Episode 103: New Mission & Features: What Facebook’s Group Updates Mean for Digital Marketers

Where does community fit in your business? Community is so important that Facebook recently changed their mission statement to include community and rolled out 5 Facebook group updates. Join the experts and special guest Suzi Nelson, DigitalMarketer’s Community Manager, to learn what the Facebook group updates mean for digital marketers and how you can use these new features to build and grow your business and make data-driven decisions.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Community’s biggest advantage for businesses and how it positively impacts the bottom line.
  • What the 5 Facebook group updates do and how to use their metrics to create and maintain a thriving community.
  • How one new update will help you create consistent content (« this is one of the key strategies of community building).

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers
[CASE STUDY] How DigitalMarketer Activated 44% of Previously Silent Community Members in 5 Days
Tony Robbins: 6 Basic Needs That Make Us Tick

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 103: New Mission & Features: What Facebook’s Group Updates Mean for Digital Marketers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Where does community fit in your business? Community is so important that Facebook recently changed their mission statement to include community and rolled out 5 Facebook group updates. Join the experts and special guest Suzi Nelson, DigitalMarketer’s Community Manager, to learn what the Facebook group ...Read More

The Only 4 Email Marketing Metrics That Matter

If I gave you $1 to spend in your business, where would it go?

Your first instinct might be to invest in Facebook ads, or maybe to sock it away and save for the latest marketing software.

But the highest return on investment (ROI) might come from a surprising source: your email marketing.

The Data & Marketing Association said that in 2015, for each $1 spent on email marketing, companies made $38 in return.

That’s a 3,800% ROI!

If you want to achieve this result (and who wouldn’t?), you need to figure out if your emails and campaigns are ACTUALLY driving business-building results.

To do that, you need to pay attention to four email marketing metrics. Yes, just four. 🙂

These email metrics are UNIVERSAL and will help you measure the success of your emails so you can create effective email marketing campaigns no matter…

  • … your email list size (whether it’s a fledgling or a full-grown eagle)
  • … your type of business (from ecommerce to brick-and-mortar)
  • … the email platform you use (from MailChimp to Maropost)

Today, I’m sharing…

  • … the only four email metrics you need to track («but you must track them for every email you send)
  • … how to use the metrics to track the two categories of emails («they couldn’t be more different)
  • … and – most importantly – how to figure out if your email performance is good or bad («so you can actually improve your email marketing!)

Let’s get right to it!

What You MUST Track for Every Email

So why only four metrics?

Each of these metrics corresponds with a specific, high-leverage part of your email.

"Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email." ~John GrimshawIf performance dips, reviewing which of these numbers changed can help you understand EXACTLY what happened and HOW to fix it.

The four metrics are…

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate
  4. Disengagement rate

Let’s dig into each of these and go over what they are and how you’ll use them in your own email marketing.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #1: Deliverability

First off, we have Deliverability, also known as delivery rate, which is calculated by dividing Delivered Emails by Sent Emails.

Email Deliverability = Delivered Emails divided by Sent EmailsDeliverability tells you what percentage of emails sent actually make it to the inbox. In other words, it clues you into how likely people are to GET your email.

In general, deliverability gives you a sense of how well your emails pass the “spam test” for Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Yahoo.

If your emails don’t use flagged words and are well received by your audience, your deliverability should be quite high. A healthy deliverability percentage should be in the upper 90th percentile.

Be sure to pay attention to emails with low deliverability. This is a great way to identify language that ESPs don’t like, such as…

  • No Investment Needed
  • Zero Risk
  • No Money Down

(RELATED: [Download] The 8-Step Email Deliverability Checklist to Generate More Conversions, Revenue, and Customer Engagement)

The next metric is one most people are familiar with…

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #2: Open Rate

Your email’s Open Rate tells you how likely people are to READ your email and is determined by dividing Unique Opens by Received Emails. Email Open Rate = Unique Opens divided Received Emails

This measures the frequency with which your emails are opened, and thus read.

Open rate is one of the easiest metrics to affect, making it a well-known metric that is a frequent blog topic, including for us.

Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email.

Since you’ve got roughly 30 characters to catch someone’s eye with a subject line, punchy copy can be the difference between 700 and 7,000 people reading your email.

(RELATED: [PDF Download] DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016 (…and 5 free tools you can use to amplify your email marketing!))

You should use open rate as a barometer of how well your messaging resonates with your target audience. "Use open rate as a barometer of how well your message resonates with your target audience."

The third metric is arguably the most crucial because it most closely correlates with sales…

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #3: Click-Through Rate

Click-through Rate tells you how likely your audience is to ENGAGE with your email, which means it indicates the likelihood that someone will click on a link within your email.

The formula to calculate click-through rate is the number of Unique Clicks divided by the number of Unique Opens.

Email Click-Through Rate = Unique Clicks divided by Unique OpensClick-through rate is so important because it measures whether or not people are actually taking the desired actions with your emails.

Clicks in an email are what drive…

  • Visits
  • Engagement
  • And ultimately… sales

A low click-through rate usually indicates that your email copy is falling flat and is a sign of a weak or unclear call-to-action (CTA).

An easy fix to improve click-through rate is to avoid over-selling your products or services through email and instead focus on getting people to click your link.

The email body’s only job is to sell the click.

Trying to sell your product in there as well means you’ll come up with subpar performance every time.

(RELATED: 4 Emotional Triggers that Increase Email Click-Through Rate)

The last metric is one almost no one thinks about but may give you the most insight into how your email list feels about you and your email strategy.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #4: Disengagement Rate

Disengagement Rate tells you how likely people are to HATE your email.

Email Disengagement Rate = Complaints plus Unsubscribes divided by Unique OpensThis can be computed by adding Spam Complaints to Unsubscribes and dividing the sum by Unique Opens.

Your emails will always drive some people away – you can’t please everyone and trying to will leave your business stuck in neutral.

However, you do need to make sure that the vast majority of readers on your list like what you have to say.

That’s why you want to make sure you keep an eye on your disengagement.

With disengagement rate, you can pinpoint messaging that doesn’t work, and cut that out of your toolbox.

You absolutely must keep your average disengagement rate below 0.15% for your emails, or you’ll start to see your deliverability drop.

You’ve got your four metrics, as well as the basic uses for each of them! Now that you know what you should be tracking, let’s talk about how to actually make that happen.

How to Track Email Performance (and the Two Categories of Email)

Not all emails you send are the same – and the distinction is key when it comes to measuring our four metrics.

There are two different categories of email, but this distinction has nothing to do with the content of the emails. Instead, these categories describe how emails are delivered to customers.

The two categories are broadcast emails and automated emails.

Let’s start with…

Email Category #1: Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are manually set up, scheduled, and sent out of your email marketing software to many people at once.

These are mass communication emails, closer to a piece of mail you get from your favorite clothing store with a 20% off coupon, like this one from Old Navy with the subject line, “SNAGGED IT: $12 SHORTS”:

Old Navy broadcast email example

And from a metrics perspective, broadcast emails are easy to evaluate; since all the emails are sent at the same time, data about these emails is reported in aggregate.

Here’s an example of a broadcast email report we would get out of our email client, Maropost.

Broadcast email report from Maropost

You can see three of our four metrics are automatically generated…

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate

And while the platform doesn’t actively provide Disengagement rate, it can be easily calculated from the formula provided earlier.

Next is…

Email Category #2: Automated Emails

Automated emails, on the other hand, act more like a personal letter.

They are customized to the individual recipient, usually containing more details about a customer and their interests.

These emails are sent out based on actions customers have taken – they can be triggered to send when customers do things like…

  • Fill out a form
  • Purchase a product
  • Visit a certain webpage

Here’s an example of an automated email from Paragon Apparel with the subject line, “Did you see something you liked?” after visiting one of their product pages:

Paragon Apparel automated email example

While the higher personalization means these emails typically perform better than broadcasts, they are also more difficult to track and evaluate because data isn’t always automatically aggregated for these and reporting is provided at a contact level.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Automated email report example

This granular reporting makes it hard to see the big picture and evaluate performance because you have to compare hundreds or thousands of individual reports.

But you need to track BOTH of these kinds of emails if you want to level up your email marketing.

To level up your email marketing, you MUST track it…

Tracking Email Performance with Metrics

We’ve covered why tracking broadcast emails is actually quite easy, meaning your only job with broadcasts is to put the metrics into your email marketing data warehouse (more on this later).

But tracking automated emails, or broadcast emails without proper reporting, is much trickier.

Since tracking isn’t happening within the platform, we have to look to other solutions to get our answers…

If you want fast and easy tracking and don’t mind spending a little money, there are two great solutions from which to choose.

Both Litmus and Email on Acid provide aggregated, in-depth analytics for all your emails. To get started, simply add an HTML snippet to your email template…

Add an HTML snippet to your email template

Email on Acid is the more robust of the two options, with click tracking included in the service.

Unfortunately, neither piece of software reports on deliverability, but even so, these are the fastest and easiest way to get the bulk of your analysis up and running.

If you’re using a lean startup model and don’t want to shell out the money for these platforms, there is a free workaround you can set up using Google Analytics and Bitly, two free tools.

You can use event tracking in Google Analytics to report on email opens, meaning you’ll have your email performance data right there alongside your website information.

This great article from Dyn walks through how to set this tracking up step-by-step.

To track clicks, we’ll turn to Bitly, friend of social media managers everywhere because of its ability to shorten links.

Of course, email marketers can use it to track link clicks as well as shorten links.

Create a Bitly for every link you include in your email – the Bitly platform walks you through how to do this when you sign up for your free account.

Create a Bitly for every link you include in your email

By doing this, you’ll be able to compare total clicks, as tracked in Bitly, to total opens, as tracked in Google Analytics, giving you click-through rate.

And you can compare opens to emails sent, which should be easy to pull out of any email platform.

Deliverability and disengagement won’t be possible, but you’ll have WAY MORE insight than most with this information.

Now that you know how to track all the information, we need to discuss how you’re going to store all of it, and how this will help you avoid a mistake many marketers make…

(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

DigitalMarketer Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

Why You Absolutely, Positively MUST Own Your Own Email Marketing Data

When your email platform provides all of the metrics for analysis in a neat package, it’s easy to conclude that all your work is done – just check individual email metrics and move on to the next thing.

"To build a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you need to take any data you get in your business and hold it yourself." ~John GrimshawThis is a HUGE trap (that many people fall into) when it comes to email marketing because it feels efficient at the time.

To build a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you need to take any data you get in your business and hold it yourself.

There are two key reasons this is critical.

1. Being Prepared for Migrations

The first is that platforms come and go.

Your business will grow and its needs will change over time, meaning that a migration is almost assuredly in your future. Storing data externally makes it easy to be prepared when the time comes.

Take us for example…

Since 2011, DigitalMarketer has leveraged FOUR different email platforms.

If I wanted to compare a campaign we ran in 2011 or 2012 to one we ran today, or just see what the year-over-year trend in open rate was, I’d be out of luck without our platform-agnostic historical data.

2. Turning Your Email Marketing Metrics into Decision-Making Tools

Keeping all your information in one place, ideally one that lends itself to data modeling, helps you turn your data into a decision-making tool.

A simple chart looking at dates and deliverability can help you track how we’ll you’re maintaining compliance over time and whether or not you need to adjust your messaging.

The other important reason is that having a unified place where all this data lives makes it much easier to analyze and evaluate big chunks of data. You can track trends over time, by category or content of email.

Clearly, it’s important to have somewhere you can track these four metrics and the emails they represent that…

  • isn’t tied to any one platform…
  • and can be used to explore your data to find trends and opportunities…

…but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated, as we’ll talk about next.

Storing Email Marketing Metrics Can Be Simpler than You Think

The fancy term for this external storage is a “data warehouse,” but it can be as simple and low-tech as a spreadsheet.

Here’s what the data warehouse DigitalMarketer uses looks like:

DigitalMarketer email data warehouse

You can grab a copy of the tracking sheet DigitalMarketer uses here.

Just visit that link, then click File > Make a Copy, and you’ll have one you can edit added to your Google Drive!

Click File > Make a Copy, and you’ll have a email warehouse you can edit added to your Google Drive

This sheet will make it EASY to track BOTH broadcast and automated emails and get you started with your very own data warehouse.

Tracking broadcast emails is self-explanatory – you just plug the performance for each individual email into each row.

For automated emails, you’ll want to add an update to the sheet every time you get 100 new clicks on each email. That way, you’ll have enough data to give you representative performance metrics.

Now that you know your metrics and your tracking and organizing them, there’s one step left.

What Does Success Look Like? How to Benchmark Your Performance

Figuring out how your emails stack up can be very tricky.

The biggest question I get from people about their email marketing metrics is, “How do I know if my results are good or bad?” Followed by, “What kind of performance do you see at DigitalMarketer?

Unfortunately, that’s not too useful.

Looking at…

  • different markets
  • different products
  • different email lists

…won’t help YOU decide how YOU’RE doing.

You need to look closer to home.

Thankfully, there are two great resources to help you define what success looks like.

Benchmarking Your Performance by Keeping an Eye on Your Peers

The first resource is other people in your industry.

If you’re a law firm, knowing how email marketing generally performs for other businesses offering legal services will give you a great benchmark for what success should look like.

This data will be more FAR MORE useful than the law firm comparing itself to a clothing store.

The same goes for all industries – if you know the general habits of people in your audience, you can evaluate your results.

So, how do you go about this? "If you know the general habits of people in your audience, you can evaluate your results."

Luckily, Mailchimp has created the best resource ever for taking a peek into your peers’ email marketing metrics.

This resource provides averaged email performance data for 46 different industries, ranging from Arts and Artists all the way to Vitamin supplements.

And because Mailchimp sends over 10 billion emails a month, the information is extremely representative of behavior patterns.

Here’s a look at some of that data:

Mailchimp email marketing metrics

The other resource you should use to evaluate your performance is your own data

Benchmarking Your Performance by Looking to the Past

Looking at past performance is one of the best ways to get a sense of where your email marketing program is at the moment.

To turn your historical data into something usable, you need to compile it.

This can be done pretty easily – generate averages for your four-metrics looking at the past…

  • six months
  • year
  • and three years

…to see what direction performance is trending and to come up with benchmarks to compare current performance to.

"The only way to start improving it is to understand where you are at the moment."Whether or not your email marketing is where you want it to be today, the only way to start improving it is to understand where you are at the moment.

Leveraging these two different sets of data will give you reasonable expectations and help you understand how your email marketing shapes up.

In addition to the details on how to improve individual metrics, making your audience more or less specific is the next best way to improve performance.

To beat your baseline, try experimenting with a smaller list, targeted by topics you know they’re interested in.

And experimenting with the email’s subject line and body copy is a great way to boost performance.

(RELATED: [Swipe] Digital Marketer’s Best Email Body Copy)

Focus on improving one metric at a time – that way you can figure out what’s causing the lift.

What’s next, you might ask?

Well…

Prove, then Automate

Now that you’ve got the basics of tracking and using your email marketing metrics, you can take it one step further by leveraging your broadcast emails to improve your automated emails.

Once you have a good sense of what exceptional performance looks like, you can cherry-pick your best broadcast emails and turn them into automated emails.

That way, every time you send a broadcast, you’re also working in your email marketing laboratory – testing and improving your campaigns!

And by keeping a close eye on these four metrics, you can figure out how to create and maintain effective email marketing campaigns.

(NOTE: Want a plan for truly effortless automated email marketing? Check out DigitalMarketer’s Email Marketing Mastery — on sale for 90% off! Generate at least 200% more sales and conversions from the list you already have… even if it’s tiny! Learn more now and take advantage of this sale!)

Email Marketing Mastery Certificate 90% off for a limited time

The post The Only 4 Email Marketing Metrics That Matter appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

If I gave you $1 to spend in your business, where would it go?

Your first instinct might be to invest in Facebook ads, or maybe to sock it away and save for the latest marketing software.

But the highest return on investment (ROI) might come from ...Read More

What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers

Big news for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform.

Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community

Along with expanding their own internal community teams, the social media goliath also kicked off its first-ever Facebook Communities Summit, gathering hundreds of Facebook Group admins from across the globe to discuss ideas and features that would make Facebook Groups, well… easier to manage.

And that’s when a HUGE announcement was made!

Key community management features will soon be gracing our beloved Facebook Groups, including:

  • Group Insights
  • Member Request Filtering
  • Removed Member Clean-Up
    Scheduled Posts
  • Group-To-Group Linking (this is the one I am most excited about, and I’ll tell you why in a moment!)

So, what do these new Facebook Group features mean for community managers?

Let’s talk about it with real life examples and some sweet images (thanks to Facebook and TechCrunch!)…

Group Insights

From Facebook:

Group Insights: Group admins have told us consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement, and membership—such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.

This. Is. The. COOLEST.

Until now, community managers of Facebook Groups had to either rely on vanity metrics — like the total number of members — or invest in third-party analytic platforms to get any insight into who participated in their community and how often they did so.

I’m so happy to see that Facebook is making an effort to help community managers measure what IS important — like participation and activity.

A word of caution here—it looks like the initial version of Group Insights include some vanity metrics when it comes to community growth:

Community Metrics Insights

Community managers shouldn’t measure growth by a total number of members or a total number of new members — real community growth is a result of member activity, so for the moment, it looks like there is still some work to come in the growth metrics department.

This feature does mean that community managers can potentially stop investing in third-party tools and rely on Facebook to do what it does best – provide valuable data to make the best decisions.

Up until now, Facebook only provided insights for Pages as a way to understand how people were engaging, performance metrics, and help provide better ad targeting.

Community Metrics Insights
Which begs the question… What’s Facebook’s end goal here? Perhaps a way to better understand your community in order to… dare I say it… advertise?

As Mari Smith noted in her insights into this feature, “This could be the first step in monetizing groups. We’ll see.”

Member Request Filtering

From Facebook:

Membership request filtering: We also hear from admins that admitting new members is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, we added a way for them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.

Membership Request Filtering

If you manage a Group, you are acutely familiar with the pain it takes to go through a long list of member requests every day.

Facebook Group Features

It’s time-consuming, it feels like busy-work, and… it’s boring. I’m bored now just thinking about it.

Facebook’s new member filtering feature will be a welcome reprise for communities who focus on catering to specific demographics or locations.

And BATCH. ACCEPTS. Be still my beating heart.

This means community managers can spend their time actually building up their communities through content and strategy instead of spending hours (yes, hours) going through membership requests one-by-one.

From the bottom of my heart: thank you, Facebook.

Removed Member Clean-up

From Facebook:

Removed member clean-up: To help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments, and other people added to the group, in one step.

Removed Member Clean Up

Fellow Facebook Group moderators, I can hear you toasting champagne glasses from here. Cheers!

Every community manager has had to deal with a toxic member at one point or another. Trolls. Spammers. Straight up assholes.

If you’ve ever had to remove said person (and their hateful remarks) from your group, you know how painful it is to go back and make sure the poison from every wayward comment and post is removed from sight.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now in one fell swoop, that jerkface—and all their awful contributions to your community—can be wiped off the face of the planet.

Oh, happy day!

Why is this important for community strategy? Ever heard of the phrase, “Monkey see, monkey do?” 

Humans are imitators; we learn by repeating the actions of others who have gone before us. We naturally mimic behavior that we see… especially in tribes that are linked to our personal identities.

It gets a little complicated from there, but the main takeaway here is that bad behavior can easily create more bad behavior in communities. Our brains are just wired for it (good news though—good behavior works the same way!).

By removing toxic comments and posts, community managers are looking to educate their groups on the proper way to behave — it’s often less a matter of “policing” and more to do with removing barriers to valuable conversations.

The new member clean-up feature will go far in helping community managers keep their communities moving forward; a thriving, happy family that doesn’t have room for the haters.

Scheduled Posts

From Facebook:

Scheduled posts: Group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.

Scheduled Posts

Um, yes, please.

Creating engaging, consistent community content is a cornerstone to helping community members connect with one another.

For example, in our DigitalMarketer Engage Facebook group, we create a #OneWeekOneThing post every Monday so our community members can keep each other accountable on big goals…

DigitalMarketer Engage One Week One Thing

On Friday’s there’s the #CelebrateTheWin post so our members can celebrate their achievements…

DigitalMarketer Engage Celebrate the Win Post

Not to mention our members-only weekly webinar announcements…

DigitalMarketer Weekly Webinar Announcement

And monthly content like #HotSeat!

DigitalMarketer #HotSeat

Community managers understand the power of consistent community-building content… having the ability to schedule these posts is a HUGE time-saver!

That time can be spent actually participating in community conversations instead of creating them.

Group-to-Group Linking

From Facebook:

Group-to-group linking: We’re beginning to test group-to-group linking, which allows group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members. This is just the beginning of ways that we’re helping bring communities and sub-communities closer together.

Group To Group Linking

THIS. THIS S!*T RIGHT HERE.

Why, you might ask, am I so excited about this particular feature, given all the greatness that was just announced?

Two words: Social Density.

OK, four more words…

It’s too damn high.

If you’re not in the know on community management lingo, social density refers to the amount of conversation that can happen in a set space.

For example, let’s say you take five people…

…and put them in the Kauffman Stadium (go Royals!)

That stadium would feel super empty, right?

But let’s take those same five people and put them in a filing room…

facebook-group-features-img14

Now we have the opposite problem — it’s way too cramped!

The same concept applies to conversations in online communities—if your social density is too low, not enough activity is happening to keep new members interested in participating.

If it’s too high, there are so many different conversations happening that it’s impossible to keep up. Large Facebook Groups (like the DM Engage community) suffers from a very high social density.

With nearly 10,000 members, there is such an overload of new conversations and active discussions that it’s difficult for new members to plug in and for active members to find where they can best contribute.

It’s a problem that stunts community growth.

Other community platforms, like forums, address high social density by creating subtopics, like Reddit famously does here:

Reddit

This keeps different discussion topics in their own dedicated area, so conversations don’t get cluttered.

Until now, creating subgroups or subtopics was an impossibility on the Facebook platform. Community managers who struggled with high social density had to do their best to organize content on their own.

The new group linking feature could be a solution for organizing subtopics of communities by groups conversation topics into their own groups — without alienating the community as a whole.

All in all, each of these new features is exciting for community managers. It’s so encouraging that Facebook is now viewing Facebook Groups as a tool for truly bringing people together — and helping community professionals do their jobs better!

Has your Facebook Group been access to these new tools yet? We want to hear about it!

The post What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

Big news for Facebook Groups!

Facebook is fulfilling the commitment it made earlier this year to focus efforts on building true communities on its platform.

Mark Zuckerberg: Building Global Community

Along with expanding their own internal community teams, ...Read More

The Beginner’s Guide to Google Optimize

You’ve probably heard you should be doing more split testing to “optimize” your marketing funnels. You may already be using tools like Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) or Optimizely to do just that.

Guess what?

Google brought their considerable resources to the table and now offers their own split testing platform.

It’s called Google Optimize and it’s one of the more powerful tools on the market.

guide-to-google-optimize-img1

Here’s a snapshot of the reasons why you’ll want to take a look at Google Optimize:

  • Split testing WITHOUT a developer!
  • Automatic integration with Google Analytics
  • Able to implement using Google Tag Manager (if you want to)
  • Advanced targeting capabilities
  • Built-in visual editor

To top it off, this new tool is FREE for 99% of you. Google Optimize Quotebox

NOTE: There is a paid version called “Optimize 360” that’s part of the Google Analytics 360 suite, but that carries a $150,000 per year price tag and is typically for enterprise level tracking and split testing.

Today, I’m sharing the 4-step beginner’s guide to Google Optimize and how you can start using it immediately

Step 1: Create Your Google Optimize Account

The first step is the easiest.

Head over to http://optimize.google.com and sign in using your Google Account.

Once there, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img2

Click the blue “Create Account” button to begin the process of setting up your account.

guide-to-google-optimize-img3

The image above shows how we’ve created an account for our site, MeasurementMarketing.io here.

NOTE: While you don’t have to give Google all those permissions, we typically recommend you do. It’ll help give Google feedback on how you’re using the product so they can make it even better.

Once you click the blue “Next” button, you’ll be asked to create a “Container.”

You’ll store all your experiments under this container, and I recommend naming each container after the site you are testing.

In my case, I’m using “www.measurementmarketing.io” since we’ll be setting up our tests for this site and want them all “contained” in the same spot.

guide-to-google-optimize-img4

You’ll then click the blue “Create” button to get to a screen that looks similar to this:

guide-to-google-optimize-img5

Now we’re ready to create our first experiment!

But first, a very important (though optional) next step…

Step 2: Link Your New Google Optimize Account to Your Google Analytics

Why is this optional?

Simple.

Because not everyone wants to use Google Analytics. Fortunately, it’s not a required step, so if you fall into this group, you can still use Google Optimize.

If you are a Google Analytics user, however, you’ll want to link it to your new Google Optimize account. Once you do, Optimize will automatically send a copy of your split test results directly into your Google Analytics (you’ll see them in the Google Analytics “Experiments” reports).

With those results in Google Analytics, you can segment by traffic source, build custom retargeting audiences, and more.

Short story, if you can link your accounts… you should.

Fortunately, linking your accounts is fairly straightforward…

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And then, once you’ve selected the Google Analytics Property and View that you want the data to flow to, click “Link” to complete the process. How easy is that?

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With your accounts linked, you might come across a message that looks like this:

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The “snippet” is just a piece of code you can copy and paste to your site so Google Optimize can do its job and help you run all those split tests.

It’s pretty simple to do, so we suggest you choose the “GET SNIPPET” option and follow the directions there to get the Google Optimize container snippet on your site.

NOTE: If, like me, you’re a fan of Google Tag Manager, there is a built-in tag you can fire to deploy the Google Optimize container snippet. You can learn more about that here.

(RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Google Tag Manager)

With everything ready to go, it’s time to create our first experiment!

(NOTE: Want to become an Analytics & Data Master? Make smart business decisions by building a powerful analytics dashboard. Let us train you to become a Certified Data Analyst. Learn more now.)

analytics2

Step 3: How to Create Your First Experiment

Ready? Let’s go!

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After clicking on the “Create Experiment” button you’ll see a screen like this:

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As you can see, you’ve got a few decisions to make here.

The first is what to name your test. In this example, we choose “Headline Test.”

Next, you’ll need to tell Google Optimize which URL the test is running on. In our case, it’s the URL of our membership product.

Finally, decide which type of experiment you are going to create:

  1. A/B Test: These are the easiest to setup and use the built-in Google Optimize editor. They are perfect for simple tests (like testing headlines) and they don’t require a developer.
  2. Multivariate Test: This is a more advanced test, and you should only be thinking of using these tests if you have a massive amount of traffic.
  3. Redirect Test: This is the one you choose if you are testing completely different pages built on different URLs.

Google Optimize QuoteboxFor this example, I’m choosing “A/B Test” since I’m testing something simple (a headline) and it’ll give me a chance to show the Google Optimize Visual Editor!

As soon as you click the blue “Create” button you’ll be dropped into “draft” mode where you can define the details of your test.

Let’s start with creating our variant (the thing we actually want to test).

Step 4: Create Your Variant

For this example, we want to test a headline. So, our first step is to create a variant that has the new headline.

Here’s where you’ll click

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Google Optimize then asks us to name our new variant. Since we’re testing a more curiosity-driven headline, that’s what we’ll name it.

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Once we’ve created our variation, we’ll want to double-click it to edit it in the Google Optimize Visual Editor.

The Visual Editor is one of the biggest benefits of using Optimize. It’s pretty flexible and you can make a ton of changes without having to bring in your developer with a few simple clicks. 

Overall, it looks something like this:

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Notice how it brings up the page we are going to be editing?

From here, we just need to click on the parts we want to change and adjust them

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There are a bunch of features that this editor has, including the ability to view your pages using different devices. That way, you can make sure your tests look great… even on a mobile device!

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Once you’ve edited the variation and are happy with the changes you’ll be testing, it’s time to determine your objective(s) and write down your hypothesis.

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In this example, the objective is to improve “session duration” but you could easily make this “Improve Opt-ins” or “New Widget Sales” as long as you have those set as a goal in your Google Analytics.

NOTE: Any goal you have set up in your Google Analytics can be used as an Optimize “Objective.”

Once your Objectives are set, it’s time to adjust the “Targeting.”

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As you can see in the above image, you can adjust what percentage of your visitors will be exposed to this test and what percentage of those visitors are exposed to this variation.

But it gets SO MUCH BETTER.

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In this image, you see we defined our test to only match visitors who see our sales page, but we asked Google Optimize to further filter those visitors to only show the test to those who are using a mobile device AND are in Austin.

Google Optimize QuoteboxPretty nifty, eh?

The targeting of Google Optimize is truly incredible and worth spending a few minutes with. It’s amazing how specific you can get.

Once that’s done, simply click “Start Experiment”

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…and congratulations! Your first test is LIVE!

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From here, it’s a matter of traffic. Checking the results of your tests is pretty straightforward and can be found here…

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They’ll show you which variation is winning (or losing) against the original control.

Remember, be sure you follow these best practices to make sure you’re split testing correctly and aren’t making bad decisions based on faulty data.

Enjoy this new tool from Google! Optimize has a small learning curve (as do all new tools) and it’s a powerful addition your marketing toolkit.

And be sure to bookmark this post as we’ll be adding Part 2: The Complete Guide to Google Optimize in August 2017!

(NOTE: Want to become an Analytics & Data Master? Make smart business decisions by building a powerful analytics dashboard. Let us train you to become a Certified Data Analyst. Learn more now.)analytics2

 

The post The Beginner’s Guide to Google Optimize appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

You’ve probably heard you should be doing more split testing to “optimize” your marketing funnels. You may already be using tools like Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) or Optimizely to do just that.

Guess what?

Google brought their considerable resources to the table and now offers their own ...Read More

Episode 102: Facebook’s Offline Events: The New Way to Track the Untrackable

This is big! The rollout of Facebook offline events is giving marketers the ability to track what the Facebook pixel can’t: sales that happen in your physical store or over the phone after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.

From local businesses to online companies, any business can use and benefit from Facebook offline events, no matter your budget. Join the experts and special guest Scott Desgrosseilliers, founder of Wicked Reports, as they explain how you can use Facebook offline events to your advantage, as well as the caveat you need to be aware of.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Who should use Facebook offline events and how it can have a profound impact on your business.
  • What data may conflict and where to proceed with caution so you can make informed decisions about your Facebook ads.
  • Scott’s #1 metric you should be tracking that will help you understand what creates a new lead for your business.
  • Listen till the end of the episode for a “Ryan Rant” on the problem with direct response and what you can do about it.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Facebook Offline Events: What This Means for Marketers
Wicked Podcast

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a review on iTunes!

The post Episode 102: Facebook’s Offline Events: The New Way to Track the Untrackable appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

This is big! The rollout of Facebook offline events is giving marketers the ability to track what the Facebook pixel can’t: sales that happen in your physical store or over the phone after people see or engage with your Facebook ad.

From local businesses to online ...Read More