Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg http://www.bryaneisenberg.com Professional Speakers, Best Selling Authors, Online Marketing Pioneers Mon, 18 May 2015 13:02:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Mobile Is Not The Next Big Thing – It’s Already the Big Thing http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/mobile-is-not-the-next-big-thing-its-already-the-big-thing/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/mobile-is-not-the-next-big-thing-its-already-the-big-thing/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 13:02:33 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2944 In mid 2013, mobile Internet access surpassed fixed Internet access, and according to comScore the gap is only widening. Many people are not as easily frustrated with mobile as they are with desktop, because their expectations are still low. It was the same way in the late 90s and early 2000s with desktop experiences. However, […]

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Go Mobile only, not mobile firstIn mid 2013, mobile Internet access surpassed fixed Internet access, and according to comScore the gap is only widening.

Many people are not as easily frustrated with mobile as they are with desktop, because their expectations are still low. It was the same way in the late 90s and early 2000s with desktop experiences.

However, that forgiveness won’t last very long. Consumers will keep expecting more and more great experiences like those they get from mobile-optimized companies like Amazon.

As more apps and mobile websites improve, we will see more companies leapfrogging forward by creating richer, easier, and more persuasive mobile experiences, allowing their customers to become comfortable with starting and finishing their buying process on mobile alone. Still, the current metrics show mobile has a long way to go when it comes to its ability to convert.

 

conversion-graph

 

There is no bigger opportunity online than committing yourself to evolving your mobile customer experience into something that doesn’t feel like it is a desktop experience crammed onto a teeny weeny screen where gigantic thumbs and a finger are the primary mode of interaction.

If you don’t want to wait for this to change, then you must commit sufficient resources to creating superior mobile experience for the customers. They deserve it, and you will reap the reward.


Stop designing for mobile first; design for mobile only!
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To begin, consider the constraints of the mobile platform, and then figure out how to use those constraints as a positive. Find ways using design, tech, or UI to make the experience satisfying, to become more like a snack-sized version of your desktop experience, which will highlight your service or products. Find an alternative that will keep your customers from having to perform difficult tasks with their thumbs.

  • Can you use a smaller screen to your advantage?
  • Instead of forcing mobile customers to type awkwardly on the phone, can you use their cameras to take pictures of their credit cards?
  • Can you use an API like Google Maps to autocomplete their addresses when they start thumb typing them?
  • Can you find a way to make your product pages snack sized, instead of trying to cram everything you have on the desktop version?
  • Can you allow mobile customers a way to email their carts to themselves so they can finish on a computer or a tablet?

There are just a few things I had at the top of my mind. What ideas do you have about improving the mobile buying experience?

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Increase the Persuasive Momentum of Your Conversion Funnels http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/increase-the-persuasive-momentum-of-your-conversion-funnels/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/increase-the-persuasive-momentum-of-your-conversion-funnels/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 15:20:09 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2928 Companies that plan and optimize persuasive momentum usually convert two to four times better than their industry’s average conversion rate. If you are not properly planning the persuasive momentum of your customer’s experience, then you are leaving way too much to chance. I like to keep chance as far away from my business as possible. […]

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Waiting for your cat to bark?Companies that plan and optimize persuasive momentum usually convert two to four times better than their industry’s average conversion rate. If you are not properly planning the persuasive momentum of your customer’s experience, then you are leaving way too much to chance. I like to keep chance as far away from my business as possible. I hope you might feel the same way.

What Is Persuasive Momentum?

In Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? we defined persuasive momentum as “the progressive decision-making process that aligns the customers’ goals with our own business goals.” Whether intentional or not, your business is operating a persuasive system. In 2002, we defined a persuasive system this way:

Persuasive systems are complex. Their success depends on their ability to address the varying levels of need a user brings to the online experience. To be effective, a website must address these user needs at every point in the process.

This applies to the entire customer experience, which includes social media, traditional media, call centers, signage, product placement, packaging, customer service, sales collateral, direct mail, billboards, PPC, SEM, PR, websites, microsites, video, mobile, demos, sales training, employee training, and of course, one-on-one customer interaction. Each of these components (and some I probably missed) together form your persuasive system. The better you optimize your persuasive system the more efficient you will be at converting and reconverting customers.

Too often, we see marketers that are stuck on the sales/conversion funnel metaphor. Your customers’ journeys are their stories, NOT funnels. They could tell you the stories; just try asking them. And those stories don’t always have happy endings.

Your customers’ stories end happily when they are delighted. And for them that may mean getting what they want from you or from a competitor. It’s simply a matter of perspective.

The most successful companies start with the story from the customer’s perspective. Buyer Legends are the simplest way to build that story from the customer’s perspective. Successful Buyer Legends insure that the story is accountable through analytics. They anticipate what needs to be measured in order for the analysts to understand the actual customers’ experience – did their stories end happily?

It’s Time to Perfect Your Concept of a Funnel

Let’s get real – your customer isn’t truly in a funnel. There’s no gravity compelling them through your experience like there is in a real funnel. There is only the customer’s motivation and your understanding of that motivation to create persuasive momentum.

Your sales/ conversion funnel likely has some elements of persuasive momentum, but are they planned and designed to be optimized? It also has some leaks. Do you know what in your customer experience is working and isn’t working to move (or not move) customer forward toward your set conversion goal?

Micro-Actions vs. Macro-Actions

Because persuasive momentum is about enticing customers to take action, you must understand the two types of actions you want customers to take. Typically your conversion/sales goals are the macro-actions: capturing a lead, closing a sale, becoming a member. These are usually the actions that take up the most time and effort in terms of optimization and planning. Still, it is dangerous, to your bottom line, to ignore the micro-actions.

Micro-actions are all the required smaller actions customers need to take to before they can take a macro-action. Micro-actions can be as simple as clicking a link, watching a video, reading content, clicking an ad, taking a note, and more. Without persuasive momentum, customers do not move forward in their buying journey.

The Three Elements of Persuasive Momentum

No matter if the action is micro or macro, there is a simple formula that will help you identify persuasive momentum or the lack thereof.

  1. Relevance. Are you relevant to my wants/needs/desires/query?
  2. Value. Do I understand why you are the right solution for me? Have you explained your value proposition/offer well to me?
  3. Call to action. Is it obvious what I need to do next? Have you provided me with the confidence to take that required micro or macro action?

Ask these questions at every touch point of your customer’s experience, and you will quickly find if your touch points are missing one, two, or all three of these components. Longtime readers may recognize that this is the concept I teach to my conversion rate optimizations students: The Conversion Trinity.

Conversion Trinity: Relevance, Value & Call to Action

 

It is only when you sequence all the micro-actions (even the distractions your customer will inevitably run in to) correctly you create the metaphorical gravity that compels customers along your conversion funnel. This takes some work, and it’s why companies that plan and optimize persuasive momentum usually convert two to four times better than their industry’s average conversion rate.

Use Buyer Legends to Create Persuasive Momentum

Start with a pre-mortem, the second step in the Buyer Legend process that helps you to identify anything that can go wrong from your customer’s perspective. Then create a reverse chronology, another step in the Buyer Legend process that allows you to address customer needs and plan persuasive momentum.

When you are planning a customer experience it is always best to start at the end point and work your way backwards to the beginning. This requires you to get very specific about how and why every decision and action needs to be taken in the buying journey.

Persuasive momentum is not an abstract concept; it needs to be planned concretely in order to be implemented effectively and fully optimized. Persuasive momentum lets you align the customers’ goals with your own goals. That is the only way both customer and company get to have the happy endings that you both crave.

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4th Post – Recipes For Practical Customer Experience Design & Optimization # CRO #UX #CX http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/4th-post-recipes-for-practical-customer-experience-design-optimization-cro-ux-cx/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/4th-post-recipes-for-practical-customer-experience-design-optimization-cro-ux-cx/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 15:27:02 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2919 Please read the just published Personas: The Key Ingredient In Design For Conversion. It is the fourth in a series of six Recipes For Practical Customer Experience Design & Optimization posts. In case you missed them, the first four posts are: I. Pre-mortem because it is the antidote to Murphy’s Law  First we’ll explore the most impactful step of the […]

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persona_BLPlease read the just published Personas: The Key Ingredient In Design For Conversion. It is the fourth in a series of six Recipes For Practical Customer Experience Design & Optimization posts.

In case you missed them, the first four posts are:

I. Pre-mortem because it is the antidote to Murphy’s Law 

First we’ll explore the most impactful step of the process, the pre-mortem. Some of our largest conversion wins over the last two decades ever were the result of our clients going through the pre-mortem exercise.  Murphy’s law states that everything that can go wrong usually will and a pre-mortem will help you spot previously invisible problems in your current customer experience as well as plan against future problems. But the pre-mortem step is not for the faint hearted as it may show you things about your precious baby that are not as attractive as you wanted to believe.  The only thing that makes a pre-mortem more powerful is by doing a pre-mortem on a persona by persona and then scenario/ campaign by scenario basis.

II. Reverse chronology because it explains conversions

Assuming you have a product or service worth buying then you and your customers have the same goal.  You want to sell and they want to buy. That’s why when you are planning a customer experience it is always best to start at the end point and work your way backwards to the beginning.  This step requires you to get very specific about how and why every decision and action needs to be taken in the buying journey.  It’s specificity also makes this step important to measuring and optimizing your customer experience when you finally implement it. Your Buyer Legend isn’t fiction so every detail must be accounted for, not only that but you must create persuasive momentum at every step.

III. Persuasive momentum because there’s no such thing as a sales funnel

Your customer isn’t truly in a funnel. There’s no gravity compelling them through your experience like there is in a real funnel. There is only the customer’s motivation and your understanding of that motivation to create persuasive momentum. Persuasive momentum is the progressive decision making process that aligns the customer’s goals with our own business goals. I’ll show you the three step test that will insure your customers’ experiences are always relevant, valuable and compelling.

IV. Personas because their motivations become your action plan

Personas are a common marketing tool, but their value is often misunderstood. Simply put, personas should inform you about exactly what you need to be doing. Personas can be elaborate constructs based on reams of research and data, or they can be constructed quickly with data and information at hand, but as long as they are directionally accurate reflections of a segment of your customer they can be powerful tools that will guide your Buyer Legends processes. I will be discussing how to construct ad-hoc personas as well as help you evaluate and if needed fix your current personas if you have them.

The next two will be published soon:

V. Write a Buyer Legend because the only story that matters is your customers’ story

This is the step when you actually pull out your pots, grab a spatula and fire up your burners.  I will tell you all the ingredients to include so you can have them at the ready. This is the step where all your previous work begins to pay off and when you’re done you will have an action plan that can be distributed, implemented, tested, and optimized.  A Buyer Legend is where the rubber meets the road.

VI. Measurement because if analysts cannot tell the stories and business people cannot measure the stories then the strategy isn’t truly aligned with customers’ needs.

Your Buyer Legend isn’t fiction, it’s not for fun or for entertainment, or even for creative fulfillment.  This is business, and anything important to a businesses success should be measurable and accountable.  Buyer Legends are both and I will give you a primer on measuring, optimizing, rinsing, and repeating.

We hope you enjoy the series and as always, we encourage you to try Buyer Legends for yourself, but if you need help, please let us know.

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#CRODAY Webinar 4/9/15 – Buyer Legends for CRO with Bryan Eisenberg http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/croday-webinar-4915-buyer-legends-for-cro-with-bryan-eisenberg/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/croday-webinar-4915-buyer-legends-for-cro-with-bryan-eisenberg/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2015 17:35:21 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2914   Empower your team with 10 key ingredients for generating powerful customer stories that boost conversion.   Reminder: Don’t forget to register for #CRODAY on April 9. 2015 here With Buyer Legends, Your Team Will: Improve communication. Your whole team will see and understand the bigger picture and the important details Improve execution. You will turn big directives into purposeful and […]

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Empower your team with 10 key ingredients for generating powerful customer stories that boost conversion.

croday-bryan-1

 

Reminder: Don’t forget to register for #CRODAY on April 9. 2015 here

With Buyer Legends, Your Team Will:

  • Improve communication. Your whole team will see and understand the bigger picture and the important details
  • Improve execution. You will turn big directives into purposeful and more effective actions
  • Improve testing. You will understand how to plan and implement more effective and impactful tests
  • Make more money. You will see improved conversion rates that make the up-front planning worth the time and effort

Don’t miss it, register now!

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Interview With Bryan Eisenberg – Two Episode Podcast – Buyer Legends & IdealSpot.com http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/interview-with-bryan-eisenberg-two-episode-podcast-buyer-legends-idealspot-com/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/interview-with-bryan-eisenberg-two-episode-podcast-buyer-legends-idealspot-com/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 14:56:27 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2912 Bryan was recently interviewed by Rod Worley the host of “Inside the Jewelry Trade Radio Show” to let us know that his interview was now online. Here is what Rod had to say: Good evening Bryan, Just a quick note to say your episode(s) are live in iTunes and on our website. Why two episodes you […]

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Bryan was recently interviewed by Rod Worley the host of “Inside the Jewelry Trade Radio Show” to let us know that his interview was now online.
Here is what Rod had to say:
Inside-the-Jewelry-Trade-430x430
Good evening Bryan,
Just a quick note to say your episode(s) are live in iTunes and on our website.
Why two episodes you ask?
There was so much great content that we had to break it into two individual episodes.
Studies have shown that once a podcast gets over 30 minutes in length, you start losing listeners very quickly.We didn’t want to pick and choose which part of the content to share with our listeners.
The first episode is:    ITJT 011: Bryan Eisenberg – “Buyer Legends.  “The Executive’s Storytelling Guide” & IdealSpot.com
The link to the show notes page and player:    ITJT 011
The second episode is:  ITJT 012:  Bryan Eisenberg “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing”
The link to the show notes page and player:  ITJT 012
Once again, thank you Bryan for sharing so much great content with our listeners!
Rod Worley
Website:  fourgrainer.com
We would love to know what you think of the interview. Please let us know. Thanks!

 

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50+ Digital Marketing Tools To Grow Your Startup http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/50-digital-marketing-tools-to-grow-your-startup/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/50-digital-marketing-tools-to-grow-your-startup/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:40:53 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2895 The one constant of Austin’s SXSW conference is the gaggle of startups trying to pitching for attention. Some deserve it, others not so much. IdealSpot.com was named one of the 50 Austin Startups You Absolutely Must Know About, I’m a co-founder and CMO of one of those startups.  I thought you might be interested in […]

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where does the rail goThe one constant of Austin’s SXSW conference is the gaggle of startups trying to pitching for attention. Some deserve it, others not so much.

IdealSpot.com was named one of the 50 Austin Startups You Absolutely Must Know About, I’m a co-founder and CMO of one of those startups.  I thought you might be interested in some of the tools that IdealSpot and other top Austin startups in town are using.

If you do a quick online search you’ll notice that there are more than enough tools to help business owners get their startup up and running. While that’s definitely a major perk of technology, it can also be overwhelming – especially when it comes to subjects like SEO and digital marketing. How much does this tool cost? Will it work for my business? Is it still relevant? Will I be able to understand how it works?

To help make your already hectic startup lifestyle a little less hectic here are 50 SEO and digital marketing tools to help your startup grow.

1. Green Lotus

If you’re getting involved with SEO or digital marketing for the first time, you may become extremely overwhelmed. Not only are there an abundance of tools and resources available, SEO can get tricky enough at times, that even seasoned veterans can run into problems. Toronto’s Green Lotus, however, is looking to change all that.

The company recently launched a set of SEO and Social Media Tools that are specifically meant to help entrepreneurs and small business owners with their SEO activities and improve their search engine rankings. Green Lotus is offering a 30-day free trial, but packages start as low as $8 per month.

2. Grexit

If you’re using Google Apps, which is a no-brainer, then you may want to supercharge your account with Grexit. This tool converts your regular Gmail into a powerful collaboration tool to help easily manage your project management workflow. There is a free option and pricing plans start at $5 per month.

3. Boomerang

Speaking of Gmail, Boomerang is a nifty tool that automates important email follow-ups, such as sales leads or reminders when bills are due. There is a free basic version and plans starting at $4.99/month.

4. Klaviyo

Email marketing is still important and should be a part of your marketing strategy, which is why you should make the best out of Klaviyo. This tool helps you send out personalized and targeted emails, but it also has features like analytics, autoresponders, subscription management, and real-time segments. It also integrates with the CRM, shopping cart, help desk, and marketing software of your choice. If the free plan isn’t enough, pricing starts at $25.

5. MailChimp

Since we’re on the topic of email marketing, MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools available. MailChimp allows you to send out targeted emails, subscriber profiles, and automated emails. You can send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free.

6. Sniply

With Sniply you can post an ad for your business on relevant news stories that you share with a link driving visitors back to your content. Confused? Here’s an example of Sniply in action. If you use under 1,000 clicks per month Sniply is free. Anything more will begin at $29 per month.

7. Fanplayr

Fanplayr uses big data so that you can analyze, segment, and target your audience. With this real-time information you’ll be able to create customized content and offers which will help you increase conversations.

9. Intercom

Intercom offers four customer communication packages to help you observe, learn, engage, and provide support. Overall, this is an incredible tool if you want to reach and retain customers. There’s a 30-day free trial, with plans starting at $49 a month.

10. Hostt

Hostt is a free web hosting solution that allows you to easily and cheaply host your website for the cost of a domain each year Total investment = $14/year. You have the ability to automatically install WordPress, Joomla and many other CMS solutions. This is an incredible gem that I found a couple months ago and host several sites on.

11. SimilarWeb

SimilairWeb provides competitive insights about a website, as well as the overall digital presence of a company. This includes everything from monthly visits to referring sites to visior interest. If you purchase one of the Pro versions, which start at $199, you will discover even more.

12. RankWatch

This SEO Management Platform used to assist you with your digital marketing campaigns, see which keywords are ranking the highest for you, suggestions for improving your site, and keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing. Packages start at $29/month.

13. IDoneThis

Keeping your team on the same page is crucial. That’s why tools like Trello, Basecamp, Do and Producteev are so popular. While these tools are amazing and beneficial, sometimes you just need a simple communication tool to reflect on what you and your team did for the day and to celebrate accomplishments. IDoneThis accomplishes just that – with plans maxing out at $5 per month.

14. Rignite

Another collaboration tool is Rignite, which is ideal for social media media campaigns. With Rignite you can monitor multiple social media platforms, schedule posts and have access to campaign reports. While Hootsuite and Buffer have been used in the past for monitoring and scheduling, they both don’t include the collaborative features of Rignite. After a 14-day free trial, plans begin at $28 per month.

15. Stripe

If you’re looking for a tool to collect and process payments from your customers, then you have to consider Stripe. However, what makes Stripe stand apart from a service like PayPal is that it can handle coupon codes, invoicing, prorating, and refunds. Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per successful charge, or less – based on volume. You should also check out Recurly if you need a solution for recurring subscription payments.

16. SumoMe

SumoMe is a powerful tool that will give your site, and business, a major boost. SumoMe has a number of features that include a scroll box for email signups, contact forms, heat maps to see where your visitors are coming from, and a tool that auto-optimizes your share buttons.

17. WooRank

Whenever there’s a free tool available to help increase your business, it’s definitely a win-win scenario. WooRank is one of these tools since it performs a free and in-depth SEO audit of your site.

18. QuillEngage

Don’t worry if you don’t understand the data in your Google Analytics reports. Not everyone has the time or technical knowledge to decipher an analytics report. With QuillEngage, however, you are given an easy-digest report with actionable advice to improve your site’s performance.

19. StreamScience

StreamScience is a great online marketing tool that assists you with creating, curating and distributing content that will reach the right audience at the right time, which means that you don’t have to do content marketing all on your own. There’s a free personal plan and a professional plan for $9.99.

20. Crazy Egg

There are several tools, such as Mixpanel, that can help you understand the behavior of your audience – which can be used to improve engagement. However, a cheaper and equally effective is Crazy Egg. This tool provides a heatmap so that you can see where your customers are coming from and what they’re doing on your site. Starter plans begin at $9/month.

21. Optimizely

Optimizely can be used to test pages, segment visitors, and track everything from engagement, clicks, conversions, and sign ups so that you can make actionable decisions. There’s a free Starter Plan if you’re not ready for Enterprise.

22. Ampervize

In case you didn’t notice, there are a lot of online resources for growing your startup. The thing is, not all businesses are the same. That’s why a free tool like Ampervize comes in handy. Just answer a couple of questions and you’ll be directed to the online marketing sources suited best for your startup.

23. PunchTab

Looking to boost loyalty and user engagement? Then you have to give PunchTab a try. This software-as-a-service platform gives you the power to reward users for sharing or commenting about your products through customized gifts, gamification, and other socially-driven activities.

24. Nimble

Nimble has many amazingly useful features that include; Contact management, Insights, Social listening, Activity management, and a Unified inbox. Overall, Nimble could very well be the most complete CRM available. Pricing is $15/month per user.

25. LaunchRock

While SquareSpace is an outstanding place to showcase your products, LaunchRock is a simpler site builder option that was designed specifically for acquiring customers early on. Use LaunchRock to also validate an idea and generate some interest in your startup.

26. Guides.co

One of the best ways to help your startup grow is by demonstrating your authority. This can be accomplished by creating useful information for your audience. With Guides.co you can create and publish helpful guides to help you and your business get disscovered by influencers and your target audience.

27. UserTesting

Want to know what people think of your website, video, or product? Look no further than UserTesting. This powerful tool is a great way to gain priceless feedback from real people. The Basic plan starts at $49 per month.

28. Colibri

Colibri is a great tool to discover influencers in your industry, monitor what people are saying about your brand, and keep track of your competitors. By using this tool you can jump into the right conversations online. The Standard Plan begins at $95 per month. If that’s too much, you may want to look into a company like Positionly.

29. Cyfe All-In-One Dashboard

Let’s keep this short and sweet. Cyfe has an effective all-in-one dashboard that keeps track all of your businesses activity. You can als customize Cyfe to help your startup grow the way you see fit. You can signup for free, but the Premium plan only costs $19 per month ($14 per month if paid annually.)

30. HiQ

HiQ Labs makes it easy to predict human behavior online. Using HiQ you can help improve retention rates at your company as well as place people in the best jobs possible. This helps with workplace planning.

31. Wistia

Video marketing is a big deal. And it’s only going to get bigger. If you don’t want to come off as an amateur then you may want to use Wista to create videos and keep track of who’s been watching them, and for how long they watch. If the Free Plan isn’t enough, there is a Small Business for $25/month.

32. Searchmetrics

With Searchmetrics you can now many data-driven decisions with your content.  Because content is the backbone of many companies and being found online, Searchmetrics helps you figure out what keywords and content you should be writing about for top results. Easily compare your content with your competitors content.

33. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo can connect you with industry influencers, content discovery, and backlinks. In short, it’s a pretty spectacular tool. If you have the extra funds, BuzzSumo has Pro plans starting at $99 per month.

34. Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media management tools designed just for B2B marketing. Not only can you schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can measure the results of campaigns by tracking each lead you generate. After a 30-day free trial, plans start at $55.

35. Raven Tools

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of available SEO tools. Raven Tools comes equipped with a set tools for all of your SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, and Social Media needs. What makes Raven stand out though is that it cuts out time-consuming tasks by generating in-depth, easy-to-understand reports. Packages start at $99/month, which isn’t bad if you want to add this with something like Google Analytics.

36. Yoast WordPress SEO

WordPress is a great tool for startups. It’s free, easy-to-use, and can be customized to fit your needs. However, to get the most out of WordPress you’ll need to get the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin optimizes your WordPress site by providing you with features like a content analysis function and automatically generated XML Sitemap.

37. Connect Up

An interesting contact manager. Write one note, have it personalized and sent to hundreds of people in seconds. It will sort through contacts and choose to send the note via email vs. Facebook vs LinkedIn vs. text.

38. ShipStation

If you have to ship physical products via UPS, FedEx, USPS, DHL, OnTrac, & others they integrate with tons of platforms and make the whole process seamless.

39. AngelSpan

Investor relations for startups to help manage, curate, and report on communications to save the entrepreneur time and energy.

40. Radius

For cleaning sales/contact data and prospecting based on vertical/size/geo.

41. Hipchat

Makes it easy for your team to communicate and engage with one another. Other favorites include Slack, and Asana.

42. Shareist or IFTTT

Social sharing is vital to getting your story out. Shareist let’s you capture content urls, feeds and ideas, share them immediately on social media, and save them for building and publishing pages to your blog. Or you can find great content using Zite, FlipBoard, Buffer’s Daily App, Triberr and then use a combination of Pocket, Buffer & IFTTT to enable your social sharing allow my good friend Dennis Goedegebuure to walk you through.

43. Triberr

When you create your own content, Triberr helps content creators get more shares through superfan activation, employee advocacy, and tribe marketing. Use it to build a tribe to share your content.

44. Mozu.com

Gives you the power of a platform like Magento without all the server and software maintenance.  They have really advanced developer tools to help deliver experiences that are pretty much impossible on ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Volusion (sister company of Mozu).  The price point isn’t low, but if your startup is making money from ecommerce, stability, support, and speed are totally worth the investment.

45. Commerce Sciences

Sure, A/B testing is great but after a few experiments you end up serving the exact same experience for all visitors, which is really false by nature. This is where website personalization platforms such as the popular Commerce Sciences kicks in — it enables marketers to significantly drive SaaS or ecommerce sales by serving the right content to the right visitor at the right time. For instance, an ecommerce marketer may target shoppers which added $50-90 worth of goods to their cart, with an upsell coupon which could be claimed if they are to add more items and reach $100.

46. GoAnimate

GoAnimate is a simple tool to create your own custom videos that you can share using Wistia for analytics and lead generation.

Kill the Paper (eDepoze) example:

47. Camtasia

While we are talking about video. Capture screen recording and edit your videos. This is important for product demos and walkthroughs. Video is so important to marketing today.

48. Conspire

If you are raising funds, reaching out to potential clients or trying to do business development (read the Sumo Advantage to get the most from BD) you will want introductions to people. Conspire tells you exactly how to get the best introduction to whoever you want to meet — a customer, employer or investor.

49. HoneyBadger

One to keep an eye on potential competitors? Here is a Chrome extension that shows you how much traffic a site gets, how much money they raised, what powers their stack, and much more. While you are checking out extensions check out this great list of must have extensions.

50. BlitzMetrics

One of the most effective digital marketing tactics we have found is remarketing with Google and Facebook. While it seems easy you want to make sure you set it up properly to maximize your growth potential. Here is a step by step guide a 30 step process for startups to generate killer lead gen and sales using Facebook and Google in tandem, or they have a service to set it up for you or to train you to do it.

Bonus:

gozoltNot exactly digital tools but since we are always on the go and always need to have our electronics charged check out Zolt Laptop Charger Plus. The world’s smallest, lightest, smartest laptop charger, and more. Power your laptop, phone and tablet at the same time.

 

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Is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) a Dead End? http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/is-conversion-rate-optimization-cro-a-dead-end/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/is-conversion-rate-optimization-cro-a-dead-end/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:09:06 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2890 April 9, 2015 will be the first annual International Conversion Rate Optimization Day. April 9 is also my 45th birthday. I’ve invested almost half my life evangelizing for conversion rate optimization (CRO). I should be thrilled but instead I find myself asking: is CRO, as it is practiced today, a dead end? The good news […]

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55HApril 9, 2015 will be the first annual International Conversion Rate Optimization Day. April 9 is also my 45th birthday. I’ve invested almost half my life evangelizing for conversion rate optimization (CRO). I should be thrilled but instead I find myself asking: is CRO, as it is practiced today, a dead end?

The good news is that there is a greater awareness that increasing sales conversion rates offers a greater ROI than what you can get from optimizing your traffic; either from paid or earned media. There is also a greater awareness of the tactics necessary to increase conversion rates.

Considering the Current State of CRO

CRO has been good for us. We studied hard, experimented, and then trained and encouraged clients to become experts in the many varied aspects of the CRO disciplines.

Yet not one of these siloed disciplines was a decisive factor in consistently achieving better results.

Upon reflection of our nearly 20 years of CRO work we observed that some companies effortlessly adopted a culture of optimization. Others achieved wins but failed to absorb the lessons learned. Their CRO was all about after-the-fact fixes; the dead end of many of today’s traditional tactic-based CRO efforts.

Conversion Rates Are Only a Leading Indicator of Success

Better conversion rates are not an end to themselves, they’re an unworthy goal. Conversion rates are only a leading indicator of success. Your conversion rate tells you whether you’re failing to satisfy customers, merely meeting their expectations, or hopefully exceeding those expectations by delighting customers.

In 2001 I defined conversion rate this way:

Conversion rates are a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take the action you want them to take. They’re also a reflection of your effectiveness at satisfying customers, because for you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.

Ten years ago CRO was still in its infancy. Today’s traditional CRO or growth hacking is focused almost entirely on tactics and after-the-fact fixes based primarily on the company’s goals. There is nowhere near enough emphasis placed on helping visitors achieve their goals first.

Traditional/Tactical CRO Is Too Focused on After-the-Fact Fixes of the Funnel

Let’s get real – your customer isn’t truly in a funnel. There’s no gravity compelling them through your experience like there is in a real funnel. There is only the customer’s motivation and your understanding of that motivation to create persuasive momentum.

Your customers’ journeys are their stories, NOT funnels. They could tell you the stories – just try asking them. And those stories don’t always have happy endings.

Your customers’ stories end happily when they are delighted. And for them that may mean buying from you or from a competitor. It’s simply a matter of perspective.

The most successful companies start with the story from the customer’s perspective. Their business people make that story accountable through analytics. They anticipate what needs to be measured in order for the analysts to understand the actual customers’ experience – did their stories end happily? These stories are then shared with the business people and they learn what’s missing or what needs to be optimized.

  • Can your analysts tell the customers’ stories from the metrics they see?
  • Can your business people tell analysts what to measure?

If you cannot answer yes to both questions, then your strategy isn’t truly aligned with customers’ needs.

Successful CRO Must Align Strategy With Customer Needs

The companies that truly excel at conversion rate optimization have evolved a culture of customer-centricity; not at the manager or director level, but in the C-suite. The best companies absorb CRO learnings and incorporate them into strategy and operational changes. That makes them superior, not just at fixing, but at creating relevant customer experiences, including marketing campaigns, customer flows, and meaningful content. They deeply understand and are fiercely committed to delighting their customers.

One of the privileges of working through CRO challenges with diverse organizations over the years, was learning that no matter the industry, business size, or product, the only story that truly matters is the story that your delighted customers tell about your company – not the one you tell your customer.

CRO is an adolescent and it’s tough to judge the behavior of an adolescent. It needs to evolve and grow up if we’re ever going to have a meaningful 10th annual International Conversion Rate Optimization Day.

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Recipes For Practical Customer Experience Design & Optimization – Buyer Legends http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/recipes-practical-customer-experience-design-optimization-buyer-legends/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/recipes-practical-customer-experience-design-optimization-buyer-legends/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:06:26 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2881 This is an important post that Anthony Garcia wrote on the Buyer Legends blog If I gave you a recipe some of you would be thrilled and others not so much. You can cook a gourmet meal that will have your taste buds fox trotting. I know that to be true. When it comes to […]

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miseenplaceThis is an important post that Anthony Garcia wrote on the Buyer Legends blog

If I gave you a recipe some of you would be thrilled and others not so much. You can cook a gourmet meal that will have your taste buds fox trotting. I know that to be true. When it comes to food there are alternative ways to acquire a great meal. However, when cooking up great customer experiences there are no alternatives. If you want customers to to tell the only story that matters, why they love your company, you’ll have to learn how.

Have you ever followed a recipe only to find that you aren’t ready for the third step? I have. The results? Frustration and a poor meal. A few years ago it was takeout or starve, but now, I love to cook. I credit mise en place, that’s French for having having everything in its place as you cook, for my conversion from takeout king to aspiring chef. Mise en place is a small amount of effort expended up front that actually saves me tons of time and guarantees tasty dishes.

The Buyer Legend process is like a recipe for designing great customer experiences. You can use Buyer Legends to define and improve your content marketing, social marketing, search marketing, conversion rate optimization and thereby improve your communications, execution and revenues. You just need to follow the recipe. We’ve published a basic Buyer Legend recipe  but I’ll be adding more detail in this series.

I’ve been training clients and staff in the Eisenbergs’ processes’ for over a decade, Let me show you how to prepare mise en place for the Buyer Legends process.  This is the first in a series of articles that will address each major step of the Buyer Legends process.

Pre-mortem because it is the antidote to Murphy’s Law 

First we’ll explore the most impactful step of the process, the pre-mortem. Some of our largest conversion wins over the last two decades ever were the result of our clients going through the pre-mortem exercise.  Murphy’s law states that everything that can go wrong usually will and a pre-mortem will help you spot previously invisible problems in your current customer experience as well as plan against future problems. But the pre-mortem step is not for the faint hearted as it may show you things about your precious baby that are not as attractive as you wanted to believe.  The only thing that makes a pre-mortem more powerful is by doing a pre-mortem on a persona by persona and then scenario/ campaign by scenario basis. Read the first Buyer Legend Recipe Post here...

Reverse chronology because it explains conversions

Assuming you have a product or service worth buying then you and your customers have the same goal.  You want to sell and they want to buy. That’s why when you are planning a customer experience it is always best to start at the end point and work your way backwards to the beginning.  This step requires you to get very specific about how and why every decision and action needs to be taken in the buying journey.  It’s specificity also makes this step important to measuring and optimizing your customer experience when you finally implement it. Your Buyer Legend isn’t fiction so every detail must be accounted for, not only that but you must create persuasive momentum at every step.

Persuasive momentum because there’s no such thing as a sales funnel

Your customer isn’t truly in a funnel. There’s no gravity compelling them through your experience like there is in a real funnel. There is only the customer’s motivation and your understanding of that motivation to create persuasive momentum. Persuasive momentum is the progressive decision making process that aligns the customer’s goals with our own business goals. I’ll show you the three step test that will insure your customers’ experiences are always relevant, valuable and compelling.

Personas because their motivations become your action plan

Personas are a common marketing tool, but their value is often misunderstood. Simply put, personas should inform you about exactly what you need to be doing. Personas can be elaborate constructs based on reams of research and data, or they can be constructed quickly with data and information at hand, but as long as they are directionally accurate reflections of a segment of your customer they can be powerful tools that will guide your Buyer Legends processes. I will be discussing how to construct ad-hoc personas as well as help you evaluate and if needed fix your current personas if you have them.

Write a Buyer Legend because the only story that matters is your customers’ story

This is the step when you actually pull out your pots, grab a spatula and fire up your burners.  I will tell you all the ingredients to include so you can have them at the ready. This is the step where all your previous work begins to pay off and when you’re done you will have an action plan that can be distributed, implemented, tested, and optimized.  A Buyer Legend is where the rubber meets the road.

Measurement because if analysts cannot tell the stories and business people cannot measure the stories then the strategy isn’t truly aligned with customers’ needs.

Your Buyer Legend isn’t fiction, it’s not for fun or for entertainment, or even for creative fulfillment.  This is business, and anything important to a businesses success should be measurable and accountable.  Buyer Legends are both and I will give you a primer on measuring, optimizing, rinsing, and repeating.

The Buyer Legend process orchestrates your best efforts and reconciles them to the needs of your customers so you can create profitable customer experiences.  If you want to become even more legendary at using this process I challenge you to follow this recipe series. I look forward to your feedback, questions, and hearing your success stories.

As always, we encourage you to try Buyer Legends for yourself, but if you need help, please let us know.

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Get Buy-In From Skeptics – A Conversion Rate Optimization Case Study http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/get-buy-skeptics-conversion-rate-optimization-case-study/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/get-buy-skeptics-conversion-rate-optimization-case-study/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 14:22:34 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2879 Gerald’s grandpa is a 71 year old luddite who doesn’t use email or a smartphone.  So how did Gerald get his grandpa, the CEO of an old school catalog retailer, to champion a highly technical  shopping cart and checkout development initiative?  Gerald credits a significant part of this success, the ecommerce business was up 29.4% over budget this holiday […]

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Gerald’s grandpa is a 71 year old luddite who doesn’t use email or a smartphone.  So how did Gerald get his grandpa, the CEO of an old school catalog retailer, to champion a highly technical  shopping cart and checkout development initiative?  Gerald credits a significant part of this success, the ecommerce business was up 29.4% over budget this holiday season, to using the Buyer Legend process.

 

This case study shows:

  1. how stories help identify the most important variables to test;
  2. how the power of story can bridge intra-company communication gaps;
  3. and how stories enable powerful execution that leads to increased revenue.

If you want to get an insight into how Buyer Legends can be used for more impactful testing and also to get buy-in across your company please read this post on LinkedIn Pulse: “Get Buy-In From Skeptics – A Conversion Rate Optimization Case Study

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Where do companies and entire industries go to die? http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/companies-entire-industries-go-die/ http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/companies-entire-industries-go-die/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:35:30 +0000 http://www.bryaneisenberg.com/?p=2871 Listen to Bryan explain how businesses that can’t seem to get into the mindset of their customers are failing and what you can do to avoid that pitfall.  Mitch Joel from Six Pixels of Separation interviews Bryan Eisenberg about the Buyer Legends process.  The podcast is 47 minutes long.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAListen to Bryan explain how businesses that can’t seem to get into the mindset of their customers are failing and what you can do to avoid that pitfall.  Mitch Joel from Six Pixels of Separation interviews Bryan Eisenberg about the Buyer Legends process.  The podcast is 47 minutes long.

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