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A/B Testing Your Way to Better Emails

At Little Jack, we’re firm believers in testing everything you can to continually refine your marketing strategy. A/B testing your emails is one of the simplest things you can do to improve engagement, and ultimately, the ROI on the emails you send out. What is A/B Testing? A/B testing, also called split testing, is a controlled experiment between two variants, A and B. In emails you can use this form of testing to compare two versions of a single campaign to identify which is most effective for opens and clicks. Choosing What to Test Many elements of your email campaign can have an effect on engagement. What you test may be based on the results you’re looking for (i.e. opens vs. click through). Below are some examples of things you may test. Subject Line: “Read our Latest blog Post!” vs. “A/B Testing Your Way to Better Emails” Email Layout: Two column vs. Three Column, or Placement of Button Preview Text: “Sale ends tonight!” vs. “Don’t miss this sale!” Images: Objects vs. People Email Length or Headline: Short and sweet vs. Long and detailed Offer: Free Shipping vs. 30% off Call to Action: “Shop Now” vs. “Buy Now” or “Book an Appointment” vs. “Schedule a Call” Setting Up an A/B Testing Process It’s important to test just one piece of your campaign at a time to get accurate results. If you test multiple elements you have no way of knowing what aspect of the email resulted in the change. Like any good scientific experiment, you want to have a control element to compare against. To do that everything in your A and B campaigns should be exactly the same except for your test element. For example, if you test just the Call to Action and one email gets more clicks than the other, you’ll know what caused the improvement. Keep notes on these test over time, and you should be able… […]

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Are You Uber-responsive to Your Customers? Five Ways to Convey That Through Your Website

When designing or redesigning your site, subtle differences in layout, color scheme, and content can make a big impact on how your audience perceives your business. One of the company traits customers value most these days is responsiveness—the ability to get ahold of someone quickly at any stage of the customer journey, from deciding what product to buy, to filing a warranty claim when a product breaks. If you run a business that prides itself on its responsiveness to the customer, here are some ideas on how to convey that on your website. 1. Include a customer service phone number. Many modern websites skip this, or bury the number deep on the “Contact Us” page , but if you want to show your customers that there will always be someone they can reach, add your phone number in a prominent place on all pages, like in your navigation. 2. Add a live-chat feature. These days, online chat is actually one of the contact channels customers want most. It’s just enough interaction for the modern world— it has a fast response time, but isn’t as personal as having to make a phone call. Having someone staffing your live chat probably sounds resource-intensive, but depending on the complexity of your products, you may be able to outsource the service and implement this feature at an affordable price point. You can also now incorporate existing chats you’re already managing like Facebook Messenger. 3. Implement a ticketing system. While not immediately visible on your site, a professional ticketing system is something your customers will notice as soon as they get in touch with you. A ticketing system gives the customer assurance that you take every request seriously. It can also be set up to send an acknowledgment email as soon as a ticket is submitted, so the customer knows you’re on the case. Last but not least, it also gives the customer a ticket… […]

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Can Images on Your Site Impact Your SEO? Covering Your Bases With Better Image Metadata

How much attention do you pay to the images you select for your website or blog posts? And, when you select an image, do you take the time to select an appropriate file name, alt text, and caption for it? Believe it or not, these elements are quite important, for two reasons. Better Accessibility First, image metadata is important for accessibility with a number of screen readers. There are many people who may be visually or otherwise impaired and when they interact with your website, they may be counting on that metadata to understand what the images are trying to convey. The rules for image alt text are easy: just describe what’s in the photo as simply and concisely as possible. Don’t say “image of”— accessibility programs will automatically recognize that it’s an image and let their users know. Also, only use alt text on images of substance. If you have a random inspirational stock image on your website, you can set the alt text to “alt=”” (null)” to create a more streamlined experience for those with screen readers. As far as image captions go, keep in mind that screen readers will read both alt text and image captions. Having both of these attributes is useful for SEO, but if you give the same information in both that can get repetitive for those using screen readers. Also, by including the exact same information, you’re wasting an opportunity to provide more context to the search engine that could ultimately help your SEO. Improved SEO Image search is alive and well. It always has been, despite the fact that websites may have seen less traffic coming from image searches in the past few years. When Google introduced the “View Image” feature in 2013, users were able to see the image without actually visiting the site it came from. Now that this feature is gone again, users who want a closer look at… […]

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Four Ways to Use Your Audience Personas for Sales & Marketing

If someone asked you to describe your typical customer, what would you say? This fun exercise has a long history in marketing, and is usually known as building audience personas. If you don’t gravitate naturally toward marketing, you might feel like you don’t have the time to do something so abstract when you could be focusing on sales. But sometimes, it’s exactly these kinds of strategies that can help you overhaul your marketing program and tangibly increase your ROI across the board. First, if you’re not sure what audience personas are, you can read our post on them here. The importance of audience personas comes down to one thing: how can you do anything in marketing without having figured out who you’re marketing to? When was the last time your gave that some thought? Having worked out your audience personas will help you in almost every situation. Here are four things you can do with your audience personas, just to get you started. Organic SEO & content marketing – When you’re creating content for your site, whether it’s for static pages or for your blog, you should be actively thinking about your audience personas and how each of them will relate to the content you’re creating. How to use them: One great way to come up with blog topics for organic SEO is to ask yourself, “what long tail search phrase would my audience persona type into Google search,” and then writing on that topic. Or think about the questions that audience asks your customer service, ot the challenges they face. Paid advertising – Defining your personas enables you to narrow down the key aspects of your audience to use for targeting your ads. How to use them: Try setting up separate ad campaigns for each of your audience personas. That way, you can look at the numbers separately and fine tune each campaign to optimize click-throughs for that particular… […]

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Five Essential Elements to A/B Test on Your Landing Page

A landing page should be sleek, streamlined, and laser-focused on getting people to convert to your product or service. Because every part of the landing page should be doing some “work” toward that, in an ideal world you should A/B test everything on your landing page. But, because that’s not a practical option for most business owners, let’s go over some of the most-essential elements of a landing page you should A/B test if you’re strapped for time or resources. URL, Meta Title and Meta Description Believe it or not, even things as boring as your URL and metadata could have an effect on clickthrough rates to your landing page. People can see all these elements from the search result, and the right combination of title, description and URL could get you more clicks. What to test: URL Length and Wording in the URL. Example: /free-marketing-ebook vs. /guide-to-contact-marketing Title Length and wording. Example: Get a Free 1-Hour Guitar Training Session vs. Online Guitar Training for Beginners. Description Focus. Example: CTA vs. Describing the Page Images It’s actually very hard to predict what kind of images your audience will respond to, so A/B tests are crucial when choosing images. One way to conduct your initial test would be to start with two images that are pretty different—when the A/B test shows what people prefer, you can get more granular and do some A/B testing within that category. What to test: Image size Image layout Image styling (B&W, effects) Image content Text Overlays on Images The Heading An attention-grabbing heading is a must for any landing page. Along with the image, it’s likely the first thing your visitors will notice, and it will help them decide whether to read on or not. In our experience, titles that are unexpected or unusual tend to work better than run-of-the-mill titles that just state the name of the product. What to test: Size, color, placement… […]

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How to Turn Blog Posts Into Lead Generation Tools

Everyone knows having a regularly updated blog is great for SEO. It helps your website perform better in search results and it creates more entry points for your audience to get to you. But what happens once a visitor lands on your blog? Are they sticking around or are they just leaving after they’ve read the post? If you start thinking about your blog post as more than just food for the hungry search algorithm, you’ll start to see a lot more value from the work you put in. So how do you take your blog posts from stagnant content to a cog in your lead generation machine? Below are some key tips on how to bring calls to action (CTAs) front and center throughout your blog. Add Relevant Links Throughout Your Post When you think of CTAs you may be thinking of buttons and forms, but simple links can get the job done too. Adding some hyperlink CTAs throughout your post can help lead visitors to more content or even products that would be of interest to them. For example, if you were writing a post (like this one) on optimizing blog posts, you may want to link specific text to another related post (like we just did).   Offer Exclusive Content in Exchange for Information If someone is reading your blog, it means they’re already interested in what you have to say or the topic at hand. Create a piece of more in-depth content or useful resource like a guide or white paper and promote it alongside your post. This is a tactic used all the time on sites like Hubspot, and it’s one we even use ourselves.   Use Slide in CTAs You may be wondering the best way to promote that exclusive content with your post. We highly recommend the slide in CTA. You’ve likely run into them before as you’re scrolling on a site when… […]

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The Anatomy of a Landing Page

You’ve executed the first part of your campaign perfectly. Your social media posts have generated engagement, and people are clicking through to see your promotion. Where do they land from here? Your perfectly set up landing page, of course!   Landing pages have been dominating the landscape for these kinds of purposes, because they allow you to customize the content specifically for people coming in for a particular kind of purpose. The use of landing pages has trickled down from large marketing departments to small businesses, who now use them regularly. With that in mind, here are the 10 key parts of any landing page and how to structure them properly: The URL Make the URL short and straightforward, such as yourcompanywebsite.com/spring-promo. That will help with a few things, including: a) In the age of information theft, people mistrust long URLs made up of strings of characters. b) If the visitor doesn’t convert then and there, but decides to later, it will be easier for him or her to remember where to find the landing page again. The Navigation Good landing pages are a stripped-down version of the website they appear on. Branding should be consistent, but links, buttons, and other things that encourage visitors to go elsewhere should be minimized.   Think of the landing pages like this: the only exit you provide (other than clicking the “Back” button, of course) should be the conversion button on the page. The Image We’re putting the image first among the assets on the page, because a lot of the time that’s what the visitor’s eye is drawn to first. The image should be inspiring and fit the rest of your branding from the campaign. If you can, avoid stock imagery, or at the very least choose a stock image that doesn’t scream “stock”. An image of your product or service in use is ideal, because it helps the audience project what… […]

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5 Steps to More Successful Email Campaigns

Did you know that 281 billion emails are sent out every single day? This staggering number may lead you to wonder how to put together an email marketing campaign that has a chance of standing out. Our years of experience have taught us that engaging email campaigns require some forethought, rather than a shoot-from-the-hip approach. First, we should mention that all the aspects of planning a successful promotional campaign apply to here too—email campaigns are a type of promotional campaign, after all. So you’ll want to consider all the things we discussed in that post: Selecting your audience Setting up goals Determining your offer Creating a landing page and next steps Evaluating performance With email, there are a few extra steps, and that’s what we want to talk about today. 1. Vet Your Subscriber List If you send out regular emails, you’ve likely been working on building your email list for years. But when was the last time you thought critically about your subscribers? Have you segmented them further into groups? Do you know which ones have interacted with one of your emails recently, or, for that matter, which ones have ever interacted with your emails? Having a better idea of how your audience is interacting with your emails, will give you a better idea of what they want. It can also open up opportunities to create special campaigns for different audiences. 2. Align Your Content with Your Audience To put yourself in the best shape for success, you’ll want to carefully think about who is receiving your email message. Sending emails your audience doesn’t consider relevant can result in unsubscribes, or muddle your brand message altogether. Use what you learned in the last step to determine what your audience cares about, and send more of it. You can also go one step further, and create customer personas to really get to the root of the content they care about.… […]

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The Anatomy of a Promotional Campaign

Whatever the size of your next promotional campaign, here are the six essential aspects that you need to consider. […]

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Using Analytics to Give Thanks to Your Audience

This Thanksgiving, content marketers all over the U.S. will be gathering with friends and family to give thanks and celebrate the spirit of gratitude. But in addition to giving thanks to our close ones, we should take a moment to consider how to reflect gratitude to our readers as well. In our capacity as content marketers, this really comes down to the question of what readers want, and how to give them more of it. For clues, go back to your analytics data and use it to gain valuable insights into how your audience interacts with the content you create. To put together a plan for giving your audience more of what it wants, look over the past year (or several, if you have the time) of engagement data and try to pin down which pieces of content your audience found most impactful. Diving into the Google Analytics interface can be intimidating for someone who doesn’t specialize in analytics, but the following 7 metrics are a good starting point for measuring audience engagement with your content: Conversions from a piece of content to the shopping cart. A conversion is a clear sign that the person found the information he or she was looking, because they were able to pull the trigger on a purchase.   Posts with a high number of shares or comments. For obvious reasons, these metrics showcase audience engagement.   Posts with the longest time spent on page. This metric usually (though not always) means that a visitor read the page more thoroughly. Though in the age of multiple browser tabs, this metric should only be used in conjunction with others to make sure lengthy stays do in fact mean higher engagement.   Posts with the lowest bounce rate. A low bounce rate means that a large portion of your readers found the content engaging enough to visit another page on your website.   Posts read by… […]

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