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Underused Tactics and Overlooked Metrics in E-Commerce

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Underused Tactics and Overlooked Metrics in E-Commerce

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

There are plenty of impressive tactics or metrics that aren’t often discussed, not necessarily because they aren’t important, but because it’s easy to get locked into the rhythm of simply reporting on traffic and sales.

To change things up, let’s look into some other areas we can optimize to improve the organic performance of e-commerce websites, and some underrated but useful metrics that can help you report on that performance.

Tactics to optimize and measure your e-commerce website performance

Data scraping for SEO and analytics

Data scraping is very useful when you want to retrieve, or scrape, elements from a page for further analysis or optimization.

Most people know that you can scrape common webpage elements such as publication date, author name, or price, but what about more specific aspects of e-commerce websites, and what can we use them for? Product pages have unique attributes that you can scrape, such as “add to basket” type buttons or even product schema; below, I’ll talk about how you can scrape breadcrumb data.

Scraping the breadcrumbs

In short, breadcrumbs are a trail that shows users where they are in the structure of a website, and they are especially useful for navigation and internal linking.

By using crawling tools to scrape data from the breadcrumbs, you can have a more complete view of the site as a whole, and it allows you to identify any trends.

Below, you can see that it’s possible to extract breadcrumb data as a series of values by using XPath, and setting this up as a custom field. This allows you to see the data as a separate field once a crawl is finished.

Evaluating your page templates

The typical page templates that you’d expect to see on an e-commerce site include:

  • Homepage

  • Information pages (e.g. about us, delivery information, terms and conditions)

  • Product pages

  • Category pages

  • Navigational landing pages

  • Blogs / guides

  • Payment / cart pages

  • Help/support area

A large e-commerce website may have a significant number of product and category pages. These are the pages that generate the most conversions and transactions, so it is tremendously helpful to know how you can break these down into more manageable chunks.

For a website with millions of pages, it is practically impossible to crawl the whole site; your crawler will run out of memory and space, or it could take weeks to finish, and that’s just not feasible for most of us. This is where segmentation comes in. Segmenting your website also allows you to focus on one area of the site before moving on to another. 

A common tactic for websites the size of Target or Tesco is to focus on one category per quarter, and then move on to another area of the site. It’s through segmentation that they’re able to do this.

Segmenting product pages

There are many different ways you can segment a website, and focusing on your products can help you start seeing improvements in revenue sooner than if you were to focus on other areas of the site. 

With product pages, a good tactic is to look for URL patterns, such as those that end in .html or contain /product/.

It’s also possible to get additional dimensions from your product pages by segmenting your products by their stock status. Separating pages by whether or not a product item is in stock or not can help you determine:

  • How much traffic is going to out-of-stock products.

  • Whether availability and out-of-stock products are affecting product conversion rates.

  • Get a granular view of what page engagement metrics are affected by stock availability.

When scraping this data, you can look for specific on-page elements such as missing prices or an Unavailable / Out of Stock message on your pages.

Screenshot of Screaming Frog configuration menu.

One method of doing this would be to extract the product availability property from a site’s schema markup. If you’re using Screaming Frog, you can access the Custom Extraction feature in the Configuration dropdown under Custom > Extraction,and then set up your extraction rules.

Screenshot of Screaming Frog extraction list.

Segmenting category pages

Segmenting category pages allows you to find any categories that have hundreds of products and could benefit from being split into subcategories.

Category pages don’t always have specific URL patterns, and they differ from one CMS to another, but you can look out for those that contain /category/ or /shop/. Another good option is to look for unique attributes, such as those with text showing X of Y results or pages with options for sorting product results.

Structured data markup

We saw earlier that you could scrape pages for instances of product data to identify product pages. But before we move on, we need to ensure we understand what structured data or schema markup is and how it can benefit e-commerce websites.

Product markup

Product markup provides more information about your products directly in the SERPs when your audience searches for them. Product markup can also mean your products are more eligible for rich results, such as carousels, images, and other non-textual elements.

The product schema might look something like this:

Screenshot of product schema code.

Once added, product schema allows your audience to see valuable information about your products before they even land on your page, improving your CTR! We can see Walmart has added product schema to their products in the two examples below:

Screenshot of SERP with Walmart product listings.

Star ratings in search results

The more positive reviews your products have, the more likely customers will be to visit your website and buy your products, especially when compared to your competitors.

Star ratings can be pulled in from your product markup through third-party tools such as Trustpilot or Reevoo, or from on-page customer reviews.

Screenshot of SERP with Dell results that contain star reviews.

We see this when looking at these searches for Dell laptops. Realistically, which links are you more likely to click on as a customer: those with high star ratings or those with seemingly no rating at all?

Optimizing crawl budget for e-commerce

There will likely be pages on your website that are useful to existing customers, such as thank you pages after placing an order, logged-in account pages, etc. However, these pages won’t be the most important for new users looking to find you or your products on search.

It costs Google time and money to crawl our sites, so they need to budget accordingly. By managing this crawl budget, we guide search engines toward our most valuable and essential pages.

Noindexing

We don’t need to index every page on our websites.

It’s entirely acceptable to meta-noindex or disallow certain pages in the robots.txt file — in fact, it’s expected. This is because indexing everything could mean that Google might not crawl all of our pages, so they might not index all of our content. This would be a problem, as it could mean some of our high-value, top-converting pages might not rank organically.

That said, we shouldn’t be noindexing vast chunks of an e-commerce website without proper research. By noindexing huge chunks, we’re missing out on the ranking potential for key search behavior, e.g. locations, product sizing, etc.

Use of URL parameters

As users or owners of e-commerce websites, we’re likely familiar with URL parameters. Common areas that we see these parameters include:

Faceted navigation pages and product sorting options are typically blocked in robots.txt files, but it’s a good idea to find out how many of those pages Google is still serving to searchers. We can do this in our chosen crawling tool by selecting the option to ignore robots.txt rules. Alternatively, you can segment landing page session data in Google Analytics by URLs with parameters to see how many of those parameter pages are being served to users. Then, the session data will be used to show how many visits those pages are getting.

It may seem counterintuitive to do this, but these pages tend not to have unique on-page content, as they will have duplicated titles, headings, or body content, which means you could be missing out on other, more essential pages ranking for relevant keywords.

Measuring site speed across templates

With large e-commerce websites, it doesn’t make sense to simply test one or two pages and take that as a site speed reading across the entire website. Each page template is built differently. One type of page can load faster than another — even if all other test parameters are the same.

Testing site speed across multiple page templates

As discussed earlier, there are many different template types that can make up a successful website. Testing a selection of pages from each of these templates is recommended to get the best picture of the load time performance of your site.

An excellent way to do this is through using the PageSpeed Insights API and connecting it to Screaming Frog or using cloud tools such as OnCrawl or Site Bulb, which will test the speed of each page on your website as it crawls.

To do this in Screaming Frog, go to “Configuration”. In “API Access”, select “PageSpeed Insights”, and there you will see fields to include the API key.

Screenshot of PageSpeed Insights Account Information menu.

Once done, in the “Metrics” section, you can select both the device that you want to track and the reports, metrics, etc., that you are interested in extracting page speed information. In the example below, we have selected Crux Data and TTFB (Time to First Byte) and LCP and FCP data. Although the crawl may take longer to complete, this information should now appear alongside the URLs in the final crawl.

Screenshot of PageSpeed Insights metrics menu.

Choosing your testing location

There are various tools you can use to test your site speed, such as PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, and GTmetrix, and most of these do allow you to set your testing location.

It’s important to test your e-commerce site from a location close to where your data centre is located (where your website is hosted), as well as one that is further away. Doing this lets you get an idea of how your real customers are experiencing your store.

If you have a CDN installed, such as Cloudflare, this is also useful, as it allows you to see how much of an impact the CDN is having on your website and how it helps your site load more quickly.

Wherever you decide to test from, remember to keep these locations the same each time you test so you can get accurate results.

Understanding caching and how it influences site speed

If your e-commerce website has caching installed, it’s even more important to test your pages more than once. This is because, on the first test, your page may not have loaded over the cache yet. Once it does, your results will likely be much faster than what you saw on your first test.

With or without caching installed, I would recommend testing each page template around three times for both mobile and desktop devices to get a good measurement and then calculate the average..

Common e-commerce website mistakes

Understanding the common problems that e-commerce websites make is valuable for learning how to avoid them on your own website, as the reasons some tactics remain underused come down to these errors.

Faceted navigation for e-commerce

Whatever your e-commerce site sells, it should be easy to navigate, with sensible menus and navigation options that clearly tell visitors what they will see when they click.

Screenshot of boohoo faceted navigation menu.

You can see this on the Boohoo website, a prominent fashion retailer in the UK. This image shows the women’s dresses navigation, but you can see how it is broken down by type of dresses, dresses by occasion, colour, how they fit, and even by current fashion trends. Users are able to navigate directly to the subcategories they need.

Good website architecture matters

The importance of good architecture cannot be underestimated and should be centered around the core actions you want people to complete. Ideally, it would be best if you attempted to set up a site with the homepage, followed by the subsequent categories, subcategories, and then the products underneath.

Illustration of website structure layers.

Boohoo has followed this same ideology with their architecture — as trends change and new lines of dresses are added, they can quickly expand and edit the architecture as needed.

Keeping it simple and scalable is the key to setting up good architecture. As your store grows, you will likely add more categories and products, so you need to be able to do this efficiently. You should attempt to keep important pages less than three clicks from the homepage and implement keyword research processes to create highly relevant page URLs and subdirectories.

You want people to buy your products, so don’t make it difficult for them. You can then have other areas on the site for content silos and blogs that link to the various categories and products around the site.

Creating effective product pages

The product page design shouldn’t detract from the shopping experience, and the product information should be as “friendly” and accessible as possible.

Try to use the product information you have available in your Product Information Management (PIM) system. Ensure that your sizes, measurements, colors, prices, and other details are easy to find, read, and understand. These details are even more vital if you happen to sell products that others also offer. If you’re not including any sizes, but your competitors are, you’re increasing your chances that potential customers can choose to buy from them instead. If you’re targeting multiple countries, consider whether you need to include your measurements in imperial, metric, or both. Information should be localized where relevant.

Some top ways to ensure you always include enough information and avoid thin content on your product pages are to:

  1. Start with a 50-100 word introduction: Think about what the product does and who needs it? One way to do this can be seen in the example from Apple below.

  2. List the critical features and technical specifications in bullet format.

  3. Include a “deep dive” section: Write a detailed product description with use cases, relevant awards the product may have won, benefits of the product, images of the product in use, and any FAQs.

  4. Make use of user-generated content such as customer photos and reviews.

  5. End with a 50-100 word conclusion: Summarize the product and use a call to action to encourage your customers to make the purchase.

Screenshot of Apple Watch product listing.

Including enough information can be the difference between whether or not you make the sale or whether a customer purchases from a competitor.

Utilizing FAQ content to sell more products

People undoubtedly have questions about your products. If customers can’t find the answers they need on your website, they’ll search elsewhere. They’re likely to buy from that website when they find the answers.

You can rectify this by having a general FAQ section on your website. This is where you would answer questions about website security, shipping and return policies, etc. When it comes to product-specific questions, these should be answered on the product pages themselves.

The need to monitor out-of-stock products

There can be many reasons why a product is out of stock, yet the page is still live on an e-commerce site, including:

Ultimately, out-of-stock products can lead to customer frustration. Unsatisfied customers and a poor user experience — on top of the SEO implications of so many unuseful pages — result in fewer purchases and, ultimately, a poor-performing e-commerce store.

In summary

There are many ways that the performance of an e-commerce website can be optimized and analyzed, and these are just a few. While they may be less common, they can allow you to get additional data, which, once acted upon accordingly, can help you to outperform others in your market.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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