From spend monitoring to ad ranking, keeping tabs on your campaign performance across your different marketing channels can be a lot of work. And because optimization is the key to a successful campaign, it’s good to stay in the know. However, most of us are not on our computers all the time, so we need an easy and efficient way to stay on top of it all, and be notified of any major changes immediately.
With Marin’s Automated Alerts, you can stay in the know with automatic monitoring and notifications for all your marketing campaigns. These alerts bring changes directly to your inbox, so that you can be notified as soon as they happen. This means timelier analysis and action, so that your campaigns can continue running smoothly even while you're away.
Check out these 5 alerts that you can set up in Marin to stay productive, optimize strategy, and make the most out of each advertising dollar.
This may feel pretty standard. But as a reminder, the cost of an acquisition or conversion is important to ensure not only that our ads are converting, but that they are doing so at a profitable rate. It is important to modify an alert like this one with an impressions count to be sure that an ad or campaign has reached enough users to properly determine an ideal CPA.
Example: Alert me if impressions are greater than 1000 and CPA is greater than X.
Getting Close to Spend Cap
This can help you monitor your budget pacing, and view the rate at which your campaigns spend. Take action before your cap is hit so that you make adjustments to achieve your performance goals.
Example: Alert me if total spend > $950 (where spend cap = $1000).
Impression Share is Dropping
If your strategy includes top or absolute top impression share, this alert is for you. By receiving a notification when an ad’s impression share drops below your target, you can take the appropriate action (improve ad ranking, evaluate keywords, expand budget) before falling too far behind.
Example: Alert me if the impression share drops by more than 10%
If you’re testing out some new keywords for your campaigns, use this alert to monitor their performance and iterate when necessary. This alert is great for keyword strategy
Example: Alert me if CTR is less than 3% for selected keywords.
Ads Not Converting
Your ads may not be converting because of audience targeting, ad copy, or user-experience on your landing page, you want to be notified about ads that don’t lead consumers to the end goal of a purchase or sign-up. This helps you save money and optimize your campaign for success.
Example: Alert me if I’ve spent more than $1000 and conversion rate is less than 10%.
Once you’ve created these alerts, you can breathe a bit easier knowing that if something dramatically shifts in a campaign, you’ll be notified and can take action immediately. Automated alerts in Marin are customizable and can be set up in just a few minutes. Schedule time with an account representative today to learn more!
This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder and CEO of KlientBoost.
Wondering why you’re being plagued with low conversion rates and high first-page bounce rates?
As marketers—we’ve all been there.
If you stop to reflect on your audience’s user experience once they land on your page, you might notice that it’s not so inviting after all.
The reality is, that first-page form field might be dissuading your visitors without you even knowing it.
The Breadcrumb Technique helps address the issue of aggressive single-page form fields and gives you the tools to create a much more effective landing page user experience.
What is the Breadcrumb Technique?
The Breadcrumb Technique refers to the use of multi-step landing page forms in order to get visitors to micro-convert all the way to the desired conversion action. Just like Hansel and Gretel who left themselves breadcrumbs in order to find their way back home, the technique uses the same principle in guiding a potential converter with low-threat questions until the very end.
There is a common misconception that having fewer forms means a greater chance that a visitor will convert. It’s understandable. After all, “less is more,” right?
While there are certainly cases where this is true, quite the opposite has also been proven to happen. If you know how to leverage them, adding more low-threat questions in progression can actually reduce conversion anxiety, thus leading to higher conversion rates.
“What your prospect feels when confronted with friction on your landing page or website. Anxiety occurs when your page poorly communicates your value proposition or creates doubt in the user’s mind.”
Stirring up conversion anxiety can bring issues like fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) into play. And when you’re a marketer trying to get a visitor to leave his/her name, email, and phone number, FUD is the last thing you want.
So what is it about single-page form fields that causes user anxiety?
What Causes User Anxiety?
If we try to channel some user empathy, we can get a good idea of why visitors might be feeling anxious when converting.
Let’s say you’re thinking about replacing the carpet in your house:
You enter “carpet installers” in Google Search.
You click an ad that tells you that they have the lowest prices of all the other companies.
Once you land on the first page, you’re hit with a long form that requests all your personal contact information.
At this point, the form has already come on too strong. While you wanted to start looking for the best prices on carpet installers, you probably weren’t ready to share your information and be contacted by a salesperson.
They’ll most likely give you an aggressive sales pitch that you just aren't ready for.
Fear...of being contacted when you aren’t ready.
Uncertainty...about whether or not it’s the right company to hire.
Doubt….of whether to leave your information in the first place.
These are all things the Breadcrumb Technique solves.
How Does the BreadCrumb Technique Work?
To answer this question, first understand two forms of user psychology. We’ll focus on the “yes” ladder and compliance psychology.
The “Yes” Ladder
This is a type of persuasion method focused on getting your visitors to say “yes” to small, less aggressive questions in order to gain their trust. From there, you slowly start asking slightly more aggressive questions until the “ultimate ask” or goal is reached.
You can see that the first step asks very low-threat questions, staying away from personal information. The second step’s questions are a tad more aggressive, qualifying questions. And the last page asks for the actually valuable, desired, contact information.
Take note that these questions don’t have to be pointless. Figure out what qualifying questions would constitute a high-quality lead for your business and implement them on separate pages.
Now, you may be asking, “Why would they continue answering if they started seeing multiple pages anyway? They might not even give me their info once they reach the end.”
All valid questions. That’s where compliance psychology comes in.
This is the idea that a marketer can put their “foot-in-the-door” with a potential converter using small, low-threat questions, thus leading to a better chance that they’ll answer the next question in the sequence.
In simplest terms, they’ve already committed to the first set of questions, so they might as well answer the next ones until they’ve finished what they started.
Whether you should be using a two-step, three-step, or even five-step form is all based on testing. Try A/B testing each length until you find the number of pages that show you an increase in conversions. If you notice conversion rates decreasing as a result of too many form field pages, you'll know you’ve gone too far.
It’s also a good idea to test the qualifying questions that you use in the intermediary steps of your forms. They could just as well lead to improved conversion rates if people identify effortlessly.
That was a lot of emotions to take in for a landing page optimization topic! But it’s added a lot of understanding on how your visitors feel about their user experience.
Remember: the main goal of conversion rate optimization is always to increase conversion rates. So although this method is about user psychology, the technique still follows any business's main objective—to increase revenue.
Well, as most marketers would agree, the strongest tactics and best “best practices” are always based on hard-earned data. So we’ve collected five eCommerce landing page tips and tactics that have created significant, measurable growth for eCommerce vendors.
In fact, the first example shows the importance of collecting measurable results in the first place…
Example 1: Testing & Optimization
Creating an eCommerce landing page without testing in place is like shooting a basketball with a blindfold on. You might get lucky and score once or twice, but you won’t improve if you can’t see what you’re doing.
Let’s take one common landing page bugaboo, page length, for example. Some conversion experts cite short landing pages as their favorite examples. Others will tell you to go long.
For example, SEO software provider Moz created a landing page variant that replaced their basic model with an entire buyer’s journey:
In the end, the test results showed a 30% higher conversion rate for the longer page. So longer pages are better, right?
Well, in the second test, below, the shorter landing page variant increased conversions by 70.1%:
Wait, size really doesn’t matter? So confusing. - image source
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the length of your landing page—but there is a way to find out what your visitors want.
How, you ask? Test it.
Testing variations on your landing page is the only surefire way to find out what your particular audience needs to convert. The right page length — just like the right headline, the right call to action, and the right form fields — is easier to find when you can back up blue-sky ideas with real information.
Why It Works
In both instances above, the data provided measurable results (not educated guesses) that the designers could work from and improve upon.
Testing elements of your landing page and making changes based on those results will help you close gaps in your conversion funnel and bring in more qualified leads.
Here’s another example: one of our recent clients, a Southern California-based credit union, increased their landing page conversion rate by 174% and reduced cost per conversion by 81% — after just one round of testing.
The three different examples prove the same tactics’ value through-and-through: strategies are one thing, testing and providing actionable data is another. The strongest changes and strategies aren’t based on hunches, they are built on cold, hard, numbers.
With this tactic, you don’t ask for your visitor’s name, phone number, and email up front. Instead, you start with some qualifying questions to demonstrate that you and your visitor are a good fit for each other. This filter also helps reduce leads that weren’t going to convert anyway.
In this example, the Advanced Grass’s landing page form wasn’t converting well, despite the incentives and benefits listed throughout the page:
Advanced Grass’s original four-question form. - image source
Instead of reducing the number of form fields or changing the offer entirely, this landing page added an initial stage of questions before the contact information request:
Stage one of Advanced Grass’s new two-stage landing page form. - image source
Adding questions with preset responses before the contact form actually boosted Advanced Grass’s conversion rate by 214%.
Why It Works
Adding more questions might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to reduce user friction, but the Breadcrumb Technique is effective for three simple reasons.
First, inciting engagement is much easier if your lead off with low-impact, non-threatening questions like those in the second image above. Compliance Psychology states that the smaller the initial ask, the more likely you are to receive a yes as your request grows in size and significance.
Once you have your “foot in the door,” high-impact questions like contact information becomes less threatening.
Second, user psychology. Getting visitors to answer your innocuous first-stage questions, especially questions that don’t require personal information, creates a commitment that they’ll naturally want to follow through to the end.
Third, if you have your tracking set up correctly, you can start to identify where in your conversion form users are giving up. Maybe your initial questions are perfect and users are starting to convert, but your offer is still too strong and users are “bouncing” between the penultimate and final stages of your form. This type of actionable data makes it easier to tweak your offer.
Either way, the Breadcrumb Technique primes your conversion forms for more engagement and more quality leads.
Example 3: Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) allows you to customize your ad text without creating an overwhelming number of ad groups.
DKI is a useful tool for eCommerce systems with large inventories or products with different names but the same description. By inserting specific terms that match searches, your users will be more likely to convert.
In this example, AskNicely is promoting software that records and reports customer feedback through Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which can appear under a variety of searches. The primary term, “software,” appears in the original headline, but if a user looks specifically for “NPS software,” that phrase appears in place of the original word:
The keyword or phrase you searched for would determine which headline you’d see in the ad above. - image source
DKI can also help with reaching a local audience. If you’re trying to reach a specific geographic area with your marketing, the same feature that inserts the location name into your ad can add it to your landing page, like in the section below:
Will Northern Ontario have to keep shopping for carpet the hard way? - image source
Why It Works
Dynamic Keyword Insertion adds specificity to your eCommerce efforts that make your landing pages seem more personal, local, and attuned to your user’s needs.
By adapting your copy to match the local and/or specialized keywords your audience is looking for, you’re more likely to engage and convert these visitors into qualified leads.
Example 4: Micro-Conversion Tracking
Micro-conversions are the steps a visitor must take to convert on your landing page.
While they don’t count as actual conversions, some trackable landing page micro-conversions include time on site, video views, partial form completion, cart abandonment and more.
When clothing subscription service Le Tote wanted to increase the scale of their online advertising, they realized they wouldn’t get far without tracking and improving upon the steps that led to a conversion.
By combining updated landing pages with micro-conversion tracking, Le Tote was able to increase conversions by more than 250% and reduce cost per conversion by more than 60%.
Why It Works
Think of each successful micro-conversion as a forward step on your “conversion bridge,” which users need to cross to complete your desired action.
Tracking micro-conversions can illuminate where users are getting hung up on your landing page, which will help you address those obstacles and make your landing page more effective.
Example 5: Live Chat
Adding a live chat box to your eCommerce landing page can also improve your qualified leads, conversion rates, and sales. By actively engaging your visitors, you can guide them through the sales funnel and respond to their concerns in real time.
Financial software provider Intuit added a live chat box on their product comparison page and saw sales increase by 211%:
Having a specialist on hand to answer questions is especially useful for large or complex online transactions. – image source
Intuit also tested a “Chat Now” prompt on their shopping cart page to offer assistance during the later stages of the buying cycle and reduce cart abandonment:
Note the message match: Because QuickBooks is in the shopping cart, it’s mentioned in the chat prompt. – image source
The live chat on this page led to a 43% increase in average order value and a 20% boost in conversion rate.
Why It Works
An eDigitalResearch customer service survey found that consumers preferred live chat for customer service over email, phone, and social media. Furthermore, 67% of the respondents that were already using live chat found it easy to use, and 73% said they were highly satisfied with their system.
Live chat boxes can help you reduce any friction your visitors may be experiencing while allowing them to chat anonymously, which is less pressure than phone, email or video chat. It also helps build confidence in your brand and puts your users at ease; they know that you’re an expert who is ready and waiting to help them in any way they may need.
Implementing these five tips and tactics into your own eCommerce landing pages can help you increase your conversion rate, leading to more qualified leads, sales, and improved customer value.
But keep in mind, just as the first tactic stressed, eCommerce campaigns are peculiar little beasts. Each will bring its own problems, pain points, and solutions. So make sure you take the time to customize your campaigns and testing to your audience to get the best results possible.
What’s the saying? There is no rest for the weary? Just when it feels like summer’s just begun, it’s already time to switch up your marketing campaigns for back-to-school shoppers.
According to Google Trends, interest in “Back to school” is on the rise since early June. But summer isn’t over yet, which makes this the perfect time to take advantage of this level of interest before we hit peak season.
Here are the top 6 things to make sure you check off your list to ensure you’re prepared for this year’s back-to-school season:
Understand your competition.
Don’t be so quick to start changing bids. A little research on your competitors goes a long way. Identify the gaps and move quickly on those opportunities. Look for top and direct competitor ads, and don’t forget online tools that can assist in finding out what competitors are doing with keyword bids. We recommend arming yourself with competitive information now so that your account is prepared for the next big retail shopping season.
Target back-to-school focused search queries.
Most back-to-school shoppers include parents and college students—as they prepare for back to school, they’re also searching online for deals. Marketers can benefit from this by creating campaigns that are focused specifically on back-to-school keywords and deal searches. Some examples of this are:
back to school supplies
back to school sales
cheap school supplies
Be sure to give these campaigns a healthy budget, plus either an end date or a scheduled pause to ensure they don’t continue to run post-season.
Create relevant, compelling ad copy and landing pages.
Parents and college students are often price conscious, but also want the products they purchase to last. Also, shoppers are often looking for sales to save money. Marketers should focus their ad copy around these consumer needs to incentivize shoppers to click their ads.
If a consumer doesn’t see a phrase that indicates there may be a good deal on the landing page that comes after their click, they may select a competitor instead. Helpful phrases include the obvious “back to school,” but also things like:
an additional X% off
all school year long
And more. We suggest using discount-focused terms for smaller ticket items like colored pencils, and durability-focused terms for larger ticket items like backpacks and athletic shoes.
Put together a bidding strategy
Make sure your strategy is informed by previous years’ data and this year’s goals. This also goes in line with understanding your competition, as we mentioned earlier. Take note of when the cost-per-click in your campaigns rose last year, and by how much, and adjust bids accordingly to ensure you’re pacing well with market demands throughout the season.
Don’t forget to include your shopping campaigns in your bidding strategy planning as well, especially for larger ticket items. Many consumers do a lot of research on items such as backpacks prior to making a decision, and may choose to purchase these items online in order to get exactly what they want.
Stay top of mind using retargeting.
Retargeting is another area where you may be able to better keep the attention of consumers who do a lot of price comparison shopping before making a purchase. Create a separate retargeting campaign specific to, again, higher-dollar items such as backpacks and athletic shoes, targeting users for several days after viewing your product.
When creating these retargeting ads, we recommend showing the products viewed previously in the ad, and potentially offering a coupon code to incentivize the consumer to purchase this product from your business specifically.
Parent and student purchase decisions are heavily influenced by mobile. According to Google, in 2014 over 40% of back-to-school searches were done via mobile devices. These searches are typically performed on the go by busy parents and students trying to get back-to-school shopping done in between all the other things they need to do.
What are these roving shoppers doing? They're performing price comparisons, checking product availability, and searching for the closest store to their current location to sneak in a quick trip and check items off their list. You can capitalize on this by using location extensions and prominently displaying inventory availability for products at nearby stores on their easy-to-navigate mobile site.
If you’re strapped for time and can’t roll out a new back-to-school strategy, keep this checklist on hand, since these best practices are also applicable during the holiday shopping season. Want to learn more? Join the Center of Excellence for our back-to-school webinar on Thursday, July 21st!
With spring rapidly approaching, this is a great time for search marketers to start preparing for an annual account audit. What are some of the top areas of focus for spring cleaning your account? Marin's Center of Excellence has created a process for identifying key ways accounts can be improved through structural and performance-based changes.
Step 1: Identify pain points in the account to narrow your focus
Before you dive into cleaning up your account, identify the main areas where you’d like to focus your time. Chances are you don’t have a lot of bandwidth to dedicate to anything but day to day management tasks -- so to save time, start by asking yourself some questions to help narrow the focus of your audit and cleanup.
Some of these questions might include:
Where does the account fall short of meeting its goals?
Does the account have unutilized objects (things like past promotional creatives)?
Do you regularly perform A/B tests?
Have you had issues with revenue attribution?
Step 2: Perform an audit
The second step is to perform an audit of your account. You should focus your time on two major areas of opportunity: account structure and performance.
Tip: When performing the account audit, pull data in a format that allows you to make bulk changes. This way, once you’ve identified issues, you can easily take action and save time.
First, take a look at your account structure to make sure it follows search marketing best practices. This’ll make your account easier to navigate and ease day to day management. Second, analyze your account for performance issues that require action. The Center of Excellence recommends looking for the following:
Past promotional creatives
Missing active keywords/creatives
Campaign setting alignment
URL tracking issues
Optimal use of negative keywords
Quality Score analysis
Landing page content
Step 3: Implement changes
The third step is to take corrective action based on insights you discover during the audit.
Be sure to keep track of any changes you make and a record of the audit -- this is essential, since it’ll allow you to effectively measure future performance.
Step 4: Measure
Use your record of changes to measure the impact of your spring cleaning efforts. Compile this information into a visual representation of the improvements to share with your colleagues or clients.
If you’re a Marin customer interested in partnering with the Center of Excellence on an account audit, contact your account representative, who’ll connect you with a Center of Excellence consultant today! Or, if you’re new to Marin, request a demo.