Outsource Sales Teams: The 7 Best + Dos & Don’ts Guide [2021]

In 2021, businesses need to be nimble, flexible, and driven to succeed. Hiring an outsourced sales team is the quickest way to leverage expert skills and state-of-the-art technology to drive revenue and scale your business.

Sales outsourcing provides you with a team of skilled professionals, with access to powerful software and technology. It also gives you the freedom to grow and shrink the areas of your business you want to focus on, as quickly as you need to. It even costs less and is more effective!

So, how do you know when to outsource your sales? What are the benefits and drawbacks? How do you evaluate outsourced sales companies to find the best team?

In this guide, we’re covering everything you need to know about outsourcing your sales. When to outsource, the pros and cons of outsourcing your sales, how to evaluate an outsourced sales team, and the best sales outsourcing companies to consider!  

Let’s dive right in!

    When to Outsource Sales

    Hiring an outsourced sales team is not ideal for every type of business. Done right, the benefits are huge but knowing when to outsource and when to keep your sales in-house is key.

    In broad strokes, you will benefit from outsourcing your sales if:

    • Your in-house sales team cannot deal effectively with the volume of leads they need to attend to.
    • Budget constraints are limiting your ability to attract and retain top sales talent in-house.
    • Expertise in your sales team is limited to specific sales functions, which is detrimental to other functions and the success of your sales team as a whole.
    • Your in-house sales team is spending too much time on manual admin tasks like data capture and not doing enough selling as a result.  

    These challenges can be resolved by outsourcing to a team of dedicated salespeople with the skills, capacity, and tools needed to handle the areas your in-house team is struggling with.

    This allows them to focus on the aspects that will benefit the business, like attending to the customers at the right point in their sales journey. Outsourcing frees up time and internal resources that can be used more efficiently and effectively.

    The type of business you have and what you’re trying to achieve are also important things to consider when you’re deciding to outsource.

    Most businesses will benefit from outsourcing their sales and drawing on the efficiency and expertise of a dedicated sales team of experts.

    That said, the types of business that will benefit most from an outsourced sales team are:

    Start-ups and Businesses on a Tight Budget

    When budgets are tight, it can be difficult to poor funds into recruitment and staff, without first securing the sales.

    An outsourced sales team will be able to scale sales quickly and effectively, in a way that a limited number of in-house salespeople can’t.

    A team of experienced and skilled salespeople can help new companies break into the market and scale their sales quickly to get established.

    This means there is no need to invest in an in-house team until the company revenue can support them and allow for the recruitment of top talent.

    Tech Firms and Companies with Complex Product Offerings

    Over time, the sales funnel process has evolved and many prospects spend much longer doing research and making comparisons before they buy.

    When it comes to complex products, like software and data management infrastructure, the sales process can be lengthy. Prospects do their due diligence and more than one person is involved in the buying process.

    Outsourced sales team - graphic showing how much longer the awareness, exploring solutions, comparing vendors part of the sales journey is now compared to the traditional sales funnel

    From the sales perspective, there are likely to be many prospects at various stages of the sales funnel that remain there for some time and require a lot of nurturing.

    For a small in-house team, this can be a challenge. Especially if they’re not equipped with the technology and automation needed to handle a large volume of leads at any one time.  

    An outsourced sales team can handle this and will have the tools needed to keep close tabs on many different prospects, for a longer period, without losing them.

    Businesses Looking to Break into New Markets and Locations 

    If you’re looking to branch out into a new market or establish a presence in a new location, it can be time-consuming and costly to use in-house resources from the beginning.

    Using an outsourced sales team that is familiar with the market and/or location you’re expanding into can help you get up and running quickly, without wasting precious resources.

    The outsourced sales company you choose can draw on their expertise in the space, their connections, and established relationships to benefit your business.

    If you’re branching out to a new country, hiring a local sales team will benefit you as they know the ropes of doing business in that location, like the local laws, economy, and business practices.

    This will help you limit risks and prevent you from spending your resources in ways that are not efficient in that location. 

    Check out this very short video by Sales Force Europe for some insight from their expansion into Europe:

    Pros: Outsource Sales Team Benefits

    There are loads of great benefits to outsourcing your sales! Let’s look at some of the biggest advantages of using an outsourced sales team for your business:    

    Flexibility to Scale Up and Down Quickly

    In recent years it has become crucial for businesses to be agile and flexible. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this even clearer. The pandemic forced many companies to change how they do business very quickly, growing some aspects and shrinking others to stay on top.

    Scalability in sales is important at the best of times. Using an outsourced sales team allows you to grow rapidly, without needing to make permanent hiring decisions.

    Hiring new salespeople takes time, and they take time to be effective in their roles. Outsourcing means you can start scaling up as soon as you decide to do it.

    It also allows you to shrink rapidly if you need to, without being tied into permanent staff contracts. If you need to divert funds in a different direction, you can do that much more easily if you’re using an outsourced sales team.

    The ability to grow and shrink different aspects of your business quickly can be the factor that makes or breaks a company, especially during periods of global economic uncertainty.

    According to McKinsey & Company, “future-ready companies share three characteristics: they know who they are and what they stand for; they operate with a fixation on speed and simplicity; and they grow by scaling up their ability to learn, innovate, and seek good ideas regardless of their origin“.

    Outsourcing sales can help businesses achieve these aims in the quickest and most cost-effective manner, for success in rapidly changing times.

    Outsourced Sales Teams - image text says "Future-ready companies... Grow by scaling up their ability to learn, innovate, and seek good ideas regardless of their origin" -
McKinsey & Company

    Access to Expertise

    Outsourced sales companies work with many clients, across numerous industries. Most have years of experience and a wealth of knowledge that few internal sales teams can offer.

    They also have the capacity and the resources to hire great sales talent. These individuals are people that many smaller companies and start-ups would not be able to attract or retain. 

    Your sales team, made of individuals with a high level of expertise, will have access to the pool of knowledge, ideas, and connections of the whole company.

    This is a huge benefit, especially for newer businesses and those without the time or resources to invest in building a great sales team from scratch.

    Improved Omnichannel Customer Engagement

    Omnichannel support and customer engagement have never been more important. Today, you need to be able to offer seamless engagement with customers across all channels. These include phone, email, social media, and chats on both social media and company websites.

    Using an outsourced sales team with experience in digital engagement will improve your omnichannel support. They know exactly how to do it, and they have the right tools to make it work.  

    Breaking Into New Markets

    When you’re branching out into a new (or just new-to-you) market or location, it can be highly beneficial to use an outsourced sales team.

    Training your in-house sales team for a new vertical and/or new location, targeting a new audience, and getting all the practicalities ironed out can take time and cost a lot of money. Outsourcing is much quicker and it can be much more cost-effective.

    An outsourced sales team that is familiar with the space and the location will be able to help you get going immediately. They can also help you figure out all the ins and outs of your new territory.

    If they’re familiar with the location they will have insight into relevant legislation, local economies, and how people there do business. They will also have contacts and existing relationships that can benefit you. 

    Access to Better Tools, Analytics and Insights for Optimized Selling

    It takes money, time, and training to get the most out of a new software solution.  Many companies do not have the resources to buy the best software tools, or the knowledge to use them to their best advantage.

    The power of tools to provide useful insight and inform strategies is an advantage that many companies miss out on because they don’t have the right tools or they don’t know how to use them well. 

    According to SalesForce, “76% of sales professionals say using sales analytics has significantly or somewhat improved their ability to provide customers with a consistent experience across every channel”.

    Access to quality analytics and expert insights from that data allows sales people to be more effective and efficient. It frees up their non-selling time to be used actively selling.

    If you use an outsourced sales company, you’re able to draw on their knowledge and the systems they use. If you partner with a company that uses great software, you can benefit from their sales and analytics tools, and their data insights.

    Greater Performance and an Emphasis on Continual Growth

    Generally, outsourced sales companies are paid based on their performance. In addition to service level agreements, the more new sales they generate, the more they’re paid.

    This creates accountability and incentivizes a proactive and innovative approach to sales. Their own success is directly tied to your success and they have to produce results.

    This is true of any employee, especially those earning commission. However, an outsourced sales team has their own company to please, as well as yours.

    They also have a much bigger pool of ideas and experience to draw from than your employees do. The net result is that outsourced sales teams tend to perform better than internal ones.  

    Cons: Outsource Sales Team Disadvantages

    The disadvantages of outsourcing your sales are mostly related to the level of control you lose when you outsource and the initial money you need to put in before you have seen any results.

    Let’s look at some of the cons of outsourcing our sales in more detail:  

    Loss of Control Over Methods and Tools Used

    When you outsource your sales, you’re giving an outsourced sales company control over your company’s sales. There are varying degrees of this, depending on how many sales function you outsource and how many remain in-house.

    Outsource sales company use their different tools, software, and methods. These may not tie into your systems well, especially if one of you changes the tools you use at some point in the relationship. It is important to check that their tools and yours can integrate and can share relevant information, particularly for your CRM.

    The methods they use might work really well for them but not for you. For this reason, it is important to get a clear understanding of how they work and what they do, before you commit to partnering with them.

    Data and Privacy Challenges  

    Customer information and privacy, especially in industries that handle sensitive information like medical records, can be a challenge. If your outsourced sales team does not handle that information correctly, it can blowback on you.

    To combat this, it is important to find out the specifics of how they handle and protect your data. If they already work in your sector, they’re likely to have the right measures in place but do not assume this is the case.

    Make sure they’re explicitly aware of your requirements and can tell you exactly how they will ensure they meet them. 

    Retaining the Contacts and Relationships They Have Built with Your Prospects

    A good outsourced sales company will build relationships for you, rather than for themselves. However, there is some risk of the outsourced company building a network that you don’t have access to when your relationship with them ends.

    The risk of this is higher if the outsourced sales team is paid purely on commission and if populating your CRM with contacts is not part of the system you use.

    To combat this, make sure that they have to populate your CRM to be paid. You should also make sure that their sales method includes communication and contact with your company throughout the process. Key meetings, communication, and final offers/proposals should include or be authorized by your internal staff. 

    Higher Initial Investment

    The cost of contracting an external team may be higher than employing an internal one. This can be prohibitive for businesses on a very tight budget.

    The choice comes down to what is financially viable in the short term, vs what the most beneficial investment will be in the long term.  

    While the immediate cost of an outsourced sales team is most likely higher, you’re also most likely going to get a lot more for your money.

    When you outsource, you’re not just getting salespeople. You’re also getting their cumulative expertise, their systems and tools, and their industry connections.

    An outsourced sales team is part of a whole company, and you’re getting access to all that, as well as the salespeople in the team.

    How to Evaluate an Outsourced Sales Team

    So, how do you evaluate an outsourced sales team to find the best one for your business?

    The first step is to determine your requirements. Here are five things to consider:

    1. Identify what you need to outsource and why: Consider where your in-house resources are lacking, which aspects are working well, and which need additional support. Do you need to outsource all of it or just a portion of it?
    2. Set your goals and the metrics you will use to measure progress: Consider what you’re aiming to achieve and be specific. Once you know what the objective is, set out how you will know you’re making progress towards it, and what the threshold is to determine that you have achieved it.  
    3. Define the scope of your requirements: Make a list of the functions you need to be covered, the markets you want to focus on, and how outsourcing will help you do that. At this point, it is useful to consider if you need to outsource or if an automation tool would suffice.
    4. Create a framework for internal and external roles: It is important for your internal marketing and sales efforts to mesh with the external sales team. Their efforts need to be aligned with the overall objective. Define roles and responsibilities, key performance indicators (KPIs), and make sure that everyone is involved.
    5. Research providers: Look for outsourced sales companies, agencies, and software to find the right fit and meet the requirements you have determined for your business.  

    Knowing what you need is key to finding a provider that will meet those needs effectively. With a clear picture of what you’re looking for, start looking at different options to see what they offer.

    Here’s what to consider when you’re assessing your options and choosing the best sales outsourcing company for your needs:  

    Proven Track Record in Your Industry

    The services they offer must meet your requirements and they must be able to provide you with a proven track record. This can be case studies, a client list of clients in your industry, or references and reviews. They should also be able to give you a detailed breakdown of what they have achieved, and how they did it.  

    The Services They Offer

    How well with the services they offer meet your needs? They need to be able to provide the core functions you require to meet your objectives. They also need to provide them in a way that will work best for your business.

    For example, if you’re selling internationally, they must be able to curate messaging that is relevant and appropriate for the regions you’re working in.

    They must also be able to engage with customers at the correct times for that country’s time zone. This can be in person or through automation but it must be provided for.

    The Expertise of the Company and Individual Talent

    The individual talent on your team is just as important as who the company is. They should be able to tell you exactly who will be on your team, and what value they bring to the table. Evaluate this against your requirements to see if there are any gaps.

    A good outsourced sales team will include a manager that oversees the team’s performance. They will be the point of contact between you and the team. They will also be able to advise on ways to maximize the opportunities and handle any issues. 

    The team itself should be a mix of individuals who have strong sales expertise and a range of skills for things like:

    • Lead generation and first contact
    • Content creation for different channels of communication
    • Monitoring and reviewing communication between the team and clients to make sure they’re consistent and on-message
    • Omnichannel communication and digital messaging
    • Lead nurturing and relationship building
    • Closing and converting leads to customers
    • Administrative skills for data capture and CRM population
    • Liaison with and training for internal teams for greater cohesion     

    Your team should be a group of talented and experienced individuals who can meet your needs to fulfill your outsourced sales program requirements.

    Alignment of Values and Company Culture

    When you’re partnering with an outsourced sales company, it is important to choose one that will be beneficial to your reputation and represent you well.

    This means finding a company that shares your core values and will be able to carry that through in their interactions with customers on your behalf. If your company culture meshes well, it will also be that much easier to work with them and form a solid relationship.

    Ability to Provide Data and Analytics Insights

    What data can they provide for you? How detailed are their analytics? How skilled are they extracting meaningful insight from the data they have?

    These aspects are especially important if you need help determining new target markets and revenue opportunities.

    They’re also important as the data, analysis, and insight that can be gathered from various tools is a huge advantage for sales. They can be leveraged to make the most of every opportunity and to inform changes in strategy for better results.

    7 Best Sales Outsourcing Companies

    1. Cience

    Cience is a Denver-based agency, that focuses on multi-channel prospecting and in-depth research for B2B lead generation. They offer both software solutions and managed services for research, prospecting, lead response, and sales.

    Cience works with companies of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, around the world. They combine flexible, innovative approaches with the in-depth analytics of a data-science company. Their approach is strategic and focused on creative, data-driven sales acceleration.

    screenshot of the Cience outsourced sales team homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2015
    • Location: HQ inDenver, Colorado, with offices in North America, South America, and Asia
    • Number of employees: 1200+
    • Main industries: All B2B sectors, specializing inbanking/financial services, general business services, marketing services, technology – hardware & storage, and software development
    • Top clients include: Okta, Yamaha, Microsoft, Google, and Uber
    • Website: cience.com  

    Services:

    • Lead Generation and Enrichment
    • Sales Consulting and Assistance
    • Sales Development
    • Digital Marketing
    • Email Marketing
    • Sales Outsourcing
    • Account-Based Marketing and Selling
    • Sales Intelligence and Research
    • Sales Automation
    • Sales Acceleration

    2. CloudTask

    CloudTask is a B2B lead generation company headquartered in Miami, Florida. They cater to SaaS companies in various industries. CloudTask is focused on both sales and customer success and offers a full suite of services to their clients.

    Their approach is to combine the benefits of technology and data with human insight and creativity to develop specialized and personalized solutions. CloudTask’s outsourced sales teams provide 24/7 support, in multiple languages, which is great for companies doing business internationally.

    Screenshot of the CloudTask Outsourced sales team homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2014
    • Location: Miami, Florida, USA
    • Number of employees: 201-500
    • Main industries: Software Development, Financial Services, Marketing, Communications, SaaS, and other B2B industries
    • Top clients include: RingCentral, Ipswitch, Drift, Metadata.io, Strongpoint, and Cloze
    • Website: cloudtask.com

    Services:

    • B2B Lead Development
    • Onboarding
    • Lead Qualifying
    • Qualified Meetings
    • Sales Account Management
    • Virtual Support

    3. MemoryBlue

    MemoryBlue focuses on sales development and consulting. They offer a range of sales development and management services for companies looking to outsource their sales and lead generation.

    In addition to outsourced sales services, they also offer sales development, leadership, recruiting, and training for in-house teams. This is especially useful for companies with an existing, in-house team that they’re looking to grow rapidly, by furthering skills development and adding new talent.

    Screenshot of the outsourced sales team MemoryBlue's homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2002
    • Location: Tysons, Virginia, USA
    • Number of employees: 200 – 500
    • Main industries: B2B Technology, Software Development, and Public Sector Sales
    • Top clients include: AWS, Couchbase, Splunk, Symantec, McAfee, and Box
    • Website: memoryblue.com

    Services:

    • High Tech Sales
    • Lead Generation
    • Outsourced Inside Sales
    • Recruiting
    • Inside Sales Management
    • Headhunting
    • Lead Qualification
    • Outbound Prospecting
    • Inside Sales Consulting

    4. Operatix

    Operatix is a sales acceleration company for B2B software vendors. Their focus is on accelerating growth through sales development for companies of all sizes, from emerging vendors to global tech firms.

    Operatix has offices in North America and the United Kingdom. Their approach draws on account-based marketing and account-based selling, as well as extensive networking and relationship building. Operatix is great for companies looking to outsource SDRs, scale their teams quickly and grow their business.

    Screenshot of the Operatix outsourced sales team homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 2012
    • Location: Texas and California, USA and London, UK
    • Number of employees: 200
    • Main industries: B2B Software and Technology Vendors
    • Top clients include: Oracle, Cisco, Gartner, DXC Technology, and Thales
    • Website: operatix.net

    Services:

    • Pipeline Generation
    • SDR as a service
    • Outsourced SDRs
    • Revenue Acceleration
    • Inbound Response Management
    • Outbound prospecting
    • Channel Acceleration
    • Qualified Sales Engagements
    • Lead Generation and qualification
    • Demand Generation
    • Account-Based Selling
    • Account-Based Marketing

    5. Televerde

    Televerde is a B2B marketing, demand generation, and sales acceleration agency. They provide outsourced sales, as well as data and technology solutions for sales and customer support.

    Televerde offers a full suite of marketing and sales services and can manage sales end-to-end, or be employed for specific outsourced sales functions. They emphasize providing solutions that are successful, repeatable, reliable, and scalable.  

    Outsourced sales team - screenshot of the Televerde homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 1995
    • Location: HQ in Phoenix, Arizona, USA with offices in Scotland and Argentina  
    • Number of employees: 600+
    • Main industries: It and Software, Consumer Products and Services, Manufacturing, Communications, Healthcare, Venture Capital and Private Equity
    • Top clients include: Monarch Medical Technologies, SunPower, and Envestnet/Yodlee
    • Website: televerde.com

    Services:

    • Marketing Audience & Market Insights
    • Marketing Strategy & Planning
    • Demand Creation
    • Engagement Insights & Analysis
    • Lead Generation
    • Sales Qualification & Development
    • Win/Loss Management & Analysis
    • Customer Experience
    • Customer Advocacy, Loyalty & Referral
    • Inbound Customer Care

    6. ServiceSource

    ServiceSource provides outsourced services for B2B businesses globally. They offer a full range of outsourced inside sales, customer success, renewals management, and channel management solutions.

    ServiceSource works with software and technology brands of all sizes, from emerging players to some of the biggest names in the industry. They function as an integrated but outsourced extension of each client’s business. Their approach is holistic and combines data-driven insights with innovative, personalized strategies from experienced human talent.

    Outsourced sales team - ServiceSource - Screenshot of homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 1999
    • Location: HQ in Denver, Colorado, USA with offices in Europe and Asia
    • Number of employees: 3000+
    • Main industries: Cloud & Subscription, Software, Hardware, Medical Device & Diagnostic Equipment, and Industrial IoT Sectors.
    • Top clients include: Cisco, RedHat, SalesForce, Okta, and Mitel
    • Website: servicesource.com

    Services:

    • Outsourced Sales
    • Customer Success
    • Revenue Growth
    • Inside Sales
    • Revenue Retention
    • Renewals
    • Customer Journey Mapping
    • Digital Sales

    7. Market Star

    MarketStar is a sales and marketing outsourcing company. Founded in 1988, they’re one of the most well-established outsourced sales providers in the industry. They offer flexible channel and direct sales solutions to companies around the world, both big and small.

    MarketStar provides outsourced sales teams of experienced, expert salespeople, as well as operations for automated and in-field resources. Each team is tailored to the unique needs of the client and how many of their sales functions need to be outsourced. They can manage sales development or run sales from end to end, depending on the needs of the client.

    Outsourced sales team - screenshot of the MarketStar homepage

    Agency Snapshot:

    • Founded: 1988
    • Location: HQ in Ogden, Utah, USA with offices in Dublin, Ireland
    • Number of employees: 1300
    • Main industries: B2B and Saas
    • Top clients include: Pandora, Microsoft, Google, Asana, and AdRoll
    • Website: marketstar.com

    Services:

    • Lead Generation
    • Sales Outsourcing
    • Renewals Management
    • Partner Management
    • Channel Management
    • Customer Success
    • Customer Success Outsourcing
    • Direct Sales
    • Channel Sales
    • Ad Sales
    • Lead Qualification
    • Customer Acquisition
    • Technology Sales
    • Partner Recruitment

    Wrapping Up

    In conclusion, hiring an outsourced sales team can help you gain a competitive advantage when you want to grow your revenue and scale quickly or break into a new market.

    Outsourcing your sales can also benefit your business by giving you access to better talent, expertise, and technology. Acquiring these in-house can be a challenge, especially if you have budget and time constraints!

    In this guide, we have provided everything you need to determine if an outsourced sales team is right for you and to evaluate different outsourced sales companies, as well as a selection of the best agencies and providers to choose from!

    What will you outsource first?    

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Should I outsource my sales?

    Outsourcing sales can be hugely beneficial. You will benefit most from outsourcing your sales if:
    - You are a startup or on a tight budget
    - A tech or software company, or any company with a complex product
    - Looking to break into a new market
    - Your in-house sales team cannot deal effectively with the volume of leads they need to attend to.
    - Budget constraints are limiting your ability to attract and retain top sales talent in-house.
    - Expertise in your sales team is limited to specific sales functions, which is detrimental to other functions and the success of your sales team as a whole.
    - Your in-house sales team is spending too much time on manual admin tasks like data capture and not doing enough selling as a result.
    Check out the full guide for more into on when to outsource your sales and how to do it.

    What are the benefits of using an outsourced sales team?

    Using an outsourced sales team offers some great benefits. These include the flexibility to scale up and down quickly, greater sales expertise and better technology, great omnichannel engagement, professional analytics and insights, quicker growth and developing a solid foundation for your business revenue. Check out the full guide for more on the benefits of sales outsourcing.

    What are the best sales outsourcing companies in the USA and the UK?

    There are many great sales outsourcing and sales development companies in the UK and the USA. The following options offer excellent services to businesses of all sizes, in every industry, globally: Clience, CloudTask, MemoryBlue, Operatix, ServiceSource and MarketStar. Check out the full guide for more info on each of these companies and what they offer.

    References

    Forbes: Outsourcing Sales: When Does It Make Sense For B2B Tech Companies?

    Deloitte: 2021 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing Survey (infographic)

    Deloitte: 2020 Global Outsourcing Survey

    Durham Lane: 12 Reasons to Use a Sales Outsourcing Company (e-book pdf)

    Hiver: The Complete Guide to Outsourcing Customer Service

    TTEC: Sales Outsourcing: 11 Benefits of Outsourcing Sales (infographic)

    Swag for Marketing: How Swag Can Skyrocket Your Brand [2021]

    Marketing swag is a great choice for high-impact and low-cost marketing that can be used as a stand-alone strategy or to support all your marketing channels.

    Either way, it provides great ROI and will boost brand awareness and recognition, increase engagement with your brand and drive increased sales.

    Marketing swag can improve your brand reputation and strengthen your corporate identity. It can also help you move prospects down the sales funnel and improve relationships with your customers.

    You can even use marketing swag for advocacy, customer loyalty, and referral programs. It really is incredibly versatile and effective – all for a very low initial investment, that continues to yield results long after you have handed it out!  

    So, how do you use swag effectively in your marketing? How do you generate quality leads and maximize the benefits of all your other marketing channels?  

    In this guide, we’re covering what marketing swag is, how it will benefit your marketing, how to use swag for lead generation, and how to integrate swag into your other marketing channels!

    Let’s jump right in!

      What is Swag?

      Swag is the branded promotional merchandise that brands use to promote their business and their brand. Swag is usually given away as ‘freebies’ to the public, leads, customers, and employees. 

      Marketing swag is a great marketing tool that stands out from other marketing techniques in that is tangible, tactile, and useful to the recipient.

      The way people engage with swag is very different from the way they engage with other forms of advertising. It is appreciated and many consumers will actively seek it out!  

      The most common and popular examples of marketing swag are t-shirts, pens and notebooks, drinkware, USB sticks, tote bags, and swag packs. Swag packs are packaged bags or boxes of branded goodies that come in an attractive package.

      The graph below shows common types of promotional products and the percentage of people who own one:

      Percentage of People Who Own a Promotional Product (ASI: 2019)

      We’ve all received some swag at some point, and most of us still use it regularly. According to Sage, 80% of consumers have at least one promotional product, 53% use a promotional product at least once a week and 60% keep their promotional products for up to two years!

      So, what are the benefits of swag for your marketing? Let’s take a look:

      How Swag Can Benefit Your Marketing

      Marketing swag is used to promote the brand or business, specific product lines or services, and events.

      Swag creates or reinforces corporate identity, increases brand awareness and recognition, garners many impressions, and is usually much cheaper than paid print or online advertising.  

      Marketing swag is also used to gain new leads, nurture existing leads and drive sales. It can even be used to gather information for your customer database by asking people to fill out a form to receive their swag.

      The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study found that promotional products are the most cost-effective and high-impact marketing tool available for their clients.

      When they worked out the cost per impression (CPI) for swag in comparison to print and digital marketing, swag consistently earned a greater ROI!

      It might sound too simple and too good to be true, but the numbers back it up. Here are some marketing swag statistics to back up the benefits of using swag in your marketing:

      10 Marketing Swag Statistics:

      • 99% of people say that they’re willing to go out of their way to get a promotional product
      • 60% of consumers keep a promotional product for two years
      • 53% of people use a promotional product at least once a week
      • 85% of product recipients did business with the advertiser who gave them the item
      • 72% of consumers say the quality of a promotional item impacts brand reputation
      • 60% of people say that they would enter sweepstakes, contests, or raffles to win promotional products
      • 60% or more recipients of promotional products will look the brand up online later
      • 70% of consumers say that promotional products make their experiences more memorable
      • 44% increase in effectiveness when a swag product is added to a social media advert
      • 59% of employees who receive swag from their employer have a more favorable impression of their workplace afterward
      Marketing Swag - Image text says "promotional products are the most high-impact, cost-effective advertising medium for our clients" - SAI Global Ad Impressions Study 2019

      Marketing swag is also multifunctional and versatile. You can use for the public, or you can use it for your customers and give it away for customer appreciation to increase customer loyalty.

      You can also use it internally, for your employees. Swag is a great way to improve employee experience, onboard new talent, or reward great performance.

      Swag will always give something back to you, be it impressions when they use it, a referral based on their recall of your brand, or even just a visit to your website or social media channels.

      So, as you can see, marketing swag will really benefit your marketing!

      That said, most marketing efforts are focused on acquiring new leads so let’s look at how you can use marketing swag to generate leads:      

      How Companies Use Swag to Get More Leads

      In the simplest terms, lead generation is all about finding the right target audience, making contact and connecting with them, and building a relationship with them.

      Marketing swag is a great way to make that first contact a positive, engaged, and memorable experience for your lead.

      If you’re using marketing swag to generate leads, make sure you’re giving it to the right people. Do your research, perfect your buyer persona and then tailor your swag products to meet their needs and appeal to their image and values.

      Once you have done that, you have a relevant, attractive, and useful offering for them. From there, you need to reach them and make those connections, so that you can develop those relationships and convert leads to customers.

      So, how have other companies used marketing swag to successfully generate leads?

      Let’s take a look at some examples:

      Google: Pop-Up Donut Shops to Promote the Launch of the Google Home Mini

      In 2017, Google released it’s smaller smart speaker, the Google Home Mini. To generate awareness of the product and get people excited about it, they set up little donut pop-up shops in different cities.

      People could go in, ask the smart speaker a question and then receive a mystery box that either contained donuts or a Google Home Mini!

      Marketing Swag - Instagram screenshot of a pic of one of Google's donut pop-up shops

      The packaging was branded, as was the shop, and they included a counter to do an ‘unboxing’, which almost always ended up on social media!

      This campaign was a brilliant way to get people to actively engage with the product, and receive a reward for doing so. It also encouraged social proof and gained a lot of social media reach.

      They gained new sales, exposure, reach, engagement and created excitement and buzz for their product.

      Glossier: Swag for Influencers

      Beauty brand Glossier gave out branded sweatshirts to micro-influencers, which were posted with the #glossierpink. They often gave the influencers a discount code to give their followers – a win-win for everyone.

      Marketing Swag - Image from Instagram of an influencer in a pink glossier sweatshirt

      The influencer gets an attractive offer for their followers, followers get a small discount and the brand gets the influencer’s social clout, as well as their reach.

      This method is particularly useful for use with smaller influencers who are still happy to post for swag and free product’s, rather than requiring payment as well.

      Ford: Swag and Toy Car Giveaways at Auto Shows

      Every year at the Chicago Auto Show, Ford runs custom swag giveaways that include collectable cars for kids. They limited the number of cars and only give them away at specific times, making them scarce and adding a sense of urgency.

      Marketing Swag - Ford swag from a car show, including a boxed toy car, caps and beanies

      People have fun hurrying to find the Ford stand to get their hands on the swag, and it brings kids (future Ford drivers) into the mix too. Gamifying the giveaways like this makes it a whole experience, rather than just a free gift.

      Ford sells branded clothing and accessories, so their swag already has a sense of being valuable and getting it for free is even more special. Bonus for Ford: they can use their stock (and lines that aren’t moving) as swag, without any additional investment.

      Wholefoods: Beauty Box Giveaways on Social Media

      Wholefoods curated a boxes of ‘beauty essentials’ from their product line and used a social media giveaway to promote their upcoming beauty sale. They made the contest easy to enter and included products that can be bought from their stores.

      Marketing Swag - Wholefoods giveaways on social media

      They limited the number of boxes and used them to generate buzz on social media, which increased the reach of their marketing for the sale. The contest also got loads to people to engage with their brand and to covet the products being promoted. A sure way to get more people interested in buying for the first time!

      7 Things You Can Do to Use Swag in Your Marketing

      1. Add Marketing Swag to Your Social Media Marketing  

      Add swag to your online marketing and use it to attract leads to your website and social media. Paid social media adverts are 44% more effective when they involve swag.

      People also love social media giveaways and contests, which can increase your online reach and engagement, while offering a way to get your swag into the right hands.

      Marketing Swag - Screenshot from Instagram of a swag giveaway post by SoilFlo. The swag is branded apparel.

      You can direct people to your website and have them sign up for their prize, or leave their contact information so you can send it to them.

      Contests like this are especially great, because you only have to give products away to the finalists, and not everyone who enters, but you still get every participant’s information, and their engagement on social media. 

      2. Swag for Brand Ambassadors and Influencers

      Using brand ambassadors and social media influences to reach huge numbers of your target audience is a highly effective way to increase brand awareness and recognition. They’re also a great way to garner new leads!

      Great branded swag that is high quality, attractive, and desirable is one way to get your products in front of the right people, with a stamp of approval from the person they all look up to.

      You use swag as part of your paid campaign, as a free gift in the hopes of it being featured, or as a thank you gift to show your appreciation. 

      3. Swag for Qualified Leads at Events and Conferences

      Events and conferences are great for lead generation because participants are already people interested in your niche. That’s why they’re there, after all.

      You can use swag to draw out the warmer leads and connect with the ones who will be most likely to buy from you by offering swag as an incentive to participate in a survey or demo.

      That way, you’re already personally engaging with them and you can gather information to use for personalized interactions down the line too.  

      Check out this video by Event MB for more on how to curate a great swag bag for conferences and events:

      4. Use Swag for Meaningful Outreach

      Use marketing swag to connect with the prospects you would normally reach out to individually, by email, phone, or in person.

      Adding some great swag to that first contact makes the first impression positive, and more memorable for them.

      This is especially useful for B2B outreach, where you’re connecting with a specific, known person at the company.

      Personalize your swag for them and give them something they will really value and that will resonate with them.

      If they’re into golf, give them items that they will use, such as a golf shirt, cap and pen. You can even add their name or initials if you want to make it really personal.

      5. Improve Employee Experience with Swag

      When we think of promotional items, we often think of external, sales-driven, marketing. However, internal marketing is something you can’t overlook.

      Improving employee experience by making your employees feel seen, valued, and appreciated is a sure-fire way to retain great employees and attract top talent.

      You can use swag to show appreciation to your staff, welcome recruits, or foster unity and reinforce company values.

      Marketing Swag - Screenshot from instagram of a work from home swag kit by Percolate

      What a company does for its employees is becoming a huge factor in the company’s reputation and the reputation of its brand. Online communities and connections have created a space where employees are seen and heard by their peers, and by the general public.

      When employees are happy and feel a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company, they provide better service to customers and advocate more for their company online and in person.

      6. Gamify Your Loyalty and Referral Marketing Programs with Swag

      Marketing swag works really well as a reward for any activity that sends you new leads directly or publicly endorses your brand.

      If you have a referral program or a customer loyalty program, you can use swag to gamify the process and encourage participation.

      You can create tiered rewards that encourage people to do more to ‘win’ a better prize. This can be a really effective way to boost engagement with your programs and improve the effectiveness of the program.

      Give swag to customers who refer a friend, leave reviews, or follow you on social media. You can also give them swag and ask them to share a picture of it on social media, with a unique hashtag.

      Most people are more than happy to share a positive experience and something that made them feel special! This generates valuable social proof for your brand and improves your chances of gaining new leads.   

      7. Use Swag to Build Your Brand Identity and Be Your Physical Presence

      Swag has a physical presence that few other marketing methods have. You can use this to your advantage when you’re developing your brand identity.

      The types of products you use for your swag, who they will appeal to, and how you brand or present them will add a sense of who you are and what you’re all about.

      Saas company Salesforce does a great job of this with their animated characters, plush toys and stickers. Their #wheresastro campaign is especially successful:

      Marketing Swag - Salesforce character plush toys and stickers

      Keep your swag in line with your core values, and congruent with the rest of your marketing. What do you want your swag to say about you?

      The image portrayed by your swag, be it playful and quirky or more serious and business-like, will be an extension of your brand marketing. A piece of your corporate identity that people will see in real life, and interact with.

      Marketing swag is a great way to create a presence for your brand, in a very tangible and physical way. This is especially useful for online businesses that do not have a physical, brick-and-mortar presence.

      Marketing swag gives people a way to ‘feel’ your company, in a physical way. This is why it is so important to choose the right swag for your brand!  

      Tips to Choose the Best Swag for Your Brand

      Choosing the right swag will yield great marketing ROI. Choosing the wrong swag, on the other hand, can reduce the effectiveness of your marketing, or even damage your brand’s image!

      To choose the best swag, consider the following:   

      • Good Quality – choose items that are good quality and will last a long time. The quality will be associated with your brand, and the items’ longevity will give you more impressions from every item.
      • Attractiveness – choose items that are visually appealing and congruent with your brand identity. The more attractive and desirable an item is, the more likely it is to be enjoyed and used by the recipient.
      • Uniqueness – there are a LOT of promotional products in circulation. Make yours stand out by doing something unique and interesting. Keep your logo clearly displayed, but choose interesting, quirky, or unique designs to set your swag apart.
      • Frequent Use – choose items that can be used often, especially ones that will be used at work or in public. These items will be seen by more people when they’re in use.
      • Relevance – opt for items that are relevant to your business and your customers. If you’re a beauty brand, a branded multi-tool might not make sense for you.
      • Identifiable – no matter what items you choose, make sure they’re clearly branded and easily recognizable as swag for your brand. If your swag isn’t well branded, your marketing stops with the initial recipient and you lose all the impressions your swag could get while they use it. Worse, if it is not branded, you could be confused with your competitors and inadvertently marketing for them!

      The right marketing swag will be a walking endorsement of your brand and portray your brand in the best possible light!

      It will augment and strengthen all your other marketing efforts, generate new leads, break into new markets and improve your sales.

      Marketing swag can also help you retain customers and increase customer loyalty. It can help you improve employee experience and your company’s reputation with prospective employees.  

      Wrapping Up

      Marketing swag is a versatile and highly effective marketing technique. It can be used as a stand-alone campaign or as part of any of your other marketing strategies.

      Adding swag to marketing can increase your reach and engagement in a meaningful way to boost brand awareness, brand recognition and reinforce your corporate identity.

      Swag can draw in new leads and help you nurture them at every point of your sales funnel to increase your sales and revenue.

      Best of all, it is an inexpensive method, that gives and gives, long after the initial investment!

      In this guide we have covered all the basics to get you going – how will you use swag to skyrocket your marketing?

      References

      Advertising Specialty Institute: Global Ad Impressions Study (2020)

      Advertising Specialty Institute: Global Ad Impressions Study (2019)

      Brandon Gaille: 36 Promotional Products Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

      Element Three: 5 Ways Company Swag Boosts Company Culture

      Promotional Products Association International: 2019 Consumer Research Study (Infographic)

      Quality Logo Products Blog:  50 Crazy Stats and Facts About the Promotional Products Industry

      Sage: Let the Facts Do the Talking: 25 Stats About Promotional Products

      Sage: 25 Insane (…but true!) Facts About Promotional Products

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is swag promotion?

      Swag promotion is the use of branded promotional products that are given to the public, leads, customers, and even employees. Marketing swag or company swag consists of desirable consumer goods that are uniquely branded to represent the company. Popular examples of swag include outer-wear apparel, mugs/travel cups, pens, notepads, USB sticks, and tote bags. Check out the full guide for more on how to use swag in your marketing.

      What kind of swag do people want?

      The most popular swag products in 2021 are outer apparel like shirts and sweatshirts, tote bags, notebooks and pens, drinkware, and electronics like USB sticks. The best swag to choose for your business is swag that is congruent with your brand identity, appeals to your target audience, and is high-quality. Check out the full guide for more on how to use swag in your marketing.

      How do I order swag for my business?

      Many businesses make customized swag products. Choose ones that offer good quality products that are made to last and that can add your custom branding to your products. There are loads of companies to choose from but some popular options are Zazzle, Allied Shirts, Café Press, and Red Bubble. Check out the full guide for more on how to use swag in your marketing.

      33 Super Cool Company Swag Ideas to Shine in 2021

      Everyone loves great company swag, but it’s not just a one-and-done, feel-good freebie. It is a highly effective, and versatile, marketing tool.

      Done right, company swag can increase your brand awareness and recognition, increase engagement with your brand and drive increased sales.

      It can also help you foster great relationships with your leads, customers, and even your employees!

      So, how can you get your company swag campaign to work wonders for you? What are the best products to use for your swag? How can you maximize the benefits and get great a ROI, that keeps delivering long after your campaign ends?

      In this guide, we look at that company swag is, how to choose the best swag to make the most of your investment, the benefits of company swag, and 33 great ideas and examples to get you going!

      Let’s dive right in!

        What is Company Swag?

        Company swag refers to the promotional products that companies use to promote their brand. Swag is usually given away as free gifts to employees, customers, and prospective customers or leads.

        Company swag is used to promote brand awareness and recognition, gain impressions and boost engagement with the company. Swag can also be used to drive sales, measure market penetration and reach new target audiences.

        Swag items may be individual items or part of a kit or bag of goodies. Company swag is usually given away at external events, like trade shows, or as part of internal events like promotional drives, sales, or milestone celebrations.

        Company Swag - Image from Canva of a black canvas tote that says "you got swag!' on it, next to a scarf and sunglasses and a stem of peonies

        That said, swag doesn’t have to be part of a defined event, and can be used at any point, for just about any purpose – to increase visibility, to welcome new customers and employees, or to reward loyal ones.

        When used well, company swag will function as both advertising and an incentive and reward for customers and employees. It can increase engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty from customers and employees alike.

        When chosen poorly, company swag will be a waste of resources and can even damage or ‘cheapen’ your brand reputation.

        Let’s look at how to choose great swag that will benefit your brand and your bottom line:  

        How to Choose the Best Company Swag for Your Brand

        There are endless possibilities when it comes to the products you can choose from! Just about any product can be customized to reflect your branding and the image you want to portray.

        Some of the most popular options include USB drives, travel mugs, and drinkware, stationery, and apparel.

        No matter what you choose, your swag must be recognizable as yours, relevant to your business type, and desirable to your target audience.

        To make the most of your company swag, it should be:

        • High-quality and durable: swag is associated with your brand, so quality counts. The longer it lasts, the more it can be used and the more people it can be exposed to by the user.
        • Can be used daily, outside the home: you want your item to be used often, and used in places where the most people will see it. If they can only use it at home, it might be a coveted gift but your exposure will stop with the recipient.
        • Desirable and useful: provide something your target audience finds attractive, desirable, and useful. If they love it and they can use it, they will and they will be happy while they do it!
        • Relevant to your brand: it’s easy to just go for things that are universally used and liked, but if you can also find something that sparks a connection and association with your brand you will get more mileage out of your investment.
        • Unique and memorable: use your branding, colors, and creativity to create something unique that will stand out. The more attention you can hold, the better.
        • Recognizable: use your branding, colors, and logo prominently, to ensure that the item is recognizable as yours (and not your competitors!). Include your contact info and social media handles so you can be reached.  

        Ideally, your company swag is something that will be used all the time and admired by people who see it in use – fostering positive feelings all around, and a ton of exposure and meaningful engagement from your target market.

        Have a look at this short video by Adweek for a little more on swag and why choosing good swag is important for your brand:

        So, we have looked at what company swag is, how to choose good company swag and how to make the most of it. Now, let’s look at the benefits of company swag:  

        Company Swag Benefits

        Company swag is an effective, inexpensive, and versatile marketing tool. Done right, it can provide great marketing ROI for impressions, reach, and brand awareness.

        The physical nature of company swag adds a level of interaction and engagement that few other marketing techniques can provide.

        There’s something about holding something in your hand and physically using it, that makes it more meaningful and memorable than the best print or digital advert ever will be.  

        Beyond advertising to the public, company swag can be used as a means to increase customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty. You can use it as an incentive, a reward, or a gesture of appreciation.

        Let’s look at some of the main benefits of company swag in more detail:

        1. Swag Can Help You Increase Brand Awareness and Recognition

        The beauty of company swag is that it gets used for a long time, and is seen by a lot of (the right) people. Your visibility doesn’t end with the campaign, and keeps going for as long as your products last and are used.

        This increases your reach and repeats exposure, boosting brand awareness. Company swag also improves the way people engage with your marketing, making it more memorable, which boosts your brand recognition.

        The positive feelings around receiving a free gift that is both desirable and useful, adds another layer to your marketing. According to Sageworld, “85% of people do business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional item and 89% of consumers can recall the advertiser even two years after receiving a promotional product”.

        People who feel something positive towards your brand, are more likely to make referrals to you and to advocate for you with their peers.

        2. Company Swag Offers High Impact, Low-Cost Marketing, and Great ROI

        According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study “promotional products are the most high-impact, cost-effective advertising medium around for their clients”.

        The study involved thousands of participants in several different countries and calculated the cost per impression (CPI) for promotional products against other forms of marketing. Swag consistently came out on top, being more affordable and yielding a greater ROI for the investment made.

        Considering that each swag item will rack up impressions of your brand, and will only cost you the initial purchase price of less than $20.00, it is easy to see why it is so valuable.

        Check out this graphic showing the average impressions for different types of Swag:  

        3. Promotional Products are Tangible and Tactile for Memorable Marketing  

        Marketing with physical objects, that are free and desired by the recipient, is a great way to engage your audience.

        Aside from repeat exposure, physically interacting with and using an item creates a different kind of engagement with your brand.

        We have become really good at filtering out marketing messages, at actively not engaging with them, and forgetting them in seconds! We can’t do that with physical items and we have to engage with them, which makes them more memorable and gets past our marketing filters.

        4. Swag Gives You Versatile Marketing Options

        The variety of options you have for different products that you can use as swag makes it a really versatile marketing platform.

        You can go for large audiences and mass appeal, or you can hone in on different segments of your customers or target audiences and provide things that will appeal to them specifically.

        You can provide them with options to choose from and garner meaningful engagement, which will boost your memorability and recognition.

        Swag can be used for just about any one-on-one interaction, in person or online, and can foster a connection and build a relationship.

        5. Company Swag can Help You Improve Customer Loyalty

        When you use swag to show appreciation to your existing customers, you can increase your customer loyalty.

        This comes down to building an improved relationship with your customers, as well as something called the reciprocity effect. This is the effect that receiving a gift has on people and they become more inclined to give something back. This can translate into repeat sales, bigger purchases, good reviews, and more referrals.

        6. Swag Can Help You Boost Employee Satisfaction and Company Culture

        Company swag is a great way to show your employees your appreciation and reward them for great work. It can also serve to bring teams together and foster unity within organizations, which helps to create a positive company culture.

        Company culture and great employee experience are top factors that prospective employees consider when considering a new job.

        Attracting and keeping top talent largely comes down to company culture. Here are some of the ways you can use swag to improve them:

        • Branded, onboarding/welcome packages
        • Reinforcing company values by displaying them on your swag
        • Using it as incentives in any gamified rewards structure
        • Commemorating company achievements and milestones that employees to make employees feel a part of that achievement
        • Unifying teams working from different locations by giving them swag that signifies that specific team and their part in it

        Right, now that we have covered some of the many great benefits of company swag, let’s look at some awesome company swag ideas to inspire your swag campaign:  

        33 Awesome Company Swag Ideas

        1. Visible Mobile

        Company Swag Idea - Visible Mobile - Screenshot from Instagram

        Visible Mobile sent these swag boxes to new customers and got some great social media coverage with the #visibleperks from their happy customers. They went with products that will be used out and about, with their branding prominently displayed. Bonus for good quality items that will last!

        2. Verb Energy

        Company Swag Idea - Verb Energy - Screenshot from Instagram

        Verb Energy collaborated with Itzy Ritzy to create a super chic swag pack that appealed to both their audiences. The stylish baby bag and Verb Energy bars complement each other well and make a great swag set. They used their distinctive aesthetic, along with their visible branding to make an instantly recognizable item that is both useful and attractive.

        3. Smash Mallow

        Company Swag Idea - Smash Mallow - Screenshot from Instagram

        Smash Mallow worked with several other brands to put together this great company swag kit. It includes all the things that will appeal to their target audiences and are in line with the various brands’ business types. Making it a giveaway, added even more mileage to the campaign, as entries were on social media and requires likes and shares.

        4. Wholefoods

        Company Swag Idea - Wholefoods - Screenshot from Instagram

        Wholefoods made a swag box that coincided with their annual beauty sale and ran a social media giveaway contest to find five winners to receive the pack. Making it a limited number of packs adds makes them more desirable and adds urgency to the entries. The items in the swag box are all items that can be purchased from Wholefoods, so they’re also ‘free samples’ as well as swag!

        5. Impetus

        Company Swag Idea - Impetus - Screenshot from Instagram

        Impetus is a plumbing company but they used company swag perfectly to reach their customers and grow their social media following. By using attractive branding and choosing items carefully, they created a swag pack that has nothing to do with plumbing but looks great and carries their branding.

        6. Shades Brewing

        Company Swag Idea - Shades Brewing - Screenshot from Instagram

        Shades Brewing also did a giveaway on social media with their swag packs. They used them to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and reward their loyal customers. In this way, they used a nice swag pack to both advertise their milestone and reward their customers. Company swag really can do all the things!

        7. Groove Commerce x HubSpot

        Company Swag Idea - Groove Commerce - Screenshot from Instagram

        Groove Commerce x HubSpot created these great little swag packs! They’re small but high quality and have their branding very prominently displayed. The items chosen are ones that will be used in the office or on the go, so they will be seen by professional and social peers, to get the most of the advertising aspect of swag.

        8. Cajun Reef

        Company Swag Idea - Cajun Reef - Screenshot from Instagram

        Cajun Reefer received these cool swag goodies from their marine fish store suppliers and had to share their appreciation on social media. Gifting swag to people in your network who then share it with their followers, allows you to reach their whole audience with your branded products. Plus the post comes with a message of appreciation an an endorsement!

        9. Buffer

        Company Swag Idea - Buffer - Screenshot from Instagram

        Buffer used a mix of stationery, stickers and apparel for their swag packs. They also ran social media contests for their swag and used their swag as the prize for shares and likes on Instagram that used their unique hashtags. Using a unique hashtag allows you to keep track of your contest and see how well received your swag is.

        10. Purple Rock Scissors

        Company Swag Idea - Purple Rock Scissors - Screenshot from Instagram

        Digital agency Purple Rock Scissors created these stunning swag boxes that contained t-shirts, sunglasses, note books, pins and a fancy bottle of liquor. They packaged them really nicely and made the whole package seem like a luxury gift set. In doing so, they showcased their skills as a creative agency and showed how they can deliver for their clients!

        11. City Bonfires

        Company Swag Idea - City Bonfires - Screenshot from Instagram

        City Bonfires had to get creative when their annual conference had to go virtual due to Covid-19. They made these little kits to make smores at home, with an invitation to join a ‘virtual fire side chat’. This managed to bridge the gap when in-person events couldnt be held and maintained a personal connection with their customers, in a comforting way during a hugely isolated and stressful time. Swag used like this is a great way to make and keep customer relationships!

        12. TK Events

        Company Swag Idea - TK Events Inc - Screenshot from Instagram

        TK Events used drinkware and a wine cooler for their swag box, which aligned nicely with their niche as an events company. The high-quality items were branded with their client’s branding but the swag box came with a card from TK Events. The personal touch and the complementary colors make it a great swag box.

        13. Jag Realty

        Company Swag Idea - JAG Reality - Screenshot from Instagram

        The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way many customer facing companies do business. Branding facemasks like these from Jag Realty has become a great option for swag. A nice quality, comfortable facemask is something your client’s will use whenever they’re out the house – placing your brand in a highly visible space!

        14. B & G Design

        Company Swag Idea - BG Design - Screenshot from Instagram

        B & G Design are home designers who used their design skills to create these stunning branded swag packs. They used all the items that will be useful and visible, high quality materials and easily recognizable branding. We love it!

        15. Tea Drops

        Company Swag Idea - Tea Drops - Screenshot from Instagram

        Tea Drops sells these swag boxes as part of their regular inventory but they also use them for giveaways and to reward loyal customers. They combine their product, tea, with accessories to make a really nice little gift/swag pack that will be appreciated and used for a long time to come.

        16. North Point

        Company Swag Idea - North Point Printing Co - Screenshot from Instagram

        Printing company North Point made great swag boxes that will appeal to their creative customers in a fun and accessible way. They packaged them beautifully and used great quality items. What’s not to love?

        17. Broker Link

        Company Swag Idea - Broker Link Insurance - Screenshot from Instagram

        Broker Link Insurance used an on-the-go swag pack that contains a travel mug, lunchbox, pen, and notebook in a canvas tote bag. All the items are in company colors and are clearly branded with the full company name. This kind of distinctive branding stands out and is highly recognizable, and memorable.

        18. Loblaw Digital

        Company Swag Idea - Loblaw Digital - Screenshot from Instagram

        Loblaw Digital made these super cute swag packs with their own unique design on them. They include a tote, t-short, pins and stickers, and a water bottle. Quirky, attractive and distinctive, they’re more appealing than just company branding alone.

        19. Arcondis Group

        Company Swag Idea - Arcondis Group - Screenshot from Instagram

        Arcondis Group chose a stylish black backpack, notebook and silver pen for their swag packs. They’re simple, stand out and are great quality. The Acrondis name and logo are clearly visible but the items themselves don’t look like ‘freebies’ at all!

        20. Gold & Grain

        Company Swag Idea - Gold and Grain Detroit - Screenshot from Instagram

        Gold & Grain created these beautifully styled stationery sets for their company swag to celebrate their home city’s 320th birthday. This leverages their customers’ pride and love for their city, as well as their love for the company. So many warm fuzzy feelings here!

        21. Red Door

        Company Swag Idea - Red Door - Screenshot from Instagram

        Red Door chose sleek and modern travel cups for their company swag. Drinkware is always a good choice and these attractive cups are a great option!

        22. On the Mark Nutrition

        Company Swag Idea - On the Mark Nutrition - Screenshot from Instagram

        On the Mark Nutrition used insulated shakers that work well with their brand for their swag. The fact that their customers can use the branded shakers to make nutritional smoothies makes the item relevant, useful and ideally suited to their customers!

        23. Panera Bread

        Company Swag Idea - Panera Bread - Screenshot from Instagram

        Panera Bread used branded dog bandanas with a clever slogan for their swag. They encouraged their fans to use #panerapups and post pictures of their pups in their swag. This made the campaign interactive and got them some great organic social media content too.

        24. Perfect Perk Coffee

        Company Swag Idea -Perfect Perk Coffee - Screenshot from Instagram

        Perfect Perk Coffee made coffee lovers’ swag packs of coffee making tools for their employees. High-quality, branded tools are a great choice for enthusiasts in any niche.

        25. Riot Games

        Company Swag Idea - Riot Games - Screenshot from Instagram

        Riot Games swag packs are made for gamers and include a water bottle, a backpack, a funky hat and a cosy blanket – perfect for someone who will sit and game or code for hours!

        26. North American Coal

        Company Swag Idea - North American Coal - Screenshot from Instagram

        North American Coal gifted this swag to a valued employee. They chose a great brand for great quality items and had them branded with their logo. Swag as employee appreciation gifts are a great way to nurture employee relationships and boost company culture and loyalty.

        27. Legal Back Office

        Company Swag Idea - Legal Back Office - Screenshot from Instagram

        Legal Back Office used cleaver and funny text on their swag facemasks for their customers, who are also lawyers. Quirky and humorous messages, alongside company branding, are always a winner!

        28. Indeed

        Company Swag Idea - Indeed - Screenshot from Instagram

        Indeed gifted some baby-swag to an employee who had gone on leave for the birth of their child. This kind of swag is personal and shows appreciation to the employee. It also sends the message of the company being a family, and welcoming a new addition. Love it!

        29. Soul Cycle

        Company Swag Idea - Soul Cycle - Screenshot from Instagram

        Soul Cycle swag is also Soul Cycle merchandise. They create distinctive and funky gym bags, sweatshirts, shoes, water bottles and note books. The fact that the swag is the same as the merch, gives it a little boost in terms of how valuable it is perceived to be. In addition to that, they’re great quality and will be used for a long time, in the gym and on the street.

        30. The Sill

        Company Swag Idea - The Sill - Screenshot from Instagram

        The Sill makes these slogan t-shirts that really appeal to their plant-loving clientele! They also have tote bags, wall decals and stationery. When your swag really resonates with your audience, it will be worn with pride and become a positive talking point where you’re always mentioned!

        31. Full Story

        Company Swag Idea - Full Story - Screenshot from Instagram

        Full Story socks as swag are awesome. Adults love socks (and naps and all the other things we hated as kids) and a funky pair of socks will be appreciated, no matter what niche you’re in. They’re also an item that will be passed along if the recipient doesn’t want them, rather than being thrown out. We all know someone who loves funky socks!

        32. Salesforce

        Company Swag Idea - Salesforce - Screenshot from Instagram

        Salesforce swag includes plush toys of their various mascots, which are hugely popular! These really stand out from other swag products and are loved by adults, kids and fur babies alike (que super cute Instagram posts here!).

        33. LinkedIn

        Company Swag Idea - LinkedIn - Screenshot from Instagram

        And finally, LinkedIn used a water bottle and a rugby ball for their swag. This might seem incongruent for a brand that doesn’t have anything to do with sports but if you know your target audience well, you can use any item that they will love. Especially when your brand is well known and needs no introduction. There really are no hard rules for company swag, so if your audience will love it, go for it!

        4 Places to Order Your Company Swag

        Right, so now that you have some great company swag ideas to inspire you – let’s look at some of the best places to order your swag from!

        There are thousands of great company swag stores to get just the right swag for your business but these are the four we love.

        They offer a full range of promotional items, so you can definitely find the best fit for your niche and your target audience here:

        1. Zazzle

        Zazzle offers just about every item you can imagine! From stickers to electronics, tote bags, and accessories to travel mugs and flasks. No matter what you’re looking for, Zazzle will have a range of options to choose from.

        They do custom designs so you can tailor your items to fit your unique aesthetic, branding, and the vibe you want to create.

        Company Swag - Screenshot of the Zazzle Homepage

        They also offer a huge range of cool and quirky designs that you can use as-is, or alongside your branding.

        Zazzle also stands out for its great customer service, which is a major plus if you’re investing a lot into your company swag and need it to be perfect, and on time for specific events.   

        2. Allied Shirts

        For good quality t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hoodies, and athletic wear Allied Shirts is a great bet! They offer standard designs, a custom design service, and standard design templates that you can alter yourself on their website.

        This means you have flexibility in your design choices and can choose an option that works for your needs and budget.

        Company Swag - Screenshot of the Allied Shirts homepage

        One of the best things about Allied Shirts is that they have no minimum order size! This is a huge plus if you’re planning to order in bulk. You can place a small order first to be sure it’s exactly what you want before you commit to a bulk order!

        Allied Shirts also provides great customer service, quick turnaround times, and expedited shipping at no extra cost for when you need your order in a hurry.

        3. Café Press

        Café Press is an online marketplace for vendors selling customizable clothing and accessories, stationery, drinkware, home décor items, stickers, cards, and phone cases and accessories.  

        They offer custom ‘create your own’ designs, as well as a wide range of designs you can buy as-is. These include everything from graphic designs, illustrations, and text-based designs, to templates where you can customize the photos and wording.

        Company Swag - Screenshot of the Cafe Press Homepage

        A plus when dealing with Café Press is that they’re international and support various vendors for their products. Their customer service is excellent, as are their prices and quality.

        4. Red Bubble

        Red Bubble offers a great range of clothing, stickers, and magnets, stationery, and office items, phone cases and phone accessories, home décor items, and wall art.

        For company swag, we particularly like their pens, journals, mousepads, magnets, mugs, pins and tech accessories.

        Company Swag - screenshot of the Red Bubble homepage

        Red Bubble is based in Australia and provides independent artists a means of selling their unique designs on everything from mugs to laptop cases. They’re a great choice for funky and unique designs that will make your company swag stand out.

        Final Thoughts on Great Company Swag

        Company swag increases brand recognition; helps you break into new markets and fosters positive regard in your audience.  

        Done right, company swag combines marketing and promotional material with improved customer and employee experience, satisfaction, and loyalty. It is a cheap, creative solution with great ROI and a host of other benefits.

        The ideas we have covered here, along with the company swag stores we have featured, are all you need to get going!

        What will you swag first?

        References

        Advertising Specialty Institute: Global Ad Impressions Study (2020)

        Advertising Specialty Institute: Global Ad Impressions Study (2019)

        Element Three: 5 Ways Company Swag Boosts Company Culture

        Impact Plus: How to Choose Awesome Company Swag People Actually Want in 2020

        LinkedIn: 10 Promotional Product Ideas for Employee Appreciation Kits

        Sageworld: Let the Facts Do the Talking: 25 Stats About Promotional Products

        Zen Business: The Best Ways to Use Promotional Products to Market Your Business

        Frequently Asked Questions

        What makes a good company swag idea in 2021?

        Great company swag is high-quality, relevant and desirable to your audience, and recognizable as belonging to your brand. The most popular options in 2021 include pens, note books, drinkware, USB sticks and electronics, tote bags and outer-wear apparel. Check out the full article for more on how to choose the best swag for your brand and some great swag ideas to use.

        How do I order swag for my business?

        There are many great swag companies to buy from. You can order items with your branding on them, customized from templates or that are unique and designed just for you. You can order online and have the products delivered to your door. Some of the best swag companies to use are Zazzle, Allied Shirts, Cafe Press and Red Bubble. Check out the full article for some great swag ideas and more info on what to choose and where to get it from.

        What is company swag?

        Company swag refers to the promotional products that companies use to promote their brand. Swag is usually given away as free gifts to employees, customers, and prospective customers or leads. Company swag is used to promote brand awareness and recognition, gain impressions and boost engagement with the company. Swag can also be used to drive sales, measure market penetration and reach new target audiences. Check out the full guide for more on swag and how to use it for your business.

        Trigger Marketing: The Full 2021 Guide (+ Examples)

        Trigger marketing is a highly effective marketing technique. It gives you a way to reach your contacts with relevant, personalized messages that are precisely timed to reach your lead or customer at exactly the right time.

        Trigger marketing also allows you to automate and scale your campaign, without losing the personalization and customization you need to make the most of every opportunity.

        Throughout the customer journey, trigger-based marketing allows you to make contact at precisely the right moment, and provide a relevant and timely offer to drive engagement and increase your revenue.

        So, what exactly is trigger-based marketing? And how can you use it to maximize the efficacy of your marketing campaign, while also making it more efficient?

        In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about triggered marketing – what it is, what the benefits of trigger-based marketing are, and how to use it, and some key examples of trigger marketing messages to use in your business.  

        Let’s jump right in!

          What is Trigger Marketing?

          Trigger marketing is an automated marketing technique where predefined events or ‘triggers’ activate a specific action to be undertaken or a marketing message to be sent to a customer or lead.

          Triggers can be defined and set for any point in the customer journey. They’re ideal for marketing campaigns that require very precise and timely targeting, which is based on specific buyer behaviors.

          This means you can use it to send your leads and customers exactly the right message, at exactly the right time, based on any predefined event.

          Set triggers can be anything measurable by the automation software or CRM that you use, such as making a purchase, completing a form, opening/not opening an email, abandoning a cart, or even just spending more than a set amount of time on a certain section of your website.

          Triggered messages can be sent by any means of communication, like email, SMS, post, or instant message, which allows you to further customize and personalize your marketing to your prospects’ preferences.

          In addition to marketing messages, triggers can be used for internal actions like sending notifications, updating records, or prompting action from a salesperson.

          The Benefits of Trigger Marketing

          Trigger marketing is highly effective. According to a recent Blueshift Report, trigger-based marketing emails are 497% more effective than batch and blast emails, and mobile push triggers are 1490% more effective than batch push notifications.

          Image Text Says: Trigger-based marketing emails are 497% more effective than batch and blast emails
~Blueshift Benchmark Report 2020

          Trigger marketing, or event-based marketing, is so successful because it is inherently relevant and precisely timed.

          It also allows you to automate, segment, customize and personalize your marketing efforts and messaging, without doing it all manually.  This frees you up to focus on fine-tuning your campaign and maximizing performance.

          Using trigger-based marketing offers some great benefits, which include:

          Relevance and Timing

          Trigger-based marketing allows you to take highly relevant actions and send relevant messages, at exactly the right time. You can use events (or triggers) to initiate immediate, automated, actions.

          This means that your customer or prospect will receive it at the right time for them. They will get it when it is most relevant and convenient for them to receive it, rather than when it is most convenient for you to send it.

          You can also use the channel best suited to the trigger for your communication, which increases receptiveness and positive regard from your prospects. If they’re already on your website, a highly relevant and timely chat bot message is more likely to get an immediate response (and further action) than an email sent a few hours later.

          Automation and Efficiency  

          Automation allows for greater efficiency and accuracy in your campaign. Having predefined triggers initiate actions or messages, on autopilot, means you will never miss an opportunity to connect with your customers or leads.

          The precision of predefined triggers and the actions that initiate also allows for a level of customization and personalization that other automated processes, like bulk email dumps, do not.

          Having your processes automated, but still highly relevant, allows you and your team to focus on the creative aspects of your campaign, rather than the mundane tasks of segmenting lists and sending messages or updating records.   

          Customization and Personalization  

          Trigger marketing is a great way to create customized and personalized campaigns for each stage of your customer journey. Personalization is a vital component of marketing messaging, with 72% of consumers saying they only engage with personalized messaging.

          From your welcome email to your post-purchase and retargeting efforts, every stage can be tailor-made to suit the needs of your customers and keep them engaging with you to build trust.

          Trigger Marketing - Image Text Says "Personalization: 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging - SmarterHQ"

          Improved Customer Experience, Satisfaction, and Loyalty

          Providing a great customer experience is vital for success. Sending personalized messages that are highly relevant and perfectly timed makes your customers feel like you know what they need, and you’re making sure that they get it.

          Customers who feel valued and taken care of are customers who will buy more, more frequently, and spend more at each purchase. Great customer experience and satisfaction lead to higher levels of customer loyalty.

          Using your trigger marketing and automation to keep customers engaged and responsive builds trust and allows you to re-engage your customers and retain them. Improved customer loyalty also leads to greater customer advocacy, which is a key element in digital marketing success.  

          Increased Brand Awareness

          Keeping your leads happy and feeling like they’re seen and appreciated, at every stage of the buying cycle, ensures that you’re top of mind when they’re ready to buy. You’re also top of mind when they’re making a recommendation to others.

          Besides direct sales, brand awareness and customer advocacy are important aspects of any trigger marketing campaign as they lead to higher conversions down the line.

          Nurture Leads at Every Stage of the Customer Journey

          Nurturing leads and keeping them engaged with relevant, informative, and useful information at each stage of the customer journey is the best way to retain them until conversion.

          Trigger marketing is especially useful for nudging customers along down the sales funnel by identifying where they hesitate and addressing their reservations at that precise point on their journey.

          Increased Conversions and Repeat Sales  

          All the benefits listed above amount to one thing – more sales and higher revenues for your business. Triggered marketing campaigns are relevant, timeous, personalized, and customized for every stage of the customer journey.

          This maximizes the opportunities to convert sales, re-engage customers who have dropped out, and retarget customers for more repeat business.

          Trigger marketing also allows you to improve trust, customer experience, satisfaction, and loyalty – the cornerstones of a successful, long-term marketing strategy.

          How to Use Trigger Marketing

          Triggered marketing campaigns work best when your automated marketing triggers are precise and accurately defined, and the action they trigger is immediate and highly relevant to the receiver at that point in time.

          To achieve this, you need to consider the following five steps when you’re setting up your event or trigger-based marketing campaign:

          1. Know Your Buyer Persona

          Understanding your buyer persona very well is especially important for automated marketing campaigns, where there is no room for a flexible approach.

          An accurate and detailed customer or buyer persona will allow you to analyze the customer’s pain points, motivations, and challenges at every stage of their journey with you.

          This is how you find the right ways to personalize your communication and offerings, which leads to higher conversions, at each stage of the journey. Your automation processes can then take that information and implement them at scale – providing a great customer experience to as many prospects as possible.

          2. Identify Your Triggering Events and Set Your Automated Marketing Triggers

          Trigger marketing relies on software, which requires clearly defined ‘if/then’ criteria to be set so that an action can be initiated by a triggering event.

          Triggers can be based on anything your software can measure. That measurable ‘event’ or ‘trigger’ then initiates an action or sequence of actions.

          One way to identify where/when your triggers will be most effective, is to analyze your customer lifecycle and see where you lose customers. Where do customers drop off?

          Those points are where trigger-based communication and relevant, valuable offerings will be an effective way to pull them back in and keep them moving down the funnel.

          Look for actions your customers take that can be used as the ‘if’ in your ‘if/then’ equation. That is your trigger. Then you need to decide what the appropriate action is, for that specific that trigger. The action is your ‘then’.  

          3. Personalizing Your Offerings and Communication

          As 80% of customers are more likely to buy if they receive a personalized experience, the actions your automated marketing triggers initiate must be personalized and relevant.

          Personalizing what you offer and how you communicate with contacts at different stages of their journey is one of the most useful aspects of trigger-based marketing – use it to your full advantage! Craft your messages, offers, and methods to be as relevant and personal as possible.

          Useful information and offers, that are communicated immediately after the triggering event, are important for moving customers from one stage to the next, right up to your final conversion.

          You can also leverage some psychological triggers to make the most of your personalized offers and messages. Check out this video by Adam Erhart that outlines how this can work for you:

          4. Maximize the Benefits of Automation

          Identify where triggers can be used to initiate as many of your repetitive marketing tasks as possible. Look at your tasks and see which ones you do the most, like sending the same email to dozens of different recipients, and see how you can automate those tasks.

          That frees you and your team up to focus on the things that can’t be automated, like fine-tuning your campaign and crafting great offers and messages for your customers.   

          5. Analyze and Improve Your Campaign

          Once you have your campaign up and running, keep track of what works best and where you’re still losing customers.

          Focus on strengthening the weak points, adding triggers where you need them, and improving your successful offers. The more up-to-date and relevant your offers are, the better.

          This analysis is also where you can identify the points where non-automated contact is needed to retain someone in the pipeline and move them to the next point, where the automated processes can pick up again.

          4 Trigger Marketing Examples

          Trigger marketing can be as complex as your software and database allow. You can use it to automate and scale your pre-sale marketing messaging, and provide specific offers to specific segments of your customer database.

          As long as your triggers are defined and measurable, you can customize the rest to suit your needs and modify your campaign as you go.

          If you’re just getting started, here are some examples of the common events used in trigger-based marketing to you get you started:

          1. Welcome Messages

          Send your welcome message when someone signs up for your service, opts in to receive your newsletter, or creates an account with you.

          This is your opportunity to acknowledge them and show your appreciation for their action, as well as present an offer to move them to the next step or ensure that they continue to engage with you.

          The more personalized these messages are, the better. They’re often the first direct, one-on-one communication you will have with a customer and this is your opportunity to build trust and forge a relationship with them.  

          2. Follow-Up and Win-Back Messages

          If you have customers, clients, or subscribers who haven’t engaged with you for a set period, you can set a trigger to send them an email to re-activate them.

          These can be reminders alone, like an abandoned cart email, or a reminder combined with an offer, like an email with a discount code for a customer who hasn’t bought anything in the last six months.

          Messages like this can bring back customers who have faded away and aren’t active, or encourage customers who haven’t completed an action, like a purchase, to finish what they started.

          Make taking the desired action as easy as possible from these messages. Highlight the relevant information, like your shipping policy or what their discount code can get them, and include a direct link to checkout. 

          3. Purchase Confirmation Messages

          That moment when a customer makes an online purchase, especially the first purchase, is a key moment.

          They’ve placed their trust in you and given you their money, so it’s important to send them an immediate confirmation of their order, their payment, and your appreciation.

          This moment is where you can build trust, and transparency is important. Clearly set out what will happen next, what they can expect, and how they can contact you.

          This is the beginning of a new phase of your relationship and customer experience is more important than ever at this moment.

          4. Customer Loyalty Messages

          You can set triggers for key moments in your customer’s life, and in their relationship with you, to send personalized messages that demonstrate your appreciation.

          You can send them special offers or just a simple, personalized, message to celebrate things like their birthday, their third (any number) purchase with you, the anniversary of their first purchase, etc. 

          These kinds of messages maintain your relationship with your customer and make them feel special and appreciated. They also highlight your value to them, even when they haven’t just made a purchase.

          It costs less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one, and loyal customers tend to spend more than first-time customers too. They also make valuable referrals and advocate for your business, making them even more valuable.  

          Final Thoughts

          Triggered marketing campaigns offer a unique combination of personalization, relevance, and precise timing, with the convenience and efficiency of automated, blast campaigns.

          Trigger marketing is a highly effective technique that yields great results, especially when compared to blast campaigns that do not offer the same level of segmentation and customization.

          In this guide, we have covered everything you need to know about triggered marketing, so you can start your own campaign and reap all the rewards of an effective, personalized, campaign that runs on autopilot! Where will you start?

          References

          Blueshift: Trigger-Based Marketing Benchmark Report 2020

          Clever Tap: 10 Trigger Campaigns and Ideas to Engage Users

          HubSpot: 24 Data-Backed Reasons to Personalize Your Marketing

          Super Office: 37 Customer Experience Statistics You Need to Know for 2022

          WordStream: 5 Ways to Earn & Build Customer Loyalty

          Frequently Asked Questions

          What is triggered email marketing?

          Triggered email marketing refers to the use of marketing emails that are sent in response to a certain trigger (also known as an event). Triggers are predefined by the marketer and when a lead or customer completes the action, the trigger is activated and a message is immediately sent to the customer in response. Examples include order confirmation emails, and welcome emails when a prospective customer signs up for an account. Read the full guide for more info on trigger-based emails.

          Is trigger-based marketing the same thing as event-based marketing?

          Yes. The 'triggers' defined in trigger-based marketing are also referred to as 'events' - a certain, measurable, criteria that is met (which is an event, such an online form completion or email sign-up) and that triggers a message or offer to be sent to that customer by an automated system. Read the full guide for more info on the key events and triggers used in trigger-based marketing.

          What are some examples of trigger-based marketing?

          Any marketing message that is automatically sent by a system that recognizes a certain criteria has been met can be considered a trigger marketing message. Common examples include:
          1. Welcome emails sent when a customer first registers or signs up
          2. Follow-up and Win-back messages that are sent when a customer has not performed a desired action for a set period of time
          3. Purchase or Order Confirmation messages that are sent immediately after a customer confirms their order or purchase
          4. Customer Loyalty messages that are sent to keep customers engaged, such as personalized birthday messages and loyalty-based promotions
          Read the full guide for more info on examples of trigger-based marketing.

          13 Amazing PPC Management Tools to Skyrocket Your Campaign [2021 Update]

          PPC (Pay Per Click) ad campaigns are a powerful tool for driving traffic and increasing revenue. The problem is that they’re time-consuming and costly to manage!

          So, how do you streamline the process and automate as much of the work as possible, without compromising on the results of your campaign?

          The easy and effective solution is to use the right PPC management tools and software – software specifically designed to make PPC campaigns simpler, better and faster.

          The right software will automate the process and free you up to focus on the creative aspects of your campaign and to fine tune your process for optimal results.

          In this review, we look at13 of the most amazing PPC management tools for both businesses and Ad agencies alike.

          Our review covers the leading facets of each tool, relating to its core function, the pros and cons from real-life user reviews and an overall assessment of how useful, effective and user-friendly the software is.

          Let’s jump right in!

            PPC Management: Human vs Machine

            Human beings will always remain an essential part of PPC campaigns. No matter how good machines become, connecting with human emotions will always require a flexible and nuanced understanding of human needs and behavior.

            Machines thrive on data collection and fast analysis of data, but they do not know what to do with the data unless they have specific instructions on what is required.

            It takes a human being to identify which aspects of the data need to be collected and analyzed. Human insight is also required to determine which data is relevant and how to use it to make changes that will influence human behavior.

            Humans and machines have unique abilities and skills. Here is a rundown of the tasks that humans and machines are good at:

            Humans:

            • Creating and developing strategies.
            • Creativity and formulating new ideas.
            • Data interpretation.
            • Empathy; understanding human emotions and how to deal with them.
            • The selective use of prior knowledge.
            • Auditing machine results.

            These aspects fall into the human domain as machines are not capable of thinking or reading emotions. Machines are also incapable of selective functions, unless they have direct, specific, instructions to do so.

            Machines:

            • Pattern recognition.
            • Producing answers or results based on predefined instructions or criteria.
            • Data calculations.
            • Repetitive tasks using the same instructions.

            With the correct instructions, machines are capable of efficiently completing the above tasks without any undue errors.

            To change instructions, a human will have to input the relevant information, or program the machine to switch to new instructions, at a specific time or threshold.

            With PPC campaigns, both humans and machines are essential.

            On the software side, which is machine orientated, time and costs are saved through the use of effective PPC management tools.

            PPC management tools turn what would be a long, costly process into “on-tap” information, which contributes greatly to improved returns on your ad spend.

            PPC Management Tools - Image text says "PPC Visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors (WordLead)"

            How to Evaluate PPC Management Tools

            The very first thing to do is to understand how PPC management tools function, and to differentiate between software tasks and human tasks.

            PPC management software automates specific aspects of your PPC ad campaign. It is designed to accurately read the data-flow through your campaign, specifically on keyword recognition, which can be an uphill task if done manually.

            PPC management tools minimize the manual labor involved in managing a PPC campaign. They provide quick access to the data you need, allowing you to make real-time decisions to improve your strategy and track your results.

            To Evaluate PPC Management Software, You Should Ask the Following Questions:

            • Will the software improve your return on investment? You should look at the cost per click and cost per action, which is the number of clicks in order to convert a user into performing the action you require.
            • Are you getting a high enough Google quality score? Your quality score will determine where your ad is positioned on the page, which is mostly influenced by the click-through rate of your ad and the relevance of keywords, among other criteria.
            • Will you be reaching the widest target audience possible?
            • Are you be able to get qualified traffic while paying less attention to irrelevant clicks?
            • Will the software help to reduce costs that would otherwise be spent on irrelevant clicks?
            • Are you be able to learn more about your customers so you can amend or adjust your approach to offer better services?

            To answer these questions, you may need to trial out a potential software solution before you buy.

            Many PPC management tools offer a trial period before the first payment is due. Use this trial period to your benefit!

            We recommend that you research different software options beforehand and read reviews from credible sites so you can compare apples with apples.

            Then choose the ones you like best and do a free trial period to see if the value you gain from them is worth the investment.

            There are hundreds of options to consider! To make this easier for you, here is our selection of the best PPC management software available in 2021 for you to choose from:

            13 Best PCC Management Software to Use in 2021

            1. Opteo

            Opteo is a PPC managment tool that is specifically designed for Google Adwords. If your focus is solely on Google Ads, then Opteo is the go-to software for you.

            A big plus is an easy-to-use interface coupled with a friendly and efficient support team. Seeing as the software manages your campaign, and constantly delivers suggestions, you will save on ad spend.

            You can also consider options to enhance ad effectiveness for your approval. Furthermore, the software can handle multiple campaigns, which makes it ideal for digital ad agencies.

            Screenshot of Opteo PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Keyword management.
            • Bid management.
            • Budget and schedule control.
            • Search term analysis.
            • Over 40 different optimization tools.
            • AdWords analytics.

            Pros

            • Continuous real-time account monitoring.
            • You get optimization suggestions in real-time.

            Cons

            • No connection to Bing Ads/Microsoft. This must be managed seperately.

            Pricing

            • One month free trial
            • Basic: $97 p/m
            • Professional: $197 p/m
            • Agency: $397 p/m
            • Unlimited: $797 p/m

            Rating: G2 – 4.5/5 stars from 11 reviews

            Website: https://opteo.com/

            2. Google Analytics

            Seeing as Google owns over 90% of the search engine market, it will be wise to look at Google Analytics. And bonus! There are no costs are involved, as it is a free service.

            Analytics is part of Google’s PPC management tools, and the software provides essential data to helps companies manage the traffic on their websites.

            You will be able to see the location of visitors, the time spent on your site and the specific content viewed. This will give you a very good idea of what’s working and what isn’t, which allows you to streamline your site to improve UX. Improved user experience translates into actions taken and revenues generated.

            Screenshot of Google Analytics PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Detailed site movement reports.
            • Time period comparisons.
            • Identify returning visitors.
            • Tallies page visits and revenue per page.

            Pros

            • Essential data to manage site traffic more effectively.
            • Monitors visitor site interactions.
            • User-friendly.
            • Location mapping of visitors.
            • The dashboard can be personalized to suit your needs.
            • You can measure and create goals.

            Cons

            • Navigating through the data in the early stages can be a daunting task.
            • The android application needs to be improved.

            Pricing

            • Free service.

            Rating: G2 – 4.5/5 stars from 5361 reviews

            Website: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/

            3. Adalysis

            Adalysis automates both Google and Microsoft ads. In addition, there is a 14-day free trial that you can use to test the software. In essence, Adalysis is a time saver and provides real-time results making it possible to dig deeper into data from ad campaigns to focus on key aspects of the campaign.

            The software can automate and handle thousands of campaigns and ads that can be tested before they go live. A/B testing provides costs on click-through rates, conversions, and other useful metrics.

            The downside is not in the functions of the software, which is great but rather a costing issue because additional costs are levied to use the features on Bing.

            Screenshot of Adalysis PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Provides real-time insights.
            • A/B testing.
            • Bidding feature that provides suggestions and has a built-in tracker.
            • Budget control on spending.
            • Quality scores.
            • Campaign creation.

            Pros

            • Time saving tools.
            • Provides real-time results.
            • Automated to handle a large number of campaigns.
            • A/B testing before campaigns go live.

            Cons

            • Additional costs levied to use the features on Bing.
            • Doesn’t support PayPal.

            Pricing

            • $99 for a monthly spend of up to $50k
            • $199 for a monthly spend of up to $150k
            • $249 for a monthly spend of up to $250k
            • $499 for a monthly spend of up to$500k
            • Price on request for a monthly spend above $500k

            Rating: Capterra – 4.6/5 stars from 38 reviews

            Website: https://adalysis.com/

            4. Optmyzr

            Developed by ex-Google executives in 2013, Optmyzr takes repetitive tasks and makes them more profitable. The software works with Microsoft and Amazon and has received several awards over the years.

            Below is a screenshot of the Optmyzr dashboard, showing how campaign schedules can be adjusted.

            Optmyzr has found a home with agencies and large companies serviced by in-house teams.

            Strategies can be executed quickly, regardless of their size, diversity, or complexity, as the software is driven by machine learning. However, you remain in control, even with the automated bidding tasks.

            The focus is on testing and strategy, which allows marketers to optimize campaigns with a single click. In addition, the results improve budgets and bid accounts.

            Screenshot of Optmyzr PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • One click optimization.
            • Account blueprints to build more efficient workflows.
            • Enhancer scripts.
            • Bid Management.
            • Campaign Automator.
            • Budget Optimizer
            • PPC Insights.

            Pros

            • Google Ads data loads in real-time and has a powerful connection with Google’s API that is also accurate.
            • Meaningful budget suggestions that respond to market shifts.
            • Weekly email summaries.
            • Great shopping feed optimizer.
            • Effective PPC audit scores on keywords.
            • Outstanding customer support team.

            Cons

            • The absence of features like budget pricing per campaign level.
            • Monthly costs but the software does provide value for money with the immense savings that are possible.
            • There is no feature for a bulk ad uploader/creator to create hundreds of ads with split tests.

            Pricing

            • Free trial is available
            • Basic plan: $208 p/m
            • Pro-plan: $499 p/m
            • Pro + plan: $799 p/m
            • Enterprise plan: Custom Pricing

            Rating: G2 – 4.7/5 stars from 108 reviews

            Website: https://www.optmyzr.com/

            5. Adzooma

            Adzooma is fully integrated with Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. It uses AI and machine learning technology capable of serving multiple ads and accounts.

            The reporting feature is easy to access, helps identify underperforming ads and provides daily data analysis. The platform is user-friendly and allows you to fix problems immediately, while the software has unlimited scaling to accommodate website growth.

            Screenshot of Adzooma PPC Managent Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Actionable suggestions to improve campaign scores.
            • Create, manage and optimize paid ads.
            • PPC performance reports.
            • Customize reports.
            • Google Analytics integration.

            Pros

            • Actionable suggestions to improve campaign scores.
            • Seamless and stress-free implementation.
            • Great for beginners and professionals alike.
            • A real time-saver on repetitive ad tasks.

            Cons

            • Tutorials are not detailed.
            • Facebook automation can be better (according to their support team, upgrades are in the pipeline).

            Pricing

            • Essential Plan: Free
            • Plus Plan: £69 p/m (includes a dedicated account manager)

            Rating: Capterra – 4.2/5 stars from 18 reviews

            Website: https://www.adzooma.com/

            6. Bing Ads

            Bing Ads is a Microsoft product, and although considered small, the global monthly reach is in the region of half a billion people.

            Integration is important to Microsoft and is pivotal in its advertising tool. This is evident in the number of portals, ad agencies, and companies at your disposal.

            There have been great advances in keyword and bid targeting over recent years. The software allows for real-time reporting, and the same familiarity found in other Microsoft products, like Windows, makes navigating the dashboard very easy.

            Bing Ads is ideal for small businesses looking to expand their scope. However, there is still a way to catch up with Google as although the interface is similar, it is still in the early stages.

            Screenshot of Bing Ads PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Universal event tracking.
            • Microsoft Merchant Center.
            • Remarketing audiences.
            • Shared negative keywords.
            • Ad Editor.
            • Bing Ads AIP
            • Website exclusion.

            Pros

            • Less expensive option
            • Easy to set up and use.
            • Innovative tools added on an ongoing basis.
            • Searches are not limited.

            Cons

            • Microsoft is usually a few steps behind Google but compares very well.
            • Sometimes there is a lag in search material because results are not filtered to specific requests.
            • No video advertising re-marketing option.

            Pricing

            • There are no set payment plans as clients pay for every click on the ad. This allows clients to control their budget.

            Rating: G2 – 3.5/5 stars from 327 reviews

            Website: https://www.bing.com/

            7. Adespresso

            Screenshot of Adespresso PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Focused on three platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Google, Adespresso allows marketers to create campaigns in minutes and launch them across multiple platforms.

            Testing is hands-on with the split testing tool, which allows access to specific results and performance metrics.

            Data stored in the Adespresso cloud can be retrieved for later use and their services attract ad agencies, e-commerce, and small businesses.

            Their main strength is they are a one-stop shop that does away with multiple accounts and all the tools for an effective campaign are at your fingertips.

            Main Features

            • Adespresso cloud for data storage.
            • Manage all accounts in one place.
            • Create campaigns across three channels.
            • Analytics and actionable insights.
            • Global collaboration.
            • Seamless client onboarding.

            Pros

            • Very easy to use the different tools and create campaigns.
            • Monitoring ads is convenient because they are organized in a single panel.
            • The ability to create ads from different platforms in one place.
            • Well designed admin panels.
            • Campaign optimization and split testing.

            Cons

            • Poor support team service.
            • Some users found the monthly costs to be too high for their needs.
            • Occasional technical difficulties.

            Pricing

            • Free 14-day trial
            • Starter: $49 p/m
            • Plus: $99 p/m
            • Enterprise: $259 p/m

            Rating: G2 – 3.3/5 stars from 47 reviews

            Website: https://adespresso.com/

            8. Spyfu

            Spyfu is keyword-driven, providing the most profitable keywords that competitors are using. With software capable of tracking the movements of a domain over the last 15 years, you get a clear picture of market trends.

            The data reveals where on Google the domain has shown up, listing all Adwords keywords, organic rank, and every different type of ad used. The software empowers marketers to track competitor AdWords through the many tools at their disposal. This type of advantage enables businesses to stay in line with their competitors.

            Screenshot of Spyfu PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Tracks keyword ranking.
            • Google Ads competitor keyword spy tool
            • Monitors PPC competitors.
            • Finds competitor keywords you don’t already use.
            • Competitor Google Ads campaign and Ad test history.

            Pros

            • The ability to search competitor keywords saves a great deal of time and money.
            • Affordable method of tracking ad campaigns; yours and your competitors’.
            • Helpful video tutorials.
            • Competitor information helps to identify weak points in your own campaigns.
            • Provides valuable information like ad spend, competitor listings and keyword listings.

            Cons

            • No database for German speaking countries.
            • Keyword ranking reports can be improved on.
            • Extra keyword searches must be requested.
            • Time between reports does not reveal current keyword trends.

            Pricing

            • Basic: $39 p/m
            • Professional: $69 p/m
            • Unlimited: $129 p/m

            Rating: G2 – 4.6/5 stars from 449 reviews

            Website: https://www.spyfu.com/

            9. KWFinder

            This software primarily focuses on income-generating keywords, which are low SEO difficulty combined with high search volume keywords.

            Keyword search and creation are made easy with the software. It also has the capacity to look up other domains to view keywords and their placement. Below is an example of keyword ratings:

            The KWFinder software will generate thousands of suggestions from a few basic ideas. Once the keywords are selected, marketers can use the keyword analyzer, which is the top tool to study trends, PPC competition, CPC average cost, and keyword difficulty.

            Long-tail keywords are short phrases that are growing in popularity, and the software focuses on these phrases.

            Screenshot of KWFinder PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Find hidden long-tail keywords.
            • Finds competitor’s keywords.
            • Google Suggest Keyword source.
            • Import keywords in bulk.
            • Filter keywords that are not profitable.
            • SERP analysis and SEO metrics.
            • Keyword Planner alternative.

            Pros

            • Data quality is very good with a pleasing and practical interface.
            • Great rank tracker tool as you can easily keep track of multiple projects.
            • You can sign in and can start using it immediately.
            • Top notch integration and you can view data through a wide range of tools, each with their own specifics.
            • User-friendly.
            • Continuous developments and improvements on the tools.

            Cons

            • Lacks the ability to automatically calculate all the Keyword Difficulties when doing keyword research.
            • Limited keyword search per day on the basic plan, which is limited to 100 words.

            Pricing

            • 10-day Free Trial
            • Basic: $29.90 p/m
            • Premium: $39.90 p/m
            • Agency: $79.90 p/m

            Rating: Software Advice – 4.7/5 stars from 35 reviews

            Website: https://kwfinder.com/

            10. Google Keyword Planner

            This is primarily a Google keyword tool with outstanding keyword choices that help SEO writers create eye-catching content.

            The tool has been around for a long time. It is supported by other Google tools to create a more comprehensive keyword planner, that can be used on different platforms as well as process bulk keyword searches.

            Screenshot of Google Keyword Planner PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • You can set a monthly budget cap.
            • Smart technology to help improve ads.
            • Has a Google Ads help center.
            • Helps to filter keywords.
            • Assists with the right terms.
            • Suggests most relevant keywords for your campaign.

            Pros

            • Helpful in finding useful keywords.
            • Search for keywords in bulk.
            • Supported by other Google tools.

            Cons

            • Limited features compared to other keyword tools on the market.
            • Limited to Keyword research only.

            Pricing

            • Set a budget cap and never pay more. No contracts so you can start and stop at any time.

            Rating: Capterra – 4.6/5 stars from 23 reviews

            Website: https://ads.google.com/intl/en_za/home/tools/keyword-planner/

            11. JumpFly

            JumpFly is a dedicated PPC management agency that works in association with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to optimize PPC ad campaigns.

            For less tech-savvy businesses, using an agency proficient in PPC management is the way to go. They have the blueprint for success, and the experience behind them.

            They make use of their own proprietary software and d dedicated account executive is assigned to each client.

            The management process is divided into two phases. Phase one is a complete market analysis and drawing up a comprehensive strategy. Phase two deals with legal issues and strategy changes to streamline the campaign.

            Screenshot of Jumpfly PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Full Scale Paid Search.
            • Social media advertising.
            • Amazon advertising.
            • Revenue driving SEO strategy.

            Pros

            • High conversion rate with qualified leads.
            • Social media intergration.
            • Strong partner statuses.
            • Money back guarantee.
            • Free PPC audit.
            • 24/7 Analytics dashboard.
            • Call tracking.

            Cons

            • Selective about their clients.
            • Only focused on PPC.
            • Minimum monthly ad spend.
            • All pricing on request.

            Pricing

            • Because JumpFly is a PPC Management agency, their fees are tailor-made for each individual client.

            Rating: Featured Customers – 4.7/5 stars from 1357 reviews

            Website: https://www.jumpfly.com/

            12. SEMRush

            SEMRush offers comprehensive marketing and PPC management tools, which are highly rated as far as value is concerned.

            Users can begin with the basics and add on tools as needed. There are six different categories, and each one is equipped with an outstanding real-time reporting mechanism.

            The modules and categories are closely integrated. If one report is changed, the whole platform updates in real-time. SEMRush has all the tools to save time and increase productive traffic, and ultimately increase revenue.

            Screenshot of SEMRush PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Real-time data.
            • Real-time analytics.
            • API.
            • Activity tracking and alerts/notifications.
            • Performance metrics.
            • Third party integrations.

            Pros

            • Over 50 tools on SEO.
            • Very fast Keyword research tools.
            • Core features focus on Keywords.
            • Works fantastic as an SEO platform and delivers results.

            Cons

            • Can be tricky to navigate through all the tools.
            • UX range of tools are great.
            • Some users find the service too expensive.
            • Sales staff try and push new deals instead of supporting old deals.

            Pricing

            • Free test period on Pro and Guru Plans
            • Pro: $119.95 p/m
            • Guru: $229.95 p/m
            • Business: $449.95 p/m

            Rating: Capterra – 4.6/5 stars from 1394 reviews.

            Website: https://www.semrush.com/

            13. QuanticMind

            QuanticMind is a next level PPC management tool as it is AI-driven to optimize revenue streams and get the best return on investment.

            Their AI software finds hidden patterns in data that define different customer buying habits and utilizes this data to get the upper hand on PPC management. This is achieved by integrating with other online tools.

            The intent in particular keywords is identified to maximize effective keyword usage. The software can update e-commerce stores on a continuous basis, and AI can enhance long-tail keywords while constantly updating, which translates to real-time PPC campaign management.

            Screenshot of QuanticMind PPC Management Tools Homepage

            Main Features

            • Digital marketing services.
            • Marketing intelligence platform.
            • Search marketing.
            • Unified data sets.
            • Fully optimized bidding.
            • Revenue funnel visibility.
            • Expanded keyword targeting.
            • Conversion tracking.
            • Customer profiles and tracking.

            Pros

            • Scale and grow with your business.
            • Powerful statistical software.
            • Great visulization.
            • AI-driven software.
            • Enhanced long-tail keywords.
            • Consistently updating for real-time results.

            Cons

            • Limited insight on how bid algorithms make keyword changes.
            • Support team are not very helpful.

            Pricing

            Rating: Capterra – 4,4/5 stars from 17 reviews

            Website: https://quanticmind.com/

            Final Thoughts and Our Two Top Picks

            Using the right PCC management software frees up a lot of time in any business, as it is mostly automated. This time can be better utilized by focusing your attention on the effectiveness of ad campaigns and changing what is lagging, to boost your revenue and minimize your ad spend.

            All the PPC management tools we have reviewed here are great choices. However, two stood out to us. Here are our two top picks:

            Top Pick #1: Opteo

            If you are looking for easy to navigate software, Opteo will suit your needs. The software was designed for Google AdWords but has beneficial metrics that are lacking in Google AdWords. Opteo is a great choice. They’re an award-winning software that is well priced and performs consistently.

            Top Pick #2: Optmyzr

            Optmyzr software is also a sound investment as it is designed to work with Microsoft and Amazon, two of the leading PPC platforms. They have also won many awards over the years, a testament to their passion for ‘getting it right’ with PPC campaign management.

            References:

            Best Company: Jumpfly Reviews

            Capterra: Software Reviews

            Clickcease: The Best Software for PPC Success in 2021

            Featured Customers: Jumpfly Customer Reviews

            G2 Crowd: Software Reviews

            Google Ads: Keyword Planner

            Marketerhire: PPC Tools

            Microsoft Advertising: Small Business Solutions

            Simplilearn: Man Vs Machine – Who’s Winning at PPC

            Software Advice: Software Reviews

            Webfx: How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Bing

            Webfx: How Often to Check PPC Campaigns

            Wordstream: PPC Software

            Frequently Asked Questions

            How often should PCC campaigns be checked?

            People in the know recommend weekly check-ins. However, new campaigns should be checked daily. Sadly, over 70% of companies wait longer than a month before checking their campaigns. A good PPC management tool will help you keep tabs on your campaign. Check out the full review for the best PPC management tools to use.

            What advantage does Opteo have over Google AdWords?

            Opteo is all about improving tasks to get better results. It uses advanced algorithms that provide additional metrics that Google AdWords does not have. In short, Opteo is an advanced diagnostic and performance measuring tool. Check this review for more details on Opteo and other great PPC management tools.

            Is it wise to start with basic software and upgrade as my website grows?

            Many small businesses do this, but the more value you get from the software, the more you will want to expand your tools. Take Spyfu, for example. You can start small and add modules later or upgrade your subscription to a more advanced package. Check this review for more details.

            16 Best Converting Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples in 2021 (Full Guide)

            Lead magnets are a powerful way to boost traffic to your site, and increase your conversion rate. They’re one of the best ways to attract a new customer and establish a relationship with them, before they have even decided to try your business.

            Lead magnets provide useful targeting, communication and relationship building opportunities that you can use to leverage sales, good will and positive public regard for your business.

            So, where do you begin? What kind of lead magnets will work for your business and your ideal customers? How do you create and execute your lead magnet strategy?

            In this guide, we cover what a lead magnet is, the benefits of using lead magnets and how to use them at each stage of your lead funnel.

            We also provide 16 effective lead magnet ideas and examples for you to use in your business, and a full review of the three best lead magnet software tools to use.

            Let’s jump right in!

              What Is A Lead Magnet?

              A lead magnet is typically a value exchange where you provide the value, and the site visitor ‘pays for it’ by sharing their contact details with you.

              It can be seen as using an incentivized marketing tool to increase form fills. However, there must be genuine value for the visitor in your offer, as this reflects the sincerity of your business and automatically builds trust.

              Lead magnets create and open interaction channels, which are important if you want to direct your visitor further down your funnel. First-party data is becoming a necessity in a world where cookies are fading away!

              Although lead magnets are often associated with the top of a funnel, they can be used at any stage in the funnel.

              Your lead magnet ideas must be designed in such a way that no matter where visitors enter your funnel, you will be able to entice them to stay. This gives you the opportunity to guide them through your funnel.

              In essence, lead magnets attract visitors to your funnel and keep them there. It’s all about effective and smart communication.

              Lead Magnet Benefits

              The benefits of using lead magnets include:

              • Provides a direct lead connection and opens up other platforms to connect with qualified leads. You can get cell phone numbers to provide SMS alerts or cold call potential customers. Email broadcasting also becomes easier. It is important to have an agree button to safely process collected data to stay within the General Data Protection Regulations.
              • According to statistics, 95% of visitors will not buy on their first visit to your site. You will also never see 70% of your first-time visitors again. Lead magnets enable you to catch visitors in the research stage and develop communication with them to increase the odds of a conversion.
              • You boost your credibility by offering or sharing useful information, material, tips, or instructions, and visitors will find your expertise appealing.
              • If your lead magnet offer is really great, visitors will often share it with their contacts. A good example is Hotspot who in 2017 created over 130 lead magnets, which were shared 54000 times on social media platforms.
              Lead Magnet Ideas - Image Text says "51% of B2B buyers are willing to share information about themselves or their company to register for webinars, making webinars more attractive to B2B buyers than any other lead magnet (Demand Gen Report 2020)"

              How a Lead Magnet Funnel Works

              A lead magnet should hook visitors into following your instructions that guide them through your marketing funnel.

              As you can see from the image below, there are 6 different stages to a marketing funnel. Each stage may require different lead magnets that appeal to the visitor’s need at that time or stage in the funnel.

              The 6 Stages of a Lead Funnel

              1. Awareness: A visitor has become aware of your brand and lead magnet.
              2. Interest: Your content presentation or lead magnet has sparked an interest.’
              3. Consideration: The visitor will consider the value of your lead magnet offer, as well as your products or services on offer.
              4. Intent: Lead magnets initiate intent or serve as a call to action.
              5. Evaluation: Visitors will evaluate their experience on your site, as well as the value in your lead magnet, before they make a final commitment.
              6. Purchase: This is where intent becomes action, and a visitor becomes a customer.
              Source: WordStream

              Your lead magnet should relate to your brand in some way. After all, it is your brand that you are promoting. Create a sense of urgency for your offers with a limited time frame or a specific number of qualifying visitors.

              Know your audience and tailor your lead magnet ideas to fit their needs. It’s vital to stipulate a clear call to action, that visitors must sign up for and agree to in order to receive your lead magnet offer.

              Some Core Considerations for Lead Magnet Ideas Include:

              • Educational material.
              • Proprietary data.
              • Prize-based incentives.
              • Time-sensitive information.
              • Free consultations and trials.

              16 Effective Lead Magnet Ideas and Examples to Use

              1. Ebook

              Ebooks are fairly easy to generate from your blog articles. Simply take one of your most read blog articles related to your brand or the core service you provide and change the format by adding an introduction and conclusion.

              This is a very popular lead magnet idea, as the offer already exists and only has to be packaged differently.

              The bonus about offering a free Ebook is that it can be saved and read at a more convenient time. However, the faster a visitor uses a lead magnet, the better the odds of a conversion. So don’t make your Ebook too long but do make sure it provides value to the reader.

              Here is a great example of an Ebook lead magnet posted by Ringostat:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea EBook
              Source: Ringostat

              2. Guides and Tips

              Guides and tips are created to solve visitor or customer problems. Therefore, they should be easy to follow and understand.

              You can create a step-by-step guide to boost your credibility and establish yourself as an authority or thought leader on the topic. People will feel confident to contact you for assistance and confident in the expertise of your brand.

              Avoid writing about specific products or services you offer, as visitors may view this as sugar-coating information to land a sale. In the early stages of the funnel, this could be disastrous. Rather write a guide or tips that will generate interest in the greater sphere of your brand. Try not to link your guide or tips to benefits directly related to your company.

              A good example of a guide from HubSpot titled “The Definitive Blueprint for Lead Management”:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Guides and Tips
              Source: HubSpot

              3. Checklist

              Checklists produce a high conversion rate, and it’s no wonder as they are so easily and readily consumed. They condense insightful information into one, actionable list.

              You can create checklists from your site content by summarizing your popular blog posts and presenting them as a checklist. You then introduce a two-step option form, and you have a powerful lead magnet.

              The idea is to simplify information and create a checklist. You can also have your checklist in a printable format or in Google sheets.

              Below is an example of a checklist lead magnet posted on Optinmonster:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Checklist
              Source: Optinmonster

              4. Additional Content

              This can be a tricky lead magnet if you charge for the additional content. However, with interest peaked by an introduction to the content, you can request that visitors complete a sign-up form to access the additional content.

              For a captured audience, this is an easy sell to get their contact details. It’s also a reference point to use as you draw their attention to your brand and work on awareness and their specific needs.

              Try to avoid charging for additional content as your competitors will surely undercut you or offer the same for free. This will leave you out in the cold.

              Here is a practical example published by Ringostat of an additional content lead magnet:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Additional Content
              Source: Ringostat

              5. Templates

              Templates are a sure-fire way of connecting with customers because they offer tangible value in the form of time-saving. Everyone knows how long it takes to create document templates, and if they are available, why not use them?

              All types of templates can be created with a host of features and formats. The more user-friendly and professional the template is, the more people will use them.

              As a lead magnet, you can request email details or have the visitor subscribe to your newsletters or channel. This will allow you to provide expert advice and increase loyalty at the same time.

              A great example of providing a free template and initiating interaction:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Templates
              Source: Ringostat

              6. Partner Referral Discounts

              Discounts through referrals are powerful lead magnets. This is an automatic savings offer to your customer that cannot be ignored.

              You will have to reach out to partners and coordinate the discount promotion you are offering with them. Anyone who signs up over a specified time period and uses a specific code qualifies for the stipulated discount.

              Existing customers who have had a good experience with your company can also be motivated to refer others who can take advantage of the discount on offer. Word-of-mouth referrals are very powerful.

              Below is an example of a referral program offering rewards created by Buyapowa:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Partner Referral Discounts
              Source: Buyapowa

              7. Webinars and Masterclasses

              Arranging a free webinar or masterclass is as simple as getting a few subject specialists, who have an open demeanor with people, together and letting them talk about their subject.

              Try to create your webinar or masterclass to focus on your specific industry. In this way, you will be able to offer greater insights into the industry and position yourself and your brand as an authority in that space.

              However, be careful to not get too bogged down in the details – it is important for your webinar or masterclass to be accessible to your audience.

              Registration for the event will require the participant’s basic contact details. The bonus is that you get to listen to their concerns and respond in real-time as any expert should. A follow-up mail is always a big plus.

              Here is an example offering a free webinar:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Webinars and Masterclasses
              Source: Ringostat

              8. Event Tickets

              Although event tickets may not have anything to do with your company or industry, they’re still one of the best lead magnet ideas!

              People love free stuff, especially if it is for something they enjoy. For example, you can offer free event tickets (sports matches, concerts, etc.) to a certain number of people who sign up with your company for a free demo or consultation. Winners can be announced on your website and/or via email or SMS, which creates a second marketing opportunity.

              This may cost you a bit, but you can expect to get a lot of sign-up traffic if the event draws big crowds.

              The example below published by ‘Get A Response’ stipulates a cut off time to enter the ticket draw, which is an important detail to remember:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Event Tickets
              Source: Getapesponse

              9. Quizzes

              People enjoy quizzes that prove their worth and tell them how wonderful they are. Participation will require completing a sign-up form at the end of the quiz to receive the results via email.

              Although the quiz may have nothing to do with your business, you will have made contact and can discover more about the customers’ needs. Quizzes are one of the more creative lead magnet ideas, and can be used to gather useful info for your customer persona too.

              Below is an example of the many fun quizzes people can entertain themselves with:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Quizzes
              Source: Ringostat

              10. Giveaways

              Giveaways may require a bit of detailed planning, but they are fantastic lead magnet ideas when executed correctly.

              Your giveaways should be relevant to your company, as they will give you leverage to promote your products or services. Discounted or a free subscriptions for a set period are popular choices too.

              Remember, making contact and driving communication is your objective.

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Giveaways
              Source: Wordstream

              11. Online Demos

              If you deal with complicated equipment, software, or any difficult-to-follow subject, then online demos are a great way to engage your audience.

              You can arrange a one-one demo and use the time to answer questions that eliminate doubt. In this way, you get to learn a great deal about your prospective customer and how you can best solve their problems and garner their business.

              Here is a fine example created by SemRush on how to create a “request demo” lead magnet:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Online Demos
              Source: SemRush

              12. Cheat Sheets

              Cheat sheets are easy to create. They are short, condensed, pieces of vital information to make tasks easier. Everyone loves a life-hack!

              Very similar to guides or reports, with the big difference being cheat sheets deal with specifics and offer precise solutions.

              To print or download a cheat sheet, the customer must complete a registration form for your records. Here is a prime example:

              13. Video Training

              Video training can produce hot leads because customers have already shown an interest in the subject, product, or service by watching the video.

              Keep your video short and offer assistance toward the end of the video. Be sure that you provide a quality video with good sound and picture quality.

              Here is a video on lead magnet ideas posted by Digital Marketer:

              14. Resource Library

              This is one of the top lead magnet ideas because you give potential customers a centralized resource channel. With this, you can bag a number of lead magnets in one place.

              Depending on your business, you can even dedicate your landing page to presenting your resource library, as is the case with the Blogging Wizard below:

              15. Stock Images

              Businesses, both large and small, need great photographs to promote their company. The demand for new images is ever increasing!

              As a partnership deal, you can offer free membership to stock photo sites with free images available. Alternatively, if it fits in with your business model, you can host an image bank on your site with a promotion on free images or photographer promotions.

              There are many ways to use stock images as lead magnets:

              16. Challenges

              Challenges are a great way to get people excited and involved in something that will benefit them.

              As lead magnet ideas, creating a challenge is not only fun but rewarding as people will inevitably speak about how well they did in your challenge and share the results on social media. And this generates leads!

              Any business type can come up with great challenge ideas. The concept is raging like a wildfire on social media platforms. All you have to do is tap into the adventurous spirit of your audience!

              Here is an example of a challenge lead magnet focused on creating lead magnets posted by StartUp Bonsai:

              Picture of Lead Magnet Idea Challenges
              Source:

              Watch this quick video posted by Evelyn Weiss on her YouTube Channel to give you an added perspective on lead magnets:

              3 Great Lead Magnet Tools to Use in 2021

              1. OptinMonster

              OptinMonster is a powerful lead generation tool. It is designed to assist bloggers, eCommerce websites, marketing agencies, and all types of small businesses.

              The tool will enable you to grow your email list. You can convert visitors that are leaving by using popups, scroll boxes, welcome mats and much more. Intelligent targeting is also offered, as well as A/B testing to assist with data-driven decisions.

              There are more than 500 marketing integrations at your disposal. Use these to optimize your company’s interaction with visitors to your site. You can get a clear picture of who your visitors are, and create personalized interactions that will lead to conversions.

              You are also able to view detailed conversion analytics that shows which pages are performing best.

              Lead magnet ideas: Screenshot of Lead Magnet Tool OptinMonster Homepage
              Source: OptinMonster

              Main Features

              • Monsterlinks: Convert a link or image into an opt-in form.
              • Geo-Location Targeting: Personalize campaigns based on visitor location and improve conversions.
              • Exit-Intent Technology: Detect user mouse behaviour and show them a targeted message as they are leaving.

              Their Drag and Drop Builder offers pre-made templates that can be customized and have the following features:

              • Yes/No Forms: Great for multi-step campaigns to improve interaction and sales.
              • Mobile-Friendly Popups: best for smartphones and tablets.
              • Custom Success Message: Customize thank you messages to help boost interaction.
              • Canvas: You can create your own designs from scratch without the need to code.
              • MonsterEffects: There are over 26 animation and sound effects to choose from.

              Price

              • Basic plan: $9 p/m billed annually.
              • Plus plan: $19 p/m billed annually.
              • Pro plan: $29 p/m billed annually.
              • Growth plan: $49 p/m billed annually.

              Website: https://optinmonster.com/

              2. Poptin

              With an emphasis on popups and forms, Poptin helps website owners convert visitors into leads, subscribers, and sales.

              Their drag and drop editor and templates give you the creative freedom to create campaigns to your liking.  You also have control of how you wish to trigger and target your popups.

              Poptin is user-friendly, and campaigns can be created with ease.

              Lead magnet ideas: Screenshot of Lead Magnet Tool Poptin Homepage
              Source: Poptin

              Features

              • Drag and Drop: You can create popups and forms with ease, and you can make changes to suit your requirements.
              • A/B Testing:  Create A/B tests within a minute. Compare data such as timing, interactions, templates and triggers to determine the more effective campaign.
              • Exit-Intent and Triggers: Smart triggers show your Poptin at the highest change in your visitor behavior for a conversion. The exit-intent trigger will recover visitors before they leave your site.
              • Display Rules: Show different popups to different visitors based on their previous interactions, location, traffic source, time, and more. Your popups will not be displayed again to visitors who have already converted.

              Price

              • Free plan (limited to 1000 visitors and 1 domain, with unlimited popups)
              • Basic plan: $19 p/m.
              • Pro plan: $49 p/m.
              • Agency plan: $99 p/m.

              Website: https://www.poptin.com/

              3. Optimonk

              Optimonk tools help to convert your website traffic into sales. With their tools, you can create, customize, and launch popups, sidebars, notification bars, and full screens without the need to code.

              Cart abandonment is greatly reduced through monitoring visitor behaviour. You can also personalize the visitor experience by recommending products they like.

              Collecting feedback is made easy and connecting on social media is an integral part of the process.

              Optimonk has a partner program with eCommerce stores to help your business grow while you earn from these partners.

              Lead magnet ideas: Screenshot of Lead Magnet Tool Optimonk Homepage
              Source: Optimonk

              Features

              • Triggering: Monitor visitor interaction and trigger messages when specific actions are taken.
              • Targeting: There are a number of tools to discover more about your visitors so you can target them effectively.
              • Design and customization: It’s easy to create an eye-catching message.
              • Conversion Tools: Uses features like Dynamic Text Replacement and cart-based targeting.
              • Integrations: Connect to any tool you use.
              • Security: Steps have been taken to secure your campaigns.

              Price

              • Free plan (limited to 3000 page views and 1 domain)
              • Essential plan: $29 p/m. 2 months free with annual payment.
              • Growth plan: $79 p/m. 2 months free with annual payment.
              • Premium: $199 p/m, 2 months free with annual payment.
              • Master plan: Price on request.

              Website: https://www.optimonk.com/

              Final Thoughts

              Lead magnets are an essential and powerful tool to use for online marketing and sales. They allow you to start a conversation with your potential customers, build trust and credibility, keep your potential customers engaged, and ultimately, increase your conversions.

              In this guide, we have covered everything you need to know about lead magnets, from what they are, their benefits, examples and practical lead magnet ideas, to the tools you can use to manage them and boost your sales.

              Which lead magnet ideas will you be using first?

              References

              Backlinko: What Are Lead Magnets

              Conversion Sciences: Why Great Lead Magnets Work (And Why Yours Aren’t Performing)

              HubSpot: How to Create and Execute a Successful Lead Gen Strategy

              Neil Patel: How to Craft Lead Magnets Your Customers Can’t Ignore

              OptinMonster: 9 Lead Magnets to Increase Subscribers

              Frequently Asked Questions

              What’s the main thing to consider when creating a lead magnet?

              All lead magnets should provide value to your audience. Building a relationship with customers involves trust and the value you provide helps to build trust which builds relationships. Check out the full guide for more info on lead magnets and some great lead magnet ideas.

              What makes a good video training or webinar lead magnet?

              Begin by briefly introducing yourself and your company, then get straight to the point and offer value in your presentation. Toward the end give your audience the option to contact you with any queries or to request a demo or speak to a consultant. Check out our full guide for more details on how to make a great video lead magnet.

              Will collecting email addresses really boost my business?

              Once you have a visitor’s email address, you have their interest and a line of direct communication. You can send new lead magnets linked to campaigns, promotions and other value ventures your business undertakes that will increase your reach and boost your revenue. This article has some great lead magnet ideas to bolster your email list.

              Buzz Marketing: Easy Guide to Creating Buzz in 2021

              In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Buzz Marketing.

              Buzz marketing is a strategy that the world’s top brands use to get their products noticed. Big names like Dropbox, Uber and Slack all got their breaks by creating hype about their products before they even launched.

              Here, we’ll break down just how you can use this tactic to get people talking about your brand. We’ll also take a look at some great examples of buzz marketing success stories.

                What is Buzz Marketing?

                Buzz marketing is ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. It’s the practice of generating hype or ‘buzz’ around a product launch. 

                It’s simple. Get people talking about you, and you’ll get a rush of traffic — which can translate to a higher conversion rate.

                via Marketing91

                When it works, you’ve struck gold. Take Skip’s Kitchen, a burger joint in California.

                Years ago, they started a gimmick. Before paying, diners would choose a card from their waiter’s deck of cards. If they picked the Joker, their meal was on the house. 

                Word spread fast. Before long, their restaurant was packed with people hoping to be lucky. They kept this novel idea going, and today people still flock there for the thrill of a free meal. To date Skip’s hasn’t spent any money on advertising. 

                Skip’s is a successful example of buzz marketing. Be bold, try something different, and you’ll get people talking about you. 

                Buzz marketing isn’t a new idea itself. But the advent of the digital age has changed the game. Online networks have proven to be powerful at spreading hype about new trends.

                How Buzz Marketing Is Effective

                So how does it work? Buzz marketing is handy because it gets your customers to do the work for you. 

                Social buzz grows organically. Whether through web referrals or hashtags, the conversation keeps on going without your intervention. It’s a hands-off tactic, taking less of your time and money. 

                Plus, by casting a wide net, your campaign can rope in customers who wouldn’t be your typical target market.

                And it’s effective. In fact, buzz marketing works better than advertising because it harnesses the power of ‘group think’. 

                Humans are social and want to be accepted by the group. So we’re more easily persuaded by people we know. We’d rather trust a recommendation from a friend (or an influencer), because we believe it’ll be more honest than advertising that comes directly from a company.

                Part of all of this is our natural ‘FOMO’. We want to be plugged in to the latest topics of conversation, so we can feel included and relevant.

                Now let’s take a look at how you can spread buzz for yourself:

                6 Strategies to Create Buzz

                Engineering ‘buzz’ takes a healthy dose of luck. The internet is saturated with content, and the chances of ‘going viral’ are like winning the lottery.

                You can’t force it to happen. But there are strategies you can follow.

                A must-read, Mark Hughes’s book Buzzmarketing lays out different types of buzz marketing. Buzz-worthy content, he claims, should aim to be Taboo, Unusual, Remarkable, Outrageous, Hilarious, or Secretive.

                Here, we’ll show you how to put this in practice with 6 easy strategies: 

                1. Use Contests and Giveaways

                Contests and giveaways are a sure-fire way to get your brand exposure.

                In fact, this can be a really effective tactic to boost social shares and generate more leads. People love free stuff. If they’re offered freebies or discounts, they’re more inclined to engage with you, share your post, and end up promoting your brand along the way.

                That’s just what Eggo did with ‘The Great Eggo Waffle Off!’.

                Way back in 2013, the US waffle brand launched a recipe-creating contest on Facebook. They called for moms across the country to submit their own recipes for the chance to win a $5,000 prize. After that, fans shared and voted for their favorite recipe.

                The results speak wonders. Engagement with Eggo’s Facebook page soared over the campaign. They got a whopping 200,000 new Facebook fans, 800 recipe entries, and an 8% increase in product sales.

                Eggo's Facebook page. Cover image shows a waffle with ice cream and cookies in the shape of a bee. Text reads, "What's your favorite Eggo recipe?"
                Source: Xavier Wynn

                Just last year, Zomato launched yet another successful contest.

                The Indian restaurant aggregator took to Instagram to challenge followers to make a video advert for the brand. To be eligible to win, they had to tag some friends in their submission. The prize was a hefty ₹25,000,000 (roughly $34,000).

                Fans didn’t disappoint. Zomato received 4,113 entries. But most importantly, they got a huge spike of engagement on their posts throughout this campaign.

                Zomato Instagram post. White text on red background says, "Make a super fun ad (max 1 minute) for Zomato and win 25 lacs."

                The takeaway? Put out a contest, offer a sizeable prize, and you’ll attract much more participation, and grow your reach through social shares.

                Clearly, contests and giveaways are excellent ways to approach buzz marketing. And especially if you’re just starting out, they’re vital.

                If you want to replicate this success with your brand, a helpful tool is Upviral. Upviral makes it easy to run contests and onboard new customers. It offers easy-to-use features like sweepstakes, giveaways and waiting lists, so you can reward customers for being advocates for your brand.

                It’s a great choice for driving traffic to your site and getting results.

                2. Exploit the Principle of Scarcity

                It’s Marketing 101. When something is unavailable, people want it more. You can leverage this principle to stir up buzz around your product. 

                One way is by making access to your product exclusive. Make your product invitation-only, like early Gmail in its Beta days. Or offer an early waitlist for a limited edition product. Framing your product as ‘limited’ makes it more desirable, and shrouds it in intrigue. 

                Similarly, you could create secrecy by holding back information. Teasers, like Tweets with cryptic hints, create anticipation about a product that’s about to drop. 

                Need inspiration? Movie teasers are masters at scarcity. When HBO dropped the Friends: The Reunion teaser in 2021, it gave nothing away. In response, the internet went ballistic, speculating about what fans could expect to see:

                HBO Max tweets out the Friends Reunion trailer which creates buzz. User replies to HBO: “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

                3. Make Content That’s Worth Talking About

                Put out content that’s worth sharing in the first place. 

                This could be a slogan, an infographic, a contest — or your best shot: a video. 

                The most shareable videos are out-of-the-ordinary. There’s a lot of junk out there. So to stand out, muster all your creativity to make something that sticks with people. 

                One way to do this is by using humor. Old Spice’s 2010 ad is a textbook example. Its irreverent humor garnered it 40 million views in 30 days, making it a viral success story. 

                Another approach is to tell an inspirational story. You could release a video that champions the human spirit, or talks to a hot topic. 

                Nike does this best. In 2019, their ‘Dream Crazier’ ad, narrated by Serena Williams, resonated with so many people because it celebrated the tenacity of women athletes.

                Serena Williams tweets the Nike ‘Dream Crazier’ Ad. Her caption reads, “If they think your dreams are crazy, show them what crazy dream can do. #justdo it.”

                4. Recruit Influencers

                Target a set of influencers to promote your product to their followers.  To build buzz before a launch, enlist them to review a sneak peek to generate people’s interest.  

                Influencers are, well, influential. In the Instagram era, they have a great deal of sway over what their followers see and care about — especially with Gen Z and Millennials.  

                In fact, influencers can be more powerful advocates for your brand than celebrities.

                Unlike celebrities, influencers are relatable. Many have built a following by being authentic, sharing intimate aspects of their lives, and engaging directly with their fans. Because of this, many followers trust them. 

                So if an influencer is promoting a product, their audience is receptive to it. 

                Influencer Amanda Cerny holds up a Snow teeth whitener with blue LED light. Caption reads: “9 Minutes of Snow a Day makes the smile shine, baby. Use code CERNY to get 20% off at TrySnow.com right meow.”

                If you’re not sure how to get started, an influencer marketplace can really help. It makes it easy to search through an exhaustive database of influencers, browse their stats, and select the perfect fit for you.

                5. Try Guerilla Marketing

                For a truly out-of-the-box campaign, try guerilla marketing. Guerilla marketing is an unconventional tactic where you advertise in the real world. 

                Essentially, it relies on creative tactics to surprise people. You pull a real-life stunt to interrupt people’s day-to-day routines and grab their attention.

                There are infinite ways to do this.

                Ahead of The Game of Thrones finale, for example, HBO set up 6 Iron Thrones at random locations throughout the world, and challenged fans to find them.

                And then there was the Fiji Water girl. As a stunt for Fiji Water, a woman carrying a tray of water turned up at the 2019 Golden Globes and photobombed high-profile celebrities. Her face turned up everywhere online, with people praising her stealthy skills. 

                Buzz marketing example: actor Richard Madden is in a tuxedo at the Golden Globes. A lady holding a tray of Fiji Water appears in the background.
                Source: BBC

                Guerilla marketing is a fun, novel way to get attention. But don’t overdo it, or it’ll lose its novelty.

                6. Build an Online Community

                Build an active social media presence, and amass an online following.

                Social media is a powerful tool for customer engagement. You can interact with your audience in a robust way, proving that you’re attentive to their needs and winning their loyalty. 

                There are tons of ways to incentivize engagement: 

                • Create a branded hashtag for campaigns to trend on Twitter
                • Gamify your content, like holding weekly quizzes or giveaways 
                • Tweet out questions for your customers, and reply directly to them

                Because it’s so time-consuming, try out a tool to help. HootSuite, for example, is a great pick for organizing social posting across platforms. It works well for any business size, and if you’re just starting out, even the free plan is impressive.

                5 Great Buzz Marketing Examples

                1. Wendy’s Twitter is social media done right

                Wendy’s Twitter account has a razor-sharp wit. Full of savage roasts, snarky replies, and sassy retweets, its Twitter voice is distinct — and hilarious. 

                Squeaky-clean corporate speak is a major turn-off. Wendy’s is a great example of a strategy that hits the right note because it talks like its online customers talk. 

                Twitter user tweets: “I want Wendy’s but my girlfriend wants McDonald’s, what do I do?”. Wendy’s tweets back: “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
                Source: Bored Panda

                And it pays off. Regularly, Wendy’s gets mass retweets because its Tweets are funny and brutally honest. 

                In 2017, Wendy’s showed just why it had earned this reputation. Teen Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy’s how many retweets he’d need to get free nuggets for a year. The fast-food chain’s response: 18 million. 

                Carter Wilkerson tweets: “Yo Wendy’s, how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?” Wendy’s tweets back, “18 million.”
                Source: Business Insider

                A mass campaign to get Carter his nuggets ensued, and by the end, he’d broken Twitter’s record number of retweets. It wasn’t 18 million, but Wendy’s relented and gave him a year of free nuggets. 

                The brand rode the wave of press the story got, and won the esteem of younger users online.

                2. Gym Shark’s Influencer Army

                In the last few years, Gymshark has skyrocketed to prominence. It’s gone from being a lesser-known apparel brand to a serious contender in the fitness scene.

                How? Gymshark is an example of investing in an online community. And a big part of that is recruiting a team of formidable ambassadors like Nikki Blackketter and Steve Cook. 

                Buzz example: Gym Shark’s Instagram page showing Steve Cook and Obi Vincent flexing shirtless. Caption reads: “When you remember today’s your favourite training day. What’s your favourite thing to train?”

                The brand carefully enlists rising star influencers to be the face of their brand. They pick like-minded fitness enthusiasts who have an authentic audience, and aspirational abs. 

                When Gymshark’s about to release a new line, their influencers release teasers of new products, stirring up buzz online. 

                The strategy is clearly paying off. Its sales have grown exponentially, mainly in the 18-25 year old age bracket. 

                3. Clubhouse’s Invite-Only Experience

                In 2020, rumors grew about a secretive new platform: Clubhouse. Invitation only, Clubhouse has seen exceptional growth, going from just 1,500 to 2 million users in less than a year.

                Clubhouse offers a new podcast-like experience, but with more audience participation. Right now podcast platforms are ubiquitous, and it’s hard to break from the crowd.

                Clubhouse’s solution was a ‘Velvet Rope’ strategy. Initially, it sold itself as an exclusive app, and its first users were a small list of big-name celebrities, musicians, and thought leaders.

                Clubhouse home page. Message reads, “Hey, we’re still opening up but anyone can join with an invite from an existing user!”
                Source: Republic World

                Because invites were so scarce, people were desperate to be a part of Clubhouse. Though now the app is open to anyone, Clubhouse has made its name as an elite experience.

                4. Deadpool’s Tinder Account

                As an anti-hero, Deadpool breaks the stereotype of a superhero. No surprise then when, in the lead up to the 2016 film release, its marketing also broke some rules.

                With a small budget, the Deadpool team turned to guerilla marketing to stir up buzz ahead of the release. 

                So Deadpool joined Tinder. While users were swiping left on Tinder dates, Deadpool popped up in suggestive poses. Amused users posted screenshots online, and helped create buzz around the film.

                Three Tinder screens showing Deadpool in three suggestive poses.
                Source: Heavy Metal

                Deadpool was a huge hit, grossing 9th highest in 2016. A big part of that was its risk-taking marketing strategy.

                5. Nike’s Epic React Teaser

                Like Apple, Nike is no stranger to teasers. It uses its brand reputation to drop hints about new products to get its huge customer base talking.

                In 2018 for instance, Nike released a cryptic teaser for a new shoe on Instagram. All the post revealed was a foot, some cushions, and 3 springs. The caption wasn’t much help either: 

                Nike’s Instagram showing a picture of a blue foot, four pillows held together with construction tape, and three springs. Caption reads: “The inspiration for a running innovation that feels like this (without actually looking like this). Coming Feb 22.”

                The post got a spike of likes and comments. Their interest piqued, fans tossed back and forth guesses about what Nike had in store. Blogs speculated about the new release, and it became a great example of using teasers to attract interest. 

                Conclusion

                There’s no one right way to do buzz marketing. But what’s clear time and again is that building hype around a product is powerful. If you can get people talking, you can really boost your traffic and conversions, even before you fully launch a product.

                Using our 6 steps, you can kick start your own buzz marketing campaign. It might take patience, but if you can get it right, it’ll be worth it. 

                Frequently Asked Questions

                What is the difference between viral and buzz marketing?

                There’s quite a bit of overlap between these two terms. In fact, some people use them interchangeably. The biggest difference is that buzz marketing can take place offline and online; whereas viral marketing only ever takes place online. Buzz marketing is therefore a more comprehensive type of marketing. Find out about buzz marketing.

                Why is buzz marketing effective?

                People are more likely to trust a recommendation made by an ordinary person. They assume they'll give a more honest view of a product. This means when they hear praise about your product via word-of-mouth, they’re more receptive to buying it. Check this guide to learn more.

                How do I create buzz about my product?

                There are many ways to do this. You could try using the scarcity principle, putting out buzz-worthy content, using guerilla marketing, building an online community, or starting a referral campaign. Check out our guide to learn more about these 6 strategies. Read more in this guide>>

                References

                1. Buyapowa: 4 Viral Strategies That Grew Billion Dollar Companies
                2. CBC: How a deck of cards earns one restaurants lineups out the door.
                3. Mirasee: The Secret to Viral Marketing.
                4. Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.
                5. Tide: It’s a Tide Ad.
                6. Nike: Dream Crazier
                7. Gizmodo: Game of Thrones Challenges You To Find These Actual Iron Thrones.
                8. Forbes: How Gymshark Became A $1.3 Billion Brand.

                11 Best Heat Mapping Tools to Skyrocket Your Conversion Rate [2021]

                In 2021, heat mapping tools are essential. Visitors to your website come for different reasons. Knowing how to improve their experience on your site will boost the optimization and management of your content, leading to a more rewarding experience for them and higher revenues for you.

                So, how do you find out exactly what our visitors are looking at on your website and where they’re spending the most time? What do they skip past and not look at at all? How can we improve their experience?

                Heat mapping tools have the ability to monitor activity on your site and will give you a very good indication of the strengths and weaknesses of your content, especially with the different campaigns you are running.

                A great heat mapping tool will give you all the info you need to improve your the user experience on your website. They will also give you invaluable data for optimizing and streamlining your funnel to boost your sales and improve your profits.

                Today, we’re looking at 11 of the best heat mapping tools available, including key features, pros and cons, pricing and user reviews. Read on to find out why they’re so useful and which one will be the best for your website!

                Okay, let’s get started!

                  The Importance of Heat Mapping Tools

                  Heat mapping tools monitor the effectiveness of your site content. It’s like having a coach watching every move on your site and giving you feedback on your content’s strengths and weaknesses.

                  This is achieved by seeing how visitors interact with your site. You will be able to monitor mouse movements and clicks as well as see how far a visitor scrolls down on a specific page.

                  User visits are recorded and can be played back to examine interactions. Data from monitoring your site visits will allow you to restructure your content, remove and add content, add lead-ons to entice visitors to extend their time on your site and much, much more.

                  A tally is recorded of all page views, and you can see exactly how many clicks a link or button gets. The data you get from your heatmap tool will allow you to better understand how your site layout affects visits to your site.

                  With this, you can improve on the user experience that allows you to funnel interactions into conversions.

                  Knowing when users leave your site is important, and your heat mapping tool will provide this data.

                  You will be able to use this data to contain and eliminate dropout points, which will translate to longer visits and higher conversions.

                  Check out this great video by MeMedia for more insight into heat mapping and how it works:

                  How to Evaluate Heat Mapping Tools

                  Data visualization is what heat mapping is all about. The heat signature from the content and movements on your site will give you an instant picture of your site performance.

                  With this visualization, you will be able to optimize visits to your site and improve on how your content is presented, which will increase your conversion rate.

                  Evaluating heat mapping tools depends on how you want to monitor your website traffic. Several different tools will make website analysis and management much easier, but you must decide what tools are best for you.

                  Here is a rundown of what you can expect from good heat mapping tools and the insights you can gain from them:

                  1. Confetti Reports

                  These reports are static images of your site interface, with colour-coding to indicate the areas that get the most clicks. It’s much like thermal weather report images, where you can see the hot and cold areas.

                  Statistics are sometimes better viewed as an image than a table or graph. Confetti reports add color to visually illustrate your interaction statistics and give you a clearer picture of what is happening on your website.

                  Confetti heat mapping
                  Source: Anandriyer

                  2. Mouse Movements

                  Tracking of mouse movements appears as lines across your site interface. With this, you will be to gauge movements and compare them to the confetti reports.

                  3. Scrollmaps

                  These maps are color coded to display how far down your page users scroll. The top will be red, indicating high volume, and as you go down the page, the color changes to blue, representing low volume.

                  Scrollmaps heat mapping
                  Source: Hubspot

                  4. Session Recording

                  Every visit to your site is recorded, and the mouse cursor is followed in the recording. You will see all the clicks and pick up user frustration points where they will continuously click on a button or link. The recording also times each session so you can see how long users are active on your site and where they are when they leave.

                  5. Events

                  User sessions can be consolidated using events as a trigger. Instead of viewing every session, you can view sessions from a specific event that can be a designated button that is clicked to activate the event. From that one event, you can see the interaction of users from that point onwards.

                  6. Form Analytics

                  Here you can see how users respond to sign-up pages and the completion of forms. You will be able to monitor any sticking points on the form. Users will begin completing a form and, at a point, will abandon the exercise, and you will be able to see where on the form this happens.

                  7. Error Analytics

                  Users may encounter errors on your site, and if you know about them, you can fix them. Error analytics help to monitor and maintain how your site is working to ensure it has a clean bill of health.

                  8. A/B Testing

                  Allows you to test two versions of the same page to see which one attracts more traffic. Most heatmap tools have this feature. Editors are necessary to create the different versions, and visual editors that work with drag and drop are preferred.

                  11 Best Heat Mapping Tools

                  Now that we have covered what heat mapping tools are and how they will help you improve the user experience on your website, let’s look at the best heat mappings tools available:

                  1.    Mouseflow

                  Mouseflow is a behavioural analytic tool that offers a range of insights, including mouse movements, clicks, and scrolling. With Mouseflow, you will be able to see reports (heat maps) on how visitors funnel through the content on your site.

                  Screenshot of Mouseflow Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • User sessions can be viewed in real-time or as a playback.
                  • You can see who is a new visitor and who is a returning visitor.
                  • From the data, you will see clicks, scrolls, length of the session and geography.
                  • Sessions can be filtered and placed in segments like classifying location, duration, and traffic source.
                  • A function will show you how visitors react and respond to forms and sign-up pages.
                  • You can create surveys and feedback campaigns.
                  • Build 6 types of heatmaps to see what’s working on your site.
                  • Mouseflow machine learning tool is included in all the packages.
                  • Create funnels to see where and why visitors end their sessions.

                  Cons

                  • At times the images and text size don’t render correctly when viewing replays.
                  • There seems to be an issue with Mouseflow not supporting Java code.

                  Price

                  • Free version limited to 500 recordings per month.
                  • Starter plan is $24 per month and includes 5000 recordings.
                  • Growth plan is $79 for 15000 recordings.
                  • Business plan is$159, for 50000 recordings
                  • Pro plan is $299 for 150000 recordings.

                  Rating: G2 – 4.7 out of 5 stars from 170 reviews.

                  Website: https://mouseflow.com/

                  2. Crazy Egg

                  With the use of visual reports and individual session recordings, you will get to know your website users. Their sessions will reveal the shortcomings of your content setup, and you will be able to make data-backed changes with confidence. It’s all about looking after your user experience and improving it as you go.

                  Screenshot of Crazy Egg Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • The A/B testing tool allows you to test content and page set up so you can choose the right look that appeals to your visitors.
                  • Edit or add modify content on your site pages without the need to call in a specialist. You can change colours and fonts, then publish them directly.
                  • The setup is easy, and you can integrate with Shopify and WordPress.
                  • You can add team members at no extra cost.
                  • You can customize your tool as you grow.
                  • Reports include heatmaps, scroll maps, confetti overlays and list reports.

                  Cons

                  • Heat maps must be individually set up for each page on the site, and they are tracked separately.
                  • A/B testing can be tricky to use

                  Price

                  • 30 Day Free Trial
                  • Basic plan is $29 per month.
                  • Standard plan is $49 per month.
                  • Plus plan is $99, per month.
                  • Pro plan is $249 per month.

                  The plans are capped for pageviews, snapshots, recordings and storage time. Edits and A/B testing are unlimited.

                  Rating: G2 – 4.2 out of 5 stars from 97 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.crazyegg.com/

                  3. Clicktale (Contentsquare)

                  Clicktale is an indispensable heat mapping tool for large businesses but will work just as well for smaller businesses. It takes analytics up a notch by combining human and machine intelligence into the tools. Their analytics is a little more detailed and comprehensive than other tools, which allows you to fine tune your website precisely.

                  Screenshot of ContentSquare's Heat Mapping Tools homepage

                  Pros

                  • Mouse movements and clicks are monitored and recorded.
                  • You can compare conversions to dropouts.
                  • Use the attention heatmap tool to see where people focus and what content they skip.
                  • Scrollmapping allows you to see how much of a page has been viewed.
                  • Full analytics on how the links are doing.
                  • Visitor recordings are very good.
                  • Events can be initiated for better analytics.
                  • A/B and other analytic tools.

                  Cons

                  • Not very easy to use, and some users need help navigating the interface.
                  • Difficulties in locating recordings for a second time.

                  Price

                  • Free Plan (limited)
                  • Basic plan is $99 per month for 20000 page views.
                  • Silver is $290 per month for 80000 page views.
                  • Gold is $990 per month for 300 000 page views.

                  Rating: G2 – 4.4 out of 5 stars from 7 reviews

                  Website: https://contentsquare.com/clicktale/

                  4. Hotjar

                  Hotjar works great in helping you understand your user/visitor experiences on your website. Relevant data is at your fingertips. Although the dashboard looks rather simplistic, the data you receive focuses on the important issues that make your website a pleasure to visit.

                  Screenshot of Hotjar Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • A user-friendly platform.
                  • You can create surveys.
                  • Has a feedback module.
                  • Monitors sentiment.
                  • Heat maps for mouse movements, clicks, and scrolls.
                  • Heat maps can be downloaded and shared digitally.
                  • You can add notes and timestamps to recordings and share them.
                  • You can move through the plans as your business grows.

                  Cons

                  • There is no integration with Google Analytics.
                  • No predictive analysis of customer behavior.

                  Price

                  • Free basic plan for 1000 page views.
                  • Plus plan is $39 per month for 100 daily captured sessions.
                  • Business plan is $99 per month for 500 sessions.
                  • Scale plan is $389 per month for 4000 daily sessions.

                  Rating: G2 -4.4 out of 5 stars from 212 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.hotjar.com/

                  5. Browsee

                  Browsee uses AI to improve user experience and includes all the bells and whistles expected from a great heat mapping tool. It has a user board that tags individual users for insights. The user board also allows you to aggregate user engagement for a broader picture. It is best suited for small to medium businesses and small teams as well as individuals.

                  screenshot of Browsee Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • Clicks and scroll depth are represented in heatmaps.
                  • Highlights patterns of user behavior to identify dropout points.
                  • Session recording that shows frustration points in the funnel.
                  • Has segmentation.
                  • Has analytics.
                  • User board.
                  • Very easy to navigate.
                  • Can be integrated with several top platforms like Shopify and WordPress.

                  Cons

                  • When accessed on mobile, you cannot switch between websites.

                  Price

                  • Free version for 200 000 page views a month..
                  • Starter plan is $12 per month.
                  • Plus plan for $32 per month.

                  Rating: G2 – 4,9 out of 5 stars from 5 reviews.

                  Website: https://browsee.io/

                  6. SessionCam

                  With its machine learning intelligence, SessionCam can use its struggle detection algorithm to consider hundreds of different signals from your users that pinpoint areas of struggle. This will show up in the heatmaps that cover clicks and scroll depth. Their research on struggle identification and control helps to improve user conversions and general site experience. SessionCam is ideal for all business types and sizes.

                  Screenshot of SessionCam Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • You can compare two different websites Heat maps side by side.
                  • Standard session recording and event trigger recording.
                  • Good funnel analysis.
                  • Customer journey mapping tool
                  • You get solutions for struggle points.

                  Cons

                  • The homepage cannot be customized.

                  Price

                  Rating: Capterra – 4.7 out of 6 stars from 6 reviews.

                  Website: https://sessioncam.com/

                  7. Lucky Orange

                  A feather in their cap is the fact that Lucky Orange created the world’s first fully-integrated heatmaps, which can be viewed in real-time while visitors’ browse your site. Lucky Orange prides itself as a conversion optimization specialist. It starts off with you knowing how many visitors are on your site at any given moment, and you also see how they found you.

                  Screenshot of Lucky Orange Heat Mapping Tool

                  Pros

                  • Can segment users and draw analytics on their activity.
                  • Compare segments.
                  • Full session recordings.
                  • Ability to filter sessions.
                  • On the go updates in rea-time and instantly displayed on your dashboard.
                  • Conversion funnel tools to identify pain or struggle points.
                  • Poll and survey features.
                  • Form analytics.

                  Cons

                  • There may be little time to get familiar with the dashboard, but their support team always seems to be helpful.
                  • Costs escalate with more users, but the value in higher traffic seems to lack.

                  Price

                  • Free trial.
                  • Starter plan is $10 per month for one website.
                  • Small business $20 per month for 3 websites.
                  • Medium plan for $50 per month for 8 websites.
                  • Large plan for $100 per month for 16 websites.
                  • Enterprise which is privately discussed.

                  Ratings: G2 – 4.3 out of 5 stars from 18 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.luckyorange.com/

                  8. Inspectlet

                  Inspectlet is a well-rounded conversion optimization software that focuses on eye-tracking heatmaps among the conventional heatmap types. This is based on research that links eye movements to the mouse cursor. Their software tracks user activity and provides heatmaps of all interactions. Sessions are recorded and specific data like duration and navigation path can be viewed. Inspectlet is a good choice for individuals, small and medium businesses.

                  Screenshot of Inspectlet Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • Edit the metadata of sessions by tagging users or events.
                  • Filter using tags.
                  • A/B testing.
                  • Page editor.
                  • Form analytics.
                  • Error logging and racking.

                  Cons

                  • Not easy to customize.
                  • Pricing is not consistent.
                  • Sessions are only held for 60 days.

                  Price

                  • Free plan limited to 2500 recorded sessions per month.
                  • The Micro plan is $39 per month for 10000 sessions.
                  • Startup plan for $75 for 25000 sessions.
                  • Growth plan is $149 for 50000 sessions.
                  • Accelerate plan is $299 per month for 125000 sessions.
                  • Enterprise plan is $499 for 250000 sessions.

                  Rating: G2 – 4.2 out of 5 stars from 24 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.inspectlet.com

                  9. FullStory

                  There is an added dimension to FullStory’s ability to read user behaviour. Their software digs deeper into why users drop out or express frustration. They use intelligent analysis to offer reasons why users fail to covert. And through their detailed reports, they provide beneficial insight into a solution that will increase the conversion rate.

                  Screenshot of FullStory Heat Mapping Tool Homepahe

                  Pros

                  • Great analysis reports.
                  • Provide answers to low conversion rates.
                  • User segmentation.
                  • Great for team collaboration.
                  • Easy to use and navigate.
                  • Helps to plan tasks to improve user experience.
                  • Prioritizes tasks for best results.
                  • Recording and a range of heat maps.

                  Cons

                  • It tends to aggregate elements where clients need more detail.
                  • The window of data retention is too short.

                  Price

                  • There is a 14 free trial period and two plans, but you have to book a demo or request pricing.

                  Rating: G2 – 4.5 out of 5 stars from 144 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.fullstory.com/

                  10. SmartLook

                  SmartLook concentrates on website analytics on mobile apps and desktops. Their primary concern is the user experience, specifically on mobile apps and websites. 30 different filters help break down data and identify specific factors useful in translating user behaviour. SmartLook thrives on understanding people and finding solutions that will lead to conversions. Their software is geared to do just that.

                  Screenshot of Smartlook Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • Notes and timestamps can be attached to recordings.
                  • You can ID tag visitors with the SmartLook API.
                  • View bulk recording of events.
                  • Event analytics.
                  • Funnel analytics.
                  • Conversion analytics.
                  • Identifies frustration points.
                  • Track events that lead to errors.
                  • Mobile app analytics.
                  • Website analytics.
                  • Wide range of Heat map tools.

                  Cons

                  • Can’t tag sessions.
                  • The limits on the free plan.

                  Price

                  • Free plan limited to 1500 sessions per month.
                  • Startup plan – 7500 sessions for $31 per month.
                  • Business plan – 25000 sessions for $79 per month.
                  • Ultimate plan – is custom-made for clients.

                  Rating: G2 – 4.7 out of 5 stars from 624 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.smartlook.com/

                  11. Ptengine

                  Ptengine takes analytics to new heights. They want to show you exactly why users leave your site, and they do this through powerful analytics and a great understanding of marketing. Their task is to personalize user experiences, and they do this through a website content editor, triggers, inline pop-ups, sticky bars, surveys and a welcome mat. They also provide easy to use pre-built templates and can segment users and automate triggers. Understanding users or site visitors is paramount to conversions and repeat business.

                  Screenshot of Ptengine Heat Mapping Tool Homepage

                  Pros

                  • A range of heat mapping tools.
                  • Visitor segmentation.
                  • Insights to drive users through your funnel.
                  • Perfect for team collaboration.
                  • Great testing facility for new campaigns.
                  • A/B testing.
                  • Integrated with company CRM and other apps.
                  • Designed for SMBs and large business.

                  Cons

                  • Performance and speed of heat maps can be a bit faster.

                  Price

                  • The free plan is for 3000 page views.
                  • Growth plan is $49 per month.
                  • You must request a price for the Premium plan.

                  Rating: Capterra – 4.7 from 3 reviews.

                  Website: https://www.ptengine.com/

                  Final Thoughts and Our Top Two Picks

                  Heat mapping is an extremely useful tool to streamline your site and boost your conversions. Understanding your site visitors and improving their experience is key to upping your conversion rate.

                  All the heat mapping tools we have reviewed here are great options. However, two stood out to us as being particularly useful and effective tools. Here are our two top picks:

                  Top pick #1: Mouseflow because of its range of heat maps and real-time viewing ability. Tracking user interactions and behavior seems to be a walk in the park for them, which counts at the end of the day. Seeing how users react to sign-ups and forms is another plus point. All around, Mouseflow have their ducks in a row.

                  Top pick #2: SmartLook because of its reach into the mobile app sector, a huge market. Their detailed analytics on user behavior is top-notch. Their focus on understanding users to better deliver solutions to improve conversion rates is exactly what heat mapping tools should do.

                  References

                  Capterra: Heatmap Software Reviews

                  CRM: Best Heat Map Software

                  G2 Crowd: Heat Mapping Software Reviews

                  Hubspot: How To Analyze Your Websites Heat Map

                  Research Gate: UX Heatmaps: Mapping User Experience on Visual Interfaces

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  How do I get started with using heat mapping tools?

                  Find a heat mapping tool you feel will fit your needs and your budget and trial it out to see how it works for you. Most platforms will provide you with tutorials and demos to get you started. Check out our review of the best heat mapping tools to use in 2021 to find the best option for you.

                  How can you tell if users are on your site just to compare pricing and services?

                  You're so right; so many people browse sites looking at prices, but the trick is to capture them on your site and get them to switch to taking an action. This can be achieved with analytics, heat mapping tools and a very attractive funnel that makes your mind up for you. Check out the full review for more info on how heat mapping can help you turn traffic into conversions.

                  What makes heat maps special?

                  Heat maps allow you to see the traffic flow on your website, and they pinpoint high traffic areas and problem areas. This allows you to modify your site and remove the clutter, so users have an enjoyable experience. This translates to higher conversions and revenue. Check out the full review for more info on why heat maps are so valuable.

                  RFM Model: Segmentation To Skyrocket Your Company [2021 Easy Guide]

                  Today, you’ll learn about a powerful tool to reinvigorate your marketing: the RFM model.

                  Coined by Hughes in the ’90s, RFM is a tried and tested segmentation model which gets results.

                  It has an impressive track record: top brands like L’Occitane have seen their income increase by 25 times by using this RFM model. And because it’s simple, small companies can benefit from it too.

                  Here, we’ll take you through how to conduct your own RFM analysis to boost your conversion rates.

                    What is the RFM Segmentation Model?

                    RFM segmentation is a data-driven tool which helps you get to know your customers. It’s based on the principle that you need to understand how they buy, not just who they are.  

                    This model groups your customers based on their spending behavior. It tells you how they’ve interacted with you in the past. Who has been loyal through thick and thin? And who is a flaky one-time shopper? 

                    With this data, you can then create targeted marketing campaigns. Your voice gets lost when you’re trying to reach a vast range of people with a single message.

                    But RFM segmentation allows you to send your customers high-value, focused communication that’s relevant to them. You’ll put your marketing resources where they matter most and enjoy a higher customer lifetime value.

                    With RFM segmentation, you’ll be able to identify customers like:

                    • Your Champions. They make up the bulk of your income — don’t lose them!
                    • Potential Loyalists. With some encouragement, they could become champions too.
                    • Customers Needing Attention. They’re at risk of dropping you — unless you do something to bring them back.

                    For now, let’s get into how this model really works.

                    Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Explained

                    The RFM model is built on three pillars: Recency, Frequency, and Monetary. It uses these factors to analyze your customers’ spending history. 

                    Diagram explaining the terms Recency, Frequency and Monetary in the RFM model.
                    Source: CleverTap

                    When analyzing RFM, you ask three questions of every customer:

                    1. Recency: How long ago did they buy your product?

                    You’ve got a better shot at targeting customers who’ve transacted recently with you. The fresher a purchase, the more responsive they’ll be to your messaging. 

                    2. Frequency: How often have they bought from you in a fixed time period?

                    Here, you’re looking for frequent buyers. This measure tells you how loyal they are to your brand — and therefore how valuable.

                    3. Monetary: How much have they spent on your products?

                    You’re keeping an eye out for the big spenders with this one. They’re more willing to cough up for luxury items.

                    In some cases, Engagement (E) can take the place of Monetary (M). This is a useful metric if your ‘product’ isn’t traditional. Take ad revenue, for example. You could tally the visit duration, time spent per page, and the number of pages visited per user instead of the money they spent. 

                    Put these three RFM factors together, and you’ve got a powerful analytic tool. You’ll get deeper insights into how your customers spend, and therefore how you can best target them.

                    via SEO Butler

                    RFM Model in 4 Easy Steps

                    Now you know the theory, it’s time to put the RFM model into practice.

                    The great news is that RFM calculation is pretty simple for anyone to do. While there are paid RFM model kits that do it automatically for you, the process is fairly easy to do yourself. All you need is a laptop and clear instructions. (We’ve got that last one covered.)

                    Here’s how to calculate RFM in 4 easy steps with an RFM model example:

                    Step 1: Compile your data

                    To start, you’ll take your company’s raw transaction data. Take each customer’s buying history and assign them an R, F, and M value.

                    If you need a refresher:

                    • Recency: How long it’s been since their last transaction. This is a unit of time, usually days, but can be months or even years depending on your business.
                    • Frequency: The total number of transactions they made within a fixed period. 
                    • Monetary: The total they’ve spent in their entire history with you. 

                    Especially if you’re a beginner, RFM models work well in Excel. But Python or r make good RFM models too if you have the skills. Besides, you can configure any of Excel integrations to use RFM data for reporting or within other tools.

                    After you do this, your Excel sheet should look something like this:

                    Excel sheet showing transaction data with Recency, Frequency, and Monetary values.

                    Step 2: Split your customers into tiers

                    Next, you’ll need to calculate each customer’s RFM score. To do that, you first need to sort the R, F and M data, and then create 4 tiers. If you’re dealing with a lot of data, you could make 5 tiers — or 3 if you have less data. We prefer 4 as it makes manual calculation simple. 

                    Sort each R, F, and M value in order such that your ‘ideal’ customer behavior ranks first. If we took Recency, for example, the ideal behavior is purchasing recently. So recent buyers would rank first.

                    You then need to segment that data into 4 tiers: T-1 (Top score), T-2 (Upper middle), T-3 (Lower middle), and T-4 (Bottom).

                    If we did that with the Recency data from our example, that would look like this:

                    Excel sheet showing recency data sorted and segmented into 4 tiers.

                    Repeat this process for the other 2 values, F and M. By the end, every customer should have individual tiered values for Recency, Frequency, and Monetary. 

                    To calculate their combined RFM score, all you have to do is place these tiered values alongside each other:

                    Excel sheet showing all customers' RFM tiers and their overall RFM score.

                    Step 3: Identify who you want to target

                    Now that every customer has an RFM score, you can split them up into groups, so you can form a targeted marketing strategy. It helps to give them names.

                    Diagram showing different types of customers based on RFM model score, including Champions, Loyal Customers, and Lost.
                    Source: Rittman Analytics

                    For your RFM model example, you might focus on:

                    • Champions: 1-1-1. These customers are active customers. They’re willing to pay higher prices for products, and they buy from you frequently.
                    • Loyalists: 1-1-3. Even if these customers don’t spend as much, they’ve been buying from you for a long time and continue to be active. 
                    • Potential champions: 1-4-2. These customers might be new and have just discovered you, but they’re willing to pay. You want to persuade them to stay.
                    • At risk: 4-1-1. Once, these customers were active, maybe even champions. But they haven’t transacted in a long time, and you’re at risk of losing their interest. 
                    • Lost: 4-4-4. These customers are low on all 3. Most likely, they’re long gone. They may have bought something once long ago, but they’re not loyal to your brand. 

                    Of course, the labels you give these segments are up to you. You’ll have to figure out what works best for your context.

                    Step 4: Create a targeted messaging campaign

                    By breaking your customers down like this, you can then send out messages that resonate with each of these categories. 

                    For example, you might target a group like this:

                    • Reward your champions: Offer your hero customers loyalty programs. Give them exclusive access to new products as they’re likely to be early adopters. They’re willing to pay, so you don’t want to use discount pricing. Instead, focus on high-value offers.
                    • Win back at risk customers: You need to investigate what’s causing their inactivity. Send them offers and helpful products to get them back in the game. 
                    • Say goodbye to the lost customers: At this point, they’re just taking up space on your email list. Find a way to reconnect with them. Or, if that’s not on the table, take them off your list — they’re skewing your data. An exit survey can be helpful to find out why they’re no longer interested in you.
                    Venn Diagram showing the highest value customer scores highly in all three RFM model values.
                    Source: Data Analytics

                    The Pros and Cons of the RFM Model

                    With RFM calculation, you can reach each customer — and win their loyalty. When done right, RFM modeling makes your marketing more compelling. But it’s not without its shortcomings, as we’ll get to later. 

                    First, let’s take a look at why you should be using RFM:

                    Pros of the RFM Model:

                    1. RFM is an objective measure

                    Because it’s backed by hard data, RFM gives you an accurate analysis. It’s calculated quantitatively, so it’s free from human bias. 

                    Other more traditional analytic methods simply don’t do this. For example, sampling risks arbitrarily picking people who aren’t true representatives of your customers. And other segmentation methods might unfairly skew towards variables like demographics.

                    2. Personalized marketing

                    With RFM, you can send out personalized brand messages that are suitable for each group of customers, while still at a large scale. It helps you focus your marketing efforts on each group instead of sending out generic communication. That makes it a great option if you’ve got limited time and money available.

                    By doing this, your message tells your customer that this brand understands them and their needs. A relevant message can reactivate old customers, and incentivize your best ones to keep buying. Ultimately, you’ll get more engaged and loyal customers. 

                    3. Simple and low cost

                    Market research can get complicated. And costly. What makes RFM popular is that it’s fairly easy and low cost to use. Sure, you can buy RFM model kits to do the hard work for you — and there are some great tools out there. But like we’ve shown, RFM model calculation can be straightforward with some instruction. This means it’s accessible to businesses of all sizes. 

                    4. Higher Customer Lifetime Value

                    It’s not about how many customers you can attract. It’s about how many you can keep.

                    Because of the digital marketplace, every customer has an overwhelming number of options competing for their attention. In this climate, customer acquisition is no longer the name of the game. Customer retention is what matters. 

                    With RFM, you work out who your most valuable customers are and reward their spending behavior. This targeted approach results in higher retention. They’re more likely to stay when they feel valued and satisfied with the service.

                    Cons of the RFM Model

                    There are drawbacks to using RFM, however. If you use it in isolation, the analysis can be misleading. Here are a couple of things to be careful of when using RFM:

                    1. Can be simplistic

                    RFM can’t tell you everything. It relies on only 3 factors, whereas other analytic tools use a more exhaustive data set. By honing in on these 3, you may exclude other important data, like location or demographics. 

                    A good way to get around this is to supplement your RFM analysis. For example, adding qualitative data research can give you a fuller picture of your customer’s spending habits. By conducting customer interviews, you’ll be able to really get to the nuts and bolts of why they’re spending in a certain way. (Something RFM doesn’t really show.)

                    2. Not predictive

                    It’s tempting to assume that your customers will continue spending in the same way in the future. But that’s not necessarily true. RFM models only analyze past customer data. That might not be helpful in predicting future behavior, given trends or future activities. To get around this, consider using predictive tools in conjunction with RFM.

                    3. Easily skewed

                    And finally, the RFM model can produce skewed results. For certain business models, each of the 3 factors might not be useful metrics:

                    • Some businesses are influenced by seasonal buying patterns. This makes the recency and frequency factors misleading. Black Friday, for instance, can seriously disrupt data patterns.
                    • If your product is durable, but costly, your customers aren’t going to be buying it frequently or recently. Therefore, frequency and recency aren’t that important to analyze.
                    • Similarly, your product could be expendable but cheap. Fast fashion goes out of style seasonally and customers are constantly buying to keep up with trends. In this case, monetary is less important of a factor.

                    Conclusion

                    There’s a reason RFM has been kicking for 25+ years. It works. If you’re a scrappy start-up, or an old hand in a bit of a rut, RFM can give your marketing campaign new energy. With just a simple analysis, you can build relationships that matter with customers that will stick with you. 

                    So use our guide to take a shot at it yourself!

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    What is RFM Segmentation?

                    RFM segmentation is a way of analyzing groups of customers by looking at their purchasing history. It helps you determine who your most valuable customers are based on their spending habits, so you can target them in a focused way.

                    What does RFM stand for?

                    RFM stands for recency, frequency, and monetary. Each is a factor used to analyze a customer’s value. Recency tells you how long ago they transacted with you. Frequency tells you how often they transacted with you. And Monetary tells you how much they spent.

                    Why use RFM Segmentation?

                    RFM can be a powerful tool for making targeted marketing campaigns. It gives you insights into how your customers spend, so you can send personalized communication to them, so they’re more likely to be engaged with and loyal to your brand.

                    References & Sources

                    1. Windsor Circle: RFM Analysis
                    2. Qualtrics: Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) & How to Measure
                    3. CleverTap: RFM Analysis for Customer Segmentation
                    4. SEO Butler: RFM Analysis Explained
                    5. Towards Data Science: An RFM Customer Segmentation with Python
                    6. Rittman Analytics: RFM Analysis and Customer Segmentation using Looker, dbt and Google BigQuery
                    7. Data Analytics: Customer Segmentation using RFM Analysis (using R)
                    8. Shopify: Customer Retention Strategies

                    Customer Interviews: The Easy Guide To Gathering Awesome Business Insights [2021]

                    This article will cover everything on the importance of customer interviews, and how you can conduct them in the most effective manner. 

                    Research reveals that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. And what better way to improve this experience than getting to know what they want directly from them?

                    Here’s how you can use interviews to learn directly from your customers and improve their experience with your brand.

                      What Are Customer Interviews?

                      Customer interviews simply mean talking to your customers and asking them a few questions to better understand their perceptions about your brand and if you are meeting their needs properly.

                      Such interviews are conducted mostly in a one-to-one setting and follow a casual structure. The point of customer interviews is not to intimidate your customers or get serious information out of them.

                      They are very informal and provide you with an opportunity to look at your business from a candid and unbiased point of view.

                      Most customer interviews include questions related to their needs and wants, and if the business is able to fulfil them properly.

                      You can collect quantitative responses by asking them to rate certain aspects of your product or service, or simply rely on qualitative information.

                      Besides, you could also get some information on your competitors and how they are perceived relative to you. The point again is to understand where you stand and where to go next.

                      Customer interviews cartoon
                      Source: Marketoonist.com

                      Conducting customer interviews can be a hectic process in terms of the time and effort you need to invest to get the right information. However, they can be way more helpful than mere surveys and questionnaires. 

                      You can use such interviews to make crucial business decisions such as transforming a product or service you offer or building a launch strategy for something that is in the pipeline.

                      Besides, you may also get a thorough perspective of the market from the eyes of your customers and use that information to predict future trends and plan accordingly.

                      The list of benefits customer interviews have is endless but all it comes down to is that you interview the right people at the right time.

                      Also, getting into a habit of interviewing customers regularly can be very helpful since you get up to date insights and understand the situation how it really is.

                      Types of Customer Interviews

                      Customer interviews can be very extensive and often take a lot of unintended directions if not structured properly.

                      Therefore, it is important that you understand the broad categories they can be put into so that you plan properly and get exactly what you need.

                      Types of Customer Interviews

                      Here are some basic types of customer interviews organizations usually conduct.

                      Exploratory Customer Interviews

                      Exploratory interviews are useful in understanding the basic needs and wants of the customers and putting everything in a set structure to construct buyer personas.

                      These personas later help in market segmentation as you are clear on what the pain points look like for different types of customers and how they can be targeted better.

                      It is extremely important not to ask any leading questions here since the customers themselves are often unsure about their opinions and doing so may introduce bias.

                      Also, you may or may not mention your exact product or service depending upon what kind of information you want to collect. If it is limited to establishing customer pain points, don’t mention any product or company at all so that the customer can reveal his true needs.

                      Targeted Customer Interviews

                      These interviews are a little more focused as compared to exploratory interviews and include more specific questions. The goal is mostly to test your theories and perceptions of the market and see if they hold any value.

                      Targeted interviews are helpful when you need to develop a new product or launch new initiatives whether they are in terms of marketing, advertising, branding, or anything else of that sort.

                      The idea here is to focus on a specific problem your target audience faces and present your solution to see if it makes sense for the customer or not. 

                      The only thing you are gauging here is how the customer reacts to your solutions which may be in the form of a product or a service.

                      It is adequate to mention your exact product here or even use a few of your competitors’ just as a reference point.

                      Again, since you are gauging genuine customer reactions, do not ask any leading questions so that the response you get is one hundred percent authentic.

                      Business Efficiency Interviews

                      These interviews really zoom in on the needs and wants side and try to figure out if there are any inefficiencies with the solutions you are providing for their problems.

                      In the tech industry, this could also resemble one-on-one usability testing of apps where potential customers provide their honest opinion on how the app performs.

                      These interviews are helpful when your business is stalling and you really need to update your current market offering to better meet the needs of your customers.

                      Without doing such interviews regularly, you could run the risk of not being able to keep up with changing customer needs. And as a result, your competitors might run over you and throw you out of business.

                      You can conduct business efficiency interviews to identify room for improvement in your products or services and then fill in the gaps to always stay relevant.

                      Customer Satisfaction Interviews

                      Customer satisfaction interviews help find out the gaps between what you are delivering and what the customers expect.

                      You may ask questions about the usefulness of the products or services you offer and see how they fit in with the day-to-day workflow of your customers.

                      Customer satisfaction levels
                      Source: JoomConnect

                      These interviews help minimize dissonance and give you insights that you can use to tweak your market offering accordingly.

                      You may get both positive and negative reviews about your business here so make sure you are ready to listen to whatever your customers have to say. 

                      If the reviews are positive, you may try to dig deeper to further identify room for improvement. Outright negative reviews may be taken with a grain of salt but make sure you learn from them and use this criticism constructively.

                      7 Steps to Conducting Great Customer Interviews 

                      1. Set clear goals

                      Conducting these interviews with a long list of customers is going to take up a lot of your time, and to use this time productively, you need to be clear on your goals. Be very clear on why you are talking to them and what you expect to get out of the conversation.

                      The goals don’t need to be very complex or data-driven. It could be as simple as getting feedback on your products or discussing solutions to a certain problem customers face.

                      Just pen down your basic thoughts regarding the goals and then you can build off of that idea to get relevant responses.

                      If you are confused, you can go over the different types of customer interviews we discussed above to get an idea of what goals can you set.  

                      2. Do your homework

                      The interviews do consume a lot of your time but more than your own time, you should value the time of the interviewees. At the end of the day, these are your customers and if you waste their time on useless discussions, it could negatively affect your brand.

                      Do thorough research on how the market is like and what the general perception of your business is.

                      Try to get as much information you can get without the interviews and then use the interviews to only build on that discussion. Do not waste time on getting answers that you already know or are outright irrelevant. 

                      This is also the point where you should decide if you need a team or an additional notetaker or you can handle everything yourself.

                      Either way, be fully prepared so that you can get straight to the point when you finally interact with the customer.

                      3. Structure everything

                      Take some time to structure your thoughts and make solid notes on everything you have till now. Also, don’t forget to list the questions down so that the interview doesn’t go off-track.

                      This does not mean that the interview needs to be very structured and there shouldn’t be any off-topic conversations.

                      These conversations are also essential as they help the customer get into their comfort zone and answer everything in a relaxed manner. 

                      Let the conversation flow naturally and improvise on the way. These questions will only be a reference point to fall back on in case you lose track or miss out on something.

                      4. Make the call

                      It’s time you finally meet the customer. Be confident in your interactions and make sure the customer feels relaxed as well.

                      You can start with greetings, introductions, and open-ended questions such as “tell me about yourself”. This will allow them to describe exactly who they are and what their career, ambitions, and hobbies are.

                      Before you delve into the bigger questions, you will need to go over the framework for the interview so that the person being interviewed knows what they are in for.

                      You may mention how long the interview will last, what your goals are, and that you want their honest feedback on everything.

                      5. Dig in deeper

                      This is the main part where all the exciting discoveries happen. At this point, you can start using the list of questions you jotted down during the initial phase. 

                      An important thing to note is that you want the customer to be as candid as they can be during the whole interview. Let them tell stories that are personal and real and avoid leading questions.

                      Use open-ended questions so that they give you a complete context of why they say what they say instead of giving a simple yes or no. You will get the most out of your customer when you ask them more ‘why’ questions.

                      You could also keep digging in with multiple layers of whys just to get to the thought behind it.

                      Customer interview questions
                      Source: Strategyzer.com

                      Most importantly, talk less and listen more. It can be tempting to cut in and complete their answers for them but avoid this as much as you can. Give your customer the time and space they need to answer a question fully before you move on to the next one.

                      Also, don’t forget to take notes or record (with consent obviously) their responses so that you can later document and report easily.

                      6. Express gratitude

                      When you are satisfied that you have received good responses to all the questions you had, thank the customer for taking out time and say goodbye. Let them know that you value their time and feedback and you are genuinely grateful that they took time out for this. 

                      Some organizations even go a step ahead and give incentives to customers who take time out for feedback interviews. This incentive could be free goodies, discount codes, vouchers, etc.

                      Incentivizing customer interviews is highly recommended if you have the budget for it. You can read more on how to encourage customers for such interviews with non-monetary incentives here.

                      7. Take buffer time

                      Take at least 10 to 15 minutes after each interview to process everything that was discussed and try to structure the hasty notes that you took during the interview. 

                      This practice is particularly helpful when you are conducting multiple interviews in a row.

                      If you don’t take these 10 minutes for yourself, all the information you collect will start getting jumbled up; After 2 or 3 interviews, you won’t be able to recall anything correctly.

                      Dos and Don’ts of Customer Interviews

                      Now that we know exactly how to conduct these interviews, here is a quick recap of all the dos and don’ts of a customer interview.

                      • Do: List down all the questions you need to ask in advance.
                      • Don’t: Include leading questions or questions that get a simple yes or no as a response.
                      • Do: Improvise during the interview and let the conversation flow naturally.
                      • Don’t: Interrupt the customer and try to change the course of the conversation forcefully.
                      • Do: Take notes and record the interview but with consent.
                      • Don’t: Rely on your memory or delay taking notes till the end of the interview.
                      • Do: Ask open ended questions and get stories out of them.
                      • Don’t: Confuse them with very broad questions that they find difficult to answer.
                      • Do: Express gratitude at the end and let them know they are valued.
                      • Don’t: Extend the interview above the time you initially told the customer.
                      • Do: Take time to process everything before the next interview.
                      • Don’t: Take interviews in a row without short breaks in between.

                      Conclusion

                      Taking good interviews is a skill, and like any other skill, it will take some time to master. Making customer interviews a regular part of your marketing or sales strategy can do wonders and you will only get good at it if you keep doing it.

                      You can also use customer feedback software to automate the process to some extent but interviews will always have their place.

                      So put yourself out there, plan your interviews, and start meeting your customers!

                      References & Sources 

                      1. Product Coalition: The Four Kinds of Customer Interviews
                      2. User Interviews: The Ultimate Guide to Doing Kickass Customer Interviews
                      3. AMS: Customer Interviews: Do’s and Don’ts
                      4. Atlassian: Customer Interviews
                      5. The Daily Egg: How To Do Customer Interviews That Reveal Priceless Insights
                      6. Strategyzer: The One Biggest Error in Customer Interviews
                      7. JoomConnect: Customer Satisfaction Levels
                      8. Marketoonist
                      9. SuperOffice: Customer Experience Statistics
                      10. OutboundEngine: Take notes

                      Frequently Asked Questions

                      What are customer interviews?

                      omer interviews simply mean talking to your customers and asking them a few questions to better understand their perceptions about your brand and if you are meeting their needs properly. Such interviews are conducted mostly in a one-to-one setting and follow a casual structure.

                      What are the types of customer interviews?

                      Broadly, customer interviews can be classified into three types: Exploratory, Targeted, Business Efficiency, and Customer Satisfaction. All of these could be either structure, semi-structured, or unstructured.

                      How to conduct great customer interviews?

                      You can conduct great customer interviews by setting your goals clearly, doing your research, and then asking your customers open-ended questions. Let the customers talk more and focus on listening and taking notes on whatever they have to say.

                      B2B Segmentation: The Easy to follow 2021 Guide [6 Methods]

                      In this guide, we will cover how market segmentation in a B2B environment can help your business reach new heights, along with 6 easy methods for B2B segmentation.

                      These methods have helped well-established brands like Canon increase their market share up to 40% and save MetLife $800 Million in customer acquisition costs.

                      Let’s get right into it.

                        The Importance of B2B Segmentation

                        If there is one basic rule of marketing, it is to sell different people differently. Segmentation takes up an even more important role when it comes to the B2B market. 

                        Market segmentation in a B2B setting is a bit more complex than in a B2C one, but the benefits are immense. With the right segmentation strategy in place, you understand your target groups better and cater to their specific requirements in an effective manner. 

                        The importance of segmentation in the B2B market can be understood from the fact that it has helped brands like Canon tap into newer markets and grab up to 40% of the market share just with the right segmentation strategies in place.

                        Similarly, the insurance giant MetLife was able to better sort its customers into groups and save up to $800 Million from their customer acquisition costs.

                        Here are a few benefits B2B segmentation can bring to your business.

                        • It boosts company revenues.

                        By reaching out to groups who are the most interested in your products, you automatically get a higher conversion rate. The more you sell, the greater your revenues are.

                        • It can help cut marketing costs.

                        When you filter out your audience into specific groups, you can create more personalized campaigns. Such focused campaigns have a greater ROI and hence, you get the same results with lesser spending.

                        • It improves product development.

                        When you have a deeper understanding of your audience, diversifying your product portfolio becomes easier. You create different products for different groups and meet the requirements of the customers better.

                        • It identifies areas for expansion.

                        Once you start segmenting your audience, you will find groups that you have never been able to reach out to in the past. These new segments are brilliant areas to enter into and exploit.

                        • It enhances the customer experience.

                        When a business starts delivering more relevant solutions to the problems of its customers, the customer experience automatically gets better. They get exactly what they want and hence keep coming back for repeat purchases.

                        The Importance of B2B Segmentation

                        How B2B Segmentation Differs from B2C Segmentation 

                        Segmentation in both B2C and B2B markets revolves around the same basic idea of identifying target markets, grouping prospects, and creating focused marketing campaigns. However, there are few unique characteristics of the B2B market that need to be taken into account when segmenting. 

                        Before we move to the methods for B2B segmentation, let’s look at some of these differences that make B2B segmentation unique.

                        B2B vs B2C Segmentation
                        B2B vs B2C Segmentation
                        • The buying behavior is complex.

                        B2B purchases are usually high involvement and customers are looking for personalized solutions. This element of personalization allows businesses to segment in great detail, based on the needs of similar clients.

                        • There are no impulse purchases.

                        Contrary to B2C markets, a B2B buyer is extremely rational. Purchases are made on behalf of large corporations and there is a lot at stake. So, the buyers are very careful with their decisions. Segmentation, here, is purely on the basis of factors that affect purchase decisions rather than simpler criteria such as demographics or geography.

                        • There are more than one decision-makers.

                        B2B purchases involve a number of decision-makers from different departments of the business. The buying criteria and the final decision to buy rests with full teams and panels. Hence, it often gets difficult to understand their decisions and put them in certain groups while segmenting. 

                        • The buying cycle is considerably longer.

                        A longer buying cycle means that you can’t rush towards closing and have to wait for a few months or even years for the purchase to be finalized. A lot of factors change over this long time period and again, segmentation becomes tricky.

                        6 Easy Methods for B2B Segmentation in 2021

                        Segmenting Key Accounts

                        No two customers are the same and each customer should be treated as an individual. Ideally, each segment should consist of exactly one customer and the business services should be optimized for that individual.

                        But since realistically that is not possible, you may put the Pareto Principle in action here. According to this principle, somewhere around 20% of your key accounts will be responsible for driving 80% of your business activity. 

                        In most B2B cases, this 20% would amount to a handful of customers only. It is quite reasonable to treat these VIP customers as individual segments and provide personalized services to them in all aspects. 

                        You may tailor your products according to their needs or even develop new ones specifically for them. Make sure that you give special attention to these crucial key accounts as they are responsible for 80% of your revenues.

                        Firmographic Segmentation

                        Demographics take the form of Firmographics when our clients change from individuals to firms. Firmographics segmentation involves segmenting customers based on shared qualities such as business size, company location, the industry they are operating in, tech adoption rate, and a lot more.

                        Firmographic segmentation is particularly useful since it is fairly inexpensive. The cost to collect firmographic data is low and you don’t have to do a lot of research; firmographic information is publicly available in most cases.

                        Additionally, the information is quite simple to understand and all levels of management understand this model of segmentation

                        Firmographic Variables
                        Firmographic Variables

                        Firmographic segmentation is used by a lot of firms since it does not require an in-depth understanding of the clients or their purchasing patterns. However, there is a downside to it. The basic needs of organizations may be similar at a firmographic level, but when it comes to providing customized solutions, this data is of no use.

                        For instance, you can assume that all companies in the finance industry require bookkeeping software but you can’t tell the average amount each of them is ready to invest in it.

                        You may use Firmographic segmentation for top-of-the-funnel marketing but for deeper levels, you may require a different B2B segmentation framework.

                        Customer Tiering

                        Customer tiering is a process of ranking customers on the basis of their importance for your business. This importance could be defined by their profitability potential, lifetime value, or simply how well they are aligned with your future goals. 

                        Customer Tiering
                        Customer Tiering

                        Customer tiering is similar to the key accounts segmentation discussed earlier but the difference is that this type of segmentation covers a lot more than revenue generation potential only.

                        You may even consider how influential a client is in bringing more clients for your business so that you could focus on this particular client more.

                        Modern tech-savvy firms even utilize AI and machine learning to calculate the potential value a client holds and then create tiers based on these technologically advanced methods.

                        The downside, again, is that while customer tiering may guide you on what clients need more attention, the needs for all customers are not the same. Customers in the same tiers may be very different from each other and to put these insights to use, you may need additional segmentation criteria along with tiering.

                        Needs-Based Segmentation

                        This one is by far the most powerful method of customer segmentation.

                        Needs-based segmentation clusters audience groups on the basis of what they normally look for in a product. This could be a certain feature of the product or any other aspect they pay the most attention to while purchasing.

                        This model of segmentation is very accurate and highly scalable. You can identify certain aspects of the products or services you provide and then assign a certain score to each aspect for each of your clients.

                        The data collection may be hard and this score-assigning system might require some level of data analytics. However, the results are incredibly helpful.

                        You can also derive customer needs from what drove them to the product in the first place. For instance, a client could be subscribing to a cloud hosting service to share files across their network. Another client could be subscribing to the same service to backup important data and recover easily in case of loss.

                        Here are some examples of customer needs.

                        Needs-based Segmentation
                        Needs-based Segmentation

                        Needs-based segmentation is always recommended for firms that have the resources to conduct it. Otherwise, if you want a simpler framework for segmentation, you could always go for other methods discussed in the article.

                        Segmentation Based on Customer Sophistication

                        Customer sophistication refers to their acumen of the product you are offering or the industry they are operating in. There are customers who require a very basic version of what you are offering and then there are ones who are experts in the area and demand a lot more sophistication. You need to put these two types of customers in separate groups and make sure they don’t overlap.

                        The major risk with using customer sophistication as a basis for segmentation is that marketers try to link it with the size of the business or the industry they are operating in.

                        Also, making faulty assumptions about customer sophistication may lead to pushing customers away instead of bringing them in.

                        For instance, if you bombard a sophisticated customer with your top-of-the-funnel pitch, they might find it very annoying and instantly switch to a competitor.

                        Behavioral Segmentation

                        As the name suggests, behavioral segmentation looks at the behavior of your customers towards your product or service. You segment customers on the basis of their interaction with your business and try to figure out if a particular customer has become more interested or disinterested over time.

                        Behavioral segmentation is often used in combination with customer tiering to identify customers who need to be pursued to get greater value out of them. Marketers are able to identify the potential for upselling and increase revenues from individual customers.

                        Alternatively, the customers who are at risk of churning are given preferential treatment to keep them on board.

                        B2B Segmentation Case Study

                        Now that we know how B2B segmentation works, let’s go through a real-life case where B2B segmentation helped a business focus its sales and marketing operations and bring in valuable clients.

                        MetLife is a well-known insurance and employee benefits company. Back in 2015, reimagined all of its branding and customer acquisition strategies by putting customer segmentation to use.

                        Traditionally, the company had been using simpler segmentation criteria for its corporate clients. Segments were created based on the size of the organization or the number of employees in the company. Using these criteria gave MetLife only a rough outline of who their customers are but no actual insights on how they could be targeted.

                        MetLife interviewed and surveyed more than 50,000 of its customers, both individuals and corporate, to collect certain data points. The segmentation was then redesigned based on sophisticated big data clustering techniques with the help of machine learning algorithms.

                        For the first time in its history, the company had a clear picture of who its clients were and how the company resources needed to be allocated against the pursuit of the right customers. The newer segmentation model was based on a mix of demographic, firmographic, behavioral, and needs-based metrics.

                        The company was able to save up to $800 Million in customer acquisition costs over the course of 5 years.

                        This segmentation practice was so effective that MetLife took it one step further and started educating its corporate clients on how they could think about their employees through a combination of demographic and psychographic data.

                        The company’s corporate services now include “helping HR leaders select their benefits and adjust current programs to suit their diverse employees”.

                        Conclusion

                        B2B marketing activities demand loads of cash to drive any results. And no firm has infinite resources available. Even if you are a large company, you may be able to spend millions in marketing, but if the message you’re sending isn’t specifically targeted at anyone, there is no use sending it out in the first place. 

                        This is exactly where market segmentation comes in. You group similar customers up and try to define the focus of all your activities right from the initial product development, to the eventual sale, and even after-sales activities.

                        Make sure you are using the right method of segmentation that not only goes well with your own goals but also sits well with the industry you are operating in and the type of customers you are dealing with.

                        Such a segmentation model is bound to succeed and bring positive results for your business.

                        References & Sources 

                        1. Sopro.io: The complete guide to b2b market segmentation
                        2. Hello-adience: How to conduct a B2B market segmentation
                        3. MetLife: A Case Study in Customer Segmentation
                        4. Insight to Action: the Case for More Meaningful B2B Market Segmentation
                        5. Investopedia: Pareto Principle
                        6. Marketing Interactive: How Canon carved a new market segment
                        7. Sterling Woods: 10 Stats That Demonstrate the Power of Segmentation
                        8. Data Captive: How Important is Market Segmentation in B2B?
                        9. Iammoulude: Market Segmentation in B2B Markets
                        10. The Wiglaf Journal: What are Firmographics?
                        11. Intandemly: Account Segmentation and It’s Importance
                        12. Worshipful Company of Marketors: Needs-Based Market Segmentation

                        Frequently Asked Questions

                        What is B2B segmentation?

                        B2B market segmentation means finding unique audience groups by understanding the common characteristics between customers. Different market segments are created using different criteria and then these segments are treated very differently with respect to product development, marketing, or sales.

                        What are the types of B2B segmentation?

                        There are various types that B2B segmentation can take. The most used methods include key accounts segmentation, firmographic segmentation, customer needs-based segmentation, customer sophistication-based segmentation, behavioral segmentation, and customer tiering.

                        Is B2B segmentation important?

                        B2B segmentation is extremely important especially in the competitive market of 2021. With the right segmentation strategy in place, you understand your target groups better and cater to their specific requirements in an effective manner.

                        Customer Profiling: The Ultimate Guide for 2021 [Updated]

                        In this article, you will learn everything about one of the best ways to get deeper insights into your audience — Customer Profiling.

                        Customer Profiling has helped hundreds of brands across the globe segment their clients and reach out to them in a more effective manner.

                        Read on to find out what customer profiling is, and how can it help achieve your business goals. You will also see some examples, and explore the process of building actionable customer profiles. 

                          What is a Customer Profile?

                          All businesses want to grow and develop. All businesses want to build a community of loyal customers who are satisfied, promote their brand, and always come back for more. But such a relationship can’t come out of the blue. 

                          First, you need to understand the people you sell something to. This understanding will allow you to prevent negative experiences, provoke positive emotions, identify the most effective marketing channels, and more. 

                          Customer Profiling Explained

                          Customer profiles (or buyer personas) help you understand who your current and/or ideal customers are. Based on the actual data, they represent customers who act and think similarly. Thus you can segment all your clients into several groups and approach them differently. Without profiling, customer targeting turns into shots in the dark. 

                          Customer Profiling vs. Segmentation

                          Customer segmentation is a grouping of customers based on common characteristics like age, marital status, location, channels, etc. It comes in handy when you want to run a targeted campaign, which is sometimes enough. As today customer personality has become a major focus, general segmentation seems too narrow and a bit old-fashioned. That’s when customer profiling takes the stage.

                          Customer profiling is about the consumer’s experience and its improvement. This approach uses segmentation characteristics but pays more attention to the customer’s habits, previous experiences, pain points, touchpoints, etc. In the first place, it aims to understand customers, offer a better experience, service, or product. Of course, at the end of the day, it makes them buy more, recommend you to friends, and write positive reviews. 

                          So, basically, the key difference between segmentation and profiling is customer personality. Segmentation is like an empty shell, while profiling gives it a soul you can relate to. But look at the methods as partners in marketing crime, not as sworn enemies, and use both to create the fullest profile that will allow you to target the right people and get to know them at the same time.

                          The Benefits of Customer Profiling

                          As we mentioned above, customer profiling is the key to truly understanding your audience. Not only to learn their age, sex, location, or hobby but identify their buying patterns. 

                          For instanсe, a profile for a male of 25 years who lives in New York and loves music can include such important details as what kind of music it is, how frequently he buys new tracks, what channels he uses, what troubles he has with it, how he searches for new music, what payment method he considers the best, and so on. 

                          Such information provides more relevance to business strategies and decisions. It enables you to improve your product or service as well as communication with customers. And that’s not all. 

                          Other customer profiling benefits include: 

                          • Finding new leads. When you know which direction to look at, it’s not that hard to attract the right people.
                          • Objective decision-making. Research and statistics are always more powerful than assumptions. For instance, you might think that you have too few leads because of not appealing photos in your online store’s profile, but the truth is you don’t indicate the prices and people have to request them while it’s hardly convenient for them. 
                          • Coming up with new ideas about your product or service. Do people order your product or service for someone else? Provide an opportunity to add a gift card or special packaging.  
                          • Having a shared vision of your target customers. The way the marketers imagine your buyers can be different from how the salespeople see and approach them. 
                          • Enhancing marketing activities. When you know your customer, you can measure your goals more accurately and improve account-based marketing.
                          • Increasing retention and loyalty of your customers. Customer profiling can make your service or product more personalized and empathetic. When you know your audience, you provide more relevant content, product, and services. 

                          Methods to do Customer Profiling 

                          There are different ways to do customer profiling. Each refers to a certain segmentation: psychographics, buying traits, buying motivations, social statuses, and so on. 

                          For instance, one offers you to focus on what drives a customer to buy this or that product, another explores the lifestyle and hobbies of the consumers, and the third is more about sex, income, and occupation. 

                          There can be different criteria for grouping customers, and demographics and behavior are the two most common ones. The former works like a charm when it comes to targeted advertising on social media, the latter does you a good turn when you want to get valuable insights into how to improve buyers’ experience and your product or service in general. 

                          Tip: Having behavior-based profiles is much more beneficial in most cases. And you can always spice them with demographics. 

                          Steps to Creating Customer Profiles

                          Let’s put our researcher’s shoes on and take 5 steps, minding what information we need to gather. 

                          1. Conduct research. Use quantitative (e.g., measuring, calculating) and qualitative (e.g., interviews, observations) methods. You don’t need to get the answer from all of your customers or users, but you have to gather enough feedback to identify patterns and prove their credibility. 

                          Here are some ways to gather the information:

                          • Talking to customer-facing employees;
                          • Using web analytics;
                          • Offering customers to fill-in feedback forms;
                          • Checking out customer support logs;
                          • Analyzing social media;
                          • Conducting interviews;
                          • Reading industry-related reports. 
                          1. Identify behavioral attributes. This step is about analyzing the data you gathered during research. You need to see what people with the same role (an accountant, for example) have in common. These things show what affects them when they try to solve their problems, fulfill their goals, solve problems, or interact with your product.
                          1. Create behavior scales. Here you have to take the attributes, decide what values they can have, and turn those into the scales. Try to come up with at least 3 attributes per scale, but don’t push yourself to create as many attributes as possible (3-7 is the optimal variant). 
                          Customer Behavioral Scale
                          Customer Behavioral Scale

                          Hints to use as attributes for your scales:

                          • Experience (e.g., How does the person solve problems now? How did the person achieve goals in the past? What experience do they have with your product?).
                          • Human factors (e.g., How old is a person? Where do they live? What kind of schooling did they have? What physiological characteristics do they have?).
                          • Problems (e.g., What does the person try to avoid? What keeps the person from achieving their goals? What problems does the person want to solve?).
                          • Needs (e.g., What needs does the person want to satisfy? What does the person want to achieve?).
                          • Expectations (e.g., What does the person expect from your product?).
                          • Knowledge (e.g., What professional knowledge does the person have? What does the person know about your product?).
                          • Tasks (e.g., What does the person do? What tasks does the person perform? What are the typical scenarios?).
                          • Triggers (e.g., What prompts the person to start performing a task? What prompts the person to pause or stop?).
                          • Execution time (e.g., How much time does the person spend on the task? What determines the execution time? How does the lack of time influence the person’s behavior?).
                          • Environment (e.g., When and where does the interaction take place? What channels are used? How does this person impact the context?).
                          • Relationships (e.g., Who else is involved in the process? Who is a decision-maker? What influence does this person have on others?).
                          1. Put all research participants on each scale regarding their answers. You will get something like this:
                          Customer Behavioral Scale
                          Customer Behavioral Scale
                          1. Identify patterns. If you see the same respondents at the same positions at least 5 times, it’s a sign that you’ve got customer profiling material here. Keep looking for the matching data to find other repeating patterns that are the ground to build your customer profiles upon. Mind that any unique pattern can be transformed into yet another customer profile and matters for your business. 

                          So, now you have grouped your customers, and it’s time to turn them into profiles.

                          Visualizing Customer Profiles

                          There are different tools to digitize customer data and transform it into customer profiles that are always at hand. Some even have generators that select the most suitable name and picture that fit your persona’s criteria. Here, we’ll use the UXPressia platform to build a customer profile online.

                          3 Steps to Fill In a Customer Profile

                          1. A customer profile should be informative and action-provoking. So it’s important to add such data that brings out empathy in you and your colleagues. Start with a name, photo, and maybe a few facts about a person you describe. 
                          Customer Profile Template 1
                          Customer Profile Template
                          1. Now add more flesh to the profile: expectations, challenges, background, goals, frustrations, motivations, etc. 
                          • Background is personal information about your customer that relates to your product or service. It’s a story that tells about your persona’s journey, which brought them to you. Selling coffee, put your customer’s routine, their lifestyle description, coffee preferences, etc. 
                          • Expectations are what your customers anticipate from you by default or based on their previous experience with similar products or services. Sometimes the expectations are very low, especially after the bad experience in the past, and it’s your chance to win the customer over. 
                          • Goals are what your customers want to achieve by using your product or service. E.g., someone comes to your coffee shop to cheer up a bit while someone comes for the atmosphere or even Wi-Fi. Therefore, each group of customers will value different things in your shop. 
                          • Challenges are about problems or barriers your customers face trying to reach their goals. For example, a person would love to bring your muffins to work, but you don’t have a proper package. 
                          • Frustrations are existing or possible pain points. Think of what can discourage your customers from purchase, what can spoil their experience and scares them off. It’s always better to prevent customer’s displeasure than making amends afterward.
                          • Motivations are the reasons the customer comes to you. This section provides insights into increasing the consumer’s satisfaction. 
                          Customer Profile Template 2
                          Customer Profile Template

                          There are more sections to use inside the UXPressia CJM tool. It’s up to you whether to describe your customer’s previous experience, their current environment, or a scenario to put them in. Each section is customizable, so feel free to create a unique information block that makes sense in your particular case. 

                          1. Spice the profile with additional yet optional information like your customer’s favorite brands, skills, or personality type. This data will help to approach your customers or users from new angles, to open new dimensions, and deepen your understanding. This information is also good for targeted marketing, just like the data from step #1.
                          Customer Profile Template 3
                          Customer Profile Template

                          When the customer profile is ready, you can always broaden or optimize it. Don’t forget to update the created customer profile with time to capture the up-to-date situation. Share the result with your colleagues and invite them to cooperate.

                          Tips & Tricks to Build the Most Accurate Customer Profile

                          1. To get a holistic view of your audience, use both quantitative and qualitative approaches to customer research. 
                          2. Avoid creating idealized profiles. Those should be as real as possible. If you don’t have some information, continue research instead of making it up. 
                          3. Personas must be and feel real. Get creative with scenarios you put them in (e.g., you can speculate on how your customer will act in a certain situation or how you want them to perceive your product or service), but any sensation must be designed for someone who does exist. 
                          4. Do not use pictures and names of famous people. It’s confusing and not very ethical.
                          5. Effective customer profiles are based on the research of your real customers and users. Do not try to assume this or that information. Made-up facts won’t do any good to your future strategies.
                          6. Take your time. Creating a customer profile is not an easy task. Make sure everyone in the team working with you understands that too.
                          7. Gather and engage a team. Identify the key stakeholders, involve people from various departments (marketers, customer success agents, salesmen, etc.). Run internal workshops.
                          8. Mind the setting. If you design for an online buyer persona, focus on the online channels. 
                          9. You should update your customer profiles regularly, especially when your business goes through changes that could affect your personas (e.g., a new product release, new prices, etc.).
                          10. Use more behavioral patterns, fewer demographics. It’s not a target advertising campaign, you are trying to understand your customer and improve their experience.

                          Conclusion

                          So, now you know how to build an actionable customer profile, what approaches are best to use and why, and how to combine different methods. It will not only help you run successful marketing campaigns but create relevant content and develop your product or service in the right direction. 

                          For more inspiration material, check out UXPressia’s ready-to-use templates. Happy mapping!

                          References & Sources

                          1. Commence: What Are the 3 Methods of Customer Profiling?
                          2. Referral Candy: How To Make A Buyer Persona
                          3. Hubspot: 8 Easy Steps to Creating a Customer Profile
                          4. SuperOffice: Customer Profiles
                          5. UXPressia: Сustomer journey map and personas templates

                          Frequently Asked Questions

                          What is a customer profile?

                          A customer profile is a document with a fictional persona that represents a group of your customers with similar needs, pain points, motivations, background, interests, skills, goals, and so on. Such profiles help to deeper understand your audience and approach each group differently.

                          What is the best method to do customer profiling?

                          There are many ways to create a customer profile, but the most accurate ones are usually based on behavioral traits. The behavior-based approach means that you conduct research, identify behavioral attributes and scales, put the answers on the scales, look for patterns, and thus get material for customer profiles.

                          Where can I create customer profiles?

                          You can use a) pen and paper, b) online documents (it’s more convenient for remote collaborative work), c) professional tools that turn your data into designer-quality customer profiles (such as Make My Persona, UXPressia, Xtensio, and so on).

                          What is the difference between customer profiling and segmentation?

                          Customer segmentation divides your audience into groups by demographics, interests, goals, and other characteristics, but, unlike customer profiling, this method doesn’t go further. It helps to frame and target the right people, and sometimes it’s enough (e.g., for target advertising). Customer profiling approaches customers from another angle, focusing on their behavior and identifying patterns. This method turns data into an actionable file that feels like a real person, evokes empathy, and provides insights into improving customer experience. m.

                          14 Best Video Marketing Software +3 Hacks for Engagement [Full Review]

                          In this article, we will talk about how you can choose the right video marketing software for your business that helps create killer videos for your marketing campaigns.

                          We will see how you can use these software to improve your marketing game and outshine your competition.

                          These software have helped brands like Microsoft, CNN, P&G, and IBM grow their business significantly, and maintain their leadership in the industry.

                          Let’s dive right in and see what are the top 14 video marketing software in 2021.

                            The Importance of Video in Marketing

                            Videos are undoubtedly the best medium for communicating with an audience that is overloaded with information and has a short attention span. Videos cut through the internet clutter better and deliver a lasting impact on the viewers. 

                            This is exactly why more than 93% of online marketers use videos in their campaigns, and around 87% of them report the best ROI through video content.

                            These stats were a bit different pre-COVID but ever since the pandemic hit, video marketing has taken the front seat in almost all digital marketing campaigns over the internet.

                            There is a significant increase in the viewership from the audience, which means that this channel of marketing is very lucrative right now and fairly easy to exploit.

                            Getting into video marketing is straightforward; you need to build a solid video strategy, put it into action via video marketing software, and wait for the results to come in.

                            The Importance of Video in Marketing

                            How to Evaluate Video Marketing Software

                            Here are some questions you may ask to evaluate how good or bad a platform is for your specific business. Once you have the answers, you will be in a much better position to decide which one works best for you.

                            Does the software provide templates to kick start your video campaigns?

                            Starting your video campaigns from scratch can be hard unless you get a software that has pre-built storyboard templates. If you are already into video marketing and know the basics, these templates might not be as helpful. But as a beginner, having these on your side will definitely help.

                            Does the platform provide enough performance metrics?

                            When you are using your video campaigns for specific marketing goals, it is not enough to just roll them out and wait for the results to come in. You need to monitor and track every performance point to see how well they are doing. Make sure there is enough performance and ROI tracking so that you can optimize your video campaigns for the best results.

                            Can you edit and create videos with it?

                            Since you will need to regularly create and edit videos, it will be of great help if you could do it within your video marketing software. Almost all video marketing software provide these tools but double-check just to be sure.

                            What social platforms does it cover?

                            Social media platforms keep evolving every day and new ones keep getting added to the list. TikTok was one recent example. Make sure that the software you use covers all major platforms and also gets regular updates to keep up with the changes.

                            Does it help with content planning?

                            Planning your content in advance is of great help especially when you need to create and post in bulk. A clear plan keeps you organized and on schedule. Try to find a platform that lets you plan and schedule your videos in advance so that you are able to follow your content strategy strictly.

                            14 Best Video Marketing Software

                            InVideo

                            InVideo Website

                            InVideo is an online video creation and marketing tool used by almost all types of businesses. It allows you to create customized, branded videos and share them across major social media platforms as well as your personal websites. 

                            You can choose from 5000+ premade templates and start creating videos right away. Besides, you get access to lots of stock images and footage with the video creation software. 

                            InVideo also provides reports on social media metrics such as reach, impressions, views, etc. and lets you create multilingual videos with its text-to-speech functionality. There are all major features a video editing software provides and you can create all sorts of videos with a fifteen-minute duration limit.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Animations & Transitions
                            • Engagement Tracking
                            • Multi-Language Support
                            • Video Templates
                            • Stock Images & Footage
                            • Multimedia Support
                            • Collaboration Tools

                            Pros

                            • The tool is available online which means you don’t necessarily need to download it.
                            • You can trim videos as you upload, saving a lot of time.
                            • The ready-made video templates are a great help for beginners.
                            • The stock footage collection is vast.

                            Cons

                            • The software lags on weaker systems.
                            • Voice-over synchronization can be a hassle.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Business – $15/month
                            • Unlimited $30/month

                            Capterra Score 4.8/5 (263 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.8/5 (116 reviews)

                            Website https://invideo.io/

                            Animoto

                            Animoto Website

                            Animoto provides powerful features that make video editing super easy for both personal and professional use. The video editor is available online and does not require a lot of previous experience with video editing. 

                            With Animoto, you get access to over 1 million stock photos and video clips, along with a library of thousands of licensed tracks. You can easily drag and drop your own files and get started in no time.

                            You get a head start on your videos with templates that are designed keeping all social media best practices in mind. Each template can be fully customized with intuitive colors, fonts, and other design elements.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Social Media Integration
                            • Stock Library
                            • Music Library
                            • Video Templates
                            • Custom Logo & Watermark
                            • Custom Fonts
                            • Multiple Aspect Ratios

                            Pros

                            • Great for both personal and professional projects.
                            • Templates can be easily customized.
                            • The video editor is available online.
                            • Three different aspect ratios allow for videos to be customized for different platforms.

                            Cons

                            • The editor isn’t very convenient to use.
                            • Can be time-consuming if you don’t have already edited material to upload.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Professional – $15/month
                            • Professional Plus $39/month

                            Capterra Score 4.3/5 (148 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.4/5 (75 reviews)

                            Website https://animoto.com/

                            VideoScribe

                            VideoScribe Website

                            VideoScribe is a quick and inexpensive tool for creating whiteboard animations and explainer videos. Such videos can be of great help for your business as you can improve your communication, educate your customers about your products, and communicate your message better.

                            You can quickly create animated videos with voiceovers, music, or other custom audio. There is a vast media library that includes images, cartoons, music, and a lot more that you can use to create your videos. 

                            All you need to do to get started is select from a template and add or remove objects via simple drag and drop functionality. Once you’re done, you can export your video or share it directly on social media.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Whiteboard Animations
                            • Media Library
                            • Drag & Drop Functionality
                            • Social Media Integration
                            • Video Templates
                            • Voiceovers & Music
                            • Text Overlay

                            Pros

                            • The interface design is functional and it naturally guides you through the process.
                            • The software is exceptionally easy to learn.
                            • You can export in multiple formats. SVG exports are of great help.
                            • The image library contains lots of high quality and colorful visuals.

                            Cons

                            • You can not animate more than one item on the screen at the same time.
                            • You can not use high-quality WAV audio files for your videos.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 7 Days
                            • Pro Version – $8/month

                            Capterra Score 4.2/5 (34 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4/5 (44 reviews)

                            Website https://www.videoscribe.co/

                            Animaker

                            Animaker Website

                            Animaker allows businesses to create fully animated 2D videos with a simple drag and drop interface. It is designed as a platform for beginners and non-designers with zero design experience to create fully animated live-action videos.

                            You can create, edit, animate, and share full-length videos or gifs. There are tonnes of professionally made templates you can choose from and get started in no time. Plus, the software runs on an HTML5 engine which means that it gives an optimal performance on browsers.

                            Animaker allows teams to collaborate on videos and create, edit, and animate together. The collaborative environment is great and helps create great videos easily.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • GIFs & Short Videos
                            • 2D Animations
                            • Media Library
                            • Video Templates
                            • Collaboration Tools
                            • Video Subtitles
                            • Voiceovers & Music

                            Pros

                            • Making animations is made easy and does not require any previous experience.
                            • The media library is extensive and includes a variety of characters, objects, images, and music.
                            • You can create characters, add facial expressions, and lip-sync audio.
                            • Teams can easily collaborate on videos.

                            Cons

                            • The software starts lagging if the video gets too loaded.
                            • Not recommended for weaker internet connections.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Basic – $10/month
                            • Starter – $19/month
                            • Pro – $49/month
                            • Enterprise – Custom Pricing

                            Capterra Score 3.9/5 (84 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.3/5 (59 reviews)

                            Website https://www.animaker.com/

                            Vimeo

                            Vimeo Website

                            Vimeo is an online video streaming website that allows businesses to upload and promote videos with a high degree of customization. It provides simple tools for professionals to create, manage, and share high-quality videos.

                            You can promote your business with the video marketing tools Vimeo provides and create a subscription streaming service for your videos. Everything can be hosted in one central and secure location where teams can come together and collaborate.

                            The software also allows you to track video performance on all platforms from a central dashboard. The analytics are quite detailed and provide you with data on lots of metrics.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation
                            • Video Streaming & Storage
                            • Customizable Video Player
                            • Immersive 360 Videos
                            • Video Privacy Settings
                            • Analytics & ROI Tracking
                            • Social Media Integration
                            • Media Library

                            Pros

                            • You can lock videos with passwords.
                            • There is no unnecessary chatter in the interface.
                            • The video quality does not get affected on uploading.
                            • There are no ads on your videos.

                            Cons

                            • The audience on Vimeo is limited and the visibility of content is generally low.
                            • Multiple videos can not be uploaded at once.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 30 Days
                            • Basic Version – Free Unlimited
                            • Plus – $7/month
                            • Pro – $20/month
                            • Business – $50/month
                            • Premium – $75/month
                            • Enterprise – Custom Pricing

                            Capterra Score 4.6/5 (629 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.2/5 (260 reviews)

                            Website https://vimeo.com/

                            Vyond

                            Vyond Website

                            Vyond is an animation software tool for businesses that allows them to create professional-looking animated videos with a simple drag and drop functionality.

                            You can create educational videos, whiteboard animations, and live-action videos for your business with fully animated characters. Voiceovers can be added via the text-to-speech functionality, along with custom audio.

                            There are a lot of templates you can start with and an extensive media library you can choose from. Additionally, the data security and privacy are very reliable and your videos are completely safe within the platform.

                            Main Features

                            • 2D Drawing
                            • Animations & Transitions
                            • Video Templates
                            • Media Library
                            • Privacy Options
                            • Collaboration Tools
                            • Drag & Drop Functionality
                            • Text Overlay

                            Pros

                            • The software has a lot of templates that help create videos quickly without starting from scratch.
                            • The text-to-speech functionality helps create voiceovers.
                            • Characters can be easily customized.
                            • You can upload and add custom content to videos.

                            Cons

                            • There is no offline version of the software.
                            • The characters available in the media library are limited.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 14 Days
                            • Premium – $89/month
                            • Professional – $159/month

                            Capterra Score 4.7/5 (212 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.5/5 (52 reviews)

                            Website https://www.vyond.com/

                            Wistia

                            Wistia Website

                            Wistia provides innovative video creation and marketing software that enables brands to create captivating videos that get the message across and keep the viewers engaged.

                            Wistia claims that it can turn your videos and podcasts into marketing machines. With Wistia, you can upload, customize, and embed content experiences. The software integrates with CRMs and other marketing tools to send and receive engagement data.

                            With analytics, you can view engagement graphs, video heatmaps, and set up viewer-based tracking. This way, you can see who is watching your videos, how much they’re watching, and which ones are providing the most value for you.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Video Hosting
                            • Video Analytics
                            • Custom Ad Audiences
                            • Marketing Integrations
                            • Social Media Integration
                            • Embeddable Channels
                            • Brand Overlay

                            Pros

                            • There are tonnes of integrations available with other CRM and marketing software.
                            • The performance metrics are of great help in analysing video campaigns.
                            • You can create and test different video variations in different places.
                            • You can create and customize your own video channel.

                            Cons

                            • The file upload size is limited so you often need to compress footage before adding it to Wistia.
                            • There are no options to edit or filter video recordings.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Pro – $99/month
                            • Advanced – Custom Pricing

                            Capterra Score 4.7/5 (143 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.6/5 (220 reviews)

                            Website https://wistia.com/

                            Filmora

                            Filmora Website

                            Filmora is a full-fledged filmmaking software available for PCs as well as mobile devices. It provides powerful video editing and processing tools that allow for professional and high-quality videos to be created.

                            Fillmore provides advanced video processing features such as keyframing, motion tracking, and color grading. You can add hundreds of effects and transitions and even create a green screen or split-screen videos.

                            The software is available for both Mac and Windows systems. You can use it to create premium, cinematic films that make your business stand out and deliver the message well. 

                            Main Features

                            • Video Editing & Creation
                            • Animations & Transitions
                            • Media Library
                            • Motion Tracking 
                            • Green Screen Videos
                            • Color Grading
                            • Speed Control
                            • Audio Editing

                            Pros

                            • You can export videos in multiple sizes.
                            • The pack of transitions and effects it comes with are very impressive.”
                            • A mobile app of the software is also available.
                            • There are tonnes of media resources it comes with.

                            Cons

                            • Saving and exporting videos makes the software laggy.
                            • The green screen results are not as good.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 30 Days
                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Monthly Plan – $19.99/month
                            • Annual Plan – $61.99/year
                            • Perpetual Plan – $89.99 one time fee
                            • Business – $155.88/year

                            Capterra Score 4.5/5 (295 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.5/5 (174 reviews)

                            Website https://filmora.wondershare.com/

                            Viewbix

                            Viewbix Website

                            Viewbix is a video analytics platform that helps businesses understand what messages are resonating with their video viewers and how to leverage that data to enhance the video experience.

                            Viewbix’s patented video marketing platform allows businesses to quickly and easily drive a meaningful ROI from their on-demand and live videos while providing deep insights into viewer engagement.

                            Data can be tracked on multiple platforms and on all devices and you can also create interactive videos with its SaaS-based platform. The solutions it provides are mostly self-managed, which means the software will handle most stuff for you.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Analytics
                            • Video Creation
                            • Cross-Platform Distribution
                            • Integrated CTAs
                            • ROI Tracking

                            Pros

                            • The analytics Viewbix provides help improve ROI.
                            • You can optimize your video campaigns in real-time.
                            • Viewbix works on multiple platforms and covers almost all devices.
                            • Insights from Viewbix help decrease the cost per engagement on videos.

                            Cons

                            • The software is fairly new so there aren’t a lot of companies using it as of yet.
                            • The online video marketing resources available for Viewbix are limited.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 14 Days
                            • Silver Plan – $24.88/month
                            • Gold Plan – $49.99/month
                            • Platinum Plan – $99.99/month

                            Capterra Score Not enough reviews

                            G2 Score Not enough reviews

                            Website https://corp.viewbix.com/

                            Wideo

                            Wideo Website

                            Wideo combines all the features of a video editing and animation tool allows you to create professional videos and presentations. You can create videos with a premium design and animate characters with minimum effort.

                            With Wideo, there are endless creative possibilities. You can start from scratch or use templates to get started. The media library covers an extensive range of characters and objects and the videos you create can be horizontal, vertical, or square.

                            You can save animations and effects, and duplicate them later on for new videos. Besides, you can log in from different devices and work on the same video. The changes will be automatically synchronized everywhere.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Animations & Transitions
                            • Video Templates
                            • Slideshow Presentations
                            • Media Library
                            • Text to Speech
                            • Screen Recording
                            • Privacy Controls

                            Pros

                            • A Google Chrome extension is available which makes things easy.
                            • The interface is clear and responsive.
                            • There are special discounts for educators and students.
                            • You don’t need any previous video knowledge; You can choose a template and get started.

                            Cons

                            • You can not work on Wideo while offline.
                            • The character library is very limited.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 7 Days
                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Basic – $19/month
                            • Pro – $39/month
                            • Pro+ – $79/month

                            Capterra Score 4/5 (35 reviews)

                            G2 Score Not enough reviews

                            Website https://wideo.co/

                            Vidyard

                            Vidyard Website

                            Vidyard is a comprehensive video marketing platform with powerful video creation, editing, hosting, and analytics tools. It helps record and send videos that make all stages of the sales cycle from prospecting to proposals much easier.

                            You can record your screen or webcam and create personalized videos that need to be sent to customers via email, LinkedIn, or other communication channels. Once the videos are out, you can also track their performance with its analytics tools.

                            Video streaming on Vidyard is ad-free and there is no upload limit. You can add as many videos as you want to your library and embed them on your website, blog, or landing pages. The performance can be easily tracked and ROI can be calculated.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Video Hosting
                            • Video Sharing
                            • Analytics & ROI Tracking
                            • Social Media Integration
                            • Privacy Options
                            • Screen Recording
                            • Automatic Transcription

                            Pros

                            • You can add CTAs directly to videos, increasing their performance.
                            • Vidyard makes embedding videos on websites easier.
                            • You can track video analytics from multiple platforms.
                            • The software integrates with CRM and other marketing software.

                            Cons

                            • The Google Chrome extension of Vidyard crashes too often.
                            • The customer service is irresponsive at times.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Pro – $15/month
                            • Teams – $300/month
                            • Business – $1250/month

                            Capterra Score 4.4/5 (82 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.5/5 (449 reviews)

                            Website https://www.vidyard.com/

                            Wirecast

                            Wirecast Website

                            Wirecast is the most popular live streaming software that helps with setting up live video production for all kinds of sets. Whether you’re streaming from your office webcam or from the main stage of a sold-out music festival, Wirecast always has your back.

                            All you need to do with Wirecast is to plug in your cameras and microphones and let the software handle the rest. The production features make your broadcasts look professional and ready for TV. 

                            There are integrated text, titles, and built-in transitions. Additionally, you can integrate your social media channels to stream directly through your profile. You also get access to a stock media library which you can use to add more colors to your production.

                            Main Features

                            • Live Streaming Production
                            • Video Conferencing
                            • Audio Mixer
                            • Social Media Integration
                            • Audience Engagement Tools
                            • Customizable Branding
                            • Split/Multi-Screen View
                            • Virtual Sets & Backgrounds

                            Pros

                            • You can steam across multiple platforms simultaneously.
                            • The preview screen is helpful in preparing transitions during live videos.
                            • The audio mixer helps with audio production alongside the live video.
                            • Virtual background allows you to add branding to videos.

                            Cons

                            • The interface is hard to navigate and streams often require a lot of time to set up.
                            • The software takes up a lot of computer resources.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Trial – 30 Days
                            • Wirecast Studio – $599
                            • Wirecast Pro – $799

                            Capterra Score 4.3/5 (3 reviews)

                            G2 Score 4.4/5 (28 reviews)

                            Website https://www.telestream.net/wirecast/

                            Animotica

                            Animotica Website

                            Animotica is a brilliant video creation and editing tool for Windows 10 that can be of great help in creating branded video content. You can create videos for all social media platforms quickly and with great ease.

                            The software is ranked as the number one video editor on the Microsoft Store. It provides extensive video processing, color grading, green screen, and animation features. You can add effects, voiceovers, music, and animated transitions to your videos.

                            Animotica also has powerful video stabilization and color adjustment tools that add a professional look to the videos. You can start with the free version or purchase the Pro version in order to remove their watermark from your videos.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Effects & Transitions
                            • Captions & Text Overlay
                            • Animated GIFs & Stickers
                            • Slideshow Presentation
                            • Video Stabilization
                            • Color Correction 
                            • Green Screen Videos

                            Pros

                            • The output quality is great for all kinds of videos.
                            • Videos can be optimized for different social media platforms.
                            • The free version is quite comprehensive and has lots of features.
                            • The interface is very easy to navigate.

                            Cons

                            • Video coloring features like brightness, contrast, saturation etc are not as good.
                            • The pre-built audio/music library is very limited.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Animotica Light – $6.99 lifetime license
                            • Animotica Full Pro – $15.99 lifetime license

                            Capterra Score 4.2/5 (6 reviews)

                            G2 Score Not enough reviews

                            Website https://www.animotica.com/

                            Videolean

                            Videolean Website

                            Videolean provides a fast and intuitive way of creating business videos and increasing the visibility of your brand. This video marketing software is designed for marketers working with different community managers, eCommerce stores, journalists, and more.

                            All you need to do is select from the pre-built templates and customize them according to your needs. Your video will be ready for publishing in a few minutes only. Once it is done, you can either export a low-resolution preview to show to higher authorities and get approval, or render the full high-quality video to start sharing.

                            Videolean makes things fast and is a great solution for marketers with little to no experience in video management. It can be of great help if you are just starting out with your video campaigns.

                            Main Features

                            • Video Creation & Editing
                            • Effects & Transitions
                            • Video Templates
                            • Media Library
                            • Social Sharing
                            • Slideshows & Presentations
                            • Video SEO

                            Pros

                            • The video templates Videolean provides are professional-looking.
                            • The stock library it provides has over 1.7 million photos and videos.
                            • The software operates in an intuitive manner and is easy to operate.
                            • You can export a low resolution preview of your video in under 3 minutes.

                            Cons

                            • The free version has very limited features.
                            • You need to buy the most expensive plan to remove the watermark.

                            Pricing

                            • Free Version – Unlimited
                            • Starter – $19/month
                            • Annual – $99/year

                            Capterra Score 4.5/5 (2 reviews)

                            G2 Score Not enough reviews

                            Website https://videolean.com/

                            3 Hacks to Increase Your Video Engagement

                            Once you have the software running, and your campaigns rolling, it’s time you optimize them for maximum engagement. Here’s how to boost video engagement with these 3 hacks.

                            1. Optimize Video Thumbnail and First Frame

                            This one is pretty self-explanatory. The thumbnail makes the first impression on the audience and the first few frames decide if the users will stay or bounce. Make sure you optimize them in such a way that they attract and retain the audience effectively.

                            1. Optimize Post Copy

                            Only uploading the video is not enough, You need to write a brilliant copy with it that will make users click on it more. Make sure that this copy is between 60 and 280 characters as copies this long normally have the highest engagement rates.

                            1. Use a Call-to-Action (CTA)

                            Leads that land on your videos need to be reminded to take an action afterwards for them to convert. This CTA could be as simple as inviting them to visit the website or to make a purchase.

                            Our Picks & Conclusion

                            Videos have a greater chance of cutting through the internet clutter and appearing in front of your audience. And if marketed with the right tools, they can bring in lots of relevant leads and conversion. 

                            If you are a business that requires basic video editing tools but is more focused on video analytics, Wistia is the best pick for you. It provides all the performance reports you need and integrates well with other marketing platforms to provide everything in a single place.

                            On the other hand, if you are looking for proper video processing and filmmaking capabilities, you should go with Filmora. It allows you to create and share industry-standard cinematic videos that can do wonders for your business.

                            We wish you the best of luck with your video marketing campaigns!

                            References and Sources

                            1. Hubspot: What Video Marketers Should Know in 2021, According to Wyzowl Research
                            2. Keap: Social Video: How to Get More Views and Engagement
                            3. Capterra
                            4. G2
                            5. InVideo
                            6. Animoto
                            7. VideoScribe
                            8. Animaker
                            9. Vimeo
                            10. Vyond
                            11. Wistia
                            12. Filmora
                            13. Viewbix
                            14. Wideo
                            15. Vidyard
                            16. Wirecast
                            17. Animotica
                            18. Videolean

                            Frequently Asked Questions

                            What are video marketing platforms?

                            A video marketing platform allows businesses to edit, create, and publish high-quality videos for their brands. Besides these basic features, it also includes a certain level of social media integration and video performance tracking.

                            What is the best video marketing platform?

                            The best video marketing platform for medium-sized businesses is InVideo. It allows you to create customized, branded videos and share them across major social media platforms as well as your personal websites. You can also track certain social media performance metrics such as views, shares, clicks, etc.

                            Are video marketing platforms important?

                            Video marketing platforms help you create and optimize your branded videos for different platforms. Plus, you can see how well they are doing out on the internet and how can the performance be improved. This is why video marketing platforms are super important.

                            Customer Feedback Software: The top 19 For Customer-Centric Brands [Review]

                            Today we’re going to look at the best customer feedback software, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each.

                            Want to improve your conversion rates, lead generation, and customer retention?

                            Choose any of these customer feedback management platforms!

                            Customer feedback is becoming the secret ingredient to improved personalization, understanding consumers better, making customers feel important, and identifying market trends. Microsoft informs that 77% of consumers would choose brands that encourage and respond to customer feedback. 

                            With such a large portion of customers desiring feedback and with so many customer feedback benefits, it would be an expensive mistake not to consider the best customer feedback tools.

                            Let’s look at what these tools offer, the importance of customer feedback, and how to choose the best customer feedback software for your brand. 

                              The Importance of Customer Feedback 

                              Businesses can Make Their Customers Feel Important 

                              When customers have a negative experience with a business, they don’t always feel like they have a voice. How could one customer take on a large organization? But with customer feedback, you can prove to your consumers that your business wants and values their opinion.

                              According to Khoros, 83% of consumers feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolves their issues. From this report, it’s safe to say that responding to your consumers not only ramps up customer appreciation but also solidifies loyal consumers. Using free customer feedback tools or paid ones can help you increase customer loyalty. 

                              It’s Easier to Understand What Your Consumers Like and Don’t Like

                              Preferences among customers are constantly changing, and thanks to customer feedback software, you can understand what your consumers prefer. If your business offers products that consumers want, they are more likely to return to your business. 

                              However, if you fail to offer your customers what they want, they will quickly find a business that does. Through feedback tools like surveys, polls, and forms, you can get a clear understanding of what your consumers are looking for. Doing this will eliminate the costs of using products that don’t sell or deploying marketing tactics that don’t engage your consumers. 

                              Brands Have a Better Insight into Market Trends

                              Let’s say you’re selling technology software, but after a few years, the software is outdated. In this case, you need to find out what your competitors are selling and how consumers respond to the new product. There’s no easier way to do this than using customer feedback software.

                              SingleGrain states that artificial intelligence is one of the top market trends today. This is because 84% of businesses believe that AI gives them a competitive advantage. Through customer feedback tools, you can stay ahead of this information and determine how well certain market trends work for your business and customers. 

                              Feedback Allows Businesses to Deliver Better Customer Experience and Products 

                              A study by TreasureData and Forbes confirms that 74% of customers are willing to support a brand based on the customer experience alone. This means that if your business delivers an excellent customer experience, there are already 74% of customers who would consider buying your products.

                              But how do you create a customer experience that wows your audience? You use customer feedback software! The best customer feedback tools can help you find insights into where your customer experience needs improvement. You can also use the available data and analytics to create a brand experience personalized to your consumers. 

                              How To Evaluate A Customer Feedback Tool

                              1. Clear user interface: Your customer feedback tool must have a clear user interface that’s easy to navigate. This is essential because you want to be able to access your information quickly and clearly. Having a clunky user interface makes each task take longer. It will also require more effort to train employees on the customer feedback tool. 
                              2. The number of available integrations: While tonnes of integrations might not be necessary for all businesses, choose a tool that offers the integrations you need. Without doing this, you might have to change the platforms you use or complicate your sales funnels. 
                              3. The quality of customer support: Ideally, the customer support of your software should respond quickly and offer helpful services. If anything goes wrong, or you find difficulty using the tool, a responsive customer support team makes all the difference. 
                              4. How many customization options exist: You want to add as much personal branding to your feedback as possible. By choosing a tool that allows you to customize the styles, colors, font, and so forth, you can successfully create a customer-centric strategy for feedback.
                              5. The tracking and analytics functions: The depth of tracking and analytics functions are crucial for any tool. You want your customer feedback tool to deliver a wide range of valuable data while making it easy to interpret. 

                              The Best 19 Customer Feedback Tools 

                              5 Best Voice of the Customer (VoC) Software

                              Usersnap

                              Usersnap_customer feedback software
                              Source: usersnap.com

                              Usersnap allows businesses to add feedback buttons to their websites, take screenshots and video recordings and build surveys. You can also create customizable forms, sort feedback with labels, and view all customer feedback from a one-view inbox. There are security features too, and you can pause projects and add custom branding to feedback. 

                              Pricing:

                              • The Basic plan is $19 p/m
                              • The Startup plan is $79 p/m
                              • The Company plan is $149 p/m

                              Pros:

                              • The screenshot and video recording functions are helpful and unique.
                              • With custom tags, prioritizing and sorting feedback is easy.
                              • Customers don’t need to be tech-savvy to submit feedback. 
                              • The project management features are robust. 

                              Cons:

                              • Uploading screenshots and video recordings take a while.
                              • The dashboard interface needs improvement. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.7/5 stars (43 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.4/5 stars (37 reviews)

                              Website: https://usersnap.com/

                              Qualtrics

                              Qualtrics offers features to enhance customer, brand, product, employee, and design experience. You can capture real-time feedback, identify trends to drive brand loyalty, segment consumers, and identify at-risk consumers. It’s also possible to set targets, build surveys, test ad campaigns and perform in-depth market and product research. 

                              This software combines over 100 data sources and predictive analytics to help you understand how consumers feel about your brand. Qualtrics also has functions to measure employee satisfaction, and this software offer suggestions to improve workplace morale. 

                              Pricing:

                              • Pricing is available upon request. 

                              Pros:

                              • The tracking and analytics functions are in-depth and easy to access.
                              • Building a survey requires no technical knowledge.
                              • You have ample customization options for forms and surveys.
                              • This software is easy to configure and requires minimal training. 

                              Cons:

                              • The vast range of options can become overwhelming.
                              • The customer support could be more helpful. 
                              • The functions for data cleaning are limited. 

                              Capterra score: 4.8/5 stars (354 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.4/5 stars (2313 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.qualtrics.com/uk/

                              Medallia

                              Medallia
                              Source: medallia.com

                              Using Medallia, you can create interactive surveys, integrate multi-channel feedback, uncover detailed insights and collect real-time feedback across numerous channels. This software also allows you to use a speech-to-text engine, identify knowledge gaps, and maintain your online reputation on several social media platforms. 

                              Medallia offers various functions for tracking data like text analytics, cross-channel buyer journey analytics, and customer experience data. The AI-powered actions notify you of at-risk consumers and potential detractors. 

                              Pricing:

                              • Pricing is available upon request.

                              Pros:

                              • The surveys are highly customizable.
                              • There are sufficient features and functions for call centers.
                              • Learning how to use this software is simple.
                              • You can view how other teams from different companies in your area perform, provided they also use Medallia. 

                              Cons:

                              • Users report that this software is expensive to run.
                              • The data and analytics functions could use improvement. 

                              Capterra score: 4.4/5 stars (25 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.5/5 stars (85 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.medallia.com/

                              Clarabridge

                              Clarabridge gives brands all they need for optimal digital customer experience. Some of their features include surveys, text analytics, and omnichannel feedback via SMS, social media, email, forums, reviews, ratings, calls, and chats. You can also access insights for department performance, product performance, and marketing campaigns.

                              This VoC tool is also an employee feedback software. Consequently, you can keep your team happy while promoting customer feedback. Clarabridge supports real-time conversions too, and you can manage all your communications from a one-view inbox. 

                              Pricing:

                              • Pricing is available upon request. 

                              Pros:

                              • Users report quick and helpful customer service.
                              • The voice-to-text feature is accurate.
                              • There is an alert system for trending topics to keep your business updated.
                              • It’s simple to tune the natural language processor. 

                              Cons:

                              • The user interface needs improvement.

                              Capterra score: N/A

                              G2 score: 4.5/5 stars (85 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.clarabridge.com/

                              InMoment

                              Inmoment
                              Source: inmoment.com

                              InMoment is one of the most popular customer feedback management platforms around, and that’s for a good reason. This software offers omnichannel feedback in real-time, a survey builder, and an active listening studio. InMoment also gives you suggestions to resolve consumer cases and coaching tools for maximum customer experience. 

                              To keep your employees satisfied, you can collect employee feedback at several touchpoints and use predictive analytics to reveal unhappy employees. You can also unlock detailed industry insights and consumer analytics from an intuitive dashboard. 

                              Pricing: 

                              • Pricing is available upon request.

                              Pros:

                              • The reports are highly detailed.
                              • The coaching tools are intuitive and valuable to teach employees about customer service.
                              • You can view all the relevant information from one dashboard.
                              • The real-time suggestions make case management quick and effective. 

                              Cons:

                              • The support time can take a while to respond.
                              • This software lacks customization. 

                              Capterra score: N/A

                              G2 score: 4.7/5 stars (267 reviews)

                              Website: https://inmoment.com/

                              Feedier

                              Feedier_customer feedback software
                              Source: feedier.com

                              Specializing in customer feedback, Feedier offers tools to create interactive surveys, collect feedback at several touchpoints, and run an SMS and email campaign. You can capture feedback in websites and apps and use business intelligence tools to get context from customer feedback.

                              Businesses can organize clusters, surveys, and data according to the teams that need them. There is also an action workflow that triggers live alerts to the relevant teams, and robust case management functions. 

                              Pricing:

                              • Pricing is available upon request. 

                              Pros:

                              • The customer engagement features are not intrusive.
                              • Configuring this software is simple.
                              • The survey templates are attractive.
                              • Businesses can offer rewards to consumers who complete surveys. 

                              Cons:

                              • The vast amount of functions can be overwhelming.
                              • Limited customization for surveys. 

                              Capterra score: 4.7/5 stars (117 reviews)

                              G2 score: 4.5/5 stars (23 reviews)

                              Website: https://feedier.com/

                              3 Best Visual Feedback Tool

                              Userback

                              Userback
                              Source: userback.io

                              With Userback, employees and consumers can give you visual feedback from any webpage. Consumers can review your brand through videos, images, and PDF docs. Users can add comments to feedback, create multiple feedback projects, and use custom branding to provide branded feedback to your consumers.

                              Pricing:

                              • 14-day Free trial 
                              • The Basic plan is $9 p/m
                              • The Standard plan is $39 p/m
                              • The Growth plan starts from $79 p/m 
                              • Contact Userback for a quote on the Premium plan. 

                              Pros:

                              • The automation tools are powerful and easy to use.
                              • Non-technical clients won’t find trouble submitting feedback.
                              • There are ample customization options.
                              • This software is quick and easy to configure. 

                              Cons:

                              • Clients must create an account to submit feedback.
                              • The design of feedback is quite clunky. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.9/5 stars (50 reviews) 

                              G2 Score: 4.8/5 stars (109 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.userback.io/

                              BugHerd 

                              Bugherd
                              Source: bugherd.com

                              BugHerd provides several tools for visual feedback while offering intuitive bug tracking capabilities too. You can collect website feedback, use automated screenshots and pin them to website feedback, and leverage real-time comments too. This software also you to create unlimited projects and invite unlimited clients and stakeholders to those projects. 

                              Pricing:

                              • The Standard plan is $39 p/m 
                              • The Studio plan is $59 p/m 
                              • The Premium plan is $109 p/m 
                              • Contact BugHerd for a quote on the Enterprise plan. 

                              Pros:

                              • The user interface is simple to use and powerful.
                              • Tracking feedback is straightforward.
                              • Dealing with bugs for website applications requires no coding knowledge.
                              • The automatic screenshots feature is helpful. 

                              Cons:

                              • Sometimes users don’t get promptly notified about bugs.
                              • There is no integrated screen recording feature. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.7/5 stars (54 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.4/5 stars (16 reviews)

                              Website: https://bugherd.com/

                              4 Best Customer Satisfaction/NPS Software

                              HubSpot Customer Feedback Software

                              Hubspot_customer feedback software
                              Source: hubspot.com

                              This NPS software is part of HubSpot’s “Service Hub”. With this customer feedback software, you can create and share NPS and loyalty surveys and access various templates for your surveys. HubSpot also recommends templates based on customer satisfaction. You can view, analyze and compare all your data from an intuitive dashboard too. 

                              Pricing:

                              • Starter plan is $45 p/m.
                              • Professional plan is $360 p/m. 
                              • Enterprise plan is $1200 p/m. 

                              Pros:

                              • This software is super easy to use.
                              • The analytics provide enough tracking information.
                              • The template suggestions are useful and tailored to your consumers. 

                              Cons:

                              • Businesses might not want the other tools from the Service Hub. 

                              Capterra Score: N/A 

                              G2 score: 4.4/5 stars (629 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.hubspot.com/

                              Zonka Feedback

                              Zonka Feedback allows you to build customer loyalty through multilingual surveys, email surveys, and SMS surveys. Businesses can collect feedback through websites, track devices when they’re offline, and receive feedback alerts. You can also access essential customer metrics and real-time analytics. 

                              Pricing:

                              • The Professional plan is $99 p/m 
                              • The Growth plan is $199 p/m 
                              • The Enterprise plan is $499 p/m 
                              • Contact Zonka Feedback for a quote on the Custom plan. 

                              Pros:

                              • The functions and tools are versatile.
                              • You can swiftly create surveys by using their templates.
                              • The NPS surveys are attractive.
                              • The tool for offline surveys is and unique. 

                              Cons:

                              • The reports for surveys are not detailed.
                              • The features accommodate mobile more than desktop. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.8/5 stars (36 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.8/5 stars (39 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.zonkafeedback.com/

                              Simplesat

                              Simplesat_customer feedback software
                              Source: simplesat.io

                              With Simplesat, you can create customizable surveys that work perfectly on every device, and you can use branding. This software focuses on surveys through email, so you can upload contacts via CSV and choose your sending frequency. Plus, Simplesat allows you to apply rich formatting to your emails and set automated reminders. 

                              Pricing:

                              • 14-day Free trial
                              • The Standard plan is $99 p/m
                              • The Pro plan is $249 p/m 

                              Pros:

                              • This software is intuitive and easy to use. 
                              • The customer support team is speedy and helpful.
                              • There are countless email templates available.
                              • You can create multi-question surveys. 

                              Cons:

                              • The reporting features are limited.
                              • The dashboard needs improvement. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.8/5 stars (59 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.9/5 stars (56 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.simplesat.io/

                              Startquestion 

                              This NPS software provides offers 50 survey templates. You can add images. Frames, buttons, and messages to your surveys, and add your logo and headlines. You can also set limits for answers and questions and use rules for survey transitions. Businesses don’t have to add Startquestion’s name on the footer of websites either. 

                              Pricing:

                              • The Start plan is $49 p/m
                              • The Business plan is $99 p/m 
                              • The Team plan is $199 p/m 
                              • Contact Startquestion for a quote on the Enterprise plan. 

                              Pros:

                              • The designs are up-to-date.
                              • This software requires minimal training.
                              • Startquestion often releases new updates.
                              • You can create automation for reports and workflows. 

                              Cons:

                              • Limited online resources for this software.
                              • The features are overwhelming. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.9/5 stars (69 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.8/5 stars (19 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.startquestion.com/

                              4 Best User Experience Testing Software

                              UserTesting

                              UserTesting specializes in providing insights for marketing, products, and consumers. You can create custom tests from scratch, perform A/B testing and mobile validation, create marketing campaigns and track consumers’ journeys online and offline. There is also a prototype testing function and a powerful research platform for product research.  

                              Pricing:

                              • Pricing is available upon request. 

                              Pros:

                              • The functionality is smooth and easy to learn.
                              • The customer support team is fast and helpful.
                              • The payment for taking tests is quick.

                              Cons:

                              • Users don’t always receive notifications when tests are available.
                              • Sometimes users upload prototypes that don’t work.

                              Capettera Score: 4.5/5 stars (88 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.4/5 stars (528 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.usertesting.com/

                              Hotjar

                              Hotjar
                              Source: hotjar.com

                              Hotjar offers heatmaps that identity where user attention starts and drops and enables you to perform A/B testing. You can create surveys to measure your NPS and prevent churn. There are also features for capturing real-time feedback, setting benchmarks, and targeting visitors. Hotjar supports all devices. 

                              Pricing:

                              • The Business plan is from $99 p/m
                              • The Scale plan is from $389 p/m 

                              Pros:

                              • The tools are comprehensive and easy to use.
                              • The data and analytics is detailed and pulls valuable insights.
                              • The heatmapping functions offer in-depth behavioral analysis.
                              • Configuring this tool is quick and easy. 

                              Cons:

                              • The pricing is expensive for small businesses
                              • There are no cross-domain tracking functions. 

                              Capettera Score: 4.7/5 stars (394 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.3/5 stars (203 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.hotjar.com/

                              Crazy Egg

                              Crazyegg_customer feedback software
                              Source: crazyegg.com

                              Crazy Egg provides heatmapping functions, campaign segmentation, behavior tracking, visitor tracking, and you customize the reports. You can also perform A/B testing, create surveys, set goals, and target profitable consumers. There are customizable templates for surveys, and you can get real-time notifications too. 

                              Pricing:

                              • 30-day Free trial
                              • Pricing is available upon request 

                              Pros:

                              • The insights and tracking functions are insanely informative.
                              • The heatmapping features are robust.
                              • This software is easy to use.
                              • The customer support is quick and helpful. 

                              Cons:

                              • Installing this software requires a learning curve.
                              • The video recording tool needs improvement. 

                              Capettera Score: 4.5/5 stars (71 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.2/5 stars (96 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.crazyegg.com/

                              Inspectlet

                              Offering dynamic heatmaps, A/B testing functions, and feedback surveys, Inspectlet is a simple customer feedback software. You can collect form analytics, record sessions, tag users, and access user behavior insights. There are also powerful filtering features.

                              Pricing:

                              • The Free plan is available.
                              • The Micro plan is $39 p/m
                              • The Startup plan is $79 p/m
                              • The Growth plan is $149 p/m
                              • The Accelerate plan is $299 p/m
                              • The Enterprise plan is $499 p/m

                              Pros:

                              • A/B testing and heatmaps features are robust.
                              • This software is easy to use and learn.
                              • There are many pricing plans to accommodate different businesses.
                              • Users can track web visitors’ IP addresses. 

                              Cons:

                              • Users report that the customer service is not quick or helpful.
                              • The admin features are clunky. 

                              Capettera Score: 4/5 stars (27 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.2/5 stars (24 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.inspectlet.com

                              3 Best Customer Survey Software

                              Typeform

                              Typeform_customer feedback software
                              Source: typeform.com

                              Typeform is all about creating high-converting quizzes, surveys, polls, and similar forms. You can collect customer feedback through an intuitive dashboard with analytics and built-in media. Businesses can conduct market research by creating mobile-optimized forms and using easy-to-share reports. There are also features for lead generation and form templates. 

                              Pricing:

                              • The Basic plan is $29 p/m
                              • The Plus plan is $59 p/m
                              • The Business plan is $99 p/m

                              Pros:

                              • Users can build professional, attractive surveys.
                              • The user interface is clean.
                              • Extracting data is easy and convenient.
                              • There is a good deal of integration options. 

                              Cons:

                              • The pricing is expensive for small businesses.
                              • Some functions in the user interface don’t work.
                              • The data visualizations are basic. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.7/5 stars (441 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.5/5 stars (438 reviews)

                              Website: https://www.typeform.com/

                              SurveyMonkey

                              This customer feedback software offers features to engage your audience, improve customer experience and collect consumer feedback. You can conduct market research, build interactive surveys, track management, use dedicated phone support, and train employees on products. 

                              Pricing:

                              Personal plans:

                              • The Standard monthly plan is $37.50 p/m
                              • The Advantage annual plan is $400 annually 
                              • The Premier annual plan is $975 annually 

                              Business plans:

                              • The Team advantage plan is $27 p/m
                              • The Team premier plan is $61 p/m
                              • The Contact SurveyMonkey for a quote on the Enterprise plan 

                              Pros:

                              • There are ample customization options.
                              • Building and replicating a survey is quick and easy.
                              • The data visualizations are simple to interpret.

                              Cons:

                              • The templates for poll surveys are very limiting.
                              • The pricing is expensive for some businesses.

                              Capterra Score: 4.6/5 stars (8326 reviews)

                              G2 score: 4.4/5 stars (17,027)

                              Website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/

                              SurveySparrow

                              SurveySparrow supports omnichannel marketing by offering features like a survey builder, data and analytics, and marketing automation. You can use survey themes, craft attractive surveys, build conversation forms, develop automated workflows, and use real-time data. There are also features to manage your audience and extend your reach. 

                              Pricing:

                              Personal plans:

                              • The Free plan is available.
                              • The Basic plan from $39 p/m
                              • The Premium plan from $59 p/m

                              Business plans:

                              • The Business plan is $149 p/m.
                              • The Enterprise plan is $549 p/m.
                              • Contact SurveySparrow for a quote on the Elite plan.

                              Pros:

                              • Creating and sharing surveys takes minimal time and effort.
                              • The support team is quick and helpful.
                              • There are countless templates to get you started.
                              • The reporting tools are in-depth. 

                              Cons:

                              • There is a lack of email marketing functions.
                              • Some features are buggy.
                              • There are limited customization options available. 

                              Capterra Score: 4.4/5 stars (51 reviews) 

                              G2 score: 4.5/5 stars (674 reviews)

                              Website: https://surveysparrow.com/

                              Conclusions And Our Picks

                              If you want to offer your customers what they want, make your consumers feel heard while keeping ahead of market trends, opt for customer feedback software. There are so many brands, experiences, and product feedback software available. Your business can use this guide to choose which customer feedback software suits you best.

                              To making choose your ideal customer feedback tool, easy, we have our top picks for small and large businesses. Clarabridge is our top choice for small businesses. This customer feedback software can help you build surveys, collect real-time data, and omnichannel feedback. 

                              Small businesses can also use Clarabrige’s features as employee feedback software to improve workplace conditions. For large businesses, our top pick is Medallia. Large enterprises can track product, employee, brand, and customer feedback all from one tool. You can also build interactive surveys and access real-time analytics.

                              Medallia allows large businesses to use omnichannel feedback too, access AI functions and customer insights, all available from the dashboard. 

                              References and Sources:

                              1. Microsoft: State of Global Customer Service Report
                              2. Khoros: Must-know customer service statistics of 2021 (so far)
                              3. SingleGrain: 42 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2021
                              4. Treasure Data: New Study Finds Data Key to Unlocking Superior Customer Experience
                              5. Qualtrics
                              6. Medallia
                              7. Clarabridge
                              8. InMoment
                              9. Feedier
                              10. Userback
                              11. Usersnap
                              12. BugHerd
                              13. HubSpot Customer Feedback Software
                              14. Zonka Feedback
                              15. Simplesat
                              16. Startquestion
                              17. UserTesting
                              18. Hotjar
                              19. Crazy Egg
                              20. Inspectlet
                              21. Typeform
                              22. SurveyMonkey
                              23. SurveySparrow

                              Frequently Asked Questions

                              Why is customer feedback important?

                              It's important to collect customer feedback as your audience want's to feel like they have a voice. Customer feedback will give your business a better understanding of what customers like and don't like, and you can stay ahead of market trends. With customer feedback, brands can also improve their products and services to attract consumers and provide them value. Read this article for more details on the benefits of customer feedback and the top customer feedback software.

                              What are the best customer feedback tools?

                              The best customer feedback software for small businesses is Clarabridge, for large businesses, it's Medallia. However, these customer feedback tools might not work for your business. So, read this article for more details on the best customer feedback tools, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of using them.

                              What are customer feedback tools?

                              Customer feedback software helps businesses generate, collect and analyze customer feedback. This is essential to gain an understanding of consumers' experience with your business and where you need to make improvements. Read this article to find out the best customer feedback software in 2021 and why customer feedback is crucial for every business.

                              A Virtual Influencer: What Are They and Why You Need Them for Your Brand

                              In this detailed guide, we’ll unravel the meaning of a virtual influencer and how these influencers can help your business. We’ll also cover a few popular brands using virtual influencers for their marketing campaigns.

                              “Robots are taking over”, says so many people. But with the rise of virtual influencers, there are so many advantages for businesses like yours. As 17% of companies will devote more than half their annual budgets to influencer marketing, this marketing technique works. 

                              But here’s the problem, how much do you need to fork out to pay every influencer? How do you find the perfect influencer? And how do you make sure that influencer doesn’t drop your brand and side with your competition?

                              Well, thanks to advanced AI and CGI, you can create a virtual influencer of your own. 

                              Not sure what the heck a virtual influencer is? Let’s talk about that now. 

                                What is a Virtual Influencer

                                Virtual influencers or CGI influencers are computer-generated avatars that take the form of real people. These influencers are a substitute for human influencers and are used for social media marketing purposes. Virtual influencers have realistic personalities, values, and characteristics that make them seem life-like. 

                                You create a digital influencer by using computer graphics. Everything from the clothes these influencers wear to the environments they post pictures in does not exist in the real world. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, the virtual influencer Imma was once brought into the real world for a marketing campaign in Japan. 

                                4 Benefits of a Virtual Influencer

                                Opting for virtual influencers doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use human influencers. This is merely an alternative option for businesses who want to try a unique twist to influencer marketing.

                                Virtual influencers give you complete control over the image they relay to your audience, and there are no physical limitations. You also don’t have to worry about controversial topics arising from your influencers or sourcing human influencers. In detail, these are the top 4 virtual influencer benefits.

                                Brands Have Complete Control Over Influencer Image

                                Businesses want to portray the perfect image to engage and persuade their users. Through using virtual influencers, this is possible. You can curate a virtual influencer with the personality, look, and values that appeal to your audience exactly how they want it.

                                virtual influencers
                                Source: Instagram

                                Real-life influencers will impose their own image, values, and beliefs on your audience. But a virtual influencer will do this in a way that you prefer. Through this AI, you can strengthen your brand image and promote your values accurately. 

                                No Physical or Technical Limitations

                                The lockdown has slowed down business operations and makes in-person communication near impossible. However, using virtual influencers eliminates this concern. You don’t have to worry about influencers commuting long distances to meet with your brand or putting anybody at risk of getting infected.

                                Leveraging virtual influencers also means that the environment the influencer interacts with is all digitalized. As a result, you don’t have to rely on real-world settings for the influencer to market your products. You can create the environment from start to finish, in a way that best compliments the virtual influencer and engages your audience. 

                                Less Controversial Risk

                                Imagine having one of your best influencers say something completely unorthodox on social media? Your business will face overwhelming backlash from its audience, and your online reputation might take a knock. This alone can be the demise of a brand.

                                However, virtual influencers don’t pose the same risk. You have complete control of what these influencers say and how they say it. Virtual influencers are also able to support social changes like the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter. Notice on Lil Miquela’s Instagram profile, her Bio includes “Black Lives Matter”. This proves that you can use your virtual influencers to support global movements.

                                virtual influencers_benefits
                                Source: Instagram

                                Less Worrying About Sourcing Relevant Influencers 

                                For large organizations with years of experience and a prestigious reputation, finding relevant influencers is super-easy. But for the average startup, this is a lot more difficult. How do you choose the best influencer for your brand? How do you know if that influencer will deliver your desired results? And most of all, does that influencer genuinely represent your businesses?

                                With virtual influencers, you don’t have to worry about any of that as you determine the influencers you use. So, no more negotiating incentives with influencers or spending hours trying to source influencers. Instead, you can rely on a virtual influencer tailored to your business. 

                                5 Brands Who Are Using Virtual Influencers

                                Many world-class brands are using virtual influencers for their marketing campaigns. Not only is this tactic engaging millions around the world, but it also makes these brands stand out from their competitors.

                                These are the five brands that use virtual influencers. 

                                Samsung

                                For their worldwide #TeamGalaxy campaign, Samsung partnered up with Lil Miquela to promote their new Galaxy Z flip-phone. They did this in one video with the tagline “Do What You Can’t”. This tagline and the partnership with Lil Miquela was a match made in heaven as the very existence of this CGI influencer proves that anything is possible.

                                Samsung’s primary objective for this campaign was to strengthen the relationship between their brand and Gen Z and millennial users. And there was no better way to do this than involving one of the world’s most popular virtual avatars-a testament to the ever-evolving depths of technology.

                                Source: Samsung Philippines

                                Credited to this campaign, Samsung generated over 126 million organic views, 24 million engagements and increased their Instagram earnings by 12%. 

                                Balmain

                                The French luxury clothing line known as Balmain launched a campaign comprising 3 digital influencers. These virtual influencers included Margot and Zhi, exclusive to Balmain, and Shudu Gram, a free agent. Balmain aimed to create a new realm for the model industry, showcasing unique art forms.

                                While there isn’t information on the results of Balmain’s progressive brainchild, the famous fashion line did receive mixed reviews for this campaign. Some people were unhappy with this choice and believe the job could be better suited to real women. However, Balmain doesn’t regret their decision and loves how the virtual influencers portrayed the brand.

                                KFC

                                To give their brand a truly personal touch, KFC created their very own Colonel Sanders virtual influencer. The purpose of this was to resonate with Gen Z consumers. We can instantly see this by Colonel Sander’s hipster style, black-rimmed glasses, and novel, silver hairstyle. Not to mention, the Colonel is also tattooed!

                                KFC_Virtual influencer
                                Source: adage.com

                                Throughout this 2-week campaign, Colonel Sanders handled all KFC’s social media channels and flaunted his influencer lifestyle. The virtual influencer posted fun media of KFC’s collab with Dr. Pepper, Old Spice, and TurboTax. 

                                By leveraging a CGI influencer version of Colonel Sanders, KFC received over 20 000 likes on one picture alone! 

                                Yoox

                                Yoox, a fashion, lifestyle, and art brand decided to jump in on the virtual influencer action and created Daisy. Daisy is an exclusive Yoox model and flaunts all their products. This digital influencer made her first appearance in 2018, and Yoox mentions that she originates from Milan. 

                                Daisy was created to help users explore new Yoox looks through their app. On this virtual influencer app, users can customize Daisy’s skin tone, add fun hairstyles and try new Yoox clothing to gain buying confidence. However, today Daisy is one of Yoox’s most famous models and leads the influencer marketing content for all their fashion garments.

                                From launching this campaign, Yoox reached over 2.5 million users, made 1.2 million impressions, and increased its engagement rate by over 11.9%. 

                                IKEA

                                Joining in on the virtual influencer marketing fun, IKEA recruited Imma, another virtual influencer to promote their latest collection. IKEA did this for a 3-day installation project and had Imma sit in the store’s windows as she redecorated the room. To blend virtual reality with real-world aesthetics, IKEA used LED lights. 

                                IKEA_virtual influencer
                                Source: musebycl.io

                                IKEA used Imma for their new shop launch, and they wanted to promote the idea of staying at home to the youth of Japan. While IKEA hasn’t released any campaign results from this partnership, it’s safe to say that the idea of Imma stepping out of the virtual world, was a sight to see. 

                                4 Steps to Creating A Virtual Influencer for Your Brand

                                There’s a lot to do if you want to create a virtual influencer for your brand. Luckily, we have a step-by-step guide below on how to create a virtual influencer. 

                                Identify Your Target Audience

                                To start building your virtual influencer, you need to identify your target audience. The better you understand who you’re marketing to, the more you can develop a virtual influencer to engage your audience. Conduct research through surveys and forms to find out what your audience needs.

                                It’s also important to create empathy maps at this stage. Doing this will help you understand your audience on an emotional level. In turn, you can create a virtual influencer to connect to those emotions. Although your virtual influencer isn’t real, you need to make them as human-like as possible.

                                Once you have all this information, compile them into buyer personas. Using buyer personas will ensure you have documented research of your target audience, and you can always refer to this while creating your virtual influencer. 

                                Build a Persona for Your Virtual Influencer

                                Think about the values, characteristics, opinions, and personality traits of your virtual influencer. If we look at Bermuda-another virtual influencer by Brud, she used to be a Trump supporter with strong political views and opinions of other virtual influencers. 

                                Your virtual influencer doesn’t have to be as opinionated or political. Although, he or she should have a personality as rich and relatable. When you’re building your virtual influencer’s persona, keep your audience into close consideration and choose traits that your audience will appeal to. 

                                For example, if your audience prefers following streamers on Twitch and keeping up with the latest gaming trends, build a persona that resonates with that. 

                                Design Your Virtual Influencer

                                Create a digital influencer
                                Source: Instagram

                                This is going to be where the real work for your virtual influencer comes in. If you don’t have any motion graphics experience, or you’ve never worked with CGI before, it’s best to hire an expert. Hiring an expert will ensure that your virtual influencer comes out looking exactly the way you wanted and more human-like than animated. 

                                Step 1: Build a Default Character

                                Using CGI tools, you need to create a default character. At this point, your character will look quite plain and have no striking features at all. However, this will be the starting foundation for what’s to come.

                                Step 2: Align Geometry with a Reference Photo 

                                Get a photo of roughly how you want your CGI influencer to look, and align the geometry from the default character with the reference photo. You need to ensure you’re doing this as accurately as possible. Missing small features will make your virtual influencer look less realistic. 

                                Step 3: Add Texture to the Character 

                                You need to add texture to all the body parts of your character. Ensure you use realistic tones, and they blend naturally. The better your texture balance is, the more life-like your virtual influencer will look. 

                                Step 4: Pick a Pose and an Environment 

                                The CGI tool you use should have options to add a pose to your virtual influencer and choose an environment. It’s vital to pick a setting that’s relevant to your virtual influencer and your audience. For instance, if your virtual influencer is from Asia, you want to avoid using environments that could suggest otherwise. Unless they’re traveling, and you’re using that narrative to promote the virtual influencer. 

                                Step 5: Add Lighting

                                You want to manipulate the lighting to fall on your digital influencer in a way that makes him or her look realistic. Find a balance between shadows and brightness, as too much bright light will make the virtual influencer look animated. 

                                Step 6: Export Your Virtual Influencer

                                You’re done building your virtual influencer, and now it’s time to export it. Ensure you export your virtual influencer to a safe place. 

                                Build up a Social Media Following for Your Virtual Influencer

                                Start an account for your virtual influencer and build up a social media following. This might take some time to kick off, but you can jumpstart the process by:

                                Social media for digital influencers
                                Source: Instagram
                                • Using a social media contest to engage users.
                                • Using video content as 85% of marketers say that videos are the best way to get online attention.
                                • Collaborating with more popular virtual influencers.
                                • Finding sponsorships from renowned brands.
                                • Using relevant hashtags, so your audience can find you.

                                Conclusion 

                                Wow! Who would have thought that in 2021, your business will have a chance to create a virtual influencer of its own? Following our step-by-step guide and with the help of CGI artists, you can create a virtual influencer to portray your brand in the best manner.

                                These digital influencers give businesses a chance to leverage social media marketing with no physical limitations or controversial risks. You don’t have to worry about sourcing human influencers either. With hundreds of brands worldwide stepping into the virtual influencer scene and as the virtual influencer market size expands, why not start today? 

                                References and Sources

                                1. BigCommerce: The State of Influencer Marketing: 10 Influencer Marketing Statistics to Inform Where You Invest
                                2. Samsung
                                3. Shorty Awards
                                4. Balmain
                                5. KFC
                                6. YOOX
                                7. DigitalDustAgency: Yoox Case History
                                8. IKEA
                                9. Animoto: Social Video Trends: Marketer Insights for 2020

                                Frequently Asked Questions

                                How to create a virtual influnecer?

                                To create a virtual influencer you need advanced skills in CGI and motion graphics. If you don't have these skills, it's best to hire an expert who does. There are six major steps to create a virtual influencer. Read this article to find out what those steps are, what a virtual influencer is, and famous brands that have used virtual influencers before.

                                What is virtual influencer?

                                A virtual influencer is a digital influencer created by CGI. These influencers and the environments they interact with do not exist in the real world. Virtual influencers are created with personas, characteristics, and aesthetics to appeal to a business's target audience. These factors also make virtual influencers look life-like. Read this article to find out why you need a virtual influencer, which brands have used these influencers, and how to create a virtual influencer.

                                A virtual influencer vs a real influencer

                                Virtual influencers are created by GCI and real influencers are human influencers. In some cases, it's much better to work with virtual influencers as they pose a less controversial risk, have no physical limitations, and businesses don't have to spend time sourcing influencers. You can also control all actions from a virtual influencer and how they look. Find out more about the benefits of virtual influencers, what these influencers are, and how to create one for your businesses, in this article.

                                14 Best Customer Engagement Platforms To Keep Consumers Captivated in 2021 [Review]

                                In this article, we’re going to show you the power of customer engagement platforms and why every business needs one.

                                When businesses engage with their customers through web chat, those consumers are likely to spend 60% more for every purchase! Webchat also has a customer satisfaction rate of an incredible, 85%!

                                These statistics are through the roof and your business can get in on this action too. I’m sure you’re wondering, “How can I do this and when can I start?”.

                                The answer is simple: pick a customer engagement platform for your business, and you can start right after this article!

                                Let’s check out the best customer engagement platforms in 2021, what customer engagement platforms are and why they are pivotal to your business.

                                  What are Customer Engagement Platforms

                                  Customer engagement platforms are marketing platforms that specialize in increasing customer engagement through numerous methods. Many platforms emphasize live chat functions to ensure customers engage with your business at every touchpoint without requiring additional resources and time.

                                  Live chat functionality has become the art of these platforms.

                                  Some customer engagement also use other techniques and communication channels to optimize and maintain customer engagement.

                                  : LYFE Marketing

                                  Customer Engagement Platform Benefits

                                  Boosts Brand-to-Consumer Experience

                                  Customer engagement platforms allow brands to provide customer feedback, inform consumers, and extract data on consumers. These capabilities all contribute to increasing brand-to-consumer experience. 

                                  By providing customer feedback, your consumers will believe you care about them and their experience with your brand. To prove this, 96% of consumers mention that customer support determines their brand loyalty.

                                  Having access to detailed consumer data allows businesses to create personalized marketing efforts that appeal to their audience. Thanks to customer engagement platforms, this is possible. 

                                  Amplifies Sales Funnel Velocity

                                  The more you engage your consumers, the quicker they will move through your sales funnel. For example, you can use personalized push notifications to re-engage users who are losing interest or use chatbots to answer customer questions efficiently. 

                                  As fully engaged customers lead to a 23% higher profitability, it’s easy to see how customer engagement has encouraged consumers down businesses’ sales funnels. For the risk of losing prospective consumers or loyal consumers, a customer engagement platform will have what you need to correct this and convert those consumers. 

                                  Improves Customer Loyalty

                                  Earlier, we briefly mentioned how customer support increases customer loyalty. Think about this in your own life. If a business has super-fast, helpful customer support and sends you personalized marketing material, you’re most likely going to stick with that business.

                                  Customers want to know that you have their best interest in mind. And there’s no better way to prove this than using customer engagement platforms for timely interactions tailored to their preferences. 

                                  Increases Retention Rate 

                                  If your customer was about to churn, how would you know, and what would you do? Fortunately, many customer engagement platforms provide alerts for potential churns, and some also offer real-time suggestions to prevent this. 

                                  Besides this feature, these platforms also offer popups, multi-device marketing, and detailed analytics to retain consumers.

                                  How to Evaluate Customer Engagement Platforms

                                  1. Can consumers opt for self-service?: As over 60% of users prefer self-service, the customer engagement platform you choose should accommodate this. If you have ample customization options for the self-service portal, even better. 
                                  2. Can you implement a knowledge base?: We’ve already established that customers want to get things done themselves, so help them out with a knowledge base. A knowledge base will have tutorials, articles, and similar resources to inform and train consumers about your product. Opt for a customer engagement platform that allows you to build an intuitive knowledge base for your consumers. 
                                  3. Does the platform offer chatbots?: With chatbots being the fastest growing form of communication, this is a train you don’t wanna miss. Chatbots can save your business loads of time while helping consumers and pushing them further down your sales funnel. It’s always great to have customization options for your chatbots.
                                  4. Does the platform have live chat functions?: Some consumers may be skulking around on your website without finding the information they need. Instead of abandoning your site like most other consumers or making the effort of contacting customer support, web visitors can use live chat. Live chat is a quick and simple way to engage prospective consumers, and that’s why your customer engagement platform needs to offer this feature. 
                                  5. What marketing channels can you use?: Although you might not want to use 101 marketing channels, choosing a customer engagement platform that offers more rather than less is a safe choice. Doing this allows you to explore which marketing channels get the best results, and you can segment your consumers accordingly. Without plentiful marketing channels, you could limit yourself to channels that your audience doesn’t respond to. 

                                  14 Best Customer Engagement Platforms

                                  EngageBay

                                  EngageBay is an all-in-one solution for brand-to-customer engagement. You can build high-converting landing pages, create ad campaigns, use live chat, popups, forums, and access a 360-degree customer view. EngageBay also enables brands to practice multi-channel engagement, manage deals and tasks and send broadcast messages.

                                  You use email marketing on EngageBay too, and access lead scores based on customer interaction. For customer support, businesses can use canned responses and service automation. EngageBay also offers SMS marketing functions, push notifications, and email templates. 

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Free plan is available
                                  • Basic plan is $14.99 per user, p/m 
                                  • Growth plan is $49.99 per user, p/m
                                  • Pro plan is $79.99 per user, p/m

                                  Pros:

                                  • There is a free plan available.
                                  • The paid plans are affordable for small businesses.
                                  • EngageBay offers everything businesses need to optimize customer engagement.
                                  • You can leverage SMS and email marketing with one tool.
                                  • This platform is beginner-friendly and provides ample training material. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The dashboard needs more customization.
                                  • The landing pages aren’t automatically mobile-optimized. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.6/5 stars (73 reviews) 

                                  G2 Score: 4.6/5 stars (103 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.engagebay.com/

                                  Redpoint

                                  Using Redpoint, brands can enjoy omnichannel personalizations and real-time interactions. To help your brand achieve a fantastic online reputation, this platform offers user-friendly machine learning and detailed analytics. You can also match consumer profiles, extract as much data as you need, and access consumer profiles in real-time.

                                  Redpoint allows businesses to segment consumers, create support teams, and build a firm security infrastructure. It’s also simple to create ad campaigns, personalize your website, and use targeted ads. 

                                  Pricing: Pricing is available upon request 

                                  Pros:

                                  • Redpoint has rich consumer engagement features to help businesses onboard, maintain and retain customers.
                                  • The data and analytics functions are highly advanced and detailed.
                                  • Businesses have access to tonnes of data to enhance customer journeys. 
                                  • Narrowing down your ideal buyer is now seamless.
                                  • There are security and privacy features available. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • Pricing is not readily available.
                                  • Features might be too advanced or unnecessary for small businesses. 

                                  Capterra Score: N/A

                                  G2 Score: N/A

                                  Website: https://www.redpointglobal.com/

                                  Nuance Digital Engagement Platform

                                  Customer engagement platforms_Nuance
                                  Source: nuance.com

                                  This customer engagement platform is all about helping your brand achieve the best consumer experience possible. You can create automated, multi-channel pipelines, use a virtual assistant to help your consumers, and perform A/B testing. Additionally, the Nuance Prediction Service reveals why consumers engage before reaching you. 

                                  Businesses will also have access to real-time analytics, automated conversations based on user demographics and behavior, and multi-device marketing. There are numerous security solutions too, like fraud prevention, authentication, and public security. 

                                  Pricing: Pricing is available upon request 

                                  Pros:

                                  • Businesses have access to a wide range of consumer data.
                                  • Enforcing security protocols for consumer data is possible and easy.
                                  • The virtual assistant is intuitive and responsive.

                                  This customer engagement platform offers mobile-responsive features.

                                  • Segmenting consumers and identifying your ideal buyer is easy through the available analytics. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The pricing is not readily available.
                                  • Data analytics is inconsistent. 

                                  Capterra Score: N/A

                                  G2 Score: 4/5 stars (1 review) 

                                  Website: https://www.nuance.com/

                                  Eudata 

                                  Eudata_customer engagement platforms
                                  Source: eudata.com

                                  Eudata helps brands create automated sales and customer services while using chatbots too. With this customer engagement platform, you can automate up to 70% of the customer care process, allow users to contact you via WhatsApp, and provide unified experiences to your consumers.

                                  Businesses can use Eudata for Amazon Connect too, which can address all forms of customer service. You can track all stages of a consumer journey with this tool and access advanced customer insights. 

                                  Pricing: Pricing is available on request 

                                  Pros:

                                  • Eudata is the ideal customer engagement platform for online stores.
                                  • You can create an almost fully automated solution for customer onboarding and care. 
                                  • Speaking to web visitors over WhatsApp is easy.
                                  • Eudata offers multiple features and capabilities for Amazon Connect. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The pricing is not readily available.
                                  • Eudata does not offer the essential consumer-engagement features that small businesses need to start.

                                  Capterra Score: N/A

                                  G2 Score: N/A

                                  Website: https://eudata.com/

                                  Genesys DX

                                  Genesys_customer engagement platforms
                                  Source: genesys.com

                                  Before launching this powerful customer engagement platform, Genesys DX went by Bold360. Genesys DX went on to acquire Bold360 to integrate it within their platform. This solution allows businesses to communicate with their audience to show customer appreciation with minimum friction.

                                  The features you can expect from Genesys DX include live chat, AI-powered chatbots, omnichannel engagement, consumer profiles, and conversation histories. You can also use their obsessive security and AI self-service features.

                                  This customer engagement platform offers a customer acquisition engine for optimal consumer onboarding and detailed insights. The tracking and analytics give you complete access to consumer data, predictive analytics, and customer journey analytics. 

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Genesys Cloud CX 1 plan is $75 p/m
                                  • Genesys Cloud CX 2 plan is $110 p/m
                                  • Genesys Cloud CX 3 plan is $140 p/m

                                  Pros:

                                  • Genesys DX has many security features to keep your consumers’ data safe.
                                  • There are tonnes of automation features and AI-powered functions, leaving you with more time.
                                  • The data and analytics functions are in-depth, and you can access insights for almost every consumer interaction.
                                  • There are integration options available.
                                  • You can choose to be billed hourly instead of monthly, which can save small businesses money. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The monthly pricing can be expensive for small businesses. 
                                  • Users report slow feedback from customer support.
                                  • Users mention the interface needs improvement. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.3/5 stars (26 reviews)

                                  G2 Score: 3.4/5 stars (27 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.genesys.com/

                                  Intercom

                                  Intercom_customer engagegment platforms
                                  Source: intercom.com

                                  Intercom specializes in customer support, customer engagement, and multi-channel marketing. Businesses can access features like live chat, chatbots, real-time messaging, self-service options, and consumer segmentation. 

                                  You can also create automated workflows, access consumer management tools, and use one inbox to house all your conversations. Businesses can unite their consumers’ data too, and they can access behavioral data.

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Start plan is $59 p/m 
                                  • Grow plan is $119 p/m 

                                  Pros:

                                  • The tracking and analytics features are in-depth.
                                  • You can integrate Intercom with over 250 apps.
                                  • Intercom offers brands solutions based on their growth stage.
                                  • Businesses can execute multiple forms of consumer engagement with one tool.
                                  • There are ample personalization options available.

                                  Cons:

                                  • The pricing can be expensive for small businesses.
                                  • Users report slow feedback from the customer support team.

                                  Capterra Score: 4.5/5 stars (769 stars)

                                  G2 Score: 4.4/5 stars (1593)

                                  Website: https://www.intercom.com/

                                  LiveChat

                                  LiveChat
                                  Source: livechat.com

                                  LiveChat provides a vast range of chat tools, customer engagement functions, security features, and reporting capabilities. You can use targeted messaging, access chat history, and add chat buttons to your website. It’s also possible to archive chats, use canned responses, and collect chat ratings from your customers.

                                  There is a lot of customization freedom for chat widgets too. For security purposes, LiveChat offers encryption, access restriction, data storage, visitor banning, and credit card masking. The reports and analytics solution offers customer reports, ticket reports, chat reports, agent reports, and a filter function to help you find what you need within seconds.

                                  Pricing: 

                                  • Starter plan is $16 p/m 
                                  • Team plan is $33 p/m
                                  • Business plan is $50 p/m 
                                  • Contact LiveChat for a quote on the Enterprise plan

                                  Pros:

                                  • The data and analytics functions are highly in-depth.
                                  • The pricing is affordable for small businesses.
                                  • LiveChat offers rich security features.
                                  • Businesses aren’t limited to customize the chat features.
                                  •  The chatbots are intuitive and function smoothly.

                                  Cons:

                                  • Businesses can’t use automated messages.
                                  • Configuring this tool can take some time and requires some training.

                                  Capterra Score: 4.6/5 stars (1123 reviews)

                                  G2 Score: 4.5/5 stars (691 reviews)

                                  Website: https://www.livechat.com/

                                  Pega

                                  Pega
                                  Source: pega.com

                                  Pega merges customer engagement, automation, and AI capabilities to give brands an all-in-one customer engagement solution. You can detect potential churns, access real-time decisions based on customer signals, and use real-time AI to provide customer support.

                                  You can also use Pega’s intelligent chatbots, virtual assistants, and automated patterns to optimize your workflows. Pega gives you all the tools you need to provide a top-notch user experience. 

                                  Pricing: Pricing is available upon request

                                  Pros:

                                  • Pega has advanced automation and AI functions.
                                  • Being able to detect churn rates and predict sales gives your business a better direction.
                                  • There are detailed customer behavior and demographic insights.
                                  • There are tonnes of training material for Pega available.
                                  • Businesses can enjoy flexibility for personalization and automation. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The user interface is not lightweight.
                                  • The customization for mobile apps is very limited. 
                                  • The pricing is not readily available. 

                                  Capterra Score: N/A

                                  G2 Score: 4.2/5 stars (216 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.pega.com/

                                  Engati

                                  Engati_customer engagement platforms
                                  Source: engati.com

                                  Engati provides an automated solution for consumer engagement. This customer engagement platform offers a simple code-free method to create bots and host bot training. There is also a personalized NLP engine for all the touchpoints of your consumers’ journey. You can engage with your audience on WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, Web chat, and much more.

                                  Via Engati’s one-view dashboard, you can check insights based on engagement, performance, and trends among your consumers. You can also set your chatbots to multiple languages and access a one-view inbox, storing all your communications. 

                                  Pricing: 

                                  • Free plan is available
                                  • Professional plan is $79 p/m
                                  • Business plan is $249 p/m 
                                  • Contact Engati for a quote on the Enterprise plan 

                                  Pros:

                                  • You don’t need coding experience to create advanced chatbots.
                                  • There are ample personalization capabilities available.
                                  • Businesses can leverage many communication channels to engage customers.
                                  • There is a free plan available.
                                  • You can easily access all the essential information from the dashboard.

                                  Cons:

                                  • The free plan is highly limiting.
                                  • Small businesses might find the paid plans are too expensive.
                                  • The chatbots could be more customizable. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.3/5 stars (19 reviews) 

                                  G2 Score: 5/5 stars (9 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.engati.com/

                                  SmartKarrot

                                  To help your brand engage its customers, SmartKarrot offers engagement scores, various rules for different customer journeys, and customer segmentation. You can also access potential churn alerts, growth opportunity alerts, real-time updates, and in-depth tracking that you can easily filter.

                                  SmartKarrot supports multi-channel campaigns too, such as email, popup, push notifications, and ad campaigns. You can also build comprehensive surveys for your audience and use advanced automation for emails, texts, and notifications. 

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Free 14-day trial is available
                                  • Pricing is available upon request 

                                  Pros:

                                  • A free trial is available and gives businesses sufficient time to test this platform.
                                  • The data and analytics are highly in-depth, and you can easily find the data you need through filters.
                                  • SmartKarrot allows businesses to personalize customer journeys better.
                                  • You can use this customer engagement platform for various marketing channels.
                                  • Businesses have ample customization options. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The pricing is not readily available.
                                  • This platform requires a steep learning curve.
                                  • The integration options are limited. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.5/5 stars (8 reviews) 

                                  G2 Score: 4.7/5 stars (10 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.smartkarrot.com/

                                  LivePerson

                                  LivePerson is an AI-powered conversational cloud that offers an array of customer engagement solutions. This platform pinpoints social media users who are likely to convert, offers a landing page builder, and can implement ad campaigns. Your website visitors can also easily contact you via WhatsApp, SMS, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, or Apple Business Chat.

                                  To ensure your audience receives speedy customer service, you can convert audio calls into messages instead of having clients stay on hold. Businesses can unify customer care operations too, and they can prioritize social media conversations based on high-value customers.

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Pricing is available upon request.

                                  Pros:

                                  • This software requires minimal training.
                                  • The customer care solutions are robust and intuitive.
                                  • Businesses can use various channels to communicate with their customers.
                                  • The data analytics are easily accessible and in-depth.

                                  Cons:

                                  • Pricing is not readily available.
                                  • There is a lack of customization options for features.

                                  Capterra Score: 4.4/5 stars (39 reviews) 

                                  G2 Score: 3.6/5 stars (59 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.liveperson.com

                                  UserLike 

                                  UserLike
                                  Source: userlike.com

                                  Choosing UserLike, you can use subtle support functions and set operator skills to match clients with their ideal sales rep. The sticky chat feature connects operators with customers they’ve spoken to before. UserLike automatically builds customer profiles based on public information and offers post and pre-chat surveys.

                                  It’s also seamless to gather chat ratings with UserLike, define proactive chat timers, and use intelligent chat behavior based on your consumer’s information. UserLike offers audio calls too, and you can use canned responses and access detailed chat analytics. 

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Free plan is available
                                  • Team plan is $100 p/m
                                  • Corporate plan is $320 p/m
                                  • Business plan is $800 p/m

                                  Pros:

                                  • The consumer profiles make it easier to create personalized marketing material.
                                  • A free plan is available.
                                  • Businesses can use audio calls, which is a unique feature for these platforms.
                                  • The customer support features enable a more tailored customer experience.
                                  • You can leverage multiple communication channels simultaneously.
                                  • The user interface is intuitive and customizable. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The pricing is expensive for small businesses.
                                  • The free plan does not offer enough services for customer engagement.
                                  • UserLike does not offer many mobile-optimized features. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.6/5 stars (633 reviews) 

                                  G2 Score: 4.4/5 stars (384 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.userlike.com/

                                  Froged

                                  Froged
                                  Source: froged.com

                                  Froged specializes in solutions for onboarding and keeping your consumers while providing world-class customer support. You can create triggered messages based on user behavior, send behavioral emails triggered by events, and use live chat to interact with consumers. 

                                  Businesses can also create documents for self-support functions, customize support widgets, add tags and notes, save conversations, and quote messages. There are qualification forms available too. You can view all the data and behavior of consumers as you interact with them. 

                                  Pricing:

                                  • Free plan is available
                                  • Grow plan is €57.50 p/m (approx. $68,46)
                                  • Scale plan is €207.50 p/m (approx. $247,05)
                                  • Contact Froged for a quote on the Enterprise plan 

                                  Pros:

                                  • A free plan is available.
                                  • Businesses can find onboarding, retaining, and engagement features from just one platform.
                                  • The data and analytics are in-depth.
                                  • The user interface is clean and easy to navigate.
                                  • The customization options are endless.
                                  • Froged’s features are mobile-adaptive. 

                                  Cons:

                                  • The live chat features need improvement.
                                  • There are few integration options available. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.7/5 stars (38 reviews) 

                                  G2 Score: 4.8/5 stars (4 reviews) 

                                  Website: https://www.froged.com/

                                  Notificare

                                  Notifcare offers SMS marketing, email marketing, push notifications, and personalized content to boost your consumer engagement. You can use location marketing through geo-targeting, geo-fencing, and iBeacons. The location marketing doesn’t drain your consumers’ battery while activated and complies with security protocols.

                                  Businesses can also use Notificare to create triggered messages, build consumer profiles, and access detailed analytics. Notificare provides data visualizations and graphs to measure your campaign’s performance and extract actionable insights. 

                                  Pricing: 

                                  • Startup plan from €19 p/m (approx. $22,65 p/m)
                                  • Online plan from €149 p/m (approx. $177,63 p/m)
                                  • Enterprise plan is €759 p/m (approx. $904,82 p/m)

                                  Pros:

                                  • The Startup plan is affordable for small businesses.
                                  • This platform is beginner-friendly and has ample training resources.
                                  • Businesses can customize most features.
                                  • You can find detailed data and analytics.
                                  • Users report speedy customer support.

                                  Cons:

                                  • Retrieving in-depth data about individual consumers is difficult.
                                  • The high-end plans are too expensive for many small businesses. 

                                  Capterra Score: 4.8/5 stars (18 reviews)

                                  G2 Score: N/A

                                  Website: https://notificare.com/

                                  Our picks and Conclusion 

                                  For optimal brand-to-consumer engagement, every business should opt for customer engagement platforms. These platforms will help you keep your consumers interested, increase your retention rates and provide the best brand experience. Customer engagement platforms also help develop loyal customers. 

                                  However, which of these platforms are best for you?

                                  If you own a small business, choose EngageBay. This customer engagement platform is affordable and offers so many features for customer engagement. You can build landing pages, popups, forums, ad campaigns, and you can use broadcast messages. EngageBay also supports multi-channel marketing.

                                  The best customer engagement platform for large businesses is UserLike. Choosing UserLike, businesses can access a vast range of customer data and have tools to deliver a personalized experience. The only drawback with UserLike for large businesses is that it lacks mobile-friendly features. However, all the other features and functions are perfect for large companies. 

                                  References and Sources

                                  1. Invesp: The Importance of Live Chat Customer Support – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]
                                  2. Zendesk: Zendesk research: customer satisfaction
                                  3. Microsoft: Global State Customer Service
                                  4. Gallup: Turning Customers Into True Believers
                                  5. Zendesk: Self-service: do customers want to help themselves?
                                  6. Drift: 2020 State of Conversational Marketing [Free Report]
                                  7. EngageBay
                                  8. RedPoint
                                  9. Nuance Digital Engagement Platform
                                  10. Eudata
                                  11. Genesys DX
                                  12. Intercom
                                  13. LiveChat
                                  14. Pega
                                  15. Engati
                                  16. SmartKarrot
                                  17. LivePerson
                                  18. UserLike
                                  19. Froged
                                  20. Notificare

                                  Frequently Asked Questions

                                  What are customer engagement platforms?

                                  Customer engagement platforms centralize all your customer interactions. These platforms allow businesses to engage with their consumers via various channels like popups, push notifications, email, social media, and many more. By using customer engagement platforms, brands can keep their audience interested and converting. Read this article to find out why customer engagement platforms are vital and the top platforms in 2021.

                                  What is the best customer engagement platform?

                                  The best customer engagement platform for small businesses is EngageBay. For large businesses, the best customer engagement platform is UserLike. Read this full article for more of the best customer engagement platforms, what they offer and how much they cost. Plus, find out how to choose the best platform for your business and why customer engagement is so crucial in 2021.

                                  Are customer engagement platforms important?

                                  Yes! Customer engagement platforms are very essential to help you deliver an excellent brand experience and move more consumers down your sales funnel. Using a customer engagement platform also helps you increase customer loyalty and customer retention. Read this article for the best customer engagement platforms and how to choose one for your business.

                                  Shopify SMS Marketing: 6 Best Apps & Easy Guide (2021 update)

                                  SMS Marketing is a tricky practice. Countless businesses and consumers give it a pretty bad name. And you, the merchant that considers using it, faces one challenge:

                                  Should I risk my brand’s reputation just to find a new profit revenue? And most of all, will it be worth it?

                                  The short answer is: it depends.

                                  The more comprehensive answer is: if you know what you are doing, SMS marketing can skyrocket your sales!

                                  Sound’s way too good to be true? As 134% of consumers are more likely to respond to SMSes over emails, and 54% prefer marketing material via SMS, SMS marketing is the best medium to communicate with your consumers.

                                  So you can harness the power of SMS marketing to multiply your sales while maintaining a prestigious reputation, we invested a lot of time reviewing guides, brands, and case studies to give you this complete and information-packed guide on SMS marketing for Shopify.

                                    What is SMS Marketing?

                                    SMS marketing is also known as text marketing. Businesses use SMS marketing to communicate with their consumers by sending them promotions, coupons, and alerts. Consumers must give their permission to receive this marketing material and opt-in for SMS marketing. 

                                    The goal of SMS marketing varies between businesses. Generally, SMS marketing is for increasing your conversion rates, solving high cart abandonment rates, showing customer appreciation, building brand loyalty, and maintaining consumer-to-brand engagement. 

                                    Source: H-EDUCATE

                                    Why You Should Use SMS Marketing to Generate Sales

                                    1. SMS marketing offers worldwide reach: As 65% of the world’s population use SMSes, your reach isn’t limited to marketing in your country. This opportunity allows you to find more consumers who love your product and increase brand awareness. 
                                    2. SMS marketing relies on permission: Because users have to give their permission and opt-in for SMS marketing, this makes it a highly targeted marketing channel. Therefore, you have more certainty that your SMS list comprises users who genuinely want to know more about your brand. This eliminates users who are not likely to convert. 
                                    3. Users receive SMSes instantly: Around 67% of people use mobile devices globally, and SMSes don’t take time to send. So, this means that the chances of people receiving your SMSes instantly are very high. 
                                    4. There are no bounce rates: Unlike emails, SMSes don’t bounce. Users will receive SMSes even when they’re not online. Knowing that your SMSes will always be delivered allows more room for your conversion rate to skyrocket. You never have to worry about your Shopify SMS notifications not working to yield the results you want.  
                                    5. You can expect high open rates and interaction: With most people spending 5-6 hours on their phones daily, you can expect high open rates and interaction from your receivers. Contrasting emails, SMSes are more conveniently received. Because of this, they have higher chances of consumers reading them. 
                                    6. Businesses can have more control over their expenses: Many Shopify SMS marketing apps allow you to pay per SMS sent. This pricing structure gives you more freedom to determine and manage your monthly expenses. 
                                    7. SMS marketing allows you to save loads of time: Most, if not all, SMS marketing software offers automation. Through automation, you can set up SMS notifications and text messages that require little human management. Having this capability will save your business a significant amount of time. 
                                    8. SMS marketing generates word of mouth (WOM) marketing: After receiving an SMS from your business, many consumers will use WOM to speak about your brand. To increase the chance of this happening, use SMS marketing material tailored to your audience. 
                                    9. Businesses can optimize their consumer loyalty strategy: Through SMS marketing, you can offer incentives to consumers for joining your SMS list. For example, you might offer your consumers $5 off for subscribing. You can then send them an SMS coupon of $5 for a purchase of over $100. There are so many features like discounts, freebies, and specials that you can use to encourage loyalty among your SMS list. 
                                    10. It’s easy to use, manage and track SMS marketing: Few people are tech-savvy and want to hire a mobile marketing agency for SMS marketing. This is perfectly fine because SMS marketing is extremely user-friendly, and it’s simple to manage. You don’t have to have coding or marketing experience.

                                    How To Use SMS Marketing in Your Shopify Store

                                    1. Understand Vital SMS Marketing Terminology

                                    Before starting an SMS marketing strategy for your Shopify store, you need to understand the terminology. Doing this will ensure you make informed decisions regarding your SMS marketing on Shopify.

                                    Here are the two most essential terms you have to know for SMS marketing:

                                    1. Shortcode: You don’t have to use your private phone number to send and receive SMSes with shortcodes. Shortcodes are your chosen number, tied to your SMS marketing campaign. It’s always a fantastic idea to use shortcodes instead of your personal contact number to avoid confusing your personal contacts with your business ones. 
                                    2. Keyword: To help you measure the success of each SMS marketing campaign, use keywords. Keywords are short phrases or pre-defined words you determine. It’s possible to use different keywords for different marketing campaigns. You can track how many times recipients used your keywords to measure the performance of your campaigns.

                                    2. Learn About TCPA and GDPR Compliance

                                    As SMS marketing is permission-based, there is a lot of regulations and compliance around it. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulates what type of messages businesses can send to their SMS list and when they can send these messages. 

                                    Not only should you be well-versed with the TCPA Act, but the SMS marketing app you choose should also be. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rule protects your consumers’ data. GDRP ensures consumers don’t receive SMS marketing material without their permission. 

                                    You must check for any other compliance and regulations around SMS marketing in your state or country. By taking this step, you can prevent many major and legal issues arising from your SMS marketing strategy. 

                                    3. Develop an SMS Marketing Strategy

                                    So your SMS marketing is successful, you need to create a game plan, AKA, your SMS marketing strategy. At this stage, determine what you want to achieve through SMS marketing and focus on one goal at a time.

                                    Tips to consider for your SMS Marketing Strategy:

                                    • Who is your target audience? Be specific about the values, traits, consumer behavior, and demographics of your target audience. The more specific you can be about your target audience, the better you can create a personalized, customer-centric strategy to engage them. Plus, understanding your target audience will also reveal the best times to send SMSes to your consumers. 
                                    • How will you add value to your consumers? Regardless of your product, your SMS marketing strategy should add value and convenience to your customer’s lives. You can do this by offering irresistible incentives and exclusive promotions. It’s also crucial to promote information that interests your audience. 
                                    • Will you combine SMS marketing with other tools? To get the best results from SMS marketing, using email marketing and social media marketing too is a great idea. However, you need to decide whether this works for your business and if you have the time and money to combine different tools with SMS marketing. 

                                    4. Choose a Shopify SMS Marketing App

                                    Now it’s time to choose the best Shopify SMS marketing app for your business. The app you use will house all your SMS marketing data, so you need to be sure about this choice from the get-go. 

                                    5 Tips for Choosing the Best Shopify SMS marketing app:

                                    1. The cost: Choose a Shopify SMS marketing app that accommodates your budget comfortably. Many apps offer different pricing structures. Some businesses may prefer a pay-per SMS option if they don’t send many SMSes. However, if you send thousands of SMSes, a fixed monthly fee might work better. Also, consider any additional costs for extra SMSes you might send outside your monthly plan. 
                                    2. The features: Depending on your SMS marketing strategy, you may need an app that also offers email marketing and social media marketing functions. Other businesses might not need those additional features. Determine what features you need and choose an app that offers those features at an affordable fee.
                                    3. The rating: Sticking to a rating above 4 stars is a great idea. You don’t want to be stuck with an app that doesn’t function correctly or doesn’t have speedy customer support. Choose an app with a rating of 4 stars or higher to avoid disappointment. 
                                    4. The integrations: Having a Shopify SMS marketing app that offers hundreds of integrations may not be essential to you. However, determine the additional tools you need to use and if the software you choose can integrate with those tools. The more native integrations an app offers, the easier it will be to grow and manage your SMS list.  
                                    5. Safety compliance: The Shopify SMS marketing app you pick must comply with safety regulations like the TCPA and GDPR rules. Prevent running into legal issues regarding your consumers’ data by choosing an app that complies with the mentioned regulations. 

                                    6. Start Building your SMS List

                                    After choosing your SMS provider and developing an SMS marketing strategy, you need to build your SMS list. You can do this by leveraging email marketing and social media marketing. Alternatively, you can create a successful referral program or practice loyalty marketing.

                                    To successfully grow your SMS list, you must always try to understand what your consumers want and how you can give it to them in the best way. Use surveys and quizzes to collect this information and create personalized marketing strategies to grow your SMS list. 

                                    7. Manage, Track and Improve your SMS List 

                                    Your SMS marketing strategy might not achieve your goals the first time around, and that’s OK. Because of this, you should always stay updated with your key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify where you can make improvements in your SMS marketing strategy. 

                                    A Few Essential Metrics to Track for Your SMS Marketing Strategy:

                                    • Conversion rate: How many consumers complete your desired action? 
                                    • Click-through rate (CTR): How many subscribers click on the link in your SMSes? 
                                    • Subscriber growth rate: How many subscribers do you gain monthly? 
                                    • Opt-out rate: How many subscribers opt-out of your SMS list monthly? 
                                    • Cart abandonment rate: How many subscribers click on the link in your SMSes, add products to their carts but don’t complete the checkout process? 

                                    6 Best Shopify SMS Marketing Apps:

                                    ONE+

                                    ONE+ is the perfect Shopify app for SMS marketing. You can create SMS automation and send broadcast messages to a large group of receivers. ONE+ also complies with the TCPA and the GDPR to keep your SMS marketing strategy by the book.

                                    With this Shopify SMS marketing app, businesses can use email marketing features, pop-ups, discounts, real-time social proof, and gamification. ONE+ also allows you to segment consumers, create product upsells and manage a consumer loyalty program. 

                                    Pricing

                                    • Free 30-day trial is available
                                    • Free plan is available
                                    • Kickstarter plan is $15 p/m
                                    • Small Business plan is $29 p/m
                                    • High Traffic Shop plan is $70 p/m

                                    Pros

                                    • A free trial is available, and it gives businesses enough time to test out the app.
                                    • The free plan provides sufficient features for startup businesses.
                                    • Businesses can do much more than just SMS marketing to engage their consumers and increase their conversion rates.
                                    • You can integrate over 18 apps for SMS marketing.
                                    • ONE+ has safety features to secure your recipients’ data.

                                    Cons

                                    • There is no cart abandonment feature for SMS marketing.
                                    • Some businesses might not need all the extra features besides SMS marketing functions.
                                    • The SMS credits for each plan are low. 

                                    Shopify app reviews: 5\5 stars (528 reviews)

                                    Postscript

                                    Unlike ONE+, Postscript specializes in SMS marketing only. Businesses can develop a TCPA compliant SMS list, automate their SMS marketing and segment their recipients. There is also a robust tracking feature that provides reports on your messages, campaigns, automation, CTR, and so much more!

                                    To optimize your SMS list, Postscript allows you to build landing pages, create email opt-ins, and use pop-ups. You can integrate Postscript with Gorgias, Klaviyo, Zapier, Privy, and Sumo, to name a few. 

                                    Pricing

                                    • Free 30-day trial is available
                                    • $25 p/m for 2500 SMS credits
                                    • $100 p/m for 10000 SMS credits
                                    • $500 p/m for 50,500 SMS credits

                                    Pros

                                    • A free trial is available with sufficient features and time to give businesses a good idea of how the app works.
                                    • The pricing is based on your growth, so small businesses still have access to Postscript’s advanced features.
                                    • This is an ideal choice for businesses that only want SMS marketing functions.
                                    • The dashboard is clear and easy to navigate.
                                    • Postscript includes security features for your recipient’s data.

                                    Cons

                                    • The paid plans can become very pricey for small and medium-sized companies.
                                    • Businesses who want other communication functions available won’t find value in this app.
                                    • The platform focuses heavily on accommodating USA consumers only. 

                                    Shopify app reviews: 5/5 stars (1319 reviews)

                                    SMSBump

                                    Developed to enable GDPR and TCPA compliance, SMSBump offers SMS and MMS flows, customer segmentation, A/B testing, and text automation like abandoned cart reminders. Businesses can also use and track discount codes, opt-out lists and schedule their SMS campaigns. SMSBump alerts are also effective for keeping your consumers informed and engaged.

                                    You can choose to send messages to specific countries at specific times, too. Businesses can also set their budget, and their SMS marketing costs will never increase that threshold. Additionally, you can use images, emojis, and GIFs in your text. SMSBump offers detailed analytics on your CTR, automation, campaigns, budget, and product orders. 

                                    Pricing

                                    • From 1.5 cents per message for US recipients

                                    Pros

                                    • All businesses have access to SMSBump’s best features while paying per SMS sent.
                                    • Businesses have more control over their SMS marketing expenses with SMSBump’s pricing structure.
                                    • SMSBump provides features for SMS marketing solely, without additional, unnecessary functions.
                                    • SMSBump has safety features to protect your recipient’s data.
                                    • You can rely on in-depth tracking and reporting for all the vital metrics. 
                                    • Businesses can include media in their SMSes. 

                                    Cons

                                    • The price of sending SMSes to countries outside the US might be expensive for many businesses.
                                    • Businesses that send a lot of SMSes will find their monthly fee is pricey.
                                    • The dashboard is very busy and requires more time to explore before diving into SMS marketing. 

                                    Shopify app reviews: 4.8/5 stars (1717 reviews)

                                    Klaviyo

                                    If you want more than only SMS marketing features, Klaviyo might be your ideal choice. Klaviyo allows you to segment consumers and uses dynamic automation. You can measure your business’s essential metrics and create social media ads too. Klaviyo SMS marketing app is also GDPR and TCPA compliant.

                                    Businesses can build personalized forms to encourage users to opt-in and use A/B testing to determine the best-performing opt-in forms. Klaviyo integrates with over 100 apps, and they have a community of users to help each other get the best from this app. 

                                    Pricing

                                    • From $5 p/m (contact Klaviyo for an exact quote)

                                    Pros

                                    • The pricing starts at affordable rates for small businesses and accommodates business scalability.
                                    • There are countless apps you can integrate with Klaviyo.
                                    • The dashboard is clear and easy to navigate.
                                    • Klaviyo has security features for your recipient’s data.
                                    • You can create social media ads.
                                    • Klaviyo houses countless conversion rate optimization tools in one app. 

                                    Cons

                                    • There is no free trial available.
                                    • The pricing is unclear and can become very expensive as your SMS list grows.
                                    • Users report Klaviyo decreases the speed performance on their websites and the SMS marketing features have many bugs and glitches. 

                                    Shopify app reviews: 4.2/5 stars (1298 reviews)

                                    Omnisend

                                    Focusing on email and SMS marketing, Omnisend allows brands to use pre-built workflows. Businesses can use these workflows for cart abandonment, new subscribers, product abandonment, consumers about to churn, and consumer feedback. 

                                    Omnisend also provides detailed analytics on your sales, campaigns, automation, visitors, forms, and personalized benchmarks. Unfortunately, Omnisend doesn’t have many integration options as this app only integrates with Gorgias, Justuno, Recharge, Aftership, LoyaltyLion, and Loox.

                                    Pricing

                                    • Free 14-day trial available
                                    • $0.015 per SMS sent to the US
                                    • $0.045 per MMS sent to the US

                                    Pros

                                    • A free trial is available.
                                    • Businesses can manage their costs better with the per SMS pricing structure.
                                    • You can manage your email marketing and SMS marketing with one tool.
                                    • The dashboard is engaging, intuitive, and easy to use.
                                    • The tracking and reporting are in-depth and clear.
                                    • Businesses can save tonnes of time through pre-built workflows and templates. 

                                    Cons

                                    • Omnisend lacks a variety of integration options.
                                    • The free trial is not as long as most Shopify SMS marketing apps.
                                    • The cost of SMS marketing can become very high if you’re sending SMSes and MMS to countries outside the US.

                                    Shopify app reviews: 4.7/5 stars (3900 reviews) 

                                    Tobi

                                    Tobi is all about SMS marketing and enables businesses to create cross-sell and upsell products, use SMS marketing automation and re-target consumers through SMS. You can also use discounts, send birthday and winback customer messages, and leverage pop-ups.

                                    To increase your open rates, Tobi tracks in-depth consumer behavior. Additionally, businesses can use their pre-built templates and access tracking data on sales, consumer location, new subscribers, and much more. You can integrate ReConvert and SMS with Tobi. 

                                    Pricing

                                    • Free plan is available
                                    • Pro Go plan is $0.01 p/m and starts from $0.029 per SMS sent
                                    • Pro Flex plan is $29 p/m and starts from $0.0199 per SMS sent 

                                    Pros

                                    • A free plan is available.
                                    • Tobi provides SMS marketing features only, which is ideal for businesses that only need these functions.
                                    • The tracking and reporting are in-depth.
                                    • Businesses have better control over their monthly expenses through the pay-per SMS pricing structure.
                                    • The pre-built templates can save businesses a lot of time.
                                    • The Pro Go plan includes 100 free SMSes, and the Pro Flex plan includes 300 free SMSes. 

                                    Cons

                                    • Tobi lacks many integrations.
                                    • If you want to send SMSes outside the US, this may be expensive.
                                    • This Shopify SMS marketing app is not ideal for businesses that want more than only SMS marketing features. 

                                    Shopify app reviews: 4.8/5 stars (686 reviews)

                                    Conclusion 

                                    SMS marketing is a great tool to increase user engagement, brand loyalty, and customer experience with your brand. Any of the best Shopify SMS marketing apps can boost the performance of your Shopify store through a quick and easy marketing medium. 

                                    For small businesses, our top choice for Shopify SMS marketing apps is SMSBump. Offering all you need for SMS marketing, SMSBump allows businesses to control their expenses too. Small businesses can use media, pop-ups, and automation for their SMS marketing strategy while accessing detailed analytics.

                                    If your business is a large enterprise, ONE+ is your best bet. This Shopify SMS marketing app allows you to use gamification, upsells, pop-ups, and email marketing to enhance your SMS marketing strategy. The pricing is also very affordable for large businesses. 

                                    References and Sources

                                    1. Smallbiztrends: 54% of Consumers Want Marketing Text Messages But Only 11% of Businesses Send Them
                                    2. G2: 45 SMS Marketing Statistics Your Customers Wish You Knew
                                    3. SlickText: 44 Mind-Blowing SMS Marketing and Texting Statistics
                                    4. bankmycell: How Many Smartphones Are in the World?
                                    5. Statista: How much time on average do you spend on your phone on a daily basis
                                    6. ONE+
                                    7. Postscript
                                    8. SMSBump
                                    9. Klaviyo
                                    10. Omnisend
                                    11. Tobi

                                    Frequently Asked Questions

                                    How do I use SMS marketing on Shopify?

                                    To SMS market from Shopify, you need to get familiar with essential SMS marketing terminology first. Then, you learn about security compliance for SMS marketing and develop an SMS marketing strategy. Now you can choose the best Shopify SMS marketing app for your business, grow your SMS list and manage your analytics. Read this article to find out the best Shopify SMS marketing apps, how to use SMS marketing and why SMS marketing is the best form of communication in 2021.

                                    Is SMS marketing legal?

                                    Yes, SMS marketing is legal! Familiarize yourself with the laws around SMS marketing such as the TCPA and GDRP. SMS marketing such as the TCPA and GDRP. These laws protect your consumer's data and ensure your SMS marketing strategy is ethical and permission-based. Read this article to find out how to use SMS marketing for Shopify, the top Shopify SMS marketing apps and so much more!

                                    What is the best SMS app for Shopify?

                                    This depends on your business and its requirements. The top six SMS apps for Shopify are ONE+, Postscript, SMSBump, Klaviyo, Omnisend, and Tobi. Read this article to find out what these Shopify SMS marketing apps offer and how much they cost. Plus, how to use SMS marketing for Shopify and why your business should start SMS marketing today!

                                    Blasting Text: The Easy Guide to Launching Successful SMS campaigns [2021 Update]

                                    When it comes to SMS blasting, there’s a thin line between skyrocketing your engagement and sales and getting your prospects annoyed by your brand. Bombarding your prospects will hinder your brand reputation.

                                    While most marketers out there know about blasting text messages to generate revenue, not many of them do it, and those who do it, don’t do it right.

                                    But truth is, SMS marketing can work wonders for your business-The click-through rate (CTR) for SMSes is 9.18% higher than any other digital communication channel. That’s not so shocking if you know that 64% of consumers want businesses to leverage SMS marketing more often.  

                                    We will also be bold and claim that SMS marketing is the holy grail of brand-to-consumer communication.

                                    If we were able to intrigue you enough to try it out, this article will shed light on everything you need to know to launch a successful SMS campaign. From Growing your SMS list to generating SMS revenue.

                                      What is Blasting SMS Marketing?

                                      Source: Adam Erhart

                                      A blasting text is a text message sent to a large group of receivers at the same time. Businesses use blasting text marketing to inform customers about sales and promotions.

                                      The primary aim of blasting text marketing is to create a solid line of communication between businesses and their customers.

                                      Most retail stores use blasting text marketing to share promotional content with their consumers. Several other industries use this form of marketing too. For example, numerous jurisdictions use blasting texts to inform residents about community threats or emergencies. 

                                      Why Use Blasting SMS Marketing?

                                      Businesses should use SMS blasting because SMS open rates are higher than emails, and SMSes are a direct communication route to their consumers.

                                      Plus, SMS marketing proves that your brand is mobile adaptive while not costing you an arm and a leg. Let’s inspect why SMS blasting is one of the best forms of communication. 

                                      SMS Open Rates Are High

                                      If you think email open rates are high (18%), think again. The average open rate for SMS marketing campaigns is 98%, which completely blows email marketing campaigns out of the park. Businesses can rest easy knowing their return on investment (ROI) will be much more than what they invested in blasting text marketing. 

                                      While 90% of consumers read an SMS within 3 minutes of receiving it, 45% of emails are sent to the spam folder. SMS open rates aren’t higher than only emails. SMS Comparison confirms that consumers are more likely to open texts over any other messaging medium. 

                                      Immediate and Direct Marketing Channel

                                      As almost 5 million people own mobile phones worldwide and 82% of consumers open every text they receive, blasting text marketing is a direct way to communicate with your customers. 46% of people spend 5-6 hours on their phones daily, proving that using blasting texts as a marketing channel is worth the time and investment.

                                      Plus, 80% of Americans have to check their phones first thing in the morning. All these statistics boil down to one thing: if your business uses blasting text marketing, your consumers will undoubtedly see your marketing material. And not only will they eventually see your material, but the interaction will be immediate. 

                                      Mobile-friendly Marketing Method

                                      By using blasting text marketing, you’re proving that your business is mobile-adaptive. And guess what?! Consumers want a mobile-adaptive business that can communicate with them through mobile-friendly methods. 

                                      Among app notifications, email marketing, and direct mail, 48% of consumers prefer SMS communication. The same report confirms that 83% of US teens prefer text communication more than ANY kind of communication, including social media.

                                      But here’s the thing, why do consumers prefer SMS marketing so much more than other marketing mediums? It’s simply because consumers are always on their phones, and they want mobile-friendly marketing efforts to accommodate that. 

                                      Cost-effective Marketing Channel

                                      The most it may cost to run an SMS marketing campaign is around $500 per month. And that’s assuming you’ve chosen a plan with all the bells and whistles. However, for an email marketing campaign, your costs can quickly skyrocket to $1000 per month

                                      SMS marketing is also a lot cheaper than social media marketing. The industry average for the cost of social media marketing ranges from around $4000 to $7000 per month. Essentially, your businesses can save a lot of money by using blasting text marketing, and it may be much easier to reach your desired ROI. 

                                      How to Grow Your SMS List

                                      If you want your SMS marketing campaign to generate profit, grow your SMS list constantly.

                                      At first, this might be a hassle, and you’ll find mediums that don’t work for you and some that do. To give you a head start, here 15 ways to grow your SMS blasting list. 

                                      1. Use an incentive your consumers can’t decline: To optimize your SMS blasting list, offer your audience an irresistible reward for joining. You can do this through discounts, freebies, or coupons. Your reward must be something valuable to your audience for them to act on it. Without an irresistible incentive, your audience might not be that encouraged to join your SMS list. 
                                      2. Add an SMS sign-up option on your checkout page: Catch your audience right before they check out through an SMS opt-in feature on your checkout page. Include information about what customers can expect from signing up to your SMS list. Give your consumers some assurance too. For example, you can mention that they will receive the latest promotions and exclusive deals, but you won’t hand out their information to a third-party organization. 
                                      3. Make use of your website to promote your SMS list: Your website is the hub to interact with your audience. Use popups, slide-ins, or footer ads to promote your SMS list. 
                                      4. Start a referral program: In case you don’t know, referrals make up 65% of businesses’ new purchases, and these leads have a 30% higher conversion rate than leads from any other marketing channel. Create a foolproof referral marketing strategy and start racking up leads for your SMS list. 
                                      5. Start a loyalty program: Loyalty programs are just as effective as referral programs. Create a loyalty program for consumers to sign up to your SMS list and earn an insane amount of points. You can continue to send these consumers loyalty rewards for them to redeem at your businesses, which will keep them returning. 
                                      6. Find out what your consumers want: Understanding your audience is imperative to design an incentive they’ll enjoy. Doing this will also give you a better idea of the marketing tactics they prefer. Use a survey or quiz to determine what your audience is looking for.
                                      7. Promote your SMS list through live events: As social gatherings aren’t an occurrence anymore, host live events for your audience. Use presentations to inform them about your brand and interact with your audience to keep them engaged. You can even ask an industry expert to show face at your live event to prove your brand’s credibility. 
                                      8. Leverage your existing marketing methods: Now is the time to use all your marketing channels. Promote your SMS list through engaging emails and social media content to interest consumers. Be sure to send your marketing material during times that your audience will see it. 
                                      9. Ensure your Call-to-Action (CTA) is clear: How could your audience take your desired action if they don’t know what it is? Be clear about what action you want your audience to take, and make your CTA easily accessible. Also, ensure your terms and conditions are straightforward and visible. 
                                      10. Create urgency around your CTA: People are more likely to act on an offer when there’s urgency around it. Offer the first 10 or 20 people an exclusive offer for joining your SMS list, or use a countdown timer to encourage your consumers.
                                      11. Offer your audience exclusive deals: Consumers want what other consumers don’t have. So, offer consumers who join your SMS list a VIP or exclusive deal. Ensure this deal is worthwhile for your consumers.
                                      12. Ensure your marketing methods are personalized: Any marketing expert will tell you that personalization is paramount to any form of marketing. Approach your audience using their language. Highlight the problems your ideal buyer faces and how your brand can solve those problems. The more you understand your audience, the easier it will be to personalize your marketing efforts. 
                                      13. Start a contest: Whether you host a social media contest or run a contest through your website, it’s a fantastic way to gain leads for your SMS list. Incorporate urgency and an irresistible incentive in your contest.
                                      14. Use traditional, in-person methods: Hand out business cards to prospective consumers and use word-of-mouth to promote your brand and SMS list. 
                                      15. Segment your audience: Segment your audience based on their preferences and use personalized marketing methods for each group. Not only does this make effective marketing easier, but you can gain a better understanding of what different groups of your consumers want. 
                                      Blast SMS marketing stats
                                      Source: aviaro.com

                                      How We Evaluate SMS Marketing Software and How You Should Pick One 

                                      Most SMS marketing software offers month-to-month subscriptions, but you’re still committing to one software. Remember, this software will house your consumer’s data and your business’s progress. To avoid switching software, use the 10 tips below to choose the best SMS marketing software.

                                      1. Is the SMS software easy to use? If possible, ask the SMS software vendor for a demo to gauge whether the software is intuitive. You want a platform with a direct user interface that allows you to find the information and features you need. 
                                      2. Can you integrate other platforms into the SMS software? You might want to integrate your email marketing software or any other tool with your SMS software. To ensure you can do this, choose an SMS software with effortless native integration options. 
                                      3. Does the SMS platform offer speedy support? If anything goes haywire, you need to know that you can rely on efficient account support. An ideal SMS software will have quick, 24/7 responses.
                                      4. Does the SMS software offer your consumers easy sign-up? If you consumers find a lot of friction when signing up, they might not complete this process. Avoid this by testing the sign-up process yourself and choosing an SMS software with a lot of flexibility in sign-up. You also want an SMS platform that collects sufficient demographic information at the sign-up stage. 
                                      5. Using the SMS software, is tracking and reporting seamless? Your SMS software must offer easy tracking and reporting. You should view your performance clearly, and ideally, your SMS software will have real-time analytics. 
                                      6. Does the SMS software have reliable data security? Through SMS marketing, you will collect sensitive personal and contact information from your consumers. The SMS platform you choose must support PCI 1 level security, which is the same security for processing credit card payments. Conduct a security audit of your own to ensure the SMS platform has sufficient data security. 
                                      7. What other companies have the SMS platform worked with? To trust the reliability and effectiveness of an SMS platform, you need to check the vendor’s portfolio. Choose an SMS software that has worked with companies similar to yours.
                                      8. Will the SMS software accommodate company growth? Not only do you want an SMS software that will scale your company, but its functions should also be relevant in the long haul. You don’t want to chop and change SMS software, so choose one with sufficient features.
                                      9. Does the SMS software follow compliance regulations? The SMS software you choose must follow legal regulations regarding data security and storing personal information. Ask the SMS software’s vendor if the software follows CTIA compliance. 
                                      10. Can you comfortably afford the SMS software? Don’t choose software that you don’t think you could afford, as this could overturn your profit and expenses ratio. 
                                      Blast SMS marketing read rate stats
                                      Source: citygro.com

                                      7 Steps to Launch a Successful Text Blasting Campaign

                                      With the right direction from the get-go, launching a successful text blasting campaign can be much easier. You need to be strategic, and most of all; you need to have a customer-centric approach. 

                                      These are the 7 steps you need to follow for a text blasting campaign that generates high conversion rates. 

                                      Define Your Business Objective

                                      Before launching your text blasting campaign, you need to be clear about your business’s aim. Starting with this makes it easier to direct your text blasting campaign, identify your ideal buyers and brainstorm a CTA.

                                      For starters, choose one primary objective you want to achieve from your text blasting campaign. For example, multiplying your sales, raising brand awareness, or securing loyal consumers. 

                                      When choosing your goal, ensure it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound). Communicate your goals to your entire team, so you are all working in the same direction.  

                                      Establish Your Audience

                                      Be clear about the type of consumer you’re hoping to add to your SMS list. Be specific about this to determine which marketing methods to use. If you have various ideal buyers in mind, segment your audience and use the appropriate marketing methods for each group.

                                      Establishing your audience will be simple through understanding them. Use surveys and quizzes to broaden your understanding of what your consumers want from your business.  This will help you establish your audience and increase customer appreciation too.

                                      Choose the Best SMS Marketing Software for Your Business

                                      After establishing your audience, you need to choose the SMS marketing software for your text blasting campaign. Choosing the best SMS marketing software can be tricky, so refer to our list above on how to evaluate SMS marketing software for your business.

                                      Create an Encouraging CTA

                                      Brainstorm an exciting CTA that’s ought to persuade your audience to join your SMS list. Your CTA should be clear, concise, and engaging. Use bold, large text as your CTA and place it on a visible section of your website. You can also promote your CTA through social media. 

                                      Create Short but Sweet Text Messages

                                      For the text message content for your text blasting campaign, ensure your content is flawless. If content writing is not your area of expertise, you can hire freelance content writers to get this done for you. 

                                      If you decide to curate your own text messages, ensure they are concise and to the point. Your text messages must also be captivating and include a clear CTA. To get through to your audience, you can include slang words and emojis too.

                                      Develop a Schedule for Sending Text Messages

                                      The time you send your text messages is vital as you need your recipients to see them. Send messages before 9 am and after 9 pm, as most consumers don’t work during those times. Run a few tests to determine the best time to send your text messages. 

                                      Track and Analyze your SMS Marketing 

                                      Tracking and analyzing your text blasting campaign is essential to ensure you’re accomplishing your aim. Track vital metrics to determine whether you need to ramp up your marketing efforts or if you’re on the right track. 

                                      Here are a Few Metrics to Track for a Text Blasting Campaign:

                                      • Subscriber growth rate: This is how many subscribers you’re gaining for your SMS list. Track this rate weekly and identify which marketing efforts are accelerating your subscriber growth rate. 
                                      • Subscriber churn rate: This rate describes how many subscribers are opting out of your text blasting campaign. You should keep your churn rate below 2%-3%.
                                      • Redemption rate: This metric is how many consumers redeem your offers. If this rate is low, consider changing your incentive. 
                                      • Cost per redeeming rate: How much does it cost per customer that redeems your offers? Determining this will help you reveal your profitability.  
                                      • CTR: Your CTR describes how many consumers click on the link in your text messages to get to your desired action. 
                                      • Conversion rate: Your conversion rate is how many consumers not only click on your text message but complete your desire action. 

                                      4 Best SMS Marketing Software

                                      You know how to launch a blasting text campaign and how to choose the best SMS marketing software for your business. So, let’s review the top 4 SMS marketing software available.

                                      MobileMonkey

                                      MobileMonkey is all about dynamic, engaging mobile chatbots and helps agencies, in-house marketers, brands, and influencers develop a successful blasting SMS campaign. This SMS software allows you to market through Facebook Messenger, Instagram, web chat, SMS, omnichat, and Agency.

                                      B2C businesses can use MobileMonkey’s advanced SMBots to provide their consumers with 24/7, live support. And the Instagram features enable automatic responses to customer queries and tools that reward users for interacting with your brand. Plus, MobileMonkey’s own chatbot-OmniChat offers a multi-platform chatbot builder, instant communication, and a unified chat inbox.

                                      Integrations

                                      • Zapier

                                      Pricing:

                                      • Pricing is not readily exposed, create an account with MobileMonkey for a quote.

                                      Website: https://mobilemonkey.com/

                                      SimpleTexting

                                      SimpleTexting offers an intuitive dashboard with everything you need right at your fingertips. You can send personalized blasting texts with pictures and other media forms. Businesses can also track CTR’s, subscriber rates, and delivery rates. SimpleTexting allows you to segment consumers, schedule texts, and create autoresponders too.

                                      You can also create automated birthday messages, recurring campaigns, extended texts, and tiny links. Many popular brands like Starbucks, SAMSUNG, and Lego land have all used SimpleTexting. 

                                      Integrations:

                                      • Mailchimp
                                      • Zapier

                                      Pricing:

                                      • From $25 p/m for 500 text messages 

                                      Website: https://simpletexting.com/

                                      ClickSend

                                      As an SMS marketing software ideal for experienced marketers, ClickSend offers robust features for blasting SMS campaigns. Users enjoy real-time tracking with the ability to send 4800 messages per minute and draft text messages for up to 1224 characters. You can send customized messages to any country, and ClickSend handles all your opt-outs.

                                      ClickSend offers 24/7 customer support, and you can set reminders and schedule automated text messages too. You can also add security features like 2-step verification and one-time passwords. 

                                      Integrations:

                                      • Zapier
                                      • Slack
                                      • Salesforce
                                      • IFTTT
                                      • Shopify
                                      • Zoho
                                      • Xero
                                      • Gmail
                                      • Freshbooks
                                      • Facebook
                                      • Whatsapp
                                      • Instagram
                                      • Twitter
                                      • And more!

                                      Pricing:

                                      • For under 2000 messages, the pricing starts at $0.0206 per text.

                                      Website: https://www.clicksend.com/

                                      TextMagic 

                                      TextMagic allows brands to send texts online, convert texts to emails and schedule messages. It’s also possible to manage your opt-outs, use SMS templates, personalize text messages and create SMS surveys. You can export valuable data too, like your CTR rates, conversion rates, and delivery rates.

                                      This SMS marketing software has worked with clients of all kinds like QiQ, MaidPro, SDL, and Fylde Property. TextMagic also has two-factor authentication and a carrier lookup function for your text blasting campaign. 

                                      Integrations:

                                      • Mailchimp
                                      • Zapier

                                      Pricing:

                                      • MMS, text messages and carrier lookup in the US is $0.040 per MMS, text, and lookup.

                                      Website: https://www.textmagic.com/

                                      Conclusion

                                      Blasting text marketing is a fantastic medium to communicate with your consumers. Not only do consumers want brands to message them more, but texts have higher open rates than emails. And most people check every single one of their texts! 

                                      Choosing the best SMS marketing software for your text blasting campaign and growing your SMS list is effortless through this guide. You have all the information to launch a victorious text blasting campaign and 4 of the best SMS marketing software to pick from. 

                                      Frequently Asked Questions

                                      What is a text blast?

                                      Text blasting is when businesses send a large mass of recipients a text at the same time. While retail industries mostly use text blasting to send their consumers promotions and sales information, other industries use text blasting too. Read this article to find out why text blasting works, how to launch a blasting SMS campaign, and the top four SMS marketing software for text blasting.

                                      What are the top text blasting services?

                                      The top four text blasting services of 2021 are MobileMonkey, SimpleTexting, ClickSend, and TextMagic. Read this article to find out why these platforms are the best SMS blasting services in 2021, and how to choose the best platform for your business.

                                      How do you start a blasting SMS campaign?

                                      To start a blasting SMS campaign, you need to define your objectives. Then you need to establish your audience, brainstorm a captivating CTA and develop your text content. To find out more about launching a successful blasting SMS campaign, how to choose the best SMS marketing software, and the top SMS marketing software for 2021, read this article.

                                      References and Sources

                                      1. Techjury: 35+ Must-Know SMS Marketing Statistics in 2021
                                      2. Textbetter
                                      3. Campaign Monitor: Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2021: By Industry and Day
                                      4. G2: 45 SMS Marketing Statistics Your Customers Wish You Knew
                                      5. VentureBeat: Why businesses can’t ignore SMS (Hint: 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes)
                                      6. Spam Laws: Spam Statistics and Facts
                                      7. SMS comparison: SMS Marketing Statistics 2021 For USA Businesses
                                      8. Bankmycell: June 2021 Mobile User Statistics: Discover the Number of Phones in The World & Smartphone Penetration by Country or Region
                                      9. Statista: How much time on average do you spend on your phone on a daily basis?
                                      10. Reviews.org: Cell Phone Behavior in 2021: How Obsessed Are We?
                                      11. FinancesOnline: 48 SMS Marketing Statistics You Must See: 2020/2021 Market Share Analysis & Data
                                      12. BuildFire: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know About SMS Marketing
                                      13. WebFX: How Much Does Email Marketing Cost in 2021?
                                      14. The Content Factory: How Much Does Social Media Marketing Cost?
                                      15. MobileMonkey
                                      16. SimpleTexting
                                      17. ClickSend
                                      18. TextMagic

                                      The 12 Best Push Notification Services and Tools in 2021 [Full Review]

                                      High cart abandonment and churn rates with low conversion rates are detrimental to a business.

                                      But combating this using a non-intrusive method like popups can be challenging.

                                      That’s why push notification services are what we’re going to discuss today.

                                      We can use push notifications for various purposes. Around 83% of businesses use push notifications for announcing new promotions, while almost 17% use these notifications to welcome new subscribers. As push notifications have a higher deliverability rate than email by 50% and a higher click rate (7%), it’s no surprise why businesses use them.

                                      Ready to learn about the benefits of push notifications, how to choose the top push notification service for your business, and the best push notification services in 2021? Let’s dive into this! 

                                        Why use Push Notification? 

                                        Whether you want to build brand loyalty or keep your audience invested in your business, push notifications have a vast range of advantages. A few of these advantages include increasing user engagement and conversion rates, seamlessly targeting your ideal buyer, and retaining your users.

                                        Here are the top benefits of using push notifications. 

                                        Optimize User Engagement

                                        Push notifications are a non-intrusive way to get right in front of your consumers. Through advanced push notification features and personalization, you can engage users and persuade them to take your desired action. 

                                        According to Invesp, push notifications increase app engagement by 88%. The same report confirms that 65% of users revert to an app within 30 days when push notifications are enabled. It’s safe to say that consumers prefer push notifications as a less invasive marketing medium. 

                                        Source: Google Chrome Developers

                                        Targeting Your Ideal Buyer is Easier

                                        For push notifications, users must enable certain features like permission to track their location or access specific data. This data, especially location information, makes targeting your ideal buyer easier.

                                        You will have a clearer understanding of the demographics of your ideal buyers, so you can create a customer-centric strategy for push notifications that apply to them. Businesses can also send push notifications when their target buyer is in a specific location.

                                        Increase Your Conversion Rates

                                        This might be the most obvious result of push notification services, but it’s undoubtedly worth mentioning. Perhaps your business is like how Bollywood Kart was-your cart abandonment rate is terribly low. To combat this, Bollywood Kart implemented push notifications and their CTR for cart abandonment increased by 10%!

                                        Whether your goal is re-engagement, retention, or increasing your open rates, push notifications can help you. 

                                        Retain and Re-engage Users

                                        If you notice a drop in interest among your users, this is a cause for concern. Fortunately, Localytics found that with push notifications, app retention is around 39%. However, broadcasting messages have a retention rate of 21%. 

                                        Furthermore, a report by Urban Airship confirms that users who receive daily push notifications have 3-6x higher app retention rates than users who don’t receive push notifications. Weekly push notifications have a 2-5x higher app retention rate. 

                                        How to Choose Push Notification Services

                                        For choosing push notification services, you have tonnes of options at your disposal. Below are the top 10 tips for choosing a push notification service.

                                        1. Your planned volume of messages/recipients: Further below, you’ll notice that some push notification services charge per message or have a cap on the messages/recipients you can send/have for each plan. To avoid choosing the wrong plan estimate the volume of notifications you’ll be sending and the recipients you’ll have. Find a plan that comfortably accommodates those numbers. 
                                        2. Your planned volume of simultaneous push notifications: Like your planned volume of messages and recipients, how many messages you want to send simultaneously is crucial. Some push notification services like Batch offer faster delivery speeds as the plans increase. If you know you’ll need to send hundreds or thousands of messages simultaneously, choose a push notification service that can power this. 
                                        3. The segmentation capabilities: Some push notification services focus on advanced segmentation functions, whereas others offer a simple segmentation feature. You need to evaluate how indispensable segmentation is to your brand and product and find a push notification service that delivers matching capabilities.  
                                        4. The personalization options: You want your push notifications to drive customer appreciation, stand out from others and leave a mark in users’ minds. However, this might not be as much of a necessity for some businesses. Find out how much personalization a push notification service allows and if that works for your business. 
                                        5. The advanced features available: Advanced features like geo-targeting, automation, media content (GIFs, images, videos, etc.), and interactive elements enhance your push notifications. But you might only need one of those advanced features rather than all of them. Either way, determine if you need these features and choose a push notification service that offers them. 
                                        6. The way the plans are priced and how much they cost: You’ll find that many push notification services offer tiered plans while others charge you per notification or batch of subscribers. Determine which of these plans work better for you and if you can afford it. You want to multiply your profits through push notifications, so don’t choose a service that will cut too much into your bottom line.
                                        7. The user-level data you want access to: Among push notification services, the analytics tools, and functions are very similar. Yet, it’s a great idea to determine what your key performance indicators (KPIs) are and if the push notification service you choose offers clear, in-depth tracking of those KPIs. 
                                        8. If there is any comprehensive documentation available: Choose a push notification service with detailed documentation on how to set up the platform and troubleshoot for solutions. Without comprehensive documentation, you might find it difficult to use the software and ease any friction. 
                                        9. If the services support cross-platform functions: Even if you’re sticking to web browser push notifications, you need a platform that can support cross-platform functions too. So, if you ever decide to become mobile-adaptive, you don’t have to switch push notification services. 
                                        10. If the platform is easy to use and navigate: An intuitive, effortless push notification service platform is key. Choosing a push notification service like this will save you time and effort as you won’t need to contact customer support constantly or sift through documentation. To determine whether a push notification service fulfills this, try a demo before purchasing it. 

                                        12 Best Push Notification Services 

                                        So you can get the ball rolling for your push notification strategy, we’ve rounded up the top 12 push notification services in 2021. 

                                        PushAssist

                                        Specializing in push notifications for web browsers and mobile devices, PushAssist has powered over 14 000 websites and digital stores globally. This software is easy to configure, allows multi-channel messaging, and offers real-time tracking.

                                        Users can schedule push notifications, personalize messages, and segment their audience. PushAssist also collects consumer data to create actionable insights for your business. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • WordPress
                                        • Shopify
                                        • GitHub
                                        • OpenCart
                                        • Bigcommerce
                                        • Magneto 
                                        • Magneto 2
                                        • Drupal

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Free plan is available
                                        • Starter plan is from $9 p/m
                                        • Business plan is from $25 p/m
                                        • Elite plan is from $299 p/m

                                        Pros:

                                        • There is a free plan available.
                                        • The plans increase based on subscriber growth, meaning this software can grow with your business.
                                        • There are sufficient features in the free and lower-end plans. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • The elite plan may be too expensive for most small businesses. 
                                        • There are not so many integration options compared to most other push notification software. 
                                        • Businesses can’t conduct anything else besides push notifications. 

                                        Website: https://pushassist.com/

                                        PushEngage

                                        Having PushEngage as their push notifications software, businesses can segment their consumers and send them highly customizable push notifications. You can determine the timing, screen placement, images, call-to-action (CTA) button style, and title texts. Plus, you can maintain your conversions by setting automated cart abandonment push notifications.

                                        There is also a feature to set goals and analyze your performance. You can send offline push notifications too, set up automated drip campaigns, and use a custom domain. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • WordPress
                                        • WooCommerce
                                        • Wix
                                        • Magneto
                                        • Shopify
                                        • BigCommerce
                                        • Weebly
                                        • Zoho
                                        • Squarespace
                                        • Zapier
                                        • ClickFunnels
                                        • Google Analytics

                                        Pricing:

                                        • A free plan is available.
                                        • Business plan is $9 p/m
                                        • Premium plan is $29 p/m
                                        • Contact PushEngage for a quote on the Enterprise plan

                                        Pros:

                                        • A free plan is available, and the priced plans are affordable.
                                        • There are many integration options with frequently used tools and software.
                                        • PushEngage has an impressive toolkit focusing primarily on push notification services.
                                        • Users have endless customization functions to create personalized push notifications.
                                        • Unlike most push notification software, this one allows users to send offline notifications. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • PushEngage lacks integrations with social media and invoicing software. 
                                        • This software is not ideal if you want extra bells and whistles besides push notification functions. 

                                        Website: https://www.pushengage.com/

                                        SendPulse

                                        SendPulse provides push notifications compatible with mobile devices and web browsers. You can create custom subscriber requests, use push notification automation and create segmented lists. There is also an A/B testing feature available for push notifications. 

                                        You can also execute much more than push notifications with SendPulse. Brands can create email and SMS campaigns, manage their CRM, build chatbots and create landing pages. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • Shopify
                                        • Salesforce
                                        • HubSpot
                                        • WooCommerce
                                        • Slack
                                        • PayPal
                                        • Jotform
                                        • MySQL
                                        • Zapier
                                        • GoToWebinar
                                        • Amazon
                                        • WordPress Email Marketing Automation Plugin

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Free plan is available.
                                        • Pro plan starts from $19 p/m

                                        Pros:

                                        • There is a free plan available, and the paid plan is affordable.
                                        • They base the paid plan on your number of subscribers. So this software can accommodate every stage of your business’s growth. 
                                        • SendPulse has a great variety of integration options. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • SendPulse doesn’t offer many advanced features in the free plan.
                                        • There are only two plans available, and this doesn’t give businesses much choice.
                                        • When you gain above 75,000 subscribers, the pricing increases drastically. 

                                        Website: https://sendpulse.com/

                                        OneSignal

                                        OneSignal offers push notification services for mobile and web browsers. You can create personalized push notifications for segmented consumer groups and track your analytics. This push notification software also allows users to conduct A/B testing. 

                                        For mobile, you can send user messages, transactional notifications, conversion-driven messages, promotions, and updates. The push notifications available for web browsers include abandoned cart reminders, announcements, mentions, followers, and new blog posts.

                                        The impressive aspect of OneSignal is that you can also create emails, SMSes, and in-app messages to maintain engagement. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • Google Analytics
                                        • Expo
                                        • Segment
                                        • Wix
                                        • WordPress VIP
                                        • Shopify 
                                        • Magneto
                                        • MailChimp
                                        • Mailgun
                                        • RevenueCat
                                        • HubSpot
                                        • Zapier
                                        • Radar
                                        • InvoiceBerry

                                        Pricing: 

                                        • A free plan is available
                                        • Growth plan from $9 p/m
                                        • Professional plan from $99 p/m
                                        • Contact OneSignal for a quote on the Enterprise plan

                                        Pros:

                                        • OneSignal offers a free plan, and the priced plans are affordable.
                                        • Users can integrate various platforms with OneSignal.
                                        • This push notification service supports web browsers and mobile devices.
                                        • Businesses have everything they need for push notifications and overall communication. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • This platform may be excessive for brands looking for push notification services only.

                                        Website: https://onesignal.com/

                                        Aimtell

                                        Aimtell_push notification services
                                        Source: aimtell.com

                                        With Aimtell, businesses can use advanced segmenting, scheduled notifications, custom templates, automated notifications, and webhooks. You can also conduct A/B testing, track your vital metrics, set goals, and add unlimited websites. Aimtell provides more features like expiring notifications, emojis, dynamic notifications, and custom branding too.

                                        Users can add and remove team members, add welcome push notifications, and customize the opt-in forms. To increase your push notification performance, you can add large images and have notifications appear based on time zones. Businesses have 100% control and ownership over their subscribers’ data. 

                                        Integrations: 

                                        • Twitter
                                        • MailChimp
                                        • HubSpot
                                        • ActiveCampaign
                                        • Instagram
                                        • WordPress
                                        • YouTube
                                        • Shopify
                                        • Eventbrite
                                        • SendinBlue
                                        • Magneto
                                        • Twilio
                                        • ConstantContact

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Free 14-day trial is available.  
                                        • Basic plan is $49 p/m
                                        • Plus plan is $99 p/m
                                        • Pro plan is $199 p/m
                                        • Contact Aimtell for a quote on the Enterprise plan 

                                        Pros:

                                        • A free trial is available. 
                                        • Aimtell offers an extensive list of integrations for this software.
                                        • Businesses will find everything they need for successful push notifications.
                                        • Aimtell adds more focus to push notifications solely.
                                        • You will have complete ownership and control of subscriber data. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • Lacks native integrations for invoicing and location software.
                                        • Pricing can be expensive for some businesses.
                                        • Businesses will only find push notification services from this platform. 

                                        Website: https://aimtell.com/

                                        Kumulos

                                        Kumulos
                                        Source: kumulos.com

                                        Kumulos offers push notification services for web browsers and mobile apps. For mobile apps, you can segment consumers, use geo-targeting, automate interactions triggered by in-app actions and perform A/B testing. You can also rebrand Kumulos for your business and team.

                                        This easy-to-use platform gives you the same functions for web browser push notifications, except you can’t use geo-targeting. However, users can rely on easy opt-outs for web browser consumers. Besides push notifications, Kumulos also offers App Store Optimization (ASO), analytics, crash reporting, and API endpoint monitoring. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • BettyBlocks
                                        • New Relic
                                        • Shoutem
                                        • Mandrill
                                        • Cotham Technologies
                                        • Cloudinary
                                        • Estimote
                                        • Bitrise
                                        • Beaconstac
                                        • Stream
                                        • Twilio
                                        • Codio 
                                        • Sendgrid
                                        • Mailgun

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Free 30-day free trial available. 
                                        • Startup plan (contact for price)
                                        • Enterprise plan (contact for price)
                                        • Agency plan (contact for price)

                                        Pros:

                                        • A free trial is available, and it is longer than most free trials. 
                                        • Kumulos has tonnes of advanced features for mobile and browser push notifications.
                                        • Geo-targeting can help you create or change your ideal buyer personas and give you more insight into your audience’s preferences.
                                        • Not much other software allows you to rebrand the console as Kumulos does.
                                        • Businesses have a fully furnished toolkit for push notifications. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • Kumulos’ prices aren’t readily available without contacting them.
                                        • Lacks integration with social media platforms, invoicing services, CRM software, and many common, well-known brands.  

                                        Website: https://www.kumulos.com/

                                        Pushwoosh

                                        Pushwoosh offers push notifications for mobile devices and web browsers. You can use images, GIFs, videos, and other forms of media in your push notifications, and you can insert deeplinks in your messages.

                                        Users can perform A/B testing for optimal results and segment their consumers based on user information. Pushwoosh enables you to stand out from the crowd through dynamic content and in-depth analytics.

                                        Integrations:

                                        • Google Analytics
                                        • Unity
                                        • Marketo
                                        • PhoneGap Build
                                        • Crashlytics
                                        • Trigger.io
                                        • Flutter
                                        • WordPress
                                        • Corona
                                        • Unreal Engine
                                        • Adjust
                                        • Xamarin
                                        • Appcelerator Titanium
                                        • Adobe AIR
                                        • React Native
                                        • Cordova

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Developer plan (contact for price)
                                        • Marketing plan (contact for price)
                                        • Custom plan (contact for price)

                                        Pros:

                                        • Pushwoosh has many integration options.
                                        • Users can find more than only push notification services like automated email marketing, in-app messaging, and life cycle marketing features.
                                        • You can use push notifications for mobile devices and web browsers.
                                        • Pushwoosh allows you to use more captivating content elements to keep your audience engaged. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • The prices aren’t readily available without contacting Pushwoosh.
                                        • There aren’t many customizing options available.
                                        • Specific information about Pushwoosh is not made clear on their website. 

                                        Website: https://www.pushwoosh.com/

                                        PushBots

                                        PushBots
                                        Source: pushbots.com

                                        Offering push notification services for web browsers and mobile devices, PushBots primarily focuses on push notification functions. For mobile devices, PushBots give you an overview of your audience’s demographics. You can send targeted content too. Businesses can also rely on PushBots’ advanced AI to deliver notifications at the perfect time.

                                        You can use geo-location features for web browser push notifications, and you can install PushBots on multiple websites. It’s also possible to track your progress and analyze the in-depth, intuitive statistics PushBots prepares. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • PhoneGap
                                        • Ionic
                                        • PhoneGap-build
                                        • React-native
                                        • Twitter

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Lite plan is $29 p/m
                                        • Basic plan is $49 p/m
                                        • Plus plan is $129 p/m
                                        • Ultimate plan is $249 p/m
                                        • Contact PushBots for a quote on the Enterprise plan 

                                        Pros:

                                        • Besides push notification services, you can conduct and manage polls and in-app messages.
                                        • For web browser push notifications, you can send as many notifications as you like.
                                        • There are more than enough paid plan options to accommodate various businesses.
                                        • Businesses will find all the push notification functions they need in this software.
                                        • The pricing is affordable, and businesses can choose a customized plan, only offering what they need. 
                                        • PushBots gives you a report of your consumers’ demographics and your statistics. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • There is no free plan or free trial available.
                                        • Users cannot manage email marketing from this platform, only in-app messaging, polls, and push notifications. 
                                        • PushBot lacks sufficient integration options.

                                        Website: https://pushbots.com/

                                        Catapush

                                        Catapush_push notification services
                                        Source: catapush.com

                                        Catapush specializes in push notifications. This platform ensures your push notifications are delivered, and you can track your notifications in real-time. For every message sent, delivered, and read, Catapush will send you time stamps. There is also end-to-end encryption support to keep your consumers’ data secured.

                                        Catapush allows you ample personalization in your push notifications. Users can use SMS fallback support too. SMS fallback support is to reach your audience offline. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • Ionic
                                        • Cordova
                                        • PhoneGap
                                        • React Native
                                        • Xamarin
                                        • Flutter
                                        • GitHub

                                        Pricing:

                                        • A free 12-month trial is available
                                        • Pro plan is €0.02 (approx. $0,024) per notification, per month
                                        • Contact Catapush for a quote on the Enterprise plan

                                        Pros:

                                        • A free trial is available, which gives businesses more than enough time to try Catapush.
                                        • Catapush enables real-time push notifications and performance tracking.
                                        • Businesses can use SMS fallback, a feature not common among push notification software.
                                        • This software is ideal if you only need push notification services.

                                        Cons:

                                        • There are very few integration options available, and the integrations aren’t common tools.
                                        • They base the pricing plan on per notification, and this can easily rack up a large bill at the end of the month. 
                                        • There aren’t many plans to give businesses enough options.

                                        Website: https://www.catapush.com/

                                        PushAlert

                                        PushAlert_push notification services
                                        Source: pushalert.co

                                        Real-time communication, dynamic segmentation, customized CTA buttons, and A/B testing are all a few features by PushAlert. You can also create welcome push notifications, scheduled push notifications, and a mobile-optimized RSS push page. 

                                        To maintain your conversion rates, you can send cart abandonment and in-stock push notifications. Businesses can also send price-drop push notifications and shipment alerts. PushAlert offers in-depth tracking too and geo-analytics. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • WordPress
                                        • WooCommerce
                                        • Shopify
                                        • Magneto
                                        • Bigcommerce
                                        • Squarespace
                                        • Joomla
                                        • .Net
                                        • Blogger

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Free 15-day trial is available 
                                        • Free plan is available
                                        • Basic plan starts from $12 p/m
                                        • Premium plan starts at $39 p/m
                                        • Platinum plan starts from $69 p/m

                                        Pros:

                                        • There is a free trial and a free plan available.
                                        • The paid plans for PushAlert are affordable.
                                        • Businesses can enjoy what they need in push notification services.
                                        • PushAlert offers refined features, and the tracking functions are comprehensive. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • There aren’t many integration options available.
                                        • Businesses can’t access any other communication functions besides push notification services. 

                                        Website: https://pushalert.co/

                                        Batch

                                        Batch
                                        Source: batch.com

                                        Batch offers push notification services for web browsers and mobile devices. The web push notification services include custom opt-in formats, deeplinks, action buttons, images, and segmentation. Mobile push notifications cover A/B testing, deeplinks, images, GIFs, action buttons, and an emoji library.

                                        In addition to the push notification services, Batch also offers advanced tracking, segmentation, and security functions. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • Smart&Soft
                                        • Notify
                                        • TUNE
                                        • Segment
                                        • Mixpanel
                                        • Google Analytics
                                        • CM
                                        • AT Internet
                                        • Adobe Campaign Classic
                                        • Adjust
                                        • AppsFlyer
                                        • Adobe Audience Manager
                                        • Commanders Act
                                        • Firebase Analytics
                                        • Imagino
                                        • Go and Up
                                        • Crashlytics
                                        • Google Tag Manager

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Mobile push notifications:
                                          • Free plan is available
                                          • Developer plan is €245 (approx. $297) p/m
                                          • Startup plan is €495 (approx. $600) p/m
                                          • Business plan is €795 (approx. $963) p/m
                                          • Contact Batch for a quote on the Enterprise plan 
                                        • Web browser push notifications:
                                          • Free plan is available
                                          • Startup plan is €495 (approx. $600) p/m
                                          • Contact Batch for a quote on the Business plan

                                        Pros:

                                        • There is a reasonable number of possible integrations
                                        • The two separate plans for mobile and web browser push notifications may convenience brand’s that only want one of these services.
                                        • There are free plans available for both mobile and web browser push notifications.
                                        • Batch offers ample plans for mobile notifications, giving businesses more variety. 

                                        Cons:

                                        • The integration options aren’t available for commonly used tools and software. 
                                        • You have to sign up for two unique plans for mobile and web browser push notifications. 
                                        • The prices aren’t affordable for small businesses.
                                        • For web browser push notifications, the pricing plans are limited.

                                        Website: https://batch.com/

                                        Wonderpush

                                        This push notification software offers services for mobile and web browser push notifications and in-app messaging. You will get your analytics and tracking data in real-time, and you can set behavioral or time-based automation.

                                        Users can create custom categories for segmenting consumers, and they have room to personalize push notifications. Wonderpush focuses only on providing high-quality, reliable push notification services. 

                                        Integrations:

                                        • Blogger
                                        • WooCommerce
                                        • React
                                        • WordPress
                                        • Wix
                                        • Squarespace
                                        • Ionic
                                        • Google Tag Manager
                                        • Apache Cordova

                                        Pricing:

                                        • Free 14-day trial available
                                        • Pricing starts at €1 (approx. $1.21) p/m. For every 1000 subscribers, your plan will increase by €1.

                                        Pros:

                                        • There is a free trial available, and the paid plan is not very expensive.
                                        • As they base the paid plan on your subscriber count, you still have access to advanced features throughout your journey with Wonderpush.
                                        • There is a sufficient amount of integrations available, and many of the apps are well-known.
                                        • Wonderpush is the ideal option for brands looking for refined push notification services only.

                                        Cons:

                                        • The dashboard and user interface could be more visually stimulating.
                                        • This is not a brilliant choice for businesses who want more communication services in SMS marketing software. 

                                        Website: https://www.wonderpush.com/

                                        Our Picks & the Conclusion

                                        Push notifications can help you stimulate user engagement, easily target your ideal buyer, increase your conversion rates and retain users. For a successful push notification strategy, evaluate push notification services according to our top 10 tips. 

                                        For small businesses, our top push notification service is PushEngage. This push notification service has a great number of integration options for an affordable price. You can create high-converting push notifications through PushEnagage while not paying for features small businesses don’t need.

                                        OneSignal is our top pick for medium-sized businesses that need push notification services. You can execute various communication methods to engage with your consumers while paying less than most advanced push notification services. There are also more than enough integration options and types of push notifications you can create. 

                                        Push notifications are a fantastic form of brand-to-consumer communication. So, don’t miss out on what push notifications can do for your business and build a strategy today! 

                                        Frequently Asked Questions

                                        What is the best push notification service?

                                        In 2021, a few of the best push notification services include OneSignal, Aimtell, Pushwoosh, and PushEngage. The best push notification service depends on what your business needs. Read this full article for all the details on the top 12 push notification services in 2021, how to choose a push notification service for your business, and much more!

                                        How does a push notification work?

                                        A push notification is a subtle popup on web browsers and mobile devices. Users don't have to access apps to receive these notifications, and you can set them according to your preferences. There are various types of push notifications you can use for your business. Read our article for all the information on push notification services, the top push notification services for 2021, and why you should use push notifications.

                                        How much do push notifications cost?

                                        Push notifications vary in price according to the push notification service you choose. This article has the top push notification services, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each. Plus, you can find out how to choose the best push notification service for your business and why push notifications are a valuable investment for every business.

                                        References and Sources

                                        1. Magenest: Interesting facts about Web Push Notifications Statistics 2021
                                        2. e-goi: Infographic: Push Notification Statistics that will Surprise You
                                        3. Invesp: Mobile App Push Notifications Impact – Statistics and Trends
                                        4. PushEngage: How these 8 online sites improved conversions and traffic using Push Notification
                                        5. BusinessofApps: Push Notifications Statistics (2019)
                                        6. Urban Airship: How Push Notifications Impact Mobile App Retention Rates
                                        7. OneSignal
                                        8. Aimtell
                                        9. Kumulos
                                        10. PushEngage
                                        11. Pushwoosh
                                        12. PushBots
                                        13. PushAssist
                                        14. SendPulse
                                        15. Catapush
                                        16. PushAlert
                                        17. Batch
                                        18. Wonderpush

                                        Shopify Affiliate Marketing: 6 Best Apps + Full Guide for 2021 [Updated]

                                        Is Shopify affiliate marketing really as easy as they say?

                                        In short: Yes!

                                        You could literally be making money while doing *almost* nothing.

                                        This is precisely why we’re going to explain why and how you should be leveraging the power of affiliate marketing to drive online revenue.

                                        And the best part?

                                        If you’re using shopify, you’re in luck because this ecommerce platform already has a directory full of shopify affiliate marketing apps to choose from and we have rated and reviewed the best of the best.

                                        In this article, we’re going to

                                        1. Introduce you to the benefits of affiliate marketing.
                                        2. Showcase our top 6 shopify affiliate marketing apps.
                                        3. Go through the steps you need to take when setting up your own affiliate marketing program.

                                          What is affiliate marketing?

                                          Essentially, affiliate marketing uses individuals to promote certain brands and products in order to receive a commission on each sale that they refer.

                                          Affiliates can be literally anyone from existing customers to influencers or other small marketing businesses, and they can promote a product through blogging, social media, or email among other methods.

                                          The brilliant thing about affiliate marketing is that it’s a win-win situation for both parties. Affiliates earn a decent commission for their referred sales, clicks, or leads, while merchants enjoy a fairly low risk sales and marketing effort that can scale easily.

                                          Incentives don’t even have to be cash payments because affiliates can also receive freebies or discounts in exchange – it really is that flexible.

                                          For ecommerce businesses, this makes even better sense because you can also track the performance of your affiliates easily with an affiliate management solution.

                                          Approximately 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue now comes from affiliate marketing.

                                          BusinessInsider.com

                                          The benefits of affiliate marketing

                                          In the U.S. alone, affiliate marketing spend is due to reach 8.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, up from 5.4 billion recorded in 2017 according to Statista.com

                                          Shopify affiliate marketing stats - Statista.com
                                          Affiliate marketing spending in the United States from 2010 to 2022(in billion U.S. dollars) via Statista.com

                                          Affiliate marketing has also taken on a new life as the trend of influencer marketing has somewhat burst its own bubble, and marketers are going back to ‘old-school’ measurable methods. Influencer marketing has now fallen under the umbrella of affiliate marketing.

                                          So, what are the most important benefits of affiliate marketing for ecommerce?

                                          1. Scale quickly with a ‘remote’ sales team

                                          As a small business, it’s highly likely that you are your own sales team! Or you might have a small core team, but expanding is a costly affair.

                                          Affiliate marketing allows you to connect with and reach many more people who will be selling or promoting your product in a short amount of time. Plus, with affiliate marketing, you only pay per conversion so you’ll steadily increase your ROI.

                                          2. Affiliates are focussed on the job

                                          There are no lengthy processes involved in making a sale because affiliates are focussed on the job – it’s their source of revenue so they are determined to generate revenue for you. This frees up a lot of time you would’ve otherwise used in managing an in-house sales team, so you can focus on growing your business.

                                          Almost 20% of established affiliates report making more than $1 million per year. 

                                          Hubspot.com

                                          3. Multi-channel marketing

                                          Affiliates will use any channel that works for them and for you. Therefore, you don’t have to get caught up in highly produced digital ads or campaigns.

                                          Your affiliates could generate both brand awareness and conversions from multiple channels such as social media, email, online reviews, or blogging.

                                          4. Leverage word-of-mouth marketing

                                          74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.

                                          Your affiliates are people, and you can leverage their reach and influence easily through an affiliate program.

                                          5. Easy to measure and manage

                                          Using shopify affiliate marketing apps makes tracking and measuring your campaign a breeze – because it’s all updated in real time and purposely built to integrate with your store.

                                          With unique tracking codes for each affiliate, you’ll be able to easily track sales and pay out commissions – this can even be automated if you use the right tool.  

                                          Now that we’ve got you thinking about all the marvelous benefits of affiliate marketing, let’s get right onto our list of the best shopify affiliate marketing apps you should be using.

                                          6 Best Shopify Affiliate Marketing Apps

                                          1. Refersion

                                          Video via Refersion

                                          Refersion is one of the major players in affiliate marketing, and their end-to-end shopify affiliate marketing app brings together all those world-class features in one robust tool.

                                          The app allows you to recruit, manage, and pay your affiliates with a personalised dashboard. Their shopify integrations allow you to automatically create unique coupon codes so you can track sales from any channel.

                                          Pros:

                                          • End-to-end shopify affiliate marketing
                                          • No coding required
                                          • Easy to launch
                                          • Customisable affiliate commissions at product-level

                                          Cons:

                                          • Lowest tier is out of reach for many small businesses
                                          • Only tracks up to 130 affiliate orders p/month
                                          • US-based support only

                                          Price: Professional $89 p/month, Enterprise-level costs are available on request

                                          Trial: 14-day free trial

                                          Website: refersion.com

                                          Shopify App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 761 reviews


                                          2. UpPromote: Affiliate Marketing

                                          UpPromote: Affiliate Marketing is an ideal option for all-size businesses. Especially, the app offers free plan if you’re looking to start your Shopify affiliate marketing strategy without any upfront cost.

                                          You can easily group your affiliates in program(s) with a specific commission structure. Also, you can setup auto-tier commission, lifetime commission to incentivize your team.

                                          The app supports you to build an affiliate team with unlimited affiliates on all plans. Furthermore, you can convert customers into affiliates via a post-purchase popup, let affiliates invite others with Multi-level marketing (MLM) feature. What differs between UpPromote and other apps is that you can list your offer on UpPromote marketplace to approach more ambassadors.

                                          Pros: 

                                          • Free plan available
                                          • Easy to set up
                                          • No coding required
                                          • Access to UpPromote marketplace to reach even more potential affiliates
                                          • Offer multiple commission programs, life-time commission, auto-tier commission
                                          • Pay your affiliates AUTOMATICALLY via PayPal integration, or pay store coupon using Store Credits

                                          Cons:

                                          • Limit approve/ deny the amount of referral orders for Free plan.

                                          Price:  Free Plan $0, Grow Affiliate Plan $19.99 p/month, Professional Plan $59.99 p/month, Enterprise Plan $119.99 p/month

                                          Trial: 14-day free trial

                                          Website: https://apps.shopify.com/affliate-by-secomapp

                                          Shopify App Store Rating: 4.8 Stars / 1057 reviews


                                          3. Social Snowball

                                          Video via Social Snowball

                                          Social Snowball is an automated affiliate marketing app designed specifically for Shopify stores. It automatically converts all store customers into affiliates and encourages them to promote your products by assigning personalized promo codes/links.

                                          Moreover, Social Snowball shows the coupon code at the end of each purchase, on the “Thank You” page, making customers more likely to share the product they just bought.

                                          We particularly like their minimal approach to everything. For example, the affiliate forms Social Snowball creates for non-customers (who’d like to join your affiliate program) can be filled in a few seconds.

                                          You can pay your affiliates in two clicks using one of the six simplified payout methods. And its minimal dashboard lets you keep track of everything.

                                          Pros:

                                          • Free plan available – unlimited affiliates
                                          • All customers become affiliates automatically
                                          • Easy to set up for Shopify merchants
                                          • Easy for affiliates to join the affiliate program made with Social Snowball
                                          • Personalized coupon codes make users more likely to share your products.
                                          • You can pay your affiliates in two clicks!

                                          Cons:

                                          • On the FREE plan, you’ll have to pay 15% of the revenue generated by Social Snowball.

                                          Price: Dusting/Free $0/month, Snow Day $39/month, Blizzard $249/month

                                          Trial: 14-day free trial

                                          Website: SocialSnowball.io

                                          Shopify App Store rating: 5.0 stars / 32 reviews


                                          4. LeadDyno

                                          Video via LeadDyno

                                          As one of the most popular Shopify affiliate marketing apps around, LeadDyno is a favourite among small businesses. A really great benefit of using LeadDyno is that you’ll not only get to use a great marketing tool, but also gain access to their large affiliate network for free.

                                          Pros:

                                          • Unique affiliate dashboards
                                          • Mobile app for affiliates
                                          • Free access to their affiliate network

                                          Cons:

                                          • US-based support only, and this can lead to delays in responses
                                          • It requires some level of technical-savviness to set up
                                          • The first tier might be a little pricey for small companies

                                          Price: Starter Plan $29.00 p/month, Biz Builder $49.00 p/month, Accelerator $79 p/month, Rainmaker $149 p/month

                                          Trial: 30-day free trial

                                          Website: leaddyno.com

                                          Shopify App Store Rating: 4.5 Stars / 569 reviews


                                          5. GoaffPro

                                          Shopify affiliate marketing - Goaffpro
                                          Image via Shopify

                                          GoaffPro is a great choice if you’re just starting up because their shopify affiliate marketing app offers quite a generous free plan. You can convert existing customers into affiliates through a customised portal, set up product-level commissions, track sales through multiple methods, generate coupons, and manage payments through PayPal.

                                          Pros:

                                          • Generous free tier allows you to run a full affiliate program
                                          • Unlimited affiliates, and uncapped revenue
                                          • Create and send welcome emails
                                          • No coding required

                                          Cons:

                                          • Some customers noted a slow response time to queries
                                          • The jump from free plan to the paid option could become a costly upgrade for some

                                          Price: Free Plan $0, Premium Plan $24 p/month

                                          Website: https://goaffpro.com/

                                          Shopify App Store Rating: 4.8 Stars / 376 Reviews


                                          6. ReferralCandy

                                          Video via ReferralCandy

                                          Referral marketing is part of affiliate marketing. Others might argue that it is a separate strategy, but we’d like to think of it as part of the affiliate marketing landscape.

                                          What differs between referral and affiliate marketing is the relationship between the referrer and the end customer, these two are usually connected by family, friendship or other shared interests. Other than that, referral marketing works the same as affiliate marketing.

                                          ReferralCandy is one of the most popular choices among shopify affiliate marketing apps and they are a pioneer in the affiliate marketing space. To date, they’ve generated millions of dollars in referral sales, so if you’re looking for a “Rolls Royce” of apps, this is one of them.

                                          ReferralCandy also offers an affiliate marketing mode so you can also reach out to affiliate partners.

                                          Pros:

                                          • Powerful end-to-end affiliate marketing features
                                          • Fully customisable emails with pre-designed themes
                                          • Automated payouts
                                          • Customisable incentives (discounts, cash payouts, gifts etc.)
                                          • Detailed, deep analytics
                                          • No coding required
                                          • Built-in Affiliates Mode to reach out to influencers

                                          Cons:

                                          • The steep starting fee might be out of reach of smaller companies
                                          • Customizing certain templates does require a certain level of tech-savviness and might not be very intuitive to use

                                          Price: $49 p/month

                                          Trial: 30-day free trial

                                          Website: referralcandy.com

                                          Shopify App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 813 reviews

                                          5 Steps to Build your Affiliate Program in Shopify

                                          With so many apps offering “one-click” options, it’s becoming even easier to get started with affiliate marketing on Shopify. However, there is some ground work that needs to be done in order to really make the most of your marketing tools.

                                          Here are a few important steps to keep in mind when you’re building your affiliate program:

                                          1. Outline how your affiliate marketing program will work

                                          Define what your sales and marketing objectives are and what kind of affiliate commission you are willing to offer. This can be discounts, free products, coupons, or other incentives.

                                          Then look at what kind of budget range you can afford and what features are a high-priority for you.

                                          For some businesses, all they need is a straightforward affiliate marketing tool, while others might require additional communication features such as bulk emailing, automatic payouts, custom dashboards and so on.

                                          Once you get your wish list of features and have defined your commission structure, you’ll be able to pinpoint the right app for you.

                                          2. Pick the right tool

                                          Now that you’ve outlined your basic affiliate strategy, it’s time to find the right marketing tool. Here are a few quick ways you can start researching:

                                          • Look at what tools your competitors are using
                                          • Read online reviews and ratings
                                          • Sign up for trials and demos to get a better sense of how the tools work and judge your comfort levels

                                          Once you’re ready to trial or purchase an app, you simply have to login to your shopify account, navigate to your chosen app’s listing page and click on “Add app” – then follow in the instructions to set up.

                                          3. Set up your communication plan

                                          Decide on how and why you’ll be communicating with your affiliates.

                                          Email communication is usually the best way to onboard new affiliates and keep in touch throughout the campaign.

                                          Certain emails can be automated through your shopify affiliate marketing app, and some require more of a personal touch (such as onboarding emails, customer support, payment queries and so on).

                                          You can also promote your affiliate program on social media, on your website or by other marketing channels.

                                          How Pooch Perks markets their affiliate program on their website. Image via poochperks.com.

                                          4. Recruit your affiliates

                                          With the right tool in place, you can start to recruit your ideal affiliates.

                                          It’s important that you clearly define what criteria you’re looking for and what you are willing to pay out, and what you are paying out for: sales, clicks, leads, and so on.

                                          You can use your affiliate marketing app to find affiliates on their owned networks, or you can start with your own customer base (as with referral marketing).

                                          Shopify affiliate marketing - example
                                          The Vianetic uses an application form to recruit affiliates. Image via TheVianetic.com

                                          5. Ongoing tracking and management

                                          Track performance and manage your affiliate program with ease using the dashboard provided by your affiliate marketing tool.

                                          Using the analytics and insights you receive through the app, you can optimise your affiliate program even further.

                                          The merchant dashboard on Refersion. Image via Shopify.

                                          Conclusion

                                          While having a diverse marketing mix is always a good strategy, we really believe that affiliate marketing should be a big part of that effort.

                                          While there are quite a few apps that perform similar tasks out there, it’s important to get the most out of your monthly fees. Therefore, we recommend doing your research on each app.

                                          Use articles like these to help you narrow down the search, and sign up for as many free trials and software demos as possible to give you the best opportunity to “try before you buy”.

                                          Our top picks from our list above:

                                          For small businesses just starting out: GoaffPro for their generous free plan.

                                          For enterprise-level businesses, looking for a robust end-to-end solution: Refersion for their established, fully end-to-end Shopify affiliate marketing offering.

                                          Frequently Asked Questions

                                          Can I launch an affiliate program for my Shopify store?

                                          Yes! Shopify can be integrated with most of the affiliate management software, so you can easily set up and launch your affiliate program. In order to find the best affiliate solutions for Shopify, check out our list of the best Shopify friendly affiliate apps.

                                          What are the best Shopify apps for affiliate marketing?

                                          The best Shopify apps to streamline your affiliate marketing campaign are: Refersion, LeadDyno and GoaffPro. Go and check out our article for the top 6 Shopify apps and see how to build a successful affiliate marketing program.

                                          How to determine the commission I should offer my affiliates?

                                          Get in touch with other companies within your niche market, to find out what commission rates they currently offer affiliates. Then browse through their terms and conditions sign up page. This will go a long way in helping you determine a competitive affiliate commission rate. For further details, take a look at our Shopify affiliate marketing guide, covering all you need to know for your affiliate campaign.

                                          How to find and recruit affiliates

                                          Once you have found a suitable marketing tool for your affiliate program, you can then start recruiting affiliates. Start by connecting with affiliate networks and directories, such as ClickBank and ShareASale. Here affiliates are more likely to come directly to you, then you needing to go out and search for them. See our full, step by step guide on how to find and recruit the right affiliates for you.

                                          References

                                          Can you do affiliate marketing on Shopify?: https://blog.refersion.com/can-you-do-affiliate-marketing-on-shopify-spoilers-yes-12c4cca15228

                                          23 Affiliate marketing statistics to help you up your game in 2020: https://99firms.com/blog/affiliate-marketing-statistics/#gref

                                          Word of mouth marketing in 2020: https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/word-of-mouth-marketing/#word-of-mouth-marketing-statistics

                                          Affiliate marketing: how to turn product recommendations into passive income:  https://www.shopify.co.za/blog/affiliate-marketing

                                          E-commerce affiliate marketing: the ultimate guide: https://www.ecommerceceo.com/ecommerce-affiliate-marketing/