Author - Pierce Ujjainwalla

2016 Unbounce #CTAConf Takeaways – Day #1

This week we’re in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, for the 2016 Call To Action conference put on by Unbounce. There are about 1,000 marketers here for the 3 day event covering many facets of digital marketing.

The day started pretty early today (although not so much for us given we’re still on east coast time), but the weather has been awesome and the venue at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre is really great. The vibe is very fun and upbeat, and the Unbounce team even gave all attendees a big cheer as we walked into a conference venue. There are a few vendors that make up the non-expo-hall-expo-hall, that all have really creative and cool booths. Unbounce also has a lounge near the entrance to get more information about their product.

The theatre itself is quite big. Seems like it could accommodate many more people. Anyways, here are some of the takeaways we got from the sessions today:

Oli Gardner
One of the cofounders of Unbounce, and arguably one of the internets go-to experts on landing page optimization, had an excellent talk about machine learning and how Unbounce is working on some crazy artificial intelligence to automatically tell you how to optimize your visitors web experiences. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, but as he started lifting the covers a bit about how it would all work, I have to say I became a bit more of a believer. He also had some great and practical tips about optimization, like how you should have a CTA on every page, and that it should always be above the fold. Seems like pretty common-sense stuff, but sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. He also mentioned that exit or bounce pop-ups can actually be quite effective if they are used in the right way. Finally, another key takeaway was just to get rid of all the useless jargon on your pages, and just have what we really need.

Andy Crestondina
Had a great session about how you can do more with Google Analytics. This was definitely a trend today, in terms of optimizing analytics through better usage of GA. If only GA was a bit more user intuitive so you didn’t have to hire a consultant to figure all this stuff out. Mentioned a tool called Jing that easily allow you to annotate screenshots.

Anum Hussain
This session was all about growth teams and how we should think of our subscribers in the same way that we think of users of a product. Just like product teams try many many tests to determine the best way to get people to convert to paid customers, marketers should do the same with their subscribers. Test, iterate and determine the best way to keep people engaged. If they aren’t engaged, cut them loose. One key takeaway here is that we should not just take a new subscriber and automatically drop them into the regular blog cadence, but instead send them the top posts for the first few emails to get them immediately engaged and prove the value of the content.

Erin Bury
There is no silver Marketing bullet, and it is truly different for every company. To stand out from the crowd, companies need to try and push the limits and do things differently. This was proven by an example Erin gave about how one of their clients who ran a deli signed up to Tinder as a piece of meat. Some very creative examples of Marketing here.

Lunch
Amazing selections of about 6 different food trucks. Beautiful weather and west-coast sunshine. Compared to some food truck rallies I’ve been to the lineups moved pretty quickly too!

Kevan Lee
This was a whirlwind through many different social platforms and how you can take advantage of them. Top takeaways here were to use a pinned tweet on Twitter for lead generation. Bit.ly was reference in this session and others, seemed to be a trend for the day. Follower-walk was a great tool to analyze information about your Twitter followers. Another exit example whereby they provided a coupon for 25% off if a visitor was bouncing from their pricing page. They made a lot of conversions using this method, and then bumped it down to 10% and found an almost insignificant drop in conversion rate.

Morgan Brown
This was one of our favorite sessions of the day. Similar to Anum’s session, there was a focus on growth team’s. Morgan talked about the importance of doing a lot of tests cycles and making decisions based on the results of said tests. He also mentioned that it’s good when assembling a growth team to have people with very different skillsets, for example his team has a marketer, a data scientist and an accountant. Music to Marketo customers ears were his comments about the importance of data and a good lead lifecycle.

Andre Morys
This guy was hilarious – and very smart. We were instantly fans after his breakdown of Dell’s horrific customer experience on their check out page – there were a couple of f-bombs that only got people laughing even harder. But amongst all the laughs was some really good information about psychology and how humans interact with web and companies based on their psychological needs. Some very interesting examples about how companies like Amazon & Booking.com have used these methods to their advantage.

Annie Cushing
Annie was lucky enough to draw the last spot of the day, but managed to keep people engaged well past normal business hours. Lots of great tips here about how to maximize value in Google Analytics and the importance of good data.

And that was a wrap (at least for the sessions) of day #1! Overall a really great day with a nice broad range of content and lots of great actionable takeaways. Looking forward to day #2!

 

Introducing: Video Backgrounds for Marketo Landing Pages

A popular web design trend is having video backgrounds on lead generation pages. It definitely sets your page apart and offers a unique and engaging experience for the viewer.

Historically these have been complicated to add to a Marketo landing page. However, Knak has partnered with Coverr.co to offer its users free video backgrounds in select templates.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Download a template from the Knak library that supports video backgrounds (currently: RIGBY)
  2. Sync it to Marketo
  3. Go to www.coverr.co and download the video background of your choosing (it’s free!)
  4. Upload the video files to Marketo and copy the URLs
  5. Paste those URLs into the corresponding variables in Marketo
  6. Magic

We’re really excited to offer this new service to Knak customers. The best part is there is absolutely no coding required to achieve amazing results on your next landing page!

Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!

Why Your Landing Pages Belong in Marketo.

Marketo calls it the Marketing Platform for a reason – it’s meant to host ALL of your important Marketing information.

However one thing the Marketing Platform may be lacking is a way to make great looking landing pages. So many Marketers look to third party tools (Knak being one of them) to help them solve this problem.

There are some really great tools out there for you to choose from, but make sure you understand the impact of selecting one tool over the other.

One of the biggest questions you should ask should be: Will my landing pages live in Marketo? If the answer is no, here are some things you should be aware of:

No More Marketo Forms
Forms are the entry point of all of your leads, and when your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, it likely means you don’t use native Marketo forms. This means you’re losing out on functionality. Namely, the ability to auto-complete all of the people who are already cookied by Marketo. See: big drop in conversion rates. In addition, your inferred data like inferred country, state and company are no longer going to get passed through. Oh, and now you need to setup another integration and new sub-domain. Form triggers are also impacted which typically means new custom fields need to be created.

Can’t use Marketo Tokens
Marketo tokens are a huge timesaver, and many Marketo marketers like to build out scalable programs using tokens. When your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, you simply can’t use this powerful functionality.

Program Data is Fragmented
When your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, it means when you review your Marketo program to see how its performing, critical metrics such as page views and conversion rates are not there. This means you don’t get a full view of your program performance in one spot.

Say bye-bye to Dynamic Content
Dynamic content is a feature that many Marketo marketers are excited about, and for good reason. It allows you to setup segments in Marketo so that you can show certain individuals content tailored to them. When your landing pages don’t live in Marketo, you can’t take advantage of the rich dynamic content capabilities found in Marketo.

Some of the landing page creation tools out there are super powerful and offer an editing experience unlike what’s available in Marketo’s editor, however, before you select a new landing page partner, you should definitely ask if it means your landing pages will still live in Marketo… and I’m very happy to say that with Knak, they most certainly do 🙂

Marketo Summit: Another Point of View

I’ve attended Summit for 3 years as an attendee, but for the past 2 years did it as an exhibitor. Given that many Marketo marketers may have tradeshows in their arsenal of marketing channels, I figured I’d give you a bit of a behind the scenes view of the Marketo Summit from the exhibitor perspective in hope to help you at your next tradeshow.

I can easily say this is our biggest marketing investment for the year. Almost everything we do is digital advertising, but I believe at some points you need to cross channels and there is no better avenue than the Marketo Summit to reach our customers. Unlike some other companies, we ONLY sell to Marketo customers, and pretty much everyone who uses Marketo could be our customer, so you don’t find a better concentration of potential customers than at Summit.

What we did:

  • Expo hall booth
  • Ice bar party
  • Videos (customer testimonials, what’s new and party)
  • Who’s Who Infographic

Exhibitor Booth

There are many packages available to exhibit on the show floor. They vary drastically in price. For us, we’re a small growing company so spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a booth is out of the question – but many companies do. We went with the exhibitor booth, which set us back about $10K. The booth is a high financial investment for us, but low time investment (other than being at the booth). Marketo does a great job of taking care of most of the booth logistics, so its really a breeze. We produced a video that would run on the screen at our booth showing real-time numbers from what’s happening in our app, but that was probably the biggest time investment we made.

We had a ton of great traffic at our booth, and lots of really good conversations. At the end of the week we had about 60 scans at the booth, although I can definitely say our team did not scan every single person we had a conversation with. This bit is really quality over quantity, but when you look at the cost-per-lead it is definitely pretty high ($166/lead). Personally, I believe that although in Marketing we should strive to measure and report on everything, there are some intangibles of having a booth with regards to branding that may never be able to be reported on.

Ice Bar Party

Jeff Coveney from RevEngine Marketing is a very good partner of ours, and he reached out asking about doing an ice bar party with him. Given we are in Canada, ice is right up our alley and we jumped at the opportunity. What I liked about our party was that it was not really competing with anything at the time we had it at, in fact there was really nothing going on before the Hakkasan party other than dinners. Also, the ice part of it makes it a bit unique and more of an experience than just going to a bar. Finally, it was at the Mandalay Bay, so not sure about you guys but I feel like I needed to get out of the MGM at that point or I was going to lose it.

The party was definitely a big time investment. We made a new email and new landing page template for the show, and handled setting up the program in Marketo. Although Knak makes the process of making emails and landing pages easy, first we have to design and develop the actual template that our customers download from Knak, which is what ends up taking the most time. For the landing page in particular we did a lot of stuff that hasn’t been done before (countdown timers, pop-up forms, video backgrounds) so it was time consuming to say the least. Jeff from RevEngine Marketing was great at taking care of the logistics of the bar and what not, and our other two partners LeadSpace and Rybbon were really great to work with as well. Having good partners is key – and we had some of the best.

Another challenge was figuring out how many people we needed to get registered and how many would show up. Our venue had a capacity of 300-350 so we knew that was our ceiling. We also figured we would have about a 40-50% attendance rate, so we were initially aiming to get around 200-300 people registered. We ended up getting almost 800 people to register and had just under 300 attend. The entire party cost us less than $20K, so split 4 ways it really was not too bad. Given some other sponsors spent way more than that on their parties, I felt as though we got a really good ROI and more importantly, everyone we talked to had an awesome time.

Videos

This is the first year we’ve experimented with videos. We got a really good recommendation from a client of ours, Brendan Farnand, who knew an excellent videographer. This definitely makes a big difference working with the right people who have the right equipment and demeanor to get what you need. Shooting videos is still a ton of work though. We lined up some key interviews with customers and be prepared to invest quite a bit of time into scheduling and approvals and all that fun stuff. In the end we totally believe they will be worth it.

Who’s Who Infographic

This is the second year that we’ve done this infographic, and it consistently is a good draw. We basically take all of the partners that go to Summit and bucket them into different categories to help attendees better understand where all the vendors fit. We find it generates some hype pre-show and is just a useful piece of content for marketers to consume before the show.

The Results?

It’s too early to tell, but we met a ton of potential new fans, met some familiar ones, made some awesome relationships and had a really good time doing it. Now, its up to our product team to deliver on the experience that we are promising from Knak and go from there!

Behind the Scenes – How we Built our Marketo Summit Party Landing Page

Ever wanted to see how Knak builds our landing pages? We are throwing a party at the upcoming Marketo Summit in Las Vegas, and we’re giving you a behind the scenes look at how we built out our event registration page in Marketo. It took us less than 10 minutes, from start to finish.

That being said, there was a lot of preparation that went into building the logo for the party, gathering the right images and preparing the copy, but ultimately this is the process to grab the template from Knak and populate it with content in Marketo.

Make this template your own here: https://app.knak.io/landing
View the live landing page here: http://go.knak.io/2016—Q2—Event—Marketo-Summit—Ice-Bar_Registration.html?source=knak

Infographic: Who’s Who at the 2016 Marketo Summit

This year’s Marketo Summit features over 100+ LaunchPoint Partners who will be showcasing their latest solutions and services to help the modern day Marketo marketer.

It can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help you navigate the expo hall like a pro and find the partner that can help you.

Who else is excited for Vegas?!

Knak-Summit-Infographic-04.25.16

 

5 Exciting New Things About Knak.

At Knak, we’re always trying to make Marketers lives easier by making it simple to create beautiful email and landing pages.

Having created thousands of templates for over 25% of Marketo’s customers, we’ve received some amazing feedback from our fans. We released Knak at the 2015 Marketo Summit and have been working behind the scenes to make Knak even better.

Today, we’re excited to announce some enhancements to our app, which is only the beginning of a much bigger vision of Knak. Simple, made simpler.

So, here are 5 exciting new things about Knak:

1. Connect directly to Marketo

One thing we always talk about at Knak, is never having to look at HTML code again. Now, this wasn’t entirely true with the first version of Knak, since you did have to copy and paste the final HTML code from Knak into Marketo.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 8.56.16 PM

Now, with our brand new Marketo integration, you can push a button and your brand new Knak template gets synced to Marketo.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.00.28 PM

It’s so fast, you should probably wear a helmet.

Super-fast-helmet

2. Save template settings to your profile

Our initial release of Knak stored template settings in a cookie on your browser. This worked okay if you always used the same computer, but that wasn’t always the case. Now, you can save all your company details to your profile under the ‘My Knaks’ section. This is the foundation of an even bigger feature that we’ll be releasing shortly…

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.02.27 PM copy

3. See all the templates you’ve ever customized

Our template library showed you all available templates. But, if you wanted to see all the templates you’ve already customized, you can now see all of those in the new ‘My Templates’ section. This allows for easy editing, or syncing to Marketo.

Mytemplatesv2

4. Help yourself!

Billing, your account, invoices, used to be things that you had to contact us about. This is now available in a self-service portal available. If you need to add a new credit card, upgrade your account, or change the name of the person using the account, this can all be done from the new account settings page.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 9.26.52 PM

5. A glimpse into the future

Taking a spin through the new Knak should give you a bit of an idea of where we’re headed next. We started Knak with 1 goal – to make Marketo email and landing pages simple. And this release stays true to that vision.

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

How to Create a Net Promoter Score Program in Marketo

Customers are the lifeblood of every company, yet many businesses don’t know if their customers love them or hate them. We’re about to show you how you can create a best-in-class Net Promoter Score program in Marketo that will find your champions and detractors alike.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an amazing way to determine customer loyalty. Bain & Company made this simple 1 question survey famous. You can read more about it here, but essentially it shows you your customers who are promoters (you want a lot of these) passives, and detractors (you want as few of these as possible).

Here’s how to create a Net Promoter Score program in Marketo… and in typical Knak fashion you’ll be able to do it all yourself, without the need of a developer or designer.

  1. Setup your Program
    We created a new channel for NPS score, so that we can use program statuses to view the overall opinions of our customers on knak. We defined program success to be 9’s and 10’s since those are what are considered to be ‘promoters’.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.21.02 PM
  2. Create new fields to capture NPS Score & NPS Comments
    VERY Important Note:
    Your NPS Score field, MUST be an integer field. Your NPS Comments field should be a text field. If you want these fields to appear in your CRM, you should make them there first and wait for them to sync over. We would also recommend you map them from the lead to the contact so that there is never any loss of data.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.25.45 PM
  3. Create your Form
    You want to add your NPS Comments field, and make sure it is a ‘Text Area’ field type. Remove the label and make the label width ’10’. Add the email address field, and make it hidden. Then you want to add your NPS Score field. Make that a hidden field and ensure that the Parameter name is ‘npsscore’. ****VERY important****Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.22.50 PM
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.27.37 PM
  4. Create your Email Template
    We just added a pretty awesome NPS email called ‘Dartmouth’ that you can bring from Knak into Marketo. Check this one off your list.
    desktop_1014x766
  5. Create your Landing Page Template
    Yep, we have this one covered too. This landing page template is called ‘LaFlamme’ and its available in our landing page library now. It also includes a fancy javascript library that allows people to change their score on their confirmation page.
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.30.06 PM
  6. Update your Email
    For each score in the email, 1-10, update the link to your landing page, with a URL parameter structured exactly like this: ?npsscore=
    Here is a screenshot of what it should look like:
    Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.33.07 PM
  7. Send it out!
    Send out your NPS email and make sure that you follow-up on everyone’s feedback, good or bad! If it’s good, try and get them to promote your company on social networks if its bad, follow-up and show them some love.
  8. Bonus: Use advanced form settings to send people to custom thank you pages depending on their score. If they are a promoter, ask them to write a review on the thank you page. If they are a detractor, get them to schedule a follow-up meeting with you through a calendar tool like Calendly.

Good luck! It can sometimes be a little scary to ask your customers for their feedback, but the reality is it’s much better knowing about it… good or bad.

 

Animated emails, explained.

Animation is a great way to capture your viewer’s attention.

Everyone out there has a study about how many marketing messages people see per day. We’re not sure what the exact number is… but it’s a lot.

So to cut through adding an animation can help.

What do you need to do? It’s actually easier than you may think. Animated GIFs.

GIF is a type of image file that is unique in the sense that it can have many frames within one file. What this means is that you are able to achieve a video-like effect, without needing to use a video file. This also means it is supposed in both email and landing pages and consumed by pretty much everyone.

Adding an animation to your Marketo email or landing page is exactly the same as uploading any other image file to an asset. Simply upload it to your Marketo image library, and insert it like you normally would.

One thing to keep in mind is that you want to keep the file size down. The smaller the email, the quicker it loads. Maximum file size we would recommend for an animated GIF is 2mb’s. Less is more in this case.

Another thing is that people don’t want, is to have a seizure due to your crazy animated GIF, so keep it nice and subtle. That will go a long way. People pretty much ignore flashy things now, so subtlety is your friend.

This:

Animated-TT-header

Not this:

seizure_warning__flashing_rainbow_gif_by_crud41-d57hbli

 

And with that, hopefully you’re not on the floor. I need to sign off because I may have a seizure.