A Story Can Reach Where Quantitative Analysis Is Denied Access: Our Hearts

“Successful products convey a powerful narrative about their features using verbs, instead of just adjectives – they talk about what their features can do for you” – stresses Olga Kudanova in our interview. Soon, she is going to give a lecture on the Psychological Effects and Paradoxes in Email marketing: 3 Must-knows during the online Digital Olympus conference. Prowly is a Partner of this event.

What will be the most interesting developments and trends in the coming years? What goes into crafting a great offer? How personal should you be in your communication? Problem clients: how to spot them and turn them into good ones? – we address all these in a chat with Olga Kudanova, Content Producer at SEMrush & speaker at Digital Olympus conference.

Olga Kudanova

Olga Kudanova

Content Producer, SEMrush,
speaker at Digital Olympus conference

Edyta: Even if a PR or marketing campaign is executed to technical perfection, it will fail if the qualitative elements are weak. What goes into crafting a great offer?

Olga Kudanova: There’s no such one-fits-all recipe for a perfect marketing offer. We live in a constantly changing world where all communication has gone online. It’s very unlikely that your primary offer will be as successful as its altered or updated versions. You need to constantly monitor your users’ behavior and engagement level, run split tests, take advantage of all digital marketing channels possible to help your offer thrive. It should go without saying, but your offer is doomed if you don’t see it in a bigger picture, if you can’t imagine it in the long run. Short-term offers won’t cut it.

However, there are some certain things to consider. Most experts agree on the following:

1. Tell a story

I believe in the old adage, “Tell, don’t sell.” Getting people to start using your product is hard. Making them understand why it will make their lives easier is even harder.

Olga kudanova

Successful products convey a powerful narrative about their features using verbs, instead of just adjectives – they talk about what their features can do for you.

A great offer isn’t just about what the product does, but instead, it’s about how the product makes users’ lives easier.

Consider this: refining the pitch of your product’s description will turn the blank stares into “I get that.”

A story can reach where quantitative analysis is denied access: our hearts. Data can convince people, but it doesn’t inspire, encourage or motivate them to act. To do that, you need to share your concept through a story that excites their imagination and stirs their soul.

2. “Unbox” your offer

Fear and anxiety are natural human emotions. When someone calls you from an unknown number, dozens of questions run through your mind. Who could be calling me now? Do I give it three more rings and then pick up? Could this be a scam?

People fear the unknown.

In one of her presentations, Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers compares buttons to doors. Would you open a door if you didn’t know what was behind it? So why would you expect your customers to accept the offer that doesn’t provide sufficient information?
This logic can be applied to your entire marketing strategy. Come to think of it, if your clients’ vision of your product isn’t 20/20, they are very likely to be anxious or uneasy when asked to make a purchase or sign up.

3. Use the social proof

Word-of-mouth and testimonials are the leveraging and driving force behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. They are extremely powerful persuaders and will either make or break your business.

According to a customer loyalty expert Fred Reichheld and the research in his book “The Ultimate Question”, businesses saw an average of 2x revenue growth by simply increasing their overall brand advocacy by only 12%.

As an informal observation, word of mouth cuts through the noise of traditional marketing quickly and effectively.

When put where they’re expected and prompted at the right time, testimonials will ensure a proper communication with your buyer persona, and will get you one step closer to sealing the deal.

Ideally, customer testimonials are attributed, brief to the point and highlight product’s or service’s major advantages.

4. Be there for them

Customer support is always a cherry on top of the cake. It’s a guarantee that your customers won’t be left stranded and lost within your product’s/service’s features. When your potential users know they will be taken care of, the last bit of skepticism or fear that prevents people from converting goes away.

If you had a good experience with a company, it’s very unlikely that you’ll go anywhere else. Loyal customers are worth the while. Losing customers is expensive: aside from dealing with complaints, it costs 6 – 7 times more to find a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Customers value good service so much, over half are happy to pay a bit more for it.

5. Put just a little bit of pressure

“I need some time to think about it” is the most common argument we have once we’re dealing with an offer. But sleeping on it doesn’t necessarily lead to making a decision.

Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons for turning down an offer. If you want people to act quickly, create a sense of urgency. Adding time sensitivity by specifying the date offer ends, or mentioning there’s limited capacity of supplies, will arouse the user’s’ interest and motivate them to take action asap.

6. Add value

Olga Kudanova

When you get an offer, we all want to squeeze as much juice from it as possible. “Buy one, get one free” sounds more appealing than the simple “20% off”.

This one’s really a no-brainer: when you get an offer, we all want to squeeze as much juice from it as possible. “Buy one, get one free” sounds more appealing than the simple “20% off”.

However, you may not be able to afford a great discount or a gift to follow up your offer.

Find the balance by starting off with something moderate. Or, if you know your audience well enough, craft an incentive you know they can’t decline.

Edyta: It’s the beginning of the second quarter. But – what will be the most interesting developments and trends in the coming years?

Olga: I don’t own a crystal ball to see the future. However, I’ve read a lot of predictions for 2016 from digital marketing professionals.

Here’s the list of things everyone will be talking about this year:

1. With machine learning, marketing campaigns will get smarter, taking automation and personalization to the next level, and saving marketers precious time. Despite the fact that machine learning has been around for a while, it will rocket email marketing when applied to data drilling.

2. Algorithms will replace surveys, providing a detailed panoramic view on user intentions. Surveys are sometimes perceived as spam, and they will be fully substituted for social analytics and neurometrics.

3. Bots will become standard UX, letting digital practitioners approach a new era faster.

4. There will be a steady growth in personalization and interactivity within every brand’s strategy. Do you know how many emails land in your customers’ inbox? A lot. Kinetic emails will help the most ambitious brands stand out from the norm, featuring new design solutions and interactive animation.

5. Email marketing industry will encounter a second coming of age, allowing us to expect more ways of integration with various apps and products, and helping power other digital marketing channels. User interaction with email through the mobile phone has been the #1 activity for a long time now. And it doesn’t seem to change any time soon.

Edyta: You mentioned about personalization. How personal should you be?

Olga: In answer to your question, I will just say that you should be personal enough to make your customers feel comfortable. It’s a well-known fact that emails with personalized subject lines and custom-tailored content increase revenue. However, there’s a fine line between knowing enough about your user to deliver the right type of content and your user’s privacy. There once was a case with one of the biggest American retailers. A father of a teenage girl complained to the store manager that they had sent his teenage daughter coupons for baby items, which he considered as an encouragement for her to get pregnant. This father was quite abashed, to say the least, when he found out his daughter was actually pregnant. Sticky situation, isn’t it?

Every time you go shopping, be it online or an actual store, you share intimate details about your consumption patterns. And many of those stores you shop at may take an advantage of those details to figure out what you like, what you want, and what kinds of coupons are most likely to make you happy.

Olga Kudanova

A lot of companies nowadays know very well, if not too good, how to data-mine their way into our heads and minds.

Personally, I find this situation both unsettling and unsurprising. Collecting data about your customers is normal, but if you’re moving your analysis into areas as sensitive as pregnancy, and so precisely, who knows what comes next?

Edyta: Three points to help you build the case for a bigger Email Marketing budget in 2016…

Olga: This January, I did some research about the email marketing industry in general, putting together the numbers from highly respected companies and agencies. If you are looking to persuade your boss or a colleague to start hammering away at email marketing, my infographic will be a solid argument to boost the budget for your email marketing strategy. My three major points are:

1. Email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers.
2. It’s the #1 preferred channel for permission-based communication among all age groups.
3. Email integrates perfectly with all marketing channels.

Edyta: Last question. Problem clients: how to spot them and turn them into good ones?

Olga: I think my last experience of working directly and interacting personally with clients was about 5 years ago, so I may not be on the cutting edge of providing the best the customer service.However, there’s one thing I’ve learned that proved to be true through my life in general. It’s my go-to recipe in resolving a conflict with a client. Don’t argue. It won’t do much justice to your contract, especially when you prove your client wrong.

Help them see the situation from where you’re standing, not force them to see it.

Admitting it was your fault that the situation went out of control doesn’t actually mean it’s your fault. Clients like to feel they’re in control. Telling a client that, for instance, you didn’t explain something explicitly from the start, will help to put the client at ease.

Olga has over 6 years of international public relations experience. She has a solid background in psychology and linguistics. In the past three years, she gained indispensable experience while working in the NGO sector and a viable knowledge of SEO and email marketing industry. In her free time, she enjoys writing on paper. Olga respects good sense of humor, savors virtuous hip-hop lyrics and is proficient in arguing. She is going to give a lecture on Psychological Effects and Paradoxes in Email marketing: 3 Must-knows during online Digital Olympus conference. Prowly is a Partner of this event.

Digital Olympus is a free online event that will take place on the 21st of June. Digital Olympus has lined up over 20 digital marketing experts to teach you today’s best practices and time-saving tricks. Among the speakers are: John Henshaw from RavenTools, Brian Dean from Backlinko, Aleyda Solis from Orainti, and Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo.

Please register here to reserve your seat!

Digital Olympus online conference