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The Best of 2019…So Far

It’s time for end of the quarter reflection. Here at Tuff, we love the transition from one quarter to the next.

It’s a chance to zoom out and take a higher level view of how we’ve been doing on Tuff’s internal goals as well as how we’re performing for clients. We always try to go into the quarter with an integrated plan for our clients and intention on how campaigns, landing pages, emails and more will all work together.

The end of quarter reflection is a chance for us to take a step back and learn from the past few months. And, use those learnings to plan for the next.

We’ll cover:

  • Best Reads
  • Best Performing Facebook ads
  • Best of PPC
  • Best Tuff Growth Experiment
  • Best Tools
  • Best Opinion
  • Best Voices on Twitter
  • Best Emoji
  • Best Spotify Playlist

We also find we get more out of our learnings if we share them with others. So, with Q1 behind us, here’s the best of 2019 at Tuff…so far!

Best Reads

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton.

We spend a lot of time reading about growth and learning from the experiments of others. We’re so grateful for the transparency of other agencies and marketers so we always try to publish learnings from our own experiements as well. Here’re the articles we kept coming back to this quarter:

Retargeting: What is it and how can you use it effectively
When done well, retargeting is an incredibly powerful tool for acquisition and getting the best ROI. We love retargeting and how the team at Bell Curve breaks down retargeting with an easy to understand and easy to apply approach.

The true impact of conversion rate optimization and why it matters to you
We see conversion rate optimizations as plugging the holes of a leaky bucket. By taking the time to discover and fix the holes, you’re going to be more efficient and get the most out of your paid acquisition efforts. In Grace’s words “An uplift of even a 1 percent improvement by channel, device, visitor type at each step of the site journey blend to unveil huge uplifts in both sales and revenue.”

How we Increased Traffic by 1034% in One Week by improving Existing Content (Case Study)
Right off the bat, that stat is jaw dropping. We love this resource because it rings true to something we’ve learned about growth marketing: it’s not always about reinventing the wheel. Sometimes, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by making improvements to what you already have spent time and resource on.

ToFu, MoFu & BoFu: Serving Up The Right Content for Lead Nurturing
Not a vegetarian recipe. We like this breakdown and awareness of user intent and treating parts of the sales funnel differently. For automating distribution of your lead nurturing content, we recommend Yet Another Mail Merge.

The 30-Minute PPC Audit Anyone Can Do
Okay, we snuck in one of our own articles. As the quarter wraps up, we take the time to look back at each of our clients PPC campaigns and learn what worked and what didn’t. If you’re running PPC or paid social campaigns, we highly recommend taking a look back to make small, sustainable improvements based on your learnings.

Best Performing Facebook ads

#1

  • Type of Ad: Facebook Messenger Campaign
  • Audience: Website Retargeting
  • Messages: 34
  • Cost Per Message: $3.14

#2

  • Type of Ad: Instagram Story – Giveaway
  • Audience: Watch Enthusiasts
  • Clicks: 5,731
  • CPC: $0.12
  • Conversion Rate: 40%

#3

  • Type of Ad: Retargeting
  • Audience: Lookalike + Healthy Lifestyles, excluding current customers
  • Clicks: 3, 149
  • CPC: $0.79

Best of PPC

From January through March we ran 467 PPC campaigns for our clients. Looking back, these campaigns contributed to:

  • $1,012,765 managed
  • 1,106,538 clicks
  • 8,670 leads

Best Tools

Adios.ai
Their description: Adiós brings your emails into your inbox just 3 times a day, so you can get sh*t done.
Our breakdown: Are you tied to your inbox? Or, find yourself context switching when you’re trying to deep dive into an account or campaign? Ellen has been using Adios this quarter to eliminate multi-tasking.

Workflowy
Their description: WorkFlowy is a single document that can contain infinite documents inside it. It’s a more powerful, easier way to organize all the information in your life.
Our breakdown: You might notice a theme here with productivity. By using a fractal document format, Workflowy lets you zoom in or out on a topic. You can choose if you want to go deep on a topic or stay at the surface level.

Mixmax
Their description: Gmail-based productivity app for customer-facing teams.
Our breakdown: We’re loving Mixmax for a number of reasons. As we mentioned above in the ‘Best Tuff Growth Experiment’ we’ve been trying our hand out at cold email outreach. Mixmax helps us understand our open and clickthrough rate and refine our copy. It also connects to our calendar and makes it easy for potential clients to schedule a meeting with us directly from the email we send them.

Best Opinion

We love Mayur’s message here: growth isn’t a hack. This is something we talk about quite a lot internally and try our best to instill in our clients. There is no secret for skyrocketing overnight growth.

It doesn’t exist.

A little controversial, perhaps, coming from a growth team. But, we’re sick and tired of the myth that you can flip a few switches and instantly acquire thousands of new users.

Scaling growth is hard. You need to find the right team who can deliver what is needed on a business level. Not, just churn out as many ads as possible. Not ‘hack’.

At Tuff, we reflect that in our pricing. It’s common for agencies to bill on a percentage of ad spend. The problem with this is that it leads to prioritizing spend first instead of focusing on ROI.

Same with hourly rates, they weigh massively in favor of the agency to spend as much time on a project as they can.

We believe the future of growth teams is in being value drivers, rather than service providers. So, we price differently – not hourly, not a percentage of spend. We price on brainpower, a monthly agreement based on our level of partnership.

The most important thing to us is to increase your ROI so we’ll quickly kill an experiment if we’re not seeing the results we want.

Best Voices on Twitter

Asia Matos:
I help #SaaS companies & #startup founders with #marketing & #growth. CEO & Founder of DemandMaven. Previously at two 10x startups. GIF game strong 💪

Alfred Lua:
Product marketer @buffer @bufferanalyze | 🏊🏻🚴🏻🏃🏻

Jennifer Kim:
All things Talent, building better startups, & future of work. Ex-Head of People/early employee @Lever, now planning next chapter ✨

Katelyn Bourgoin:
3X founder turned growth geek. Seen in @Forbes, @Inc, @CTV & more. I help product teams figure out who their best customers are and what triggers them to buy 👓

Best Emoji

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Our team turned to the ‘sparkles’ emoji more than once or twice this quarter. With spring on it’s way, this emoji helped us invoke a bright and shiny feeling in our Facebook ad copy and beyond.

Best Spotify Playlist

We’ve been loving the ‘Loved by Ellen‘ playlist the past few weeks. Not to be confused with Ellen from Tuff, curated by Ellen DeGeneres.

What’s on your ‘Best of’ list?

What’s on your ‘best of’ list for your end of quarter reflection? Before diving head first into Q2, we strongly recommend taking a few minutes to look back at your metrics and learnings from Q1. What makes the list? And, just as importantly, what doesn’t?

If you’re looking to add a decreased cost per acquisition to your end of quarter reflection in Q2, give us a shout. We’d love to get to know you, your company, your goals, and schedule a free growth strategy session with our team.

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.

tuff-increasing-conversion-rate-with-landing-pages

How To Build Conversion Focused Landing Pages That Drive Leads

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet The Buy Guys.

In this post, we’ll share the story of The Buy Guys, a Florida-based home buyer and seller that has purchased over 10,000 homes in the last ten years. We helped increase their leads by 138% this year by optimizing landing pages to increase conversions and serve as a growth engine.

Tuff has been a trusted partner of my company. They deliver quality work and clearly communicate what’s being done and when. I especially appreciate Tuff’s ability to manage projects from start-to-finish and provide guidance on how we can best achieve our goals. Tuff has proven to be an important strategic and tactical resource for us. – Geoff Duncan, The Buy Guys, Chief Marketing Officer (View our reviews on Google & Facebook)

Why The Buy Guys Decided to Update Their Website

Whether you’re launching a site for a new startup or overhauling the site of an existing brand, your website is often one of your most important lead generation channels. Which makes sense, right? People go to your website to learn more about your service or your product.

But here’s the thing: Your website is also the one marketing asset that could benefit most from regular improvements to help boost conversions.

Previously, The Buy Guys allocated the majority of their marketing time and effort to print mail – a successful channel in the home buying industry. But as The Buy Guys matured and more people were spending time researching home selling and the home selling process online, it was critical they improve their online experience. Working with their CEO and COO in January, we decided to work on a digital marketing strategy that would focus on increasing leads and sales.

So, how increase their leads by 138%?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

The Buy Guys’ Playbook:

Start with user research.

You always need to design your website with your target audience in mind, you can’t design it for yourself and your subjective style preferences. To start to get to know the audience interacting with The Buy Guys better, we took both a qualitative and quantitative approach using CallRail, their call tracking software.

The qualitative approach was listening to 100 phone calls recordings to see what kind of words customers were using, what was the very first problem they explained over the phone, what were they hearing, thinking, feeling, saying? Using a spreadsheet, we took notes on each call and tagged each call with a trend we had identified among customers (i.e. ‘unhappy with realtor).

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. We believe the best strategies are built on customer research and 3-5 detailed personas that can represent the larger audience. Personas give your team a shared language to use when talking about customers and make sure you’re building for them, not you.

Build the wireframe (don’t skip this step!)

After developing user personas backed by qualitative and quantitative research, our designer put this information into action by mapping out a bare-bones layout for your new site. We like to call this part, “the blueprints.” When the wireframe is completed and approved, you have a clear understanding of all of the user paths throughout the site, as well as what content you need to prepare for the redesign. At Tuff, we do wireframes between the strategy and redesign phase as a way of mapping out the strategy in a way that sets us up for success in the design phase.

Through the wireframe, we can accomplish the following:

  • Confirm that our site’s new layout is in line with our UX goals for the redesign.
  • Make sure that everything on our redesign wishlist is accounted for in the new layout.
  • Create a visual roadmap to serve as a foundation for the often chaotic design phase.
  • Give your design team a head start. With the layout and content map already completed, the team can focus on design and brand development.

Designing the site

And now, the fun part, designing the site. During this phase, we bring together all of the elements of our project: our strategy and goals, the completed wireframe, our updated copy and images, and the brand style guide. Using the wireframe as our guide for layout, and the brand style guide and updated content as our guide for visuals, we redesign the site for both desktop and mobile – thinking strategically about how to lay out our content for easy consumption, not only on our audience’s computer but across all of their devices.



Once the mockup is completed and approved, it’s time to start the site build. We chose to build thebuyguys.com using a versatile theme on WordPress.org, a great choice for its flexibility with design and easy ability to be customized. Upon completion of the build, our team went through several rounds of quality assurance testing, before we got to the final step before launch: adding tags.

Review and improve

When your website launches, you should already be recording all of the available data with tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar. With these tools installed, you’ll soon have data that you can start to use to improve pieces of your website.

For example, once The Buy Guys site launched, we quickly realized that their site traffic was heavy on the mobile side. In fact, over 70% of their traffic was mobile. Knowing this, we were able to prioritize mobile updates and start A/B testing our CTAs above the fold on mobile exclusively.

Rather than starting from scratch each time your website becomes outdated, your can think of the website as a project that’s never truly finished. You have to continuously oil your growth engine.

Results:

With the launch of the new website, we:

  • Increased paid advertising spend month over month by 49%
  • Increased leads by 138.02%
  • Decreased Cost Per Lead (CPL) by 36.92%
  • Increases conversion rate by 3.68%

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.