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The Ecommerce Marketing Blog

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Ask Us Anything: Q&A With Privy

By Lauren Shepherd
16 minute read

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We know that the end of Q4 can be a super hectic time of year, so we wanted to give our customers the chance to ask us anything that was on their mind and help them prepare for 2019 and beyond.

Whether you want a recap of the webinar, or you weren't able to to make the live event, we wanted to be sure you had the chance to get all of the answers from our discussion. We hope you enjoy!

Q: "Would love to learn how to merge the email list from Privy with our list from MailChimp so we can send out email blasts to all of our customers."

Erica: You can definitely integrate third party email service providers like MailChimp with Privy. The way that you would do that is through your settings, and then go to integrations and select MailChimp. Then in each individual campaign you'll want to choose which specific MailChimp list you want to send those Privy sign ups to.

Just so that you know, you can also use Privy's email products to send things like abandoned cart emails and autoresponders with coupon codes in them, too. So, there are a lot of different options when it comes to email with Privy.

Q: "How do I preview the customer experience? I want to see the pop up appear, get the thank you email, click the discount, and test the discount in the shopping cart."

Erica: So it sounds like he wants to see what the whole customer experience would look like. So, let me just say, in the designer of your campaign, if you are creating a Privy display, you can preview your pop up on both desktop and a mobile device, in the top right hand corner. You can also send yourself a test email, so you can see what that user experience would be like.

If you'd like to preview any displays on your site, there's a couple of different things that you can do. What I recommend is having Privy open in one window and your site open in another and you can launch and pause your pop up almost in real time. So, if you want to be able to see what that pop up looks like on your site, just launch it and then you can really quickly pause it in case there's something that you would like to adjust.

If your Privy plan includes URL targeting, one of the things that I would typically recommend is temporarily target that campaign for a low traffic page on your site, such as your terms and conditions or your policy page. Once you've targeted your campaign at that specific page, launch it, see how it looks, make any adjustments you need to make and then, you can always readjust that URL targeting or remove it when you're ready to launch that campaign broadly.

Q: "How do I stop my pop-ups from appearing on my blog?"

Lauren: This is a really good question, and one we get all the time. It's has to do with page targeting. So, within Privy, if you're in your campaign, you simply go into the design tab, and then into audience targeting, and then from the dropdown I would select 'Current URL', and then you would pick, 'does not contain' blog or whatever unique identifier is within your URL of your blog.

Erica: As an alternative also, you could create a separate campaign that's only targeted to the blog. So, maybe there's a different call to action. Maybe in your store you have 10% off, and then maybe on the blog, the call to action is to sign up to get an exclusive piece of content or a newsletter.

Q: "How do I get Privy to use existing discounts in Shopify rather than have to write them in Privy?"

Erica: So, the easiest way to use Shopify discounts is to create those discounts right within the Privy dashboard. Privy and Shopify are integrated, so any discount that you create in Privy, whether it's a master coupon, whether it's unique, that will be reflected in Shopify as well and we definitely recommend using the discounts that you create in Privy within your Privy campaign just to keep everything clean and keep the data all aligned.

Q: "How many campaigns should I run at one time?"

Lauren: There's no really right or wrong answer this question. We would recommend at least two. So, to start, I would do a welcome pop-up. This could be either offering a discount, or signing up for a newsletter or something like that and then in addition, I would create a separate campaign, with similar messaging, but I would create this one specifically for mobile. For the mobile campaign, I would choose a flyout instead of a pop up, because flyouts are made for mobile. They'll resize correctly for the screen and they just kind of pop up from the bottom of the screen.

If you want to take it one step further, I would add in an exit intent pop up. So, as somebody's about to leave your site, you capture their attention, saying something like "wait, before you go here's a discount or here's an opportunity to sign up for a newsletter."

Erica: That point about creating campaigns specific to device, I think is really, really important because most of the customers I talk to now, their traffic is at least 60% to 70% mobile. So, I think one adjustment that we all need to think of is thinking with a mobile first perspective and really considering that experience and reducing any sort of friction along the way to make sure that the shopping experience on mobile is just as good as it is on desktop.

Lauren: Absolutely. We had the same findings this Black Friday/Cyber Monday, we found that 70% of all traffic across our customers' sites was mobile. We actually have it in a BFCM stats roundup on our blog. 

Q: "How long should I run a campaign for?"

Erica: There are a lot of different factors that go into this. So, a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to how long you're running your campaigns. Number one, and this is true of anything you do in your business, not just ecommerce, is to keep an eye on performance. If a campaign was converting at a really high rate a few months ago and then maybe today it's not performing as well, all it might take is refreshing your campaign creative. If it looks different, that might be a way to catch the eye of your returning visitors. So, if you have the same campaign running and the same visitors, the returning visitors are seeing the same thing, they might just pass by it.

One thing to also remember is that Privy will stop displaying campaigns to visitors who have already signed up for that specific campaign. So, when you first launch Privy on your site, it's possible that you'll be displaying your campaign to a larger percentage of your visitors than later on and that's just because you have more people signing up who haven't signed up for that campaign. So, your conversion rate as time goes on might even go up but unless you're constantly driving a lot of new traffic to your site, there might just be a smaller pool of eligible people to display a welcome campaign to, for example.

That being said, this is where segmenting your audience can be really useful. So, one of the things I know that we always recommend when targeting campaigns is to create campaigns targeted at returning customers or returning visitors who have already converted. If someone's returning to your site maybe they've already signed up for a campaign, if they're returning multiple times, obviously, they're highly engaged, they're probably high intent shoppers and so, you still want to be able to put offers or even prompts to say like a sale page in front of them. Not every Privy campaign necessarily has to be a form based campaign.

One of the things I know that we often recommend is targeting campaigns at returning visitors with just a button that says, see our new products or check out our sale page, or welcome back even, just to really segment and tailor the messaging, the call to action to the second visitor.

Lauren: Yeah, you're acknowledging the fact that you know that they're a return visitor. So, using some kind of language like Erica said, like welcome back, can be super effective.

Q: "What is the best performing offer?"

Erica: I don't think there's a one size fits all answer to this question but I can certainly list some characteristics of campaigns that tend to convert at high rates. Making your offer relevant it the most important thing that you can do and there are two components to that. It's what you're offering, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a discount but is what you're offering something of value and something the people that you're offering it to will care about, especially as you get more advanced, segmentation becomes increasingly important.

We tend to see much higher conversion rates on welcome campaigns that say offer a 10% discount versus a call to action that is just a sign up for an email list and that's just because as the merchant, you're offering something of value, that 10% off, for something of value that a potential shopper is giving you, which is their contact information. So, it's really an exchange in kind.

When it comes to mobile optimization and like you said, for most of our merchants, they have more visitors to their site that are coming to their site via mobile devices than on desktop, so it's really important to think with that mobile first mindset.

Then, lastly, consider your creative. That means both the imagery and the text and having concise but branded creative that's really in line with your brand, that connects to your shoppers. It can really boost those conversion rates. Even if you want to keep that offer at 10% and don't want to go beyond that, don't underestimate the power of the unexpected.

Really with these types of displays, your goal is to stop the scroll. People fly through websites. They're not necessarily slowing down and by having something unexpected, like really interesting text, calls to action, really interesting creatives, like our Spin to Win campaigns, you'll see a high conversion rate.

Lauren: People love Spin to Win, I'll tell you.

Erica: People love Spin to Win, right. Also, we found even just using instead of a rectangular or square kind of display, use a circle or maybe even a cutout. Because that's a little bit unexpected and more creative, that can make your shoppers just stop and look and any time again, that you can stop the scroll, you're gonna be more likely to convert those visitors.

Lauren: Or even a lot of our customers have been using the full screen pop ups. It's another good way to literally stop the scroll because it takes up the whole screen.

Erica: Right and I would reserve that for really important offers because if you're going to take over that whole screen you want to make sure it's really worth it.

Q: "I don't want to offer discounts on my store but what are some other offer types that I can use?" 

Lauren: Discounts work really well and we definitely advocate for discounts if you're able to offer them, but if you aren't, there are a few different things you can do. You can offer, for example, a free gift with purchase. So, let's say you're a makeup brand, maybe you want to offer some free makeup sponges with purchase or if you sell cooking accessories, maybe you want to do a free recipe book or some sort of download that comes with the purchase.

Free shipping is another offer types that you can use. You can also encourage people with rewards programs. So, you can take advantage of rewards programs like Smile.io, where you're not actually offering a discount but you're still providing some sort of incentive for the customer to purchase.

Erica: Yeah, and I think like we were talking about before, if you're asking for something, I think you need to give something and that's a great point, it doesn't have to be a discount. The other thing I'll say too is that if you want to be conscious and use discounts in a limited way, there are ways to set up your coupons and to use coupons that are more limited. For example, if you wanted to offer 10% off, you can make sure that there's a minimum purchase value to make that offer valid.

Another thing some of our really sophisticated customers like to do is what we call a tiered cart saver strategy. So, offering a discount when someone's on the cart page and they're abandoning the cart page but they have value in the cart. They have items in the cart and you can actually set up different campaigns to deploy based on the cart value. So, you can offer a smaller incentive to folks who have less products in the cart and a bigger incentive to folks who have more value in the cart. So, that's a way to really refine and maximize your strategy there as well.

Lauren: Right, if somebody has less than $50.00 in their cart, maybe you want to offer free shipping but if somebody has $200.00 in their cart, maybe you want to offer them more like 15% off or something like that just to really encourage that purchase.

Q: "I want to suggest other items for my shoppers. Can I do that with Privy?"

Erica: Yeah, so, I think this is a great use case. We were talking about before how not every Privy display has to have a form. You can use a non form display to do exactly what Alex is asking and that's to suggest items to add to the cart and I've seen this work especially well when this type of campaign is targeted to the cart page and so, essentially, you're using this like an upsell module and so when you're setting this up, this tends to work best if you're suggesting items that are generally are universally appealing.

Let's take your example of the makeup sponges. We have a lot of beauty brands that use Privy and everyone likes a good makeup sponge, right? It's a product that's pretty applicable to any of the other products that their shoppers might be buying and so having a small upsell accessory or add-on, it can be really, really effective.

I will say too, that if you're on our Growth plan, you can take this one step further and target by specific products that are in the cart. So, say you have a hat in your cart that has a specific design on it, you can then say, okay, if the shopper has this hat in their cart, I then want to trigger a campaign that will display the corresponding T-shirt that goes with that. So, you can create, essentially pairs of products to do those upsell modules with.

Q: "My pop up looks too large on mobile devices, how can I fix it?"

Lauren: I think we already kind of covered this a little bit so, I'll just go over it briefly but for mobile devices, it's super important that you're kind of thinking with a mobile-first mindset. So, instead of using a pop up with mobile, we definitely recommend that you use a flyout. It's different display type similar to a pop up but specifically created for mobile devices. 

Erica: Yeah, the other thing I would say too is that you can also, within the Privy designer, change the dimensions of your campaign as well. So, even if you're using a flyout maybe you just want to decrease the height a little bit or say you want to use one of those cutout style campaigns but formatted or sized for mobile devices, you can do that too. Remember that in that background element you can adjust those dimensions.

Q: "How does exit intent work?"

Lauren: Ahh, magical exit intent. Good question. Exit intent is a display trigger for those of you who aren't familiar. So, Privy is able to detect when shopper is about to leave your site, so, let's say they're going to towards the back button or they're about to X out of the tab, or any other mouse movement that tells us, "Hey, this person's about to leave." You can then launch a pop up or other display at that moment and it's a great way to grab their attention.

You can say something like, "hey, before you go, here's 10% off" or another offer or newsletter sign up or whatever it may be. Exit intent is super effective and what a lot of people love Privy for.

Erica: Yeah, and I would say the way that I would use that with say a welcome campaign is say, with your welcome campaign maybe you were offering a discount, maybe you weren't and what you can do on some of our plans is say, hey, I only want to show this exit intent campaign to shoppers who didn't already sign up for the welcome campaign. That's a way to make sure you're not stacking too many discounts or have too many incentives all at once but you can reserve that exit intent just for those shoppers that you didn't quite get with the first campaign. Quick question for you though, does that work on mobile devices too?

Lauren: It does. It works a little bit differently, so you know when you're trying to close out of your tabs and then you have all the different windows showing, that's when the campaign would launch on mobile.

Q: "I don't want just anyone to use my discount. How can I keep people from sharing?" 

Erica: Yeah, that's a great question and it's really funny, a lot of the merchants I talk to, there seems to be two mindsets about this. Some merchants hate those coupon sharing sites and they don't want to distribute those coupons too widely. Other folks look at it like, hey this is sort of a marketing campaign and then they're fine because they're reaching a new audience that way but totally understand if you don't want some coupons, especially if they're really high value, to be share widely. So, the best way to do this is to use unique coupon codes within Privy and you can do that whether you're on Shopify or BigCommerce, where you can create those right within Privy and sync them over to your eCommerce platform or you can upload a file as well if you're using a different eCommerce platform of unique codes and so, just to level set here, the unique codes are only valid for the person who signs up for that specific campaign and gets a code that is unique to that email address.

A master coupon could be applicable to anyone and so, creating those unique codes are definitely the best way to limit that usage.

The other thing you can do is in the validation section of your campaign, make sure that it's only one per customer or you can even make sure it's only for new customers, which means only one per if that email address already exists then it's not applicable to that particular email address.

Q: "How do I create urgency for customers to complete their purchases?"

Lauren: One way to create urgency is to have an expiration date on your coupon code. Maybe it expires tomorrow, maybe it expires next week, but having a specific time window and timeframe for them to take advantage of that offer is really going to push them to purchase a lot more than say, one that never expired. 

Erica: Yeah, and include that language in your auto responder email as well. So not just onsite when they sign up for it but reminding them, hey, this coupon has an expiration when you're sending those emails out as well can definitely drive purchase.

Q: "What are some things to avoid when designing my pop up? I don't have much of a design sense."

Erica: The great thing about Privy is that you don't have to be an awesome designer like our colleague, Meg, who you probably see on social media a lot, but Meg has created dozens of templates within Privy that you can use either as is or as a great jumping off point that you can add your own customizations. When you're creating a new campaign, when you go to choose your design, you want to pick your display type. There's lots of different display types in Privy that you can choose from. The pop up is just one of them. There's the flyout, which we have mentioned. There are Spin to Win campaigns. There are embedded forms, landing pages, banners, bars, there's all kinds of stuff.

In each category of display, there are tons of different templates that you can choose from. So, definitely go in there and take a look. 

Lauren: We also have seasonal templates, so for example right now during the holidays, we have holiday themed and Black Friday and Cyber Monday templates, and then in spring we'll put together some spring templates. You can always see what's new if you check out the Privy blog, Meg also writes a post about her latest templates that she's put in the designer.

Erica: One thing I would avoid that I see often is making the text too small or having too much text. People do not read anymore. Have a big headline, maybe one more line about what the offer's about, and you're done. Don't make it too complex. The other thing I would say is I think positioning the display on your site if you're not using a basic pop-up or a full screen, choosing where that campaign is going to live on your page and just making sure that it's not covering up any sort of chat widget or something else that you might have going on on your site is definitely important. I don't know if there's other tips that you have?

Lauren: I think putting an image in the background is really cool. We have a lot of different customers who are doing that right now and just kind of adds a fun, eye catching element to the design I think.

Erica: Yeah, that's for sure, and then the other thing I'll say too, is be careful which fonts you choose. On some plans you have the ability to use custom fonts, which is great, you can really brand it but make sure that that font is readable. I see customers sometimes that have a really cool, fancy script but again, maybe not super readable, especially on mobile devices and again, thinking with that mobile first mindset. 

Q: "What are some of the coolest campaigns you have seen?"

Lauren: The first one that comes to my mind - and there are a lot - but the first one that comes to my mind is Butcherbox.

Erica: Yes! I know which one you're talking about.

Lauren: So I'm not sure which offer they have up right now, but they had one that was free bacon for life. They're a meat subscription company. So, they had one that was free bacon for life and ...

Erica: Which is a good enough offer anyway, you didn't even need a great design.

Lauren: Right, by itself, didn't need to get real crazy but they did such a good job. They used a GIF in the background of their pop up so it looked like it was moving and I mean, if that doesn't catch your eye, I don't know what will and it was super clean.

Erica: I don't think a lot of people know that you can do things like embedded video with GIF's or things that are more interactive within Privy campaigns as well. Speaking of video, one of my favorites is Mountain Crest Gardens. What they do is use a call to action button on their site to launch videos. They sell all different types of plants. So, on some of their product pages, they'll have a care guide, a video that shows you haw to care for those particular types of plants. So, when you click the button, it launches a Privy pop up, which has that video about how to care for the plant in there. 

Lauren: Yeah, we actually recently did a case study with them. They're doing a lot of cool stuff, so definitely check out that case study.

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