Friday, 28 July 2017

6 Predictions for the Convergence of IoT and Digital Marketing

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We're on the cusp of a tectonic shift in digital marketing.

The boom in IoT (Internet of Things) technology will soon allow us to analyze, predict, and respond to consumer behavior in almost every market possible.

That sounds amazing ... but what's the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is the connection of everyday products like cars, alarm clocks, and lights to computing devices via the internet. It allows them to exchange data with each other, providing marketers with more context about their customers' product usage. This enables marketers to deliver more relevant messages and leads to greater customer engagement. 

For example, if you run out of milk or it spoils, a refrigerator connected to the internet could recognize your need and display a message on its screen or your phone about the best milk deals in town. You could even order a carton through one of those devices if the refrigerator company partnered with a grocery store.  

Since IoT technology connects the internet with objects that are ubiquitous in our daily lives, marketers in almost every industry will be able to engage consumers throughout every phase of the customer journey.

The term “Big Data” is an understatement for the amount of data IoT devices will produce. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, IoT devices and sensors will exceed mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018 and generate a staggering 400 zettabytes of data per year.

IoT's surge will overjoy marketers because they can leverage these massive data sets to integrate consumer behavioral signals into their marketing stack. This will allow them to capture interactions, conversion metrics, and consumer behavior predictions and link them to purchase-intent data.

Access to this data is exciting, but it could also lead to confusion. Marketers might not know how to interpret this unprecedented influx of information. Changes to the digital marketing landscape are clearly on the horizon. So check out these six predictions of how IoT will influence digital marketing's growth and evolution and how you can prepare for it.

1) New digital devices will emerge.

Since anything connected to the internet could be an avenue for consumer engagement, marketers will move beyond today’s digital devices like laptops, mobile, and tablets.

For instance, we could use things like car and refrigerator monitors as possible touch points. Amazon already leverages IoT with their Dash buttons, allowing consumers to order a product with the push of a wifi-connected button.

2) IoT data, attribution, and analytics will revolutionize contextual marketing.

IoT devices generate unprecedented amounts of data, so every customer interaction allows marketers to capture consumer intent, behavior, needs, and desires. This makes it possible to serve contextually relevant marketing messages at the most optimal place and time.

Understanding a consumer’s behavior, purchase patterns, and location also provides a level of attribution, analytics, and predictive capabilities that were previously unavailable. Based on signals from IoT devices, we'll be able to push timely notifications to consumers when they need to purchase something rather than waiting for them to show interest.

These insights and the ability to accurately attribute every interaction throughout the customer journey will be groundbreaking.

3) Marketing technology platforms will treat IoT data like their first born.

Marketing platforms and technologies will be able to ingest and use IoT data similarly to how cookies and unique IDs (UIDs) are used today. These platforms will also use IoT signals to further evolve our current cross-device technologies.

Developing platforms and technologies capable of ingesting, analyzing, and acting on these vast data sets will be a very complex undertaking. But evolution in digital marketing AI and machine learning applications will produce marketing technology platforms that can process, interpret, and evaluate these data sets in near real-time.

In other words, expect many new entrants in the marketing technology space to tackle this challenge.

4) The agency's role will evolve.

Along with the traditional responsibilities of agencies, they will start playing an increasingly technical, data-centric role as technology partners. Agencies will help build their client's platforms, develop their internal systems, and manage the implementation of tagging elements.

The agency staff's skill set must adapt to the evolution of their role, though. They'll need to develop an agile approach to managing campaigns, marketing initiatives, pricing, and product development.

Keen understanding of the data packets IoT devices can produce will become commonplace, as well as knowing what the actionable endpoints within a customer journey are.

5) Marketers will be able to deliver timely, personalized messages that align with their customer's lifecycle stage

The ability to deliver timely, personalized messages at the precise moment to the optimal device will transform digital marketing. For example, using data collected from a fitness wearable and proximity data collected from beacons, digital marketers could deliver fitness product messaging or emails when the user is near a relevant advertiser’s store, like a smoothie joint.

The possibilities for using a combination of these signals to provide highly relevant messaging at the optimal moment are unlimited.

IoT could also provide marketers with the information to improve customer experience and determine when they should send acquisition or retention marketing messages. One example is using offline purchases coupled with proximity data from IoT devices in a brick and mortar store to target recent purchasers with an upsell email or social campaigns asking for product feedback to send to their peers.

6) There will be increased scrutiny of privacy and security.

With great data, comes great responsibility. We can expect more privacy and security regulations and technologies focused on protecting both consumer and enterprise data.

Methods such as network segmentation, device-to-device authentication, and bolstered encryption techniques will likely emerge to prevent IoT devices from being compromised.

The data created by the Internet of Things will unleash considerable digital marketing potential. Predicting exactly how these changes will play out is not exact, but the evolution is already underway.

The only question is: will you be prepared for it?

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/6-predictions-for-the-convergence-of-iot-and-digital-marketing

Thursday, 27 July 2017

HTML or Text Emails: Which is Better?

It may not seem like it, but email marketers have a nerve-wracking job. How’d you like to pour your heart and soul into email copy, send it to 500,000 people and then see that nobody opened or clicked it? Believe me, when I say this, it (pause for emphasis) hurts. You’ll lose sleep, you will find yourself knee deep in ice cream to cope, and you might feel like you won’t be able to write an email ever again.

You see, we just want people to like the emails we produce and for that very reason, we tend to send HTML-based emails. They can be visually captivating, represent the brand, and downright pretty. The question is though does the pretty email get the job done? In this blog, we’ll explore whether HTML or Text emails are more effective.

Emails Are Like Landing Pages

Yep, you read that right. Emails are just like landing pages. They share a common goal: a conversion. When we think about the elements that make up a strong landing page, we think clear copy, an obvious call-to-action, visual cues like arrows or contrasting colors, and a form. Are emails so different? There’s a simple formula that works for most landing pages.

Reduce distractions, increase conversions. Let’s look at an HTML-based Marketo email.

Screenshot of campaign email

At first glance, the email above seems to have a clear CTA, minimal distractions, and purpose-built layout for a single offer. But if we challenge ourselves to look past this visually pleasing layout, here’s what we see:

  • 5 different links (Marketo logo, 3 social network buttons, and 1 offer link on the banner, copy, and CTA)
  • A 564×355 pixel header banner (this means it takes at least 355 pixels before the recipient begins reading)
  • A 564×65 pixel footer banner
  • A 564 pixel width layout, which confines our copy to a set width, pushing it down into more lines of text

While many of these features help to accommodate key elements for visual branding and different device widths, they also can prevent the subscriber from focusing on the most important element: the main CTA or offer. So now we ask ourselves the hard question. Does including/hyperlinking elements like our company logo and social buttons hurt email performance? Are we losing out on clicks for the main offer?

What Does the Data Say?

Over the course of 5 different email drops, we have found text emails to do the following:

  • Roughly the same open rate as HTML emails
  • 11% higher click to open rates (95% statistical significance)
  • 8% higher click through rates (86% statistical significance)

Now, those stats aren’t a confidence booster! 95% statistical significance for click to open rates is at the low end of the spectrum, meaning I wouldn’t be confident calling it a better email. The click through rates definitely need more testing. But let’s dive deeper into the data.

CTR and Lead Gen Data for Marketo

If we move beyond aggregated clicks for the HTML email and look at individual link performance, we find that not every email click goes to the offer. In fact, nearly 16% of clicks went to other links like social buttons. When the purpose of our email is to promote a specific offer, we want clicks on the offer, right?

When we rerun the numbers solely looking at unique offer clicks, the data strongly favors text-based emails. Text emails show the following performance:

  • Roughly the same open rate as HTML emails
  • 21% higher unique click to open rates on the offer link (100% statistical significance)
  • 17% higher unique click through rates on the offer link (99% statistical significance)

In the end, we found that focusing a subscriber on a single-link, text based email produced higher clicks on the call-to-action. Sure, a little bit of my soul cried knowing that all this time, the pretty emails weren’t as good as a simple text email. But isn’t that what email marketing is all about? We must constantly challenge our beliefs to find the absolute best process for every campaign we run. And if we let our opinions get in the way, we miss out on easy wins just like this one.

What do you think of these results? Have you run the same test and found a different conclusion? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share below!

The post HTML or Text Emails: Which is Better? appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.



from Marketo Marketing Blog http://blog.marketo.com/2017/07/html-text-emails-better.html

6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We've Ever Seen

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A short, professional bio is one of those things most people don't think about until, all of a sudden, we've been asked to "shoot one over via email" and have approximately one afternoon to come up with it.

That's when we scramble.

And when we scramble, our bio ends up reading like this:

Rodney Erickson is a content marketing professional at HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Rodney worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. He graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing."

... Woof, that was dull. Are you still with me? I swear, not even adding a tidbit about his cats would liven that bio up.

New Marketing Job

To be fair, in certain contexts, your professional bio does need to be more formal, like Mr. Erickson's up there. But in many cases, writing a bio that's readable -- even conversational -- is actually a really good thing. That means dropping that traditional format of listing your accomplishments like a robot and cramming as much professional-sounding jargon in there as you can.

Remember: The people reading your bio are suffering from information fatigue. If you don't hook 'em in the first line, you'll lose them quickly.

Alright, I know what you may be thinking ... So what? It's just a bio.

(P.S. Want to give your professional brand a boost? Take one of HubSpot Academy's free certification courses. In just one weekend, you can add a line to your resume and bio that's coveted by over 60,000 marketers.)

Why Does Your Professional Bio Matter?

I mean, how many people actually read those things, anyway?

The answer: A lot of people. More importantly, though, there's no way to tell exactly who is reading it -- and you always want it to be ready for when the right people to come across it. And when they do, you want it to catch their eye. In a good way.

You see, while your resume is only useful for when you're actively applying for specific positions, your professional bio is much more visible. It can live on your LinkedIn profile, your company's website, your guest blog posts, your speaker profiles, your Twitter bio, and many other places.

And, most importantly, it's the tool that you can leverage most when you're networking.

Bottom line? People will read your professional bio. Whether they remember it, and whether it makes them actually care about you, is a matter of how well you present yourself to your intended audience.

So, what does a top-notch professional bio look like?

Let's take a look at some great examples. We've curated some of the best real professional bio examples we've ever seen online. Check 'em out, and use them as inspiration when crafting your own.

6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We've Ever Seen

1) Phil Gutowski

Phil is a real estate broker for the East Boston neighborhood, and he's mastered the art of adding a warm personality to the professional bio on his website.

First, check out the header of his bio: "Promoting positive community and economic growth in our neighborhood."

phil-gutowski-bio-example.png

The header isn't all about him, nor is it a hard sell about his business. Instead, he's chosen to start with a value proposition. Why? Because Phil knows that his value proposition is the core of his competitive advantage. In header text that stands out on the page, he clearly articulates why someone would want to hire him instead of a competitor: This guy doesn't just sell houses to make money; he promotes community and economic growth in the area.

The rest of his bio includes personal touches that make him more human. He does talk about his business history and accomplishments, but he does so while including personal details that invite readers to relate to him as a person.

For instance, he talks about where he's from (a relevant detail for a real estate broker), his love of the water, why he started his business, and how he's committed to the local community. His bio indicates he's friendly and probably a pleasure to work with, which is important for a real estate broker someone would be working with one-on-one.

2) Ann Handley

If you're a marketer, you've likely heard of Ann Handley. Her list of credentials is lengthy, and if she really wanted to, she could go on and on and on about her accomplishments.

But when people list out all their accomplishments in their bios, they risk sounding a little egotistical. Sure, you might impress a handful of people with all those laurels, but many people who read your bio will end up feeling either intimidated or annoyed. Think about it: Is that how you want the majority of your readers to feel when they read your bio?

To minimize the egoism that comes with talking about yourself, think about how you can list out your accomplishments without sounding like you're bragging. Ann does this really well, choosing a tone in her bio that's more approachable.

It starts with the excerpt in the footer of her personal website. Give it a quick read, paying close attention to the opening and closing lines:

ann-handley-website-bio.png

"This is Ann Handley's website, and this is a bit of copy about her ... That's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So read more here." This is the kind of simple, friendly language that invites the reader in rather than shutting them out.

Follow the link and you'll be led to a page dedicated to a fuller bio, which she's divided into two parts: a "short version" (literally a bulleted list of key facts) and a "long version," which includes traditional paragraphs. There's something in there for everyone.

3) Mark Gallion

As a venture capitalist and an executive at several start-ups, Mark Gallion has different versions of his bio all over the internet. You can imagine some are more formal than others. But when it comes to his Twitter bio, he carefully phrased his information in a way that helps him connect with his audience -- specifically, through the use of humor.

Mark Gallion Twitter Bio.png

Why would he choose humor when he runs four start-ups and constantly seeks funding for them? Well, Mark's tactic is totally intentional: it's a lever he pulls to refresh his brand while maintaining his already impressive and established identity as an entrepreneur.

Mark leverages his Twitter bio because it’s place where he can be human. And it helps him relate to his followers and potential investors.

When crafting your own Twitter bio, consider your audience and the personal brand you're trying to create for yourself. Use it as an opportunity to be relatable. (And check out this list of amusing Twitter bios for inspiration.)

4) Lena Axelsson

When it all comes down to it, your professional bio is no different than any other piece of persuasive copy -- no matter where it lives. One of the most common mistakes people make is thinking of it as its own beast, separate from other pieces of writing. If you think about it that way, you're far more likely to write something painfully uninteresting.

When you sit down to write your professional bio and you're watching that cursor blinking on the screen, think about how you would introduce a blog post. You don't just dive right into the meat of the thing, now, do you? No. You start with an introduction.

The best bios are often concise (around 200–300 words), so you don't have a lot of room to play around. But a single sentence that tees your reader up and provides context for the accomplishments that follow could make the rest of your bio that much more persuasive.

Take Lena Axelsson's bio, for instance. She's a marriage and family therapist -- a job where empathy and compassion are a big part of the job description. That's why she chooses to open her bio with a great introductory sentence: "When human beings experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel."

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Then, she goes into why she's passionate about her job, how she helps her clients, and how she caters her approach to each individual patient. The necessary educational information is left for the end, after the reader has been hooked.

Your bio doesn't have to be super serious, nor does it have to start with a joke. This bio shows how you can capture your reader's attention by being empathetic or telling a brief story.

5) Mark Levy

Mark Levy is a small business owner who's taken a more traditional approach to the professional bio on his website -- but in a way that takes care to speak to his intended audience.

What we love about his bio is the way he's set it up: On his business' "About" page, he's listed two biographies, which he's labeled "Mark Levy's Biography #1" and "Mark Levy's Biography #2."

mark-levy-professional-bio.png

Click here to see the full version.

Like Ann, Mark's given his readers two different options. The first biography is a "short version," which includes a combination of bullet points listing his credentials and a few short paragraphs.

The second is the "long version," which is actually even more interesting than the first one. Why? Because it reads like a story -- a compelling one, at that. In fact, it gets really funny at parts.

The second sentence of the bio reads: "He was frightened of public school, loved playing baseball and football, ran home to watch ape films on the 4:30 Movie, listened to The Jam and The Buzzcocks, and read magic trick books."

Here's another excerpt from the middle:

mark-levy-long-bio-snippet.png

Of course, the fantastic copywriting isn't a surprise, given that this guy wrote several books. But the conversational tone and entertaining copy let his quirky personality (and great writing skills) shine.

6) Corey Wainwright

Finally, we have Corey Wainwright, who's the director of content here at HubSpot. She's written content for HubSpot's Marketing Blog for years, and her blog author bio has caught my eye since before I ever started working for HubSpot. (Back then, it started with, "Corey just took a cool vacation.")

What I love most about Corey's bio is that it's a great example of how to deliver information about yourself without taking things too seriously. And in this context, that's totally appropriate.

Despite having a number of impressive accomplishments under her belt, she simply doesn't like displaying them publicly. So, she prefers making her author bio a little more "light."

Her bio (pictured below) reads, "Corey is a Bruce Springsteen fan who does content marketing, in that order."

corey-wainwright-bio.png

It works in this particular context because, at HubSpot, our blog authors often prefer to make themselves as friendly and approachable as possible -- while letting the content speak for itself.

It helps that authors' social media accounts are located right below our names and above our pictures. For folks who really do want a list of Corey's credentials, they can click the LinkedIn button to go to her LinkedIn page. (You can read this blog post to learn how to create social media buttons and add them to your website.)

What are your favorite professional bio examples? Share with us in the comments.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/professional-bio-examples

Avoid the Summer Slump: 3 Tips from Growth Marketing Experts

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What was the last great idea you had for growth? 

No matter how skilled a marketer you are, sometimes we all get into flat-growth slumps. Even a year that started out strong can devolve into a mediocre one, especially during the summer. It can be tough to keep coming up with new ideas that lead to sustained growth over time.

To help you avoid the dreaded summer slump, we asked three growth marketing experts to share their proven tips on how to jump-start growth and keep up momentum through the rest of 2017. Check them all out below, and start incorporating these strategies into your team's growth marketing approach.

3 Growth Tips to Avoid the Summer Slump

1) Seek Out New Voices for Your Content

If you want to grow your content reach, try using Help a Reporter Out to source expert influencers & partners. You can quote them in your piece, and they'll share it to their own audiences.

-- Blaise Lucey, Director of Product & Content Marketing at Bitly

2) Make Your Content Extremely Easy to Share

Create content with sharing in mind, and give your audience a way to easily share it. People share content that they want to represent them, so make sure the piece will make them look smart when they share it. Then, build in sharing mechanisms like social media share links, and mailto links directly into the content.

-- Eric Peters, Growth Marketer at HubSpot Academy

3) Engage With Key Influencers

Be the first to comment on an influencer/journalist's content, and make sure the content adds value to the discussion. That's a better way to start a relationship (and drive more interaction with your own brand) than following them on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

-- David Ly Khim, Growth Marketing Manager, Sales Products at HubSpot

Get more tips on how to drive sustained growth at in our upcoming live session, 10 Growth Hacks To Help You Crush The Rest of 2017.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/summer-slump-growth-tips

July Social Media News: Snapchat Links, Instagram Photo Replies & More

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In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, it's tough -- scratch that -- it's impossible to keep up with every single story that comes out.

And that's especially true of social media, where new features and apps are launched at a speed that leaves social media marketers wondering, "So ... where should I post today?"

That's why we've written this monthly news roundup -- to help you keep up and start testing out new features, new products, and stay up on trends. New Call-to-action

From Facebook to Snapchat, from new product launches to small tweaks, here's a list of what's new in social media this month. The list isn’t exhaustive, but you can expect to learn the major highlights -- what was launched, what changed, and what these stories could mean for marketers.

9 of the Biggest Social Media News Stories This Month

1) Snapchat adds links to posts.

One of Instagram's biggest competitive advantages over Snapchat was the ability to drive traffic: Brands and verified users could add links to Instagram Stories to drive followers to landing pages, blog posts, and purchase pages. This feature made Instagram a more formidable traffic and lead generation tool -- and social media marketers could tie social media efforts directly to traffic generated.

But now, Snapchat offers the same capability -- and it's available to all users, not just a select few.

Users can add links by filming a Snap and tapping the paper clip to add a link, like so:

         snap-links-1-1.png snap-links-2-1.png

         snap-links3-1.png snap-links-4-1.png

(HubSpot customers: We recommend creating a tracking URL when adding links to Instagram and Snapchat Stories so you can calculate direct traffic numbers from the post. Learn how to set one up here.)

2) Snapchat users can add voice filters, change colors, and film multiple Snaps at once.

Another big rollout from Snapchat this month came in the form of expanded filming and editing capabilities.

Now, users can record up to six 10-second Snaps at the same time by holding down the recording button (so as not to interrupt filming) and can quickly and easily post the Snaps all at once. Try this feature out by holding down the record button for as long as you'd like and you'll see the recording turn over after each 10-second video. Then, the snaps you've filmed will show up on the side of your screen that you can pick and choose from when it comes time to post. If you don't like a Snap, you can click and drag it into the trashcan:

Snapchat licecap.gif

Other new features include the Tint Brush, which lets users change the color of elements of a Snap, and backdrops, which let users choose a fun background, and then highlight a part of their Snap they want to be in the foreground. To access these fun editing tools, tap the scissors icon once you've recorded a Snap:

snapchat-licecap-editing-1.gif

Finally, you can now change the way you sound in Snaps with voice filters, too. Once you record a video, tap the volume icon to choose a squeaky animal voice, a robotic monotone, or an alien accent:

snapchat-licecap-voice filters-1.gif

3) Instagram users can now reply to Stories with photos and videos.

In an effort to keep up with Snapchat, on the other hand, Instagram launched the capability to reply to Instagram Stories and direct messages with photos or videos.

This feature has been in place for a while on Snapchat, so it's a smart (and competitive) move to roll out a comparable camera feature. This will allow users to connect with friends and brands in the way they please -- whether that's with text, photos, or videos. Neater still -- users can add a sticker of the story they're replying to in order to make it extra meta:

  instagramphotoreply1.png instagramphotoreply2.png  

Source: Instagram

4) Facebook is rolling out custom audiences based on interaction with Instagram Business pages.

Facebook has started the rollout of targeting audiences on Facebook based on their prior interactions with Instagram Business profiles. Advertising on Facebook and Instagram was already advantageous, because advertisers could analyze user interactions with different topics and types of content -- but soon, Facebook advertisers will be able to see which business pages specifically convert well. Then, advertisers can target users -- and curate ad content -- accordingly.

FacebookCustomAudiencesInstagramBusinessProfile-1.jpgSource: Adweek

5) Users can broadcast on Facebook Live in Spaces, Facebook's VR communities.

Remember when we announced the launch of Spaces earlier this year? Facebook launched a new capability with Oculus that lets friends connect 1:1 or in groups of friends -- in full virtual reality (VR).

Depending on your opinion of social media eroding in-person relationships, Spaces is a unique way to connect and engage in a high-tech way. And now, users can broadcast from Facebook Spaces using Facebook Live, so their entire Facebook audiences can see what they're up to.

For brands and individuals who've seen success and engagement using Facebook Live, this could be a cool way to stand out in the busy News Feed. Check it out in action below:

6) Facebook may begin testing a subscription service with publishers this fall.

facebook instant articles bee-1.png Source: Facebook

The Street reported this month that Facebook would be launching a subscription service with publishers later this year.

Tests will begin in October, and the service will involve Facebook's Instant Articles -- the already successful and popular publishing platform on the social network. Facebook and publishers will create a paywall after users read 10 articles per month, at which point they'll be directed to a landing page encouraging them to subscribe.

This announcement is part of Facebook's ongoing partnership with publishers as part of the Facebook Journalism Project, a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. This move will be sure to make publishers happy -- especially considering 66% of Facebook users get their news from the site.

7) Twitter users can mute new accounts and people they don't know.

In another step toward improving user safety and preventing harassment, Twitter added a capability that lets users mute newly registered accounts, or accounts that don't follow you. If an abusive user is blocked or suspended from tweeting, they might simply open a new account to continue harassing other Twitter users, and this measure lessens their visibility and prevents targeted users from seeing abusive content.

8) LinkedIn launches native video.

LinkedIn started rolling out a native video feature in a nod to the growing popularity of this content format across platforms. My colleague, Ryan Bonnici, noticed this on his LinkedIn feed recently, and once it rolls out to all users (it's currently being tested among a few users and brands), we'll give you a full rundown of how to use it.

ryan bonnici linkedin native video.png

9) Amazon launches Spark, the shoppable social network for Prime users.

In a nod to the popularity of shoppable Instagram posts and lifestyle content on Pinterest, Amazon launched a social sharing platform for Amazon Prime subscribers. It's available within the Amazon mobile app, where users can share visual content and tag different products available for purchase -- where else? -- on Amazon.

Download the Amazon mobile app and check it out:

         sparkstep1.jpg sparkstep2.jpg

         sparkstep3-2.jpg  sparkstep4-1.png

Did we miss any news this month? Start a discussion in the comments below.

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from HubSpot Marketing Blog https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/july-social-media-news

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

How to Drive New Feature Adoption with Kissmetrics

When you launch a new feature, you can put adoption (or lack thereof) in four categories:

  • Users that haven’t heard of the new feature
  • Users that have heard of the new feature but haven’t used it
  • Users that have heard of the new feature, used it once or a few times and stopped
  • Users that have heard of the new feature, used it once and are continually using it

Each group of users need to be treated differently. And each group can be learned from to drive more product adoption and help direct future product releases.

Here’s how to do it in Kissmetrics.

Users That Haven’t Heard of The New Feature

You can find who fits into this group by using a simple yes/no survey from a tool like Qualaroo. You can place it on every page of your app and have it appear until the user provides a response:

populations qualaroo survey

For the people that select Yes, you can have a simple messaging saying Thank You. But for those that select No, you can prompt them to check out your new feature.

feature announcement on qualaroo

That’s one way to make sure newcomers are at least aware of your new feature and what it does.

But as the saying goes, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.

In this case, your user is the horse and the water is….ok, bad analogy. But you get the point. Awareness isn’t activation. Activation isn’t engagement.

So, that’s method #1. The other method involves using a little analytics from Kissmetrics. Just pull up a People Search and find the people that are current users, have received the email announcing the feature, but have not used it. While some of these people may have read the subject line, they aren’t too familiar with your new feature because they didn’t open the email and haven’t used the feature in the app.

Run that search, and you’ll get a list that looks something like this (just with different email addresses):

list of people in people search

So it looks like there’s a few people that aren’t too familiar with this feature. For them, we’ll create an email message that we’ll send to them. We won’t have to leave Kissmetrics or export anything to do this. It’s all in the same solution.

new feature announcement through kissmetrics campaigns

We’ll send them an email about this new feature, and will create follow up emails for people that still haven’t used the feature. The goal here is to get users who haven’t heard of the feature to start using it and getting value out of it.

Users That Have Heard of Feature But Haven’t Used It

Now we have the group of users that are at least aware of the feature, but haven’t tried it yet. These users may have opened the email announcing the new feature, visited the feature page, asked a member of your support team a question about it, or click an in-app notification.

You can find any of these people with a simple People Search. Just plugin your conditions and date range, and run a search.

We’ll create a Campaign message for them. Since they’re already aware of the feature, this won’t need be a replica of the email announcement. Instead, we’ll try to entice them to try the feature using the power of social proof. We’ll use customer testimonials that we’ve collected.

jenni testimonial email campaign

This email will be sent to users who are aware of the feature, but have not used it yet. If they receive this email, open it, and still don’t use the feature, we can create another email with a different twist – maybe embed our product video into the email.

And we’ll do all the tracking in Kissmetrics. We’ll keep a watchful eye of the product engagement with Populations:

Now let’s go on to the next group of users.

Users That Have Heard of Feature, Used it Once or Twice, and Stopped

This group of users has heard of the feature, is aware of what it does, and has even tried it a few times before eventually not returning to it.

This group of users needs to be treated a bit differently than the previous two. We aren’t as interested as getting them to try the product as we are gathering feedback to see why they dropped off. The reasons will vary:

  • I didn’t get value out of it
  • I’ve been too busy to get to using it
  • I’m about to cancel

To find this group of people, we’ll run a People Search for users that have used the feature no more than 3 times, have not used in the past 2 weeks, but have logged in in the past 2 weeks. This is to make sure we’re finding the active users that are logging in but are not using our new feature.

If there is a group of people in this search, we’ll create a Campaign and write our message. There are a couple ways we can go – we can either ask them for feedback on the feature or try to get them to use it again. Let’s first start with a feedback email.

campaigns feedback collection

We’ll send this email to our users that fit the criteria mentioned above. The main objective of this interaction should be to gather feedback to see which problems they run into (if any) and discover why they aren’t using the feature anymore, despite still signing in and using the product.

Users That Are Using the Feature Often (5+ times a week)

These can be known as our power users. They’ve not only heard of the feature, they’re actively using it. These users can be a source of feedback, and a few of them may even be willing to provide a testimonial that you can use in public. Some of them may even go a step further and write a positive review on a site like G2 Crowd or Capterra.

The search for these users is pretty straightforward. You’ll find users that have used the feature at least x amount of times in the last week. A good measure for most features is at least 5 – this way you’ll find people that have used the feature 5 or more times during the last 7 days.

getting feature feedback from power users

We can also attempt to learn more from these power users and funnel those insights into future product development and marketing materials. For instance, if we find that the users that get the most use out of our tool are growth teams, but we’ve been targeting marketing teams, we’ll know we should consider modifying our marketing messaging to target growth hackers.

Unique Emails to Each User Group

Throughout this post, we’ve gone through four user groups and emails you can send to each group.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are separate emails going to different groups of users. We aren’t sending all these emails to the same customer group. For example, we won’t be sending the same email to power users as we do to users who have never heard of the feature. Each group gets its own email as they are treated differently and what we are looking to get out of them differs.

Conclusion

Building something people want is hard. At least, building something a lot of people want is hard.

Then, getting them to keep using it day after day, year after year is almost impossible without near-perfect, flawless product iteration.

Customer development can help. So can co-creation.

And good ol’ customer feedback through conversations and emails can also do the trick. Especially when it’s targeted towards a specific user group with differing product-adoption levels. Kissmetrics can help you identify these user groups, and you’ll even be able to send these behaviorally-targeted emails within Kissmetrics. Click the play button to learn more.

Questions? Ask them in the comments.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.



from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/drive-new-feature-adoption/