What’s New in AdStage: May

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Automation, Product Updates, Reporting
What’s New in AdStage: May

Welcome to the May edition of What’s New in AdStage! We spent the last month building a ton of feature enhancements in Report and Automate.

Let’s take a look at the latest and greatest in Report and Automate below👇.

Report

Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

New Table Upload Widget

Take any excel, csv, or google sheets data table you have and upload it directly to Report!

Use Table Upload Widgets to Help You:

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

  • Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

  • Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.

(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers

  • Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

  • Customize your reporting views using Google Sheets to show data from your custom formulas. When uploading a table from Google Sheets, you’ll always have the most recent data – no need to worry about data accuracy problems 🙌 .
  • Get step-by-step help with Google Sheets 👉  How do I upload a Google Sheet into Report?

Save Time Creating Reports with Dashboard Settings

Set Default Data Source at the Dashboard Level

Now you can choose to view data from specific account groups, accounts, folders, campaigns, ad groups, or ads at the dashboard level by setting a ‘Data Source’.

The data source you select in the dashboard settings, will now be the default level for any newly created widget.

Filter Your Performance Data Views Faster

New Widget Creation Layout 

The widget fields now have natural language making it easier to breakdown performance data by any level of your ad account, and uncover deeper KPI insights from your reports.

New Widget Creation Layout Filter Performance Views via blog.adstage.io

Easily Identify Top Performing Networks at a Glance

We Standardized Network Colors!

Now when you create a cross-network widget, you’ll see each network has a standardized color. These network colors will be consistent across all dashboards and reports.

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via blog.adstage.io

See Your Copy Next to Your Ads in Performance Tables

Add Headline, Image, and Description Columns to Ad Tables

We added the ability to see ad creative next to performance metrics,  so you can diagnose which creatives are working, and what’s not, faster.

Add an ad level table widget to your reports for a side-by-side comparison of winning headline, image, and description combinations.

Automate

Sequence Ads Together to Tell Your Brand Story

New Automate Flighting Feature!

Drum roll please……introducing the latest addition to Automate: Flighting!

Now you can show campaigns, ad groups, and ads in an ordered sequence to reach your target audience at every buying stage (resulting in higher CTRs and conversion rates🤑 ).

Top Direct-Response and Brand Awareness Flighting Strategies

(1) Funnel-Based Storytelling

  • Increase CTR and conversion rates using a specific series of sequenced ads to walk potential customers down the purchase funnel with relevant call-to-actions.
  • For example start with a brand awareness message (Step 1), product information / value proposition message (Step 2), and finally use a targeted CTA to convert potential customers via signup form or make a purchase on product page.

(2) Prime-and-Remind Storytelling

  • Use different ad formats to both “prime” people with the brand’s story using video ads, and “remind” people of the video narrative with display ads.

(3) Progressive Promotions

  • If you are running a promotion with different percentages off per week, you can flight your ads to show accurately and timely.
  • Easily schedule specific times to run your first week 10% Off Promo (Step 1), second week 20% Off Promo (Step 2), and third week 30% Off Promo (Step 3).


Have questions about Flighting? Check out the full product update for Flighting templates and getting started guides.

Let Your Alerts Do the Optimizing for You

Convert Performance Alerts into Optimization Rules with Just One-Click

Now you can easily convert your existing alerts into rules to automate the same actions you’re already taking on your accounts after you receive an email notification.

AdStage Automate Convert Alert into Rule via blog.adstage.io

Automate Convert Alert to Rule AdStage via blog.adstage.io

Your converted rule will have the same conditions as your alert, but now you can specify an optimization condition to apply once the rule is triggered. In other words, you can save yourself a ton of time on performing tedious management tasks.

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results

1. Avoid Wasting Spend on High CPA Ad Sets

  • IF Cost Per Result > $100 AND Spend > $250
  • Using Data from Last 30 Days
  • THEN Pause Ad Set
  • Run Every 6 Hours
  • RUN & EMAIL results

2. Pause Low Performing CTR Ads

  • IF Status is Active AND Impressions > 5000 AND CTR < .05%
  • Using Data from Last 7 Days
  • THEN Pause AD
  • Run Every Monday at 10am PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

3. Maximize Your Daily Budget

  • IF Spend < $15
  • Using Data from Today
  • THEN Increase Bid Amount by 30% with Max. Bid = $10
  • Run Daily @ 2pm PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results via blog.adstage.io

Wrapping Up

We always love hearing from you! Let us know what you think about the May product updates in the comments below.

P.S. Want to check out the full product release?

Visit our product updates portal, where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest and greatest from the AdStage labs!

Crash Course on Facebook Reports: Part 1 – Organic Results

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Reporting, Social
Crash Course on Facebook Reports: Part 1 – Organic Results

Oh boy, have Facebook reports have come a long way. If you can remember back to 2013 (when “poking” was still the rage), you’ll probably recall the hours you spent pulling reports for data that, today, feels incredibly simple. Just four years ago marketers were relying on demographics information that only went as deep as age and gender.

Today, Facebook can tell us a lot more about current and prospective customers, what and how competitors are doing, and provide real-time updates on content performance. Part of Facebook’s goal to bring value to advertisers through data is a more robust reporting hub called Facebook Insights.

Any business page with 30+ fans will automatically populate an Insights tab. Find yours by navigating to your Page, then look for the Insights tab at the top. There, you’ll find interactive charts and graphs under five main topics:

  • Overview
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Posts
  • People

Let’s look at the information you’ll find in each category and how you can use it to your advantage.

Facebook Organic Performance Overview

This section is the quickest way to get an overall look at your Page’s performance. Here, you’ll see data over the past seven days for three main points:

  • Page Likes: Total and new likes
  • Post Reach: Total number of unique people who looked at your Page and posts
  • Engagement: Total number of unique people who engaged with your Page, and a breakdown of the types of engagement

When you’re in Overview, you’ll also see your five most recent posts, and a snapshot of how each performed, including type of post, targeting, reach, clicks, engagement, and spend. You can click on individual posts for detailed information, or navigate to the other category tabs to get a look at Likes, Reach, and Engagement across all posts for the timeline you specify.

From Overview, you can access another helpful tool called Pages to Watch, which shows you what similar businesses are posting, and how their posts are doing. Getting a look at what the other guys are posting can be a powerful springboard for your own creative.

Likes

This report is exactly what it sounds like, but goes beyond simply recording total Likes. It offers handy information on what’s effective in getting people to Like your page. As you move your cursor around on the Likes graph, you’ll discover you can drill down into daily activity to see the number of Likes you got on a specific day.

Facebook Reports For Organic Results

Use the data selector to pull Likes for a longer span of time, and scroll down to get a look at unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, and net likes (likes minus unlikes). It’s from this graph you can determine where your Likes are coming from – directly from your Page, from Page suggestions, or paid ads. This helps you determine what’s working so you can do more of it.

 

Reach

Pull a report from this section to learn everything these is to know about what happens to a post or ad once it’s published. That includes users who looked at your Page through organic or paid efforts, post engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares, and negative actions through Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes.

Outside of your own efforts, you can also see any activity related to your page, like posts from others referencing your page, mentions, and check-ins.

Anytime you’re trying something new with your content strategy, like posting at a different time of day or increasing the frequency of posts, you’ll want to keep a close eye on activity under Reach. Use the date slider to compare before and after to see if your changes are effective.

Posts

This tab will look similar to Overview, but you can get a more in-depth look at individual Post performance here, including the ability to sort by engagement for a clearer look at your strongest posts. The coolest part of the Posts tab is “When Your Fans Are Online,” which shows you when your audience is logged into Facebook.

The best time to serve up posts is when your audience is most likely to see them! Keep this data close the next time you’re scheduling posts.

Crash Course on Facebook Reports For Organic Results: Part 1 via blog.adstage.io

Next to “When Your Fans Are Online” is “Post Types,” where you can get a snapshot of how your different post types perform, based on reach and engagement. Make a note of what’s doing the best, then scroll down to individual post data where you can use the drop down arrows at the top right of the table to look at reach between fans and non-fans and positive and negative engagement. Dissect the top-performing creative according to this criteria to come up with new ads that are likely to do well.

People

The information you get in the People tab is one of the major reasons Facebook continues to give advertisers the most bang for their buck in comparison to other social platforms. A detailed profile of engaged customers is one of the most valuable pieces of information a marketer can get, and that’s exactly what shows up in the People report.

Within the tab, you’ll see three breakdowns for “Your Fans,” “People Reached” and “People Engaged.” Your Fans shows you gender, age, and location of the people who’ve liked your Page. People Reached gives you an overview of who’s seen your posts in the past 28 days. People Engaged is the real goldmine.

This report lets you see who has Liked, Commented on, Shared your posts or Engaged with your Page in a 28 day period. This information gives you an idea of who you’re already resonating with so you can tailor future posts to speak to this audience profile.

Facebook’s Insights hub gives you reports for two other elements – Page Visits and Video – which aren’t as statistically important as the other reports but can be beneficial, depending on your goals.

Visits shows you the number of times each tab on your Page was viewed, and the number of times people visited from a website off of Facebook. It’s always a good idea to have your Page updated with accurate details to help customers quickly navigate to the info they need.

The Videos section gives you an idea of how engaging your videos are, including how many times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more, and and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can also sort by most viewed videos.

Clearly, Facebook reports have changed drastically in just the past few years and will continue to seek deeper information and offer actionable insights. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss Facebook Reports: Paid Results!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post!

Write for The AdStage Blog

Have an opinion about Facebook’s newest feature release? Want to share your tips on managing Demand Gen teams in modern agencies? Think you have a game-changing hack for optimizing your AdWords campaigns? Then we’d love to have you write a guest post for our blog. We’re always looking for fresh perspectives from the sharpest minds in search and social digital advertising to provide our audience with actionable, in-depth content that helps them better plan, execute, optimize, and report on their PPC campaigns.

A few of our favorite guest posts to date include:

How to Write an AdStage Guest Post

  • Submit your contact information and your blog post idea in this Google Form. Please allow us 7 business days to get back to you.
  • Next, once we give the go-ahead, send us a full draft of the post in google doc format. Include images! Please allow us 7 business days to review and provide edits/feedback.
  • Include a bio (50 words max), include 150 x 150 high-res photo of yourself.
  • After final edits are made and the post is approved, we will queue it up in our content schedule.
  • Lastly, we will let you know the publish date and time so you can co-promote on the launch date.

Who are our ideal guest post authors?

We accept pitches from PPC marketers of all stripes. Whether you’re working in an in-house, agency, or consultant role, everyone brings unique perspectives that are valuable to our audience.

You should have at least a couple years of experience in the PPC world. Previous pieces in published on other high-authority blogs are a plus.

Which Topics Do We Cover?

Our audience consists of data-driven marketing directors, in-house PPC managers/specialists, and PPC agency marketers from around the world. The types of articles that do well with our readers include:

  • Anything to do with planning, organizing, or executing PPC campaigns or accounts.
  • Specific Ad Network features digital advertisers can take advantage of to get the most bang for their buck (top Ad Networks include Facebook, Instagram, AdWords, LinkedIn, Bing, and Twitter).
  • How-to guides for medium to advanced PPC professionals.
  • Bonus points for focusing on PPC reporting or automation!
  • Tips for PPC Reporting for Agencies, A/B testing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Automation, B2B Lead Generation, PPC Landing Pages, Ad Creative, Re-Targeting–if it’s PPC, are all great topics!

Guest Post Requirements

  • Your post must be at least 1,000 words.
  • You must propose a target keyword.
  • We request that you use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to come up with your headline, and submit one with a score of at least 65.
  • Your post must be original content.
  • If your post is published, we’ll ask that you respond to all comments for the first seven days after it’s posted.

What’s in it for you?

  • Exposure to our ever-growing audience of PPC experts
  • A potential feature in our weekly newsletter
  • Shoutouts from AdStage social media accounts
  • A chance to share your expertise and build your reputation as a PPC thought leader

We look forward to hearing from you!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post! via blog.adstage.io

 

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Reporting, Social
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting

With more than 400 million daily users, Instagram is one of the world’s largest social networks, behind only Facebook and Whatsapp.

It’s no surprise, then, that Instagram’s ads sales are growing like crazy.

In 2017, it’s estimated that three quarters of American companies with more than 100 employees will start using Instagram to grow their business.

The reason why so many companies are using Instagram ads is simple: it’s good for business.

According to Shopify, Instagram posts have a 1.08% conversion rate, which, compared to Twitter (0.77%) and Pinterest (0.54%), makes it one of the best in the industry.

Also, Instagram users spend on average $65 per referred sale which, compared to Facebook ($55), and Twitter ($46.26), makes it the highest converting social network.

You probably already know this. That’s why you got started with it some time ago.

The key question then becomes, how do you measure the results of your ad campaigns? How can you ensure you’re stacking up to and even exceeding these industry averages?

The answers lie in this guide to Instagram Ad Reporting.

Start with Your Goals

If you want to measure your Instagram ad performance, you first need to be clear on what goals you are trying to reach with your campaigns. This isn’t just a theoretical idea; your Instagram ads depend on the goal you have defined for your campaigns, since the metrics for which you measure the success change with each goal. Otherwise, your metrics will be skewed from the moment you begin your campaign.

Since Instagram ads are under the Facebook ad campaign structure, the goal-setting process for the two are very similar. The only difference is that when you create Instagram ads, you can only choose from 7 of the 11 available goals:

  • Brand awareness: Useful to increase your follower rate
  • Reach: Best used when trying to put an ad in front of as many people as possible
  • Traffic: Great to get more clicks to your website
  • App installs: Useful only if you have an app
  • Engagement: Relevant if you want to increase the number of likes and comments in your publications
  • Video views: Useful only if you have videos
  • Conversions: Best used for e-commerce stores and software business that want to optimize their campaigns for conversions (like lead generation, sales, and signups)

Once you’ve chosen your goal, you can then move to analyze the results of your campaigns to see how they have performed.

Customize Your Instagram Ad Reporting

When analyzing an Instagram ad campaign, the first mistake some people make is using the standard reports that you can find on the Ads Manager or Power Editor. The problem is, most default reports aren’t nearly as effective as the ones you create just for yourself, as they use very standard metrics that may not be relevant to you.

Instead, consider creating a custom report that fit your exact needs.

First, go to the Ads Manager, and click on your campaign.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via blog.adstage.io

Next, in the Ad Set level, you will see all your ad sets with their basic performance metrics. These metrics are based on the standard “Performance” column arrangement, which in most cases is good to start, but not relevant enough.

instagram ad reporting

To change the order of the columns, you will click on the “Columns” drop down.

instagram ads

Once you do that, you will see the list of column arrangements that Facebook recommends. You can then click around and see what other metrics they show. Some of the best ones you could use (although aren’t recommend) are:

  • Performance: Results, Reach, Costs, Amount Spent, etc.
  • Delivery: Reach, Frequency, CPM, Impressions, etc.
  • Engagement: People Taking Action, Reactions, Comments, Shares, etc.
  • Video Engagement: Impressions, 3s Video Views, Cost per 3s Video Views, etc.
  • App Engagement: Mobile App Installs, Mobile App Actions, Cost per Mobile App Install, etc.
  • Carousel Engagement: Reach, Frequency, Impressions, Clicks, etc.
  • Performance and Clicks: Results, Reach, Cost, etc.
  • Cross-Device: Website Actions, Mobile Apps Install, Website Action, Conversion Value, etc.

These column orders won’t necessarily be relevant for you. That’s why you will likely want to go to the bottom of that list and click on the “Customize Columns” button.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via blog.adstage.io

Once in there, you will have to select the columns you feel are most relevant to you. I can’t tell you exactly which ones you should use. I can, however, recommend which are most suited for each goal:

  • Brand awareness: Reach, Frequency, Impressions, Cost per 1,000 people reached, CPM
  • Reach: Reach, Social reach, Cost per 1,000 people reached
  • Traffic: Cost, Link Clicks, CTR (Link), CPC (Link)
  • App installs: App installs, Mobile app installs, Cost per app install, Cost per mobile app install
  • Engagement: Post comments, Post engagement, Cost per post comments, Cost per post engagement
  • Video views: 3-second video views, 10-second video views, 30-second video views, Video watches at 25%, Video watches at 50%, Video watches at 75%, Video watches at 95%, Video watches at 100%, Video average watch time, Video percentage watched, Clicks to pay video, Cost per 3-second video view, Cost per 10-second video view, Cost per click to play video
  • Conversions: Total conversion value, Adds to cart, Checkouts, Leads, Cost of Adds to cart, Cost of Checkouts, Cost of Leads, Adds to cart conversion value, Checkouts conversion value, Leads conversion value

The columns you should always plan on using are the “Results,” “Relevance Score,” and “Amount Spent,” as they give you a good idea of how the whole ad set is doing.

Now, let’s say your Instagram ad campaign’s goal was to increase your brand awareness. The first thing you would do once you are in the “Customize columns” is select the most relevant columns:

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via blog.adstage.io

Arrange the columns in the order you prefer and click the “Apply button”. Then, click the “Columns” button once again, and where you see the “Custom” button, click the “Save” link.

instagram ads manager

Give it a name that’s relevant for you and click “Save.”

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via blog.adstage.io

You can use this same report to analyze your campaigns and your ads. This is an important piece to remember, as in many cases an ad set’s bad performance isn’t related to bad targeting or bids, rather it’s due to the fact one ad is bringing the whole ad set down, and skewing your analysis.

With that report created, now it’s time to start analyzing the data it shows you.

Analyze the Results

Depending on the objective you chose when you started your campaign, your analysis will be focused on different metrics and goals.

In the example used before, if you created a brand awareness campaign, your goal would have been to get the highest reach and most impressions for the lowest cost per thousand impressions possible (CPM). As a consequence, you should follow how those specific metrics perform as the campaign goes. If those metrics don’t perform well enough, then you will have to adjust your ad sets’ bid, your ad’s creatives (image, headline, description), or even change the campaign’s goal.

The same thought process needs to be applied for each of the 7 goals and the metrics recommended for each one. As mentioned before, you should use your report to analyze your whole campaign (or campaigns, if you have more than one), your ad sets, and your individual ads.

Look for big differences of performance between ad sets and ads. If one ad is performing much better than the rest, think what could be causing that. Could it be the targeting? Or could it be the bid? Perhaps you need to cycle in fresh creative? Whatever it may be, write it down, and create a new ad set or ad (depending on what you are analyzing), and double down on what you think works. Then, come back and see if you have replicated the good performance. If so, keep scaling until you stop getting the results you’re looking for.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting via blog.adstage.io

Today you have learned how to create simple reports for your Instagram ad campaigns. Now it’s time you start playing around with different column arrangements, dig the data and analyze the results.

 

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Reporting, Search, Social
5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights

Google Analytics is the undisputed market leader when it comes to analytics insights for business. It is estimated that Google Analytics is present on over 50 million websites. That’s 1000% wider coverage than the world’s second favorite, Yandex Metrics. Smart marketers and salespeople are using Google Analytics add-ons everyday to improve their insights and find actionable steps with their data.

Google lists its technology partners here, but it’s not the easiest place in the world to find in a Google search (funnily enough). Therefore, we’ve surfaced five beneficial Google Analytics integrations to take your analytics to the next level and milk the business benefits without the need for lots of research and legwork.

CallRail – Enables you to track which marketing campaigns result in which prospects calling you

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does CallRail do?

CallRail is a self-service app that enables marketers to track calls from online and offline marketing campaigns, view which campaigns are driving the most conversions, and record calls for lead qualification. Their call tracking software can reveal what exactly is driving phone call conversions, which is massive for showing ROI on marketing and advertising campaigns. Their app also uses voice intelligence technology to automatically analyze the content of a call to determine if it’s a lead or not in real time.

How does it work?

CallRail has a free 14-day trial and, to get started, you just copy and paste one line of JavaScript on any webpage with a phone number. Sounds technical, but it’s very simple. CallRail works by displaying a campaign-specific tracking phone number to each visitor on your website. Website visitors dial the number, CallRail forwards the call, and you answer your main phone like you usually do. As a result of all this you get a much better and more accurate overview of online and offline marketing campaigns, and find out what’s leading to new business opportunities.

Leadfeeder – Uncovers the website visitors who don’t fill in contact forms so you can sell to them

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does Leadfeeder do?

There are many potential customers browsing your website but the vast majority leave without giving their contact info. Typically for B2B companies it’s around 98%. Leadfeeder is a simple web app with a free 30-day trial, and it connects to Google Analytics to show you these missed leads; all in a couple of clicks. Leadfeeder also connects to CRMs like Pipedrive and Salesforce so salespeople get new web leads straight to their pipelines.

How does it work?

Leadfeeder is all about providing sales leads from Google Analytics. Most salespeople aren’t using Google Analytics and Google Analytics isn’t designed for easy B2B lead generation, but one thing’s for sure: salespeople are forever in search of good leads. If B2B organizations are not capitalizing on interesting companies visiting their website then sales teams are missing out.

Content marketing is all about driving traffic to your website but the vast majority doesn’t convert, which leaves marketing people with the headache of finding leads elsewhere and sales people sending cold emails to companies that have never heard of them. Leadfeeder notes on their website that companies that have heard are you are about 400% more likely to become customers. The great thing about Leadfeeder is that you can be 100% non-technical and are still able to sign up and benefit.

Live Site Search Visualisation – A dashboard visualizing live search activity on your site

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does Live Site Search Visualisation do?

This dashboard allows you to visualize user search activity on your site using colorful tiles. Search data is pulled from your site using the Real Time Reporting API, which allows the data to be available as people are performing searches on your website. By visualizing the searches, you can track what people are looking for on your website. It’s a dream for content marketers because it can flag any gaps in your content.

How does it work?

It’s free, so simple and there’s absolutely no need for any technical knowledge to get started. Imagine these bright colors flashing up on your office widescreen giving your content writers and customer champions ideas for how to be better converting website visitors and serving existing customers throughout the day. It’s just a simple few clicks to get started and you’ll see up to 25 searches on colorful tiles at once. You can even see Google searches.

Wordsmith for Marketing – Wow your clients with awesome reports without all the work

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does Wordsmith for Marketing do?

Wordsmith for Marketing automatically creates sophisticated, white-labeled client reports for marketing companies. They reckon that on average this saves four hours per report which over a month can amount to a saving of $12,000 for a typical agency. By proving an agency’s ROI in no-nonsense English, their hope is that it gives the feeling of getting a personalized report directly from a human analyst.

How does it work?

It takes five minutes to set up Wordsmith for Marketing and it’s as simple as giving them access to your Google Analytics data. At that point you also add your branding, like logo and colors, so when reports are generated for you automatically, they look unique. From this point on, a lot of time is saved. They pull data from Google Analytics and AdWords and break down how each channel drives conversions. This comes in the form of detailed written notes, tables, and charts; stuff that – according to the agency’s reviews – even “sophisticated clients love.”

The good news from a time-saving perspective is that reports can be scheduled and automatically sent to clients every week, month, quarter, or time period of your choosing, and reports can cover all of an agency’s efforts, including SEO, advertising, social media, and content marketing. On top of this, marketing agencies can review the entire report before it goes out: edit every word, add charts and tables, and add a custom conclusion.

AdStage – Build, schedule and customize your Google Analytics reports

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via blog.adstage.io

What does AdStage do?

AdStage is a self-serve, cross-network, online advertising platform with full management and analytics for campaigns across search, social, and mobile ad networks like Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter Ads.

“The Google Analytics integration in AdStage is a huge step toward our grand vision of consolidation for the online advertiser, as we bring the variety of workflow solutions into a single platform,” said Jain. “We’re helping advertisers create, track, and measure campaign performance with a simple self-­serve interface through direct and external data integrations, furthering the idea of an open platform.”

How does it work?

The Google Analytics integration allows users to build, customize and schedule report from within AdStage. The integration will continue to develop to offer a more capabilities for measuring revenue and attribution performance across channels — Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter — along with support for auto-tagging, custom columns and other features.

Once you perfect your template, schedule it as a recurring report through email. Add your team members or clients with ease. Send reports daily, weekly, or monthly with simple scheduling options.

Conclusion

Are you using Google Analytics integrations? What are some of your favorite add-ons and tools? Let us know in the comments or reach out on Twitter @adstage.

Make Clients Happy By Presenting PPC Reports Like This

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Agency, Reporting
Make Clients Happy By Presenting PPC Reports Like This

Preparing and presenting a Quarterly Business Report brings the same stress as that college thesis paper that counted for 75% of your grade. Except this particular assignment happens four times per year. The agency has worked its tail off meeting and exceeding KPIs, and diligently tracking everything for reporting purposes.

But if the presentation is full of disorganized data and a narrative that jumps around, your clients are liable to think you don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve covered the most effective types of PPC reports to pull, but the way you present the reports is just as important. Here’s how to create a cohesive story that’s easy for clients to follow and will ultimately earn you trust and authority.

Standardize Everything

It takes a village to put a comprehensive QBR together, but the final document should look like it’s coming from one entity. It’s easiest to create one template at the beginning into which teammates can drop information, but you also need to have a visual gatekeeper who’s responsible for going back through with a fine tooth comb and revising anything that feels off.

By pulling reports from one place, i.e. Adstage, you’ve already done half the work for yourself, since the reports will all have the same look and feel.

Get Your Slides in Order

Just because your data prints out in a certain sequence doesn’t mean you should present it that way. In fact, shuffle everything up to force yourself and the team to think through the strongest narrative.

You should always start with your KPIs since that’s the reason for the QBR in the first place, but figure out where you can slide in more data, where the story should go after you review numbers, the best place to bring up new ideas, etc.

If your slides are out of order, your story is going to be off. It could sound like someone trying to tell the tale of the Goldilocks, but the opening chapter is Goldilocks jumping out of baby bear’s bed when the homeowners return. Your audience is going to be confused about what’s going on.

Presenting PPC reports like this will make clients happy via blog.adstage.io

Watch Your Length

Have you heard of the nine-minute rule? It’s based on the fact humans have short attention spans, namely the ability to concentrate on one subject for no more than 10 minutes at a time. The Forbes Agency Council suggests sticking close to it for the presentation.

Make sure all the most important information comes at the beginning (and that you can cover all of it within 9 minutes), and use the remaining time for additional, but not crucial, details.

That means you’ll have to determine how deep into each report you should go. But if you present the data in a clear, beautiful manner in the first place, you won’t need to spend time explaining every little piece.

Translate the Data

Your graphs might look like a spider’s web of data and require 8 point type to fit everything in, but you should be able to sum it up in one sentence. For example, “Site traffic increased 8x as a result of shifting dollars to the PPC ad budget.”

Remember, many people in your client’s office will likely take a look at the QBR, so make sure each slide includes a simple explanation of the data. Don’t rely on the people in the room to turn around and give the same presentation you did to the people who weren’t in the meeting.

Use the Past to Talk About the Future

Treat your PPC reports as a guidepost and springboard for recommendations on where to direct business. Don’t just deliver the results. As a true agency partner, you should have a strong enough understanding of what worked, what needs tweaks, and what to ditch.

Be able to make recommendations based on that information and your unique knowledge of the marketplace in which your client’s business competes. The fact that your reporting is streamlined and clear will give your client confidence you have a vision for the future and know what you’re talking about.

Presenting PPC reports like this will make clients happy via blog.adstage.io

Check Your Work with a Run-Through

Grab a few people in the office who have never worked on the account and ask them to sit through a practice presentation. They should look for data that’s confusing, slides that seem out of order, holes in the narrative, and ask questions clients might ask.

Run-throughs are invaluable before a big presentation for the reasons mentioned, but also to help time everything out. If it’s taking 20 minutes to get through the major points, you need to go back to the presentation deck and figure out how to shuffle and cut until you’re closer to the 9-minute mark.

Avoid Surprises

If you haven’t been doing this already, send regular updates to clients to avoid surprises. It may be called a Quarterly Business Review, but don’t let that be the only time you’re sharing out info. Talking often means clients feel more involved in what’s going on, issues can be flagged and talked through before anything blows up, and you have the opportunity to share good news when it’s happening.

AdStage offers the ability to have PPC reports automatically sent to clients at a customized cadence and with whatever metrics they want, so mini-QBRs take just a few minutes to prepare.

QBRs may be the biggest project you work on every three months, but at least they don’t count for 75% of your salary! Make the most of them with easy-to-pull PPC reports and a strong presentation that’ll knock their socks off.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Automation, Reporting, Social
LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One

Does this scenario sound familiar?
You read LinkedIn’s post about testing your Sponsored Content.
You thought you’d give it a try and wrote a few ads which have been running ever since…
…and you never got around to testing them.

If this is you – don’t worry – you’re not alone. Taking time to create, run, and revisit test ads is one of the things marketers love to forget to do. Or, if you are at an agency and you’re juggling dozens of clients, you simply may not have the time to give LinkedIn the attention it deserves. I get it, believe me.
So, let me show you how I set up my latest LinkedIn Ad tests in the hopes of giving you another bump to give it a try. Obviously, having AdStage would make all of this a lot easier, but I’ll give you step by step instructions in case you do not. (Sales Pitch: At least start the AdStage trial to use it for this test…it’s free and does not require a credit card.)

Step 1 – Creative Strategy

If you already have creative running and you just want to try some new images or copy, it’s easy. Pick your best performers and write some ads with new images or updated text.
In this example, I was starting from scratch and needed to spend a little time thinking about my audience and what my ads were trying to achieve. So, I took the time to jot down answers to these questions:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What is their goal and how can I help them achieve it?
  • What emotion do I want to appeal to?
  • What tactics will I use to convince them?

LinkedIn says, “Consider running at least four [ads] for any major campaign” and “two weeks is the minimum amount of time recommended [to run a test].” Since my goal was to set up this test and walk away for more than a month I wanted to run at least 12 ads. That way, I could run 4 ads every two weeks. I’m also assuming you have a “control” ad that will always be running (just in case your test ads are terrible) so that leaves 9 new ads to be created.

After 6 weeks, that’s a lot to review.

Step 2 – Mad Men Time, Write Those Ads

I chose three images, and wrote three updates. 3 Images x 3 Updates = 9 ads. Math! Here’s a few of those ads:

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Note: There are three ways to build these ads:

  1. LinkedIn (free) – Just go to an existing campaign and build some Direct Sponsored Content (DSC). I would keep all my creative in a spreadsheet to start and do a lot of copy and paste. Submit one by one. This will take you maybe 15 minutes.
  2. AdStage (paid subscription) – We offer an ad combination builder. Drop in a bunch of images and text, and then choose from all the possible combinations.
  3. B2Linked Bulk Editor (freemium with AdStage subscription) – If you want to upload multiple ads to many different campaigns, then use this tool from B2Linked to avoid having to spend hours creating ads one by one. B2Linked themselves use it to upload 3,000 ads each month. You fill out a spreadsheet then upload it and poof: Ads!

Step 3 – Wait for Creative Approval 😴

Be sure your ads are in an Active campaign so they get reviewed. Once they make it through approval they will go live, so don’t be surprised if all your ads start getting impressions all of a sudden.

I used AdStage to set up a Rule that ran every 6 hours and checked to see if my ads were approved and active. Once my ads were active, the Rule paused them. This way I limited the time my test ads ran before the official LinkedIn Ad tests started.  Once I got the email that my ads were paused, I knew I was ready to fire up my test. If you’re working directly in LinkedIn be sure to set yourself a reminder. “Siri remind me to check my LinkedIn ad approvals!”

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 4 – Test Setup

Ok, now we’re on to setting up the LinkedIn Ad tests themselves. The goal here is to keep running your control ad (assuming you have at least one ad that’s been live for awhile) alongside 3 test ads. I always run the test ads for two weeks, or until they’ve run long enough that I know they are stinkers. If they qualify as stinkers, then I want to pull them out early.

So how exactly do we set it up? I’ll walk through one of many ways to run LinkedIn ad tests. If you want to get all scientific about it, you can run your results through a statistical significance calculator as well.  But – let’s be real – you don’t have enough budget to run every ad to stat sig. The good news is if you’ve been running LinkedIn ads for a while, you’ll have a reasonable sense of what good and bad ad performance looks like, so the plan with this test is to get to that point with the least amount of spend possible.

The goal is to rotate an ad out of circulation once it drops below your lower threshold but has had enough impressions to get an honest shot at it. Marketers use many different metrics to measure how “good’ an ad is and it depends heavily on your business and goals. Here are some typical metrics marketers use:

  • CTR
  • Cost per Click
  • LinkedIn Conversion Rate*
  • LinkedIn Cost Per Conversion*
  • LinkedIn Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)*

*Note: You can use these three metrics if you have LinkedIn Conversion Tracking setup…and you should. If you’re using your own conversion data you can send those conversions to AdStage as custom conversions or just review all your data manually in a spreadsheet.

If you’re not sure what to use. Start simple and use these test parameters:

  • One Control Ad: Already Active
  • Test Ads: Test 3 Ads until 2 weeks has elapsed or the ad has 10,000 Impressions and CTR<0.5%

Step 5 – Run the Test

Now you have a plan. Congrats! You just need to execute.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Schedule some time every few days to check in on your ad performance. If I go this route I drop invites into my Google Calendar or use a project management tool like Asana or Do.com to nag me more efficiently. Also check in at the two-week marks to make sure ads are cycling through as needed.
  2. Use AdStage Rotations. Set everything up in advance like this and then hit Done.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Regardless of which route you go, ensure you have your ads set to “Rotate Variations Evenly” in your LinkedIn campaign settings. This is one of the best hidden features in LinkedIn! Find it yet? Didn’t think so… it’s in the gear next to your campaign name.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 6 – Monitor

Remember, we always have our control ad running so if any weirdness happens (Superbowl, your website goes down, etc.), you have a comparison ad in place. After all your ads have reached their target or 6 weeks has passed, it’s time to review your LinkedIn Ad tests.

There are two ways to do this:

LinkedIn Ads View: Check out your overall performance trend and each ads metrics. It’s a little hard to see trends but you can see overall who did well and who sucked.

AdStage Report: Build a table and an Ad Line Widget to see the performance over time of your ads.

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Step 7 – Pick Your Winners

After every ad gets a shot (either by earning enough impressions or by using their two weeks), make sure you set aside some time (even just 10 minutes) to go through the results of your LinkedIn Ad tests. Based on the metrics and goals you set, which ads performed well? What patterns and trends do you see in those ads?

Side Note: I would say I’d share my results so you can learn what works but let’s be honest…my ads work for me and your ads work for you. Pretending that ads created for my audience, product, and landing page will behave in exactly the same way as your ads is just plain click-baity. And, there are plenty of ideas to try from LinkedIn themselves. Pick a few tricks and test them…it’s the only way to know.

Then, most importantly of all, run more LinkedIn Ad tests based on these results. One test is never going to magically teach you everything you need to know. Keep refining, iterating, and perfecting your ads. Good luck!

LinkedIn Ad Tests: It’s Time to Actually Run One via blog.adstage.io

Is Net Promoter Score right for your business?

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Advertising, Agency, Reporting
Is Net Promoter Score right for your business?

I learned about Net Promoter Score in business school and, when I joined AdStage a few years ago as VP of Product, I thought this would be a great chance to put that skill to use. After all, Net Promoter Score is known as a universal measure for customer experience management. Once I went through the process of actually attempting to measure customer experience, however, it became clear that while the score might not be universally useful, the lessons learned in the process can be.

Getting to Know Your Users

When I first joined AdStage, step one was to make sure I truly understood our user base. Why do they use our product? What pain do we cure? How do they feel when they use it? That meant doing my best impression of a journalist delving into the complexities of a story. By the end of step one I had developed a true sense of empathy for our customers.

 

Step two was to go to the game film. This meant watching users as they attempted to use our product. I did this by combing through event data, user logs and even spending some time in our customers’ offices doing physical user shadow sessions.  It doesn’t take long to realize users say they do one thing but actually do something very different. Ask a user if they like a feature and they’ll confidently say, “yes.” Yet you then watch them awkwardly scan the page and it’s pretty obvious they have never used that feature before.

Once I logged enough hours I felt like I had a great grasp of their workflows, mindset and behavior.

When Companies Should Employ Net Promoter Score Surveys

Like many B2B companies, we started with a handful of customers that used our product. It didn’t take long to connect with almost all of our users to learn their stories. Fortunately, that handful of customers grew to thousands. That meant I was no longer able to personally know every single customer and their challenges. I needed to put something in place to formally collect feedback.

Along with customer feedback surveys (we use Typeform) and an analytics tool (we use mixpanel), this was when I decided to deploy a Net Promoter Score survey.

How to Set Up Your Net Promoter Score Survey

The Tools:

There are lots of tools to automate your NPS survey (we use AskNicely) so it is sent to the right people at the right time. We wait 60 days after a customer has started paying for our product. This gives our customers enough time to use the product and give meaningful feedback. Remember: you want complete honesty, not a vanity metric. We then check in with another survey every 6 months.

 

 

With a little work you can also rig your customer communication tools (we use Intercom) to generate automated responses so you message Promoters, Passives and Detractors with a relevant and timely message. In my experience about 50% of people respond to my automated email asking for more detailed feedback. You can learn how to set up the Intercom Asknice.ly integration here.

The Question Itself:

A lot of people recommend changing the wording of your NPS survey question beyond the classic “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?” However, in my experience, it seems like customers ignore the actual question text and just think of the 0–10 rating as a way to express general satisfaction.  If there’s one thing NPS has done, it’s created a standard feedback mechanism that users complete at a higher rate than traditional satisfaction surveys. So I feel it is better to leave the standard question so users quickly and honestly respond. Rewording the question forces people to read and think. Both things they hate to do.

Why Companies Should Employ Net Promoter Score Surveys

The classic Net Promoter Score survey is calculated using the answer to the survey question regarding likelihood of recommending your product and a 10-point scale. Many believe this to be the core measurement for customer experience management programs worldwide and it can work if you’re a B2C company with tons of engaged users and a huge sample size.

Net Promoter Score via checkmarket.com
However, we’re a B2B platform and we simply don’t have the same scale as a consumer app. And we don’t like touting data that we don’t have a high enough sample size to back. As a result, we use the Net Promoter Score survey as a means to collect qualitative feedback and as an early warning system to discover if a user is unhappy.

In the end, we don’t use the actual “score” in Net Promoter Score. However the survey and automated messaging we set up to send and manage NPS turned into a efficient way to illicit quick and honest sentiment from our users on a regular basis. To go back to my journalist analogy, it is the tip-line that points me in the direction of a user that I need to sit down with and interview.

How to Create Effective PPC Reports [Updated]

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Reporting
How to Create Effective PPC Reports [Updated]

After spending thousands, if not millions per month on PPC advertising, your executive team will want to see how your ad efforts are paying off. Reporting on a regular cadence is an inevitable task for any business measuring ROI for their ad budgets.

The key to creating effective PPC reports is making sure that your reports are informative, digestible, and  appropriate for the audience at hand. In this blog post, we’ll go over the five elements of reports that fit all of those criteria.

1. The Results

Start with the highlights. It may seem like a smooth narrative to start with the nitty gritties and build to the big picture, but providing wide lens context from the start is going to make for a much stronger meeting. Your leaders and colleagues all have a lot to do, and while we PPC managers like to nerd out on the little details, beginning a report with every campaign change or specific conversion metric will not be relevant to each person to whom you are presenting.

When showing the results, tie everything back to your business or marketing goals. Below are a few examples of PPC campaign results that refer to larger business goals:

B2B Companies

Over the past quarter:

  • We generated 150 marketing qualified leads with the same budget as last quarter
  • 75 of these leads took a sales demo meeting
  • 25 of these prospects converted into customers valued at $200,000 added revenue

E-commerce Companies

In the month of July, we were tasked to sell-through our swimsuit inventory:

  • We created new swimsuit campaigns with promotional discount pricing
  • The campaign sold 75% of the available inventory, netting $200,000 in revenue
  • We spent $25,000 of our total monthly budget on these campaigns

2. Key Metrics

While Google offers tons of really granular measuring tools for very specific numbers, there are a few key metrics that you should include in every PPC report. For recipients who are not used to looking at PPC reports, you can even translate the PPC terms into business terms. The five key metrics we recommend are:

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

 

Also, the numbers alone may not mean anything to executives who do not remember the benchmark metrics from the previous period. Therefore, showing the delta between the previous month and the current month will help provide context into whether campaigns are performing. Here’s an example of how you could show the delta of the key metrics in your report:

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

3. Trend Graphs

For many executives, their day consists of a series of meetings in which they see report after report after report from various departments. To expect someone with this schedule to be able to quickly track and understand your accomplishments over time without a little helping hand is not a reasonable ask. Including trend graphs helps them visualize performance and ask questions, especially if there are peaks or dips in traffic and conversions.

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

4. Explanations for Performance Changes

With each trend graph, you should include a brief explanation, outlining any campaign optimizations or changes you made to reflect major spikes or dips in performance. For example, you could say:

“In the above graph, we added negative keywords to our campaign to shape traffic more strategically. So, although the number of unique visitors went down, conversions remained the same.”

A sentence or two is all you want here. If you start including long paragraphs of text on your reports, then that’s a hint that the data isn’t speaking for itself and you need to re-think which metrics you’re including.

5. Granular Tables of Key Metrics

For the really detail-oriented readers, throw in some granular tables of key metrics. These can either be at the campaign level, usually explaining the top performing audiences, or at the creative level, to better understand what messaging is driving interest. Here is an example of what this section of your report could look like:

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

Follow these 5 tips and, at the very least, you’ll have the building blocks you need to have a smart, efficient conversation about your PPC performance. At the very most, your executives walk away feeling confident in your abilities, not only to run your campaigns, but to communicate your work to the greater team.


 

At AdStage, we know that having effective PPC reports can positively shape your relationship with investors, executives, and colleagues. That’s why we created Report. Automatically create effective PPC reports across Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

What You Need for the Most Effective PPC Reports Possible via blog.adstage.io

 

KlientBoost’s Client Retention Magnets: How to Secure Your Bottom Line

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Agency, Reporting, Search, Social
KlientBoost’s Client Retention Magnets: How to Secure Your Bottom Line

EDITOR’S NOTE: This client retention marketing infographic is part of KlientBoost’s 25-part series. We’re super excited to partner with them so you can enjoy a new gifographic once a day in your inbox. You should subscribe here.

There are a whole heck of a lot of marketing optimization posts out there to read, but just a tiny amount of client retention posts that are dedicated to marketing agencies.

If you run an agency like I do at KlientBoost, or even work at one, then you know how crucial client retention is to the growth of your business.

With a crappy retention rate, you feel like you’re treading water.

But instead of water, you’re treading in quick sand and slowly being poked by a million small toothpicks, while elephant poop is being dumped on your head.

Client Retention via blog.adstage.io
Couldn’t find one GIF that had all three – GIF source

But joking aside, client retention is a serious thing. You’ve worked so hard to obtain a client, so why not set some things in place to keep them around longer?

That’s why we partnered with AdStage to bring you our biggest client retention lessons that we’ve learned in the two years of significant growth we’ve had (to almost $250k in monthly recurring revenue) all in one fun gifographic (with no elephant poop. Promise).

Client Retention Magnet via blog.adstage.io

Where’s The Money?

Being an agency owner, there’s a good chance that you’ve spoken with other owners about the painful things they endure.

But one of questions I often get revolves around client reporting and the amount of time it takes.

The only issue is that reporting outside of the bottom line isn’t that important. Too many agencies get caught up in reporting in metrics like CTR, impression shares, or quality scores without talking about the most important thing:

Money being made

It wasn’t until recently that we started requiring all account managers to ask that very important question to their client, which could either give a dreaded response or an exciting answer:

“Are you making more money?”

It’s too easy to get caught going through the motions or adjusting a few things here and there that have no real business impact.

Once you know that a client isn’t making more money (and you ask the question early enough), then you have enough time to make any pivots needed to get them in the right direction.

Fail to ask that question, and you’re hoping that your client is honest enough to tell you they’re not happy before they randomly stop working with you.

Just by having that one question up our sleeves, we’ve been able to catch fires way before they happen, and that has helped our retention in a very positive way.

The Four Client Phases

Once you know that a client is or isn’t making any money, the next step is to have a game plan for how to get them to make more money, again.

We decided to create four phases that all clients go through, and once they’ve graduated from one phase, the next phase has a new set of tasks we need to take care of before they move on to the next.

Here are the client phases we use at KlientBoost to identify client progress:

#1 Traffic: Nothing starts without traffic. If your client isn’t getting enough traffic, then any CRO tests you try to run are most likely going to fall on their face.

This means that the goal isn’t to try to run display campaigns to get cheaper CPCs to get more clicks. Instead, ask the client for more budget so that some quicker wins become a reality.

This is where you shouldn’t focus on the landing page.

This phase should take no more than a week.

#2 Conversion: Now that you have traffic, the next step is to generate conversions. And after that, you need to make sure that the client is able to make money off those conversions.

This is where you focus on the landing page side, and not so much on traffic side.

This phase can take one to two months depending on how many different CTAs you have to test.

#3 Profitability: Once a client has traffic and conversions, the next thing to know is whether or not they’re profitable. With ad spend and agency fees in mind, is the client able to achieve a higher ROI?

If not, then you need to figure out why and adjust. Going multiple weeks with the same traffic and same landing pages most likely won’t turn a corner fast enough.

This phase can take one to two months as well.

#4 Scaling: This is the final phase and the one that’s the most fun to get to. Once you have traffic, conversions, and profitability, the next step is to start growing the account.

Here, you’re able to start testing new PPC channels to grow the entry points of your clients funnel.

This phase can last forever and never plateau.

By knowing which phase your client is in, your account managers can easily decide which tasks to focus on for the week.

If a client is in Phase #3 and the account manager is still spending most of their time adjusting bids and testing ads, then there’s a good chance that client will never graduate to the next phase.

And if that happens, then your retention rate suffers, too.

Deep Deep Communication

If there’s a thing I’m obsessed with when it comes to working with clients, then it’s having a pulse on them.

Are they happy, sad, not confident, or excited?

But a pulse is much more than knowing how they feel about your services – it’s more about honesty and having the client feel like they can tell you anything to help both of you out.

So many clients are afraid of hurting feelings and they would rather not share what irks them. The biggest downside of this lack of communication is that you feel blindsided and shocked when they decide to stop working with you.

See, it’s easy to have your clients think you’re too busy and have no time for them, and that’s actually one of the biggest reasons they choose to leave.

Not lack of performance.

Client Retention via blog.adstage.io

Surprising, right? – image source

What I’ve also found is that clients are more than happy to give you time and are patient enough wait until you figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Once they know that you have their best interest in mind, they’ll give you more time before they cancel, because they like you.

I’ve sat in on a lot of client calls as a fly on the wall, and I keep seeing that a lot of client and account manager communication is super shallow and filled with pointless small talk.

Being honest with your clients and letting them know that you agree things aren’t doing well will help them be honest with you.

This strategy has oddly helped us have clients who canceled with us, refer people they know to work with us.

That doesn’t happen very often.

Speed, Pivots, Feedback, & Audits

There’s nothing that I value more than execution and speed. And I know it’s the same for our clients.

Having your client know that you have a sense of urgency is one of the best feelings you can give them.

Here are the four things we’ve found help our speed and retention rates as well:

Speed: The faster we can move from one campaign or landing page to the next, the faster we’re able to move a client from one phase to the next.

Pivots: This means that you need to be able to see if a campaign won’t work early enough for you to do something about it. It’s common for us to pivot once a week for a client until we’ve gained traction.

Feedback: Having regular feedback calls with a client has done very well for us. During the first month and second month mark, we have another team member (other than the account manager) call the client to get insight on what we can do better.

The most important part of this is doing it early enough in the relationship so you have time to salvage it.

Audits: This point is for the owner of the agency.

We’re coming up on our two year anniversary as an agency and the amount of changes we’ve made to our processes has been astounding.

By auditing our processes, we’ve been able to identify things like:

  • What skills do certain account managers lack so we can train them to be stronger?
  • Grouping one CRO designer with two account managers for better education transfer between all.
  • Giving every team member a topic ownership to teach all other team members about. They’re now the resident experts on LinkedIn Advertising, Google Tag Manager, or CRO tools.

Sometimes your best bet is to attempt something and then adjust. Most of what we’ve learned has come from pure trial and error.

Back To You…

The best part about running an agency and priming it for growth, is that you can split test your own company, just like you split test things for your clients.

By neglecting change, you’re not only going to continue to suffer, but you’ll eventually burn out and throw in the white flag.

Agency life is tough, but so is anything that’s worth pursuing.

I hope some of these insights can help you spark change and get your retention rate up and to the right. 🙂