Millions of marketing dollars are spent every year on digital paid advertisements. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make those dollars work harder for you?

Imagine if you could increase lead volume by 20-50% while keeping spend levels unchanged. With an effective landing page strategy, it’s certainly achievable—and may be easier that you’d think. Whether you’re dabbling in paid advertising efforts or you’re a long-time veteran, remember to pay special attention to your landing page content and design—it can make or break your campaign.

Ready to pump up your paid advertising efforts? Try out these easy tricks to increase landing page conversions.

Minimize any opportunities for a user to click away without converting.

That means taking out the top navigation or any links that could direct users away from the landing page. If you’re paying to send traffic to your landing pages, you really don’t want them to leave before you capture the lead. The ROI for that tactic is roughly equal to flushing your money down the toilet.

Put a form at the top right of the landing page, above the fold.

At Flying Cork, we’ve built a lot of landing pages. The ones with the best conversion rates almost exclusively have the form in this position. Why does this work so well? When a user sees the form first thing above the fold, they immediately understand that there is a value proposition: Is it worth it to trade their information for the offer? They don’t get stuck reading a page only to find out that they have to fill out a form in order to get what they really want.

Furthermore, a typical Internet user looks at a page like a book, reading from left to right. If there’s a form on the right side, then where does the headline, text and imagery go? In the empty space to the left, of course, becoming the first thing the user sees. With the right copy and feel-good imagery, you can prepare users for the information request.

Include a clear call to action on the form.

And by clear, I mean something that helps the user understand exactly what they’re getting in return for filling out your landing page form. Good button text includes language such as “Download,” “Get More Information,” or “Schedule Appointment.” Avoid vague text such as “Click Here” or “Go!”

Think about the mobile experience.

Mobile visitors usually have a different intent than someone on a desktop or tablet, and they tend to have a more urgent need for information. They want to act quickly rather than draw out the research process and wait for a reply after filling out a form. To help them get what they need as fast as possible, consider using a trackable click-to-call phone number.

Use clear headlines and scannable content.

No one is going to stick around to read paragraphs upon paragraphs of text on your landing page. Well, some might, but for the majority who won’t, make sure your headlines and design are conducive to scanning. Do your best to enable users to understand your offerings and unique benefits at a glance.

Up the trust factor.

You can make your landing page more trustworthy by including relevant partnerships, certifications or customer testimonials. Partnerships with or endorsements from recognizable associations can make users feel more comfortable with giving away their information. Including testimonials shows users that other people have used the product or service before them with good results. This should go without saying, but always make sure to include REAL testimonials—never fabricate them. You want people to trust you, after all!

Always have a thank you page.

Remember in tip #1, where we said to minimize any opportunity for users to click off the landing page? Well, if you have a thank you page, you can encourage users to click around your properties all you want. I wouldn’t suggest adding a top navigation here, because it will most likely lead to an inconsistent design experience. However, you can include links back to your website so users can learn more, or try directing them to your blog and social pages. Help them get engaged with your online properties—open up those gateways for them and make it easy for them to discover more. Of course, make sure you’ve got plenty of fresh content there to keep their attention!

Intrigued? Check out this blog post for more tips on thank you pages, or read how a former unbeliever saw the value of paid search.

How do you define the success of an email marketing campaign? It all goes back to your campaign goals.

If you don’t know what your goals are, how will you know if your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be useful? You don’t – because without goals, you don’t have much to measure against.

So to start, ask yourself and your team a few questions:

  1. What’s the goal of this email marketing campaign?
  2. Do we want to grow our subscriber list?
  3. Do we want to generate more leads?
  4. Do we want our list to engage and interact with a call-to-action?

Once you’ve solidified the goal(s) of your campaign, it’s time to nail down the KPIs you’ll want to measure.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT FOUR OF MY FAVORITES: OPEN RATE, CLICKTHROUGH RATE, CONVERSION RATE, AND SHARES.

Open rate

You won’t reach your goals if no one opens your email. It’s harsh, but it’s true. One way to increase open rates is to have a strong subject line that resonates with your audience. You can hazard a guess at what will work, but measurement will help you know for sure. Create a couple of contenders, and run an A/B test, sending one of two subject lines to a segment of your audience. Whichever one performs the best is the one you send to the bulk of your subscribers. Then apply your findings to future mailings. What key phrases motivate users to open your message?

Clickthrough rate

Now it’s on to the email content itself. The clickthrough rate, or CTR, essentially tells you the percentage of subscribers who find your email content to be useful.

People are inundated with messages. If it doesn’t interest them, they move on (or unsubscribe, which is even worse). To improve your CTR, relevancy is key. Provide them with content that interests them, and you’re more likely to increase your CTR. If you have the data on your subscribers, consider targeting a smaller, more specific list with more granular content that will speak more directly to their interests.

Conversion rate

Conversions are really the heart of most marketing efforts. Converting leads is the first step to creating a base of loyal customers, and therefore one of the most critical KPIs you can measure.

When it comes to emails, a conversion is counted when an email recipient clicks on a link within the email, then completes a call to action (CTA)—like filling out a lead form or purchasing a product. In short, they do what you asked them to do.

In order to effectively track your success, don’t forget to add tracking parameters to your email links. This will help you use your analytics platform to identify any conversions that happen as a result of a link from email campaigns.

Shares

You want your email to reach your subscribers’ eyes. But the people that initially received your email are already in your database. So, when a user forwards your email along to a friend or family member, the hope is that they also find your content useful and become subscribers as well.

To track shares, you’ll need to make sure that your message includes a “share this” button for users to post the email content on their social media networks or a “forward to a friend” button.

Pay careful attention to the types of articles and emails that are being shared by your subscribers. This will give you insight into what content your audience finds valuable, and you can plan your future email marketing campaigns accordingly.

This was just the tip of the iceberg of the importance of KPIs and measuring your email marketing success. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!

We love a gold star.

Flying Cork is proud to have been a Google Partner for more than three years. We’ve been recognized by Google for our exemplary accounts, our well-versed employees and our constant push to better our goals. But recently we experienced that extra “gold star” feeling of pride and accomplishment when we became a Premier Google Partner.

As a Premier Google Partner, we’ve been recognized by Google as a leading agency with regard to our skills at developing and maintaining successful online advertising campaigns for our clients. We have certifications in search, mobile and display advertising, as well as video ads.

How did Flying Cork receive its Premier Google Partner badge? We had to meet or exceed criteria established by Google:

  1. We created and completed a company profile so that Flying Cork could be listed on the Google Partner Search.
  2. Four of our employees became certified in AdWords. (Google only requires two, but at Flying Cork we like to go above and beyond!)
  3. Across all of our managed accounts, we met a higher spend requirement that showed that our agency has a healthy amount of activity across the board.
  4. By delivering strong overall AdWords revenue and growth as well as maintaining and growing our customer base, were able to meet Google’s performance requirements.

So, it probably doesn’t come as a shock that we’re proudly displaying this distinguished honor in our office. But can you blame us? We’re one of only a few agencies in the Pittsburgh area to have received this accreditation as of late.

premier_google_partner

Flying Cork’s position as a Premier Google Partner doesn’t just benefit us as an agency. It also benefits the companies that we work with. Here’s how:

  1. We’re well-versed in Google AdWords. We’ve mastered the use of ad extensions, ad scheduling, broad match modified keywords, negative keywords, site links inside of ads, split testing with AdWords, phrase match keywords and more. All of these features are in our tool belt, and our search team knows when to pull them out to be used in a way that’s profitable and beneficial to our clients.
  2. As a Premier Google Partner, we’ve attained the highest level of experience and proficiency when it comes to developing, deploying and managing AdWords campaigns for our clients. So we’ll use what we’ve learned from our hands-on experience and apply it to your efforts.
  3. We’ve received a vast amount of training; we’re privy to the necessary tools for success as well as AdWords support, so that we can stay in the know about Google’s newest technologies. We might not be able to secure you a ride on their self-driving car, but it’s this access to knowledge and behind-the-scenes information that can help save our clients’ time and resources.
  4. If you don’t think that you have the staff or the support to manage and maintain a high-performing account on your own, you don’t have to do it alone. That’s where a Premier Google Partner comes into play. As a Premier Google Partner, we have access to proprietary resources that’ll help us manage your account.
  5. We mentioned that anyone can be a Google Partner, but to become a Premier Google Partner, it took extra effort to increase our knowledge and get ahead of the competition. When you work with a Premier Google Partner like Flying Cork, you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re working with a company that has taken in-depth training and testing to help us refine and hone our skills – all to benefit clients like you.

Though being a Google Partner is a great feat, being a Premier Google Partner is even better.

Contact us today if you want to put our knowledge to the test.

Have you ever tried to run a Facebook ad only to find that it didn’t achieve your goals? Did you find yourself with no extra sales, little engagement and the overwhelming feeling that you’ve just wasted some money?

It’s easy for that to happen with almost any online advertising platform, really. I hate to say it, but platforms like Facebook Advertising and Google AdWords are big companies who aren’t afraid to take advantage of small-time advertisers who don’t really know what they’re doing.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. Before you run your next Facebook campaign, follow a few of these tips and see if it helps your efforts.

  1. Get the Facebook pixel on your website, pronto. The pixel will slowly collect data as users visit your website, which will give you the opportunity to remarket to them later or build a custom audience, depending on how you set up your pixel.
  2. Always remember that Facebook is a social platform before it’s a business platform. Keep your ads authentic to this purpose, and always make sure that you’re engaging with anyone who posts comments, questions or feedback—positive AND negative. Show your fans that you are listening to them and you care about their satisfaction.
  3. Pay extra attention to your page when you’re running an ad campaign. When you’re putting money into Facebook efforts, it’s not the time to slack off on the organic side of things. Make sure you’re nurturing your page with fresh content; you don’t want to disappoint or turn away any potential new fans.
  4. Always have a clear call to action. Make sure users can figure out exactly what action you want them to take. Don’t have enough text space in the ad builder? Use headlines and CTA buttons to help. You can put a headline directly on your creative, but keep it short – Facebook requires that text in ads occupy less than 20% of the image.
  5. Track, track, track. Facebook offers some limited analytics, but it’s not as powerful as what you can get with a third-party tool. Make sure you’re using URL parameters and shortened tracking links that will feed into your analytics. That way, you can follow your consumers all the way through their purchasing journey.
  6. Always keep a mobile-first mindset. According to their earnings report, 80% of Facebook advertising revenue comes from mobile users, so you want to make sure that your ads are displaying properly on mobile devices. Make sure your landing pages are mobile-friendly, and double-check that your creative and ad copy looks good on mobile, too.
  7. Try growing your fan base. Having a higher number of followers is like getting a vote of confidence, and it can make your brand more credible. These people are fans of your business and are interested in what you have to offer. The more fans you have, the more engagement you’re likely to have. When you start to advertise for sales-related goals, your fans are the most likely to buy from you. Try using the “promote your page” ad objective to build up an audience of relevant users that you can reach out to again and again.
  8. Don’t advertise to an irrelevant audience. There is an overwhelming amount of targeting options for ads and it can be easy to get sucked in to all of the options, so make sure you’re choosing the ones that are make sense for your business. After you’ve chosen your targets, go back through and ruthlessly prune away. (In a future post, we’ll give you some more pointers about how you can target the right people!)

Try implementing some of these tips before running your next Facebook campaign. Think you’ve tried it all, but you’re still stuck? Reach out to Flying Cork to up your Facebook advertising game!

In case you missed it, yesterday Instagram added a feature that’s eerily similar to the premise of Snapchat – Instagram Stories.

Here’s how it works: You take a video or picture and upload it to your Instagram Story, and it lives there for 24 hours—which is exactly how Snapchat works.

Yes, Instagram just went full throttle at one of the most popular social media apps out there.

As soon as I saw this update, I had to dive in head first to play around with the feature so I could tell you all about it!

Here’s my first-hand account of my initial experience with Instagram Stories.

When I opened my Instagram app, I was greeted with a new interface. At the top of the newsfeed I noticed some small circular symbols: first, the Instagram logo, and then some of the people I follow appeared as well.

At first, I thought this was a new notification stream that would show you when one of the people you follow posted a new picture/video. Not so—those little symbols were home to a plethora of new content.

I hurried up and clicked on the Instagram symbol, and BAM, my eyes were greeted with this person covered in yellow emoji balloons informing me of the news.

snapchat emoji

My first thought was NICE KNOWIN’ YA SNAPCHAT. BYE, BUMBLEBEE FILTER THAT CHANGES MY VOICE.

Then I came back to my senses and realized that that might not be the case. I don’t think Snapchat will go down without a fight.

Naturally, I envisioned the two logos battling one another inside of an epic boxing ring. The arena is full of millions upon millions of people anxiously watching, and I’m here to give you the play-by-play.

The match has commenced. Enjoy!

Instagram v. Snapchat, round one:

Let’s start off with the basics. After all, no good boxer will use his best moves right out of the gate. It’s in the first round that you feel out your opponent. So, let’s take a look at how many people use each platform. Snapchat has more than 100 million monthly users, but Instagram has about five times more with 500 million monthly users.

That’s a solid jab by Instagram.

Snapchat is looking a bit wobbly right out of the gate.

Round one was pretty tame. Let’s move on to round two:

Sometimes, when we’re feeling a bit creative on Snapchat, we’ll click the little marker symbol in the top right-hand corner of the screen so we can draw on our pictures with all of the skill and grace of a two-year-old. Of course, if you have a stylus, you have better control, but if you’re like me, your pointer finger is your stylus and it’s not pretty.

With Instagram, on the other hand, my pointer finger was able to create a masterpiece. With their version of the marker tool, it looked like I could have signed the Declaration of Independence. My confidence in my iPhone-enabled handwriting skyrocketed. As if that wasn’t great enough, there were different font styles I could pick from to make my handwriting look even better!

In round two of this epic battle, Instagram lands a solid right hook. Snapchat is slowly but surely retreating back to its corner of the social media ring.

It looks like Instagram is delivering some heavy hits to Snapchat.

How will Snapchat fare in round three? Let’s see.

As it stands right now, it looks like Instagram owns this match. Celebrities are posting their new Instagram Stories and the buzz is palpable. Everyone is enamored with this brand-new heavy hitter in the social media ring.

Instagram is already a solid platform that has caught and kept users’ attention. It’s a visually stimulating app that keeps people coming back for more, scrolling through their newsfeed as they stay up on the latest celebrity gossip, sports news, vacation spots, recipes and more.

It’s a one-stop-I’ve-got-to-see-this-shop. You’re probably like me thinking that Instagram is poised for a TKO. But, not so fast! I’m about to hit you with a Rocky-esque underdog plotline.

One thing that I think we’re failing to realize is Snapchat has features that Instagram doesn’t have, like those silly filters that you can put over your face, the stickers to embellish your picture and even the decorated geo-tags that let your friends know where you are.

But that doesn’t mean this fight is in the bag for Snapchat. They’ll have to continually come up with new ideas and filters to keep users engaged. Otherwise, the app will get stale, and the users will leave.

This is especially important for their Millennial-dominated user base The 30-and-under set makes up a large portion of Snapchat’s users. And this demo has proven to be a bit fickle when it comes to technology, essentially jumping from app to app to keep current with what’s cool and abandoning what falls behind. Continuing to keep content fresh and unique – something that Snapchat truly pioneered – is going to be imperative for the app. What’s more, when the novelty of rainbow filters and cute stickers wears off, how will Snapchat stay relevant?

Personally, I see Instagram Stories being used seamlessly by brands. I’ve already seen a few companies use this brand-new feature to create some content surrounding the update. For instance, Vineyard Vines used Instagram Stories to encourage its users to tag them in their photos using their Instagram handle, and they would showcase the pictures in their Instagram Story. From that small story, Vineyard Vines was able to promote themselves through all of the user-generated content they received, creating a buzz around the brand without having to invest in heavily produced videos of their own.

Another solid uppercut from Instagram to Snapchat!

It’s important to note that this idea of brands using this sort of marketing isn’t new. After all, Snapchat has allowed brands to promote their products and services via their platform for quite some time.

The problem is that advertisers have to become more creative to produce unique content for users across multiple social media platforms. It can be challenging to keep up (but not impossible—check out this post that shows how CrossFit kept their followers engaged across platforms during the CrossFit Games.) It’s a hard concept to master. Instagram Stories might have made it easier for advertisers and marketers to reach their target audience with messaging that makes sense, all in one place.

The bell has sounded – that’s the end of round three. But this fight is far from over—Snapchat and Instagram are going to continue to battle it out for the belt.

Who do you think will reign supreme? I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment with your answer.