​5 Things We Learned at the Unbounce CTA Conference

October 16, 2015

On September 14th and 15th Jelly attended the CTA (Call-to-Action) Conference hosted by Unbounce at the Granville Island Stage.

We left the Fraser Valley bright and early (actually it was gloomy) at 7:15 am leaving us plenty of time to arrive, have breakfast, and meet awesome industry people. As soon as we got to the conference, we were welcomed by a sea of applause and high fives right as we walked into the Granville Island Stage – we knew right away this was going to be an awesome two days!

We learned lots at the conference and reflected on so many great points made by the speakers.

Below you’ll find our top five takeaways – don’t worry though, no spoilers! Make sure you watch the speaker videos!

1. Stay true to your brand

Dana DiTomaso of Kick Point really hammered this point home. Your customers recognize and love your brand. By infusing your brand’s personality into your digital presence (including social media, PPC, landing pages, etc.) you have a better chance of getting your customers to convert. If they come to your landing page because they love you, and don’t recognize any of the style they’ve fallen in love with, they may be hesitant to convert.

Don’t forget your internal customers too – they ARE your culture. The more of your company culture they see in your efforts, the more they will love what they do and the company they work for.

Before you start advertising ask yourself some key questions:

  • How do you want your character to be described? Are you funny, casual, formal, shy or sharp? What words do you want to describe your brand?
  • What words will you use? What are some keywords that describe your brand or product that distinguishes you from the rest?
  • What elements of your brand drives sales? This question should force you to think beyond the click-through-rate. What is it about you that people really love and how can you portray this on your social media, PR efforts, or landing page?

Oh and jargon… please stop using jargon! Use language that’s not only true to your brand, but that your customer (or potential customer) will understand. Trust us – if you use a word nobody recognized, they aren’t buying your product!

2. Be Shameless

Not #ShamelessSelfie shameless… but close!

We often get caught up in trying to make sure somebody doesn’t feel like they’re being sold to that we forget sometimes they actually want to be sold to! There are countless examples of landing pages and other copy where the real benefit or value of a product is communicated in subheadings or buried in other fluffy writing – don’t let this happen!

Don’t be afraid to insert your “shameless plugs” on your landing page – chances are that’s what people are there for. While most of the speakers at the conference made the importance of this abundantly clear, Oli told the crowd about some testing he ran by switching content from the sub-heading to the heading and how it greatly improved how well the page communicated the actual value proposition.

Oh and by the way, Oli is the co-founder of Unbounce. He is an amazing speaker and he also may or may not make an appearance at CIMC 2016! (See? Shameless plug!)

The other really interesting point Oli made is that what we say and what people here can often be different. Just ask Phoebe:

Words have so many meanings and can sound like so many other words – why invite confusion? Make your copy clear and make sure your audience understands it – heck, get them to write for you! Ask questions, learn their needs, learn how the interpret your product to meet their needs, and get your audience to write your headlines for you.

3. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

This is universal advice that you can apply to any aspect of life – but let’s stick to digital marketing. Today’s reality is that there are new tools, trends, and platforms surfacing everyday. Take the time to understand what’s right for your audience and what’s right for your business before joining the “trend train”. And of course, take the time to do it right!

Tim Ash used the mobile experience as an example to make this point. Ensure the mobile experience on your website is designed with your customer in mind. Consider the experience the customer wants and needs and whether or not your website is able to provide that.

Is the mobile experience designed specifically with mobile customers in mind, or is it just a version of your desktop site shrunk down to fit a smaller screen calling itself “mobile friendly”? Where are the links your customers will need? They better be easily accessible and not hiding within other pages and menus!

Here at Jelly we believe in failing fast and failing smart – try new things, learn from them, and figure out how to make it even better. Part of failing smart though is being strategic in what you try. Evaluate the fit, objectives, and your ability to sustain before you take it on. Most importantly in this process – figure out if you truly understand the trend and its impact to your business and your customers.

4. Don’t do anything on your landing page that you wouldn’t do on a first date

While this was the topic of the talk by Karl Gillis, it was a great way to end the conference because it was all-encompassing, hitting information that everybody at the CTA Conference needed to take home.

What you do online should really just be the online version of what you do offline. When you apply rules of dating to digital marketing (yes, this is possible) you’ll learn some of digital marketing’s golden rules. We won’t ruin the talk for you and will let you watch it and love it on your own – but our takeaway from this lies in an overarching principle of online activity. If you wouldn’t behave a certain way offline (ie; on a date), don’t do it online! As Karl’s talk will teach you, among other things, this means don’t be invasive and ask too many questions, don’t focus on yourself, and don’t be late!

5. Unbounce seriously rocks

Team Unbounce is awesome! They were such incredible hosts to us and all the CTA Conference attendees.Throughout the conference, we had really great chats with so many people on the Unbounce team who were constantly checking on us to make sure we were happy and learning new things.

After the conference, Team Jelly found a pretty great treat in our inboxes. As our friends Helen and Megan from Unbounce quite aptly put it, Unbounce is the peanut butter to our Jelly!