Black Friday Buyer’s Remorse

Is it just me, or does it seem as though for every one amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer you receive there’s two that give you buyer’s remorse: you purchased it previously and now you have an email slapping you in the face offering it for up to 80% less than you paid.

Case in point: I purchased a HubSpot theme for $1200 earlier in the year. This morning I received an email promoting* it was on sale for $200.

It’s interesting to take stock of your feelings when this happens. Even though there was no way I could have known about this earlier in the year, I now feel as though I’ve been unwise with my money. I’ve wasted money. I’ve made a bad decision. And I now also have a negative association with that company – since they are the one who has elicited this response.

That’s just one (but the largest) of many experiences my Inbox has given me this Thanksgiving weekend.

I suspect many companies and brands do themselves a longer term customer satisfaction disservice, in the chase for short term profit.

Here’s a quick rule to perhaps embrace:
– if you are offering a consumable item (ie one that a person will likely buy many times) then offering a discount is fine
– but if it is a single purchase item, then offering a discount is potentially alienating your previously happy customers.

Let’s end buyer’s remorse.

Your 80% discount offer hit me right here

* And to make matters worse the email wasn’t even personalised – at a minimum they could have acknowledged I was an existing customer, and perhaps suggested I could now purchase the theme again for another site. Even something as simple as better messaging could have softened the negative experience.

Hustle – The New Fragrance by Gary Vaynerchuk

I had the pleasure of attending Inbound 2016 the week before last.

One of the (many) highlights was the opening keynote by Gary Vaynerchuk – it was a strategy packed, tactics rich, onslaught of Gary Vee doing what he does best: motivating us to work harder, do better and deliver more value.

It’s all available here to watch – do yourself a favour and invest the 44 minutes – you’ll come out a smarter person:

If you’ve experienced Gary before or read any of his books, you’ll know that he’s big on hustle. That is, the attitude of working hard to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. He’s all about putting in the hard yards. So much so that if he ever releases a fragrance line, I think he’ll likely call it Hustle :-).

Just for fun here’s a mockup for your visual edification (you’re welcome) :

Hustle by @garyvee

By the way, Ian and I discuss Gary’s keynote in a little more detail in Episode 59 of HubShots – the *Unofficial* Down Under HubSpot podcast:

Here’s my Hustle challenge for 2017: interview Gary on HubShots. Just putting it out there – hold me to it.

Hustle by @garyvee

Communication, not narcissim

This comment from Evan Spiegel (mentioned as part of the Snap, Inc Spectacles reveal in WSJ) is useful:

“People wonder why their daughter is taking 10,000 photos a day. What they don’t realize is that she isn’t preserving images. She’s talking.”

This is a key insight that most of the *older* generations don’t appreciate.

Behaviours change, and whilst a snap-happy younger generation might seem like something far removed from most marketing and sales processes today, don’t be surprised if the change is rapid. These are next decade’s CIOs and Procurement Officers. This is about communication.

Even now you likely interact with a number of suppliers and customers via text, WhatsApp, Messenger and Slack. Photos (mostly) and videos (increasingly) are a common reason why.

Make sure you appreciate what a change in interaction this is. It’s not just another communication option, it’s becoming the norm.

(via MG Siegler)

Amazon versus Book Depository

This is why I always use Book Depository these days.

Book Depository is more expensive for the books themselves, but Amazon totally fucks you over with the shipping. And their shipping timeframes are ridiculous too (4 weeks to ship a book, seriously?)

Book Depository total for 3 books: $72.20

Amazon total for 3 books: $127.18

Book Depository:
Book Depository Total

Amazon total

btw worth mentioning that buying through these sellers was the only option available for two of the books.

Also worth noting that those crazy shipping prices were only revealed on the final page of the checkout. Here’s what the pricing looks like when selecting the book (and I was logged in when doing this, so Amazon knows where I live):
Amazon selection BS

Summary: I love Book Depository

UPDATE: Have just been informed that Amazon owns Book Depository – which just makes this even worse. ie they have the infrastructure in place to make this better, but haven’t bothered to. Crazy.

Cost of Acquisition versus Cost of Nurture

One question customers ask semi-regularly is: how do I reduce my contact database cost?

That is, they feel that the cost of keeping their contacts database is too expensive – and they want to know how to reduce the cost – ie by removing contacts.

This applies (obviously) to contact databases that are priced on a per contact basis (eg MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, etc).

I’m going to suggest that if your focus is on reducing the cost of the contact database tool, then possibly you’re focussing on the wrong problem[1].

Reason being: if you are a growing business your contact database should be growing also. Hopefully rapidly.

And thus having a growing expense for your contact database is a good thing.

In terms of costs, it’s all a matter of perspective…

Cost of Nurture

Let’s break down a few cost scenarios. We’ll start at the inexpensive end (eg MailChimp) and build up to the expensive end (eg HubSpot).

Consider the cost of having 10K contacts in your database. Here’s the cost comparison:

MailChimp: $75 = 0.75c per contact per month or 9c per year

Active Campaign: $350 = 3.5c per contact per month or 42c per year

HubSpot[2]: $1050 + $68 x 9 = $1662 = 16.6c per contact per month or $2 per year

So for the sake of argument, we’ll say that at the expensive end it costs $2 per contact per year to keep nurturing them. We’ll call this the Cost of Nurture (or perhaps Cost of Retention).

Cost of Acquisition

Now we’ll compare this with the cost of acquisition.

Often B2B companies are happy if they can get a lead for less than $100 per lead (eg via AdWords).

On Facebook we’ll often get leads for less than $20, and this is considered an excellent result.

For the sake of argument, we’ll say that it costs $20 per contact to acquire them. We’ll call this the Cost of Acquisition.

Summary: B2B businesses are usually happy to pay $20+ per lead to acquire them, but will baulk at paying $2 per lead to nurture them.

Solve for the problem: Cost of retention is usually NOT the problem

Paying $2 per lead per year is probably not the problem.

Instead think carefully about where your real problems are:
– improving conversion rate
– reducing cost of acquisition (eg a 10% reduction in CTA will cover the nurture cost)
– increasing lead quality
– improving lead to opportunity processes
– improving opportunity close rates

Real Problems

One more thing. Real problems require hard work. If you find your focus is on ‘solving’ easy things eg cutting some minor costs here and there[3] – use it as litmus test of whether your focus needs rethinking.



[1]: I’m assuming you have regular database hygiene processes in place eg removing bounced emails, deleting cold contacts, low lead score contacts, etc – if you aren’t doing that at least, then yes, make that a priority.

[2]: I should actually use USD pricing as this would be comparable with the other two examples, but our customers are in AUD so I’ve kept that for now

[3]: Not to say you shouldn’t worry about minor costs – plenty of companies go bankrupt from nickel and dime costs that add up over time – of course you should always be prudent. But not at the ‘expense’ of the big problems.

Setting Facebook’s Conversion Attribution Window

Jon Loomer on why your Facebook conversions often don’t match other conversion tracking reports.

Number 4 in his list – Facebook’s attribution window – is the biggy:

By default, Facebook reports a conversion when either of the following two conditions are satisfied:

  • Someone who clicked your ad converted within 28 days
  • Someone who viewed your ad converted within 1 day

Do you see the potential for different calculations now?

You can always control your attribution windows by clicking in the option in customise columns:

Facebook attribution window

eg I like to set mine to 7 days after ad click:

Facebook attribution to 7 days

Interview with Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot

Ian Jacob, Kipp Bodnar and Craig Bailey

A few weeks back we were lucky enough to interview Kipp Bodnar, the CMO of HubSpot.

We interviewed him on HubShots, our HubSpot focussed podcast for marketing managers.

We chat about how he manages work/life balance, how he approaches marketing strategy, and also his continued involvement in tactical decisions even though he’s the head of arguably the worlds best marketing company. We finish with some future thinking.

You can listen here.

The Never Use Facebook for B2B Myth

It seems the ‘B2B never use Facebook’ myth just won’t die.

On the PnR podcast (This Old Marketing) with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose – one of my favourite podcasts – they tend to mention this regularly. Especially for B2B Manufacturing companies – the opinion being that if you are in B2B manufacturing then you are wasting your time creating and promoting content for Facebook.

My view is a little different to theirs, mine is: test and measure

It may work, it may not.

Just this week the topic came up again in a meeting with a B2B company – we won’t be using Facebook for much/any of our promotion… “after all CIOs and IT Managers aren’t on Facebook…”

I’m puzzled how this opinion continues to be accepted. The test is simple: ask the marketing manager, or IT Manager, or CIO of the company you work for if they themselves are on Facebook. Although there will be exceptions, most will answer with an affirmative.

The irony (to incorrectly use the word) of it all is that often when marketing managers in B2B marketing companies spout forth the ‘B2B isn’t on Facebook’ opinion it sometimes turns out they’ve learnt it from an ebook or whitepaper that they themselves found via Facebook.

Take Pardot for example. They are currently running an amazing retargeting campaign on Facebook. Visit their site and navigate through a few pages. Then wait for the retargeting on Facebook to begin. It’s a beautiful campaign, because once you’ve downloaded their first ebook they then target you with the next. In all I’ve been pushed through 4 campaigns by them – all on Facebook. And their content is excellent.

Account Based Marketing

The other important piece to understand in all this is that most B2B sales involve multiple people through the process – it’s classic Account Based Marketing. The research may begin with a more junior position and guide them through consideration points. Once they’ve got their list of options they then take it to their CIO or IT Manager. So even if the CIO is’t on Facebook (a view I challenge obviously) guess where those more junior people are…

I’m not saying B2B marketing on Facebook is a guaranteed thing. Rather I’m saying that you should always test and measure. To assume that FB isn’t a good fit is a missed opportunity at best and big mistake at worst.

Solve for the Problem

One more thing though. Make sure you are solving for the problem. If your problem is that leads aren’t converting to sales, then no amount of Facebook or any other channel promotion is going to help that. You have sales process issues. But if you have an awareness or lead generation issue, then considering other channels – even those you may previously thought not a fit – is definitely recommended.

The Wellness Industry is Doing Well

A few years ago when I went to get some physiotherapy done (eg pulled a shoulder muscle or hurt my neck) it would all be fixed after two sessions, and we’d possibly have a third session just as a check up.

Two week ago I hurt my shoulder and went for some physio. The first session was mostly discussion and exploratory with a bit of actual physio and improvement. Next session was two days later. And then a third follow up for some more work on the issue. In the fourth session I was taken through my 3 Stage Treatment Pathway recovery plan which includes 4 more sessions and then a recommended global assessment program with an exercise physiologist.

So that will be 8 sessions in total plus a future program of unspecified length. Oh and also recommendations for regular remedial massage as a preventative.

Welcome to ‘The System’. It’s what happens when improving system efficiency (which is a good thing) gets too focussed on profit (not a good thing). It’s where too many meetings discuss customer up-sell, lifetime value, average customer engagement duration etc, and not enough discuss providing real value to the patient.

I’m all for proper treatment and full recovery. But lately I’m starting to feel as though I’m just a wallet being massaged down a revenue maximisation pipeline.

Which kinda makes me sick.

Always take Option A

Option A: As soon as you realise you’ve done something wrong or stupid or even just accidentally, apologise. Fix the relationship (business, personal or other) as soon as possible. This is your top priority.

Option B: Let some time go by while you think through whether you ‘really’ were at fault or not. Assume that as time goes by it will blow over and things will return back to their original state no problem. Hold fast to this assumption and then get frustrated when it doesn’t.

Presented this way, Option A is the obvious path.
In real life emotions get in the way.

Note to self: Craig, this post is for you.