With the hustle and bustle of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days ahead, are we seeing an increase in Amazon seller scams? We’ve heard from several sellers (all of whom received questionable calls and emails), and decided to investigate. And while you might think of phishing scams as money-transfer requests to foreign countries, these new scammers appear to be targeting new Amazon sellers. But that could never happen to you, right?! Well, the fact is: scammers are getting sneakier. They clearly know the Amazon space they’re attempting to infiltrate, and use convincing language in their emails and information requests to make sellers think the scammers are people they aren’t. There is nothing worse than a threat to your Amazon seller account, so make it your number one priority to protect yourself! Here’s what you need to know: 1. ALWAYS take a close look at the email sender and/or URL Email cons and phishing scams go hand-in-hand, so it’s important you know how to spot a fake. An email from Amazon is genuine when the address ends in @amazon.com. No other variation of @amazon.com is acceptable. Check the email’s header information too. If the “received from”, “reply to”, or “return ... Read More
SEO, marketing campaigns, and customer loyalty programs are just a few of the techniques you’ve likely used to draw customers in and keep them coming back for more. You’re competing against a lot of other things vying for your customers’ attention.
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact number of small businesses because the number is forever changing, but there are over 28 million small businesses in the United States alone. If you want to grab users’ attention and gain new customers, you have to make sure you offer what users want and even some things they didn’t realize they wanted.
Here are nine things your website should offer your visitors:
1. Place Navigation Near the Top
Consumers expect your site’s navigation to be in familiar places that are easy to find. Upon landing on your page, about 50% of visitors look for the navigation bar to figure out where things are on the site. Users want an easy way to acclimate themselves and move around without spending a ton of time figuring out where main areas of the site reside.
New Chapter places their overall navigation hierarchy at the top of the page. Note how the logo links back to the home page, another navigation feature that users expect. You have the most important elements first, and each main category has subcategories underneath. The navigation is intuitive and easy for visitors to acclimate to.
2. Give Them Amazing Offers
Who doesn’t love a good deal? Imagine that you’re comparing three similar products from three businesses. All other elements being equal, are you more likely to buy the one that offers an introductory deal or the one that doesn’t offer a discount? Figure out how to give your users amazing offers they can’t resist. Be sure to match your offer with what your users are looking for.
3. Include Contact Information
Consumers want to know that if they have a problem, it will be easy to contact your company and find a solution. They are entrusting you with their hard-earned dollars, so they expect a way to get in touch outside of a simple email address; although that is a nice thing to offer as well. Highlighting a phone number in a place easy to locate shows that you want your customers to stay happy.
Reynolds Solutions offers building solutions. They make it easy for customers to get in touch by placing a toll-free number in bright red in the top right corner of their home page. The header is sticky and remains in the same location as visitors navigate through the site. A static location keeps the contact info front and center and makes it easy for users to find.
4. Stay Consistent
Users want consistency in your branding methods. They don’t want a serious tone on your website and a funny tone on social media. The overall tone, design, and personality should stay the same no matter how the consumer comes in contact with your brand. Users get frustrated with big changes, too, so think them through carefully before completely changing the look and feel of your site.
5. Make Info Easy to Locate
Users want a clear look at what you have to offer and why it is the best option for consumers. Make information easy to locate, including any warranty type information. Everything should get laid out clearly and concisely, so the consumer’s questions are answered before they can ask them.
SMARTCORE Floors does a great job of laying out the differences in the four different lines of SMARTCORE flooring they offer. Note how they use images to highlight the look of each product line, a short header description, and then a short summary of the product. Users can then click on a link for even more information on that particular line of flooring.
6. Add Strong Calls to Action (CTA)
Once you’ve presented your information and perfected your design elements, consumers also want a strong CTA. Clear direction guides them and explains what action they should take next. A strong CTA is easy to locate because it contrasts with the rest of the page. You’ll often see CTAs in a bright pop of red or deep blue, for example, because it stands out against lighter backgrounds.
7. Use a Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Security matters to many consumers and Google’s constant changes include a look at how secure your site is and if they should offer a warning to browsers if you don’t use HTTPS. SSL encrypts information and keeps it more secure. It is particularly important on eCommerce sites that collect personal information. If you don’t use SSL for some reason, at least let site visitors know how you protect the information they share with you. Adding SSL is fairly simple, though, and well worth the effort to protect your customers and keep your site trustworthy.
Alexander Real Estate uses SSL, which allows users to feel comfortable contacting them to either list or buy a home. Since they collect personal information to gather leads, this lends security to user information and allows users to feel secure sharing their information online.
8. Test Your Site on Mobile
More and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet than ever before. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic. 85% of people think a business’ mobile website experience should equal or surpass the desktop experience. Responsive design matters. Take the time to thoroughly test your site on different screen sizes and operating systems.
9. Speed up Images
If the images on your page load slowly, you’re going to lose site visitors before they even engage with your site. Almost 40% of people leave a website if images take too long to load. Broken images cause site visitors to bounce away. Images slow down page load times, but people also respond to images, so you have to create a healthy balance between text and images. Optimize images, so they load as fast as possible and get rid of images that don’t work.
People are busy. They are running to work, kids’ activities after school, and trying to shuffle 100 other activities. Anything you can do to make the experience of visiting your website easier translates to more engaged and dedicated customers. Look at your site through their eyes and figure out what works and what needs tweaking.
Hero Conf. You’ve heard about it. You’ve followed the tweets. You’ve seen photos of Brad Geddes & Fred Vallaeys dominating the main stage. And maybe you’ve attended. But one thing is certain, you haven’t experienced an all-PPC event quite like what we’ve prepared for Hero Conf Philadelphia 2019.
We raised our own proverbial bar at Hero Conf Austin this year, and it’s in our nature to only strive for better. Out of nothing but pure excitement, we’re anticipating the release of our agenda an entire month earlier than ever before. And while we keep you waiting, we’re offering tickets at 40% off the regular pass rate.
What makes a good training to you? Actionable content? Valuable networking? Exposure to tools, resources, and industry peers that can make you more efficient and thorough within your professional role? Check, check, and check. Hero Conf’s hype does not go unsubstantiated.
Join us for more than 40 sessions dedicated to covering the full breadth of the PPC industry. Our six tracks, designed to help you create a more relevant conference experience, include:
If you’re not ready to join your tribe just yet, stay updated as we roll out what you’ll be missing at Hero Conf Philadelphia 2019.
AI is disrupting the Search Industry
It is only fair that I start with a confession: Facebook thinks I am German. So they serve me German language advertising. I am many things, Danish national, French resident, Estonian e-resident. I also speak several languages: Danish, French, Spanish, English… but dear Facebook: I am not German, I don’t understand those ads, and you are ripping your advertisers off on my account. Sure, I can understand a little bit of German but somewhere along the line, your machine learning must have choked on me.
Where is the Unlearn button again?
The Search Industry is at the forefront of the upcoming revolution of work. We work directly on the platforms of some of the biggest AI players on the globe: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon. And we all feel it as our duty to try the “latest functionality” to “join a Beta”, to “try new things for our campaigns”. We are more than willing to try machine-learning and AI-driven features and functionalities and probably have our activity x-rayed and monitored for results.
And indeed, the Search industry is an excellent place to apply artificial intelligence. We work 100% digitally. We handle structured data in the form of numbers, text and the occasional images. We work in automated or semi-automated systems. We do repetitive tasks. And hey, we love tools, we love new features, we are used to constant change.
One of the prerequisites for applying AI is of course Automation, so how are we doing there?
In Innovell’s research for the “Major trends in Paid Search” report, we found that the philosophy with regards to Automation of the leading Paid Search teams in Europe and North America was to completely embrace it: two thirds of the respondents stated either “We are building our own automation stack with external and proprietary tools” or the even more extreme “Anything that can be automated, we automate”. In fact, none of respondents stated that ”Most things are best done by Humans”.
And for those who haven’t noticed, there is already plenty of AI and machine learning in our work environment. The entire paid search industry was founded on the Adwords algorithm which factors in keywords, bids and quality score – quality score? That is machine learning right there. We have been working with quality score since we built our first campaigns. Machine learning was there before we started, what is there to be afraid of?
We also asked the leading Paid Search teams what proportion of their campaigns was managed by AI or machine learning. The average response was around 50% – half of the campaign management is based on AI or machine learning. Are we already half replacing ourselves with Automation and AI? Why would we do that?
Marc Poirier from Acquisio gave a good answer to that question in the research he presented at Hero Conf London comparing performance of campaigns with and without the use of machine learning across a large volume of Paid Search accounts. The “adopters” segments experienced between 39 and 280% better conversion rate depending on the vertical they belonged to Automotive, Education, Medical, Financial, Retail.
Those who used machine learning performed better.
But once you switch to an AI autopilot on your campaigns, you run into a dilemma: will you Learn or Perform?
As of today, AI solutions generate superior results. But as marketers in a moving market, our added value is to understand, interpret, improve in a continuous way! If we use AI, can we still define the winning strategy? Or do we need to find other ways of adding that value? With AI, we will deliver performance today, yes – what about tomorrow? We have built our industry celebrating our successes and learning from our mistakes. It is a deeply rooted principle and one we take pride in. We test and learn and succeed. With AI, there is only 1 option: perform. And once everyone is on AI, that performance could be commoditized away and maybe we didn’t learn anything?!
And there is the problem of AI: the training of an AI goes through many thousands of iterations. We end up with the best result but all the intermediary calculations were wiped out. We don’t know how we got there. We didn’t learn anything from the process…
Fred Vallaeys, in his keynote on Hero Conf London, illustrated the fear of AI with the story of Garry Kasparov, worlds best chess player that was challenged by IBM’s DeepBlue. It was artificial intelligence which had been trained be studying 100 thousand games played by humans and it ended up winning games against Kasparov. The scary bit is the next iteration of Deep Blue. This Artificial Intelligence played against itself a million times and beat the first Deep Blue 100 to 0. There were no humans in that equation.
The respected economist Schumpeter described the effects of accelerated innovation on an industry as “Creative Destruction”. Something is broken down and something else arises from the ashes. It is a good description of what constantly happens in Digital Marketing.
Sometimes it is a process of disruption, where the creativity comes from new businesses, but sometimes businesses are capable of reinventing themselves, changing business models, changing service offering, changing positioning. I believe that, if there is an industry capable of doing just that, it is the Search industry.
Search Marketers are AI Natives, they were bred with constant change. In a certain manner, the Search Industry is already being disrupted but we only realize this clearly today because of the AI hype of 2018. Other industries are only just starting to face this new challenge but in Search we are better prepared. This doesn’t mean that we have nothing to worry about. If we blindly trust the machines to optimize our campaigns and no longer learn, then we will have lost our added value and commoditized ourselves. I don’t see that happening. Actually, I quite like to watch the way the resilient Search Marketers constantly reinvent themselves, like surfers on the waves of creative destruction.
Get more updates about the speakers and content you’ll find at Hero Conf.
Google recently made a big change in retiring Adsenseformobileapps.com placement and G-mob exclusions as a universal way to exclude mobile app traffic. In September, Google sent out a letter warning that these exclusions would no longer be available. So, if you were previously excluding apps in this way, you might see an increase in mobile app traffic. Google also provides a step-by-step page to prepare for updates to mobile targeting and exclusion.
In some accounts, we see that Adsenseformobileapps.com now displays an inactive error message. So it is safe to say that they have officially killed off the ability to blanket exclude apps.
In other accounts, we do not see the inactive notice beneath the adsenseformobileapps.com placement but see a banner listed across the top of the placement exclusions page.
So, one belief was that you could still exclude them under the Settings > Devices > Set specific targeting for devices and unchecking all app options. However, we found we were still showing in mobile apps and this option did not seem to work.
In their instructions, they do mention that this specific device settings option is going to roll up into one opt into or out of mobile or tablet option. You may see this option in your account, but it does not appear to be working any longer. (Starting in September 2018, these three mobile controls will be consolidated into a single “Mobile” control to opt into or out of mobile traffic.)
One Google rep told me that as long as you choose to target mobile devices, you would show in mobile apps. So in theory, this tells us that Google was simplifying the process so you can either show on mobile or not. If you wanted to show on mobile, you were also going to show in apps, unless you specifically excluded them one-by-one. In one account, around September 26th, you can clearly see when the gates opened to allow mobile app traffic.
Is it possible that Mobile App traffic has improved and we might want to reconsider allowing our ads to show in apps? On occasion, I have played games on my mobile device and have more than once accidentally clicked an ad by accident. Usually, it is because the button shifts up when the ad appears and the ad is clicked instead of the intended button. Accidental clicks in-app are definitely a real issue.
In one E-commerce account, we see that $672 was spent showing on mobile apps, resulting in 16 conversions, and $5,397 in revenue. On first glance, it seems like mobile traffic is effective for this account.
In one Lead Gen account, we can see that conversions are coming in on mobile devices. Upon further analysis, the CPL is nearly double in mobile apps compared to non-mobile app placements. In this case, this may not be the best use of our budget given the higher CPL. Especially since we have no way to verify the quality of these leads. One way to help verify the quality is to make sure you are only tracking valuable actions as conversions.
In account above, we had already split our Remarketing campaign by device to help control mobile costs. This option allowed us to optimize each campaign independently based on placement performance by device. Plus, this prevented mobile from cannibalizing our desktop budget. So, we know splitting the campaigns by device helps maximize our conversions from desktop and reduce the CPL from mobile.
So, in theory, we could potentially split the Mobile campaign again to isolate Mobile Apps specifically. Especially if we find that costs become an issue. So in one campaign, we can exclude mobile app categories as well as any other mobile app placements that slip through. In the other campaign, we can select the desired app categories and with Targeting instead of Observation.
So it is easy to gauge the mobile app traffic in E-commerce accounts, but not so easy in our Lead Gen accounts. Over the years, there have been questionable conversions coming in from foreign websites and sketchy websites. Perhaps, we do not have enough visibility into the path of the user to have full confidence in mobile app traffic when it comes to leads.
In another Lead Gen account, we only found that Mobile Apps were resulting in spending but were not resulting in any conversions. So we attempted to exclude all the Google Play and Apple App categories. Unfortunately, this did not prevent our ads from showing in mobile apps.
Excluding the mobile app categories did appear to reduce the amount of traffic coming through from mobile apps. Although it had spent a lower amount on previous occasions, so it is difficult to determine if we will see a spike in spending again or not.
In this account, we were still seeing traffic from Mobile App: Gmail (Google Play), by Google LLC. We were able to exclude this placement at the campaign level and one thing I noticed is that it says Mobile Application under Type instead of Mobile application category.
It does seem you will have to judge mobile app quality on a case-by-case basis. However, if you find the costs exceed the benefits, then you might want to exclude mobile apps. Google certainly did not make opting out of an easy process. Plus, the verdict is still out on whether these options will effectively exclude all the app traffic.
As the importance of customer retention and customer lifetime value (LTV) become more popular in the world of marketing and sales, personalized marketing is also popping up in more and more marketing team discussions. Today’s advanced marketers are touting the benefits of personalized marketing campaigns, which range from landing page headlines that adapt to the copy on the ads that were clicked, to email newsletters tailored to a specific segment of subscribers. The desired result of running these campaigns? Usually, it’s some variation of conversions, more conversions, and more efficient conversions.
Personalized Marketing Works
Starbucks’ mobile app is a master-class in personalized marketing, based on gamifying their rewards system. It’s simple, but it works. Customers can customize and order drinks on the app, which uses information like purchase history and geolocation to make the experience unique to each person. The more they buy and use the app, the more stars they earn—which go toward free drinks.
As trivial as buzzwords like “gamification” may seem, the results they achieve are anything but. This Starbucks Rewards program has set new records in revenue, and in its early stages, the app was already generating around 6 million sales a month, or about 22% of all U.S. sales.
How about another example?
For their 20th anniversary, Easyjet launched an email campaign that took all the information they had on customers to create travel stories. They based the stories on each customer’s previous flights with Easyjet. They got creative too, including not only photos of their customers’ record of flight destinations, but also a fun reminder of the number of times they had a window seat, their first trip with Easyjet (building that brand loyalty), recommendations of where to fly next (with their airline, of course), and more.
How did this perform? Open rates were over 100% higher than their average newsletter, with 25% higher click-through rates.
Why Do Consumers Respond Well to Personalized Marketing?
We build relationships in our personal lives in large part by remembering information about other people—and using it in positive ways. Birthdays. Anniversaries. First dates. Favorite foods. Favorite sports teams. Telling someone that we remember details about them is probably the most common way of showing that we care. And that improves relationships. The caveat: having the data is not enough. You have to use it to build the relationship too. It’s the same in marketing.
Starbucks’ mobile app is successful because it uses its repository of customers’ buying habits to remind them that they might want to have their usual venti sugar-free caramel macchiato (iced) today, or just to wish them a happy birthday and offer a free drink.
Easyjet’s campaign worked because the team had rich data on their customers’ past Easyjet flights, which they used to remind customers of these happy experiences.
How to Build Relationships That Make It Easier to Personalize Marketing
Marketing and sales are just beginning to enter the Relationship Era, though relationships have been around since, well, forever. And much like humans in real life, businesses tend to want information without putting in the effort to build the relationships. Relationships take work.
Many marketing articles tend to throw around phrases like “Keep it real,” “Be authentic,” “Transparency is key”—but what do these mean? The actual work of nurturing relationships often gets swept under the rug in favor of these pithy, but meaningless, “tips.” Big campaigns are important, but so are the everyday interactions with prospects and customers. Every email, tweet, and phone call is a building block of the relationship—not just touchpoints or opportunities for driving engagement.
Because how can you “keep it real” if you don’t have a real relationship with that person? Whether a personalized marketing campaign means creating effective email segments or a direct mail piece tailored to that specific household, at the heart of each one is a relationship.
Here are a few ways to make the relationship-building process easier:
1. Make Sure Your Customer and Prospect Information is Organized and Easily Searchable
Post-its and notepads aren’t going to cut it. If you’re spending a disproportionate amount of time entering, organizing, and finding data, you probably have enough of it to look into a proper CRM tool. The goal here is to minimize your time doing these low-value tasks (and ultimately to make your life easier).
2. Log Every Interaction
Live chats, emails, phone calls, and tweets are where you’ll tend to find unique—and useful—nuggets of information about your audience. Your knowledge about seemingly random things like their love of donuts or favorite sports teams just might come in handy later on. A surprise box of donuts as a thank-you for a referral? Free tickets to a basketball game to reward a customer for five years of loyalty?
All of this helps build a relationship they’ll never forget—but only if you’ve logged that information first.
3. Align the Team
There are few things more embarrassing than having an awesome conversation with a customer or prospect only to have someone else on the team ask the same question later because they didn’t know that it’s already been answered.
It can make your brand look disorganized or just scattered. While it won’t wreck a relationship, it can still raise some eyebrows or be a roadblock. Use the right collaboration tool or app to get everyone on the same page.
4. Analyze, Report, Improve
Of course, you want this to work. And the only way to know is to look at the results. Ideally, you’d have a tool that updates your numbers automatically and shows you dashboards and charts.
Bonus if it integrates with other apps that you already use. This could save you hours if the data is already linked between them without you having to manually do anything.
Building meaningful customer relationships are, like many things, simple but not easy. But this is the most genuine (and probably the best) way to personalize your marketing if you want to maintain your brand’s authenticity and “human-ness.”
Feel like it’s time for your team to try their hand at more personalized marketing? You’ve already got the building blocks you need to get started. Make sure you have the data, get everyone on the right tools, and start building those relationships!
Quora is a unique, high-intent advertising platform, ideally suited to reach customers as they evaluate and research a product or service. People come to Quora to ask questions, and to read and share insightful answers. This includes people looking for reliable information about your company, products, competitors, and industry. This provides advertisers the opportunity to influence people during the consideration phase of their purchase process.
Quora enables your business to:
Saranya Babu, Vice President of Marketing at Instapage, recognized early that Quora’s readers have high engagement with the topics and products they research. Instapage was already seeing organic traffic coming from its discussion posts on Quora, and knew that Quora’s ability to target ads to specific topics would drive additional growth.
“Quora is one of our highest-quality channels. Organic traffic coming from Quora has the highest visit-to-subscription conversion rate of any of our acquisition channels, and leads from Quora ads convert at 4-5x our other social channels.”
By leveraging both community content marketing and paid advertising, Instapage takes full advantage of Quora’s ability to deliver very high-quality leads.
Quora Ads Targeting Options
The content on Quora is organized in the form of questions and answers. A question is tagged with one or more topics (e.g. small business or start ups). With Quora Ads, you have the ability to target the content on Quora (contextual targeting) or target certain people based on behaviors (people-based or behavioral targeting).
Advertisers have the ability to create and target audiences in three different ways.
Advertisers can use contextual targeting in four different ways.
Secondary Targeting Types:
Quora Bid Types
When it comes to setting your bid, Quora advertisers have the option to bid based on clicks, impressions, or conversions. When you choose to optimize for conversions, the platform will show ads to people who are most likely to take the conversion action you want them to take. For example, if you want to get app installs and you choose to optimize for conversions, Quora will show ads to people who are most likely to install your app.
Quora Ads run on a Cost-Per-Click auction model, which means you’ll determine and set the maximum price you’re willing to bid for someone to click on your offer. We’ll provide a suggested bid based on your targeting so you can get a sense of what’s a competitive bid.
Rather than just bidding on the lowest bid possible, focus more on what you’re willing to bid in the context of your product or service. This way, you’ll always optimize campaign results relative to your budget.
You only pay when someone clicks your ad. You can also set daily and lifetime maximum budgets so you’ll never exceed your intended spend. You can update bids at any time.
Target CPA Bidding
Conversion Optimized Campaigns on Quora are based on a user’s likelihood of clicking on an ad and performing a specific action. When you choose to optimize for conversions, you will define a target cost per action that the system uses as input for your bids. You will then be charged on a per impression basis, and the actual cost per action may differ from your target. Quora uses your target conversion value as an input to determine how many impressions the ad needs to be delivered on to hit the conversion value.
For every eligible impression, Quora calculates a predicted CVR (conversion rate) as well as a CTR (clickthrough rate) and uses that to come up with an eCPM (estimated cost per thousand impressions). For example, if the target cost per action was entered as $100, let’s say the CVR is 10% and the CTR is 5%. This would result in an .5 eCPM. The eCPM then gets entered into an auction and the highest eCPM ad unit gets delivery.
Conversion Optimized Campaigns help directly optimize for conversions. If implemented well, it should reduce your cost per conversion and result in an more efficient use of budget.
In order to optimize for conversions:
With the recent launch of CPM bidding, you now have three different ways to bid on the Quora Ads platform. With CPM bidding, you are paying for impressions and your CPM bid represents how much you are willing to pay to get 1000 ad impressions on Quora.
CPM bidding can be useful to advertisers who want to build brand awareness on Quora. You might consider using CPM bidding for broad branding campaigns such as trying to drive awareness of a new product or service, upcoming webinars, or conferences. Layered with our targeting features, you can reach a relevant, high-value audience and get your message out to many people reading about or interested in different topics on Quora.
Quora campaign structure
Quora’s campaign structure has 3 parts: campaign, ad, set, and ad. In order to help improve your Quora Ads performance, here are a few best practices for setting up your campaign structure.
Campaign level best practices
Ad Set level best practices
Ad level best practices
Quora currently offers Text and Image based advertising units, which can be created using Quora’s self-serve Ads Manager. These units deliver high value for advertisers because it fits contextually with the written content on Quora.
With Quora’s Image Ads, advertisers can upload images alongside a text based ad copy to further showcase their product or service. You can also include a company logo. The Quora Ads platform will also generate a text-only version of your image ad to automatically optimize for the ad format (image or text only) that will perform best on a particular page.
How Image Ads work
Each image ad unit on Quora requires two things: a logo and a hero (or banner) image.
Upload a company logo by going to the profile dropdown menu in the Ads Manager platform and clicking Account Settings.
Some guidelines to follow when it comes to the brand logo are:
Hero images can be easily uploaded directly at the Ad level in the Ads Manager platform. Some guidelines to follow when it comes to hero images are:
Image Approval Policy
Quora has high-quality standards for ads and may reject or suspend ads that do not comply with certain standards. Quora has the right, but not the responsibility, to review ads for compliance with our standards. Just like with text ads, image ads are also reviewed and approved.
Examples of images that are not permitted are:
Quora Ads Success Stories
MuleSoft’s primary approach was to advertise on topics with audiences that match their potential customer profiles. MuleSoft began by investing $1,000 in ads on Quora, but quickly increased their spend after repeatedly obtaining high quality leads on the platform
After getting a feel for Quora’s Ads offering, MuleSoft was pleasantly surprised by their results. They characterized their conversion rates as “really high,” adding that their conversion rates and cost per lead are in double digit improvements compared to other digital ad channels.
MuleSoft was also pleased by the quality of leads generated on Quora, which they attribute to Quora’s highly-educated community of users who are truly interested in consuming and learning from the platform’s content. When looking at lead to MQL conversion rates, Quora performs just as well & in some cases better than the main platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
“The ability to advertise on Quora’s highly engaged topics has been perfect for MuleSoft. B2B advertising is difficult with other social media channels, but the lead quality and conversion rates from Quora have made it to be a valuable part of our marketing mix,” said MuleSoft’s Demand Generation Programs Associate.
The Asana marketing team created ads for Quora that emphasized how their product could help people “work smarter” and eliminate emails, calendars and sticky notes. They also included the term “work tracking,” to help build recognition for the emerging category. In order to reach the people most interested in learning more about Asana, they targeted Quora Topics such as project management, product management, productivity, and of course the Asana Topic itself.
“Quora is a high intent destination where people are looking for solutions to specific problems, that’s why advertising on Quora is a natural fit for us.” Head of Asana User Acquisition
If you are new to Quora Ads, it’s easy to get started at quora.com/business. If you are able to commit to a daily spend of $100/day, you can sign up for QuickStart to get hands-on help from our account management team.
Email marketers are reporting an increase in click volumes. Is this because marketers are just that good now? Unfortunately, not so much. The most common were instances of user behavior where all the links within an email have been clicked. Often, these were narrowed down to specific business targets at the same corporate domain within a customer’s database. But, clicking every single link in an email doesn’t sound like the typical customer or prospect behavior, does it? This method of link inspection is visible because it is so different from expected human behavior. It’s easy to identify and ignore this kind of activity, but the methods for this kind of anti-malware detection vary. Additionally, not all ways are as easy to identify and exclude from reporting.
The underlying issue is email filters inspecting links to prevent their end users from downloading malware. This makes it look like every link has been clicked by a recipient, when in reality, they were inspected by an email filter. For several years, marketing technology companies have been aware of this filter behavior. This anti-malware methodology is increasing in the marketplace and is causing concern.
In this blog, I’ll explain how link inspection works and what you can do to improve your deliverability.
Anti-Malware Filters in Email
For the anti-malware filter or security provider, it is an arms race against bad actors attempting to deliver malware to end users. Barracuda Email Security Service was the first email security vendor to develop link inspection as anti-malware methodology, but other providers have begun leveraging link inspection to protect their users.
Link inspection methods may include but are not limited to:
The filter is looking to hide the link inspection activity, so it will try to look as human as possible. This is to prevent the bad actor from changing the link’s potential payload after inspection but before a link click from the intended recipient. This behavior is what makes it difficult for marketing automation and email service providers to exclude the activity of the link inspection from reporting.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Deliverability
For some providers, link inspection happens as an enhanced or escalated filtering method applied to a message that has been determined to be suspicious by other stages in a multilevel filtering process. For Barracuda there are thirteen different layers of inbound email filtering. Link inspection is part of a higher level of filtering. This filter is activated if other aspects of the message or sender appear suspicious.
Here are some things to check within your engagement platform to ensure your deliverability is maximized:
One of the risks of ignoring link activity from anti-malware link inspections is patterns are likely to change over time. Hardcoded rules for filtering activities may not be entirely effective. The fluidity and fast evolution of this filtering method can make it difficult to hard code solutions within your marketing automation platform. This issue isn’t fully addressed—more research is needed. Additionally, partnership opportunities with filter providers will help alleviate inaccurate reporting due to anti-malware link inspections.
When I worked as a webmaster at AOL in the early days, every employee had visibility into every member’s account. Then in 1999, a naval officer was outed by one of the employees after he logged into an alternate profile with a different screen name. AOL’s course of action was to immediately shut down access to all members’ data and hire an integrity assurance officer. It was a moment of reckoning for online privacy.
I’ve been thinking about that anecdote a lot recently following the revelations about how Cambridge Analytica accessed and deployed Facebook data to impact the U.S. election. There’s been a lot of discussion about how much Mark Zuckerberg knew and whether Facebook should have done more to prevent or stop the data theft. Those are absolutely questions worth considering, but the issue of data theft is nothing new. Tech companies have always created platforms with a certain degree of naivete about the possibility that user data could be exposed or exploited.
As a marketer, it’s important to understand privacy as it is part of the customer experience. In this blog, I’ll tell you about what a walled garden is and why it’s a myth, how to engage with customers, and what a privacy forward strategy looks like for marketing teams & their customers.
The Myth of the Walled Garden
At a recent Videonomics symposium, I heard representatives from many tech companies discuss how advertisers couldn’t get into their “walled gardens.” A walled garden is a closed ecosystem where operations are controlled by an ecosystem operator. The term is frequently used, but based on decades of experience with dot-coms and digital advertising, I consider a myth.
The fact is that it’s very simple for someone to take first and third-party data, link it up and retarget consumers with ads. That information combined with a user’s history can help build a persona around them. Even though Facebook shut down the ability to take data from third-party data brokers, companies can still put cookies on other websites that collect activity from users. They may not know who the person is, but if they have an IP address and can link those two together with Facebook, you get a full 360-degree view. The data that is already out there, whether it’s been released or stolen, can then be correlated and shared.
Moreover, data breaches appear to be accelerating in severity and scale. Breaches at Yahoo, Sony PlayStation, and Alteryx, for example, resulted in compromised data for hundreds of millions of people. All that information is available to anyone. We live in an age of “data promiscuity.” Walled gardens and online privacy are nice to think about, but privacy could soon become a relic of the past, which is why a new crop of data privacy regulations and guidelines are emerging to create a privacy-forward landscape.
Questions around data privacy have particular relevance for marketers and advertisers, who rely on data to improve their targeting capabilities. Robust data allows them to put their ads in front of people and create brand awareness, which helps sell products. Secondly, marketers can use data to put targeted messages in front of people who actually want the product, instead of people who don’t.
However, participants in the advertising ecosystem need to have data integrity assurance incorporated within online platforms that actively works to protect private information. Our industry is making progress towards increasing the capacity to distribute information freely. In addition, the platforms they create to spread this information are very user-friendly. I’m not a programmer by profession, but available analytic tools can be easily configured to exploit private information based on the conspicuously available private data. Cambridge Analytica’s brazen use of a Facebook application to gather insights on millions of users is a prime example of this dynamic at work.
Engaging with Relevant Content
Moreover, Facebook uses a process called content-based targeting, whereby related content and ads are delivered to members based on their likes, shares, and follows. Facebook collects much more data about members’ engagement than what is made privy to advertisers.
Targeting the right audience doesn’t (and shouldn’t) require theft and privacy violations. Data privacy and marketing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Marketers care that an action was created, but not about who created it. All that matters is what the consumer did and why.
Digital analytics and web traffic tools like Google Analytics and Matomo place pixels on a website. The pixel provides timestamp information when an action is taken. Say a commercial aired on Lifetime for a Gerber product. If somebody sees the call to action and types in the URL on their computer or mobile device, then we know what ad they saw, where they were located, and the time and device they used. We also know that a commercial sent a certain amount of money at cost-per-click or per action, which is useful for looking at a marketing budget and figuring out where best media spends are.
A Privacy Forward Approach
In June 2018, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018. The policy grants consumers the right to request the data that businesses collect on them and to ask companies not to sell their data. The law imposes strict rules about how businesses disclose data collected from consumers. It also empowers the state Attorney General to fine companies for noncompliance. Needless to say, it was opposed by major media, telecom and tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. Facebook initially opposed it but eased off after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke.
The CCPA was inspired by what is happening in Europe with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposed new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information, or PII. There was skepticism that the privacy forward principles of the GDPR would catch on in the U.S., but it has, starting with California which is setting the standard other states will soon follow. Dot-coms are following suit as well, as evidenced by the pop-ups about policy changes on what feels like every ecommerce and news site.
These initiatives have entered the term “privacy forward” into the modern lexicon. A privacy forward approach is best described as the guidelines for identifying data that should be considered classified. Classified information includes IP addresses, contact information, and genetic and biometric data. It also encourages organizations that collect personal data to conduct mapping and maintain a 360-degree view. Customer information is not a commodity, but rather a personal bond of trust between an organization and its customers. This also extends to what is shared with outside vendors and third-party data analytic tools and their associated platforms. Transparency is paramount.
In 2001, with the merger of Time Warner and AOL, the FCC ordered AIM, which had over 90% of the market (and thus user data) to become interoperable with other chat platforms. Today, Facebook is participating the Data Transfer Project, a collaboration of organizations, including Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, committed to building a common way for people to transfer data into and out of online services. It’s a big and exciting step towards making privacy forward the norm.
This article covers how to find product ideas with Amazon FBA. If you’re new to the Amazon FBA selling process, be sure to check out our FREE class, How to Sell on Amazon FBA. Product Groups and Recommended Products What are they, and why do you need them? Finding an Amazon product is a holistic process. You can’t rely on only one signal that a product is a right opportunity to follow. It’s about looking at every aspect of product data, the product itself, your ability to make it happen and the competitive landscape. To give you a faster, more efficient way of examining aspects of a new product idea, Jungle Scout introduces some new features – Product Groups and Recommended Products. It’s Like a Product Ideas Wish List for Amazon FBA Sellers When you’re browsing Amazon as a shopper, there’s a lot of information. That’s why you’re able to organize your potential purchases into a wish list. Just like Amazon inspires you to consider buying other products, we want to inspire you to track other products that are similar to ensure you have the best understanding of that niche. How Product Groups Work as a Product Ideas Wishlist Note: ... Read More