This post is part of the ongoing Distribution series. Every week the 500 Distribution Team highlights actionable resources for marketing your startup. Get even more tips by following @500Distribution on Twitter and subscribing to our email newsletter.
As we look back on 2013, it’s time to reflect on some of our favorite distribution tools, tricks, and tactics. To get in the holiday spirit, the 500 team would like to bring you our own spin on a classic song. Cue festive music:
12 Drummers Drumming Up Business
It’s time to play beat that business drum. You’re going to have to really fight for your first customers in almost every case, so beat the drum every way you can and learn to carry a beat. For early stage startups, you probably need to consider a few unscalable ways to get those early adopters.
11 Pipers Piping Proper Source Attribution
Good acquisition source attribution is something almost no early stage startup nails. It can’t be done retroactively, so implement it early on. If you don’t already use them, get to know about UTM tracking and the tools available to generate URLs with proper source attribution.
10 Lords-a-Leaping Through an Optimized Funnel
To all the lordes out there who think their funnel is already easy to leap through, we have some bad news. It’s probably not, especially if you’ve never put a fair amount of time and testing into it. To get started, check out our blog post Get More Conversions NOW – Funnel Optimization 101.
9 Ladies Dancing Around a Heat Map
Where the mouse travels so do the dollars, users, and success of your startup. So it’s a good idea to know where users are clicking and how they’re interacting with your site. Two tools that can help big time are Crazy Egg and Click Tale.
8 Maids-a-Milking Every Drop of SEO Value
While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) might not move the needle for every startup, it’s still vital for companies to invest time in the basics. If you’re a time-poor founder like most, then try our 5 SEO Wins that Take 5 Minutes to get started.
7 Swans-a-Swimming Through a User Survey
If you’re having conversion problems I feel bad for you son. No really, I do. Figuring out what’s missing or why your users are dropping off early is a tough nut to crack. Sometimes, it’s better to be direct and just ask them why. In that case, you’ll want to use something like Qualaroo who offers some of the best behavior insight surveys.
6 Geese-a-Laying Clear Value Propositions
As it turns out, people are very bad at reading online. Instead we skim, skip and generally don’t give a damn about all that text you carefully prepared. Internet people are basically honey badgers; they just don’t care.
That’s why it’s important to very clearly spell out the value propositions of your product. You only have a few seconds of their attention, so make it count.
5 Gold Rings of Retargeting
The scary truth about incoming traffic is that only about 2% or less converts. That’s where retargeting comes in. If your product is something tough to sell in the initial sessions, retargeting can bring prospects back to seal the deal. Be sure to read our post on Two Quick Ways to Get More Conversions with Retargeting.
4 Tweeting Birds
Twitter is becoming a stronger channel for online marketing every day. With new ad products, retargeting on the way, and all that organic and earn media value, it’s a channel you can’t afford to ignore. If your birds aren’t growing fast enough, check out our post on 4 Easy Ways to Grow Your Twitter Followers.
3 French Hens Emailing You Incisively
How often do you email your prospective users and customers? Probably not enough. In most cases, early stage startups would rather not “bug” their small collection of emails with too many marketing messages. But if you don’t bug them, they aren’t likely to bug you in the form of giving you money, clicks, engagement or otherwise. A great way to start is with trigger emails. Learn more about them in The Power of Trigger Emails
2 Turtle Doves Dialing in Your Analytics
There’s no shortage of ways to track your users. Google Analytics is great, but there are a bunch of other tools out there if you need a little more. For most startups, that comes in the form of Mixpanel. If you’re thinking about setting up this powerful tool, be sure to read our post on Implementing Mixpanel: What You NEED to Know.
And an Acquired Customer in a Pear Tree.
After all that, we hope you end the year with the gifts that keep on giving: conversions, user growth, and of course, revenue.
If you’re ending the year with coal in your stocking instead of growth (sorry), then it’s time to plan out your online marketing resolutions for next year. Don’t worry – with some effort and planning, you’ll get back on Santa’s nice list.