Web Design Tips That Will Boost Your Conversion Rate

There’s more to building a website, publishing good content, and encouraging people to sign up for your email list when you want to be successful. And, while what you’re doing right now may be working, and even generating you sales in your online shop, there’s always room for improvement.

Many marketers put all their focus on things like SEO, lead magnets, and building a strong social media presence. But while these things can help drive traffic to your website, if the design of your site is all wrong, you won’t see nearly as many conversions as you would like.

A high converting website is the ultimate key to your success.

That’s why today we’re sharing with you some of the top web design tips you should follow when creating your website, so your traffic remains high, and your conversion rates follow.

1. Have a Clear Value Proposition

People want to know immediately what your site is all about once they land on it. Even if they willingly click on your site from a search result, and have a good idea what you have to offer them, they want to be reassured once they get there.

Since competition in the eCommerce world is so tough, you need to come up with a strong value proposition that people can relate to when they visit you site.

For example, Uber does a great job of using a catchy value proposition (Get there – Your day belongs to you) that lets potential customers know they mean business when it comes to their services.

uber - value proposition example

In one quick phrase you know what Uber is about and what they offer you. Your value proposition should be your brand’s selling point, so make it count.

Need help creating the perfect value proposition?

Check out CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. All you have to do is enter your headline, get a score, and make improvements.

headline analyzer example

 

2. Follow the Rule of Thirds

Many marketers will tell you that this well-known design trick photographers use works well for websites as well.

In short, the Rule of Thirds claims that you should break your image into thirds so that you have 9 equal parts. In the grid that you’ve now formed, you should focus your site’s main points of interest at the intersections created in the middle of the image.

rule of thirds grid

 

This is where people will focus most of their attention. That means those intersections are the best places to grab your site visitors’ attention and get them to convert.

Take for instance Rockstroh Drums’ homepage:

rockstroh drums - rule of thirds example

Their value proposition is nearby two of the intersections, their call to action lays directly on the line leading to an intersection, and the image that brands their company (along with the company name) sits perfectly on another one of the main intersections.

In addition to following the rule of thirds, be mindful of the natural F-pattern people follow when on websites. This is where people tend to look for the most information, so giving it to them easily will help guide them to your call to action and through the rest of your website.

tuts web design - f layout

Hotjar is a great tool for heat mapping how your site visitors navigate your site, so you can put the most prominent information in the line of fire so they definitely see what you have to offer.

3. Pay Attention to Color Schemes

It’s natural to want to brand your company as completely unique to everyone else out there vying for your same target audience. And, one of the best ways to do this is to utilize the power of different color schemes.

That said, there’s been a lot of research done on the psychology of color and how specific color schemes can encourage people to take action, which is what you want to happen on your website.

In fact, it has been suggested that certain color schemes improve:

  • Readability
  • Site comprehension
  • Learning ability
  • And of course, conversions

Joe Hallock believes this is the breakdown of colors people feel instill the most “trust” in them:

color schemes and trust

When making your calls to action buttons stand out on your website, remember to use only one color so as to not confuse site visitors, keep the color scheme (whatever you choose to use) consistent, and maintain plenty of whitespace so you don’t overwhelm people’s senses and cause them to abandon your website.

4. Grab People’s Attention

Just because someone has landed on your website with a little bit of interest in what you have to offer doesn’t mean they are fully engaged. It’s your job to continue to impress people once they get to your site and convince them that you have what they need.

To do this, consider the following best practices:

  • Use eye-catching imagery that represents your brand, products, or services (keep images big and bold)
  • Make all calls to action buttons large and clear, with copy telling people exactly what to do
  • Incorporate multimedia including text, animation, video content, and audio
  • Use hover effects so people can tell the difference between plain text and links
  • Use power words to trigger excitement, a sense of urgency, and interest

Lastly, use exit popups, such as the ones you can create using OptinMonster to re-engage those who have lost interest and are about to leave you site.

For instance, The Accelerator does a good job of trying to get people to subscribe as they exit their website:

the accelerator - exit popup

After all, these give site visitors one last chance to convert, even if they were on the way out.

Another great tool for gaining more conversions is the Hello Bar. It’s free to use, doesn’t take up a lot of retail space, and gives people ample chance to sign up if they want to.

hello bar

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! 4 of the best web design tips that will help drive traffic, boost conversions, and net you more sales than ever before.

Remember, SEO, lead magnets, email marketing campaigns, social media, and killer content are all essential to scaling your business and becoming successful. But if people come to your website and don’t like what they see, your chances of reaching your full potential will fall short – every single time.

And when you realize you’re starting to get more conversions than you know what to do with, make sure to check out FeedOtter so you can automate RSS-based emails and create beautiful email newsletters with ease to accommodate your growing audience.

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How to Create a Killer Company Newsletter

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The dreaded newsletter — It’s something that every company strives to send but also wonders if it’s worthwhile.

Most of the time your newsletter list consists of current customers or maybe even leads that weren’t ready to buy. A company newsletter is a great way to maintain brand awareness with your customers. Newsletters can also be a great asset to stay in front of those leads who are not ready to convert. It’s a subtle way to stay top-of-mind while keeping your company brand relevant. When putting together a newsletter, there are two major items to consider. 1) The design and 2) the content.

01. THE DESIGN

The biggest mistake companies can make with their newsletters is the design. While graphics and pops of color can look appealing, they should definitely be kept to a minimum. Here’s why:

  • Too many images increase the likelihood of your email ending up in spam/junk
  • Excessive code in emails can break how they render in different email inboxes
  • Heavy design elements like color, graphics, and custom fonts may not display properly on mobile

Newsletter templates should have a simple yet aesthetic design. It should easily allow readers to move their eyes throughout the content. One great way to accomplish this is by using different content sections or blocks, which can also help organize your newsletter.

                    newsletter1

These email templates are provided by BEE Free and are available for free on their website. Read our blog The Top 3 Free Email Builders to learn how to import this newsletter template into your email marketing platform.

02. THE CONTENT

The type of content within your newsletter will depend on your audience and company brand/voice. If your company voice can be fun and playful, a newsletter is a perfect place to portray it. For example, if your company is a financial institution and your newsletter audience includes clients, it may not be the greatest idea to use a playful voice. Your audience is expecting professionalism and valuable resources in your newsletter.

Contingent on your audience, the following types of content are great for peaking interest and may be a great fit for your newsletter:

Promotions

Promotional offers are one of the most common types of content in newsletters. Offering discounts or special promos can help encourage repeat business but can also help bring in new sales. Social sharing buttons or referral programs make it easy for your readers to share with fellow friends while helping you capture new business.

Resources

Resources like blogs, case studies, and ebooks are just a few examples of the valuable content you can offer your audience in newsletters. For B2B industries, it’s likely that customers will be interested in the material they can relate to their own business efforts. For example, a case study on how another company has overcome the struggle of increasing lead conversion may be valuable for others in the same position. By offering these types of resources you are encouraging your customers to build their knowledge base and in turn, customers will associate value with your company.

Spotlights

Whether you’re adding a new team member or introducing a new client, spotlights are unique content pieces to share with your audience. Employee spotlights could consist of industry related tips, fun facts, reviews, and more. Showcasing a new client may involve a brief introduction but also what your company will be doing to help them. If industry appropriate, spotlights are a great place to get fun with your company personality.

Industry/Company Updates

Reviewing the latest and greatest news in your companies industry is extremely important. By sharing industry updates you’re not only educating them, but you’re also showing your readers you keep up with industry trends and you’re ready to compete. It proves your business is continuously learning and making strides to remain relevant. Updates may also include software or application announcements, especially if your business works with the applications or are widely popular within the industry.

Events

Events are a timeless resource that can hold huge value with customers. Types of events can vary and may include: webinars, networking, fundraising, educational workshops, tradeshows, and more. Newsletters can be a great space to announce these types of events as the email list typically includes the mass majority of your database. Many times hosting or attending an event can also help capture new leads.

If you’re already a pro at email newsletters, check out 8 Valuable Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without.

5 Ways to Supercharge Your Content Team’s Productivity

These days everyone is expected to work around the clock to beat the competition. Add in daily distractions, the demand to be bigger and better at all times, and the fact that we are all just human, it’s no wonder content marketing teams find themselves burnt out.

While there is always room for improvement (and we plan to show you how), it’s important you show your content team that you care about more than just the bottom line.  Because if you don’t, you’ll find that your team won’t churn out the kind of content you need to be successful.

Instead, aim to make improvements that will make your team more productive, and happier, all at the same time. Make it your goal to organize things efficiently, so your team always knows what they should be doing, and are more than happy to give you what you need to succeed.

If you’re looking for some ideas as to how to help your content team become more successful, you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best ways to supercharge your content team’s productivity so you all can get more done in less time, without feeling like the rope is burning on both ends.

1. Learn to Delegate

This may seem obvious, especially if you’re the leader of the team, but so many leaders fail to delegate properly. This leads to people now knowing what they are responsible for and others wasting time doing things that aren’t contributing to your bottom line.

Worse yet, trying to do everything yourself can actually waste more time than if you just let your team handle the things they know they’re good at. Assign specific tasks to your content team so they can handle the content marketing and you can focus on growing your business in other ways.

Solution – use a WordPress plugin like Editorial Calendar, a premium solution like CoSchedule, or even a free project management system like Trello to organize your team’s tasks.

2. Communicate Effectively

Along with delegating your team’s tasks so everyone stays on track, it’s important you make sure everyone on your team can communicate as they need to.

As the leader, you’re the one in charge of encouraging communication amongst team members. After all, it’s likely your team members’ tasks will overlap in some way. The problem is, especially when teams work remotely, some people focus solely on their own tasks and never reach out to others.

However, communication among team members offer the follow benefits:

  • Improved relationships between team members, so when problems pop up, everyone is familiar with each other and can work together towards a solution
  • Better collaboration, which means more gets done in less time
  • Increased trust from your followers or customers, as they see your team is able to come together to create and disperse high-quality content
  • Increased trust from within, which can lead better to team feedback

Solution – to help with internal team communication, consider messaging solutions like Slack or Skype.

3. Eliminate Repetitive Tasks

It’s not unusual for content marketing teams to be in charge of many things. To start, your writers are surely in charge of content brainstorming, assignment, drafting, and publishing. But there is more to content marketing than posting blog content on your website.

For instance, you need to run email marketing campaigns, advertisements, social media posts, and video content so you reach the broadest audience possible, drive traffic to your website, and boost conversions and sales.

When your team concentrates on too many small, repetitive tasks that can be automated, they cannot give enough of their focus to the tasks that will generate you the most positive results. Because of this, you run the risk of giving your content team too much to do at once, which can lead to less than stellar results.

Solution – automate email marketing using FeedOtter, social media posting and interactions with Social Report, the way you discover how people talk about your company using Mention, and use HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator to automate content ideas for those times you get stuck trying to fill in the editorial calendar.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Your content team will never finish what you ask of them if they think the goals and deadlines you’ve set are unrealistic. If your team feels they have too much work, and know they will never finish, they may not meet their full potential.

Schedule regular meetings with your entire team so people can discuss things that are going well, problems they’re having, and plans for the next week. This is a great way to hold everyone accountable, get everyone together to communicate their needs, and make sure that your business is heading in the direction you want it to.

Solution – Read up on the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), L10 Meetings, and getting your team to stay on track and stop wasting valuable time.

5. Set a Good Example

One of the best things you can do to spur productivity amongst your content marketing team is to set a good example and be willing to do some of the hard work too. Remember, the key is to make sure your team knows it’s not all about being the leader and generating lots of money.

People respect those that are willing to lend a helping hand and take on some of the work if need be. Your team will feel more appreciated and not so overwhelmed if you reach out every now and then and ask them if they need help. This is especially true if you have team members that are sometimes hesitant to reach out.

Solution – show your team that you work hard too, check in on them and ask them if they need clarification or help, and re-delegate tasks if needed.

Final Thoughts

In order to supercharge your content team’s productivity, you have to take an active role. That means following through from beginning to end so everyone knows what they’re responsible for, making sure there’s an open line of communication for when things go wrong, and automating tedious tasks that tend to drag team productivity down.

Only then will the things you want done get done on time, without overwhelming your team or wasting time. Be a good leader, encourage your team to work hard, join them in their efforts to create the best content for your business, and rest assured that success will come your way soon enough.

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Social Media for Pardot Marketers

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One of the best ways to get your content in front of a receptive audience is through social media. No secret to content marketers, social media can help you grow a new following as well as stay in front of the followers you already have. Much of marketing is about being in front of the lead at the exact time that they are ready to buy. And on another token, more touch points in a campaign generally correlates with more brand legitimacy and trust, as well as more interest in the product or service you are offering. Social media has a place in your marketing efforts, and your investment will be increased tenfold by integrating social posting with your Pardot platform.

The Benefits of Using Pardot for Social Media

A Comprehensive Picture of Your Prospects

The number one benefit to leveraging Pardot for your social media posting is that it will offer you a more comprehensive picture of your prospects and the type of content they are engaging with. The process is similar to your website tracking process. Anonymous web activity is reported, and when Prospects are cookied by Pardot, they are then matched to their web sessions. At that point, you are able to view a specific Prospect’s web activity and how it relates to the rest of their profile. Prospects can also be cookied and matched to their social media profiles, filling the missing gaps in their digital activity.

Robust Campaign Tracking

As with all other assets in Pardot (emails, forms, landing pages, files, etc), social media posts will be assigned to a campaign. This gives you more robust campaign tracking when it comes to evaluating which pieces of content have had the most face time, and how it performed across different channels.

Page Actions and Custom Redirects

A strong feature in Pardot, Page Actions allow you to trigger automated functions based on a Prospect’s visit to a particular page on you website. Think sending an autoresponder email to follow up, adjusting their score, creating a Salesforce task for a sales rep to follow up, etc. Similarly, Custom Redirects provide you tracked links that redirect to another web page. When you include these in your social media posts, you reach your Prospects on another channel to nudge them toward your web content. And if they click, it will trigger any designated automated functions and cookie them in the process.

Connecting Your Social Channels

Pardot currently allows you to connect Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for easy posting through Pardot. These can be set up with a few easy steps.

  1. On the blue lefthand sidebar, select Admin and then Connectors.
  2. Click on the social media platform you would like to connect.
  3. Click on Create Connector.
  4. The system will refresh and the connector will show up in your list as unverified. Click on verify now, which will launch a window for you to log into Facebook and accept Pardot’s permissions.
  5. Save, and you should be all set!

How to Make Sure Prospects Are Cookied

To really take advantage of Pardot social media posting, you will want to make sure that you can cookie as many of your Prospects as possible. This happens at the point where a Prospect clicks a tracked link.

Social Links in Emails

By including social links in your email templates, you will increase the likelihood that your Prospects are found on social media. If they click on your social icons, they will be cookied and that information will now be tracked.

Those Custom Redirects Again

Because Custom Redirects are tracked, your Prospects will be cookied when they click them. Incorporating these in your social posting can help you cookie more people and trap activity that may relate back to a Prospect you already have in Pardot.

Interested in other great ways to use Pardot? Check out our guide to Pardot best practices.

The Top 3 Free Email Builders

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As a content marketer, one of your most valued duties includes creating content and sharing it. However, using different marketing software may present as your biggest challenge. Picture this, you’re up against a tight deadline to launch an e-newsletter containing this month’s featured content, but you’ve run into a snag because your email template just doesn’t translate the way you imaged or worse isn’t rendering correctly.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this scenario, this blog is for you! By the end of this piece, you will know how to use the top free email builders and how to import your new design to use in Pardot.

 

BEE Free

BEE Free is one of the easiest email builders to use. You can drag and drop content onto email templates, including buttons, text blocks, images, and more.  With BEE Free, marketers can design sleek and modern emails with ease. This site also offers a way to export HTML to transfer into email marketing platforms.

To begin building your email template, head over to the BEE Free homepage and “Start Designing”. The site will prompt you to start your own design from scratch or select a template where you can filter through an abundance of free templates, usage types, and different industries.

 

Once you’ve selected a template you’re now ready to customize it! The drag and drop email builder gives you a seamless user experience. Once you’ve got the look you desired you want to “Save” the email template. However, if you’re using the free version, BEE Free will ask if you’d like to sign up for a paid plan or if you’d just like to download your template – you want to choose to download it.

 

After selecting to download the email, a zip file should load where you will find an image (holds all the images to the email template) and .html file. You’ll want to open this file and right-click to reveal the drop-down for “View Page Source”. This will allow you to view the code of the whole page. This is the code we’ll later copy and paste into Pardot.

 

In the Pardot email builder, you’ll want to paste the code from the page source into the HTML tab in Pardot.

 

*Note: You may receive the following alert: HTML message: An unsubscribe tag (%%unsubscribe%% or %%email_preference_center%%) is required somewhere in the body of the email. This can be done by highlighting the text you’d like to link for unsubscribers and selecting the hyperlink icon to choose the unsubscribe tag as the link type.

 

Once the HTML code is added I suggest previewing your email template and making revisions. Please note if you’re adding images to the BEE Free template, you will need to readd them to the Pardot template.

 

TOPOL.io

Similar to BEE Free, Topol.io allows users to design emails with a drag and drop tool and it’s “sooooo easy”. In comparison to BEE Free, Topol.io also provides a number of email templates but not nearly as many. One feature I believe Topol.io does better is the process of exporting the email HTML. Topol.io automatically creates a download of the .html file, rather than a zip file.

 

After selecting your email template to design, you’ll want to “Save & Download”, which will prompt an automatic download of the HTML. From here the same process as stated above should be followed to import the email HTML into Pardot.

Stripo.email

Unlike our first two contenders, Stripo requires users to sign up for a free account and caps off at 4 free downloads each month. However, Stripo.email states the download limits get reset every month. By selecting “Email Templates” in the navigation bar, you’re able to select from numerous email templates and filter by type, industry, and season.

 

“Try Out” your email template once you’ve selected the right fit and begin to make your revisions. When you’re ready to export the HTML, you will save the email template which will then prompt you to create a free user account.

 

When your new account has been registered you will be brought to an overview screen of all your email templates. Select the one you’d like to export the HTML and proceed with selecting the “Export” button > HTML > Download HTML file.

 

Not a Pardot user? Here’s a similar article for Marketo.

 

 

 

 

 

Pardot Best Practices

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When you are a Pardot marketer, it is important to keep yourself organized and follow Pardot best practices to ensure that your platform operates the way you need it to. Pardot relies on your data as fuel to deliver more targeted, personal campaigns. You can accomplish the most when you have an organized interface and understand all of the information you have stored. So, as you set out on your endeavor with Pardot (or want to revisit your setup and get organized!), take some time to audit your platform for the following items.

Salesforce Sync

Pardot and Salesforce are built to work in unison, but there are some quirks that can make the syncing process confusing. It’s important to remember that these systems are intended to be customized for your company’s needs, and may need some configuring before they will produce the results that you expect.

Salesforce Connector

Naturally, the first place to start with your Salesforce/Pardot sync is with installing the Salesforce connector. Your platforms are connected through one user, and this user must be selected wisely to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Pardot best practice for this is to create an alias account such as pardot@yourcompany.com or marketing@yourcompany.com so that your configuration is not affected by any individual users. That way, if someone leaves the company or if any user permissions need to change, you will not have a big mess on your hands.

Once you have selected a user to connect Salesforce and Pardot through, double-check to ensure that this user has maximum permissions and visibility into the entire Salesforce database. Pardot will only be able to “see” what this user can see, so it is important that they have access to key fields such as ownership and custom objects. This will allow all of your records to properly sync.

Everyone is a Prospect

While Salesforce differentiates between Leads and Contacts, and any existing Opportunities, Pardot considers everyone in the system to be a Prospect.  To see a list of only Leads or Contacts in Salesforce, use a dynamic list such as in the screen shot below. Your rule would match all prospects that match the desired CRM status, and pull them into the list. This is helpful for curating a list in order to send customer-specific newsletters and updates, or generating a list of only leads so that you can avoid sending marketing material to current customers.

Syncing Must be Enabled

All new records that are created in Salesforce will be automatically created in Pardot. However, new records that are added to Pardot will not automatically be added to Salesforce. This is by design, because every company’s sales process is slightly different and there may be varying use cases. Best practice is to hold all leads in Pardot, and bar them from Salesforce until they are qualified by certain criteria. Typically, this criteria is reaching a certain lead score, or submitting a form. Use an automation rule such as in the below screen shot to let Pardot know when it’s okay to create a record in Salesforce.

Custom Fields Need to be Mapped

To be able to segment your prospects based on field criteria, your Salesforce custom fields must have a counterpart created in Pardot. In your admin panel, you can use the Configure Fields tab to accomplish this. For each custom field, you will be able to select the Salesforce field that should be linked.

For the best possible data accuracy, use dropdown and checkbox fields anywhere you can. This makes things easier for everyone while preventing multiple different versions of the data being entered. That way, you can cleanly pull a list of everyone that has a certain value. For example, you could pull a list of everyone who has an Industry field that matches Healthcare without having to worry about “health”, “HC”, “health care” or any other variations having been entered.

Campaign Tracking

The concept of campaigns in Pardot can be a bit hard to grasp, especially if you are used to the way Salesforce campaigns are used. While leads in Salesforce may touch several campaigns over their sales cycle, prospects in Pardot can only be a member of one campaign. Think of Pardot campaigns as glorified folders that help you group assets together to track lead generation ROI. The campaign they are assigned to is the one that they entered Pardot on, such as through a form that you are using for an Adwords campaign, a contact form on your website, or a manual import from a tradeshow.

Cost

With each campaign that you create, you will have the option to enter a Cost. This may be your Adwords budget, for example, or what is costed to send a team of three to a tradeshow. If you use this feature, you will be able to analyze your campaign ROI later on to determine which lead generation sources provided the most value.

Tracking Codes

Even if you don’t track these campaign costs in Pardot, there is a major benefit to utilizing Campaigns. Each asset that you create in Pardot, be it an email, form, landing page, or anything else, will require that you associate it to a particular campaign. You are also provided a designated tracking code for each campaign. All web activity will be tracked from your main Pardot tracking code, but your campaign-specific tracking code can be embedded on any pages that are directly involved with your campaign. This will help you effectively measure your success, as well as give you more visibility into which assets are helping your prospects convert.

Folder Structure

In addition to requiring you to associate every asset that you create to a Campaign, Pardot also requires that you add these assets to a Folder. Many Pardot users find themselves leaving all of their assets in a general “Uncategorized” folder, or naming the folders the same thing that they named the campaigns. At the end of the day, your folder structure is about what makes sense for you to be able to quickly find your assets later.

Pardot best practice is to keep your folder structure referencing a time period. That way, you can quickly navigate to your most recent emails and workflows, or check out what was done in a previous year. This avoids the inevitable “Tradeshow – Email #1 – Spring – 2018 – copy 4 – hr” naming conventions that can get very confusing. Instead, in this example, you should name your email HR Tradeshow Email #1, associate it with the HR Tradeshow campaign, and place it in the Spring 2018 folder. Then, when you copy these emails the following year or for a different tradeshow, you will be able to find the proper assets.

Segmentation Functions

Advanced segmentation functions and automation capabilities are what makes Pardot the robust tool that it is.

Dynamic Lists

Pardot best practice is to create dynamic lists for groups of users when you can instead of uploading static lists. This will ensure that your information stays current and you always have the most accurate list. Manual lists may always need to be uploaded following an event, or when acquiring a list from another source. However, if the prospect group can be generated in a Salesforce report, it should really be a dynamic list.

As we discussed above, dynamic lists can be pulled to match all prospects with their CRM status of Contact or Lead. They can in fact be pulled based on any identifying criteria such as custom field values, scores, or the sales rep that is assigned to them. In addition, a dynamic list can be pulled for prospect behaviors such as accessing a certain file, filling out a certain form, or opening an email.

When you are done with lists, go ahead and add an archive date for them so that they no longer appear your list view. You will always be able to pull up all Archived Lists if you need them again down the road.

Tagging

Tagging is helpful in situations where you want to note something about a prospect, but not necessarily pull them into a unique list at this point. Tags can be used to trigger automation rules, add prospects to a workflow, or just store passive information about a prospect. If it is necessary in the future, you can always pull a dynamic list in the future based on all prospects that match a particular tag or group of tags.

Some of the most commonly used tags include “hot”, “cold”, and “inactive”. Pardot can also be leveraged to apply these tags to your prospects based on their behaviors. For example, you can set an automation rule to add the tag “inactive” to any prospect that doesn’t open an email for 60 days.

Another great use case is to apply tags for different page views on your website. When your prospect engages with a page about a particular product or service, you can tag them as such. Or, if they read content pertaining to a certain industry, you can apply a tag for that.

Everything looking good? Once you are comfortable with all of these items, it’s time to dive into designing Pardot campaigns and navigating Engagement Studio!

Learn 4 Tools to Determine Audience Segmentation in Pardot

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What is Audience Segmentation?

As a content marketer, it’s common to hear that segmenting your data is important, but do you know why it matters? Segmenting your customer data allows you to pinpoint different subgroups that relate to another in one or more ways. This simple strategy can be extremely beneficial to a content marketer. The most significant reason a to consider audience segmentation is due to the fact that it hones in on a data subset, which allows you to better understand your customer. In turn, you can create customer-specific content that resonates with the right target audience.

Why Does it Matter?

With all the advertising and marketing clutter today, it is more imperative than ever to offer relevant and valuable content to your target consumers. By delivering worthwhile resources, customers immediately see value within the company and brand. This can result in a greater opportunity for cross-selling/up-selling, consumer retention, higher conversion rates, and more.

Who is your Audience?

If you are just starting out with content marketing and have yet to determine who your audience is, here are the most common characteristics for segmenting your data.

1) Geographical/Regional (i.e. State)

2) Demographic (i.e. Income)

3) Behavioral (i.e. Product Purchased)

Keep in mind your audience segmentation is going to be specific to your company – learn more about audience building. For example, as a loan lender, you may choose to segment your data by income. The greater the income a contact has, the larger loan you may be able to offer them. This would determine the specific campaigns marketed to these groups – leverage your content the right way.

4 Pardot Tools for Audience Segmentation

If your company utilizes a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you can take advantage of the native tools within the platform to create audience segmentation. These tools include:

1) Static vs. Dynamic List

  • With this tool, you are able to create a one-time list (static) and lists that automatically update based on a set of rules and criteria (dynamic). Static lists are manually updated by importing or removing contacts. These are the standard types of email lists. As for a dynamic list, the only way a contact can be added to that list is if they meet the criteria. For example, you may create a dynamic list that only holds contacts with the state MA. If a contact has the state RI, they will not be added to the dynamic list and you cannot manually add them.

2) Suppression List

  • Pardot allows you to prevent certain contacts from receiving specific mailing communication when opting to “suppress” them. For example, you may want to create a suppression list of everyone who has not opened an email within the last 30 days to avoid mailing uninterested leads.

3) Tagging

  • This functionality in Pardot allows you to apply “tags” to individual contacts. This helps to organize and segment your data even further. For example, you may want to tag your “tradeshow contacts” within Pardot to easily distinguish they need to be placed in a pre-show campaign. You can also use these tags to create dynamic lists or automation rules later on.

4) Automation Rules

  • Pardot allows users to create automation rules, which can automate a number of things. Specifically, regarding segmentation, automation rules can push contacts to a mailing list based on criteria. Automation rules can also automatically apply tags to contacts given criteria has been provided. There are many other actions you can take with automation rules like updating contact fields or adjusting their Pardot score.

Now that you have learned how to segment like a pro, let’s look at how to create an effective content and distribution strategy.

How to Create a Jaw-Dropping Newsletter for Marketo Using the BEE Free Editor

Let’s face it, while Marketo is an amazingly robust platform, its email editor leaves a little to be desired. If you’re tired of spending hours trying to build an email newsletter with their editor only to settle for “good enough”, you should check out the BEE free editor.

With this free online email creator, you can quickly and easily create a stunning newsletter that can then be sent through your Marketo instance. The sleek, user friendly BEE free editor is very easy to use. However, there is a process to get it into your Marketo instance. But don’t worry, we’ve put together an in depth overview of how to make your BEE free templates work with your Marketo instance.

Choose or create your email template.

On the BEE free site, you’ll start by choosing a template design or creating your own custom layout. For our purposes here, we’re going to create a newsletter. You can use the site’s simple sorting features to help you quickly find a stellar template. Be sure you deselect the “BEE Pro” box in the filter bar so you  only see the free templates.

Once you select a template design and click “get started”, the editor automatically opens. The BEE free email editor is very intuitive with simple drag and drop functionality. You can drag to reorder elements or you can delete a section if not needed. This editor gives you the ability to customize everything from background colors to fonts, allowing your finished product to truly match your company’s branding standards.

Any images you’d like to use in the email can be imported and quickly added to your email through BEE free or you can choose from their selection of stock photos. Click on the section of the email you’d like to place an image. In the right hand tool bar click “change image”. From there you can choose a stock photo or upload your own. Hit “insert” next to the image you want and that’s it!

At any time while you’re creating your email, you can use the “actions” drop down menu in the top left corner to either preview your template or send a test so you can view it inside an email client. Plus, all of  the BEE free email templates are already mobile responsive.

Once you have your email exactly how you want it, hit “save” in the top right corner. You will then be given the option to truly save your template by upgrading to the Pro version or downloading it for free. For our purposes, we just want to download it so we can put it in Marketo. So for that, just hit the “download” option and you’ll be ready to move on to the Marketo side of things.

How to get your BEE Free email into Marketo

Once you’ve downloaded your email from BEE, you’ll need to open the “beefree” folder that has been placed in your computer’s “Downloads” folder. Inside, you’ll see an .html file. Open that file. It will open a webpage view of the email you just created.

Once viewing that .html file, right click anywhere (except on an image) on that page and select “view page source.” This brings you to a new page filled with code. For those of us who aren’t web designers or programmers, this page won’t make a lot of sense. But don’t worry, you don’t have to understand the code! You just need to know how to copy and paste.

Start by highlighting the ENTIRE page. It’s important that you have ALL the text on this page highlighted as any missed sections will cause your email to not render correctly once inside Marketo.

After you’ve copied the code, you’ll need to open your Marketo instance. Once logged in, navigate to the Design Studio or Marketing Activities – where ever you’d like your new email to live. Open to create a new email and choose “personal note” as your template. This is simply a blank email. Using it here just makes it easier and faster to edit the HTML.

When the Marketo email editor opens, click “email actions” in top left and select “edit code”.  Or you can click the “edit code” button directly on the top navigation bar. Here, you’ll need to delete everything on this page. Once the page is blank, right click to paste the code you copied earlier from your new BEE free email. Now, your email is in Marketo, however, you’re not quite done.

Updating Images once BEE free email is in Marketo

Updating the image links can be the most tedious part of the entire process but it’s really not that bad once you understand the process and may not be necessary in all situations, it just depends on how many images you uploaded to BEE when creating your email initially.

If you uploaded your company logo or any other images to BEE, you’ll now need to upload those same files to Marketo and replace the image links in the code to reference those Marketo hosting links. The reason is, Marketo needs to have access to where those images are hosted in order to properly load them when your email is opened by the end user. Of course, you can opt to upgrade to BEE Pro which includes image hosting which would allow you to completely skip this step. But for those who like to save money with the BEE free option, here’s what you’ll need to do.

In Marketo, open the Design Studio and upload your images to the Images and Files section. Once you’ve uploaded them, open one in the Marketo files. It will give you a link to copy. Copy that link and go back to your HTML code in the Marketo email editor.

To quickly find the correct image link, simply use the search feature in the top right corner when looking at the “edit code” page and search for the name of your image file. For example, if you’ve uploaded a header image and the image file is title “header_image”, search for that and you’ll be taken directly to the link.

Once you’ve located it, simply replace the URL with your new Marketo URL. Be sure to leave the rest of  the code intact. You just want to change the URL, nothing else. Repeat this for all images and save.

Finalizing your BEE Free email in Marketo

The last step in this process is to ensure you’re unsubscribe verbiage and links are added to the BEE email you just created in Marketo. This process can vary depending on how you handle your unsubscribe links in Marketo but the most common process is to use the email settings in the Admin panel of Marketo.

Open the Admin section in your instance and click “Email”. If you have this setup to display your unsubscribe info as you want it, then Marketo will automatically add it to every email sent through your instance. 

Now you have a high class email ready to send to your Marketo database.

Build a Workflow in Pardot’s Engagement Studio

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A workflow can be summed up in one phrase. They can save you a ton of time! Specifically, a workflow is a sequence of actions that are automated based on set criteria. This criterion is usually established by a prospects behavior and/or data your business has collected on that individual. A workflow can be built out using Pardot’s Engagement Studio tool. This tool is a visual workflow builder that allows a number of actions to be automated such as sending emails, updating fields, adjusting prospect score, and more. While the most common type of workflow is client facing, they can also be used for internal efforts, such as setting notifications and updating custom fields via Salesforce.

Common Types of Workflows

1) Prospect Activity Workflow

Based on your prospects activity, you can automate actions like sending email autoresponders. Pardot’s Page Actions are meant to “flag” priority pages on your website. You can also set Completion Actions within these Page Actions that tell Pardot to kick-start an automated activity when this page is visited. If you’re a content marketer, Pardot’s Page Actions are going to be a dream come true. This tool will allow you to mail more relative communication to prospects who have visited content offers. For example, a contact visits your blog The Best Snacks to Have with Peanut Butter. Using Pardot’s Page Actions you can automate an autoresponder email linking to your related blog Top Peanut Butter Desserts for the Holidays.

**Note: Keep in mind that page actions do not work if you do not have a website tracking code from Pardot present on your website.

2) Nurture Workflow

This type of workflow is exactly as it sounds. The idea is to nurture prospects over time to introduce your company and offer value. New leads may not be ready to commit to your company’s product/service, but by nurturing them you stay top of mind. Nurture workflows typically have three objectives

Create awareness — Introduce your company and it’s products/services. What makes your company special? Why choose your products/services over the industry leaders?

Offer value — Share valuable content that will resonate. Blog posts, case studies, white paper, etc. Offering valuable resources helps creates trust.

Convert — Converting the prospect is the most important objective in a nurture workflow. A prospect converts to a lead or contact once they’ve requested more information in one form or another. Some examples include inquiring on a web form, creating a membership, starting a free trial, etc. This signifies a point of interest or sale.

3) Upselling/Cross-Selling Workflow

Creating additional opportunities for your company can be easily automated with Pardot’s dynamic list and engagement studio tools. If you’ve ever heard the expression data is key, here’s a great example of why it matters. Dynamic lists are emails list that can automatically populate based on criteria. Furthermore, these auto-populated lists can be entered into engagement programs, which automatically filter contacts through a workflow. Companies can use these Pardot features to cross-sell or upsell to their market segments. For example, by creating a dynamic list based on recent customers who have purchased a lawnmower you can automate an email series showcasing your top grass seed brands.

3 Steps to Build a Workflow in Engagement Studio

Workflows can vary in size and complexity. If it’s your first time with a marketing automation tool like Pardot the set-up and launch of an engagement program may be overwhelming. Just remember to take a step back and always keep in mind what the ultimate goal is get more help on building Pardot campaigns.

Step 1: Ask yourself these questions

  • What is the end goal/objective of this workflow?
  • Who is your audience?
    • What does your audience want to hear from you?
  • Are you offering value to your audience? (i.e. Whitepaper, Case Study, Downloadable Resource, etc.)

Step 2: Create your assets (if applicable)

  • Resources
  • Landing Pages
  • Email Templates/Write Content

Step 3: Build and Launch

  • Sketch your workflow out on paper
  • Build in Pardot’s Engagement Studio
  • Launch!

Engagement Studio Terminology

If you have started to play around with Pardot’s Engagement Studio, you’ve probably realized the three different options when building the steps to your workflow — Action, Trigger, and Rule.

An action is an activity Pardot is taking internally or towards your prospect. Some examples include adding a prospect to a list, applying tags, and sending an autoresponder email.

A trigger is an activity your prospect has taken in which you are looking to track. Triggers can consist of tracking email opens, clicks, form submissions, landing page visits, and more.

A rule is checking for internal data you have on your prospect. Rules include checking if they have a custom field, if they’re a member of a list, if they have a certain score, and more.

Both a trigger and rule can be used to build out different “yes” and “no” paths within your workflow – get more hands-on with an engagement studio webinar.

Learn more about the basics of Pardot’s Engagement Studio.

Designing Pardot Campaigns in 5 Steps

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When you are first getting started with Pardot, the concepts of nurture marketing and marketing automation may be new to you. And, even if you already have a good understanding of these concepts, you may need some new campaign ideas from time to time. The way to ensure that you are successful when designing Pardot campaigns is to understand the audience that you are speaking to and what types of content will best suit the purpose that you are trying to achieve. Pardot’s automation and segmentation tools allow you to think more intelligently about which messages different groups of your audience should receive, and therefore control their experience.

Nurture Marketing

A nurture marketing strategy is one that incorporates multiple touch points with the goal of nurturing a lead to a point of sale or interest.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is the concept of utilizing technology to automate communication with your audience. It allows audience behaviors, such as email opens and website visits, to be tracked, and even trigger subsequent actions.

 

Step One | Build Your Audience

The best place to start with a new Pardot campaign is to define the audience that you would like to create a campaign for. This may be new prospects that enter Pardot through a contact form on your website, leads from a recent trade show you attended, or existing members of your database. When marketing to existing leads, you will have the ability to segment the list based on prospect score, tags, activity, or any field data. Read more on audience segmentation here.

Some examples of target audiences from your existing database may include:
Inactive Prospects → Run a re-engagement campaign to prospects that have over 90 days of inactivity.
Open Opportunity → Run a reminder campaign to stay in front of your open opportunities with targeted, personalized messages.
Industry → Run a campaign geared toward prospects within a certain industry.

 

Step Two | Create Campaign Messaging

Once you have selected the audience for your campaign, the next step is to craft the content and messaging that will resonate with that audience. Be sure to incorporate a central call-to-action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a demo, and tailor your messages to align with that call-to-action.

An important part of this step is determining how many email touch points the campaign should have. Is this an audience that will benefit from weekly or biweekly communication? Is this lead at the end of their sales cycle and needs more aggressive communication? Consider your audience, and how many different touch points should be assembled.

Crafting effective content often involves informative or educational pieces. These pieces should be related to your call-to-action, but should not be overbearing. For example, if you are marketing commercial loans, you may provide a content piece that contains tips for positioning your business for financing. This helps to establish you as a thought leader in your space, and is a soft nudge to nurturing your lead to the point where they are ready to make a purchase. When your prospects engage with this type of content, it is also typically indicative of their intentions and helps to qualify them as a sales opportunity.

 

Step Three | Design Campaign Assets

When you have written your content, it is time to design the digital assets for your campaign. This will mainly be the email templates that you will need for sending, and may involve landing pages that you direct your prospects to during the campaign, or any accompanying downloadable infographics/whitepapers.

Your designs should convey your call-to-action clearly, and stick to your company’s branding. To really tie everything up with a bow here, make sure that you have generated a text version of your email, and included links behind all of your photos. Mobile users especially will expect that they can tap on an image rather than a text link to arrive at the intended destination.

 

Step Four | Build the Workflow Structure

With your audience segmented, content crafted, and design created, you are ready to build out your workflow in Engagement Studio. In addition to sending out your emails at specific intervals, Engagement Studio allows you to send your prospects down different paths depending on their behaviors, or any of their profile data. Think about any behavioral triggers such as email clicks or form submissions that may make you want to treat the prospect differently. Or, would you like to have prospects of a particular industry receive a specific case study that pertains to them, while the rest of the prospects receive a more general case study?

Building out a workflow can be overwhelming, so the best advice is to map it out on paper ahead of time. Draw a physical path that you would like your prospects to take, and then take that to Engagement Studio to investigate your options. Read more on building out your workflow here.

As part of the beginning and end of your workflow, consider adding a notification or task for sales reps. This can help them prepare and adjust for incoming inquiries as well as prioritize who they follow up with.

 

Step Five | Launch

If you have built your workflow in Engagement Studio and everyone involved has had a chance to review it, go ahead and schedule out your campaign! Be mindful of the best sending times for your audience, and adjust your workflow accordingly. The Engagement Studio allows you to set specific days and time periods for sending, so that your emails will always be delivered at the ideal time for your prospects.

Looking for more workflow ideas? Check out these templates from Pardot.