Have you ever found yourself looking for an easy way to add a list of related posts to your WordPress pages? If so, this plugin will solve some of that headache for you.

This page is dedicated to the usage of the WordPress plugin: Add Posts to Pages

See how our Custom WordPress Design and Development Services can help you!

In any WordPress page (or post), add the following into your content editor where you want posts to appear:

    You can use the following shortcode attributes (e.g: category=”books”) to control which posts show up and other settings.

    category (string)(category-slug)
    Show posts from a certain category.  Use the slug of that category.  You can find the slug when editing a category.
    Example: business-blogging
    edit wordpress category
    Find the category slug and use that in the add_posts shortcode to show posts from a certain category
    tag (string)(tag-slug)
    Show posts from a certain tag.  Use the slug of that tag.  You can find the slug when editing a tag.
    Example: adwords-updates
    edit wordpress tag
    Find the tag slug and use that in the add_posts shortcode to show posts from a certain tag
    show (numeric)
    The number of posts to show.
    Default: 5
    h (numeric)
    The HTML heading to use for the post title.
    Default: 2 (which produces an h2)
    img (true or false)
    Whether or not to show the post thumbnail (feature image).
    Default: false (don’t show the thumbnail, only show the post title)
    size (numeric)
    The size of both height & width of the thumbnail image.  Only needs a number, do NOT put “px” at the end.
    Default: 64 (pixels)
    full (true or false)
    Whether or not to show the entire post.
    Default: false (only shows title, not entire post)
    If you want the ENTIRE post to show, please do NOT also set the readmore parameter (below)
    readmore (string)
    The text you want linked as your “read more” text.
    Default: false (does not show the “read more” link and instead shows entire post)
    You MUST use the “read more” breakpoint in your posts for this to work! … If you do NOT use it correctly, the ENTIRE post will show!!!
    If you set readmore to anything, the img and h parameters are ignored and the post will show content up to the “read more” breakpoint.

    Show the 2 posts from the “Website Development” category:

    When you visit the “WordPress Development” page, the 2 posts on the top are the same as the 2 bullet points that the plugin pulled.

    Show the latest 3 posts from the “WordPress Plugins” tag:

    When you visit the “WordPress Plugins” page, the 4 posts on the top are the same as the 3 bullet points that the plugin pulled.

    Example of “read more” shortcode:

      MTM Ep#23: The rise to the top of real estate using social media micro-targeting with Dan Lesniak

      Welcome back to the More Than Marketing podcast. We're here with multi-billion dollar real estate legend, Dan Lesniak. He's the best-selling author of The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent: How to Dominate Your Real Estate Market in Under a Year- I Did it and so Can You! He's also completed 13 marathons and five Ironman triathlons. We're going to unpack some of the social media tactics he has used from Gary Vaynerchuk and Grant Cardone to explode his business.



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      Transcript:

      - [Dan] How much it costs to get in front of people on Facebook and Instagram, in terms of, like CPMs, and I was just blown away. Like, it was like $10 to get in front of 1,000 people.

      - 1,000 people, yeah.

      - All right, here we are. Another episode of More Than Marketing. I'm the host, Arsham Mirshah. Today, I'm joined by Dan Lesniak. Did I pronounce that right?

      - [Dan] You did! Thank you.

      - Lesniak, my pleasure. Dan, thank you so much for joining me. This is, this is awesome. You're billion-dollar real estate agent, I assume that means you, you know, sold a billion dollars of real estate, yeah, your group?

      - [Dan] Yeah. We've hit a few billion actually now.

      - A few billion now, that's so cool. I love that. Best-selling author of The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent, How To dominate Your Real Estate Market In Under A Year. That's pretty dang compelling... Title, if you ask me, especially if you're a real estate agent or an aspiring one. And then, 13 marathons and five iron mans? Is that the right numbers?

      - [Dan] Yeah.

      - [Dan] Yeah, that's, that is. I don't know why I did that, but

      - How do you find the time?

      - [Dan] It's just eliminate things that... Don't serve your goals, don't serve your vision, and, you know, there's, people have got time everywhere, like-

      - I agree.

      - [Dan] Average American, I think, is four or five hours a day on social media on TV so.

      - So you're using that time more wisely, definitely. So that's a feat in, in and of itself, and then U.S. Navy, before all the real estate, so thanks for your service, my man.

      - [Dan] Thank you.

      - And then Dan, just wanted to hear from you. Maybe tell us a little bit more what didn't I cover in the intro? Because my understanding is, well, yeah. Go ahead. You tell me. My understanding is, you know, you use social media, and that's what I want to cover, digital marketing, social media, to dominate your real estate market, and I really want to dig into that, today. But tell me about yourself in your own words.

      - [Dan] Sure. Yeah, I'll try to give you the quick version of how I got into real estate. You know, this was never something I thought I would be when I grew up or that I went to school with. I sorta grew up in that paradigm where my parents raised me to this belief that if you work hard in school, you can get into the next school. And if you work hard at that one, you go to the next one. And then you get a good job, and if you work hard there, you can go to another one, or maybe back to school and, you know, it all worked really well for me until it didn't. Like you said, I did the Naval Academy, went to the Navy. I got my Master's in Business Administration, MBA at Georgetown. I thought I would get out, go look for a big strategy consulting firm. At the time, I had just a government contracting job that was okay, but it just wasn't super exciting for me. And I wanted something else. That's why I got my MBA, and I thought I would go be a strategy consultant for McKinsey or BCG. This was back in 2010 and 2011. They all, all rejected me, said, "No, you think you're, "You know how to do it, but we don't, "We don't think you have the sales acumen "for what we're looking for." So, they recommended that I go out and get a different kind of experience. So I decided to get my real estate license, 'cause I had bought and sold a few homes before, had invested in a bunch while I was in the Navy, and I knew a little bit about that. So I got my license, I still had my job, my government contracting job, which was just one of those kind of steady, put your 42 hours in, 45 hours in, and.

      - Right.

      - So, I found ways to start in real estate while I was doing that, and that.

      - It was a side hustle. Right?

      - It wasn't a side hustle for very long. It took off quickly. The next thing you knew, I looked up, and I was like, "Wow! I have more commissions coming in "this quarter than I'm gonna make the entire year. "I should probably just quit my job and only.

      - Wow!

      - So, that's what I did. And, you know, the reason really, and I wrote about this in the book,

      - Yeah.

      - [Dan] The reason I, I picked a very hyper-local, hyper-focused strategy in local, You know, hyper-local for me doesn't necessarily mean geographic, but it's the first thing everyone thinks of. But,

      - It is, yeah.

      - But I was forced into that strategy because of my work. So, I didn't have time to go everywhere. I wasn't gonna call all my friends and family, and ask them for deals. Because they knew me as a government contractor guy.

      - Not the real estate agent, yeah, sure.

      - So I started marketing to my building that I lived in, my condo building in Arlington, 180 units or so. It was about five years old, so it was just coming up for sale where unit owners would turn over. I just focused on those 180 people to start. And I got people wanting to sell, upgrade within the building, buying the building, selling the building, or move outs in adjacent areas and I just kind of spread out from there. And I ended up that first year, I got over half of the market share in that one building.

      - Wow!

      - I did like $12 million in that building alone, and about $10 million in adjacent buildings, and it was all because I went through this simple process, I call it STP: segmentation, targeting, and positioning. You know, a lot of people, no matter what business they're in, they're just unintentional about how they how they start, they don't have a target market and they don't have a position, right? A value proposition that they can communicate to them,

      - [Dan] So I understand, we all adapt to it, it works fast.

      - So, talk about, I mean, that's, you said hyper-local. It doesn't get any more local than your apartment building that you're living in, right? I mean, literally, your next door neighbor is your target market, and you It seems like you recognized that, you knocked on the door, and was like, "Hey, look, I know that the timing is such, "and I live here, so I know this market, "and I can help you." Is that, that right?

      - [Dan] Yeah, that was kind of. I mean, yeah, that was it really. It was pretty darn simple. And it doesn't have to be a geographic area though. If you love boaters, you could focus on waterfront properties, or golfers focus on golf communittees. If you used to be an accountant, you could focus on them. Just taking the time upfront to decide which segment market, which segment of the market you want to try and do business with, and then try and come up with a value proposition.

      - Yeah. So, I understand. I understand segment, right? That's like, "who's your niche?" I understand position. That's like how it goes to value prop rate. Talking about targeting. Like what is the target-?

      - Targeting is... That's just which segment you're going to target, so segment, kind of like how you chop up the market. You know, how you chop it up in the... The bits and pieces, and the target is okay, which piece do you want to go after? Because if you,

      - [Dan] If you try to go after the whole market, you're not gonna make enough noise, right? So you gotta-

      - You're everything to everyone at that point.

      - [Dan] Yeah.

      - Yeah. I gotcha. Well, I really want to know, because so I, I get and I like this, very wise, kind of going after, in your case, hyperlocal being your apartment building to start. But then, what about this transformation to digital? I watched this, this clip where, Gary Vee, you were in the audience. You were talking to him, and what you say? You said something like you guys cut some $15,000 a month in direct mail, put it all on Instagram and Facebook. I'm very interested to know how that came to be, how, you know, so many questions, Dan. First off, when you decide to do that? How'd you decide to do that? How'd you learn digital? Did you use an agency? I got so many questions for you, man. Can you talk to me on that?

      - [Dan] Sure. So... I describe my first year previously, which was 2012, kind of fast-forward six years later. By that time, I had met my wife. She was in real estate. We combined, grew this kind of dual-headed team, and last summer, we met with Gary Vee at an event in D.C. and at the time, we were doing a little over $200 million in volume, and we were on pace to do that again last year.

      - [Dan] And he was just such a clarity when, put it in perspective to me how much it costs to get in front of people on Facebook and Instagram in terms of like CPMs, right? And I was just blown away. Like, it was like $10 to get in front of 1,000 people.

      - 1,000 people, yeah.

      - [Dan] 1,000 post cards cost me $500. And he told a story at this conference about how he gets upset when he looks at Wikipedia and sees the line that he took his family wine business from $3 million to $60 million because at the time, a lot of that happened because of Google PPC. He said, "Look, had I gone all in on it "instead of just 20% or so," right? I would've done $250 million.

      - Or $600 million instead of $60 or whatever, right.

      - And then he said, "within a few years, "Google PPC got up to be 80, 100," whatever it was for CPM. Yeah, and he said, "Look, at some point, "I don't know if it's in a year, two years, five years, "that will happen to Facebook and Instagram." Then, we met with them for after that event for about half an hour. I had a private meeting with him, which was cool, And I walked away and told Keri like, "Look, we need to cut direct mail." And I think we're, at the time, we were spending 15, $20,000. You know, we just went out and started. We hired videographers, we hired more people on our marketing team to do social media. I started making ads, and pumping out a lot more content. Six months later, we met up with Gary Vee at another conference he was at in Miami. That might've been the clip you saw but he, he had me tell a story

      - Yeah, I think so.

      - In front of the whole audience, which was pretty cool, but normally December, so we met with him in the end of August the first time, made those changes within a month. First two months, not much happened. But by December, these people are like, "Man, we see you everywhere," Normally in December, we'll close at about 20, 22 deals, that's what we did the last two years. We closed like 88, it was our highest month ever.

      - Wow, like 4x.

      - [Dan] Yeah.

      - So, how does this translate from digital to 4x more in sales? Because, first off, in that clip, you mention, like, for first two months of doing digital, Facebook, Instagram, whatever you were doing, you weren't seeing the traction. Gary's like, "Oh, that's where most people quit." Sounds like you didn't quit. You kept with it. I can relate to that as an agency owner. I can tell you we have a lot of clients who... And I get it, sometimes like, There's impatience of sorts, and a lot of times like Google and Facebook, they're algorithms, their machine learning, it takes data, it takes time for that to work for it to find your target audience and hit them at the right time, right? But how did that, in real estate, I watched some of your stuff. I think it's pretty cool. You guys go around to like the barbershop or the restaurant. You know, do some video... And tell your audience on Facebook and Instagram what this local business is all about. I love that! How does that actually then turn into business for you though? Do people reach out? Do they know that you're, they know that you're a real estate agent, and they reach out like, "Hey, I'm trying to sell my house, or buy," or what?

      - [Dan] I mean we do a mix of other strategies but we're, we've sort of mixed what I would call Gary Vee's strategy and Grant Cardone's. So, Gary's more into the branding and into the long-term, and Grant's more into the sales. And I think both can do both. But... We've got a mix of those videos that you described that are just highlighting local businesses, and that's just those people put it to their audience. We put paid money behind it as well. It gets people in the community recognizing us, gets them knowing who we are. And yeah, we're talking about the barbershop. But, we're using a branded microphone. It's got our name on it, so it's kind of like elegantly mentioning it. And then we'll also do a mix of ads that are, "Buy House Now," right, or something.

      - And you're targeting that same, You're targeting the audience that is, you know, interacting with your videos, right? So, if you see, you're putting the video out there. Okay, get some impressions. You know, there's a reach. there's impressions. You get some frequency. But the people who maybe comment, or maybe like, maybe you target them, and with a down-funnel ad, is that true, yeah?

      - [Dan] Yeah. Yeah. So if they watch our general, non-salesy video, then we'll create a retargeting audience in Facebook, and then go more direct sales with that ad, right? And we'll retarget our website visitors now. We'll do custom audiences of all our past clients, and then we'll use lookalikes so we've.

      - Brilliant. This guy's true digital marketer. He goes, "Custom audience and lookalike on that." That's one of my favorite strategies in VDC. Or high volume PDP, one of my favorite things to do. Because that's leveraging the power of these, the two big ad platforms, Google and Facebook. They got A.I. and machine learning, you know, to the hills. They're leading that charge and they're using it for ads. What you just mentioned is a brilliant strategy, and it works. So, kudos, man. Kudos. So, that's your, So it sounds like, kind of more... It is a mix of what you said. It's a mix of that branding. It's like, "Hey, I'm seeing these folks, "and they're doing me a service. "They're adding value to my day." And then, also, you'll hit them with the ask, with the Gary Vee right hook after all those jabs, right? And I love that. I have this saying, and I want to see if you agree with it. Very simply put. In social media, there's two pillars of social media. One is you have to be active. If you're not there, if you're not on it, you're not, 80% of the battle is showing up. You gotta be active. You gotta be there. You gotta be commenting. You gotta be liking stuff. You gotta be putting stuff out. But just putting stuff out, or saying "Nice" in the comment, or hitting like, that's not enough. The second pillar is adding value. And I think that's something that you and your team are doing really well. You're going around and you're highlighting these local businesses, as for that one example, that one strategy, and that adds value to them, because it gets them exposure, right? And then it tells the community, "Hey, this is here. "This is what they're all about. "Here are their values. Come check them out." So you're doing it, man. You're doing the, you're adding value, and you're super active on it, and I think because you are hitting those two pillars, you're seeing the results. True or false?

      - [Dan] I agree 100%.

      - That's awesome, man. What other, like, strategies or... Like how are you expanding this? How are you, right, because you gotta take it beyond yourself. I know you wrote a book. And I think it seems like you're, you've shifted maybe from real estate to training real estate agents, is that true?

      - [Dan] We do both.

      - We're growing our team, getting more people, recruiting more agents from social media has helped a ton. Last year, we had about 20 or so agents. Now, we're up to 50, so we've doubled. Doubled band, we're gonna keep adding. And we also started a coaching company called HyperFast Agent. We coach agents all over the world now. We've got about 160 people that are doing our monthly program. We've actually, We're putting on a digital summit right now that I think over 2,000 people are signed up for. There's a lot of work there as well.

      - That's awesome. That's good for you, man. It sounds like you, your digital strategies also helped you recruit.

      - [Dan] It has, yes. So, I know a lot of real estate agents don't like to... hire people that aren't in commission roles, but having this big marketing team and digital team is allowing us to do multiple, different things. So, it's helped with getting more buyers and sellers. It's helping with getting more agents. It's helping our coaching company. I'm sure we'll probably leverage it into other things down the road as well.

      - I'm sure as well. What advice do you have to like, you know, maybe a digital marketer or a real estate agent, if that's easier, who's just starting out, because it sounds like you know you have, you said you hired some videographers and what have you, so I don't, if I'm a real estate agent just starting out, I don't have that, right? So how do I get started? What's my, you know? What's my first step, second step?

      - I think using video more and you don't have to be expensive like the quality on the iPhone is more than enough especially if you get a stabilizer, which most of those stabilizers are like $150 at most. You know, you can get the, I use the DJI Osmo Pocket a lot because they're very, very small and convenient, but you can even get your own camera and put a monopod on it, use that as a selfie stick, right? That's only gonna be like $1000 in the setup, so it's not super cost-prohibited. I think the key is to do. Just make a lot of content, make a lot of different ads. I think, you know, I use Facebook ads library a lot to scope out my competitors, and just big guys, what they're doing and the one thing I notice is that and we were probably guilty of this for years where you kind of just using, thinking of social media as like the check in the box like, "Yeah, I have a Facebook page," or "I have a YouTube channel." If you never run ads, or you just make one ad and run it for six months, it's not gonna work, fucking stupid thing. And so I think if you're just starting out there's a huge opportunity and just, Make content every day. Test new ads. The person that can make more and quicker, which sometimes if it's just you, it's gonna be faster because there's no one else to do it. A couple things a day. Eventually, some of it will be good, and you'll win because you have more bats. They just execute fast.

      - Yeah. Miss 100% of the shots you don't take. And I agree with you. You can, the iPhone cameras like more than good enough. Facebook makes it easy with their ad library and their stock photos, for example. It's easy to get started. You don't need a designer necessarily. And then, the hyperlocal, just walk out of your building and start going to local businesses for wanting to use your example, or talk about, I saw this one, one of my friends went into real estate. He does a weekly real estate update for the county that we're in. And he talks about the median, home prices, and, you know... Is it a seller's market, buyer's market? And he just gives that update. I'm not in the market to buy or sell a house in my community, but I still watch it because I'm like, "Oh, cool." Information, and it's like two minutes long, you know? And I feel informed so that when it comes time, who am I gonna go to?

      - Yeah, I mean, if they see you interviewing all the businesses in the area and you're just running ads to that zip code.

      - [Arsham] And then, on that targeting, is that how you started? This is probably, you started with just like, I guess on Facebook, you can do interest targeting, right? I wonder if you did any of that to begin with, or you just did, "hey, it's the zip code. "Show it to everyone." Maybe in age because 18 year olds aren't buying a house.

      - [Dan] I mean, it's so cheap, and I'll just do the entire zip code. For general, top of the funnel, kind of branding videos. And as they watch it, I'll start to make specific audiences And get ads in front of people that watched the first video.

      - You know, major takeaway. I'm grabbing, and I gotta wrap up for time-sake, Dan, is that you said, and it was in reference to the Gary Vee, Gary has this experience where he's using PPC Google ads. He wishes he went all in then when it was less expensive. And then now it's more expensive, the cost for clicks have gone up. It's become maybe saturated, maybe more competitive, whatever the word you want to use. But Facebook and Instagram is still kind of in the earlier days. So it's funny. You said the CPM, so the cost per thousand impressions on Facebook, is $10 for your zip code, whereas if you were to send 1,000 post cards, it was like $500, right? So 50 times more expensive. Now 50 times more expensive, and one thing, if I can add to that, you're sending a post card, which is a flyer. Easy for them to kind of chuck away. You can't get a big message across on that. So the content is like not as rich as for 50 times less, you can deliver a video to someone. Right? Like that's amazing.

      - And you can add on it because you know, you know who watched it, who didn't.

      - And you get data on it, yes! And you get the tracking and you can then target the people who engage with them versus not. So, I love it, man. I love it. I love it. Hey, Dan, anything else you want to add to this? Or we can go on forever, but anything from your book or anything you wanna toss out there?

      - [Dan] No, I mean, if you guys want to get the book, I do have a deal where you can get it for free at hyperfastfreebook.com, so you just have to pay the shipping. So, if you guys wanna check that out, it's hyperfastfreebook.com

      - Hyperfastfreebook.com. I'll put that in the description, and share with my buddies who are, couple of them who are going into real estate, or have gone into it recently. I can think of three people actually off the top of my head. So yeah, definitely getting that out there. Dan, keep kicking butt, taking names, man. It's a pleasure meeting you. Thank you for your time. For all y'all out there, like, subscribe, share this with a friend, and we'll see you next time. Cheers.

      Click here for the full post

      The straightforward, A-to-Z Google Display Ads guide

      Not familiar with the Google Display Network (GDN)? You’re in luck. This article is a Google Display ads guide for beginners. You’ll learn how to set up and target advertising and plan an effective display marketing strategy.

      What is display advertising?

      Before we get ahead of ourselves, what exactly is display advertising?

      Well, it’s simple. Display advertising is just ads that show on the websites or apps that your audience is likely to frequent. You’ve more than likely already seen display ads in action. For example, you’ve been on a content website, and you’ve seen a banner ad up in the header or a square banner in the sidebar—that’s display advertising.

      Display ad formats can be static (non-moving), animated visual ads, or text. Text ads are somewhat of a misnomer since people think that text ads are just for search, but you can actually run text ads on a display network as well.

      Get The Definitive Guide to Crafting Effective Display Ads That Win the Click

      Where do display ads show?

      There are two types of Google Display Network targeting:

      • Content targeting focuses on where you want your ads to show.
      • Audience targeting focuses on the people you want your ads to reach.

      Let’s look at each of these in turn.

      Content targeting

      Concerning content targeting, there are three different mechanisms in place that allow us to define where our display ads will show:

      1. Keywords. Display keyword targeting lets you specify a list of keywords around a topic(for example, auto insurance). Google Ads will then find relevant websites that include your auto insurance keyword, as well as relevant audiences interested in the keyword.
      2. Topics. Topics are another targeting option. In this approach, Google gives you a list of topics based on the subject or theme of the website where your ads will show. So, what’s essentially happening here is that Google is looking at every site in its inventory and slotting them into particular categories that advertisers can then target accordingly.
      3. Placements. Placements allow us to list specific websites where we want our ads to show. So if you wanted your baseball ads to run specifically on MLB.com, provided that Google has the site in its inventory, the ad would be eligible to show there.

      Audience targeting

      With audience targeting, you’re focusing on the people who will view your ads and not on the content of your ads.  Like with content targeting, audience targeting can be broken down into sub-groups:

      1. Affinity audiences. This targeting is for reaching groups of people based on their long-term interests. So, if I’ve been searching for entertainment news or celebrities over six months, Google discerns that this is habitual behavior for me and puts me in an audience with an affinity for entertainment.
      2. Intent audiences. Intent audiences are consumers that are actively researching products. With intent audiences, there may be a more narrow timeframe. So let’s say that I’ve been reading entertainment websites over a longer period, but recently, over the last week, I’ve been comparing different vacation packages. Google would then put me in the entertainment affinity bucket because of my long-term interest and the travel intent audience because I’m showing recent interest in going on vacation. Intent-style audiences tend to work better for B2B clients because these are the consumers that are closer to purchasing; they’re further down the funnel.
      3. Previous site visitors. This segues right into remarketing since you want to recapture those people, and that’s a huge part of display advertising.

      A common question that people often have is whether Intent audiences ever align with Affinity. Google Analytics and Google Ads are Google products; you can absolutely log into your Google Analytics account and see the reporting. Naturally, you can then use that information you’ve gleaned to determine not only who your current audience is but also whether those people are showing a certain affinity or intent, as well as which ad is getting more attention and conversions. So intent audiences and affinity definitely interplay with each other.

      Understanding remarketing

      You’ve probably seen remarketing in action if you’ve ever visited a site or seen a product and noticed that no matter where you go on the internet, it seems like the product is following you.

      Just like with other types of display advertising, if users visit your site but don’t convert, they can go into a bucket, and you can serve them remarketing ads on other sites or apps that they subsequently visit. What’s great about this method is that these people have already indicated that they have some interest in your product, so your goal would then be to get them closer to a sale.

      Personalized remarketing is particularly important when you have several products or are providing several services. Going back to our insurance example, if you offer auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and renter’s insurance, and you wanted to create a remarketing campaign, you wouldn’t want to send people to a generic landing page about all of those different types of insurance you offer. That’s because they are interested in only one type of insurance.

      As a better alternative, you could create a remarketing campaign with more targeted display ads and focus on only the users that have visited the auto insurance section of the site. This also allows you to show the user ad creative that focuses solely on auto insurance. In short, it gives them the best possible user experience, tailored to their interests and needs.

      Setting up a retargeting campaign

      You can easily create a remarketing campaign within Google Analytics. The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that you target people who only view certain pages, or even certain sections within the page. This way, you’ll be able to define specific criteria like this: “I don’t want to target clients that just visit Page A; I want to target those that visit Page A and section B of that page.”

      If there are pages within a site that don’t contain a keyword, you can also set up additional conditions. This customization allows you to narrow down your audience even more precisely. You can then give that custom audience a name and even target those who visited during a specific timeframe, like within the last 30 or 180 days or anything in between.

      Now you’ve got an audience. The next step is to target your remarketing audience within a display advertising campaign. When you go through this process and select a goal, Google is going to try to customize your campaign for you, but you can (and should) set this up for yourself.

      Tying together your campaign and custom audience

      When setting up your remarketing campaign, you’ll notice that you can target the custom audience that you just set up. Even outside of remarketing, there are other types of audiences you can target that Google Analytics provides you by default. You can go back to affinity audiences or intent audiences based on whether people are doing active research for the short term or showing long-term browsing habits.

      Over the years, Google has gotten increasingly specific with its targeting options. So in the past, you may have just been limited to a broad, overarching category, like “Food and Dining,” whereas now you can specially tailor your targeting to “Cooking Enthusiasts” or “Fast Food,” for example.

      Keep audience groups separate for better performance

      One thing you don’t want to do is mix your audiences and campaigns. Keep your targeting separate, whether it’s an independent campaign or ad group. You can absolutely have an affinity bucket and an intent bucket, and you should since this lets you evaluate the performance of different groups or campaigns independently.

      Targeting with demographics

      Another important point to keep in mind with display ads is demographic targeting. Inside every campaign, you can select certain demographic features ranging from age and gender to parental status and income. Some targeting options may not be available yet depending on the countries you’re targeting. Google is working on rolling out these features to more and more places.

      Making sure your campaign is performing well

      Once you’ve got your audience targeted, your ad type selected, your actual creative imported, and everything optimized, how can you be sure that the campaign is performing the way you want it to?

      Fortunately, display advertising isn’t that much different than any other type of digital marketing campaign. Like with other types of campaigns, you’re going to want to look at both your bids and your budget: allocating most of your budget to the targeting mechanisms that are converting the best at the lowest possible bid. That means looking at things like CPA, click-through and conversion rates, CPCs, and so on.

      Measuring performance is also another reason why you want to keep the campaign types separate since you can look at each targeting mechanism individually and be able to make decisions independently of each other without bucketing everything together.

      The importance of blocking websites

      Blocking is unique to display advertising and an important part of setting up a campaign. Within Google, you can pull a report that shows a long list of where your ads were actually displayed, sorted by clicks, impressions, cost, and performance.

      Why does this matter? If you dig a little deeper, you may find that the websites you show on don’t fall within the interest you selected after you’ve collected enough data. There could also be websites that do align with what you’re targeting, but maybe they’re not bringing any conversions. That’s where negating placements come in.

      At least once a week, you should go through that list and block websites that are irrelevant, that aren’t performing, or both. Google does a pretty good job of targeting things for you, but there are always going to be some outliers. That’s why it’s a good idea to weed out placements that aren’t working for you so that you can concentrate on those that are.

      The final word on understanding Google Display Network targeting strategy

      When you’re creating a display ad campaign, always remember that you’re going to want to capitalize on non-converting visitors. You know they have some level of interest, so it’s a good idea to build separate remarketing campaigns that are created for each product or service and then apply them to separate audiences. This separation allows you to narrow down your audiences and target them separately, with different approaches to see what performs best.

      Remarketing done right is going to give them the best possible user experience and, in turn, the best performance for you. It’s perfectly acceptable (and recommended) to start small in terms of testing relevant affinity and intent because it lets you see what’s working and what isn’t. Then, once you have enough data and experience, you can build from there.

      In addition, remember that Google has a Display Planner that works like its Keyword Planner, so you can try out different configurations as well as keyword and topic ideas to forecast results. Give it a try, test out different things, keep what’s working, and don’t hesitate to get rid of what isn’t.

      Now it’s your turn…

      Get The Definitive Guide to Crafting Effective Display Ads That Win the Click

      Hopefully, this Google Display ads guide has helped you gain a better understanding of the Display Network and some of its nuances. Have you used display advertising yet, or do you plan to do so in the future? Let me how it worked out for you in the comments, and share your success stories!

      Click here for the full post

      How to write B2B emails that actually win new customers

      Email is one of the oldest marketing tools available within the digital landscape, and it still remains (by far) one of the cheapest ways to generate and nurture leads. In fact, email boasts an insane return on investment (ROI) of roughly 40:1. So if you’re not using this channel to drive revenue, you almost certainly should be.

      And in the world of SaaS email marketing, you’ve got rich user data living right inside your product that you can use to uncover even better opportunities to drive your email marketing strategy. It pays off to integrate that product data with your marketing data—the benefits easily outweigh the time and effort required to do so.

      But where do you start? And if you’ve already started, how do you improve performance? Have no fear, friend, because this guide will teach you how to write B2B emails effectively and answer all of your questions!

      The many benefits of email

      Unless you’re spamming people, you have very little to lose—and potentially a lot to gain—from incorporating email into your marketing strategy.

      It’s personal. We marketers get to know our prospects and customers very well by collecting lots of information about how they engage with our brands. Thoughtfully applying that information to personalize the email experience gives you a much better shot at getting in front of the right people at the right time. And that leads to new business and upsells.

      It’s scalable. There’s an expression we love around here at WebMechanix: With marketing automation, you can have your cake and have robots feed it to you. You can send the same personal email to one person or to one million people. Of course, you have to be careful about how you segment the recipient groups (more on segmentation later). But as long as you’re diligent about whom you’re emailing, the how is pretty much a constant. It’s all about making your marketing automation and CRM platforms do the heavy lifting.

      It’s trackable. Perhaps my very favorite thing about email as a marketing channel is that it’s super simple to understand its performance. If folks are interested in what you have to say, they will engage. And your platform will instantly give you clear reporting that you can use to help shape future messaging and strategy, not only for email but also for other channels.

      Now, before we jump into the nuts and bolts, let’s look at some quick tips for reinforcing your brand with email.

      Set the tone for your brand

      Sure, a new contact or existing customer has almost certainly seen your website and possibly some other assets to establish some familiarity with your brand. Email is generally a more personal interaction since we marketers are actively reaching out to individual people—even if we’re sending out one email to a larger group. And because email is an interruptive marketing tactic, how you use this channel will tell your contacts a lot about your brand. Here are some tips for leaving a good impression.

      Be valuable

      Your leads and customers want to know more about what they’re actually interested in. When you’re emailing them, be educational, not overly promotional—especially about what you’re selling. For example, if you’re in SaaS, it’s unlikely that your prospects will be interested in all the effort that went into developing your platform. Instead, they’ll want to know how this is going to change their lives. Is your software going to help them earn more? Convert leads at a lower cost? Be sure to communicate those benefits.

      Be consistent

      Most companies have lots of people sending emails on your behalf between marketing, sales, and service teams. It’s always a good idea to have some sort of centralized process to ensure that messages are at least generally aligned with how you’d like your brand and products to be positioned. The size of your company usually dictates the amount of alignment required—the more employees and departments you have, the more effort it will take to ensure that you’re all on the same page.

      Be respectful

      Most people are pretty busy. We’re bombarded daily with thousands of marketing messages in the form of digital and print ads, social media posts, commercials, and, of course, emails. So don’t hit up the inbox more than you need to. Additionally, try to make sure that messages sent by your sales team aren’t overlapping with emails sent by marketing and vice versa.

      And don’t ever send email campaigns at odd hours. While you may be burning the midnight oil, your contacts likely won’t enjoy hearing from you when they’re trying to wind down after a long day so they can spend time with their family. You can always schedule your campaigns for a specific day and time when you know your prospects are going to pay attention to your messages.

      One really important consideration of any email strategy is cadence, or the number and timing of emails. Some companies send out lots (and lots) of short email messages and manage to keep engagement high. Their cadence might be every other day at 10 am. Some cold email strategies rely on getting a large number of impressions, so they spam you to death to get precious few positive responses. Those senders are almost always breaking laws and clearly demonstrating a lack of respect for recipients’ time.

      vOn the other hand, some folks prefer to minimize frequency but send longer emails. If you’re pursuing an aggressive cadence, keep a close eye on the story your engagement data is telling you. It may seem like an aggressive strategy “works” for your business, but you’re most likely annoying your nonresponders to the point of never, ever wanting to buy from you.

      Info

      Pro Tip: Set up sending frequency caps to prevent excessive overlap between your nurture campaigns and promotional email blasts.

      The anatomy of a great marketing email

      Pretty or plain?

      It’s commonly accepted that B2C emails should be “pretty” and B2B emails should be “plain." The truth is that there are many factors that go into the look and feel of your email, like purpose, audience, tone, and your call to action (CTA).

      For example, if you’re sending a campaign that’s attempting to make 1:1 contact between, say, a salesperson and a lead to book a meeting, it should probably feel like someone wrote the email directly from their inbox. That is, the email should be very simple: dark text, white background, short and sweet. On the other hand, if you’re sending a newsletter or unveiling a new feature or service, you may want to punch up the pizzaz. Go for color and images with clear CTAs.

      Your design choice is a great area to do some split testing to see whether pretty or plain emails work best for your brand.

      From name

      It’s all in the name, right? Emails from real people feel infinitely more personal. Be sure to send your emails from a real person’s address within your company. Ideally, that employee should be someone the recipient knows [of] or would like to hear from, like someone from the C-level or their account manager. Consistency is important, too—pick one name to send the bulk of your emails.

      From address

      This should also feel personal. No one likes getting emails from [email protected]. If you’re worried about using your CEO’s real email address, you can always use a different, dedicated address so she doesn’t get flooded with hundreds of out-of-office replies. One little cheat I like is to create an email address that sounds like it’s really the sender’s email address but is actually a distribution list.

      So if your CEO’s name is Sarah Smith and her real email address is [email protected], you could create an account for [email protected] that’s either a distribution list for your sales team, goes to an operations person, or whatever else is clever.

      Subject line

      Well, this is nearly the most important part of your brilliant email. A lot has been written about what’s considered “good” when it comes to email subject lines. But to really find what works, you’ll need to get creative and split test. At a company I previously worked for, I meta-analyzed subject lines and found that ones beginning with a verb were getting substantially higher opens than ones that didn’t. In fact, one of the best performing subject lines I’ve sent at WebMechanix was simply “Looking Forward.”

      Each audience is different. Sometimes, even within one company, you may have unique personas that require totally different messaging. Try a few broad approaches and see what works best to guide your strategy.

      Preheader

      This element goes by a few names. Maybe you know it as a preview, teaser, or even a Johnson box. It’s the snippet that shows up alongside the subject line in an inbox. Think of it like an ad for your email that further entices the recipient to open. It should be both interesting and relevant to the email’s subject. Many email marketers, myself included, think of the preheader as an extension of the subject line. Here’s an example from The Honest Company:

      Subject line: Treat Yourself to a Free Gift
      Preheader: While supplies last, you can get a free Halloween tote with any bundle…

      In this example, the preheader is supporting the subject line by giving the recipient more information about the offer. Personally, I’d use a different subject line to stand out a bit, like “We Have A Special Gift for You." That version plays on the law of reciprocity by insinuating instead that the company has something to give rather than the recipient having to take action to get their freebie (“Gift for You” versus “Treat Yourself”). Nonetheless, the subject line and preheader play well together.

      Content

      Well, well, well… Here we are at the heart of the matter. If all went well, your recipient recognized the name and address of the sender, became interested in the subject line, found the preheader intriguing, and landed you that Almighty Open. Each of those actions is called a micro-conversion, and many consecutive micro-conversions lead to the macro-conversion or primary CTA. And here’s where your content gets to shine!

      When you’re writing email copy, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, you need to segment your audience. Let your audience—and, more importantly, what you know about them—guide the tone of your message. Are they already close to a monthly limit? How about whether they’ve viewed other products in the past?

      Bonus points: You can (and should) use your content as a testing ground for the messaging and tone of your products and services. Try swapping out a paragraph or set of bullet points and split test to see what resonates best. Email is very good at shining a light on the overachievers in the room—remember that people either open and click, or they don’t.

      And if you happen to send emails that are more visual than verbal, try a new style of artwork or change the design system to use a different color palette or font hierarchy. Try using pictures of people instead of pictures of your product or vice versa.

      CTA

      When it comes to how to write B2B emails, make it memorable, scannable, and make darn sure you have a clear CTA for recipients to engage with. If you’re going for a plain-text look in your emails, keep it to one or two links if you’re attempting to get a conversion. People don’t like friction in the decision-making process, and each additional link adds confusion about what to actually do. That said, adding more links is fine if you’re simply sharing information and not looking for recipients to take a specific action.

      Furthermore, the copy you use for your CTA also matters. Keep in mind that it’s a call to action, so it needs some direction. Check out these two examples:

      b2b email example
      B2B email example with different CTA

      The only difference in these two emails is the CTA. The second version is telling the recipient in clear, friendly language exactly what to do. Plus, it stands out visually for folks who scan email instead of reading it because more words were hyperlinked.

      If your approach relies on smart design over smart copy, there are a few things to remember when you’re developing the look and feel of your CTAs:

      1. Be sure your buttons are bulletproof, meaning that they don’t rely on images to render. Instead, use ordinary links styled with CSS to look like buttons. Check out the section below on email rendering for more details.
      2. Make sure the full button area is able to be clicked and tapped. Oftentimes, senders will simply link the button text rather than the full button. Consider your user experience and make sure your buttons look and work just like they would on a webpage.
      3. If you’re using multiple CTAs, be sure to give the most important one the weight it deserves. Place that primary CTA as high up in the email as it makes sense, and use the boldest colors available in your palette.
      4. Be careful with red, though. The human eye has a different set of receptors for the color red, which is often associated with either pleasure/intimacy or danger. Thus, using it will most likely either give you a bump or dip in performance, depending on your goals and audience. As with most things in the digital world, nothing tells you the complete story like a good test :)

      Hopefully, these B2B email marketing tips have been helpful. What is your biggest struggle when it comes to how to email market effectively?

      Need help? Check out our B2B email marketing services.

      Click here for the full post

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