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If you’re an agency owner, there’s a lot of pressure on you to prove to clients (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that your strategies and tactics are working.

But what if you’re working with a client who gets way more phone calls than online conversions? Businesses like plumbers, roadside assistance, healthcare, emergency services, construction, and locksmiths all have prospects who would rather click to call. A lot of their customers can’t be bothered to “sign up for a free consultation”—after all, they might be up to their ankles in toilet water.

Take, for example, a personal injury law firm like Geoff McDonald & Associates. When injured people are searching for an attorney, they need to speak with somebody straight away. They might be on-site after a workplace injury, at the hospital, or on the side of the road following a car accident. This is an emergency situation—they’re not going to take the time to fill out a form and just hope that somebody follows up with them. They need help now.

Visitors Want to Convert on Their Terms. Not Yours.

In any industry, there will always be leads who prefer to pick up the phone and call a business directly. And if you’re not taking these leads into account when you track conversions on your landing pages, then you run the risk of optimizing based on an incomplete picture. This is especially important for marketing agencies, because if you’re not tracking calls as conversions then your clients will be completely in the dark on the true ROI you’re driving for them.

When Geoff McDonald & Associates brought on Workshop Digital as their agency, the team identified this exact problem. They were getting a ton of phone calls, but they couldn’t attribute them back to specific landing pages. Here’s how they took immediate steps to track all the visitors who were converting:

  • Workshop Digital set up 20 rotating phone numbers to feature on their landing pages using CallRail. CallRail is an awesome service that provides both call tracking and form tracking for data-driven marketers. These trackable numbers helped Workshop Digital attribute where phone calls were coming from (and how well each landing page was really converting).
  • They used this new call-tracking data to inform their A/B Testing, helping them to optimize their pages. This helped drive 33% more leads on organic channels, year-over-year.
  • On paid and remarketing channels, the results were even better. The agency was able to drive a whopping 219% more leads, year-over-year, thanks to the one-two combo of Unbounce and CallRail.

To get the full story, we spoke with Andrew Miller, Co-Founder of the agency that made it all happen. In this post, we’ll cover exactly how Andrew and his team used call tracking to achieve these award-winning results, and how you can replicate their success at your agency, too.

The Challenge: Tracking Phone Calls Like Clicks

When Geoff McDonald & Associates first reached out to Workshop Digital, they were looking for an opportunity to shake things up with their digital marketing. At the time, the law firm was working with an agency that was directing all of their paid traffic towards a single, low-converting location: their website homepage. As Andrew, the co-founder of the agency, notes:

[The law firm] wasn’t getting the level of detail and reporting that they wanted … the strategies weren’t evolving. It was just what they’d always done, and how they’d always done it. They came to us looking for something fresh.

When they signed on with Workshop Digital, Andrew’s team began redirecting all that juicy paid traffic towards custom, targeted landing pages built in Unbounce. Working closely with the law firm, the team set up multiple variants to strategically target high-converting keywords and locations. 

Each page included a simple form for visitors to convert, as well as a phone number that potential clients could call if they needed immediate assistance.

A sample of the different landing page variants Workshop Digital created for the law firm.

But that’s when they discovered a problem: only a small margin of the new clients coming in from the landing pages were actually filling out the forms. Visitors had very specific and time-sensitive questions about their potential cases, and the majority of them were choosing the click-to-call option—especially on mobile devices.

On every landing page variant, visitors have the option to fill out a form or call for a free consultation.

So while it was great news that the landing pages were bringing in new clients, this made it difficult for Andrew and his team to figure out which landing pages were actually inspiring visitors to pick up the phone. Even worse, it made the A/B Testing process much slower—several months slower, in some cases—because they were missing out on so much valuable data.

We saw a ton of leads coming in as phone calls. So if we were only relying on email submissions as conversions, we’d be basing our decisions on less accurate, less complete data. And we’re likely to make misinformed decisions that could just be totally wrong for the client.

For the team at Workshop Digital to start A/B Testing and optimizing with reliable and accurate data, Andrew first needed to set up call tracking so they could attribute which landing pages were responsible for driving the calls.

The Solution: Building Landing Pages with Dynamic Phone Numbers

Turns out, there’s an easy way for agencies to track phone calls: CallRail. This handy piece of software integrates seamlessly with Unbounce, so you can make sure every phone number you use on your landing pages is connected, tracked, and counting towards your conversion rates.

The implementation only takes a few minutes. It’s a matter of taking the tracking script from CallRail and adding it as a custom script in Unbounce. Then, the information is married in the back end … and when a phone call occurs it gets pushed into Unbounce as a conversion.

Using the dynamic keywords pool in CallRail, the agency was able to set up 20 different phone numbers for Geoff McDonald & Associates. Each number would automatically rotate to track individual visitors to make call tracking possible—even if they left a landing page and came back to it later, or visited another page to contact the law firm.

You can create tracking numbers in CallRail by renting a pool of phone numbers.
We rented a pool of phone numbers. And those numbers rotated through [the CallRail] system so we could see which particular search terms and landing pages were driving those phone calls.

By placing a bit of custom code around each phone number, Workshop Digital was also able to “follow” each visitor as they interacted with the law firm, and push new phone leads directly into the client CRM. 

Every phone call is tracked and logged in CallRail, including the referral source.
This is super helpful because it automates the process. We now know which variant of a page a phone call originated from, and we can then use that additional data to speed up our A/B Testing.

But what about phone calls that came in late at night or on weekends? Usually, Geoff McDonald & Associates partnered with an after-hours call service to answer these calls when their team wasn’t in the office. 

To account for these leads, Andrew had another trick up his sleeve…

We built a script that, depending on the time of day, would funnel the lead to the appropriate inbox or appropriate phone number. Meaning if [the call] came in after business hours, the phone number gets automatically routed to an after-hours call service that will call that person back immediately. It’s all time-based so we don’t lose that call.

Learn how to create dynamic phone numbers that automatically change based on the time of day or location of your visitors. Register now to save your spot for the free Dynamic Call Tracking Webinar on Wednesday, July 31st.

The Results: Tracking 75% More Conversions on Client Landing Pages

Once the call tracking was up and running, Andrew and his team made a shocking discovery. Over 75% of visitors were converting over the phone, versus using the forms on their landing pages. That was a huge number of leads that they just hadn’t been able to track or attribute back to their highly-successful landing pages previously.

With Unbounce and CallRail together, we get faster and more accurate results for our clients because we’re taking into account all the conversions that take place on a landing page—not just the form submissions.

Now, the agency had a much more complete set of data to A/B Test these landing pages and bring them to their full potential.

Our goal was to increase leads by 25%, year-over-year. But we ended up driving 33% more leads from organic channels, and 219% more leads from our paid and remarketing channels.

The results have far exceeded the expectations of Geoff McDonald & Associates. Last year, the law firm was awarded the M&L Silver Award for “Best Overall Digital Marketing,” thanks in large part to the work done by Workshop Digital.

He’s absolutely thrilled. [Geoff] took these results to one of his legal marketing conferences and won an award for the work. So he gets to be an industry leader in his field.

We’re honored to receive the 2018 M&L Silver Award for Best Overall Digital Marketing! Thanks for a great conference! pic.twitter.com/QuebqiaAgR

— McDonald Injury Law (@McDonaldInjury) January 23, 2019

For the team at Workshop Digital, CallRail has helped to empower them with more data and transparency. Andrew says that now more than ever, these are the types of innovative strategies that clients—and visitors—are looking for.

We need to get the complete picture of how people arrive, experience, and interact with a landing page. Visitors need the option to convert on their terms—not on ours. As marketers, I think we have to really understand where consumer expectations are going. It’s all about convenience.
Now, It’s Time for You to Answer the Call

Get all the nitty-gritty details on how to set up call tracking for your clients, including a custom script you can use to redirect visitor calls based on time of day or location.

You can take the same approach as Andrew at your agency to track more conversions for your clients and get them better results. Save your spot today for the free CallRail webinar on July 31st, 2019.

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The Software as a Service (SaaS) industry is growing at a rapid rate. According to Statista, this year its value is predicted to reach around $124.53 billion worldwide.

While growth is excellent news, it also means that your competition is getting stronger. SaaS companies need to keep up if they want to stand out, and one of the best ways to stay ahead is to tap into marketing practices that are sometimes overlooked by your competition.

Surprisingly, content marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies in the wider world, but it often gets disregarded or—worse—is done haphazardly in the SaaS space. This shouldn’t be the case.

Given its efficiency at attracting new leads and nurturing existing ones, content marketing is a perfect opportunity for you to respond to your prospects’ needs in a unique way.

In this article, I’ll suggest a few types of content that are efficient in different stages of the customer journey, starting with interactive content. We’ll also focus on one SaaS marketing technique that has been somewhat forgotten in the digital sphere: direct sales.

Let’s dive in.

1. Use Interactive Content to Offer Personalized Solutions

Creating interactive content (like quizzes, surveys, polls, and calculators) is one of the best ways to attract new customers and engage them in a conversation. According to Kapost, interactive content generates twice as many conversions as passive content. And around 88% of marketers who use it say that interactive content helps them stand out from competitors.

Why? Interactive content is solution-oriented. It taps into the primary need of an average SaaS customer.

And this, in turn, enables you to learn more about your customers (about, for instance, any problems and issues they might be facing or goals they’re looking to achieve). Then you can offer them a personalized solution that will cater to their specific individual needs. After all, your software already solves a particular problem—be it organizing employees, setting up an accounting system, or helping someone lose weight.

Put simply, when you start off creating interactive content, you’ll want to think about the following questions:

  • Who is my customer?
  • What problem am I trying to solve?
  • Which solutions and features do I offer?
An Example of Interactive SaaS Marketing

LeadQuizzes is marketing automation software that started off as a marketing agency. After repeated success with using quizzes to build our clients’ email lists, we decided to turn quizzes into a business in its own right. And what better way to advertise quiz software than to use it to reach potential customers among the target group of professional marketers and small business owners.

With this in mind, we created a quiz that sought to address one of the most common challenges in the digital marketing world: generating leads and sales. The quiz targeted marketers and small business owners in the form of the Facebook quiz ad.

This interactive quiz offered personalized solutions for digital marketers based on their answers to a few questions.

The questions we asked focused on the potential client’s existing website traffic, budget, and marketing objectives. Here are a few examples:

How much website traffic do you receive per month?

  • 0 – 5,000 visitors per month
  • 5,001 – 10,000 visitors per month
  • 10,001+ visitors per month

How many leads are you getting each month?

  • 0 – 500 leads per month
  • 501 – 1,000 leads per month
  • 1,001+ leads per month

Do you offer a discount as an opt-in on your website?

  • Yes
  • No

Before they got the answers, they had to fill out an opt-in form asking for their name, email, and number. And based on the respondent’s answers, we offered personalized solutions in the form of the quiz results.

In the first quiz, results led to a Calendly page where a potential customer could schedule a consultation because the goal was to acquire as many early adopters as possible. (Today, a similar quiz on the website leads customers to the landing page that includes useful marketing tips, an industry leader’s testimonial, and an offer to sign up.)  

This is what worked for us, but if you feel that personalized results aren’t enough of an incentive for people to share their contact info, you can always use a lead magnet, such as a free ebook or discount, in combination with the quiz.

What’s the lesson here?

Based on the buyer’s needs and readiness, as well as your ultimate goal, the results can differ greatly. That’s why your landing page is a crucial detail that can make or break your user’s interactive experience. This is where your goal and their need should ideally meet.

Median conversion rates for classic PPC ads are between 3-6%, according to Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report. Interactive content can double this percentage, while an effective landing page can boost it to 27%.

Using interactive content along with optimized landing pages, LeadQuizzes went on to close 189 clients in 2 years and generate $720,000 in annual revenue. But the road to that number took more than two steps.

Inevitably, however, some people who engage with your interactive content and landing page simply won’t sign up for your software. That’s life. The reasons may vary: they don’t need it at the moment, or it doesn’t entirely meet their requirements. So how do you keep them coming back?

Build and launch campaigns quickly. As Jeremy says, using landing pages in combination with interactive content can produce remarkable results. Unbounce’s drag-and-drop builder lets you create high-converting landing pages without developer bottlenecks. Read more about how we power your SaaS marketing here.

2. Use “Passive” Content to Nurture Leads

Around 70% of people who leave your website will never come back. Collecting their email addresses using interactive content is an insurance policy against this problem—and a way to stay in touch. If they’re not interested in your product, of course, they’re likely to unsubscribe. As long as they remain on your list, though, you keep the opportunity to offer them the right answer at the right time.

Having access to your potential and existing customer’s inbox is a perfect opportunity to build and nurture a good relationship. High-quality, personalized blog content enables you to assert yourself as an industry authority and a friendly partner to your customers.

But what does make a high-quality blog content? According to Single Grain, some of the most important lead nurturing content practices include:

  • Adjusting content to your sales funnel
  • Personalizing your content
  • Using marketing automation
  • Doing follow-ups

Let’s look at how each one of these practices builds upon the data you can gather using interactive content.

Adjusting content to your sales funnel

Using interactive content allows you to understand the level of customer’s buyer readiness, which dictates how “sales-y” your content should be. For example, if you sparked a customer’s interest but they didn’t purchase your product yet, you may want to use content to educate them. You can start with basic guides and 101-themed posts, and slowly build up their knowledge to more specific topics.

For example, this is the welcome email I got after I subscribed for the lead generation tool. In it, the Oxyleads team outlines our future communication:

Mia’s email here sets expectations (and reassures the recipient that they won’t get hit with spam).

It’s a good example because they’re setting the expectations in terms of the follow-up emails that are to come (so they won’t seem too spammy), while the content of those emails is expected to educate you about the tool and convince you it’s valuable enough to make a purchase.

Personalizing content

Personalization comes in different forms. It starts with basic things, like using a personalized subject line that addresses the person by name. This small detail increases your open rate by as much as 50%. It’s also important to email your leads according to their time zone and location.

But personalization also means crafting content that responds to the person’s specific needs. A small business owner and manager in a large corporation may use your software. But they probably use it differently, face separate challenges, and have different goals and benchmarks.

Here’s an example of an email I got from a content aggregation platform Zest. One of their projects is creating an algorithm that will display super personalized content for each user inside the browser. This is one part of the experiment.

Social Media Lab (from social media management software Agorapulse) provides another good example of SaaS marketing at work. They seek to educate their customers through engaging experiments. While this email is fairly rudimentary (and lacks a simple personalization tweak: my name!) its content manages to be straightforward while arousing curiosity.

Finally, here’s an amazing example from Grammarly of personalizing content in a less formal way. Every week, they inform me about my writing stats:

But apart from inspiring a sense of accomplishment with personalized insights, this email also sneaks in a call to action to upgrade my plan:

The great thing about generating leads using interactive content is that it allows you to take the guesswork out of this personalization. By asking the right questions, you can understand your target customer’s varying needs and problems, and write content accordingly.

Using marketing automation

Once your email list grows to a certain point, using automation becomes a must. Marketing automation allows you to analyze your leads’ interaction with emails and your content, and optimize them for maximum effect.

Most importantly, automation enables you to forward the right messages to the right people at the desired time, without having to waste a lot of time doing everything manually. There’s a wide variety of available marketing automation tools that can help you scale your lead qualification and nurturing efforts.

Doing follow-ups

How often you’re going to follow-up depends on your customer’s current position in the sales funnel. The “hotter” the lead, the more information they need.

For example, here’s the follow-up email I got from Oxyleads a few days after I spent my free credits:

This follow-up email from Oxyleads reminds the lead about the features they’ll gain from choosing a Professional or Premium plan.
3. Gain Credibility with White Papers and Case Studies

While white papers and case studies are one type of classical passive content, they deserve special attention in SaaS marketing. In B2B SaaS, in particular, you’re going to engage with people who are professionals in their industry. And wowing them takes more than a good ad copy or engaging blog post. They want to see credibility and authority.

White papers

White papers are used in numerous fields, but the general definition is an authoritative report that addresses certain issues and offers solutions for them. In terms of SaaS marketing, a white paper represents a theory behind your product or technology. Just like with blog posts, its main purpose is to educate customers and help them make a decision. 

A high-quality white paper typically includes:

  • Structure and length. While a white paper is longer than a blog post, it’s still shorter than an ebook. It has at least six pages and can take between a few weeks and a few months to write. 
  • Format and style. A white paper is formal, detailed, and informative, often written in an “academic” style (i.e., it shouldn’t sound like marketing, even if it is).
  • Good design. Even though the tone might be academic, that doesn’t mean your white paper should look like a college essay. Compelling design is a must!

The white paper’s main purpose is to assert yourself as a credible, authoritative solution and source of guidance. More than half of business-to-business marketers consider white papers effective marketing tools, and we agree. (Check out this sample of Google’s white paper for a little inspiration.)

Case studies

Case studies can also take a long time, although they are easier to assemble than a white paper. While they can be written in an informal style, and require only essential information, they still demand serious research. 

But it’s worth the hard work: case studies help convert and accelerate leads, according to Marketing Charts. A case study can give a huge boost to your credibility—people automatically feel more confident about your software if they see you are working with big brands they already know and trust.

The case study requires your client or customer to be ready to reveal their specific, detailed business strategy, show you and the rest of the world their numbers, and prove that it was your software that helped them reach great results.

But how can you produce case studies if you’re just a beginner in the industry? Apart from approaching your existing customers, it’s also possible to approach the industry leaders with fine-tuned cold outreach. But these users have to be incentivized to share their business secrets with you—whether it’s going to be a discount, free subscription, mutual marketing arrangement, etc.

Editor’s note. Seeing is believing. Here are some examples of how Unbounce uses customer stories and case studies to highlight the effectiveness of landing pages, popups, and sticky bars.

4. Use Traditional Sales (No, Really)

It’s all too easy to forget the power of 1-on-1 conversation in the world of digital solutions. But sales are a marketing technique in their own right and doing them like in “the good old days” may be just what makes your SaaS business stand out.

Of course, we’re not talking about the annoying telemarketer calls. We are talking about reaching out to the customers who are ready and highly likely to buy your product. Engaging them with each type of content we’ve mentioned so far will give you a fairly clear picture of their readiness over time.

Remember that we mentioned in the first section that LeadQuizzes led some quiz takers directly to a Calendly page? Alternatively, some were contacted after a lead nurturing email sequence. But in both cases, the phone calls were incredibly successful and the investment paid off.

Why are traditional sales so effective in SaaS?

They help you close a mutually satisfying deal. Sure, you can list all of your software’s features on the landing page. But presenting them to a client personally, explaining how each feature plays into their specific goals, is much more effective. It enables you to improve retention and reduce churn early on because you are making sure the customers get everything they need in their subscription plan.

Don’t worry that this technique will come across as aggressive—remember, this is the sales part reserved for leads who are genuinely interested in your software.

Conclusion

Making your name in the crowded SaaS world isn’t easy, but it becomes easier when you realize that your marketing strategy stems from the specific nature of your product. As you’re building software, build it with the user in mind. You want to make things simpler and more effective for them. SaaS marketing is all about communicating these thoughts to the customers.

Content marketing and direct sales are a fantastic way to truly empathize and connect with your customer. Once that..

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You’ve heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” And boy, does it sound great. But what exactly does working smarter look like?

When it comes to marketing, this can mean a lot of things. Strategy, analytics, design, copywriting, sales, customer success—they all have nuances in how they’re done intelligently and all require really smart people to do them. People who, like us, know you can never learn enough in an industry that’s evolving quicker than ever.

Which is why we’re dedicating the sixth annual Call to Action Conference to “Raising Your Marketing IQ.” Taking place September 25-26 and featuring 20 expertly-curated—and bona fide brilliant—speakers, CTAConf 2019 will break marketing smarts down into six core elements (cue extremely subtle nod to our Rubik’s Cube theme). So together we can raise our marketing IQ, explore each aspect of marketing in detail, and raise a little roof while we’re at it.

First, what’s Call to Action Conference?

CTAConf has been one of the top digital marketing conferences in North America since 2014. It’s designed to bring you insights as well as information, diverse perspectives over singular opinions, and real, actionable takeaways you can put to use as soon as you’re back in the office. It’s also a helluva time—check out last year’s recap to get a glimpse.

This year, we’re once again welcoming over 1,000 marketers from around the world to our beautiful hometown of Vancouver, B.C. (and hope you’ll be one of them).

What’s on deck for CTAConf 2019

This year, 20 speakers and professional marketers will take the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage for a single-track masterclass in marketing intelligence. Each session will fall under one of six facets of “Marketing IQ,” inspired by the traditional IQ framework:

  • Spatial ability: How to use design to focus your visitors’ attention and create usable, high-converting experiences.
  • Language ability: Copywriting for conversion and creating meaningful segmentation in marketing communications.
  • Mathematical ability: Using data and analytics to inform decision making and understand which metrics matter.
  • Memory ability: Establishing repeatable processes to create better workflows and a culture of optimization.
  • Emotional intelligence: Emphasizing the human aspects of conversion and motivation behind every transaction in an age of automation and artificial intelligence.
  • Strategic thinking: Bringing all of these elements together to create a roadmap for intelligent marketing.
Who’s Speaking?

There aren’t any purchased or sponsored talks at CTAConf—each speaker has been carefully selected for their expertise on their topic, speaking experience, and general awesomeness. We’ve made sure the time you’re taking away from work is spent wisely, soaking up truly valuable learnings you can apply the very next day (in one track, so you don’t have to miss anything). Here’s a peek at who’s on deck, or check out the full list here.

What’s the Agenda?

We’re still working on nailing down the play-by-play detailed agenda, but the most important detail is that it’s taking place September 25-26 in Vancouver. There will also be a full day of hands-on marketing workshops on September 24 that are optional for attendees.

To stay in the loop on hotel blocks, the full agenda, parties, workshop signups, and more, sign up for updates on the CTAConf site. That’s also where you can get your tickets (Pssst…the earlier you get ‘em, the cheaper they’ll be)! Tickets are available for general admission, as well as customer and group discounts.

We hope you’ll join us this year and can’t wait to welcome you to our little bit of paradise here in the Pacific Northwest. And if you have any questions at all, feel free to fire them off to ctaconf@unbounce.com.

See you in September!

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Inspired by extraordinary marketers like you, we’re revealing a new brand identity and message. We want to empower you to do your absolute best work. To go above and beyond. To strap a rocket on your marketing then climb on as you light the fuse. We’re not about hum-drum campaigns, and neither are you.

Ultimately, we want to help you make extra your new normal. Extra campaigns, extra leads, extra sales.

But we needed a visual identity that reflected this message—one that really captured what we stand for as a company. And so, after almost a decade, Unbounce has a new look. Today (for those of you who are especially curious), we’re sharing the specifics. Read on to learn what we’ve changed and why.

Why Now?

We know this isn’t the first rebrand you’ve seen this year, and it’s probably not going to be the last. Software brands are all about makeovers these days. But as we approached Unbounce’s 10-year anniversary, it became important for us to refine and unify our brand as we gear up for what’s ahead.

For one, we knew our look and feel wasn’t totally aligned with our brand promise. Unbounce has always been about giving you the tools and support you need to execute amazing marketing. We wanted a visual identity that celebrated the incredible people who use our platform to do extraordinary things every day.

We also recognized that elements of our brand weren’t always consistent. For example: We publish a ton of educational content, but our safe design and copy choices sometimes led people to view us as overly scientific. (Don’t get us wrong, we <3 data, but we’re good without the lab coat, thanks.) We wanted to better embody the bold, witty, smart, helpful, unexpected character of the people who work here.

So, we got to work. Beginning as far back as January 2018, our internal team collaborated to ensure the Unbounce brand expresses who we are.

What’s Changed?

When we kicked off this project, we saw loads of other tech companies moving in a particular direction. They chose illustrative styles focusing more on product (or abstract, geometric shapes) than people. There was a trend in color, too—lots of blues and purples meant to evoke a sense of safety and reliability.

And, hey, product illustrations are great. Safety and reliability are some of our favorite nouns. But we had to go in a different direction.

Colors

Let’s start with color. Unbounce’s evolved palette introduces a vibrancy that captures some of that brand personality we’re talking about. (Fun fact: it also meets the standards for contrast accessibility.)

Now, we know we mentioned that there are color trends in SaaS, but blue has always been integral to Unbounce’s identity (and we intentionally kept that element of brand recognition). That said, there was an opportunity to make it more distinct.

We tweaked the tone a little to make the color more vivid, more pronounced. This new, vibrant Unbounce blue made people in our test groups feel something that the old, muted blue just didn’t. That’s when we knew we got this part right.

We’ve also adopted pink as a primary color, which we feel embodies the boldness we’re aiming for. Along with new green and yellow accents, these colors help us stand out and give us lots of options.

Photography

We want to bring marketers to the forefront of the Unbounce brand, and we feel the most authentic way to do this is through photography. Our designers were inspired by sports photography that put athletes in power poses. We want to convey marketing performance in the same way.

These portraits are all about expressing the feeling you get when you create unbelievable marketing—when you obliterate your conversion targets or build landing pages that make your CMO drool. Our models are strong, confident, remarkable. They’re in control, and their results speak for themselves. (Oh—they’re a lot like our customers.)

We decided our photography should be characterized by negative space and added depth, giving lots of breathing room and keeping the focus on our subject—you. Layered compositions let us convey more information through shapes and patterns.

In that vein, we’re also using a lot of photography that features people in motion, moving from one space to another. This represents marketers choosing extra—extra leads, extra sales—and leaving average, not-going-in-the-portfolio marketing behind.

Typography

Typography evokes a feeling. To quote our own Denis Suhopoljac: “When you see Comic Sans, you know what kind of feeling you get.” It fondly reminds us of getting chain emails from Grandma. Checkmate, Denis.

Our new headline typeface is Barlow Semi Condensed, which aligns with Unbounce’s brand in its strength and simplicity. We’re also using Source Sans Pro as a complementary typeface. Both of these fonts are super flexible and wicked legible. (Look—you’re reading them right now!) They’ll also scale with us as we grow.

Logo

Admittedly, our wordmark is something that was tricky for us. We’ve tweaked the Unbounce logo a couple of times since the original—just made it cleaner, simpler over the years.

Still, something wasn’t quite working—and this time around, we had to keep iterating. We recognized the contrast, balance, and kerning weren’t behaving the way we’d hoped. The logo couldn’t be centered properly on marketing materials and was tough to replicate. We decided to redraw the wordmark completely and give it a more harmonious feel.

The new Unbounce logo is smoother, more defined, and—even when viewed at the same sizing as the old one—it comes across bolder. It also works more effectively across different applications and formats.

Same (New) Unbounce

These changes are already in play on the Unbounce website, which was due for a makeover.

Be sure to check out our new homepage and tour around. You’ll also see how we’re using our refreshed brand plenty over the coming months (*cough* CTAConf *cough*), so be sure to keep an eye on the blog and social.

Overall, this update isn’t about changing who we are. It’s about becoming more who we are and better reflecting you. If you’ve been with us from the start, we hope you find this fresh coat of paint embodies the Unbounce you’ve come to know this past decade. And—if you’ll let us—we’d love to keep growing with you.

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When we started Unbounce almost a decade ago, we were motivated by a clear vision: to help the world experience better marketing.

Many marketers didn’t have the resources to build awesome campaigns on their own, so we set out to make it easy. There was also just so much bad marketing out there—spammy, inauthentic, half-baked. We wanted to empower every marketer to deliver remarkable experiences, convert more traffic, and get unbelievable results.

But that’s only gotten harder over time.

You’ve noticed, right? Your cost-per-click is at an all-time high and Google keeps changing the rules, making you reactive instead of proactive. You’ve got data, but it’s hard to make any sense of it without a ton of manual work. You want your website to convert better, but you’re left relying on developers to help you execute and it sometimes slows you to a stop.

With all of this on your plate, it can feel almost impossible to run the campaigns you dream about—the insanely personalized, creative, segmented campaigns that drive leads and sales (not to mention your reputation and career). Through no fault of our own, us marketers can find ourselves shackled to task lists, dutifully checking off Trello board items, unintentionally falling into a routine where we’re going through the motions instead of launching campaigns we’re all truly psyched about.

Well, nuts to that. We want to reignite your enthusiasm for marketing—and we’re handing out the matches.

Here at Unbounce, we believe going above and beyond to get your best results is a choice. It’s pushing past the status quo to make something exceptional—not because you have to, but because you hold yourself to a crazy-high standard. It’s rejecting “good enough” and “maybe later” and leaving things better than you found them. Above all, it’s shattering expectations, including your own.

We want to team up with you—not just to make this easier, but to make it your default setting. We want to help make extra your new normal.

Unbounce Loves Extra

We have to admit: Seeing our customers do remarkable things—whether it’s slashing their cost-per-lead, obliterating their conversion targets, or designing incredible landing pages—is what really drives us. Your extra makes our extra want to extra, y’know?

Take Ari Gayer and Shivanie Barapatre, key members of the acquisition team at Zola (the hottest wedding planning and registry company out there). Instead of creating just one landing page in a Hail Mary attempt to target prospects, they broke down their services into several highly targeted pages: one for brides, for grooms, their registry, their branded partnerships—you name it. The result? A 5 to 20% lift in conversion rates across the board, plus a mountain of new leads. Ari and Shivanie went even further, using their conversion lessons to improve the Zola website and spur a monster number of ecommerce sales. Boom.

Then there’s Taylor Loren, Head of Content Marketing at Later. As the company’s first marketing hire, she took ownership of the Later blog and—through valuable, engaging content—grew monthly sessions from thirty thousand to more than a million in just two years. But Taylor didn’t stop there. She implemented landing pages as a core piece of Later’s acquisition strategy (as a means of offering up downloadable content) and generated a whopping hundred thousand new leads for the SaaS brand.

And Aditya Bagri? The Digital Marketing Strategist at Agency Within, Aditya and the team had a hunch that websites would limit the number of conversions they could acquire for their big-name ecomm apparel clients, so they used Unbounce to build stunning, detailed landing pages instead. Just take a look at this one for Greats, or this one for Twillory. With slick visuals and gripping copy, these pages became an unforgettable first touch and created a lasting brand impression. Seriously—we’re in awe.

Each of these marketers is making a choice. They’re showing up to take their marketing to the next level, and they’ve got the results to back it up. This is what choosing extra looks like.

We’re Celebrating Extraordinary Marketers

Today at Unbounce, we’re making some visual changes to bring your over-and-above work to the forefront of the Unbounce brand. (Maybe you noticed our snazzy new site?)

Yeah, we know: Everyone and their barista seems to be doing a brand refresh these days. But over the past couple years, it became clear that our brand identity wasn’t totally aligned with how our customers view us, or with how we view ourselves. Unbounce is all about extra, but our look didn’t scream that. This realization kicked off a thorough reworking (led by our amazing internal team) that brought us to what you see now: visuals that celebrate you, the extraordinary marketers on our platform.

(You can read about Unbounce’s brand redesign here.)

*Infomercial voice* But that’s not all. You can help us celebrate the extraordinary marketers in your life while (at the same time) supporting an important charity. That’s why we’ve partnered with PeaceGeeks, a nonprofit organization that builds digital tools to empower communities in the pursuit of peace. When you applaud your teammates for their tremendous work on LinkedIn or Twitter, we’ll donate five minutes of our time to collaborating with PeaceGeeks and creating awareness for their cause. You can learn more about this initiative and join in here.

Choose Extra with Unbounce

Now, not everyone chooses extra. Some companies promise false shortcuts and snake oil solutions. Some people are a-okay with bumping along in their day-to-day, leaving amazing work to the Don Draper-types of the world.

But that’s not us. We think marketing should be exciting and powerful (and something tells us that’s why you got into your gig in the first place, too). We’re like that kid who’s always got their hand up. “Chill out, Unbounce.” We can’t. And if you’re sitting in the front row, too—always giving it your all, refusing to do just the bare minimum—then you’re our kind of people.

Together, we can help the world experience better marketing, because it is possible. It starts with making the choice. To keep going above and beyond for your business. To challenge the status quo for your clients.

Together, let’s make extra your new normal.

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Artificial intelligence is about to change lead generation and conversion as you know it. In the process, it’ll have a transformative impact on companies and careers.

AI is a blanket term that covers several different technologies. You might have heard of some of them, like machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Even if you don’t know much about it, though, you probably use AI-powered technology dozens or hundreds of times per day. For instance, voice assistants like Alexa or Siri rely on it to understand you and respond, and Amazon and Netflix recommendation engines use it to offer up the products and movies you love.

You also don’t need to be an expert on AI to understand how it’s going to transform lead generation and conversion for marketers. In fact, it’s quite simple:

AI systems excel at extracting insights from huge datasets, then they use those insights to make predictions. The most advanced AI systems learn and improve over time, on their own.

That means if you have lead or customer data, chances are there is an AI-powered system that can use that data to make intelligent predictions about your leads. These might include:

  • Who in your database represents an ideal lead
  • Who outside your database represents an ideal lead
  • What next actions to take to convert a lead
  • What content and offers resonate most with leads
  • Which leads are worth pursuing

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

AI in marketing is still in its infancy.

McKinsey predicts $2.6 trillion in business value will be unlocked in the coming years in marketing and sales. That means marketers who explore AI have the opportunity to accelerate their companies and careers by building a competitive advantage with this technology—especially when it comes to lead generation and conversion.

AI is still in its infancy, but there are plenty of AI-powered tools you can use today. (via Rock’n Roll Monkey on Unsplash)

To get started, we’ve outlined some of the top lead generation and conversion use cases we’re seeing as part of our work at Marketing AI Institute, where we’re tracking 1,100 sales and marketing AI companies with combined funding north of $5 billion.

For each use case, we’ve also listed a tool you can look into starting today, based on the more than 45 profiles we’ve done on AI-powered vendors. You’ll need to do your own due diligence on each of these tools, however. There are lots out there, and marketers need to verify for themselves how (and how effectively) each vendor uses AI.

Learn how to build a strategy that starts leveraging AI today. Join Unbounce CTO and Co-Founder Carl Schmidt (and 60+ other speakers from companies like Amazon and IBM) at the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON).
Gain Key Insights About Leads

You might have a clear picture of your company’s best (or target) leads. But you’re only human. No matter how much insight you have into the market, you just can’t analyze large sets of lead data at scale.

But artificial intelligence can. It can use this superpower to help you better understand existing leads and prospective customers. AI excels at extracting insights from lots of data. And, with the right datasets, it can draw plenty of conclusions.

Think about all the places your potential customers generate data: your marketing automation system, CRM tools, website analytics, ecommerce stores, social media, and more. AI systems exist today that can take work with datasets like these to extract insights about your leads.

For instance, you may have a large lead database, but no effective lead scoring in place. AI may be able to analyze past lead behavior, then tell you which leads to focus on first. The irony is that, with the right system and data, machines may be able to help you better understand the humans you market to.

One major player in the space is Salesforce. The company’s AI, Einstein, automatically prioritizes leads for sales reps and predicts which are most likely to close. These capabilities are increasingly baked into the company’s CRM.

Build Your Lead Database

AI-powered tools exist that can find you more leads based on what is known about your current leads. Again, this is where AI’s ability to parse large datasets comes in handy.

AI systems exist that look at your current leads and customers, using data from systems like marketing automation software, then weigh that information against other databases to find more people that look like your best buyers.

One example of this is Seamless.AI, a company that uses artificial intelligence to validate lead contact information, so you can use search criteria to find your entire addressable market in seconds.

In practice, this means brands can identify a list of target companies they’d like to prospect, then input those companies into an AI-powered tool like Seamless.AI. In a matter of minutes, the tool could then provide verified email addresses for prospects at each company, creating a contact list almost instantly.

Engage, Nurture, and Convert—Automatically

Even if you’re already generating healthy numbers of leads, AI can probably help you convert more of them into sales.

AI systems already exist that personalize on-site content to maximize visitor engagement, so that conversion rates rise as leads consume more content—and more relevant—content.

Some of these systems can even predict what content and offers leads might be interested in next, moving them further down the funnel more efficiently. Other AI systems leverage chatbots and virtual assistants to achieve the same goal, often in a partially or completely automated fashion.

One tool we’ve found that does this is Conversica, an AI-powered sales assistant that automatically engages leads, delivering personalized outreach at scale.

A tool like Conversica would automatically engage a site visitor or returning lead, then follow up consistently and regularly, without a marketer or salesperson needing to stay on top of prospects. This ensures leads are engaged at all times throughout their journey, not just when marketing and sales pros remember to follow up.

Improve Sales Pipeline Quality

AI can also help you improve the overall quality of your pipeline. Thanks to its predictive power, it can tell your marketing and sales pros which actions work best and shed light on the most effective strategies for selling more.

This results in a more efficient and effective marketing and sales pipeline, which means increased revenue and reduced costs for your organization.

Gong.io is one solution that uses AI to do this. The company uses AI to analyze sales conversations and uncover exactly what moves your pipeline forward.

For instance, Gong can analyze sales calls using AI, then provide data-driven recommendations on what works and what doesn’t. You might learn that your top reps talk less about pricing (and more about next steps) than reps who perform below average.

EDITOR’S NOTE. What are the most common reasons stopping marketers from adopting AI? We asked 400 of ’em that very question. Read Carl Schmidt’s answer to why marketers are having trouble getting started here.
How to Make AI Your Competitive Advantage

This is just the beginning. We’re still in the very early days of AI adoption in marketing and sales. But if you want to accelerate your AI education and adoption, I encourage you to join us at the upcoming Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON).

MAICON is designed to help marketing leaders truly understand AI, educate their teams, garner executive support, pilot priority AI uses cases, and develop a near-term strategy for successfully scaling AI. MAICON has 40+ sessions and 60+ speakers from companies like Crayon and Softbank Robotics.

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When it comes to launching a new product or business, my mantra is to “fall in love with the problem, not the solution.” In other words: even if you think you’ve come up with the next big thing, you should always treat it like a hypothesis. And as with any hypothesis, that means testing it.

If your original concept takes off without a hitch? Great! But if it doesn’t, you should continue testing (and retesting, and retesting) until you find the best solution to your potential customers’ problem. Testing might sound like it requires a large investment of time, money, and other resources, but I’ve found the perfect low-effort, high-return workaround: building a landing page.

Why landing pages?

Using landing pages to test a new product or service idea allows you to collect valuable customer feedback while remaining agile, and can shed light on the overall viability of your proposed solution. But the best part is that landing pages don’t require a large amount of custom design and development work.

By using templates, you can focus on identifying your value proposition and validating your idea before bringing it to market. And there are more than a few ways to do so:

Split test the big stuff early on

Virtually every landing page feature (headlines and body copy, images, colors, etc.) can be A/B tested to optimize performance—and companies should be using that to their advantage.

That said, you shouldn’t split test everything just because you can. Before trying to determine how layout and header images might impact user action, use landing page A/B testing capability to find out what consumers really want. I generally start with the same layout and experiment by talking about the business concept in two different ways.

A/B tests are often described in terms of small changes to layout, but they can be very effective for testing different value props.

For example, if I wanted to launch a new ride-sharing app, I could test the following value propositions to see what speaks to people most:

  1. Convenience: Someone will pick you up and take you where you want to go
  2. Affordability: You no longer need to own a car or take on the associated costs of gas, insurance, parking, etc.

Testing like this allows you to gather more conclusive data about what resonates most with your audience—knowledge you can use to inform the development of your business or product moving forward.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Unbounce landing page templates include A/B Testing so you can quickly and easily compare your page variants—no technical setup required—and figure out the strongest value prop for your new product or business.
Distill copy to your main value proposition (no marketing speak!)

Without a doubt, copy is one of the most important elements on a website—it can make or break the visitor experience. Before you even start designing a landing page, think about what you need to say about your product or business idea.

Once you’ve decided your core value proposition (in the previous step), it’s time to describe it in a way that will resonate with prospective customers. Writing things out in a plain Google Doc (instead of directly into a website template) can really help to flesh this out.

When it comes to writing landing page copy, I recommend that you:

  • Address the problem, and propose a solution
  • Use strong, positive headlines
  • Emphasize benefits over features
  • Keep it concise; landing pages should be scannable
  • Include a clear call to action

Successful copywriting is rooted in a solid understanding of who the customer is: how they think, feel, and act; what drives them to make purchasing decisions. The language you use should also reflect that of your target audience.

Let’s look at a before-and-after example for the same business idea mentioned above:

  • Before: Revolutionary ride-sharing technology
  • After: We’ll pick you up, wherever you are

The first headline is vague and buzzwordy—it doesn’t tell visitors about the product, or why they should care about it—while the second headline speaks directly to the convenience value proposition in clear and straightforward language.

PRO TIP. If you haven’t had time to develop formal personas, a great way to learn about your customers is to examine how they communicate and interact on social media. Interviewing a few potential users to get a sense of their pain points and preferences can help too.
Incorporate visuals and 3D renders of your future product (if it doesn’t already exist)

If you’re testing a new product or idea, you’ll need to incorporate compelling imagery on your landing page. Strong visual elements help to communicate the value and desirability of your products. The more you can use renders and videos to show people, “hey, here’s what the future state of this product will be,” the better since it gives you a chance to gauge interest before putting something into production.

In addition to showcasing your product with visuals and 3D renders, design your landing page with simplicity and consistency in mind. Leverage the icons and imagery provided with your landing page template to communicate your values visually (above the fold, where possible) and remember to use a similar aesthetic on your social channels to create a cohesive brand experience for customers.

Your landing page aesthetic helps create a cohesive brand experience. (via Galymzhan Abdugalimov on Unsplash)
PRO TIP. I also recommend using stock imagery to complement your landing page’s message. Just remember to use high-quality photos that are relevant to your product or business idea. Some of my favorite resources include Unsplash, Splitshire, Gratisography, and Pexels.
Focus on top-of-funnel KPIs first, then move down the funnel

Knowing which metrics and KPIs to pay attention to during the pre-launch phase is crucial. Generally speaking, you’ll want to focus on top-of-funnel metrics first. I look at click-through rates to get a holistic picture of customer interest and engagement. How many people are getting from the first page to the second page? What percentage of people are clicking on the sign-up button?

At the end of the day, it’s great to get money—transactions are the ultimate KPI—but frankly, that’s the hardest thing to accomplish early on. If you start by measuring click-through rates, you can say, “Cool, 22% of people clicked the sign-up button, which took them to another page.” And now you have the chance to get them to fill in some more details, or direct them to a “Welcome” or “Coming Soon” landing page, and ease that customer down the funnel.

AARRR Pirate Metrics by Dave McClure: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral and Revenue
Send the right traffic to your landing page

As a benchmark, I try to obtain a 25% conversion rate from a landing page’s first CTA. If you can’t do this, it might be an indication that your product doesn’t adequately solve your customers’ problems—or at least that your value proposition isn’t resonating with them. But remember: there are a lot of things that might affect your conversion rates.

Consider where people are coming to your landing page from. Conversions from paid search are a good sign that people are interested in what you have to offer; you want to capture attention and leads from the people are actively searching for the solution you’re offering. You might also want to think about investing in paid social. I’ve found success with Twitter and Facebook—it’s really about meeting your customers where they are.

Provide value to visitors to increase conversions

To maximize conversions, you need to provide something of significant value to your landing page visitors. For SaaS companies, this can be something as simple as a beta sign-up or free tool download; since there are no physical products involved, SaaS companies have a fair amount of flexibility in their offerings. E-commerce brands, however, need to be a bit more creative.

Kickstarter is one way new companies are gauging interest—if people pledge money or make pre-orders it’s a good indicator of appetite for your solution. Think about the types of incentives you can offer to increase conversions (e.g., discounts, free swag). Or, instead of aiming for an order, perhaps you can ask visitors to submit their email to receive notifications about the product’s launch.

Falling in love with the problem

Each of the above techniques can be used to assess the viability of your product or service before going all in, which could save you tremendous amounts of time and money. It’s important to note that each approach requires constant testing and iteration.

The results of your landing page experiments should be seen as a guiding force that can move you in the right direction—if your original concept doesn’t pan out, don’t be afraid of making modifications.

This brings us back to my mantra:

Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.

Being flexible means you can adapt your product or service to better address the problem you want to solve, which ultimately leads to a more successful business—and a more satisfied customer.

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As an agency owner, growing your revenue per account has a significant impact on your bottom line. The challenge is doing this while also producing considerable ROI upgrades for your clients. You want to knock their socks off and extend client lifetimes, sure, but that means you need to make every dollar they spend do twice the work.

That’s a tough ask. After all, a lot of agency time (and energy) gets spent optimizing traffic to the top of the funnel, but you can squeeze only so much out of it. So where’s the next best place to capture some low hanging fruit for the client?

By offering landing page and conversion optimization services, you can create wicked new growth opportunities for both you and your clients.

According to Jonathan Nacchache of Montreal’s Webistry, offering landing page services let them accelerate client success:

It was a very natural decision that was born out of necessity. Optimizing on the ad/campaign level just isn’t enough these days, especially when you’re managing large ad spends. We simply needed to push the boundaries for our customers’ success, and this was the best thing.

As Webistry know well, landing pages let you deliver more mileage out of your existing campaigns and ad spend, something that the client may not have previously considered to be even possible.

Why Landing Page Services Are Your Next Win

A 2017 study from SoDA and Forrester asked agencies which strategies would have the most significant impact over the next 2-3 years. Though talent took the top spot, a whopping 47% said that “developing new services/capabilities” is key to their evolution.

Extending your menu of offerings can have significant effect on your agency’s growth (via Databox).

And, more importantly, their clients agree. This year, Hanapin Marketing’s State of PPC report asked brands what they wished agencies did better. 41% of them said “Innovative Techniques” (as in, “is my agency using the right tools or platforms?”) as their answer:

In short, your clients want you to be identifying new tools and techniques that can take their ROI into the stratosphere. That’s why offering landing pages and conversion optimization is such a killer opportunity for digital agencies.

The Benefits of Landing Pages

While you’re responsible for managing high impact campaigns, most often you’re handcuffed to using pages that don’t convert well, limiting campaign performance. Website traffic ends up exploring, not converting.

Instead, all of that hard earned—and, let’s face it, increasingly expensive—traffic should be sent to a dedicated landing page focused on one thing and one thing only: conversion.

Andrew Miller of Workshop Digital puts it this way:

If you’re not converting traffic into leads, then you’re just spending more and more money and you’re not getting better and better results. You’re not getting that compounding effect that landing pages provide.

When you offer landing pages and conversion optimization as a service to your clients, you gain control over campaign assets. You can quickly test, optimize, and iterate on campaigns. And, most importantly, you can build and manage pages without relying on the client, scoring higher conversion rates with a lower cost-per-lead.

This earns you account growth, client loyalty, and shared ROI.

(Is win-win-win a thing? Because it should be.)

Join Ty Lingley at the Marketing Agency Growth Accelerator Summit on May 16, 2019. Learn everything about adding landing page and conversion optimization services to your agency’s offerings. Grab your free ticket to this online event.
What to Offer with Landing Page Services

There are two components to this new service: building high-converting landing pages and conversion optimization.

The first is landing page creation. This is the primary service, complementary to the top of funnel campaigns that you’re already running. You’ll be offering the ability to get more leads and sales from the same campaigns—and the same spend—because landing pages convert better than a website.

Landing pages allow you to better match your content and call to action to the ads you’re running, and they eliminate extraneous links and other distractions that confuse your prospective customers. With a drag-and-drop builder like Unbounce, you can also create them much more quickly than pages on a traditional website.

But do they work? You betcha. Unbounce’s latest analysis found that landing pages convert on average 65% better than websites.

The second service you’ll offer is conversion optimization. This is a value-add or upsell to landing page creation that provides ongoing gains. A/B testing is the basic function here, allowing you to continue testing different variants of the landing page to produce better and better conversion rates for your clients.

Try out different headlines or copy, swap out the hero image, tweak the offer, strip down lead gen forms, and more. You can use Unbounce’s Test Centre to gather all the information you need to make smart decisions based on data instead of your gut (or your clients’ whims).

If a landing page creates immediate results, conversion optimization lets you show your clients a delightful ROI graph that trends ever upward.

It’s an essential tool in capturing and keeping clients.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Want to see conversion optimization in action? Read about how ConversionLab’s Rolf Inge Holden (aka Finge) delivers amazing results to clients by running in-depth experiments using Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement.
How to Prove the Value of This Service

Keep in mind that your clients may not even be aware you can do all this for them. (It can seem a little like magic that way.) So, despite the value, the pitch on these new services can come with a common objection:

“What about the website I already spent thousands of dollars on? Why would you build a new page and test that when I already have a website?”

To which the reply might be, “Do you know how well your website is converting compared to your competitors? Are you able to easily update your website and that conversion rate without dedicating developer or IT resources?”

But telling them about these services is not enough. You need to show them where they have a problem and what you can do about it. Here are two tips to help you do just that:

  1. Use our landing page analyzer to show them how that website or current traffic destination is performing across nine categories. The report will give them personalized, actionable tactics to increase conversion. (Send the report to yourself first, then write them a separate email including the report to show you’ve done your homework and offer the recommendations as a service.)
  2. Include one A/B test free with the first landing page you build them. At the end of the first reporting period, show them that you ran traffic to two landing page variants (A and B), show them the winner, and tell them why that variant converted better. Offer to continue conversion optimization services equipped with these results.
Online Marketing Agency Growth Accelerator Summit on May 16, 2019

Join Ty Lingley and learn everything about adding landing page and conversion optimization services to your agency’s offerings. Grab your free ticket to this online event.

What Kind of Agencies Should Consider Doing This, Specifically? This sounds great and all, but is it right for my agency?

If you’re a PPC, SEO, or social shop, you’re well positioned to offer landing page and conversion optimization services. Your clients trust you to help them get better campaign performance, and a huge part of that equation is improving conversion.

Landing page services fit that goal beautifully because they help you get more out of that targeted top of funnel traffic you’re producing—without increasing ad spend.

If you cater to ecommerce clients, landing pages help you quickly test new product or business ideas pre-launch, offer limited time or seasonal campaigns, target particular locations, demographics, or social channels, and build pages fast without relying on a developer or the restrictions of their online store builder.

Well, who should be performing these services at my agency?

That depends on the size of your agency and how you’re structured, but Unbounce was founded on the principle that marketers should be able to build and test custom landing pages without the need for IT or devs.

Using Unbounce, you can easily match your clients’ brand and get their landing page up and running without running into developer roadblocks. In an ideal world, the person (or people) at your agency closest to the client’s business and value proposition should ideally create the landing page. We’ve built our tool with that in mind.

Have any questions? Want to know more? Ty will be talking more about offering landing page services to your clients at the Marketing Agency Growth Accelerator Summit on May 16, 2019. Grab your free ticket to this online event.
How Should I Charge for Landing Page Services?

We’ve seen our agency customers come at this in a variety of ways, each with successful results, but there are two common ways to charge your clients. To decide, you’ll want to understand the extent of the services you want to offer. The model you use will also be dependent on the types of clients you’re working with, and whether you wish to consider landing page management a staple service retainer or an add-on.

Charge on a per landing page basis

If your client is new to the landing page game (or doesn’t require more than a few landing pages) charging on a per page basis makes sense.

However, not all landing pages are created equal.

If your client wants to run custom forms, integrate with other tools like a CRM or marketing automation, or add custom scripts, that’s going to take time. As such, we’ve seen agencies charge anywhere from $200-2,000 per landing page depending on the complexity, time to build, and add ons.

Include Unbounce service in your retainer fee

For agencies that work on a retainer model, a common practice is to incorporate the agency fees for Unbounce into your initial retainer. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to determine the level of service that you can build into your flat rate. But do this without undervaluing any custom work you might have to do. You may or may not choose to add Unbounce as a line item.

Webistry, for instance, charges flat rates for their landing pages that varies based on whether it’s for lead generation or ecomm, the length of the page, and any additional functionality needed. For conversion optimization, it varies depending on the A/B testing requirements, monthly traffic, and the number of campaigns.

Regardless of your approach, determining the level of service required should always come first. (via Hal Gatewood on Unsplash)
Get your client their own Unbounce account

If your client expresses a desire to have control and ownership over the assets you’re creating for them or runs into internal security issues that require them to be the account owners, then getting them their own account makes the most sense. This option is also smart if your client decides to leave you and wants to transfer their landing pages to a new account.

If you’re part of our Partner Program, you can offer your client a free trial as well as 20% off their first three months with Unbounce. In turn, you’ll earn 20% of the recurring revenue for the lifetime of the client, as long as they’re a customer of Unbounce. You can read more about becoming a Partner here. We’ve made it easy.

Capture New Opportunities with Landing Pages

When it comes to your agency business, increasing retention—and growing your revenue—is earned through delivering better campaign performance to your clients.

This is hard to do well when their website doesn’t convert well, but landing pages let you drive traffic to a place designed specifically for conversion. And when you add Unbounce landing pages to your menu of services, you’re also adding conversion optimization, page design, user experience, campaign analytics, and development capabilities—all without needing a designer or developer.

Naccache agrees:

We were able to showcase without a doubt the lift in performance for our customers. It happened immediately and with data to back it all up. This lead to better retention rates and stronger retainers. More so, it differentiated us from our competitors.

We were equipped to talk about optimizing the entire customer journey and brought up points/strategies that piqued the prospect customer’s interest. Doing so also meant an additional stream of revenue, which can’t be ignored.

For your clients, these services are a compelling new opportunity to increase the ROI on the campaigns you’re already running for them. And for you, it’s a chance to impress, retain clients longer, and grow your business.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have in the comments, or chat with an Unbounce agency specialist to learn more about how we can help you make it happen.

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Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketers are among the world’s most talented. They need to be. The pressure to acquire and retain users is high—to put it mildly.

And when you’re a funded startup with investor pressure, as many are, this need to grow and sustain velocity can be yet more acute.

After all, SaaS has a unique character. As technical infrastructure gets standardized and integrations become easier, more and more tools are entering an already crowded marketplace. Marketing your software has always been a challenge, but this overcrowding makes it all the more difficult.

Pay-per-click is a clear and immediate route to market and a powerful weapon for growth marketers in the SaaS arena. Ads can be turned on and off overnight, and attribution can be shown clearly, provided you set up goals correctly. PPC also offers superior agility when paired with a landing page tool like Unbounce. And it works like a dream for anyone who takes an iterative testing approach.

But should you build a lead pipeline by targeting top-of-funnel prospects to nurture? Or should you be seeking direct signups to your product?

What’s the best way to set up a compelling offer for your SaaS PPC landing pages?

There’s certainly nuance here. Either approach can work, depending on your business. (You might even use both.) In this article, I’ll highlight lessons learned from real-world experience and show how to uncover the best approach for your SaaS enterprise.

Using SaaS PPC for Lead Nurturing

What does top-of-funnel lead nurturing for SaaS include, exactly?

Usually, it involves the paid promotion of content: either directly promoting gated content via landing pages or promoting blog posts with a specified CTA.

Unbounce users will be familiar with this strategy, no doubt. For example, we can spin up landing pages with forms that provide access to an ebook, guide, or white paper. These can then be supported by blog content published elsewhere, and you can build the sales funnel with nurturing in mind.

An example of a landing page offering an ebook download in exchange for contact information.

You could also offer a more interactive lead magnet, such as an online calculator, quiz, or survey. The trade-off is that people must supply their contact details to realize the value.

After our top-of-funnel prospect interacts with—or downloads—this gated content, we push a double opt-in (for GDPR) and feed the individual into an automated nurturing sequence (an email marketing journey). Most advanced SaaS brands optimize this journey according to pre-planned triggers and actions.

Ultimately, we want this prospect to register for a trial or buy a subscription. But we recognize that touchpoints must be created and optimized along the way.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Lead generation demands real creativity. Unbounce’s Luke Bailey gathered 10 marketing legends and asked them to share their most surprising lead gen examples. Read about their strategies here.
Using SaaS PPC for Direct Signups

So, what does targeting direct signups look like?

Essentially, this means using PPC tactics to drive prospects directly to a product signup. Usually, this would also take place via a landing page, but the CTA is designed to get the prospect through the door and actively using the product.

There are a few models suitable for this purpose: free trial, freemium, and symbolic pricing.

Free Trial

A free trial is often for a limited period, commonly 30 days in the SaaS sphere. Essentially, you grant full access to the product (barring integration complexities), but people will need to upgrade to the subscription if they want to continue beyond this time.

Like many SaaS companies, Moz offers a free trial to encourage product signup.
Freemium

The freemium model opens up a limited set of functionalities to the user. The prospect becomes an active user of this basic SaaS functionality and will upgrade for more advanced features.

Evernote provides a free (but limited) version of their software to entice people to upgrade.
Symbolic Pricing

The symbolic pricing model is uncommon, but our friends over at Ahrefs use it. Their $7/week trial is a strong example of qualifying the commitment of their prospects while monetizing access to full functionality for a limited period. There’s a good chance that if someone isn’t willing to part with this small sum, they’re not a realistic prospect in the first place.

Asking a small amount of money discourages people who aren’t seriously considering the product from signing up for your trial.

Nurturing sequences are not redundant with any of these approaches, but the tactics differ. Ultimately, for free trials and freemium signups, you want to shift them onto a paid plan. For the paid trial, you want to extend this to a full, long-term subscription.

Lead Nurture vs. Direct Signup: Which Is the Best Approach?

I’m a growth marketer who specializes in SaaS. My clients typically want to grow quickly, using a mix of paid and organic channels to acquire users. Once upon a time, I worked with a client on this very question: lead nurture versus direct signup. This problem still comes up regularly.

If only there were just one answer to this question, but a crucial part of SaaS growth marketing is to test different methodologies. This scientific approach is central to optimizing how, where, and when marketing budgets are spent. Gut instinct has its place, but data is king when the pressure to grow is high.

One recent example shows this in action. In this particular scenario, the insights were very telling and allowed us to double-down on the most efficient setup. We set out two campaigns with two distinct landing pages. One prompted the visitor to download an ebook, and the other encouraged a direct signup to the platform’s free trial.

While both PPC campaigns had high conversion rates due to relevant content-audience match, the lead-to-signup rate for the ebook downloaders stood at about 10%. Adding this extra step into the funnel resulted in a 90% drop-off. As a result, this cost per acquisition (CPA) was 15 times higher compared to the direct signup model:

With a simple product and the low barrier to entry, my client’s prospects were ready to sign up to experience the product without the need for extra nurturing.

The lesson here is that without testing, you won’t know which is the best approach.

But there is a rule-of-thumb that we can pull from this example:

  • If your product is simple with super easy setup and low energy commitment, aim for direct acquisition and use supporting content for activation and retention.
  • If your product is complex and demands more from the user to access an account, then there’s merit to using acquisition tactics further down the funnel.

Is there an argument for using both lead nurturing and direct signups simultaneously? Well, if you have distinct target personas for your product, or offer different hooks for each software feature, maybe a combined approach should be on your radar.

Quick Tips for SaaS PPC marketers

With the above in mind, you want to apply the best possible tactics for each approach during your testing phase and beyond. With a half-baked or misguided attempt at either (or both), the results won’t be robust, and you won’t be able to make a decision to choose lead nurture or direct signup.

So, here are six actionable pieces of advice for better SaaS PPC that come from my experience working with SaaS PPC.

Tip 1: Target competitor brand terms

Marketers often miss this low-hanging fruit. You can build a comparison landing page, or discuss why your product is a better alternative. You might also want to be provocative here, but be prepared for the resulting war!

It’s not unusual to see competitors pop up in ads for branded queries.
Tip 2: Adjust campaigns to match the funnel stage

Different keywords denote different buying intent. Bear this in mind when designing campaign structure and budget allocations. For example, a comparison search (“tool X vs. tool Y”) comes earlier in the buyer journey than a pricing search (“tool X pricing”).

Tip 3: Build audiences based on existing users

Ideally, you would segment users based on their usage, and create separate lookalike audiences based on each segment. However, this is only really applicable if you already have a large user base.

Tip 4: Align with the product team

Work closely to understand the benefits of the product and the pain points that it addresses. You want your SaaS PPC campaigns to reflect the product’s capabilities. Don’t write cheques that your product can’t cash, and always address the major pain points for each persona. You must use this information on landing pages and in ad creative.

Tip 5: Adjust campaigns to reflect the overall goal

If your goal is profitability, work towards a CPA that’s lower than the customer’s lifetime value. If your goal is maximum growth, you can acquire users at a loss for a longer time (assuming you can afford this).

Tip 6: Measure campaign effectiveness down the funnel

Don’t just focus on signups. You don’t want to be acquiring prospects who aren’t engaging with your product. Activation and retention metrics per campaign show whether your campaigns are producing the desired result.

As Brian Clark at Copyblogger outlines, you have five different types of prospects to target with your PPC campaigns: the most aware, the product-aware, the solution-aware, the problem-aware, and the completely unaware. You can zone in on these five, in the context of your audience and product.

Of course, for any successful PPC campaign, you will need to sell the benefits of your software in a single page. Test, optimize, and improve (iteratively) your landing page design, structure, visuals, and copy as you gather more data.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Creating a PPC landing page to support your lead gen or signup efforts demands smart design, especially on mobile. Check out these app landing page examples for a lil’ fresh inspiration.
In Conclusion…

Naturally, when we talk about SaaS growth, there’s a lot to consider. And, from onboarding journeys to in-product messaging and more, there’s a lot that needs to be optimized.

With regards to PPC for SaaS, the most important lesson is to test, test, test.

Some of my clients profit from lead nurturing, and some achieve great things with direct signups. Your positioning, product, and audience will determine which is most suitable for your business. However you define your approach, focus on the long-term user engagement and attribution metrics to your specific campaigns.

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