Ask MarketingSherpa: Maturity of conversion rate optimization (CRO) industry

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of these conversations here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.     Dear MarketingSherpa: Hi there Daniel, I quite like the sequence you have built, it’s quite relevant and well refined. With regards to the personal note, very well done. I am guessing you get a mixed bag from this one. I would like to ask a question, in your opinion, where do you think CRO is in the adoption lifecycle? As an industry/set of processes do you think it is still early days or are we nearing the end or somewhere in the middle? From: Kaleb Ufton, Director of Technology and Digital Marketing Strategy, EKOH Marketing   […]

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Ask MarketingSherpa: Finding and hiring content marketing writers

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of these conversations here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.   Dear MarketingSherpa: What factors should I consider when hiring a content marketing writer? Do you have any recommendations for content writing services or other ways of finding content marketing writers? We produce a lot of content internally but are aiming to scale by outsourcing. We’ve used a few providers in the past (freelance writers and an online writers’ marketplace, for example) and currently use a content writing agency, though I’d welcome any other suggestions.   Dear Reader: From our limited experience, there is no content writing service that is head and shoulders above the rest for every […]

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Inbound Marketing: Do you care about the quality of your brand’s content?

If I had to break down the world of content marketing into two groups, it would be these: Those who care about the quality of their content And those who don’t Ouch. Seeing those words in writing, my statement is a little harsh. So let me try to rephrase: Those who only see content as a means to an end And those who view content as an (often free) product that should have value in and of itself To further refine this split, we could say there are two content marketing approaches we can simply label: Of course, every piece of content offers some level of value. You need a certain level of consistent production for even the most high-quality content. And there are shades of gray between the two extremes. That said, I’ve noticed more and more of a focus on the “high quantity/means-to-an-end” approach as the content marketing […]

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Effective Landing Pages: 30 powerful headlines that improved marketing results

There are 21 psychological elements that power effective web design (see infographic). Of those elements, one of the first your customers will experience is the headline.   A powerful headline is your make-or-break opportunity to connect with the customer and get them to engage with the rest of your page — and ultimately convert. We’ll provide you oodles of examples of effective headlines in this MarketingSherpa blog post to help spark ideas as you brainstorm your own headlines. And you can delve deeper into all 21 of those psychological elements in the following videos from MarketingSherpa’s sister brand, MarketingExperiments: The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part I) The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 2) The 21 Psychological Elements that Power Effective Web Design (Part 3) (This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.)   Now on to the examples … Like […]

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Ask MarketingSherpa: Value proposition layers versus communicating the value prop concisely

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of them here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.   Dear MarketingSherpa: Thanks for the great resources. I have been in touch in the hopes of getting some direct support around our value proposition. We’ve taken insights from the Value Proposition course (and Flint’s new book) and redesigned our site (note, we haven’t yet implemented these new designs). Is it common to present the value proposition in layers or should it be communicated more concisely? How early in the user journey should the value proposition be presented? Is it typically done on the homepage? Do you have examples of companies successfully implementing the value proposition in this way? […]

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Landing Page Optimization: Original MarketingSherpa Landing Page Handbook now available for free download

  I recently received an email from a MarketingSherpa reader asking how he could point people to the Landing Page Handbook. He ended the email by saying …   “I still think the Landing Page Handbook is the best resource on the topic that has ever been produced.” — Ken Molay, President, Webinar Success   And the data shows it. The MarketingSherpa Landing Page Handbook is one of the most popular resources we have offered in 20 years of publishing. So we dug into our archives, and are now offering this handbook free to you, the MarketingSherpa reader.   Since it’s publication over a decade ago, the Landing Page Handbook has been a frequently cited resource throughout the years. Some examples:   CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE LANDING PAGE HANDBOOK   And of course, generated plenty of discussions when its second edition was released in 2007:   When it […]

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Content Syndication: How to get wider distribution of your content marketing

There was a legend called El Dorado. An ancient lost city of gold. The legend drove many an adventurer to risk it all for the possibility of riches beyond their wildest dreams. I think of El Dorado anytime content syndication comes up. A legend, passed down from content marketer to content marketer. All you need is content syndication to get endless golden traffic flowing to the content on your site, more demand than you can handle. If only it were that easy. But, the search for El Dorado led to the discovery of what had been foreign to the European explorers. It was the incentive they needed to map areas that were new to their countries. Without that legend, would they have driven as hard and far? Would they have taken the risk? Perhaps content syndication is the same way. It’s not the easy untapped city of gold. But if […]

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MarketingSherpa Podcast #5: Ten things you should think about before you do your next website redesign

Education is the ability to use other people’s experiences (mistakes) to avoid making your own mistakes. In that spirit, we prep you for avoiding some serious potholes on your journey while taking on that biggest of digital marketing projects — a website redesign. You can listen to this episode in whichever way is most convenient for you — or click the orange “Subscribe” button to get every episode. And scroll down to read more about website redesigns. This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.     Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 36:44 — 33.7MB) | Embed Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Spotify |   Note: It may take up to 24 hours for the podcast to populate/become available across all supported platforms.   More About Episode #5 — Website redesign “The point is: You get to […]

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Lead generation success = nature + nurture

What drives a successful lead generation and nurturing strategy for a complex sale? Is it the nature of the leads themselves? Was its success predetermined at the very birthing of the lead because of the way you generated the lead? For example, a lead filling out a hand-raise form for your service has a far likelier chance of success than a lead clicking on a PPC ad for a free iPad. Or is it the learned behavior of the lead, the environmental factors you influence them with through your lead nurturing. In other words, no matter how good the lead is, you need to shepherd these people along and help them understand the value of your product or service. True success requires both quality lead generation and intelligent lead nurturing. Here are tips and examples from some successful business enterprises to help you get better leads and nurture them effectively. […]

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Value Proposition: The right strategy beats a bigger budget

Marketers say they have money problems. According to research from Conductor, lack of budget is the biggest internal challenge that could negatively impact online performance. Securing budget/investment is the most extreme challenge for marketing teams, according to KoMarketing research. And here at MarketingSherpa, you’ve told us the size of your marketing budget is a barrier to growth time, after time, after time. Hey, I hear you, marketers. I want a bigger budget as well. But if you can’t simply throw more money at the problem or outspend the competition, you can still beat them — with a better approach. In other words, a more effective value proposition. I recently came across the perfect example when I talked to a marketer who likely has far fewer resources than you do. This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter. A value proposition based on customer-first marketing Dean Porter is the development […]

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Ask MarketingSherpa: How do small businesses find clients?

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in a one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of them here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.   Dear MarketingSherpa:  I have a question for you. In this ever more increasing digital age — where pressing palms and getting face time is getting harder and harder. How do small businesses find clients? I am a graphic designer/marketer whose business model is to contract with other small businesses. Much like a General Contractor hires subs when they build or remodel a house. When I get together with other contractors in the marcom field (web designers, marketers, other designers, branding specialists, etc.) the first question is generally ‘So, how do you find new clients?” The answer is generally referral, […]

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Ask MarketingSherpa: Internship for international student in the US

We frequently receive questions from our email subscribers asking marketing advice. Instead of hiding those answers in one-to-one email communication, we occasionally publish edited excerpts of some of them here on the MarketingSherpa blog so they can help other readers as well. If you have any questions, let us know.   Dear MarketingSherpa: Hi, Daniel Burstein. I appreciate it that you are so warm-heart and nice to offer to help. Currently, I am a graduate, major in Social Media and Mobile Marketing. I want to seek a Summer Intern in the field of Marketing or Digital Marketing, either full-time or part-time. I am an International student from China. According to my current situation, do you have some advice to give me? When you are free, could you let me know your suggestions. I am so grateful to hear from you. Regards,   Dear Reader: Congratulations on your academic achievements and […]

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MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #4: What do you lead with?

What is an impactful way to increase conversion? Or … How do you grab your customer’s attention? See, I could have led with either statement. Both statements describe our conversation in the latest MarketingSherpa podcast. But my hypothesis was that the first statement would grab your attention more. Customer attention is a scarce resource. There is only space for one headline in the print ad, only a set amount of characters in a paid search ad, only six seconds that will be the opening six seconds of your TV commercial. And yet, your product likely has many value attributes. So what do you lead with? To elucidate (and other fancy words) yourself on this subject, you can listen to this episode below in whichever way is most convenient for you — or click the orange “Subscribe” button to get every episode.     Podcast: Play in new window | Download […]

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Marketing 101: What are ad blockers?

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know. Ad blockers are software that, as the name suggests, allow web users to block the ads on websites. Ad-blocking software (also known as ad filtering) can take different forms — from a web browser extension or plugin like AdBlock Plus to a standalone browser like Brave. According to MarketingSherpa research, the top reason American consumers block online ads is because “I dislike large ads that pop up over the entire webpage,” followed closely by “Ads make the webpages load too slow” and “Rollover ads are intrusive.” While ad blockers have gotten more attention lately, they are not new. For example, MarketingSherpa published a story on them back in 2001 […]

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Value Proposition: Before you express the value, you have to deeply understand the value (MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #3)

You think your product is great. Your service is top-notch. And personally, I have no reason to doubt you. Your ideal customer, on the other hand … let’s face it, they don’t live in the four walls of your office. They aren’t thinking about your product every moment of every day like you are. They – and I hope this doesn’t sound harsh – really don’t care. This disconnect is normal, of course. But here’s where you’ll get in trouble. The next time you hire an advertising agency to create a campaign, when you redesign your website, when you launch a product – if you use that same insider thinking, you will undercut your marketing investments. Because those advertising and marketing creatives need to be armed with an essential reason why the ideal customer should buy your product. Without that core reason – that marketing creativity isn’t being put to […]

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Marketing 101: What is a mobile breakpoint?

Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know. In responsive design, a breakpoint is where the layout of the webpage changes based on the size of the device. Mobile breakpoints are the sizes for mobile devices. For example, a responsive design may have three sizes — desktop, tablet, smartphone. In that case, the mobile breakpoints would be the tablet and smartphone size. Here is a GIF created by MECLABS Institute Senior Designer/Web Specialist Charlie Moore that shows a website with three breakpoints. Choosing breakpoints You can choose which and how many breakpoints your website has. For example, instead of just the three referenced breakpoints mentioned above, you can add in a fourth breakpoint for small laptops. If […]

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Mobile: Device or segment? (MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #2)

You might be reading this blog post on a smartphone. Or perhaps you’re about to listen to this podcast on your phone. Because mobile has taken over. We have all become cyborgs now — part human, part machine. Don’t believe me? Just trying going without your phone for 24 hours. Go ahead, I dare you. As a marketer, these societal changes should spark some curiosity questions. How do these customer behavior changes help you help the customer make the best decisions? How can you better serve customers on mobile devices and increase marketing performance? And really, what is mobile anyway? Is it a device — just the same people we’re trying to reach on the desktop but with less screen space? Or is it a segment — people’s behaviors (and perhaps even the people) are so different when they’re on a smartphone that we need to approach them in an […]

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MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #1: The Role of the Human Connection in Your Marketing

Marketing and technology go hand-in-hand these days. And the addition of technology has created some incredibly powerful abilities for marketers. But… We’re still just human beings trying to get a message out to other human beings. So what role should that human connection play in your marketing? It’s a topic we cover in MarketingSherpa Podcast Episode #1 — you can listen to below in whichever way is most convenient for you or click the orange subscribe button to get every episode.     Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 40:12 — 36.8MB) | Embed Subscribe: Android | Google Podcasts |   Welcome to the new MarketingSherpa podcast I can’t say this is the first MarketingSherpa podcast. Long-time readers know that MarketingSherpa has been publishing and producing helpful content since the early days of marketing and has had a podcast before. In fact, MarketingSherpa has written about marketing for […]

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The Marketing Thank You Box: 12 reasons modern marketers can be thankful

I hate to admit it. But as I’ve advanced in my career, I’ve become a little cranky. Sometimes I can be like a marketing version of Grandpa on “The Simpsons” — “I remember when everything was print so there were real deadlines, not like a landing page which you have to constantly optimize. And we’d write ads for The Wall Street Journal, not for phones. Phones were actually for making phone calls. And another thing …” But when I look outside my office this month, I see the Thank You Box. It’s an effort to show appreciation for others in the office here at MECLABS Institute. Simply write a note about why you’re thankful for someone. So, in this month of gratitude, here are 12 elements of modern marketing I’m thankful for: That email is a two-way street — It’s a feature that can be overlooked in email marketing, but […]

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How to Structure a Story in a Presentation

A MECLABS Institute Research Partner was putting together a major presentation and recently reached out for thoughts on how to structure it. As with conversion and many other areas of marketing, MECLABS (the parent research organization of MarketingSherpa) has a specific framework for crafting engaging presentations. Using a trusted framework can help because public speaking, whether on webinars, in-person at conferences, to prospects on a sales call or in an internal meeting. But it does not come naturally to many people. In fact, public speaking is often ranked as a more common fear than death in national surveys, prompting Jerry Seinfeld to remark, “In other words, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” How morose. But it points out the need to support whoever in your company is speaking on behalf of your brand — sales reps, subject matter experts, C-level […]

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