Remarketing Best Practices from Elizabeth Marsten of CommerceHub


Over the past few years, online remarketing has transitioned into a no brainer practice in digital advertising; and for good reason. Typically associated with lower cost-per-lead and higher return on ad spend, remarketing has caught the eye of businesses and agencies alike.

At last week’s 2016 MNSearch Summit, Director of Paid Search at CommerceHub Elizabeth Marsten presented her session titled “Make Your Remarketing More than an Echo,” to a packed room of marketing professionals looking to learn how to make the most of their remarketing efforts.

In her quick-witted and authentically expert presentation, she blazed through the history of remarketing and best practices for Google and Facebook remarketing (almost faster than I could type!).

Why Remarketing is Essential to Paid Search

Marsten opened with a short history on how remarketing has been used for over 100 years and why it’s evolved to such an essential piece of the paid search industry. According to Marsten, the idea of remarketing was noted as far back as 1885 by a man named Thomas Smith who published an article stating that it typically takes 20 interactions with a potential customer before they buy something. In the 1930s, the movie industry based their film advertising strategies around the theory that the magic number was 7.

In 2016, marketers have turned from in-person remarketing to digital remarketing. Why? Because digital remarketing allows marketers to weave customer data and automatic campaign controls to achieve more efficient results with:

  • Average CPC/CPA
  • Segmentation
  • Removal and suppression

Google Remarketing Best Practices

With her over 10 years of digital marketing experience, Marsten offered best practices that every marketer should consider while executing a remarketing strategy on Google AdWords:

  • Don’t be afraid to use custom audiences or Smart Lists
  • Use frequency capping
  • Separate campaigns for text and image ads
  • Test multiple ad layouts
  • Watch out for defaults: US & Canada (don’t want), Enhanced CPC (typically better off without it), optimized for conversions (you want this!)
  • Don’t forget to check box for dynamic ads

Remarketing audience segmentation is both an art and a science. Marsten also provided several segmentation ideas that her team has proven to be most effective at helping to meet their remarketing objectives:

  • Segment audiences by abandoned cart amount and utilize ideal price points. You’re probably going to want to bid differently for someone that ditches a $500 cart versus a $10 cart.
  • Set target CPAs for each audience. Or at the very least a different CPA for remarketing overall because there is likely a different acceptable CPA based on the how the customer has engaged with the brand already.
  • Layer on demographic and interests. This will narrow automatic placements with larger lists like “all site visitors”.

Elizabeth Marsten took the complex world of remarketing and shared her top takeaways from her years of experience. What do you think are the biggest remarketing opportunities for your brand?

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7 Psychological Insights That Will Help You Develop a Powerful Facebook Strategy for Business


What is the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal?

Is it keyword research? Copywriting? Beautifully designed ad campaigns? Maybe….

But the driving force behind all of these things?


You see, sales and marketing are really about understanding consumer psychology.

Why do people buy? What makes them click on your Facebook ad? What sort of stimuli do most people respond to?

I’ve been interested in consumer psychology for quite a while. It started innocently enough. I was curious. What makes customers interested in a product, service, person, or brand? Why do people click on headlines? What makes 100%-refund-guarantees so assuring? How will this influence conversion rates or customer loyalty?

Download a cheat sheet of 7 psychological insights to develop a powerful Facebook strategy for business.

Asking these kinds of questions helped me develop a deeper understanding of my customers.

And then I figured out something more. Consumer psychology applies to just about everything in business.

Even social media.

What did I do? I started using my knowledge of psychology to improve my Facebook strategy.

And guess what?

It worked.


It wasn’t just my personal brand that started growing by leaps and bounds. My clients got the benefits too!

I’m not going to keep these techniques a secret.

I wanted to share with you the psychological insights I learned so you can dramatically improve your game by leveraging Facebook marketing more effectively.

So, what are the most important psychological “hacks” you can start using today to improve your social media marketing?

1. Kick rational advertising out the window

Most people are emotional creatures, not rational.


Many of us analytical types tend to think that everyone else sees the world in terms of ones and zeros like we do. But this is simply not the case.

Most people act emotionally, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It just is.


One of the most effective things you can do to improve your Facebook strategy is to quit relying on rational thinking as your main driver and start relying on customer’s emotions to take the wheel.

Great…But how do you do this?

One of the most effective methods is to convey emotion through facial expression. Try using ads that have someone’s face on them, whether it’s a real photograph or a drawing.

I do this often, simply by adding an image of a face to my posts. It’s simple. It’s quick. It’s effective.


Seeing a face is way more appealing than seeing some inanimate object.


It works not only on posts, like the ones above, but on sidebar ads too.


People are already browsing through Facebook, looking at pictures of friends and family. Using headshots or other shots that include facial expression is a natural way to enter into your customer’s newsfeed unobtrusively.

Facial expression is the only universally understood language, and the human brain is wired to process facial cues far more easily than written word.

In fact, according to a study from Caltech, people may have specific neurons in their brains that respond to individual people!


This means that when you see my face, Tony Robbin’s face, Donald Trump’s face, or Brad Pitt’s face, you have a neuron in your brain dedicated to only them!

Pretty cool, huh?

Take a look at some of the ads below.


Notice how the headshot of Noah Kagan smiling instantly changes your mood and instills trust.


This ad from AdEspresso offers almost no rational reason for clicking on it, but the positive emotion instilled by the cartoon and the eye-catching red (more on that later) makes me want to click on it.


Notice how Tim’s confident (or smug?) facial expression communicates confidence about the method he is teaching without any extra information.

The face is enough to build my trust and encourage me to interact with the Facebook ad.

Do you see how powerful conveying emotion through facial expression is? Use it in all your Facebook ads, regardless of the topic.

2. Use color to catch attention and convey your message

Something that many marketers are aware of but rarely utilize is the power of color.


The human brain evolved to see red colors more vividly. This was a huge advantage to hunter-gatherers who could now spot ripe red fruits out of green leafy trees as well as potential dangers like venomous snakes and fish.


(That snake could kill you.)

This is a huge advantage to marketers.

Red in your ads will catch users’ attention much more effectively than any other color.

However, the combination of red and blue is even more powerful as blue is more calming and relaxing.

For example, let’s reexamine the AdEspresso ad.


Notice how the ad uses red to grab your attention and direct you to the “Try it now” button but combines it with some blue text to give the ad a more calming and friendly tone.

This is an easy psychological trick you can use to your advantage in your next campaign.

Colors are powerful. They’re a language unto themselves.

It’s time to start speaking this language with your customers. Why? Because it’s a language that is neurologically innate. We’ve learned the language of color through nature and through the complex development of our species.

Color has a way of communicating that doesn’t depend on effective ad copy or even a smiling picture of a model. Choosing the right color can drive up your engagement and improve your Facebook marketing.

3. Slash the price (by just one cent!)

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find something in a supermarket that costs exactly $1 or exactly $5?


That’s because, once again, the human brain has evolved to discern the difference between prices based on the left-most digit.

That’s the power of pricing.

For example, the reduction of one cent—from $100.00 to $99.99—is perceived as more significant than the reduction of 40 cents—from $99.99 to $99.59.

While the brain may suck at math, this is an incredibly easy-to-implement tactic that can increase your Facebook ad conversions almost instantly.


This doesn’t work every time or in every situation. However, I have learned that odd styles of pricing are far more effective at luring customers in than flat, round numbers.

Give it a try. Run a split test with differing price points, and see which one wins.

4. Use now as a trigger word

Our brains are not wired for our modern technological era.

It sounds odd, I know. After all, most of us run around virtually tethered to some electronic device—wearing it, talking to it, and interacting with it.

But the brain is still trying to adapt to these devices, no matter how marvelous they are.

Our brains are still way back in the day when we were living on plains, hunting and gathering for survival. This means our brains are still wired for one of two basic responses: fight or flight.


You’ve heard of fight or flight, haven’t you? The idea is simple: fight or flight is “the instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away.”

The fight or flight response takes its toll on the entire body in various ways. Some of these effects are obvious—like sweating. Other effects are subtle—like digestion slowing down.


Either way, our bodies respond.

Here’s how one science website describes it:

In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous systems stimulate the adrenal glands triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. After the threat is gone, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the body to return to its pre-arousal levels….In the face of something frightening, your heart beat quickened, you begin breathing faster, and your entire body become tense and ready to take action. This response can happen in the face of an imminent physical danger (such as encountering a growling dog during your morning jog) or as a result of a more psychological threat (such as preparing to give a big presentation at school or work).

In other words, our brains are wired to make impulse decisions.

Using the word now is a great way to capitalize on the brain’s propensity for impulsivity and get your customers to click on your Facebook ad.

Here’s how one Inc. writer describes the word now:

Immediacy is what everyone wants: Get what you want now. Make a change now. You can start now. Tomorrow is too late, yesterday is over, and now is exactly the right moment to start.

Humans are wired to want now. It’s just the way we are.

Cater to that desire in your ads or social campaigns, and you’re sure to improve your scores, conversions, and engagement.

5. Focus on the images, not the words

According to most modern studies, the brain processes images much faster than text.

This means that when you are designing your Facebook or other social media campaigns, you should focus more of your time and energy on the images you are using than the text you include.


Social media today is a visually driven world. The more visual content you have and the better it is, the more successful your social media campaigns will be.

6. Create scarcity

We’ve established that the brain is wired for impulse decisions and fight or flight. Thus, ads featuring products with (perceived) scarcity instill a sense of urgency, influencing a customer’s desire to purchase.


Notice how the “Only 24 Hours Left” warning creates a sense of urgency to buy.

You want it more because it’s scarcer.


It’s called the scarcity principle, and it will work wonders for your social media strategy!

7. Use odd numbers for opt-ins

I was just about to write the conclusion to this article when I realized…

I can’t end on an even number!

Why? Because odd numbers are, for whatever reason, more psychologically appealing. Odd numbers improve engagement, increase click-throughs, and attract more eyeballs.

The simple takeaway?

  • If you are running a Facebook ad with a giveaway to increase email opt-ins, use an odd number to help increase conversions.
  • If you are posting an update about a listicle, use an odd-numbered headline.
  • If you are using a number in any place in your Facebook updates, use an odd number.

For example, the giveaway “9 Powerful Hacks to Massively Increase Facebook Ad Conversions” would convert much better than “10 Amazing Ways to Improve Your Conversion Rate” (according to science).

Conductor’s research showed that odd-numbered headlines have 36% more clicks and a 20% higher CTR than non-numbered or even-numbered headlines.



The same principle holds true for Facebook ads, Facebook articles, and Facebook opt-ins.

Odd numbers just work.

Researchers have discovered that the mind considers odd numbers to be more natural. A list-driven article like this one, therefore, has a more trustworthy neurological connection due to its odd-numbered status.


More often than not, I find that most Facebook ads fail to utilize any of the above tools, and that is a shame because using human psychology is one of the most proven and consistent ways to increase your sales and conversions.

And the thing is none of these psychological insights are hard to implement!

That’s the power of consumer psychology. Knowing a few insights can be powerful and can positively impact your marketing efforts!

If you want to see any of the above advice in action, simply run an A/B split test, utilizing the power of color, facial expression, and trigger words. You’ll be AMAZED at the results.

Like with everything, however, don’t take my word for it. Go out there, and do it for yourself: test, test, test, and see what gets you the results.

I’m still curious. What kinds of psychological hacks are you testing and trying in order to improve your Facebook strategy?

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23 Must-Have Tools for Your Marketing Stack

It’s time to upgrade your SaaS marketing team.

With the right tools, your staff has the opportunity to acquire new users, offer quality customer service, and boost retention rates.

However, some businesses shy away from experimenting with new tools.

“New technology can be scary, and you don’t want to struggle with a tool that has a steep learning curve. Unfortunately, this means companies are missing out on some great products that can make life and business so much easier,” writes Travis Wright, chief marketing technologist at CCP Global.

The key is to create a marketing stack that fits your SaaS’s needs, not the latest trends. Moreover, don’t feel obligated to have a tool for every function of your business. Only try a tool when you think it can solve a problem or make your team more efficient.

Here are 23 tools to consider for your marketing stack.

Customer Support

Research reveals that “76% of consumers look at customer service as a test of their value to a brand.” Give your users value by answering their questions through customer support.

1. HappyFox

HappyFox handles all inbound requests in one ticketing system. And your service reps can contact multiple people from the same organization about a resolution. Unlike the some other help desk companies, you receive a secure help desk with SSL integration and 24/7 support at no extra cost.


2. Freshdesk

Freshdesk’s shared inbox lets your team collaborate and resolve issues together. You also can set requirements for resolution times.



Onboarding customers is vital to ensure people understand and use your product effectively. This process is a way to not only familiarize consumers with your app, but also to formally introduce them to your brand.

Kate Griggs, product owner at InterContinental Hotels Group, says, “User onboarding is one of the most crucial–and frustrating–elements of any product launch. It is the first impression, and it needs to be planned and analyzed for future adoption and growth.”

3. Appcues

Appcues enables you to build a personalized user onboarding experience. With targeting capabilities, you can show the right experience to the right user at the right time. It’s highly recommended because non-developers can run experiments and improve your activation strategy.


4. WalkMe

WalkMe gives you the control to change content, design, placement, and functionality of each step of the on-screen guidance. Its featured text option draws the user’s attention to important announcements.


Social Media

People are constantly sharing information online. And right now, there are 2.3 billion active social media users. Your SaaS brand can learn what your customers are saying and can engage directly with social media.

5. Snapchat

Snapchat gives brands the chance to interact with customers. Boost brand awareness with short video clips. Moreover, the platform is America’s second-favorite social network. That opens the doors to introduce your product to more interested buyers.


6. Mention

Mention monitors conversations about your brand. Also, identify influencers and subject matter experts in your industry.


7. Buffer

Buffer helps drive more clicks on your posts and traffic to your site. The publishing tool lets you share content across multiple social networks.

Simplicity is the best word to describe Buffer. They offer simple analytics, making it easy to see your best performing social messages.



Your SaaS can benefit from gathering qualitative and quantitative data from your website. It moves your team to create a worthwhile online experience for your customers.

“When you are armed with this knowledge, you get to see how effective your website is and what changes you need to make in order to make it even better,” writes John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing Consultant.

8. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics tracks individual and group visitor behavior. You’ll collect data from their first anonymous visit to their lifetime value.


9. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg lets your team see exactly what visitors are doing on your website. For example, you’ll discover where people are clicking and where they stop scrolling on the page. Their Confetti Tool is really useful. It distinguishes your clicks, segmenting them by referral sources and search terms.



Make it easy for your customers to find you. Work with your team to generate visits to your site. If search engines can’t find you, then your ideal customers can’t either.

“…[B]usinesses are normally somewhat reluctant to get involved with SEO in the first place, and want to start small, with the basics due to budgetary concerns…If you want to see better results, you have to scale upward, in both quality and volume,” writes Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers.

10. Moz Pro

Moz Pro centers around improving your rankings and search engine visibility. And you can compare your mobile vs. desktop rankings.


11. SEMrush

SEMrush finds long tail keywords and phrase matches. You also can monitor your competitors’ inbound links. And their US keyword database contains more than 80 million keywords!



A Forrester study reports that “81% of marketing decision makers place customer loyalty as a top priority for improvement.” Customer expectations for loyalty programs have risen. And consumers desire incentives for their brand loyalty.

12. Loyalist

Loyalis is a rewards program created to boost your customer retention. You can even entice buyers with points if they share information via social media.


13. Social Annex

Social Annex helps your team deliver personalized actions. The software makes it easy for your customers to earn points and redeem prizes. Gamification is their signature tool. The platform has components like competition, tiers, and badges to enhance brand engagement.


Email Marketing

Communication is crucial to building quality customer relationships. Email is an effective tool to educate and respond to your consumers.

14. helps your team send personalized messages. And connect every message to an action.


15. Vero

Vero empowers your team to segment users and combine conditions to send targeted campaigns. Sync with your customers’ routines and send emails based on time zones.


Content Marketing

According to Demand Metric, content marketing “costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.” Consider integrating content into your marketing strategy.

16. CoSchedule

CoSchedule equips you with a drag-and-drop marketing calendar. That way you can plan, publish, and promote without the hassle.


17. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo uncovers the most shared content across social networks. Receive content alerts regarding keywords, authors, and domains. Their chrome extension places all the necessary information at your fingertips.


18. Notifier

Notifier scans your blog posts, finds people you mentioned, and then lets you notify them. It’s a one-stop shop to bringing awareness to your content.


Customer Feedback

Are your customers satisfied? Feedback guides your team’s decision-making and influences your customer success roadmap.

“Every business hopes to better its profits. The best way to do so is to serve the customer as fully as possible, especially if you can get each consumer to lead the way. By seeking customer feedback, many businesses gain a clearer picture of ways they can improve,” states Larry Alton, a business and online marketing consultant.

19. Riddle

Riddle gathers deep audience insight. Collect business intelligence through engaging quizzes and polls.


20. Formstack

Formstack makes it possible to compile customer data. With A/B testing, you’ll find out which forms convert at higher rates. Their Social Autofill feature lets your users autofill form fields with social profiles.



Hubspot reports that “64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.” It might benefit your team to create more videos.

21. Animate

With Animoto, gain access to dozens of video styles with unique filters and transitions.


22. Wistia

Wistia allows you to restrict where videos are played. Every view generates a heatmap, showing exactly which parts of the video the viewer watched. Also, Wistia thrives on collaboration, share videos and analytics with your team and see their time-coded comments.


23. Vimeo

Vimeo enables you to upload and share your videos. They have a free plan and a paid plan that costs as little as $59.95 per year.


Upgrade Your Stack

Useful tools help your team work more efficiently. So, don’t be wary about experimenting with different options.

However, be mindful about how a tool can solve your company’s challenges. You won’t need a tool for everything.

Start exploring. Upgrade your marketing stack.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

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