June began with a bang in terms of marketing synergy, as over 600 marketing professionals converged at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego for the 2016 A4D Performance Summit. The perfect weather – with all that brilliant golden sun synonymous with Southern California – seemed tailor-fit to complement the bright, collegial atmosphere that dominated at the event.
The A4D Summit was a place for marketing pros to meet, mingle, and bounce ideas off each other – talking about industry trends, evolving best practices, awesome new techniques, and the very best places to eat in the city. The nine speakers A4D had lined up for the event, all of them successful experts in their fields as well as really interesting human beings, laid down (as one attendee put it) “an insane knowledge drop” on everyone there. And we’ve picked out eight of the most interesting takeaways from the event to share with everyone here.
Don’t be afraid to go big game hunting.
Topic: From $0 to $492, 294 In 30 Days
CEO @ A4D
Angel Investor, Entrepreneur & Advisor in businesses involving online marketing, advertising, games and education.
Jason Akatiff, as usual, blew all of our minds as he shared his approach to finding inventors and product manufacturers for exclusive marketing deals. His tactics include both real-life and online searching – for example, he suggests looking at high-ticket prices in real retail stores and then checking if you can source them for a fraction of their cost. (Very often, it will turn out that you can.) You could also check out patent filing records. He also recommended sites like Alibaba, Amazon, Jungle Scout. You could either check what products are selling well and try to reverse-engineer their success for yourself, or see what products are selling badly and see if you could market it better.
In short, he introduced to the audience to a wide variety of tactics, many ways of hunting down your “big game”. Which, considering he is the founder of a company in the business of providing precisely that, is a pretty nice gift to share.
2. The other letters in the alphabet are actually really important.
Topic: Facebook Ad Strategies and How To Double Your Profit Using MVT
CEO @ DigitizeIQ
Founded, built and sold online businesses that generated $5-10 Million a year within 12 months of creation.
Sure, A/B Testing can net you a lot of extra conversions, tell you which button or which header is doing better. But to take your game to the next level, you have to diversify your testing game.Tim Burd discussed the limits of A/B testing and how multivariate testing – while harder to set up and harder to run – can really boost your conversion rate when done right.
Multivariate testing is powerful – it can tell you not just what single elements are performing better like in an A/B test, but help you target which areas and elements in the whole of your page have the most impact. This more general approach can be really useful when you’re talking about entire landing page campaigns – the data about an element’s design impact can be applied to future campaigns even if the specifics of the element and its context changes. So hire some help with those spreadsheets and crush the ROI of implementing multivariate testing!
3. Good marketers imitate, great marketers steal.
Topic: Conversion CliffNotes (Generating Conversion Tactics From The World’s Best Authors)
Founder @ Optimozo
Direct Response Marketing & Conversion Rate Optimization
Zack Linford kept it 100 with us as he showcased how he has successfully converted offers at scale in almost every vertical. And he reminded us all about how the Renaissance guys had it right – look at what worked in the past, and swipe every idea you can from the classics. They come pre-tested for you! He walked us through how he steals great headlines from books and how they convert well. (You should read “Related To The Vertical”, and “The Ultimate Native Ads Swipe File” before you make your next headline).
4. While you optimize your campaigns, don’t forget to optimize your health.
Topic: Optimizing Ads To Profitability
President @ GravitasWorks
Started online marketing company while in college and did 10mm+ in revenue within 3 years with zero funding.
Mike Powell may have hit home with the single biggest tip of the event here, and ironically it had nothing to do with marketing. The bigger picture, of course, is your health and wellness. OK, so your marketing funnel is converting five times better than it was last month. But if you sacrificed your health to get it there, all your gain is for naught, and we’re not just talking about how your medical bills will eat all the profit you made.
As Mike put it, “You wouldn’t scale a campaign on a slow shared server, would you?” Similarly, you shouldn’t expect great results running on a less-than-optimized physical body. Optimize your body! We are all limited by our health, and as Mike accurately put it – you can’t buy back your health, you can only maintain it, so don’t lose it in the first place!
5. Work smarter, not longer
Topic: Affiliate Marketing Counter Culture
Boss @ MalanDarras
Passionate about sharing ideas, thoughts and adventures in Marketing, Music, Life to help you make enough money to quit your job.
Malan Darras is quite possibly the most charismatic speaker we’ve seen at any event. This guy can’t be put into words – you just have to experience his energy on stage! And he made a great point about how results don’t depend on how long you work at something; it depends on how good the work you do is. This is what he told us: each day, you should pick your 2 highest priorities, the tasks that will make the biggest impact on your business at that moment, and work on both for about one to two hours each.
He explained he’d noticed something when working remotely while away from his business. By necessity, he’d had to focus only on his key priorities when remote. And he found out that each time he was away, the numbers improved.
Sitting there and refreshing stats or doing pointless placement optimizations will not get you to the next level, so stop calling it “working”, he warned us. Instead, expend your energy on actual mission-critical tasks and watch your business perk up.
6. Image hacking – hire people, and try cartoons!
Mike Powell reminded us that having a budget for an in house photographer and/or animator is worth it even if they are not always busy. When you need a bunch of images, they can bust them out for you and you will save so much during those times that it nets out to being cheaper than going freelance all the time.Depending on freelancers, he explained, is a case of “penny-wise, pound-foolish” – with business so dependent on visual assets to push conversions, it makes sense to secure a reliable and high-quality source for these assets that you can easily coordinate with. If your business required frequent deliveries, you wouldn’t want to hire a taxi every time you wanted to deliver something, would you?
He also tipped us off to the benefits of cartoon images. Cartoons can get the message across well, and be produced by a good in-house artist without the need to set up shoots. He also noted how compliance teams tend to let more slide with cartoon images vs. real ones.
7. Better call
Saul Seyamack and Rob.
Partner @ Coast Law Group, LLP
Named as one of the nation’s top corporate and intellectual property lawyers by the New York Times and Los Angeles Magazine.
Attorney @ Coast Law Group, LLP
His clients rely on his advice to help them make more money, avoid unnecessary conflict, and develop strategic growth plans.
Topic: Make More Money, Keep More Money (An Insider’s Perspective)
Although everyone quotes Shakespeare’s famous quip about lawyers, no one remembers that the context of the line made it really clear that, in fact, lawyers are essential to any civil society. And anyone seeing Seyamack Kouretchian and Rob Berkowitz of the Coast Law Group deliver their talk on how performance marketers can keep more of what revenues they make will get a new appreciation for the usefulness of lawyers.
Both Kouretchian and Berkowitz are experts in the legal fields most critical for marketers, like IP, corporate litigation, computer and Internet law, with insider experience in the tech scene to bolster their legal knowledge. And we were all reminded of how important it is to get a lawyer with a real in-depth understanding of your industry to give you all sorts of lawyer-advice.
8. You gotta bid up to bid down.
Topic: Shut Up And Put Your Money Where Your Conversions Are
CEO @ Native Ads
Facilitates the strategic pairing of premium publishers with premium advertisers.
I took the audience step by step through setting up a campaign that will guarantee traffic and give your campaign the best chance of becoming a winner.
One of my favorite tips to share is how to “bid up to bid down” – that is, start your campaign with a high CPC bid. This tells the algorithm that the publisher will see a decent CPM. As winning creatives are identified and your campaign gains momentum, you can kill your relatively non-performing ads and bring your bids down to your target CPC, as you get a better idea of what your CTR is.
9. Test Your Videos
Here’s another one from Jason Akatiff, who – being the data and analytics guy that he is – made a great point about video optimization. At this point, split-testing is as natural to marketers as breathing – who would even think of launching a campaign without some sort of testing going on? Copy, visuals, designs, button placement – all those elements are tested and tweaked and optimized for better conversions.
But what about video?
Video is a compelling, non-static website element that is rising in importance as bandwidth and technology improve. Measuring and tracking its impact is very important, and Jason talked about all the ways and technologies helping marketers do exactly that. For example, Viderian’s scene-based multivariate testing lets marketers test multiple videos, using multivariate analysis to determine the incremental contribution of all video scenes simultaneously without needing multiple video players or multiple landing pages.
And hey, take a look at this awesome headline swipe file we were offering at the A4D Summit. Just enter your email address and you’ll be able to download 141 Headline Template Formulas to boost your traffic!
The A4D Summit was an incredible success all around. Having all those bright minds in one place, everyone sharing their thoughts and insights about the industry, shows us that the future of performance marketing is really exciting. We can’t wait to see where we’ll all be by the 2017 A4D Performance Summit.
Native Ads Photo Booth Photos From Above The Fold Summit