What Really Works with Lead Gen?

B2B businesses face a unique challenge when it comes to growth marketing. Generating consistent demand and keeping your pipeline full of qualified leads is the best way to establish successful growth, but how exactly should you approach making that happen?

Do you focus on targeting specific buyers directly with explicitly account-based marketing tactics? Or do you attempt to appeal to a larger audience in the hopes that the right buyers will find you? In the end, it’s all about balance.

If you want to supercharge your lead pipeline, you’re going to have to embrace a variety of tactics across an array of mediums. We created this guide to help you do that. Read on for actionable steps you can take to tweak your strategy in a way that will increase lead generation and support positive, sustainable growth.

Understanding Your Audience

Underpinning every aspect of your strategy should be an understanding of your ideal customer. Once you have a solid grasp on your audience, you’ll be better able to create effective content and understand which channels and tactics best serve your goals of reaching that audience. There are two important elements to doing that.

User Research

You may think that you already know who your customer is. You probably have data that tells you what industry they’re most likely to be in, their general age range, their title, and what problem your product or service solves for them.

That’s all great information to have, but it’s not enough. The picture it paints is, unfortunately, pretty one-dimensional.

If you really want to unlock growth, you’re going to have to get a lot more cozy with your customers. Go beyond the surface. You need to understand how they think.

What motivates them? What are their most trusted sources for information? What questions are they going to ask your team? What will their objections be when it’s time to close the sale? You have to really dig deep!

To do this, you’ll need to engage with your current and past customers. This could include doing phone or email surveys, sorting through past correspondences to gather data, and having in-depth meetings with your customer service and sales teams. The big key here is listening—and not just for what you want to hear, but what your customers are really saying.

We undertook a wide-scope customer research project for our client, The Buy Guys, and found that meshing both a qualitative and quantitative approach unlocked massive hidden potential. After using this deeper customer understanding to implement some changes in the way they communicated with their audience, their leads went up by 138%!

Effective customer research is a big undertaking, but one that is at the core of any successful growth strategy. Once you really pin down who your customer is and how they behave, you’ll know where to meet them and exactly how to speak to them in a way that will both resonate and spur them to action.

Creating Customer Personas

Now that you’ve completed that all-important user research, you can move on to segmenting your customer base by developing personas for each “type” of customer. Having these unified archetypes in place will help your entire team more deeply understand the customer and how to serve them best.

Operating with these personas in mind will affect your organization from top to bottom. They’ll guide product design, as well as help you more effectively organize your campaigns to determine which initiatives will be the most fruitful use of your time and resources. Having solid personas in place also helps the entire team unite around a customer-focused mission.

You’ll use the data you gathered in the research phase to give your personas real depth. Rather than the persona being, “James is a marketing director aged 30 to 35, married with no children, has a college degree,” it will be something more like, “James is a marketing professional with an advanced degree. He looks primarily to industry influencers for his new product recommendations. He has a lot of creative ideas but struggles with efficiency and implementation. He is heavily active on Twitter and Reddit.”

The most important thing about creating personas is capturing that nuance. You want to make this person as real as possible so that you can run scenarios and get results that unlock the best ways to motivate this person to purchase your product or service. That nuance won’t come from assumptions or “gut feelings” about who your audience is, but rather a significant data set and genuine connection with—and understanding of—your customers.


The kind of content you produce as a B2B company is going to be very different from the content a B2C company puts out there. B2B customers tend to be very focused on how investing in your product or service can result in tangible returns for them. You’re not just selling a product to a customer—you’re selling them the promise of increased profits.

The way you approach content marketing, therefore, has to be different too. There are three main points of focus that you need to zero in on as you position your content strategy for optimal growth.

Keyword Research

When businesses are struggling with a pain point and hunting for a solution, the first place most of them will go is the internet. Having your site and related content rank highly on search engines is the best way to get your product or service in front of them in their time of need.

The best way to do that is to crack the keyword puzzle. Finding the perfect set of keywords for your particular business is not a “hunch” game, but rather an involved process of research and testing. There are multiple tools available to conduct this research.

Not only will these tools help you discover keywords you might never have thought of, but they’ll also help you test and determine what’s really worth your money. For instance, your research might uncover that trying to rank highly for seriously competitive short tail terms (think “technology,” “management,” “software,” etc.) isn’t cost-effective. But there may be some long tail keywords with very little competition that you can incorporate into your content to land yourself on page one of the search engine results.

You also want to consider search intent when it comes to choosing your keywords. Do you want to rank highly for informational searches? If your goal is to increase brand awareness, then probably so. Or are you only interested in ranking for transactional intent keywords (meaning that when people search for those terms, they’re ready to buy)?

Consider your audience and your end goal here. Look at the entire picture before determining which keywords you want to go after.

On-Page Optimizations

Optimizing each page on your site will take some time, yes, but it’s worth it. The first step in this process is auditing your technical SEO—in other words, ensuring that your code is top-notch. Make sure that your site is set up in a way that maximizes every possible opportunity for crawlers to index it.

Next, ensure a flawless user experience. Is your site easy to navigate? Does the site load quickly? Does it function fluidly on mobile devices? If not, you’re going to see visitors abandon your site more often, which means you’ll struggle to rank highly on the SERP.

When people click on your link from a keyword search, are they taken to the correct page? If someone has transactional intent and is ready to purchase, but your link for that keyword sends them to your blog, that’s a missed opportunity. If they’re only looking for information about your brand and you send them directly to a product page, they could be turned off. It’s important to consider the customer’s entire journey when you’re organizing your on-page SEO.

Lastly, if you want to rank highly for your desired keywords, you need to make sure they appear throughout your site. This is why keyword research is so important. You don’t want to choose a set of keywords only to have to go back and attempt to shoe-horn them into your site in a way that doesn’t make sense, which leads to our last point.

Consistent, Quality Content

There is nothing more effective for increasing your SERP positioning than becoming a source of trusted content. The more people click on your content, the more it catches the attention of the search engine algorithm. A great way to do that is to embrace the hub-and-spoke approach to aggregating your content.

In this model, you create a central location to house all of your related content around a certain topic (your “hub”) and, from there, link out to pages that contain anything related to that topic (your “spokes”). This method is great for increasing your site’s ranking, as it focuses on providing customers with a broad and deep base of knowledge while also making great use of internal linking and on-page optimization. Search engines also give you a boost because users will spend more time on your site.

Focusing on high-quality content will take an investment of both time and money, but it’s more than worth it when you consider the returns. Finding a way to differentiate your content from that of your competitors is key, so focus on unique content that is hard to duplicate. You can do this by making sure to include relevant and up-to-date data as well as quotes from industry leaders and input from experts in the field.


The B2B approach to pay-per-click marketing is naturally going to differ a bit from the B2C approach. You probably already realize that, as your audience has a much narrower scope than that of a business selling apparel or consumer electronics. Understanding those differences upfront will help inform your campaign and make it more successful.

How Is B2B Unique?

Your buyers won’t all look alike. Depending on the company, any number of roles might be in charge of procuring products and services to help the business grow (see the Creating Customer Personas section above for more). You must keep that in mind when creating ad creative and copy.

Your buyers are also more likely to be doing heavy comparison shopping, as the purchase will probably be a large investment or an ongoing relationship. You’ll need to do a lot more in the way of proving the value of your product or service, rather than running “deals” or focusing on flashy imagery. You’ll want your paid search terms to lead to things like white papers and case studies that help the buyer see—in black and white, backed up by numbers—why your product is superior.

Lastly, your sales cycle is going to be a lot longer than a B2C cycle. It can take three to six months to see any ROI for a B2B campaign, so don’t get downtrodden if you don’t see immediate results from PPC. They will come!

Executing PPC for B2B

As with any good PPC campaign, your first step is research. You want to make sure you have a deep understanding of your market and, beyond that, how that market operates in a PPC landscape.

Before you go throwing money at paid search, figure out what people are searching for when they find you. Weed out any terms that are leading people to you for products or services that are related to what you sell but aren’t actually in your offerings.

For example, say you sell software for alarm systems but not the associated hardware. You want to make sure people aren’t finding your site when they search “motion detector sensors,” as those would be fruitless clicks that never translate to sales for you.

As for keywords, figure out which search terms are most used in your industry. With B2B companies, acronyms are far more common than in B2C searches. Also, if you sell something with a unique part or model number, that should definitely be in your keyword bank.

It’s useful to think about the customer relationship when choosing keywords, as well. You’ll probably want to toss “vendor,” “supplier,” “tool,” or “partner” into the mix, depending upon how your internal structure is set up.

Next, you’ll want to group your ads into sections corresponding to your sales funnel. The way you market to someone who is just discovering your brand is going to be very different than how you market to someone who is ready to pull the trigger, after all.

For searchers in those early stages, you’ll want your copy to lean on things like white papers and any awards or distinctions your company has earned. For searchers further down the funnel, you may want to drill down into more specifics about your product or service to help make that final conversion.

The Power of Copy

Your approach to ad copy is also going to be unique. B2B companies don’t have the same types of CTAs that a B2C company would have. There is no “buy now!” or “add to cart” in the B2B world.

Very rarely does anyone impulse purchase your product or service. Typically, your buyer undertakes a significant amount of research and will need to have multiple conversations with you and then internally with their own team before making a purchase. Because of this extended sales cycle, your ad copy should focus on phrases like “download our free white paper” or “set up a free consultation today.”

You also want to communicate value to potential buyers effectively. How you do that will differ depending on their role in the company. Are they the CEO? The CFO?

Use your research to create those personas so that your copy reaches them in a more targeted fashion. A CEO, for example, might love to see that your product is “best in class,” whereas the CFO is going to do a double-take when they spot “cost-effective” in your copy.

You can also utilize your ad copy to prequalify leads. When you’re paying per click, this is super important, as it reduces wasteful ad spend.

Your copy should be as specific as possible when it comes to what you offer, since there are so many niche B2B businesses. By showcasing the exact product/service and maybe even mentioning a price range (e.g., “With packages starting at $250 . . .”), you’re weeding out anyone who isn’t looking for exactly what you’re selling and/or can’t afford what you’re charging. This means that everyone who clicks on that link will be a quality lead.

Set It and Forget It?

The last step to take with your PPC strategy is to make time for regular evaluations of it. Best practices and search algorithms are changing at a rapid pace. Not only do you want to make sure that you’re getting a solid return on the time and effort you’ve spent to build these campaigns, but you want to make sure you’re always using the most current and up-to-date tools at your disposal so that you can get the most bang for your buck!

Paid Social

Social media is a massive sales driver for the B2C business sector, but a lot of B2B companies have avoided really entering the fray. And we understand why: Brands selling skincare or sparkling jewelry likely benefit from a highly visual and enticing medium like social, but if you’re selling group health insurance or wholesale auto parts, it can be hard to imagine how Instagram could help you find new business.

But no matter how unsexy or “boring” your industry might feel, there are people active on social media who would be interested in buying your product or service. Again, it’s about doing the research and finding a way to connect with them.

Goals and Strategy

First, you need to determine what you want to get out of this and how you’ll measure your success in that regard. Do you want to increase awareness? Then you’ll keep an eye on your follower count.

Or maybe what you want is engagement. In that case, keep tabs on how many “likes” and “shares” each post receives. Ultimately, the goal is more conversions, of course, but laying the groundwork for how to get there is vital.

Once you’ve established your goals, you need to commit to a strategy (and write it down!). Identify your target audience, and consider what type of content they would want to see. Even if it’s not 100% specific to purchasing your product or service, if you’re providing them with quality content that is relevant to their daily life, they’re going to engage with your brand more. Don’t forget to take a look at what your competitors are doing on social as well, including what is and isn’t working for them.

Brand Voice

A big part of executing a paid social strategy for B2B companies is not being dry. People log into social media to relax and converse with friends. Being stale or robotic is a great way to get them to scroll right past your ad.

Create a persona for your brand on social, and stick to it. Are you playful and a bit cheeky? Motivational and inspiring? Authentically and genuinely passionate about what you do? Positioning yourself as an industry trendsetter or forward-thinker?

Whatever fits your brand best, embrace that voice, and then use it to engage with other users about things other than your products or services. Provide value for the community by sharing about initiatives you’re undertaking or trends in your industry that you find interesting. Be warm and personable, and show people the humanity behind the keyboard.

Where to Be, What to Do, and Who Should Do It

Determine in the research phase where your strongest following will be and focus your attention on those channels. While for many B2B businesses, this is LinkedIn, don’t discount having a presence on other channels as well.

YouTube and Vimeo can be great channels for video content that showcases your products and tells your brand’s story. And Twitter and Facebook have an astonishing number of users who are active every day.

Look at where your industry’s leaders are present and thriving to get some ideas of where you might be successful. Look at the demographics for the top platforms. But be wary of stretching yourself too thin; only take on what you can effectively manage. It’s better to not be on a channel than to be there and do nothing.

Once you’ve got yourself set up in the right spots, you can begin rolling out your strategy. Encourage your employees to be advocates and share the brand’s posts on their personal social profiles. Connect with other users who are looking for solutions in your wheelhouse.

Don’t just link your products over and over, either. Really engage in conversations with people, and provide resources (both internal and external to your company). This will situate you as an expert and help build a relationship of trust between you and the user, making it more likely that when they go shopping for a solution, they’ll remember your name.

Lastly, you want to make sure the right person in your company is holding the reins on this. While most people these days use social media, that doesn’t mean they can manage a business account effectively. An understanding of the industry does not translate to being able to use this medium to generate new leads.

If no one on your team has experience or is eager to take on social, you may need to make a new hire. If you don’t have it in the budget to hire a social media manager, consider working with an agency or freelancer to help you out. In a world where social media dominates the conversation, it’s essential that your company be present and engaging.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you as you work towards increasing quality lead generation for your B2B business. We know it seems like there are a lot of moving parts. But with proper research, planning, and testing, these tips can really help you elevate your business and put you on a path towards solid growth.

B2B businesses have very different needs when it comes to growth strategy. But don’t let that prevent you from chasing down avenues to expand your business and increase your profits.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.


Home Page or Landing Page? Where To Send Your Paid Traffic

Think your homepage is good enough to send paid traffic to? Think again.

First of all, what is the difference between a homepage and a landing page?

A homepage is the central focus of your website

It’s used as the front-facing asset for the various forms of traffic coming to your business.  

A homepage is meant to:

  • Clearly align with your audience and their needs
  • Be easy to navigate to other areas of your site
  • Make it obvious how to convert into a lead or take next steps to engage further with your company
  • Be clear and comprehensive about what you do
  • Leave a good impression about your brand and what it stands for

A homepage is important because a lot of the disparate traffic across the web will somehow be pointed to your homepage, including SEO backlinks which are generally pointed towards homepages.

If you’re doing a lot of networking or emailing you could also see a lot of direct traffic typing in your name and going straight to your homepage. In general, more than 50% of your website traffic will go to your homepage.

A lot of companies take great pains to make sure their homepage is optimized to convert. This amount of effort on the homepage can sometimes lead a marketing manager or decision maker to favor the homepage for paid traffic rather than a landing page. The thinking is usually that if you’ve put in the effort to raise conversion rates on the homepage, it should be a strong enough to capture paid traffic as well.

So, in comparison, what is a landing page?  

A landing page is a narrow-focused page. It’s designed to align even more closely with a specific need your audience has. According to Neil Patel, a landing page is developed with One reader in mind, for One big idea.  

A landing page is meant to:

  • Have 100% Ad -> Page consistency with messaging (i.e. your paid ad is about an upcoming webinar and your landing page is all about that specific webinar topic with a form to fill out to save your seat)
  • Leave the audience with one option of what to do next, usually in line with their specific pain point (i.e. you send paid traffic looking for the Keyword ‘Promo Product Samples’ to a page where they can get samples of your Product, not the homepage where they can get samples, mock ups, catalogs, and join the mailing list)
  • Be the solution they’re looking for (i.e. someone is looking for Apple Macbook Pro and you send them to a page all about the Macbook Pro, rather than sending them to a page with various apple products to choose from)
  • Follow the best practices for a homepage like leaving a good brand impression and being easy to convert

A landing page by its customizable nature is a better choice for (increasingly expensive) paid traffic because it aligns more closely with the customer journey. In fact, companies that test their homepage versus landing pages have seen big increases in conversions, up to a 55% lift

The reason is that a landing page speaks directly to a user’s need, which you should have already hyper-focused using your ad targeting and ad copy. By the time the customer gets to your page they should be relieved to have found exactly what they’re looking for.

Homepage vs. landing page

When deciding on sending paid traffic to a homepage versus a landing page, think of the customer and where they’re at in their journey. 

If they are showing any kind of buying intent or product/service specificity within their paid search, think about catering to that with a landing page. Another case for a landing page would be remarketing specific products (Macbook Pro) to specific segments of audience (cart abandoners) that showed interest in that product.  

But my homepage is still good enough, it converts well!

If your traffic is very top of funnel and searching for more vague terms, or if the searcher is simply searching for brand terms, you could get away with a great homepage. Another case for the homepage is remarketing to that top of funnel traffic, the people that aren’t as familiar with your brand.

As always with marketing, think of the customer first and where they are in their journey. Then, test using a landing page versus a homepage, catering your funnel to the user’s needs, and watch your conversions skyrocket.


We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.


How We Learned From 1,000 Customers in One Afternoon

Customer research at scale is hard.

When you hear phrases like ‘big data’ or ‘quantifiable data’, it can feel paralyzing to know where to start.

I can almost instantaneously feel my eyebrows furrowing and my brain pleading for coffee when I try to keep up with the latest marketing trend or ‘best practice’.

There’s so much out there, it’s often hard to know where to start. As a business owner you might feel a lot of pressure to continue coming up with creative ways to connect with and reach your audience. Or, there might be some technical skills that are better to hire an in-house marketer or agency to take on.

However, there’s one fundamental marketing skill we’re taught from pretty much day one of our lives ― listening.

When you’re eager to share your message and product value, this can be easier said than done. But, when it comes to good listening it’s not about what you are saying. At Tuff, we start every client relationship with customer segmentation.

We recently went through this activity with a client. The Buy Guys, a Florida-based home buyer and seller that has purchased over 10,000 homes in the last 10 years, came to us to help increase quality leads that convert. By updating their website and digital marketing strategy, leads are up by 138% this year. And, the cost per lead has decreased by 36.92%.

Our first and most critical step? Customer segmentation.

Why Customer Segmentation?

Customer segmentation is really a fancy way of saying: ‘who are your customers? And, what do they want?’.

You have to know who your target audience is, what their problems are, and how they want to interact with you. Having these questions explicitly answered will allow you to build a much stronger marketing strategy based on both qualitative and quantitative data.

In the above section, you may have noticed that instead of saying The Buy Guys came to us to ‘help increase leads’ it was ‘to help quality leads that convert’. That distinction is important because it’s worth your time to get to know your customers so you can tailor your digital marketing strategy to convert the type of leads you know you want.

This requires being intentional before you start into executing on tactics but it will help you achieve much better results on those tactics. The good news is, if you take the time to look for it, your customers are generally already answering these questions for you.

You just have to know where to look.

Your sales and support team members (maybe it’s even you doing all of it) and the tools they use, are the best places to start.

Customer Segmentation in action

If your team is already engaging with customer and clients over the phone, this is an awesome place to start. You can gather both qualitative and quantitative information and the power of hearing your customer’s voice and the tone they use, is unmatched.

To start to get to know the audience interacting with The Buy Guys better, we took both a qualitative and quantitative approach using CallRail, a call tracking software the team had been using to log sales calls.

Qualitative Approach

The qualitative approach was listening to 100 phone calls in CallRail, taking detailed notes and listening for things like what kind of words is the customer using?, what was the very first problem they explained over the phone?, what were they hearing, thinking, feeling, saying?

For this step, you can use a Google Doc or your note taking tool of choice. Here’s the format we like to use, it’s best to keep it simple and focus on listening:

Caller name:__________________

First Question:__________________

Notable quotes:__________________


Wait till the phone call is over to add in their goal, it can sometimes take the whole call to assess. Here’s an example from The Buy Guys (with the name changed for privacy):

Caller name:
Harry Potter

First Question:
How does the process work for selling?

Notable quotes:
“I had a realtor, they weren’t doing anything to make progress so I took over.”

To sell property quickly

By about the 10th phone call you listen to, you’ll start to notice a few trends in the customers’ goals. This is where you can start to segment the customers.

Create sections in your notes with the headline being the different goals (i.e. To sell property quickly’). Try to keep this to under 5 different goals. There will be outliers and the occasional customer going down a different path but you should be able to start segmenting customers into groups. When you get to the ‘Goal’ section of your note for each call, copy and paste the whole entry under the goal section it best aligns with.

In doing this, you now have different customer segments with the powerful supporting data of quotes and first questions.

Quantitative Approach

The quantitative approach using CallRail was to export data from over 1,000 calls to see larger trends such as time of day people are calling, what page the visited before calling, where are they calling from. Any call tracking software should allow you to export a CSV full of super helpful data.

Your call tracking software should also offer an analytics section to learn more about the behavior of the callers. In CallRail, we found two charts especially handy in understanding more about The Buy Guys customers:

These charts provide insights into what time of day callers have the most time. It can help create ideas around what kind of jobs they have, when they are most available, and are they more likely to engage on the weekends or during the week? This is where we can explore some of that customer research at scale.

For The Buy Guys, we were focusing on building a new website to capture more leads. By taking the time to dive into CallRail and gather qualitative and quantitative data about their customers, we were able to build customer personas. Using these customer personas, we were then able to use a shared language to talk with their team and our UX designer about the behaviors, motives, and ideas of the target audience.

Where else to look?

The Buy Guys had a wealth of data in CallRail but not every business uses the phone for sales or there might not be enough data there yet to be meaningful. That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

There are a number of other places where your customers are letting you know what they need and want from you:

Email conversations:
You can go through a similar process by reading through support emails and tagging them with the ‘goal’.

Ask your sales and support teams:
There’s a good chance your sales and support team members can give you a list of ten things your customers need and want, off the top of their head. And, the types of words they use and questions they ask.

Online Reviews:
This is especially helpful for SaaS companies where review sites are aplenty. If you have an app in the Apple Store, have you read all reviews there? If you have a physical product, what about Amazon? Have people been talking about your service on Quora?

Hop on over to TweetDeck (make sure you’re logged into your business Twitter) and set up your account to monitor for certain keywords. This allows you to find tweets that don’t tag your account and could easily slip by.

Over to you…

With The Buy Guys, we had a specific project where it made sense to start with customer segmentation. But, it should be an ongoing process. If you’re happy with your website, you can try customer segmentation to better inform copywriting for your paid ads.

How do you learn more about what your customers want and need? What does customer research at scale look like to you?

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.


5 Simple Strategies to Improve PPC Results

One of the most exciting pieces of working on PPC is that every account is different and some tactics that work for one account may not work for another.

However, every time we roll up our sleeves and start a new campaign or want to see changes in a current campaign, we have 5 go-to strategies we feel confident will improve PPC results.

In this post, we share 5 straightforward ways to improve your PPC performance — all of which are proven and have worked for us.

What’s included?

  • Can we reduce non-converting spend?
  • Can we improve our keyword match types?
  • Can we align our ad copy more closely to our landing page?
  • Can we make bid adjustments by device?
  • Can we utilize remarketing lists for search ads?

Let’s dive in!

#1: Can we reduce non-converting spend?

This is a quick, yet effective strategy. Can you identify keywords that have lots of impressions and clicks, but no conversions or orders? This is called a non-converting keyword: a keyword that spends a significant amount of your budget without providing a valuable return on your investment. It’s important not to get distracted by the vanity metric of clicks, the end goal is conversion.

Reviewing your account and identifying non-converting keywords will help you:

Eliminate waste:
Optimize or pause keywords that have not converted.

Improve the user experience:
Investigate keywords that have a high CTR and high Bounce Rate because this means that the keyword is relevant to the ad but the landing page is probably not correct.

We recently used this strategy when we took over the Adwords account for Jackson Tree Service. This technique helped reduce their Cost Per Click (CPC) by 45% and increase their Click Through Rate (CTR) by 39%. 

#2: Can we improve our keyword match types?

Broad match keywords can be costly because they often generate a large amount of unqualified traffic. Can you, on a weekly basis, use more restrictive match types (modified broad and exact) to filter out unqualified traffic? While clicks may decrease, you’ll be showing your ads to more high intent search terms which will improve sales and increase quality scores.

Broad match is the default match type for keywords unless you select a specific match type. Because broad matched keywords are aimed at capturing a large number of impressions and reach, your ad can show on irrelevant search causing costs to rise fast. Monitor your account for low quality keywords and eliminate any broad match terms that are monopolizing your budget.

For more examples on keyword match types, check out this help doc from Google Adwords support center.

#3: Can we align our ad copy more closely to our landing page?

It’s tough to get potential customers to convert if their pay-per-click experience is not relevant. One of the best ways to make their click experience more relevant is to match the creative and copy of your landing page to the ad copy served on Google.

Here’s an example: If you are a landscaping company in Denver and bidding on the keyword ‘+professional +lawn +service +company +near +me”, you’ll want your ad copy to include the terms “lawn services”, your url extensions to include lawn/service, and your ad description to mention “lawn services”.

In addition to making sure you align your keyword closely with your ad copy, send them directly to a page showcasing your lawn services.

#4: Can we make bid adjustments by device?

If desktop is performing significantly better than your campaign’s average cost per order, and tablet is performing significantly worse, it probably makes sense to increase bids on desktop, while decreasing bids on tablet. This doesn’t mean you have to turn off a device completely. By bringing each segment’s performance closer to the overall average, your campaign should become more efficient and yield more total conversions.

You can see how your campaigns are doing by selecting a campaign, going to your settings tab and clicking “device”. This example shows bid adjustments for desktop and tablet.

#5: Can we utilize remarketing lists for search and display ads?

With remarketing audiences, you have the ability to increase bids for users who are more likely to convert than your average Joe on the street who has never heard of your company and might not be a quality click. This gives you the ability to potentially bid down across product category Search campaigns as a whole but bid higher on audiences more likely to convert. If you have a product category that has a low ROI and isn’t bringing in new 01’s, you can only serve this category to returning visitors.

In order to leverage a remarketing list, you first must place the Adwords Remarketing tag on your website. To access to retargeting tag, open your Adwords account and select “Shared library” from the left menu bar. Under Shared library, select audiences.

If you’re creating a remarketing list for the first time, you’ll see several remarketing options. Under “Website visitors,” click “Set up remarketing” and complete the setup process

Over to you! We’re excited to share our strategies, open up conversations on PPC and learn all together. What PPC strategies do you lean on when looking to supercharge results?

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.


11 Customer Retention Strategies You Can Implement Today

What is customer retention and why should I care? Most people are familiar with the leaky bucket metaphor.

You have your trusty bucket that you’re rapidly filling with a hose. Things are going well, the bucket is filling up with water, until you start to notice the water is staying at the same level.

Then, all of a sudden, you’re losing water. Upon inspection, there are holes in the bottom and sides of the bucket. You might try to plug one of the holes with your finger, or, wrap a rag around the bucket but no matter what you do, the water escapes.

This is customer retention.

Or, rather, the relationship between marketing and customer retention gone wrong. Too often, companies are more concerned with acquiring customers and rapidly filling the bucket that they overlook what happens when a prospect becomes a customer. It’s the responsibility of everyone at the company to complement acquisition with retention.

To go further than metaphors, Bain & Company has found that “a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%”.

In the following section, we’ll share proven strategies we’ve utilized at Tuff and in past positions to increase customer retention and earn the right to growth.

Three men sitting on a couch watching a sports game.

How to improve customer retention

1. Know your target customer like the back of your hand

When you’re working day and night on a product or have your website imprinted on your brain, it can be easy to slip into subjective decisions and designs. You might prefer a certain font or color scheme and think it’s the right choice because it looks better to you. Sometimes, if your customer base is similar to yourself, this can work out okay. However, it’s a big risk.

It’s incredibly important to understand your customer(s) and the job they’re looking to have done. There is an unconscious bias called implicit egotism that explains a tendency of people to prefer things where they have a self-association. For example, if you have testimonials on your website, it’s important the people you have selected to highlight resemble your ideal customers. In order to do this, you need to take the time to identify your target customer and craft an experience tailored to them.

2. Explicitly communicate how you solve their problem

Buffer: “Fully manage all of your social media accounts in one place. No more wasting time, no more logging into multiple social accounts.” 

Evernote: “Organize your work and declutter your life. Collect everything that matters in one place and find it when you need it, fast.”

Mailchimp: “Give your customers a clear call to action. With MailChimp, you can create beautiful landing pages that make it easy for people to buy your products or join your list.” 

These three companies are leaders in their respective industries. Visiting their home pages, you can quickly scan and find these statements. In all three instances, they’re explicitly speaking to the problem a potential customer might have. With Buffer ‘no more wasting time’, with Evernote ‘declutter your life’, and with Mailchimp ‘make it easy for people to buy your products’. 

Our friends over at Buffer have written more on this in a post called ‘People Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions of Themselves’

3. Education > Sales

Your success is tied to your customer’s success. A relevant business metric here is Lifetime Value (LTV). The deeper a customer’s work depends on your service or product, the less likely they are to leave you. There’s a saying that ‘you shouldn’t celebrate a product update, celebrate adoption’. And this, really, comes down to communication and education. Do you have targeted in-app messages? What is your onboarding email series like? When is the last time you ran a survey to learn more about your customer’s needs?

4. Prioritize reducing friction over quick customer support

Education and LTV are much easier when you are building and improving a product to increase the core value to your customers. There are a number of companies that have had success through ‘surprise and delight’ gestures. These tend to get more coverage on blogs and in the news and can have a more viral tendency. According to research from Dixon, Toman, and DeLisi published in The Effortless Experience, the true driver of customer retention and loyalty is the ease of getting a problem solved. Is it extremely clear how a customer can get in touch with your support team? Are you letting them pick the support channel that works best for them or forcing them into a channel you’ve decided is best? 

5. Throw out the traditional support metrics

As a support lead, it can be really tempting to dedicate more time and energy to tracking and optimizing support metrics like response time, happiness score, etc. These are, of course, helpful to know but long term your customers want a product that works well and solves their problem. The traditional support metrics are more straightforward and depending on the culture of your team you may be receiving pressure to focus on them. But, you’ll have a larger impact, ideally reduce the volume of incoming support queries, and help create a product people need and want by focusing your energy on a solid customer <> product team relationship. This is key to great customer retention.

If you don’t have a process for tracking customer feedback and sharing it with your product team, stop reading this article right now and start building it. Open up Trello and create three columns for: ‘bug report’, ‘product feedback’ and ‘product confusion’. Add a new card to the ‘bug report’ column when there is a repeatable issue with your website, a new card under ‘product feedback’ when a customer writes in with explicit feedback or a feature request, and a new card under ‘product confusion’ when you get the ‘how do I…?’ questions. 

Empower your support agents to prioritize asking an extra question to learn more about your customer’s needs rather than focusing on response time.

6. But, still focus on great customer support

It might be a little extreme of us to suggest throwing out traditional support metrics. They have a place and are helpful information but they can’t be your north star. One actionable strategy we’ve seen have a huge impact on retention is related to tracking customer feedback. When you are tracking customer feedback in one location, you have an automatic checklist of customers to follow up with when your team has acted on their feedback. The customer took their time to explicitly let you know how your team could improve, send them a personalized email to let them know you heard them. When a customer feels heard, they’ll stick by you through anything.  

Bonus tip: Help Scout makes tracking feedback and following up super easy with their workflows

7. Test a chatbot

There’s never going to be a future where Artificial Intelligence totally takes over because humans and chatbots are good at different things. Leaning on our strengths and the strengths of chatbots can make for a powerful team. When a chatbot pilot program was initiated in a telco company, it could handle 82% of common queries in customer service. After 5 weeks of tweaking, analyzing, and optimizing by human agents, its success increased to 88%, according to Accenture. Chatbots can help you offer 24/7 support while also freeing up your support agents to handle the more emotionally-driven and empathy-requiring conversations. 

We’ve written more about how to run a chatbot experiment here

8. Use social as a two-way street

Your social media channels need to be more than a megaphone, amplifying your own message. Think about that person you know who is constantly talking about themselves, forgetting to ask about you or how your day was. Your customers want to be heard. Topo Designs, an outdoor apparel company, has someone on their team whose responsibility is to respond to comments and mentions on Instagram. All day long. The ROI might be a little harder to prove but this is how you build  loyal customers and advocates. 

9. Set customer-centric goals

It’s important to set goals and it’s even more important to keep them aligned with serving your customers. 

For example, your digital marketing team might be running a few Pay-Per-Click campaigns. It can be easy to fall into the trap of measuring success based on the number of clicks. And while clicks are really important, converted clicks are even more important. It means you’re helping the customer find the thing that solves their problem. 

Set all goals to rely on the customer’s success. 

10. Be intentional about how you speak about customers

This strategy takes more than one day, it’s a cultural adjustment. But, one you can immediately address and speak up agains. The way you speak about your customers is going to have an effect on how you treat them and how your company as a whole supports them. Do you hear people around your office talking about ‘that dumb customer’ or how they had to ‘deal’ with someone? You wouldn’t be in business without your customers. Even if it’s subconscious, speaking about your customers with anything but gratitude and respect will carry over to your teams interactions with them and how your team prioritizes customer needs. 

11. Marketing + Customer Support = BFF4L

This strategy here is really the big kahuna. All of the previous 10 strategies will be easier to implement when you de-silo your teams and make it easy for them to collaborate on behalf of the customer. 

Your marketing team is at the top of the bucket, filling it with water (customers). Your customer support team is inspecting the holes (reasons a customer is leaving).

While holes may be inevitable, they will get filled much quicker and better when these two teams work together. Empower the teams to work together through embedding a customer team member in marketing meetings, have your marketing team deliver support for an hour each week, no matter how you do it provide positive affirmation about the collaboration. 

At Tuff, we partner on both acquisition and retention strategy and implementation because we want to offer a damn good, leak-free bucket.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.