Design and UX Trends to Boost Conversions in 2017 [INFOGRAPHIC]

As more of our interactions — both business and personal — migrate online, intuitive design and user experience have never been more important.

The fast pace at which the digital world is changing means there’s always a new trend on the up and up promising to skyrocket our results.

Last year we saw the rise of mobile-first design, full-width hero images and user-driven storytelling. This year we’re seeing a big push toward hyper-personalization, bots and even (shameless plug) targeted overlays.

Ultimately, though, we marketers are most interested in trends that make the most impact where it truly counts… conversions.

The brilliant folks at The Deep End Design have whittled down the ever-growing list of design and UX trends to bring you only the most promising ones.

Of course, as with all trends, we don’t truly know their worth until we can test them out for ourselves. So don’t take this list as gospel. Rather, use it as a jumping off point when planning initiatives for the upcoming quarter and beyond.

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Blog – Unbounce

How to Better Integrate Analytics Into Your Marketing Strategy

It’s 2017.

We’re neck-deep in the age of ‘Big Data.’

No matter what aspect of marketing you want to measure, there’s a tool to help you track it. In fact, ‘powerful analytics’ is probably the most highly-touted feature for most of tools we use as online marketers. We have access to so much data, so many metrics that… we’re drowning in it.

Gone are the days of data for Big Data’s sake. Marketing analytics are only as valuable as the insights we pull from them and the strategy we build around those insights. Let’s talk about how you’re going to better integrate this wealth of metrics and data into your marketing strategy.

Key Marketing Analytics Terms to Understand

Before you can put marketing data into context and use it to drive decision-making and strategy, you need to know what you’re dealing with. It’s hard to make sense of changes in your conversion rate if you don’t actually understand what conversion rate measures. First, we’ll dig into the meaning of a few key marketing analytics. (If you have a good handle on these, feel free to skip to the next section.)

Web Analytics

Oftentimes when we say “analytics,” we think of web analytics – the kind of data we find in Google Analytics and other platforms (like those we use for email marketing, for example). These are just a small part of the data that pertains to marketing activities, but they’re important nonetheless.

  • Traffic: Simply put, traffic measures how many times a particular webpage is viewed. It’s a good indicator of how effectively your marketing efforts are driving people to your website.
  • Engagement: Engagement can encompass several data points (including bounce rate, time on page, pages per session, etc.), but it’s generally a measure of how and how often people interact with your web content.
  • Open Rate: Of the people who received your email, how many actually clicked and opened the email? This is a good measure of the effectiveness of your email subject lines, as well as your subscribers’s engagement with your brand.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): When you run a digital ad or include a call-to-action (CTA) on a webpage or email, CTR represents the percentage of those who clicked on your CTA versus all those who saw it.

Leads Generated

At the end of the day, the core purpose of marketing is to drive leads – people within your target market who may be interested in what you have to offer. Knowing how many leads you’re getting enables you to understand the effectiveness of your marketing at actually growing sales opportunities.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is broadly defined as the percentage of users who take a desired action. More specifically in the world of online marketing, it measures the percentage of website visitors who buy something on your site. Conversion rate can help you optimize things like your web design, copy, CTAs, and other elements to make the most of the traffic you drive there.

Sales Growth

Sales growth is the end-all be-all of marketing. Is your marketing strategy and activity driving more leads, qualifying more sales opportunities, and generating more revenue than it did last month or last year?

Data, meet Insights

Since the idea of ‘Big Data’ burst onto the scene, we’re all tracking these metrics. I can tell you what the exact bounce rate of a particular blog post was on November 18th, 2015 – but what value does that bring to the table? How does that information help me better understand and reach my target market?

What does all this data mean?

The value of marketing analytics lies, not in measuring them, but in contextualizing them. Translating the numbers from just that – numbers – into insights, learnings, and next steps to improve your marketing.

Putting Data into Context

The first step to contextualizing data is to understand what each of these metrics truly means. It’s one thing to know that conversion rate = total conversions / total clicks. It’s another thing entirely to understand the real life side of analytics.

What does it actually mean to have a 3.7% conversion rate? Well, it means that, for every 100 clicks on your ad, between 3 and 4 of those people became a customer. It means that 3.7% found your product, web design, and copy compelling enough to trust you to solve a problem for them.

When you put data into a broader context, a story begins to emerge.

Look at how your conversion rate has changed over the last week, month, and year. What are the marketing actions that correspond with those peaks and valleys? Identifying how specific marketing tactics and campaigns have affected key metrics allows you to translate data into a performance evaluation of sorts – did last month’s email marketing campaign have a positive impact on sales growth?

Having a clear picture of how different tactics affect conversions, sales growth, and other key performance indicators (KPIs) empowers you to make decisions about how to proceed. If you can connect the dots to determine that email marketing boosted sales growth from 3% to 7% month over month, it’s easy to see that the campaign was a success. That means you can make intelligent decisions about where to invest your time and budget going forward to enable the best returns.

Another way to pull insights out of data is to go farther in the direction your analytics point you. You know that the email campaign improved sales – think of this datapoint as the X marking the spot, and dig here. Talk to your subscribers. Test different variations of copy, email design, send time, etc. Find out what aspect of the email made it so effective. Insights like that take it a step further, giving you new learnings to not only improve your current campaigns, but to help build an even better strategy the next time around.

Crafting a Strategy Around Insights

As Google notes, many of us limit the potential of our data by using it to support decisions we’ve already made, instead of to drive action. We’re all familiar with the idea that you can find statistics to back up almost any argument you can think of – it’s just a matter of what stats you use and how you present them.

It’s the same with marketing analytics. If you go looking for data to backup your decisions, you’ll most certainly find some. But to craft a strategy that truly capitalizes on the insights available, you have to let the data lead your decision-making and planning.

To build a strategy around your analytics (instead of the reverse), follow these tips:

  • Learn to live with being wrong. Part of letting the data drive your strategy is letting go of initiatives that simply don’t move the needle (or move the needle enough to justify the investment).
  • Approach data from a number of angles. Unless you’re Beyonce, you aren’t infallible. There are likely a number of ways to interpret your marketing data, so bring in a partner or a few to help make sense of it all and ensure you aren’t missing any key perspectives.
  • Test, and test some more. Marketing analytics give you a picture of how things are – to find out how things could be, you’ll need to test your tactics and theories.
  • Above all, listen. At the end of the day, the number one mistake you can make is to ignore what all of your valuable analytics are telling you. Let the data speak for itself, and listen.

Let Analytics Drive Your Marketing Strategy

The marketing analytics we have access to these days are an incredibly valuable resource. They have the power to drive more revenue than you’ve ever had and enable your business to grow. Practice drawing powerful insights out of the water and using them to improve your marketing, making it more effective than yesterday, last month, and last year.

There’s an ocean of data out there waiting.

About the Author: Kiera Abbamonte is the Content Marketing Specialist for Grasshopper. She loves a good baseball game and finding new ways to make content awesome. Catch up with her on Twitter @kieraabbamonte.

The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

Cultivating Equity with MailChimp Community College

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Last week marked the start of MailChimp Community College in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Over the next few months, a cohort of 12 MailChimp employees will have the opportunity to think broadly about equity in our community. To explore what that means for a city like Atlanta, civic leaders, nonprofit executives, community organizers, and seasoned philanthropists will address topics like infrastructure and education, as well as intergenerational cycles of poverty. The cohort will graduate from the program with a better understanding of our city’s nonprofit ecosystem—and our company’s role in it.

How we got to MailChimp Community College

To better connect our employees with our investments in Atlanta, I was asked to turn a part-time community involvement project into a full-time role. Many people at MailChimp already cultivate fascinating pursuits outside the office, including calligraphy, improv—even an organic nail polish business. But I quickly learned that my colleagues were searching for ways to better cultivate their involvement in the community.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

Plus, in a company that’s growing so quickly, we need solutions that scale beyond individual requests. MailChimp needed a system for employees keen on community engagement to approach organizations with more confidence. We also needed colleagues to understand why our company is involved in the community at all.

We needed MailChimp Community College.

Building on what already works

I happen to sit next to the MailChimp University (MCU) team and have had the pleasure of watching it bloom into an integral part of our culture. MCU has graduated more than 250 employees over the past 3 years, and partnering with Michael Sacks from Emory’s Goizueta Business School has helped develop leadership skills throughout our growing company.

One day over pizza, I asked Rachel, our learning and development manager, if the MCU team could graciously lend its successful precedent and educational infrastructure to this new idea. This was a significant request of resources, which is why I’d strategically provided pizza for the meeting. She couldn’t really say no.

Rachel agreed to help, but she pointed out that MCU is successful in large part because they have a great partner to help pull it off. Michael Sacks and Emory’s Goizueta Business School were the right partners for MCU. We’d need a similarly excellent institutional partner, but with a local nonprofit perspective and expertise to make MailChimp Community College a reality.

Identifying the right partner

Our first choice was to partner with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. They’ve been serving our region for more than 60 years, and nonprofit organizations and philanthropists look to them for guidance.

In hindsight, their commitment to equity made them the only real choice for us. We’re lucky that they quickly agreed to partner and build the program together. I didn’t even need to provide pizza this time.

We’re looking forward to building something that’s specific to MailChimp. But we’re also cognizant that it should be replicable, in case other companies have employees who want to get more meaningfully involved in their communities. After all, like many American cities, Atlanta is increasingly becoming less equitable. And companies in our industry are already trying a variety of approaches to address inequality and poverty.

Our other key partners in this effort will be the employees in this initial cohort. We have a diverse group of people from nearly every department—from data scientists to support technicians, UX designers to paralegals—who will help shape the program with valuable feedback. By the time they graduate, we’ll hopefully be able to share an open source approach to community education.

MailChimp Email Marketing BlogMailChimp Email Marketing Blog

11 Free Sales Tools to Pump Up Your Pipeline

As a salesperson, you only get so many minutes in the day. We all do, really. But when your job depends on finding new leads, collecting data on leads, having meaningful conversations, managing opportunities, and helping close revenue, any time you can save on these tasks is worth its weight in gold. That’s why the world of online sales tools has exploded in the past few years – industrious entrepreneurs are finally realizing the inherent struggles of being a salesperson, and responding with a plethora of tools designed to make your job easier.

But what happens when you don’t have a big budget? Some sales tools can cost up to $ 30k per year, and even more if you’re looking to use it with everyone on your team. And even if you’re part of a larger sales organization, you may not always be able to get budget to try new tools.

If you’re struggling with a lack of budget for new tools and a lack of hours in the day to close deals, then this list is for you. Here are 11 of the best free sales tools we’ve discovered to help you find more leads, collaborate with your team, and spend less time prospecting so you can spend more time selling:

Rapportive

Used for: Gathering data on prospects right inside your email.

Rapportive is one of the first tools we started using here at Vidyard, and it continues to be an amazing, simple resource for our sales team. Integrating with our Google Apps email addresses, Rapportive shows LinkedIn profile data along side every email we send or receive just by hovering over a person’s email address.

It lets you see the picture, geographic info, social profiles, and – most importantly – the shared connections you have with anyone you’re emailing. Easy, instant data where it’s most relevant. Start a conversation by referencing some local news, look at shared connections and joke about a former colleague, all from within the email creation screen.

Rapportive is a free add-on for Google Chrome and Firefox, and works with Gmail or Google Apps email addresses.

Streak

Used for: Managing your clients and deals in Gmail.

Streak is a Gmail-based CRM and business management app that works directly in Gmail. Keep track of open and closed deals, create support tickets and collaborate with your support team, and even share contacts and client information with other salespeople.

If Salesforce.com is a bit out of your price range, or you’re looking for a CRM tool that you can start using right away, Streak is handy, easy to set up, and free for up to 200 tracked emails per month.

LeadIQ

Used for: Building lead lists from social profiles and finding contact info.

LeadIQ falls into the free-ish bin of sales tools, but it’s powerful even as a trial product. With LeadIQ, you can build lead lists by browsing sites like LinkedIn and AngelList, and sync contact data from these leads directly into Salesforce. Not a Salesforce user? Export the data as a CSV instead!

The Chrome Extension allows you to quickly build lists as you browse through profile pages, and the first 50 leads are free. The setup process is super quick too, as illustrated by this hilarious video:

Owler

Used for: Gathering details on executive structure for private companies.

Owler is a unique company database that focuses less on minute company details and more on executive information. Signing up for a free Owler account lets you browse by company name, and shows estimated revenue, employee numbers, competitors, funding announcements, acquisitions, and even an RSS feed of recent blog posts and press releases. The site revolves around reviewing executives and businesses, but the data is definitely useful for anyone in sales.

Owler is free to use, and the information provided is crowd-sourced. Much of the data for private companies is speculation, but it will still give you a very good idea of the market size and any major milestones in the company’s recent history.

Hootsuite

Used for: Managing social channels, social listening, and social selling.

When it comes to social tools, it’s hard to beat Hootsuite. Their free plan allows you to manage up to 3 social profiles, schedule messages, and set up as many social searches as you want. Our team uses it to keep track of companies they are targeting, search for industry keywords, build lists of influencers to share news with – pretty much anything you can think of when it comes to social media.

It’s a great tool for social selling, as you can monitor conversations, keep track of competitors, and reply in the moment when something exciting happens. Their free plan is good for one user, and has no expiry date so you can use it for as long as you want.

Hunter

Used for: Finding contacts from specific websites.

Similar to LeadIQ, Hunter allows you to build contact lists, and discover emails, but works at a domain level. Plug in a website, and Hunter will find any known email addresses for that site, and the location of where it pulled the email address from. Very useful if you’re planning an account-based prospecting campaign for a specific company, or simply want to build a lead list for your target accounts.

Hunter is free for the first 150 searches per month you are performing, and the Chrome extension allows you to automatically pull lead lists when browsing sites. Hunter also features an email verification tool that can confirm an email address from your existing database as correct or not.

Boomerang

Used for: Scheduling emails and setting reminders.

Boomerang is a simple, but powerful way of scheduling your emails. It gives you the ability to set a send date and time within Gmail, set reminders on emails that you are archiving, and set reminders on emails that you may need to reply to later. The free account gives you 10 message credits to work with, and plans start at $ 4.99 per month for added functionality.

ViewedIt

Used for: Easily creating videos and screen shares in Chrome.

Most of these tools have focused on finding lead lists, or researching prospects, so now it’s time to look at a tool that just makes selling easier. ViewedIt is a free video and screen recorder for Chrome that lets you quickly create personalized content to send to prospects. Most business email accounts are bombarded with over 100 messages per day, and less than 25% of these emails ever get opened. That means you have to work harder, and be more creative to get heard through all the noise.

ViewedIt lets you easily create recorded personalized outreach videos, detailed walkthroughs of your product, and leave simple video voicemails that drive huge engagement rates. And best of all, you can see exactly when a prospect watches your video, and for how long. All that from a free Chrome extension that takes just a minute or two to set up. ViewedIt currently works with all Gmail and Google Apps accounts.

HubSpot CRM

Used for: Tracking emails, managing contacts, and assigning deals.

HubSpot has long been known as a leader in marketing automation, and their new HubSpot CRM tool is top-notch. It’s a free to use customer relationship management platform that tracks emails, stores contacts and companies, lets you manage deals, and integrates with their paid HubSpot Sales platform if you need a higher level of functionality. It’s free for as many users as you want to add, so if you’re looking for a way of keeping your sales team aligned around goals, there’s no limit on this.

All in all, for a free CRM tool, you can’t beat it!

Calendly

Used for: Automating your scheduling, booking meetings.

Calendly is a scheduling tool that allows you to automate your calendar, and let prospects book meetings themselves. Include your Calendly link in emails, and prospects can see when you’re available, book meetings, and get automated reminders that you can customize.

Calendly also makes it easy to schedule meetings with your team, giving you the ability to see when a group is available, and book times accordingly. The basic free version allows you limited scheduling options, but is relatively full featured if you want to see if this tool is right for you!

Pattern

Used for: Collaborating on notes with your team, automatically updating Salesforce.

Pattern is designed to help sales teams get more done, faster. It’s a collaborative note-taking application that uses an easy user experience, and predictive artificial intelligence to push your point form notes into Salesforce. Pattern can pull details like deal size, client name, and potential closing dates directly from your notes, and create salesforce opportunities from this data.

It can also automate follow-ups, confirm meetings, update Salesforce records, and pick up on potential lost deals or movement signals just by analyzing your notes, and the notes contributed by your teammates. It automatically syncs all the data with Salesforce, meaning you can keep all of your notes in one place and know that it’s safely in your CRM for later.

What’s Your Favorite Free Sales Tool?

Thanks for checking out our list of tools! Hopefully one or two of the great products we’ve talked about today will shave a few hours off your weekly sales tasks, or help you have better conversations with your prospects.

This list is by no means exhaustive, so we’d love to hear the free tools you and your team are using! Let us know in the comments!

The post 11 Free Sales Tools to Pump Up Your Pipeline appeared first on Vidyard.

Blog – Vidyard

How Marketing Automation Helps Build Customer Relationships in the Financial Services Industry

Did you ever play with legos as a kid? Most of us probably tried stacking the blocks as high as we could until we ran out. You’d then probably discovered that if you built the base of the tower solidly, it would stand by itself, and if you didn’t, you’d be cleaning up a lot of legos. In B2B marketing, building strong relationships with buyers is a bit like stacking those lego blocks. To build your tower up as high as you can, you need a solid foundation. Every B2B marketer needs to build those relationships, but in some industries, the whole business runs on them.

In the financial services industry, we’re all consumers, both in our business and personal lives. Running a business in an industry where everyone is both a client and a prospect, starts by being the definition of customer-focused, and building a foundation that will keep those relationships strong.

How to Build a Better Relationship with Customers

As B2B Marketers we know that customer relationships are founded on trust. If you want your prospects to choose you over your competitors, they’ve got to believe in the value of your product or services over any other. When it comes to FinServ, this is even more important. Every business needs a financial services product in order to run, and with so many options and configurations, ensuring that you’re able to grab attention, and build that trust is critical.

Technology Can Help

More and more FinServ businesses are turning to technology to help navigate the complexities of building customer relationships in the digital age. Marketing automation is one of the technologies that can help businesses in the financial services industry better cultivate relationships with clients and prospects. It relieves the pressure of managing multiple channels and and makes it easier to bring sales and marketing teams into alignment to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

It’s All About Efficiency

Look at all the ways that you communicate with your customers. Landing pages, emails, content, blogs and websites are just a few of the most common, and that’s already 5 different channels. Automating the process of tracking prospect activity across all these channels makes the process of identifying and qualifying leads, nurturing them until they become sales ready, and ensuring that your sales team is able to follow up quickly and efficiently to close the deal is going to save you a lot of time, but it’s also going to help you make sure that you aren’t missing out on any opportunities that might otherwise have fallen through the cracks, and with the time you save, you can concentrate on providing the kind of custom, personalized experience that will help you build your clients and prospects trust.

For more ways that marketing automation can help you build trust with your clients and prospects, join Dave Rubinstein, VP of Salesforce Pardot for his webinar presentation: Financial Services & Marketing Automation: A Scalable Approach to Relationship Building.

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Marketing Automation – Pardot

The 17 Best Digital Marketing Conferences of 2017

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Does the word conference bring up memories of suited professionals droning on about… well, you can’t quite remember what? Awkward socializing, shameless sales pitching, lined paper and branded pens — some conferences can be very beige indeed.

But not all conferences are made equal. In fact, some can lead you to completely change your marketing game for the better by giving you the opportunity to learn firsthand the tricks of the trade from the smartest minds in digital marketing — from SEO royalty Rand Fishkin to Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner.

We worked our way through the colossal number of upcoming digital marketing conferences to uncover the gems and roundup what we think are the 17 best digital marketing conferences in 2017.

Warning: what you see and learn at these events may totally transform the way you do your digital marketing.

Conference Date Location
SearchLove February 23-24; June 5-6; October 16-17 San Diego; Boston; London, UK
Domopalooza March 21-24 Salt Lake City
ConversionXL Live April 5-7 San Antonio
Hero Conf April 18-20; October 23-25 Los Angeles; London, UK
Marketing United April 19-21 Nashville
Marketing Nation April 23-26 San Francisco
C2 Montreal May 24-26 Montreal, QC
WistiaFest June 11-13 Boston
Unbounce Call To Action Conference June 25-27 Vancouver, BC
MozCon July 17-19 Seattle
Content Marketing World September 5-8 Cleveland
Dmexco Conference September 13-14 Cologne, DE
INBOUND September 25-28 Boston
B2B Forum October 3-6 Boston
RD Summit November 2017 Brazil
Dreamforce November 6-9 San Francisco
Internet Summit November 15-16 Raleigh
Advocamp December 6-8 San Francisco

1. SearchLove: February 23-24 (San Diego) | June 5-6 (Boston) | October 16-17 (London)

searchlove

SearchLove is the creation of online marketing agency Distilled. As the name implies, this conference is all about search marketing; topics covered span from SEO to PPC and content creation. Over two days, learn actionable tactics to get your website ranking higher. Sessions run one after the other, so you won’t have to miss out on anything.

2. Domopalooza: March 21-24 (Salt Lake City)

domopalooza

This one made its way onto our list, as the content is worth more than gold to any marketer who wants to step up their data game. The organizers, Domo, are business intelligence wizards and creators of a data-driven business management platform.

If you fancy going deep into business analytics and learning how to get data insights to inform your marketing activities and your business as a whole, check Domopalooza out. Plus, with performances from Flo Rida, T.I. and Nelly last year, the entertainment bar is set dang high for 2017.

3. ConversionXL Live: April 5-7 (San Antonio)

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CXL Live promises to help marketers achieve their ultimate goals: drive more conversions, grow their businesses faster and make more dough. How? Attendees get the opportunity not only to watch “hardcore practitioners” wax lyrical about conversion marketing, they can also chat to the pros in person.

The event lasts three whole days — plenty of time to get as much advice as you need from your favorite conversion marketing experts and start racking up leads like a true conversion pro.

4. Hero Conf: April 18-20 (Los Angeles)  | October 23-25 (London)

heroconf

Not to be confused with a gathering for superheroes of the comic book kind, Hero Conf is “the world’s largest all-PPC event”.

If you’re a pay-per-click fanatic, this one’s for you. Make connections with the best in the PPC business and learn how to optimize your PPC campaigns; for example, which strategies and trends can help you drive more conversions. Besides, when else could you chat about your favorite subject over some nosh with PPC industry experts?

5. Marketing United: April 19-21 (Nashville)

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Marketing United is a digital marketing showdown hosted by email marketing connoisseurs Emma. This will be Emma’s third event and, like its previous events, it promises to be full of “ah-hah” moments spanning all areas of digital marketing such as marketing psychology, customer experience and brand building.

Attendees can expect to marvel at inspiring presentations from a killer lineup including speakers from Netflix and Pixar. They will also get the chance to discover the vibrant and unique city of Nashville, renowned for live country music and an iconic food scene (bring on the fried chicken!).

6. Marketing Nation: April 23-26 (San Francisco)

marketingnation

Marketo’s four-day event will equip you with the knowledge you need to improve the way you interact with customers and help you get better results from your marketing efforts. You can also improve your knowledge of Marketo and get Marketo certified by attending University Day, where you’ll learn about the market-leading marketing automation tool through a series of workshops and presentations.

Some big names will be there (previous years’ speakers included Arianna Huffington and Will Smith), as will 6k+ marketers, so you won’t want to miss out!

7. C2 Montreal: May 24-26 (Montreal, QC)

c2montreal

Much like its host city, C2 Montreal is a fusion of creativity and commerce. This three-day international business conference, dubbed the most innovative of its kind, focuses on exploring the impact of current digital trends on business. It will get you thinking outside of the box to reignite your creativity and change the way you do business for the better.

Expect to be challenged and connect with your peers in innovative ways. Expect to come away with a new way of thinking and plenty of inspiration. Expect to discover how marketers will adapt as digital evolves.

8. WistiaFest: June 11-13, (Boston)

wistiafest

This Boston-based event, run by Wistia, is a coming together of the great minds in video marketing. Why should you care? Video marketing is recognized to be one of the most effective marketing tools out there, and WistiaFest will teach you all you need to know about this medium including future trends and, most importantly, how to create ludicrously effective videos for your business. And going by what last year’s attendees tweeted, you’re in for a visual spectacle and an all-round cracking time.

9. Unbounce Call To Action Conference: June 25-27 (Vancouver, BC)

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Familiar with the Unbounce blog? Then you’ll know that Unbounce is all about giving marketers actionable advice across the hottest topics in marketing and — just as importantly — providing a truly delightful experience.

CTAConf is like the Unbounce blog on steroids, featuring some of the best people in the business to give 100% fluff-free, practical tips that attendees can bring into play the next day. And you can be assured there will be a LOT of laughs throughout the day. Prepare to walk away from the day with a shedload of invaluable notes and some hilarious anecdotes.

Thinking of attending CTAConf 2017?

Subscribe to Unbounce Events and get exclusive discounts and the latest conference updates delivered to your inbox.

10. MozCon: July 17-19 (Seattle)

mozcon

MozCon is hosted by search engine marketing powerhouse Moz. (If you’re a marketer who doesn’t know Moz, it’s time to crawl out from that rock you’ve been hiding under.)

Get on top of your search marketing game and learn what’s hot in the world of SEO, social media and community building, straight from the mouths of industry leaders. This is a three-day conference that promises tons of actionable takeaways and socializing opportunities including MozCon’s very own pub crawl, #Mozcrawl. Hop on for some free drinks and great banter.

11. Content Marketing World: September 5-8 (Cleveland)

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Content writers far and wide, this is your cue get excited. The biggest gathering of content marketing front runners, CMWorld will give you an overview of upcoming content marketing trends and plenty of ideas for rolling out an effective content strategy. Over the two days, you’ll have a ton of opportunities to network with the industry leaders and your fellow content peers.

12. Dmexco Conference: Sept 13-14 (Cologne, DE)

dmexco

Taking place in the historical German city of Cologne, Dmexco Conference is a two-day event defined as the “global meeting point for the digital economy”. A truly global conference, Dmexco is an outstanding opportunity to meet some digital economy big dogs from some leading global companies (think Bloomberg and Google). Keynotes, seminars and work labs that cover diverse themes in digital are offered in English or German.

13. INBOUND: September 25-28 (Boston)

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Inbound is a mammoth-sized four-day event with over 19,000 attendees and a star-studded list of speakers (last year’s line-up included Anna Kendrick, Alec Baldwin and Serena Williams). It’s an opportunity for sales and marketing pros to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the industry and get tips and inspo on taking a business to the next level.

Four days jam-packed with talks, keynotes, workshops, some serious networking and partying. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever.

14. B2B Forum: October 3-6 (Boston)

b2bforum

MarketingProf’s B2B Forum promises to give you the knowledge you need to build a sustainable marketing strategy. Headed up by Ann Handley, it’s also a unique opportunity to network with B2B businesses from across the globe and learn from their successes.

This event is pretty unique as it offers full-day workshops on one of four marketing topics (to be confirmed). So if you want to learn a lot and fast, come along for a marketing crash course.

15. RD Summit: November 2017 (Brazil)

rdsummit

RD Summit in Brazil is the biggest marketing and sales event in Latin America. With more than 5,000 attendees, 50 exhibitors and 120 presentations, this is a large-scale event, yet organized to the finest detail.

If you’re looking to get solid advice on your inbound marketing and sales strategy and network with a large community of marketers, why not head to Brazil in November? Plus, you can sample the delights of the vibrant Brazilian culture, including its iconic food and long beaches.

16. Dreamforce: November 6-9 (San Francisco)

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Dreamforce is a behemoth of a conference that attracted nearly 200,000 attendees from over 83 countries last year. We simply couldn’t leave it off the list for its sheer size!

Run by Salesforce, Dreamforce promises to adorn you with the knowledge you need to significantly increase your ROI. Marketers will learn ways to create amazing brand experiences and better connect with customers. They’ll also discover how to make the most of Salesforce in their marketing strategy. With over 2,000 sessions, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re an SMB or a Fortune 500 company. Just make sure you check out the agenda beforehand to select the content that’s relevant to you.

17. Internet Summit: November 15-16 (Raleigh)

internetsummit

Internet Summit is a forum that brings together a whole host of thought leaders in the field of digital commerce.

If you’re looking for practical solutions to apply to your marketing, analytics and user experience strategies and to learn about the latest trends in digital technology, this event has got your covered. And get ready to network with some of the world’s leading brands including Facebook, AOL and The Onion.

BONUS! Advocamp: December 6-8 (San Francisco)

advocamp

You know the old adage: it can cost 5x more acquiring a new customer than retaining an existing one. This is why we recommend Advocamp — a conference that’s all about the customer experience.

Although not strictly a marketing event, Advocamp will give you some great ideas on engaging your current following and fostering a loyal customer base. After all, your marketing efforts will become even more valuable if your leads become happy, long-term customers and advocates of your brand.

There were some top-notch speakers from leading global companies last year including world-class author Daniel Pink and “The most re-tweeted person in the world among digital marketers” Jay Baer. Expect the same in 2017.

Over to you

Whether you’re a content writer, SEO buff or PPC manager, 2017 has got a standout marketing event that can give you the knowledge and contacts you need to be an even better marketer.

So if you’re set on making 2017 your most successful year yet, we encourage you to bite the bullet and sign up for the most relevant event for you. You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole notebook’s worth of valuable insider industry information to gain.

Is a certain awesome marketing conference missing from this list? Don’t be shy. Share it with us in the comments section below.

Blog – Unbounce

5 B2B Marketing Hacks for Small Teams

If you are or ever have worked on a small marketing team then you know that nowhere will you find the same kind of insanely driven, dynamic passion to do all the things. And while there are definitely some perks to being on a small marketing team, small teams also face some distinct challenges, from allocating resources to keeping up with content demands. So here’s a list of hacks that can help small marketing teams stay efficient, keep up with content and smash their targets (as you do):

1. Recycle your content

When it comes to sustainable content creation, it’s a bit like sustainable living. The more you recycle, the better you do. Luckily, content is a renewable resource. There’s no shame in taking a big eBook and breaking it down into smaller bite-sized pieces of content. With each of your smaller pieces you can dig into your topics more deeply, and use the process of deconstructing your eBook, report or whitepaper to jumpstart some inspiration for more new content. Creating content a small team usually means putting in a lot of effort and a lot of work, so don’t waste it! Recycling isn’t just for newer content. You can take older pieces and freshen them up, bring them up to date, and push them out again.

2. Embrace Your Agility

Smaller teams have the benefit of being able to turn on a dime – and you should embrace it! Agility is a valuable trait. B2B marketing is changing fast, and being able to take on new strategies and techniques without breaking a sweat is a huge positive. Stay agile by ensuring that while everyone probably wears multiple hats, all hats are clearly labeled and your workflow is streamlined and well organized. It might seem like the opposite, but bringing your social media, content and email marketing hats together with your design and sales hats for each planning meeting can give you some amazing insights into how you can all work together along the entire life of a campaign. Taking onboard ideas from all the different sections of your team can keep you streamlined and in sync (which makes any necessary pivots a lot easier to handle).

3. Get experts on board and source contributors

The value of a contributor is indisputable when it comes to generating a large volume of content. Contributors come in many forms: industry experts, thought leaders and even some of your customer evangelists are all good sources for contributed content of all shapes and sizes. Case studies, articles, blog posts (like we do here at Pardot), interviews, videos and more can all come out of having and maintaining good relationships with contributors. The other part of this content hack is a good expert. Experts lend credibility and can usually dig much more deeply into their topic of focus, which adds a lot more value for your target audience.

4. Invest in marketing automation

Depending on your budget this may be a big ask or a more reasonable one, but either way, automating your marketing gives you a big advantage on a small team. Create lead nurturing campaigns quickly and easily and pass the warmest leads to sales with the click of a button. One of the biggest advantages of marketing automation is how it gives you a central dashboard to keep up with your whole marketing strategy – from tracking engagement metrics like open rates and click-through rates on your emails to building out your entire campaign complete with triggers that will adapt the next stage of the campaign to your prospect’s behavior.

5. Define Your Strategy

On a small team, everyone does multiple jobs, and with all the work flying around it can be hard to keep track of where things are and where they’re going. Defining your marketing strategy, as well as the goals for each stage of your campaigns and the metrics you want to use to measure your progress will be even more important. A clearly defined strategy will help keep your team focused, and with measurable goals you’ll be able to confirm the impact of your efforts on ROI and revenue.

Want more ways to crush it as a small marketing team? Join us for a webinar presentation “Running B2B Marketing Campaigns as a Team of One” on January 24, hosted by Christian Mullis, Director of Marketing for AllTrust.

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Content Marketing – Pardot

6 Awesome Sales Call Conversation Starters

One of my favorite things about my team is that we are constantly focused on helping each other do better. After one of us finishes a call that doesn’t progress, someone may say something along the lines of, “Ah man, so close, I could have taken that somewhere!” That’s when we start discussing what happened in the call, and together try to figure out how we could have driven it better.

We do this because we know the struggle is real. Any B2B or SaaS company’s sales team likely battles to either get prospects to pick up, or move pipeline further—or both. The key to success can often be boiled down to good, insightful conversations. Here are 6 tips to help you have conversations that move the needle.

1. Know the person and company on the other end.

Blocking off time to make those dials out and working through cadences is great for SDR and BDR teams. However, there’s a fine line between high activity and good quality activity. Hands up if you’ve frozen up when someone actually picks up the phone after you hit 10 voicemails? That can happen when you get what we like to call “dial crazy”: after countless unfruitful dials, you lose the personal touch when a prospect finally picks up!  

Proper research and profiling can help prevent the “dial crazy” syndrome, but reviewing these notes at each touchpoint prior to making the call will truly be the remedy. Ask yourself: “What am I going to say if this person says now is a good time to talk?” Know the company, their particular role, who they might report to, and what they are like as a person. Most of this information can be found in a matter of minutes just by looking at the person’s social media channels, blog posts or news articles, and, of course, the company website.

What we like to do at Vidyard is use tools such as SalesLoft, Marketo, and Vidyard itself, to get a quick snapshot of each prospect’s journey, like what pages they have looked at on the website, which of your videos they have watched, and more.

With Vidyard, we can even discover how much of those videos—including marketing videos on our site, and any videos our own salespeople personalized for the recipient—the prospect watched. Information like this is incredibly valuable; we know most audiences engage with video much more than they engage with any other content type, and being able to track what each person is watching and interested in—or not interested in!—helps us tailor our conversations for success.

We don’t make assumptions based on LinkedIn bios and titles; our salespeople are armed with individualized information about each lead and prospect so we can truly personalize our approach.

2. Keep in mind all past touch points with the prospect.

Another symptom of “dial crazy” syndrome is forgetting that you already left them the same voicemail yesterday. Or realizing you already sent that email template.

Always know what your touchpoints have looked like, what emails they have opened, what particular links and resources they clicked. Tools like SalesLoft or Outreach can be great for keeping track of your activities.

If you want to go the extra mile and really set yourself up for success, you need something a little more. We all know that an “opened” email doesn’t mean it’s a “read” email, and there’s no way to tell how much they paid attention to your message, so you have nothing to help you follow up. If you’re using a powerful video platform like Vidyard, or our free Chrome extension ViewedIt, you can get detailed analytics and notifications (right inside the CRMs you already use!) on when a prospect viewed your videos, what they watched, and for how long, so you can follow up at the best time, with the very best message. What does that lead to? Better engagement, shorter deal cycles, stronger relationships, and higher quality touch points! (Video also has the added bonus of being much more engaging and personal than text, so your prospects will likely absorb more of your message than if you had sent a boring text email!)

3. Don’t sell.

I sell Vidyard, a SaaS platform that helps companies drive revenue through the use of online video. And sometimes, I let “video, video, VIDEO!” take over my thought process instead of thinking about the prospect’s problem, and how—or if—Vidyard can help. About a month ago, I was reviewing a call with my manager in which the prospect told me that they were quite busy working on a new online community. Nothing they had told me seemed to be relevant to video off the top of my head, but I also failed to ask them more about what they did want to talk about. For all I know, that online community could have a great use for video.

This goes back to the simple 80/20 rule of selling: let the prospect do the talking 80 per cent of the time. Ask the right questions – and “right” doesn’t need to mean “directly related to what you’re selling.” Find that key point that can give you more information, even if it isn’t totally relevant to what you eventually want to sell them. These types of questions are great to get a better understanding of what their priorities are and whether it even makes sense to prospect this company!

A video platform will also give you the insights you need about your prospects on an individual level. When you can see what someone is watching, and how long they’re engaging with each video, you know which questions to ask and what they’re interested in. This way you won’t be selling hard and shoving ideas and products down their throat that they aren’t interested in. Instead, you’ll be help to solve their actual problem with your best solution!

4. Be honest.

The “RE: we met at X event” email subject or the cold call introduction the receiver knows is a sales call probably won’t work. Don’t fib and say they visited your booth when you know they only attended the conference and made no connection with your company.

Be honest right from the start with the value of the conversation. Try something like: “We haven’t spoken before, but I saw your article on the Top 5 Reasons Video is Key for B2B Businesses. This is right up my alley and I was hoping to chat about it for a few minutes.” This call intro got me a great 15-minute conversation!

Be honest when trying to get them on the phone…and be honest through the whole conversation. If you focus on what their problems are rather than just selling your solution and trying to make it ‘fit’, you’ll create happy customers instead of raising your company’s churn rates after selling products to companies who didn’t actually need them.

5. Be human.

It’s okay to pause, to ask for clarification; don’t just smile and nod. Hubspot published a great blog post about statements that make salespeople sound insecure. I especially liked the fourth point in the post that a rep shouldn’t ask, “Does that make sense?” because it puts pressure on a prospect to agree just to avoid any embarrassment. It also indirectly suggests that we can get confused when a prospect is describing their needs. So ask questions!

It’s also okay to have some faint noises in the back…and sometimes not so faint is okay too. Our floor at Vidyard gets pretty loud every time we sign a new logo—a giant bell rings and there’s a lot of clapping, banging, and cheering. Many times, I’ve had to tell a prospect, “Hang on, I don’t mean to interrupt you but the team is about to celebrate for about ten seconds here…okay, I can hear you now!” While it may feel like a noisy interruption to the call, an event like this can actually help you build credibility and relatability with your prospect, and bring them into the excitement of your success. After all, we all know that people do business with people they like.

At the end of the day, just remember both you and your prospect are human, so meet them eye to eye. I called a gentleman in Sweden and didn’t realize the Swedish workday often ends by 4PM. He was at hockey practice, so we talked about Canada and hockey for a couple minutes!

Using video to create that initial or follow-up piece also helps keep the conversation human, showing the prospect that they are not just another number or lead. Video shows them that there is a person associated to that voice on the phone and this person actually cares enough to make them a personal video.

That personal touch using video makes the prospect feel more responsible to respond to your email, even if it is just to let you know that they are not interested. Other times, you may have piqued their interest enough to get them to provide you with a follow-up contact or next steps!

6. Understand when a call is valuable—and when it isn’t.

Yes, they are busy. They have to get back to their job. But you’re busy, too. You have to be able to identify which calls are worth continuing, and which aren’t, because either the prospect needs more information, or the call likely won’t lead to a closed deal. Rather than saying, “I know you’re busy”, cap the call at 15 minutes and say something like, “I’ve got to run into a meeting in a couple minutes here and I know you’re busy too, so why don’t we continue this conversation Wednesday at 10AM?” Always have the next step in mind so that there is no fading murmur like, “I have another meeting so…thanks for this!” This way, you don’t have to spend time trying to justify your product; if they need more information you can send them marketing or sales assets quickly through email, or if you want to get them off the phone you can move on to your next call quickly.

Offer the next step, even if it is just an email follow-up because you want to qualify them out. If it is a next call, be ready to be flexible with the time you offer. I have a two-time rule: if I offer two times to the prospect and neither of them work, I tell them I will send them my Calendly link where they can book a time at their convenience. And then I follow up with them if they did not take action! The next step can even be a personalized video that you create just for them and send through email, which is more engaging and will help you stay remembered. It’s quick, easy, and gets you back to work while helping you move a lot more potential deals faster.

If you learn about your prospects, find interesting and innovative ways to connect with and engage them, and have honest and human conversations with them, you’ll have more calls that are more valuable not just for them, but for you. What sales techniques have you tried recently that have worked for you? Was video one of them? I’d love to hear all about it!

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Blog – Vidyard