5 things I learned at UFX2016

Last week a few of us from the FunnelCake team attended The Uberflip Experience in Toronto, and personally, it was my first time attending a conference.

Out of the 1,736 new things I learned at UFX2016, here is a listicle of the top things I learned. 

1. The Listicle is Dead — DEAD!

Despite the premise of this article (and our love of Buzzfeed) the listicle is indeed dead. For those that love listicles or those of you that love to write listicles, I am truly sorry, but you just need to accept this. 

Publish less. Convert more.

A common theme throughout the conference was the volume of content being pushed out by most is too high. At some point, the content calendar became more important than quality. Focus should be put on converting more rather than publishing as much as possible. 

Joanna Wiebe, copywriter for Copy Hackers, used data to drive home the point of writing more does not mean better conversion. At Copy Hackers, they went from writing multiple posts per week, to publishing just 1.8 per month – their site visits doubled and conversions increased dramatically. This point was echoed by Andy Crestodina’s when he said: “If you’re going to write an article, make it the best on the internet.”

If there is one quote that I took out of Joanna’s talk it’s this:

“If your copy doesn’t get to a yes, rewrite until it does.”

Here are the four principles they use at Copy Hackers to do exactly that:

1. Write for an audience
Don't try and write something that will appeal to your entire audience, pick a segment and dedicate individual posts specifically to them.

2. Use formulas that work
If you're someone that writes copy regularly, you know that there are certain formulas that make a great headline. That same point is true for writing a blog post. Find an outline that is popular, and use that as a formula moving forward. 

3. Differentiate
It's tough to stand out from the crowd. It seems every single company out there has a content strategy, therefore hundreds of new blog posts get pumped out daily. Experiment and find ways to stand out — that means no listicles!

4. Make 'yes' easy
This is critical for copywriting. Make it easy for customers to say yes to the call-to-action. Make it relevant to the reader. If your content is aimed at marketing beginners, make sure your call-to-action correlates. 

Fix the problems your audience is unaware of

I remember Ron Tite’s session almost word for word. From the second he stepped on the stage, Ron had the entire audience engaged with great jokes, awesome imitations, and better content. 

In Ron’s talk, he spoke about how very successful companies are able to fix problems that we, their audience, are not aware of. A good example of this is Dyson's Airblade.

Think back five years ago when you’d go into a public bathroom. Once you were done doing your business and washing your hands, you’d walk over to the crappy hand dryer. You put your hands under it for 20-seconds, give up, wipe your hands on your clothes, and walk out the door. It’s just how things were and we lived with it. Then—out of nowhere—Dyson enters the market with their Airblade that will wipe the water right off your hands in less than half the time. Result: Dyson looks like a hero.

That’s what we need to do in our respective businesses. What is it in your industry that is a pain-point for everyone, but there is no other option so there is no point complaining? Fix that, and you too will be a hero. 

Data cleanse is more important than any trend

My biggest regret at UFX2016 was not tracking Kyle Lacy down after the event to have a quick chat. Kyle is the vice president of marketing at OpenView and his talk truly spoke to my soul as a B2B marketer. 

Kyle started the talk by saying if you take one thing away from his session it’s Louis CK -- this is the clip he showed

Back Kyle's point that can actually change the way you do business. 

"Data cleanse is more important than any other trend."

It’s so true... if your data is crap, none of the reports you’re looking at are going to be accurate and neither will your forecasts. 

According to Radius, the average number of tools in a marketing tech stack is 17. That means all of those tools will not live up to their potential if their pulling bad data. The ability to manage your data makes your use of tools easier and the ability to work with different teams better.

Here’s a quote that Kyle used during his talk, that describes the situation of big data perfectly.

“Big data is like teenage sex, everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.”
- Dan Ariely, Duke University.

Our team at FunnelCake actually do know how to do it, so if you’re interested in learning how to automate data cleansing at your company, our team would be happy to help. Visit here

Hug your haters

Jay Baer is very well-known for his book Hug Your Haters. Jay opened up UFX with a bang on with a brilliant talk wearing an even more impressive suit. 

Jay’s whole talk was great, but the thing that stuck with me is the tips he gave on how to hug your haters. 

Be honest with yourself
Take a look at the various rating sites, forums, and comments sections to see what is being said about your company. If you don’t do this on a somewhat regular basis, you should start now. 

Be fast
Back in the day, Discover credit card was known for their cashback advantage. That’s it. That was their one differentiator. Then Captial One came in with the same offering, so what did Discover do? They searched for what that next differentiator would be and decided to be the best at customer service. They did this by promising to answer every customer within 20 minutes. 

That’s pretty great. If I contacted a company and got a response in 20-minutes, whether they solve my problem or not, I’m impressed. Jay gave the stat that on average, it takes companies 44 hours to respond to an email — 44 HOURS! I don’t know about you but if I’ve had a problem with a company and they took 44 hours to respond, I’ve already come up with my own solution, and it most likely does not involve their company. 

Stop passing off blame
If you’ve got a prospect that after going through a demo says they don’t like the product, what’s the default reaction? Oh, they’re not the right customer for us. We’re putting the blame on the customers which is the wrong frame of mind. 

A useful little SEO trick from Andy Crestondina

Andy had some amazing tips on how to get your work spread around in easy and effective ways. The two best pieces of content (in terms of getting shares) are: 

Strong opinions - publish things that you believe in that is not a popular opinion
Original research - find the missing stats in your organization, and post it

But the number one thing that he shared that I believe is useful to share is a really interesting SEO trick that is relatively easy-to-do and will yield immediate results. 

  1. Go to Google Analytics
  2. On the left-hand side go to Acquisition> Search Engine Optimization> Queries
  3. This shows you what topics you rank on
  4. In the advanced filters, show those queries only 10+ (this is all the topics that you rank on the second page of Google)
  5. Optimize these sites with the help by Moz
  6. Reap the rewards

Thanks to Uberflip for putting on a spectacular conference. For a full overview of the UFX2016 visit here