Sara Varni is the VP of Marketing of Desk.com, a Salesforce brand that serves as an all-in-one customer support app for fast growing companies. Desk.com has helped some of the hottest startups set up a customer service desk online in just a few hours. As VP of Marketing, Sara Varni oversees product marketing and messaging as well as campaigns.
A Quick Preview of the Podcast:
- How to test messaging in your marketing materials without split testing your whole website
- How to figure out who the person is that purchases your products/service
- Why you should be testing in isolated online channels
To See These Tactics In Action:
To See The Transcript:
Tim: Hey folks this is Tim Page coming at you live from Traffic and Conversion Summit this week. We’ve got a really special episode today and it’s all about getting your messaging right. So here’s the deal, getting your messaging right is about more than just knowing who will use your product. It’s also about knowing who will make the decision to buy your product. In putting forth lots of efforts to research that Sarah Varney and the team at Desk.com a salesforce brand were able to get some insane results from their marketing.
When an amazing company like Desk.com doubles their leads and decreases their bounce rate by 20%, you know they’re on to something. And that’s something that you should consider using in your own marketing efforts. I’m Tim Page, the conversion educator here at LeadPages and this is ConversionCast life from Traffic and Conversion Summit.
Welcome to ConversionCast, the only podcast that gets to the heart of the metrics. Now here’s another data driven case study.
Hey fellow marketer. The episode is coming right up but first don’t forget to join me for this Thursday’s LeadPages webinar. This is an all-new webinar for 2015 that’s going to show you how to turn your site into an evergreen lead generation machine without spending all of your time on marketing. It includes our four top list building strategies for the New Year. All you need to do to join is text LeadPages all one word to 38470. Again text LeadPages, that’s L-E-A-D-P-A-G-E-S all in one word to 38470 and you’ll be registered for the webinar. Oh, and if you’re outside the US, don’t worry, you can still join the webinar. Just go to ConversionCast.com/webinar. We’ll see you there and now here’s today’s guest. Hi Sarah, welcome to ConversionCast.
Sarah: Hey, Tim, thanks for having me it’s great to be here.
Tim: Yeah I’m happy to have you here. I’m really excited to have you here. We’re pumped about what you guys are doing over at desk and this is going to be fun. So before we get into anything else, I would love to hear what were the results from kind of this case study that we’re going to talk about today.
Sarah: Yeah so through the [0:02:05 indiscernible] that we’re about to talk about we’re able to decrease the bounce rate on our site approximately 20% and also able to increase our total lead volume by almost double.
Tim: Wow, I love that. So double the leads, decrease the bounce rate by 20% , which is you know, that’s a big deal, especially when you’re getting a lot of traffic and driving a lot of traffic. You know, to have people stick around and actually do something on the site makes a big impact. I love that. So can you tell us a little bit about Desk.com and kind of what you guys do over there and what it’s all about?
Sarah: Sure, absolutely. Desk.com is your all in one customer support app for a fast growing company. So a lot of our customers or some of the hottest start-ups here in the valley, companies like Bark Box, companies like rent the runway and they look to Desk to stand up for customer service app incredibly quickly often in a matter of hours.
Tim: That’s fantastic and what’s your role there?
Sarah: I am the CMO here at Desk.com so I oversee both the product marketing side of the house so how we message our product to our customers and enable our salespeople but then also the campaign side too. So how do we put that message out in the market and eventually drive leads.
Tim: Perfect. So you kind of get the overall picture and kind of help drive that ship.
Sarah: Yup. It’s a super fun and exciting role.
Tim: [Laughs] I love it. Good, well, you know, I think I just want to kind of hear what you did, you know, where you were when you started this kind of process and what drove you into doing what you did.
Sarah: Sure. So when I came over to desk about a year ago, I took at all of our messaging and one thing I found that we were doing was that or one thing that I wanted to test early on was to see if we were using the right message for our intended buyer. And looking at our messaging, we were really focused in the customer support world around an agent and we had a lot of messaging, which spoke to how you could become a hero on a customer service desk. Because let’s face it being a customer service rep, sometimes is a challenging role. You know you’re dealing with people who often are complaining about a product or have an issue with your service and so over time that can be a role where you don’t necessarily always get the glory.
And so a lot of our messaging , which you know, I think the intention there was good was around becoming a hero on a customer service desk. But the challenge that we found is that agent is not necessarily the person that’s engaging with a desk.com trial or eventually purchasing a product.
Sarah: And so we decided to restructure our approach and really talk to a small and medium sized business buyer. In a lot of cases our customers are the prospects that we’re talking to are wearing many different hats. You know, they’re not just the head of service, they’re also the CEO or they’re also the office manager that are wearing many different hats.
For them, there’s it’s all really about getting to results quickly. It’s about standing up a customer service desk super quickly. It’s about doing something, delivering service in a cost effective way. It’s about making their agents more productive. And we turned our messaging on its head and really started to hit home with some of those more bottom line metrics. How can you increase productivity, how can you reduce your case close time and really focusing on those messages helped bring in more prospects to our site and ultimately got them to convert at higher rates.
Tim: How did you come to the conclusion that that was you know, the right kind of customer to speak to? I mean was that through looking at analytics or was it just typically understanding you know, the customer that you have?
Sarah: Yeah. It was really a phase approach. I mean we are a very customer centric company. We are constantly –you know, desk is owned by Salesforce.com and we are a sales force. I’ve been at Salesforce. Although I’ve been at Desk for a year, I’ve been at Salesforce for eight and Salesforce is incredibly customer centric company. We are constantly talking to our customers, finding out what they like, what they don’t like and you know, our team applied that same theory to this project.
So we talked to existing customers to hear you know, what they love about desk the most and how desk helps them the most to really deliver amazing service. And then we went and tested it with you know, on the easiest way to kind of get these messages out quickly is through some of your pay channels so we were able to go test this on display advertising or retargeting and get some really quick info back to see what people were clicking on what they weren’t. And as we started to see patterns emerge, we were able to pool that into our broader messaging strategy and apply that to our website , which we redesigned in the latter half of the year.
Tim: See, I love this. So rather than go gangbusters and getting to all of your messaging on everything that you’re doing, you know your follow-up sequence, your website, all your messaging there, you tested it in kind of one aspect that gave you and immediate kind of feedback response through kind of your paid ads or retargeting that kind of stuff. And in doing that when you found that it was successful you took that and rolled it out into everything else you were doing?
Sarah: Yup, absolutely. And I think you know, and my advice to other people who are coming across to this challenge you can also yes, you know, display and retargeting and your online channels as your easy ways to kind of to get messages out and test them but you can also – you don’t have to wait to fully redesign your site to reimplement some of these changes. You know we were able to take some of the messaging that we were using in our paid channels and applied that to certain portions of our old site before we fully redesign the new site. So you don’t have to wait for the big overhaul to get that new messaging out. But I think just testing it in isolation, getting some really quick feedback and refining from there was really successful for us.
Tim: In that small kind of rollout that you’re talking about do you find that it creates any kind of confusion in the sense that you had this messaging before that was really tailored toward the customer service rep and then you decided to kind of move into the new messaging focusing on the decision maker? Do you find that because you still had some of the old messaging but you were marketing the new messaging, did that create any kind of confusion or was there really no you know, no major disconnect there?
Sarah: I mean I think it’s all about how you implement that test. You know, there’s great tools out there, tools like Optimizely that you can swap in banners right on your website and just get some quick feedback there. And you know I think it’s just getting may be a different slice of the audience before you’re fully rolling it out.
Tim: Yeah. That’s great. So it’s just split test it and see what’s working better. It doesn’t confuse the you know, the person who’s seeing the old messaging or the messaging you’ve been using doesn’t necessarily see the new messaging and then as you’re rolling it out, as you roll out the new website, the new marketing, you know you can be kind of doing that in phases.
Sarah: Right and I think you’re getting it different people in different stages too, right? If you’re testing it in a display yeah that’s someone that’s way higher up in the funnel than if you’re looking at someone who’s finally you know, who’s already made it to your site. So I think you get different insights from testing in different channels.
Tim: Yeah that’s such a good idea and in doing the strategy was there – were there any particular ways that you focused on in order to make sure that your messaging did speak to your kind of the target customer that you knew you wanted to speak to like were there – was it based on customer feedback that you used to make the messaging right or was it just did you just test that, you know, test kind of hypothesis and then go from there?
Sarah: Yeah I mean we started by talking with customers and then you know, and kind of in marketing 101 fashion we revised our personas around that feedback. And then where there’s personas we were able to build customer journeys throughout you know, our funnel and so we can say alright, you know, someone who is the CEO of a startup is interested in these three groupings of teachers and we want to make sure that they can easily take that journey and learn about all those different components of what Desk can deliver. So that was really our approach starting with the customer game feedback and then really thinking through that journey and making sure that they can get all the information they need to really make the right decision about Desk.
Tim: I love that and the only other thing I kind of want to know is you know now that you’ve done this and you’re kind of in your new, in your new phase here, is there anything that looking back you wish you had done a little bit differently in, in this process?
Sarah: I think you know, we tested for a long time. We tested for six months and I think you know, we had an idea of what was working and we had we rolled that out sooner we would have realized the results that we saw post redesign even sooner. But you know, hindsight is always 20/20. I think my web developer probably would have killed me if we had set up the timeline of or redesign any sooner. SO —
Sarah: –all in all we’re just super thrilled with you know, how everything has transformed and we just looked to continue to make even more customer successful at Desk.
Tim: Yeah that’s great and I think you know, there’s a lot to be said for taking the time that needs to be taken. You know, if nothing else, one of the things that we focused on here at LeadPages in terms of testing is it’s almost –you know, I think everybody focuses on testing to try to get better results. But there’s a lot to be said for testing to make sure that you’re not harming yourself and getting worse results by doing new things that you think are going to get a positive return. I think it seems like that was probably the smart way to go. Of course knowing now that it got you know, that it did work out, you know, you would go back and do it quicker but had you done that the results could have really harmed you. So I like the way that you did that and I appreciate you sharing that with us.
So I think that’s going to do it. Thank you so much Sarah for coming on the show and sharing this with us. I can’t wait for our audience to hear this.
Sarah: Yeah thanks so much. Thanks for having me Tim.
Tim: Thanks for listening to this episode of ConversionCast. If you liked what you heard here today, we have something awesome that we want to send you. Our amazing team has created a free reference guide for you with every single split test and piece of conversion data that we have access to here at ConversionCast. This free booklet is packed with incredible case studies and real metrics from real people to show you what’s really working across multiple industries right now. This is the kind of information you won’t find anywhere else. As one of our listeners, we want to give you a copy of this book absolutely free. You can get your copy right now by going to ConversionCastGift.com. Again that’s ConversionCastGift.com. Go there now and pick up your copy and we’ll see you next time.
Listen To Discover The Exact Strategy Desk.com Used To Immediately Double Their Leads