My name is Harry Briesford from the Seattle Washington area. I’m excited to talk to you about small business, business itself, how to make money, and a couple of ideas. Today we’re going to talk about five things that you can do with tools you probably already have. You can use these tools for basic analytics to improve your marketing, your conversions and ultimately your revenue. Over time we will dive deeper into each of these five things in future articles where we look at the actual tools themselves and how to manipulate them.
Use Forms Effectively on Your Site with Unbounce and WuFoo
First I want to talk about forms. Everything triggers off of forms. We don’t take forms seriously enough in the small business community or the SMB community. A form is something that is typically to the right of your webpage that people can fill up basic information to submit to you to get more information. Sometimes we’ve seen when forms are on the left we get a higher response rate because people read from left to right.
Consider doing some testing. Does having the form on the left or the form on the right convert better? The other thing would be the visual appeal of the form. Too many people do what I call hand-code forms and that’s too bad because there’s some great tools that are going to talk about a future edition and show you, WuFoo and Unbounce, and they have formed templates that are engaging. They’re amazing because we’re trying to get people to fill out a form to become a lead.
Then there’s what to put on the form. A lot of people reading already know that the more information you ask for, the lower the conversion rate. You have to be careful about that. However, you have to get enough information so you can engage with the customer or find out a little bit more about them. We’ll get an advanced series of predictively scoring for a later article, but we need enough information to be able to get your leads and maybe some additional information for your records. For today I would encourage you to look at some of the form generators like Unbounce or Wufoo. There are several options for form generators out there.
Always develop for mobile first when it comes to forms because 60 percent of the traffic today is from mobile devices. You see it when you’re on the bus in the morning, the light rail train, or in my case the ferry. What’s everybody doing? Spending time on their phone or tablet. It’s mobile first by far. And that was a real surprise.
Get Data by Testing, Testing, Testing with Survey Monkey
The next secret I want to talk about is what I like to think of in the digital marketing world of you know as testing, testing, testing. It’s a different mindset but you’ve got to get to know your customer. I do a lot of this by day.
I’m talking about Survey Monkey, a survey tool you can use. Again, there’s other tools out there but that’s not the point. I use Survey Monkey and data you collect from surveys is going to tell you a lot in how to interact with your customers. One of the tricks with Survey Monkey is to do AB testing. You can actually have two surveys and see how people respond to the different surveys. Understand the data. There’s some basic analytics tools in Survey Monkey that will go through
Incentivize to Get More Survey Responses
A shout out to surveying is the second step. So we created the form. Now we’ve created the survey. You probably want to incentivize the survey to drive up responses, and that can be very cheap. It can be a $10 Amazon card for everybody who completes the survey which has a fairly low acquisition cost in the world of marketing. It can be an Amazon Ekho is the grand prize to one lucky survey respondant. But I would encourage some form of offer an incentive.
AB Testing with Mailchimp and Webinars
Third we’re going to talk about email marketing. I use MailChimp. There’s several options out there, like Constant Contact, and they all have different strengths. MailChimp has AB testing and most people don’t use that. With AB testing, you would carry two messages in a perfect example would be a webinar Do a webinar on a popular topic that’s of interest to your client.
Think about some kind of webinar you can put out there and archive and you’re going to use MailChimp to promote it and use two different titles in the subject line to promote the webinar. So you’ll see which one resonates by the open rate and the click throughs. What’s interesting with MailChimp is you can call the people that open the email but didn’t convert. And so what you’ll typically see is maybe 100 opens, 50 clicks and maybe 10 of those people actually sign up for the webinar. So you have 90 people that were hand raisers. We can talk about predictability scoring, a form of lead scoring, in a later article.
Getting Reports from Webinars with GoToWebinar
Let’s get to GoToWebinar, the webinar platform. There’s several out there, but that’s the one we use and there’s a couple reasons why. It is reasonably priced, but you know did you know if you drill down into the GoToWebinar Instants they have new report and most people don’t even know about the reports. They don’t print the reports out or use the report. So what is silly is you have someone do a webinar, and then not even do a follow up or even thoughtful follow up in terms of who was attentive! What GoToWebinar can do is it can measure the focus of the screen if the person was attentive or if they’re on screen number two checking email (and we all do it).
What’s the degree of attentiveness on your webinars? How long they were on the webinar? Did they hear your value proposition at midpoint and at the end? These tools are surprisingly sophisticated.
Be Social to Build Your Brand
Finally I want to talk about mixed feelings towards social media. Do you need to be social? Yes. Yes. You need to be social. It’s a brand builder. I’ve heard it called Attraction Marketing. Do the YouTube video. Do the LinkedIn post. Do the Facebook post. Tweet out.
Your absence can be more conspicuous than your presence with social. Just know that engagement does not have a high correlation to conversion. A perfect example of that is some of the larger Linked-In groups in your line of work your business You should join a Linked-In group of your choice or start a LinkedIn group for your community and answer questions. Some of the larger LinkedIn groups, and I’m thinking in my world of Office 365, have up to eighty five thousand users.
I’ve done it and I’ve watched other service providers do it. I’ll post something that’s that’s ultimately a call to action. With “Come to my webinar!” call to actions, you would be surprised that we will get zero conversions out of a post up into a Linked-In group. Sometimes we may get one. I had one occurrence where we had 10 but the 10 people were not a potential customer. They were overseas! I think there were people that sat in cubicles and had too much time. So the quality of the attendee was not high.
Tools to Measure Your Brand’s Success
We’re going to go deeper into that because there are some cool tools to measure social analytics but I do want to emphasize today that you know the visibility doesn’t necessarily convert. Even though it makes you feel good, it’s cool, and yes you have to do it. But inside HootSuite there’s analytics and most people don’t know that. That is a hidden jewel! Not only can HootSuite be a tool that will post up to multiple social platforms with the push of a button and you can put it on a timer (which is really cool because it makes you look like you’re on social media all the time), but the analytics are actually pretty good and they’re only getting better.
We’re really at the beginning of marketing 2.0 with analytics and small business as we go into 2017. This is the beginning and that’s why it’s going to be a fun journey over multiple articles with you to not only explore the five tricks and tips and secrets we talked about today but also dig deeper into some advanced topics later in the year.
About Harry Brelsford
Harry Brelsford is the founder of SMB Nation. He is a long-time SMB channel partner who has served customers and mentored other partners He oversees the popular SMB Nation worldwide events including webinars, workshops and multi-day conferences. He holds an MBA (and numerous certifications such as MCSE, MCT, CNE, et al) and is the author of 17 books on technology and business topics. He is also the publisher of SMB Partner magazine. His 20 years of SMB technology experience were supplemented by teaching 12+ years at night as an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University and other higher-learning institutions. He served as the Dean in the Graduate School of Technology at Aspen University. Harry’s recent books include the Microsoft Response Point Primer and Microsoft Small Business Server Blueprint. An active entrepreneur, Harry is the force behind the Pocket MBA, Telephonation, Cloud Nation and XPmigrations.com.