3 High-Converting Marketing Strategies Tailor-Made For 2015

by Jacob McMillen

Last updated on August 22nd, 2017

I’m pretty excited about this post, because it’s going to provide you with immediate ROI.

Do you ever feel like there are just too many marketing strategies to choose from? Where do you even begin?

My favorite part about marketing is that it’s always changing.

What worked yesterday might be useless today, or it could be five times as effective.

Unless you’re an industry leader, change is your best friend. It’s your opportunity to close the gap, create a new solution, or even just catch up in the marketing game.

The key is identifying the right opportunities to pursue. You don’t want to waste your time on a popular strategy that hasn’t worked since 2013. (That’s often called “best practice” and it rarely works.)

In this post, I’m going to give you 3 can’t-lose strategies for 2015.

That’s not a hook to keep you reading. I’m dead serious. You CAN’T LOSE with any of these strategies, and if you’re like me, you’ll be hitting all 3 of them before your shiny new calendar expires.

Which one will impact your conversion rates most? Well, to know that, you’ll need to test, won’t you? The good news is, they can all three help you reach your goals. So it’s more a matter of where to start than which one is best. So let’s begin.

1. Publish Case Studies

kissmetrics case studies

Case studies are the ultimate content goldmine for any company blog. If you haven’t been publishing case studies, you should start right now.

Here’s why:

A) Your business automatically supplies the content

Forget the drudgery of topic creation. When it comes to case studies, your business activity already supplies the core content.

If your business is legitimate, you are solving problems for your customers or at least meeting some type of need. When you do this successfully… boom… there’s your content.

B) Cases studies are inherently unique

You can’t have a copy case study, because no one is going to solve your client’s problem exactly like you did, and if they had, that client wouldn’t have hired you.

Cases studies immediately cut through the List Post noise and repetitive drudgery we writers are forced to produce for the online masses. They are refreshingly unique and, when done correctly, offer a practical how-to guide for replicating the results — which is really what readers want in the first place.

C) They directly target your ideal customer

Case studies are the ultimate billboard for your business. When you publish a case study, you are essentially announcing how good you are at what you do, and everyone is cool with it.

Case studies immediately catch the attention of anyone wanting to replicate the results, i.e., potential clients. While more traffic is nearly always a good thing, ultimately, you’d rather have 10 targeted visitors and 3 buyers than 2,000 random visitors and 1 buyer. Case studies let you attract primed consumers to your business.

D) They market themselves

Here’s the kicker: with a good initial marketing push to get the word out, other websites in your niche will line up to re-publish your case study.

A well-written case study is like a free advertisement on all your competitors’ websites.

But that’s not even the best part.

A good case study will be cited by marketing writers for the next 5 years. I know. I’m a marketing writer. Case studies are ultimately the “proof” of a marketing concept. Any time I make a claim, no matter how obvious, I’m looking for case studies to back it up.

And when I find them, guess who gets a high-PR backlink, free of charge?

Case Study Case Study

So here’s your case study. Brian Dean’s relatively new blog Backlinko was struggling to gain traction after nearly a year on the web.

He decided to publish his first case study, and it took off, landing him links from over 158 domains. Since then, he has continued to publish case studies and grown his blog to over 90k visitors a month.

Or how about Brian Harris, who has grown his email list to 10k subscribers in under one year with a blog devoted solely to marketing case studies?

Case studies work and if you have a business, you already have the content.

Here’s a viral case study explaining how to write great case studies that go viral.

So meta.

2. Create Simple Software Tools

quicksprout analyzer

If you’ve been watching closely, you may have noticed a new trend over the last year.

Simple software tools are being offered as free opt-in bribes.

Whether it’s QuickSprout’s website SEO analyzer, HubSpot’s website marketing grader, or Moz’s Open Site Explorer, free tools attract people to your website.

The beauty of this strategy is that it works in any industry, and it’s far more compelling than an information product.

The key is to think about your target market and what sort of simple tasks you can help them with.

Calculators are a great place to start. If you are in the fitness industry, you could make an easy-to-use calorie calculator. If you are in banking, you could do a mortgage calculator. If you have a blog on relationships, you could build a free compatibility calculator.

Many businesses actually start with something like this and then expanded it into a premium product. But if you have a premium product already, why not create a simple, free tool to help drive and convert traffic?

According to Neil Patel, this strategy has the highest ROI of any he’s ever tried. And that’s saying something.

The idea of conceptualizing a new piece of software and paying to have it built might seem intimidating and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Find people who have done it already and ask them to refer you to people they worked with.

And by the way, before you burn your half-finished ebook with digital fire, let me just clarify that the age of the free ebook isn’t over. The age of the weak, hastily put together offer than reels in thousands of subscribers, however — that age is LONG gone. A compelling piece of content with an enticing headline will always get the job done.

If you don’t have any opt-in offer on your site, go ahead and start there.

But if you’re ready to take things to the next level in 2015, create something useful for your audience, build it, and then write a case study about it so I can link to you.

3. Host A Giveaway

buffer conversions giveaway

Last but not least, if you don’t host a giveaway at some point in 2015, you’re a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins.

This is basically the lowest hanging fruit on the true. It’s actually touching the ground.

Raise your hand if you like free stuff.

Point made.

Giveaways, if done correctly, are a surefire way to blow up your email list and flood your site with traffic. They’re a form of gamification, if you think about it, which may be why they work so well.

The key is to host them properly, and to do that, you need to do 2 things.

  1. Offer a compelling prize your audience will actually want
  2. Solve the ultimate problem with giveaways.

Don’t worry! I’m about to tell you exactly how that problem is solved.

But first: the problem.

If I enter a giveaway, my odds of winning decrease with every additional entrant. Why would I tell people about it?

To solve this problem, you need to run your giveaway in a manner that increases a contestant’s odds of winning with each additional entrant they bring to your giveaway.

For example, you would get 1 point for entering my giveaway and 3 points for every entrant you refer. This means that your odds of winning increase by 66% with every entrant you refer. This also means, if you really want that prize, you’re going to be spreading the word like nobody’s business.

It’s really that simple, and you can create this exact type of giveaway in less than 10 minutes using the KingSumo Giveaways app. If you’re using a major email platform like GetResponse, simply plug in the API and you’re good to go. If you’re using a smaller provider, check first to make sure it can integrate with the giveaway app.

Case Study

I’m sure there are a number of tools you can use to accomplish this, but I’m referencing KingSumo’s app because it’s the exact tool Bryan Harris used to nab 2,239 email subscribers in only 10 days.

Unimpressed? How about 60,000 subscribers in just 10 days? Those are the numbers Josh Earl picked up using KingSumo Giveaways.

If you think about it, this all makes a lot of sense.

You are offering a targeted audience a chance at something they want, free of charge.

Want to sweeten the pot? Grab that ebook you almost burned earlier and throw it in as a consolation prize for the non-winning contestants.

This costs you nothing and lets you immediately provide introductory value to your host of new subscribers, many of which may have never even heard of you before.

It’s a win-win, just like running a giveaway.

Conclusion

I rarely use the phrase “can’t lose” when not discussing steaks or coffee.

This is one of those rare moments.

I mean, be smart about the whole software tools thing. It should be simple and thus, relatively inexpensive. If you’re a business owner who is brand new to the idea, cap your expense at 5k for the first go-around.

But other than that, these 3 strategies are my exclusive picks for can’t-lose marketing in 2015.

Go do them. Then write your case studies. I’ll be looking for them.

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Jacob McMillen.

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Jacob McMillen

Jacob McMillen is a website copywriter and content strategist. He helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. Download his free guide: 2 Fail-Proof Marketing Strategies For Businesses On A Budget

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  1. Jesse Vipond says:
    February 19, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Super informative article, Jacob! As someone who is in the middle stages of developing my first two ecommerce companies, these trends ideas are just what my partner and I are looking for! I’m especially intrigued by the idea of creating a simple software tool. One of our companies is a clothing brand for outdoor enthusiasts, and I started thinking of how we can give something useful to our customers. Then it hit me: a simple opt-in mechanism that shows our customers potential outdoor activities near them, i.e., state or national parks, hiking trails, disc golf courses, etc. Not only can we increase our email subscribers, but also learn more about where our customers are! Thanks again, can’t wait for more posts!

    • Jacob McMillen says:
      February 19, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Jesse!

      That’s a fantastic idea and the perfect application of these strategies! It’s crazy how often providing value to customers direcftly returns value to your business. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Marcus Rosenberg says:
    February 9, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Nice article Jacob.

    But you left out a key point. Remember that everyone who can be bothered entering the draw to win something, actually wants it a lot. So email many people with “You Have Won Second Prize! Claim Your 40% Off Product X. Be Quick. Expires in 3 Days.” You know they want the product so dangle a discounted, but paid version of the prize to runners up.

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      February 10, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Smart, Marcus. 🙂

    • Jacob McMillen says:
      February 10, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Great idea Marcus. It wouldn’t be a good fit for every type of giveaway, but if you’re offering one of your products as the prize, offering a big, limited-time discount as a consolation prize is a fantastic strategy.

  3. Christi Cassidy says:
    February 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    When writing case studies, what is your opinion about veiled names versus real names? Using real names involves obtaining permission from the client, who might hesitate to have their “problem” out in the open for all their competitors to see. Yet it’s good publicity for them. Using veiled names and more generalized descriptions would seem to take the punch out of the case study. But then one doesn’t have to involve the client, get permission, blah blah. What do you think?

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      February 10, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Excellent question, Christi. I just spent the last two weeks looking for case studied for a new project, and I ran across both types. From the reader/researcher perspective, I spent no time on the ones with veiled names. I wanted details and facts. That’s why I was specifically looking for case studies. My opinion is that you need to share the real story. It’s the details that make it a valuable piece of marketing collateral.

    • Jacob McMillen says:
      February 10, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Great question Christi. I’d agree with Kathryn on this one. Actual names are more credible. Veiled might be a challenge for a select number of services, but I don’t see most clients having a problem with exposure and backlinks. Plus, it’s actually positive feedback if you think about it. The company is demonstrating an investment in growth and improvement, which signals to current or potential customers they will probably be around for the long haul.

      Plus, one of my points in this article is that writers around the web will link to good case studies. As a writer, I won’t usually link to a veiled case study, because it could easily be fabricated.

  4. Will Blunt says:
    February 9, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Hey Jacob,

    Awesome post, thanks for some great tips and tactics for the new year ahead.

    I especially love the idea of creating a simple software tool (I’ve used Quick Sprout’s website analyzer 100’s of times!)

    Not sure on how to act on this at the moment, but your tip for reaching out to others that have done it is a nice provocation.

    Thanks again.

    Will B

    • Jacob McMillen says:
      February 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks Will. I use Quick Sprout’s analyzer frequently myself.

      The great part about online marketing, is it’s a very friendly community. You’re never more than an email away from at least being pointed in the right direction.

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