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9 Growth Marketers You Should Be Following Right Now

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Want to learn more about growth marketing?

We rounded up nine of the top growth marketing experts in the industry right now. They’ve got a cross-section of skills and specialties and come from wildly varying backgrounds, showcasing what a complex and nuanced game growth can be.

We love following these master experimenters — and recommend you give them a follow, too.

1. Ana Santos: Master of UX Design and CRO

Ana’s expertise sits beautifully at the intersection of experience and connection and places the user’s needs front and center. Plenty of top growth marketing experts talk about the necessity of cultivating a loyal customer base, but Ana provides tangible instruction on how to actually do it in a way that remains authentic to your brand.

What we love about her work: 

  • Her approach is holistic, beginning with product/service clarity and definition and extending all the way to conversion rate optimization (CRO). 
  • She offers immersive courses on highly technical aspects of marketing, including heuristic evaluations (a method used to identify potential usability issues in software).
  • She really gets how to understand your users, and she conveys that clearly and accessibly through both her resources and her blog.

 

2. Joanna Vaiou: Queen of SEO

This Greek “SEO Lady Boss” originally launched her career by working on SEO project management for architecture firms. Her ability to optimize SEO for niche industries is formidable, and she’s a master of maximizing what Google has to offer. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She provides in-depth case studies to showcase her results in a data-driven format. 
  • Her Twitter feed is packed with SEO goodies.
  • She’s living the digital nomad lifestyle and sharing all her tips and tricks for working effectively without being tethered to one place.

 

3. Alicia King Anderson: SEO Strategy via Storytelling

Alicia is such a unique voice in the growth marketing space. Sure, she has impressive SEO chops, but most importantly, she’s a storyteller. She understands the value of captivating an audience and how that can ultimately lead to stronger conversion rates. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She uses her creative writing skills to infuse client SEO with a driving narrative.
  • Since she’s in the process of getting her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies, she approaches her work with an ultimate view to the long-term arc of a client’s story.
  • Her favorite part of SEO is puzzle-solving to approach strategy in a holistic way. 

 

4. Brian Peters: Critical Thinking + Strategic Leader

Brian’s perspective is especially valuable because of its breadth. He has extensive experience in strategy, partnerships, marketing, startups, and more. He heads up strategic partnerships at Shopify, the world’s leading commerce platform. 

What we love about his work: 

  • He provides his followers with detailed explanations of how to achieve concrete marketing goals. 
  • The focus is not always on hard marketing data, but also includes deeper analysis of the nature of work and how to chart a holistic career path.
  • He has an adorable labradoodle named Dierks.

 

5. Jordie Black: Content Marketer / Strategist Specializing in B2B & SaaS

This London-based content marketer is an ace copywriter who uses her wit and business savvy to “work smarter, not harder.” She especially enjoys working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

What we love about her work: 

  • Her Twitter feed is full of great content—both directly from her and retweeted from fellow content nerds who are making waves in the industry. 
  • She offers a top-to-bottom consulting service that helps clients form a thorough and nuanced approach to their content generation.
  • Her services also include copywriting and a blogging boot camp.

 

6. Elise Dopson: Growth Content Wizard

Elise specializes in growth marketing via content strategy for B2B SaaS and marketing businesses. Her talent for crafting a compelling and data-rich whitepaper sets her apart from your run-of-the-mill content writer. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She is a renowned content writing expert in the B2B arena, and she’s even been named one of the 30 Women Shaping B2B Tech Marketing
  • Her resumé includes work for major movers and shakers in the growth marketing industry, such as Databox, ConversionXL, Leadfeeder, Single Grain, Smart Insights, and Content Marketing Institute.
  • Her style is a perfect blend of cheekiness and know-how, as evidenced by her Twitter feed, which is equal parts hilarious and informative.

 

7. Katelyn Bourgoin: Customer Research Pro

Katelyn approaches the growth marketing game through the very powerful lens of having been an entrepreneur herself. Having both reached the peak of the mountain and slogged it out in the trenches, she comes bearing the kind of knowledge only a real warrior would have. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She pulls no punches. Her blog delivers actionable advice for marketers without any sugar coating. 
  • As a “3x founder turned growth geek,” she leads in-person workshops—dubbed Customer Camp—that teach companies how to hack their growth by being customer-obsessed. 
  • She is a customer research ninja, and her self-paced online course allows teams to figure out their target customer and star product before investing a ton of time and money into building the wrong thing for the wrong audience.

 

8. Dani Hart: Sustainable Growth Leader

Dani’s take on growth marketing focuses on how to make it both successful and sustainable. She works with business leaders not only to develop robust growth strategies but to create resiliency and prevent the dreaded burnout as well.

What we love about her work: 

  • She has a knack for helping companies determining whether or not they’ve achieved the right PMF (product/market fit), which can save you a ton of effort on growth that won’t provide ROI. 
  • Her social media strikes the perfect balance between informing and uplifting content, leaving followers feeling motivated and energized.
  • To go along with her mastery of resilience and a sustainable approach to business growth, she’s an amazing yogi, whose Instagram is full of incredible photos.

 

9. Asia Matos: Expert Marketing Strategy for Startups

As the founder of DemandMaven, Asia focuses on helping founders of early-stage SaaS companies and startups find avenues to rapid growth. Strategy is her middle name. She can help your company set up a campaign, manage acquisition channels, or even analyze your go-to-market strategy. 

What we love about her work: 

  • Her advice is concrete; she’s all killer, no filler. Between her data-driven blog posts and case studies, you can see that she knows what she’s doing.
  • Her process is thorough and in-depth, so you know if you invest in her services that you’ll walk away with tangible returns.
  • Her Twitter feed is full of great takeaways, as well as retweets from other powerhouse marketers (including many on this list), and is an endless font of insight. 

Don’t let the overwhelming nature of the industry prevent you from diving headfirst into learning about how growth marketing can revitalize your business. These top growth marketing experts are great sources for relevant, compelling content that will help you find new avenues of growth for your brand.

If you want to explore more about how to grow your brand’s reach, influence, and impact, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with the Tuff team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.

The Best of 2019 So Far...

The Best of 2019…So Far

A woman and a man sitting on a laptop.

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

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

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

We’ll cover:

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

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

Best Reads

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

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

Retargeting: What is it and how can you use it effectively

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

The true impact of conversion rate optimization and why it matters to you

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

How we Increased Traffic by 1034% in One Week by improving Existing Content (Case Study)

Right off the bat, that stat is jaw dropping. We love this resource because it rings true to something we’ve learned about growth marketing: it’s not always about reinventing the wheel. Sometimes, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck by making improvements to what you already have spent time and resource on.

ToFu, MoFu & BoFu: Serving Up The Right Content for Lead Nurturing

Not a vegetarian recipe. We like this breakdown and awareness of user intent and treating parts of the sales funnel differently. For automating distribution of your lead nurturing content, we recommend Yet Another Mail Merge.

The 30-Minute PPC Audit Anyone Can Do

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

Best Performing Facebook ads

#1

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

#2

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

#3

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

Best of PPC

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

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

Best Tuff Growth Experiment

This experiment gets tagged the ‘best’ for Q1 because we’re learning something new everyday. We’ve been really happy and grateful that most of our clients have come through referrals (thank you!). At the same time, we’re looking to diversify our partnership stream. And, with that, comes a new experiment of landing pages for Tuff. At this current moment, we have to landing pages:

We’re sending people to these pages through Facebook ads and cold outreach emails. The focus on these landing pages is to have a clear and easy to understand value proposition as well as CTA. For us, we’re not big on the typical sales process (nothing wrong with it!) and like to have conversations with potential clients to make sure the partnership will be a good fit on both ends.

It’s early on in this experiment and we’re making almost daily updates to the pages but we’ll update with cost per acquisition as we learn more. You can help us out by sending referrals to these pages!

Best Tools

Adios.ai

Their description: Adiós brings your emails into your inbox just 3 times a day, so you can get sh*t done.

Our breakdown: Are you tied to your inbox? Or, find yourself context switching when you’re trying to deep dive into an account or campaign? Ellen has been using Adios this quarter to eliminate multi-tasking.

Workflowy

Their description: WorkFlowy is a single document that can contain infinite documents inside it. It’s a more powerful, easier way to organize all the information in your life.

Our breakdown: You might notice a theme here with productivity. By using a fractal document format, Workflowy lets you zoom in or out on a topic. You can choose if you want to go deep on a topic or stay at the surface level.

Mixmax

Their description: Gmail-based productivity app for customer-facing teams.

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

Best Opinion

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

It doesn’t exist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Voices on Twitter

  • Asia Matos: I help #SaaS companies & #startup founders with #marketing & #growth. CEO & Founder of DemandMaven. Previously at two 10x startups. GIF game strong 💪
  • Alfred Lua: Product marketer @buffer @bufferanalyze | 🏊🏻🚴🏻🏃🏻
  • Jennifer Kim: All things Talent, building better startups, & future of work. Ex-Head of People/early employee @Lever, now planning next chapter ✨
  • Katelyn Bourgoin: 3X founder turned growth geek. Seen in @Forbes, @Inc, @CTV & more. I help product teams figure out who their best customers are and what triggers them to buy 👓

Best Emoji

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

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

Best Spotify Playlist

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

What’s on your ‘Best of’ list?

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

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

Woman sitting on a target with a key in the bullseye.

3 Paid Advertising Experiments We Learned From In March

Woman sitting on a target with a key in the bullseye.

Everyone seems to be so focused on paid advertising growth hacks that skyrocket your numbers overnight. To be completely honest with you, small, incremental improvements are the key to sustainably growing your business.

When it comes to paid advertising online, there’s always a new feature.

Whether it’s additional campaign types, optimization tools, user interface tweaks or aesthetic alterations, it feels like we have oodles of new rollouts flying down the pike. Sometimes it feels like it never stops.

This month, we had the opportunity to run a few small paid advertising experiments with our clients:

  • Experiment #1: Facebook Messenger Ads 🤖
  • Experiment #2: Responsive Display Video Ads 📹
  • Experiment #3: Device Specific Google Ad Campaigns📱

These experiments didn’t completely reinvent paid social or search strategy for any of our clients. They did help us learn and optimize quickly. At Tuff, we’re always running experiments that are small, smart variations in Facebook and Google to help us deliver the absolute best results.

As a paid advertising expert, the onslaught of new techniques makes me feel giddy with excitement and possibility. New things to test? Let’s do it! But as an entrepreneur or small business owner, it can be a bit intimidating.

Let’s dive in.

Facebook Messenger Ads

In Ads Manager, there are a handful of core ad formats:

  • carousels
  • single image ads
  • product collections
  • Slideshows
  • videos

They are the core suite of ad formats for Facebook and Instagram. You’ve been seeing them in your Facebook feed for years.

One of the newest ad formats to roll out are Facebook Messenger Ads. This new format promotes engagement by allowing users who see your ads to initiate a message with your business with the click of a button.

These are all designed for advertisers to start conversations with users and drive interactions and sales. Facebook Messenger Ads appear in your Facebook feed like a typical ad, but the CTA says “Send Message”.

This month, we ran Facebook Messenger ads for three clients – B2B, B2C, and e-Commerce. Take a look:

A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for Xendoo.
A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for Xendoo.
A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for The Buy Guys.
A screenshot of a paid advertising messenger experiment for The Buy Guys.

The main use of these ads is pretty simple: To generate real, organic conversations with your customers.

For us, we saw successful results with prospecting and retargeting audiences. Here’s a glance at the data from the most successful campaign:

Facebook Advertising metrics screenshot.

Facebook Messenger Ads present a unique opportunity to chat with your users or prospects in a more conversational way. You can personalize your messages like you would on LinkedIn with a sponsored InMail and you can reach people where they are already spending time. And if you’re a local business this ad format has the potential to help you build localized brand awareness.

The kicker here is being able to scale these efforts while reducing spam. With the good leads come the bad on this medium. With this initial batch of experiments, about 50% of these messages were spam and the ones with high-volume required a full-time resource to be at the ready answering messages and talking with people.

If you’re already running campaigns on Facebook, why not test these out as part of your mix? Facebook Messenger Ads allow you to speed up and personalize customer interactions, and reaching people faster is key in today’s crowded marketing environment.

Responsive Display Video Ads

Google announced earlier this year that you can now add YouTube video assets to Google responsive display ad (RDA) campaigns.

Every one of our clients is running display campaigns on Google, so we jumped right on this! If you’re already running display ads you’re probably pretty familiar with responsive ads and how they work.

If you’re less familiar with display ad formats, let me break it down. Google Ads is split into two primary networks, the Search Network, and the Display Network. A simplified explanation:

  • Search Network: businesses place text ads in the search engine results
  • Display Network: businesses place display ads on a huge network of sites across the internet

We like to think of the display network as being more similar to channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. As an advertiser, you can use more visual layouts and the stage of the user journey is often top- to mid-funnel versus lower high-internet searches on the Search Network.

Screenshot of a display network ad.
Screenshot of a display network ad from Spotify.

Display ads can be static images or responsive. Static images, like the ones above, fit specific ad units on publisher sites. They appear as banner ads on websites and never as text. They also don’t adjust in size.

Responsive display ads on the other hand automatically adjust their size and format to fit different ad placements across the web. This means that your responsive display can display as a text ad within a mobile app while also appearing as a banner ad on a website.

Screenshot of a responsive display ad

Last fall, Google announced responsive display ads would become the default display format. This means we’re going to see more and more advancements made to the responsive format and as an advertiser, it will be important to stay on top of these features.

Screenshot of a responsive display network ad.

Since adding videos to our current responsive display campaigns, we’re seeing an average increase in CTR by 25%.

Incremental improvements, people!

Device specific Google Ad campaigns

These days, the initial touchpoint with your brand typically happens on a mobile device – it’s the “go to” source for browsing and online conversations.

As a result, the more you can treat mobile as the first step in your paid advertising strategy – not as an afterthought or a nice to have – the better.

Traditionally, when it comes to mobile, I’ve leveraged two key features in Google Ads: Call-Only ads and device level bid adjustments.

Call-only ads are designed to encourage people to call your business and can appear only on devices that make phone calls. When a potential customer or clients clicks your ad, the ad places a call to you from their device. These can be super effective for local businesses or companies trying to make the phone ring.

Screenshot of a call-only ad.

Device bid adjustments are levers you can pull to flow money to specific devices: mobile, desktop, tablet, and TV. For example, a bid adjustment of -90% reduces the bid by 90%, to 10% of the original bid. Likewise, +900% increases the device bid to ten times the original amount.

Screenshot of a device bid adjustment ad.

More recently though, I’ve started to think about the search intent of a mobile users versus a desktop. For example, we have a B2B client and their paid traffic breaks down like this: almost 60% of visits are on mobile, but 65% of sign ups are on desktop. So, what do we do?

The obvious answer is to think more critically about the user experience on mobile. We need to find out why they are converting, where they are dropping off, and how we can eliminate more friction on the mobile sign up process.

The other thing we can do and the experiment we’ve implemented this month is to completely break out certain adgroups into device specific campaigns. We’ll have one campaign for mobile and a completely different campaign for desktop.

Why try this? While you could look at the data and decided to bid down mobile drastically and push all traffic to desktop, there is a bigger opportunity here. We don’t want to lose our audience on mobile but we also don’t want to be wasteful and spend money on clicks that don’t convert.

By breaking specific campaigns out into different ad groups by device, we can:

  • Adjust bids based on device schedule: Certain devices are more effective with different ad schedules and location targeting. Our mobile PPC traffic has a tendency to spike on weekends and in evening/commuter hours and desktop peaks midday. By running single-device PPC campaigns, we can control bids and schedules more accurately.
  • Have more control over budget: Creating device-specific campaigns allows us to allocate a bigger budget to the better performing device campaign. In the example above, our CTRs are similar but we can assign more overall budget to the desktop campaign where we are seeing scale.

We let testing and experimentation play a major role in our account management process because it’s critical to results. We don’t always have the right answers but we’re lucky to partner with teams that let us push the limits and test out new ideas. It can be intimidating at first, put regularly PPC experimentation should be a consistent piece of your game plan whether you are running campaigns yourself or outsourcing to an agency.

Free Growth Strategy Session

Our team at Tuff loves helping people learn and use these tools. And, run paid advertising experiments of your own! If you ever have any questions or new strategies you’re looking to explore, join us for a free growth strategy session.

Man sitting on the ground with a laptop

How to Grow Your Startup’s Email List

Man sitting on the ground with a laptop

 

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

Daycation is a Miami-founded startup that allows people to book “daycations,” gaining access to hotel amenities without staying the night. Traditionally, people must check in as hotel guests to access amenities like pools, lounges, hot tubs, gyms, and private beaches. Now, with Daycation’s network of beautiful, on-demand hotels, users can visit their site and easily book hassle-free day experiences.

We worked with Daycation to grow their email list. In two weeks, we added 1,000 new subscribers at an acquisition cost of $1.15 per subscriber. In addition to the list growth, 25 of the new subscribers booked a Daycation within 30 days of joining the email list.

Why Daycation Focused On Growing Their Email List

For starters, email has been the #1 most profitable marketing channel for ten years in a row. From this one statistic alone, it isn’t hard to see why you need to grow your startup’s email list. It is a key piece of any well-rounded user acquisition effort.

From a growth perspective, it is the statistics on customer acquisition costs that make email a no-brainer for a business like Daycation. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

While we had launched a number of acquisition channels for Daycation, including paid social and chat, we were looking to build an email list of valuable subscribers. Because Daycation is a transactional marketplace, we were confident that email marketing would be a more effective channel than social for driving people to their website and getting them to sign up and purchase a day pass.

So, how did we attract 1000+ new subscribers in two weeks?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

Daycation’s Playbook:

  • Everything begins with great content or value. People will find your site because of your amazing content. They will keep coming back because you provide relevant value. Your content will be the foundation of what you email to them, which will be the reason they stay subscribed (or hit unsubscribe!). For Daycation, we decided to run a cabana giveaway in Miami. In exchange for an email address, people entered for a chance to win a day pass and cabana for four at one of Miami’s top luxury pools.
  • Once you have the right content, you need to start putting your landing page together. Creating a high converting landing page isn’t rocket science. However, creating an effective page involves more than simply designing something that looks good. For Daycation, we leveraged these nine components of a killer landing page and mocked a wireframe using InVision.
  • The page went live, and we needed to get the word out. For Daycation, that meant adding a banner to the homepage of the site, as well as tapping into paid social. We launched Facebook and Instagram campaigns, targeting a specific subset of customers who were most similar to their best current customers.

Screenshot of a Facebook ad for Daycation

Screenshot of an Instagram ad for Daycation

  • Every interaction with someone is a chance to influence their opinion about your business. The minute you collect an email you can start providing relevant value and the message you send is critical. Using Customer.io, when someone signed up for the giveaway, we triggered the confirmation email below. For a large percentage of this list, this was the first email they ever received from Daycation. This is a large opportunity to make a lasting first impression. Try your best to step away from a transactional mindset and show your companies personality.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

  • We ran the giveaway for two weeks, spreading the word to as many people as possible. Once the campaign ended, we announced the winner through email, sending the entire list a $10 off coupon code on their next Daycation.

Screenshot of an email from Daycation

The Results:

  • Duration: 2 Weeks
  • Ad Spend: $1,215.76
  • New Subscribers: 1,264 new subscribers
  • Cost Per Subscriber: $1.15
  • Subscriber Purchases (within 30 days): 25

Next Steps:

Our focus on email didn’t end with the cabana giveaway. You’re not just looking to grow your startup’s email list and present a nice vanity metric. It can be easy to just focus on building the list and see the number of subscribers growing and call it a success. Once you have a healthy list of emails, you need to continue focusing on the value you provide to your users with email. What is the end goal and conversion you’re looking for them to make? 

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about customer acquisition or email strategy that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account and talk about how to grow your startup’s email list and what to do with that growth. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.

Illustration of wireframes

How To Turn Your Website Into a Hyper Growth Engine

Illustration of wireframes

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

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

Why The Buy Guys Decided to Update Their Website

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

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

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

So, how increase their leads by 138%?

Let’s dive in and take a look.

The Buy Guys’ Playbook:

Start with user research.

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

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

The quantitative approach using CallRail was to export data from over 1,000 calls to see larger trends such as time of day people are calling, what page the visited before calling, where are they calling from. We believe the best strategies are built on customer research and 3-5 detailed personas that can represent the larger audience. Personas give your team a shared language to use when talking about customers and make sure you’re building for them, not you.

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

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

Through the wireframe, we can accomplish the following:

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

Designing the site

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



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

Review and improve

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

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

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

Results:

With the launch of the new website, we:

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

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about user experience or conversion rate optimization that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.

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How To Scale User Growth Using Facebook Ads

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

Fresh Meal Plan is a healthy meal delivery service located in South Florida. Looking to find traction in the Florida market and scale their growth, they partnered with Tuff to launch high-impact Facebook and Instagram campaigns to increase ROI and quickly drive key learnings on what’s working and what’s not.

Why Fresh Meal Plan Tapped Into Paid Social Acquisition

Scaling growth is hard and it requires you to be rigorous about the channels you experiment within the early stages of your business. It might seem easy to find one right away and then dump all your money into that one tactic but that almost never happens. As a startup, you have to work towards the right channel – and understand that it takes time.

One of the channels we saw the most success with for fueling user acquisition for Fresh Meal Plan was Facebook. With a wide range of targeting options to help you find the right niche, customer acquisition using Facebook ads can be a highly cost-effective channel. After an initial kick-off meeting with Fresh Meal Plan to align on goals and ROI expectations, we launched geo-specific Facebook and Instagram campaigns following a 3-step process.

The Three Step Process

Step 1: Conduct user research before design

Figuring out the right targeting is key to reaching the audience most likely to convert. Be it in-depth customer segmentation or listening to customer phone calls, we never create a Facebook or Instagram without researching user behavior first. As an agency, you can lean on your client’s customer-facing team members or, if you’re in-house, partner with your support team to learn more about your customers.

We’ve found that it’s better to spend more time building out target segments and do the right design for them than doing the right campaign for the wrong users. For this account, we built out 5-10 core and custom audiences in Facebook.

For our core audiences, we relied heavily on interest and behavior targeting. For example, we created an audience of users who expressed an interest in CrossFit on their Facebook page. In addition to core audiences, we also built out Lookalike Audiences using website traffic and existing customer email lists.

Step 2: Develop custom creative for each audience

After building out our target segments in Facebook’s audience panel, we created Facebook campaign concepts for each target segment. Both the copy and creative is developed with a particular audience in mind.

Step 3: Retarget with a compelling offer

To combat ad invisibility and get the most of customer acquisition using Facebook ads, we try to always include a compelling offer or call to action in our retargeting effort. Doing so can drive great results, especially if your goal is to generate sales rather than solely drive clicks.

 

Results

Over the course of 30 days, we achieved the following results for customer acquisition using Facebook ads, driving significant market awareness and sales for the brand. Since then, we have doubled the budget and scaled our acquisition efforts to new markets:

  • Clicks: 1,984
  • New Customers: 228
  • CPA: $15.85

Free Growth Strategy Session

What questions do you have about customer acquisition using Facebook ads that we might have missed? For more help with your questions feel free to reach out to Tuff! We’d be happy to review an existing account. Sign up for a free growth strategy session with Tuff today.