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How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation in 2020 [Quick Tip]

When you get a recommendation from someone you respect and admire, you may feel honored and want to return the favor. But figuring out how to write a LinkedIn recommendation that is specific, honest, succinct, and helpful isn’t easy.

Most people get stuck. You might not know how to start or what to say. But with some simple templates and tips, you’ll be writing stellar testimonials on LinkedIn for your favorite people.

Keep reading to learn how to write a LinkedIn recommendation. Then check out some recommendation examples and a quick recommendation letter template.

You can use these tools to write authentic and useful LinkedIn endorsements that can help move someone’s job search in the right direction. Let’s get started.

1. Explain the nature of your professional relationship.

That sounds really serious, but it’s simply a helpful piece of context that acts as an intro for your recommendation. Whether it’s a coworker you’ve worked closely with for years or a recent agency point of contact, it sets the stage for the reader to learn why you’re writing this recommendation.

For Example:

I’ve worked alongside Lisa for close to two years now.

2. Offer details about the position this person is working toward.

Are you recommending this person for their work in one position? Or are you writing about their work across multiple jobs they’ve held while you worked with them?

Either way, a great next step is to explain some of the notable parts of their job. It may feel strange — kind of like you’re listing out their job description. But this is helpful for anyone reading the recommendation, looking to get a feel for what they did in their job.

Resist the urge to create a laundry list of their job duties. If they’ve really worn that many hats, I recommend contacting them to see if there’s a certain part of their role they’d like emphasized over others.

For Example:

In those two years, I’ve seen her not only excel at the core elements of her job — like copywriting and copyediting — but also learn other tasks that extend well beyond the scope of her role. These include email marketing, event planning, and even championing our company’s internal communications.

3. Explain how they’ve grown at the company.

If this person reports (or once reported) to you, this aspect of a LinkedIn recommendation can go a long way. Explaining how the person you’re recommending has grown — either in their role or from one role to another — can show an ability to adapt as the organization expands.

Just be careful not to overstate any low points in the person’s career that can dilute the value of the growth you’re trying to highlight.

For Example:

Lisa has grown as quickly as our business has, and her willingness to learn and take on these new responsibilities is something sought-after in any professional.

4. Show how their contribution helped grow the team or company.

This could be an explanation of how their performance helped hit hard metrics. You could also talk about contributions like leading their teammates or fostering new initiatives.

For Example:

Lisa’s mastery of both her core role and extra projects have been critical to the company’s growth. In fact, her taking on internal company communication aligned with a sharp increase in employee happiness.

5. Explain what these achievements reveal about that person.

By now, you’ve included some specifics — so let’s explain what those specifics mean for the larger theme of your recommendation. Do the examples you’ve detailed reveal that person is hard-working? Ambitious? Great for team morale? Connect their accomplishments with their attributes.

For Example:

This rare mix of productivity and ambition sets a great example for the rest of the team. It also explains why everyone loves working with Lisa — no matter where they fall on the org chart.

6. End with a note about the personal aspect of working with them.

In this section, hit the message home with a mention of how you felt working with the person, your hopes for their career, or a prediction about their future.

For Example:

Lisa’s work has continued to pay dividends long past her tenure here and I still miss working with her every day. I can’t wait to see what she does with the next step in her career trajectory.

LinkedIn Recommendation Examples

Recommendation From an Employee

According to a 2021 SHRM report, over 40% of employees are looking for a new job. And according to a 2022 Gartner survey, 50% of employees have different employer expectations than they did before the pandemic.

Employee recommendations show that a stakeholder respects the opinions of the people they manage. It also shows how they lead from the bottom up.

In the recommendation below, a person discusses how their supervisor progressed at the company and how this person mentored them so they too could grow as an employee.

Example 1:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This recommendation shows how the relationship between employee and manager evolved over time. Work relationships that shift from peer to manager can be tough. They can sometimes create power struggles, miscommunication, and more. But this LinkedIn recommendation example highlights mutual respect, care, and professional growth.

Example 2:

Why this is a good LinkedIn recommendation:

Soft skills can be difficult for recruiters and employers to assess. So the recommendation above is valuable because it talks about a manager/employee relationship that was essential to this employee. This gives them a sense of how this manager might engage their new team.

Example 3:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

An authentic recommendation is much more useful than a form letter. The letter above shows how this manager balanced kindness, critique, and composure on his team.

Recommendation from an Employer

Employer recommendations may be a replacement or a complement to the job requirements for many positions. This makes employer recommendations an important LinkedIn addition. Unlike most standard letters of recommendation, LinkedIn letters are usually short and to the point. Instead of a full page, most are short but dense paragraphs like the examples below.

For example, in this recommendation, an employer explains how an employee progressed and executed projects that made a big impact on their company.

Example 1:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This letter jumps immediately into specific job functions, technical skills, and soft skills. A quick scan of this letter can show any employer what this person does best and how those skills can translate to other jobs or employers.

Example 2:

Why this is a good LinkedIn recommendation:

Connecting actions to outcomes can make it easier for prospective employers to understand the value an employee can bring to their team. This quick letter clearly connects what this new hire did, how she approached changes and the results that came from her actions.

Example 3:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This recommendation letter uses industry-specific terms to show the activities and outcomes this employee was responsible for. This makes it easy for employers to understand how that performance could translate to their business and team.

Recommendation from a Coworker

Over 20% of LinkedIn users are 18-24 years old. This means that many LinkedIn users are recent graduates who might have limited job experience.

Employers are looking to LinkedIn for a sense of your commitment, engagement, and soft skills at work. Coworkers are a great source to highlight these areas. Let’s look at some excellent coworker recommendations from LinkedIn.

Example 1:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This letter quickly highlights how long these two have worked together, what they did, and what this candidate’s strongest soft skills are. It stays positive but also showcases how this person responds to pressure.

Example 2:

Why this is a good LinkedIn recommendation:

A recommendation full of job-specific details that emphasize abilities is always useful. At the same time, this letter shows off qualities that may not come into a job interview, depending on the role. By outlining teaching skills and continuing education, this recommendation shows potential employers how this candidate is preparing for the future.

LinkedIn Recommendation Sample (for a Manager)

Now, writing a LinkedIn recommendation can seem easy, but it’s not. What if the employee you’re recommending is your superior? This can make it more difficult to recommend the person — even if you’re saying stellar things about them.

Here’s a sample LinkedIn recommendation — written in full — that a manager would be proud to receive.

I’ve worked for Lisa for two years. During that time I’ve seen her quickly take on new responsibilities while making time to teach these new skills to her employees.

By inheriting tasks like campaign analytics and email A/B testing — both of which extend beyond the scope of our team — she’s made our department much more agile and set me up for promotion last month. Lisa is a great person and manager, and her next employer will be lucky to have her.

Now proofread, and hit send. Remember, the person you’re writing your recommendation for can review and request changes. So, you’ll have a chance to make changes and submit a recommendation that they’ll appreciate.

Write a Recommendation on LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn isn’t just job hunting and your professional reputation. It’s about building relationships. The sooner you start writing recommendations with the steps above, the better your professional relationships can be.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Add Tags to YouTube Videos & Why They’re Important

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so keyword-optimizing your videos on the platform is just as important as keyword-optimizing your blog posts for Google. One of the best ways to keyword-optimize your videos for YouTube is leveraging tags, but not everyone knows how to add tags to YouTube videos.

Below, we’ve put together a guide that will explain exactly what YouTube tags are, how to add them, why they’re important, and some best practices to follow.

What are tags for YouTube?

How to Add Tags to YouTube Videos

Why are YouTube tags so important?

YouTube Tags Best Practices

Best YouTube Tag Generators

Now you know what tags are, so let’s get into how you can leverage them in your videos.

How to Add Tags to YouTube Videos

Adding tags to your YouTube videos is easy. Just follow these steps:

Sign in to YouTube Studio by clicking on your account’s icon in the top right corner. Then select the tab that says “YouTube Studio.”

2. Upload your video if you haven’t already done so. Do this by clicking the “Create” button and then “Upload Video.”

3. If your video is already uploaded, go to the menu on the left, click “Content,” and select your video.

From there, scroll down until you get to the option to add your tags.

4. If your video is uploading, scroll down and click “Show More,” then add your tags.

Why are YouTube tags so important?

YouTube tags help YouTube grasp your video’s content and context. This way, YouTube can understand your video’s topic and category, and associate it with similar content — which can amplify your video’s reach. The rise of semantic search has made YouTube tags less important over time, but they’re still a strategic element you can use to your advantage.

YouTube tags are especially important in cases where your target keyword is commonly misspelled because you can tag the misspellings without including them in your title and description.

As a secondary benefit, tags even help you organize and find your own content if you do self-reference tagging (e.g. “Ireland trip 2022”).

YouTube Tags Best Practices

To leverage YouTube tags to their fullest potential, check out these tips and tricks.

1. Make your first tag your target keyword and order the rest by importance.

YouTube heavily accounts for your video’s first few tags when ranking content in their search results, especially the first tag. So make sure your first tag is the exact keyword you want to target.

2. For other tags, use some broad keywords that describe the overarching topic your video falls under.

Using broad keywords as other tags helps YouTube understand your video’s context. For example, if you’re creating a video called “How to Hit a Baseball”, you’d want to add “Baseball” as a broad tag to indicate to YouTube that your video’s overarching topic is baseball.

3. Use some specific keywords that describe the topics covered in your video as other tags.

Using specific keywords that describe the topics you cover in your video as other tags will help YouTube understand your video’s content. For instance, in the same “How to Hit a Baseball” video, adding “hitting off a tee” or “hitting batting practice” as specific tags would indicate to YouTube the exact topics your video covers.

4. Keep most of your tags between 2-3 words.

While you should certainly include long-tail keywords and a few broad match variations, YouTube seems to prefer 2-4 word phrases (Briggsby).

5. Do not go overboard with tags.

The point of tags is to help the algorithm understand what your video is about so it can surface it to users that are looking for a video like yours. Using too many keywords can cause confusion for what your video is actually about. Research suggests that the optimal number of tags is between 31 and 40 — when used correctly, of course. More than that dilutes their power.

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6. Get inspiration from videos that are currently ranking.

If you know what you want to rank for, take notes from those who are already ranking on the topic. Their keyword tags might give you a good starting point for research and inspiration.

7. Get inspiration from YouTube auto-suggest.

Auto-suggest is a feature to help users find what they need. YouTube isn’t surfacing these suggestions for no reason. These keywords are suggested likely because they are commonly searched terms for that topic, so don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from auto-suggest.

Best YouTube Tag Generators

To discover the keywords you can tag in your videos and help them rank higher in YouTube’s search results, here are three of the best YouTube Tag Generators to try.

1. Keywordtool.io

After plugging your target keyword into its YouTube search bar, Keywordtool.io will provide you with suggested keywords, their search volume, and how they’ve trended over the past 12 months. The tool will also suggest questions, prepositions, and hashtags that include your target keyword.

2. Rapidtags

Entering a seed keyword into Rapidtags and then hitting the button will generate a number of related tags for your YouTube video. Best of all, there’s a copy button for you to easily pull the text without entering it manually.

3. YTube Tool

This tool helps you extract the tags from a competitor’s YouTube video. All you have to do is enter the URL, and the tool will then return your results.

4. Keyword Keg

Using Keyword Keg, you can enter your target keyword into the tool and it’ll serve up its search volume, cost-per-click, competition, on-page difficulty, off-page difficulty, SEO difficulty, CTR scope, keyword power, trends, and suggested keywords. You can also filter your results by country and language.

5. VidIQ

VidIQ will display your target keyword’s related keywords, related score, search volume, search score, competition score, and overall score. The overall score is a combination of a keyword’s related score, search score, and competition score.

Now that you know what YouTube tags are, how to add them, and the tools available to generate them, you’re well on your way to getting your content found on YouTube. Continue optimizing other elements of your videos as well and monitoring your channel’s growth.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

Online lead generation is difficult. There’s no way around it. However, you can give your brand an edge by optimizing lead generation pathways on your site.

This article will cover lead generation software and tools that help you reduce friction and increase the conversion rate of website visitors to leads. This will include both paid and free tools.

We’ve compiled a list of the best lead generation tools on the market, including some free options.

The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

HubSpot Marketing Hub
Intercom
Proof
Paperform
MobileMonkey
Mailshake
Qualaroo
HotJar
Turnstile by Wistia
Pointerpro
Zuko
ProProfs Quiz Maker
Clearbit
Datanyze
Hull.io
TypeForm
Hello Bar
Hunter.io
Gravity Forms
Jotform
Discover.ly

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot Marketing — and specifically its lead capture tool — can be used for free (then upgraded) and has tons of lead generation that make it easy to capture, store, and nurture leads, including:

Forms
Popup Forms
Live Chat
Chatbot

… and more. It all plugs naturally into HubSpot’s free CRM, or you can easily integrate with your CRM, email tool, or customer data platform of choice.

Using HubSpot Marketing helps you build an inbound marketing flywheel from start to finish. You create content that allures visitors, capture leads through one of several tools available, and then nurture them through kickback emails.

Eventually, your sales team will have full visibility of the previous touchpoints and can close leads with the full context of their previous touchpoints with your brand. Finally, you can create happy customers with features like free ticketing.

It’s a full suite lead generation machine.

Pricing

Get started with HubSpot for free or opt for one of our paid tiers ranging from $45 to $3,600 per month depending on the size of your company.

What we like:

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub offers a full suite of tools for free and integrates with HubSpot’s CRM making it a great option for those looking for an affordable, but comprehensive lead generation solution.

2. Intercom

Intercom is another product with many components and use cases. You can use their on-site messaging and chat feature to engage with on-site visitors and collect their information.

Once in the system, you can analyze their on-site or in-app behavior and create message triggers to help with onboarding, support, or retention.

They also have an integrated help desk and knowledge base to provide support for current customers.

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $74 per month for small businesses.

What we like:

This is another great tool when you want to accomplish marketing, sales, and support features under one roof.

3. Proof

Proof is an early stage SaaS startup based in Austin, Texas. They make software that helps you rev up your website’s conversion rate using social proof, personalization, and A/B testing.

Have you ever tried to book a trip on a site like booking.com or Airbnb and seen a message that reminds you, “three people have booked this hotel in the last 24 hours?”

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Proof helps you implement social proof messaging on your own website. Here’s a great example of the product in use by LawnStarter (another great Austin-based startup):

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $79 per month.

What we like:

Proof offers a variety of settings to choose from for each campaign and also integrates with HubSpot, Webflow, WordPress, and Zapier.

4. Paperform

Paperform is a digital swiss army knife regarding lead generation forms, surveys, and quizzes. Whether you want to design a harry potter quiz to boost engagement or increase newsletter signup with a popup form Paperform doesn’t limit you to one or the other.

The powerful editor is a no-code solution that eliminates clunky side menus in favor of a word document-like structure. You can add your brand assets straight from Adobe’s Cloud libraries into Paperform and tweak the colors, fonts, and images.

While most form builders are either pretty or designed for powerful conditional logic, Paperform combines both. This is perfect for people looking to transform their business with smart forms and reduce busy work. For more in-depth insights, you can add complex calculations and tailored success pages and gain deep insights with their in-house analytics. Paperform’s versatile SaaS platform helps you create fully customizable, powerful solutions tailored to your unique specifications.

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $24 per month for the Essentials tier up to $159 per month for the agency tier.

What we like:

Paperform is a great option for newbies and small businesses offering customization and professional templates combined with ease of use.

5. MobileMonkey

MobileMonkey chatbots make lead capture, lead qualification, and lead nurturing easier via live chat for your website, SMS text messaging, Messenger for Facebook and Instagram, and other popular chat channels, from one platform.

OmniChat by MobileMonkey is a multi-channel chatbot builder and automation platform that enables you to create chat campaign content once and use it on each of the above channels while unifying customer support chat in one streamlined inbox.

Here are some examples you can get started with to generate leads, sign-ups, and opt-ins using MobileMonkey:

Add MobileMonkey’s Free Facebook Lead Generator product to your Facebook Page and Posts to automatically capture names, emails, and phone numbers of those who “like” your posts and follow your business.
Use proactive live chat to engage prospects and customers on your website.
Setup Facebook and Instagram post autoresponders to capture the contact information of anyone who comments on your content.
Run a giveaway or contest with Messenger chatbots on Facebook or Instagram.

Then, run remarketing campaigns with interactive Facebook and Instagram Messenger ads to turn those leads into sales.

Lastly, connect the opt-ins, signups, and leads generated from your chat messaging channels to your CRM, such as HubSpot, as well as your email service providers, training & webinar platforms, and other business applications.

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $119 per month for the Startup tier. For the Growth tier, contact for a quote.

What we like:

Mobile Monkey offers a code free option in addition to chat box templates which make getting started quick and easy.

6. Mailshake

Mailshake is one of my favorite solutions for email outreach.Basically, it helps you automate, personalize, and optimize your cold emails.

This is great for many purposes, of course:

Sales development
Content promotion
Link building
Public relations
Fundraising

But it’s also great for lead generation. Mailshake’s AI email writer uses data from thousands of campaigns to help write winning copy.

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $58 per month per user for the Email Outreach tier and $83 per month per user for the Sales Engagement tier.

What we like:

One of my favorite parts about the tool is that you have tons of ready-made templates. So even if you’re not a world-class copywriter, you can still get responses.

7. Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an on-site polling tool that can not only collect user feedback (that can be used to improve any part of your product and marketing experience), but you can also collect leads using the tool.

In the best case, you can use Qualaroo to do both.

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In this way, your customer feedback tool can double up as a sort of popup form.

Even if you don’t plan on using Qualaroo for lead generation, I’ve found the tool to be invaluable for collecting user experience and conversion optimization insights.

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Pricing

Pricing starts at $80 for the Essential tier while the Enterprise tier is quote-based.

What we like:

Qualaroo makes it easy to categorize leads and point them in a designated funnel based on what they answer to survey questions.

8. HotJar

HotJar is a customer experience analytics platform with many helpful tools. They’re one of my go-to solutions for conversion optimization research. Some of their features include:

Form analytics
On-site polls
Heat maps
Session replays

Like Qualaroo, their on-site polls can double up as conversion points. Basically, you can use the opportunity to collect feedback as a double opportunity where you can also collect an email address:

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Pricing

HotJar’s Basic tier is free and starts at $80 per month for its Business tier.

What we like:

In addition to gathering feedback and polling site visitors it pulls double duty as lead generation — allowing you to collect emails.

9. Turnstile by Wistia

Video is a big focus for marketers right now, and I can only see that focus increasing with time. As such, it helps to look at video as a direct lead generation channel in addition to a brand building channel.

Wistia makes a really cool product called Turnstile that allows you to gate videos after a certain time period has elapsed. At this point, the visitor has to enter their email to continue watching.

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Pricing

While Wistia has a free basic tier, in order to get Turnstile, you’ll need to upgrade to the Plus tier which starts at $19 per month.

What we like:

With Turnstile you can have your form display discreetly on hover or pause the video to get the viewer’s attention. You can also enable viewers to skip the gate altogether and control where the gate is placed within the runtime of the video.

10. Pointerpro

Pointerpro (formerly Survey Anyplace) is an advanced survey tool that has all the features to keep your sales machine running. Forms and surveys are often used to collect information from prospective customers, but they are rarely ever used to return something of value.

This tool allows respondents to walk away with a personalized PDF report based on their answers immediately after completion. This can be a detailed offering, the best service or product based on their answers, or any key information you want the respondent to have. Turning them from a cold prospect to a warmed-up lead in a matter of clicks.

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They integrate smoothly with your existing marketing stack, so you can easily transport leads through to your CRM or email marketing tool and start building nurturing campaigns. Bonus, you can use answers given during quizzes to personalize the follow-up.

Pricing

Pricing starts at $49 per month for Pointerpro’s Essential tier while you’ll need to contact them for a quote on the Enterprise tier.

What we like:

Pointerpro offers a code free, customizable templates that can be used as is or with your branding.

11. Zuko

Zuko (formerly Formisimo) capture tool, but it helps you optimize your lead generation forms.

They provide form analytics that, in my opinion, are the most robust in the industry. They work with pretty much every form, and their reports include:

Form Overview
Field Drop Off Report
Most Corrected Fields
Real Time Report
Completion Time
Problem Fields Report
Fields Before Submission
Field Times Report

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You can also segment reports based on device, such as desktop, mobile, or table. Additionally, the tool actually gives you ideas and tips for how to improve your forms. You can export and share this data with additional systems so it can be used by other team members.

While they don’t offer a free plan, they have a 7-day trial where you can try out the product.

Pricing

Pricing is tiered ranging from $140 to $700 per month. Enterprise-level organizations will need to contact them directly for a quote.

What we like:

Zuko’s data is viewable live, allowing users to view data in real-time and export it.

12. ProProfs Quiz Maker

Quiz marketing is an effective way to capture leads through website visitors and social media engagement. ProProfs Quiz Maker lets you leverage these leads with visually engaging and highly-shareable quizzes.

ProProfs provides an entire quiz resources library containing 100+ beautiful quiz templates and a massive question bank with 1 million+ ready-to-use questions.

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Pricing

While ProProfs does have a free version, you’ll want to upgrade to one of its paid tiers ($20 to $200 per month) to use the advanced features.

What we like:

ProProfs supports integrations with all the leading marketing tools, such as HubSpot, Active Campaign, and more. This allows you to automate and streamline your lead nurturing to create a high-converting lead management funnel.

13. Clearbit

Clearbit has a forms tool, but they have a broader use case for lead generation no matter which form or lead capture tool you use. They help you enrich contact profile data, which means you don’t have to ask for every little piece of information in a mile-long form.

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All you need is an email address or corporate domain, and Clearbit Enrichment fills other important data (like company size and industry) and appends it to your CRM records, in your product, or anywhere else you need them.

Pricing

For pricing, contact Clearbit directly for a quote.

What we like:

Clearbit’s native integrations with platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Zapier, and Slack make this tool ready to use out of the box.

14. Datanyze

Datanyze is another data company, though they focus on “technographics.” What does this mean? Basically, Datanyze helps you discover what other software tools your website visitors, prospects, or customers are using.

The lead generation purposes for this are unparalleled if you have a way to personalize your website experience.

Imagine if you knew a website visitor was using a direct competitor. You could change up the copy on a landing page or an offer to reflect that.

Or if you had a WordPress plugin, and if you knew your visitor was using WordPress, you could design a custom CTA to let them know about your plugin.

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Pricing

Datanyze offers a generous 90-day free trial as well as paid tiers ranging from $21 to $39 per month.

What we like:

Datanyze is California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, ensuring users are collecting business data the ethical way.

15. Hull.io

Hull.io is a customer data platform that helps you collect and centralize all the data you have from different marketing tools. It also helps you push that data out to your marketing tools so you can operationalize it and personalize experiences in real time.

I look at customer data platforms as a core component of a personalization strategy, since you generally need three components to make personalization work:

Good user data
An ability to deliver experiences
Content (the experience itself)

Hull.io, and other customer data platforms, help you collect data and deliver experiences.

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Pricing

Hull.io has a tiered pricing model ranging from $950 to $1600 per month based on your business needs.

What we like:

While this is one of the more expensive options on this list, when combined with a tool like Clearbit — which can give you tons of data points to use — you can really ramp up your personalized lead generation campaigns.

16. TypeForm

TypeForm is a survey tool, but it’s got many real world use cases. It’s also got a beautiful user experience. When I take a survey using TypeForm, I actually enjoy the experience.

While I’ve mostly used TypeForm to send customer surveys to get conversion research insights, I’ve also used it in the context of lead generation.

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Pricing

Tiered plans are available from $25 to $83 per month.

What we like:

As one of the more affordably priced tools on our list, Typeform also scores high for taking a more conversational approach to surveys and forms.

17. Hello Bar

Hello Bar is a CTA and lead capture tool, but it’s got a very specific use case and user experience. Instead of a static web form embedded on a landing page, or an exit intent popup that appears when a visitor is leaving your site, Hello Bar gives you a sticky banner that appears on the top or bottom of the browser.

It looks just like the one on Hello Bar’s home page:

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I find these types of CTAs are great for general campaigns and promotional announcements. Therefore, they’re good for short term lead drives, for things like a webinar coming up shortly or a new product feature announcement.

Pricing

Hello Bar offers a free plan as well as paid options ranging from $29 to $99 per month.

What we like:

Hello Bar is an all-in-one solution for creating CTAs and tracking metrics. Integrations with WordPress, Mailchimp, Webflow, SquareSpace, and Shopify ensure a seamless fit into your current tech stack.

18. Hunter.io

Hunter.io isn’t exactly a lead generation tool, but it helps you find and validate email addresses. If you’re looking to reach a particular person, Hunter is a good way to find their information.

Pricing

Hunter.io offers a free plan, but you’ll need to opt for a paid plan to reap the full benefits of what the platform has to offer.

What we like:

It’s not always perfectly accurate, but it’s free to use, and it’s a good tool to have in your toolkit when you need it.

19. Gravity Forms

If using WordPress, Gravity Forms may be the lead generation tool for you. This WordPress plugin offers payment collection, lead capture and workflow automation in one.

You even have the option of capturing partial forms so that you can use the data to create better conversions.

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Pricing

Gravity Forms offers tiered pricing from $41 to $181 per year.

What we like:

Gravity Forms uses conditional logic so that you can display certain fields, pages, or sections based on user inputs. Additionally the tool offers accessabilty compliant.

20. Jotform

Similar to other options on this list, Jotform is a form builder platform that allows you to collect all kinds of data, including visitor emails.

This tool offers thousands of templates to help you get started quickly in addition to fully customizable survey templates. Jotform integrates with PayPal and Square to help ensure online payments are secure.

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Pricing

Jotform offers a free base tier with paid plans ranging from $34 to $99 per month.

What we like:

Jotform’s drag-and-drop builder is easy to use and allows teams to collaborate with ease as multiple people can edit a form at the same time.

21. Discover.ly

Discover.ly is a lead generation tool that gives you additional information on social media profiles. For that reason, it’s a great complement to other tools on this list, particularly Hunter.io.

When you want to learn more about specific prospects, this free Chrome extension can give you a lot of additional details like their connections and other social profiles.

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Pricing

Free

What we like:

This simple chrome extension is available to anyone, easy to install, and simple to use.

Lead generation software is a big category.

If you want the best lead generation software for your particular business, you may have to try a few of them out.

In my experience, it’s best to have a comprehensive solution like HubSpot to bear the brunt of the workload.

Then you can add in other tools like Pointerpro or Hello Bar to mix things up, and of course, some optimization tools like Clearbit and Formisimo to help you crank up the volume on your results.

This article was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Remote Work Loneliness: How to Protect Your Mental Health When Working Remotely

Since the start of the pandemic, working from home has become the new normal for many employees and companies. While working outside the office has its benefits — no more long, gas-guzzling commutes, for instance — there is still one downside many employees face: remote work loneliness.

Before the pandemic, it was normal to make friends around the office, crack jokes in the break room, or participate in fun, in-person team-building activities. However, those things aren’t possible when you’re working from home and your coworkers are scattered around the country. So, working from home can feel isolating.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to protect your mental health and feel less lonely as you work from home or remotely.

5 Tips to Avoid Loneliness When Working From Home

I asked fellow HubSpotters and professionals across different industries for tips on avoiding work-from-home loneliness. Here is what they had to say:

1. Schedules ‘get to know you’ calls.

Jen Bergren, Head of Operations at Remotish, says “get to know you” calls are an important part of her team’s onboarding process.

“One of the team’s favorite tasks in our onboarding is for the new team member to schedule a short call with every other person on the team, individually, in their first two weeks for a ‘get to know you’ casual call,” she said. “We also make sure the new team members have at least one real-time human call/connection a day during their first few weeks, which we know is especially important when this may be their first remote job.”

Pro-Tip: Don’t be afraid to schedule regular lunch chats with colleagues you feel have the same interests as you. For example, if you’re on a GTKY call with a coworker and they mention Game of Thrones (your favorite show!), ask if they’d like to schedule a weekly lunch Zoom to talk about the show’s spin-off House of the Dragon. This will give you something fun to look forward to every week, and you’ll feel less alone while working.

2. Start/Join affinity groups.

Jen Spencer, CEO of SmartBug Media, suggests building connections with your teammates by starting or joining affinity groups with your company’s messaging channels.

“Whether it’s our LadyBugs channel, our LGBTQ+ channel, our Parents channel, or even our TheatreBugs — there is a Slack channel/affinity group for everyone at SmartBug,” Spencer said. “No group? Create one! Our Coffee and Tea Lovers group takes ‘Secret Santa’ to new heights by swapping local roaster specialties.

Pro-Tip: Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and join groups about unfamiliar topics that interest you. In doing so, you’ll make connections across the company and will learn something new or develop a new hobby.

3. Work outside your home or with others.

HubSpot Advisor Dan Moyle says working from outside the office doesn’t have to mean only working from home, and it doesn’t have to mean working alone either.

“When I’m feeling cooped up I try to work outside of my office in a café, at a park — somewhere with humans,” he said. “And finally, scheduling time to work together while in a video meeting much like you’d work in a conference room, even if you’re not on the same project, can be helpful to feel more connected.”

Pro-Tip: If you want to work outside your home but still avoid distractions, try going to your local library. You’ll be out of the house and around other people, but you’ll also be in a place that prioritizes peace and quiet.

4. Connect with one friend or family member a day.

Lauren Steiner, President of Grant Plus, says she makes a point to contact at least one person a day — in whatever capacity she can muster at that moment.

“I prefer coffee dates/ lunch or phone calls but sometimes a text is all I can manage,” Steiner said. “But I make it a point to connect with at least one person in my personal life every day. It staves off the loneliness like nothing else!”

Pro-Tip: You can also schedule a virtual co-working space with close friends from outside of work — just make sure you don’t discuss or show anything that is confidential to your company.

5. Dedicate time to community service.

HubSpot Executive Dan Tyre says helping others in need is a great way to keep loneliness at bay while also giving back to your community.

“If people are down, sad, or lonely, I tell them to go provide service to people in need. Do more good for the universe,” he said. “Go to a soup kitchen, pet service dogs, spend time at your local school.”

Pro-Tip: Ask your company if anyone would like to get involved in or sponsor any online charity events. You’ll do good for your community and bond with your coworkers over a good cause.

4 More Ways to Protect Your Mental Health When Working From Home

To explore more options for protecting our mental health, I spoke with Dr. Willard, a psychologist, consultant, and author who specializes in mindfulness and positive psychology.

Let’s dive into Willard’s tips for practicing mindfulness during times of stress, avoiding burnout from too many virtual meetings, and finding moments of gratitude even in difficult circumstances.

1. Practice mindfulness to focus on the present moment and feel calm during times of stress.

If you’re anything like me, meditation is on the back burner at the moment. During times of stress and anxiety, I typically take the “white-knuckle and get through it” approach, focusing on happier future times rather than dwelling on the present moment.

Of course, that often lends itself to more stress and anxiety, not less.

Dr. Willard suggests, “Between calls, give yourself a break by taking five breaths, or looking out the window and noticing a few beautiful things. Sip your coffee with all five senses. Notice five sounds you hear. All of these kinds of things really do settle us down and bring us into the present.”

Additionally, he says, “With more time, take a walk around the neighborhood without your phone in hand, or do your calls standing or walking if possible.” You might also practice mindfulness when you’re lounging on the couch or eating a meal.

Alternatively, Dr. Willard mentioned that when we’re stressed our perception is often distorted. If you find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts like “When will this end?” or “Will I get fired?,” try adding the statement, “I’m having the thought that ___.”

This can help you gain some perspective and understand that while your thoughts might be driving you further into anxiety or stress — but they might not be grounded in reality.

Lastly, if you are interested in trying meditation, take a look at apps like Calm or Prezence, which break meditation down into easy-to-digest categories like “5 Minutes for Sleep” or “2 Minutes of Breathing”.

2. Combat virtual meeting fatigue by alternating with phone calls or reading actual books or newspapers.

We all know the feeling of back-to-back Zoom meetings that leave you, within 2-3 hours, absolutely exhausted in a way physical meetings never did.

If you feel alone in your exhaustion toward virtual meetings, you’re not. In fact, Zoom fatigue is common when working from home and there are ways to minimize it.

Dr. Willard suggests a few key points for combating virtual meeting fatigue.

“I think getting out for a bit, or looking away from the computer — for instance, perhaps every 20 minutes, you take 20 seconds to look 20 feet in the distance — can be helpful for alleviating fatigue as a result of virtual meetings,” he said.

Of course, we can’t always take breaks in-between meetings. If you don’t feel like you have much time to get outside or look away, try phone calls to switch things up, as Dr. Willard advises: “Alternatively, instead of all Zoom meetings, perhaps you try phone calls to connect with people, and take a walk as you do.”

He adds, “I’d also suggest reading an actual book or magazine … I got a newspaper yesterday, and I was surprised by how different and better it felt to read it rather than consuming all my news online.”

3. Practice gratitude, and reflect on positive moments with a journal.

If you’re doubtful of the effect of gratitude on happiness levels, I’d suggest giving this TED Talk a watch. Ultimately, practicing gratitude can be critical for maintaining perspective and finding joy in difficult circumstances. Gratitude can be found in minor details and seemingly trivial things, as well. For instance, when was the last time you paused to reflect on how lucky you are to have access to clean water or a warm shower?

As Dr. Willard stresses, “Psychological health, perspective, and happiness can be found through practicing gratitude each day and just reflecting on the few good moments in a journal or with friends or family.”

Additionally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with a sense of When will this all end?, Dr. Willard says a little consideration for the future isn’t such a bad thing.

“Setting reasonable goals in the morning, and thinking about what you’ll do after this, can help you raise happiness levels,” he said. “Why not plan a vacation? Even if you’re unsure when you’ll take it, research shows it actually boosts your mood.”

4. Reach out to friends and family, limit social media consumption, and set boundaries with people in your life.

Whether you’re working at home for the time being or your full-time job is remote, it’s critical to figure out positive, healthy ways to maintain strong relationships without feeling pressure to over-maintain them.

For instance, while you’re likely craving social interaction, it can become burdensome to feel like you need to be a support system for all your friends and family. If that’s the case, Dr. Willard urges, “Set negative or positive boundaries with roommates, family, partners, parents, or others in your life.”

“Additionally, if you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, consider who that is,” he said.

Here are some other tips Dr. Willard suggests for relationships:

Get multiple text threads going, even with old college roommates or colleagues you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Take a walk and call someone.
Try writing postcards or starting a pen-pal relationship with a friend.
Block unhelpful people on social media.
Join online AA groups, support groups, meditation groups, spiritual gatherings, or partake in online yoga.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at this moment, Dr. Willard suggests remembering the CALM acronym, which can help ground yourself and relax tension in your body. All you need to do is squeeze and release the muscles in your Chest, Arms, Legs, and Mouth, which are areas where we tend to hold a lot of tension.

Working from home, especially if it’s your first ever remote job, can be a lot to adjust to. However, it’s important to remember that working from home doesn’t have to mean working alone or cooped up in your home. In a digital world, there are many ways to foster connections with your team virtually and be productive while getting some fresh air.

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10 Expert Tips to Improve Lead Quality

Quality leads create more conversions.

But what exactly does “quality” mean when it comes to leads? Put simply, quality leads are those with a higher likelihood of moving down the sales funnel from awareness to interest to intent to conversion.

Finding quality leads doesn’t happen by accident. To achieve this goal, brands need a lead qualification process that effectively pinpoints key characteristics that make potential customers more likely to become loyal buyers.

To help you get started, we’ve got 10 expert tips for improving lead quality.

Lead qualification typically takes the form of stock questions that depend on your offering. For example, if you’re selling insurance you might ask questions about age, current health conditions, and previous medical histories. If you’re selling a B2B service, you might ask a lead if they’re the one in charge of the decision-making. If not, you may need to speak with someone else.

An effective lead qualification process helps eliminate leads that aren’t currently in a position to buy, in turn allowing sales teams to focus their efforts more likely prospective purchasers. This also lets businesses funnel prospects that aren’t quite ready for sales into future marketing campaigns so they can stay in the loop about any updates and reach out again when they’re ready to take the next step.

3 Reasons Why You’re Getting Bad Leads

So why are you getting bad leads in the first place? If prospective customers are interested in your product, what’s standing in the way?

Three causes are common culprits of bad leads:

1. Poor quality pay-per-click (PPC) leads

Are your PPC purchases returning leads that are actually qualified to make purchases or just providing more generic lead details? If so, consider more specific PPC guidelines or changing PPC providers.

2. Ineffective offers and calls to action

Have you covered your entire sales funnel, or are you only offering early-funnel conversion opportunities? Are your offers for free materials that have nothing to do with your business? Do you have calls to action on your website? Are they shiny and compelling?

3. Lack of targeted landing pages

Do your landing pages conform to best practices? Does the text actually describe the offer? Does the text help to qualify WHO should be filling out the form? If the answer to those questions is “yes”, you should consider adding more qualifying fields to your forms. Find out from sales what their top 3 qualifying questions are, and put them on your forms.

1. Define Your Audience

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Getting more qualified leads means making sure you know who your audience is and what they’re looking for. Start by creating your ideal buyer persona. Maybe you’re looking for a business decision-maker with access to capital and the drive to solve specific pain points within their organization.

While the ideal audience will differ for every company, defining this audience goes a long way toward improving lead quality.

Here, tools like Google Analytics can help pinpoint your audience.

2. Choose Your Keywords

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Along with your audience, choose keywords that align with what your brand is trying to sell and what qualified leads want. Achieve this goal with keyword research: See what comes up when you search your target keywords, such as the top-ranking posts and the most popular questions.

Using this data, create content, forms, and offers that reflect buyer preferences and align with your offerings.

Consider solutions like Google Ads to find your ideal keywords.

3. Create Targeted Content

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Targeted content helps you get ahead of potential questions or concerns. By creating landing pages and FAQs that address common issues and answer common questions before your sales team connects with leads, you can reduce the amount of time staff spend covering common ground and instead let them focus on the details of making a sale.

Try HubSpot’s survey tools to find out what your audience wants.

4. Develop Detailed Forms

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By developing detailed contact forms, marketing teams can reduce the risk of sending unqualified leads to sales times.

First, ensure that all relevant form fields are required. These may include company name, contact email address, the full name of a potential lead, and their position within the organization.

It’s also worth creating forms that allow potential customers to describe their current pain points along with the type of solution or service they’re looking to find.

Use HubSpot’s Free Online Form Builder to create targeted forms.

5. Identify Decision-Makers

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While more detailed forms can help increase total lead quality, they can’t guarantee that decision-makers are the ones reaching out.

Instead, companies can boost lead quality by proactively identifying decision-makers and initiating conversations. Start with a look at your current clientele: What role(s) do decision-makers in these companies usually hold? Then, do some research on prospective clients to see who holds similar positions and reach out to them directly. Not only does this increase the overall quality of the lead — provided you create compelling content — but also streamlines the sales process.

Solutions like people.ai can help you find decision-makers.

6. Automate Where Possible

 

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The sheer amount of leads that companies can now generate from both traditional marketing campaigns and PPC efforts means that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose the plot on who’s qualified and who’s not

As a result, it’s worth automating both contact and evaluation processes where possible. For example, email automation tools can help take care of reaching out to potential prospects without having staff compose hundreds and hundreds of messages, while automated evaluation software can pinpoint potential issues with collected data that may indicate a prospect is not ready to buy.

Check out HubSpot’s Marketing Automation Software to streamline key tasks.

7. Align Sales and Marketing

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Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin, but often end up on opposite sides of the lead qualification process.

While marketing focuses on bringing in new leads, sales wants to make sure these leads are qualified before putting in the time and effort required for conversion. If sales teams feel like marketing isn’t delivering quality leads, and marketing thinks that sales is being too picky, the result is a disaster waiting to happen.

Instead, align sales and marketing from the get-go. Sit both teams down in a room and hash out what a great lead looks like, what getting these leads required, the process of handing off leads from marketing to sales.

Products like Ruler Analytics help with this alignment at scale.

8. Ask for Referrals

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Sometimes it’s OK to take the easier route. Instead of building a new lead roster from scratch, it’s worth asking current customers for referrals. You can offer them discounts or other benefits, but if they like what you’re doing it shouldn’t take much convincing to have them pass on the contact data of decision-makers in similar companies, or to reach out on your behalf.

Consider a solution like Referral Factory to streamline this process.

9. Track Your Data

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To ensure your lead quality is stable, track your initial and repeat sales conversions. If you notice that either one of these metrics is falling, it may be worth reexamining lead qualification processes to ensure that the leads you’re generating have the means and motive to make a purchase.

Act-On can help you track relevant lead data across your organization.

10. Make Changes as Needed

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Last but not least? Don’t get stuck in a rut. If current lead generation tactics aren’t delivering the quality you want, make changes. Rethink your keyword strategy, create new content, or broaden your target market. In other words, focus on the outcome, not the operations, to inform your lead generation.

Take charge of your changes with HubSpot’s Marketing Software.

Taking the Lead

Higher quality leads help boost the quantity of sales conversions. But quality leads don’t just fall in your lap — to get the best leads for your business, you need to find the right audience, target your content, track your data, and make changes as needed to keep quality high and sales steady.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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10 Ways to Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader

How do you become a thought leader?

It’s an important question: If you can become a trusted voice in your market, you’ve got a leg up on capturing the interest of your target market.

Ready to level up your leadership? While your style and substance may vary, these 10 tips can help boost your thought leadership strategy.

1. Maintain an Active Business Blog

Launching a blog that covers important topics relating to the industry in which you’re selling is perhaps the best way to establish and uphold your image as a thought leader. A well-written blog will make prospects and current customers confident that the products and services they buy from you are created using industry expertise. Not only will maintaining an active business blog reward you with a more credible industry presence, but when done right, it will also afford you additional business benefits such as improved lead generation and a boost in search engine optimization.

2. Contribute Guest Blog Posts

Once you start gaining traction as a credible business blogger using your own blog, it’s also a great idea to seek opportunities to contribute guest articles to the blogs of other industry thought leaders. Being recognized by already-established thought leaders as credible sources and contributors will further legitimize your industry expertise.

3. Publish Long-Form Content

Publishing longer-form content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and even webinars shows prospects and customers that your knowledge about given topics expands beyond 600-word blog posts. By publishing well-crafted, educational ebooks or other downloadable content, you’ll demonstrate that you’re capable of thought leadership on an even higher scale.

4. Launch Your Own Podcast

An alternative or complement to blogging, launching a regularly scheduled audio or video podcast is another great way to exhibit thought leadership. Consider discussing important industry-related topics or news and inviting other industry experts to join you as guests to create an even deeper level of credibility.

5. Speak at Conferences/Events

Your thought leadership doesn’t have to be limited to the web. Live, in-person conferences and events are valuable marketing assets, and a presence at these gatherings can be valuable to any business’s marketing efforts. Apply to speak at these types of industry events. Start with smaller events to introduce yourself to your industry’s speaking circuit, and work your way up to larger, more prestigious events once you’ve gained more experience and respect as a speaker. Once you’ve secured speaking engagements, always be sure to make your presentations as educational and non-promotional as possible to achieve maximum credibility.

6. Answer Questions on Social Media

This is perhaps one of the easiest thought leadership tactics to keep up with on an ongoing basis. Social media is littered with people trying to learn more or find answers to questions they have. Monitoring social media sites for industry-related questions can help you identify opportunities to share your expertise.

LinkedIn Answers is the perfect platform for this, allowing you to search users’ questions by industry and topic. Also, consider using Twitter Search to find users’ questions on Twitter. Quora and Facebook are also great places to search.

Once you’ve identified questions for which you can provide a helpful response, answer it in an informative, non-promotional way. (Bonus points if you can link to a blog post you’ve written that expands on the topic in question!)

7. Highlight Your Area of Expertise

You can’t be great at everything. For thought leaders, this general statement comes with specific advice: Don’t try to be the end-all, be-all for users’ questions. Instead, lean into your area of expertise to provide reliable insight and advice.

For example, if you’re an expert in business tax and invoice processes, this should be the focus of your content. If users ask questions that are outside this area, direct them to another leader that might know the answer rather than trying to fill in the gaps.

Not only does this boost your credibility in the eyes of your audience but gives you the chance to learn something new.

8. Dive into detail

Want to build an audience? Dive into detail about what helped you get to where you are today and what you learned along the way.

Here’s why: The Internet is full of generic posts and blogs that offer “tips” or “tactics” without much detail, making them more frustrating than functional for users. To become a thought leader, apply your expertise and provide detail, from descriptions of your big successes to in-depth analysis of your failures and what you took from the experience.

Put simply? The more authentic detail you can provide, the better.

9. Keep your ear to the ground

Your industry isn’t static. New tools and technologies are constantly being developed and deployed, in turn changing or replacing familiar practices.

As a result, being an industry thought leader means keeping your ear to the ground and keeping up on what’s happening so you can provide your audience with the latest news. This is often made easier when combined with the fifth tip on our list — speaking at conferences and events. If you can create a solid business network, you can be one of the first people in the know about new developments.

10. Listen to (and learn from) feedback

Not everyone will like your content. Some users simply won’t enjoy the way you structure and deliver your blog or podcast, while others will have more genuine criticisms.

Although it can be challenging, it’s worth taking this legitimate feedback to heart, especially if it’s consistent. If multiple users are saying the same thing about an error you’re making or have a concern about how complicated you’re making a topic, it’s worth taking some time to consider their feedback and make changes accordingly.

Thought leaders are human — listening to and learning from feedback shows the capacity to grow and can boost your reputation.

Become a Genuine Thought Leader

Genuine thought leaders focus on providing value to current customers, potential buyers, and business partners alike. Their primary goal isn’t to drive up website visits or sales conversations — although the indirect result of trust and respect will likely be more business — but deliver content that’s engaging, compelling, and trustworthy.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The 13 Best Abandoned Cart Emails To Win Back Customers

It was a Saturday night, around 11 PM, and I was innocently scrolling on Amazon to look for a gift for my best friend’s birthday. But then, it happened.

I had an impulse to purchase everything. The female empowerment mug? The wine tumbler? The pillow that said “Nap Queen”? I wanted it all. I added everything I liked to my cart, but bailed once I realized the total had reached $200.

My hesitation to check out triggered abandoned cart emails which attempted to persuade me to make the purchase.

Abandoned cart emails are one way to convert lost business and turn a lost prospect into a brand enthusiast.

Morgan Jacobson, an inbound marketing specialist on the ecommerce team at HubSpot, wrote about abandoned cart emails in this blog. He says, “First off, if you’re doing any kind of shopping cart abandonment you’re way ahead of the game. Currently, only 19% of even the top 1,000 ecommerce companies engage in any kind of shopping cart abandonment recovery. Which is interesting, given that up to half of the customers who abandon their carts will complete the purchase when asked.”

Here, you’ll find abandoned cart email templates to get you started, plus effective abandoned cart email examples to inspire your own.

Abandoned Cart Email Templates

To build your abandoned cart emails, you can find templates in any email marketing tool. Tools like Squarespace, Wix, or HubSpot will have templates to help you get started. For instance, you can use a pre-made template for the layout, but customize the message, images, and design. Here’s an example template from our marketing kit:

Downlaod HubSpot’s Abandoned Email Template

The messaging in abandoned cart emails is fairly simple. Below is an outline of the basic structure:

Snappy subject line
Introduction text
Items left in the cart
Offer or discount
Checkout button or call to action (CTA)
Reviews or social proof
Closing text

While this outline is helpful if you’re sending one abandoned cart email, you might consider a drip campaign for your cart recovery emails. A drip campaign is a series of automated emails.

Abandoned Cart Email Sequence

For an abandoned cart workflow, the emails could be structured like this:

Email 1: Cart reminder (sent a few hours after cart abandonment)
Email 2: Follow up (sent a few days later)
Email 3: Promotional discount (sent a few days after email two)

According to Omnisend, a series of emails works 63% better than a single email for abandoned cart emails.

Jordan Pritikin, a team manager for HubSpot’s email and growth marketing team says, “When you’re writing an abandoned cart email, personalization is key. What was the actual product or service that was abandoned? What are the value propositions that most resonate with the individual you’re sending to? Why did they object to the purchase initially and how can you, as the business, help assuage those objections? The more personal your abandoned cart email, the more likely it is to succeed!”

Abandoned Cart Email Best Practices

Whether you send one email or implement a full drip campaign, there are a few best practices to keep in mind when planning an abandoned cart email. For example:

Timing

Send your abandoned cart emails within a few hours after a customer abandons their cart. For example, if you work at a company like Zappos, and someone doesn’t complete their purchase, you might send an abandoned cart email anywhere from three to five hours after they leave your site without completing a purchase.

At the very least, you want to make sure you are sending the first abandoned cart email within 24 hours. However it’s important to note that the efficacy of those emails goes down if sent after the 24 hour window.

Personalization

Abandoned cart emails should be personalized to the customer you’re sending them to by including the items that were left in their cart and addressing them by name.

Including a list of the items they left behind may persuade them to go ahead and complete the purchase since they’ve already expressed interest by adding them to their cart.

CTA

Your abandoned cart email should encourage customers to complete their purchase. For example, the CTA might be something like “Buy Now” or “Resume Your Order.”

Creating a CTA that takes them directly to checkout will save your customers time, make it easy to review their times, and further encourage them to complete the purchase.

Copywriting

The copy should be snappy, concise, and compelling. Great copywriting is interesting enough to entice someone to complete their purchase. It should be friendly and mirror your brand voice. Check out some examples in the following section.

Subject line:

Your subject line should be interesting enough to get people to open the email. For example, using something like discounts, humor, or questions could intrigue the customer enough to click. If you wanted to include a promotional offer, your subject line could be something like “20% off all purchases.”

Social Proof

You can use reviews and testimonials to strengthen your branding and create FOMO (fear of missing out) among customers who abandoned their cart. For example, including reviews in your abandoned cart emails for specific products can tempt someone to purchase.

Best Abandoned Cart Email Examples

1. Prose

The email above was sent to me by hair care company, Prose after I left the site before completing my transaction. This email checks several boxes:

Uses a catchy tagline “Ready When You Are” as friendly reminder to revisit the site.
Has an enticing CTA encouraging folks to “Make My Custom Formula.”
Uses social proof in the form of ratings.
Combined with a friendly tone and clean graphics, this email is pretty persuasive.

2. Whiskey Loot

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Whiskey Loot’s abandoned cart email utilizes unique and engaging copywriting to entice customers to complete their purchase. They include a list of reasons to purchase their whiskey, provide answers to frequently asked questions, and use clean design to draw your eye to the CTA. With this abandoned cart email, the customer has all the information they might need to complete a purchase.

3. Peel

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The best element of Peel’s abandoned cart email is the free shipping offer. Not only do they encourage customers to purchase what’s in their cart, but they also include an incentive for buyers to add more items to their cart and complete checkout. In addition, this is a classic layout for an abandoned cart email: intro text, items in cart, CTA, questions, and footer.

4. 23andMe

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Short, sweet and to the point, 23andMe has an abandoned cart email with only a few elements: introduction text (“Don’t forget to order your kit”), CTA (“Order today”), and closing text offering answers to questions (“Have additional questions?”). With this email, customers won’t get distracted by extraneous information and will focus on the action 23andMe wants: purchase completion.

5. Dyson

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In this example, Dyson does several things very well:

They use clear text that is helpful and fun to read. For example, “All is not lost” and “We saved the contents” let the customer know that Dyson wants to be helpful.
They include an image of the product and list the item still in the customer’s cart.
The add a sense of urgency. The text, “Your basket for this promotion was saved, but the offer is only for a limited time” creates a sense of importance about this purchase.
They include two CTA buttons. This allows customers on mobile to see a CTA button even as they scroll down. These buttons make it easy to complete their purchase at every touchpoint.

Overall, this email includes the right elements, while also showcasing a sleek, clean design that makes it easy to read.

6. Virgin Atlantic

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In this example, Virgin Atlantic uses engaging text and three CTA buttons to encourage customers to complete their purchase. The personalized intro text, “Smiles Davis, you’re so close…” makes customers feel like they’re being spoken to directly, while also reminding them how close they are to travel.

This email also includes flight information, so they have everything they need to make a purchase. When writing your own abandoned cart emails, this is a good example to follow because it takes away any roadblocks for the customer.

7. Ugmonk

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Ugmonk uses a different approach to their abandoned cart email. They focus entirely on personalization, making it seem like the owner and designer is reaching out directly to answer any questions. Plus, this includes two in-line CTAs so the customer can finish checking out instantly if they want. This is a simple approach that your target audience may prefer.

8. Drop

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Drop’s abandoned cart email is a good example because of its use of images and copywriting. Drop creates urgency in the bolded text “ends in 19 days.” After they create urgency and include their CTA, they also add other items that the customer might be interested in based on what’s in their cart. This is a good strategy to get the customer back on their site browsing other items they might want, hopefully turning into a completed purchase.

9. Google

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This is a perfect example of an abandoned cart email because it includes every element: Great copywriting, clear CTA, personalization by showing the customer’s cart, and urgency. With text like “Going, going, (almost) gone” and “Our popular items sell out fast” customers are engaged. They also feel compelled to complete their purchase so they don’t miss out. This email closes with a CTA to answer questions and subscribe to their product updates. Again, Google focuses on ensuring the customer feels like they don’t want to miss out on anything.

10. Target

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Target takes a different approach in their abandoned cart email by offering a discount on the items in the customer’s cart. The text “New price alert” and “Time to check out” make it hard to walk away. But if that approach doesn’t work on their customer, Target also includes similar items to get their customer browsing and shopping again.

11. Casper

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What I love about this example is that Casper uses social proof. Word of mouth and reviews are becoming increasingly important in the world of marketing. When people don’t complete a purchase, it might be because they haven’t finished their research. Casper’s abandoned cart email makes it easy for the customer to pick up where they left off in regard to their research. Plus, it includes snappy text and clear CTA buttons that entice the customer to continue shopping.

12. Dote

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Funny, interesting text is the way to your customer’s heart. Dote excels at it with humorous copywriting. In their email, they say “Your shopping bag has abandonment issues” and “Save these items hours of therapy and give them a loving home.” This text is entertaining, which makes the brand compelling to its customers. This example showcases how to use abandoned cart emails to illustrate your brand’s personality and create brand enthusiasts. Plus, this is short, sweet, and to the point, making it easy to continue shopping.

13. Moschino

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The bottom of Moschino’s email is unique because it includes information on secure payments and easy returns. For clothing ecommerce businesses, these are some of the top reasons that customers don’t want to make a purchase online. With their abandoned cart email, Moschino is trying to quell any doubts and take away any reason for hesitation. In addition, they also list the items in the cart and use clear CTAs.

Create Abandoned Cart Emails That Convert

Undoubtedly there are many different approaches to the abandoned cart email. We suggest A/B testing different variations to see what works for your audience. Do they prefer personalized emails? Discounts? Humorous text? It’s important to find out.

Abandoned cart emails can create brand enthusiasts and delights customers at every touchpoint. With stellar copywriting and branding, you can earn your customer’s trust and loyalty.

Editor’s note: This article was published in September 2019 and has been updated for comprehensive.

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What is a KPI? How To Choose the Best KPIs for Your Business

The question “what is a KPI?” comes up at many meetings. If you want to scale your company, you might be wondering about KPIs and how they can help your business grow.

Reviewing performance through key performance indicators (KPIs), tells your team when you’ve met the mark or fallen short. But how do you pick the right KPIs for your business?

In this post, we’ll walk you through what a KPI is, which KPIs you should focus on, and how you can hone in on the metrics that matter most for your business.

Keep reading, or jump to the section you’re looking for:

What is a KPI?
Why are KPIs important?
Types of Key Performance Indicators
KPIs vs. Metrics
OKR vs. KPI
How To Determine KPIs
KPI Examples
How To Measure KPIs

Whether a KPI is for a one-off campaign or a long-term initiative, it can help teams track their progress, improve results, and stay on track.

Businesses use KPIs to figure out whether they are reaching their top goals. These KPIs usually track the overall health and performance of the organization.

Departments use KPIs to show the value of their efforts to the business. These performance indicators help teams work toward set outcomes and solve issues that stand in the way of those goals.

And employees use KPIs to understand how their individual efforts contribute to project, team, and organizational goals.

KPIs can also help track the effectiveness of:

Projects
Processes
Campaigns
Strategic changes

A KPI is also useful for cross-departmental collaboration, as it makes it simple to see what other teams are working toward at a glance. KPIs tell companies if their hunches are right and if what they are doing is working.

Important note: KPIs should measure your most essential indicators.

For instance, your social media team may have a ton of data points that can serve as KPIs. However, they should only choose the ones that align with the broader business goals. Let’s say it’s brand awareness. In this case, follower count, post reach, and impressions will likely be the social media KPI metrics to measure.

With that in mind, having KPIs means narrowing your focus to a few vital metrics that will influence your business the most.

Why are KPIs important?

People around the world generated and consumed 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. And according to Statista, that number should reach 181 zettabytes by 2025.

How much is a zettabyte? One billion terabytes. And how much is a terabyte? About one trillion bytes. That’s a lot of information. That means that your business is processing more information than ever before.

As you process that ever-growing mass of data, it can start to feel overwhelming. For example, this post on sales metrics outlines over 140 metrics that one sales manager might track in a month. These are valuable metrics that can help salespeople excel. But add in weekly metrics, and it’s no surprise that 80% of workers are suffering from information overload.

Enter the KPI. When you select a KPI for your business or team, it narrows the focus of your efforts. This one strategy can help your team rally around what’s most meaningful. It can push teams to get results faster, be more productive, and make useful changes when they’re needed.

A KPI is more than a number. It’s a message, a story that quickly shows your team whether you are moving toward the goals you’ve set together. Key performance indicators can help:

Keep high-level goals top of mind
Convert abstract ideas into manageable targets
Cut down on data overload

Strong KPIs can help your business save time, get critical insights, guide management, and keep your business on a long-term path of growth.

Because KPIs are so critical, it’s essential to set the right KPIs for your business. The wrong KPI can disrupt even the strongest team.

For example, say your marketing team is selecting a KPI for its growth goals. Ranking in search engine results is important for a blog, so the amount of #1 keyword rankings could seem like a good KPI.

But what if your blog’s top-ranking keywords don’t relate to your business goals? What if those keywords have low traffic volume or don’t connect to qualified leads? In this situation, organic traffic is probably a better KPI.

Choosing the right KPI might take some extra research, so let’s talk about the different types of KPIs.

Types of Key Performance Indicators

While there are many different indicators of performance that a business can measure, most fall under two categories:

Quantitative KPIs

A quantitative KPI uses numbers to measure progress toward a goal. The majority of KPIs are quantitative, like the number of closed sales, customer service tickets, or annual revenue.

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Qualitative KPIs

A qualitative KPI tracks non-numerical data, like customer comments or employee engagement. While there are ways to get quantitative data from qualitative research, these KPIs focus on non-numerical data.

For example, say a company just released a new product online. As soon as the product listing goes live they’ll track quantitative metrics like:

Product sales
Abandoned carts
Product page views

At the same time, the company would also track qualitative data like product reviews and customer surveys. This can help the team figure out how people are responding to the product and how to keep improving it.

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Most businesses use more than one KPI to track performance and may combine KPIs to reach a set goal.

There are other measures that companies use to hone in on their business goals.

Other Key Performance Indicators

Leading KPIs: This is quantitative data that helps a business measure potential responses to a change. For example, if a SaaS business plans to launch a new feature, leading indicators can help it project future results.

Lagging KPIs: These measure results after a change to track whether that change is meeting expectations. These are sometimes also called output indicators. For example, after the SaaS business launch above, lagging indicators will show the actual outcomes of the release.

Leading and lagging KPIs can help teams make corrections early. This can save the business time, effort, and investment over time.

Input KPIs: These track the resources a business needs for a campaign, project, or process.

Process KPIs: Process KPIs track how well a new process is working and help target potential changes. For example, a common process KPI is the time it takes to close a support ticket.

Practical KPIs: These track current internal company processes and how they impact other parts of the business.

Directional KPIs: These KPIs look at overall company performance. They may focus on trends within the company or in comparison to competitors.

Actionable KPIs: Indicators like this track how well a company commits to and carries out internal business changes. Examples include KPIs that track culture changes, employee sentiment, or DEI initiatives. These often measure progress within a set period of time.

KPIs vs. Metrics

When you were in school, you might have learned that a square can be a parallelogram, but not every parallelogram is a square. The same is true of KPIs and metrics.

While a KPI can be a metric, not every metric is a KPI. This is because KPIs track progress toward a specific goal. A KPI is a significant measure of performance.

When your team selects a KPI, they commit to a specific metric and how meeting that goal can lead to business growth. KPIs also narrow the scope of information to data that everyone needs to know — from interns to stakeholders.

This doesn’t mean that metrics aren’t impactful. As your team solves specific problems and creates processes, there are many metrics you will track. In turn, these metrics can help your team meet your KPIs.

KPI Metrics Example

Here’s an example. Say that your team is creating a blog for your sales team to generate more qualified leads. The KPIs for this project are:

Traffic
New users
Leads

Those are the key performance indicators that your team believes will show that the time and effort of launching a new blog is worth it to the business.

At the same time, if you’ve ever started a blog, you know that there are many other metrics to track like:

Engagement time
Bounce rate
Views per user
Backlinks
Domain authority

These metrics will help your team solve problems, choose the right blog topics, and make changes that improve the user experience.

Metrics are essential to the team that works on the blog so they can make it better. At the same time, metrics are often too much detail for every stakeholder. In this example, your blog team needs other metrics to help meet its KPIs.

OKR vs. KPI

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) and KPIs are often used interchangeably because both terms refer to goals that are tracked and measured. However, they differ in intention.

Put simply, KPIs show whether your business is hitting its targets. They are often called health metrics as they tell you how the company is doing to meet an objective that’s already set.

OKRs, on the other hand, are broad objectives for your business with the key results that will signify achievement in meeting those objectives. They are aggressive and ambitious goals that speak to the business’s big-picture vision.

For instance, let’s say a technology company has the objective of becoming one of the top 10 providers in their industry in 2021. Their key results could be:

Acquire 1,000 new customers by Q3.
Generate 3,000 leads every month.
Increase annual membership sales by 30%.

While KPIs are ideal for scaling, OKRs are designed for dramatic growth. They’re more ambitious and push teams to stretch their capabilities.

It’s also important to note that while KPIs can be the key results in your OKR, the opposite is generally not true.

For example, your marketing team could have a KPI of 3,000 leads as mentioned in the example above. However, it’s unlikely that any department would list the “Top 10” goal as their KPI as that speaks to a broader vision and has a more flexible timeline.

Before you can measure your KPIs, you’ll need to determine which metrics to track. This will greatly depend on your goals and your team.

Once you narrow that down, set your targets. They’re usually based on a combination of factors, including historical performance and industry standards.

You’ll also have to answer the who, when, and why. Who is responsible for this KPI? Identify the person on your team who is managing this KPI, so they can be the go-to when addressing roadblocks that may affect performance. They will also be responsible for reporting on progress.

As for the “when,” you’ll need to know the timeline to reach these targets. Many businesses set them on a monthly or quarterly basis, but your timeline can be shorter or longer depending on your team.

Lastly: the why. It’s the most important thing to keep in mind when measuring your KPIs. Having your goals clearly identified can help motivate your team and make sure everyone is aligned on the direction you’re going in.

Let’s go over a few steps that can help make this process more simple.

1. Choose KPIs directly related to your business goals.

KPIs are quantifiable measurements or data points used to gauge your company’s performance relative to a goal. For instance, a KPI could be related to your goal of increasing sales, improving the return on investment of your marketing efforts, or improving customer service.

What are your company goals? Have you identified any major areas for improvement or optimization? What are the biggest priorities for your management team?

Answering these questions will bring you one step closer to identifying the right KPIs for your brand.

2. Consider your company’s stage of growth.

Depending on the stage of your company – startup vs. enterprise – certain metrics will be more critical than others.

Early-stage companies typically focus on data related to business model validation while more established organizations focus on metrics like cost per acquisition and customer lifetime value.

Here are a few examples of potential key performance indicators for companies in various stages of growth:

3. Identify both lagging and leading performance indicators.

The difference between lagging and leading indicators is essentially knowing how you did, versus how you are doing. Leading indicators aren’t necessarily better than lagging indicators, or vice versa. You should just be aware of the differences between the two.

Lagging indicators measure the output of something that has already happened. Total sales last month, or the number of new customers or hours of professional services delivered, are examples of lagging indicators. These types of metrics are good for purely measuring results, as they focus on outputs.

On the other hand, leading indicators measure your likelihood of achieving a goal in the future. These serve as predictors of what’s to come. Conversion rates, sales opportunity age, and sales rep activity are just a few examples of leading indicators.

Traditionally most organizations have solely focused on lagging indicators. One of the main reasons for this is they tend to be easy to measure since the events have already happened. For instance, it’s easy to pull a report of the number of customers acquired last quarter.

But measuring what happened in the past can only be so helpful.

You can think of leading indicators as business drivers because they come before trends emerge, which can help you identify whether or not you are on track to reaching your goals. If you can identify which leading indicators will impact your future performance you will have a much better shot at success.

With every business, growth is the goal. KPIs help you track your progress and scale progressively to grow in whichever way that matters to your company.

4. Focus on a few key metrics, rather than a slew of data.

As you begin to identify KPIs for your business, less is worth more. Rather than choosing dozens of metrics to measure and report on you should focus on just a few key ones.

If you track too many KPIs, you might become overwhelmed with the data and lose focus.

As you can imagine, every company, industry, and business model is different so it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number for the amount of KPIs you should have. However, a good number to aim for is somewhere between two to four KPIs per goal. Enough to get a good sense of where you stand but not too many where there’s no priority.

KPI Examples

Your organization’s business model and the industry in which you operate will influence the KPIs you choose.

For example, a B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) company might choose to focus on customer acquisition and churn, whereas a brick-and-mortar retail company might focus on sales per square foot or average customer spend.

Here are a few examples of some industry-standard KPIs:

While some KPIs are simple, KPIs that can help your business target specific goals can be tougher to create. These examples of key performance indicators for businesses can inspire the right KPI for your business.

Marketing KPIs

KPIs for marketing can help you track the effectiveness of marketing efforts. It can help you figure out the value of specific campaigns and initiatives, and assess different media channels.

For example, this video outlines how to set KPIs for social media:

These are some of the top marketing KPIs:

Return on Investment (ROI)
Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV)
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Conversion Rate

For more KPI ideas, check out these resources:

Marketing KPIs
Business blogging metrics
SEO KPIs
Email marketing metrics
Marketing KPIs for CEOs
Content marketing metrics

Sales KPIs

Sales is a numbers-driven activity and this makes KPI selection even more important. Sales KPIs can measure individual, team, departmental, or organizational efforts. They can also help sales teams make shifts and respond to goal and priority changes.

These are some common sales KPIs:

Monthly sales growth
Monthly calls (or emails) per rep
Opportunity to deal ratio
Average purchase value

For more KPI ideas, check out these resources:

Field sales leader KPIs
Sales metrics guide
Inside sales metrics
Sales and marketing KPIs

Service KPIs

Customer service KPIs can track the performance of support teams. They also help service managers understand, analyze and optimize the customer experience.

Here are some of the top service KPIs:

Number of resolved tickets
Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
First response time
Net promoter score (NPS)

For more KPI ideas, check out these resources:

Customer service KPIs
Customer experience metrics
Customer success metrics
Call center metrics

Website KPIs

A website KPI can connect the performance of your website to marketing, sales, and service goals. Website data can help businesses understand how to connect siloed departments and fix gaps in the buyer journey. This type of KPI is especially useful for ecommerce sites.

Here are some common website KPIs:

Traffic
Traffic sources
Number of sessions
Number of transactions

This post also has some great suggestions for website engagement metrics.

Now that you know what a KPI is and how to choose the right KPIs for your business, it’s time to act. Measuring a KPI can be simple or complex depending on your KPIs, your tech stack, and the way your team works.

Some companies end up tracking the wrong KPI because it’s the easiest data to track. This isn’t a satisfying solution, and it can lead to bigger business challenges long term.

Let’s walk through the best practices for measuring your KPIs.

1. Identify the tools or software you need to measure your KPIs.

KPI measurement starts with your data sources and the tools your business uses to track data. There are a few things you’ll want to look for in the right software.

Integrations

According to 2021 research from Productiv, the average company uses over 200 apps. This means that you’ll need a software solution that connects to a range of tools to pull together accurate data.

Dashboards

Dashboards are also useful for tracking KPIs because they make it easy to visualize insights. Visualization can make complicated information simpler and quicker to understand and act on.

Custom and standard reports

It’s also helpful to use KPI software with both standard and custom reporting. While some KPIs are effective alone, others may need supporting metrics to clarify the story of the data. For example, say your KPI is social media engagement. You may also want to present data on every social media tool your team is using.

Read here if you’re looking for the right data tracking software.

2. Narrow down your final list of KPIs.

Focus is the top reason to limit the number of KPIs you track. If KPIs are the most critical measure of business success, you want to track just two or three KPIs, not 10-20.

First, make sure there is a clear separation of KPIs from metrics. Next, revisit your goals to make sure that the KPIs you’ve selected show clear progress toward that goal.

As you research software you might notice that some KPIs are easier to track than others.

For example, tracking customer lifetime value by marketing channel is easy if your revenue and marketing systems connect. But what if these are two different systems? Maybe your marketing platform shows that most of your leads come from the blog. At the same time, your customer platform analytics show that most of your leads come from a landing page.

This kind of issue leads to a lot of manual work, and a KPI your team can’t trust. Until you can unify your systems, you may want to choose a KPI that you can measure accurately.

Be sure to watch your KPIs in the first few months and take note of how often you check each KPI. Sometimes you’ll need real data to figure out if that performance indicator is useful.

For example, say at the beginning of a co-marketing partnership, you and your partner set a KPI for shared leads. But in the first two months, the only shared leads come from a webinar that your companies host together. At the same time, you both notice increased lead volumes from referral links.

If you want your KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your partnership, you may want to change this KPI.

3. Create standard reports and timing for reporting.

One way to help stakeholders invest in KPIs is to create a consistent reporting schedule and format. You can measure and report on KPIs each week, month, quarter, or year depending on your business needs.

For example, if you have a monthly lead goal, it’s a good idea to track your KPIs weekly. If performance tracks with expectations, you can gather insights into what your team is doing well. If not, you have a chance to ask for resources, troubleshoot, and make changes.

A standard report has the same structure every time. You can often automate these reports and they usually don’t need much manual data analysis. Depending on your industry and KPIs you may want to customize your standard reports. This can help you make sure that your reports clearly show the most useful information.

4. Design visualizations in your dashboard for your most important KPIs.

Scanning numbers is satisfying for some. But most people process and retain visuals best. So, you’ll want to make the most of your data with a visual dashboard that makes your KPIs easier for stakeholders to understand and remember.

As you build your dashboards, there are a few helpful things to think about. First, try to group your KPIs to create audience-specific dashboards. For example, you might want to build one KPI dashboard for C-suite presentations and another for meetings with your team.

Next, keep your visuals simple. Choose the best chart for the information you’re presenting and don’t add small text or extra graphics that could distract from your data.

5. Share KPIs reports with other teams for quality checks.

It may take some time before your KPIs are a reliable source of information. There is a lot that you can do with digital tools, but don’t forget another crucial resource for making sure your KPIs are accurate — your team.

Whether you check in with your friends in Accounting every other day or hold weekly check-ins with people in your department, it’s smart to reach out. Even small issues can lead to big errors over time.

For example, do you want to base your KPI on the average daily call volume of customer service seven days a week or just Monday through Friday? If you don’t talk to your CS team about their structure and schedule, you might pull the wrong data. This can lead to skewed numbers, poor strategic decisions, and more.

The more your business can trust your KPIs, the more benefits they’ll get from them.

6. Choose a reporting cadence for stakeholders.

Most decision-makers in business organize reporting around the business calendar. But you’ll still want to think about the right reporting cadence for your specific KPIs.

For example, a monthly cadence might not be frequent enough to troubleshoot problems. At the same time, a weekly cadence might create information overload. Too frequent meetings can also lead to conversations about metrics instead. This takes the focus away from your key performance indicators.

If you are new to this process, it may make sense to meet more frequently in the beginning, then create more space between meetings later.

You want to build a culture and structure around support for your KPIs. Remember that it’s about the business using this tool to reach your goals.

7. Set new goals and KPIs based on your results.

Some KPIs are forever, but you’ll want to continue to review and update your KPIs based on results. So, schedule time at least once a year to review your KPIs.

As you make updates, organize your data in a way that makes it easy to compare useful KPIs with indicators that aren’t helping.

Next, make some time to plan and research the changes you might want to make. Changing KPIs can sometimes create unintended issues. For example, a slack KPI can show consistent strong results, even if performance isn’t in line with growth goals.

As you make adjustments, keep in mind that KPIs should come from business goals, not the other way around.

Use Your KPIs to Fuel Growth

With every business, growth is the goal. KPIs help you track your progress and scale progressively to grow in whichever way that matters to your company.

Powerful KPI creation and tracking can give you and your business a strategic advantage. They can help you prioritize, focus, and scale processes toward your goals.

Some KPIs are easy. But if you want to push to the next level, you may need to take some extra time to find the exact KPIs that your company needs.

This post was originally published in March 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to Create a YouTube Channel Step-by-Step

Video content accounts for over 82% of all online traffic — and YouTube is the most popular video platform with more than two billion active users.

Because video is an essential channel for marketers, it’s important to know how to leverage YouTube for your own business.

This article will cover everything you need to know about creating a YouTube channel so you can start uploading your own videos and growing your audience today.

Can’t create a new channel?

If you’re seeing a “This action isn’t allowed” message when you try to create your channel, you may be using an outdated version of the YouTube app.

Here are your options to move forward:

Update the YouTube app on your device.
Create your YouTube channel using a browser on your computer (following the steps outlined in more detail below).

How to Create a YouTube Channel

Creating a well-managed YouTube channel with consistent content can help businesses grow better, but doing it right is just as important. Here’s how to do it step-by-step.

1. Sign in to your Google account.

You’ll need a Google account to watch, share, create, and comment on YouTube content. Go to youtube.com and click “Sign In” in the upper right-hand corner. From there, you’ll be taken to a Google sign-in page.

If you have a Google account, you’ll be prompted to sign in.
If you have multiple Google accounts, be sure to select the one you want to be associated with the YouTube channel.
If you do not have a Google account, click “Create Account” and follow the prompts to register for one.

2. Create a new YouTube channel using your Google account.

Once you’re set up with and signed into your Google account, it’s time to create a channel. Click your user icon in the upper right-hand corner. This represents both your Google account and your YouTube account (as YouTube is owned by Google). You’ll see a drop-down menu, where you’ll want to click “Settings.”

From there, you’ll be taken to your account overview. Click “Create a new channel” under “Your channel.”

The first step is to create your new channel name. It can be whatever you want, and doesn’t have to be the same name that you used to create your Google account — but we do recommend that it reflects the brand the YouTube Channel will represent.

After you enter the channel name, you might be asked to verify the account via text message or voice call. If that happens, enter the code you receive from the option you choose.

Once you’ve verified your account, you’ll be taken to the dashboard for your channel. Now, it’s time to start customizing it.

3. Navigate to the Customize Channel page.

We’ll start with the fundamental details about your channel. From your channel dashboard, click “Customize channel.”

From there, you’ll be taken to the channel customization page.

You’ll notice three tabs: “Layout,” “Branding,” and “Basic info.” These three tabs will help you optimize your channel for viewers.

4. Add Basic Info to your channel for discoverability.

Start by clicking “Basic info.”

Here’s where you’ll enter some basic information about your channel, like the language your videos are in, as well as a description that helps people discover your channel when they enter search terms that describe what videos they’re looking for. These keywords can include what your channel is about, the problems it helps solve, the people and products featured, your industry, and more.

You’ll also be able to add links to sites you want to share with your viewers. These links will be displayed over your banner image (more on this later) like so:

5. Upload branding elements to your channel.

In addition to the descriptive details you’ve added, there’s another element of customization for a new YouTube channel: The visuals.

Under the “Branding” tab, you’ll be able to add your profile picture, banner image, and video watermark.

Profile Picture

Profile pictures help YouTube users identify the creator of a video when browsing video content. You’ll see this image appear beneath YouTube videos on the play page, as shown below. YouTube recommends using a picture with dimensions of at least 98 x 98 pixels.

Banner Image

The banner image is a large banner displayed at the top of your channel page, and it’s a big opportunity to convey your brand to your viewers. YouTube recommends using an image that’s at least 2048 x 1152 px and 6MB or less.

Video Watermark

The video watermark is displayed at the bottom right of every video you post (see below). You’ll want to choose a logo that best represents you sized at 150 x 150 px.

6. Customize your more advanced layout options.

Click the “Layout” tab.

From here, you’ll be able to specify certain details about how you want your content presented on your channel’s page. You’ll have the option to designate a video spotlight and organize your channel page with featured sections.

7. Add videos and optimize them for search.

To upload your first video to YouTube, click the “Create” button in the top-right corner and follow the prompts.

Optimizing your channel for discoverability is just the beginning. Once you start adding videos, you’ll want to optimize them for search, which in turn helps users discover your video.

But this goes beyond giving your videos accurate, clear, and concise titles — though that is important. Below, we describe some of the most important things to optimize on YouTube.

Title

When we search for videos, one of the first things that our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should not only be compelling but also clear and concise.

Description

This should be limited to 1,000 characters — and remember that your viewer came here to watch a video, not to read a lot of text. Plus, YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text, which comes to about 100 characters, so front-load the description with the most important information.

Tags

Using tags doesn’t just let viewers know what your video is about — they also help YouTube understand your video’s content and context. That way, YouTube can associate your video with similar videos, broadening your content’s reach. But approach with caution: just as with your title, don’t use misleading tags because they might get you more views. In fact, Google might penalize you for that.

Category

Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on YouTube — but that might not be as simple as it sounds. YouTube’s Creator Academy suggests that marketers “think about what is working well for each category” you’re considering by answering questions like:

Who are the top creators within the category? What are they known for, and what do they do well?
Are there any patterns between the audiences of similar channels within a given category?
Do the videos within a similar category share qualities like production value, length, or format?

That’s it — you’ve officially not only created a YouTube channel but now also know how to optimize its content for discoverability. For more information on how to best leverage YouTube for marketing, check our entire collection of resources.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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3 Tips for Creating Powerful Ads, According to Meta’s Director of Ads

Facebook is an undeniably powerful platform for advertisers.

In fact, HubSpot Blog Research found Facebook is the most popular social media network for advertising in 2022, with 62% of companies currently leveraging it.

Additionally, Facebook has proven to be the social media platform that generates the biggest ROI. 

But getting started on Facebook advertising can be intimidating — particularly with a limited budget. You don’t want to waste all your ad spend before you’ve identified a strong, effective long-term advertising strategy.

Here, I sat down with Tarcisio Ribeiro, Meta’s Director of Ads, to discuss his three tips for getting the most out of your Facebook ad strategy. Let’s dive in.

Tips for Creating Powerful Facebook Ads, According to Meta’s Director of Ads

1. Keep it simple.

When you’re first getting started with Facebook ads, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of options available. For instance, you can create a boosted ad, a video ad, a poll ad, or a carousel ad (to name a few).

Ribeiro advises against getting too complex when you’re first starting out. As he puts it, “One challenge I’ve seen with new Facebook Ads users is that they see the numerous capabilities we have in our Ads Manager, and without fulling understanding how everything works, they try to play with everything. As a result, they end up wasting money because they’re either not being targeted enough, or they’re using the wrong capabilities.”

In other words: Don’t try to do too much, too quickly.

Start by identifying your objective — awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, or sales. And, rather than creating a more complex video or carousel, start with a boosted post, which is an easy opportunity to start discovering your target audience. (More on that, next.)

From there, consider taking the time to explore the resources that can help you create an optimized ad. Ribeiro suggests that new Facebook Ads users take the time to take the Meta Blueprint trainings.

2. Know your audience — including the details.

Ribeiro told me it’s imperative you understand the audience you’re going to target — in other words, who is most likely to become a consumer.

And, equally importantly, you need to be willing to iterate over time to ensure your target audience becomes more refined.

“For instance,” Ribeiro says, “Perhaps you sell baby strollers. But beyond that, you have certain characteristics that pertain to your target audience — maybe it’s a higher-income market, or parents who are very mobile and need a lightweight stroller to take on trips. In the beginning, you may have a cohort of ten different kinds of profiles who might buy your stroller. But, over time, you’re going to see that 20% of those audiences are the ones who are most likely to purchase your product.”

Facebook ads can help you identify a more specific and niche audience to target. If we use the example mentioned above, perhaps you’d expected parents in the suburban areas surrounding Boston to purchase your strollers, but you find in your Ads analytics that most of your consumers are metro-based. As you begin to discover who your true consumer is, you can refine your ads strategy accordingly.  

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can also leverage Facebook’s Lookalike feature to ensure your ads are capturing the attention of people who match the same characteristics as your current buyers.

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3. Pay attention to the creative.

“One of the first things users notice and react on is going to be your creative,” Ribeiro told me, “so it’s important you pay attention to how you’re designing your ad.”

For context, an ad creative is the visual attributes of the advertisement, whether it be an image, video, or another format.

Consider, for instance, the fun, lighthearted, and bright designs in the Blue Bunny Ice Cream creative, shown below:

The ad itself needs to grab the attention of your users. If you’re unsure what type of creative will resonate best with your audience, try A/B testing different styles to identify what works best.

Additionally, the type of ad you create is equally important to consider. Ribeiro says, “Video always performs best because it’s the most engaging. But you don’t need a big budget or sophisticated equipment for video. If you’re a small business and you only have pictures, you can actually convert those pictures into a video in our Ads Manager through our partnership with Vimeo.”

Whether you’re ready to get started with Facebook Ads or take your ads strategy to the next level, hopefully these three tips have enabled you to focus in on what matters most.

The power of Facebook Ads is in the large variety of tools and features it offers businesses — but it’s imperative, for your own purposes, that you start simple; take the time to identify your correct target audience; and design a creative that will compel your audience to take action.