Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How to Leverage Behavioral Analytics In Your Growth Strategy

If you’re obsessed with growth, you know how important it is to have a super detailed growth strategy. You and data are BFFs, right? Great, but you also need to understand the context that surrounds that data.

I know that sounds a little dense, but bear with me. What I mean is that information alone isn’t enough. Yes, in data we trust. Sure, lots of metrics are all well and good, but if you can’t leverage that data, there’s no point to it. Think about it. Who makes the growth happen? You might think it’s you, but in the end, it’s actually your audience.

How your users respond to your tactics will decide how successful your growth strategy is. So take a step back and look at your audience. Do you really understand them? Be honest with yourself. Most growth hackers think they understand their customer base, but they only know raw data. Knowing demographics doesn’t mean you understand your audience.

This is where I drop my bomb of a topic. Behavioral analytics, folks.

Understanding and applying behavioral analytics can be incredibly useful for growth strategies. In fact, it could be the energy and edge that your brand has been missing.

Want viral growth? Say hello to behavioral analytics. These analytics give you a look into the minds of your users so you can put yourself in their shoes. You’ll be able to build targeted campaigns that better suit your audience, create messages that reach the right users at the right time, and attract entirely new user bases.

I realize that “behavioral analytics” doesn’t sound all that sexy, but you’re going to discover just how powerful it is. Let’s take a look at some fundamental concepts of behavioral analytics that you absolutely need to know and then explore some actionable strategies you can use.

If you’ve been sleeping on behavioral analytics, it’s not too late. Read this article. Do what it says, and your brand will grow.

What Psychographics Are (and how you get them)

When it comes to behavioral analytics, psychographics are vital.

Psychographics provide a foundational understanding of why your customers behave the way they do.

Demographics are the who. Psychographics are the why.

Each psychographic is a data point that tells you something about your users’ behavior.

Here’s a more comprehensive list of psychographics:

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These go way above and beyond demographics to give you a fuller picture of your audience.

Psychographics clue you in to your users’ behaviors. For example, if you know that most of your audience is composed of parents of 5-11 year olds, you’ll understand why those kid-sized T-shirts are flying off the shelves.

Although you can’t get any super specific data like number of clicks, you still need psychographics to get a general idea of how your audience acts and why they do what they do.

Psychographics will often reveal what’s important to your users.

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Do you understand now why psychographics are so important? They help you see your customers as people and not just information from your analytics software.

Speaking of analytics software, you can find some basic psychographic information in GA by heading over to Audience > Interests > Overview.

You’ll see three categories: Affinity Category, In-Market Segment, and Other Category.

The Affinity Category shows you different lifestyle categories. Google compares these groups to TV audiences.

This category points to specific interests that your users have. Even if you just look at this section of GA, you can get a pretty good understanding of what your audience likes.

The In-Market Segment shows you what types of products your users have shown interest in.

Basically, your customers are looking to buy products or services within these categories.

The Other Category offers a narrower view of your audience.

demographics category google analytics

If you want to go even deeper, Google has a handy guide on using this psychographic info in conjunction with other analytics.

There are many other ways to grab psychographics, from surveys to focus groups. Use as many of these methods as you want. Too much psychographic data is never a bad thing.

Still, psychographics are just that––data. You need to use them in a creative way.

With that in mind, let’s look at some growth techniques that depend on psychographics and other behavioral data.

Data-Driven Customer Personas

Creating an imaginary friend might sound a little childish to you, but that’s essentially what you need to do with psychographics.

Right, I know, it’s not exactly an “imaginary friend.”

I’m talking about creating a fictional person who is a representative of your audience base and not just some creature you made up. These representatives are otherwise known as customer personas.

You’re probably familiar with the idea of the customer persona, but if you’re not, don’t worry. Here’s a brief rundown.

A customer persona (also called user or buyer persona) takes aggregate data and uses it to create a fake person. This person is your average customer.

His or her demographic and psychographic information is representative or your audience (or a segment of your audience).

Here’s what an example customer persona might look like:

customer personaImage Source

As you can see, you can get really detailed with personas. The more detailed they are, the better you’ll understand your users.

By definition, a customer persona is chock full of behavioral analytics. They help you describe the persona in detail.

Once you have all of your behavioral analytics together, you can take a couple of different approaches to creating a persona.

The approach you take will depend on what you want to accomplish with your personas.

Do you want to create better email sequences? Do you want to improve your Facebook ads? Think about your objectives as you create your personas.

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Specifically, you can use certain analytics based on the results you’re after. Let’s look at some examples of this idea in action.

Let’s say you want to redesign your CRM software to attract more leads. In terms of analytics, you’d want to look for business-related psychographics.

These might include the user’s role at work, how much time they spend at their job, or even the search terms they use to get to your site.

So an example persona for that would look like this one (the one on the right side):

This persona is great for SaaS because it uses analytics that relate to work. There’s little personal information here, but there’s enough to give you an idea of who the persona is.

But that type of persona isn’t ideal for every sort of situation.

Another example: Say you’re the head of growth at an ecommerce apparel startup.

You’d be more concerned with personal behavioral analytics and not so many work-related data. So a persona for you might look something like this:

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The types of analytics you use should all depend on your goals and the kind of product or service you’re selling.

It doesn’t hurt to get as many data points as possible, but you’ll want to refine them to zoom in on your average customer.

Creating a persona doesn’t take much time, but it can change how you see growth. That said, you have to make sure your personas are as accurate as possible.

If you get the wrong analytics, well, your entire customer journey might just go down the drain.

But if you get it right, your customers will feel like you really know them.

This is a perfect example of how behavioral analytics can make all the difference in your growth strategy.

Remember, you’re not simply looking at a bunch of random numbers. This information has real uses that you can take advantage of starting today.

Let’s take a look at another one of those advantages.

Customer Segmentation

You’re segmenting your users…right?

Okay, maybe you’re not. That’s okay. But you totally need to be.

Some marketers and growth hackers see their audience as one big mass, so every campaign gets sent out to everyone.

But not everyone has the same needs and wants. Your customers are all different.

So if you group people into similar segments, you can deliver more accurate, targeted messages and have better results.

That’s why segmentation is part of every good marketer’s (and growth hacker’s) playbook.

And––you guessed it––behavioral analytics can help you segment better.

The basic idea is to create segments using one or more behavioral attributes.

If you group generally according to behavior, you’ll get an inside look into what different types of customers are looking for.

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Just this basic behavioral segmentation already gives you a much better understanding of the different kinds of users you have.

All you need to do is a little behavioral research to get started with this. In GA, you can go to Behavior > Behavior Flow to see an overview of the average user path on your site.

While this isn’t incredibly comprehensive, it can prep you for actual segmentation later on. Odds are the trends you see on Behavior Flow will reflect your audience as a whole.

This type of segmentation is flexible and can be used in a variety of ways.

Take email marketing. You can see what emails people open, which people almost never open your emails, and maybe even how long a user spends reading your email.

You probably look at data like this all the time:

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But have you considered that you can use this information to tap into your subscribers’ brains?

All of those are behavioral analytics in their own right, and they’re great for segmentation.

There’s a lot you can do with these analytics. You can send a special discount email to the loyal subscribers who regularly open your emails, or you can send more targeted emails to people who tend to open one type of email.

And your results are almost guaranteed to improve.

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The possibilities are endless.

And if you’re using Kissmetrics, you don’t have to worry about any of this because the behavior-based delivery feature does it for you.


Still in doubt? I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t, and it can pay off big time.

MailChimp found that segmenting subscribers by interest made every metric soar:

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If you’re willing to get even more crazy with segmentation, get ready.

You can also use behavioral analytics to group your customers by their place in the customer journey.

This concept is a little more advanced than the techniques we’ve gone over, but it packs a serious punch.

The typical customer journey is more or less like this:

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By using behavioral analytics, you can find out what stage of the customer journey a user is going through.

Behavior Flow can often show this. If someone has checked out lots of your product pages but hasn’t made it to the checkout, he or she is in the consideration stage.

Once you’ve found out where someone is in the customer journey, you can place them into an appropriate segment.

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This approach is a growth hacker’s dream. Not only can you segment your customers, but you can also get a better grip on the customer lifecycle.

It’s awesome, isn’t it?

If you’re serious about converting and growth, you should strongly consider this advanced tactic. It’s one of the best ways to hyper-focus your messages, and you’ll reach the right users at the right time.


Growth is all about people.

And by people, I mean your users.

A good growth strategy has to be centered around your customers. Otherwise, your strategy will fall flat on its face.

If you’re focused on sheer volume and ignore your customers in the process, you’re going to get nowhere fast.

Analyzing and leveraging your users’ behavior is one way to enhance your current strategy.

If you understand your users’ behavior, you can more easily determine what kind of content they want and what kind of messages are best to send to them.

Like I said, it’s all about people. We want to be understood, and we want our needs to be taken care of.

As a growth nut, it’s your job to make sure that happens.

So if you need to step up your game, behavioral analytics can give you a fresh perspective and boost your results.

About the Author: Daniel Threlfall is an Internet entrepreneur and content marketing strategist. As a writer and marketing strategist, Daniel has helped brands including Merck, Fiji Water, Little Tikes, and MGA Entertainment. Daniel is co-founding Your Success Rocket, a resource for Internet entrepreneurs. He and his wife Keren have four children, and occasionally enjoy adventures in remote corners of the globe (kids included). You can follow Daniel on Twitter or see pictures of his adventures on Instagram.

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YouTube Unveils 1St New Logo Since Launch

Yesterday YouTube launched a major UI revision to all its channels, from mobile, to games consoles. At the same time it’s made the first significant revision to its logo since its launch 12 years ago. The revised logo has been made live on mobile and desktop, and will begin to appear across all channels in the coming days.

Some companies are for ever launching redesigns, others release minor iterative tweaks on a regular basis. YouTube is one of the latter—you’d be forgiven for missing their updates—the change to the logo however is more substantial.

One of the most charming elements is the logo change animation, that sadly won’t be used anywhere but design blogs.

Every choice that has been made feels right

YouTube has dropped the red, rounded box—that vaguely resembled an old-style TV screen—surrounding the ‘Tube’ part of its name, and in the process redesigned the text. The rounded red square now sits to the left with a play icon. It’s an extremely smart move. The play icon, has become synonymous with YouTube; it is more minimal, and more flexible than the full logotype. The play button brands any video as YouTube wherever a YouTube video is embedded. However, the play button does not sit well with the original YouTube logo (the two rounded squares being incompatible in a single mark). The logo redesign unifies the universally recognized UI element, with the larger corporate logotype.

Sometimes the hardest process in design is not spotting mistakes, but recognizing when you have something that works; the play button icon works on every level, and building their identity around it might be the smartest thing YouTube have done in some time.

YouTube’s old logo (left), and their new logo (right).

The text itself has also been redesigned. The new letterforms are slightly more rounded, with tapered spurs, resulting in a more contemporary, and more legible wordshape.

It is an excellently crafted logotype, carried out by an in-house team lead by creative director Christopher Bettig. Every choice that has been made feels right, and YouTube’s aging logo suddenly feels fresh and interesting again.

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Sustaining Momentum: Pitfalls to avoid when driving customers up the sales funnel

“The absolute hinge on which this particular page will succeed or not, the linchpin, you might say, of this offer’s success, is carefully connected to something you hear us talk about — and that is the ‘sequence of thought.’”
Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS

Recently, Marketing Experiment’s parent organization, MECLABS Institute, helped nonprofit BairFind Foundation optimize its minor league ballpark signs to raise awareness on missing children. We are eager to help nonprofits and community organizations succeed in their “customer” conversion strategies, so in today’s Quick Win Clinic, Flint McGlaughlin takes a look at the homepage for Altruisto, a CIC (community interest company) in the United Kingdom that helps numerous charities.

We all know that the goal of a headline is to capture attention and convert it to interest. Altruisto’s homepage effectively accomplishes this with its opening headline. However, the customer’s momentum, while traveling up the sales funnel, quickly slows down after giving the first few micro-yeses, because a very large “yes” is being asked of them too soon — to install something on their computer.

Marketers often make this mistake when they don’t carefully consider the thought sequence of their customers. McGlaughlin suggests that Altruisto either reduce the cost for the customer by simplifying its explanation and move it closer to the top of the page, or else communicate that it is worth the customer’s time and effort (cost) to take a few moments to understand by scrolling down.

Watch this Quick Win Clinic to learn more ways to maintain your visitor’s momentum toward conversion.

The post Sustaining Momentum: Pitfalls to avoid when driving customers up the sales funnel appeared first on MarketingExperiments.

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11 Ways Breadcrumbs Bolster UX Design

Website breadcrumbs enhance user experience encouraging users to dig deeper into your site’s hierarchy, while also telling visitors exactly where they are on any given page. Google’s breadcrumb schema is another valuable reason to setup breadcrumbs. But the design factor is always tricky so it helps to study examples and gather ideas.

These are some of my favorite breadcrumb styles and they should provide a nice starting point for new design projects.

1. Wayfair

Wayfair’s website does a lot right and their entire UX is phenomenal page to page. One thing I really like is their breadcrumb style because it’s not too large, yet also not too small and not obtrusive either.

You’ll find these crumbs on product pages and category pages so they follow you around the whole site. This lets you jump a category or two from any detailed page.

And the breadcrumb bar gets its own little section under the navigation with a different BG color. Not obtrusive but not hard to find either. A great design style and one of my personal favorites.

2. Google Support

Another obvious mention is Google since they’re known for incredible UX work. You’ll find breadcrumbs on most Google products with tiered pages and one of the best is the Google Support site.

Their support pages offer advice on everything from schema to analytics and the Search Console tool. Each page has breadcrumbs and these crumbs occupy a similar space as the page heading so they’re clearly visible.

Again notice how these links blend in nicely without jumping off the page. They feel very natural in the design and this should always be the goal with your breadcrumbs.

3. MSDN Docs

There’s a real unique breadcrumb feature in the MSDN Docs that I really like. It has all the typical design features like arrow icons and categorical links, but the final link in the chain has a custom dropdown with extra pages.

I’ve never seen this before on any breadcrumb design but it’s incredibly valuable to the user. Typically it’d require another navigation menu to access these links but with a site like Microsoft there are so many pages to go through.

Not to mention documentation can be rather complex so it’s not the easiest stuff to create breadcrumbs for. This technique is brilliant and well worth using if you have a complex hierarchy on your site.

4. Apple

On the Apple website I’ve seen tons of breadcrumbs across many pages like the online shop pages and product pages. But one minor detail that caught my eye is the footer link area with a small breadcrumb above their bottom links.

Apple is a huge company with a lot of pages and resources. This breadcrumb would be worth adding towards the top of the page too but it certainly doesn’t hurt to being near the bottom.

I’d encourage designers to try this out and see how it works. Footer breadcrumbs certainly aren’t the norm but they do help with visual navigation.

5. TechRadar

The majority of breadcrumbs that I find are usually on company sites or ecommerce shops. But blogs often have their own breadcrumbs too and one good example is the TechRadar article page.

Each breadcrumb is pretty small featuring a link directly to the head category & a copy of the article’s title. For this type of blog it’s tough to justify breadcrumbs because there isn’t much of a hierarchy.

But this works well if you don’t have another place to add the article’s category onto the page.

6. TutsPlus

For a much more detailed breadcrumb design check out the TutsPlus blog. Each article features a small breadcrumb at the very top of the page including the primary and secondary categories.

I like this design a lot because it blends naturally into the headline of the page. So instead of duplicating the headline in a breadcrumb and in a heading tag, this combines it all into one element so the <h1> heading is part of the breadcrumb.

Note this doesn’t use proper Google schema so it doesn’t appear with breadcrumbs in search. But considering that barely affects CTR I value the design and on-page usability far more than SEO benefits (or lack thereof).

7. Coolspotters

Traditional breadcrumbs usually stick with a few text symbols like the forward slash or the right arrow bracket (>). These work because they’ve been used for decades and users are familiar with them.

But I always like to see other breadcrumb design trends like on Coolspotters. They use custom breadcrumb links that have arrows built into the link elements.

You can find plenty of open source breadcrumb styles just like these for your own site. It’s a great way to jazz up this very traditional page element.

8. MarketWatch

Getting back to basics is the online news site MarketWatch. All of their internal posts feature breadcrumb navs with right pointing arrow icons fairly small text.

In this case I think the small text works well. It’s not exactly difficult to use the breadcrumbs but they do feel smaller and less significant than the rest of the page.

Blogs and news sites work better with smaller breadcrumbs because the real focus is the content. Still it’s nice to fit them in somewhere and this design is a great example.

9. Amazon

Everyone loves Amazon for their huge inventory and free shipping. But they also have a fantastic site and there’s no way I could pass over their breadcrumb design.

Many product pages have a set of breadcrumbs near the very top navigation. This is always super long because Amazon’s categories get deep. This is valuable for consumers to see which categories might be worth browsing, and valuable for designers/webmasters to study Amazon’s massive product structure.

But if you scroll down on each product page you’ll find a “product information” or “product details” section with best sellers listings.

This feature uses breadcrumb links to show where the product has sold the best and encourages visitors to click through to those related categories.

Amazon’s breadcrumbs are admirably lengthy so they’re worth studying if you have a site with a very deep hierarchy.

10. Etsy

The massive online DIY/crafts ecommerce site Etsy is constantly advancing their design. It was founded in 2005 and looking at the site now you can see they’ve made some big changes over the past 10+ years.

If you check out any category page you’ll find small breadcrumbs in the top-left corner. These aren’t as prominent compared to the sidebar navigation which really feels like the primary way to search.

But a nice added effect is the total item listing inside the category. Etsy lists how many total items are for sale in each subcat as you dig deeper into the site.

One thing I will complain about is the lack of breadcrumbs on product pages. This seems like a real oversight to the UI and I hope they add that going forward.

11. LinuxInsider

This breadcrumb design isn’t particularly beautiful but it does have a feature that grabs my attention.

You’ll notice a “Next article” link near the top of each LinuxInsider post. This appears directly next to the breadcrumb so it feels like part of the navigation.

Users who interact with breadcrumbs typically want to dig around in those crumb categories so this extra link makes sense. Anyone interested in Linux software may want to jump right to the next article in that category.

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