Category Archives: Lead Generation

how-to-create-customer-profile

How to Create an Effective Customer Profile

How well do you know your customers? You might have some insight into their browsing habits or demographic information, but do you know what their hopes and dreams are?

That might sound silly or unnecessary, but the more you know about your customers the easier it is to understand, anticipate and meet their needs.

One way to get a better sense of your customers and what makes them tick is to create a customer profile (also known as a buyer persona). Having a customer profile makes it a lot easier for you to imagine the type of person that you’re trying to reach and how to communicate with them effectively.

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What Should Be Included in a Customer Profile?

A customer profile or buyer persona should suit your business’s needs, so there’s no one perfect template, but generally they are made up of demographics and psychographics.

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Demographics

Demographic information can include things like age, gender, race, marital status, family size, household income, location, etc. It’s pretty generic snapshot information about your customers.

It can give you some very quick insight into who your customers are. However it’s really important not to make too many assumptions based on demographics alone. We’ll discuss that a bit more later and how to avoid some common mistakes when analyzing data.

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Psychographics

If demographics are who your customers are, psychographics are the why. Psychographics include things like personality traits, interests, values, attitudes, activities—you know, all the things that make someone a well rounded person rather than just a statistic.

Psychographics help you have a much more meaningful understanding of your customers and how to connect with them.

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Customer Profile Template

There’s no one size fits all customer profile template that’s perfect for every business, but here are some things you might want to include.

Name – This is just to personalize your customer profile. The name should reflect the demographics of this segment of customers.

Job Title – Do most of your customers have decision making roles? Are they in high stress jobs? Come up with a job that fits the type of work this segment tends to do.

Demographics – What is the average age, gender, household income, family size, marital status, location, etc?

Goals and Challenges – What do they want to achieve? What are their personal and career goals? What problems do they have that your business might be able to solve?

Buying Habits – Are they a decision maker? Do they research purchases or impulse buy? Do they favor quality over economy products? Do they seek out referrals and reviews?

Where to find them – This could mean physical locations, or online spaces. Find out where they spend most of their time and what social websites they use. Learn what they read online and offline. Not only does this help you understand their interests, it helps you know where to advertise to them.

Activities – Everyone has a hobby or an activity that they enjoy. Knowing what your customers do with their time could impact how you market to them.

Interests – What do your customers think about? This could include things like becoming a better parent, advancing their career, improving their health, etc.

Attitudes and Values – It’s important to understand your customers values so you know the best way to communicate with them and earn their trust.

data-research

How to Develop A Customer Profile

There are a few different approaches to gathering data about your customers and if possible, you should incorporate all of them to have the most complete picture.

Primary Market Research

Conducting your own research is ideal because you have the most control over the questions you’re asking and who you’re reaching out to. This includes customer surveys, focus groups, interviews and analytics.

Using all of these methods together, in a specific order can really help you get a clear picture of your customer segments.

Starting with analytics, see how much you can glean and then move on to a survey to get more specific. If the survey leaves you with unanswered questions, you can follow up with an interview. Then you can conduct some focus groups to see if you’re on track.

Secondary Market Research

If your business is just starting out you may not have a customer base to survey or the resources to conduct studies and focus groups. That’s okay because a lot of that has been done already. It may not be as specific or insightful as primary market research, but it’s a place to start.

You can find public demographic information from resources like the US Census Bureau. You can also find journals and blogs about your industry to follow trends and research that might be useful to you. Another useful resource is trade associations, which may require a fee to join. And of course, if your competitors publish annual reports, read them!

Segmenting Customer Profiles

Once you’ve gathered all of your customer data and started analyzing it you will notice certain trends. The goal is not to narrow things down to just one customer profile and throw out the rest. Your goal should actually be to group your customers into a few different segments so you can target them effectively.

You may find that customers of different age groups spend their time on different social media platforms and value different things. Now that you know that, you can reach both groups in a different place, with a different message, targeting them more effectively. Your should have at least 2 or 3 customer profiles to make sure you’re not leaving out any significant portion of your customer base.

b2b-customer-profile

Creating B2B Customer Profiles

Putting together customer profiles for a B2B company takes a slightly different approach, but the same principles still apply.

Demographics in this case might include industry size, number of employees, revenue, who their customers are, etc.

Psychographics might include things like financial goals for the year, corporate culture, challenges and obstacles, etc. Similarly to a customer profile, you also want to know things about their buying habits. Who is the decision maker in the company? Are purchases made by one person or by committee? What kind of budget do they have for your products and services? What other B2B relationships do they have?

Time for Action!

After doing research and analysis, you should have several buyer personas that represent the most important segments of your customers. Good job!

Now, the question is, what have you learned that’s actionable?

A successful customer profile should give you the information you need to reach your customers more effectively. That includes knowing exactly where to advertise and how to write copy that resonates with your customers. Based on what you learned, you might even create new products and services to meet your customers’ needs. It also means, hopefully, you can avoid making huge mistakes and wasting money on promotions that would not engage your customers or creating new products that wouldn’t interest them.

Which leads us to…

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Common Mistakes When Creating a Customer Profile

The only way that creating a customer profile works is if you do it effectively. The goal is to get into the mindset of your customers and figure out the best way to communicate with them and solve their problems. If you make assumptions or research the wrong topics, your buyer persona will be significantly less effective.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Actually, this is a pretty good rule in marketing in general right? We’re supposed to test things, do market research, ask questions, test things again… you get the idea. Customer profiles work the same way. You have to use real data, rather than your gut. It can be easy to make things up that sound like they make sense, but it’s important that you do thorough research.

To avoid making too many assumptions about your data, write down your assumptions before you even begin your research. Make sure you challenge those assumptions. Also make sure you’re not accidentally ignoring data that might be contradictory to your original theories. Ask your team to point it out when you’re making assumptions.

Get A Large Enough Sample Size

One of the most common mistakes when creating a customer profile according to Aaron Agius, Founder of Louder Online, is not interviewing enough people. If you only have data from a few customers you just don’t have enough to information to be accurate. If you don’t have enough customers yet, supplement some of your data with secondary marketing research.

Don’t Lead the Witness

When conducting surveys, it’s really important to pay attention to your wording. Otherwise you might unintentionally skew your results.

When people are being observed or recorded they tend to answer questions how they think they should, rather than honestly. This is called “Social Desirability Bias” and it can skew your results. When asking questions like “Would you donate to charity?” or “Have you ever pirated a movie?” people might answer dishonestly to make themselves look better.

You might also impact how someone answers a question based on a previous question. To avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to send out randomized surveys with the questions in a different order.

Don’t Be Afraid to Dig Deeper

Looking at your analytics and talking to your sales reps are great places to start gathering information… but they can’t give you the whole picture. There’s still too much room to make assumptions about what motivates your customers and the reasoning behind their spending habits. In order to take things to the next level you need to hear from your actual customers and conduct your own survey.

Don’t Get Bogged Down WIth Useless Data

Yes, dig deeper, but unless you’re a sporting goods company, do you really need to know what your customer’s golf game is like? Probably not. Get specific, but make sure you’re asking the important questions.

Check Your Biases About Demographics

Back to that whole, don’t make assumptions thing, assumptions about demographics can drastically hinder your ability to connect with your customers.

Companies have made some serious missteps in the past when marketing to women, often using a tactic author and activist Belinda Parmar calls “pink it and shrink it.”

pink-pen

Bic famously drew negative attention by applying the “pink it and shrink it” tactic, creating the Bic pen “For Her.” The packaging suggested that the slimmer design of the pen would be more suitable for women, which begged the question were pens previously unsuitable for women? It was a marketing fail that lead to hundreds of bad reviews on Amazon and a satirical takedown on The Ellen Show.

This oversimplification and misunderstanding of women’s values not only misses the mark, but actually alienates a large part of the demographic.

It’s also important not to leave out any demographics based on your assumptions. Most surveys leave out people under 18 and lump anyone over age 65 together. Alex Powers who works in marketing recalls a children’s show he worked with that targeted parents only, leaving out grandparents who often play a major role in raising children.

It’s easy to imagine how many other groups get left out of market research based on biases, rather than facts.

One way to minimize biases when analyzing your research is to hire a diverse team with different skills and perspectives. It’s important not to make any assumptions about a demographic, especially if you aren’t a part of it.

Stay Up To Date!

It’s important to reevaluate your customer profiles every year or so. Your existing customers might change their priorities and i’s important to know if that happens. You might also attract a whole new customer base you didn’t have before, so you better get to know them too!

Need help creating profiles on your existing customers? We can help with our javascript technology. Request a demo.

abandonment-strategies

5 Super Effective Strategies for Abandonment Recovery

Does your website have abandonment issues? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Like most things in life, it’s how you deal with your issues that really matters.

Let’s start with a reassuring fact. It might feel like there’s not much you can do to stop cart abandonment, but if you anticipate the reasons your customers are leaving your site in the first place, you may be recover. In fact, according to a study by Qubit, abandonment recovery messaging resulted in a 1.1% uplift!

Cart abandonment is a really common problem for online businesses. And it makes sense when you think about your own shopping behavior. You go to a website to research a product or service, check prices, see what shipping might cost—but you’re not necessarily there to purchase something right in that moment. Sometimes you don’t have the money right then. Sometimes you’re blindsided by shipping prices. Sometimes you’re just doing research for a later purchase. There’s plenty of reasons you might not check out.

What might make you change your mind about leaving? To answer that, let’s go over some reasons you might abandon a website in the first place.

exit

The Intent Behind Exiting

There are tons of reasons a customer might leave your website without purchasing. They may even get so far as to add something to their cart, but just walk away. The best way to deal with cart abandonment is to have a better understanding of why customers leave.

Once you know why, you can use Exit Intent tools to trigger messages that may appeal to that customer as soon as they mouse away from the site towards the address bar.

It’s a Really Big Purchase

It’s one thing to mull over a $60 pair of sneakers. You might wonder if you could get away with a $30 pair. You might look for the same pair (or something similar) that’s a little cheaper. But generally speaking you don’t really need to talk to a sales rep about the benefits of footwear. You already know it’s a thing you need, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge expense.

But what about installing a ventilation system in your home? That might cost a little more than a pair of kicks. Not only that, but it’s a big decision. It’s something you’re going to be living with for years to come. It’s not something you decide on a whim.

A purchase like that usually requires some research and in depth knowledge of the product. You have to really understand how the system works, what the benefits are to having one and be able to wrap your head around the overall value. Those are the types of questions and concerns that are best addressed by a good sales rep. But of course your website isn’t a showroom floor. There’s not a friendly face waiting to answer questions and help the customer feel confident in their purchase.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to ask them if they need any help.

wavehome-solutions-qa

Solution 1: Answer Questions

Wave Home Solutions solves this problem by showing a Q&A form to customers who are about to leave the site. (It would be that showroom floor equivalent of asking someone who seems like they’re overwhelmed and may leave if they need any help.)

This form gives them the opportunity to connect with a customer who is interested in their system, but may not be ready to purchase for whatever reason. This form gives Waves Home Solutions a chance to narrow it down and figure out what else the customer may need to finalize their decision and make the purchase.

Looking For the Best Deal

Comparison shopping. We all do it. It’s one of the greatest things about online shopping. (That and never having to leave the couch or look for a space in a mall parking lot.) It’s so easy to just pull up a few different websites and see who’s got the best prices.

Of course as a retailer it’s frustrating, to say the least. Even if you try to be competitive with pricing, it’s not always possible to keep up. You may not be checking your competitor’s pricing daily, but your customers probably are.

Here’s the scenario: Dana, a potential customer has checked out a competitor’s site where she saw a price of $34.99. She then visits your site and sees $29.99. That’s better, but she has one more site to check…

Now you COULD be lucky and have a better price than the third place and she may come back. Or you might not have a better price and you lose the sale. You could even have the best price but she got a phone call, walked away from her PC and then forgot all about it. Now the lead is cold.

The thing to do in this case would be to throw up a quick offer, before she leaves.

emc-discount

Solution 2: Offer a Discount

EMC Security does just that. In the moment when Dana moves her mouse to the address bar she would see an offer for 57% off and the words “limited time offer.” That’s the perfect opportunity to grab the attention of comparison shoppers.

If you set up the offer so that it requires a customer to put in their email address that guarantees your ability to reconnect with that customer even if they keep shopping around.

How likely exactly? The follow up email that EMC Security sends has a 60% open rate and a 40% click rate.

Figuring Out Shipping

Comparison shopping isn’t only about price. It’s about shipping price. And not even just shipping price, but in some cases, shipping convenience.

If you’re buying something large and awkward—like say a sofa—you’re probably gonna give a lot of thought more thought to shipping than usual. You’re look at things like price. How it’s delivered. When it’s delivered. Or in some cases, if it can be delivered.

coleman

Solution 3: Make Shipping Hassle-Free

Coleman Furniture sets themselves apart in an ingenious way when it comes to shipping.

Any product that comes with free delivery and in home setup has that information featured on their product pages. But in case the customer doesn’t notice that, as soon as they go to exit the site, a lightbox message appears that says “Enter your Email for Free Delivery & In Home Setup.”

If you’ve ever had to bring a sofa home from the store, you already know what a great selling point that is!

You Actually ARE Going to Buy, Just Later

Sometimes you’re just checking out a site, or getting more information. You may actually intend to buy, in some cases a lot!

If your business has a large catalog and does a lot of B2B business, the exit intend strategy that will probably prove most effective looks a lot like what Torchmate is doing.

torchmate

Solution 4: Offer a Catalog Download

If a customer is on certain product pages and about to leave, Torchmate offers a download of their catalog. It’s convenient and helpful to anyone who plans to do a lot of buying from them over time.

It’s the Kind of Thing That’s Hard to Buy Online

Certain products require consultation, measurements fittings, etc. It’s not easy to sell those products in a digital space. But of course you still need a web presence, and to generate those leads.

smile-club

Solution 4: Target Your Local Customers

Smile Direct Club does an great job of bridging the gap so to speak, between their customers and perfect teeth.

Since their product requires that a scan or impression of your teeth, they have to be able to get that from their customers to sell their product. The lowest hanging fruit in that case is the customers who live locally and can come in for a free 3D scan. Everyone else has to pay for a kit they order in the mail, which is a bigger barrier to entry.

But in order make things as simple as possible for customers, Smile Direct Club shows an exit intent lightbox based on zipcode. Anyone local will see an offer to come in and get a free 3D scan of their teeth. (Who doesn’t love free stuff?) Everyone else will get a discount on the kit. (And we already know discount codes are an effective strategy!)

shopping

Stop Cart Abandonment with Exit Intent Tools

Each of the examples above outline different ways that companies are anticipating their customers needs and meeting them with effective solutions using Digioh.

Our Exit Intent rules make it easy to show specific messages and offers to customers before they leave. Obviously from these examples it’s easy to see that there’s no one-size-fits all strategy, but we’re always happy to help you figure out the best one for you and your customers.

Please contact us if you’d like help determining the best Exit Intent strategy for your website.

Transforming email subscribers into sales-ready leads

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You have 50,000 email subscribers in 17 countries. Congratulations! But how many of them are really buying your products? The number of email subscribers by itself, is, as you can guess, pretty useless. It is the combination with quality and proven process that makes the difference. So how do we get from mass marketing to mucho business?

1. Moving beyond engagement requires insight

While an engaged audience is a tremendously valuable asset, engagement is no guarantee for sales. A marketer should be much more interested in conversions and the path that leads thereto. So we are not looking to increase opens or clicks, we are looking to connect, engage, earn trust and ultimately, create value. With that in mind email marketing is going strong as one of the cornerstones of marketing. In fact, 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation.

So if the intent is to move your potential customers down the sales funnel and along the customer journey to convert subscribers to clients, this is what should be measured. If you can’t measure how far along they are or how what has led to a conversion, fix that first. No-one wants to market in the dark.

2. Consult the funnel

With every piece of marketing content, treat it like a piece of the puzzle and make a habit of returning to your marketing and sales funnel for reference. Recognize the stages of the marketing and sales funnel.

In which buying stage does this particular piece of content sit? To which prospects does it appeal and how does can it help move him or her to the next stage?

The content needs to be tailored for the prospect at the right stage. This helps a company become intentional about messaging – you may even consider manually writing follow-up emails, as opposed to automating them. It might sound like a strange idea, but even as a temporary measure, it can help get you in the habit of thinking granularly about personalization. When automating follow-up, at the very least, make sure you provide a compelling message fitting your product or service that matches the stage of each individual contact.

3. Segment, then segment further

Not only is segmentation based on sales funnel stage a smart move, but you can also further personalize the experience. Of course, you can segment your email subscribers a hundred different ways: by demographics, buying frequency, interest in high value versus low value items, etc. These days there is more interest in behavioral information and Psychographics.

pillars of segmentation

Regardless of how you decide to slice and dice your email list, the aim is to resonate and bring a subscriber to action. So it is not only building the right segmentation model, but also making it feel like a personalized experience that is “always on the ball”.

Don’t forget the impact imagery can have here. In B2B and B2C pick a wrong persona, or wrong (too general) industry as a hero image can feel very disconnected for the subscriber.

4. Make use of behavioural activation messaging

What we used to call Email autoresponders was once an exception and advanced email methodology. But those (low conversion) days are over. Today, it’s neither very complicated nor expensive to track the behavior and actions of your subscribers and use this information to created triggered messaging sequences.

Although basic automation will make your life easier, triggers are your key to 70% higher open rates and 150% higher click through rates. A trigger is the action, event, or behavior completed by your subscriber (like making a purchase or abandoning an item in a shopping cart), which you track, in order to automatically send a relevant email as soon as the event is triggered.This is the one and only context in which I will suggest that you get “trigger happy.” The trick is to not sit and wait until a visitor or subscriber triggers an event sequence, the data that drives the triggers is a micro conversion by itself, so the new goal is to tease people into revealing their (intended) behavior.

This is the one and only context in which I will suggest that you get “trigger happy.” The trick is to not sit and wait until a visitor or subscriber triggers an event sequence, the data that drives the triggers is a micro conversion by itself, so the new goal is to tease people into revealing their (intended) behavior.

5. Use mid and late stage content

Your subscribers will often appreciate when you give them something of real value, for free. Well, not really for free. Because what we are looking for is getting a feel on who is ready to buy.

Content can be a way to build a positive relationship and experience. Even better, it proves your worth instantly and helps to establish you as a thought leader or specialist. As long as your content doesn’t suck, the trust paves the way towards conversion.

Even if you haven’t started with lead scoring tactics, Webinars can be a good way to see who is ready to promote themselves to sales ready leads. At the same time attendees can see how your solution fits their needs, and a demonstration of how your offering can help them.

Connect, engage and close

Email marketing is excellent for staying top-of-mind and presenting new products or features. Ultimately, your email marketing campaign needs to drive sales. In order to convert your subscribers into customers, keep their sales funnel stage and status at the forefront.
Work consciously on moving them down the funnel toward purchasing. Segment your list, and personalize your emails to provide the right information at the right time to the right audience. Establish trigger emails so all of this can work while you sleep. Provide genuinely valuable content and remain transparent, informative, and inspiring.

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How to: Convert with Digioh’s New Mobile Conversion Suite and Google’s Mobile Updates

Hey all! We’ve developed and implemented some fantastic new tools for your conversion needs. Much of it will help you get a head-start on some upcoming changes with Google’s algorithms, but even if that weren’t happening there are still plenty of powerful updates to Digioh that we think you’ll be excited about.

Google Is Changing Their Mobile Algorithm—We’ve Got You Covered!

First up: some news! Google is adjusting its algorithms. However, keep in mind: this only applies to pages accessed on a mobile device (i.e. on a tablet or a phone). The ranking of mobile sites is now affected by an additional criteria: the degree to which a popup obscures page content or distracts readers. This means that full-screen popups or large ones that scroll with the reader can negatively affect your search rank. While Google won’t delist a site for such popups, it is still damaging. Lightboxes fall under Google’s definition of “popup,” so traditional uses—like full-screen coverage for subscription popups—will need to be adjusted accordingly.

Google has put out a diagram showing what will be affected by their new rules and what won’t:

Mobile Conversion Google Does not Like

Mobile Conversion Google Allows

As you can see, things like traditional Lightbox popups can affect ranking, as can fullscreen popups. On the other hand, popups for security reasons (like cookie authorization and age verification) and banner-style popups won’t affect ranking.

The option highlighted in red is what we’re going for here with our latest feature: the Banner Widget Here at Digioh, we knew these changes were coming so we developed the Banner Widget, a tool that will help you optimize your mobile-accessed site without getting deranked on Google. (Note that Google is the only traffic source that this is a necessity for, but you can still set it up for other sources (like Facebook) if you’d like!)

Introducing the Banner Widget

The Banner Widget is essentially a mobile Lightbox designed to work well with mobile SEO algorithms. Like other lightboxes, you can use it with any number of functions and you can design it in almost any way you want! (The basic feel of the Banner WIdget is akin to the app download boxes that show up on some sites. Unobtrusive, simple, and effective.)

Another similarity with the standard Lightbox is the ease of setup. Let’s go through a quick example.

Starting a New Banner

First things first: sign in to your Digioh account. If you don’t yet have one, you can sign up for a free trial account to get a feel it, or you can drop us a line and we’ll be happy to take you through a quick, personalized demo.

Once you’ve logged in, hit the “New” option.

Lightbox Main Page

The next page will have several different Lightbox options. Select the “Banner” option; this will narrow your options down to templates for Banner Widgets.

Mobile Conversion Suite Banner Templates

For this example, we’ll choose the basic red-on-white template:

Mobile Conversion Suite Banner Template

Exploring Features

Now that we’ve selected a template, there are a good number of features you can use to make the most of it: color, design, text, forms, etc. Below, you can see the options that are set for the example widget that control its various features. This one controls the text for the button:

Mobile Conversion Suite Banner Submit Button

And this one controls the text in the box:

Mobile Conversion Suite Banner Discount Text

The “Form” option also controls the email form. You can adjust it to work for nearly any form you need. to use.

Once you’ve got the design to your liking, there are a few other things you can do with it—all of which have been specially designed to help you get the best out of mobile visitors. You can find these by selecting the “Lightbox/SIdebar/Inline/Banner” option in the accordion list on the left.

Mobile Conversion Suite Accordion

Positioning on Page

The first option you’ll see is that of the positioning on the page. With this option, you can choose whether your widget will be on the top of the screen or the bottom of it.

  Mobile Conversion Suite Placement Options

Overlap Options

This option determines whether your widget will displace page content or will be overlaid on it. Think of this as a traditional banner ad versus a popup. One is inline with the text and the other is on top of it. Neither is wrong; your purposes will help you determine which works best for you (but do note that, depending on your site’s design, if you have set positioning to “top,” it could block header menus, and if you have positioned it at the bottom, it could obscure footer info).

Mobile Conversion Suite Overlap Options

Stickiness of Widget

Stickiness will be important to consider, as each option has its own advantage and disadvantage.

Mobile Conversion Suite Stickiness Options

In a fixed position, the banner will disappear as the user scrolls through the page (just like the rest of the page content). This is very inconspicuous but at the cost of being in front of your users at all times. When the option of “scrolls” is selected, however, the banner will remain where it is on the display as the user continues downward—keeping it in front of the users at the cost of covering part of the screen. We recommend using a fixed position, but depending on your needs the scrolling option may work better for you.

Additional Pages

We have found that many people use multiple Lightboxes together to accomplish their purposes (e.g. once a user submits their information, a thank-you page pops up), and we’ve made things much easier from here on out. We’re super excited to share the option to set up multiple pages in a single Lightbox now! A good visual example for our current banner is this:

Mobile Conversion Suite Banner Thank-you Page

This is a “second page,” so to say, of the same widget that pops up upon the user submitting their email through it. Setting this (or any other extra page you may want) is quick and easy, working just like the main page. To get it set up, though, you first need to change the button’s action appropriately.

Mobile Conversion Suite Extra Page Options

As you can see, there is an option to open another Lightbox, but there is also an option to show a thank-you page or to show up to four other pages. This can be used to open a help page or anything else you need, and it’s all in one central place!

Additional Device-targeting Options

Another new feature we have is the ability to target by more types of devices! If you are on the Lightbox home-screen, you can select the “Edit” option to the right of the Lightbox title; if you are in the design area, hit the Conditions tab in the accordion list and then click “Edit Conditions.”

"Edit Conditions" button

The first thing that will pop up is the option to target by one of three different devices: a phone, a tablet, or a desktop.

Mobile Conversion Suite Device Type Options

With this, you can set specific Lightboxes and banners for specific devices down to even showing different options for tablet users!

Targeting a Combination of Devices

You may find that you would like to target a combination of devices instead of just one. To do this, you would select one of the targeted devices (as done above), then select “Add New Rule.”

Mobile Conversion Suite - Add New Rule

Now open the dropdown, and select “Device Type.”

Mobile Conversion Suite - Add Additional Targeted Device Dropdown

Now you just select the additional device you want to target from the dropdown!

BrowserStack.com

One of the best things about the Digioh system is that you can preview your widgets and Lightboxes directly in the editor, but sometimes you want to see it on a real device. What we use when we test for our own site is BrowserStack.com.

Mobile Conversion Suite BrowserStackThey have multiple device options we use to test things out, and the options with the device icon next to them are real devices, not emulators, so we get the full picture no matter what. You can get a free trial with them if you want to test things out yourself. We highly recommend them.

Let’s Get You Set Up!

So let’s get going! Go ahead and try out Digioh for your site (remember, it’s free to try!) and see just how much it can help you increase conversions. If you want some help or guidance or simply want some stuff worked on for you, just send us a message and we’ll be more than happy to help out. We take pride in our customer service, and we know you won’t be disappointed; only the best for you!

Optin form personalization

4 Simple Ways to Personalize Optin Offers on Your Site (and Why You Should)

Summary: 4 simple optin form personalization tactics that make your lead generation and nurturing 100% more powerful. All of this without a pricey automation tool.

Personalize, segment, and target

No, we aren’t going to get into any marketing jargon here.

But, we will talk about the above terms and see how they impact your business revenue’s bottom line.

And it doesn’t matter whether you run an online store, a publication, or a business site; these concepts apply seamlessly to all. Consider them to be the 3 stages in any high-converting lead generation and conversion funnel.

Let’s consider an example to understand these terms better.

Assume that you run a popular diet magazine and publish stories around various diets like Vegan, Paleo, Zone and others. Let’s also say that you’ve hired some of the top diet experts from each niche, and that your magazine attracts followers (or potential followers) of the different diets.

Personalize (your optin offers)

Now let’s look at a random site visitor, (we’ll call her Jane). You realize that Jane spends some time reading your content around the Paleo diet.

What does this data tell you?

Well … it gives a hint that Jane is interested in the Paleo diet.

So, if you had to ask Jane for her email, what should you say?

“Hey Jane, give me your email and I’ll SPAM you about every single story (on about 20 different diets) on my magazine?”

OR

“Hey Jane, why don’t you give me your email and I’ll send you tips, recipes, and expert advice on the Paleo diet?”

What would Jane prefer?

The second one, right?

Right.

This is what optin personalization is all about: personalizing the optin offer to match the interests of the visitor.

For implementing optin form personalization, all you need to do is create different optin forms for the different kinds of content on your site and show them to the visitors who land on or spend time on the different content categories.

Personalization helps you way beyond collecting more emails. It enables you to segment your list in a meaningful way, so you can send targeted offers to your list. Let’s talk about segmentation first.

Segment (your email list)

The biggest benefit of creating multiple optin forms is that it lets you divide your list into segments.

Here’s how it works:

In our example, your master list will be divided into segments like Paleo, Vegan, Zone and more representing the different categories on your site. And as discussed in the above section, each of these content categories will have personalized optin forms.

The submissions from an optin form get added to the corresponding segment in the email marketing list. And so you end up with multiple segments in your list.

In our example, Jane and all the other people who fill out the optin form personalized for the Paleo diet will be added to the Paleo segment in the list.

For implementation details for this step, check out our earlier post, How Publishers Can Use Email Personalization to Reduce List Churn .

By adding Jane and other subscribers with a similar interest to the right segment, you can ensure that you only send them the emails they signed up for (updates from the Paleo category).

Let’s now see how such segmentation helps you get more sales.

Target (your subscribers with relevant offers)

Since you know that Jane is interested in the Paleo diet, and because you’ve added her to the relevant segment in your subscriber base, you’ll know exactly when to email Jane.

With personalization and segmentation, you’ll know exactly when to email your subscribers and about what. Such targeting is impossible without knowing which segment a subscriber belongs to.

In the example we’re discussing, we could email Jane when we:

  • featured a celebrity Paleo follower
  • had a deal on Paleo snacks
  • published an expert interview

And so on. As you can see, these offers are targeted and people in the Paleo diet segment will find them relevant.

If you contrast this situation with one without segmentation, you could keep pitching your list with content upgrades, offers and deals, all of which would be irrelevant to the majority of your subscribers.

For example, if you had a list of 10,000 subscribers, of which just 1,200 were into Paleo, your Paleo update emails would be nothing but SPAM to the rest. And such updates would obviously lead to many unsubscribes.

Now, imagine if I took away the first step of creating personalized optin forms from this process…

Would we have the right segments in our list?

No.

Would we be able to send targeted offers?

Unlikely.

Personalization is the ONLY way of building a well-segmented list, especially for sites that cater to audiences with such varied interests.

Before we see the different ways you can personalize your optin forms, let’s look at the two types of optin form personalization.

The 2 types of optin form personalization

Essentially, optin form personalization can be classified into two types. The first one is manual; the second one is kind of automated.

Type #1: Manually personalizing the offer using different form copies and triggering rules

Manual personalization involves two steps:

Step #1: Creating multiple optin form copies based on the different audience types and categories.

Step #2 : Setting up rules or conditions for triggering the different forms.

If you were to implement such personalization using a lead generation tool like Digioh, here’s how you could do it.

Just choose an optin form template and customize it, just as I’ve done for the optin form for the Paleo followers from our example:

personalized optin forms

Next, for the rules, I’m setting up the optin form to trigger on all the pages/posts that are about Paleo:

optin form personalization rules

With this rule, this optin form will show up before all the users who show interest in any of the posts on the Paleo diet.

Notice that I’m setting up the form to trigger after the visitor spends about 10 seconds on the page. This rule is just to ensure that the reader is fairly engaged before we pitch the subscription.

The only downside of such personalization is that if you have way too many content categories, it won’t be possible to create forms for each.

In such cases, real time or dynamic personalization is your best bet.

Type #2. Real time or dynamic personalization

In dynamic personalization, you create just one template optin form and insert HTML tags into it. These tags pull the relevant elements from the page/post a user is reading and show an optin offer based on that.

So for this example, your optin form copy will look like:

Sign up to get all our <tag> stories in your inbox.

The rest of the form contents and design stay the same.

This time, though, Digioh will identify the right values to fill into the tags. The same optin form will show up differently based on the visitor’s reading session.

For example:

  • Sign up to get all our <Vegan>diet stories in your inbox.
  • Sign up to get all our <Blood type> diet stories in your inbox.
  • Sign up to get all our <Oatmeal> diet stories in your inbox.

So that’s about it for real-time personalization. Let’s now see some specific implementations.

4 ways to personalize your optin offers

You can implement personalization in a number of ways. Here are 4 great ones to get you started.

#1. Personalizing the optin offer based on what the visitor is looking at

This is the same personalization we were discussing above —the one implemented with HTML tags.

Here, you see the content the visitor is reading and personalize your optin offer based on that.

GameSpot, does some terrific dynamic personalization for their gaming review site. Dynamic personalization is the only way to go for them because with over 100,000+ game titles, it’s not possible for GameSpot to create customized signup forms for each.

GameSpot uses Digioh to automatically detect what game title the visitor is looking at and then shows them a targeted lightbox by pulling in the game title and image from the same page.

The following screenshot shows how Digioh picks the game’s title and image for making the personalized optin offer:

GameSpot optin form optimization

You can also implement this manually by creating different signup forms according to the different game categories (if not titles).

#2. Personalizing based on user type

Sometimes, a site has different types of users. AirBnB for example. It has both guests to book the lodgings as well as hosts.

For such sites, it’s best to personalize optin offers based on the interests of the different audience types.

A great example of personalization for user types can be found on Saatchi, the world’s leading online art gallery. Saatchi personalizes its optin offers for its two main users — Artists and Buyers.

Here’s the optin form they show to their buyers:

user type optin form personalization

#3. Personalizing based on PPC ads

Once a user clicks on a PPC ad and lands on your site, your landing page’s job is to get the sale.

Now, you’ll know that a discount is a great incentive for getting that sale.

With Digioh’s personalization power, you can actually make such discount offers in real-time. Because Digioh can read in the keyword from an ad click, it can create dynamic discount offers based on the keyword.

For example, if you sell white T-shirts and run PPC campaigns for the same, and a searcher Googles “White T-shirts” and clicks on one of your ads and lands on your store, you can show this person a “10% Off all White T-Shirts” offer.

This is a great way to hook your readers on your landing or product pages.

#4. Personalizing based on visitor data

A tool like Digioh uses cookies to read/collect a lot of data about a site visitor, including things like a visitor’s:

  • Location
  • IP address
  • Source (organic or social or other referral sites)
  • Campaign parameters

And more.

You can use all this data to design optin offers that are highly personalized and relevant to you visitors.

Conclusion

Optin form personalization is your first step toward building a high converting list. If you aren’t implementing it yet, start today.

If you’d like to learn more about how Digioh’s optin offer personalization works and want to know how you can use it to grow your lead base, get on a call with our marketing team. Book a free Digioh demo now.

So … do you personalize your optin offer? If so, how has it affected your email campaigns’ open and click-through rates and sales? Let us know in the comments.

 

Convert More Customers with a QA Widget

How to: Boost Your Leads By Implementing a Basic QA Widget into Your Site

Welcome to this week’s how-to, where we’ll be covering one of my personal-favorite tools for lead generation: the Question/Answer Widget, or “QA Widget” for short. The QA Widget is sort of the middle-ground between live chat and a basic “contact us” form. It provides the ease of using a contact form without your customers worrying they’ll never receive a reply, and combines that with the personal touch of live chat without requiring a big budget (from you) or a time commitment of unknown length (from the customer).

When a customer asks you a question, the likelihood of them buying from you is dramatically increased. With the QA Widget, your customers have a quick way to send you their inquiry.

Should You Use the QA Widget?

If you offer B2B services or you have an ecommerce model, then absolutely. Compared to a standard contact page, the QA Widget has ten times the success rate, and several major sites already use them (we’re integrated with Salesforce and HubSpot, for example).

Example QA WidgetAn example QA Widget in use by a ventilation business.

The QA Widget brings with it seriously increased conversion rates, and its customization means that it isn’t limited in style or application to just one type of site. As seen in the example above, the QA Widget can have a chat-like design without requiring immediate response from you. After the customer enters their info and their question, the QA Widget displays a thank-you message (which is also fully customizable) and their query is sent to you for response at a time convenient to you.

Setting Up the QA Widget

Getting a QA Widget set up for your site is a quick and painless process!

Step 1: Creating a New Lightbox

The first thing you’ll do is log in to your Digioh account. From there, select the “New Lightbox” button.

Lightbox Main Page

Scroll down a bit until you find contact-type Lightboxes, and select the one you best like. For this tutorial I’ll use the sample legal assistance box.

Selecting a QA Widget

Once you’ve chosen the Lightbox you want want to use, go ahead and select it and give it a name. Go to the main Lightbox page and select it.

Select your QA Widget

Step 2: Setting the Conditions

Now that you’ve selected a Lightbox, you have a few options for how your QA Widget will function. I’ll cover two of them here: timed + on-click, and only on click.

Timed Method

Using the timed function is a rather aggressive approach which causes the QA Widget to pop up after a given period of time. Setting it up is a quick three-step process:

1. Go to the “Conditions” tab in the accordion-style tabs on the left, and select “Edit Conditions.”

QA Widget: Edit Conditions

2. Click on “Add Conditions” and then “Add New Rule.”

QA Widget: Add New Rule

3. From the drop-down, select “Total Seconds on Page.”

Timed QA Widget: Total Seconds on Page

And you are good to go. Adjust the number of seconds as necessary.

On-click Method

For some sites, an aggressive widget just won’t work. The on-click method causes the QA Widget to remain minimized until the visitor manually opens it. The process for setting it up is the same as for the timed method, plus two more steps:

1. Change the number in the drop-down to something extremely high, like 4000. At that rate, a user would have to stay on a given page for more than an hour before the QA Widget would open itself.

QA Widget: Passive Setting

2. Go back to the main Lightbox editing page and select the “Teaser” tab on the left. Make sure the “follow me” option is turned on.

QA Widget: Follow Me

And you’re good!

All there is left to do is to customize it to your liking. You can change text, you can move things around or resize them, you can personalize the coloring, and you can do so much more! The possibilities are nearly endless.

Tips for Optimizing Your QA Widget

So you’ve got your QA Widget set up now, but just like anything else in this world, there’s a science to getting the most out of it. Here are some helpful tips for getting the best conversion rates possible:

Use a casual (but personal) image.

For many businesses, a selfie or other nonprofessional image can help your customers feel more connected to you.

Avoid using the word “chat.”

If a customer submits a question expecting to get an immediate answer only to find that they have to wait for a reply, they can feel cheated. Make it clear that you’ll get to them soon without letting them think a response will be instantaneous.

Avoid a generic “contact form” look.

We’ve all filled out a contact form in the past only to have our inquiry enter the black hole of no response. You will generate more leads if your customers are confident they will hear from you.

Don’t ask for too much personal information.

You may find it best to ask for things like a ZIP code or a phone number, but for some businesses this can be off-putting to customers.

Combine it with the Teaser Follow.

With the Teaser Follow, your customers will be able to find and use this form no matter where they are on your site. You can read more about that here.

Final Words

Like I said at the beginning, this is one of my favorite tools. It’s so versatile and it’s so effective at converting, and it’s so easy to set up and personalize! There are a lot of options and tweaks you can make to it, so if you find yourself overwhelmed (or maybe you just can’t make that final decision), the Digioh team is happy to help out and can be easily contacted.

That wraps things up for this week’s how-to. Have you had experience with the QA Widget? Tell about it in the comments below!

Don't let your visitors click the exit button

How to: Increase Your Conversion Rate By Repurposing Your Exit-intent Offer

This week’s how-to—effectively repurposing your exit-intent strategy—is absolutely fantastic for e-commerce sites (and frankly one of my favorites from a consumer standpoint). All the major e-commerce providers (like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento) use it with great success, and if you’re a smaller business or have a custom-built site, it will work great for that as well.

What It Means to Repurpose an Offer

So then what does it mean to repurpose an offer? It’s not nearly as complicated as it may sound. There are no tedious tasks to take care of, no complex coding to complete, and no profound plans to perform. Instead of going through all the work of designing a new offer or completely reworking your entire strategy, you can dramatically increase your conversion rate by stating the same offer in a different way upon exit intent.

An exit-intent offer that is a carbon copy of your regular offer won't help much A poorly-executed offer Lightbox—such as this one that is effectively a carbon copy of the in-page offer—won’t convert as well.

The offer needs to be written in such a way that it seems like an even better one than what was offered in-page. An example of this is to list a savings in percentage in the exit-intent offer that is equivalent to the offer on the page.

What Is Exit Intent?

That’s fine and dandy,  but for those out of the know, what exactly is exit intent? Well, when a visitor to your site decides to leave the page they’re on (or your site in general), it could be for a variety of reasons; this is exit intent (pretty much self-explanatory).

A restated exit-offer intent can have a seriously positive effect on your lead generationVisitors are more likely to jump on the offer you present to them when it’s worded in another way that seems novel to them.

Regardless of the reason a visitor may have to leave, that action can quickly lose you a potential lead. By repurposing your offer to specifically target a new visitor with intent to exit, you get a chance now to not only earn a customer but to also grab their email.

Effectively Repurpose by Using an Email Drip Sequence

There’s an art to email marketing. Everyone with experience with it knows that. With the exit-intent Lightbox, this art is mastered for the greatest effectiveness. The emails most likely to be read are those that are received immediately after providing an email address, so with the exit-intent offer we’ll send an email instantly.

It’s important not to bombard a potential lead, but it’s also good to be aware of how easily people can forget things or misplace them. Sending a follow-up email 24 hours after the first one is the perfect sweet spot here, and then as a benefit of the doubt let’s send one last email reminder seven days later.

The teaser follow is a great tool to combine with an exit-intent offer
The teaser follow is a great tool to combine with an exit-intent offer.

An easy-to-set-up tool that you can effectively combine with this email drip sequence is the teaser follow. With it, a visitor can easily access the exit-intent offer again in the event that they accidentally close it out or decide later that they still want to take advantage of it, leading to an average increase of .5%-1%! We covered this in last week’s how-to, so if you missed it go ahead and check it out here!

How to Set Up Your Exit-intent Offer

Getting your exit-intent offer set up is super easy. There are only a few steps, so let’s go over them so you can get to getting more leads!

Step 1: Initial Navigation

Log in to your Digioh account. If you weren’t automatically dropped at the “Lightboxes” tab then go ahead and click it, then select the Lightbox you intend to edit.

Your Lightbox homepage

Step 2: Setting up Your Conditions

Next, hit the “Conditions” tab, then click “Edit Conditions.”

"Edit Conditions" button

Click on “Add New Rule.”

Add new rule

Select “Exit Intent” from the drop-down list.

Setting things up has never been easier!

Now click on the left drop-down (to the right of “Exit Intent”) and select “Any of these events occur.” Following that, click the little plus in the box and go ahead and add the other three options from the list, one by one.

See? So easy!

And you’re set up! Whenever a visitor goes to leave your site now, they will see your exit-intent offer pop up.

Bonus Strategies: Targeting Specific Traffic and Certain Landing Pages

Let’s say now that you only want this offer to be shown on a specific page of your site. All you need to do is add one more rule to your Lightbox.

The new rule is titled “Current Page URL”:

Add a URL-specific rule

And now that you’ve added that, go ahead and put in the directory of the page you want the exit-intent offer to appear on. For this example, we’ve used a generic “products” section of the site:

Products URL

Web Source Referrals

And if you want to target visitors coming in from specific sites or referrers, you can do that with this rule:

Specific referral

Which brings up these options:

Referral Source Options

You also have the options to target visitors from different search engines, from specific URLs, or from any number of other sources, among other customizations.

And with that, we wrap up this week’s how-to. Have you had success with exit-intent offers? Let us know in the comments! And if you think this would be great for your business, go ahead and give Digioh a try! You can give it a test run for free. Till next week!

the teaser is like a hot air balloon

How to: Always Keep Your Call To Action Front-and-center with the Teaser Follow

What Is the Teaser Follow?

The teaser follow is exactly what it sounds like: it’s the ability to have your teaser follow a visitor as they navigate your site, no matter how many times they change pages. The teaser grabs the visitor’s attention, which gives you the chance to get them on your mailing list in exchange for something—handy, eh? When the user clicks on the teaser, one of two things can happen: a sidebar will pop out; the Lightbox will pop up.

Teaser
A simple teaser button balances functionality with flashiness.

And why is this so handy? Because visitors may close out popups or ignore teasers, only to later run into a problem: they’ve decided they are interested in what you’re offering, but now they can’t figure out how to get it.

There are a few ways you can use the teaser follow, and we’ll cover two broad methods here.

How to Be Aggressive with the Teaser Follow

The first method we’re discussing is the aggressive method. This doesn’t mean that you’re badgering the visitor or throwing a barrage of things at them (because we all know that doesn’t work). Instead, it is a subtle but, well, aggressive way of reminding them that what your product is exactly what they need.

Lightbox A Lightbox that instantly appears is aggressive, but it also has a great conversion rate.

When a visitor comes to your site for the first time and you’ve set up the aggressive follow, the Lightbox (or sidebar) pops up and alerts them to whatever it is you’re offering—an ebook, a discount on a product, etc. As they navigate from page to page, the teaser continues to follow them, and the Lightbox will continue showing up on each new page-load.

For an ecommerce site or something similar, this is fantastic: it keeps your visitors’ minds on your product.

And the best part about it? How quick and easy it is to set up. Seriously, this is all that you have to do:

 

Step 1: Navigation

Log in to your Digioh account. If you weren’t automatically brought to the “Lightboxes” page, go ahead and hit the tab for it. Select the name of the Lightbox you plan to edit.


Homepage

Step 2: Setting Conditions.

Select the “Conditions” tab in the accordion list on the left. Click “Edit Conditions.”

"Edit Conditions" button

Click “Add New Rule.”

Add new rule

Select “Total seconds on page” in the “Choose a property…” drop-down.

Total Seconds on Page


And that’s it! Your visitors will now see your teaser
and the related popup every time they go to a page on your site.

How to Be Passive with the Teaser Follow

“Well that was easy,” you say. “What if I don’t want my visitors to be shown this sort of popup every time they navigate to a new page, but I still want them to be aware of my service and able to access a Lightbox?” Then by golly if this other method isn’t exactly what you’re looking for! Whereas the aggressive method continually (and aggressively) reminds your visitors of what you’re offering, the passive method still makes them aware of it without the “in your face” marketing of the aggressive method.

With the passive method, your visitors will still see a simple teaser button, and it will still follow them as they scroll through the page, but it will not take over the page. And you guessed it, this is just as easy to set up as the aggressive method is.

The process is exactly the same, plus one simple step. Do what you did to create the aggressive teaser. Once you have done that, find the 0 in the second drop-down (after the “Greater than” drop-down) to a much larger number (e.g. 4000).

 

Total Seconds on Page Greater Than 4000With these settings, the Lightbox would not appear for more than an hour—and if your visitors have been there that long, they may actually appreciate a popup about a product offer!

And you’re done! With just a few clicks of the mouse and keyboard, you have access to some serious versatility.

Design Hacks with the Teaser Follow

What else can you do with this? Lots of things! You can choose from several preset themes for your teaser, and if you want to change something (even if it seems small), you have that option!

 

The Digioh lightbox has tons of preset themes perfect for you
There is a great variety of themes to choose from, of which these nine are only a small taste.

You can also completely customize when, where, and why the teaser shows up on your pages. Anything from limiting its appearance to only desktops (rather than mobile) to targeting certain geodemographics is possible.

Sadly, that’s it for this edition of “How To.” Be sure to subscribe for more weekly hacks and how-to’s! If you don’t have Digioh, sign up for a personalized demo to see if it’s right for your business. Chances are good that it is!

How Publishers Can Use Email Personalization to Reduce List Churn

How Publishers Can Use Email Personalization to Reduce List Churn

The average unsubscribe rate for media and publishing sites is 0.22%. So, for a list of 10,000 subscribers, you can expect about 22 unsubscribes, which is not too bad if you send a monthly campaign or so.

But we all know that online publishing doesn’t work that way…

Publishers send emails as frequently as once a week or even daily because frequent emails result in frequently returning visitors, which translates to higher ad impressions.

So, considering the usual email frequency for publications, an unsubscribe rate of even 0.22% is a highly undesirable one.

When people unsubscribe from your list, their lifetime journey with your digital media is cut short.

Because of this, you may lose up to 17 times of the revenue you would have made if the subscriber stayed with you.

As you can see in the following chart, SecureService estimates the lifetime value of a subscriber to be $20 when compared to the lifetime value of a site visitor at just $1.13.

lifetime value

These numbers clearly show that you don’t just need subscribers, you need them to stay with you.

Now:

You can’t ELIMINATE list turnover. But you can certainly bring it down.

That’s what we’re going to discuss in this post:

But before we do that, let’s look at some of the main reasons people unsubscribe. After that, we’ll see how personalization can put a check on them. Finally, we’ll discuss some practical ways to segment your list for sending personalized emails while reducing the list churn.

The top 2 reasons that lead to most unsubscriptions

Litmus rounded up 9 reasons that make people unsubscribe from an email list. This list established undesired email frequency and irrelevant content as two the top reasons leading to unsubscribes.

unsubscribes

A study conducted by ConstantContact too echoed the same reasons for major unsubscribes:

unsubscribes reasons

And that’s not all. These two reasons keep surfacing in all email list exit studies. The one conducted by Epsilon concluded that irrelevant content drove 64% of the unsubscribes while the email frequency triggered another 60% of them.

Now that we’ve a reasonable idea about what causes most unsubscribes, let’s look into why they cause unsubscribes.

Reason #1: Email frequency – When people join your email list, they’re generally not ASKED about their desired email frequency. This results in the subscribers getting more emails that they’d appreciate, thus prompting them to unsubscribe.

On other times, they are asked how frequently they’d like to hear from, but publishers fail to segment their list to reflect this preference. This, again, leads to unsubscribes.

Reason #2: Irrelevant content – The problem of irrelevant content occurs when there’s a mismatch in the subscriber’s content needs and in what gets promoted to them in the email.

The problem of irrelevant content is even more acute for publishers because of the nature of stories they cover. Often, digital magazines cover articles that cater to different kinds of audiences. Plus, a lot of these stories tend to outdate quickly. If the people on your list get content that doesn’t interest them, they’re prompted to unsubscribe.

So what’s email personalization really

Simply put: Email personalization is a way of personalizing your email’s content, timing, and frequency using data like your subscriber’s:

  • name
  • location
  • gender
  • company
  • designation
  • desired contents
  • desired email frequency

… and more.

What email personalization is NOT

I work on a lot of email campaigns. Most of the people I work with don’t need or aren’t using advanced CRM software like HubSpot or Marketo or any other shiny options.

So, when I mention email personalization to them, they’re like “But how can we do it, it’s not like we’re using …”

Perhaps even you think like them.

But it’s not your fault.

Before I explored email personalization, even I was of the view that *personalized* emails only get triggered when some sassy CRM “detects” a particular kind of user behavior.

But I was so wrong.

When I dug deeper, I found that an incredible degree of personalization could be achieved by just building the right segments in the email list.

As you may have guessed, for advanced personalized emails like transactional emails (like the cart abandonment email, for example), you will need inputs from a CRM tool.

But like I said above, a good degree of personalization is possible with simple information about the subscriber. And any good lead generation tool will help you collect this.

How email personalization helps offer relevant content (at the desired frequency)

I hope the above primer on email personalization has given you a head start. Let’s now dig into some statistics that prove how effective it is.

In their Email Benchmark Study (2013 edition), Experian shared that personalized promotional emails got 29% higher unique open rates and 41% more unique click-through rates. Experian also stated personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.

These are not the only stats . You can find many more that will help you tie email personalization with improved email marketing ROI.

An example to show you how email personalization makes the subscriber’s email experience more meaningful:

Suppose you run an online sports magazine where you cover news about football, stories about NBA, and cycling tournaments.

Now:

At the broad level, your target audience are sports fans.

But…

On a more granular level, you’ve at least 3 types of sports fans in your list:

  • Those who love football
  • Those interested in basketball
  • And those who enjoy cycling

Now, news about a soccer match may not be relevant to basketball fan and nor will news about basketball interest a cycling enthusiast.

You get the idea, right?

You might think that you’re delivering *relevant* content to your *sports fan audience*, which you’re doing in a way. But your content is still not relevant to all your subscribers at all times.

The thing is this:

Specific stories are cut out for specific audience groups. And that’s what email personalization is all about — identifying the “specific” audience groups or SEGMENTING.

If you can find a way to offer the different segments news about the topics they care about, you MAKE the content relevant to them thereby reducing unsubscribes.

And while you might not realize, asking your subscribers about their desired email frequency is but a way of personalizing their email experience. This one looks subtle, but it can bring down the number of unsubscribes significantly.

4 ways to segment a list to reduce churn

Let’s now dive into the different list segmentation tactics that you can use today and improve your next email campaign’s bottom line.

Tactic #1: List segmentation using email frequency preference

Like I said above, allowing people to choose their desired email frequency is a form of email personalization.

By using this tactic, you can make your subscribers feel that they have control over how many emails they’ll receive and when. I love the sites that let me decide this because I like to get just one email a week. Preferably on Tuesdays.

Instead of giving people the option to personalize their email schedule upfront (when they’re just getting added to the list), most people use it as the last resort on their preference center, which users mostly access when they want to unsubscribe.

(To add the desired email frequency field to your signup offer, you need to create a custom signup form field – I’ve discussed how to do this in the following tactic.)

Tactic #2: List segmentation using a subscriber’s content preferences

At Digioh, we create different content types. Here’s a general breakdown of what we cover and the various audience types it caters to:

  • Potential clients – Case studies, promotional posts, general tips about email marketing
  • For current customers – Posts about making the most of Digioh
  • For our publisher customer segment – Exclusive tips and tactics that work for digital magazines (like the post you’re reading or the one here.)

Now:

A person who’s looking at case studies to make a buying decision may or may not be interested in our publisher content series. Our other audience segments too might not be interested in our special tips for publishers.

And so, such posts could look irrelevant to people other than those in our publisher audience group. Needless to say, these subscribers will be easy to lose if we keep creating and sending publisher exclusive content updates to them.

To stop this from happening, all we need to do is to segment our list based on the subscriber’s preferred content types. Doing so will ensure that our subscribers are only updated when topics relevant to them get covered.

To give you an example and a walkthrough, I’ll personalize the email content for all the publishers on our list.

The implementation is pretty straightforward: We will create a signup form that will show up exclusively on our content for publishers. This form will have a custom field that asks the readers if they’d be interested in our publisher content series. This way, we’ll know that the signups from that form where people say “Yes” in our custom field are people who’re interested in our publisher exclusive content alone. To identify such signups in our BLOG SUBSCRIBERS list, we’ll create a segment called “PUBLISHERS”.

The whole process takes about 5 steps or so. (Note: For this example, the lead generation tool is Digioh and the email marketing service is Campaign Monitor.)

Step #1: Identify a group in your audience that enjoys a particular kind of content.

In this case, I’ve already chosen the publisher group from our audience that finds our publisher exclusive tips helpful.

Step #2: Choose all the popular posts on that topic from the blog.

Our audience received the following post very well. As you can see, it’s written for publisher sites, so I’ll go with it.

power moves

 

Step #3: Add signup forms (with custom fields) to the shortlisted posts from the second step

In this step, I’m going to design a signup form with one custom field. The value that users input in this custom field will determine which segment they get added to.

How it works:

The email marketing software will see the subscriber’s data and check the value of the custom field to decide if the subscriber belongs to a particular segment.

To keep things easy, let’s call the custom field in our example as “Send me exclusive tips for publisher”

For creating the signup form, I’m choosing one of Digioh’s premade themes and adding a custom field to it. Also, I’m entering values that this custom field can take.

creating custom field

When a user fills out this form, the email marketing software will see the value that’s submitted in this field and dedice the segment in which this user should be added.

Here’s how the preview looks like:

lightbox preview

 

Step #4: Add a custom field to your list in your email marketing software

For list segmentation to work, your email marketing software must identify any custom fields you use in your signup form.

Since we created a custom field in our signup form, we now need to tell our email marketing software about the same. So, I’ll go to Campaign Monitor to add a custom field to our email list.

(This custom field will fetch the values that people input in our signup form’s custom field.)

As you can see in the following screenshot, I’m listing the different values that this field can take: Yes and no.

custom field

Once you’re done with this, reach out to Digioh’s support team, and they’ll get the two to work together for you. If you’d like, you can also get access to our designers to design customized and exclusive email signup forms (for free).

An easier way to go about this would be to create separate lists but that’s not advisable. Besides, when you use a tool like Digioh, there are endless possibilities of segmenting your list using custom fields on signup forms.

Step #5: Setting the rule for list segmentation

Now, that the signup form has a provision to collect the custom field and that the email marketing tool, too, is set to identify the custom field, we’re good to segment our list.

All you have to do is to click on “Create a new segment” and then set the rule for segmenting. In our case, my rules goes like:

Add a subscriber to the “Publishers” segment if the value of the custom field is ”Yes”.

custom segment

As I click on the “Save and preview” button, I’m shown the new segment.

viewing segments

(Yes, right now – it’s just me!)

That’s all about creating segments in a list using a subscriber’s content preferences.

Note:

In the above example, I’ve walked you through segmenting your list using Digioh and Campaign Monitor. If you use a lead generation tool like Digioh, you can get it to work with all the popular email marketing services.

But for any other lead generation tool or email marketing service, the overall process will be the same.

So if you use any other email marketing service, just Google:

[Email marketing service provider name] + custom form fields

For example: MailChimp + custom form fields

How will we use the publisher segment:

With the publisher segment, every time we publish publisher exclusive tips, we’d only reach out to the subscribers who’re in that segment, thus ensuring that these subscribers always find the content relevant.

When MailChimp analyzed the response of 9 million subscribers to segmented campaigns across different domains, they found that campaigns segmented using the subscriber’s interests got up to 86.34% higher clicks when compared to unsegmented campaigns.

Along with the high click through rate, the unsubscription rate was also recorded to be lower by 24.45%.

better CTR

 

So it’s clear: This kind of list segmentation and email personalization works.

But you should be careful about the segments you need because if you think too broadly, you might not achieve effective personalization. On the other hand, if you try to zoom in a lot, again, you’ll end up 100s of segments. All of which may not be necessary.

Tactic #3: List segmentation using demographics – Segmenting a list based on information like a user’s location and other details is simple. Most email marketing tools allow this straight out of the box.

Campaign Monitor, for example, enables you to easily create segments using the subscriber’s location.

geotargeting
Publisher sites can use this segmentation to set the campaign delivery schedule. For instance, we prefer sending emails to our US-based subscribers on Tuesdays at 11 AM.

In addition to fine-tuning the sending schedules for campaigns, you can also use this information to promote local events to the relevant user segments.

By default, the most that an email marketing software can tell on its own is the subscriber’s location.

To enable segmentation using information like your prospect’s age, gender, or designation, you will need to add more fields to your signup form. These custom fields will pass on the right information to your email marketing service, which will use it to build segments.

Tactic #4: List segmentation using subscriber activity

Subscriber activity is another list segmentation criteria that businesses use. Subscriber activity uses information like the subscriber’s engagement levels to segment the list and personlize a subscriber’s email experience. MailChimp states that campaigns segmented using the subscriber activity data get about 13.49% more clicks than unsegmented campaigns.

An example of list segmentation using subscriber activity would be to resend a campaign to all the subscribers who didn’t open it the first time it was sent.

Neal Taparia from EasyBib tried this tip and increased his email reach by 54.7%.

“The original was sent to 2,723 people. 579 people opened it (21.3%) and 224 people clicked on the call to action (8.2% CTR).

The second email was sent to those who didn’t open the first email. 309 people opened this email and 114 people clicked on the call to action.

This means that between both emails, we reached 53.2% more people, and received 51.1% more clicks compared to the first! The number of unique opens between both emails was 32.6%.”

When you resend your campaigns to people who didn’t open it the first time, remember to change the subject line!

In addition to list segmentation, you might also want to try subject line personalization. In subject line email personalization, you use your subscriber’s first name to personalize the subject line.

Subject line personalization is proven to work for a lot of emails. In fact, in a series of 7 A/B tests that MarketingSherpa ran, the personalized version beat the non-personalized one. Each time. Not only did the customized subject lines win, but they also improved the email and click through rates by an average of 17.36%.

I must admit that I couldn’t find any data to show if subject line personalization works for digital publishers. In fact, Experian marketing services didn’t find any impact of personalized subject lines for publisher sites.

But I guess you should try before discarding the idea because campaigns that benefit from it see huge improvements.

So how many segments do you need

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) surveyed more than 70 organizations and found that 42% of them had more than 6 customer segments.

no of segments

That said, there’s no “right” number of segments that your email list needs. While most companies opted for more than 6 segments in the cited study, there are some that create hundreds of them.

So, the safest answer to how many segments you need is: as many as you need.

Conclusion

As I said above, a good lead generation solution and an effective email marketing service are all the tools you need to start sending segmented campaigns. While a cool CRM software would be a good-to-have addition to the mix, you certainly don’t have to wait until you get one.

If you’d like to see how you can use Digioh to segment your list and bring down the unsubscribes, just sign up for a FREE demo here.

Do you have any questions about email personalization or list segmentation? Let me know in the comments!

P.S To all the Digioh power users, we were fairly surprised to learn that a few of you don’t segment your lists. We hope that this post inspires you to get started. Tell us if you need any help to take this off the ground.

The 10 Power Moves Every Publisher Site Should Know to Collect More Emails

The 10 Power Moves Every Publisher Site Should Know to Collect More Emails

Running a publication is hard…

Building a loyal audience is even harder…

And getting a loyal audience to keep RETURNING to a site is the hardest part — about 70% of users don’t return to a site after abandoning it.

Here’s where collecting emails helps.

As a publisher site, collecting emails should be your priority because if you build an email list, you will build a steady stream of returning visitors. Every time you send a content update email – it will be these readers who will revisit to your site. Their visits will result in more page views and translate to higher ad revenue (and income from other possible cross-selling/upselling).

So to help you build a humongous list, we’ve put together these 10 tested list-building tactics. Try them on your site and put your list-building on autopilot.

1. Offer incentives based on what your visitors are reading

An incentive-based technique – the one where you offer a freebie – works. This is like list-building 101. But targeted incentive-based technique works even better.

Most blogs do reasonably well with a generic site-wide freebie, like, a WordPress blog could do well enough by offering a freebie called “How to speed up a WordPress site.” In this case, the freebie WILL appeal to all the readers because, well… who wouldn’t like a blazing fast site?

However, a publication that covers varied topics won’t see similar results with a generic site-wide freebie. This is because a publication caters to different kinds of readers.

For example, an educational publication might target both – educators/universities and students. Due to the different audience segments, it will only make sense to offer targeted incentives: one for the educator segment and the other for the student segment.  

Here’s how we could approach targeted incentives in our example:

To appeal to the student segment, we could create a free report called “The top colleges for graduation,” whereas, for the other (educator) segment, we might want to put together a report called “The state of academics – 2016” (look at the following lightbox).

content-based targeting lightbox

A lightbox targeting the educator audience segment

You get the idea, right?

Targeted incentives personalize the optin offer and make subscribing a no-brainer.

Game Rant, a happy Digioh user, tried offering content-based incentives and saw their signups shoot to 120 per day.

Before this targeting, Game Rant was only getting 5 emails/day (Game Rant started offering a freebie called “Fallout 4 Survival Guide” to all the visitors who landed on any content about Fallout 4 and stayed on it for at least 30 seconds)

Game Rant offered content-based incentives and boosted their signups from just 30/day to 120 per day

Game Rant offered content-based incentives and boosted their signups from just 30/day to 120 per day

2. Try multi-step forms

Multi-step forms are optin forms that don’t ask for an email directly. Instead, they aim to engage the visitor.

The most common way that blogs use multi-step forms is by asking their readers to participate in quizzes or polls. Then, after the visitors give in to the first request, these blogs make their second request of asking for emails.

(This technique is also called the foot-in-the-door marketing technique where marketers ask for a small favor and then ask for a second, bigger favor after the prospect obliges to the first one.)

To try a multi-step optin form, you can create a quiz that is specific to your content.

If we go back to the educational publication example from the first point, we could create a quiz called, “Are you eligible to apply to the X University?” where the X university is the university about which a reader (from the student segment) is reading on the site.

Like, if a student is reading an article about, say, an imaginary Hummingbird University, we would offer a quiz about the Hummingbird University’s eligibility criteria.

Quiz popup

Some of the questions could look like:

  • What’s your percentage?
  • Aggregate?
  • Year of passing?

Maybe 2 or 3 more…

After the student takes the quiz, we would ask them to share their email to get the result.

Needless to say, this quiz will work only for the student audience.

For the other segment (the educator segment), we could come up with something more personalized – like, maybe a poll asking the readers if a particular education bill under consideration should be passed or not. And then, again, to know the results, we’d ask the readers to give their emails.

3. Use the reader’s choice popup (Or give the choice to “NOT SUBSCRIBE”)

The most common list building mistake that I see blogs make is to give subscribers just one choice: the choice to subscribe.

The problem with a single choice optin form is that when users don’t want to subscribe, they can simply shut down the popup with a single click. That’s it.

Now contrast this situation with one in which the subscribers have to think before rejecting an optin offer, i.e., consider putting the subscribers in a situation in which they have to choose between opting in and opting out.

Copy Hackers, a site about copywriting tips, uses a two-choice optin form to pitch their freebie. Since March 2015, 4 in 5 optins on Copy Hackers have been happening from the two-choice optin form implemented on their site.

Multi-choice optin forms are nothing but multi-step optin forms where you first get the user to commit to subscribing and then ask for the email.

To give you an example, let’s go back to our educational publication. Suppose we had to try the two-choice optin form to collect emails from students interested in the Hummingbird University.

So for our optin copy, we could write something like:

Yes

Hand-hold me to my dream university

No

I don’t need help — I’d rather struggle and find my way

And then we would use a tool like Digioh that comes with customizable two-choice optin form templates to design our lightbox. Here’s a lightbox I designed in under two minutes using an editable template:

Digioh Yes/No lightbox

4. Create personalized optin offers for your best referrals

Some referring sites send consistent traffic. Creating exclusive optin offers for these highly targeted visitor streams is a great way to leverage such traffic.

For our hypothetical educational publication, if we had a friend site that published a review of our magazine and sent consistent traffic to our site, we would create a customized offer for the inbound referral traffic.

We could offer the referred visitors a gift card or some discount on the magazine subscription. Such an offer would be very relevant to a visitor because the visitor has just come to the site reading a highly positive review.

5. Estimate the visitor’s engagement level before showing the optin form

Sometimes an optin offer gets ignored because it shows up too soon. Think of the times when you reach a site through a Google search and the moment you land on it, you’re requested to signup.

Most likely, you’ll turn down the optin offer.

The problem with such early signup forms is that they don’t give the readers a chance to get a feel of the content – and so they get ignored.

Perhaps if you were shown the optin offer after you went through half of the post or after you spent a few seconds scanning through it, you’d respond differently to it – perhaps you’d subscribe.

The time spent by a reader on a page indicates the reader’s engagement level. If a reader spends a few seconds, you can be sure that the reader finds the content engaging.

A tool like Digioh can help you create lightboxes that show up only when a reader shows interest in an article and stays on it for at least a few seconds.

Digioh also lets you fire lightboxes based on your readers’ engagement levels by looking at their scrolling patterns. So if a reader scrolls through a certain preset section, the reader will be shown an optin popup.

The following screenshot shows the settings of a lightbox (see Field 2 – Total seconds on page) that gets triggered after a reader stays for 30 seconds on a page.

Digioh - Game Rant

6. Target using cookie data

A visitor’s cookie data can determine if the visitor is already a subscriber. This knowledge is helpful because it helps push the already-subscribed visitors further down the sales funnel by asking for other meaningful information from them.

For example, if you know a particular visitor to be a subscriber, you’ll definitely not want to waste their visit by showing the “Join our newsletter” lightbox.

Instead, you could use this visit to ask for more personal details like the visitor’s occupation, address and more. You could do so easily by offering the visitor a discount coupon for some product or by offering an incentive like a gift card.

Overdrive, another happy Digioh user leverages the cookie data collected by Digioh to target subscribers and non-subscribers with different offers. Paul from Overdrive says that personalizing the subscriber segment with cross-selling offers has produced excellent results:

“Right now, we are primarily segmenting non-subscriber visitors to our website so that we can target them for newsletter and magazine subscriptions. We have also run a limited amount of promotions to current subscribers that cross-sell paid products. The conversion rates have been excellent.”

They also target their existing subscribers with offers to subscribe to their print subscription.

If we apply this tactic to our educational publication example, we won’t show a generic signup form to our subscribers (because they’re already subscribed to our site).

Instead, we will show them signup offers for specific universities – like in our instance, we’d build a special segment of the people interested in updates from the Hummingbird University.

Digioh cookie based targeting

And the next time that we publish content about this university, we’ll email just this segment. This way, the readers will find the content relevant and won’t unsubscribe.

7. Don’t show interstitial ads and email capture lightboxes together

For many publisher sites, the main revenue source is ads. It’s common to see a niche publisher site show 10s of banner ads on each page. Interstitial ads are also common (interstitial ads are the ones that show up as lightboxes and often cover the entire screen).

If you show both ads and lightboxes, show just one of the two at one time. That is, when a user is on your page, show the ad OR the email optin form in the lightbox. Don’t try to cram both the ad and the optin offer at the same time.

With a solution like Digioh, you can integrate your optin lightboxes right into your Ad Server. This allows you to suppress an email optin form when an ad is about to fire. So you get both – ad impressions as well as targeted email optin form lightboxes.

8. Make sure your lightbox is fully loaded before showing up

Most publisher sites are content-heavy and so they take many seconds to load. If you run a slow website, your lightboxes will suffer too. Instead of getting loaded instantaneously, your lightbox might show up as a framework (without the elements). It might be a few seconds before its elements start showing up.

As a result, your audience will only see the lightbox without its content, which is enough to prompt them to shut down your lightbox.

So make sure that your ligthbox pre-loads text, images, and other form elements before showing up. So that when it does show up, your users see the exact signup offer that you’ve planned for them to see.  

When your lightbox doesn’t load fully before showing up, here’s how it can look as the elements get loaded one by one:

when lightboxes don't load fully

9. Test different versions

The best way to know what works is to test. Without testing, you’ve no way to tell if a particular freebie works better for your readers than the others. Or if simple lightboxes produce better results than multi-step forms.

The best approach to testing is to first optimize the larger picture and then finetune for better results.

Like, for the educational publication example we were discussing earlier, we’d first start by testing different kinds of optin forms and triggering conditions:

  • Types of lightboxes – simple newsletter signup lightboxes / multi-step optin forms / multi-choice forms
  • Trigger settings – like setting the lightbox to show up after 30 seconds of page loading or after the visitor has scrolled through some content
  • Targeting – choosing to show the lightbox only on specific page containing specific keywords or only to visitors referred by a particular domain

Suppose our tests show that offers with freebies and targeting work the best, then we could experiment with different types of freebies:

  • A university evaluation worksheet
  • A university selection process pdf

and more…

Finally, we’d focus on the more minute elements in the form:

  • Copy
  • Template
  • Design
  • Button

When you choose a tool for collecting emails, go for one that lets you test different versions. Decisive A/B testing will help you earn many more emails using the same efforts and during the same time.

10. Target mobile users with mobile-friendly lightboxes

Many people assume that a lightbox on a mobile may not be so necessary or wouldn’t extend a great user experience. This assumption can prove costly because more and more people are using mobiles over desktops to search and read content.

We’ve hit an inflection point where more Google searches are taking place in mobile than desktop in 10 countries, including US and Japan.” — Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management for AdWords

Overdrive sure used this insight and optimized their lightboxes for the smartphones – when they realized that their readers were reading their content on mobiles, they moved to Digioh and started showing mobile-friendly lightboxes. Till date, 68% of signups for Overdrive have happened on mobile devices.

This might be true for your readers too. If you login to your Google Analytics account, you’ll be able to see how your mobile traffic looks like. If a considerable amount comes from mobile devices, you should show mobile-friendly lightboxes.

Conclusion

Collecting emails isn’t too hard – but it can be if you offer the same optin offer to all your visitors, show your optin forms too early, stay too afraid to show optin forms on mobiles, or refuse to try different tactics. Break free from these practices and try some of the above tips.  

The results might surprise you!

P.S If you’re looking for a solution that lets you do all the above, check out Digioh. Digioh is an all-in-one lightbox solution with disruptive list-building abilities. As a lot of our customers are publisher sites, we understand your challenges and can offer customized insights to drive better results for you. Book a FREE demo now.