July 15, 2021
Welcome to Week 2 of the Ladder 2017 Marketing Plan weekly implementation and execution journal. This week, we’re executing 12 marketing experiments based on the 12 tactics we chose for January.
This series is an inside look at how we’re actually running our marketing at Ladder — a primer on how we work with clients and how we’re eating our own medicine by using the same process to grow Ladder.
To read the full marketing plan, click here.
To catch up on Week 1 (January Strategy), click here.
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Weeks 2, 3, and 4 of our marketing plan are all about taking the tactics we decided on in Strategy Week and actually implementing them. As a reminder, we chose 12 tactics for January based on Ladder’s most pressing growth needs (as determined by a series of audits on our 2016 marketing activity).
For reference, here are the 12 tactics we decided on:
Since we’re splitting execution into three separate weeks, I decided to execute on four of the twelve tactics listed above.
The four tactics I picked for Week 2 were:
Below I’ll briefly go through the process of executing each tactic.
This is an easy one — we run our newsletter mailing list via MailChimp, which makes it a breeze to set up A/B testing campaigns.
The principle behind the test is this: We were running all our newsletter campaigns with subject lines that ended with a rocket emoji (?).
But we never actually tested whether that SHOULD be a way we’re “branding” our newsletter. What if we’re actually driving lower open and click rates on our newsletters because the emoji looks unprofessional or detracts from our message?
So the goal is this:
Version A: Newsletter Subject Line
Version B: Newsletter Subject Line ?
Which version wins?
We decided to test this for an entire month (across four different newsletter campaigns) so that we can get a proper amount of data. So I executed the first of these on Thursday of the week and started gathering data.
And with that, I set the test live in the Ladder Planner and moved on to…
Our old homepage meta title and description weren’t good enough to tell the right story to organic traffic visitors. We detailed our reasoning in our SEO Audit post, but I’ll refer back to it here as well:
Here’s what our search result looked like:
…not particularly inspiring. Also a little confusing, as we jump from talking about our technology to mentioning ‘services’, without explaining much about what we do.
You should treat the meta title and meta description of your page as an Ad; you need to get across your unique value proposition, include some social proof so they can trust you and handle any objections they have that might stop them clicking through.
Let’s fix this by adapting it to the format we saw that was common to our competitors:
Ladder.io – Growth without the guesswork. https://ladder.io/
Growth marketing agency working with 100+ clients in New York and London. Using our proprietary software with 1,000+ proven tactics, we grow your business quickly and efficiently.
But wait — there’s a problem. That meta description actually lands at 179 characters, far over what is accepted by Google. So let’s shorten it a bit.
Growth marketing agency working w/ 100+ clients in New York and London. Using proprietary software & 1000+ proven tactics, we grow your business efficiently.
From here, I went into our CMS, where I can directly edit meta descriptions, and uploaded the new version.
As this is an SEO test, it needs to run a bit longer than normal tests so we can properly gauge traffic results, but it should see an immediate improvement over our old version due to increased social proof, larger tactic count, and more.
This one’s straightforward — popping a part of the new meta description into our homepage hero section can help us get an SEO bump due to landing page relevance and possibly increase conversions from our direct traffic and even our blog and ads traffic.
Old version: “We’ve spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours learning what works, so you don’t have to.”
New version: “Using our proprietary software with 1,000+ proven tactics, we grow your business quickly and efficiently.”
A modified edition of what we had in our meta description.
For this test, I used Google Optimize to run an A/B test where 50% of traffic is being sent to the original and 50% to a variant that has the replacement hero copy.
If you want to learn about Google Optimize and see how to set up an A/B test, check out this blog post: https://blog.ladder.io/optimizely/
And with that, I let the A/B test run. Google Optimize collects data on its own and funnels it straight into Google Analytics, allowing you to connect to specific goals you have set up. So I set up goals for Hero Form and Contact Us Form submissions and let the A/B test run for a good two weeks.
Finally, a move to help us grow our email list faster. Our list was growing at a stagnant rate, and chances were that it was because of our copy choices.
Here’s what we had before, running across both our blog and homepage:
And here’s what we came up with instead:
I wasn’t sure about how this would perform, but I was ready to see what the data would tell me. SumoMe tracks A/B test results so it would be easy for me to see which variant works better.
Running this test for two weeks should give us enough data to know which works better.
And that’s it for the first execution week! Pretty straightforward — four tests, all set live and ready to go. No ads tests yet, but that’s coming next week.
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