Do you need help with your finance literacy?

uoamoneyquizCase Study: University of Auckland Finance Quiz

One of the more exciting projects we have had the pleasure of working on recently, was for the University of Auckland. The goal was to help educate first-year students and encourage them to seek out and engage in smarter finance decisions. Now, unless you are an aspiring investment banker, learning about finance is probably as appealing as putting your hand in a bee’s nest.

So how could we help the University put the fun back in Finance?

We decided the best way to achieve this would be in the form of a ‘finance quiz’. Unlike something one might find on a credit card application or a tax return, this quiz would be worded and styled in a way that resonated with the student population and would hopefully encourage them to find out more information in the areas they were weakest.

As is often the best way to communicate with students, humour and relatability were key requirements. Picturing what might appeal to the broader student population was a fun challenge, forcing me to think back a few years to my undergraduate studies (I don’t think my mental maturity has changed). Although I am surely a poor representation for the collective student population, I feel we were still able to convey situations that most students can relate to. In case I found myself on a ridiculous tangent, we also had representatives from the university and focus groups of students to guide the direction.

What did we do?

The quiz was composed of 10 questions and 5 ‘finance’ personality types, originally provided as a guide by our Accounting/Finance clients, Love to Grow. Each question was adapted to accurately relate to current student issues. The character types were developed to be funny, but identify potential shortfalls in each student’s knowledge, which would encourage them to seek out more information. Although the final text was ultimately unrecognisable compared to the original, our aim was that the message would remain useful as an indicator of each student’s financial situation.

Check out some examples below:

finance quiz question CAS

finance quiz question CAS

And the results…

finance quiz result CAS

“Boom! You’re a go-getting super badass, with the wind in your hair and explosions in your rear view mirror. Life is sweet right now, and you totally know it. But it’s worth thinking about a safety net – just in case your luck runs out on the next roll of the dice! Start playing the long game using our money tips.

finance quiz result CAS

“Okay, you’re not frivolously wasting your money away, but you’re not doing anything useful with it either. There’s no sense in making sacrifices if you’re not getting anything out of it. Gone are the days of stuffing money under your mattress for safe-keeping. You need to put it to work! Be smart with your money. Check out some financial pointers.

 

Due to the nature of the project, we had to strike a balance between what was cheeky and fun, and what might be perceived to cause offense. This resulted in a generalised and somewhat ambiguous character break down.

Thankfully, through some crafty wordsmithing, we were able to combine the light-hearted and cheeky self-assessment, in a way that would not upset any students and still provide a valuable resource for those who needed help.

It was a fantastic opportunity to work together with a team made up of such diverse skills. We hope that the students who take the quiz will find it valuable and fun to play!

Thanks University of Auckland for the opportunity and Antoris & Luc Design for your help on this project!

The finance quiz itself has been published publicly on the UoA student financial resources page. Try it for yourself and let us know what you think!

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

What to do when your content is used without permission

Sometimes you find out that someone has reproduced your work without permission. There are scales of bad-ness here, ranging from plagiarism through to lack of attribution.

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

What should you do when you find out?

The answer depends on a few things – if you are a world famous published author and public speaker, you may respond differently from if you are a blogger or a business or a startup. The picture above is Rachel Marie Martin – a Mommy Blogger at findingjoy.net who has suffered multiple abuses of her intellectual property.

Aim for a Win-Win outcome

My suggestion is for you to ring them up and ask to speak to the person who published and instead of complaining, tell them you know they’re using your intellectual property without permission – and ask for something in return.

This should be of value to your and your business. This could be a booking from them to use you as a trainer in exchange for using your articles. Or get them to run an advert for your services free in the next 3 months newsletters. Or an agreement to use more of your articles with express sales offers.

Complaining can work

But in my experience it puts peoples backs up and you are less likely to come out of it smelling of roses.

My preferred tactic is to let them know you’ve found out and then ask for a favour in return – which they should feel obliged to agree to doing.

How to find who’s using your material

The best way is to set up Google Alerts for your name, your brand name and other search strings which can easily trace back to you. I am lucky that AFAIK I’m the only Rebecca Caroe in the world (yay) so easy to find. Be creative – you can also use Google Search Console to find incoming links to your site and linkbacks in blog comments usually get tracked too.

Good luck… and of course a last resort is the Cease and Desist letter (but avoid getting legal if you can).

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May

What it means to Growth Hack.

Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success.  It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.

You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.

What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?

Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.

Face to face consult or small group workshops.

Email [email protected] with your #1 marketing and sales problem.

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

Rachel Martin website GrowthHacking expert

 

 

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Let’s get serious about your online marketing programme

Do you want to make your business work? Of course you do. So get serious about your success and let’s talk about what it’s really going to take for your online marketing programme to get you the numbers you want from your website.

Audience Industries is coming to New Zealand for a second year in a row and these two international experts from the US, Dan Morris and Rachel Martin, want to sit down with you and show you what you need to know to operate your business online and make it successful.

A sneak peek of what you’ll take away from the courses: Escape Velocity

Do you know how much you make per visitor? Per pageview? How much should you really be spending on your online marketing efforts? You’ll get the tools you need to find out and take action to make your online business pump out the numbers you want to see. Set your goals and learn from Dan and Rachel just how to achieve them with Escape Velocity.

Sound like you? This is just one of four courses in the curriculum for the Audience Industries NZ tour. You want to grow your online marketing programme? This is it. Sign up for Escape Velocity in Auckland for April 29th and learn how to tighten up your goals and really reach them.

What else can you look forward to in the 2016 Audience Industries NZ tour?

  • Auckland, April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum

  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum

  • Dunedin, May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum

  • Wellington, May 5thSequoia Curriculum

  • Wellington, May 6thCircles Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 9th – Circles Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Click through to read about each course in depth including the curriculum.

If you’re ready for Escape Velocity, book now and ready yourself for an event that will take you straight to the heart of the 5 key metrics you need to know as a business to operate successfully online.

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Announcing the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Creative Agency Secrets is proud to be collaborating with Audience Industries for the second year running! Together with founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin we’ll be running an 8 date tour, making stops in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington, learning how to drive online business success.

Learn how to grow revenue with your best tool: YOUR website!

Find out how to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement with your website with the leading edge of best practice with these two leading practitioners. Here’s a taste of what’s in store for you when you attend Audience Industries:

  • Audience engagement with community marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story (that people WANT to read)
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos

Get past using buzz phrases and marketing hype! You’ll learn practical solutions that you can use immediately.

Want to find out more?

Read all 4 curriculum options in detail!

We know these techniques work, and you will learn the practical solutions directly from expert, knowledgeable technicians. Don’t believe us? Look at just a couple of the testimonials we captured from last year’s attendees:

Rachel and Dan have a really lovely style and they have ‘been there and done that’ so they are talking from experience.  They’re constantly tweaking their own approach and there is an emphasis on practical application. I found them very generous with their information. No holding back.

They were genuinely concerned about the group getting the information and being able to use it.  They wanted everyone to succeed and it’s unusual to find that in presenters.

They want the whole sector to grow.  Very personable, nice and the information was extremely useful and It was easy into put into practice.  

Jayne Richardson, @jreltd, Auckland attendee 2015

Book your ticket now

  • Auckland – April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum
  • Wellington – May 5th – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Wellington May 6th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 9th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Get details on the detailed curriculum of what you will learn at each event.

We’re offering single-day tickets, or get a SPECIAL for two dates in one city.

Don’t miss out on the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour! Dan and Rachel will teach you the tools so you will become the CEO of your website.

 

Crossfire Fire Engineers, Auckland, new website copy

Case Study: Website redesign for busy professional firm

Crossfire Engineers are one of the leading practices in Auckland delivering advice for fire engineering in new buildings as well as refurbishments.  The team is expert in fire safety advice, but not website marketing.

When they needed to edit their old website it meant paying the developer to upload content and so it was clearly time for a change to a content management system and a new web design.

Business owner, Michael Dixon, was introduced to Creative Agency Secrets by Bruce Ross the business coach, initially to write the words for the new website.  Later, we also project managed the web build liaising with the developers and Steven Robinson, the photographer.

Crossfire Fire Engineers, Auckland, new website copy

Crossfire Fire Engineers new website copy

Save time for the Client

It was clear that delivering a successful project would include keeping the client informed, but minimising the amount of time taken up by management.

And so we did most of the copywriting briefing face to face by ‘interviewing’ the key team players.

Later, testimonials were obtained from clients direct after an introduction by the Crossfire team, saving them time.  We asked questions and wrote the testimonial first draft for them to edit and approve.

Key website successes

The Home page has 3 red buttons to shortcut visitors’ enquiries to the pages most relevant to different services.  What an architect needs is different from a Building Owner or Manager.

Testimonials on the bottom of the home page by high profile clients and architects who collaborate with the Crossfire team.

Crossfire Fire Engineers testimonials

Crossfire Fire Engineers testimonials

Team profiles not just photos but also individual contact details and a synopsis of their career and key skills allow direct contact by clients.

Work for us – one of the drivers for the new website was the need to recruit staff this page sets out more detail about how engineers can re-qualify in Fire Engineering as well as explaining how to emigrate to New Zealand.

Happy client

Jeff Parkinson did much of the day to day liaison for the website project and he has this to say at the end.

We can’t recommend Rebecca enough! She helped us through the process of designing our new website and we are really pleased with the end result.
She helped us to stay focused and used her expert knowledge to ensure our site was relevant, connected and simple to use.
We are really happy with the content she provided, her constant support throughout the project helped us complete the website for a new year launch during a time of high pressure from other project workloads.
 

 

Help with email headlines – a short guide

We work day to day with clients on email campaigns, personalised cold emails, event invitation blasts and much more. Over the years we’ve become accustom to building effective email headlines that get emails read and replied to, and we’ve noticed that without that experience entire campaigns can be rendered useless. So if you lack experience building effective email headlines that get your campaigns read and replied to then you’ve come to the right place!

The Creative Agency Secrets short guide to email headlines

Email headlines are a lot like blog headlines. We’ve boiled it down to a few select simple rules:

  • Short and simple.
    Getting to the point quicker with fewer words helps grab attention and keeps it. Shorter headlines are also usually more exciting which entices further reading.
  • Promise what the full message contains
    If readers believe the title is misleading to the content, they’re more likely to discard your email after reading it! It’s all about trust, people.
    This also comes along with cohesion and comprehension because if you’re conveying two things at once the reader is less likely to understand what you want them to do and why.
  • Relevant to the target audience.
    This tends to be a given because again, the headline of the email should reflect on the content and your content should be getting sent to the right target audience. But too many times we see email headlines that reflect a part of the content which isn’t interesting or relevant to the target audience. Make sure the your next email headline brings out the part of the content most likely to interest your intended readers.
  • Make readers curious.
    Don’t give them everything, leave them wanting! This should be simple with our first rule of headlines being short but sometimes a “90% of x does y” type of headline isn’t as effective as “So how many of xes do ys, you think? Here’s your answer:”

You may be a cut above the rest now that you know these 4 simple rules, but we’re not done yet. We want to arm you with the best practices, so here’s some fantastic email headline examples (we found many of these on CopyBlogger! They’re a brilliant content marketing resource):

  • “Why you should always [content]”
  • “Your answer to [content]”
  • “10 ways to [content]”
  • “Your competitors do [content], why?”
  • “What everybody ought to know about [content]”
  • You Are Not Alone

Which is your favourite? Let us know how your next campaign goes!

 

Want to learn more about email marketing, or get an experienced marketer to build campaigns for you?

Contact us! We’re your next big marketing success.

Good copywriting for membership websites

This month we’re working on two clients both with membership businesses.  They need strong copywriting on both their home page and the landing / squeeze page where the pitch for members is made.

We got out and tried to find some good examples of membership sites where a really compelling landing page lays out the offer and the benefits.

It was surprisingly hard.

I had hoped that Copyblogger would be good – but despite moving much of their content behind an email registration wall, the old landing page is no longer there – maybe they’re so well known that the benefits are no longer needed.

We did find some….

Blogging Concentrated Prime

A subscription service for monthly coaching and education on all aspects of blogging for profit – this page really lays out the details of what a member gets and shows archive material which is also available to each new joiner.  The video welcome is a nice touch.

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Blogging Concentrated Prime membership area

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center

A totally different approach is used by expert business coach, Tom Poland.  He uses a letter form to make a strong offer in the headline and a personal offer – with a guarantee.

Tom Poland's 8020 Center offer

Tom Poland’s 8020 Center offer copywriting

EConsultancy and Digital Marketer

Both offering education services to modern marketers, these sites have a near-identical page layout and copy style.  Interestingly, the DM list of advisory courses look like individual tiles, but they all go to a letter-style long copy landing page from the founder, Ryan Deiss.

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Econsultancy landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

Digital Marketer landing page copywriting example

 

Got any other examples?

Case study: email marketing drives sales for Space Saver

We take pride in our ability to create successful email marketing campaigns that deliver measurable results. We meticulously plan emails to be sent so each one is effective and engaging to the target audience. Here are two case studies:

The sports equipment brand

Space Saver Rowing Systems (SSRS) is a rowing boathouse equipment retailer. They recently launched a new product – The Wraptor Balance. We worked with them on a campaign that generated responses and resulted in sales.

The new product launch campaign

Gathering the right media for the product – The Wraptor Balance is an innovative tool best experienced before purchase. We can’t bring an experience through the internet but we can bring the experience to the reader with videos, photos and the offer of a free trial.

A landing page – Our next step was to create a landing page for the product on the SSRS website. We focused on clear messaging showing how the product was important to use for beginners and why it makes a difference.

We then created web buttons which led readers to the next step in the process: a trial or purchase. Landing pages are incredibly important to product launch campaigns as it is the one consistent place directing customers to an action. As long as you can lead a customer there you’ve got them interested.

A series of blog posts – We then went about scheduling several blog posts that were short and exciting while directing readers again to the Wraptor Balance landing page. This quickly achieved our goal to find interested prospects and get them invested in learning more about the product.

The email blast and its format – Emails are great if you already have a mailing list, which is the only catch.
We sent out 2 emails – the first being a lengthy description of the benefits of having a Wraptor Balance in a rowing club boatshed. The second was more focused with more emphasis on customer experiences through testimonials.

The results

The email campaign saw a whopping 40% open rate accompanied by 10% clicking through to links we included…

1

Over time we continued to generate small pockets of interest as well…as the graph below shows.

2

As a result of the campaign Space Saver Rowing Systems has provided 15 clubs with a trial of the Wraptor Balance with 3 confirmed sales to date (and more on the way).

The business consultant

Nick Muller runs a leadership program called Coaching for Change. This is a 4 session training program run over a 6 month period that teaches leaders how to bring change about and lead small businesses to success.

He embarked on an email campaign using our services with the hope of boosting attendance to his program, and we delivered. 9 emails across a 4 week period were sent to two separate email lists which brought him a handful of new signups to his high price coaching course. Each email was unique. The first was an introductory message; the second email followed the first but was a lot shorter and used as a reminder. The final one in the series split our lists between those who had clicked on a prior email and those who hadn’t. For those who hadn’t we focused on the email title more than the content. For those who had clicked on a prior email we focused on convincing them to make contact.

3

From the graph above it’s plain to see we maintained consistent email open rates around the 30% mark for each of the 9 emails. Normal campaign opening rates are often around 20%, with more successful campaigns reaching 30-40% (yes, that’s us!). Sending the 3rd email out to people who hadn’t clicked on a previous email worked well with a maintained 30% open rate also. This means, as a result of sending that extra email, we expanded the reach of the campaign.

4

This graph (above) shows the click rates of links within the emails we sent. It once again proves how effective our repeat emails were. The stats suggest that with our third email we managed to convince those who hasn’t opened an email before to both open the email and click a link.

Creating campaigns that count

Our email campaigns consistently demonstrate our attention to detail and planning. By isolating how to get in touch with our the target markets of our clients, crafting the right message and adapting that message based on the recipients’ actions we can create an effective email marketing campaign.

 

Get more out of your email campaigns:

Contact us

for a Skype or email conversation and start your planning as early as possible.