A blog about smart marketing and conversion optimization.

9 things we’re proud of, embarrassed about & otherwise excited to share

Launching a new website is a painful and simultaneously awesome experience. We’re fired up to introduce our brand new digital home — and equally excited to share a few of the things we discovered in the process of building it. So here we go.

Building a badass team isn’t easy

Let’s start with one of theRead more…

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Launching a new website is a painful and simultaneously awesome experience. We’re fired up to introduce our brand new digital home — and equally excited to share a few of the things we discovered in the process of building it. So here we go.

Building a badass team isn’t easy

Let’s start with one of the challenges: recruiting. As I think about our team, one thing is clear. I personally made a lot of mistakes getting here. I’m very proud of Clever Zebo’s current talent, but there were so many promising interviews that turned into excruciating, crash-and-burn “test runs” at working together. It’s embarrassing just how bad I am at using a series of interviews and writing samples to predict how successful a new team member will be. We inevitably warm up new recruits each quarter who won’t make it. And that’s usually my fault.

Breaking up is hard to do

If you’re familiar with Clever Zebo, you know that Josh and Igor were partners from the beginning. You might also know that Josh is a brilliant, dynamic individual with a great many interests and talents — which is why it may not surprise you to learn that Josh made the difficult decision to part ways with the Zebo and pursue other projects this year.

It was a new experience for both of us, having never negotiated the exit from a business before. It didn’t come easy at first. There were disagreements and open questions. We took great care in working out a solution to every problem with professionalism and respect. I’m proud to say that our friendship remains strong. And in fact, this very style of heartfelt blog post to accompany a big development at Clever Zebo is signature Josh — I’m merely borrowing from his playbook.

Defining what we do better than anyone else

Many agencies open their doors with a bit of an identity crisis, and we were no different. During the website refresh, we had to think hard about which areas of our expertise have evolved and what we’re the best at. It’s nice to confirm that, yes, paid search and paid social are core strengths. We also continue to take on marketing automation projects. Fresh creative talent has enabled us to take on more conversion-centric landing page and website creation in 2017. Now it feels more clear than ever what we do as an agency.

Our core values remain intact

In 2011, we set out to build a business that reflected who we are as humans. We wanted to value honesty, integrity, great service, a focus on measurable results and a work-life balance we could boast about. No matter how big the company became, we wanted to empower our entire team to travel and experience the best parts of life — especially when those parts were not work.

That’s why we’re a remote company without a centralized office or a requirement for “face time.”

Six years later, it’s clear that experiment has improved and not stifled productivity.

The website refresh forced us to confront who we are. It feels really good to discover that Clever Zebo is the company we set out to be.

Our reporting got smarter in 2017

I’m ashamed to tell you that until recently, our highly sophisticated reporting dashboard for each client was built as a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

We’re not total idiots; it’s just that no out-of-the-box reporting solution met all of our clients’ needs. We had high standards, and made the decision to customize a report for every client just how we like it.

In Q1 we found our metric-laden Prince Charming, if you will. We introduced a new reporting technology that’s flexible and always 100% accurate. Boredom among marketing analysts at Clever Zebo has decreased 99%. Clients are digging the new dashboards.

Some other things we’re proud of

  • Our first-ever client is still with us
  • Several of our past clients re-hired us in 2017, which we take as a huge compliment
  • We helped an apparel company lift sales from Facebook Ads by 530%
  • We’ve learned from, vetted and tested several new ad platforms and exchanges in 2017; the advertising playbook continues to grow

Ok, yes. We do sometimes enjoy tooting our own horn. Who doesn’t? But we wanted to get this post in front of you to share how we’re feeling about the business these days.

Creating our new home online was a humbling experience. Getting all the details right always seems to take more time, patience and attention than my team and I expect. There were challenges and frustrations. But the process has also provided an opportunity for reflection and gratitude. Thanks for ruminating on the journey with us.

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How Clever Zebo boosted a clothing retailer’s sales from Facebook Ads by 530%

We’re starting this year off with a look back at one of the great successes of 2016.

We learned a lot through optimizing a young but aspiring Facebook Ads account for an eCommerce brand that sells customizable men’s clothing.

I’m proud to say that within only a month, we managed to:

  • Increase conversion volume by 530%
  • Reduce CPA by 47%
  • Boost conversion rate by 347%

*Data was pulled from a 30-day “before and after” window.

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We’re starting this year off with a look back at one of the great successes of 2016.

We learned a lot through optimizing a young but aspiring Facebook Ads account for an eCommerce brand that sells customizable men’s clothing.

I’m proud to say that within only a month, we managed to:

  • Increase conversion volume by 530%
  • Reduce CPA by 47%
  • Boost conversion rate by 347%

*Data was pulled from a 30-day “before and after” window.

How did we do it?

Our initial Facebook Analytics review showed us two things:

1)  The 55-64 age segment was the best performing, followed by 45-54.

os-age

The 55-64 segment is the best performing, with a 49% higher conversion rate than the runner-up (93% certainty). The 25-34 and 65+ greatly underperformed against top segments.

2)  Although the majority of spend was focused on the ‘Mobile News Feed’ placement, the ‘Desktop News Feed’ placement was the top performer by a substantial margin.

fb-data-1

The ‘Desktop News Feed’ placement had a 260% higher conversion rate and an $184.81 lower CPA than the ‘Mobile News Feed’ placement (statistically significant).

We optimized each campaign as informed by these observations, and then immediately:

  • Launched a Lookalike campaign
  • Launched a Remarketing campaign
  • Put in place aggressive creative and copy A/B tests
  • Updated the account to Facebook’s new universal tracking pixel and standard events
  • Tested automatic and conversion optimized bid strategies

Thirty days later, our client was fired up to see more than a fivefold increase in sales from the Facebook Ads program. No fooling: it didn’t jump from 2 orders to 10 orders. The campaigns started out with a respectable five-figure budget and were humming in the vicinity of 500 high-ticket orders by month’s end.

The upswing was accompanied by a nice conversion rate bump, and we were able to cut the cost of acquiring a customer in half.

If you’re looking to scale and optimize Facebook Ads or other paid social advertising for your business, shoot us a note: igor@cleverzebo.com.

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Finally, LinkedIn lets you track conversions in the Ads dashboard

We’re pleased to announce LinkedIn has launched a native conversion tracking pixel (about time, am I right?).

LinkedIn has been slowly rolling this out, in hopes of making conversion tracking available to all advertisers by the end of August. If you’re like us, you previously used utm tracking / Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. No longer! With the new tracking pixel, conversions are now viewable directly within the LinkedIn dashboard.

Why doesRead more…

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We’re pleased to announce LinkedIn has launched a native conversion tracking pixel (about time, am I right?).

LinkedIn has been slowly rolling this out, in hopes of making conversion tracking available to all advertisers by the end of August. If you’re like us, you previously used utm tracking / Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. No longer! With the new tracking pixel, conversions are now viewable directly within the LinkedIn dashboard.

Why does this matter?

  • More granular insights into performance
  • You can now optimize your campaigns against conversion metrics
  • By assigning a ‘Conversion Value’ you can accurately track your ROAS

What’s even more exciting is the implications for the future of this channel. It’s not absurd to think we could see remarketing features, or the ability to automatically optimize by conversion data in the very near future.

How to set up LinkedIn Ads conversion tracking

To start tracking conversions, simply:

1.  Click ‘Conversion Tracking’ on the top right of the campaign manager.

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2.  Enter of URL of the website you want to track conversion for.

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3.  Add the code to all pages of your site (right before the end of the <body> tag).

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4.  Define the conversion and enter the destination URL(s) you want to track.

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5.  Hang tight and wait for LinkedIn to verify your conversion goal.

That’s it. Piece of cake!

If you’re looking to test LinkedIn Ads for your business, or need help scaling and optimizing your current LinkedIn Ads effort, shoot us a note at igor@cleverzebo.com.

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