Which way to go?
The well-worn path your competitors and other marketers are taking.
Or forge your own way, customized to best serve your unique customers.
To inspire you to find the best course of action, read on for examples from a home improvement company, security guard service, and manufacturer.
This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.
Humans are social animals. If you don’t believe me, next time you’re around a group of people – yawn.
You know what happens next.
“Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. We desire what others desire because we imitate their desires,” René Girard said.
If we’re not careful, this mimicry can slip into our marketing, as Flint McGlaughlin, CEO of MECLABS and MarketingSherpa explains in this quick video:
To inspire your creative, original marketing ideas – ideas best suited to helping your unique customers – in this article we bring you three stories.
First, a home improvement company that sought to produce better testimonials than the competition by adding specificity. Then, a security guard service that eschewed the meeting booking tool everyone else was using in favor of a more direct approach. And finally, a manufacturer that wasn’t satisfied with the type of plain text logo used by other manufacturers and boosted results by adding an icon.
Since Covid hit the home improvement industry, Norsemen struggled to win good contracts.
“We hired an experienced copywriter to get our website copy written. Our website copy resonates with clients addressing their pain points. We utilized social media ads strategy to land our prospects on the website, but still, not enough leads. We were hardly able to grab enough ROI,” said Benjamin Stenson, CEO, Norsemen.
The team realized the missing web page element – social proof. The website didn’t have any testimonials.
They asked previous clients for testimonials, getting their feedback about the home remodeling contractor’s design services and the quality of materials they used for remodeling and renovation. Here is the email they sent:
Creative Sample #1: Email home improvement company used to get testimonials
I hope you are doing great. I wanted to reach out to thank you for choosing The Norsemenco for remodeling your house. It's been great working with you on this project.
We are planning to feature our potential clients on our website for the series of success stories. I was wondering if you'd be interested in being featured in a testimonial. You can reply to this email for a testimonial now, and as a token of thanks, I'll send you a gift card for a cup of coffee.
Thank you once again for choosing The Norsemenco Let me know if you have any questions about submitting a testimonial.
The team added one testimonial on the homepage and created a testimonial section on a separate webpage.
They made sure not to just copy the way every other home improvement company does testimonials. “To make sure our layout was as unique as possible, we reached out to customers to provide us with concrete numbers and evidence of how we impacted their lives. We noticed that most testimonial pages included generic compliments that lacked detail and specific examples,” Stenson said.
For example, they featured comments like “Had we acquired home remodeling services elsewhere, it would have cost us north of $700 compared to just $450 with the Norsemen” which the team considered way more impactful than generic comments like “I had a great experience with the Norsemen, would highly recommend.”
“The placement of testimonials can significantly impact your conversation rates and we believe that having them overshadow a CTA (call to action) is counterproductive. Although we want CTAs to project as much credibility as possible, a prominent position for them remained our key focus. We developed a flow logic by featuring quotes from customers under a prominent CTA which is the highlight of our testimonials page,” Stenson said.
After they had some testimonials on the site, they utilized the social media ads strategy once again.
“The results? This time, we were successful,” Stenson said. “When our ideal prospects realized their investment was safe with Norsemen, they converted. We saw improved traffic on our service pages, better engagement, and insane conversion.”
I challenged Stenson on the results. Couldn’t the better results just be a result of an improving economy? “Yes, the stable economy helped, but had it been just the economy, we would be getting only as many contracts as before the pandemic. But we closed 34% more contracts than we did before the pandemic and the only reshuffling we did was adding testimonials on our website,” he told me.
“We originally pushed our customers to a CTA (call-to-action) of ‘Book a Meeting,’ which took visitors to a HubSpot meeting booker link. We could see from our HubSpot data that we had a high conversion rate of people clicking the ‘book a meeting’ link – 21.4% on a rolling 30-day average,” said Christian Avery, Founder & Managing Director, Getaguard.
Creative Sample #2: Original homepage CTA on security guard service’s homepage
Despite this initial customer interest, the security guard service wasn’t booking many meetings – less than 5% of the people who clicked the meeting link actually booked a meeting. Overall, this meant that around 1% of visitors were converting. The team was concerned that the meeting booker forced prospects to make another set of decisions, takes longer, and makes them commit to a longer timeframe than they may feel comfortable with.
Creative Sample #3: Meeting booker previously used by security guard service’s homepage
So the team removed it. In its place, they put an “Email” CTA right at the top of the homepage underneath the header to replace the “Book a Meeting” CTA.
Creative Sample #4: New CTA on security guard service’s homepage
CTA buttons were also placed below content sections outlining the key elements of the company’s value proposition with the goal of capturing user interest spurred by that value communication. Through testing, the team discovered that these are the best placements of the CTAs.
The CTAs send visitors to a web form at the bottom of the homepage asking for the visitor’s name and email address.
“We developed the idea by trying to move back to first principles and identify areas we could make the steps we want users to take more simple,” Avery said.
Creative Sample #5: Email form on security guard service’s homepage
“In terms of making sure we weren't moving blindly, we set up an A/B test to measure the impact the changes had on our conversion and committed to the change following the results of the experiment,” Avery said.
Conversions rose – more than six percent of all sessions on the homepage resulted in a form submission. The team converted these form submissions into sales calls about 70% of the time. Overall, the company went from 1.07% of visitors having a meeting to 4.2%.
“Always try and simplify your customers’ journey as much as possible. Less clicks to get what they want, less commitment when they do,” Avery said. “It’s worth noting that if you have the opposite problem – lots of inbound leads but they are of poor quality – then it’s worth looking at doing the opposite and introducing barriers to sort the good leads from bad.”
Cloom originally had a logo that was just text.
Creative Sample #6: Coaxial cables manufacturer logo – before
“It wasn’t very appealing and wasn’t creating any brand value,” said Abby Hao, Co-founder and CMO, Cloom. The team redesigned the logo and added an icon.
Creative Sample #7: Coaxial cables manufacturer logo – after (icon added)
“Our brand value went up significantly since the change. The icon catches the attention more than just text. It helped us to create a strong brand image. Our marketing campaigns brought 37% more conversion then previous campaigns. We were able to hit our campaign goals 22% faster than before,” Hao said.
I asked Hao why she was confident that the logo produced the change in results.
She said, “We were already running ads before the logo change. They were primarily search ads and Shopping ads. So, we already had a lot of people who visited our website or checked out our products. After the logo change I started using display ads to increase our brand awareness to people who previously visited us by creating re-targeting ads. The logo icon worked as our brand sign and caught more attention than just text. I also used one arrow icon directed to our call-to-action button on our banner ads and side-display ads. It also played a crucial role for the marketing campaign success.”
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