Five on Friday: Ad Blocking, Lead Generation and Customer Testimonials
Featuring information from PageFair, MarketingProfs, Kissmetrics and more
In this week’s Five on Friday, we’ll share PageFair’s 2017 adblocking report, MarketingProfs’ top tips for creating successful lead generation landing pages, legal ways to use customer testimonials, how to keep the trust of your customers, and last but not least, Digiday explains how Brexit’s unexpected election news has helped The Spectator triple its daily subscriber sales.
PageFair releases 2017 ad blocking report
Consumers use ad blockers to slow down annoying ads that intrude on user security, invade privacy, interrupt the user experience, slow down page load time and expend bandwidth. Unfortunately, the proliferation of ad blocking also means lost revenue for publishers, billions of dollars of revenue!
As part of the IAB TechLab group working on IAB’s new LEAN standard, Pagefair updated its annual adblocking report. Here are startling statistics from that report:
- In 2016, mobile ad block usage grew by 40 percent in Asia-Pacific.
- In December 2016, there were more than 615 million devices running ad block software globally, 62 percent of which were on mobile devices. This represents growth of 142 million devices from the prior year.
- 11 percent of the global internet is blocking ads online.
- 94 percent of global mobile ad block usage is in Asia-Pacific.
- 68 percent of desktop ad block usage is in North America and Europe.
- Between December 2015 and December 2016, global ad block usage grew 30 percent.
- 74 percent of ad block users say they leave websites that have ad block walls.
- 77 percent of ad block users are willing to view some ad formats.
Next week, we’ll share demographic data on who is most likely to use ad blocking software and how ad blocking grows. In the meantime, check out the full Pagefair ad block report here.
Three Tips for Successful Lead Generation Landing Pages
Would you like to optimize your lead generation landing pages to achieve better results? Then you’re in luck. In a blog post this week, MarketingProfs shared the results of a recent survey by Unbounce which analyzed 74.5 million visits to more than 64,000 lead generation landing pages across 10 industries (travel, real estate, business consulting, business services, credit/lending, health, higher education, home improvement, legal and vocational studies/jot braining) in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The survey results offer tips for better lead generation pages.
- Write at a six-grade level. The median conversion rate for landing pages written at a six-grade level was almost double the conversion of pages written at a university level, based on the Flesch readability test.
- Landing pages should be less than 200 words. Landing pages with word counts of 800 words and higher had a 33 percent lower median conversion rate than pages with less than 200 words.
- Compare your conversion rates only to others within your industry. Conversion rates vary widely across the 10 different industries, so make sure you are comparing your conversion rates to others within the same industry. Unbounce provides some benchmarks for the industries named above here.
4 Legal Tips for Using Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are a great way to build your brand, but endorsements and testimonials are subject to truth-in-advertising laws. Kissmetrics offers these four tips for using customer testimonials legally.
- You must disclose your relationship with the customer giving the testimonial. For example, if an employee offers the testimonial, you must disclose that fact. One way to do this is by using the #ad hashtag in social media posts. Kissmetrics says all disclaimers and disclosures should be made in clear, simple language so there is no ambiguity.
- The FTC requires that all endorsements reflect the honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences of the endorser. Also, customer testimonials must reflect typical experiences unless stated otherwise.
- Don’t take testimonials about your company or product directly from another website without permission to do so. Many review sites (e.g., Yelp) state in their terms of service that user-generated content is owned by the user and licensed for use to the review website. Kissmetrics suggests you link to the testimonials from your website.
How Service Companies Can Earn Customer Trust and Keep It
Remember Pepsi’s recent fiasco with its controversial ad starring Kendall Jenner, or the United debacle where a customer was forcibly removed from the plane because a flight had been oversold? Those are harsh examples of what can happen to a well-known brand when things go awry. With social media, a bad situation gets amplified as people share their horror or frustration across the internet. These types of situations can cause our brands to lose our customers’ trust which is an incredibly valuable asset.
There are ways you can gain and retain your customers’ trust though. Harvard Business Review offers these tips in a recent article, How Service Companies Can Earn Customer Trust and Keep It, written by Leonard L. Berry:
- Solve problems before they reach the customer by setting up systems and procedures to ensure accuracy and delivery. HBR gives the example of hospitals that use checklists to remind healthcare providers of patient safety tips prior to doing procedures.
- Honor a “perceived contract,” not the company’s actual legal contract. In this case, HBR says that airline passengers shouldn’t have to read a contract that is dozens of pages long to understand the airline’s terms and conditions. While legally binding terms and conditions might be appropriate, sometimes contract provisions contradict common sense, so the customer should be given the benefit of the doubt.
- Certain decisions should be made at a high level. In the case of the United Airlines flight, before forcibly removing the passenger, someone at a higher level who can consider all of the ramifications of a serious decision.
- When you have to break a promise to a customer, go to great lengths to make it right and apologize for the failure to carry through on your service promise.
- Use realistic slogans for your brand, not something you may not be able to deliver on. United’s slogan: Fly the Friendly Skies. Ouch.
Brexit Triples The Spectator’s Daily Subscriber Sales
Remember the Trump bump – the phenomenon where our new president actually caused news subscriptions to surge? The U.K.’s The Spectator is experiencing something similar due to Brexit, tripling daily subscriber sales, thanks to a surprise election, reports Digiday. On Tuesday when the news that British prime minister Theresa May called for a special general election in June, The Spectator’s daily online traffic doubled to 270,000 pageviews. It also tripled the average number of new paid subscribers in a single day.
According to Digiday, The Spectator did not reveal how many new subscribers it received since Tuesday’s announcement, but they did say that last month they generated an average of 400 new subscribers a day, a record for The Spectator. They have more than 67,000 paying subscribers now.
How was The Spectator able to achieve such growth? Digiday attributes it to speed. The prime minister made the announcement just after 11 a.m., and within two hours and 15 minutes, The Spectator released a podcast featuring its political editor, a political correspondent and another editor who speculated on what the news of a special election could mean for the U.K.
“The BBC website and others can bring the news and the quotes, but the best place for live analysis is The Spectator. We can get our podcast up hours before big-budget players like the Financial Times,” said The Spectator’s editor, Fraser Nelson, in the Digiday article.
In addition to the podcast, The Spectator published a variety of related stories over the next 24 hours. The news outlet was both nimble and responsive, giving it an advantage over larger media organizations, including those focused on print publications that wouldn’t publish until Wednesday morning. Upon hearing the news, The Spectator staff was able to react quickly to serve their readers, and their audience responded by subscribing. Well done.