5 Design Musts for Account Engagement Users

In the world of digital marketing, a seamless and visually captivating user experience is crucial to capturing your audience’s attention and driving conversions. For Marketing Cloud Account Engagement users, optimizing both email and landing page designs is an art that requires a balance of creativity and strategy. 

Crafting Impactful Email and Landing Page Experiences

In this post, we’ll delve into five design musts that can elevate your Account Engagement-powered campaigns and help you create impactful email and landing page experiences.

Design Must #1: Use Responsive Design to Engage Across Devices

In today’s mobile-centric landscape, responsive design is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Whether you’re crafting an email or designing a landing page, ensure that your layout adapts flawlessly to various screen sizes, from desktops to smartphones.

Account Engagement offers responsive email templates that automatically adjust content to fit different devices, allowing you to reach your audience wherever they are. Similarly, when creating landing pages, use responsive design principles to guarantee a seamless experience and better engagement.

Design Must #2: Establish Visual Cohesion through Consistent Branding

Consistency is key in branding, and it extends to your email and landing page designs. Maintain a consistent color palette, typography, and imagery that align with your brand identity. You can leverage Account Engagement’s customizable templates to infuse your emails and landing pages with your brand’s visual elements, reinforcing familiarity and trust among your audience. 

A unified brand presence boosts recognition and enhances the overall user experience.

Design Must #3: Capture Attention Instantly through Compelling Imagery

Visuals are powerful tools for storytelling and grabbing attention. 

Incorporate high-quality, relevant images that resonate with your audience’s interests and needs. In emails, use eye-catching visuals that complement your message and entice recipients to read further. 

On landing pages, leverage impactful imagery to convey the value proposition of your offer instantly. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, so choose visuals that amplify your message effectively.

Example: Sercante Landing Page Created in Account Engagement

Design Must #4: Guide User Actions with Clear Call to Actions (CTAs) 

The purpose of your email and landing page is to drive specific actions. Whether it’s encouraging recipients to click through to your website or enticing them to fill out a form, your CTAs must be prominent and action-oriented. Use contrasting colors, persuasive language, and compelling design elements to draw attention to your CTAs.


The Account Engagement drag-and-drop email and landing page editors enable you to create visually appealing buttons that stand out, leading users to take the desired actions effortlessly.

Example: Bold and clear CTA

Design Must #5: Streamline Layouts to Enhance Readability and Navigation

Cluttered and confusing designs can deter users from engaging with your content. Keep your layouts clean, organized, and easy to navigate. 

In emails, use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up text and improve readability. On landing pages, employ a clear hierarchy to guide users’ attention toward key information. 

Account Engagement design tools empower you to structure your content in a user-friendly manner, ensuring that recipients and visitors can quickly grasp your message and offerings.

Be an Awesome Account Engagement Asset Designer 

Mastering the art of designing impactful emails and landing pages within the Pardot platform requires a blend of design aesthetics and marketing strategy. 

By adhering to these five design musts — responsive design, consistent branding, compelling imagery, clear CTAs, and streamlined layouts — you’ll create experiences that captivate your audience, encourage interaction, and ultimately drive conversions. 

Embrace these principles to unleash the full potential of Account Engagement and leave a lasting impression on your target audience. And reach out to the team at Sercante when you’re ready to take your Account Engagement Assets to the next level.

Original article: 5 Design Musts for Account Engagement Users

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post 5 Design Musts for Account Engagement Users appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-22T20:27:00+00:00September 22nd, 2023|Categories: Emails & Templates, Getting Started, revive, Strategy|

Salesforce Starter: The Perfect Solution for Small Businesses

Are you a small business owner who is interested in using Salesforce for your business all the way up until you saw the pricing? If so, Salesforce Starter was created just for you!

I know what you’re thinking: Salesforce is a big, expensive CRM platform. But Salesforce Starter is different. It’s a low-cost, lightweight version of Salesforce that’s designed specifically for small businesses. Coming in at $25 USD per month/per user, it’s a downright smoking deal to be honest.

There’s even a 30-day free trial to test it out and see if it’s right for you and your team! 

Salesforce Starter Capabilities

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the stuff you can do with Salesforce Starter RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!

  • Track your leads and customers
  • Manage your sales pipeline
  • Automate your marketing campaigns
  • Manage customer cases
  • Write knowledge articles for your support reps  

Ease of Use is key to Salesforce Starter

What do I mean by that? I mean, it literally guides you through accessing objects (types of records) based on a picklist (dropdown) menu right after you log in (via your homepage)! 

Also featured on the home page are premade dashboard components that display your leads, contacts, opportunities, tasks, and any recommended actions! You can also see any recent records.

If your team’s focus is centered around Sales (Revenue), Marketing (Hello, Sercante) or Service (Support), choose those in the Quick Look picklist and your options change. 

Salesforce Starter for Sales

First up is Sales, the lifeblood of your business. If Sales is your focus, then Salesforce is built for you! Choosing Sales as your focus brings up Contacts (people), Leads (prospects), Opportunities (deals), To Do list (Tasks) along with Tutorials and Setup. 

Salesforce Starter for Marketing

Selecting Marketing as your focus gives you the option to import your Contacts (people), create Campaigns (think email or direct mail campaigns), and has links directly to tutorials and setup. 

Salesforce Starter for Service

Choosing Service opens up access to Cases (customer support requests), Connecting Support Channels (think email or web forms), Knowledge (think help articles), Reports (probably the most important part of Salesforce!), along with links to tutorials and setup.  

Clicking on any of these will take you directly to a list of records of that type (List View) that you have in your organization, and allow you to view, edit, or delete them as you desire. 

Connect Salesforce Starter to email accounts for Einstein Activity Insights

Salesforce Starter even prompts you to connect your Microsoft or Google email accounts so you can sync your calendars and get Einstein Activity Insights (AI recommendations) on your incoming emails. 

The data science and machine learning from Einstein is built to analyze external new sources and your account data to help build a data model that provides relevant updates to help you win more deals. Sounds like a win-win!

Go for all three

One last thought here, you aren’t limited to one or the other, you have access to Sales, Service, AND Marketing!

OK Jason, that’s great. But what if we grow out of Salesforce Starter? 

Salesforce Starter is built on the same foundation as Salesforce Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited. So as your CRM needs grow, Salesforce can grow with you. All you have to do is contact your Account Executive (AE) to upgrade your edition and I’m pretty sure they just hit a magic button* and BOOM you’ve upgraded! 

(*This is unverified, but I imagine that they have a big red upgrade button they smack when a client wants to upgrade followed by a confetti explosion and 30-second dance party.)

Alright, I’m kind of convinced. Where do I start? 

Well any good SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) has a trial and that’s where you begin with the Salesforce Starter package. 

Sign up for 30-day Salesforce Starter trial

Click this link and you’ll head over to the Salesforce Starter site, where you can sign up for your own 30-day trial, check out a demo, or read some customer stories. 

Then, what’s next?

If you want to know more about how it works, I would recommend taking a look at the Salesforce Starter Quick Look Module on Trailhead. 

If you’re not familiar with Trailhead, it’s where all of us Salesforce nerds go to learn about our favorite CRM in a fun, gameified way! It’s free to sign up, and use and can lead to some awesome new skills. 

Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.

Original article: Salesforce Starter: The Perfect Solution for Small Businesses

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Salesforce Starter: The Perfect Solution for Small Businesses appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-20T20:47:36+00:00September 20th, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, Industry News, revive, Setup & Admin|

Eliminate Form-Fill Burnout with Account Engagement Progressive Profiling

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Progressive Profiling is an out-of-the-box functionality and a powerful solution for B2B marketers who want to get detailed prospect data without overwhelming them with a large number of form fields to complete.

This advanced form feature allows marketers to gather additional information about prospects over time, without creating lengthy forms. On one hand, it helps the marketers gain higher conversion rates, while on the other it enhances the user experience and reduces form fill burnout.

How does Progressive Profiling work?

Through Progressive Profiling, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement replaces the form fields for which data is already collected with new fields.

So when a prospect visits your progressive profiling enabled form, it will only present the fields they haven’t

filled out before, unless the ‘Always display even if previously completed’ setting is enabled. By doing so, you gradually collect more information about your prospects over multiple interactions.

  • When a prospect first interacts with your marketing content, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement should display a short form with essential fields such as first name, last name, email address, and company name. The goal is to capture basic prospect data to initiate the engagement.
  • Upon subsequent engagement, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement flips previously completed fields with new ones. For instance, if the prospect has completed the Company Name field, the next time they interact with a form, it could be replaced with the Job title field.
  • Through every interaction, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement will ask the prospect to provide additional data beyond what is collected already.
  • Gradually you can build a comprehensive profile of your prospects, and it can be used to tailor your marketing campaigns to cater to their specific needs and preferences.

Key Benefits of Progressive Profiling

  • Progressive profiling ensures that quality prospect data is collected, as the risk of data entry errors is minimized due to this gradual approach of presenting fields.
  • Since the number of fields displayed at a time is limited, it makes the form submission exercise seamless, reduces burnout and increases the likelihood of getting more form submissions.
  • Segmentation and targeting of prospects also becomes a lot more easier and effective as more and more prospect data is collected.
  • Through better segmentation, marketers can send personalized content to the prospects and improve the chances of conversion.
  • Collecting additional information regarding the needs and preferences of the prospects can aid marketers in channelizing marketing efforts in the right areas.

How to set up progressive profiling in Account Engagement

  • Create Custom Fields:

Before setting up progressive profiling, you need to ensure the custom fields to collect the incremental prospect data are created.

  • Create your Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Form:

This feature requires you to first create the forms you intend to use for capturing prospect data. Create a form and either add new fields or use the existing ones such as First Name, Last Name, Email and Company.

  • Enable progressive profiling for your form:
    • In the form editor, click on the pencil icon adjacent to the form fields you seek to progressively profile.
      (The screenshots below show the example of progressive profiling on the ‘Department’ field, which will be displayed only when the ‘Job Title’ field is already completed.)
  • Then, in the form settings dialogue box, switch to the ‘Progressive’ tab and enable progressive profiling by checking the checkbox labeled as ‘Show this field only if the prospect already has data in the following field(s)
  • When adding multiple progressive profile fields, you can also manage the sequence in which they are displayed.
  • Remember to save the changes you made to the form settings, and click the ‘Confirm and save’ button before exiting the form editor.


Overall, progressive profiling addresses the issue of form fill burnout by creating a dynamic, user-friendly and incremental approach to collect prospect data. It ensures quality data is collected and aids segmentation and targeting. 

This approach also ensures that marketers respect their prospect’s time and effort in the form completion process, while increasing engagement and prospect data quality. When using this approach remember to maintain a balance between asking information and honoring the prospect’s preferences.

Need help creating sophisticated prospect profiles and segmentation strategies? Reach out to the team at Sercante to get the conversation going.

Original article: Eliminate Form-Fill Burnout with Account Engagement Progressive Profiling

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Eliminate Form-Fill Burnout with Account Engagement Progressive Profiling appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-09-18T20:26:13+00:00September 18th, 2023|Categories: Forms & Form Handlers, Getting Started, Pardot, revive, Setup & Admin|

Coding Basics: A Marketer’s Friendly Guide to HTML

Marketers often overlook code literacy, outsourcing anything code related to website or email developers. But understanding some coding basics, such as HTML, benefits the everyday marketer more than they realize.

By learning the fundamentals of HTML, you can:

  • Better communicate your vision to the web developers
  • Understand how web pages are designed and where pieces of code need to go
  • Create richer, more engaging email and website content
  • Improve their search engine rankings

“But I don’t need to know how to code. It’s scary.”

That’s where we come in!

HTML coding basics for marketers

Hypertext markup language, aka HTML, is the code that tells your web browser what it should show when you go to a website. When you go to a webpage, your browser reads through the HTML tags and then presents it visually. This blog page even uses HTML to display its design and content to you in a way that is easy to read and understand.

With even the most basic knowledge of HTML code, you can better break up your page’s content in a way that will better engage your audience.

Code formatting

Each HTML tag you add must have a matching set of open and close tags. Without a close tag, any code you write will cause errors in how the info is displayed.

If we were to use the standard paragraph code, <b>, we would need to add </b> after we’re done.

<b>This tag makes text bold!</b> becomes This tag makes text bold!

HTML page structure

These tags will be utilized on every webpage. While you may not need to write them yourself, they are important to know and understand.


Any additional code for a page will go inside of the tag. This covers everything from general page design, additional styling, or Javascript code. Most tracking codes will go here as well.


This will be the main content for your website page.


If your page needs to link to a Cascading Stylesheet Sheet (CSS), it will do so inside of a tag.


Each page needs a title. What you place in the title tag will appear in search engine results as well as the name of the browser tab.


This is a structural element that goes inside the tag. Web pages and emails can be broken down into a series of nested tables. Div tags act as a single cell inside of this high level structure.

Building richer, more readable content

A main way marketers effectively use HTML is breaking up walls of text into something that is easier for a reader to sift through.

Content is meant to be read — not just for search engines to crawl. The more readable your landing page or email, the better your customers will understand the message you’re trying to convey. 

With HTML, you add rich text formatting to make key points stand out or build a list of reasons why your product is awesome.

Here are some important tags to spice up your copy!

Tag Write It Show It
<a> <a href=”(URL”)>Click me!</a> Click me!
<img> <img src=”(image URL)” />
<p> <p>A separate paragraph</p> A separate paragraph
<ul> <ul>
<li>A bullet point list!</li>
<li>No numbers!</li>
A bullet point list!
No numbers!
<ol> <ol><li>A numbered list!</li>
<li>No bullet points</li>
A numbered list
No bullet points
<b> <b>Bold</b> Bold
<i> <i>Italicized</i> Italicized
<u> <u>Underlined</u> Underlined
<h1> <h1>Fancy Title</h1> Fancy Title
<h2> <h2>Secondary Title</h2> Secondary Title
<br /> A line break<br />for readability A line break
for readability

Coding basics for stronger search engine optimization

SEO is the name of the online content game. Marketers are always on the lookout for ways to improve their search engine rankings. But HTML provides some simple ways to gain a boost – no hard thinking required.

The importance of alt tags

Google can do a lot of things except look at images. So how does it know what photos to show as relevant when I search for something online?

Alt text! Alt tags, also known as alt descriptions or alt text, describe the images you post to the search engine. They also allow customers who require certain accessibility tools to enjoy your more visual content. 

And if an image is taking a while to load (or doesn’t load at all), the alt text will display.

To add an alt tag to an image in HTML, you would use the following format:

<img src=”(Image URL)” alt=”A meme with the text Hello… is it alt-tags you’re looking for? over a photo Lionel Richie’s face”>

Use HTML header hierarchies

Search engines like it when pages lay out what is most important. When you utilize H1, H2, etc. tags on your page, you are laying out a table of contents of what content is connected and how important each piece is.

By placing a keyword in an H1 tag, compared to an H4 tag, you tell Google that the keyword in the H1 tag is one of the most important pieces of context about what is on your landing page.

All header tags can be stylized to make the most important ones stand out visually, which assist with readability.

Let’s get meta with meta tags

Meta tags may not directly impact your SEO rankings, but by adding in appropriate meta descriptions, this tells search engines like Google know what to display on their search results page. The more accurate and correct the meta description on the results page, the higher the chance someone will click on your website’s link because your result looks more relevant to the searcher.

If you don’t set a meta description yourself, Google then gets to guess what content to put here based on what exists on your page. Also another reason why header hierarchy is vital.

These type of tags usually fall under the main <head> tag for a page and look like the following:


<title>Let’s Get Meta</title>

<meta name=”keywords” content=”HTML, Meta Tags, Meta Description, Metadata” />

<meta name =”description” content=”Answering all of your questions about meta tags!” />


Basic coding is not so scary, right?

Simple coding doesn’t have to be scary. Knowing the basics of HTML makes a difference when it comes to having stand out landing pages and email copy. And understanding how code works will help you communicate with your web developers.

If you want to learn more about code that helps marketers, check out Code School for Marketers, a 6-week interactive online course to give you the tools to improve your code literacy!

Original article: Coding Basics: A Marketer’s Friendly Guide to HTML

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Coding Basics: A Marketer’s Friendly Guide to HTML appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-07-03T18:50:47+00:00July 3rd, 2023|Categories: Emails & Templates, Forms & Form Handlers, Getting Started, revive, Setup & Admin|

Account Hierarchies: The Key Ingredient in Salesforce ABM Strategy

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful strategy to target and engage high-value audiences. But to work effectively, it requires a significant operational lift to ensure that your team is making the most out of every marketing effort. That’s where account hierarchies are essential.

For starters, understanding and focusing on your audience of interest will help your team start to develop their strategy. But trying to identify target accounts, understand where those accounts sit within an enterprise-level company, and hone in on key stakeholders is frustrating with misaligned and disconnected account data. 

This is especially true when you’re targeting companies with hundreds of subsidiaries or ones that have gone through recent mergers or acquisitions. You could be throwing marketing dollars down the drain and creating friction between sales, marketing, and your customer.

If you want to ensure your marketing team’s success, they need the right tools, processes, and insights in place to manage and nurture leads into customers. And the groundwork for this starts with an account hierarchy strategy that has clean, connected account data to serve as a frame of reference for your entire go-to-market team.

Don’t know what an account hierarchy is? We’ll explain.

What are Account Hierarchies in Salesforce?

An account hierarchy in Salesforce is an organizational structure that creates a connected view of a company. Account hierarchies can help visualize the subsidiaries of a parent company, business units, important contacts, opportunities, and other valuable information. 

Why should you care? 

If you’re all about bridging the customer journey between systems and teams, having a full view of how your accounts are connected is the difference between looking at a pile of puzzle pieces and putting them together to make a complete picture.  

Aligning target accounts between marketing and sales makes your account-based strategy more effective. If everyone has the same view of the enterprise account structure, everyone works together for a more complete customer journey.  Your sales teams will have the context they need for quality conversations and your marketing operations teams can make data-driven decisions for their campaigns. 

Why Account Hierarchies Take Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy to the Next Level

For your ABM strategy to be as effective as possible, it’s critical to have a clear picture of your target accounts. When marketing operations can effectively understand the relationships between the accounts, the risk of mistargeting is reduced and your account-based marketing strategy becomes an account-based everything strategy. 

Here are four reasons why account hierarchies are key to the success of an ABM strategy: 

1. Enhance targeting & segmentation with a complete view of accounts

It’s difficult to make data-driven decisions when you can’t trust your data. Having an automated account hierarchy tool in place helps marketing operations teams better understand the relationship between different accounts and the individuals within them. 

With this information available, your team will have the knowledge they need to influence an ideal customer profile (ICP) and identify the most high-value accounts to target. This is the foundation for creating personalized marketing campaigns and increasing the likelihood of generating a high ROI.  

2. Strengthen marketing & sales collaboration with enterprise account alignment

Implementing a strong ABM strategy helps you optimize the time invested by both your marketing and sales teams.

 Are you sending leads to sales that aren’t being followed up on? Clear account hierarchies provide a common framework that makes it possible to collaborate effectively and ensure all teams are working towards the same goals and target accounts. 

For example, marketing can implement a “land and expand” approach to ABM, where you “land” a deal with one contact and “expand” to other departments or selling across the entire account hierarchy. Marketing matches the efforts of sales by targeting efforts to accounts within the same family tree and everyone is happy.

3. Improve customer experience with more accurate matching and routing

Messy data leads to a messy experience for both you and your prospects. 

Enterprise sales is a complex selling motion and without account hierarchies, you run the risk of ineffective matching and routing or duplicate accounts. Both sales and marketing teams can experience serious consequences as a result of these scenarios.

For example, an account conflict can occur if a small or midsize business is routed to an enterprise representative or lead-to-opportunity conversions can be negatively impacted. This can cause internal confusion and frustration and prospects might even fall under the impression that your organization is not suitable for them to be doing business with.

4. Streamline reporting and analytics with better data quality

At the end of the day, you want to evaluate which of your marketing efforts were most effective. Being able to report on your account hierarchies makes it easier to track customer interactions and attribute different touchpoints to specific contacts and accounts. That’s a big win for marketing attribution! 

Account hierarchies also reduce duplicate accounts. So with improved data quality and a reduced account footprint, it’s easier to make sense of what works and what doesn’t for additional retargeting campaigns.

Hierarchies in action: It’s time to look at the full picture

The key to building a strong account-based strategy is gaining a holistic understanding of your customer. To do that, you need clean, connected account data. Account hierarchies use a framework that can provide you with both to help you supercharge your account-based efforts. 

With insights into an organization’s structure, account hierarchies enable:

  • Better targeting and personalization that improve sales and marketing alignment
  • Enhanced account intelligence
  • Streamlined lead-to-account matching
  • More efficient resource allocation

We’ll also add that it makes life for your revenue team easier, too! Account hierarchies can be built manually or with tools that automate the building and maintenance. Due to the complex nature of account relationships, an automated approach often mitigates the time and effort needed to keep hierarchies up to date and built around your go-to-market strategy. 

To automatically build and visualize account hierarchies in your Salesforce org, Complete Hierarchies can create a complete and accurate picture of an entire corporate family tree. Complete Hierarchies is the first automated account hierarchy solution for Salesforce and has been used by 1Password, Zoom, and Asana to help overcome the limitations of Salesforce. 

Get Help with Account Hierarchies and ABM Strategies

Want to learn more? You can visit Traction Complete to discover their suite of Salesforce solutions for automated account hierarchies, lead routing, and data cleanup. And then reach out to the team at Sercante to get the tools all integrated into your marketing strategy.

Original article: Account Hierarchies: The Key Ingredient in Salesforce ABM Strategy

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Account Hierarchies: The Key Ingredient in Salesforce ABM Strategy appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-06-30T13:42:44+00:00June 30th, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, revive|

Getting Real About Marketing Automation Platform Migration Projects

Migrating from one marketing automation platform (MAP) to another can be nerve wracking. You are bound to be overwhelmed and not know where to start. But I once had a high school coach say “nervousness equals readiness.” And while that didn’t always ease the nerves before a big race, it has stuck with me all these years. So embrace the change as you prepare for your marketing automation platform migration!

I have been on both sides of a marketing automation platform migration project — both as a person who owns the platform and as a consultant. I want to share some of the learnings from those experiences to make the process a little less painful for anyone who’s just getting started. 

Remember the reasons you are changing MAPs

Since we work through so many marketing automation migration projects where we help our clients switch to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot), we’ll use those migrations as an example for the purposes of this blog post. 

Marketing teams are usually migrating to Account Engagement for one of a few reasons:

  • It works better with Salesforce 
  • Their current MAP is not easy to understand
  • They are looking for better support
  • Budget

Migrating to Account Engagement means you get one unified platform for sales and marketing, which for marketers means one less system to have to log into! 

With Engagement History on leads, contacts, and accounts, your sales team has insight into engagement with marketing activities right on their record. And a lot of marketing technology (martech) integrates with Salesforce. 

That means you can, more often than not, pull that information into Account Engagement to use in your audience segmentation.

Account Engagement is not ‘Insert Marketing Automation Platform Name Here’

Regardless of the reason you are migrating to Account Engagement, you need to remember that Account Engagement might not be able to do everything the same way as your existing MAP — but that isn’t a bad thing! There is most likely a solution for it using native functionality or customizing code. 

I have seen clients say they want everything in Account Engagement to be how it is in their current MAP. This approach will most likely cause some headaches down the road. Take a step back and get an understanding of what the end goal of your process is today so it can be translated into Account Engagement, and then look at how it can be done within Account Engagement. 

Make sure you spend time on Trailhead to get an understanding of the basics of how Account Engagement works before you dive into migrating systems. 

Documentation will be critical for success — marketing ops rejoice!

The first step before starting to move over assets is to make sure that you have your processes documented. Not only will this help during migration but it will allow you to take a good look at how things are done today and try to improve where possible. 

Here are a few to make sure you document:

  • User management – Who needs access? What type of access do they need? 
  • Lead routing – When does a lead go to sales? What information is required before it goes to sales? Who is it assigned to? What happens if the lead is not ready? 
  • Reporting – What are your KPIs? What system does reporting need to happen in? How do you need reporting – by campaign, by channel, by quarter, by month? 
  • Lead and customer journeys – How and when do you engage with a lead? What about a customer? 
  • Legal requirements – Is there specific language on forms, emails, and landing pages that we need to have?
  • Overall martech stack – What tools are in your tech stack? How do they all work together? Do you have any new tech you are adding soon? 

Channel your inner Marie Kondo throughout your MAP migration

Regardless of how clean you think your current MAP is there will always be old assets and outdated processes. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and make sure you only migrate over what brings you joy — well, migrate what is still necessary for the future. Don’t worry you can always export reporting on old assets so you are losing that data.

This is not only about cleaning up your assets, now is the time to take a good look at what isn’t working well today and make improvements. This applies not only to processes but nurture programs and email and landing page experiences. 

Bonus: Account Engagement Cleanliness Resources

Marketing automation migrations take time

While yes, technically, you can do a migration in 30 days, I suggest taking as much time as you can. This is  especially true if you have lots of nurture programs, email templates, and complex processes to migrate to the new system. 

This is not always possible. There are so many factors that go into this — especially budget and resources. 

So, have an honest conversation with your team about the timeline. Don’t forget to factor in overlap with your current MAP (at least a month), and try to give yourself a little padding for the unexpected and time off. 

Something will not go as planned

No matter how much you plan and prepare for a migration, something will not go as expected. AND THAT IS OKAY!!! 

You might find some custom code on a form you weren’t aware of. Or you could experience sync errors with Salesforce due to a validation rule you didn’t know existed. 

Just take a deep breath and know that it can be fixed. 

You don’t have to go through a MAP migration alone

Again, migration projects are scary. But you can work with consulting companies that go through these MAP migrations every day. Not only do they know all the processes and logistics for migrating to the new platform, but they’ve worked with companies that weren’t fully utilizing their MAP investment and found ways to improve user experience and adoption.

Working with a partner, like Sercante, can help make it less scary and make sure you get the maximum value out of your tools. 

Reach out to the team at Sercante as you get ready for your marketing automation platform migration. We’ve seen it all, so bring us your juiciest challenges!

Original article: Getting Real About Marketing Automation Platform Migration Projects

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Getting Real About Marketing Automation Platform Migration Projects appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-06-27T17:41:21+00:00June 27th, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, Real Talk, revive, Setup & Admin|

How to Optimize Account Engagement Lead Scoring Rules and Categories

A score in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot) is a numerical figure that is assigned to prospects once they engage with a tracked marketing activity. This could be anything from an email open, link click, page view, form conversion or content download — providing you have the correct lead scoring rules or completion actions applied. 

Luckily, Account Engagement (Pardot) offers an out-the-box lead scoring system that is completely customizable. 

Customizing your Pardot scoring rules and categories is a great way to float your hottest prospects to the top of your priority list. You can get a better understanding of how likely your prospects are to buy from you. And that picture will be even clearer because you’ll differentiate your prospects from those who are simply fans of your company from those who are ready to make purchasing decisions.

An Introduction to Pardot Scoring and Grading

You can get a complete introduction to Pardot scoring and grading in this blog post, but here’s a review if you’re already familiar with the concept.

In a nutshell:

  • Account Engagement (Pardot) Scoring = prospect engagement
  • Account Engagement (Pardot) Grading = prospect profile

Pardot Scoring

The Pardot score itself shows implicit interest in a product, solution or service offered by your business. This is information used to assume or suggest a prospects’ level of interest — (the score does not show direct interest expressed by the prospect). Meaning the higher the prospects score, the more likely they are to be interested in purchasing from your business. 

Now depending on your account setup, a prospect’s score can increase and/or decrease throughout their lifecycle. For instance, to improve the quality of your leads you may wish to reduce the score of prospects who frequently visit career type pages on your website.

Pardot Grading

A grade is a letter that is assigned to a prospect based on their profile — and it matches your business’s ideal customer profile. The measurement itself is used to show explicit information provided by the prospect, usually captured through form submissions (don’t forget to use progressive profiling to capture more data). 

These could be data points such as:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Company size
  • Industry 

Now, depending on how well the prospect profile matches the criteria you’ve set, these data points will determine the prospect’s grade. The closer the match, the higher the grade. The lower the match, the lower the grade will be.

Pardot grades run from F to A and increase and/ or decrease in increments of thirds (C, C+, -B, B, B+, etc.). By default, any new prospects are assigned with a grade of D

The score will then adjust to reflect their closeness with your ideal customer profile. The grade itself should be used to show the quality of the prospect — meaning how valuable they could be to your business. 

So, to summarize, when developing your lead strategy, you are looking to create a process that identifies highly interested prospects (prospect score) who are highly valuable to your business (prospect grade). These are then the type of prospects or potential leads you want to be pushing to sales for conversion.

Optimizing scoring rules and categories

Here’s how to optimize your scoring rules and categories for your specific business needs.

Pardot Scoring Rules

Pardot scoring rules are essentially touchpoints you want to track and score across your marketing funnel or customer journey. They are the marketing interactions mentioned at the start of the article (email click, open, content download, event registration). Scoring rules aggregate toward an overall score or scoring category — more on this later. 

To optimize scoring rules, you really need to conduct a scoring rule or touchpoint audit by asking yourself… what are we currently tracking, what aren’t we tracking, and what should we be tracking? 

Remember, quality over quantity. A few high-quality tracked touchpoints will provide far more value than hundreds of poor touchpoints.

The key is to identify touchpoints that are the most influential and generate the most engagement from your customers. In short, the marketing touchpoints that will affect the buyer’s decision-making process. The more influential the touchpoint the higher the score should be. For instance, a prospect downloading a technical white paper should receive a higher score than a prospect opening an email. 

How to organize lead scoring touchpoints

  1. Map all the touchpoints you want to track (can any be grouped?).
  2. Rank the touchpoints – based on influence and volume of engagement
    • Utilize audits, reports, and prospect activity data.
    • If you have activated Engagement history in Salesforce, you can view activity on the lead and contact level.
  3. Apply an appropriate score for each touchpoint.
  4. Establish a set marketing qualified lead (MQL) threshold to identify interested prospects.
  5. Optimize this based on your customer journey and decision-making process (high or low involvement).

Lead Scoring Categories

Now that you have mapped the touchpoints to track, you may wish to have them aggregate toward a specific product group via a scoring category. Scoring categories can provide your business with very powerful scoring segmentation, thus allowing you to direct scoring rules toward different categories depending on the product type that is being promoted.

This allows you to score prospects on more than one product, making it easier to identify and determine the level of interest per category or product group. This in turn opens opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. You’ll also have more granularity when analyzing prospect activity for lead qualification/ conversion, thus reducing the amount of time sales require to prepare customer briefs.

To start, look at your current business structure and product/ service portfolio. Let’s say you work for a footwear brand selling casual sneakers, boots and running shoes, etc. These would form your specific product groups, meaning you would have a separate scoring category for each type of footwear. 

Technical Setup: How to optimize your lead generation strategy via Automation rules or Engagement Studio Programs

Now that you have scoring rules, grading and categories implemented, you can start to think about developing an automated process that will look for ideal customers and push them to sales for qualification. 

The two most powerful tools in this instance are automation rules and Engagement Studio Programs

This article will focus on automation rules, but the same logic can be applied with an Engagement Studio Program, and a dynamic list to feed potential leads into the program.

Key considerations before setup:

  • Automation rules start in a paused state for the user to review before turning on.
  • Depending on what tier of Account Engagement you have purchased, you will have a limited number of automation rules (50-150).
  • It is advisable to have one automation rule per scoring category to reduce complexity (less to go wrong!)
  • You’ll need to specify if these actions are to repeat. And if so, how often?
  • Remember, actions are executed from top to bottom in automation rules — so structure them in the order you intend them to apply.
  • Finish previewing before starting!!

Lead scoring criteria

Before the automation rule can start, you will need to specify or select the kind of prospect who meets your lead scoring criteria. 

To do this ask yourself these following questions:

  1. What is the minimum score a prospect should have? (Scoring threshold before conversion)
  2. What grade should the prospect have?
  3. Who shouldn’t be considered a lead? (Competitors, job seekers, suppliers, etc.)
  4. How often should a prospect repeat the action? (Customer lifecycle – FMCG vs SMCG)
  5. Who in your organization is going to handle the leads? (a queue or a specific user)
  6. How is your Pardot org synced with Salesforce?
  7. Is contact and lead creation enabled?
  8. Or is task creation the only option? (Does a new lead need to be created or should a task be assigned)
  9. Should the prospect’s score be reset?
  10. Where should this information be stored after the action has been completed? (a list, campaign, or both)

Once you have answered these questions, you can create an automation rule that looks something like the below version. 

Remember this is only an example. Personalize your automation rule to suit your buyer’s journey and business needs.

lead journey for lead scoring

Reviewing and improving your lead scoring strategy

Once your lead strategy has been in circulation for some time, you can start to review it and look for improvements. 

Here are some areas to consider:

  1. How many leads are converting per category, and is this as high as expected?
  2. What’s your opportunity ‘lost vs won’ rate? Are the leads of good quality?
  3. Are certain categories performing better than others? Should the lead threshold be changed per category?
  4. Do any touchpoints need to be reviewed or adjusted? Are some overinflated?
  5. Is the repeat time sufficient? Should this be shortened or extended?

If all targets are being met but you wish to improve your lead process further still, you may want to ask yourself…

  1. How can we shorten the customer journey/ prospect lifecycle?
  2. How can we increase the share of existing customers (cross-selling or upselling)?
  3. How can we win new customers (improve data acquisition)?

MarDreamin’ 2022 Presentation Replay

This blog post is adapted from a 2022 MarDreamin’ session. Check out the recording below.

Further reading

You can use the following resources to dive deeper into Salesforce lead scoring and grading capabilities.

Original article: How to Optimize Account Engagement Lead Scoring Rules and Categories

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post How to Optimize Account Engagement Lead Scoring Rules and Categories appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-03-31T19:32:50+00:00March 31st, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, Pardot, revive|

Playing with the AI-Powered Stensul Email Subject Line Tool

I saw an email pop in my inbox last week from our pals at Stensul. The subject line read “Simple and quick subject lines? The Stensul way it is.” Inside the email was a link to try out an AI-powered email subject line generator.

I had to check it out.

I spend lots of time in my role at Sercante writing and editing copy for marketing assets like emails, blog posts, landing pages, and social media posts. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten in an editing hole testing different variations of words for email subject lines until I find the perfect one.

That’s what got me so excited about the tool.

Email Subject Lines that Inspire Action and Curiosity

Each email you send through your marketing automation tool has such a small chance to get people to do the things you’re asking them to do. So, it’s especially important to write an impactful email subject line to get people curious about what your email has to offer. You also have to provide value by offering your reader clear expectations about what’s inside the email. 

I’m thinking the Stensul email subject line generator will be helpful for achieving those goals. I’m also thinking we can use it to create subject line variations for A/B testing.

Trying the Stensul Subject Line Generator on Sercante Emails

I guess the best way to see how this thing works is to dive in. First, I went to the subject line generator landing page and traded my info for access to the tool. A few seconds later, I got an email with my magic link to use it.

Here’s what it looks like:

You’re prompted to enter the text of your email along with details like your company type, industry, and tone of voice along with word limit for the subject line. 

The tone of voice options range from average to entertaining. Here are the options:

Tone of voice options
  • Enthusiastic
  • Funny
  • Informational
  • Casual
  • Professional
  • Pirate-Like
  • Yoda
  • Shakespearean

I tested it out using a few older Sercante emails to see what subject lines it produces.

Here are examples from my exploration:

Sercante 2022 Year in Review Email Example

Here’s what I got when copy-pasted the content from our 2022 year in review email and asked for 10-word subject lines.

Original subject line: ➡ Join Us In Celebrating Our Milestones ❇

The email:

Results with Enthusiastic Tone:

  1. 🎉 Celebrating a Year of Growth & Opportunity with Sercante! 🚀
  2. 2022 Highlights: Sercante’s Unforgettable Journey 🔥
  3. 🌟 Sercante’s 2022 Milestones: Thanks for the Support!
  4. ✨ Sercante’s Incredible Growth: Join our 2023 Adventure!
  5. 🚀 Cheers to Sercante’s Success: Let’s Make 2023 Even Better!

Results with Funny Tone:

  1. Hold Our 🍾: Sercante’s Wild & Wonderful 2022 Recap!🎉
  2. 🚀Blast Off! Sercante’s Stellar 2022 Highlights Inside😄
  3. Unleashing the Fury: Sercante’s 🐉-Filled 2022 Adventures
  4. 🎂Sercante Turns 5: Our Side-Splitting, Record-Breaking Year!😂
  5. Brace Yourself: Sercante’s 2022 Rollercoaster Ride Awaits!🎢

Note: I love that it’s intuitive enough to throw a dragon emoji in there.

Results with Yoda Tone:

  1. Growth & Opportunity, 2022 We Celebrate, Yoda Says
  2. Memorable Year, Sercante’s Journey, Learn You Will
  3. Gratitude and Success, 2022 Recap, Stronger Together
  4. Salesforce Support, Sercante Achievements, Future Yoda Sees
  5. Embark 2023, Marketers’ Galactic Adventures Await Us

The Spot & Jenna Molby Partnership Email Example

Here’s more email subject line generator exploration using an email we sent to announce Jenna Molby’s partnership with The Spot.

Original subject line: A shining Salesforce star is joining The Spot 🤩

The email: 

Results with Informational Tone:

  1. Discover Jenna Molby’s Salesforce Insights on The Spot
  2. Elevate Your Marketing with Jenna Molby & The Spot
  3. Master Pardot: Jenna Molby’s Tools & Tips Now Live
  4. Unleash Your Salesforce Potential: Jenna Molby & The Spot
  5. Jenna Molby’s Salesforce Expertise Joins The Spot Library

Results with Informational Tone:

  1. Jenna Molby Joins The Spot: Upgrade Your Salesforce Game
  2. The Spot + Jenna Molby: A Match Made in Salesforce Heaven
  3. Jenna Molby’s Salesforce Secrets Now on The Spot!
  4. Boost Your Salesforce Skills with Jenna Molby & The Spot
  5. Unleash Your Marketing Superpowers with Jenna Molby & The Spot

Results with Pirate-Like Tone:

  1. Ahoy Mateys! The Spot & Jenna Molby’s Treasure Trove Unveiled
  2. Sail into Salesforce Success with Jenna Molby’s Insights
  3. Chart Yer Course with Jenna Molby’s Ultimate Salesforce Guides
  4. Discover the Hidden Gems of Salesforce with Jenna Molby
  5. Jenna Molby’s Swashbuckling Salesforce Secrets Unleashed

Results with Shakespearean Tone:

  1. Behold! Thee Spot & Jenna Molby: A Veritable Pairing
  2. Pray, Joineth The Spot for Molby’s Salesforce Wisdom
  3. Salesforce Mastery: Jenna & The Spot Unite in Harmony
  4. Rejoice! Jenna Molby’s Tools Now Grace The Spot
  5. Hark! Jenna Molby’s Top Guides, Now on The Spot

My thoughts overall on the email subject line generator

This tool is super handy for coming up with subject line variations for emails. I especially see it being helpful when my brain is done and I simply can’t write another word — let alone something that grabs people’s attention.

And that’s the thing about email subject lines. Writing them is often the last thing we do in the email copywriting process. But we should be paying closer attention so we have greater chances of getting clicks from our email recipients.

The more copy the better

I did learn one caveat while using the subject line generator tool. It works better on emails that have a higher volume of copy. My first example was a true newsletter with 667 words of copy, while the second example had about 415 words of copy. 

The generator results were spot on in my opinion for the first email while I was underwhelmed by the results for the second email. That may be because the second example had significantly less copy and sections. It makes sense because the tool needs enough information to pull from so it can summarize into a short subject line. I’m also loving the emoji suggestions, but I didn’t get those with all of my results.

Where AI Tools Fit in Content Marketing

You’ve probably heard lots of talk lately about OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool and other AI-powered chatbots that we’re seeing in the content marketing world. The Stensul Email Subject Line generator belongs to the wave of tools that are powered by GPT4, which is the latest iteration of OpenAI’s chatbot. 

I’ve seen blog and social posts from people who aren’t seeing the potential in these tools. But I think these tools are giving more power to individual content creators.

I was recently discussing how AI tools affect content marketers with my fellow dragon, Marcos Duran. He brought up a great point that he heard in conversations with people at a martech networking event.

Someone said something to the effect of “ChatGPT turns a content creator into an editor.” And I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather fix a mediocre sentence than start from scratch. And that’s what these AI tools are all about. They create a starting point, and you still need highly skilled individuals to add the human touch. 

What are your thoughts on the impact of AI chatbot tools on content marketing? Be sure to let us know your thoughts on the AI debate in the comments section. Or reach out to team Sercante if you’re looking to add a human touch to your marketing campaigns.

Original article: Playing with the AI-Powered Stensul Email Subject Line Tool

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Playing with the AI-Powered Stensul Email Subject Line Tool appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-03-24T15:47:49+00:00March 24th, 2023|Categories: Emails & Templates, Getting Started, Real Talk, revive|

Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy To Boost Sales Revenue

Lead nurturing is a crucial aspect of the marketing and sales process. That’s because not all leads are ready to convert into paying customers immediately. By building relationships with potential customers and guiding them through the buyer journey, organizations can significantly improve their conversion rates, shorten their sales cycle, and ultimately drive more revenue to the business. 

Converting Qualified Leads

You’ve probably seen it before. You’ve created a great marketing campaign with lots of potential leads. But for some reason, the leads aren’t converting.  

We know that not all leads who enter the sales funnel are ready to convert into paying customers. Even though they’re qualified leads, they may not be ready to buy immediately. 

These people have shown interest in your product or service by filling out a form, but they may still be in the early stages of the buyer’s journey — exploring the market or learning more about your company. Or maybe their department doesn’t have the budget right now.

Enter — Lead Nurturing

That’s why it’s crucial to establish and maintain relationships with these prospective buyers and gradually guide them toward making a purchase.

This can be achieved with lead nurturing. 

Lead nurturing involves building meaningful relationships with potential customers by providing them with appropriate and relevant content and resources at every stage of their buyer journey. 

Despite its name, lead nurturing involves the entire customer journey, from awareness to consideration, decision, purchase, and post-purchase.

Why else should I invest in lead nurturing?

There are so many benefits to building out your lead nurturing programs. 

Effective lead nurturing can significantly impact the growth of any organization. By successfully nurturing your leads, you’ll generate more sales-ready leads at a lower cost and drive more revenue. 

Lead nurturing through content marketing

This is the basic idea behind lead nurturing through content marketing. Customers today have access to lots of resources, do extensive research, and are pretty knowledgeable about the purchases they make. If a prospect is constantly reminded of your company, gets their questions answered, and feels that your organization can meet their needs, then they are more likely to turn into a customer. 

Here are more valuable benefits your organization can tap into with through lead nurturing programs:

  • Shorten sales cycles by nurturing leads through the sales funnel
  • Gain trust with your audience and building stronger relationships
  • Increase your company’s average order value (AOV)
  • Stay top of mind in your industry
  • Enable upselling or cross-selling for your products/services

Key Components of a Lead Nurturing Strategy

To implement an effective lead nurturing strategy, consider incorporating the following components:

  1. Invest in a marketing automation tool: This will enable you to streamline and automate your marketing efforts, ensuring each prospect receives the most relevant messages, at the most opportune times. 
  1. Conduct surveys: Surveys are a great way to understand what your audience needs and build a connection with them. By gathering personal insights about their pain points, interests, and preferred channel of content digestion, you can make a plan for guiding them toward the end of the buyer’s journey.
  1. Develop a content plan: Content marketing is a valuable strategy that involves creating various types of content, such as blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, webinars, videos, and more. Through content, you can show that you understand your prospects’ needs and help overcome their pain points instead of focusing solely on your own products and services. As you develop your content plan, you’ll need to consider and create content across the buyer’s journey.
  1. Leverage email marketing: Email marketing is a highly effective strategy that can drive the highest return on investment of all digital marketing strategies. By leveraging segmentation and personalization through data and user behavior research, you can increase engagement and conversion rates.
  1. Apply a multi-channel approach: Email has always been the popular method of communication with lead nurturing. But with customers digesting content across various channels, it’s important to understand where your customers are, and communicate with them on those channels. Other channels can include social media, website/landing pages, SMS, etc. 
  1. Align sales, marketing, and customer support teams: Nurturing leads is a team effort. Each team has unique insights on the customer that can be uncovered through collaboration. And by aligning across teams, you’ll be able to learn more about the customer and understand what attributes, triggers, and actions identify that a prospect is a sales-ready lead. 
  1. Use lead scoring: Prospect scoring lets you assign a numerical value to important actions such as email clicks, file downloads, page views, and form submissions. As prospects engage with your content, their scores increase, which helps you to determine their engagement levels. When those scores reach a threshold and convert to sales-ready leads, they can be passed over to sales for follow-up.

Types of Lead Nurturing Programs

There’s so many types of lead nurturing programs you can run, whether it’s onboarding new employees, welcoming new customers, or a renewal campaign. 

Here are some of the ways you can nurture your audience based on where they are in the sales funnel:

  1. New subscriber campaign: Welcome new subscribers with a simple introductory campaign that introduces your brand and lets them know what they can expect from your organization.
  1. Customer onboarding campaign: Use nurture campaigns to manage your customer onboarding. Welcome new customers, provide them with a path to success, answer commonly asked questions, and offer support options. 
  1. Re-engagement campaign: Win back the interest of inactive or unengaged leads who haven’t opened your emails, visited your website, or clicked links for a period of time. 
  1. Lead recycling campaign: Nurture leads that have been returned to the marketing team by the sales team due to various reasons such as disqualification, losing to a competitor, or becoming unresponsive.

Nurturing Leads Builds Relationships

Lead nurturing is key to any organization’s marketing strategy. By building relationships with potential customers over time, organizations can improve their chances of converting those leads into actual customers. 

If you’ve built out your lead nurturing programs and are looking to take them to the next level, check out this blog: 5 Next-Level Tips for Your Lead Nurture Program. Or, reach out to the team at Sercante for help connecting all the dots with your lead nurture program.

Original article: Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy To Boost Sales Revenue

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy To Boost Sales Revenue appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-03-11T19:54:53+00:00March 11th, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, revive, Strategy|

The Right Way to Use Statistics in Your Marketing Content

You are 72% more likely to keep reading a blog post when the author uses a data point in the first sentence. That’s because sharing numbers makes it sound like you looked at studies related to your topic. And using those statistics in marketing content makes the information you share seem reliable so people find value in it.

But more often than not, marketing writers do a quick web search to find a statistic. Their quick web search takes them to a blog post where the author uses a statistic but doesn’t say where the stat came from. It seems legit enough, so they grab the stat to use in their blog post.

Our dear marketers have the best of intentions. But these wearers of many hats are usually short on time.

Who knows, they may just pull a number out of thin air and hope nobody looks into it. 

(seriously, don’t cite the 72% stat I just gave you)

Always Check the Numbers

As someone who’s been proofreading and editing marketing things other people write for almost 15 years, I can tell you that I always double check the statistics authors use. 

That’s because the statistics aren’t adding any real value to the piece unless the numbers are reliable and include context around them. Don’t get me started on ChatGPT content pieces.

How to Use Statistics in Marketing Content

I’m not knocking using statistics in marketing content at all. I think it’s super important to research what you’re writing about so you can focus on collective knowledge rather than just your own thoughts. And using numbers does catch the attention of your audience and give you an authoritative voice.

But, there’s a right way to do it. And the wrong way.

Statistics in marketing

The Right Way to Use Statistics in Marketing Content

Let’s get you on the right track so you can use statistics in your marketing content and sound like a boss. 

The best way to use statistics is to provide context around the numbers. Then, the reader can understand what the numbers mean to them and truly find value in your content.

Here’s an example of a GOOD use of a stat

“According to a 2022 survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute, 47% of content marketers said they will hire or contract with content producers (writers, designers, photographers, videographers) in 2023.”

Original source that tells you how they came up with the stat

The source we cited here is linked to the original. And the original source includes all the information we need to know to accurately interpret the statistics within the full study. We know it was a 2022 survey from CMI, and the author even provided the survey’s definition of content producers.

After clicking on the link, we find out that On24 sponsored the survey as part of the B2B Content Marketing Report. And the source includes demographic and methodological information on the last slide of the PDF.

Add Context for your Statistics

There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules for providing context about stats to your readers unless your company or organization has defined those rules. 

Your company may have well-defined writing style guidelines you can refer to, and I encourage you to follow them. But if your company doesn’t have that worked out already, then you can follow these simple guidelines and share with your teammates. (consistency is awesome!)

Elements that add context to statistics

  • A link to the original source, and check that the link is working
    • Tip: Use a website plugin to check for broken links if you have a lot of content with linked statistics and resources.
  • A date to indicate the age of the statistic
  • The name of the source

Who is Your Audience?

You know your audience better than we do. That should guide what information to include with your statistics. Give your audience the information they need to understand why that statistic is important to them. 

Things to consider when determining if a source is reliable

On the surface, a statistic may seem reliable when it actually isn’t. The main questions to ask yourself about the statistic are:

  • What organization collected the information? Look for studies that were conducted by impartial organizations like universities, industry associations like the CMO Council, and research consulting companies like McKinsey and Forrester
  • When did they collect it? The study may be old. This is an especially important factor to consider when using statistics related to technology and economics.
  • How did they collect it? Look for what methodology was used to collect the data. If it was a survey, look for the sample size or geographic area from which the data was collected. These factors can have a big impact on the reliability of the data points and how the data relates to your message.
  • And why did they collect it? The source may be a study funded by a special interest group that structured the study or presented the results in a misleading way.
Tip for our Salesforce ecosystem readers

There’s a searchable Salesforce Stat Library to make it easier to find statistics from Salesforce annual reports. It includes specific stats about industry trends for people working in sales, marketing, service, IT, manufacturing, human resources, financial services, and public and nonprofit sectors.

The Wrong Way to Use Stats in Marketing

For illustrative purposes, we’ll review the WRONG way to use data points in marketing content. 

Here’s a bad example:

“You are 35% more likely to close a deal if you follow up on a lead within 48 hours.”

So what’s wrong with that statement? 

The author did not cite their source for the 35% statistic. And because of that, the reader has no idea what that statistic is based on. The study may have been completed in an industry that isn’t relevant to the reader. Or maybe the study is 15 years old, and we all know that sales processes have changed in that time.

Here’s another example:

“When text in a call to action button is changed from second-person viewpoint to first-person viewpoint, clicks improve by 90%. (Campaign Monitor)”

The example includes a link to the source, but it’s not the original source. The linked source tells you the name of the original source without a link to it.

A Google search of the stat and the original source, Unbounce, takes us to a 2013 blog post. The blog post author wrote the post in reference to an A/B testing case study from a consulting client, but it doesn’t provide demographic info or sample details. 

The statistic becomes less powerful and when you add context to it:

“According to a 2013 Unbounce client case study, changing text in a call to action button from second-person viewpoint to first-person viewpoint improves clicks by 90%.”

The original example sounds like a generalizable statement. But in reality, the number came from a single test that happened a decade ago. That’s why using the statistic in this case isn’t adding value for the reader.

(Hi Unbounce and Campaign Monitor – we mean no disrespect and hope our links boost your SEO😊)

What Do You Do When You Can’t Find Reliable or Original Sources

Nobody is forcing you to use that stat. And if they are, then send them a link to this blog post so you can educate them.

The best way to approach the use of stats in your marketing is to lean into information you CAN rely on. And if you don’t have that information, figure out what processes you can put in place to gather reliable information you can use down the road. 

You could build a process to survey your clients before and after engaging with your company, and optimize your reporting dashboards to track the results of your efforts over time. Or, maybe your company could benefit from using a subscription service like Statista to get access to original sources.

Do you have cool stats about your audience that you can share? 

Maybe it’s time to start collecting data about your audience and community. Lucky for you, there’s lots of tools you can use for collecting data about your audience. 

Here’s are blog posts about a few of our favorites:

Stats Are Better When You Add Context

Hopefully this post shines a light on using statistics in marketing content. Despite the best efforts of  marketers everywhere, it’s one of those things that I see people get wrong more often than not. 

But, you can get it right every time when you provide context to your statistics. Give the reader details like where the information is coming from, how and why it was collected, and what the date was when it was originally gathered or published. 

What are your thoughts on using statistics in marketing content? Any fun horror stories to share? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Original article: The Right Way to Use Statistics in Your Marketing Content

©2023 The Spot. All Rights Reserved.

The post The Right Way to Use Statistics in Your Marketing Content appeared first on The Spot.

By |2023-02-24T20:36:43+00:00February 24th, 2023|Categories: Getting Started, Real Talk, revive, Strategy|