Top Marketing Posts from 2018

It is getting to that point in the year where we like to take a look back and take stock of how we did. In that spirit, we took a look at those blog posts and articles that were most popular with our readers in 2018. Below are the top 7 posts according to number of readers, in case you may have missed any of them:

  1. 5 Simple Steps to Effective Email Personalization

  2. What is the Paradox of Choice?

  3. 25 Cognitive Biases Marketers Can Use to their Advantage

  4. 7 Ways to Make Your Business More Competitive Today

  5. Google’s Mobile-First Indexing and How It Impacts SEO

  6. How SEO and SEM Work Together

  7. Why You Should Send Your Next Promotion Email at Midnight

Thanks for reading!

Use Your Products

Yesterday, I challenged marketers to use their company’s website. Today, we move on to the products.

In writing this I’m reminded of an old commercial for Hair Club for Men. “Not only am I the president, I’m also a client.”

Why does that matter? Because it shows potential customers that the person pitching the product truly believes in it.

Often, we end up marketing products we don’t ever use. And while using the product is not a requirement, it certainly makes marketing them easier.

And so I challenge all marketers to become customers of their own company. Purchase the product (hopefully your company will reimburse you) so you can experience the whole process, from sale to delivery to use.

Along the way, you’re likely to take note of a few things you can change to improve the overall user experience. Maybe it’s the packaging or shipping method. Maybe it’s a missing feature or something that negatively effects the usability of the product.

Only when you experience your product in the same way that a customer does can you truly find the right messaging. Because you’ll be talking to them the way you’d like to be talked to if you were in their shoes.

Use Your Website

Too often, as marketers we are ignorant of real problems that consumers are having.

We spend our time focusing on new projects. What products can we launch? What new advertising channels can we test? How should we follow up with all those leads we got?

That’s the fun stuff. That’s what we like doing.

But we never take the customer’s point of view. If we did, we would quickly identify some simple things that would make their experience a whole lot better.

Today, I challenge all marketers to use their company’s website. Pretend for a second that you’ve never seen the site before, that you are your potential customer, trying to solve the same problem they are having.

This can be difficult to do, so be honest with yourself. Try to experience the website like you don’t know where everything is already. Chances are, if you are able to do this correctly, you will find at least one thing (probably more than one) that needs to change right away.

Either a form is functioning correctly, or a page is missing, or a link is wrong, etc.

No website is perfect. That is why many large companies employ people whose job it is to constantly test the website for quality assurance, looking at analytics and traffic patterns and user behavior to make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to.

Chances are you don’t have time to make this a top priority all the time. But at least once a month, you should use your website the way a customer would, and make the necessary changes to improve the user experience.

Note: I use a tool called Mouseflow, which records real user visits to the website and lets you watch them. This is a great way to learn how your users are actually interacting with the site, and whether or not it varies from how you expect or intend them to.

The Case for Lifetime Value as Your Top Priority

In many companies, marketers and business leaders spend the majority of time talking about how to get new customers. Where can we find new prospects? How do we reach them? What offers will entice them?

But, we know from day 1 of most business-oriented classes and training that it is five times more expensive to attract new customers than to keep old ones.

So I want to make the case for lifetime value. It should be your first and highest priority.

Here’s why: if you’re not getting as much money as you can from each customer you acquire, then each additional new customer will come with lost opportunity.

Said in another way, if you maximize lifetime value, then each new customer will mean more revenue.


  • You spend all of your time focusing on finding new customers
  • Each new customer is worth $100 in revenue


  • You spend all of your time focusing on increasing lifetime value
  • You increase the revenue per customer by 20%


  • You go back to focusing on new customers
  • But now, each new customer is worth $120 in revenu

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

One of the easiest ways to generate ideas is also one that is most often forgotten or ignored. For marketers in search of inspiration, all you have to do is look at what other companies are doing. Some of it will stink. Some of it will bore. But some of it will lead you to say, “Wow, what a great idea.”

Here’s a look at last week’s posts:

  1. Marketing Definitions: Leads
  2. Marketing Lists: Use it or Lose it
  3. Do You Trust Your Data?

Happy Saturday!

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