with a personal thanks. Thanksgiving seems to straddle the border between fall and winter, but whatever season you assign it to, it’s a great time to show your customers you appreciate their business. The week before Thanksgiving (because people are distracted the actual week of Thanksgiving), send out personalized thank you emails. If possible, go beyond simply inserting the customer’s name in your subject line and greeting. For important customers, it would be worth it to specifically mention something you’re grateful for — “Your purchase of 500 cases of premium widgets helped make our summer great, and we’re thankful for your business!” Or, try segmenting your email marketing list based on spending patterns and send customers emails with discount codes or coupons relevant to their purchasing habits.
  4. Ask customers to help you celebrate your small self! Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 25 this year, celebrating the contributions small businesses like yours make to the national economy and local communities. Observe the day with a sale and ask customers to stop in and say hello. Send an email encouraging them to like the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
  5. Stage a fall premiere costume contest. TV devotees find fall an exciting time, as many of their favorite shows return for new seasons, and new programs join network lineups. Use email to announce a costume contest, and invite customers to dress up as characters from their favorite fall shows. Set up a portal on your website where participants can submit photos of themselves in costumes and site visitors can vote on the best one.
  6. Get involved in politics — safely! Taking a stand in politics can be risky business, but promoting greater participation in the democratic process can be a win for your small company. It’s as simple as sending out an email before Election Day letting people know that anyone who comes into your store that day wearing an “I voted” sticker will receive a gift. It could be a small token with your business name on it, such as a stress ball, or a coupon for savings on a future purchase.
  7. Help out with “how-to’s.” Autumn brings a lot of questions for people. What’s the best type of backpack for my kindergartener? How do I know how much turkey I’ll need for my Thanksgiving dinner party? What’s the safest way to shovel snow and not hurt my back? How do I winterize my house, boat or car? Depending on your type of business, chances are you can help answer some of those questions. Send out informational emails with “how-to” explanations for topics that relate to your business. For example, a restaurant could offer advice on how to roast (and reheat) the perfect turkey. A spirits seller could offer advice on how to pair wine perfectly with favorite holiday foods. A pest-control company could provide information on keeping mice and other critters out of your home during cold weather.
  8. Promote “You’re Welcome Day.” Practically everyone will have a Black Friday promotion (you probably will, too), but you can also roll out something different by celebrating “You’re Welcome Day,” which is observed nationally the day after Thanksgiving. After everyone has said “thanks,” it seems only polite to respond: “You’re welcome.” Use email to announce the warm welcome you’ll give Black Friday shoppers — in the form of discounts, coupons, free in-store refreshments, giveaways and more.
  9. Score with a football-related promo. Fall is the season that marks the return of football — both live-action and fantasy. You can do your own version of a fantasy football league by adorning emails, your Facebook page or your blog with a link that takes users to a webpage where they can enter their email addresses, pick their favorite teams and make score predictions. In addition to the pride of competition, sweeten the deal by offering rewards for customers who make accurate predictions.
  10. Tease readers with what’s ahead. To quote Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming.” Smart small business owners plan their holiday promotions well in advance. Why not send out an email that teases customers with tidbits of information about upcoming sales, promotions, events and celebrations? It’s a way to build excitement among your customer base for the holiday season!

Autumn promotions can be just as hot for business as spring and summer email marketing efforts. All you need is some creativity and a great email list.

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2017, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

The post Autumn emails: Harvesting the best themes for the season appeared first on Vertical Response Blog.

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How to Collaborate with Influencers to Increase Your Conversions: Examples and Tools


Influencer marketing has been on the rise for a couple of months now, but how many marketers really understand how to use the tactic effectively? It’s not really about buzz. A traffic boost is fine, but how often can you really reach out to niche influencers to collaborate on something? They have their own lives and they are pretty busy people. Influencer-driven projects cannot happen too often. You cannot build your site on them (in most cases), and those traffic boosts they trigger are only temporary. But is it possible to use influencer outreach to improve your bottom line? How…

The post How to Collaborate with Influencers to Increase Your Conversions: Examples and Tools appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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