The Point

Posts Tagged ‘analytics’

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.

 

 

Jul

How Smart Marketers Deal with Bounce Rate [Content Matters Episode 13]

Content Matters Bounce Rate episode

“A bounce is not all bad. I would not recommend freaking out over your bounce rate.” 

What does bounce rate mean? A search for its definition reveals:

bounce rate defined

So… your visitor didn’t click a thing. They experienced one page of your site. That sounds bad. Is it?

Andy explains many of the web’s top sites have high bounce rates. What gives? This episode of Content Matters unravels misconceptions about bounce rate and will help you understand when it matters. (more…)

Mar

Content Marketing KPIs: An Easy-to-Understand Overview for the Analytically Challenged

CM KPIs

 

Do You Have a Handle On Your Content Marketing KPIs?

Content marketing is an enigma. When it comes to doing it, almost every company on the web is clued-in. But when it comes to measuring it, most are clueless—and the majority is willing to admit it.

Let’s unravel this sucker.

Research reveals the majority of companies plan to continue increasing their content marketing budgets. Good, I guess. All the while, an unhealthy chunk gives themselves low marks for effectiveness.

38% of B2B and 37% of B2C marketers rate their use of content marketing as effective.

Source: 2015 reports by Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs

Not so good. However, the problem above probably pales in comparison to this next one:

Only 21% of B2B and 23% of B2C marketersindicate they are successful at tracking the ROI of their content marketing programs.

Source: 2015 reports by Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs

It’s interesting to note when asked to rank their top challenges, the answers provided by B2B and B2C marketers stack-up a bit different.

According the to same research, the top three challenges of B2B marketers are:

  1. Producing engaging content
  2. Producing consistently
  3. Measuring content effectiveness

The top three challenges of B2C marketers are:

  1. Measuring content effectiveness
  2. Producing engaging content
  3. Lack of budget.

Clearly, tracking the ROI of content marketing isn’t easy. It’s a point of pain for most.

studioD-most-challenging-obstacles-content-marketing-success-data
Recent research from Ascend2 shows “inability to measure effectiveness” as the fourth most cited obstacle for content marketing success.

What to measure is a point of confusion too

So you want to take this challenge seriously. You want to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing programs.

(more…)

May

Digital Marketing Lead Generation Strategies [Free eBook]

Free ebook Three Deep Marketing

I wrote a 40-page eBook covering today’s most effective digital marketing lead generation strategies. It was recently published by Three Deep Marketing, a sizable agency in Minnesota that’s one of the nation’s premier practitioners of data-driven digital marketing. From content marketing to marketing automation and many other tactics, the eBook covers a lot of ground. You can scroll down to see the chapters list. Go here to download the eBook in its entirety. Or check out how the book begins here and now….

The story begins with the predictably unpredictable buyer

The customer’s buying path is forever unpredictable. The only thing that is predictable is they will do their research.

You’re doing research here and now. You might pull the trigger soon. You might not.

buyer journeyIn a way, you’re a lot like everyone else. The decision you’ll make—in this case, about your company’s marketing—will be an informed one. You’ll put in the time, do your homework and make an informed decision.

And in a way, you’re unlike anyone. You’ll bounce around from source to source however you please. No one knows the path you’ll take—including you.

Let’s lay it on the line. Buyers command the buying process now. They absorb information like sponges, but don’t stand in line to get it. They go online and get it entirely on their terms.

If you want them to consider buying from you, you have to buy into the realities of the new media landscape. You have to map your marketing to their journey. And again, the journey’s wildly unpredictable.

Go ahead and gulp. In the 2010s decade, marketing and media have matured. Keeping up with the changes is a priority, but a highly challenging ambition. Deny the dominance of digital marketing and you’ll go down in defeat. Digitally savvy companies shall inherit the earth.

This eBook is a roadmap of sorts. Our hope is it will equip you with the insights you’ll need to achieve success in the age of the carefully considered decision.

(more…)

Nov

Content Analytics Simplified (So It Won’t Freak You Out)

Curata Content Analytics eBook

Some people feast on content analytics. Most don’t. If you’re the latter, this post’s for you.

The truth is content analytics doesn’t get its due.

When online marketing leaders give us findings from their surveys, the top challenges we face as content marketers always include content creation issues. The inability to measure content effectiveness makes the list, but usually only about one-third admits it troubles them.

Is it because they have a good handle on content metrics and analytics? Is it an out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing? Could it be measuring content effectiveness is too difficult?

My take is the majority of marketers don’t go there because they don’t know how. It seems complicated. Messy. And above all, a pain in the butt.

Most new media marketers realize there are all kinds of data worthy of analysis, but struggle to clearly determine which numbers matter. Which data sets best indicate success? Which relate closest to achieving business objectives? Which metrics indicate weaknesses that must be addressed?

In this post, I’m going to try to simplify what’s what in content analytics in an effort to help you become a more data-driven marketer, and thus, more effective.

Bring in the content analytics experts

Pawan Deshpande, the CEO of Curata, created an awesome guide to content marketing analytics and metrics with the help of 23 content marketing experts whom he called on for insights.

Barry Feldman content analyticsI was thrilled to be included in The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics & Metrics, by Curata.

(more…)

Aug

The Online Marketing Pop Quiz [PODCAST]

Pencils out. It’s pop quiz time …

What should you focus on to make your online marketing more effective?

  1. Content
  2. Social networking
  3. Search
  4. Analytics
  5. All of the above
  6. None of the above

This is a tough one. The answer is revealed in this 9-minute podcast.

Hear all episodes of “The Point – In Your Ear” podcasts here. You can also subscribe to our podcasts at: Spreaker.com or iTunes (Note: You’ll need to create accounts with these services in order to subscribe.)

Feb

How Does Your Email Rate for Open Rates?

An overwhelming majority of the potential audience is not interested in what us marketers have to say.

 

Ain’t nothing new there, but in the mail business, things have changed. I’ll try to illustrate my point by comparing direct mail and email, both of which are usually considered to be forms of direct marketing measured largely by response rates.

With direct mail, you do your best to guess who should get the mail, open it, read it, and then be a good consumer and do what you told them to. If 1, 2, maybe 3 percent of them actually do, you can bet the marketing team will be uncorking the bubbly and partying down with Kool & The Gang.

Yet even in a hugely successful mail campaign a seriously large portion of the money pumped into the program might as well have been flushed. Another sad truth is the marketing team has no clue as to who did or didn’t open the mail, which makes it that much more difficult to refine the program to work better next time.

But now, with email, short of knowing what the recipient had for breakfast, we feast on a ton of data. Email marketing may not deliver every day in every way, but you can rest assured it’ll deliver a mountain of metrics.

So what kind of response does your email get?

(more…)

Jan

The Plan to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing

The plan to grow your business with effective online marketing

“The Plan” is a free eBook from Feldman Creative.

[ DOWNLOAD THE PLAN HERE ]

[Here’s an excerpt from the new eBook…] 

Offer content online customers are looking for.

Be a good helper.

In the information age, people seek information. There’s no question, they’ll
find it—fast. The question is, will it be your information?

This is content marketing.

 It’s not new. What’s new is the dynamic at work. Those shopping for content won’t be filling out tip-in cards, faxing requests, calling your number or putting forth any effort whatsoever. They’ll merely be clicking on a link.

Want to win their business? That link needs to lead to your website. There’s one way to get in the game: create mighty fine content. Develop and promote information assets. 

Offer helpful content. Make it informative. Valuable. And free.

[You’ll find this passage on page 7 of the 28-page eBook. The Plan” presents 17 strategies—briefly and clearly—to help you understand how to take advantage of online channels to capitalize on the power of pull. Inbound marketing… planning, web site best practices, SEO, blogging, conversion strategy, email marketing… It’s all in “The Plan.”  All free. ]

Jan

The Plan to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing

The Plan to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing

This must-read 28-page eBook clearly and simply presents the strategies you need to create magnetic content, make your website a customer attraction force field, and convert visitors to customers.

Download Now