Today we are very pleased to announce Prospect Ace, a new sales prospecting and intelligence tool that enables users to find targeted prospects from social profiles. Prospect Ace allows salespeople to identify and source verified email addresses and demographic information with a simple Google Chrome browser plug-in. Unlike other data solutions, Prospect Ace’s technology guarantees verified email addresses while ultimately increasing conversion rates of prospecting campaigns.
With Autopilot’s marketing automation platform, Prospect Ace allows users, including salespeople and marketers, to identify and reach targeted prospects, helping create predictable revenue. For example, a salesperson using Prospect Ace can research and find a prospect on LinkedIn or Twitter, and in just seconds build a strategic contact list with verified emails and demographic information. Existing Autopilot customers can add these verified emails to sales and marketing automation campaigns.
We created Prospect Ace because our customers told us they were frustrated with buying lead lists that were out of date and typically yield a low conversion rate for campaigns. Incorrect information, coupled with a lack of strategy is a recipe for failure. Prospect Ace provides sales professionals the tools to build curated and highly targeted prospect lists using social intelligence which ultimately results in a higher conversion rate with an overall lower cost-per-lead.
Check out the video below to learn more about Prospect Ace, or you can download Prospect Ace for Google Chrome by clicking on the red button.
Everyday I’m lucky enough to speak with marketers and business owners from different sized companies, industries and geographies. Time and time again I hear the same question, “How can I improve my SEO and how much money should I spend on PPC?”. It seems as though marketers (when failing generate enough leads) often think that throwing money at PPC & SEO will make the problem go away -- but is this really the right approach? SEO & PPC have a place in demand generation but what is often overlooked is where the prospect will end up -- your website.
According to the SMB Digital Scope Study, 98% of SMBs websites are not optimized for Mobile, 78% don’t have any links to social media and 44% don’t even have their phone number or contact information accessible from their home page. So before you start ploughing money into PPC & SEO it’s best to consider how well your website is optimized to take advantage of new traffic visiting from your campaigns.
Understanding the goal of the campaign and the actions you want prospects to take is critical to a successful campaign. Simply dumping visitors on your homepage and expecting them to browse around, read all about your company and go to the contact page (to find your number) is wishful thinking. Instead, take the time to understand what it is that the visitor will be interested in, what the process and funnel for the campaign will look like and how you will draw their interest through a call-to-action. Set a campaign goal based on budget, time frame and conversions.
Knowing which keywords to use can be difficult but there is always a great place to start: competitors websites. Pick your top 2-3 competitors and use the Google Keyword Tool to do some research. Start small, pick 10-20 of the best keywords you can find. As you learn which keywords work (and don't work) you can expand your keyword list.
If you're working with an agency or consultant, the same principle applies, start simple with only a handful of keywords and overtime you can add and remove keywords based on what works and doesn't work. If you start out too complex you'll never have the time to digest what's really working.
Generally it will make sense to have different content and calls-to-action for different keywords. Instead of sending visitors to your home page or a generic landing page, take the time to create landing pages for groups of keywords with targeted calls-to-action.
If you don't track your spend and cost per aquisition from SEO & PPC you're wasting your time and money. It amazes me when I help marketers track their campaigns for the first time just how poorly the campaigns were performing. Take the time to setup analytics and conversion tracking so you can understand which campaigns, keywords and call-to-actions work best. If you don't track you'll never improve. See how campaign tracking works in Autopilot.
No matter how brilliant you are at creating landing pages and calls-to-action you should always test each and every landing page. A true A/B test is where you test only one variation on your page at a time. Here at Autopilot we are constantly A/B testing our landing pages. We test variations in the copy and the calls-to-action we offer each visitor. By running these tests we're able to understand what combination of factors makes a visitor to our landing page convert into a lead. This helps us maximize our SEO & PPC dollar as our landing pages are constantly improving. To the uninitiated A/B tests can seem daunting and time consuming, but several tools like Autopilot allow you to do A/B testing on landing pages in a matter of minutes.
When we first registered Bislr we always aimed in the future to either change the name of the company or register the obvious variant Bizler. Over time, as you may be aware, the name has become challenging to explain, hard to spell and quite frankly doesn't speak to the simplicity of our product, vision and the future of our company.
After reviewing our analytics, talking with a handful of customers, advisors and people once critical of our brand, we noticed something very interesting. People were using the word Autopilot more than Bislr since the release of the Autopilot app. People were searching for "Autopilot bizler" and "Bisler autopilot" -- so it became very obvious.
As a means to get peoples feedback on our new brand and name, we're rolling this out slowly. Today you'll still find us at www.bislr.com, and soon we will be introducing www.autopilothq.com. We value your feedback, you helped create Autopilot, so we want this brand to reflect not only our ideals but our customers who have helped us build something special.
The only changes you will notice as a customer are to the color scheme of your account and our new logo starting to appear in more and more places. Your back end URL will remain the same and you can still login at www.bislr.com. When we finally do transition to the new domain name, all existing links will continue to work as normal.
We have big plans for 2014 as we continue to scale our business to better support your marketing and sales efforts. We also have a stack of product enhancements and some big product launches coming your way. I'll share more about this on this blog in the near future.
Thanks for everyone's support and welcome to Autopilot!
Internet usage on mobile and tablet devices is increasing dramatically every day. What's surprising is just how many companies aren't putting the time into optimizing their landing pages or website for mobile. As a marketer, a mobile website is something that you should be putting as much attention into as your regular website. By neglecting the mobile experience you risk losing the opportunity to covert your mobile traffic into leads.
Responsive web design is an approach to web design where a site is built to provide the best possible viewing experience for the user (in the sense that its content can easily be read and navigated) across all mobile devices, tablets and desktop PCs. Responsive web design makes it possible for a website to detect the device it's being viewed on, and then intelligently adapt its output.
The reason why responsive web design is so important, and considered best practice, is that by providing visitors with an optimized experience, you ensure that you have the best possible chance of converting them into leads. For example, if a prospect visits your website from their iPad, you can be confident that they're going to see a version of your website that takes full advantage of the iPad screen real estate. Many mobile websites don't do this, and simply output a fixed size mobile website for any mobile device, whether it's a phone or a tablet. Responsive web design also means that a user gets the best possible experience based on whether they hit your website or landing page in portrait or landscape mode.
So if your website isn't yet ready for mobile, remember that starting with responsive web design will save you a great deal of time, and also ensure that visitors have the best possible chance of converting. If your site isn't responsive, it's more likely that visitors will have a bad experience on your site (for example, by having difficultly navigating your content). This is particularly important on landing pages where you want your conversion path to be as simple as possible. Responsive web design allows you to ensure the conversion path is a straightforward as possible across all devices. This leads me to my next point.
If you don't make it simple to convert, visitors will abandon your mobile website or landing page without taking any action. Think about your own experience browsing mobile websites, for example when you want to send a contact enquiry to a particular company. If the site buries this form under a bunch of other content, thus making it difficult to reach, you're probably going to just give up and move onto a competitor's site with a simpler layout. So follow best practice and keep it simple!
Following on from my example, forms are an element that you should ensure are extremely simple on mobile landing pages. If there's a particular field you don't really need to include and won't help conversions, then remove it; the less intimating the better. People want a fast, straightforward experience. If you need more to collect more information, consider a two step process to reduce the perceived effort on the prospect's part.
For other conversion paths, such as call to actions, remember to follow best practice and keep this high on the page so the prospect can readily access them on their mobile or tablet.
It's not good enough just to build a mobile website or mobile landing page and hope for the best. Even if your website is performing and delivering leads this doesn't mean that your mobile website will automatically perform in the same way. Prospects will behave differently on mobile and interact with your content in a different manner.
For example, if you had a call to action to contact your sales team towards the bottom of the page, you could A/B test this and move it higher, to see what effect this has on mobile conversion rates. You could also A/B test the amount of fields you include in your form, to determine which combination of fields optimizes your chance of converting a visitor. The goal is to use A/B testing to make intelligent decisions about how to structure your page.
The goal of a landing page is to turn a website visitor into a sales lead. It's a single page to which visitors are taken after clicking through to your site from an external source such as a paid online ad (e.g. Google Adwords), an SEO optimized search result, email marketing campaign or social media marketing campaign. In theory the premise of a landing page is quite simple, however many marketers still make some fundamental mistakes in their attempts to generate more conversions from landing pages.
Converting a website visitor starts with capturing their attention, and your landing page won't do this without an effective headline. Before writing your headline it's important to remember that you're competing with many other distractions when trying to gain a person's attention; everything from a Facebook notification on their mobile or tablet, to the latest email marketing campaign from their favourite online retailer.
This makes it more important than ever to focus on creating a headline that is succinct and directly addresses one thing that motivates your prospects. By sticking to one problem that your product or service solves, you increase your chance of capturing the attention of the prospect in that critical 2-3 second time span where their eyes scan the headline on the landing page.
An extremely effective and simple way to improve the effectiveness of your landing page is A/B testing your headline. Because a headline is more often than not the prospect's first touch point with your business, it's the one thing you can't afford to leave to chance. A/B testing will provide you with analytics on conversion rates and allow you to iterate on your landing page headline until you've successfully optimized it.
Here's two examples of clear headlines that directly address the prospects problem (project management and online payments respectively):
A regular mistake marketers make when building landing pages is giving the prospect more than one conversion path. This can be overwhelming for a visitor to your landing page because they generally visit on the premise of a clear solution to their problem. The last thing you want is for the prospect to then be left unsure as to how they can most easily get your help to solve their problem fast. This can lead to them leaving your landing page without taking any action whatsoever. This mistake is particularly important to avoid for mobile landing pages; with less screen real estate it is even more important to provide a clear conversion path.
One obvious example would be having an enquiry form, sales phone number and eBook download on your landing page, each with the same amount of emphasis. You need to be much more direct than this and make it absolutely clear which conversion path you want your prospects to take by carefully structuring your page layout, using appropriate heading sizes and so fourth. A modern, responsive content management system (or CMS) will make it easy to build and test with these elements.
This will not only prevent your prospects from becoming overwhelmed, but it will also make it much easier to A/B test your landing pages because they focus on a single conversion path. Any secondary conversions paths should be approached with caution. If you do decide to include any, remember to ensure that they are much less obvious that your primary conversion path.
Here's an example of an landing page with a clear conversion path:
There's very little point spending all this time optimizing a landing page, and then allowing the other parts of your website (for example, a header, footer or sidebar) to distract prospects and reduce the chance that they will convert. For example, a footer full of links to content that is unrelated to the specific problem your landing page is targeting is a fundamental mistake that many marketers make when building a landing pages. A modern, responsive CMS will make it easy to create landing pages that don't include these elements. Again, this is particularly important for mobile landing pages, where unrelated content can clutter the already limited screen real estate.
Here's an example of a landing page which follows best practice in this regard:
Landing pages are at the heart of lead generation on the web. As a marketer you need to contantly create, test and tweak effective landing pages. With Bislr you can visually create responsive landing pages with no technical skills in minutes, not days. You can also easily AB test your landing pages to optimise your conversion rates.
Any best practice website should have an effective call to action (often referred to as a 'CTA'). For those unfamiliar with the term, a call to action is the path you'd like the prospects who visit your site to go down. For example, you might want someone to enroll in a webinar you're hosting, or submit a quote request to your sales team. The ultimate goal of a call to action is to ensure you're getting the most out of the visitors to your website (or websites) and turning traffic into leads. Calls to action are also a very measurable way of determining whether your website is truly performing in the sense that it's driving new business.
So this begs the question - what makes an effective call to action?
As the goal of a call to action is to encourage a prospect to take a specific action, one of the best ways to do this is to make your CTA stand out using color. For a CTA, it's more about contrast and less about consistency with your overall design. For example, if your website colour palette consists of light blues and whites, consider using a bright orange or bright green colored button.
The best thing about color is that it can very easily be changed, so don't be shy about experimenting. A/B testing of your CTAs will help you determine which color drives the best conversion rates. As a marketer trying to optimize your website and drive leads, you may come up against a situation where a design team feels that bright, highly contrasted CTAs detract from your overall design. But remember that with good analytics you'll be able to show that the color is driveng more leads, which is the goal of your website after all.
Here is an example of color contrast on a CTA:
When it comes to websites, always place your CTA in a position where prospects are most likely to see it. There's very little point burying a CTA in a place on your website that is unlikely to be viewed. Remember that many prospects may quickly scan over your website; you often have just seconds to capture their attention. They might also be viewing your website on a tablet or other mobile device. The goal of a CTA is to quickly capture attention; so if the CTA is placed high on your website there's an inherently better chance of this happening.
Additionally, the size of the CTA is important for similar reasons. While it may feel a little out of place at first, like with the color change, you have to keep in mind your overall goal. If this is the one action your want prospects to take, let them know it by making it big enough that they can't overlook it.
Here's an example of this, notice in particular the size of the CTA in comparison to other elements on the page:
It's very important to be direct in telling prospects the action your want them to take. Language such as "Join", "Buy now", "Get an instant quote" all directly encourage a prospect to complete the call to action and increase your chance of a conversion. You can also go one step further and make your CTA more effective by framing your language in more urgent terms (or with a caption), such as "Get a quote (Free before May 29)".
There's only so much text you can squeeze onto a CTA, and ultimately it's ideal to keep your message on the CTA itself simple (as discussed above). But it's also important to remember that it's likely that a prospect may need some background to your product or service before being compelled to click. Your goal is to help them to understand why clicking on the CTA will benefit them; in other words, what problem are you going to solve? Make your message as clear and concise as possible.
In the example below you'll see that the "Download WhatsApp" CTA is supported by the three core benefits that the app will provide to its users:
It's always beneficial to include an additional reason for prospects to complete your CTA. If they're hesitating, this might just be the thing that gets them over the line and converts them into a lead. For example, you might offer a discount or a bonus on top of what an ordinary customer would receive. It's human nature to be attracted to an offer structured in this way. Obviously not all products and services will lend themselves as easily to this kind of offer, so try to be creative when you're thinking of your offer.
Here's an example of one such offer:
Ensuring your website contains effective call to actions can be the difference between a successful website and an unsuccessful website. By focusing on both the visual aspects of a CTA, the content they contain, as well as the manner in which they're framed, you are more likely to turn visitors into leads. Autopilot makes it easy to build, A/B test and optimize your landing pages and call to actions.