Friday, June 30, 2017

Talking at Your Customers vs. Talking to Your Customers

There is a stark difference between talking “at” your customer and talking “to” your customer. Talking “at” your customer will create a disconnect; it simply tells the customer what to do but doesn’t tell the customer how to do it. Talking “to” your customer will create a connection; the message will feel relational and it will begin a conversation.

In this Quick Win Clinic episode (recorded live at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017), Flint McGlaughlin optimizes an email for BJ’s Wholesale that fails to talk “to” its customers and, instead, talks “at” them.

from MarketingExperiments

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Persuasive SaaS Onboarding Emails: 10 Conversion Lessons Stolen From Attorneys

A successful attorney’s entire job rests on one question: can he persuade the jury to view the case as he does?

If he can, he wins.

Steal these 10 conversion lessons from attorneys to make your SaaS onboarding emails more persuasive and, in the process, increase your conversions.

1. Know Your Goals

How do you know when you’re successful if you don’t have a goal? You can’t. Not having a goal makes successful use of analytics impossible.

A successful attorney — let’s call him John — has two goals in his case. First goal: prove his case, whether his client is innocent or the defendant is guilty. Second goal: a granular goal for each witness and piece of evidence that contributes to the success of his first goal.

To illustrate, imagine John is prosecuting a man for killing his wife. He calls the boat dock attendant as a witness. His goal for this witness? Getting her to admit that she saw the defendant carrying his wife’s limp body onto his boat. This goal contributes towards John’s first goal of proving the defendant is guilty.

So how does this talk of limp bodies and goals work for your SaaS onboarding emails?

You need to show your new user the value of your app. This is your first second goal. You also need to persuade them to pay for your app. This is your second goal.

Assign one goal for each onboarding email in your campaign. Make sure each email’s goal works towards your campaign’s first goal: showing the value of your app. Think of your emails like stepping stones across a lake, guiding your new user towards your first and second goals.

2. Each Question Builds on The One Before

Attorney John builds his case question by question to prove his client is innocent. His questions lead the witness down a path that John wants him to take, so he makes his point to the jury.

John can’t ask a question without laying the foundation for the logic of his next question.

For example, if someone is suing because he fell off a ladder, John might ask: “On January 5th, you walked by the barn and did you see a ladder?”

The witness says, “Yes.”

Now John can ask his next question because the witness confirmed he saw the ladder in question: “That day, when you had this incident, you thought it was a good idea to climb this ladder?”

Notice how John’s first question sets up his second question for the “yes” that he wants.

This strategy is what you want to do with your onboarding emails. Each email lays the groundwork for the emails coming next by explaining one action step that your new user must accomplish to reach your end goal.

Think of building a house. You need to build the foundation before the walls, or you’ll end up with a pile of timber, loose wires, and wet cement.

This where your first and second goals come into play. Each of your onboarding emails’ goals works towards your first, big goal of successful onboarding, like Attorney John’s witnesses contribute towards proving Mr. Defendant is guilty. Figure out your onboarding goal, then use each email to lead your user along the path to complete that goal. If you do that well, your user will also want to convert from a trial to paid user, accomplishing your second goal.

Here’s how: break down your onboarding process into specific steps. Make each step into one email.

Then assemble those emails, so each email logically builds on the one coming before.

For example, if you signed up for Zola Suite, you need to activate your account to start using the software. You can’t import or organize data without taking this step. So the activation email triggers you to take that step.

zola onboarding emailI underlined your next step: activate your firm’s account by setting a password.

Here’s another example from MeetEdgar. This short and sweet email points you in the direction you need to go.

meetedgar accounts are lonely emailThe red box is your next step: sync your social media accounts.

3. Relevance Is Powerful

“You know, if you don’t want to testify on Tuesday,” I said, “We can always subpoena you and you’ll have to show up whenever is most convenient for us.”

As a litigation paralegal, I was on the phone with a reluctant witness. The attorney I worked for had asked me to get this witness to testify in court in two weeks. The witness didn’t want to.

“But if you work with me a little bit,” I said. “I can work with you. We can schedule this for a day that is better for you.”

Suddenly his demeanor changed. Minutes later, I hung up with the witness’ testimony scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Like this witness, your SaaS user only cares about one thing: how will this app improve their life?

Relevance to your user’s life and situation are powerful. Don’t make your user do the heavy lifting on understanding on how your app improves their life. When you show your user how your app benefits their life, your likelihood of getting a conversion skyrockets.

This is your responsibility in your persuasive onboarding emails.

Focus on getting your new user that first success. Here’s how:

  1. Use more “you” in your emails than “I” or “we” to show relevance to your user’s life. ​​​​​​
    Help your user understand and use your software. What foundation do you need to build, so they’re successful in using your app? How can you set them up for success?

    drip lets get you set up emailI underlined all the spots where Drip says “you.” Focus is squarely on the new user and their success.

    Relevance extends to customer success stories. Customers only care about what your software did for other businesses in the context of what your software could do for their business.

    Use customer success stories that are relevant to your customer’s business and situation. A solopreneur isn’t going to relate to a case study about Home Depot using your app.

  2. Build the first ten days of your onboarding campaign, so your user achieves the aha moment.
    Intercom discovered that the first ten days after your new user signs up for your software are critical. In this period, your new user is pumped to take action and use your app.

    Capitalize on their excitement by helping them achieve the aha moment. Your onboarding emails need to direct that action, so the aha moment is triggered.

    How to figure out your app’s aha moment?

    Lincoln Murphy of Sixteen Ventures recommends:

    The easiest way to figure out what success looks like for your customer – before you can break that down into milestones – is to ask them. What is their desired outcome? How do they measure success themselves? How are they measured by their boss? What are they trying to achieve with your product?

    I’d ask them what ‘success’ means to them first. Do that with several [users] from a similar cohort (if you have multiple types of customers across various use cases – as you often find in very horizontal products – you may want to pick an ideal customer to focus on initially). Analyze that for similarities and patterns. Reduce it down to a handful of absolute required outcomes, and then turn it back to them for approval/buy-in.

4. Break Down Resistance With Humor

If I asked you to come up with five attorney jokes in under five minutes, I bet you could.

Attorneys are universally hated. Even in the courtroom, attorneys are disliked by the judge, jury, and even their own kind: opposing counsel.

Attorney John knows this and uses humor to melt that resistance to win his case.

Pamela Hobbs researched how attorneys effectively used humor as a persuasion tool.

Laughter produces, simultaneously, a strong fellow feeling among participants and joint aggressiveness against outsiders. Heartily laughing together at the same thing forms an immediate bond, much as enthusiasm for the same ideal does. Finding the same thing funny is not only a prerequisite to a real friendship, but very often the first step to its formation.

In short, we like people who make us laugh.

Like the jury eyeing Attorney John with a cocked eyebrow, your new SaaS user is skeptical. They’re wondering: will this app really improve my life?

Talk about resistance. The customer wants to believe your app will help them, but they have been let down many times by empty promises made by crappy software.

Inject some humor into your onboarding emails to break down resistance.

I know what you’re thinking: writing humor is hard. So, instead of forcing the humor — because then it’s not funny — think of your reader as a friend. If it makes sense for your brand, use sarcasm, funny analogies, dry wit, or an unexpected observation to tap into that humor.

For example, here’s an email I recently got from AppSumo that made me laugh:

appsumo emailThe funny part is in the red box. It’s funny because it’s a relatable, unexpected observation.

5. Research is Vital

What the movies don’t show are the long months of research an attorney does before a trial starts.

This research is the longest part of every case. Attorney John researches each part of his case, investigates all evidence, and interviews the witnesses. The reason for this intense research is simple.

How can he persuade the jury of any fact when he has no context (aka research) for his hypothesis (aka argument) about the case’s events so that he can prove his case?

Research is vital to a case’s success. The same research phase exists for persuasive onboarding emails. For an onboarding series to be successful, you must know vital information about your user:

  • Why they signed up for your software
  • What success for them looks like
  • The specifics of that success
  • What the first step is towards success (the aha moment)
  • What steps are needed to achieve that aha moment

Back to Lincoln Murphy of Sixteen Ventures. He says, “When I talk to someone about optimizing their SaaS free trial for more conversions, as an example, I ask them what a successful free trial looks like for their prospect. And no… it’s not ‘they convert to a paying customer.’ That’s YOUR definition of success; don’t confuse that with THEIR definition of success.”

To create persuasive onboarding emails that convert, you should do research as your first step. Yes, even before you start writing or planning your series.

Here are some questions to start your research:

  • Is your target audience different from your actual users?
  • How your customer uses your software: for its intended use? Or something else?
  • What do you need to know about your user to provide them with a great experience?
  • What does the user need to do to get value from your application?
  • What are the costs and benefits of adding friction to your onboarding process?
  • What is the point when your user sees success in your app?
  • What are each steps needed to achieve that success?
  • At what point in your user’s lifecycle does onboarding need to be completed?
  • What actions must your user regularly take to drive growth and revenue?

6. Create a Consistency Loop

A consistency loop is: “you did this before, so you’ll do it again.”

The first yes is the hardest yes to get. But once you get that first yes, the other ones are easier.

For Attorney John, getting the witness to keep talking to him on the phone instead of hanging up is that first yes.

For your onboarding emails, the first small commitment or first yes is your all-important welcome email. If your customer opens your welcome email, they’ll want to open the rest of your emails. Those subsequent requests are consistent with their view of themselves.

So, make that welcome email darn good.

Here’s how: Set your user up for success. Going back to your research, figure out the first step your user needs to take to get success from your app. Make that first step super easy to take.

Second, give your welcome email some personality. People want to connect with other people. Give a glimpse of the human personalities behind your software. Some SaaS companies, like Groove, have the welcome email come from the CEO.

groove ceo emailLook, there is a person behind this software. And he’s friendly and nice. You feel welcomed, don’t you?

7. Invoke Emotions

Research has found that the effect of emotions on decisions of any kind is not random or a sweet side bonus. Emotions are powerful and predictable drivers of decision making.

Attorney John knows this, so he uses emotion in his opening statement to set up the case and tap into those emotions.

Maybe he taps into the most powerful emotion: anger. He slants his case in an “us versus them” mentality, or a call to “fight our quick-fix litigious society,” or a warcry of “don’t let evil triumph in the world.”

Steal his secret and trigger an emotion in your new user, like excitement or hopefulness.

Stirring your new user’s imagination with story-based email copy is how you tap into that emotion. Paint a picture by telling a story and getting your user to imagine the pain-free life after being onboarded.

emotion in emailThis email starts right off with telling you a story and getting you to imagine your life pain-free.

8. Put Your Message Into Context

“As you were getting your beer, the lights went down in the auditorium,” the defense attorney asks the plaintiff. “And you heard the guitar start playing and you panicked. So you started to run. Wouldn’t you say that’s why you didn’t see the water on the floor and you fell because you were missing the start of this show that you’d driven 500 miles to see?”

Plaintiff’s counsel asks the same question, but in a different way: “You came around the corner and didn’t see the puddle of water right next to the auditorium’s curtain, because the hallway was dark and the curtain was closed, correct?”

The difference between the two questions is in the framing.

“Framing means packaging information,” says Stuart Diamond, author of Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World. “Or presenting it using specific words and phrases that will be persuasive to the other party. The idea is to give people a vision of what the key issues are. If a restaurant is late with your reservation, ask, ‘Does this restaurant stand by its word?’ Or, to any service provider, ‘Is it your goal to make customers happy?’ Figuring out how to frame things comes from asking yourself the question, ‘What is really going on here?’”

For your onboarding emails, you should frame your message to let your new user see all the benefits of your software.

Here are three ways to use framing in your emails:

  1. Provide a quick recap of why your user signed up. Your welcome email is a great spot to include this information as Mixmax did.

    mixmax welcome emailI marked all the benefits you get from using Mixmax. Makes you want to use it, right?

  2. Add a little line or headline above your testimonials to give a snapshot of the testimonial. Connect the dots for your user between your email copy and the testimonial like Selena Soo did in this email.

    testimonial emailI underlined where the framing happens. She puts the testimonial into context, making it more powerful.

  3. Give an update on your user’s progress in onboarding and tell them what that means. Check out how Bitly did that in this email.

    bitly onboarding emailBonus points to Bitly for already checking off one to-do on this list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.

9. Show and Tell a Story

Attorney John knows he’s just an actor putting on a story for the jury. He brings in supporting actors in the form of witnesses to play out the story and support his case. In the process, he gives nonverbal commentary to help the jury understand the plot with an eyebrow cocked in skepticism or the way he phrases his questions.

Then he layers on another persuasion technique: storytelling. His entire case is a story about the events that lead up to this trial.

For your onboarding emails to convert, steal Attorney John’s persuasion tactic: show and tell a story.

Joanna Wiebe, founder of Copy Hackers and co-founder of Airstory, explains:

If you don’t tell, you risk leaving the best messages implied. Implying is BAD in conversion copywriting. Because there is too much room for error/interpretation when you imply. The idea is to SHOW then TELL. First, show them what’s different or awesome about you. Follow that up by explaining – in clear, meaningful words – what you’ve shown them, what you’ve implied.

To do this in your onboarding emails, show in your screenshots and testimonials, and tell in the copy you write. Tell your new user explicitly what your app does and how it will benefit their life. Then, show them a story to cement that idea.

coschedule testimonial sales emailTop half of email: shows what’s different about CoSchedule. Bottom half: tells what’s different.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Sell

Attorney John’s job is to advocate for his client. At the end of his case, he must ask the jury to do something. Usually, that ask ties directly to his end goal. For his case to be successful, his ask must be clear.

If he didn’t ask, he would fail at his job.

If you don’t ask, your emails will never convert.

Your onboarding emails have an end goal: to properly onboard your new user and show them the value of your app. For your onboarding to be successful, your new user will want to pay, so the app is permanently in their life. In other words, a paid conversion.

I see too many onboarding emails skimp on that ask. Don’t be timid or shy about it.

Ask for the action you want your user to take and make it obvious how it benefits your user’s life.

Ask clearly and remove any barriers about confusion like multiple CTAs in one email, hesitancy in asking, or not showing her the positive impact your app will have on their life. onboarding email trial’s ask is underlined in red. Notice there is only one CTA and you know exactly what you get by clicking that button.

Second, make it an easy action that your user must do to complete your ask. For example, when you ask them to pay for a year subscription, lead them directly to a checkout page with as much information pre-filled in as possible. Don’t litter the path with hidden work in your onboarding emails.

Last, like a good attorney who explains to the jury how to fill out the verdict form so he wins and they can all go home, take your user through each step of your ask. Explain how they’ll capture her brilliant ideas immediately using your app like Evernote, and they’ll never again scramble for a pen and paper while their genius idea floats away, lost forever.

Bottom Line

Instead of reading about these persuasion tactics that attorneys use, you might find it helpful to see and hear them in person. If so, head to your local courthouse to catch a trial and see persuasion in action.

My recommendation is to see a civil trial. In these cases, parties are fighting over money, so fewer emotions clutter the courtroom than in a criminal or family law case where jail time, divorce, or child custody are determined. That makes it easier to see the persuasion tactics at play.

Persuasion is a subtle art and one that some attorneys wield better than others. If you see a trial in person, stick around long enough to see at least two attorneys question a witness.

But even if you don’t see a trial, channel Matthew McConaughey’s attitude from The Lincoln Lawyer and steal these 10 persuasion tactics for your onboarding emails and a taste of attorneys’ conversion power.

About the Author: Laura Lopuch is an email conversion engineer for SaaS and e-commerce companies. Her specialty is crafting persuasive onboarding email sequences. Want a welcome email that creates a consistency loop, so your users say “gimme more”? Get my essential checklist and revolutionize your welcome email against boring nothingness.

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

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How to Design Banners That Clients Will Love

Before you start working on creating your client’s banners, you’ll need to understand who they are targeting and what they wish to achieve with their banners. Objectives can include the following: generating brand awareness; product awareness; increasing website traffic; generating leads; making a sale; signing up to an event.

The audience the client wants to target is just as important as their objective. If you can understand their audience, you’ll be able to create ads that resonate with them. Below are two adverts from IT companies that are in the same market but target a different customer base.

Microsoft’s advert focuses on consumers, and their message is written in a simple, jargon-free way that anybody can understand.

IBM cater primarily to B2Bs and have used professional and business-like words such as regulatory and compliance that will resonate more with c-level executives than everyday consumers.

Personalization and Localization

75% of consumers say they are frustrated when a business serves them content, such as ads, that are not relevant to their interests, whereas marketers who do use personalization notice, on average, a 19% uplift in sales.

Personalization and localization is key to creating successful banners. With the average consumer consuming thousands of ads per day, anything that is not relevant to their interests will be ignored.

Here’s an advert from Southwest targeting consumers living in Austin, Texas. This banner hits on three points of personalization and localization. Their advert shows the state’s national stadium, and it also has the state, city, and nickname of Texas to catch the customer’s eye. During the Chinese New Year, they leveraged the national Asian holiday to set up a sweepstake (lead generation campaign) to win free flights for four people. You can personalize an advert based on what you know about the audience, the geo-location of that audience, or by tagging in relevant seasonal holidays or current pop culture trends.


There are two things you need to consider when choosing the right colors for your client’s banners: brand colors and color psychology.

Brand colors: these are the colors used by your client on their website, logo, and other marketing materials. 

Color psychology: this is the effect certain colors have on our minds; different colors have been proven to evoke various emotions in the human brain.

For example, the color green is known to relax us and is often the color used to indicate an environmentally friendly approach. This color psychology has been leveraged to full effect by Nature Box who use green as the primary color of their advert.

Blue Apron is another food brand that promotes healthy eating with one of their USPs being that there is no food left over. However, unlike Nature Box, they tend to focus more on their brand colors (blue) than color psychology.

Sticking to their brand colors, Blue Apron are still able convey the message of healthy eating by using relevant images.

Argos, whose brand colors are red and white, also plaster their fitness related advert with the color green to further empathize their message of health.

Brand Colors or Color Psychology?

There is no right or wrong answer. Look at your client’s past adverts and view the colors and images they used so you can keep their brand consistent across all platforms.

This should also be discussed before work begins so you know the parameters that you can work within.


Words and Imagery

Words and images go hand in hand. The image should further emphasize the text and the text should further emphasize the image.

Take this Nikon banner advert as the perfect example. It uses images and word psychology to portray how powerful their camera is. Birds are known for their great vision, with many having the ability to see for miles. The text “I am a bird’s-eye view lover” is reinforced with the image of the bird as the focal point of the advert. At the bottom of the advert is a small call to action, which showcases the camera’s power with a built-in 83x zoom lens. You can get creative when mixing words with images, and you needn’t limit your image choices to your client’s product range.

Argos, who were running a huge sale, used the words “THE BIG SALE” with a colorful red explosion in the background. Notice that when they don’t focus on health, they have gone back to red (brand color) – a color which has also been proven to increase urgency.

During the communication stage of your project, ask your client what words they would and would not like mentioned in their adverts. Certain brands want to retain their hard-to-obtain and luxury status and avoid using words like discount, free, sale, or save. Some may not want you to use cartoon graphics or certain animation effects because it may damage their band.

Calls to Action

Not every advert you create will need a call to action, but most will. A call to action must be easy to see and match the page the user is sent to.

When using call to actions, you must analyze the page you’re sending traffic to in order to create the base of your advert.

To reach your client’s objective of securing a sale, signing up to their website, or reading a blog post, you need the user to stay on their website once they click the advert. Customers may leave directly after clicking if there is no ad scent, that is the experience they see on the website is totally different from the advert banner they viewed.

Sony’s banner ads and website have a strong ad scent as they use the same color, font, and white space in both their advert and website.

Call to actions should also pass the squint test.

The squint test is a simple way to detect whether your call to action stands out or not. To perform the squint test, take three steps away from your monitor, squint your eyes, and if you cannot clearly spot the call to action button, your call to action needs to be adjusted.

Here’s an Acer advert. Does it pass your squint test? Nope, ours neither. The entire background is green and it’s hard to identify where the call to action is as nothing in that advert is popping out urging us to click.

What about Target’s advert leading users to their online shop? Does this pass your squint test? Yes, we can see it too.

To create a clear call to action button, ensure it stands out from the background and, if possible, use a unique color that hasn’t been used in the image.

Position the button away from the feature image and let it breathe so it can stand out more. Most call to action buttons are directly underneath the image and text, as the customer first consumes the content and is then presented with a decision to click or not.

You will rarely see the call to action button at the top of the advert with the text and image at the bottom or at the left of an image.

Promotions and Offer-Based Banners

The primary objective for your clients will be to win more business, and most will do this by offering some type of offer or discount on their products.

As a designer, you may not have data on your client’s bestselling products or most viewed item, and you may end up choosing a product image that you think looks good but actually doesn’t sell that well.

As a creator of images, one of your tasks should be to learn more about your client’s customers and products. The difference between showing their bestselling item and an item that hardly anyone buys can be huge for click-through rates and conversions.

The more data you have, the better you can choose product images to reach the client’s desired goal.


As websites become more flexible, there are dozens of widgets and pieces of content that attracts the human eye. In most studies, animation banners always outperform static banners, but they can also end up annoying the user and devaluing your client’s brand if done incorrectly.

While you want customers to click your banners, you don’t want to turn your banners into what we call ‘eye-bait’ (similar to click-bait). Eye-bait is when you use contrasting background colors or fast flashing images for the sole purpose of getting users to view your advert when on a website.

As a general rule of thumb, the background of the image should not change color, only the text or images on that page should.

The best animation adverts lead the customer through a quick story as can be seen by this Samsung advert.


It first reveals the product and our eyes focus on it; then comes the text that redirects us to the second part of the story. Finally, we’re shown the call to action button which jumps out at us telling the user’s subconscious mind that the next appropriate action is to click and learn more.

LAST DAY: The Gibon Font Family – A Complete Comic Book Lettering Kit – only $12!


p img {display:inline-block; margin-right:10px;}
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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Importance of Pairing Analytics with Engagement

When was the last time you took a look at your analytics dashboard? I mean a truly in-depth look?

Sure, all those high-performing landing pages and conversion numbers are great — but there’s something your analytics isn’t showing you —


“Well, that’s not true”, you insist. “I can see how many users clicked on this link or bought that product and ultimately converted into paying customers — isn’t that a form of engagement?”

The problem with analytics is the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know — and “engagement” is one of those elusive quasi-metrics marketers keep chasing after, as if to hold it up as the ultimate measure of a site’s success.

We can tie it to different data-backed metrics, but they don’t really give us the full picture. They tell us that the customer clicked on this, or bought that, but they don’t tell us anything about the customer experience that we’re all so keen to improve upon.

Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, explains it this way:

“The reason engagement has not caught on like wild fire (except in white papers and analyst reports and pundit posts) is that it is a “heart” metric we are trying to measure with “head” data, and engagement is such a[n] utterly unique feeling for each website that it will almost always have a unique definition for each and every website.”

Analytics are Meaningless, Unless…

Unless you tie them to something that matters. You can think of analytics like the “Check Engine” light on your car. It tells you that something is wrong, but it’s up to you to fix the problem. Analytics give you raw numbers for different touch-points and informs you, but they won’t adjust for you if, for example, you see a drop off in your conversion funnel. That’s all on you.

No pressure, right?

Of course, by the same token, you can’t have engagement without the data to back it up. Otherwise you’ll never know which channel delivers the best ROI or which landing page is converting the highest. Analytics and engagement are not standalone silos that are independent of each other. They need to be able to mesh together in a way that not only gives you workable data, but makes that data actionable.

How to Correctly Measure Engagement

So if analytics give you the raw numbers, how do you actually measure engagement? As every site has a different purpose and different end goal, there is no “one size fits all” blanket metric that engagement can substitute for.

You can’t tie it to click-throughs because they don’t tell you what happened after the click. And you can’t pin engagement on conversions either because you’ll be continually moving the goalposts as to what a conversion actually is as the customer progresses through your funnel.

As Kaushik advises, you need to boil down “engagement” into what it truly is — by asking why your website exists. At it’s core, your website has a unique purpose, and properly defining that purpose and then defining which metrics lend themselves to it are going to make your marketing life a whole lot easier (and more measurable!)

You can look at key analytics data to help you get a better, data-backed picture of your customer engagement, using things like customer retention, number of unique visits and how recent they are, as well as regular customer surveys and market research. But again, you’re trying to apply quantitative data to a very qualitative metric, so you’ll still be getting pieces of the puzzle rather than seeing the full picture.

Fortunately, you can have both your analytics and your engagement metrics working together to provide you with the kinds of findings you need to optimize your business growth even further.

Kissmetrics: The Best of Both Worlds

There are three key parts to Kissmetrics that helps marketing and product teams engage and grow their customer base.

  1. Analyze: This contains reporting tools like Funnel, Cohort, A/B testing, and the soon-to-be-released Activity report. Use these tools to track and analyze user behavior.
  2. Populations: Keep track of your user base by viewing how many users are in a “Population“. Quickly and easily know if signups are increasing, if more users are engaged than 90 days ago, and much more. Check out this video to learn more:

  3. Campaigns: Where the rubber meets the road. After tracking behavior in Analyze and Populations, send behavior-based messages to users to nudge them towards conversion.

We call our platform Customer Engagement Automation, or CEA if you’re into acronyms.

With CEA you’ll be able to measure, track and act upon customer-based behaviors. See what a customer or user is doing with our reporting tools, and provide a “nudge” with behavior-based messaging.

There’s no need to export your data into a third party tool to analyze it — the platform handles all of that for you. You get the data you need in order to make confident marketing decisions, along with the measurable customer engagement tools that move your business forward — all in one streamlined, highly-efficient package.

What’s more, you don’t even need any third party integrations to make Campaigns and our other suite of tools work for you. But Kissmetrics does play nice with others, by integrating with all your favorite tools including Woocommerce, Salesforce, Shopify, Optimizely, and more.

So stop digging through your analytics trying to find those elusive nuggets of “customer engagement” and start focusing on the metrics that matter. Because your data lives within the Kissmetrics platform, you’ll discover all kinds of powerful insights that analytics alone can’t provide. And when analytics and engagement are both working together like a finely oiled machine, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your business to the next level — full speed ahead.

Have you used Kissmetrics in your own business? We’d love to hear about your experience with the platform. Which engagement metrics have you found best reflect your business goals and objectives? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About the Authors: Sherice Jacob helps businesses improve website design and increase conversions with user-focused design, compelling copywriting and smart analytics. Learn more at iElectrify and get your free conversion checklist and web copy tune-up.

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

from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

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Foundation 6.4 Released

Foundation 6.4 has been released by the team over at Zurb, and while it’s packed with tweaks and improvements that you’d expect from any release, the big news is that the Flexbox-based grid is now the default layout tool.

XY Grid

The new grid is called the XY Grid, and it’s truly powerful thanks to the underlying Flexbox technology. In the XY grid you can control layouts both horizontally (x) and vertically (y) thanks to the super-amazing power of Flexbox.

Foundation has been playing with Flexbox for a while, in fact it was one of the first frameworks to adopt Flexbox as a layout option. Adopting new technology in this way is one of the things that’s kept Foundation ahead of the pack.

All we’ve been hearing about for months is CSS Grid for layout, but actually CSS Grid is still cooking with support not quite there yet—support for Flexbox is consistent across the board which makes Foundation 6.4 the way to layout websites. Of course, the old style grid is still there, for those people that need legacy support, but the XY Grid is so cool, you’ll want to stick with the new default.


Foundation 6.4 also adopts EcmaScript 2016 standards, in practical terms the most up-to-date JavaScript there is. ES2016 moves us further towards OOP JS and that means far more efficient scripts, that run faster and enable better user experience.

Again, there’s some backwards-compatibility options, so don’t panic if you’ve got client sites that you don’t want to update, or seriously backward browser requirements.


Foundation was built as production code. Despite this lots of people (seriously, lots) use Foundation for rapid prototyping—sometimes you just need to throw together a working prototype, take it to users, and gather their feedback.

Unfortunately, it’s not always been clear which parts of Foundation were designed to enable rapid prototyping. The fallout from that being that occasionally, unwitting developers would push prototype-standard code out to a production environment. Sad gifs all round.

Zurb are tackling that in Foundation 6.4 by giving us a whole heap of prototyping helpers and even a “prototype mode” to speed up prototyping. This smells like something that’s going to evolve in future!

Get Foundation 6.4

Foundation 6.4 looks like being one of the best updates yet: tons of performance improvements and a whole new way to layout sites thanks to the XY Grid.

Foundation 6.4 is free to download from Zurb, and if you’re excited about getting up to speed on the XY Grid Zurb are running free webinars tomorrow (Thursday 29th June) and Friday (30th June)—make sure you sign up fast because there’s limited spacing.

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5 UX Truths Cats Can Teach Us

Cat pictures and GIFs make the web go round. That much is obvious to anyone who has used the web at all in the last couple of decades. But cats aren’t just great content. They’re great companions for those of us too busy to take care of dogs.

They’re smart little fluffy things, though. Over the millennia, cats have learned exactly how to manipulate us into giving them what they want…most of the time. Indeed, they’ve learned many ways to make us want to give them the things they demand. There’s a really strong case for the idea that all cat owners just have really bad Stockholm Syndrome.

From cats, we can learn to form relationships with people with whom we may not have much in common

Now I’m not advocating Stockholm Syndrome as the key to your site’s success. Being as demanding or sneaky as some cats are would backfire horribly. I’m suggesting that there are things we can learn from the ways that cats dig their little foot-knives into our hearts. From cats, we can learn to form relationships with people with whom we may not have much in common.

1. Give and Take

The first thing that any smart cat learns is that you don’t get your nightly tuna snack for free. The deal with my fiancée’s cat is that he has to be back inside by 10PM. As he is now an indoor cat, he meets this demand easily enough. My cat has (mostly) realized that she pays for her tuna in cuddles, nose boops, and by hopping into my lap while purring and demanding affection—she understands her side of the deal.

You gotta deliver quality (metaphorical) cuddles to earn loyalty

Now, you might not have the chance to cuddle with your site’s users and shed fur on them. You just need to understand that when a user comes to your site, you’ve just entered into a deal. So long as your site provides them with what they need and/or want, they’ll stick around and give you their attention, and perhaps their money. Tricking users is a short-term solution. You gotta deliver quality (metaphorical) cuddles to earn loyalty.

2. Make Your Needs Known

Cats don’t meow at each other. They meow at us, because apparently, it’s the only thing we understand. And even then, it’s hard to tell one meow from another, so I end up checking their food, water, litter boxes, and anything else that might be wrong before I realize that the little brat wants to go outside, but he isn’t allowed.

If you need action or input from your users, you need to make this painfully, sometimes ear-splittingly clear. Unlike cats, you can actually tell your users exactly what action or input you need. This is why buttons have to look like buttons, links have to look supremely clickable, and don’t even get me started on forms.

3. Move on From Your Mistakes

You ever see a cat screw up while rolling around and fall off the bed or couch? It’s amazing. Watching these graceful little creatures completely fumble a jump is one of life’s great pleasures. Cats are skilled in moving past their mistakes. After an initial expression of mild shock, a cat will promptly right itself and get back to doing cat things. Cats don’t sit there on the floor pretending they meant to do that. They get up and solve the problem, then pretend they meant to do that.

Cats are skilled in moving past their mistakes

In design, as in life, you can’t cling to your mistakes, whether your security was hacked, you spent too long on a UI idea that was never going to work, or you just made a typo in the CSS. You have to get back on your feet, then set things aright, or start over. And you have to do this as quickly as possible, so as to not lose momentum. The caveat is that we don’t get to pretend it never happened. Improvement requires admitting your mistakes, and apologizing to anyone they might have adversely affected.

4. Delight Your Users by Being Yourself

One of the joys of living with cats—one never truly owns a cat—is watching them do cat things. When they roll over and sleep with their bellies to the sun, you can’t help but smile. When they dose in a pose so regal, you’re reminded of a Sphinx, that’s just adorable. When they play fight, hunt, chase red dots, or inhale their tuna like addicts, they are just being themselves. And we love it.

Projecting a false personality to your users will always backfire eventually. If you are into cheesy humor, write cheesy copy. If your company maintains a highly formal environment, make your site formal. Take the best of yourself (or your company), and invest it into the site itself. If nothing else, your users will appreciate the honesty. In a best case scenario, they’ll grow attached.

5. Take Care of Your Users

When a cat brings you a dead animal, or worse, one that’s not quite dead yet, they’re just looking out for your well-being. They never see you go hunting, and assume that you must be terrible at it, opposable thumbs and tuna cans notwithstanding. So they’ve gone hunting for you, and they really want to teach you how. It’s messy, but well-intentioned.

first and foremost that users are people before they are customers

Show your new users around the site, if it has any complex functionality. Take care of their personal info, do your best to avoid leaks. Give them the best customer service you can. Remember first and foremost that users are people before they are customers. Demonstrate loyalty to the people who use your site, and they’ll be loyal to you. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.

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