NOTE: If you’re a CEO or CMO – you have a fiduciary responsibility to implement a password management system to protect your corporate assets! It should be at the top of your marketing operations list. Imagine if a rogue employee changed the password on your company’s Twitter account. While you may not care much about Twitter today (although you should), when you do – you won’t be able to access it. You will be locked out – potentially forever.
Today, I was inspired by a discussion in the Marketing Executives group (almost 95,000 members) within Linkedin:
I don’t know if it’s a reflection of my most recent experiences with client password catastrophes or what, but Password Management was the first thing that came to mind. Now if you’ve already read my comment to Mark Gottlieb‘s question, don’t worry – I’m going to go into deeper detail.
You probably feel the pain of not having a password management system as part of your marketing operations. That pain comes in several varieties. Here are some scenarios:
There are a number of Password Management Systems available. What you’re looking for is one that does the following:
We use TeamPassword. It does all of the above. We build password groups around our clients. So, I can easily add or remove my teammates from a particular client’s set of accounts. I can do this at an account, group or global level (so, if they went bad – thankfully that’s never happened, but if – I could eliminate their access in seconds). Because nobody on my staff ever sees the actual passwords or types them into an application, I can use random, difficult-to-hack passwords to protect my clients. Additionally, I can change passwords anytime without affecting any users ability to login – keeping our marketing operations efficient. And finally, my people use our applications. We have a fairly sophisticated technology stack that we use to produce exceptional results for our clients. It would be terrible if people on my team avoided using applications because they couldn’t remember the login credentials. We’ve all been there – putting off using a website or application so we don’t have to go through the hassle of finding the password or username. TeamPassword lives in the browser (we use Chrome) as an extension. So, when I need it – I simply hit a little TeamPassword icon and the account appears – one click and I’m in the application. It’s that easy!
Go get a TeamPassword account and put this whole password thing behind you! It’s worth the time.
An exit pop is a powerful conversion rate optimization tactic where exiting visitors are exposed to a final compelling argument. A case is made for why they should provide they’re email address in exchange for something relevant and valuable. The exposure occurs when they exhibit “exit intent”. In other words, as soon as they move their mouse toward the browser controls, presumably to type in a new Google search query or enter another URL. Once triggered, a dark mask covers the webpage and a vibrant opportunity appears.
So that’s a working definition, but it’s so much easier to demonstrate. If you haven’t already, move your mouse toward the browser controls above. What you get should look like this:
This is not the time to capture everything about the visitor (soon to be lead). Pace yourself! You’re getting email addresses from people who are genuinely interested in your products or services – that’s huge! It marks the beginning of a business relationship. You can now have a conversation – continuing the courtship ritual.
I hear this question frequently. Keep in mind, this only happens if the visitor is going to exit your website. THEY ARE ABOUT TO LEAVE! In most cases, this is your very last chance to create a relationship. If they trigger the exit pop on accident, they won’t see it again for some period of time (this is fully configurable). So, it won’t get annoying.
Everyone I talk to is totally into email marketing automation, but when I dig deeper – they haven’t actually done any. Yet, this is one of the most productive tools available to today’s marketer. Once you put together your sequences, you’re free to do other impactful things to move your company forward. Those email sequences will keep nurturing your leads with no additional effort required. It can be a beautiful thing!
Where most get stuck has nothing to do with writing the content, it’s designing the flow. It can seem daunting, but it comes down to answering six (6) straightforward questions:
In the form below, if you enter your first name and email address, you’ll be automatically added to my list of people who want to learn more about email marketing automation. And, you’ll receive an email within an hour.
We use MailChimp to manage our email marketing automation. It’s relatively inexpensive, has a ridiculous level of functionality and works natively with most other marketing systems (like Spokal – the marketing automation system we use to manage everything that happens on our website – it’s how I created the form above and connected it to MailChimp).
When setting up sequence timing, consider the following:
NOTE: This post is for WordPress users (however, it applies to all websites).
If you check your Google Webmaster Tools regularly, you may notice a few crawl errors every so often (go to Crawl >> Crawl Errors). The “Not Found” errors are important because they create negative customer experiences. Some believe they can affect your ranking on the search engines as well. The point is 404 errors or Page Not Found errors happen. While all websites produce a default 404 Error page – you can do so much better! This has to be one of the easiest WordPress tips to execute, and it can have decent ROI.
The default 404 pages are plain. Typically, the default pages only result in frustration for the accidental visitor. These people made it to you for a reason. This is an opportunity. You should at least give them a bit of a chuckle (if you know me, you probably know I’m addicted to Yoga) and attempt to guide them toward a page or post that will help them. This can be done dynamically with WordPress widgets for recent posts, pages and categories. Here is our 404 Error page:
We also use an exit pop to tempt them with our secret formula for marketing success (you’ll see the same thing if you move your cursor toward the address bar in your browser on this page). Another approach would be to provide a links to your product or service categories. What’s important is that you try to capitalize on their mishap! We work so hard to get traffic, this is bonus traffic if you set it up right.
We use the “Custom 404 Pro” plugin to get it done. It allows you to create a 404 page out of any WordPress page or post. Then, it works like a redirect to present that page to the wayward visitor. Now you can monitor how many visitors visit other pages from your 404 page using Google Analytics.
Linkedin is often where people meet you professionally for the very first time. If done right, you can make an excellent first impression.
In my practice, I mostly see neglected Linkedin profiles. While most people seem to recognize Linkedin is probably the most important social media network for business, it appears they spend less time improving their profiles than they would getting ready for work in the morning!
The background you select or create is an important component of your profile. It can have a significant impact on your success when marketing on Linkedin. It and your picture are the first visuals your visitors see upon arrival. Here’s a quick 4-minute video showing you how to improve your profile background:
While I’m stuck with my ugly mug – this is how the top portion of my Linkedin profile presents. What I want you to focus on is the header background. It frames the Linkedin components (good contrast – black surrounds the white). And, it clearly displays my company logo – reinforcing my brand with every visit. As mentioned in the video, logo placement must be in the top 30% of your background. Otherwise, the profile will cover it.
In the video, I also recommend using Canva as an easy alternative to Photoshop. It is a Guy Kawasaki property – his goal was to make good design accessible to all people. I think they’ve done a good job. When making your Linkedin header, you will have to use a custom size. Linkedin provides the dimensions – 1400 pixels wide by 425 pixels high.
Canva enables you to make quality graphics because it provides layers. This is how design professionals make things look good in Photoshop. In the video, you’ll see that I first create a black background (one click). Then, I dragged and resized a dark gray version of my logo (that’s the huge gray icon just barely visible on the righthand side of my profile background above). For the third and final layer, I dragged my logo into the top 30% of the background. Obviously, you’ll need certain image assets (like your logo) to do this work. You may have to ask someone in your marketing department to provide the logo with a transparent background (usually a PNG file). And, if using a dark background, you may need them to provide you a contrasting version of the logo. Just a few things to overcome in your quest to improve your marketing on Linkedin.
It should only take you about 10 minutes to get this done – go for it!
If you want to do further improvements to your Linkedin profile, read:
When people visit your profile, the skills section testifies to your professional competence. And, according to Linkedin – profiles with skills get more 13 times more views than those without. From a Linkedin marketing perspective – that means you need to pay attention to this section.
When selecting skills, Linkedin doesn’t allow you to create them from scratch. You can only select skills they’ve approved, but don’t let that get you down – the list is huge. What you need to do is think about your target audience (this strategy is for Linkedin marketing, not career building). What skills are your prospective buyers expecting you to possess? Avoid generic skills like “leadership” or “management”. These types of skills feel like the ante into the game of business. You need to get specific, get niche-oriented. Pick skills relevant to the products/services your company offers.
When completing your profile, you can select up to 50 skills. Some Linkedin marketing professionals recommend using every one of those 50 slots. I’m of a different opinion. If you’re simply looking to advertise your profile, adding the maximum number of skills would be a great strategy. If, however, you’re interested in converting profile viewers into leads for your business, having a large list of skills with a low number of endorsements looks weak. It could reduce your effectiveness. I recommend going with your top 10 most relevant skills.
Your 10 most endorsed skills are displayed next to a matrix of profile pictures for the people who’ve endorsed you. Skills numbered 11 through 25 are listed in a comma separated paragraph below the matrix, and you have to click “see 25+” to see the remaining 25. It is the top 10 that connect the dots for your profile visitor – these 10 visually show the relationship between your skills and the real people who believe you have those skills. This is IMPORTANT for Linkedin marketing – endorsements are social proof of your competence.
It’s important that you have at least 12 people endorse you for each of your top 10 skills. If you have fewer than 12, it will look lame. It’s kind of like having less than 100 Linkedin connections.
To get 12 endorsements as quickly as possible, I’ve found it best to limit the number of skills available to 10. If you use Linkedin at all, you’ve noticed they want you to endorse others. Nearly every session they’ll show you the profile images of a few people you know, and ask you to endorse them for one of their skills. If that function is pulling from just 10 skills versus 50, how much quicker will the person being endorsed meet or exceed the goal of 12 endorsements? If my math is right, it’s 5x faster!
Once you’ve achieved the first goal of getting 12 endorsements for 10 skills, you need to move quickly toward securing another 87 endorsements for each of those skills. The skills matrix is ordered top to bottom by the raw number of endorsements. And, just like connections which cease showing the count at 500, endorsements will only show 99. So, any endorsements beyond that just change the order of the display, but don’t add anything to your perceived competence.
That’s it – if you want more instruction on improving your Linkedin profile – read 15 Minute Makeover for Your Linkedin Profile, How to Add Lead Capture to Your Profile or How to Block Competitors from Tracking You on Linkedin.
NOTE: Before you do what I’ve outlined below, make sure you’ve completed the Linkedin marketing steps listed in my blog post “15 Minute Makeover for Your Linkedin Profile“.
Linkedin is one of the more powerful business-to-business social networks, but most people continue to use it like an online resume (which was its original intent). If you’re happy with your job and want to see your company succeed, start using Linkedin to increase qualified leads.
Landing pages are designed (or should be) to capture leads and aren’t typically part of the website navigation. So, unless you know the URLs for these pages, you’ll have to ask the folks in the marketing department. They should be thrilled that you’re going to direct traffic toward the company from your personal social media account. Imagine if everyone in your company did the same. If they react negatively (unlikely, but always possible), this is an opportunity to provide some Linkedin marketing education and elevate your value in their eyes. Just show them what you’re about to learn and they’ll get it (you’ll be a hero).
Physically doing this is very simple, what to say can be more of a challenge, especially with a 30 character limit. The default setting is “Company Website”, but Linkedin will allow you to choose from the following:
If you’re spending money on Google Adwords, are you confident in the performance of every Ad Group? What about every Ad? About 10 years ago, I created a dead-simple spreadsheet to test Ads and improve performance with less money. If this is interesting to you, read on…
The idea behind the spreadsheet was to compare two ads in order to determine which was the better performer based on cost per conversion. I just said two things that are really important:
The spreadsheet looks like this:
It’s fairly simple. You need four inputs for each ad, and you have to have some conversions for each. The inputs are:
If you know me, you know I’m constantly checking out new tools. And, I’ve learned not to make a suggestion, unless it truly changes the game. Spokal is marketing automation that changes the game for WordPress websites/blogs.
Here are the major reasons why Spokal kicks butt from a marketing automation perspective:
Spokal is super easy to add to any WordPress site as a plugin (it probably take me no more than half an hour to fully configure with linkages to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Feedly and the WordPress integration). The only pain associated with Spokal is the cost. The Starter plan is $49/month and will handle up to 5,000 contacts (defined as people who have signed up to one of your lists and that Spokal tracks and scores). Once you understand what you’re getting, the financial sting is substantially reduced. We’ve bought and installed it for every one of our clients (free of charge to them). We do it because it adds value to the relationship.
Spokal has done a good job of providing video tutorials that help with most of the topics I mentioned in the list above. While this marketing automation application has great value to us, I would not recommend adding it if you don’t have a solid content strategy and a plan for executing that strategy. Spokal provides a nice high-end vehicle to accelerate your marketing efforts, but it’s nothing without its fuel (content).
In the world of social media marketing, there’s nothing worse than learning a few days have gone by where, for whatever reason, you accidentally went silent on Twitter. You failed to post. Especially with the knowledge that most social success comes from posting valuable information consistently. It’s how you cultivate an audience over time. We do this professionally, but on occasion something goes wrong, and we’ll miss a day for a client. It’s actually one of the things that keeps me up at night. Well, that was until I found Edgar.
Edgar does several things that make it a “must have” tool for your social media marketing toolbox.
Just to make sure you’re tracking with me – Edgar beats most other social media marketing tools for maintaining consistent output. For example, Buffer will stop posting when it runs out of content. CoSchedule will stop posting when it runs out of content. Hootsuite will stop posting when it runs out of content. To my knowledge, all other SMM tools require vigilance in keeping the content topped off. Edgar is a true set it and forget it application – although you should add new, proven Tweets on a regular basis to build your library.
Edgar is neither cheap nor quick. You can start at about $50/mo – we moved to the $99/mo plan within a day of use. It was absolutely worth it. With regard to being quick – at the time of this writing, you can’t just get access to Edgar by visiting the site and signing up. You must request an invitation. Then, within a day or so (maybe sooner), they’ll let you in. I’m not sure if that is a gimmick to induce a sense of urgency, but it worked on me.
Get your invitation to Edgar today or work with us to get immediate access, and we’ll buy it for you!