CornerBlue Increases Mobile Conversions by 19% Using MixRank

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Founded in 2006, CornerBlue, Inc. has quickly become a leading mobile marketing agency that specializes in performance-based mobile campaigns.  CornerBlue now manages millions of dollars in mobile advertising annually across multiple verticals including education, insurance, and finance.

 

With their growing list of clients, CornerBlue’s team experienced increased pressure to rapidly launch mobile ads in verticals they had not tested before.  In order to efficiently and strategically drive their campaigns, the agency sought insights from real-time industry data.  They needed a solution that delivered proven ad copy and profitable placements to alleviate the time of testing each creative and website.

 

For reliable data, CornerBlue adopted MixRank’s solution because of its abundant amount of indexed ads across every industry.  MixRank offered CornerBlue verified advertising strategies that they used to kickoff new campaigns.  With MixRank, CornerBlue consistently found relevant contextual ad copy and traffic sources for a variety of verticals including the education and finance verticals. 

 

As a result, the intelligent search engine saved the CornerBlue team 25% of their time to set up campaigns, allowing them to focus on other optimization strategies such as researching negative keywords and setting appropriate keyword bids. Since deploying MixRank, CornerBlue’s mobile campaigns have increased daily conversions by 19%.

 

“Our team has found MixRank tremendously useful for our mobile ad campaigns. We use MixRank regularly. The ad copies and traffic sources allow us to jumpstart new campaigns and hit the ground running.”

— Arthur Chaparyan, CEO of CornerBlue

 

Are daily deal sites the right marketing program for your business? – Part 4

Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social are taking off with consumers, but how do you decide if it’s the right marketing program for your business?  Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series explains the top 5 things to consider before participating in a daily deal site.   Part 3 covers three types of business models who will most likely succeed from a daily deal site.

 

Today’s post is the final piece of this series, discussing the business types that will most likely suffer from this marketing strategy.  The reason being: the business will take a financial loss up front and have a slim chance of converting those coupon-hunting consumers into loyal return-customers.

 

You may consider refraining from a daily deal site if you fall within these Top 3 Business Types That Will Suffer From Daily Deal Sites.

 

1.  Established local businesses with loyal customers:  If you’re in good financial standing right now, growing and selling at the projected pace, why mess that up?  There are many local businesses that have regular customers and consistent sales that make ends meet.  There’s no reason to risk taking a financial loss when you’re already doing so well!

 

2.  Products with low profit margins:  Marketing programs are supposed to cost you money initially but should bring in leads and new lifetime customers over time.  For daily deal sites, it’s hard to forecast what will come of it; what if your existing customers purchase the deal?  Then you’ve cut even deeper into your potential profit.  So, if you are selling a product with a low (anything less than 50%) profit margin, a daily deal program will guarantee financial failure. Instead, you should try a direct marketing approach and offer a similar coupon via snail mail.  This way you won’t have to give half of that revenue away and you only take a loss on those who use the coupon.

 

3.  Luxury goods: Coupon clippers aren’t your target market, so are you really going to get new lifetime customers from this deal?  Probably not. And, isn’t the whole reason why people pay thousands of dollars on luxury items is because of their exclusivity?  If word gets out that you’re offering heavy discounts on authentic merchandise, your actual target market may no longer value your brand.  Beware of how a daily deal site could inflict your brand presence among your existing customers.

 

Bonus: Service-based businesses: If you’re offering massages, mani-pedis, or even an educational class at a discount, the people who purchase your service through a daily deal site would rather continue to look for another similar deal than pay full price.  Here’s the logic behind this: all of these services are offered to enhance someone’s life, but aren’t necessarily required to live.  So, from a consumer’s perspective, someone who already knows that coupons exist, why bother paying full price?  Here’s my recommendation to capitalize on these “deal-hunters”: it’ll be hard to convert these new leads into lifetime customers based on price alone.  Make sure you provide amazing service during these sessions and consider offering a loyalty card or reward system if they return for more.  For example, you could offer a free mani-pedi for every 10 she pays for.

 

Good luck with your marketing programs! Follow me on Twitter or add me to your Google+ circles for more marketing insights.

 

Beckertime Increases Daily Traffic by 8%

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Founded in 1998 by father-son watch enthusiasts, Beckertime is one of the largest providers of pre-owned luxury brand watches generating over $1 million in monthly sales revenue.  In 2011, the online retailer turned to KOMI Marketing to manage its digital marketing efforts.

 

As Beckertime and KOMI Marketing sought to expand its online presence, they faced a bottleneck when trying to build high quality links.  The process of researching and finding relevant high-traffic websites for link building was taking a significant amount of time, preventing them from engaging in other search engine optimization (SEO) strategies like content generation and social media.

 

In order to improve the link building research process, Beckertime and KOMI Marketing leveraged MixRank’s intelligent search engine to find quality traffic sources in seconds.  Using MixRank, KOMI Marketing instantly uncovered over 50 websites relevant to Beckertime and started building links at a constant pace.

 

With MixRank’s easy-to-find data, KOMI Marketing and Beckertime saved 90% of the time on its research for link building, freeing them up to focus on other SEO strategies and marketing campaigns.  Additionally, by building links on these websites, Beckertime and KOMI Marketing have seen a steady 8% increase in unique visitors every day.

 

“MixRank’s traffic sources for related ads are really awesome for link building. Without PPC, I’ve seen a significant boost in unique visitors every day from these backlinks.”

 

— Joseph Chambers, CEO of KOMI Marketing

 

Founded as a search engine marketing agency in 2009, KOMI Marketing has since grown into an online marketing company that provides SEO, web development, and social media services.  In addition to working with Beckertime, KOMI Marketing builds and manages integrated online marketing programs for clients in a variety of verticals, including apparel, jewelry, and furniture.  KOMI Marketing has standardized with MixRank as its primary search engine for link building research.

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More Targeting Control With Flexible Reach On The Google Display Network

Last week, Google announced the new “Flexible reach” option on the Display Network.  This option will eventually replace Broad reach and Specific reach, the current targeting options available at the campaign level:

 

  • Broad reach shows your ads on pages that match the primary targeting method
  • Specific reach shows ads on pages that match all of your targeting methods

 

Flexible reach allows you to diversify your targeting at the ad group level.  With flexible reach, you can do the following all at the ad group level:

 

  • Select any combination of multiple targeting options
  • Combine different methods of targeting and bidding

 

For example, when adding placements to an ad group, you can either target only these placements or use these placements for bidding only.  When you only target these placements, you can set specific bids for these placements but your ads will only appear on these sites, eliminating your ads being shown anywhere else.  To use these placements for bidding only, you can also set specific bids on them, but this option also allows your ad to appear on other sites based on your keywords or other targeting methods within the ad group.

 

This new feature provides transparency into how your targeting selections are affecting the reach and impression volume of your campaigns.  When Flexible reach is enabled, by default, new ad groups will have the targeting setting selected when you add targeting methods to them, like placements. The same default setting applies when you add targeting methods to or delete targeting methods from your existing ad groups.

 

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Are you ready to fine-tune where your ads appear by using the Flexible reach setting at the ad group level?  Learn more about using and enabling Flexible reach at the AdWords Help Center.

 

8 Tips for Optimizing your Landing Page Conversion Rates

This guest post is by Jonny Steel, Director of Business Development at ClickTale.


You wake up one morning and decide that you would like to double the amount of traffic to your website. Great idea! Your immediate instinct might be to dig deep and succeed to double your marketing budget. However, a much smarter first move (and much easier) is to maximize your landing page conversion rates without spending an extra penny. Often, a series of quick wins, together with some more thorough analysis and testing, can leave you with far better conversion rates.

 

Based on our experience at ClickTale working with some of the biggest brands in e-commerce, travel, entertainment and financial services, here are our top eight tips for landing page optimization:

 

1.
Test, Test and Always be Testing
– Even the best designers and usability experts in the world cannot know for sure which message, image and call-to-action will convert best. Don’t ever let the “HIPPO” in the room dictate your decisions (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, in case you didn’t know). A simple A/B test or a more sophisticated multivariate test will show you how real visitors actually respond to the different versions.

2.
Visualize your Visitors
– You may have several elements on your landing page such as a sign-up form, key value proposition, image, testimonial, special offer and more. Web analytics will show you the click-through rate or conversion rate of the landing page, but you also need to know which elements your visitors actually looked at and what they ignored. ClickTale’s Visitor Recordings and Heatmap Suite show you exactly what your visitors do – where they hover, click, and scroll. You can watch recordings of individual visitors as if you’re sitting behind them or analyze hundreds of visitors on Heatmaps. This visualization of visitor behavior arms you with the knowledge of what content helps to boost conversions and what is just a distraction.

3.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
– Always remind yourself that you were not the first person to drive traffic to a website or create a relevant landing page. You may have direct competitors or at least other businesses in your space. MixRank Professional is a great tool for easy landing page research showing you what similar marketers are testing, the changes they make and reveal what they have learned through experience.

4.
Fantastic Forms
– Your landing page may have a simple call to action button, but in many cases you actually want to collect visitors’ information through a simple registration form. You are always split between keeping it short versus collecting more data to make your job easier later on. Rather than basing your decision-making on guesswork, ClickTale’s Form Analytics identifies all the fields in your form and shows you, for each one, where visitors abandon the form, take long to complete, encounter errors or leave it blank. This way you’ll have the most optimized forms possible.

5.
Know Your Goals
– One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is “what is the goal of my landing page?” Sometimes you want to communicate what you do and get visitors to just start clicking. On other occasions, you want them to give you their email address, or even make an immediate payment. Whatever your goal, absolutely everything on the page must be geared towards it. You may have other messages you would like to communicate but if they don’t correspond with your key message, then you’re better off without it. Focus on your value, take out the noise and let yourself be heard.

6.
Clear Call to Action
– The main CTA button must be clear, prominent and seen by all. You’ll be amazed how many leading websites have their call to action button below the fold, hidden among other content or simply not compelling enough. You may want something simple like “Start Now”, “Register Today” or “Free Trial”. On other occasions a slightly longer message might work better like “Start Saving Money Today” or “Try Our No-Risk 30-day Free Trial”. Only testing will help you discover what works best for your visitors.

7.
Build Trust
– Your visitors may be first-timers who don’t know you. One of the most important goals of your landing page must be to reassure them that you are a reliable website which offers them great value. There are plenty of ways to do this but a good first step is to include a handful of logos of existing customers or quotes from satisfied users. If you’ve been featured in any well-known newspapers or websites, add their logos too. They don’t need to take up much space or attention but just to be there to subtly communicate this message.

8.
Lower the Risk
– Make it a no-brainer to proceed. You want visitors who have clicked through to your landing page to spend no more than 30 seconds looking at your page and be convinced that it makes sense to get started. The message in your marketing campaigns should flow smoothly into the landing page. With a key value proposition, simple form, evidence from customers and/or press coverage and of course an attractive design, you will minimize any obstacles. If you can offer them something with zero risk, like a free trial or an opportunity to browse or play without an initial payment, there will be little to hold them back!

 

About the Author

Jonny Steel is Director of Business Development at ClickTale, responsible for all partnerships, whether agencies or technology partners. With a background in e-commerce, he understands the desperate struggle websites face to understand what their customers are actually doing on the site. His main concern at ClickTale is developing a host of valuable integrations for our customers and ensuring that our valued partners are getting all the support they need. Jonny holds a law degree and MA in War Studies from Kings College, London.

About ClickTale

ClickTale is the leader in Customer Experience Analytics, the next advance in web analytics, optimizing usability and maximizing conversion rates of any website. Its patented Customer Experience Visualization™ technology allows ebusinesses to see their customers’ true-to-life online experience at all levels of detail, from aggregated views to playable videos of users’ browsing sessions. Unlike traditional analytics platforms that assess page-to-page navigation, ClickTale reveals the customer experience inside the page. ClickTale, an enterprise-class SaaS solution, is fast to deploy and provides immediate ROI. Serving over 2,000 customers worldwide including Fortune 500 ebusinesses, ClickTale is the fastest growing company in its space.

Are Daily Deal Sites The Right Marketing Program For Your Business? – Part 3

Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social are blowing up all over the web.  I’m sure you’ve been wondering, “how do I decide if Groupon is the right marketing program for my business?” 

 

Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series explains the 5 Most Important Factors Marketers Should Consider Before Participating In Any Daily Deals Site.  Today’s discussion will focus on business types that would see significant results with this type of marketing program. 

 

Consider growing your customer list with a daily deal site if you’re business falls within the Top 3 Business Types That Will Benefit From A Daily Deal Site:

 

1. New Local Businesses – A lot of daily deal sites require users to add their location to sign-up for deals in their area.  New local businesses are already operating at a loss.  Although a daily deal site wouldn’t provide any immediate financial gains, these new businesses could really benefit from the geo-targeted exposure.

2. Subscription-based products – Subscription-based products could include magazines, data and/or software applications.  The costs for subscription-based products are fairly low to offer the subscription to another buyer, but the potential gains from customers becoming full subscribers are rather high. 

3. Software products – For software products, the product is already built.  Your main goal with software is to sell the license to more people.  The beauty of daily deal sites allows you to offer the software at a discounted price, but possibly acquiring a lifetime customer.  Once someone is familiar with your software, you’ll benefit from all the additional revenue generated from a loyal customer.

 

Check out the last piece of this blog series. It warns you about the types of businesses that should refrain from participating in a daily deal site and why. Have an opinion about daily deal sites? Feel free to share them with me by commenting on this blog post.

 

Thanks for reading! For more marketing insights, follow me on Twitter or add me to your Google+ circles.

 

Are Daily Deal Sites The Right Marketing Program For Your Business? – Part 2

There has been a ton of negative press around Groupon and similar daily deal sites for businesses.  However, there have also been some huge success stories.  So, as a marketer, how do you decide if Groupon is the right marketing program for your business? 

 

In the last post, I walked you through three of the 5 Most Important Factors Marketers Should Consider Before Participating In Any Daily Deals Site.  Here are the last 2 plus an added bonus tip:

 

Target Market:  Many daily deal site subscribers are coupon hunters. Is that in line with your target audience?  There are several other factors to consider including a potential customer’s demographics, income, and location.  Make sure to find out exactly whom the deal will be sent to before participating.  You want to make sure that the deal site is going to target a highly relevant audience.  If you don’t believe the audience is relevant to your business, pass on the daily deal sites.

 

Terms & Conditions:  When you’re done evaluating the previous factors for a daily deal site and still want to move forward, there is one last thing you should consider before approving your coupon.  Make sure to include your additional terms and conditions.  It should make sense for your business goals (financial, marketing and performance goals).  I’ve heard of a few horror stories in which some business owners did not add terms and conditions before the deal went live, dampening their campaign performance and incurring significant losses. Here are just a few of the terms you can include:

  • Expiration date
  • Limited number of purchases
  • Limited number of redeemable coupons per visit
  • Availability to all or new customers only
  • Valid on certain products, items, or times of the day (for example: coupon not valid on clearance items, coupon not valid during happy hour, etc) 

 

Bonus Tip: Try asking for a reference from the daily deal site.  Getting a reference from a business that offers similar goods or services to you would be the most useful so you can understand exactly how their promotion went.  However, if you’re not comfortable talking to the competition, any reference is probably better than none, right? Just keep in mind that references are provided by the site, and they most likely wouldn’t refer you to someone who had a truly negative experience.  On the other hand though, you do have the ability to ask deeper questions that you can’t find in a case study, so it’s a golden opportunity to gain answers to your burning questions!

 

Read Part 3, introducing my recommendations for types of businesses that would benefit from participating in daily deals sites. Part 4 will cover businesses models that should refrain from daily deals sites and why.

 

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter or add me to your Google+ circles for more marketing insights.  If you’ve tried running a coupon on a daily deal site, share your story with me!

 

Are Daily Deal Sites The Right Marketing Program For Your Business? – Part 1

There has been a ton of negative press around Groupon and similar daily deal sites for businesses.  However, there has also been some huge success stories that inspire us to embrace this type of marketing channel.  So, as a marketer, how do you decide if Groupon is the right marketing program for your business? Part 1 of this 4-part series covers what factors you should consider before participating in any daily deals site.

 

5 Most Important Factors Marketers Should Consider Before Participating In Any Daily Deals Site:

 

Profit Margin of Your Product/Service: Marketers have to look at the numbers before offering any type of coupon.  That’s a given for any marketing program.  However, with a daily deal site, companies like Groupon pocket half of the money from the sold coupons and they typically want coupons that 50% off or more. So, what does that mean for you? You’ll need to carefully understand what type of profit margins you are giving up with this promotion.  For example, say your merchandise has a typical profit margin of 75% and you’re offering a Groupon for 50% off.  Any consumer who buys and uses the Groupon will be taking straight from your profit margin, leaving you with a 25% profit margin.  However, since Groupon absolves half of the paid Groupon value, for any coupon users, you end up breaking even.  In that case, would it make much sense for you to participate in this program if your profit margin is less than 75%? This leads to the next factor to consider. 

 

Performance Goals: What are your performance goals with coupons?  There are a number of goals you can have, but here are a top few: financial gains, selling products during their shelf-life, and/or consumer awareness goals.  Financially, if you’re not prepared to take a loss for any kind, there’s no point in participating in a daily deal site unless you’ve done the math and will for sure, come out ahead.  On the other hand, if you know you are going to take a loss, Groupons may still make sense for your business, especially if you need to sell products before their shelf-life expires.  Similarly, a Groupon could be helpful for your company to get exposed to hundreds of thousands of locals.  When evaluating how much you would pay for consumer awareness, think about your marketing program’s end-goals.

 

Marketing Program End-Goal: Whether you’re a new business or a business that’s ambitious to grow, acquiring new customers should be a top priority.  You’ll most likely need to run some kind of promotion  to generate demand and start building a loyal customer base.  Groupon or any similar daily deal site that has a potential to reach millions could be a great program to start generating demand.  So, think about these questions when evaluating Groupon as a viable marketing solution for your business.  What is your projected or actual customer lifetime value?  How much are you willing to pay for a lead or potential loyal customer?  Is that more or less than the profit margin you risk losing from a daily deals site?  Given that you get potential loyal customers at a price you’re willing to pay with Groupon, maybe it’s worth trying out?

 

Well before you jump the gun, there are 2 other factors you should consider before agreeing to participate in a daily deals site.  Read Part 2 of our series for two additional factors you should consider when deciding if daily deals sites are right for your business.

 

Part 3 will introduce types of businesses that would benefit from participating in daily deals sites and Part 4 discusses businesses models that should refrain from daily deals sites and why.

 

Follow me on Twitter or add me to your Google+ circles for more marketing insights.

 

How to Take Action with AdWords’ Auction Insights Data

Google’s recent release of the Auction Insights report is a keyword-level report for search ads that shows competitors who are participating in the same auctions as you.  Similar to us at MixRank, Google knows the importance of monitoring and uncovering competitor ad trends to optimize campaigns – and now Google provides you the data to act upon it.

 

The report provides these five metrics at the keyword-level: impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate.  Since an online campaign is never fully optimized, any additional data you can use to enhance your campaigns is worth analyzing.  The most actionable data points from this report are:

 

  • Impression Share:  This metric was previously only available at the ad-group and campaign level.  Identifying impression share down to the keyword level offers you a clear-cut answer to which keywords you should increase bids on.
  • Top of Page Rate:  Make sure your top of page rate is 100% for all branded terms.  If not, bid higher for branded keywords.  You certainly don’t want a competitor’s ad showing above the organic results for your brand.
  • Average Position:  Although you won’t be able to pinpoint why an advertiser’s average position moves up or down, you can make an educated guess that their Quality Score and click-through rate most likely went up or down.  For advertisers with a higher average position over time, consider using similar ad copy.

 

If you’re a fan of the Auction Insights report, you’ll find MixRank’s similar data for display ads fairly interesting.  Try MixRank to uncover competitor ads and industry trends for contextual and display ads.  Free to register: www.mixrank.com/register

 

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter or add me to your Google+ circles to learn more about actionable online advertising data.

 

3 Reasons Why Twitter Advertising Needs To Improve

Below is a video of how Twitter Advertising works. Twitter offers promoted tweets and promoted accounts.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e5H9b9IM_Q?rel=0]

Here are three reasons why Twitter Advertising needs to improve:

 

1.  No optimization tools: Twitter’s biggest selling points with its advertising model include the ease of use and the low-maintenance campaign structure.  The promoted tweets don’t require you to create any additional ad creative, and you get to choose which tweets you want and do not want to promote.  But wait, what if you wanted to improve your Twitter Advertising performance?  Well, guess what. You can’t.  Twitter will charge you based on your set-budget, and there is currently no optimization tools that will allow you to increase followers or engagements at a lower cost.  Without full control over the placement of the campaigns, Twitter eliminates the possibility of increasing optimization.

 

2.  No targeting options:  With Twitter’s set-it and forget-it advertising model, this significantly limits your ability to target precise interests or specific people.  For example, it would be pretty sweet if Twitter could offer the ability to target promoted accounts to a competitor’s followers.  Well too bad, because this isn’t currently available.

 

3.  No payment options: You know how Google gives you the option to either pay per click or pay per impression?  With Twitter’s promoted tweets, you only get one option – pay per engagement.  And engagements can include clicks, re-tweets, replies, and favorites.  However, some advertisers may only want to pay per click, or pay per reply.  As a marketer, I personally would value clicks more than favorites.  I also might be willing to pay more for a re-tweet than I would pay for a click.  Twitter should really consider offering different budget options for performance advertisers who place different values for each action that is taken from a promoted tweet.

 

Twitter has a long way to go in terms of its advertising capabilities.  As Twitter Advertising gains maturity in the industry, I’m sure advertisers will want to know which tweets performed better, in terms of engagements per impressions.  This will help them understand what kind of tweet campaigns they should continue or stop running.

 

I’d also be very curious to discover how the algorithm identifies “people with similar interests.”  What criteria is Twitter using for that?  Especially since Twitter only requires a name, email and password to sign up as a user, how does Twitter know what their interests are?  Is Twitter really attracting the right audience for you?

 

Thanks for reading! Please share your experience with Twitter Advertising. I’m very interested in success stories and failures.  For more advertising insights, follow me on Twitter or add me to your Google+ circles.