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ConvertKit is one of the biggest success stories of the 2010s online business world. Today we are joined by their founder and CEO Nathan Barry! Nathan started ConvertKit after realizing the value of email marketing and the ways in which companies were missing important parts of the service he envisaged. We get to hear about this part of the story, leading up to the beginnings of the company and then the early successes that they experienced after launching. A completely transparent company, Nathan shares a lot of vital and interesting statistics from ConvertKit before we get into Nathan’s strategy for targeting new customers that has served them so well. He also emphasizes the importance of storytelling at ConvertKit, believing that customers do not only buy into the service but also the story. We discuss product-led growth, ConvertKit’s recent adoption of the freemium model and public appearances that Nathan makes at the moment, so do not miss it!


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Hey everyone, in today’s episode I share the mic with Bettina Hein, founder and CEO of Pixability, a video advertising platform.

Tune in to hear Bettina share how they’ve grown Pixability over 100% a year for the last five years in a row, what they use for successful customer acquisition, and how she started her first software company (text-to-speech software, which lives on in all Android phones and a lot of car navigation systems) right out of graduate school and sold it for $125 million.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Bettina Hein Has Grown Video Advertising Platform Pixability 100% per Year for the Last 5 Years TRANSCRIPT

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Larry Kim - WordStream

Hey everyone! Today I share the mic with Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, the world’s biggest PPC management software company.

Tune in to hear Larry discuss why you need to focus your energy on creating original content, the mistakes that people make when it comes to content marketing, the strategies he employs to produce the best content out there, and why it’s not necessary to test the same idea across different channels.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Larry Kim Started WordStream Out of a Bakery and Grew It to Over 10K Users – TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

3 Key Points:

  1. The quality of one’s content should be measured by outcomes or results.
  2. Be willing to change your strategy if your initial plan doesn’t work out.
  3. Targeting matters – produce the content your audience wants to consume.

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How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition.

Research shows that the average person gets 147 e-mails a day — and most of them are a pain to receive.

In fact, based on Baydin Boomerang e-mail research, we delete 71 e-mails in an average time of under 3.2 seconds each. That’s all the time you have to get a prospect to give you their attention, understand your message, and follow through on your call to action.

But the problem is, most cold e-mails are terrible. The senders don’t follow up (44% of salespeople don’t), they write bad subject lines that have readers heading for the delete button before they’ve even opened it, they start the e-mail off with a templated message that sounds inauthentic, they pepper them with links, or they don’t focus on what’s in it for the reader.

Is it any wonder that most salespeople struggle to get a response rate of 10%?

For example, according to CB Insights, most terrible cold e-mails start with a generic “congrats on your funding” or “it seems like you’re growing” message which aren’t tailored to the reader.

How to Get More Responses from Cold Emails

But those who do cold e-mails right can see incredible results in record time — like this company that got a 57% open rate, 21% response rate, and 16 new B2B customers from a few simple e-mail tweaks.

Even though many of us are drowning in e-mail and would like to see less of it, e-mail is still the number one platform for generating sales. No other platform has conditioned us to expect messages from complete strangers and actually respond as well as e-mail has.

In this post, I’ll talk about some strategies and tactics you can use to skyrocket your response rates to your cold emails.

But before you start writing cold emails, it’s important to get inside the mind of your target audience.

The Psychology of the Prospect

Many salespeople dive right into subject line and e-mail marketing tactics without taking the time to really get inside the minds of their customers first. They immediately focus on blasting out a huge volume of e-mails, hoping that a few people will somehow respond.

This is the main reason why most cold e-mails come off as spammy and are instantly deleted.

Check out this sample of a bad cold e-mail that Jill Kornath received (sometimes it’s also good to know what not to do):

[Your Name]

My name is Jennifer with XYZ Sales Training. We improve sales performance through our unique blend of sales technology and experience, resulting in 89% better quota achievement. Our industry-leading methodology has helped more than 650,000 sales professionals find and close more deals, and our proven sales process makes your forecast and pipelines accurate by putting science behind it.

It all gets delivered through our BigDeal® technology – the on-demand Sales Performance Automation application that operates standalone, or can be integrated with your existing CRM system to produced sustained, measurable results.  And to ensure that your sales teams get the full benefit, our virtual learning system delivers on-the-job training worldwide – reinforced by expert coaching.

I am not sure if you would be the appropriate contact, but I am trying to find the person at your organization who evaluates our type of program offering. Would it be possible for us to speak for 5 minutes or can you point me to the correct person to contact? Find out how organizations like Microsoft, Xerox, Honeywell, Siemens, United Healthcare and Adobe have found success with our offering and how [not provided] can find similar achievement.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide. I kindly await your response!

E-mails like the one above aren’t just low converting — they also don’t show any empathy for the reader. And if you don’t focus on what’s in it for the reader, they’ll lose interest pretty fast. 

Here are a few key things to remember about the psychology of readers before sending an e-mail:

Sell to the Individual

Many cold e-mails fall flat because they don’t take into account the fact that they’re selling to individuals first, not corporations.

Sometimes we forget that the person at the other end of the e-mail is also just like us — with the same range of emotions, hopes and fears. It might seem like we’re selling to companies that make logical, formal decisions about what products they buy, but in reality those decisions are heavily influenced by the emotions of the people making those decisions.

It’s a well known fact: people buy with emotion, then justify afterward with logic. The same thing applies to cold e-mails.

For example, you could include in the e-mail why it would benefit them personally to purchase your product. Maybe they want to feel important in meetings. Maybe they want their boss to recognize them more. Maybe they want to improve their performance so they can get a raise.

HubSpot gives a few really good examples of ways to start off this type of message: you could say something like “here’s how this is going to make you look like a hero to your team” or “here’s how it’s going to make your team more productive and generate more revenue.”

E-mails like this set themselves apart from the crowd because they show empathy, they show that you really took some time to think about what the person reading the e-mail would actually want instead of blasting a thousand different leads with the same template.

Anand Sanwal, the CEO of CB Insights, said that he would be willing to look at whitepapers, case studies, and consider a product that was relevant to his company’s situation in this writeup.  

However, most emails didn’t even specifically mention what was in it for him, so he went straight for the delete button like so many others.

Learn More: 5 Ways Cold Emailing Can Help Generate Backlinks

Understand Their Workflow

Whenever we send out an e-mail asking people to sign up for a demo or get on a sales call, it’s usually at the center of our attention. It’s one of the most important things we focus on all day. But to the average prospect, your e-mail is just a small little blip in their day. They have other, pressing problems to worry about.

As Jill Kornath says: Let’s say you’re the VP of sales for your company. You’re swamped and have to deal with a million different problems at work all at once. Maybe one of your top customers is upset with something. Maybe you’ve had some turnover. Maybe you have an overflowing inbox and you just happened to click on someone’s cold e-mail.

What sort of message would make you want to respond and get on a call with the salesperson?

It’s important to understand the workflow that your prospects go through in a typical day and try to make your e-mail fit within that workflow. For a prospect who’s having a tough day, a bad cold e-mail could make them even more agitated.

But a good e-mail will help you earn their respect, which would likely lead to a response. Like it or not, you’re also being judged by your prospects on your ability to sell, not just what you’re selling.

Next, we’ll dive into some tactics on how to get more responses from your cold e-mails.

Craft the Perfect Subject Line

Once you send the e-mail, there’s only one thing that determines whether your prospect will actually read it or not: your subject line.

If you get that wrong, then all the hard work you put into the body of the e-mail goes waste. No one will read it.

That’s what happens to nearly 50% of the e-mails we receive every single day. We delete them in under five minutes.

How to Get More Responses from Cold Emails

It’s not easy to write the perfect subject line. You have to walk a fine line between telling them about your product and keeping it general enough to evoke curiosity. The best e-mail subject lines are creative, interest-provoking, and informative without giving too much away.

Here a few examples of subject lines that work well:

Quick question”

This is a great way to invoke curiosity. According to research, people find this level of uncertainty very unsettling. It just keeps nagging at them until they open the e-mail to see what your quick question is.

And because you wrote “quick question,” they know it’s not going to be ten pages long.

In fact, I’ve sent welcome e-mails with this subject line to my e-mail list, and it gets open rates around 85%.

How to Get More Responses from Cold Emails

“X tips for [company] for [pain point]”

People love numbered lists. We see how successful they are in blog post headlines: list posts are among the most commonly read and shared blog posts of all.

According to Noah Kagan at Ok Dork, the reason for this could be that lists give readers an idea of exactly what to expect. These types of posts can also be skimmed and are therefore easy to read.

The same principles apply to cold e-mails, too. If your prospect is busy with work and has a crowded inbox with a million things demanding their attention, then they’d be more likely to open a list-style e-mail because they would expect to be able to skim it easily.

“Congrats on [specific result]!”

You can congratulate your prospects on a great quarter, press coverage, a new product or feature release, raising financing and more – depending on what feels appropriate.

Most people send these types of “congratulations” in the body of the e-mail. This can work, but according to YesWare, the more value you can add through the subject line itself, the more likely it is that your e-mail will get read.

Praise-related subject lines

Everybody loves to be recognized and appreciated for what they do, even people who receive that appreciation all the time.

If you’re reaching out to a thought leader in your industry, try tailoring your subject line to offer praise to that person. For example, you could say something like “I’ve heard about your skills in XYZ field and I thought I’d get in touch” or “I’ve been following your blog for a while.”

People are unlikely to turn down the opportunity to read something flattering about themselves, so there’s a good chance that your e-mail will get read.

Using a familiar sender name

The sender name is what people typically look at first before they read the subject line when they get an e-mail in their inbox. According to Joanna Wiebe from Copy Hackers, if the sender’s name doesn’t sound like someone you want to hear from, it doesn’t matter what your subject line is – people won’t open the e-mail.

You don’t need some fancy name to stand out in people’s inboxes. You just need to seem like a human.

For example, you should never use generic company email addresses, like or Apart from making you sound like a robot, people are generally not going to reply to those e-mails or add them to their address book – which reduces the chances of your e-mails showing up in their “Primary” inbox.

Instead, you can include a person’s name and company as your “sender name.” For example, HubSpot found that e-mails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” had much higher click-through rates and open rates compared to e-mails sent from just “HubSpot.”

Create urgency

Subject lines that have a sense of urgency get significantly higher open rates. For e-mails that you send to a mailing list, you can say things like “24 hour giveaway” or “limited time offer.” One of the biggest barriers that stop people from moving down your sales funnel is procrastination. They might see your e-mail or offer and think to themselves “I’ll get to this later.”

By adding urgency to your subject lines, you can boost your open rates and response rates. For cold e-mails, you can write something like “Offering free strategy calls this week only.”

Pay attention to your first sentence

The first sentence of your e-mail has never been more important. In addition to your subject line and sender name, prospects also see a preview of your e-mail in their inbox. (Most e-mail clients, that is, like Gmail, the iPhone e-mail app and Outlook.)

How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

Source: HubSpot

This can also be a great opportunity to hook your audience with urgency or praise.

Test your subject lines

Apart from A/B testing, there are other ways to test whether your subject line will lead to increased open rates or not.

Depending on your e-mail client, you might be able to leverage the help of a “subject line analyzer.” For example, MailChimp has a subject line research tool that allows you to compare your subject line phrase to all others that have been sent through MailChimp. Then it will give you a rating (from one to five stars) on how good that subject line is.

When you’re about to enter your e-mail subject for your campaign, click on “How do I write a good subject line?”

How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

Source: MailChimp

Then click on “Subject line researcher.”

How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

Enter your “subject line terms.” From there, you can click “search” to see how your phrases compare against other terms and phrases from MailChimp campaigns.

How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

Most cold e-mail clients also have A/B testing tools that are easy to use, such as Mixmax.

Learn More: How Neville Medhora Grew AppSumo’s Customer Base to 750k With Email

Write Good E-mail Copy

Once you get your prospect’s attention and get them to open your e-mail, the real work begins.

According to Baydin, we delete e-mails in an average of under 3.2 seconds. You have a very short window of time to get a prospect’s attention in order to get them to take the action you want them to take.

One of the most effective approaches to writing cold e-mails is to ask for referrals within the organization. It’s a well known fact that people are more likely to respond to an e-mail coming from a mutual contact than a random stranger.

Here are a couple of sample e-mail templates that convert well, according to

Hi [first name],

My name is [my name] and I head up business development efforts with [my company]. We recently launched a new platform that [one sentence pitch].

I am taking an educated stab in the dark here, however based on your online profile, you appear to be an appropriate person to connect with … or might at least point me in the right direction.

I’d like to speak with someone from [company] who is responsible for [handling something that’s relevant to my product].

If that’s you, are you open to a fifteen minute call on _________ [time and date] to discuss ways the [company name] platform can specifically help your business? If not you, can you please put me in touch with the right person?

I appreciate the help!


[your name]

Another option is to use proven psychological frameworks to get prospects to read every sentence of your e-mail and take action.

For example, Yesware used a technique in their cold e-mails called the “Before-After-Bridge.” They started the e-mail by talking about the prospect’s current problem, what their world would look like after they solved it, and how to get there.

How to Get More Responses from Cold Emails

Source: Yesware

Use Automation to Increase Your Sales Volume

You can use all the right subject line and copywriting tactics to get your response rates up, but at the end of the day, getting success with cold e-mailing is about volume. You have to send out a lot of e-mails day after day.

One way to simplify this is by using cold e-mail automation tools that allow you to send out e-mails more efficiently, automate your follow ups, and more. For example, you could use a tool like to automatically track your sales e-mails in one place, and send outreach e-mails with one click. Or you could use a tool like to automate personalized e-mails and follow ups.

Check out: Cold Emailing: Best Outbound Sales Automation Tools

Be Persistent in Your Follow Ups

Consistent follow up e-mails are crucial when you’re doing cold outreach.

According to Jack Daly, “it takes nine touches to get someone’s attention.” You might luck out and get a phone call appointment on your first try, but chances are you won’t succeed until you go through multiple follow ups. Here are a few ways to increase your response rates through your follow up e-mails:

1) Follow up right after you leave a voicemail

If you try calling your prospect and aren’t able to reach them, send them a quick follow-up e-mail right after you leave a voicemail.

How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

Source: YesWare

According to research, this works because you allow your prospects to observe you through both their eyes and ears. Because you’re reaching them across multiple senses, you increase the impact of your e-mail.

2) Reference behavioral insights

Personalization is a huge factor when it comes to cold e-mail success. Unfortunately, most salespeople think that personalization is limited to things like greetings or subject lines.

In reality, personalization can be reflected in a variety of different ways in your e-mail. For example, the following e-mail gets a 50% reply rate because of personalization based on the behavior of the recipient.

How to Get More Responses From Cold Emails

Source: YesWare

If you see that a prospect is opening an e-mail and clicking links but not responding, you can send a quick follow-up saying that you noticed and offer to tell your prospect more about your business over a phone call.

Because your follow-up email feels tailored to the recipient (i.e. you’re following up because you noticed specific behavior, rather than sending out blanket follow-up templates to everyone), you’d be more likely to get a response.

Putting It All Together

Cold outreach can be a massively beneficial tactic for those who know how to do it right. Those who know how to write good e-mail copy and the right subject lines to get their prospect’s attention and then automate it to scale their reach can save time, get better reply rates, and grow their business.

For more cold e-mail templates that work, check out the next post in this series: Cold Email Templates that Get Responses

This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition. Written by guest blogger Stephanie Mialki, a content writer for Instapage. Follow her on Twitter @Stephaniemialki. 2017 Digital Marketing Trends The digital marketing world is large, complex and currently changing at the speed of light. In order to maintain and expand your customer base, it’s critical that you learn everything there is to know about marketing (including the jargon) and do whatever it takes to not just keep up with the latest trends, but beat your competition to them. To make this task a bit easier for you, we’ve evaluated past trends and used them to compile a list of the digital marketing trends that you can expect to see in 2017.

2017 Digital Marketing Trends

Increase in Visual Platform Popularity

Many brands have become more visual-oriented over the past year, and this trend is only going to increase in 2017. Check out some of these stats regarding visual content to get a better idea of why this might be:

Considering these outstanding visual content statistics, it makes sense that the more image-driven platforms like Snapchat (launched in 2011), Pinterest (launched in 2010), and Instagram (launched in 2010) are sure to see huge increases in popularity and growth in 2017, less than a decade after launching. Take a look at the next few sets of statistics, as well as some 2017 marketing trend predictions, surrounding the increasingly popular, visual content-driven platforms:  1) Snapchat

2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore 2) Pinterest

3) Instagram

2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore

Increase in Visual Medium Popularity

While text-based content will always be an important, deep-rooted part of marketing, visual content marketing will continue to be one of the hottest marketing trends. Consider this: 65% of people consider themselves to be visual learners and a staggering 90% of information that the brain absorbs is visual. So it only makes sense to use visual mediums to step up your digital marketing game. Here are some of the most effective visual content types to consider using in 2017: 1) Videos Videos are incredibly useful for advertising. In fact, one study showed that having a video on your landing page can increase conversions by 86%! Video marketing can come in many different forms and can serve a variety of purposes. Consider tutorials or how-to videos, demonstration videos, explainer videos, animated videos, and videos of customer tutorials. The options are practically endless. Although video ads are nothing new, the use of video ads for marketing is growing substantially, and will continue to do so in 2017. Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing 2) Infographics Infographics allow marketers to compile complex data, statistics, and facts all into one easy-to-digest visual display (see image below). It is ideal to include infographics in your 2017 marketing strategy as they are have several benefits, including landing page optimization, networking with other key influencers, and social media engagement. Here is an infographic example that highlights some key video marketing stats: 2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore 3) Screenshots Although a bit less common than using videos or infographics, screenshots for marketing purposes will still be on the rise. Screenshots are an excellent way to illustrate complex instructions visually, such as describing how to set up goals in Google Analytics.  Consider using screenshots for things like providing specific examples that are easier to point out visually instead of verbally. For example, often times, SaaS companies will display their dashboard on a laptop for viewers to take a look at.

Increase in Live-streaming Video

Many companies are already starting to recognize how live-streaming video can provide a whole new world of possibilities for sharing and building their brands. Consider this: the first 2016 Presidential debate was live-streamed this year! That just goes to show how popular live-streaming has become with platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube Connect, and how it is sure to become even more common throughout 2017. Here are some of the most common ways to use live-streaming video:

Check out all 25 Brand-Building Ways to Use Periscope – Twitter’s New Live Streaming Video Apps

More Focus on Mobile-first User Experiences

Mobile-first design is the process of designing for mobile devices first and other, larger devices second (see image below). Why is this going to be a 2017 marketing trend? Because mobile Internet usage continues to increase every single day as evidenced by these statistics:

2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore

New Content-driven Platforms

It is important to be seen as a thought leader in your market. Platforms such as Medium and Contently, and tools like LinkedIn Pulse and Facebook Instant Articles, offer content writers the opportunity to publish and respond to articles to establish that leadership. 1) Medium Medium is a free and open platform where anyone can express themselves. As a brand, Medium is a place where executives or CEOs can write articles in their areas of expertise to help establish leadership and brand awareness, which can trickle down to more leads and sales. As Ev Williams, founder of Medium, says: “Medium is not for everybody, but it’s open to everybody. It encourages participation and a diversity of opinion. Anyone can earn influence on Medium via the value of their ideas, thoughtfulness of their responses, or quality of their rhetoric.”  2) Contently Contently is a company built by content creators, for content creators. The platform helps brands create great content at scale, providing them with smart technology, content marketing expertise, and creative talent from journalists, photographers, designers, videographers, and the like. The platform can best be summarized by Brian Becker, Executive Director and Head of Content at JPMorgan Chase & Co.: “Contently helps us put efficiency into the content creation process to better track and measure what we’re doing, and gives us the ability to tap into talented people.” 3) LinkedIn Pulse LinkedIn Pulse is a platform where articles can be posted by LinkedIn users and have the potential to be seen by an even greater audience than ever before. The publishing platform provides over 130,000 unique articles every week, making Pulse one of the fastest growing tools on LinkedIn today. 4) Facebook Instant Articles Facebook Instant Articles is a tool open to all types of publishers, anywhere in the world. The platform allows publishers to quickly and easily create immersive and interactive articles on Facebook for wide audiences to see.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (a.k.a. IoT) has become a huge topic of conversation in this last year. But what exactly is it? The IoT is a massive network of devices connected to the Internet and/or each other. This can include anything and everything with an on/off switch: computers, printers, cell phones, headphones, coffee makers, televisions, washing machines, lamps, security systems, cars — the options and opportunities are virtually endless. 2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore So what does this mean for marketers? Impacting everything we do, make, buy, and sell, the IoT has the potential to mutually benefit both businesses and consumers in a substantial way: businesses will gain visibility and awareness, and consumers will gain empowerment. Let’s examine some of the primary ways in which marketers can use the IoT to their benefit: 1) Increased Personalization and Insight into Consumer Behavior As the IoT expands even further, indoor location technology will allow marketers to connect with consumers on a ‘real-time’ basis, and interact with them during their in-store experiences, even more than they already do. For example, marketers can tell when a customer has been lingering near a product for a while, and can send messages to the consumer’s smartphone, encouraging the sale or offering a promotion. This type of narrowed-in personalization is only going to increase over time, providing more insight into consumer behavior. Marketers will get a better picture of what exactly the consumer is doing, as well as when and why they are buying or not buying. 2) Customer Intimacy Along with increased personalization comes increased intimacy between you and your customers. IoT technologies like social media and cloud computing provide consumers with the opportunity to provide instantaneous feedback to you as a brand. In turn, responding quickly to consumers is an ideal way to increase intimate connections with them. 3) Focused Targeting With the IoT providing increased insight into consumer behavioral patterns, marketers will be able to focus their efforts on a more specific target, customizing the experience for each user. So let’s break this down a bit. Marketers can use IoT data to study consumers and target a specific audience; they can communicate directly with their target audience while improving customer service. This improved customer service can only help increase marketers’ chances of conversion. 4) Advanced Social Media Efforts Since the IoT is optimized for use with social media, marketers will be able to better predict the development of social communities and target their efforts toward these communities. This will allow marketers to reach more potential customers than ever before. Although the IoT is still a bit complicated for the average person, it’s extremely important to understand, as it is another marketing trend we’re likely to see much more of in 2017. In fact, by 2020, experts predict there will be over 26 billion devices connected via the IoT.

Virtual Reality Advertising

The amount of wearable technology today is incredible. From the Apple iWatch, Google Glass, Moto 360, and so many other smart devices, you can literally be connected everywhere you go. In 2017 we are going to see even more innovations in wearable technology, which is a game-changer for digital marketing. 2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore “For the brand and user the intimacy of VR is really dramatic,” said GE’s global chief marketing officer Linda Boff. General Electric (GE) was one of the first to start advertising in this virtual reality about a year ago, launching a VR animated video on the New York Times app. “It’s a tool to tell a powerful story in a way that’s much more personal and up close than we’d normally be able to.” The 360-degree video capabilities of this technology, virtually transports the user to sporting events, music concerts, the wilderness and more! It’s not just an advertisement, it’s an experience. For example, the hiking boot company Merrell launched a VR ad this year that gave the user an experience of walking on an old shambled bridge up high in the mountains. This takes the user away from watching the advertisement to actually being in it.

2017 Marketing Tools

When it comes to choosing which marketing tools to incorporate into your marketing strategy, it’s important to consider all the different types, including data visualization tools, social media tools, as well as general marketing tools (find more complete lists that we can include in this article by clicking on these links). Here are some of the major marketing tools you’ll want to consider using in 2017:

Data Visualization Tools

  1. Chart.js

Chart.js is the perfect data visualization tool for designers and developers looking to create small projects, using responsive and engaging designs. Although Chart.js currently only contains six types of charts, the tool is quickly becoming one of the most popular open-source charting libraries on the market. 2017 digital marketing trends

  1. Tableau

Tableau is another popular data visualization tool that is completely free. This tool offers a wide variety of graphs, charts, and maps. Users can quickly and easily drag and drop data into the system and watch it update in real time, just like that. Furthermore, you can collaborate with other team members, allowing for quick project turnaround. 2017 digital marketing trends


Visually is a data visualization tool that combines videos, infographics, e-books, reports, presentations, and much more. It offers a simple yet effective toolset for building outstanding data representations. 2017 digital marketing trends

Social Media Tools

  1. Quuu

With two pricing options (free or $10/month), Quuu hand-curates content for you and delivers it right to your Buffer queue. The only thing required is to connect Quuu to your Buffer account and select any categories that are interesting and relevant to you and your audience. Once Quuu sends content to your Buffer queue, you can manually edit the suggestions if necessary.

  1. Panda 5

This popular news-reading app is another tool great for content curation. Panda 5 can be used for free, or upgraded to just $4.99/month, and its sole purpose is to help you speed up your content curation process by allowing you to browse a number of websites all at once, integrate with other websites, and gather RSS feeds of your favorite content.

General Marketing Tools

  1. Cyfe

Cyfe is an all-in-one marketing dashboard that helps marketers identify what exactly is working for them and what isn’t. This tool allows you to collect detailed reports on Google Analytics, AdWords campaigns, SEO, competitive searches, brand mentions on the web, and more.

  1. Beegit

Beegit is an online writing platform designed to help streamline team collaboration, making it easier for marketers to create, share, edit, and approve web content together, no matter where they are located. The tool includes an editorial calendar, as well as communication, workflow, and writing tools.

How to Use Snapchat to Increase Brand Awareness & Drive Traffic to Landing Pages

With the constantly evolving technology, your marketing plans and success tools need to adapt. As discussed earlier, Snapchat is one of the most widely used social media platforms. So if your target market participates on this network, your brand needs to be on there, too. Learn how Snapchat can be used to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to landing pages.

Offer Promotions Through Videos

The difference between promoting videos on Snapchat and on any other platform is that Snapchat clips expire after a short time. The idea behind this is that because of the video’s limited availability, consumers are more likely to pay attention to the video and to the specific offer. This can help increase your brand’s awareness, as well as generate sales and/or conversions. 2017 Digital Marketing Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore Just remember, if your goal is not only to increase brand awareness, but also to drive traffic to any of your landing pages to increase conversions, be sure to direct users in that direction in your video. Visit this Instapage webpage for more information about creating effective squeeze pages and how they differ from landing pages.

Run Contests

A contest is one of the quickest ways to get engagement on social media. There are a few steps you’ll want to take to run a successful contest on Snapchat:

GrubHub is one brand that makes great use of Snapchat contests. In the image below, you can see that GrubHub, a well-known food delivery company, asked its followers to use Snapchat’s drawing feature to create a doodle to send to GrubHub. The company then chose ten of the submitted snaps and rewarded them with a discount: 2017 digital marketing trends

Showcase Products

If you have a new product or a new feature, share it! This is definitely one of the easiest ways to increase your brand awareness through Snapchat. Create a demonstration photo or an instructional video and share it with your followers.

Answer Questions

Hosting a Snapchat Q&A is another great way to increase brand awareness and build an established Snapchat following. To do this, you must first set a specific date and time for your Q&A. Encourage all your followers to send in their questions via Snapchat before this date to ensure that you have enough questions when your Q&A airs. When choosing which questions to answer, be sure to make it a mix of both business-related questions and other less serious questions in order to humanize your brand a bit more. When it comes time to host your Q&A, separate the question and the answer into two different Snaps, since the videos can only be a maximum of 10 seconds. In addition, acknowledge the author of the question (see image below) to make them feel recognized and connected to your brand: 2017 digital marketing trends

Introduce Special Events

If your goal is to drive traffic to your landing page and increase leads, using Snapchat to introduce special events can be an effective technique. Simply use your Snapchat story to post videos of yourself providing information about the event, including:

Be sure to then direct viewers to your landing page to register for the event. Since snaps cannot be hyperlinked (e.g. to a landing page), the best way to send out your link is to add a text overlay with your link. Users can then screenshot the snap and search your link outside of Snapchat.

Employ Snapchat Influencers

There are two major ways to utilize Snapchat influencers:


Monitoring the latest digital marketing trends can only help you better engage with your target audience. Whether that means engaging on different social media networks, alternating content platforms, or using more visual media, technology is constantly evolving so you need to evolve with it. Keeping an eye on past trends has allowed us to compile this list of the digital marketing trends that you can expect to see in 2017. What marketing trends do you plan on investing more into in 2017?

9 Marketing Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making This post by Bryan Johnston originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition. Marketing is simple, right? Anyone can do it—you just get the word out to entice people to buy your service or product. Nope. Marketing is simple in theory…but that doesn’t mean it’s easy in reality. There’s a lot going on under the hood, and since most of us would never dream of messing around with our car’s engine, it doesn’t make sense to think we can pull off successful marketing without knowing anything about it. Before you can fix your mistakes (and you are making mistakes) you must first know what they are.

What Marketing Is

Marketing is complex. It is not just sex and slogans. It’s about putting the right product, at the right price, at the right time, in the right place. Those are the essentials, and referred to as the 4Ps of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion). he 9 Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making(1)

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Modern marketing can take many forms: content, inbound, outbound, sandwich board on the street (is that still a thing?).

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” ~The Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing is multi-faceted, with its many elements working in harmony to deliver the goods. The many arms of marketing include:

Marketing can be B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business). It can be pushy or pully (to coin a new phrase). Much like a cryptozoologist looking for Bigfoot, it can be hard to find the right tactics and formula to get what you’re after. That’s when the amateur gives up. But that’s not you, is it?

What Marketing Isn’t

Marketing is also sales. Yes, it leads to sales by getting the word out there through branding and advertising, via both the written word and images, and then luring prospective customers in, but a marketer is not the one to actually interact with the sales lead—that’s the job of the sales person in the sales department. Marketing is also not creative nor does it belong in the content department. Again, marketers work closely with these departments by sharing the analytics and insights they’ve gained from the information and research they’ve produced, but a marketer is not the one to actually produce or design the content. And as mentioned already, marketing is not easy. Many companies—and especially small businesses—make the error of doing all their own marketing without any know-how. That could work, providing you have someone who knows what they’re doing—like your very own Don Draper. But most brands just starting out don’t have that luxury, so they must go it alone. You can do it…if you have a map highlighting all the booby traps. So without further ado, here are the 9 most common marketing mistakes you’re probably making…and how to fix them.

Mistake #1 – Too Many Discounts/Promos

“Attract” and “increase” are two of the most popular words to any business owner. Attract more customers, and increase sales. Those are good reasons to offer your customer base a special rate or discount. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, though. Discounts can blow up in your face. New businesses often make the mistake of offering big discounts at launch or when sales are stagnating. They’re a quick shot in the arm, like a can of spinach for Popeye. What you don’t see? The leafy green hangover the next day. Likewise, discounts can have serious and long-term negative effects. Giving discounts too often or too casually and they can turn on you like a rabid dog because they:

It’s a question of price versus value. Customers want excellent value for their money and the actual amount in many ways is irrelevant. he 9 Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making(2)

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Instead, try an alternative like earned discounts (such as volume quotas), early payment discounts, or multi-buy options. Focus on the static value of your product or service. Use discounts for appreciation, not retention. Offer only to a select group and be careful about how you announce it. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers believes you should never, ever discount your product. Not sometimes. Not rarely. Never. He likens discounts to a drug, and your customers will become addicted. He suggests that you add value instead of lowering prices. This can lead to the same sales spike without the long-term damage.

Mistake #2 – Loving Your Prospects but Ignoring Your Customers

With a prospect, it’s a lot like dating. You’re wooing, making promises, offering the best service or product, and you’re in constant communication. You can’t stop thinking about them. You send them little notes all day. They feel loved and appreciated. But once they’re a customer, it can quickly become a bad marriage. You take them for granted. You forget those promises. You don’t call as much. You never send cute little notes anymore. It’s mind-boggling. Customers are the lifeblood, no? A prospect may buy. A customer has bought. And lest we forget, it’s more expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one; 3-10x more expensive depending on the source, with some claiming upwards of 20-30x! Even if it’s “only” twice as much, it doesn’t make sense to not focus on customer retention at least as much as customer acquisition. Adobe estimates that for every 1% of buyers that return for another online visit, revenue will increase by approximately 10%. If retailers focused on turning 10% of their customers into repeat buyers, they could double their overall revenue! But businesses spend only about 2% of their marketing budget on customer relationships. What the what? You need a steady supply of leads. Absolutely. But share the love. Bring flowers home for no reason. Offer those special “new customer only” discounts to your loyal and repeat clients. Remind them that you can’t live without them.

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Mistake #3 – Abusing the Six Principles of Influence

Even if you’ve never heard of him, you’re probably using (and abusing) some of his ideas. Robert Cialdini is a psychologist and author of the best-seller Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. In it, he outlines what he calls the 6 principles (or weapons, depending on where you land on the good-evil sliding scale) of persuasion:

  1. Reciprocity – we’re hardwired to pay back favors and debts.
  2. Commitment and Consistency – we stick with and follow through on something we’ve previously chosen in some way.
  3. Social Proof – if something is popular with the masses, or individuals we know and like, we tend to trust it more.
  4. Liking – we agree to requests from people we like more readily.
  5. Authority – we follow people who at least look like they know what they’re doing (doctors, police officers, scientists, “experts”).
  6. Scarcity – if something is limited or in short supply, we want it even more.

You can—and should—use these principles in your marketing efforts. Without them, you’re not as persuasive as you could be…and marketing is ultimately about persuading someone to purchase what you’re selling. They help boost conversions and sales. But the principles can be abused. Sincerity is vitally important because consumers are very good at sniffing out insincerity and exaggeration when it comes to marketing. Take the scarcity principle. Use it too frequently, and like the boy who cried wolf, eventually no one will believe you. Think of all the television infomercials abusing this one: Call now! Only available for the next ten minutes! Only 3 left in the world! Today only, and then gone forever! The 9 Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making(3)

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How much do you believe those claims? Not much. Fake scarcity will bite you in the butt with plummeting sales, bad word-of-mouth, low opinions, and a mass exodus of prospects and customers. So don’t do it. The same is true for abusing any of the principles. Use them sparingly and use them genuinely.

Mistake #4 – No Unique Selling Proposition

In our rush to bring our product to the public, we often gloss over the minute details, believing that its sheer awesomeness will bring in customers by the thousands (the “if you build it, they will come” sales philosophy). But that rarely happens. So you need to get out there. You need to show them exactly how and in what way it’s awesome. You need to know—for yourself first and foremost—what makes you better than the rest. You need a clearly defined and articulated unique selling proposition (USP). Positioning is key…what makes you special? You should have a dynamite elevator pitch that explains it perfectly. Skip this and you have no real idea who you are, who your ideal customer is, or how to market to them. And if you’re not sure, why would a customer be? In a global market, you’re competing not only against similar businesses in your town or city, but also the rest of your country, if not the rest of the world. You need to stand out. You need to show and convince prospects that you’re the best choice because [insert your USP here]. How do you do that? It’s tricky but worth it. A few starting points:

In order to effectively market anything, you have to understand everything. Your product or service needs to offer or provide or boast something that no one else can. And you need to know exactly what that is. Do. Not. Skip. This. Buy our pizza because you’re hungry? Nope. Any pizza will fix that problem. Buy our pizza because it’s made by artisanal pizza fairies from Naples? Now, that’s unique!

Mistake #5 – None, Not Enough, or Too Much Marketing

Like Goldilocks, you have to find the perfect porridge. The easiest marketing mistake to make is not having any (ice cold), not having enough (lukewarm), or having too much (piping hot). When you’re just starting out, you may believe that you can’t afford it or that marketing will come later, but in truth, you can’t afford not to market. And in the digital age, thankfully, it’s nowhere near as expensive as traditional outbound methods (which is generally pricey and less effective, anyway). Not doing anything or only a little? You’re missing out. Yes, having a quality product to sell is important, and the satisfied customers you do have will likely spread the word for you. But as they say in the business world, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. The money you spend on marketing now—provided you work to see a positive ROI—will come back to you and then some. So invest in yourself.

“I have enough money/customers already.” ~No One

You gotta spend money to make money, but you can’t be constantly pitching your product either. Consider how annoying it is when you see the same television commercial all the time, hear the same radio ad multiple times each hour, encounter the same pop-up banner online, or receive dozens of e-mails hawking the same service every week. Ever feel compelled to buy whatever that annoying company is selling? Exactly. Too much is never a good thing, as you run the risk of becoming over-exposed and completely irritating to those people you’re trying to entice. So what’s the right marketing mix model? Depends who you ask. In social media marketing, there are plenty of sharing ratios to choose from:

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Pick your poison. No matter which you choose, the amount of self-serving promotional posts should be small. The bulk of your social media or content marketing should be useful material for your fans and followers. Too many e-mails, too much self-promotion, or too many sales pitches, and your audience will leave you. Figuring out exactly how much to spend can involve numbers, customer acquisition costs and lifetime values, and good old-fashioned math. If that makes you want to hide under the bed, just remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated (yet). Inbound marketing is the most effective and cost-friendly route to get started. The 9 Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making(4)

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The bottom line? You have to do something. But not too much. Find the “just right” porridge temperature. Let your e-mail subscribers select their own frequency (daily, weekly, monthly). Pick a sharing ratio that works for you and your goals. Talk more about them and less about you. Like salt, alcohol, and Tex-Mex food…everything in moderation.

Mistake #6 – No Specified Target Market

It’s tempting to aim your marketing efforts at everyone. Don’t. You need to be specific. Who’s your ideal customer or prospect? Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing Club suggests these six steps to identify him or her:

  1. What problem or need does your product address?
  2. Create a perfect customer (or “buyer persona”) profile of people affected by the problem or need, including demographics, goals, values, interests, motivations, lifestyle, and beliefs.
  3. Who suffers the most?
  4. Think about your market (competitors, overall value)
  5. Look closely at your company (what you can and can’t do, who you most want to attract, areas of expertise)
  6. What makes you unique compared to your competitors?

If you can’t answer everything, ask! Talk to your existing customers to fill in some blanks. And remember that you may have more than one ideal customer…and that’s okay. It’s fantastic, actually. Wide appeal and all that jazz. Create a buyer persona for each of them. Once you’ve identified the relevant buyer personas, you can market directly to them, where they hang out, and speak to them in ways that resonate with them on a visceral level. Marketing today must be personalized and feel tailor-made to have any shot at success, and that starts with knowing exactly who you’re targeting. It’ll save you time, money, frustration, and countless nights spent wondering why no one is buying.

Mistake #7 – Believing that Marketing Ends with the Sale

Marketing is not just about getting the name and e-mail address that leads to the sale. Yes, it’s a big part, but there’s more to be done after they sign on that digital line. Too many businesses fall into this trap and believe that marketing ends when money is exchanged. Big mistake. Huge. In the digital domain, the follow-up is equally—if not more—important. A typical buyer decision process includes five steps:

  1. Problem or need identified
  2. Research
  3. Evaluation
  4. Decision
  5. Post-purchase evaluation

After we slap down the dollars (or pounds, or euros, or yen…), we usually evaluate our experience from start to finish. Did we make the right decision? Does the product actually address the need/problem? And how well did the company meet our expectations? You need to exceed the customer’s expectations. And you do that with the sales follow-up. Send a thank you note via e-mail. Check in a day or two later to see if they have any questions or issues. Establish channels of communication (e-mail list, social media, customer service phone line) and keep them open. Offer tips and tricks to enhance their purchase. Depending on your product, there may be opportunities for upselling and/or reselling. But the bottom line is that you have to stay connected and available. A bad experience, or a customer who feels abandoned or forgotten, can kill you with negative social proof. Everyone has a potential audience of millions today, what with blogs and the myriad of social networks. Bad word-of-mouth will damage your reputation, guaranteed. Consider:

Follow up, follow up, follow up. Take steps to identify and fix bad experiences before someone has the chance to air their grievance on a very public forum.

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Mistake #8 – You’re a Pantser

As in you fly by the seat of your pants. The opposite is a planner. Now, before anyone writes angry letters extolling the virtue of an unplanned life, let me just say that I agree with you. Except when it comes to your business and your marketing. Your marketing must have a plan. Otherwise, you’re quite literally throwing money away (much like anyone who invested in Trump Steak, or Trump University, or Trump [blank]). And it doesn’t matter whether you prioritize inbound or outbound techniques. A plan should be step #1. A good marketing plan explicitly states:

Content marketing, for example, can be used for a wide and far-reaching number of different goals. Just be sure to make them smart goals, goals that you can actually achieve. Spread brand awareness, generate leads, increase revenue, maintain and develop customer relationships…no matter what the goal, make it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The 9 Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making(5)

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Remember that the most effective marketers track the ROI of their efforts. In fact, those who checked at least three times each week were a full 20% more likely to see a positive return. There’s no shortage of metrics you should be checking. It all depends on the particular goal of a particular campaign.

Mistake #9 – No Website

This one seems incredulous in 2016, but many businesses still don’t have a website. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. small businesses don’t have one, with the majority listing either “Not relevant to my industry” (32%) or “Cost” (30%) as the principal reason. But guess what? It is relevant to every industry, and the cost is negligible compared to the potential lost revenue from not having one. If you don’t have a website, you’re losing money. Period. And here’s why:

Key Takeaways

What’s the takeaway here?

  1. Offer more value than discounts.
  2. Don’t neglect customer retention.
  3. Don’t abuse the 6 principles of influence.
  4. Have a clearly defined unique selling proposition (USP).
  5. Find the sweet spot between too much and too little marketing.
  6. Specify your target market.
  7. Follow up, follow up, follow up.
  8. Make a plan.
  9. Have a website.

The potential mistakes are many. But before you drop to your knees, eyes skyward in anguish, and release a heart-wrenching “Why God, why?!”, know this: most mistakes are easily avoided. And most are easily fixed (although avoided is better than fixed if we’re ranking). Follow these steps to know what to watch out for and then market like a pro.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work

This post originally appeared on Single Grain, a growth marketing agency focused on scaling customer acquisition, by Peter Boyle.

The marketing world can be pretty confusing, right?

We all want the best results, but it’s hard to know whether you should focus on the current model of content marketing, e-mail campaigns (the king of ROI), or the social crowd (Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks).

The list goes on and on. Every year new marketing methods spring up and with them a new set of gurus who vehemently defend that particular approach as the best thing for taking your business to the next level.

Rest easy, I’m no guru and I’m not going to push a new marketing method with some terribly hyperbolic sales pitch on you. What I am going to do is examine one of the more popular marketing approaches that has not only outlived many fads, but has adapted to the times.

I am, of course, referring to paid advertising.  

The act of paying a third party with better visibility or larger distribution to promote your business is as old as marketing itself. But one of the reasons paid advertising has remained so popular is that it’s managed to adapt with the times.  

Technological developments have enabled marketers to set up and implement a campaign in next to no time, and the data that’s available from these campaigns makes getting the most out of your campaigns easier than ever before.  

One of the more recent developments, and the one I’d like to focus on in this piece, is how paid advertising has crossed over into the world of social media.

Large numbers of people use social media in their day-to-day lives. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks each attract anywhere from hundreds of millions to billions of monthly users. With such a huge user base, social media is the ideal platform for you to increase the reach and visibility of your business.

While all networks share some common features, getting the most out of each with a paid campaign is an entirely unique effort. This article is going to focus on how to get the most out of your Twitter paid ad campaign.  

Read More: The Complete Guide to Gmail Ads (How We Got $.10 CPCs & Leads As Low As $7)

I Understand Paid Advertising, But Why Bother with Twitter Ads?

I know what you’re thinking.

Paid ads are great and all, but is Twitter really the best option? I mean, if you’re set on a paid social media ad campaign why not go with the big fella—Facebook?

I can’t argue that the reach Facebook offers is greater, quite a lot greater in fact!

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

But as folks are given to saying: size isn’t everything. Yes Facebook might be bigger, but Twitter has a few little gems that make it a pretty worthwhile contender for your attention.

What really makes Twitter worthwhile is its effectiveness.

Call me old fashioned, but if I’m running a paid campaign, I’m most interested in the financial side of things. I want to know how much it’s going to cost and how great the ROI is. As such, I’ll track:

You might notice how I’ve completely omitted a few favorites.

As far as I’m concerned, CTR, impressions or any of the other favored metrics don’t affect your bottom line and as a result shouldn’t be your focus. They’re still important and will play an important role in optimizing your campaigns, but your primary focus should always be on how it affects the company’s bottom line.

And it’s here that Twitter excels.

A couple years ago there were a number of studies conducted on the effectiveness of paid advertising on different networks. Below are the results for lead gen from Optify.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Studies also point to Twitter dominating the mobile space. A pretty big deal considering that 2015 saw the first instance of mobile browsers exceeding their desktop counterparts.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

But this was a few years ago; surely the faster growth of Facebook has skewed these results and left Twitter in the dust, right?

Not according to this study by Yotpo, which found that Twitter still has a higher conversion rate and average order value.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Twitter may well be smaller and have a more limited reach than Facebook, but that hasn’t stopped it from pulling ahead in the metric that counts: conversions.   

The question, then, is how to ensure that you’re seeing the greatest conversion and revenue gains with your Twitter ads.

Step 1 – Decide on a Campaign

What do you want to achieve with your Twitter advertising campaign?

That should be the first question you ask yourself. Admittedly it’s pretty broad and can encompass a lot. Thankfully, Twitter’s selection of campaigns should help you decide on what next steps are best for your needs.

Upon logging into the Ads dashboard you’ll be greeted with the below:

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Here’s how each campaign breaks down.


As you’d expect, this campaign is aimed at increasing your Twitter following. The cost for the campaign works on a cost-for-follow basis, meaning that you only pay when you gain a new follower.

The ads appear in two different formats depending on whether you include a tweet or not. Those who don’t will have an ad that looks like this:

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

And those that do will have an ad that looks like this:

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

This is a great option for new businesses on Twitter but it’s not really the best option for an established brand. If you’ve been around a while, there are plenty of other smart tactics I’d recommend over paying for new followers.

Web clicks or conversions

This is one of the best options for those looking for quick traffic or conversions. The parameters you set when establishing the campaign define the audience that will see these tweets. The tweets you create are accompanied by a ‘learn more’ button which redirects them to your website or landing page.

Read More: LeadPages CEO Clay Collins Talks About How To Ramp Up Your Conversion Rates – Up To 75%! (podcast)

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Tweet engagements

This is one of those options that’s really only useful if you’re looking for an incredibly engaged audience. It’s not a bad campaign by any means, but it’s not necessarily going to have the same impact on your bottom line.

Aside from the obvious benefits of increasing reach and visibility, this campaign can be a goldmine for marketers doing a little audience research.

Ask a question to which you need to know the answer so that you can optimize your marketing and promote it. More people will see it and, on top of the retweets and favorites, you’ll get some great answers to help hone your approach.

App installs or re-engagements

Got an app? Want more people to use it? Then this is the campaign for you.

This campaign puts a direct install link on your tweets so the prospects you’re targeting can quickly and easily install the app at the touch of a finger.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

The great thing about these ads is that you’re not going to waste money through dumb folks on desktop computers clicking the install button. These ads are only displayed to Twitter users on mobile.

Leads on Twitter

Twitter offers an easy sign-up procedure that integrates with many of the popular e-mail marketing services. You’re able to include a lead generation card in your ad which then adds the prospect directly to your list.

These are great. They not only contribute to a meaningful metric (the money’s in the list, right?), but they abolish the need to fill out a form. With these, your prospects literally just click a button.

Video views

This is a relatively new feature.

Twitter will promote your videos to targeted customers. What’s key to note here is how they charge. According to their info page, they consider “a chargeable view as 3 seconds of playback in 100% view in the timeline, or a click to watch in fullscreen/unmute — whichever comes first.”

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

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Of course, video is well known as being an incredibly engaging and successful form of content. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on whether that three-second rule is ruining your campaign budget.

Reaching the Right Audience

Remember, this campaign is costing you cash. You’re going to want every click you pay for to have the best possible chance of converting into a paying customer.

The biggest mistake marketers make with PPC campaigns is going on gut instinct. You might know your product better than anyone else and you may well have some pretty kickass audience personae mapped out, but that doesn’t mean that you can implement your targeting without doing a little research first.

The targeting parameters with Twitter Ads aren’t going to present anything you haven’t seen before.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

The only things that may surprise veteran marketers are the specificity of the locations (seriously, you can target specific postal codes which is great for local businesses!) and perhaps the option to target by TV show preference.

The rest are pretty run of the mill so I’m not going to waste time with a redundant explanation of what location is or how to target followers of larger related accounts.

Instead I want to quickly touch on how to get your campaign off to the best start. Not by targeting those you think might be interested in whatever it is you’re offering, but by using the data of those who have already converted.

Your Google Analytics account has a wealth of information to get your campaign off to the right start. to begin with, you can pull interest data straight from GA as is. Organize this data from highest-converting interest category to lowest and you’ll have a great starting point for your interest-targeting Twitter Ads.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

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You can do exactly the same to pull pertinent information for other key demographic information.

After you’ve done this you’ll want to find the keywords that convert on GA. You should already have tracking set up on GA so you know the exact behavior of those who convert and the revenue they bring.

The next thing to do is implement this custom report created by Griffin Roer over on KISSmetrics. The report will show you your landing pages organized by organic searches. Again, filter this by conversion rate to know which landing pages have the highest conversion rate.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Make a note of the top-converting landing pages before heading over to Webmaster Tools. Open Search Traffic > Search Analytics and use the filter option on pages to find the highest-converting pages outlined in the above GA report.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Once you’ve filtered by your top-converting pages, click on “Queries.” This will bring up a great list of the terms that garner the highest number of clicks on Google.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

These terms, while from organic results, obviously appeal to the segment of your audience that converts, so they’d be a good starting point for you in your targeting.

Once you’ve done the whole GA thing, you’ll want to supplement and cross reference the information with the engagement rates that your Twitter account is already receiving.

Your next stop is over on Twitter’s Analytics suite.

There are lots of visually impressive results in Twitter’s Analytics dashboard, but more often than not they’re just a visual representation of your audience. I’m not aware of any way to track conversions unless you’ve already set up Twitter’s conversion tracking. Something that very few people I’ve spoken to seem to have done.

Read More: 13 Quick Tricks to Increase Conversion Rates that You Can Do Right Now

However, you can track which of your tweets gained the highest engagements by clicking on the “Tweets” heading in the menu.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Ignore the pretty graph at the top of the page, scroll down, and click on “Top Tweets” and you’ll find a list of your tweets with the highest engagement rate.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

Copy the text from your top tweets and cross reference them with your GA data. Doing so should help you understand the kind of copy that resonates well with your audience.

If there’s a keyword or phrase that pops up across both platforms regularly, it’s likely that it’s going to grab attention and convert those users into list subs or paying customers. Use it in your keyword targeting and in your Tweet copy.

Always Have a Specific Landing Page

Over 80% of Twitter users access the platform through mobile. If you’re redirecting users to a landing page on your site, make sure it’s optimized for the device and OS they’re using.

Do Twitter Ads Really Work?

There’s nothing worse when on mobile than clicking a link and finding yourself on a page optimized for desktop. Links are too small to click with a finger, copy gets cut off by the smaller display, and the whole process just seems to run sluggishly.

These little annoyances are enough to put anyone off converting. Target your ads to appear only to those on mobile or desktop, but ensure that the links within those Tweets link to pages that are optimized for that audience.

You’ll also want to target ads and have specific landing pages for:

It seems like overkill, but the best way to ensure a higher rate of conversion is to provide an ultra specific and tailored experience.

You’ve got to ensure that the page you’re directing people to is perfectly optimized for their needs and behaviors.

Final Thoughts

Twitter often seems to get overlooked simply because it doesn’t have the reach of Facebook. But studies clearly show that it’s an incredibly effective platform for gaining a higher level of conversions.

Implementing any form of paid marketing strategy shouldn’t be done without thorough planning. Before you pay for your campaign to go live make sure that you’re not only comfortable with the way Twitter Ads works, but also feel confident that you know exactly who you’re targeting.

Have you used any other methods to help better target your Twitter campaign? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Bruno Haid Roam

Hey everybody, today we have Bruno Haid, founder of Roam, an international network of communal living spaces that allows you to live in interesting places with interesting people for a week or a lifetime.

In this week’s episode, we’ll be talking about how he managed to get 977 organic upvotes on Product Hunt, why targeted Facebook Ads work so well for them for customer acquisition and why it’s so important to make your product actionable.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Bruno Haid’s Secret to Getting 977 Organic Upvotes on Product Hunt Via Referrals TRANSCRIPT

Episode highlights:

Resources from this interview:

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Jason Swenk Marketing Agency Consultant

Hey everyone, today on the show we have Jason Swenk, who teaches digital agency owners how to double their business through setting up the right systems. Jason ran a successful agency for 12 years until he sold it and now has the number one resource for agency owners who want to scale and grow their businesses. Jason actually helped me with my business, and I think he has a wonderful model!

In today’s interview we’ll be talking about how Jason built his agency into a seven figure business, the financial transaction that consisted of equity, earn-out and cash up front, and how Jason was able to transition to become the world’s largest resource for agency owners. We also discuss some of his lead generation and segmentation techniques and his policy of doing work he loves.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Jason Swenk Built His Coaching Business Into a 7-Figure Company By NOT Making Decisions Based on Money TRANSCRIPT

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content expansion growth everywhere

So you created what you thought was a masterful piece of content but there’s no traffic coming in.

The marketing experts talk about the importance of content marketing and how it has made a world of difference in their businesses. The traffic and leads just seem to gush in for them.

Backlinko gets 90,000 visitors a month and it’s a newer SEO blog, Derek Halpern has over 200,000+ e-mail subscribers—and the list goes on.

It’s the one element that people don’t talk about often: content promotion.

And when people DO talk about it, they say content promotion is perhaps even MORE important than the content itself, but no one really tells you how to do it effectively.

content expansion growth everywhere

We all produce a ton of different content so it just makes sense for us to double down and expand/repurpose it in order to maximize mileage, right?

In this post, we’ll walk you through how to promote your content as well as repurpose it on other platforms (which in essence is also a form of promotion). Let’s call this ‘Content Expansion’.

Let’s jump right into it.

What Usually Happens

The typical content marketing strategy involves publishing a blog post, seeding it to your social profiles, and maybe sending a few e-mails out.

Doesn’t it feel like there should be A LOT more that?

First, the one thing I’ve heard from the Neil Patels and Derek Halperns of the world is to create truly epic content. It’s a lot easier to promote and repurpose content when it’s top-notch!

Assuming you have done that, it’s time to turn your attention to all the platforms that are available for you to repurpose to.

And remember: repurposing is a form of promotion because you are distributing your content further.

Free Bonus Download: Use this guide to walk you through content expansion to maximize your traffic and leads! Click here to download it free.


content expansion growth everywhere

Step #1: Pushing Your Content

For example, each of my Growth Everywhere interviews pushes to a few areas:

Statistic: Numbers of LinkedIn members from 1st quarter 2009 to 1st quarter 2015 (in millions) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Although I don’t spend much time on YouTube, I get 4,000+ views a month just by pushing to it. On LinkedIn, I can get an additional 400 visits just by republishing the same content:


Sure, these numbers aren’t eye-popping, but as you continue to add them across these other platforms, it adds up. Compound it over years and then you’ll see some serious numbers.

But that’s not all. Newer platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Periscope are popping up all the time. Writing them off without at least exploring can be a huge mistake. For example, Foundr Magazine’s Nathan Chan grew his Instagram following to over 110,000 people in just 5 months. What’s more impressive is that he gets 20,000 of his IG followers to click on his bio link each month – 45% convert into e-mail subscribers.

Step #2: Getting On Bigger Publications

Have you ever wanted to contribute to sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc. or Fast Company? Young Entrepreneur’s Council is a fast pass to getting on these sites. They even have services that will write articles for time-pressed entrepreneurs. You don’t need to worry about coming up with articles or submitting it to editors. They’ll take care of that for you.

The criteria for admission is a business that does >$1m in annual revenues and a $1,000 annual fee. You’ll also be able to connect with young up-and-coming (under 40 years old) entrepreneurs.

But if you don’t exactly fit the mold for YEC, that’s not a problem. Here’s how you can get on bigger publications:

Build A Publication Target List

First, figure out which publications you want to appear on. For Growth Everywhere, my audience is entrepreneurs and marketers, so it makes sense to target sites such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company, and Business Insider. On the marketing side, it makes sense for me to write for sites like Social Media Examiner, HubSpot, and more.

Your goal is to figure out where your audience is hanging out. If you’re not sure where to start, Buzzsumo is a great tool for uncovering the content that is getting lots of shares in your niche. Here’s an example of the results I get when I type in ‘startup marketing’:


Figure Out What Your Unique Angle Is

Next, you need to figure out what your unique angle is. What is it that makes you special? What are you good at? Where can you bring the most value? For example, Tim Ferriss is an exceptional interviewer because he’s a voracious learner. Because of that, he can talk about many different subjects with world-class performers from Arnold Schwarzenegger to angel investor Chris Sacca. That’s why he has one of the top podcasts in iTunes (over 1,967 reviews with a 4.5 star average).

Be unique and authentic, and people will be more receptive to you—especially when you’re trying to get on a larger publication.

Free Bonus Download: Use this guide to walk you through content expansion to maximize your traffic and leads! Click here to download it free.

How To Find Publication Editors/Writers 

Now you have to get to the actual decision makers when it comes to contributions. I usually target the ‘Managing Editor’ title. Even if they aren’t the ones making the call on guest contributors, they can at least point you in the right direction.

First, you can try good ol’ Google:


If that doesn’t work, you can try LinkedIn:


From there, you can either use a tool like E-mail Hunter or simply Google their Twitter handle to reach out to them.

E-mail Hunter will find e-mail addresses from anywhere on the web:


Research The Individual

Now it’s time to sit down and research what topics your target(s) is interested in. By Googling ‘[Name] [Publication] articles’, I can get a quick glimpse of the articles that my target has written recently:



Perfect – looks like this is right up my alley (startup/entrepreneurship). Once I know I have the right fit, I’ll add them to a spreadsheet with a column that notes the topics that resonate with my target.

Come Up With A List Of Headlines

Ok, now it’s time to prepare a list of 5 ideas per category. For example, if you were targeting editors with interests in startup/entrepreneurship, you’d create 5 headlines for this category. If you were targeting editors interested in marketing, it’d be another 5 headlines about that category. Rinse and repeat until you have 5 for each topic.

Make sure they’re GREAT headlines too.

If you’re unsure of how to write attention-grabbing headlines, here are a few resources:

More importantly, analyze the types of headlines they use and mold your headline to match their style.

They’ll appreciate that.

Craft An E-mail Template

Congratulations, you’ve gotten them to open your e-mail! Now it’s time to close them with a solid e-mail template.

Here’s an example that you can swipe and deploy immediately:

Hi [NAME],

Big fan of your work. I especially liked [this article:link] where you talked about [what they talked about].

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’d like to write on [TOPIC] for [YOUR COMPANY].

I’ve written for [INSERT SIMILAR PUBLICATION LINKS] and I think my writing would resonate with your audience.

I’ve prepared a few ideas just for you. 🙂 




Here’s an even easier one to use:

Hi [NAME],

Just wanted to let you know that we mentioned you in a piece we wrote here: [LINK] 🙂

Let me know what you think!




Rinse & Repeat

Keep doing this and I guarantee you’ll gain traction. You’ll likely get a few ignores or rejections at first, but the key is to keep pushing. Brian Dean from Backlinko notes that he gets a 11% conversion rate on content promotion e-mails.

More on how he does that here:

If they say no? Make a note to follow up in 2-3 months as you continue to rack up more experience under your belt. You can make life even easier by using sales automation tools.

At the end of the day, it’s just a numbers game. You’re bound to convert a few publications that you can write for.

Bonus Tip: Ask For Referrals

If someone you know is producing content for a publication you want to be on, ask them for a referral to the managing editor. A warm introduction goes a long way.This seems like a ‘duh’ tip but most people forget to do what’s right in front of them.

Step #2A: How to really promote your content

Build a circle of influencers – GrooveHQ got over 1,000+ subscribers from a single blog post in 24 hours by starting off with an influencer list. From a revenue standpoint, that post generated about $3,425 in revenue.

That was when they were just starting out. They now do over $170,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

Tweeting/e-mailing the people mentioned – This is the lowest hanging fruit you can tackle when it comes to promotion. People love hearing about themselves and if the piece you produced is solid, they’re happy to share. Personally, I haven’t done the best job at doing this but when I do, it pays off handsomely. I have since hired someone to handle this (you probably should if you have more pressing matters to tend to).

You can use the copy above to e-mail people. Here’s the short example one more time:

Hi [NAME],

Just wanted to let you know that we mentioned you in a piece we wrote here: [LINK] 🙂

Let me know what you think!


Here’s an example tweet you can use:

.@NAME just mentioned you in our piece on [SUBJECT] 🙂 [LINK]

(yes, the period is there on purpose)

Tracking your promotion – what gets measured, gets managed. You can track your promotion through a Google Spreadsheet and start off with simple metrics such as:

For a more automated method of tracking and sending out e-mails, you can use sales automation tools like Outreach.

Seeding to communities -there are lots of great communities where people share content online. For example, Growth Everywhere posts typically cover topics around marketing, sales and startups.

Here are a few communities I can push my content to:

A note on communities: each community is different and you don’t want to be too self promotional or else they’ll rip you apart. Reddit especially.

Not sure where to start? Just Google ‘[your niche] community’ and you’ll find some suitable candidates. For example, I typed in ‘interior design community’ and I came across the Houzz discussion board:


Bonus: Moz put together an exceptional guide on content amplification that I strongly recommend you take a look at:

Promotion Tools

This post wouldn’t be complete without some recommended tools. Here are some solid tools to help with content expansion:

Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO – Any of these 3 SEO tools will do a great job telling you how a site is doing in terms of link acquisition, what pages are most popular and much more. Moz has tools such as Followerwonk and the Keyword Difficulty tool to help tell you important social media statistics/trends and keywords that are worth going for. Here’s a simple Majestic SEO tutorial:

SEMrush – SEMrush is our tool of choice when it comes to exploring what ads sites are running or which organic keywords a site is ranking for. It also produces simple weekly reports that notes the weekly growth of a site. Here’s a tutorial on SEMrush:














MeetEdgar – If you’re producing a good volume of content, it’s hard to think about what needs to be resurfaced and when to schedule it. Edgar allows you to schedule content (your own or curated), set it, and forget it. I’d advise scrubbing your content every month to make sure that you’re sharing the most up-to-date content with your audiences. Here’s a look at Edgar:

Buffer – Buffer has been a staple in our social media toolbox for years and still continues to be. You can schedule posts to multiple channels through your browser and then view the effectiveness of your posts over time. Huge timesaver and great to pair with MeetEdgar.

Outbrain, Taboola, StumbleUpon – Content distribution networks such as Outbrain and Taboola can return a ROI if you’re really trying to expand your content reach. These are the recommended posts that you see below sites such as and Moz has a post that reports getting 1,000+ social shares and 82 links on a $2,000 spend.

Start A Fire – Start A Fire allows you to promote your content with every external link you share. For example, when we share our content through Buffer, each link is automatically converted into a Start A Fire link that adds a badge to the bottom right corner of each post:


Since using it, we’ve gotten over 790 pageviews and 109 badge clicks for a 13.7% CTR. Not too shabby for not having to do any extra work.

Zapier / IFTTT – Zapier is my go-to tool for integrating applications. For example, if a lead comes through our WordPress site, it’ll immediately push to our Sales channel in HipChat. We made a video that goes through how we use it right here:

Free Bonus Download: Use this guide to walk you through content expansion to maximize your traffic and leads! Click here to download it free.

Step #3: What To Do After

Content Expansion

Since you’ve already spent your valuable time creating exceptional content, there’s no reason you can’t repurpose it. For example, Buffer stopped publishing content for a month and instead focused on repurposing and refreshing their content from the archives. Their results were staggering:

content expansion growth everywhere

Here’s how you can repurpose your content

keytermsAfter you’ve made the original piece MORE epic, think about how you can repurpose it. After that, follow the Derek Halpern rule: spend 20% of your time creating a post and 80% of your time promoting it.

Here are some more ideas on how to repurpose your content:


Infographics are a great way to expand upon content you’ve created in the past. Internet entrepreneur Neil Patel notes this about his 47 infographics:

content expansion growth everywhere

Analytics company KISSmetrics ranks #1 for the keyword ‘how to calculate lifetime value’. But most of us don’t have the budget or time to research a well thought out infographics.


Thankfully, there are a few options to produce infographics quickly on a budget (such as Canva or Piktochart).


With over 60 million monthly users, SlideShare has been called content marketing’s sleeping giant. If you present often, it makes sense to share your slides on SlideShare. You can even slice up past infographics you’ve done and post them up to increase your reach.


With over 300 million users, Instagram can be a major player if utilized correctly. Foundr Magazine’s Nathan Chan gets over 8,000 e-mail subscribers a month from his Instagram account. It took him 5 months to go from 0 to 110,000 followers:followergrowthTo get a detailed look at his Instagram growth strategy, click here.For you lazier people (like me), here are the key cliffnotes:


Visual bookmarking site Pinterest is projected to have more than 47 million monthly active users in 2015. It’s not just a site for women to post wedding photos on. It’s in your best interest to figure out if your demographic hangs out there. If they do, then it’s time to learn how to market on Pinterest. If you aren’t so sure about your design chops, you can learn how to create visually appealing content from Neil Patel. Using a simple online collage maker or photo editing tool, it’s easier than you’d think to create compelling visual content.


73% of marketers agree that e-mail marketing is core to their business. In 2014, e-mail marketing was cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the United States. Over 59% of B2B marketers say e-mail is the most effective channel for generating revenue. Sometimes, people (like myself) are so focused on the new shiny object that we forget how to optimize our e-mails. Weekly digests are a great way for promoting content to your lists.

For example, I look forward to Hiten Shah’s weekly SaaS digest. It’s very simple and has content that I’m interested in:


What’s one way you can enhance your e-mail marketing to promote your content?


YouTube isn’t the only show in town. Online video site Vimeo has over 100 million users and 400k paying subscribers. I personally use it to host my courses and my summits. Vimeo is all about building communities and the audience tends to be full of quality-seekers. Learn more about Vimeo marketing here.


Q+A site Quora is a great place to share your knowledge. Venture Capitalist (and former guest on the show) Jason Lemkin has eclipsed over 10M views on Quora and built a very strong brand in the software-as-a-service world called SaaStr.

Here’s how he does it:

 Google+ Discussion Groups

Sure, Google may have given up on having Google+ as a Facebook rival, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t thriving communities. For example, the ‘Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed’ Google+ group came recommended to me from a friend that runs a large site geared towards small businesses. I was skeptical at first, but engagement numbers don’t lie:


Other untapped channels

There’s ALWAYS new platforms popping up. It’s on you to take some time out of your week to strategize next steps on how to increase your traffic. Here are a few more:

Periscope – Live streaming social media app Periscope has over 380 years of content consumed PER day and hit over 1 million users in just 10 days. Marketers such as Derek Halpern initially thought Periscope was dumb but now think it’s the next big thing.

Here’s a guide on how to use Periscope.

Vine – Over 100 million people watch Vine videos each month. Here’s a handy guide to using Vine.

Snapchat – Messaging app Snapchat reportedly has close to 200 million users. Here’s a marketer’s guide to Snapchat.

Untapped traffic sources – What about less popular channels? The big ones are mentioned over and over and they’re easy to access. But that also means they can be crowded and expensive. Mat, a guy that was intoxicated, built a completely useless site that attracts 3,000 to 40,000 visitors a day.

Take a look at it.

It does. absolutely. nothing.

But he was able to tap into a site outside of the usual social media bubble called The Useless Web. 90% of his traffic comes from that site.

One more thing: online isn’t the only way to find traffic. An extremely successful dating site ($45m/year) used lawn signs to generate offline-to-online traffic. So be creative 🙂

Surveying Your Audience

The work isn’t done after you’ve had a successful content expansion campaign. It’s all about iterating after that. You can use tools like SurveyMonkey to get a pulse on your audience. For example, you can ask them to rate your specific piece of content on a scale of 1-10 or even ask them which topics they’re most interested in.


From there, you’ll have some data to point you in the right direction for future epic content ideas.

Additional Resources:

The Ultimate Content Promotion Checklist – A simple, interactive content promotion checklist for you to follow. Adapt for your own needs.

Advanced SEO Campaign Blueprint – Content and SEO go hand in hand. If you’re doing content, it’s on you to understand the nuances of SEO. Don’t leave home without this blueprint.

How Nick Eubanks built a site up to 100,000 visitors per month quickly using SEO and content – self explanatory.

Extensive Keyword Research Tutorial:


We all know that content marketing has a compounding effect. What sets most content pieces apart from others is the evergreen effect:


compared to the temporal effect:


If you can consistently expand and repurpose your content, you’re well on your way to creating something really special.

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