When people are looking to book a stay at a hotel, they’ll typically visit the website first to see the hotel itself, and will base their decision on more than just price and availability. People who end up on your site but that haven’t committed to a purchase yet are considered leads. Your goal as a business is to transform these leads into converted customers. To improve your conversion rates, you’ll need more than a good site. You need content marketing, advertising and other vital marketing strategies working together to contribute to an increased booking rate. So how can you tell if your website is converting people into paying guests? Here’s an explanation of what a conversion rate is and how to calculate yours, so you can see if you’re meeting your targets or if you need to improve your efforts.
Hotel Conversion Rates
How do you utilise your website as a single entity to increase your conversion rate? Yes, other marketing tools should be used, but considering that most hotel bookings are made online, your website should be your last stop for leads before they’re converted to paying customers. It should become a powerful tool on its own which will save you time and money, allowing guests to book online instead of in person or over the phone. Booking through your website should be a smooth and streamlined process, without any delays in page loading times or confusing and complicated forms to fill in.
Consider the metrics of a successful website. Are you tracking sessions, visitor numbers and views? The numbers might be impressive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your success is being represented correctly.
If your site is visited by 1000 people every month, and only converts one per cent of them, would you prefer to double the users or double your conversion rate? The outcome of each would be the same, but it would cost more to get double the users through your marketing campaigns. Therefore, in the long-term, doubling your conversion rate is better because it uses fewer resources and earns you more profit. You’re also getting a better value out of the existing traffic, and a better ROI on future marketing efforts.
Don’t spend your time, energy and budget on getting more traffic that might not be converted; instead focus on the traffic you’re already receiving, and aim to convert more of them.
Calculating Your Conversion Rate
There are many branches to the hospitality industry, so it can get confusing as to what conversion looks like. For restaurants, it’s a booked table. For a beauty spa, it will be a spa package purchase. For hotels, it’s simple – it’s a room booking. Here are three tools to track your conversion rate.
1)E-Commerce Tracking Via Google Analytics
Most hotels allow their guests to book rooms via their website booking engine, where you can choose room availability, dates and prices for those dates. Bookings are paid for online. If you use this system, you should install e-commerce tracking software such as Google Analytics. It allows you to see the following:
Number of rooms booked
How much profit was earned
The average of rooms booked per person
Conversion rates of your website
2) Goal Tracking via Google Analytics
With goal tracking, you aren’t tracking an exchange of money for services but instead leads which can become converted via email marketing or targeted ads that you can feed into campaigns. Goal Tracking allows you to track the following:
Reservation requests from emails and order forms
Venue hire requests or queries
Interest in spa packages or other offerings your hotel might be providing
There’s no exchange of money for services here, but it can track leads which can become converted via email marketing or targeted ads.
3) Tracking Page Versus Site Visits
Tracking different types of visits tells you what your site visitors are looking at. Are they browsing your offers, blog or menu? Once you understand what they’re interested in, you can offer more of it. If they visit your menu, offer discounted dining packages with every stay. If your blog is getting hits, create personalised content to entice them into signing up for email marketing campaigns. It allows you to track the following:
Tracks visits to your site overall
Track Visits to a specific page
For hoteliers and others in the hospitality industry, your primary goal is booking rooms in your hotel or accommodation, reserving tables in your restaurants, and filling places in tours or activities you offer at your hotel. Your best bet in increasing your the number of visitors and improving your return of investment is through your website. Remember, your hotel won’t survive if it’s not constantly attracting future customers, and converting them into paying ones.
There are many ways for a hotel to improve their conversion rate of leads visiting their website, and it can be accomplished by creating a digital marketing strategy that includes social media posting, paid advertising, content marketing and email marketing. All of these efforts should lead to your website, which should be seeing your expected number of visiting prospects. If you see the numbers you like but aren’t converting them the way you’d prefer to, there are many tools to use that can track where your marketing funnel is succeeding, and where it isn’t.
Google Analytics on its own has everything you need, from e-commerce tracking and goal tracking, to tracing which web pages are getting more hits than others. Use the information gleaned by this tool to your advantage, and to get your leads what they want. If your audience sees content that’s relevant to them and campaigns with offers that they’re interested in for a rate they can afford, your conversion rates will rise.
It’s not an easy job managing your website when you’re already running a business. It’s why you should think about hiring a CRO expert who is experienced in delivering measurable results. For assistance with this and your digital marketing in general, contact Sandbox for support. Our digital marketing experts will get you where you want to be.
It was the famous writer, Julia Cameron that said, “Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage”. The first part of this quote couldn’t ring any more true for web designers and other creative professionals in the digital age. With each technological advancement, the revisiting of traditional marketing principles and innovative additions to the field, there’s no room for stagnation.
Now, the second part of the quote references working from a clean slate, if you will. Perhaps at face value, this is true for starting any web design project from scratch. However, in the greater scheme of things, there’s no such thing as a blank canvas. The best ideas aren’t born from thin air – they borrow from what’s already there to create a vision of what can be.
When it comes to creativity in web design, it’s important to look around you and take note of what your peers are doing. This helps you fine tune your original ideas in comparison and lets you build a solid foundation to work from. If you can take something that already exists and find exciting ways to present it, then you’re on the right path. In this article, we highlight some of the top web design trends to look out for as the new year gets underway in earnest.
1. Not-So-Centred Is The New Centred
For the longest time, it’s been a rule of thumb for web designers to centre-align headlines and other text. This is supposed to place the message in focus for the website user. It also creates a homogenous look for thousands, perhaps even millions of websites on the net. However, a relatively new trend is on the rise. More designers are opting to left-align all text, including the CTA, which is then complemented by an illustration or visual to the right. It puts all relevant messaging in one place and makes it easy to heed the CTA without having to scroll down.
Symmetry isn’t the be all and end all of design anymore. An asymmetrical layout can a make a website more memorable to the users who visit it.
2. Brand Logos Are Maturing
There was once a time when playing around on Microsoft WordArt was considered fun. If you look around, you’ll see that many web designers seemed to have derived their logo ideas from this once-popular platform. Gone are these days! Brand logos for huge companies like Uber have put on their grown-up clothes in the form of more sophisticated fonts. It’s good to refine your client’s logo, as it makes their potential clients take them more seriously.
3. Everybody’s Accommodated With More Accessible Design
It’s important to remember that all kinds of people use the Internet. Accessible design opens up the lines of communications between websites and visitors with varying degrees of disability. For example, you could post a video with a full-text description to accommodate deaf visitors. This way, your client’s message reaches more people and makes the visitors more inclined to trust the product or service provider.
4. Retro Outlines On Text
There are only so many fonts that you can use. How can you repurpose them for impactful web design? One way to get creative is to turn the text inside out with outline typography. Essentially, the text is “empty”, but this highlights the wording even more. This type of text is eye-catching and unique.
5. Get On The Grid With CSS Layouts
If you’re all about 2D design optics, the process of creating what’s in your mind can be a little complex. Luckily for you, with CSS grid layouts you have more control over how the web design space is used. Because space is simultaneously partitioned into vertical and horizontal sections at the same time ( think equally sized columns and rows), web designers have the freedom to position items wherever they please. This means no more limitations on creative expression and more opportunities to try out-of-the-box design ideas.
6. Tell A Better Story – A Nod To The Modern Scribe
As the years go by, it’s becoming clearer that good storytelling is a key component of successful digital marketing. Users are responding better to websites with compelling written content. Historically, designers have placed lots of focus on the visual aspect of web design. However, the most beloved brands are the ones that tell the best stories. This challenges web designers to develop their writing skills more so that they can speak to potential clients more effectively.
7. Less Continues To Be More
Quite often, clients will approach you with ideas about what they want their website to look like. While your clients’ input is crucial, the onus is on you to use your expertise to shave off any unnecessary elements. The point is to create an effective product in the end. Minimalist design isn’t just some vague art history concept – it can make the difference between a design that’s all over the place and presenting a crisp, focused design that will sustain your client’s online business dealings. If you understand the power of understated design and simplicity, then you’re good to go. The fewer distractions, the better. Neutral colours, clean text and simple images are the future.
8. More Focus On The Mobile
Desktop-centric animation, such as hover features and timed animations have been doing the rounds for a while, and rightfully so. They boost usability, interaction and help to guide website visitors down each page. More and more people are accessing the Web from their phones, so what does this mean for them? You can’t hover if you’re using a touch-screen smartphone. This means is that there’s a lot of opportunities for web designers to try out innovative interaction features that speak to the modern person in a way that’s portable and on-the-go.
9. Remember How You Hated Geometry Class? You Finally Get to Use It
Let’s face it; basic shapes are so … basic. How many times have you seen buttons on a web page contained in a circle? Other shapes can easily add dimension to how a website is presented. 2019 is the year of interesting geometric designs with pops of colour. While basic shapes have cemented a spot as web design staples, there’s space for diversity, and you shouldn’ be afraid to use it.
10. Go All The Way ‘Out There’ With Bold Typography
Remember when we mentioned that simpler is better earlier? Don’t confuse simplicity with blandness. Bold and oversized text are some of the ways that designers are capitalising on space. Play around with fonts, colours and size to get the message across from the word ‘go’.
11. Play Around With Cursor Design & Other Interactive Aspects
While the world has gone mobile, it’s no reason to neglect desktop design. Don’t be shy to try new things with the features that nobody seems to touch – especially the cursor. A simple micro logo or alternative shape that can be associated with the brand is a good place to go. Nothing too complex. Some say “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken”, but this trend is focused on finding better ways to do what we already know.
It’s unlikely that every single trend listed above will apply to your business, but we’re confident that more than a few do. If you need help with implementation, SEO Lab is always available to help.
Summary: If you don’t want to read the whole article, you must know that for every 100 visitors you have on your website, 2 or more should take action. A phone call, an form enquiry, a download of a document etc…Anything lower means that your website is not doing its job.
From the early days of barter trade right through to the invention of currency, growth (be it in asset or monetary value) has been a crucial element of business. This is no surprise, as most businesses are founded on the idea of achieving ongoing financial freedom, it’s a desire for progress that led to the formation of the marketing industry as we now know it. To make a sale, you must convince potential customers that they need what you have to offer. However, trying to sweet talk or nudge along each potential buyer that walked through a market five centuries ago was a different ball game compared to what we deal with now – marketing to thousands or millions (perhaps even billions) of people with buying power from all over the globe on the Internet. The new marketplace is a virtual location, where everyone is fair game.
Businesses have to take into account a broader spectrum of demographic and digital data to figure out their target market(s). This complicates things because it’s no longer as simple as basic supply and demand. There are many potential markets that your business might not be aware of that could help you make more money. Your business website’s conversion rate is the key to monitoring how effective your digital marketing is and unlocking practical new ways boost your sales.
It might all seem a little daunting right now, but that’s what SANDBOX is here for. In this article, we demystify the concept of conversion rates and how they work in the modern world.
Understanding What A Website Conversion Rate Is
Let’s start at the root. To understand what a website conversion rate is, one must first understand the call to action (CTA). Every business uses this marketing staple as a bottom line for their advertising campaigns. Why is it there? To direct people that view or hear your messages to what they can do to experience your product or services. Digital marketing examples of this include well-known phrases, such as “shop online now”, “subscribe for a newsletter”, “book your appointment today”, “call now”, “download our app”, and they usually appear on product landing pages.
How does this tie into a website’s conversions rate? The website conversion rate is the rate at which people follow through on the CTA. Many companies hire conversion optimisation experts to help them improve their website conversion rates. These experts develop systems that are designed to get the most out of website traffic; that is, to ensure that visitors become paying customers or at least generate leads in the forms of contact numbers or email addresses by following CTAs. The effectiveness of these systems is monitored, and the ones with the best results are used to optimise conversion rates on an ongoing basis.
Down To A Science – The Conversion Rate Calculation
Conversion rates are calculated in percentages, which means they look at how many sales are made per 100 potentials for sales. The calculation includes:
Number of Conversions ÷ Number of Website Sessions x 100 = Website Conversion Rate (in%)
For example, if 80 000 people visit your website and you make a sale with 5000 of them, you would calculate your conversion rate as follows:
5000 ÷ 80 000 x 100 = 6,25%
You can monitor your conversion rates at monthly intervals and make a comparison to see if there’s any upward or downward movement. Like with everything, both advantages and disadvantages come with conversion rate calculations.
An upside of conversion rate calculations is that you can track where your marketing campaigns work and where they don’t, based on the numbers. This way you can always make the appropriate changes to improve sales.
A downfall of this calculation is that it works better with websites with high amounts of traffic. Websites with fewer sessions don’t have a large enough sample size for the data collected to be accurate.
What’s A Healthy Conversion Rate?
Is this a trick question? In some ways, it is because there’s no universally correct answer. The truth of the matter is that expectations vary, depending on the industry. According to online marketing software company, Unbounce, the average website conversion rate across industries is 4,02%. This makes the generally accepted standard of 2%-5% a good ballpark.
The scale, goals and nature of your business will play a role in how the numbers play out. With the help of a conversion optimisation specialist, you can track your history, review your current sales and work out what’s a healthy number for your business to aim for and build on. A tailored strategy means that your business will be able to make the necessary changes to push conversion rates to greater heights.
A Few Practical Strategies To Optimise Your Conversion Rate
As you will know, it’s not enough for your business to make the same amount of income every month. We’re not subsistence traders anymore – we’re in the business of building commercial brands. Nobody starts a company with the intention of remaining stagnant; not in a world of rapid change and development, where businesses need to be as durable as they are agile. So how do you know what needs to be changed to ensure growth? Here are a few ideas to get you going with your conversion rate optimisation:
Conduct A Split-Test Of The Website
Approach the split-test method like a scientific experiment. This means you must be open to any possible results and base your next course of action on them.
Create two or more landing pages with variations on details. Play around with button shapes and colours, imagery, fonts, wording and other elements to give website visitors different experiences. Divide the traffic evenly to get a good idea of the interactions. Monitor any progress for each page, then compare the interactions to see which one secures most conversions. This will be the one you should go with for optimal conversions.
Follow The Lead By Remarketing
Sometimes it takes more than one campaign to achieve a sale. Pipeline business is the name of the game. You need to work your leads to remind them why they need to invest in what you have to offer. Targeted campaigns on other platforms, such as social media sites, mobile apps and Youtube speak to potential clients after their initial visit to your website. You can also conduct email marketing to provide additional information and initiate conversation. This will make the client trust your business more, opening them up to buying your product or service.
Highlight The Benefits With A Clear Customer Value Proposition (CVP)
Essentially, you need to do a “value for money” show and tell on your landing pages that turns the features of what you have to offer into an attainable benefit someone can imagine enjoying. For example, if you own a boutique that specialises in formal gowns, you could include a phrase like “Become the belle of the ball” or “Turn heads at every event” to get a customer interested. Use the CVP to answer questions such as “why should I trust you?” and “so what?” before they’re are even asked.
Make It Snappy – Create A Sense Of Urgency
This approach is simple. Create demand by giving off the idea that you’re in short supply. Phrases such as “book now – seats are limited”, “while stocks last” or “first 100 customers get 20% off” are great for this effect. Nobody wants to miss out, right? Potential customers will rush to buy if they worry that you may run out of products.
Your business invests in marketing – and your website – for a reason. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your spend by focusing as much on tracking and improving on conversion so you can attract new business.
10 Tips on How to Incorporate Psychology in Improving your Homepage Conversion Rate
Before we dwell into the nitty gritty details of improving your homepage conversion rate, let’s begin by talking about psychology.
Psychology is the science of the human mind, but how is science related to marketing?
They both have the human brain in common.
Marketing is used to influence consumers to support particular purposes whether it be for profit or non-profit. However, there is a tipping point to when the marketing tactics used become too commercialistic. This leads to our brains not reacting as well to that message trying to seek our attention.
Are you a smart or boring marketer?
Of course, these terms are not meant to be derogatory in any way but let’s put together a scenario.
There is a group of marketers in a room, and you have to separate them into two categories: smart marketers and boring marketers. How can you tell the difference?
Boring marketers lack the understanding of the need to keep changing and adapting their marketing strategies to their target audience. Instead of taking a step back and evaluating their strategies, they tend to push the message harder to the few people that are actually listening to them.
Smart marketers are constantly changing and adapting because they understand the concept of psychology and how different people react to different techniques.
We have no doubt that you are a smart marketer but even if you aren’t, don’t fret!
There is always room for improvement which is what we are here to help you achieve: the transition to becoming a smarter marketer.
So how can you use psychology to drive more conversions?
Here are 10 psychological tips that will improve your homepage conversion rate.
Visual salience is defined as the distinct subjective perceptual quality that makes some items stand out from their neighbours and immediately grabs our attention.
So which dot grabbed your attention?
The red dot right?
The red dot is salient because it immediately attracts our attention despite there being several other dots.
How does this relate to designing a homepage?
Ensure that the most important elements of your homepage stand out from everything else.
Cognitive fluency is the ease with which information is processed, so in other words, how easy it is to think about something.
Try not to overwhelm consumers with excess information but rather use a style that is minimalistic and clean with plenty of white space.
By keeping your homepage minimalistic yet conveying the right message, you’re creating cognitive ease and visitors an focus better on your call to action.
Provide some motivation
Sometimes people need a little push to get them to take action. They are more likely to take action when minimal parameters are set which brings visitors over that hump and increases conversions.
For example, in your homepage, you might mention that customers will receive free shipping on their first order, or a 20% off discount if they sign up to your mailing list.
Providing these simple incentives creates motivation for visitors to take action.
When consumers want something, they want it now.
They absolutely hate waiting.
So how can you excite the brain of your mildly impatient visitors?
Use words like “instantly” and “immediately”.
These terms are very persuasive and should positively impact your conversion rate.
People hate to lose.
You can use this psychological principle on your homepage by explaining what people will miss out if they don’t take action.
Did you know that if you include a picture of a person smiling in your homepage, you are on your way to improving your conversion rate by 102.5%? True story. Here’s the study if you don’t believe us!
Why is facial recognition so powerful?
It creates a humanistic visual element which attracts attention because as humans, we tend to develop an emotional connection with other humans.
Humans tend to like and trust those who are most similar to us.
By “speaking the same language” and using the same jargon that your target audience is accustomed to, you can gain the trust of your visitors who will be more willing to take action.
Point out the success of others
Have you ever wanted to try out a product but was unsure if you should buy it?
Have you ever wondering if a product actually works?
These are some of the thoughts your visitors are thinking. To indirectly answer their questions, show how much your product is helping others.
This creates motivation to get people to take action after seeing the success of others because everyone wants to be successful, right?
Many people have the tendency to follow the crowd.
With that thought in mind, one way to incorporate conformity is to identify the product you want customers to buy most as being “the most popular”.
For example, like this:
Use colours to trigger emotion
Different colours trigger different emotions.
Understanding what types of emotions your audience will feel because of a colour is significant in deciding the colour scheme of your homepage.
Using the right colours will help motivate your visitors to take action, hence increasing your conversion rate.
Here is a colour emotion guide to help you choose a colour scheme.
These are just some of many psychological tips to improve your homepage conversion rate.
A little trial and error is involved in determining which would work best for you because every marketing campaign is different and you have to change and adapt your strategies to suit.
Let us know about your transition to becoming a smarter marketer!
Do you have any other psychological tips to share?
Social media is everything in today’s digital age – it’s where most decisions and opinions about goods, services, brands, and ultimately purchases are being made and shared with others. Is social media doing everything it can for your business? If you’re using social media marketing, it’s time you sharpened those skills and started using and sharing hashtags, blogs, podcasts and videos specific to your business using these platforms. Here are some of the benefits of using social media marketing for your business.
It builds brand awareness, reputation and loyalty
By constantly putting your brand out there through your social media, you stay in the public eye and raise awareness of your existence, whether you utilise paid-for promotions, run your own competitions, create sponsored posts or pop-up ads. Social media allows you to respond quickly to potential clients and if you’re fast enough, their business is yours for the taking. Provide them with a prompt experience and they’ll share it with their friends, family and followers. And, they’ll come to you again for efficient service.
It allows for unique content specific to your brand
Hashtags are big business. Find out what’s trending – can it be linked to your brand in any way? Can you capitalise on it? It means when people search for the trending hashtag, your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram post could come up. In this way, your potential clients also know that you are up-to-date with what’s happening locally and globally and don’t have your head buried in the sand.
It allows for better engagement and interaction, improving customer satisfaction
The best way to find out what your customers expect from you is to ask them directly. Social media allows you to do this using pictures, polls and surveys. They see this as a way of directly communicating with you and since they’ve taken the time to share their thoughts and comments, you should respond to them. It’s always best if they get an individual response as they feel valued and appreciated. Even if they share a negative comment, you need to engage with them and bring them back on board.
There’s a lot more that can be achieved through effective social marketing. These reasons are just a starting point for you to fine-tune your strategy and build your brand in the fascinating social media space.
So you’ve started a business and people are buying what you’re selling, but not enough of them. If you’re going to remain open as a business and keep making a profit, you’re going to need more customers, and fast. So what do you do if you want to promote your business to a bigger crowd but are too strapped for cash to afford professional digital marketing services? Even if you’re not a digital marketing guru, there are effective ways to get your business into the digital space and generate marketing-adjacent results in the process. It’s called “Growth hacking”, and it will transform your attitude towards digital marketing and how you go about it.
It’s time to learn about what growth hacking is, what it entails and how it took several well-known businesses from start-up level into the multimillion-dollar corporations they are today.
Growth Hacking 101: What, How and Why?
As the name suggests, growth hacking refers to activities aimed at achieving rapid and tangible growth for a business without a great cost. It can be implemented across various departments, including sales, marketing, product development. How it works is that a series of business solutions are explored, using innovation, analysis of existing patterns, and finally trial and error.
The benefits of growth hacking aren’t confined to start-ups, as plenty of big businesses have achieved success through this approach as well. Lots of calculations, accurate testing and strategic planning goes into the process.
The focus of growth hacking is on finding surefire ways to grow the various aspects of the business without necessarily spending a huge amount of money on marketing. However, marketing and growth hacking aren’t opposing concepts. One can boost the effectiveness of the other if used together.
Examples Of Brands That Mastered Growth Hacking In Their Businesses
Experience is the greatest teacher, and it’s sometimes easier to learn from observation. Here are a few case studies showing how some of the most successful companies used growth hacks to get ahead. Prepare to have your mind blown.
1) Airbnb -Ride A Coattail Or Two To Boost Traffic To Your Site:
The curious case of Airbnb is one that has been widely debated as far as ethical soundness goes, but we’re only exploring it as a successful growth hacking experiment. In its early days, the company found an existing distribution channel where it could reach potential clients; the American classifieds platform, Craigslist.
Airbnb was well aware that people seeking temporary accommodation frequented the Craigslist website, so it was a lead gold mine. Because they weren’t established as yet, Airbnb rode on Craiglist’s coattails to boost its online visibility. New lessors were advised to post their accommodation on Craigslist with links leading back to the Airbnb website, which increased traffic and led clients to the source.
2. Dollar Shave – Self-derision and comedy
We’re always saying that video marketing is a great marketing technique, and another of our famous examples of growth hacking proves it.
Dollar Shave Club used a video to promote its service of sending people new razor blades monthly for just $1. The video went viral, quickly gaining 19 million views and making the company a household name. You can see the video, which is now at more than 25 million views, below:
DollarShaveClub.com - Our Blades Are F***ing Great - YouTube
Two years after launch, Dollar Shave Club had made more than $20 million in revenue, says Business Insider. A year later, it tripled that figure.
(See our easy video marketing tips to use this tactic yourself.)
3. Dropbox – Leverage your existing customer base
If a company is ready to offer its services online, then it’s probably starting to gain momentum regarding sales. This opens up the opportunity for the company to leverage its existing distribution channels for growth. How can this be done?
Digital storage company, Dropbox used an ingenious growth hacking idea in their early days by implementing an incentivised referral system. It came at a time when virtual storage space was a pressing need in an increasingly digital world. Dropbox offered existing clients who referred new signups to the business an extra 500MB of storage space at no additional cost. This increased their client base by nearly two thirds in a short time frame.
4) Pinterest – Market Your Product Like It’s Exclusive
Exclusivity is a distinguishing factor for many brands. For startups, in particular, manufacturing an air of exclusivity around your product buys you time to increase your capacity.
Once you’re visible online, you may experience an unprecedented number of inquiries for your business. While this may look great for the coffers, it could also put you in a compromising position if you’re not equipped to handle those numbers just yet. If people believe they’re on a waiting list to join an elite club, they’ll have more patience while you improve your processes and capacity.
Pinterest is a prime example of this because it had super long waiting lists and operated on a strict ‘invite only’ model at first. This made people eager to “join the club” and created excitement around the product. Language such as “Apply to join” or “Membership closed” only made people want it more.
5) – Netflix – Change the game
Growth hacking examples don’t get much more transformative than Netflix, which started as a DVD rental company in 1997. As company co-founder Reed Hastings revealed, becoming the major player in online video streaming was always in the plan, hence the company name.
Netflix’s USP was letting people watch what they wanted, whenever they wanted, and that’s still a core component of their success.
One technique the company used was to split into two businesses, for DVDs and online streaming, and use the profits from one to fund the expansion of the other.
Other growth hack techniques Netflix used include:
Acquiring and streaming popular TV shows so audiences would subscribe to watch them
Building a strong social media presence to connect with those who love entertainment
More recently, hiring the best talent to create great content that would encourage people to subscribe
Consider the highway system built in America starting in the 1950s. McDonald’s understood that the interstate roads were a new channel for getting customers, and they took advantage of this. Exits are littered with golden arches to this day. This was an example of off-line growth hacking (if there is such a thing).
7) – Whatsapp – Fill A Market Gap & Let Word-Of-Mouth Do The Talking For You
The longest standing form of marketing is word-of-mouth. Verbal communication (and in the digital age, even textual and visual content) is the strongest referral you could have. This example for growth hacking focuses on chiselling a product to perfection until its place in the market becomes undeniable.
The social media giant, WhatsApp worked on perfecting its product to the point where it sold itself. The better the application’s updates got, the more people recommended those around them to sign up. As it stands, over a billion people around the globe use WhatsApp daily.
8) Instagram – Take the feedbacks into account and build a better product
Originally, the founders dabbled with a social network app called Burbn for whiskey drinkers. They realized that the most-used feature of the app was their photo sharing mechanism.
Only then did they begin looking at photography apps, which they thought was a saturated market already.
Talking back and forth with users, they eventually realized that for all the apps out there, sharing photos was either too complicated or not the main feature of the app.
They simply took the best parts of all the apps they knew, like Hipstamatic’s photo filters and Burbn’s way of sharing, removed everything else, and voila! They produced a great app that everyone already wanted.
As you can see, with the right know-how, there are many more ways to get around not having a marketing budget to get the results you need quickly. All you need is to put on your innovative thinking cap and be willing to take calculated chances. If your growth hack works, then great. If not, try the next one and keep it moving.
Modern businesses require a firm handle on using the internet. A strong and effective web presence can translate into increased profits for your business, but only if you treat your website as a strategic marketing touchstone. Sandbox provides expert digital marketing services in Mauritius to help businesses to maximise on their online potential, and we’ve mastered the science to getting a website right using research, strategy and implementation. Here are 4 compelling reasons why you should hire a professional to handle your web development in Mauritius.
Superior Aesthetics and Functions
It’s quite likely that your website will be the first point of reference for potential clients. We all know the saying about first impressions and this applies to your website as well. A professional web developer will ensure that your website is user-friendly, exciting to look at and convenient for clients to use. The platform should create a need for your product, facilitate electronic transactions and answer questions. Make sure this window into your business is optimised to secure new leads and foster loyalty in existing customers.
A pretty website is not enough if it won’t get picked up by search engines. Web developers use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to ensure your website doesn’t go unnoticed. We do the apply it to push your business so that it will rank above the competition in web searches. Effective SEO means you’ll rank as close as possible to the top of any search engine page.
Expert Web Analytics
A professional web development team gives unparalleled insight into ways you can get the most out of your digital marketing. At Sandbox, a team of experts monitor your business website to critically analyse every aspect of your marketing strategy listed above, so you can make any necessary improvements.
Sharp Strategic Development
Experienced web developers know how to lay the foundations for a productive web platform. Depending on your business objective and long-term plan, a web development team can assist with strategic development by making your website scalable and easy to update.
At Sandbox, we offer the full package to help our clients take their business to the next level. We show you how to use the digital world to create tangible results for your business. If you’re looking to expand your business reach, get professional web development in Mauritius from Sandbox by requesting a free SEO analysis or calling +230 5 942 0518 now.
As we are gearing up for the new year, it is essential to pinpoint the new set of marketing challenges that marketing executives & business owners will face in order to know what kind of strategies they need to create as a counter-measure.
Here we reveal the top 4 marketing challenges for 2018-2019:
Lack of Budget
The top challenge that marketing executives face that will negatively impact performance is lack of budget, as shown in the diagram below.
In 2017 – 2018, the top challenge was having the right talent so it is clear that “lack of budget” is a new challenge for marketing executives for 2018 – 2019. In some cases, it will be finding new streams to increase the budget but in other cases, it will be the redirection of budgets from underperforming channels to better-performing ones.
The Amount of Data in MarTech Stacks
Last year, marketing executives were surveyed whether they felt overwhelmed by the amount of data in their tech stacks and 53% agreed.
This year, the number increased to 56% with marketing executives focusing on investing in marketing technology that can break down large amounts of data to create actionable approaches. This is why Sandbox specialises in providing sets of data that can be broken down easily resulting in rapid, actionable and impactful decision making.
Success in Organic Marketing
Did you know 1 in 4 marketing executives cannot connect organic marketing success to specific actions by team members?
In 2019, marketing executives will be focusing on determining whether they have the right talent or partners and if they are spending their budget in the most effective way possible. Trackability of new channels makes this change really accessible for any decision maker.
Measuring Marketing Efforts on a Global Scale
Despite the increase in global consumerism, only 51% of marketing executives agree that it is easy to analyse their marketing efforts on a global scale.
If a business wants to step foot into the global market, measuring marketing efforts on a global scale will be one of their top marketing challenges.
To summarise, 2019 will bring upon 4 new challenges for marketing executives:
Shift towards content and organic marketing
Increase their spending on marketing technology
Focus on organic search being their top traffic driver
Introduce new technology to analyse marketing efforts
Scale the good performing channels whilst reducing or stopping the underperforming ones.
What is your opinion about these new marketing challenges for 2019? Do you agree?
The internet is literally a sea of opportunities. Potential customers are always searching online for the best deals, services and products. They could be looking for you – but does your brand stand out? Are you doing enough to capture their attention and keep them hooked? Digital marketing can help grow your client base and enhance your reputation within your specific industry. Without an effect digital marketing strategy, you’re selling yourself short. Here are some basic things you can do online to grow your brand.
Create an eye-catching, interactive website
A well-designed website must be rich in content, easy to navigate and answer the 5Ws and H – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How about your business. You should give them enough information to make an informed choice about whether they want to further engage with you. Your website must also load easily and quickly – this way they’re likely to keep coming back for any developments regarding your business. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly too as this is a huge market that is growing every day as it allows for easy access.
Strong social media presence
Ensure that you’re on all the social media platforms that your target audience enjoys. Your social media links should be clearly displayed on your website as this will encourage users to click, like, follow and stay informed. You can go live on social media, host polls which are fun for users and glean ideas about what your audience is thinking about. You can also host competitions where users can tag friends and encourage them to like your social media page or account. This can translate not only into greater followers but more business too.
An email that pops up in someone’s inbox is directed only at them – so use it to your advantage. Personalise the email by using their name and not as if you’re mass mailing them. You can include any details you have about them in the email, then ask them their last purchase, their experience with your staff or to leave a customer review. You can also tell them about up-coming promotions or invite them to a preview event for special customers only. This can work wonders because it encourages face-to-face interaction, online.
These three tips seem simple enough but once you get started, you can build on them. There are several other digital marketing strategies that can help you grow your business which we’ll explore in the future, so watch this space.
This is the process of comparing two variations of a single variable to determine which performs best in order to help improve marketing efforts. This is often done in email marketing (with variations in the subject line or copy), calls-to-action (variations in colors or verbiage), and landing pages (variations in content). Outside of marketing, you can use it to determine what tastes better on a peanut butter sandwich: jelly or fluff.
What I sometimes refer to as the “eyes” of inbound marketing, analytics is essentially the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. When referred to in the context of marketing, it’s looking at the data of one’s initiatives (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), analyzing the trends, and developing actionable insights to make better informed marketing decisions. (Want to learn marketing analytics?
3. Application Programming Interface (API)
APIs are a series of rules in computer programming, which allow an application to extract information from a service and use that information either in their own application or in data analyses. It’s kind of like a phone for applications to have conversations — an API literally “calls” one application and gets information to bring to you to use in your software. APIs facilitate the data needed to provide solutions to customer problems.
4. B2B (Business-to-Business)
An adjective used to describe companies that sell to other businesses. For example, Google and Oracle are primarily B2B companies.
5. B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
An adjective used to describe companies that sell directly to consumers. For example, Amazon, Apple, and Nike are primarily B2C companies.
This is short for web log or weblog. An individual or group of people usually maintains a blog. A personal blog or business blog will traditionally include regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material, such as photos and video.
Blogging is a core component of inbound marketing, as it can accomplish several initiatives simultaneously — like website traffic growth, thought leadership, and lead generation. It does not, however, do your taxes.
7. Business Blogging
Business blogging retains all the attributes of “regular” blogging, but adds a tasty layer of marketing strategy on top. It helps marketers drive traffic to their website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority on certain topics, and drive long-term results.
When blogging for a business, marketers should create posts that are optimized with keywords that their target audience is searching for and provide helpful, educational material to these readers. Typically, these blog posts should be actionable (by providing an opt-in, downloadable offer), as to provide a metric for the effectiveness of the business blogging.
8. Bottom of the Funnel
Since we’re going alphabetically, the last part of the funnel process is first! So, “bottoms up,” I suppose. The bottom of the funnel refers to a stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying.
Typically, next steps for leads at this stage are a call from a sales rep, a demo, or a free consultation — depending on what type of business is attempting to close the lead.
9. Bounce Rate
Website bounce rate: The percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages on your site. A high bounce rate generally leads to poor conversion rates because no one is staying on your site long enough to read your content or convert on a landing page (or for any other conversion event).
Email bounce rate: The rate at which an email was unable to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate generally means your lists are out-of-date or purchased, or they include many invalid email addresses. In email, not all bounces are bad, so it’s important to distinguish between hard and soft bounces before taking an email address off your list.
10. Buyer Persona
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps marketers like you define their target audience, it can also help sales reps qualify leads.
A call-to-action is a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become of lead. Some examples of CTAs are “Subscribe Now” or “Download the Whitepaper Today.” These are important for marketers because they’re the “bait” that entices a website visitor to eventually become a lead. So, you can imagine that it’s important to convey a very enticing, valuable offer on a call-to-action to better foster visitor-to-lead conversion. (Download our free, introductory guide digital marketing channels. Hey, that was a CTA!)
CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.” It’s a U.S. law passed in 2003 that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, it gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law. For example, CAN-SPAM is the reason businesses are required to have an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of every email.
CASL stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” It’s a Canadian law passed in 2013 that covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” that may be accessed by a computer in Canada. CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada.
14. Churn Rate
A metric that measures how many customers you retain and at what value. To calculate churn rate, take the number of customers you lost during a certain time frame, and divide that by the total number of customers you had at the very beginning of that time frame. (Don’t include any new sales from that time frame.)
For example, if a company had 500 customers at the beginning of October and only 450 customers at the end of October (discounting any customers that were closed in October), their customer churn rate would be: (500-450)/500 = 50/500 = 10%.
Churn rate is a significant metric primarily for recurring revenue companies. Regardless of your monthly revenue, if your average customer does not stick around long enough for you to at least break even on your customer acquisition costs, you’re in trouble.
15. Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
The percentage of your audience that advances (or clicks through) from one part of your website to the next step of your marketing campaign. As a mathematic equation, it’s the total number of clicks that your page or CTA receives divided by the number of opportunities that people had to click (ex: number of pageviews, emails sent, and so on).
16. Closed-Loop Marketing
The practice of closed-loop marketing is being able to execute, track and show how marketing efforts have impacted bottom-line business growth. An example would be tracking a website visitor as they become a lead to the very last touch point when they close as a customer.
When done correctly, you’d be able to see just how much of your marketing investment yielded new business growth. One of the biggest business benefits of implementing an inbound marketing strategy and utilizing inbound marketing software is the ability to execute closed-loop marketing.
17. Conversion Path
A conversion path is a series of website-based events that facilitate lead capture. In its most basic form, a conversion path will consist of a call-to-action (typically a button that describes an offer) that leads to a landing page with a lead capture form, which redirects to a thank you page where a content offer resides. In exchange for his or her contact information, a website visitor obtains a content offer to better help them through the buying process.
In relation to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that exists for the purpose of being digested (not literally), engaged with, and shared. Content typically comes in the form of a blog, video, social media post, photo, slideshow, or podcast, although there are plenty of over types out there. From website traffic to lead conversion to customer marketing, content plays an indispensable role in a successful inbound marketing strategy.
19. Content Management System (CMS)
A web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to create, edit, and manage a website. Helps users with content editing and more “behind-the-scenes” work like making content searchable and indexable, automatically generating navigation elements, keeping track of users and permissions, and more.
20. Content Optimization System (COS)
A COS is basically a CMS (Content Management System), but optimized to deliver customers the most personalized web experience possible.
If content is king, then context is queen. Serving up valuable content is important, but ensuring that it’s customized for the right audience is equally (if not more) important. As buyers become more in control of what information they digest (again, not literally), it’s important to deliver content that’s contextually relevant. If you own a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to send a coupon for a steak dinner to a vegetarian, right? Unless you’re anti-herbivore, of course …
22. Conversion Rate
The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page, such as filling out a form. Pages with high conversion rates are performing well, while pages with low conversion rates are performing poorly.
23. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The process of improving your site conversion using design techniques, key optimization principles, and testing. It involves creating an experience for your website visitors that will convert them into customers. CRO is most often applied to web page or landing page optimization, but it can also be applied to social media, CTAs, and other parts of your marketing.
24. Cost-per-Lead (CPL)
The amount it costs your marketing organization to acquire a lead. This factors heavily into CAC (customer acquisition cost), and is a metric marketers should keep a keen eye on.
25. Crowdsourced Content
Creating your own content can take more time than you have to lend to it — which is where crowdsourcing comes into play. Allowing subject matter experts, customers, or freelancers to create your content for you is a prime way to get more quality content published in less time. Compile the content you get back into a really awesome offer and give credit to all the contributors — a win-win for everyone involved.
26. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Your total Sales and Marketing cost. To calculate CAC, follow these steps for a given time period (month, quarter, or year):
Add up program or advertising spend + salaries + commissions + bonuses + overhead.
Divide by the number of new customers in that time period.
For example, if you spend $500,000 on Sales and Marketing in a given month and added 50 customers that same month, then your CAC was $10,000 that month.
27. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A set of software programs that let companies keep track of everything they do with their existing and potential customers.
At the simplest level, CRM software lets you keep track of all the contact information for these customers. But CRM systems can do lots of other things, too, like tracking email, phone calls, faxes, and deals; sending personalized emails; scheduling appointments; and logging every instance of customer service and support. Some systems also incorporate feeds from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it’s what gives your entire website its style, like colors, fonts, and background images. It affects the mood and tone of a web page, making it an incredibly powerful tool. It’s also what allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes and device types.
29. Dynamic Content
A way to display different messaging on your website based on the information you already know about the visitor. For example, you could use Smart CTAs so that first-time visitors will see a personalized CTA (perhaps with a top-of-the-funnel offer) and those already in your database see a different CTA (maybe for content that offers a little more information about your product or service).
Ebooks are a common type of content that many marketers use, often to help generate leads. They are generally a more long-form content type than, say, blog posts, and go into in-depth detail on a subject.
31. Editorial Calendar
It’s like a road map for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to best support your strategy. Maintaining an editorial calendar will keep you more organized and show you any gaps you may have in your content library. It also helps ensure you’re doing the right things for your personas and not going way off-track with the topics you’re covering.
In its most basic sense, email stands for “Electronic Mail.” It’s a core component of marketing because it’s a direct connection to a contact’s inbox. However, with great power comes great responsibility, meaning it’s important for marketers to not abuse the email relationship with a contact. It’s far too easy for a contact to click “unsubscribe” after gaining their hard earned trust in your communication. Don’t blow it.
33. Engagement Rate
A popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction — Likes, shares, comments — a piece of content receives. Interactions like these tell you that your messages are resonating with your fans and followers.
34. Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it’s still valuable to the reader.
Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, high quality, and canonical or definitive. These posts are typically a content marketer’s best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide.
Facebook is a social network you’re likely quite familiar with already — but it has become so much more than just a platform to publish content and gain followers. You can now utilize the awesome targeting options available through Facebook advertising to find and attract brand new contacts to your website and get them to convert on your landing pages … but remember, you still need awesome content to do it.
While it’s a core component of any marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the only component. Focusing entirely on Facebook (or any other large social channel, for that matter) will only give you a small piece of the inbound marketing pie. And it’s still piping hot, so be careful.
The place your page visitors will supply information in exchange for your offer. It’s also how those visitors can convert into precious sales leads. As a best practice, only ask for information you need from your leads in order to effectively follow up with and/or qualify them.
Any element of your website that is confusing, distracting, or causes stress for visitors, causing them to leave your page. Examples of friction-causing elements include dissonant colors, too much text, distracting website navigation menus, or landing page forms with too many fields.
Google+ (referred to as “Google Plus”) is a social network that allows you to join and create circles in which you can mix and match family members, friends, colleagues, and fellow industry members. While you can use it much like other social networks — to publish and share content, and generate new leads — it also provides content marketers with tremendous SEO value due to the rising importance of social sharing in search engine algorithms. (It is owned by Google, after all.)
Hashtags are a way for you and your readers to interact with each other on social media and have conversations about a particular piece of content. They tie public conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram together into a single stream, which users can find by searching for a hashtag, clicking on one, or using a third-party monitoring tool.
The hashtags themselves are simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it — like #InboundChat and #ChocolateLovers. You can put these hashtags anywhere in your social media posts.
41. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that draw visitors in,rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. It’s all about earning the attention of customers, making the company easy to find online, and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, helpful content. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
42. Inbound Link
An inbound link is a link coming from another site to your own website. “Inbound” is generally used by the person receiving the link.
Websites that receive many inbound links can be more likely to rank higher in search engines. They also help folks receive referral traffic from other websites.
A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way of relaying complex concepts in a simple and visual way.
Though initially a haven only for younger generations who wanted to post, edit, and share unique-looking photos, Instagram has grown into a premier social network that’s a viable opportunity for content marketers. Many businesses are taking advantage of the site by posting industry related photos that their followers and customers would enjoy seeing.
46. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A type of performance measurement companies use to evaluate an employee’s or an activity’s success. Marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals, and successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against industry standard metrics. Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), blog traffic sources, and homepage views. Choose KPIs that represent how your marketing and business are performing.
Sometimes referred to as “keyword phrases,” keywords are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Picking keywords that you’ll optimize a webpage for is a two-part effort. First, you’ll want to ensure the keyword has significant search volume and is not too difficult to rank for. Then, you’ll want to ensure it aligns with your target audience
After deciding the appropriate keywords you want to rank for, you’ll then need to optimize the appropriate pages on your website using both on-page and off-page tactics. What are those, you ask? Skip to “O” to find out — but don’t tell “L”, “M”, or “N”!
48. Landing Page
A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.
A smart inbound marketer will create landing pages that appeal to different personae (plural for persona) at various stages of the buying process. A hefty endeavor no doubt, but one that pays off in spades.
A person or company who’s shown interest in a product or service in some way, shape, or form. Perhaps they filled out a form, subscribed to a blog, or shared their contact information in exchange for a coupon.
Generating leads is a critical part of a prospect’s journey to becoming a customer, and it falls in between the second and third stages of the larger inbound marketing methodology, which you can see below.
Landing pages, forms, offers, and calls-to-action are just a few tools to help companies generate leads.
50. Lead Nurturing
Sometimes referred to as “drip marketing,” lead nurturing is the practice of developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and gradually push it down the sales funnel. Inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable content to the right audience — and lead nurturing helps foster this by providing contextually relevant information to a lead during different stages of the buying lifecycle.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. Nowadays, with more than 414 million registered members, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals and one of the top social networks overall. Getting on the platform, developing a completed profile, and networking has helped many a jobseeker find work.
52. Lifecycle Stages
These divisions serve as a way to describe the relationship you have with your audience, and can generally be broken down into three stages: awareness, evaluation, and purchase.