The Point

Archive for the ‘Web-based marketing’ Category

Jun

Entrepreneur Pekka Koskinen Shares Effective SaaS Marketing Tactics

Effective SaaS Marketing Tactics

Want to pick-up some marketing tactics and tips from a battle-tested pro?

Pekka Koskinen is a serial software entrepreneur in B2B SaaS space who calls Helsinki, Finland home. His latest venture, Leadfeeder, is Pekka’s fourth.

Since so many of my clients are forever in search of the most effective tactics for marketing and selling SaaS platforms, I asked Pekka to do an interview for this blog. I wanted I’d ask Pekka about the various strategies he believes can accelerate the success of startup SaaS companies and share them with you.

Meet Pekka

Barry: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about Leadfeeder to get started?

Pekka: Leadfeeder is an online tool, which helps generate leads for your sales team. We offer B2B companies knowledge about which companies have visited their website and what they’ve done there.

The problem we’re solving: only 2% of the website visitors leave their contact details. But based on their IP address we can tell which companies the rest of the visitors are from.

By connecting that information with your CRM information you’re able to see how your existing customers, your ongoing deals, and new prospects visit your website and what they do there. You generate more intelligence and effectiveness to the sales team.

Barry: You still are invested in and advise other software companies, so tell our viewers a little bit about some of these other initiatives.

Pekka: This is in fact my second startup in the web analytics space. I founded my first startup in 2004. It was a web analytics company called Snoobi. At the time, there wasn’t yet Google Analytics. That tool just told you how many people you have on your website, what do they do there, where do they come from, and typical web analytics stuff.

I ran that company for eight years. We became one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe. In 2012, I ended up selling that company and by then it was around 60 people working there. Since I knew the web analytics space and I knew what was missing, I found this opportunity with Leadfeeder to build a sales tool on top of Google Analytics.

Barry: In your bio it says you are a Startup Sauna coach. That’s an interesting description of whatever it actually is. What is it?

Pekka: In Finland, all of the big business deals are made inside saunas.

Barry: Saunas?

Pekka: Yeah, I was just kidding… Startup Sauna is a startup acceleration program in Helsinki. It’s a six-week program for 15 teams selected from 1,000 applicants all around Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. They come to Finland and we coach them for six weeks. So I’m very involved with helping them with everything related to building a business from scratch: marketing, sales, business model, pricing, and product.

Analytics are all-important 

Barry: You’re a mentor and you’ve got yourself quite a bit of momentum with Leadfeeder, so you must be doing something right. If you look back or even if you look at other companies, are they doing something wrong? Do B2B SaaS companies often make the same mistakes?

Pekka: I try to do things in a really pragmatic order. So in the beginning, when you don’t have anything, the only way you can drive traffic to your website is basically to buy AdWords or Facebook marketing.

What I see many times is that people are not putting enough effort in analytics. So how we did it is that we started from the beginning to really track what is the cost for conversion that we are getting and then when we were adding other traffic sources we already had the tracking in place.

I would say that putting the tracking in place in the early phase and then making sure that all the traffic sources are tagged (with UTM tags, for example) so you can identify the sources, it’s really important.

For me, this is the only way to do this, but I still see many B2B companies not using analytics when they are doing marketing and I cannot understand how you can manage your Internet marketing without knowing what’s happening.

Barry: Right. And Leadfeeder itself is a tool for that, helping you understand who came to your website.

Pekka: Kind of, yeah, but Leadfeeder is for sales guys. It’s for identifying who was there. But then if we talk about how to drive greater traffic to the website, then Google Analytics probably is the most important tool there.

But what I see many times is that companies have installed Google Analytics on their website, but it’s not configured well. You need to have goals and funnels in place. We’re using a lot of custom segments in Google Analytics to analyze how our existing customers are using our website compared to the new people that we are getting to the website.

Generating traffic with partner programs 

Barry: So it all starts with traffic and you talked about paying for it with AdWords and Facebook—obviously two places with massive audiences and well-known advertising programs. But those cost money, and so you want to do something organically to keep the budget in check. So what could you do to create organic traffic as a B2B SaaS startup?

Pekka: That’s true, when you go forward with the paid advertising it’s going to be really costly. What we wanted to do is to have others market us.

So we generated this partner program, for example, that enables digital marketing agencies to recommend us to their clients. If we can get traffic and trials through those channels then we give kickback commissions to the agency. And what that has done is that the agencies are speaking about us quite a lot to their customers. Some of creates direct traffic from their website.

But most people just Google “Leadfeeder” and come to our website, so we’ve been seeing quite a big increase in organic traffic in those areas where we have most active partners.

Then there’s search engine optimization—definitely a really important thing for how we can get traffic affordably from Google. What that in in practice means is generating good quality content on our blog and getting links from other websites to our website, and that way increase the domain authority.

Generating traffic with quality blog content

Barry: Now you’re talking my business here, content marketing. We’re talking about blogging. Have you been a proponent for using a blog to generate search-based traffic for a while now and for your various companies?

Pekka: In Leadfeeder we’ve been doing this now for a year more actively. In my other companies we haven’t been doing that so much. I think the whole content marketing tactics became important in the last maybe three years. Definitely, at Leadfeeder, that’s our most important way to do marketing.

Generating traffic with digital PR 

Barry: I see on your homepage, and I’ve scrolled partially down, social proof, which is testimonials and client logos. So let’s assume that’s a tactic everybody wants and should have.

But then I see the probably not-so-easy-to-achieve “As seen in.” These are big media brands. Here it says Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fox, Mashable, and Social Media Examiner, and I’m sure there’s more. Those are definitely highly coveted websites. How did that happen? That sounds like an unpaid promotional plan.

Pekka: Yeah. It’s kind of like a combination of unpaid and paid. We are a using a PR agency to hook us up with journalists from these media and that’s how these have happened. We haven’t had the connections, so that’s where the PR agency helped us the most. But then the content is partly done by us and then partly done with the assistance of the PR agency.

Barry: Obviously you’re a proponent of knowing where your traffic comes from. Is appearing on websites like Mashable one of the better traffic generators?

Pekka: It really depends on the article. For example, in Social Media Examiner, there was a really great article about us that got shared 2,000 times, or something like that. That really generated a lot of quality traffic for us and lots of people signed up for Leadfeeder from that traffic.

But it really depends. Now we’ve been getting really good traffic from Entrepreneur.com. But from analytics we can only the fraction of the benefits. So we can see the direct traffic, but then we’re also seeing that once there is a big PR piece, there is also an increase in organic traffic from Google.

Barry: That’s the idea. I certainly advise my clients to play the guest blogging game, because when you put a website together very few people are on it, whether you have a blog or not.

Leadfeeder partners with Google

I was reading just this morning, and I guess this is relatively new news, your product works with Google Analytics. Sounds like you have some pretty exciting announcement about a partnership with Google.

Pekka: Our product is built on top of Google Analytics API, so we are a pretty heavy user of their API. We have a really good relationship with their marketing team and their product team and last month we were in their headquarters recording a video about how to generate leads using Google Analytics and Leadfeeder. You can see that on Google Analytics YouTube channel. It was a pretty good place to be, to be promoted by Google.

Barry: I would think so. Is there more to come or is that a one-off?

Pekka: There is more to come. We are also doing a cooperation with MailChimp and Pipedrive and these other players, but of course Google is the biggest of our partners.

Google Analytics is a great tool for marketing people, but then if sales people want to know what’s happening on the website, then Leadfeeder makes the Google Analytics information valuable for the sales guys. So that’s how we are complementing each other.

Leadfeeder’s conversion strategies  

Barry: We’ve talked quite a bit about partnerships, public relations, paid advertising, things that bring people to your website.

This little formula is almost “no duh” it’s so obvious, but I’ve heard it from my friend Andy Crestodina who says…

Traffic x Conversion = Results (or outcomes)

So let’s talk about conversion. How do you get people to do what you want them to do, and what is that thing that you want them to do when they’re on the Leadfeeder website?

Pekka: The first thing is the landing page. Most of the people come to our front page, so we want to make sure that the message comes fast. There is also a video to explain what Leadfeeder is about. So that’s the most typical way people come to our website.

But then if there are some special channels—for example, Pipedrive’s blo—they’re linking to our blog post about how we integrate with them. So we have created source-specific landing pages that kind of tie together our message and the message of the site where the traffic comes from.

So if you come from Salesforce’s website, you land to our Salesforce page, which explains what this is. That has been really important in order to engage people further, because if you just push everybody to the front page they are not going to convert.

Barry: I’ve read a lot about that, the source-specific landing page. Great idea… great tactic… What’s next? What’s offered to them when they land on a source-specific landing page?

Pekka: The first thing is to try to give them value. So we understand that they are the users of some other tool or they just read some other article. So first we need to connect with that. So we create some value and explain how we could help them.

We’ve seen that if we try too much to push people from the blog post to our signup, that doesn’t really work. For example, if we write about “best tools for social media marketing,” people come to our website, but they are not necessarily yet ready to sign up for our tool.

So what we try to have them do is to go to our product page. We’ll offer some video and we are tracking that as a conversion for that traffic. I was telling you about the importance of tracking, but you need to track the right things. So if you always track everything based on how many signup conversions you are having, you might go wrong. So you need to have the micro-conversations also set up in the analytics.

Leadfeeder’s conversion strategies

Barry: Are you also trying to capture their email address?

Pekka: We decided not to do that actively. On the blog we have a place where you can subscribe to our blog posts, but we‘ve tried to encourage people to sign up for the tool, because it’s so easy to try. You just need to connect your Google Analytics and that’s it.

Barry: I suppose in the B2B SaaS business it’s more important to get them to touch and feel the product and you said there is no steep slope to get there with Leadfeeder, so they can do it quickly.

So even though you’re talking about soft selling, or not coming on too strong, when they get to a landing page that’s specific to something they just read, you are indeed giving them a button to push if they want to try the product or see a demo, right?

Pekka: Yeah, exactly. We have this product videos for demos on the website, that’s one thing. We also have a chat on the website so people can engage through that, but really we’ve tried to make signing up for the actual product as easy as possible. No credit card is needed. You have a 30 day free trial. It’s a one-minute signup process. So that’s what we want them to do.

Barry: That’s good stuff. Marketers call that reducing friction. Well, that’s Pekka Koskinen coming to us from Helsinki where he helps people in the sauna.

Pekka: Yeah, it’s so cold here, so you need to be in the sauna all the time.

 

 

Apr

What’s the Difference Between a Landing Page and Homepage? (Featuring 11 Conversion Tips for Landing Pages)

landing page difference

“Landing page” and “homepage” don’t mean the same thing.

Though many visitors to your website are bound to first land on your homepage, in the marketer’s lexicon, the two terms are not synonymous. They have different objectives.

I’ll begin with a fundamental idea that sets them apart.

  • The primary objective of a homepage is to inspire the visitor to go to another page—a page that satisfies their informational needs.
  • The primary objective of the landing page is to be the page that satisfies their informational needs.

It helps to think of a landing page as a “response page.” While a homepage can be deemed successful in a number of ways, and perhaps, also, in varying degrees, the landing page gets a simple pass or fail grade. It passes by achieving a conversion and fails otherwise.

But not so fast. Unbounce, a leading authority on landing pages, claims landing pages come in two varieties:

  1. Click-through landing pages aim to get visitors to click through to another page. This type of page is commonly used in ecommerce models because visitors are unlikely to buy when first landing on a checkout page. The page is likely to offer product details in hopes that it will inspire the visitor to click and buy.
  2. Lead generation landing pages are used to capture leads via a form. They typically describe an offer and call for visitors to submit an email address, and possibly more data, to complete a non-financial transaction. Note that the term “squeeze page” is also used to describe this type of page.

landing page is usually linked (or the destination of) a traffic-building device of some sort from an outside source. Pay-per-click ads, social posts and ads, or emails are common examples.

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Jan

Website Navigation Matters [Content Matters Episode 21]

Content Matters 21

Could something as basic as your website’s menu bar actually have a meaningful effect on your visitor’s experience? .

Listen to this edition of Content Matters as Andy and Barry discuss how website navigation can effect traffic, conversion and user experience.

Listen to “Website Navigation Matters [21]” on Spreaker.

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Jan

Lead Magnet Ideas, Titles and Templates to Capture More Leads

 

Lead magnet ideas titles and templates

I’ve been bringing you lessons about lead magnets because they’re critical for growing your email list.

I’m not done yet. I’m going to bring it in this one by offering a litany of ideas for lead magnets with titles and templates you can easily adapt to capture more leads from your website.

A quick review, if you missed the prior posts (and offers)…

I’m putting all this effort into helping you create and promote lead magnets because I feel so strong about the need to grow your email list and put the power of email marketing to work. Let’s face it: social media’s a bit slippery to rely on for lead generation and ranking on search is damn difficult for most—especially if you’re an early stage content creator.

Should either search, social, advertising, or any channel succeed in driving traffic to your site, you still lose the battle when visitors come and go without joining your list, getting in touch, trying or buying your product.

The bottom line is you need to give your visitors a reason to give you the keys to their inbox.

And that reason is…? Ultra-strength content… the keeper kind.

You need to offer content that beams from the screen the magic power it takes to get people to type their email address.

This is an exercise to help you crank out killer lead magnets

Our lead magnet creation class shall now commence. I’m glad you’re here. You’ll want to take notes, brainstorm with me, and definitely download the free Lead Magnets Template Kit.

The goal is to inspire powerful lead magnet ideas—featuring compelling titles and attractive covers—that go from being mine to being yours, in a short span of time.

The session will feature:

  • Lead magnet titles that have converted at a high rate for my company and clients.
  • Additional great lead magnet ideas from around the web.
  • Variations on the ideas to help kick start your next lead magnet.
  • And little in-article workshops or brainstorms to ignite the creative process.

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Dec

32 Ways a Digital Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

A lot of clients—marketing professionals and business owners—get in touch and ask me to help plan, write, and create websites, eBooks, and blog posts. That’s far from a complete list, but three common requests.

On the other hand, a lot of clients reach out to me without a specific task list in mind. They know they want to grow their business. They know they want to produce traffic, leads and sales. And they think they need the help of digital marketing consultant.

They’re right, but their question is often oh-so-broad: “How can you help me?”

Shwew. My answer could be any number of things and at that point, not having the benefit of knowing where their digital marketing currently stands, I’m seldom able to quickly deliver a perfect answer.

I certainly don’t want to blurt out a specific digital marketing tactic… “YouTube is the answer” or “An email campaign will make rain for you.” That’d be reckless.

A digital marketing consultant should recommend tactics based on needs identified from a carefully considered audit. I’m a strategist. I’m a copywriter. But I’ve been doing digital marketing since it existed, so there are a substantial number of ways I can help you grow your business through digital marketing.

Here they are.

The list won’t magically nail an effective strategy, but my hope is it’ll provide some answers to the “How can you help me?” question and give us lots to talk about.

 

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Dec

A Lead Magnet Promotion Checklist to Build Your Email List Faster [Free Checklist]

lead magnet promotion checklist

Much has been written about creating lead magnets. This is not the case for promoting lead magnets.

In my post, What is a Lead Magnet?, I offer a definition of the phrase, explain the purpose, offer advice for creating them and detail ten types that have proven effective for helping digital marketers build their email list. Check out the lead magnet article here if you haven’t already.

And now, stick around for the much needed sequel about lead magnet promotion. I’m going to give you 30 ways to build your email list faster.

When is a lead magnet not magnetic?

I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years consulting clients on how to use lead magnets.

Sometimes clients engage me to promote them, but usually not. Usually, we move on to the next one. That’s a problem.

Your lead magnet, much like any content you create and offer, isn’t effective until the audience of prospective buyers you covet discovers it. Limited exposure equals limited magnetism.

I take great pleasure in delivering juicy lead magnets, eBooks especially, to clients. But sometimes a painful revelation follows. I’m told the results have been disappointing. The lead magnet isn’t converting as hoped.

Is the lead magnet, itself, to blame? I think not. Is the issue the landing page, pop-up or form where it’s offered? It’s possible, but unlikely. The problem is the promotion—or lack of it.

A vital part of your lead magnet strategy must be to increase its exposure. You need to put it in the path of potential buyers and make it clear you’re offering a solution to a problem they face.

In my lead magnet trainings, I offer a long list of ways to promote lead magnets. So here you go: a promotion checklist to ensure your lead magnet does indeed help you build your email list fast.

 

Promote lead magnets on your website

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Oct

What to Put on Your Homepage [Content Matters Episode 18]

Content Matters podcast

What content should you put on your homepage? Perhaps it’s not so obvious. If the process of planning your homepage seems a bit overwhelming, this episode of Content Matters is for you. Andy and Barry offer a thorough list of ideas for your homepage and talk you through handling the elements from top to bottom. 

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Aug

20 Ideas for Your Website Homepage Content [Infographic]

ideas for website homepage

Planning, creating, and publishing website homepage content is no walk in the park. In fact, it presents the most difficult—and important—decisions a digital marketer must make.

Everyone seems to want to know the exact formula for getting it right. But no such formula exists. So the process of getting homepage content published often paralyzes marketers big and small, experienced and novice.

I have the “What should I put on my homepage?” conversation with clients nearly every day. The answer could be:

(a) Content that best positions your company as the solution to a specific problem

(b) Content prospective buyers are looking for

(c) Both of the above

Clearly, (c) is the optimum answer. If your website’s homepage is doing its job effectively it guides visitors one step deeper into your website. Better yet, it guides the right visitors to the next page, or the content they seek.

See, your homepage, your content, and your marketing in general, shouldn’t aim to engage everyone. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, it should deflect the wrong people. Your conversion depends on engaging the right people, right?

This website homepage content checklist should help

Your homepage content options are many. After consulting with a ton of clients about their homepage strategies, I decided to create a checklist of 20 ideas—a planning tool. (more…)

May

What is a Lead Magnet? (And 10 Ways to Quickly Magnify the Size of Your Email List)

 

What is a lead magnet

 

A lead magnet is a free offer you make in exchange for an email address (and possibly additional information).

Lead magnets are also called:

  • Signup incentives
  • Signup offers
  • Freemiums
  • Content upgrades
  • And many other terms

One well-respected digital marketer calls them “an irresistible bribe.” Sounds seedy to me. Lead magnets are above-board and have always been a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal. They’re especially golden in digital age because we can satisfy the reader’s request in an instant.

What’s the purpose of a lead magnet?

The purpose of a lead magnet is to inspire the people who are consuming your content to get on your email list. You’ll aim to convert them to customers in the future with lead nurturing tactics, most notably, email.

Offering lead magnets is a vital part of the content marketing formula that builds a more loyal audience, and in turn, effectively builds your business.

Why ask for an email instead of credit card?

“Hello. Can I have some money? God bless you.”

Sounds more like panhandling than an effective approach to digital marketing, doesn’t it?

See, only 2% of first-time website visitors make purchases—and that applies to carefully crafted websites optimized for conversion.

What do the rest do? They leave. They were just browsing. Maybe, just maybe, they’re researching and considering your solution, or something similar.

So if the overwhelming majority of visitors to your website aren’t yet in buy mode, you’re likely to chase them away by pushing your product or service on them.

What do you do instead? You ask for an email address.

In doing so, you’re asking for permission to stay in touch. Your challenge, of course, is to build a relationship, to earn their trust. This takes time. And usually, repeated touches.

 

But you still have some selling to do

Though the people joining your list aren’t necessarily parting with their money, by merely handing over their email address they’re investing some level of trust in you. They expect you to reciprocate by delivering value.

First, you need to sell them an idea. (more…)

Mar

How to Write a Presentation that Converts

Write presentations

Have you ever wondered how to write a presentation?

I’m not talking about your obligatory reviewing-the-numbers or previewing-the-game-plan decks where you may be able to get away with a set of snoozer slides. I’m talking about the presentation that stands on its own as a piece of clickass content created to inform and entertain your audience.

In large part, I’m talking about SlideShare, that is LinkedIn SlideShare, one of the world’s premier content communities. And by talking about SlideShare, I mean to also include the idea of expanding your digital footprint with modern visual marketing. See, the content you publish on SlideShare can be embedded all over the place. If it’s great, it will be.

You may have read content from me about SlideShare in the past.

I like SlideShare. It likes me. I’m happy to tell you I’ve been dubbed a “Keynote Author” there thanks to my steady stream of presentations and infographics. Thanks to the appointment, my posts often land on the highly trafficked SlideShare home page, pick up a nice boost from their social media efforts and then often get viewed tens of thousands of times.

You’ll find my entire, ever-expanding heap of SlideShare content here. 

And now for a lesson on writing presentations

I put a lot of thought into this lesson because I was asked to present it as a live webinar as part of the free Virtual SlideShare Summit.

You can join me for this presentation Tuesday, March 22, 9:00 a.m. Eastern. REGISTER HERE.

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