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Black Friday Statistics for 2017

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What should an e-commerce site expect this Black Friday? We crunched last year’s data to find out…

Black Friday: despite what some naysayers may say and new entrants like Amazon’s Prime Day, it’s still one of the biggest events in the e-commerce calendar. It’s even evolved in recent years to be ‘less a discounting event, more a marketing event‘ as retailers increasing look to deliver loyalty-driving value as much as acquisition-driving discounts.

The question remains: what should an e-commerce business expect to see on the big day? To answer the dilemma, we dug deep into our benchmarking data from over 400 websites and what they saw on last year’s Black Friday. Here’s what we found…

Influencer Marketing: Fleeting Fad Or Inevitable Change?

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What is influencer marketing – and is it worth your time? We’re about to find out.

As marketing continues to evolve, the way we interact with customers has to change with it. One of the latest shifts in practice is using influencer marketing. With its frenzied addition to the arimpasenal of engagement tactics, it’s easy to mistake this sudden trend as a flash in the pan, but the right influencer marketing strategy can truly set your brand apart.

What is influencer marketing?  

The trend is a shift in focus away from marketing directly to a specific group of consumers, to using an influential person – relevant to that group – who can provide marketers access to them. So, instead using of marketing methods like display or social media to raise awareness of your product, an influencer – using their platform – does this for you.

Who counts as an influencer?

An influencer can be anyone, but they need to be trusted and recognized for their thought leadership and expertise on a given topic. They resonate strongly with those who follow them and have a far-reaching impact on social media.

Why use influencers?

With 88% of consumers trusting reviews from strangers as much as they would their peers, social proof tactics such as reviews become markers of a trustworthy and worthwhile purchase. By the same token, the value of a recommendation from a public figure who resonates with consumers creates a clear use case for influencer marketing. 

Marketers are already aware of the benefits of this, with 84%  planning to launch at least one campaign featuring an influencer. Meanwhile, 60% of beauty and fashion brands already have an influencer in place.

Crucially, influencers are a major component in reaching a particular burgeoning consumer group: Gen Z. With the oldest of this generation currently finishing university, they’re true digital natives. 70% of teenagers who subscribe to Youtube say they relate to influencers on the channel more than traditional celebrities such as actors and models. A further 63% note they prefer to see “real people” they can relate to in ads.

Who’s using influencers?

There are already plenty of success stories when it comes to influencer marketing. Here are two:

PrettyLittleThing

The fast-fashion brand ships out 20,000 orders a day. How did they achieve this? In part, an influencer partnership with Kylie Jenner.

Using the celebrity-socialite to model its products, PLT appealed to Jenner’s fans – members of the elusive and unreceptive-to-marketing Gen Z. Shoppers who wanted to emulate her fashion sense and lifestyle were able to do so wearing items modeled by the influencer herself.

PLT’s Instagram, with over 2 million followers, continues to work with influencers and appeal to the aesthetics favored by their now-loyal Gen Z audience.

Kylie Jenner

PLT dress worn by Kylie Jenner

Dollar Beard Club

Another brand that has seen a positive impact following a partnership with influencers is the Dollar Beard Club.

The subscription-model company used the self-proclaimed ‘King of Instagram’ Dan Bilzerian, amongst others, in its ‘The Truth about Beards’ Youtube short. This funny video, capitalizing on ‘No shave November’ increased subscriber numbers to its channel and has racked up over 130m views, creating a niche following online.

Do influencers only appeal to Gen Z?

No, influencers are not just a Gen Z phenomenon. With 71% of Baby Boomers and Gen X happy to repost shared content, they’re actually more likely to share on social media than any other generation.

So, how can I market to other generations using influencers?

By using micro-influencers. It may be better to create a campaign in partnership with an individual who has a niche – but engaged – following to market your product.

Gen X bloggers like ‘Style me Sunday’ – who notes her site as being for “curvy, over 30s and mums” – appeals to specific demographic who frequently comment on or re-post her content. Other micro-influencers such as ‘The Roaming Boomers’ with their select following of retired baby-boomers looking to travel, could also be partnered with:

The Roaming Boomers

Where do I look for influencers?

Predictive trend tools like Trendspottr, traackr and Sysomos locate photos, influencers, tags and topics which frequently have high engagement. Using these tools you can pick a topic and influencer that you want to use.

However, though these tools can point you in the right direction, 84% of influencers are still found via manual searches on social media – as only you can know if an influencer is truly the right fit for you brand.

How do I pick the right influencer?

An influencer needs to have three things: reach, resonance and relevance.

Reach: does your influencer have a sufficient audience?

Influencers have follower counts averaging from 100,000 upwards. Those with followers that are less than 100,000 but over 10,000 are called ‘micro-influencers’. Micro-influencers, despite their relatively small reach, tend to have higher engagement with their following.

Resonance: will your influencer resonate with your intended audience?

Your influencer may have far-reaching engagement, but are they credible? If you partner with an influencer who is not seen by consumers as being trustworthy, knowledgeable or personally involved with the content, this will also reflect badly on your brand.

Relevance: is your content and influencer relevant?

It may be tempting to opt for a big name as they’ll likely have reached, but this doesn’t always mean that they’re relevant. The influencer you chose must not only be relevant to your brand image and messaging but have relevance socially so that the partnership does not feel dated.

How much can I expect to pay an influencer?

This depends on the influencer. Some influencers have a flat fee which they expect to cover the duration of the partnership. Others are paid for every interaction with their sponsored post or compensated with ‘freebies’ from your brand.

As influencer marketing continues to cement its place within modern marketing, 19% of marketers note that they have seen influencer fees increase by up to 50%. At the extreme, brands have splashed upwards of £50,000 for a sponsored post on Snapchat and £75,000 for Facebook.

As fees continue to skyrocket, a shift in focus towards the more budget-friendly micro-influencer has intensified, with more than 55% of agencies incorporating them into their future strategies.

How do I measure its success?

As the impact of influencer marketing continues to increase, so does the need for measurable ROI. The debate is still rife regarding whether sales or engagement should be the deciding metric for success.

79% of marketers currently use engagement to measure ROI, as many influencer partnerships aim to increase awareness and cement brand positioning, prioritizing this over sales.

However, a need for a more measurable ROI has been noted by Rakuten as a top priority for marketers working with influencers, as budgeting for campaigns without measurable ROI also continues to contribute to the attribution challenge.

Will this bubble burst?

Regulations for working with influencers are getting tougher. The FTC has recently made examples of prominent influencers and brands by fining those who weren’t transparent with its marketing partnerships. Sponsored posts now require explicit signposting that they have been paid for.

This could become the Achilles’ heel of the influencer marketing trend. It’s possible that this turns off consumers from engaging with influencers’ posts, especially members of Gen Z who are particularly averse to having their social channels infiltrated and being sold to.

Conclusion: what does the future hold?

While influencer marketing as we know it may eventually wane due to increasing fees, a limited pool of influencers and new regulations, this latest trend is revolutionizing marketing.

The methods marketers use to increase brand awareness and the eventual purchase of products online will continue to change. As more influencers work directly with brands to devise marketing strategies, brand awareness will evolve to become less about disrupting a social space and more about increasing transparency by seamlessly blending in with content that is already being produced and consumed, integrating organically to be an accepted part of it.

Influencer Marketing FAQs

? What is influencer marketing and how does it work?

Influencer marketing is a collaboration between an online influencer and a brand. The influencer will agree to market the products or services of the brand to their audience.

? What are the benefits of influencer marketing?

There are many benefits to influencer marketing, which include:
1) Quickly builds trust with your target audience
2) Improve brands awareness and recognition
3) Provide you with great content opportunities
4) Effectively reaches and engages with your target audience

? What is an influencer marketing campaign?

An influencer marketing campaign will involve a brand forming a partnership with a chosen influencer whereby the influencer agrees to promote the brand to their audience. This could be across social media channels or during live events. The campaign will lay out all of this.

Better Lead Nurturing With ESP Integrations From Yieldify

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At Yieldify, we help you build customer journeys that convert. One simple way we do this is by letting you connect Yieldify with your email technology of choice.

It’s more than likely that you have a system in place to deliver emails to customers – 82% of B2B and B2C companies rely on these tools to nurture customer relationships.

Warm leads convert better

With the Yieldify Conversion Platform, you have the tools to encourage website visitors to share their email address on your website. But once that email has been collected, it’s important you take steps to keep that visitor engaged, especially if they leave the website without making a purchase.

The moment a visitor shares their email address, that lead is warm – and cooling fast; the sooner you send them a relevant email, the better.

Simple, powerful automation

As soon as you’ve collected a customer email in a Yieldify campaign, you can automatically send that email directly into a list in your Email Service Provider. It saves you downloading leads from the Yieldify Conversion Platform only to have to re-upload them to another tool and it means there’s not a minute wasted so your customer gets a seamless brand experience from onsite to email.

Here are just some of the ESP integrations available to Yieldify customers:

We’re adding more ESP integrations all the time – if you’re interested in a integration that is not listed above, please get in touch.

Website Overlays: 5 Examples & 7 Best Practices

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Website overlays, pop-ups, lightboxes, modals – when done right, onsite remarketing is a great way to increase conversions.

But beware of making the wrong choice of solution and being too aggressive with your website overlays.

In a world where acquiring traffic seems to cost more every day, a fast and simple answer to converting that traffic sounds like every marketer’s dream.

Onsite remarketing, otherwise known as overlays, notifications, pop-ups (you name it, we’ve heard it all) – is often positioned as a CRO panacea that takes that traffic and converts it like a dream.

In many cases, that can be true – we’ve seen it ourselves with brands as diverse as Domino’s Pizza, HMV and Virgin Trains:

Virgin Trains case study | Yieldify

But with onsite remarketing (as with most things), you get what you pay for.

The problem is that there are plenty of cheap-and-cheerful solutions – also known as ‘overlay shops’ – entering the market promising shortcuts and silver bullets when the reality can be a very different picture.

Why? It’s because this is your website – the importance of the quality of the experience here can never be overstated. Do a good job on your site and you have the opportunity to see your acquisition investments pay off – but attempt to cut corners and your acquisition efforts can go down the drain faster than you can say “leaving so soon?”

At Yieldify, we believe that the customer journey you deliver on your website demands rigorous strategy, attention to detail, and optimization pathways. Without this, you could end up doing more harm than good to your CRO.

The cheap-and-cheerful website overlay software on the market might let you launch overlay campaigns easily, but won’t necessarily help you launch effective overlays that convert visitors.

Types Of Website Overlays

There are many different types of website overlays that you can use to encourage visitors to take action. Below are some of the most common website overlays used.

Behavioural Website Overlays

These types of overlays use behavioural segmentation and on site behaviour to trigger specific overlays. These aim to encourage visitors to move forward in their journey with attention grabbing offers tailored to their browsing behaviour.

A good example of this website overlay would be monitoring time on site, basket value and products viewed. If the visitors looks like a high value customer you could set up an overlay to entice them to checkout. Either with an offer or limited time time based on the products in their basket.

Sales Website Overlays

eCommerce websites can use sale overlays to promote current offers and deals to website visitors. These types of website overlays can help push broad messages and or can ve very targeting depending on what the offer is.

Exit Overlay

An Exit overlay can be used as a last attempt to convince visitors to purchase. These can be used on product pages, basket pages and more. If a user is showing signs of making a purchase but then goes to leave the website you can show an exit overlay, potentially with an offer or social proof to try and convince them to purchase.

Gamified Website Overlays

Gamified website overlays provide an opportunity to get visitors engaged easily. The example below from yoga brand Loony Legs offers new visitors the chance to get specific offers in exchange for their email. This is a great way to build your mailing lists and a more “fun” option for visitors.

Social Proof Website Overlays

If you don’t like to offer discounts on products social proof overlays could be a nice alternative. You can use this type of website overlay to remind potential customers about your company and display reviews or endorsements to boost sales.

5 Effective Website Overlay Examples

1. Pipeline

The above website overlay example from Pipeline works well as it targets a specific product category and provides a discount with a limited time duration to give a sense of urgency. A clear call to action directly below the timer also works well.

2. Ruroc

Ruroc uses website overlays to quickly engage with returning visitors who previously added items to their shopping baskets. This gives visitors the opportunity to quickly pick up where they left off without having to go through finding the products they were interested in again.

3. Tommy Hilfiger

The below example from Tommy Hilfiger is one of the most common you will see across eCommerce websites. Offering a discount for first time visitors to make their first purchase in exchange for signing up to their email lists.

The above overlay sticks to brand colours, blocks out background content and clearly displays the benefits of joining other email subscribers. Whilst this type of website overlay can work just be careful with the timing, having this pop up straight away can be annoying.

4. Cosmetics Capital

Cosmetics Captial uses a social proof overlay to help encourage visitors to purchase. As we mentioned earlier if you don’t like discounting products this is a great way to entice some FOMO and urgency.

5. SwissWatchExpo

For high value products you can expect basket abandonment to be slightly higher, and time to purchase slightly longer as consumers research and decide if they really want to purchase.

SwissWatchExpo sells high value watches and utilises basket abandonment or exit overlay to try and convince visitors to purchase. The offer of $100 off plus free shipping is sure to tempt most potential customers. Combined with a countdown timer you have the urgency to hopefully spur the user into action.

7 Website Overlay Best Practices

1: Don’t compromise your brand

Consider how much time, effort, and resource you put into the design of your website. Everything from the color and shape of the CTAs, responsiveness and imagery – you’re probably even running plenty of tests to keep iterating on what’s working well.

Why should your website overlays and notifications be any different? They should deliver an experience that’s completely aligned with your brand guidelines, upholding the quality of imagery that you have elsewhere on your site.

The problem is that many overlay shops will restrict you to some pretty rigid templates, where you can change some colors and text, but not much more. For small businesses who want to launch overlays themselves but without design resources in-house, this is great – for a more mature e-commerce business, this can be a jarring experience for the user.

2: Don’t annoy your customers

Campaigns can trigger based on website visitor behavior – but what that behavior is is up to you. The problem here is that if you choose the wrong trigger setting, you can disrupt the customer journey of visitors and potentially annoy them, doing more harm than good.

The usual suspect here is ‘trigger on entry’, which is often used on a first time visitor with lead generation overlays to ask the user to sign-up to a newsletter.

While this might seem a great idea for your brand, it’s the website equivalent of asking for someone’s number before you’ve even said ‘hi’, which never seems to work out well.

You may wish to A/B test this website overlay to see what type of result you get. Most users may simply close the popup and carry on with their journey.

First time visitors are very important to websites so you want to make sure they have a good and smooth experience and hopefully become new customers.

3: Too Broad Targeting

In deciding who’s going to see your campaign, you need to make sure your targeting is on point, or you risk sending irrelevant messages. While you may be tempted to just get something with the basics covered, some of the most effective forms of targeting are based on your shopper’s in-session behavior – such as the value of their basket.

This is hugely valuable because it means that you can safeguard offers such as free delivery only for those shoppers for whom their purchase value will ensure you protect your margins. Domino’s Pizza used it to huge success in engaging the right type of visitor with the right discount incentive:

Domino's Pizza case study | Yieldify

The problem with basket-value targeting is that this requires an extra level of site mapping – something that not all website overlay solutions will rely on you to do (if they offer the functionality at all).

With this in mind, it’s really worthwhile digging deep into what targeting is actually available to you, as you’ll often find that the valuable stuff relies on a more technical set-up from your side.

4: Respecting the user journey

There’s huge value in having different campaigns set up for different customer journeys – but what if a single customer ends up in several different target segments across the course of their journey?

With some simple onsite remarketing vendors you run the risk of having a visitor trigger multiple campaigns in the course of their session, which is a sure-fire way to get them to abandon your site.

The solution to this is smart frequency capping, which takes into account the fact that some interventions (little notifications in the corner of the screen) are fine to be seen multiple times on the user journey but more disruptive messages (like overlays) are a one-time thing.

It’s not as simple as ‘one message per session’ just as your visitor’s journey isn’t as simple as ‘click-click-buy’, so you need a solution and targeting that reflects that subtlety. You want to make their decision making process easier, not interrupt it.

5: Continuous Testing

There’s a reason that Yieldify has a Consultant team who spend their days poring over pivot tables: if you want good performance, you need to run smart tests and learn from them.

A big part of this is the ability to A/B test your messaging and creatives – this isn’t something that all website overlay technology will provide you with. Without this ability, you’ll never know if you’re getting the best possible performance from your campaigns.

If the end game is to get more email subscribers and build up your email list you want to find the smoothest and most effective way of doing this. You’ll only get here with testing.

Should your target new visitors? Should you put a website overlay on your blog post? Do pop-ups that match a product category perform better? What call to action is best?

6: Focus on driving value

Having great-looking overlay and notification campaigns is important (as we’ve said earlier) but beware of being distracted by cosmetic features that may not necessarily drive value.

The most important elements of your campaign are: a compelling message and careful targeting and triggering – all of which should be refined and optimized through testing.

Funky animations are all well and good, but they’re usually ‘nice to have’s’ – make sure that the core functionality and capabilities we’ve listed elsewhere in this article are there first.

7: Tracking the impact

Everyone knows what they’re here for: making more sales. The problem is that the ability to track the impact that your campaigns are making depends on two things: being able to track sales and run incrementality tests. The bad news is that very few overlay shops provide such functionality.

The reason for this is that tracking sales involves more website mapping – every e-commerce site’s set-up is a little different, so the ability to track sales requires a slightly different approach every time.

If you’ve got a provider who can track sales for you, then the other thing you’ll need is the ability to run an incrementality test (essentially a split-test where half your target group sees no campaign).

Through running these tests to statistical significance for a limited period of time, you’ll be able to see definitively whether or not your campaign is making an impact on your sales.

All of this is essential if you want to ensure that your investment and work is paying off – without it, you’ll never know if it’s worth it.

In conclusion

Onsite remarketing is great because of course it’s an easier way to increase your conversion rate than starting for scratch or running a labour-intensive programme of A/B/n testing. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that this means that all solutions are the same. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for.

If you’re looking for a smart solution that comes with an even smarter team to ensure your campaigns are on-point and fully-optimized, check out Yieldify’s free Customer Journey Optimisation consultations.

Introducing the Yieldify Holiday Season Checklist 2017

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Get your free guide to making the busiest time in the e-commerce calendar your most successful yet

Halloween. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Bounceback Tuesday. Throwback Thursday. Super Saturday. Free Shipping Day.

Q4 in e-commerce means you’ve got your work cut out for you.

It’s a make-or-break season for the retailer and with that comes an ever-growing calendar of key shopping days and events that seems to change rapidly from year-to-year.

Help is at hand.

We crunched the numbers (thousands of them) in order to draw out some data-driven tactics to make your holiday season its best yet, and have whipped up a simple (and rather pretty) planning checklist that will keep your Q4 on the straight and narrow until 2018 rolls around.

Of course, these aren’t just cut-and-paste ‘tips and tricks’, but real insights backed up by patterns on e-commerce websites around the world. So grab your copy today and find out: when your Black Friday traffic should start arriving (hint: it’s not Black Friday), what’s so special about December 21st and when you can go to bed on Black Friday.
Prefer your tips in video form? Not a problem – check out our Black Friday masterclass with Conversant, which draws on the same data to call out five key secrets to making the start of Q4 go off with a bang:

Need some more help getting Q4-ready?

Fair enough – every site’s a little different.
Yieldify offers free Customer Journey Optimisation (CJO) consultations – simply sign up here to learn how to get the best holiday season your website has ever seen.

Our campaigns of the month: September 2017

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Want to improve your customer’s journey online? Increase AOV? Find out how in our favourite client work this month!

How HEWI shared its favourite products with customers

HEWI (Hardly Ever Worn It) is changing the way shoppers find pre-loved luxury fashion – selling globally-coveted items without the hefty price tag.

Encouraging luxury online shopping can be a challenge as the in-store experience is a large part of the appeal, so the brand engaged all its visitors with an overlay triggered on timer. This campaign, which appears whilst the customer would be scrolling through the site, highlighted HEWI’s ‘favourite’ items of the month.

Using this notification, HEWI shows to both new and returning customers an ever-growing roster of affordable luxury items available on its site. Noting only a select number of items creates an air of exclusivity as all products on the site cannot be restocked once they are bought.

How Soak personalised the customer experience and increased AOV

Soak, the online bathroom retailer, wanted to encourage customers to increase average spend on its site. With the Yieldify Conversion Platform, Soak was able to increase engagement with its customers and personalise online experiences using the Dynamic Promotions feature.

Personalising experiences to suit customers and their specific actions is a great way to achieve conversions, so the brand served an overlay notifying customers how much more they needed to spend to receive free delivery. This campaign – triggering once an item has been added to basket – adjusted the balance to suit the customer’s specific basket value.

Yieldify ranks 23rd in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100

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We’ve made our debut appearance in the definitive ranking of Britain’s fastest-growing private tech businesses.

We’re delighted to have made our first appearance in the 2017 Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 – and we’ve landed within the top 25! The highest-ranking marketing technology company in this year’s league table, we’ve come in at 23rd place, thanks to our 125% growth rate.

The league table ranks Britain’s 100 private tech (TMT) companies with the fastest-growing sales over their latest three years and has continually been a bellwether for the next big successes in UK tech. Alumni include success stories such as KingJust Eat and Zoopla among hundreds of companies who have gone on to IPO and beyond. We’re delighted to be in great company in this year’s report, alongside exciting tech companies such as Wonderbly and Darktrace.

You can check out the full league table here along with profiles of all the winners – and check out the full research report, which makes for fascinating reading about the defining characteristics of 2017’s cohort.

Yieldify’s Top 10 eCommerce Tips Backed by 10 Billion Interactions

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We’ve now delivered over 10 billion interactions – clicks, sales and much more – with shoppers all over the world. Here are the top 10 e-commerce tips we’ve developed from all that data.

When Yieldify first took shape in 2013, little did we know that four short years later we would have delivered over 10 billion interactions on websites across the world.

Those clicks, sales, leads and much more have given us a pool of data and a wealth of experience that all add up to one thing: great insight into e-commerce strategies that convert.

So we thought that the occasion of reaching this milestone should be a point at which we share the wealth. Based on that data and experience, here are our top ten e-commerce tips – enjoy!

1. Focus as much on new customers as potential customers

Most businesses focus much of their e-commerce strategies on converting new visitors – but did you know that for a conventional retailer, less than 0.00003% of visitors become a regular customer?

There is a huge, often neglected, opportunity here. Work on getting your new customers to become loyal customers, finding out what it takes to get them to make that crucial second purchase and continue their journey with you.

2. Don’t expect discounts to drive loyalty

Offering discounts is the ultimate ‘quick-win’ e-commerce tip if you can afford to take the hit on your margins. But the thing to remember is that while discounting can significantly increase the number of visitors purchasing for the first time, it’s not always the best strategy for driving lifetime value.

Why? The customer that’s more motivated by discounting is likely less engaged with your brand, less aware of your differentiators and less interested in the great service you provide – their focus is on the price tag. With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that the customer enticed through the door by the discount isn’t necessarily going to keep coming back if you can’t keep offering them price incentives.

Across the lifecycle, having the right message is just as important, if not more so, than your discount. We saw this in a test with Steiner Sports, where we split-tested two incentives: 20% off and 15% off. The winning variant was actually the one with 15% off – but we had added dynamic content that showed the visitor the last product they had browsed, making the message more personal even though the discount was smaller.

3. Get ahead of exit intent 

Using exit intent technology to catch your visitor at the point of exit with a compelling message is a powerful tool.

However, your chances of driving conversion double if instead of launching a message when your customer goes to exit, you make an intervention that makes their journey more relevant and seamless before they show exit intent.

Of course, this is a little bit more complex and requires more commitment to testing – but the results are likely to be worth the effort.

4. Email remarketing is essential

There’s always going to be a significant proportion of your visitors who just aren’t ready to buy: this segment gets bigger if your products are high-value or if you’re in a market where comparison sites can lead browsers into long decision-making processes.

The best of our e-commerce tips for this is email remarketing – following up on your abandoning visitors with reasons for them to return can increase their likelihood to purchase by up to 5%, according to our data.

5. Focus on your core

Do for your website as you would do at the gym – if you don’t work on your core, then you’ll never get your best possible result. In e-commerce, getting your core customer journeys right provides a much larger return on investment than tactical campaigns. After all, a 5% increase in overall performance is much more valuable than the same increase for a tactical campaign.

The proof is in the numbers – we regularly see core campaigns accounting for over three-quarters of all the site-wide conversion uplift driven by onsite remarketing.

6. Don’t ask for a lead too quickly

Asking a brand new visitor to your site for their email address within seconds of arrival might be like asking someone for their number immediately after saying ‘hi’. At best, it’s less likely to be successful – at worst, it comes across as aggressive and off-putting.

The key is to wait until your new visitor has had time to engage with your site and understand what it’s about; you’ll then have a much better likelihood of being able to capture their details if you ask them once they’re in a place to make a more informed decision. This way, you can easily double your lead conversation rates (based on our calculations) compared to if you asked visitors on entry to your site.

7. Align your test length with your purchase cycle

Core campaign testing length should be aligned to your customer purchase cycle for best results. If your customers typically purchase in six-week cycles, then make sure that your test runs for at least six weeks – any shorter and you’ll likely to skew your results.

8. Message and timing beat creative

It’s a staple of A/B testing that encourages you to test whether the photo of the Golden Retriever or the Labrador sells insurance better. Of course, the creative for your campaigns merits careful consideration and testing – but we find the results to be quite marginal.

Our data shows that in order to make a real impact on conversion, your tests should focus on the message you show and the timing at which you show it.

9. Never assume that your message gets read

Don’t assume that your finely-crafted USP messages, such as free delivery, returns or trust signals, are being read by visitors. If you want them to get seen, you’ll need to put the appropriate ones right under their noses.

Our tests show that if you highlight these messages on an overlay campaign at the right time, you can increase conversions by up to 31% for those visitors exiting pre-checkout. Check out how luxury brand Harrys of London highlighted their USP messages to encourage their customers to convert:

10. Know when to be aggressive

Our data shows that conversion rates can be improved by 4x when messages are shown later in the user journey.

As a general rule, knowing when to be aggressive with messages – and when to hold back – is important for generating the best conversion improvement. If you know that your visitors require a few sessions before deciding to purchase, then showing important messages on the first session may be less effective – they’ll simply forget and your important differentiator will gather dust.

How many of these e-commerce strategies do you have running on your site?

We can help you get them up and running – our team are experts at understanding visitor behaviour data and using it to create strategies that increase your conversions. Get in touch and we’ll show you how we can help.

Get Results With Easy A/B Testing for the Yieldify Conversion Platform

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A/B testing is now available for the Yieldify Conversion Platform. With it, you can now perform smart experiments on any campaign to optimise performance and ensure you get results that count.

Get results and optimised performance with easy A/B tests

Triggered onsite overlays and notifications are great for getting content that converts in front of the right visitors at the right time.

But no matter how enticing you think your targeted content might be, you’ll never know for sure if it’s the best it can be unless you test it. If you can learn what resonates the most with your customers, you’ll increase conversions.

Discover what resonates the most with your customers

We’ve been extolling the benefits of A/B testing at Yieldify for a while – it’s a core digital marketing practice, no matter the channel where you’re conducting activity. A/B testing helps you get the best out of your marketing campaigns – and arms you with data to back up your decisions.

Lots of marketers don’t run rigorous tests – don’t be them

If you’re running a test, that’s a great start. But, as MarketingSherpa found, 40% of marketers surveyed don’t calculate statistical significance when running experiments.

Test results are only actionable if you can have confidence in your dataset. With the Yieldify Conversion Platform, we’ll show you when your test reaches significance, so you can review performance at a glance to see which variant is the winner and be confident in the result.

Find winning combos of brand messages and imagery

More than 50% percent of the surface of the brain is devoted to processing visual information, so an image really can speak more than a thousand words. Test different key product images and find out which ones are more likely to tip the needle towards a purchase decision.

Yieldify Conversion Platform A/B testing

Discover your best incentives

What works best: 10% off £5 off? Free Delivery or Free Returns? Or is the difference negligible?

Yieldify Conversion Platform A/B testing

You might, for example, discover that bigger discounts make a negligible impact on your onsite conversion rate – that means you can be more selective with the discounts and save a fortune in margins without risking damage to your customer’s intent to purchase.

Test ‘dynamic’ against ‘static’ content

With the platform, you can trigger messages that can dynamically change to show promotions that encourage a higher order value or social proof that instills urgency and FOMO to drive sales. While these are great ways to deliver engaging content, there is no one-size fits-all – so test them!

Yieldify Conversion Platform A/B testing Perhaps your customers are more inclined to respond to a TrustPilot review over an indicator of how many other visitors are also interested in the product they are viewing? You can easily find out which type of social proof converts best by running them against each other in an A/B test to see which is the top performer.

A/B test campaigns on any device – using any format

You can A/B test your campaigns on desktop, tablet and mobile devices – and run them on overlays, double overlays, notifications and double notifications – it’s totally up to you.

Not a Yieldify Conversion Platform user yet? Find out more here or request a free demo.

Brand Trust: How to Gain Your Customer’s Confidence Online

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How do you grow brand trust online? Keep it honest, keep it consistent and keep it service-orientated.

If customers don’t believe your brand messages, product capabilities or in the service you provide, then it’s safe to say your days are numbered. Trust isn’t something that can be earned overnight – nor is it something you’re entitled to – and in the world of e-commerce there are elements that impact a customer’s level of trust without them consciously realising.

But fear not. There are simple steps that you can take to better build brand trust and stand out against against your competitors.

We’ll break them out into three core concepts: transparency, consistency and service. If you can put these into practice, you’ll be best placed to build meaningful long-term relationships with your customers, get more leads and more coversions.

Let’s take a look at how you can work with them in more detail below:

1. Transparency

Your e-commerce visitor has access to huge amounts of information about your brand – some of that comes from you, but increasing amounts come from third parties. With 72% of customers stating that positive reviews make them trust a brand more, it’s essential that a brand shares as much about itself and its products as possible and uses transparency as an opportunity to gain trust amongst prospective customers.

Be clear on your services; be honest about what you can and can’t do

With only 3% of customers viewing big brands as ‘honest and transparent’, having clearly defined products and services is vital to the trust associated with your brand. Although great branding will briefly grab the attention of potential customers, if it isn’t clear what you provide (or don’t provide) very few customers will investigate further or will find themselves unable to distinguish your worth. Be honest about your product capabilities and be clear with how they will benefit your customer.

Social proof is paramount 

61% of customers read reviews before making a purchase, meaning they’ll already have some insight on your product from previous customers. It’s therefore rare for a customer to buy, book or reserve online without doing their research first. This means that whether you’re adding trust badges from review platforms like Trustpilot or Feefo, or including testimonials from happy customers, you need to use social proof to show your customer that others have bought into what you’re selling.

Referral marketing is your customer’s best friend…and yours

As noted, over half of online shopping customers read reviews, but 92% of customers listen to the compliments or criticism of a friend or family member. This means every customer you interact with has the potential to advise their networks directly on whether you’re a trustworthy brand.

Brands like Uber and Misguided encourage customers to share with peers, usually alongside an incentive which coupled with the peer review, boosts both trust in the brand and the likelihood of a return customer as well as a new one.

Misguided

Allowing negative (as well as positive) reviews on your products and services

Asking customers for feedback is a important way to build trust. But in inviting feedback on your site, it’s important to accept that negative reviews might also been seen by prospective customers.

This is actually an opportunity to build trust – how you handle those reviews helps a visitor see how seriously you take feedback and how much you value your customers. Responding to unhappy customers highlights the effort being taken to make things right; much like United Airlines did following weeks of bad press.

Only upsell in the customer’s best interest

Does your product have additional features? Make sure that when upselling existing items, it’s to your customer’s benefit. Ensure the latest add-ons are relevant, helpful and clear about how they will add to the experience of the existing item. Upselling a product that is not useful is a quick way to damage brand trust, and you can bet that an unhappy customer will take to your reviews board to let others know about their dissatisfaction.

2. Consistency

Consistency makes a business put its money where its mouth is. Sales, marketing and branding being aligned and all members of staff staying on-message helps ensure that the message received by customers is consistent, no matter which team member they speak to. Not only does this look great for your brand, but it increases your customer’s trust in you.

Make and keep promises

Broken promises are one of the quickest ways to undermine your customer’s goodwill and damage their trust in you. Your ability to provide a reliable service and fulfil brand promises can increase customer satisfaction by up to 20%.

Ensure you’re consistent across all touchpoints 

It’s important to have a clear understanding of your customer and how to effectively communicate with them across the whole of the customer journey. Are you consistent across all channels? Is the branding on desktop, tablet and mobile aligned? Ensure that you have clearly signposted policies, follow-up communications with your customer after purchases, fast responses to queries and a readiness to accept responsibility.

Consistent quality

Typos, inconsistent messaging and out-of-date content will create an air of sloppiness. This does not go unnoticed by by customers – in fact, 76% of them have noted it affects their trust in a brand and 94% are unlikely to complete purchase.

3. Service 

Earning customer trust goes hand-in-hand with great service; customers will remember how you made them feel. Exceptional customer service continues to set brands apart from their competitors, with 63% of positive feedback relating to staff and less than 9% regarding products.

Learn from top performers

Brands like Virgin, Amazon and Disney all have a service reputation that proceeds them – and you can learn from them. For example, after researching what made for a positive service experience, Virgin rewrote its service processes, increasing customer trust and satisfaction by an additional 30%.

Your customer’s time matters

Highlighting that you can be trusted to operate within noted timescales shows your brand can be relied upon. Customers are less likely to trust in your brand and believe that their query is important to you if they think they’ll have to wait to get your attention when they need it.

Add a personal touch

Personalisation builds trust. Customers who see you have an interest in them and their habits, such as the Natwest banking app which welcomes customers by name and remembers transaction habits, increases interaction and shows customers how much you value them as individuals. And with little to no additional extra cost, customers will trust you and likely share this with peers, increasing both your loyalty and prospective customers.

Natwest banking

Let’s recap.

The key to brand trust is to constantly keep the customer in mind. Remain transparent, be consistent and show that you respect your customer by delivering a timely and personal service experience, and you’ll be on your way to earning their trust.

The Rubik’s Cube seems to be an impossible puzzle but it’s easy to solve it using algorithms.

The E-Commerce Statistics Report Q2 2017

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Looking for the latest eCommerce news and insights? Look no further – we’ve drawn the latest facts from hundreds of websites into an infographic packed with the latest eCommerce statistics.

Here at Yieldify, we’re crunching e-commerce statistics daily. So we decided to do it on a macro level and find out what our data could tell us about the e-commerce industry as a whole.

What we found were insights into different devices, visitor types, time trends and much more – check out the infographic below and see if the numbers reflect what you’re seeing on your own store.

In three months’ time we’ll be crunching the numbers again to see how Q3 compares – come back to see whether the summer season impacts retail sales and whether Q4 really starts in Q3…

e-commerce statistics in Q2 2017 infographic

Do you find it easy to turn your website data into actionable plans?

If not, fear not – our team are experts at understanding visitor behavior data and using it to create strategies that increase your conversions. Get in touch and we’ll show you how we can help.

Personalize Your Customer Experience Worldwide with Easy Geotargeting

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With easy Geotargeting for the Yieldify Conversion Platform, you can now personalize your customer experience worldwide on your website to ensure the right message reaches the right customer at the right time – wherever they are.

It’s a big world out there – and a great advantage of e-commerce over bricks-and-mortar is that it can give your store a global reach. It means that customers in Paris can easily browse your wares from the comfort of their kitchen, regardless of whether your business is based out of London or New York.

But just because anyone can browse your website from anywhere in the world, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every offer you show them is going to be the right fit for them – or you.

It’s, therefore, crucial to make sure that every message you show to customers is personalized to them – and a key way to do that involves targeting their geolocation.

Location, location, location

Geotargeting – the method of determining the location of internet users, usually based on their IP address – and targeting them based on this data – is a key way to make your marketing personal online.

Brands know it – in fact, 75% of marketers believe location-based marketing is an important business issue, according to the Location Based Marketing Association.

But geotargeting isn’t just about what you’d like to include in your digital strategy; your customers expect to be engaged based on their location. According to a Boxever survey of 507 consumers, 50% of 18-29-year-olds are open to location-based offers, as long as they are timely, targeting and within reason.

Clearly, in order to keep up with consumer expectations, Geotargeting needs to be a marketing priority. So how do you go about targeting your online offers effectively?

Tailor the customer experience worldwide

Geographically-targeted offers are a powerful way to bring visitors to your site – you only have to look at how The Globe Theatre boosted their YoY ticket sales by over 30% by targeting prospective audience-goers with geo-targeted ads to see the value that geotargeting can drive when given proper attention as part of your digital strategy.

However, while geotargeting your advertising is essential, the real moment of truth comes when customers arrive on your website. At that stage, trillions of dollars worth of eCommerce sales can be lost.

This is where Yieldify can help. Here are just some of the ways that, using the Yieldify Conversion Platform, marketers can set up simple and easy Geotargeting to engage customers browsing your site in different counties.

Remind international shoppers that you ship to their country free

Do you offer free shipping outside of your home market? As 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping No. 1 incentive to shop online more according to Walker Sands, there’s obvious value in highlighting this KSP to international shoppers.

Yieldify geotargeting example

To make your message extra personal, you can even show the relevant spend threshold for that visitor with a Dynamic Promotion – a compelling way to encourage a customer to spend a little more, meaning they purchase with a higher AOV.

Yieldify geotargeting notification

Reserve returns for your home market

Say you have a ‘free returns’ policy in the UK. Considering that, according to Redstage Fulfilment, 66% of visitors will read your returns policy before making a purchase – you’re going to want to make that as visible as you can to UK customers. But you wouldn’t want that message to appears to customers browsing in France, Germany or the US, as that’d make their experience inconsistent and at worse, cause them to leave the site.

Yieldify geotargeting overlay
With Geotargeting, you can exclusively highlight your returns policy to the intended audience so that the right message gets to the right shopper. It allows you to keep your messages consistent, increasing conversions while preserving your margins.

Simple to set up

Delivering a great customer experience worldwide through your website should be a cinch – and that’s why it’s easy geotargeting Yieldify campaigns. Just choose the countries you want the campaign to ‘include’ or ‘exclude’ when setting your targets – no fiddly coding required.

Our campaigns of the month: June 2017

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From minimising basket abandonment to increasing leads via targeted pages, take a look at some of our favourite client work this month!

Decreasing form abandonment with Travel Nation 

Round-trip travel experts Travel Nation were looking to capture more leads and minimise site abandonment, particularly on the quote form. We designed a single overlay campaign, triggering on exit, that offered visitors reassurance of the company’s expertise in this vertical and the benefits of coming to them for a quote, decreasing their likelihood of searching elsewhere.

Decreasing abandonment and highlighting USPs with The Hero Project 

Beauty mavericks ‘The Hero Project’, are changing the concept of skincare with their innovative face oils and treatments. Using our campaign to target abandoning new visitors, an overlay stylised into a gif triggered on exit to decrease abandonment and encourage conversion, with a USP of 20% off the first purchase being highlighted.

How to Optimize Your E-Commerce Site for SEO

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Optimizing an e-commerce site for SEO is challenging but crucial. Laura Hogan, Head of Search at SEO and social digital marketing agency Rice Media explains how to make sure your store gets found.

You’ve got your shiny new site up and running, the stock images for your products are gleaming and you’ve finally managed to secure your SSL certificate. It’s all onwards and upwards from here until you realize that your site isn’t getting the traffic it deserves.

E-commerce sites are amazing when it comes to providing their customers with the ultimate user experience, but they can be awful when it comes to optimizing their site for SEO purposes. You could have the best site in the world, but you won’t get anywhere if your users can’t find it.

The competition to rank on the first page of Google is ruthless, but if you follow our tips and tricks of how to optimize your e-commerce site for SEO, you’ll very likely see an increase in traffic and revenue.

1. Integrate social media into your website

Social media and SEO work hand in hand, as they help to create the ultimate user experience and increase brand awareness. The more social media integration you have on your site, the better your chances will be for having your products shared across social channels.

How can I integrate social media into my website?

There are so many ways to homogenize your social channels onto your site, and a really great one is social sharing buttons! Adding social sharing buttons to your product categories could also help boost traffic to your site. Think about it – if your visitors and consumers share your product pages via their social media profiles, you’ll be getting exposure to a brand new audience and free endorsement for your products.

Consumers trust reviews by people they identify with, and in 2016 80% of marketers found influencer marketing campaigns an effective way to boost revenue. Don’t ever underestimate the power of sharing your products on social media – between 2015 and 2016 Nike got footballer Cristiano Ronaldo to publish 59 posts over 12 months featuring their products. That year, Nike made $36 million dollars through those posts alone (OPMC):

Nike Cristiano Ronaldo social media campaign

One other minor change you can make is allowing customers to effortlessly log into your site using their social media profiles. This means the laborious process of creating a new account and impatiently waiting for an email to verify their existence is removed.

A study by Econsultancy showed that 37% of people abandoned their shopping cart due to registration processes being too long, and 26% refuse to make a purchase if they have to create an account. When you integrate social media login profiles consumers are able to login at the click of a button and put those items straight into their basket, reducing steps to checkout to drive more sales and revenue.

2. Do your keyword research

Research is one of the most important parts of SEO, particularly when it comes to keywords. If you’re targeting the wrong keywords there’s a strong chance you’re ruining your campaign efforts by generating low-quality traffic and minimal conversions.

When it comes to keyword research, you want to make sure you’re choosing keywords that are relevant to your brand and products and focusing on terms you know convert for you and the ones for which you have the biggest margins.

Researching and refining relevant and popular keywords are integral to the success of every e-commerce site – if you pick broad keywords and phrases, you’ll end up with irrelevant traffic and thus a very high bounce rate.

What does keyword research entail?

When it comes to keyword research, you need to look at the phrases people are searching for on Google, and you can do this by looking at your competitors and using Google’s Keyword Planner. This is worth its weight in gold, as it offers you popular keywords and longtail search terms, also allowing you to tailor your research on a local, national or global scale.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner

Longtail search terms and phrases are a crucial part of your e-commerce store’s success; just because your business sells jeans, targeting the keyword ‘jeans’ does not mean that this is you done for the day. People will search for ‘women’s distressed jeans size 12’ or ‘men’s Levi jeans’ and much more – you need to dig deep into your customers’ search intent in order to make sure you’re appearing when they’re out looking to purchase.

Sometimes Keyword Planner offers gems of information, such as low volume keywords that are relevant to your business alongside the high volume keywords you want to target.

Oh, and one last thing – you need to avoid keyword cannibalization. This occurs when multiple pages on the same website are trying to rank for the same keywords and consequently competing against one another and diluting your rankings. Grab a piece of paper, write the keywords you want to rank for under each page, and if you see doubles of exact keywords then decide which page it is more suited for.

3. Optimize your product descriptions

Optimizing your product descriptions is integral for any e-commerce business because Google hates duplicate content and will penalize you for it. You also need to make sure your products appear when potential consumers enter their search queries.

If you copy your product descriptions directly from a manufacturer or if you have low-value content on your product pages, you could be at risk of being hit with a penalty from Google’s Panda algorithm.

To avoid this, add high-quality content using keywords you want to rank for, as well as related and semantically relevant ones.

How can I optimize my product description?

When you’re writing your product title, think about the word order. If you want a particular brand or item to rank, then add it the beginning of your title – for example, “Chanel Couture Black Dress”.

Chanel SEO example

Make sure to keep your product descriptions short and sweet – mention the colour, sizes and a little bit of information about the product. Your unique product descriptions should be between 150-250 words where possible; not only will this make it easy for your users to browse over, but Google’s spiders will easily crawl it!

Adding customer reviews and rating systems next to the products you offer will also help consumers make that conversion – according to Kissmetrics, 55% of customers said they are more likely to make a purchase if they can see customer reviews or a rating system.

4. Look at your site speed

Unfortunately, the saying ‘patience is a virtue’ does not apply to e-commerce sites, especially when it comes to their page load time. Site speed and page speed are the metrics used by Google’s algorithm when it ranks pages; the longer your page takes to load, the more people will exit the site, having a negative impact your site’s bounce rate.

According to Gomez.com over half of web users will abandon a website if it isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Alongside this, 79% of online consumers will not return to a website with poor loading speed, and 44% of them will tell their friends about their negative user experience. If you’ve noticed a high bounce rate on a specific page, then this could be down to your page speed.

How can I improve my site speed?

There are a number of ways to reduce the time a page takes to load, one of which is shrinking the page size. This can be done by saving a specific page on your computer as a web archive folder from the browser. You can then measure the size of your page in kilobytes – ideally, your page should be no more than 2.2KB.

Large images, animated elements and embedded objects will all affect a page’s loading time so try and sort through what you need – if your business relies on rich graphics to generate revenue, then you need to find the balance between losing shoppers due to slow page speed versus gaining customers due to richer graphics.

5. Optimize your site for mobile search

More than 60% of search queries inputted into Google are done via mobile device (Search Engine Land), which means it’s more important than ever before to get your e-commerce site optimized for mobile.

Mobile search overtook desktop search in 2015, and in Q4 of 2015/16 smartphones and tablets accounted for 51% of online UK retail sales. Invesp’s study stated that since the beginning of 2014, 1.6 billion people have used their smartphones to shop online globally and that by the end of 2017 this figure is expected to rise to over two billion. It also found that those who shop online using smartphones were more likely to spend twice as much as those purchasing on tablets and desktops.

In sum: if your e-commerce site isn’t optimized for mobile, then you’ll be missing out on a big proportion of your market.

Optimising SEO for mobile

But how can you optimize your site?

The best place to start when it comes to optimizing your eCommerce site for mobile is personalization. It’s easy to access enriching personal information that will, in turn, help you understand your consumer’s behavior.

One example of this is using local information to serve your user’s needs; the majority of people use their phones to find local businesses such as stores, restaurants and places near them, and their phones hold a wealth of data that can help you. Ask for permission to access potential customers’ locations through GPS, and then use this information to create a personalized offer.

Another small but simple way to do this is by adding a constant sticky ‘buy’ or ‘add to cart’ button to your site. This call-to-action staying in the same place whatever page your consumers are on could be the difference between a customer who bounces and one making a purchase. A buy button that is consistently on the screen regardless of what page a customer is on means that there is a consistent encouragement for a visitor to complete the desired action, therefore giving you a conversion. This minuscule tweak of your site’s mobile user interface has the potential to increase the chance of your consumers adding items to their basket.

Of course, there are many SEO tactics that will help optimize your e-commerce site, and you should try all of them in order to find a strategy that works for you. If there are any tips you’ve found that works out for your site, then let us know!

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Increase conversions with Double Notifications

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Great website interactions come in all shapes and sizes – and it’s not always the biggest message that converts. With Double Notifications on The Yieldify Conversion Platform, you can be more subtle, and create just the right kind of customer experience to capture leads and increase conversions.

The Double Notification is our new campaign format available on the Yieldify Conversion Platform. Appearing at the bottom of the screen, it’s a great way to gently engage visitors and complements your Overlay campaigns to deliver effective onsite remarketing and increase conversions.

Yieldify customers have been seeing great results using Single Notifications for some time now (check out this example from Happy Dog). With Double Notifications, we’ve added the option to include another layer so you can send two Notification messages in sequence (hence ‘double’ – see what we did there?).

This added depth makes Double Notifications an ideal format for offering a promo code in exchange for a visitor’s email address:

Yieldify Double Notification example

Notifications and Overlays: a tale of two formats

As different ways to engage your visitors, Notifications and Overlays make for great companions as part of the customer experience your deliver on your e-commerce site:

  • Overlays are great when you really need to grab attention – for example, when visitors show intent to exit your website, an Overlay containing the right message can be just the thing to bring them back from the brink and set them on track to purchase.
  • Notifications are more subtle. You might use a Notifcation to invite browsers to join your newsletter or offer an incentive and set them to appear during the customer’s journey using a timer, on entry to a specific product category or based on the pages they just visited.

What’s more, Notifications are not bound by the same frequency capping rules as Overlays, which means you can engage the same website visitors with more than one notification in the same session to achieve different goals.

Yieldify Double Notifications on Mobile

Look after your mobile search ranking

Double Notifications are also the recommended format to use on your mobile website landing page. Not only are they mobile user-friendly – an easily thumbable notification appears at the bottom of the screen – but they also use a limited area of screen real estate, meaning they abide by Google’s policy on the use of interstitials on landing pages.

Our campaigns of the month: May 2017

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Want more loyalty from returning customers or hoping to convert a new visitor? Take a look at some of our favourite client work this month!

Improving email lead generation with Brissi

Luxury homewares brand Brissi was looking to capture more emails on its website in order to build their client base and more lifetime value. We designed a bespoke double overlay campaign that offered new visitors a promo code once their email was submitted, ensuring there was a return for Brissi’s incentive.

Decreasing cart abandonment with Science in Sport

Nutrition and supplement brand Science in Sport (also stylised as SiS), is an industry-leading vendor in performance assisting products. Using our campaign to target abandoning visitors, an overlay was shown encouraging conversion with a USP of free shipping.

How to Hire a Marketer: 5 Steps to Smart Marketing Hiring

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Being a marketer seems to require new skills every day, so what steps should you take to make your next hire your best hire? The Yieldify People team sets out 5 key steps to ensure that you find the perfect match.

Hiring a marketer is one of the most important decisions you can make as a marketing lead – get it right and you can find not just bandwidth and productivity, but inspiration too. But get it wrong, and you’ve landed yourself with an expensive way to waste time and energy.

The particular challenge for marketing is how quickly the profession has shifted and the breadth of the skillset required as a result. Far from being the ‘let’s come up with a cool campaign’ creative maelstrom, marketing is now just as data-driven as it is design-driven, as quant as it is qual. It explains the increasing number of consultancies shaking up marketing as technology and competition both demand and enable an approach as analytical as it is inspired.

Marketing hiring appears to be on the up, with 31% of marketers reporting signaling positive expectations for growing their teams following a dip at the end of 2016. So regardless of whether you’re looking for a new grad or a seasoned senior manager, you’ll be far from alone in peering into the talent pool.

Here are five steps to help you hire a marketer fast, efficiently – and most importantly, well.

1. Start with YOU

The average recruitment agency spend is £4,500 per hire in the UK. Avoiding this route requires building a strong employer brand – and as a marketer, you’re conveniently positioned to make that happen.

As the custodian of your brand when it comes to marketing to your customers, you need to take a similar approach when it comes to marketing to your potential employees. Building a strong brand identity is the bedrock of everything that you’ll execute in terms of recruitment, so think about how you want to define and represent yourself in terms of your culture.

To start with, create one unified pitch of what your company can offer to potential employees: personal and professional development, perks, mentoring and other non-monetary benefits.

Next, define why your company is an exciting place to work. Speak to your sales team – they pitch your company every day, and your pitch to prospective employees should be in line with that.

The most effective (but also the most expensive) way to then express this brand through content is to make a video about your company culture. Here are two of our favourite company culture video examples: 

‘This Is Zendesk’: 

‘Inside Hubspot’:

For smaller budgets, posting regular updates about life at your company on LinkedIn and Twitter can have a big impact.

As with all things in protecting your brand reputation, keep an eye out for negative feedback and if you come across it, don’t hate the haters! Make sure you monitor your Glassdoor profile and reply to any dissatisfied posts to show future candidates that you’re always open to feedback and take it on board.

2. Get creative advertising the role

Job descriptions

Remember that you need to advertise your role just as you would advertise your product. A lot of companies use internal job descriptions to advertise the role externally – but you want to sound exciting and appealing to those who may know little about the company.

Think about who your ideal candidate is – what would they want to hear? What makes you stand out? Don’t be afraid to shy away from buzzwords and show some personality in your job adverts!

This advert for an Editor by First Round, back in 2012, is a great example. The role gives a great overview of the company, their role and the type of person they are looking for.

First Round recruitment ad

Job advertisements

Draw in potential candidates from the very start, highlighting your company values and originality within the employer pool with your adverts. Here are two great examples:

  • McDonald’s Sweden recruitment campaign from 2008
McDonalds recruitment ad

The fine print says “Nor Swedes, South Koreans, or Norwegians. We hire individuals. We don’t care what your surname is. Because ambition and determination have nothing to do with your nationality. McDonald’s is one of the most integrated companies in Sweden, with as many as ninety-five nationalities working for us. Join us at mcdonalds.se”.

  • Horizon FCB recruiting a Graphic Designer:

You can even use the job advert to test skills, which works to both show the creativity and stand-out nature of your company and highlight the best candidates based on their responses.

FCB recruitment ad

3. Network and invest in talent

Don’t wait for your dream marketing candidates to come to you, go out there and find them!

  • Go to events
  • Talk to your connections
  • Do a LinkedIn search
  • Tap into the resources your colleagues may have – offer a referral bonus
  • Encourage your team to write LinkedIn articles and extend the company reach. If more people know of you, more will apply.

In the current market, the majority of candidates are passive rather than active, so posting a job is often not enough to find top talent. Your reputation as an employer and work culture can have an impact on your profits, so it pays to shout about how great an employer you are.

Start creating a network effect around your business: there are lots of groups of marketing professionals who meet up regularly in cities around the globe for networking and knowledge-sharing. Offer them your office space or meeting room to hold an event, maybe throw in a few pizzas at the end. This will help to promote your company, allow you to meet new talent, and show how you support development.

Finally, invest in young talent. Enlist recruitment agencies who fill their books with students – or even better – go direct to university careers departments. Hire apprentices and interns.

4. Inspire creativity in the application process

Traditional hiring processes often take the human out of the process. You forget that you’re hiring people and not just an endless list of skills and requirements, especially in the early stages. Why stick to just a CV? Allow candidates to submit their application in any way they choose. After all, a marketer at any stage has to be able to think creatively about how to pitch something, so what better way to test that aptitude in how they pitch themselves.

Here’s a great example of letting candidates apply in their own unique way – Leah Bowman applying for an internship at a creative ad agency:

Lego recruitment

5. Try people-centric assessments 

To get a well-rounded idea of the candidate, give them a task to complete. For many of our roles at Yieldify we set our candidates a task that enables them to showcase the skills they would use if they were successful in the role.

You can test multiple skillsets with one task. For junior marketers, this often starts with a writing test that stretches their attention to detail, ability to craft a message and tailor their language to different channels without asking too much in terms of experience. When hiring a more senior marketer, asking them to prepare a plan to solve a problem not only explores their experience and technical knowledge, but gives them the opportunity to show off presentation skills.

Don’t be afraid to give a candidate a do-over – in our sales roles, we ask candidates to complete a task, give them feedback and then ask them to complete the task again! Here we are testing their coachability as well as their core skillset.

When it comes to interviewing, involve your peers and a range of people from around the business. Give them peer-specific competencies or skills to test, to find out whether they’d be a good lunch buddy! At the end of the day, your new hire is going to become part of the fabric of the team; so how well they fit in is just as important as how competent they’ll be in the role.

Introducing Pages Visited Targeting

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At Yieldify, we’re on a mission to help you sell more stuff, more often on your website. To help you do this, we’re excited to launch Pages Visited Targeting on The Yieldify Conversion Platform.

It’s hard to deliver a digital experience that compares to the personal approach of the in-store experience.

If a visitor was browsing your wares on the high street, a switched-on sales rep could step in at the perfect moment to incentivise them or recommend other items based on what they’d just been looking at. That’s the kind of personal touch that drives conversions.

With Pages Visited Targeting – newly-launched on the Yieldify Conversion Platform – you can now serve targeted messages based on the pages visitors have been viewing on your website. By setting up campaigns in this way, you can tie promotions to specific products or product categories, recommend relevant complementary items or direct visitors to high-converting pages that they haven’t yet seen.

By using this powerful targeting option, you’re making the equivalent of a top sales assistant available to all of your website visitors – and that’s going to impact your bottom line.

Pages Visited targeting is the latest addition to our Advanced Targeting rules, all designed to empower our customers using the Yieldify Conversion Platform.

Check out the video to see how Pages Visited Targeting works and learn more about how it can help you increase conversions and boost average spend:

Not a Yieldify Conversion Platform user yet? Discover more here or go ahead and request a demo.

#FollowFriday: 20 of the best tech trends accounts to follow today

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The tech industry is tastemaker for what we wear, want and use in our day to day. As a marketer, it’s essential to stay one step ahead and adapt to the many exciting changes ahead. Check out our favourite accounts to keep you on trend…

@beijingdou

Director of Global Marketing and Communications at Clean Master shares his infomative, and often comical, articles:

[tweet https://twitter.com/beijingdou/status/835164890037956609]

@BarrettAll 

The seasoned journalist and CEO of digital branding agency Barrett Digital, shares how to stay on-trend but true to your brand:

[tweet https://twitter.com/BarrettAll/status/858013194681561088]

@Bryan_phc

The speaker and author shares his industry insight and latest articles:

[tweet https://twitter.com/Bryan_phc/status/861560089412603904]

@jeff_haden

The Inc Contributing Editor shares the latest articles and tips for business success:

[tweet https://twitter.com/jeff_haden/status/857959453286699008]

@iRowan

The WiRED editor-at-large shares clips of his celebrated talks and industry hot topics:

[tweet https://twitter.com/iRowan/status/838746233774682112]

@emilychangtv

Host of Bloomberg Technology shares interviews with the latest online influencers:

[tweet https://twitter.com/emilychangtv/status/808520556488163328]

@CaseyNewton

The Verge editor shares his favourite articles (and memes):

[tweet https://twitter.com/CaseyNewton/status/861974134095589377]

@prsarahevans

Updates and content on the latest trends and consumer habits:

[tweet https://twitter.com/prsarahevans/status/852560215115407360]

@nitashatiku

Articles from women in tech and the news as it happens:

[tweet https://twitter.com/nitashatiku/status/854794230174175232]

@LaurenGoode

The Verge Editor shares video content and articles to inspire out-of-the-box ways to communicate:

[tweet https://twitter.com/LaurenGoode/status/861990828561924096]

@LeenaRao

Follow for tech articles and the latest business news:

[tweet https://twitter.com/LeenaRao/status/798564759553441792]

@JoshConstine

Must follow for social media-led content and video updates:

[tweet https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/860975887537262592]

@jackschofield

The seasoned journalist shares his favourite news posts and industry forecasts:

[tweet https://twitter.com/jackschofield/status/858750538476814336]

@BridgetCarey 

Follow for the newest (and weirdest) trends in tech:

[tweet https://twitter.com/BridgetCarey/status/845631710402367488]

@HLPlost

Apple’s Chief Digital Officer shares the must-reads as they happen:

[tweet https://twitter.com/HLPlost/status/861650938297057281]

@jessicanazri 

Voted Inc’s #1 Woman to Watch in Tech, great follow for news and women in STEM:

[tweet https://twitter.com/jessicanaziri/status/842816382735536128]

@CNET

The tech publication favourites shares its most recent videos and reviews:

[tweet https://twitter.com/CNET/status/862797400762613761]

@Recode

Constantly working to demystify the tech world, a must-follow for the latest news and gadgets:

[tweet https://twitter.com/Recode/status/862049207422558208]

@BradStone

The Bloomberg Tech journalist shares his most recent articles:

[tweet https://twitter.com/BradStone/status/854480833696202752]

@DavidKirkpatrick 

Great follow for easy-to-read tech op-eds and the latest news:

[tweet https://twitter.com/DavidKirkpatric/status/842455644263350272]

Don’t see your fave on here? Let us know! Drop us a line on marketing@yieldify.com or Tweet us @yieldify.

How to Get More Marketing Budget Allocation

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Getting more marketing budget depends on understanding the motivations of the budget-holder. So who better than our CEO Jay Radia to explain the five key steps to convincing your boss to invest more in marketing?

I can imagine this title has got many marketers interested – not least our very own Hannah (who runs Marketing at Yieldify). It was her idea for me to write this blog post, so not sure if this is just her way of subtly hinting that she wants more budget herself…

Anyway, onto the subject at hand: every marketer wants a bigger marketing budget allocation. And looking at market trends, many of them are getting them: marketing budgets are expected to remain level or increase in 2017 – which is a great sign.

However, not all CEOs and MDs (or CFOs) instinctively ‘get it’ when it comes to marketing and that’s often little to do with any skepticism of marketing as a whole – they just have different ways of seeing things. And that’s the key to winning them over – you have to think like a CEO to get budget from a CEO.

So what are they thinking? No matter what business you’re in – whether it’s fashion, home and garden or insurance – there are generally five key things that your CEO or MD will have front-of-mind:

  1. Their thoughts circulate around these buckets: customers, team, product, brand, cash or growth 
  2. They’re focusing on the long-term company goals as well as the short-term goals 
  3. ROI is the name of the game; any investment or decision has to show return 
  4. They’re time-poor; information always has to be delivered succinctly and quickly 
  5. They’re eagle-eyed for any sign of time-wasting

Now you know what they’re thinking, you’re better placed to come up with an approach that pushes the right buttons. The good news is that if you’re reading this blog, you’re presumably already in place and already have some budget – that’s an indicator that your CEO understands that marketing has a place in the business. It’s now time to take our learnings and apply them.

So here are the 5 key steps to securing more marketing budget: 

1. Keep it to one page

Remembering that your CEO is pressed for time and is juggling dozens of priorities, people and projects, brevity is crucial to getting heard and being understood.

One-pagers are a way of doing this that stands the test of time – if your project stretches over that, it probably needs shortening. And if you open up with a 15-slide deck, you run the risk of your CEO thinking that you’ve been spending too much time on a project rather than executing to drive results.

Here are some tips:

1. Summarise what your project is, why you think it’s important and how you plan to execute it

2. Back it up with research that focuses on examples of how this can drive ROI; these are the proof-points they’ll be looking for

3. Road-test it with other stakeholders first; you’ll be securing their buy-in at the same time as validating your assumptions.

2. Start with a face-to-face meeting

CEOs make decisions quickly: that’s their job. The upside is that if your initiative lands well, you can move fast – but the downside is that they can dismiss new ideas too quickly and scupper your proposal before you’ve had the chance to really show its value.

That’s why you should start your quest for marketing budget softly, by bringing it up in a short meeting.

Assuming that your meeting has gone well, at the end of it ask your CEO directly and confirm he’s interested in you investing more time in delivering a proposal. At this point, you should ask for clarification that there’s definitely more budget available (CEOs may have to speak to the CFO or Board, who may push back).

Don’t show your hand too quickly by sending your one-pager before you’ve had an initial discussion. Take the time to have a conversation about it first, then send your one-pager as a follow-up that incorporates any feedback you’ve had during the meeting.

3. Create a business plan

Congratulations, you’ve made it past the initial meeting!

If you’ve got the green light to pursue the proposal, now’s the time to start putting together a bigger presentation in 2-3 weeks’ time. Make sure to not leave it too long, or you may have to re-sell the idea to your CEO, who may since have moved on to the next project.

Your plan needs to take your one-pager to the next level, incorporating more data (maybe you can see a pattern here – we love numbers) and clear expectations on ROI. Here’s where you should start adding in timelines too. Timelines and expectations. Make your presentation is engaging – your CEO has shown interest – if you were a salesperson, you’d be treating this as closing.

4. Get full buy-in

Presentation ready? Good. You then need to meet your CEO and confirm the expectations of the project and its goals. By this point, you should ensure you have all other stakeholders agreed on your plan to back you up.

At this stage, you may have more than one meeting in order to deliver your presentation, take feedback and iterate. Just keep your message clear, be patient and above all, be persistent. And if you succeed, you’ll find yourself with a green-light and budget with which to carry out your project. Congratulations!

5. Execute!

But…it’s not over yet. Strictly speaking, this step isn’t actually a part of the process of securing budget, but it’s just as important. When you’re executing, your CEO and your stakeholders will be watching, and what you deliver will have bearing on whether you get a budget in the future. So it’s time to make it happen.

While you do, make sure you’re constantly sharing your achievements and shouting about it (you’re your own best PR); and for maximum impact, keep it heavy on the metrics and demonstration of return.

If the project or initiative fails, that’s OK – it happens. Just make sure you share what you’ve learned and the next steps from the project. Marketing has many wins and many failures and that’s what makes it exciting! The only real failure is in not learning from the lesson.

Like what you see here? Visit our Resources page to read more e-books and blog posts with advice and tips for multi-tasking marketers.