How to Get Useful Data From Losing and Inconclusive A/B Tests

How to Get Useful Data From Losing and Inconclusive A/B Tests

A/B testing is crucial to developing a robust digital marketing strategy. However, not all tests result in valuable data. 

What do you do if a variation you thought would rock ends up flopping? Or what if your test results are inconclusive? 

Don’t throw in the towel just yet!

There’s a ton you can do with inconclusive or losing A/B testing data. We’re going to cover how to put that information to good use—but first, let’s cover why A/B testing matters in digital marketing.  

Why A/B Testing Is Crucial to Digital Marketing Success

A/B testing helps marketers understand the impact of optimization methods. For example, it can show how changing an ad headline impacts conversions or whether using questions in titles drives more traffic. 

conversion XL get useful data from losing and inconclusive A/B Tests

A/B testing provides hard data to back up your optimization techniques. This allows marketers to make better business decisions because they aren’t just guessing at what drives ROI. Instead, they’re making decisions based on how specific changes impact traffic, sales, and ROI. 

How Do I Know If I Have a Losing or Inconclusive A/B Test? 

After running an A/B test, you’ll see the results in your own data dashboard (such as Google Analytics) or in the testing tool you use. 

Optimizely, a popular A/B testing platform, provides data in an experiment results page, which tracks each variation, number of visitors, how many people completed a specific action, revenue, and other metrics. 

How Do I Know if I Have a Losing or Inconclusive A/B Test

The example above shows variation number one had fewer visitors but drove 5 percent more revenue, making it a clear winner.

Other times, the numbers might be much closer. An inconclusive test might mean the numbers are less than a percent off, or neither variation got any traffic at all. 

When your tests don’t have enough data or if the numbers are too close, they are considered inconclusive or statistically insignificant.

Then, use these tips to make the most of your data. 

6 Ways to Leverage Data From Losing or Inconclusive A/B Testing 

You’ve run your A/B tests and are excited to get the results. Then, something unexpected happens: The variation you expected to win performs worse! Or you find the variations don’t actually impact the metrics you are tracking at all.  

Now what? Don’t assume your test failed. There are plenty of steps you can take to leverage that data. 

Try Something Really Different 

Inconclusive test results could mean your variations are too close. A/B testing can help you see if a small change (like using red versus green buttons) impacts conversions, but sometimes those tiny tweaks don’t have much impact at all. 

Remember that you may need to run the test with several similar variations to see what caused the change. 

Rather than getting discouraged, consider it an opportunity to try something totally different. For example, change the page layout, add a different image or take one away, or completely revamp your ad, asset, or CTA. 

Analyze Different Traffic Segments 

So, your A/B test came back with almost identical results. Does that mean nothing changed? Maybe not. Rather than looking at all the data, try segmenting the audience to see if different people responded differently. 

For example, you might compare data for:  

  • new versus returning customers 
  • buyers versus prospects 
  • specific pages visited
  • devices used
  • demographic variations
  • locations or languages

Overall, your test might be inconclusive. However, you might find specific segments of your audience respond better to certain formats, colors, or wording. 

You can use that information to segment ads more appropriately or create more personalized ads or content

Look Beyond Your Core Metrics 

Conversions matter, but they aren’t everything. You might have hidden data in your losing test results. 

For example, you might find conversions were low, but visitors clicked to view your blog or stayed on the page longer. 

Sure, you may rather have sales. However, if visitors are going to read your blog it means you’ve connected with them somehow. How can you use that information to improve the buying process? 

Say you run two variations of an ad. If one variation drives massive traffic, and 30 percent of visitors from that variation convert, this could mean more revenue. Obviously the winner, right? 

Not necessarily. Take a glance at your “losing” ad to see if it drove less traffic but had higher conversions, for instance. If you’d only been looking at traffic and outright revenue, you might not have noticed the second ad works better statistically, if not in rough numbers.

Now, you can dig into the data to find out why it drove less traffic and use that to improve your next set of ads. 

Remove Junk Data

Sometimes tests are inconclusive not because your variations were terrible or your testing was flawed, but because there’s a bunch of junk data skewing your results. Getting rid of junk data can help you see trends more clearly and drill down to find crucial trends.  

Here are a few ways to clean up junk data so you can get a clearer understanding of your results: 

  • Get rid of bot traffic. 
  • If you have access to IP addresses, remove any from your company IP address. 
  • Remove competitor traffic, if possible. 

Also, make sure to double-check tracking tools you use, such as URL parameters, work correctly. Failure to properly track testing can skew the results. Then, verify that sign-up forms, links, and anything else that could affect your data are in working order.

Look for Biases and Get Rid of Them

Biases are external factors impacting the results of your test. 

For example, suppose you wanted to survey your audience, but the link only worked on a desktop computer. In that case, you’d have a sample bias, as only people with a desktop will respond. No mobile users allowed.

The same biases can impact A/B tests. While you can’t get rid of them entirely, you can analyze data to minimize their impact. 

Start by looking for factors that could have impacted your test. For example:

  • Did you run a promotion? 
  • Was it during a traditionally busy or slow season in your industry? 
  • Did a competitor’s launch impact your tests? 

Then, look for ways to separate your results from those impacts. If you can’t figure out what went wrong, try rerunning the test. 

Also, take a look at how your test was run. For example, did you randomize who saw which versions? Was one version mobile-optimized while the other wasn’t? While you can’t correct these issues with the current data set, you can improve your next A/B test. 

Run Your A/B Tests Again 

A/B testing is not a one-and-done test. The goal of A/B testing is to continuously improve your site’s performance, ads, or content. The only way to constantly improve is to continually test. 

Once you’ve completed one test and determined a winner (or determined there was no winner!), it’s time to test again. Try to avoid testing multiple changes simultaneously (called multivariate testing), as this makes it hard to see which change impacted your results. 

Instead, run changes one at a time. For example, you might run one A/B test to find the best headline, another to find the best image, and a third to find the best offer.

Losing and Inconclusive A/B Testing: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve covered what to do when you have losing or inconclusive A/B testing results, but you might still have questions. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about A/B testing. 

What is A/B testing?

A/B testing shows different visitors different versions of the same online asset, such as an ad, social media post, website banner, hero image, landing page, or CTA button. The goal is to better understand which version results in more conversions, ROI, sales, or other metrics important to your business. 

What does an inconclusive A/B test mean?

It can mean several things. For example, it might mean you don’t have enough data, your test didn’t run long enough, your variations were too similar, or you need to look at the data more closely. 

What is the purpose of an A/B test?

The purpose of an A/B test is to see which version of an ad, website, content, landing page, or other digital asset performs better than another. Digital marketers use A/B testing to optimize their digital marketing strategies

Are A/B tests better than multivariate tests?

One is not better than the other because A/B and multivariate tests serve different purposes. A/B tests are used to test small changes, such as the color of a CTA button or a subheading. Meanwhile, multivariate tests compare multiple variables and provide information about how the changes interact with each other. 

For example, you might use multivariate testing to see if changing the entire layout of a landing page impacts conversions and which changes impact conversion the most. 

What are the best A/B testing tools?

There are a wide range of testing tools based on your needs and the platform you use. Google offers a free A/B testing tool called Google Optimize. Paid A/B tools include Optimizely, VWO, Adobe Target, and AB Tasty.

You may also be able to run A/B tests using WordPress plugins, your website platform, or marketing tools like HubSpot.    

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A/B testing shows different visitors different versions of the same online asset, such as an ad, social media post, website banner, hero image, landing page, or CTA button. The goal is to better understand which version results in more conversions, ROI, sales, or other metrics important to your business. 


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It can mean several things. For example, it might mean you don’t have enough data, your test didn’t run long enough, your variations were too similar, or you need to look at the data more closely. 


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The purpose of an A/B test is to see which version of an ad, website, content, landing page, or other digital asset performs better than another. Digital marketers use A/B testing to optimize their digital marketing strategies


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For example, you might use multivariate testing to see if changing the entire layout of a landing page impacts conversions and which changes impact conversion the most. 


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There are a wide range of testing tools based on your needs and the platform you use. Google offers a free A/B testing tool called Google Optimize. Paid A/B tools include Optimizely, VWO, Adobe Target, and AB Tasty.

You may also be able to run A/B tests using WordPress plugins, your website platform, or marketing tools like HubSpot.    


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Conclusion: Make the Most of Losing or Inconclusive A/B Testing  

A/B testing is crucial to the success of your online marketing strategy. Whether you focus on SEO, social media, content marketing, or paid ads, you need A/B testing to understand which strategies drive results. 

Every A/B test is valuable—whether your new variation wins, loses, or is inconclusive, there is important data in every test result. The steps above will help you better understand your A/B testing results so you can make changes with confidence. 

Have you used losing or inconclusive A/B testing before? What insights have you gathered? 


Source: New feed 2

10 Google Secrets You’ll Want to Know

Do you consider yourself a Google expert? Think you know all the ins and outs of the search behemoth?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, you might be in for a surprise.

Google contains myriads. The search giant constantly evolves its algorithms and offerings, from secret search functions to in-house SEO guides.

Read on to learn more about Google’s secrets.

1. Google Has Advanced Search Functions: Boolean Operators

We’re all incredibly familiar with the Google search bar, given that 84 percent of us admit to searching Google at least three times a day. However, the search engine also comes equipped with some pretty cool, advanced search functions many don’t know about. These built-tools range from a hashtag search function guides that enable users to optimize for search engine optimization (SEO) and everything in between.

Below, we break down the four most useful secret Google search functions so you can start mastering these secret tricks.

Search for Similar Google Results With Related

Adding “related:” to your search terms lets you include similar or identical topics. This can be beneficial in broadening your search but allow you to keep the results in the same thematic area.

This search feature can aid online business owners or marketers in identifying competitors. By assessing business type, content, and category, Google can show vendors offering similar products and services. This often makes research into competitor search ranking, social strategy, and other marketing functionality easier.

Searching Social Media Profiles and Mentions With Google

With over 49 percent of the global population using social media, it’s safe to say there’s an overwhelming amount of profiles to sort through.

With the social media search Google secret, you can use the @ symbol followed by the handle of an account. Google will compile results for that user, including web pages and tweets.

Google Secrets - Google Has Advanced Search Functions

You can also narrow your search by typing those terms followed by the site you want to search, like Twitter. This could show you the person’s account, mentions of their account, and accounts using similar handles or owned by people with the same actual name.

This can help you isolate mentions of competitors or brands you want to explore further.

Use Google to Search for Hashtags

Much like the above @ function, you can find much more than profiles with Google search functions.

Use the # symbol to aggregate hashtag results, including the social presence associated with the words or phrases.

For example, if you search #digitalmarketing and change the search date to the past 24 hours under “Tools,” you’ll see the most recent posts across social media that discuss digital marketing.

Google Secrets - Hashtag Search

If you want a tight lens, change the result type to verbatim using quotation marks—”#digitalmarketing”—to exclusively see the use of the hashtag.

This search functionality lets marketers see which keywords align with your brand’s message while simultaneously investigating how competitors use social media.

Google Lets You Access a Site’s Cache

From identifying how frequently your site is crawled to relaying information about a page that’s currently down, you can learn a lot from caches.

To access the saved copy of a website, simply use the cache: search command before a site’s URL.

You can view the most recent version of a site within the cache copy, so don’t expect to find a years-old draft.

Within the cached copy, you can view the full version, text-only version, or view source. You will also see the timestamp and snapshot taken by Google.

2. Google Makes Thousands of Updates Each Year

While in its infancy, Google didn’t make many updates to its algorithms annually. Now, the algorithm is updated countless times a year.

Why should you care about this (fairly open) Google secret?

Updates mean changes to how pages display in the search engine result pages (SERPs) and can impact your search visibility.

While these updates have historically ranged from removing spam to ad placement on the SERPs, there’s a significant update on the horizon impacting how marketers gather information about their intended audience.

Google plans to remove all third-party cookies from its engine. Used as a tool for tracking individual movement across the web, cookies have not only long been a marketer’s best friend but also a security threat.

While cookie removal is a massive update, tons of additional updates can impact your digital strategy in other ways.

To stay ahead of these updates, take steps to ensure that you build agile, editable sites and pages that can roll with the changes, setting you up for digital success.

3. Google Knows When Users Exit a Page [Bounce Rate]

Have you struggled to boost email sign up, increase site search traffic, or get more leads?

If you answered yes, the root cause of your problem may be your bounce rate.

Your bounce rate refers to the number of individuals who visit your landing page and leave without conducting any other interaction.

Bounce rates are important metrics because they allow you to understand audience on-page behavior.

And Google has a clear record of this behavior through Google analytics.

If you’re experiencing high bounce rates and struggling to achieve your marketing goals, don’t fret. There are several steps you can undertake to reduce your bounce rate:

Improve Content Readability

Does your content look like one big chunk?

If so, you need to break it up.

Ideally, your content should be quick and consumable. Here are a few tips for making your pages more readable:

  • Use images to break up the labor of reading.
  • Use quotes to underscore reliability and break up the text.
  • Use subheading.
  • Bold keywords.
  • Ask questions to engage readers.
  • End your landing page or content with a subheading titled conclusion.

Write Strong Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that explain what a searcher can anticipate finding on a given page. Search engines use these descriptions to determine what your page is about.

Google Secrets - Meta Descriptions

Ideally, meta descriptions should be 155 characters long. If you exceed this length, the searcher will see an ellipsis (…) at the end of the description. This can result in a higher bounce rate since your site may not have been adequately described.

To optimize your meta descriptions, try to reach that ideal character length of 155 and include relevant keywords.

Use Interactive Content

Are you looking to engage site visitors? There’s no better strategy than using interactive content.

Interactive content entices users to take action rather than simply bouncing from your site. This way, you can lead visitors to explore your site to learn more about your organization.

Examples of interactive content include infographics, e-books, lookbooks, quizzes, and checklists, all of which create and maintain engagement.

4. Google Releases Their Own SEO Guides

While some things at Google may seem hidden, Google releases its own SEO guides.

These tools vary depending on skill level and familiarity and even include a starter guide and developer guide.

These guides cover nearly everything you need to know about succeeding with SEO on Google.

5. Google Holds Secret Conferences

For the last decade, Google has hosted an event dubbed Google Camp during the summer.

Don’t let the cutesy name fool you—this isn’t a bootcamp for coders or developers.

It’s a star-studded meeting of the minds that occurs during the summer months.

Annually themed, the camp has covered humanitarian topics like global warming and education.

You can find former presidents and current starlets, fashion designers, and tech leaders attending these events.

And while admittance to this event is highly selective (not to mention expensive), attendees allegedly enjoy in-depth conversation and relaxation.

6. Google Is Loaded With Fun Easter Eggs

While Google may be the world’s most-used search engine, it is also arguably the world’s most fun search engine. Chock full of Easter eggs that range from solitaire to the functionality to create a heart-shaped graph, you can find a way to entertain yourself when taking a break from customer research. We break down our current three favorite Easter eggs below.

Animal Sounds

Whether you’re teaching your kids the nuances among varying animal sounds or simply want to have some nature-themed time, this secret feature is endlessly delightful.

To access Google’s animal sounds feature, enter the search phrase “animal sounds” into the search bar and let the fun begin.

Tic Tac Toe

If you’re in search of another distracting Google Easter egg and are craving nostalgia, you can try your hand at a classic game of X’s and O’s.

Simply enter the term tic tac toe into the search bar, and you’ll be on your way to a competitive game with Google AI.

Coin Flip

Found yourself sitting with a yes or no question that the flip of a coin can only decide?

If you don’t have a quarter on hand, don’t fret. Google has one for you. Simply enter the phrase flip a coin into the search bar, and you’ll have your answer.

7. Google Provides Directions Directly From the Search Bar

While you probably use Google Maps in your day-to-day life, you can also score directions to any location directly from the search bar. For example, simply type “directions to [destination] from [location]” into the search bar, and Google will provide step-by-step directions. You can even choose whether you’d prefer directions by car, public transit, or foot.

8. Google Enables Search Within Websites

If a website doesn’t include a search function, don’t fret. With Google, you can search a website’s content for a specific query. Simply add site:[website] to the beginning of your search, and you’ll be directed to results from that particular site rather than the entirety of the web.

9. Google Enables Search for Movies, Books, and News

While most Google users know how to conduct image and video searches, did you know you can further vary your search results by medium?

If you’re searching for a book, click the menu item entitled “More.” From here, you can select books, news, or movies and remove any other search clutter that gets in the way of your aim.

10. Define Your Number of Search Results

While we all aspire to land on Google’s first page, sometimes the information you need doesn’t land there. To view more search results, select “Settings” below the right-hand of your search bar on the results page. From here, you can adjust the number of search results that appear.

Google Secrets Frequently Asked Questions

Does Google Have Secret search functions?

Yes! While you may be using standard search queries in the search bar, Google possesses deeper functionality than meets the eye.

Does Google update its search algorithm, and should I care?

Yes, and yes. Google makes thousands of updates to its search algorithm annually. These updates can significantly impact how your site manifests on the SERPs.

How can I keep up with Google’s changing algorithm?

While the answer here is two-fold, we believe that the best offense is a good defense. While many of Google’s more extensive changes are publicized before they go into effect, some are not. By building an adaptive and agile site, you can prepare for whatever updates come your way.

Does Google Really Hold Secret Conferences?

Yes, they do. Every year, guests gather in the summer at a themed retreat focused on a humanitarian issue.

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Google Secrets: Conclusion

Regardless of whether you’re a digital marketer or a business owner, it never hurts to learn more about the search engine that drives the majority of traffic to your website.

If we’re honest, we all want more legitimate site visitors, better optimized SEO, and high-converting web pages, right?

As you learn more about Google secrets, you can use them to your advantage.

That SEO guide? We would suggest getting very familiar with its contents.

And while you may not find yourself in Southern Italy at Google Camp, you will have a much better chance at finding your site ranking on the first page of Google’s SERPs.

What Google secrets do you know?


Source: New feed 2

How to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses

How to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses

Whether you’re a product or service-based business, it’s never too early to start planning your holiday promotions. After all, the holidays are a key time for you to boost your revenue and grow your business before the year’s out, so it’s crucial you take advantage of the opportunity.

Do you really need a seasonal promotion if you sell services, though? Absolutely. See, while many customers are looking for ways to save money on products as the holiday season approaches, that’s not all they’re thinking about. In fact, the run-up to the holidays is a perfect time for any service-based business to find customers and start the new year on a profitable note.

Below, I’ll walk you through why service businesses need holiday promotions, and together we’ll explore how any service business can run a holiday promotion over the winter period.

Why Service-Based Businesses Need Holiday Promotions

Before we get started, you might be wondering: Do holiday promotions work for service-based businesses? Absolutely. Here are the two main reasons why.

Firstly, not everyone wants a product for Christmas. Some people may prefer an experience, such as cooking lessons. Service-based businesses have just as much to offer during the holidays as product retailers.

Secondly, service-based businesses aren’t all that different from product-based businesses. You’re still trying to make money by selling something to a target demographic. Holiday promotions are simply another marketing tool to help you reach this goal.

8 Ways to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses

It’s always worth giving seasonal promotions a shot. Let me walk you through eight ways you might run your own marketing campaigns over the holidays.

1. Partner With Other Businesses

To be clear, I’m not talking about partnering with direct competitors! After all, you don’t want to risk losing customers to a rival.

What I mean is teaming up with a complementary business.

These companies usually have a similar (but not identical) target audience. Although they operate in a different niche, they create a similar impression to your company. Together, you can create something valuable and awesome for your customers.

Here’s a cool example from Uber.

Uber launched a “Holiday Shop” for on-demand pumpkins, which means customers in the LA area can order pumpkins for Halloween decorations:

How to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses - Partner With Other Businesses

Why does this work? Well, if you’re a service business like Uber, you’re not just promoting local pumpkin farms. You’re showcasing your commitment to delivering the local services your customers want when they need them.

Consider partnering with local retail stores to put your company in the spotlight this holiday season.

2. Offer a New Seasonal Service

Are you thinking about expanding your business and offering a new service? Hold off until the holiday season. Not only does this help spark renewed interest with your existing customers, but it helps you attract new customers at a time when they’re more inclined to spend money.

Don’t limit yourself to strictly “holiday” themed services, either. Think about what services your customers need and figure out how you can put a seasonal twist on them.

Not planning on introducing new services this holiday season? Just put a holiday spin on your existing services to make them “feel” new.

For example, From the Hip Photo, Colorado-based photographers, offer Christmas-themed sessions. There’s nothing new about the service offered, but it has a unique festive spin:

How to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses - Offer a New Seasonal Service

Notice how this photo is a brand partnership, too, in case you’re looking for more ideas!

3. Create Gift Bundles

Service-based businesses can offer gift bundles just like product-based businesses.

For example, if you’re a pest control company, you might put together a package with some basic pest control supplies and tips on how to spot common house pests. Or, if you’re a hairdresser, you could offer some free product samples, inexpensive hair accessories like clips, and maybe a brochure setting out your services.

What you offer depends on your budget, though. For example, Salon West, a hair salon in NY, offers a discounted blow-dry package as a gift idea:

How to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses - Create Gift Bundles

This is a great gift bundle idea because clients can experience your service for themselves. If they’re happy, then congrats, you’ll have a new loyal customer!

If you can’t afford to offer a discounted service, though, then don’t worry. Simply stick with cost-effective items your customer base is most likely to value.

4. Offer an Early Bird Sale

An “early bird sale” is a discount companies offer to people who sign up for an event a few weeks or months in advance.

Why do they work? Well, customers feel like they’re getting a bargain. From a business perspective, early bird sales help you plan your event in advance so you have a firmer idea of attendee numbers and projected revenue.

It’s easy to run an early bird sale. A few months (or weeks, depending on the timeline) before your event, offer tickets at a discounted rate. The discount depends on two things: what’s affordable for your business and how much your competitors are offering for similar events.

Also, ensure you promote your discount so people know about it. Send out newsletters and advertise on your social media profiles. Build some buzz around your event.

5. Host a Themed Contest

Get into the holiday spirit with a themed contest or giveaway. There are so many ways you can run a seasonal contest, but here are some suggestions for running your first campaign:

  • Run a contest on social media. To enter, followers must tag a friend, like your post, or engage with your content in some other way.
  • Offer prizes like gift vouchers that winners can use themselves or gift to others.
  • Use bold, holiday-themed colors and images to draw attention to your contest.
  • Share exclusive contests or giveaways with subscribers or loyal customers.
  • Run a “countdown to Christmas” giveaway with different prizes each day.

Explore some ideas and see which one resonates.

6. Partner With a Charity

Why is charitable giving great for business? Well, it helps to promote your brand image for one thing, especially if you’re a local business partnering with a nearby charity.

To get this holiday promotion right, ensure the charity ties in with your company in some way. For example, if you run a gym, partner with a local health charity. If you’re a gardener, partner with a green charity, and so on.

Reach out to charities early to set up a partnership, and don’t forget to promote your efforts on social media and your website.

7. Share Free Resources

You’re a knowledgeable professional. Why not turn some of this knowledge into a free resource your audience can benefit from?

It’s the season of giving, after all, and showing off your industry experience might be the nudge someone needs to hire your services.

For example, if you’re a family law firm, offer a free guide to dispute resolution during the holidays to anyone subscribed to your newsletter. Not only could you get new subscribers, which is a huge bonus, but you might encourage people to choose your firm if they have marital problems.

Once you share this knowledge, you can retarget your customers with some remarketing ads, which can be a way to repurpose content for budget-friendly marketing.

8. Partner With Influencers

Yes, really.

Sure, influencers often endorse products. However, there’s no reason you can’t reach out to influencers who can promote your services instead.

The best influencers are storytellers. They help spread your company message, and they can promote your services to prospective customers.

Most importantly, the best influencers sell experiences. For example, they can walk your audience through a day at your salon or showcase the great work you did on their lawn. No matter what service you offer, it’s worth considering a seasonal influencer partnership.

Where you find influencers depends on your business and where you plan on running a holiday campaign.

For example, you might check out popular influencers through an influencer marketplace, or you could search hashtags on Instagram to find niche influencers who might be interested in testing your services.

If you’re a local-run business, you could also seek out local influencers to build a sense of community and foster trust in your brand.

Here’s an example of a local blogger promoting the Flashfood App, which helps people reduce food waste. This type of promotion could work great during the holidays because it might show people how to enjoy the festive season while minimizing their environmental impact:

How to Run Holiday Promotions for Service-Based Businesses - Partner With Influencers

How to Run Your Holiday Promotions

OK, so those are some holiday promotions you might run for your service-based business. How do you choose the right promotion, though, and how do you manage the campaigns you do launch? Here are some tips to help you stay on the right track.

  • Always have a clear goal in mind. For example, maybe you have an underperforming service you’re trying to boost. The clearer the goal, the easier it is to choose the right holiday promotion.
  • Know what your customers want and figure out how you can deliver through a seasonal promotion. Analyze your existing customer base before launching any campaign.
  • Check out the competition. Think about what successful promotions other businesses in your niche ran in the past. What can you learn from their strategy?
  • Plan your holiday promotions in advance, if possible. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to build hype around your brand and the promotions on offer.

While there’s no single key to holiday promotion success, these tips can hopefully help you create a profitable campaign.

Holiday Promotions: Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, those holiday promotion ideas resonate with your business. Here’s a quick summary of everything I covered so you can refer back if you need a little extra guidance.

Should I run holiday promotions?

Sure! The holidays are a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s creativity, reinforce your unique selling points, and ensure your customers feel valued. If you’re a service-based small business, it’s always worth considering a holiday promotion of some kind.

What holiday promotions should I run?

Promotional ideas include rewarding your most loyal customers with some extra discounts, running shopping events, giving out free guides, and offering new seasonal services.

Where do I advertise my promotions?

You can advertise your holiday promotions just about anywhere, whether it’s on your website or social media channels. Just think about your audience demographics to figure out where you’ll get the most exposure. For example, an older demographic may be less likely to find your ads on TikTok, and so on.

How do I track the success of my holiday promotions?

It depends on which promotions you run and which platforms you use to market your offerings, but you can generally rely on social media metrics and Google Analytics performance for a good starting point.

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Holiday Promotions Conclusion

Holiday promotions allow service-based businesses to tap into what the season is all about: giving. Ideally, don’t leave it until the last minute to develop your marketing strategy, though.

Begin crafting those all-important promotional emails now, and start scheduling seasonal content now for your social media channels.

That said, it’s never too late to start planning for holiday marketing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what’s involved, or if you’re unsure how to keep sales high after the holiday season is over, don’t forget to check out my business consulting services to see how I can help you.

Have you run any holiday promotions before?


Source: New feed 2

How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

You’ve probably used tools like Google Optimize for A/B testing to increase conversion rates on your site.

These tools allow you to test content by showing different variations of the same page to visitors at random. 

A/B testing helps prevent websites from spending time and resources on developing features that turn out to be unpopular with their users. 

Sometimes, however, A/B testing can lead to a slower user experience if the page takes too long to load.

This often happens if the content is being tested too often or if the code is used in a way that slows down the site.

If your content takes too long to load, users may navigate off your site, increasing bounce rates and lowering your chance to convert them. 

In this blog, we’ll cover how to prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site, using tactics such as:

  • making sure that the scripts are implemented directly into the top of the head tag, not using a tag manager 
  • implementing the asynchronous GTM version of Google Optimize 
  • using animations can be used to prevent test experiences from loading too slowly and being too disruptive to user experience

Let’s get started.

How Can A/B Testing Slow Down Your Site?

A/B testing can cause an extra step in loading and displaying web pages.

This happens because two versions of content are being shown to users at random times, collecting data on which page performs better.

All of this back and forth communication can result in a lag in page load time.

It can also cause a flicker of original content (FOOC) that displays for a short moment before the page finishes loading.

A/B testing slows down your site in three ways:

  • making the loading time of your site slower than normal 
  • creating a poor user experience that causes users to leave or prevent them from visiting again later on 
  • delaying any other events, such as an email campaign, because it’s taking longer for pages to load and finish rendering

Page load time is an important metric for your conversions and SEO.

Research has shown the first five seconds of page load time has the biggest impact on conversion rates.

Similarly, 70 percent of consumers say page speed influences their desire to buy.

Ultimately, if you want users to stay on your site and purchase your products, you need to make sure your site is fast. 

google on bounce rates for sites to prevent a/b testing from slowing down your site

How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

To prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site, it’s important to take extra steps to ensure your user experience is not impacted by these tests.

According to Backlinko, the average page load benchmark is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile.

If you’re not hitting these markers, you may have a problem.

Whether you’re using Google Optimize or another A/B testing tool, there are a few ways to prevent your site from slowing down.

How to Prevent A/B Testing From Slowing Down Your Site

1. Implement Scripts in the Top of the Head Tag

When you add A/B testing scripts to your site, make sure they are at the top of your head tag and not a tag manager.

This is important because if you make changes to your site, the scripts will be overwritten.

A tag manager is an external script that loads in place of others which can overwrite them without warning and prevent scripts from functioning properly when you make changes to your website.

If you are using the synchronous version of the script, then make sure it is placed after your site’s scripts. 

This will prevent any problems with delays caused by third-party resources on your page, such as ad networks. 

2. Use Asynchronous Tracking

Google Optimize has two versions: synchronous and asynchronous

The synchronous versions prevent any content from rendering until it has been fully loaded. This can prevent your A/B tests from loading in a reasonable time. 

The asynchronous versions prevent any content from rendering until it is ready, but this does not prevent the other scripts on the page from being executed immediately.

The asynchronous version is recommended for most users. It loads in a separate thread from the rest of the website, so it does not prevent other critical tasks from being executed prior to its execution.

The async version will prevent certain animations from slowing down your test experiences while still allowing for other elements on the page to play.  

If you use a tag manager like Google Tag Manager (GTM), or another JavaScript management system, it’s important these are implemented asynchronously and not using the standard version of the Optimize snippet.  

There should be no delays in page load time when Google Optimize is running on your website. The async version can prevent this by adding asynchronous to each script call so they don’t block rendering.

This is particularly important if you don’t run any tests or if they are played in a non-interruptive manner across all pages.

3. Incorporate Animations to Improve UX

If you are using Google Optimize, then you can also use animations to prevent test experiences that may load slowly and be too disruptive to the user experience.

Animations can be used to prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site by giving users something fun to focus on while they wait for content delivery.

For example, you can use animations to keep users engaged before a site fully loads, like this.

How to Prevent AB Testing From Slowing Down Your Site Incorporate Animations

This will tell users their content is being loaded and prevent them from leaving the page.

Remember to always center your animations in a place where your user will be focused.

A loading page is a good example of this or a page where the user will be focused on a specific part of the design.

Remember to prevent animations from interrupting other tests and make sure they are implemented correctly across all pages.

4. Reduce the Size of the Snippet

When adding a snippet to your site, try to keep it as small as possible.

This will prevent the script from slowing down other parts of your site, and prevent other scripts on your page from being delayed or interrupted. 

You can do this by using a tag manager, such as Google Tag Manager (GTM). 

GTM will allow you to shorten the snippet or include the snippet only on specific pages. 

Keep in mind that using a tag manager is not necessary for Google Optimize if you just want to add it once across all of your page’s head tags. 

If you prefer to embed the script into each page directly then make sure they are implemented at the top of the head tag. 

5. Test on the Server-Side

When conducting A/B tests on different server sides, the delay is often much less noticeable. 

For example, you might be using PHP instead of JavaScript on your client-side to prevent content from loading slowly and interrupting users who are trying out their new site design. 

Using different server sides works because the async version will prevent browsers from blocking on a callback function, which would prevent all other content from loading while it’s waiting for code to finish running. 

The benefit of doing this is the server-side tests prevent users with slow connections or high latency from seeing delays when loading content. 

If you can’t do this, it’s recommended to use Google Tag Manager to load these scripts asynchronously so they run after page rendering is complete and don’t affect performance. 

Also keep in mind that when testing on different server sides, it might be more difficult to prevent a slower loading experience from interrupting users since there is no way of calling asynchronous JavaScript into service. 

6. Consolidate and Optimize Variation Code

Consolidating and optimizing variation codes can help prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site. 

Variation codes are the code that is used by Optimize for each variation. 

The more complicated your website, the more variations you need to create and the more often these tests run — which results in slower site speed. 

If too many changes are applied at once on a page it can prevent other scripts from running properly or even prevent the page from loading at all.

This is detrimental to your user experience and can prevent testing from allowing you to continue optimizing your website. 

For example, if a user has JavaScript turned off or does not have it enabled they will never reach the variation that contains optimized content for them and this can set back optimizations by several weeks!

This is why it’s so important to consolidate all of your Optimize codes and scripts directly into the head tag of your site.

7. Keep All Data in a Single File

Your website is full of data and assets that need to load before the page is shown to a user. 

When you run an A/B test these assets and data need to be shared between the two experiences, but can also cause a lot of issues if they aren’t carefully managed. 

For example, say your old site used Font Awesome for all its icons and your new website uses Google Fonts as it is more web-friendly. If your site is running an A/B test, your old site will need to use the same Google Fonts as your new one. 

If you don’t manage this correctly it can cause a considerable delay in how fast the page loads for users because of all these extra assets that are loaded on top of each other. 

To prevent A/B testing from slowing down your site, keep all data in a single file. This means you prevent the page from having to make multiple requests for information. 

All experiments should be stored in a single place that is easily accessible by everyone on your team. This can prevent a lot of issues from occurring, as well as making it much easier to track the progress and performance of each test you are running. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventing A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site

Does Google Optimize slow down your site?

Google Optimize does not have a big effect on page load times. What’s more important is the time it takes your page to load, latency, and visitor connection speeds.

What should you do after an A/B test?

After you complete your A/B testing you should measure your results and take action based on your findings. It’s also recommended to strategize a new A/B test so you can continue learning.

How do I increase my Google page speed?

Page speed comes down to many factors, but optimizing your A/B tests can help prevent testing from slowing down your site.

When should you not use an A/B test?

If you lack meaningful traffic, don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to testing, don’t have a hypothesis to test, or don’t need more traffic, you should not use an A/B test.

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How to Prevent A/B Testing from Slowing Down Your Site: Conclusion

A/B testing can be a great tool for driving conversions and it’s something every website owner should take advantage of. 

Understanding how to prevent A/B tests from slowing down your site, however, is equally important because slow test experiences are disruptive to the user experience

Sites that use A/B testing effectively will see both an increase in traffic and greater audience insights. 

How have you used A/B testing to improve site performance?


Source: New feed 2

How to Build Paid Ad Campaigns Around Typos, Misspellings, and More

How to Build Paid Ad Campaigns Around Typos, Misspellings, and More

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human.

Unfortunately, in some cases, mistakes can be costly.

If you’re a marketer running paid campaigns, mistakes can actually be blessings in disguise. That’s because you can build paid ad campaigns around typos, misspellings, and other types of mistakes if you play your cards right. 

Mistakes in ads have a high chance of going viral. People love making fun of other people’s mistakes. In today’s world, that means sharing your mistake with their network. An ad with a typo, misused apostrophe, incorrect homophone, or any other error could make more people aware of your brand than ever before.

Whether or not that’s a good thing largely depends on how you handle the issue. Rather than trying to cover up your mistake, take advantage of it.

While mistakes may be embarrassing and used well, they can also be a tool to shine the spotlight on your brand or product. 

6 Clever Ways to Use Typos and Misspellings in Paid Ad Campaigns

Sometimes using conventional digital marketing practices only puts you in the same league as your competitors. In today’s crowded market, you may need to give yourself an edge.

Sometimes that involves leveraging mistakes in your paid ad campaigns, particularly your ad copy. Here are six ways you can use written mistakes to your advantage when engaging in paid advertising.

1. Poke Fun at Previous Mistakes

If your brand made a mistake in a previous campaign, go all in and make a joke of the mistake in your next paid ad campaign. 

For best results, share the ad on the social media platforms where the mistake got the most coverage. Make sure to tag those who initiated the conversation around the mistake and any influencers who joined the chat.

There are two big reasons you should lean into your previous mistake.

It Humanizes Your Brand 

Admitting to your mistakes can be a great way of showing the human side of your brand. One particularly human trait that will stand out is humility, a quality that will help you earn your customers’ trust. 

Great Way to Fan the Flames of a Viral Brand Awareness Campaign 

The conversation around your first paid ad mistake is a spark you can fan into a blazing brand awareness inferno. Unless your error made your ad offensive, instead of apologizing, poke fun at yourself. Think of how many of the most beloved comedians are self-deprecating!

The next time one of your paid ads goes out with a mistake, take it as an opportunity to run a fun campaign. 

2. Incorporate Common Brand Name Misspellings

Some brand names were designed to be spelled wrong. Take, for example:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Kool-Aid
  • Froot Loops
  • Play-Doh

These were purposely misspelled for brand “stickability” so people remember them.

What happens if people often misspell your brand name?

Use that to your advantage by incorporating those wrong spellings in your paid ad campaigns.

A little humor here will go a long way. Humorously call out the misspelling of your brand name. When people search for your brand using the wrongly spelled version of your brand name, your ad may pop up. 

It’s a win-win situation. Your customers still get to find you, and you’ll still get the traffic you would have otherwise missed due to the typo.

Let’s face it. No matter how much you may try and educate people about the correct spelling of your brand name, you’ll always find those who still misspell it. 

That said, when creating your ad, make sure not to use the wrong spelling of your brand name in the business name field. This could get you in trouble as it goes against Google’s editorial guidelines.

Clever Ways to Use Typos and Misspellings in Paid Ad Campaigns - Incorporate Common Brand Misspellings

3. Use a Word With a Double Meaning

Creativity is an essential element of creating paid ads that work. One creative hack you can use to boost your campaigns is using homonyms in your ads. These are words that are spelled and sound the same but have more than one meaning. Examples of homonyms include:

  • bark
  • arm
  • pen

Words with more than one meaning can make your ad memorable when used well.

That said, be sure your target audience will appreciate the joke. Consider their preferences before going with something a little “scandalous,” for instance.

4. Use Sensational Spelling to Make an Effect

Sensational spelling is an excellent marketing gimmick you can leverage to differentiate your brand, products, and even ads. If you’re wondering, sensational spelling refers to the deliberate deviation from the standard spelling of a word while still maintaining its pronunciation. Common examples of sensational spellings include:

  • Blu-ray
  • Fiverr
  • Krispy Kreme

The purpose of sensational spelling is more for special effect than anything else, and that effect works on two primary levels:

Visual Impact 

The visual effect of sensational spelling is a powerful tool for stopping searchers in their tracks. Moreover, because the spelling looks out of the ordinary, it evokes a sense of curiosity.

Emotional Effect

Because they look cool, words that leverage the device elicit positive emotions from your target audience when they see your ads. This helps create an emotional attachment that works in your favor by giving your conversion rate a push.

5. Use Common Typos and Misspellings in Keywords

Keyword research plays a huge role in any digital marketing campaign. While it’s common to use exact match keywords and synonyms, marketers rarely consider using typos and misspelled keywords.

When conducting keyword research, take note of wrongly spelled keywords that have a decent volume. Chances are that few brands are incorporating them into their campaigns. Therefore, bidding on them won’t be as expensive as bidding on the correctly spelled version.

Including these types of keywords in your targeted keyword list will extend the reach of your ads while still keeping your ad spend relatively low.

Bidding on typos and misspelled words is an excellent way of tapping into premium traffic. However, you must be careful to execute your campaign strategically. Otherwise, it might backfire. For example, avoid using dynamic keyword insertion when running a paid ad campaign with typos or misspelled words. Using dynamic keyword insertion will result in the correctly spelled version of your keyword being placed in your ad. 

All that said, intentionally misspelling words often can lower trust in your attention to detail, and you don’t want to resort to unsavory techniques to include these misspelled keywords without them being visible to users.

Are there words that are commonly misspelled that you might use in your content? Then find ways to work them in naturally! For instance, if your company’s mascot says “Voila!” a lot, you could write something like “Voila, pronounced ‘walla’…”

Take advantage of them and build some paid ad campaigns around them. 

6. Misquote Popular Quotes

People love quotes. They spice up conversations, are a great source of inspiration, and can help build effective paid ad campaigns. 

Yes, you read that right.

Misquoting a well-known quote in your niche disrupts your readers’ thought processes and gets them to focus on the message you’re trying to convey. It may also make them chuckle.

For your next campaign, consider taking quotes from a popular movie or public figure and incorporate and put your own twist on it.    

Remember—make sure your audience knows you’re in on the joke. Otherwise, they could end up thinking you just didn’t pay attention. 

2 Examples of Paid Ad Campaigns With Intentional Typos

Need a couple of examples of paid ad campaigns built around typos?

I’ll do you one better and show you two.

1. You’re Not You When You’re Hungry—Snickers 

A classic example of a paid ad campaign that intentionally used a typo is the Snickers’ “you’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign.

Examples of Paid Ad Campaigns With Intentional Typos - Snickers you’re not you when you’re hungry

The campaign involved the brand bidding for about 25,000 of the most popular grammatical errors and misspelled search terms. Each time a person typed one of those in the search bar, the first ad would direct them to Snickers’ website.

One factor that made this campaign a success is the humorous nature of the campaign. Snickers even went as far as misspelling their name (and many other words too). For example, take a look at the ad below:

Examples of Paid Ad Campaigns With Intentional Typos - Snickers

An interesting element about this campaign is that Snickers didn’t build their campaign solely on brand or product-related misspellings. To widen the reach of their campaign, they targeted words that are commonly misspelled by people searching on Google. 

Now that’s what I call thinking out of the box.

2. Sleep Easy on a Spelling Slip—Poofing Pillows

Ten percent of search queries contain a spelling mistake. Knowing the common spelling mistakes for your product can give you the advantage of utilizing them in your paid ad campaigns. 

Here’s an example from Poofing Pillows:

Examples of Paid Ad Campaigns With Intentional Typos - Poofing Pillows

As you can see, Poofing Pillows clearly knows how to spell “mattresses.” However, they’ve used the common misspelling and the correct spelling in their paid ad to hit both keywords.

Make sure to create a different ad group for these types of ads for better tracking and management.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paid Ad Campaigns 

Before we wrap up this interesting discussion on building paid ad campaigns around typos, misspellings, and mistakes, let’s quickly answer a few FAQs about paid ad campaigns.

How do paid campaigns work?

Brands bid for keywords on search engines, social media, and other advertising platforms. The ad that wins the bid gets displayed.

Are paid ads still worth it?

Despite the stiff competition for keywords, paid ads are still a great way to generate leads and drive sales.

How can I make my paid ads stand out?

Be different. One way you can do that is to deliberately use typos and misspelling mistakes. People might stop to take a closer look.

Do paid ads with typos work?

If done well, paid ads with typos can work. They help you tap into a segment of traffic that few are looking to tap into. You can also get to spark interesting conversations around the typo, leading to a boost in brand awareness. 

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Paid Ad Campaigns: Conclusion

Paid ad campaigns. Typos. Misspellings. Grammar errors. Can anything good come out of these combinations?

The simple answer is…possibly. 

It all depends on how you build your campaigns. Using the tips and strategies outlined above, you can create paid campaigns around typos, misspellings, and other types of mistakes. 

These campaigns could help you drive brand awareness, boost sales, and achieve many other business and marketing goals.

Have you ever made a typo or other glaring mistake in your paid ads (intentionally or not)? How did that work out?


Source: New feed 2

How to Market Without Cookies

How to Market Without Cookies

For several years, many digital marketing teams relied on cookies for marketing

However, everything is about to change. 

Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari already block third-party cookies, and recently, Google revealed it would no longer support cookies on ad networks and its Chrome browser.

What does this mean for marketing teams, and what can you do to ensure your business keeps running smoothly when you are marketing without cookies? Let’s find out. 

Why Are Third-Party Cookies Going Away & Why Does it Matter?

Whenever you use the internet, especially on browsers like Chrome, your actions are tracked through cookies. 

These cookies can help marketing teams understand user behaviors and ad performance, but they may feel like an intrusion of privacy for many users. 

By blocking these cookies, users can increase their privacy and security. Browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Brave have already started doing this. Google will also begin phasing out third-party cookies from its browsers to strengthen user privacy and promote itself as a secure search engine. 

This represents a considerable change for marketers who heavily relied on cookies for their ad campaigns. 

When creating paid ad campaigns on browsers and social media platforms, you need customer details to customize the copy. Marketing without cookies means you’d have to rely on first-party data (more on that below) rather than third-party cookies. 

Now Google is launching “The Privacy Sandbox” as a response to the cookieless future. Here data will be stored anonymously to form a middle ground where companies can obtain customer data without intrusive cookie tracking. 

Beyond this, there are various ways to market without cookies. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most effective strategies and offer tips for marketing without relying on the use of third-party cookies. 

4 Tips to Prepare for Cookieless Marketing

Your marketing campaigns don’t have to suffer because you don’t have access to third-party cookies. 

Using the strategies and tips below, you can learn to leverage tools like first-party data to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts without depending on cookies. 

Turn on Google Analytics 4

An upgraded version of Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4 supports both app and website-based tracking. It helps if you use both formats (app and website), as most businesses do today. 

Whether you already run GA for an existing website or you want to create a different account for a new site, turning on Google Analytics 4 is simple. Here’s a detailed guide to help you get started

Start Gathering First-Party Data

Third-party cookies are blocked, but marketing teams can continue to collect first-party data. This means you can still use data from email sign-up forms or newsletters, surveys, and other direct methods. 

The biggest benefit of working with first-party data is you own the data. You don’t have to worry about buying it from someone else or losing the right to use it. 

The second benefit is first-party data tends to be more accurate than third-party cookies because you know your customers and have the tools to figure out exactly where the data came from. 

Another massive benefit is your competitors don’t have the same data. When you buy third-party data, there may be another company, most likely your competitor, that buys the same information.

Sounds exciting? Here are some ways to collect first-party data to help you get started:

  • online surveys
  • sign-up forms
  • newsletters
  • community polls
  • SMS answers
  • mobile notification responses 
  • direct mail (offline post), etc.

These are some of the tools marketers typically use to gather first-party data from both new visitors and seasoned users. You may not want to start using all of them at once as it could overwhelm your customers. 

Instead, try one or two approaches first. See how your audience responds to it. Are they receptive to your methods, or do they need a different approach? Experiment with different techniques to see what best suits your business model. 

Invest More in Market Research

Market research goes hand-in-hand with collecting first-party data. When marketing without cookies, you need to know who your audience is. 

Understanding their needs and pain points will help you tailor your campaigns to suit their needs without having to rely on external cookies data. 

If you’re new to this, here are some ways to get started with market research:

  • Launch a targeted survey.
  • Collect questions and feedback from your current users.
  • Work with analytics to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
  • Hold focus groups with incentives for participants. 
  • Observe how customers interact without interfering with their actions. 
  • Post simple polls in community forms to get a broad view of audience interests. 
  • Leverage the power of social media to understand what your target market wants. 

No matter which method you choose, the bottom line is this: Start investing more in market research. Get to know your customers and target market with surveys, buyer personas, and most importantly, constantly testing your findings with A/B testing. 

Focus on Personalization

What would you prefer? An email that addresses you by your name, or one that starts with a “hello there!?” 

Research says people prefer the first option. Studies show 90 percent of users find personalization appealing and 80 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands provide personalized experiences.

If you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, it’s best to focus on personalization

Now that you’re already working with first-party data, this will be easier. 

Start with using the customer’s name. There are dozens of tools in the market, including ones that work with newsletters to automatically personalize your campaigns. 

Then address customer pain points. Get really specific about what bothers them and position yourself as a solution for those problems. This will help customers connect with your brand better. 

Here’s an eye-opening graphic about pain points to keep in mind when working on personalization. 

Customer pain points are important for personalization when marketing without cookies.

Rethinking PPC: 4 Tips for PPC Marketing Without Cookies

If you’ve ever run online advertising campaigns, you know the best way to get effective results is to target your ads to specific audiences. How can you do that when marketing without cookies? Here’s how. 

Use AI-Based Bidding

By analyzing search data, AI-driven bidding determines which keywords and trends generate the most conversions. Then it optimizes your bids in real-time, maximizes efficiency for your ad spend, and improves the return on your investment

Here’s an example from Google.

AI-driven bidding example by Google for marketing without cookies.

The Smart Bidding feature of Google AI-based bidding provides bid strategies based on conversions. As a result, you can make targeted bid decisions for every auction in which your ads are entered. 

What does it mean? Simply speaking, it means you can get more reliable results without resorting to guesswork.

Such automated bid decisions are based on data that includes information about the device, the current location, the time of day, remarketing list, enabled languages, operating system, and other relevant details.

Still confused about AI-based bidding? Don’t worry. Here’s a Google guide to help you get started. 

Reconsider KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) measure progress towards achieving ad campaign goals, so the success of your PPC marketing campaign often depends on what you’re actually measuring

Here’s where it gets interesting. When marketing without cookies, you may have to reconsider these KPIs to better align with your business goals. For instance, you may want to pay more attention to conversion numbers (how many users convert vs. how many users bounce from your homepage). 

Cost per acquisition is another important KPI you need to consider to ensure your ad campaigns are profitable in the long run. 

Here’s a thorough representation of evolving KPIs to help you plan your cookieless marketing strategies more effectively. 

Representation of evolving KPIs for online and offline markets for marketing without cookies.

Fully understanding and leveraging these KPIs can help you make better marketing decisions, especially when you’re navigating this new territory of a cookieless marketing future. 

Use Contextual-Based Advertising

Now that third-party cookies are out of the picture, you may be wondering: How can I know which ads to place where if I don’t have data about consumer behavior? 

That’s where contextual advertising comes in. In context-based advertising, ads are placed on web pages according to the website’s content. For example, a tech blog may display ads about computer accessories, while a vegan-living website may display ads about vegan food products. 

Look at the NYT Books section, for another example. 

Amazon Prime Video ad copy talks about being a bookworm.

The Amazon Prime Video ad copy literally talks about being a “bookworm.” This is contextual advertising as users who read the NYT Books section are obviously readers in some capacity. 

One more: Look at WSJ’s Life and Work section. It has a classic lifestyle content ad, considering users visiting this section have already shown an interest in lifestyle content. 

Lifestyle content ad on WSJ’s Life and Work section.

Target Based on Location and Time

Say you want something more personal than contextual advertising. Then consider targeting users based on their current location and time of the day. 

This can be as simple as “geotargeting,” where you change the ad copy to suit users from different regions. You see this in most search results. 

For example, if you look up “coffee shops” from New York, you’ll see ads and search results for coffee shops in NY, even if the same brand has a franchise elsewhere. 

The most interesting part? It doesn’t even have to be a huge brand. As long as the business has some web presence and works with geotargeted ads, it’ll show up for location-based searches. 

Marketing without cookies includes geotargeting like showing coffee shops in NY for NY-based users.

Time-based marketing is similar, with the only difference being you’re now using time data to personalize your copy. Imagine getting an email greeting you with a Good Morning when it’s actually morning in your region. Feels good, doesn’t it? 

This approach can also be useful to determine when ads will appear for users.

Say you want to market coffee products. It’s better to show these ads in the morning when users are considering buying coffee, rather than at night when they are more likely to avoid it.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Marketing in a Cookieless Future

Here are some frequently asked questions about marketing without cookies.

Why is Google getting rid of third-party cookies?

Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies comes as part of a comprehensive strategy to create a privacy sandbox so users can be tracked (for marketing purposes) while maintaining their privacy. 

How will the end of third-party cookies impact marketing?

Most marketing teams were used to using third-party cookies for launching marketing campaigns. Losing access to those would mean you have to rethink your strategy, find better ways to collect information (first-party data), and personalize ad campaigns without relying on cookies.

What is the Google Privacy Sandbox?

Google has launched the Privacy Sandbox initiative to develop web standards that allow websites to access user information without compromising privacy. In essence, it facilitates online advertising without relying on third-party cookies.

What does cookieless marketing mean?

Cookies are bits of data that contain identifiers for consumers (personal and usage information), so cookieless marketing relies less on them in comparison to other marketing approaches. This involves using first-party data and personalization to increase the effectiveness of ad campaigns. 

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Cookieless Marketing Conclusion 

Marketing without cookies may seem like a daunting task at first. However, it doesn’t have to be so hard. 

Using the strategies and tips outlined above, you can improve your ad campaigns without relying on third-party cookies to find marketing success.  

The best part is these methods give you more control and accuracy compared to cookie-based marketing, which has you sharing data with your competitors. 

Which strategy will you try for marketing without cookies?


Source: New feed 2

The 7 Best Strategies for D2C Brands

The 7 Best Strategies for D2C Brands

D2C companies, by definition, take out the middleman and sell their products “direct to consumers.”

In many ways, this seems like an obvious choice. You sell your product straight to them and cut out any fees required with wholesale and other sales platforms. Plus, you don’t have to charge markup fees to cover those additional costs, so you can keep the prices low for your customers.

The hiccup comes with marketing. Stores you could be selling wholesale to have the advantages of customer loyalty, brand recognition, a diverse inventory, and convenient locations.

With D2C, you have to find those customers and convince them to buy directly from you, rather than grabbing that item the next time they are out shopping.

It can be a challenge, but when done right, it can be worth it.

Examples of D2C Brands

We live in a world of disrupters. As a result, many of the most popular D2C brands tend to have a rebellious or revolutionary angle to their product or service.

1. Dollar Shave Club

Examples of D2C Brands - Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is the epitome of D2C brands because their product is often a last-minute purchase. Razors for shaving aren’t often something you search the internet for.

Dollar Shave Club found a way to directly sell in a way that also helps their customers avoid the inevitable: Forgetting to add it to their shopping list or not realizing they need it until it’s too late.

2. Warby Parker

Warby Parker isn’t the first D2C eyeglasses company, but they are one of the first to make it cool.

Eyeglasses are often sold wholesale in doctors’ offices after appointments. Offices have captive audiences, and eyeglass sellers can connect with and supply them with the latest styles.

The problem for consumers comes when the office doesn’t have a style they like or when all options are too pricey for them. They may feel pressured to settle for something so they have a pair in their new prescription.

Examples of D2C Brands - Warby Parker

Warby Parker took a D2C approach to bring some very stylish brands and let customers try them out. As a result, customers don’t have to feel that pressure to just choose something.

Through Warby Parker, customers can use an app to see how they look in lots of “rental” pairs of glasses. Between this and having time to show the styles off to their friends, they can take a few for a sort of test drive, then purchase the one(s) they love.

Warby Parker can offer competitive prices by selling directly and avoiding markups at the doctor’s office.

3. Peet’s Coffee Subscription

Most of us grab our coffee at the grocery store—sometimes only because we realize we’ve already run out. We don’t often think to buy directly from the coffee maker unless we are talking about a local coffee shop that brews their own.

Peet’s brought these concepts together with their coffee subscription service. As a result, the same products you would usually get at the store are now available in an exclusive-feeling monthly delivery.

Examples of D2C Brands - Peets Coffee

Nearly all the brands that use a specialty D2C subscription option in addition to their retail locations allow consumers to feel closer to the headquarters of these coffee producers. That is, the brand is best known in a particular part of the country, and they market their subscriptions to those who lived there and have moved away.

7 Strategies for D2C Brands

D2C, by definition, means you need to be able to reach your target audience. However, before you can reach them, you need to know who they are. The more you can learn about them, the better your chances of not only finding them with your message but of them converting to your brand.

1. Make Good Use of Reviews and Testimonials

Word of mouth is powerful for any brand, but D2C relies heavily on loyal customers spreading the word. Leverage this power by collecting reviews and testimonials and sharing them in your ads, social media, landing pages, product pages, and other relevant locations.

Unearth stories from your customers that speak to your key differentiators and use feedback that tells the story of the impact you made in their lives. For example, what was different about what you sell? How did it finally provide the solution they’ve been looking for?

Those reviews and testimonials sound like talking with a friend and help potential customers feel heard.

2. Be There When They’re Looking For You

Using SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) ads can place your brand before your potential audience where they look for you. By researching them well, you can learn the keywords and phrases they use to find what you’re selling.

Start with on-page SEO, capitalizing on keywords your target market is looking for and ensuring your website uses those keywords effectively. Weave those keywords into headlines, product descriptions and tags, page titles, and more.

Then create ads that leverage those keywords. You can place them on Google to show up when people are searching. Make sure your ads paint a clear picture of the solution you are providing.

Stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds by using retargeting ads that will pop up when they are scrolling other sites later. After a while, your brand should begin to feel familiar, and you may enter your potential customers’ subconsciouses.

3. Get Creative With Ad Placement

You can take the approach to another level by showing up in other places where you know your target audience is. You might use keywords your competitors would be using or are slightly off-topic but still related, keywords your target audience is searching for. It’s a disruptor approach that can work very well for D2C brands when done creatively and intuitively.

Although not D2C, you can see this a lot with software and technology brands. Here’s an example.

Strategies for D2C Brands - Get Creative With Ad Placement

You need to know your audience to make this work: What are they looking for? What sense of humor do they have? What makes them unique?

4. Offer Something Different

This is a crucial step for D2C brands. If you are going to sell a product directly to clients, you’ve got to give them a reason to buy.

Sometimes a lower price or a unique brand personality can help them choose you over Amazon, the mall, the drug store, or Target.

However, to get traction with a D2C brand and build enough momentum to make it long-term, you need to come to the market in a fundamentally different way.

For many D2C brands, this may mean a monthly subscription, like the coffee mentioned above. You can bring the convenience of not forgetting or running out of a needed product.

You could also offer a unique approach to your consumers. For example, how are items in your industry typically packaged, sold, and delivered? How can you make the experience better? How can you provide more?

5. Referrals and Word of Mouth

As you build up your D2C brand, your customers will be your best marketers. When they love what you’re doing, they can help others get excited. In addition, they can probably talk about your product or service better than you can, so let them talk!

Dial up your referral program by offering incentives to those who refer others to your brand and even better kickbacks to those who put the work in and bring in a lot of referrals.

Make it easy for your audience by providing unique URLs they can share with others. You can also drop postcards and little treats into your shipments to help your customers spread the word.

6. Set Up a Chatbot

Successful D2C companies build relationships with their customers from the start. Those relationships start with first interactions, and you can add a chatbot to those first interactions on your website.

A chatbot allows people to immediately start “talking” with someone to get their questions answered. Although those initial interactions will be automated, you can and should follow up with customers who interact with your chatbot to find out how you can help more.

Bring some humanity to your brand, and you can stand out from the corporate competition.

7. Turn Customers into Product Developers

What do your customers want from you? Just ask!

Among the most significant benefits of D2C is that you have access to your customers. You can communicate with them, so do it.

Ask questions and listen to your customers: the happy ones and the unhappy ones. They are going to be your best research and development department.

They can tell you about what’s working well and what needs improvement, as well as what other products or services they would like to see in the future.

Not only does this help you bring products to the market that people will like, but it also builds rapport with your customers. People want to feel heard, and you can stand out as a brand that listens.

Additional Resources for New D2C Brands

If you’re thinking of starting a D2C business or want to offer some products direct-to-consumers, you may want to learn more about the advantages and challenges of this approach and some strategies for success.

  1. D2C and Millennials Article from Fundera by NerdWallet
  2. You may have noticed some overlap in the millennial market and the uptick in D2C brands. Fundera explains more about how to leverage that connection in this article. 
  3. D2C Podcast Collection

If learning by podcast is more your style, here is an excellent roundup of podcasts, episodes, and themes that you might find interesting as you explore this opportunity.

  1. D2C and Loyal Customers webinar from Shippo

As we’ve discussed, building a loyal customer base is not only a necessity of the D2C approach, but it’s also an advantage of setting up your brand this way. Learn more from the team at Shippo about how you can use various tools and resources to win customers.

Direct to Consumer (D2C) Frequently Asked Questions

What does D2C mean in retail?

D2C means “direct to consumer” and refers to maintaining inventory and selling products directly to your customers. 

​​Is Amazon a D2C company?

Mostly no; D2C companies sell own products directly to customers. Amazon does have some branded products, but most items are owned by other companies using Amazon as a sales platform.

What brands are going to D2C?

Brands from every industry have begun to try this method of reaching and interacting with customers. 

Can you make a lot of money with D2C companies?

Success with D2C depends on whether you can connect with your target audience and provide them directly with a product or service they can’t get elsewhere or in a better way. This trend is growing and many companies are seeing success with it. 

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7 Strategies for D2C Companies Conclusion

D2C companies are growing in popularity as e-commerce marketing technology makes it easier to connect with your audience and build sales processes in-house. 

If you’re looking to overcome standard wholesale or dropshipping models, or if you just want to dabble in new methods, you may want to try direct to consumer. It can give you a closer relationship to your customers and provide new opportunities. 

Are you up for a D2C sales approach?


Source: New feed 2

How to Get Snapchat Friends (When Nobody Knows You)

How to Get Snapchat Friends (When Nobody Knows You)

Snapchat is an invaluable tool for growing just about any business or personal brand. To use it well, you need to get more Snapchat friends.

While Instagram is awesome for showcasing products and edited “best versions,” Snapchat kills it at being completely natural.

It doesn’t hurt that 293 million people are active on that platform every single day.

Snapchat users spend an average of 30+ minutes on the app daily, opening it more than 25 times in a single day.

That level of engagement is almost unheard of.

The social platform may take a bunch of heat from critics who compare it to Instagram’s astonishing 1 billion users, but they’re dead wrong.

While the two platforms may be similar, they can be used in dramatically different ways.

Snapchat isn’t Instagram, and Instagram isn’t Snapchat.

How to Get More Snapchat Friends and Followers

Here’s how to leverage Snapchat for business and personal branding to get your first 1,000 followers in 30 days.

1. Invite Contacts and Share Your QR Code on Social and Email

The first step in gaining easy followers on Snapchat is leveraging your existing contacts and connections.

These will be the easiest followers to get because they know you and are likely to follow you right back.

Since Snapchat connects to your phone, you can easily allow it to access your contacts and social media platforms.

That means you can instantly add selected contacts or Facebook friends with just a few clicks.

When starting up your Snapchat, head to your profile and click on the “Add Friends” button:

how to get more snapchat friends add contacts

From here, select the “Contacts” menu and click “Find Friends” to allow Snapchat access to your contacts and social profiles.

how to get more snapchat friends

Then navigate back to “Add Friends.” In this section, Snapchat will have a long, curated list of everyone you can add with one tap.

Now just sit back, relax and wait for your friends and family to follow you back.

With this simple move, you should be able to secure a decent amount of followers to get the ball rolling.

Next, you can use the existing followers you have on any other social platforms to spread awareness of your new Snapchat profile.

One of my favorite examples of this technique being perfected is from Gary Vaynerchuk. On his Twitter, he’s amassed over 1.6 million followers.

gary v how to get more snapchat friends

While that amount of followers won’t be the case for everyone, other social platforms where you have a following are a great place to find Snapchat followers.

Why? Because people don’t just use one social platform. They use multiple. In fact, the average person has more than 8 social media accounts.

Chances are, your followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram use Snapchat. Maybe not all of them, but some of them surely do.

To take advantage of this, Gary Vee promotes his Snapchat account using his unique QR code and direct instructions:

howto get more snapchat followers promote on other accounts

With Snapchat, you can generate a unique QR code that is shareable to anyone you send it to.

This makes it extremely easy for users to follow you. All they have to do is save the image, open Snapchat and import the picture.

To find your own Snapchat QR code, head to your profile on the mobile app and click on your profile name and image:

get more snap chat followers QR code

This will bring up a menu of three choices:

get more snapchat friends with your QR code

First, you can either share your Snapcode directly from your profile via email, text, or social media.

I recommend that you simply save your Snapcode to your camera roll.

Let me explain why:

If users are newer to Snapchat, they might not know how to add you via the QR code function.

That’s why Gary Vee used instructions on his Twitter post about Snapchat:

To make the process easy and ensuring he gets the maximum carry-over of followers from each social platform that he shared the graphic on.

So for this step, select “Save Snapcode to Camera Roll.”

One of my favorite tools for creating fast graphics is Canva. Taking that newly created Snapcode from your camera roll, you can import it directly into Canva and create a graphic for social media.

First, fire up Canva and select the generic “Social Graphic” template.

get more snapchat friends create a social media image w/qr code on canva.

In the image editor, head to the “Uploads” section and upload the Snapcode that you downloaded previously:

upload image into canva how to get more snapchat friends

You can then choose from pre-made Canva templates for a design that fits your branding.

choose canva template how to get snap chat followers

If you don’t want a pre-made template, you can always edit your own using more uploaded content or background colors.

In just a few minutes of editing and tweaking, I created this simple graphic to post on social channels that will drive tons of easy follows:

how to get snapchat friends social media post example.

Be sure to include simple instructions to reduce any potential friction by adding you.

Now take your graphic and spread it on your most active social channels.

Once you’ve done that, you can move onto your email list as a secondary way to drive social follows.

The key here is to provide incentives to following your Snapchat. You have to make it worthwhile for users.

If you are focusing on personal branding, can you offer them free content or a coupon for your online course?

If you sell products, can you offer them a small discount?

Let’s recap your steps to get you tons of followers fast:

  1. Invite your contacts: This is an easy win. A quick way to get potentially hundreds of followers.
  2. Share your QR code: Use Canva to craft a beautiful graphic with your Snapcode and use it on social media to spread the news.
  3. Email your subscribers: Using that same graphic, email your subscribers with an incentive to bring in loyal followers who will buy from you.

2. Use Bitmoji and Augmented Reality to Create Viral Content

Snapchat is a highly engaged platform. People spend a ton of time on the app daily. While that’s a great opportunity to capture attention, it also poses some serious challenges:

  • Saturation: Thousands of companies and brands use Snapchat, posting daily with excellent content. Topics have been covered from end to end, making viral content hard to create.
  • Competition: With so many brands using Snapchat, getting attention is harder than ever, despite engagement being through the roof.

Luckily, Snapchat has a few tools up its sleeves with serious potential for crafting viral content, even if your brand isn’t well-known.

Bitmoji is a key addition to Snapchat that has become a cornerstone of content. It allows you to customize a virtual avatar that looks exactly like you.

It can be used on your Snapcode, in actual snaps and photos, and even messaging across Snapchat or other social platforms.

Its ease of use with Snapchat makes it widely popular. Users are able to simply take a selfie and Bitmoji instantly builds a potential avatar for them:

build an avatar w bitmoji how to get more snapchat followers

Once in the app, you can edit everything from your hair color and style to clothing and even eye color:

edit bitmoji how to get more snapchat friends

The real big win with Bitmoji comes in the form of creating more dynamic content on Snapchat.

For example, you can easily integrate Bitmoji shots into any photo you take:

how to use bitmoji how to get more snapchat friends

You can use the search bar to find relevant Bitmoji scenarios. Everything from specific foods to events and keywords will bring up new Bitmojis.

Setting up Bitmoji is extremely easy and can only improve and aid in your content creation.

To get started, download the application on your phone and connect the two.

download bitmjoi to get more snapchat friends

Bitmoji will prompt you to connect to Snapchat. Begin editing your avatar and it will quickly populate to your Snapchat profile, giving you new avatars to use in any photo you send to friends, followers, and your story.

Using BitMoji can also aid in the use of augmented reality features on Snapchat. And the AR features of Snapchat are already proving to be viral.

You might remember seeing the dancing hot dog meme that blew up the Internet in 2017:

viral snapchat content how to get more snapchat friends

That originated using Snapchat’s AR developing tools.

That single hotdog AR character was shared more than 1.5 billion times in 2017.

It’s safe to say that augmented reality features are making the content much more engaging.

So, how do you get started?

It’s easy. On your Snapchat, head over to take a new Snap, but click on the smiley face button next to your camera button:

how to create ar content how to get more snapchat friends

This will instantly bring up a scrollable menu of augmented reality features that you can use for any photo:

augmented reality content on snap chat  get more snapchat friends

Use these new and constantly updating AR features to create the most engaging, funny, viral content you can.

3. Run an Interactive Snapchat Giveaway

Everybody loves a good giveaway.

I mean, who doesn’t like getting free things?

It’s no secret that giveaways can have a huge impact on driving sales, growing your followers, and increasing your email list.

Don’t believe me? Let me give you a few examples.

Brian Harris of VideoFruit ran a contest in an attempt to increase his own email list for sales. Using a giveaway plugin, he grew his list by 2,200 subscribers in just seven days.

Josh Earl of SublimeTextTips grew his email list by 187,000. He started with a mere 5,500 subscribers, growing it by 3,400 percent.

Now I know what you must be thinking:

Did he offer to give away a new car?? A new house?

Not even close. The total prize value of his giveaway was less than $100.

You don’t have to give away your life savings or a dream house to benefit from a giveaway.

Simply providing value to your target audience can result in tons of engagement.

GrubHub recently conducted a Snapchat giveaway/competition, giving away a $50 gift card to the winners:

grub hub snapchat contest how to get more snapchat friends

Nearly 33 percent of their followers on Snapchat participated in the competition. But not only did existing customers benefit, tons of new traffic flooded in.

They grew their already huge following by 20 percent from the giveaway.

Taco Bell has followed suit, creating small trivia games in which followers and new users can win gift cards:

taco bell snap chat trivia contest how to get more snapchat friends

The proof is in: Snapchat giveaways can result in big success when it comes to pleasing your current follower base and even growing it by reaching new interested users.

Consider creating a giveaway directly on Snapchat and promoting it on other social channels.

You can even partner up with other popular influencers in your niche to co-promote the giveaway.

Some of my favorite Snapchat giveaways have followed these themes and ideas:

  • Local-based scavenger hunts
  • Trivia questions
  • Photo or hashtag contests

Try putting those to the test on your Snapchat to see which generates the best ROI.

Another technique that I’ve used before with great success is using a third-party source to host your giveaway.

Using Gleam, you can ensure that all entries to your giveaway follow your Snapchat account.

Gleam works with hundreds of account integrations from social to blogging and your website.

Through intense verification methods, they confirm users follow your directions.

Getting Snapchat followers is incredibly easy using Gleam. You can promote the link on outside platforms to reach wider audiences.

Meaning you don’t need to host the giveaway or contest only on Snapchat. With this method, you increase your chance of reaching a broad audience rather than just your current Snapchat following.

Plus, making an account with Gleam is free.

Once you sign up, you can get a giveaway live in just minutes. When it goves live, you have a unique link that you can share with anyone:

use gleam to grow snapchat friends

Using a multi-entry system, Gleam collects all of the data and automatically chooses a winner for your giveaway.

It takes out all of the stress of managing typical giveaways that can get out of hand fast.

Be sure to offer prizes directly related to your target audience. You don’t want to bring in thousands of followers that don’t like what you post on a daily basis.

For example, if you run a blog about jewelry, give away a piece of your jewelry. Provide value that attracts the audience you need.

4. Create Engaging Blog-Style Stories

Getting followers and keeping them takes more than giveaways. It also requires great content to keep people entertained and following.

Snapchat organizes your feed based on who they think you are most interested in. So, users who watch your stories are more likely to see your content.

This provides an excellent opportunity to capitalize on more followers. All you have to do is focus on creating the best content you can.

One of my favorite examples of content that keeps users engaged and coming back for more was from the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics on Snapchat:

how to get more snapchat friends example of good content

Their Snapchat news story used a listicle style post to drive tons of clicks with 14 Secrets Olympians Won’t Tell You.

When you scroll on each page, you get to see one of the 14 different secrets:

how to get more snapchat friends share listicle style content

Clicking on the right-hand side of each page brings users to the next secret, keeping them on the edge of their seats waiting for more.

One of my favorite aspects of the story was how it was leveraged to drive website traffic using a simple call to action:

get more snapchat friends CTA

With Snapchat’s swiping capabilities, you can link full articles from each slide.

Meaning you can tease content and stories on your Snapchat, but ultimately use those social visits for sales or leads on your site.

If you are struggling to find ways to create engaging stories like this on Snapchat, try thinking of them as a blog post.

You can even repurpose your blog content into new Snapchat stories.

For example, this recent post I wrote on Excel hacks could easily be broken down into seven different slides for my Snapchat story:

create listicle content to get more snapchat friends

Take a look at any recent blog posts or pieces of content you’ve created.

Analyze them to see how you can split them into different slides for a Snapchat story. If you want to cover new topics, let Google do the work for you.

Searching for almost any topic on Google will give you multiple sub-topics to cover. For example, take a look at this search I did regarding the Olympics:

history of the olympics screen shot tips for getting more snapchat followers

Notice the “People also ask” box? It gives me four topics instantly that I can use for a Snapchat story.

Each slide can cover a different question, giving you tons of content ideas to work with.

You can bring up these topics with most Google searches. Cover topics that you know a lot about, or use them as an opportunity to research and share the news with your fans.

Create story-driven content that keeps people engaged and your Snapchat friends coming back for more.

5. Copy Content Ideas from the Discover page to Attract More Snapchat Friends

When all else fails, competitor research should be your go-to technique for content ideas.

You can see what works and what doesn’t without taking the risk yourself.

Instead of spending hours on content creation that doesn’t drive follows, search existing popular content.

The best place to gather more information on content ideas is from the Discover page on Snapchat:

discover page on snapchat how  to get snapchat friends

While some of the content on the Discover page contains paid placements, it still gives you an idea of what content succeeds.

Look for stories on the Snapchat Discover page that are labeled “Popular Story.” These are unpaid, organic posts that are gaining traction.

Mimic their style, tone, and ideas with your own spin.

Snapchat Friends and Followers: Frequently Asked Questions

How can users follow me on Snapchat?

Users can follow your account by scanning your QR code, searching for your username, or searching by phone number.

How do I get more Snapchat friends?

Follow others, put your QR code in more places (like your business card), create engaging stories, and link to your profile often in content.

What other ways can I advertise on Snapchat?

You can sponsor filters, create sponsored story ads, and use links in your stories to advertise your products.

How many followers do I have on Snapchat?

You can now display your number of followers on your public profile, according to Search Engine Journal. Just select to display it in your settings.

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Snapchat Friends and Followers Conclusion

Snapchat’s platform has amazing engagement. People log in nearly thirty times each day.

This opens the door for capturing tons of new followers who love using the application.

But getting your first 1,000 Snapchat followers isn’t easy. Following someone on Snapchat is harder than platforms like Instagram or Twitter.

To combat this, share your QR code on social media platforms to spread it like wildfire. Send it to your email list and provide incentives for people to follow you, like a five or ten-percent discount or free content.

Start sharing viral content using BitMoji and augmented reality features. These additions to Snapchat are proven to increase engagement.

Run interactive Snapchat giveaways directly on the platform, or use third-party services to drive follows on your most popular platforms.

Then create engaging stories like the Olympics so you can keep people coming back for more. If all else fails, search for content ideas on the Discover page to boost your traffic.

Snapchat isn’t dead. It’s alive, and the user base is active. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to 1,000 followers in just a month, growing your brand awareness and credibility in the process.

How do you plan to use Snapchat to gain more followers and build your brand?


Source: New feed 2

How to Do Paid Social Without Cookies

how to do paid social without cookies

Google made a big splash when they announced the end of third-party cookies in Chrome, and Apple has announced a similar change. 

It’s a huge shift for social media marketers, so what can you expect cookieless paid social to look like?

Google’s answer to the end of third-party cookies is the Privacy Sandbox, which will anonymize data to help increase privacy and limit spam and fraud.

Social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram, however, are using a slightly different approach. Understanding what these changes mean and how to navigate the future of paid ads without cookies is crucial to long-term social media success.

Here is what you need to know about what this change means and how to prepare for it. (Spoiler: it might not be as big of a deal as you think.)

What Does the End of Third-Party Cookies Mean for Paid Social?

Third-party cookies are small pieces of code marketers use to access data about how users interact on websites, social media platforms, and more. They are placed by a third party and can track actions across multiple websites. 

They allow you to target, for example, users who have purchased a specific item or read a news article about a specific topic on another site and then come to Facebook.

Third-party cookies are used heavily in social media marketing. That has a lot of social media marketers concerned about what this change means. However, marketers have been ignoring some drawbacks to third-party cookies. Understanding the drawbacks is crucial to understanding the impact of this change.

First, third-party cookies weren’t always accurate. For example, if someone uses their phone at work and then their laptop at home to perform a search, cookies couldn’t always track those as the same individual.

Also, if you search for one thing and your roommate searches for another (on the same IP address), cookies can’t always differentiate the two.

Another major concern is privacy. Do sites have the right to track an individual across multiple websites? Where does that data get stored? How long is the data stored? Do people have the right to ask advertisers to delete their data?

The EU and other organizations have pushed back with regulations designed to improve online privacy, such as GDPR.

Despite their flaws, cookies are an integral part of targeting paid social ads.

What does the end of third-party cookies mean for paid social ads?

First, it’s important to note that Google has pushed back the date for ending third-party cookies, which means you have plenty of time to prepare. 

Second, there are already more effective ways to target paid social ads. The shift may make paid ad ROI drop (as marketers learn new strategies), but I don’t expect it to be a long-term issue.

You will need to adjust your paid social strategy to be successful. Luckily, the changes likely aren’t a huge shift from your current strategy.

I’ll cover six ways to prepare your paid social strategy for the end of third-party cookies.

6 Ways to Prepare Your Paid Social Strategy for a Cookieless Future

A cookieless future is coming—but you have tons of time to start testing new strategies for your paid social ads. The sky isn’t falling; you’ll just need to make adjustments to how you gather data and target users.

Here are six strategies to get you started:

Go All-In on First-Party Data

Third-party data is data another organization gathers and then shares with you. It may be incomplete, inconsistent, and downright wrong. That is why several platforms are ending the use of third-party cookies.

First-party data, however, is information you collect yourself about your prospects, customers, and social media followers. This data is not going away. In fact, it’s becoming more important than ever.

I strongly recommend you start gathering first-party data about your audience now so you can test new strategies and see what works.

How do you gather first-party data? Here are a few ways: 

  • Build your email list. 
  • Use lead generation ads like Facebook’s lead generation ads
  • Create a Facebook group so you can interact with users directly. 
  • Encourage direct messages on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. (Instagram Stories are a great way to do this.) 
  • Use social media to poll your audience.

Let’s look at how to use first-party data for paid social ads. For example, you can build an email list, then upload those contacts to Facebook and target those users.

First-party data is more accurate—and you have full control over the data. That makes it far more valuable than third-party data.

Leverage UTM Parameters

UTM parameters are small bits of code added to the end of a URL. They often look like this:

Paid Social Without Cookies - Leverage UTM Parameters

Looks complicated, right? This UTM parameter tells me that the reader got to this page by clicking on a link in a Facebook comment I left on one of my posts. Understanding where my traffic comes from is crucial to targeting paid ads and understanding how users move through my funnel. 

These aren’t new, but if you aren’t using UTMs, now is the time to start.

UTMs make tracking where visitors come from easier because they stick around, even if users share it somewhere else.

For example, if someone reads a post on Facebook, then shares it on Twitter and texts it to a friend, that little bit of code will stick around. This means you have a much better idea of where people came from and how they’ve interacted with your brand on social media.

You can generate UTM parameters with one of Google’s URL builders or a URL shortener like Bitly

Use Facebook’s Conversions API

Facebook’s Conversions API allows customers to send data about actions they take directly to Facebook, without relying on browser pixel events. In layman’s terms, this means it’s first-party data, which we’ve already discovered is more accurate.

According to Seer Interactive, this allows marketers to access a wider range of data, is less vulnerable to issues like connectivity problems, and offers far more security.

Paid Social Without Cookies - Use Conversions API

Since Facebook and Instagram are connected, this data can be tracked on both platforms. I expect other social platforms to offer similar tools. In fact, Twitter already does. 

Use Demographic-Based Targeting

Most social media platforms already have robust ways to target based on factors like age, location, gender, and other demographic information. This won’t change because most platforms ask users for this information—which means it’s first-party data.

That means you can still target users on sites like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok based on demographic information.

Facebook ads, for example, offer a wide range of demographic targeting: 

Paid Social Without Cookies - Use Demographic-based Targeting

The way Facebook gathers this data might change, but your access to the data likely won’t. You can easily target users based on demographics or use lookalike audiences to find an even wider base to target. 

Leverage Interest-Based Targeting

You don’t need to know every step users take to target them successfully with paid social ads.

For example, if you sell women’s clothing, knowing that someone is a woman between the ages of 25 and 35 (from demographics, which we discussed already) interested in fashion (because they follow three fashion bloggers on Instagram) tells you they’re likely to be interested in your brand.

Facebook already allows you to target users based on interests. Most of this data is gathered by actions users take on Facebook, which means you’ll still be able to target based on interests.

I keep mentioning Facebook because it’s the biggest social media platform out there, but other social platforms like Instagram and TikTok offer similar features. 

The end of third-party cookies sounds like a huge deal. However, much of the data you already use for paid social ads isn’t third-party data or can easily be replaced with first-party data.

There’s one more way you should be adjusting your paid social strategy for the end of third-party cookies.

Use Detailed Location-Based Targeting

You likely know you can target users based on their general location. For example, you can target users within a 25-mile radius of your donut shop in Boston.

That’s as far as most marketers get, but platforms like Facebook offer multiple other options, including

  • People living or recently in this location (default option): People list your city on their Facebook profile and anyone in that location based on mobile tracking.
  • People who live in this location: People whose current city from their Facebook profile is in that location. Facebook double checks this by paying attention to their IP address and friends’ locations.
  • Recently in this location: People who were in the selected area recently, as determined by their mobile device. (This includes people living or traveling to the location.)
  • Traveling in this location: People who are more than 125 miles from their home location and in your selected area, as determined by mobile device location.

What does this mean for you? If you’re targeting by location but not digging into the different options, you need to take the time to get more granular with your location targeting.

Paid Social Without Cookies Conclusion Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I use retargeting ads on social media without cookies?

Use a dedicated landing page for an ad campaign, then retarget users (using first-party data) who visited that landing page with your retargeting ads. Note that other solutions may become available as marketers learn more about how marketing will work in a post-cookie era. 

What is the difference between first, second, and third-party data?




First-party data is data you collect yourself; second-party data is data you get from another organization you know, such as another website with a similar audience. Third-party data is aggregated across platforms from various sources. 

Here’s a visual that explains the differences: 

What will replace third-party cookies for social media?

The most obvious replacement is first-party data. Gathering data yourself (or Facebook gathering data about how users interact on their site) is likely the most effective way to replace third-party data. Targeting based on location, demographics, and interests will also become more crucial.  

Is Facebook Pixel a third-party cookie?

It’s actually both, according to Facebook. While the third-party capability is going away, there are still tons of data you can collect with Facebook Pixel. 

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Paid Social Without Cookies Conclusion

The end of third-party cookies might sound like a huge deal, especially for paid social ads. The good news is there are several options for adjusting your social strategy. 

You can gather first-party data, then use that to target your ads. You can better track how users move through your funnel using UTMs. Targeting by location, demographics, or interests will still allow you to target users in your target audience.

Finally, consider using the conversion API options for platforms like Twitter and Facebook. 

Are you ready for the end of third-party cookies? What steps are you taking to protect your paid ad ROI?


Source: New feed 2

15 Email Personalization Techniques That Work

As a marketer or business owner, you know email marketing is a powerful tool. Its popularity among consumers is climbing.

You might have already implemented email personalization to some extent, like addressing customers personally, but you can take it further.

This article looks at 15 email personalization techniques you can apply to your marketing.

Before we move onto that, though, let’s discuss whether email personalization works.

Does Email Personalization Work?

The short answer is a resounding “Yes.” According to HubSpot’s State of Marketing report, 78 percent of marketers have seen a recent increase in email engagement.

HubSpot’s report shows that 20 percent of e-commerce, retail, consumer goods, and service companies personalize emails based on specific demographics.

Email personalization, or the act of tailoring email content to address the recipient by name, interests, location, and other details can increase sales.

Email personalization offers multiple other benefits, too, such as:

  • decreased unsubscribe rates
  • higher customer satisfaction.
  • opportunities to re-engage customers

Additionally, 72 percent of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging, and most customers expect brands to understand their unique needs.

Email personalization is also easy to implement. For instance, you could:

  • Send an offer only if a recipient has recently brought an item.
  • Change wording based on location or time zone.
  • Personalize language and images.

However, like any other area of marketing, email personalization has its limitations. For example, some techniques like customer recommendations may not work for everyone.

You can also over-personalize and sound too familiar, which can, frankly, freak people out. Stick to critical areas, which we detail later.

Now you’ve got a picture of email personalization and its benefits, let’s move on to 15 techniques that work.

1. Collect the Right Data

If you’re not collecting the right kinds of information, you won’t have a good starting point for personalization.

That sounds simple enough, but where do you start? By collecting information from readers on sign-up forms.

When subscribers sign up to your email list, you can ask them some additional questions beyond the typical email address or name.

For instance, you could ask for their:

  • location
  • birthday
  • interests
  • occupation

Whatever information you ask for, keep it short and sweet, like this example:

Email Personalization Techniques - Collect the Right Data

Next, use integrations to gather even more data.

Email Personalization Techniques - Use Integrations to Gather More Data

Integrations are perfect if you don’t have all the right resources to collect information.

Finally, you should create a subscriber preference center to find out what your readers want, like the one from Campaign Monitor.

Once you’ve started collecting the right kinds of data, you can personalize your subject lines.

2. Use Personalized Subject Lines

Subject lines have always been important in the world of email marketing, but they must be specific for the best results.

For example, they should differ from industry to industry, audience to audience, and so on.

You can run tests to find the most effective ones. With testing, you can modify the content of your subject lines based on all the data you’ve already collected about a subscriber’s wants, interests, age, location, and more.

Open rates and conversion rates are only up from there.

Once you’ve got subject lines down, you should focus on triggered emails.

3. Use Behavior-Triggered Emails

Behavior-triggered emails are automated reactions to how customers are interacting with your products or services.

This is where the future of email marketing is heading, and triggered emails have a good open rate to boot.

Email Personalization Techniques - Use Behaviour-triggered Emails

These types of emails also allow you to make a personalized connection with customers.

Behavior-triggered emails can make connections less complicated. They let you communicate with customers without having to think about it, help you convert readers, and could extend the lifetime value of existing customers.

You might not always realize it, but you get these types of emails all the time.

You know when a website emails you because you haven’t logged in or made a purchase for a while? That’s a behavior-triggered email.

In addition, you can send out triggered emails for tons of reasons, such as to welcome readers, re-engage them, or upsell products or services.

Also, depending on your business, several tools for sending great trigger emails are available. For instance, there’s Intercom.io for B2B, GetVero.com for marketers, and Klaviyo for e-commerce.

4. Use Subscriber Tags

Subscriber tags let you send personal CTAs in your email content and for triggering emails.

With this technique, you can tag subscribers based on their choices, like visiting a specific page on your site or clicking on a link.

Then, write out emails to recipients with matching tags.

This approach saves a ton of time because you can segment all your workflows through just one email.

Most mailing list providers such as ConvertKit offer this feature.

5. Ask the Right Questions

An easy way to start segmenting your audience is by asking them questions. It’s a pretty straightforward approach, but you must ask the correct ones.

For example, ask customers:

  • What brought them to your website?
  • Why did they start using your service?
  • What do they need help with most?

These questions can help you find out what you’re doing right (or wrong) pretty quickly, and it makes targeted emails a breeze.

Don’t be too generic, though. To stand out, you can entice customers using emotional appeals, emojis, humor, and freebies.

Alternatively, ask opinion questions. People like to feel like you value their thoughts.

6. Add “Recommendations for You”

We’ve already talked about some email personalization techniques, and now it’s time to dig deeper.

Start personalizing your emails by recommending more purchases or actions according to a reader’s past ones.

Amazon is notorious for this with its “Frequently Brought Together” upsell feature, and Netflix uses a similar approach to encourage customers to view another movie.

It works because readers often appreciate the “recommendations” if they’ve liked similar previous purchases.

Rather than trying to reach all your readers with a single promotion, just send it to those who have shown interest in a related topic.

You can do this in any industry by suggesting related products and services. Perhaps offer a discount to encourage sales.

7. Use and Optimize Landing Pages

Yes, email personalization can boost your open rates. However, the ultimate goal is to convert readers into customers.

To achieve this, you must ensure the landing pages you link to match the ideas in messages you send.

Imagine if Amazon sent recommendation emails with no links to the actual products. It seems pointless, doesn’t it?

That’s why you must include relevant landing pages in as many emails as you can. You should also ensure the landing page relates to the customers you’re targeting and their current buying stage.

8. Add a Sense of Urgency

There are tons of tools to help you incorporate dates and times into your emails.

Doing this is the perfect approach for driving engagement because these limited-time offers focus on urgency to push people into action.

By creating a sense of urgency, you can build toward a paid offer. Just don’t let your customers forget or hesitate to order. That’s why creating a custom deadline is so effective.

Are you thinking of applying this approach? There are templates available, or your mailing list provider should have a tool.

You can also sync your emails with countdowns for sales, product launches, and giveaways.

9. Build Customer Personas

A customer persona is a representation of your ideal customer. Companies use them to identify the features of their perfect customer and their usual behavior.

The more specific you get with these personas, the better you will understand who your customers are and what they need from you. Ultimately, this enables you to improve your business and enhance email personalization by fulfilling their needs.

You create customer personas by using a multitude of data. Instead of asking a single question, you can group customers using a mix of attributes and actions they take.

Once complete, your personas might look something like this:

Email Personalization Techniques - Build Customer Personas

There are plenty of step-by-step guides on building personas to help you develop them per best practices, including:

  • identifying your target audience
  • seeing the world through your customers’ eyes
  • understanding your customers’ needs and frustrations by doing research
  • using data about your target audience’s online behavior, likes/dislikes, etc.
  • implementing email personalization techniques to match your customers’ wants and needs

10. Use Location and Time Zones

It’s no secret that certain times of day prove to be better than others when sending emails.

For example, your customers might love getting an email at 8:00 a.m., or they may respond better to getting one at 5:00 p.m.

However, chances are not all your customers are in one location. They may be all around the world, scattered across different time zones, and possibly receiving your emails at non-optimal times.

How do you overcome this? By using your customers’ data to send emails at the best times.

Send time personalization is easy to set up with a few clicks, and companies like MailChimp allow you to do this.

11. Personalize Your Business

Don’t limit email personalization to your customers’ data: You also can customize your brand.

Customization could make all the difference to your company’s success rate, and it’s not hard to implement. You only need to make some changes, and you can automate many of them.

If you’re searching for ideas, look no further than Nike. The brand sends out welcome messages and emails for:

  • birthdays
  • seasonal campaigns
  • promotions
  • order confirmations
  • hot-this-week offers

Test aspects such as a conversational tone, words like “we” and “I,” and generally making your emails seem like they are from an actual human. Customers respond to it.

12. Mark Milestones

Marking customer milestones is another effective email personalization tool.

It shows your customers you’ve noticed their achievements and that your company appreciates them. In turn, this enhances customer engagement, making them feel valued. 

Milestones worth marking include:

  • your customer’s first anniversary
  • a customer’s birthday
  • the accumulation of a set number of points
  • the completion of a course or similar

13. Imagery

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Or, to put it another way, a single image can express a thought much better than a heap of text.

Keeping your messages short is vital now as people tend to skim read emails on the go, but it’s not just about that. Imagery can impact your customers in other ways.

Email personalization with imagery allows marketers to build an emotional connection with their customers, driving them to take action and potentially influencing their buying decisions.

One of the other advantages of pictures is their flexibility.

You can use images in many ways, from showcasing products to illustrating the benefits of a particular product or just brightening a customer’s day.

There are just a few things to consider.

Images must be:

  • eye-catching
  • engaging
  • relevant

Additionally, you can personalize images to specific customers by their data, preferences, and their location.

14. Reach Out to Customers

Cart abandonment, poor engagement, and lack of follow-up all affect your bottom line. However, you can overcome them with email personalization.

Reaching out to customers can get them back on track and keep them from abandoning their cart. For instance, you could send

  • a coupon code in your abandoned cart emails
  • an offer for something a customer looked at but didn’t buy
  • an email asking why they left without buying and offering assistance
  • a follow-up email three days after their visit

Next, engage.

Send out email tutorials or similar. You can personalize these messages by looking at your data to see how your customers use their purchases and where they most need your help.

Finally, follow up.

  • Does your customer understand everything their purchase offers?
  • Are there features they could be making more of?
  • Anything specific about the product/service that can make a particular buyer’s life easier?

Yes? Then follow up and solve their problems!

15. Pay Attention to the Small Details

Aside from the areas already discussed, you can use email personalization further by:

  • A/B testing different versions of an email
  • changing the copy of an email with each click based on customer data
  • addressing any previous interactions
  • including a call to action
  • segmenting your audience into groups that share similar interests or use cases for your product

Email Personalization Frequently Asked Questions

Is email personalization effective?

Tailored emails are more effective than generic ones as they’re more likely to get read and resonate with your customers.

How much time does it take to personalize emails?

Customized emails can increase engagement and deliver a better user experience, so it’s worth taking some extra time.

How much does it cost to set up personalized emails?

The cost of setting up email personalization usually depends on two main factors: the number of emails you need to send and your plan.

What kinds of emails should you personalize?

You can personalize emails that are promotional or transactional.

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Tailored emails are more effective than generic ones as they’re more likely to get read and resonate with your customers.


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Email Personalization Conclusion

Email personalization is a strategy that can generate an improved ROI for businesses. It’s one of the most efficient marketing channels, and many small and medium-sized companies are using it to grow their businesses.

Additionally, this technique can increase customer loyalty and raise conversion rates.

However, if you’re not taking the right approach, you won’t get results.

If you want conversions, you need to take email personalization deeper than using a customer’s first name. This includes adapting to different time zones, addressing customers’ wants and needs, and using imagery.

In short, email personalization can make your customers feel valued—and people who feel valued are more likely to make purchases from you.

Do you use email personalization in your campaigns? Which techniques work well for you?


Source: New feed 2