The Barnum Effect: Use Flattery to Instill Belief (Or Why Quizzes Work)

Have you ever looked at your horoscope in the newspaper and thought it was oddly accurate?

Do you find it strange when you answer a few questions and get an assessment based on that information which seems to hit the nail on the head?

It’s not your fault, it’s a cognitive bias called the Barnum effect at play.

We’ve advanced a lot over the last 100 years. Computers, televisions, and penicillin were invented. Someone living in 1919 wouldn’t recognize the world of 2019.

Time square comparison image

For all our advancements, we’re still beholden to cognitive biases. One of which called The Barnum Effect and it’s part of the reason why personalityquizzes are so effective.

In this article, I’ll take a deep dive into what The Barnum Effect is and how you can use it to engage your audience and make more effectivelead gen quizzes.

What is the Barnum Effect

The Barnum Effect (also known as the Forer Effect) is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals rate descriptions of their personality – which are supposedly tailored to them – as having high levels of accuracy. In reality, the descriptions are vague and can be applied to a wide range of people.

I found my daily horoscope which was vague but just relevant enough to make me feel like it applied to me.

The sooner you speak up the better. You can spare yourself a lot of aggravation today by pointing out the discrepancy between talk and action whenever you notice it. Someone might simply forget a commitment or there may be a change that you’re not informed of yet. Sweeping up the mess can be short work if no one insists upon holding tight to drama. Put productivity at the top of your list of priorities and make logic your best friend. Your conscientious ways keep things ticking along like clockwork. Proactive measures save the day. Source

The term Barnum effect was popularized by Paul Meehl in his 1956 essay Wanted – A Good Cookbook.  This may be due to the belief that P.T. Barnum – the showman – claimed a sucker was born every minute.

The fact that people believe general information is tailored to their unique situation shows a level of gullibility. I wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re suckers.

Research relating to the Barnum effect

Over the years, there has been a lot of research that tested the efficacy of the Forer effect in different scenarios.

One such study was performed in 1947 by psychologist Ross Stagner. Stagner gathered personnel managers and asked them to take a personality test. After the test, he presented each of them with generalized feedback that had nothing to do with their test answers. In fact, it was based on horoscopes and graphological (the study of handwriting) analyses.

After being presented with the results, participants were asked how accurate the assessment was. Over 50% described it as accurate and no one described it as wrong.

In 1948, another experiment was carried out by the psychologist Bertram R. Forer. He performed what has been referred to as a classic experiment.

He administered his “Diagnostic Interest Blank” test to 39 of his psychology students. Each one was told they’d receive a brief personality sketched based on the results of the test. A week later, participants were given what was supposed to be an individualized sketch.

In reality, Forer gave every student the same sketch which had 13 items. Here are a few of the statements:

          You have a great need for other people to like and admire you.

         There is a tendency to be critical of yourself.

          You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.

          While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.

          Your sexual adjustment has presented problems for you.

The average rating the students gave the personality sketch was 4.3 out of 5 (5 being the highest).

Using the Barnum Effect with quizzes

At this point, it’s clear that people will accept general statements and apply a high degree of accuracy to it after answering questions about themselves.

There are a few things to take into consideration to make it work successfully with quiz outcomes.

Barnum Statements

Barnum statements are assertions that are vague and general but seem to be specific to an individual. For example, you can tell someone “at times, you have a strong sexual appetite.”

Well duh, almost everyone gets turned on every now and again but under the right circumstances, it seems personal and accurate.

They’re commonly used by psychics and mediums to put their subjects at ease and make them more receptive to statements that follow.

We’ll use it in a slightly different way.

When crafting your quiz outcomes, it’s important to make them vague enough to apply to a large group of people. At the same time, you want to phrase them in a way that’s personal and relates to the answers they gave.

It’s necessary to prime them with the title of the quiz and the questions you ask.

In the above image, the title itself primes me for a comparison to a game of thrones character. The quiz goes on to ask me questions about how I’d behave in certain scenarios which reinforces my belief of an accurate assessment.

Pollyanna principle

To get the most mileage out of your quiz outcomes and increase the believability, a little flattery is in order.

The Pollyanna Principle is the tendency for people to remember positive or pleasant items more often and more accurately than unpleasant ones.

This makes sense. Why would you allocate mental bandwidth to an argument or unpleasant experience? On the other hand, we cherish moments when we’re happy or pleased.

Your quiz outcomes can tap into the Pollyanna principle by adding a few positive Barnum statements.

For example, in the Game of Thrones quiz, I got Jon Snow.

Using Barnum Statements and the Pollyanna principle, a possible outcome could mention “When it matters enough to you, you become a fighter, just like Jon, you’re able to turn around situations that would sink others.

It’s a generally positive statement that could apply to everyone but seems unique because I just took a personality assessment.

The wording of the description itself.

This refers to how often you use positive statements vs negative statements. The more positive statements you use, the more likely someone is to take the assessment to heart.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use any negative descriptions or statements. They have their place and when used sparingly, it increases the likelihood the receiver will believe what you say.

Authority and honesty of the assessor

This is a major factor in determining whether or not someone will accept your outcome. Are you in a position to give advice on the topic? Are you credible in your niche?

For example, a fitness blogger could set up a quiz about body types and effectively sell the outcomes. If they put up a quiz about online income then it may not go over as well.

This is an extreme example but you should keep in mind that your quiz and outcomes should focus on your core competency. An SEO expert shouldn’t make a quiz about lead generation or CRO. It’s tangentially related but not quite their core competency.

Examples of the Barnum effect

The Barnum effect is everywhere when you know what you’re looking for. It’s not the specific domain of personality quizzes even though it works well there.

Horoscopes and cold reading

This is one of the most common uses of the Forer effect. A horoscope, like the example I shared above, will have positive Barnum statements that put you at ease and make the statement more trustworthy.

Cold readings consist of people who look at you, ask one or two questions or read your palm, and start telling you about your personality.

They use what’s called a rainbow ruse. They apply a personality trait to the mark and also apply the opposite personality trait.

For example, “You can be energetic when it comes to business but sometimes personal matters leave you exhausted.”

It works.

Netflix – recommended for you

Have you ever been on Netflix and gotten recommendations that were only kind of related? For example, you may have watched an anime six months ago and now your recommendations are full of anime.

Or it’s possible you didn’t watch anything in the same genre but Netflix is still recommending it for you.

They’re using a bit of machine learning and the Barnum effect to deliver those recommendations.

Yea, I’m only slightly interested in what they’re showing me but I’ll still take a look because it’s recommended for me.

Personality quizzes

Last but certainly not least are personality quizzes. It seems like they were built for the Barnum effect because of the way you can tailor outcomes to the way someone answered.

The key with personality quizzes, as mentioned before, is to prime your audience with a compelling title and questions that draw out information about the quiz taker.

personality quizzes using the barnum effect

In the above examples, the titles prime quiz takers to get a personality assessment. It’s coming from BuzzFeed which is well known for compelling quizzes.

It checks the boxes for the Barnum effect

          It’s coming from someone considered trustworthy

          The results use wording with just the right amount of positive Barnum statements


The Barnum effect is the secret to why quizzes (and personalized recommendations) are so effective. We’re primed to believe statements that appear to be tailored to us even if they’re general.

The key to using the Barnum effect is to use general statements that can be easily interpreted by the receiver. You should deliver a type of assessment or recommendation and incorporate positive statements.

In the end, the Barnum effect will increase the effectiveness of your messages and encourage people to trust your assessments in the future.

Product differentiation: What It Is And How To Use It To Explode Growth

Having a good product is nice.

A unique product is better.

A good product that’s also unique is like winning the lottery.

Amazing things happen.

They might as well stick an “S” on your chest.

Today, I’m going to touch on a topic I have a soft spot for – product differentiation.

Product differentiation (coupled with solid branding) is why people choose Levi jeans over the jeans you can get at Walmart.

Sure, they do the same thing but it’s a different product entirely.

In this article, you’ll learn about product differentiation, the different types, and methods you can use to implement it in your business.

What is product differentiation?

Product differentiation is a process used in marketing that identifies and communicates the unique value a product or brand brings to the table when compared to competitors.

This is not to be confused with a value proposition which communicates your overarching promise.

Beardbrand positions their products with a specific product ethos.

It mentions its philosophy as well as the difference between Beardbrand and similar competitors. It resonates with a certain group of people who then become devoted customers.

When product differentiation is done properly, it becomes a competitive advantage for you. You’re then able to foster brand loyalty and even charge more.

That’s why Rolex can charge a few thousand dollars for a watch and other brands are stuck fighting over $100 sales.

Advantages of product differentiation

It’s nice to have a differentiated product.

It gives you the ability to say “we’re the only ones that do x.”

More than being fun, it has a positive business impact. If you’re able to tap into and take advantage of those factors then you’ll increase revenue many times over.

It prevents you from being another faceless product in the sea of choice.

Increased value to customers

Product differentiation can focus on many factors your customers find important. When your differentiation strategy focuses on the value you deliver such as durability or long term cost savings, it increases the perceived value among customers and potential customers.

You can focus on the initial selling price and why it’s a bit more expensive than what’s on the market, added enhancements, or even lifecycle benefits.

For example, solar panel installation is expensive but in the long run, you’ll save money. Since consumers are saving money, they’re more willing to pay a higher amount on the front end.

No longer compete on price

This is one of the most important advantages of product differentiation. You no longer have to compete in a race to the bottom with similar brands.

For example, a shoe company can differentiate its shoes from other brands in terms of use case and durability. Jordan’s are a great example. It has developed a cult-like following over the years through superior craftsmanship, specialty uses, and limited edition releases.

The shoes below retailed for over $100 in 2008. I know because I happily bought a pair when they first came out.

Better brand recall and loyalty

Since you’re delivering value to customers instead of competing on price, the ones who choose you the first time are more likely to continue choosing you. That’s because it was a conscious decision to buy a more expensive product that provided more value.

They remember you and come back time and again.

The only prerequisite is that you maintain the initial quality they received. When you find yourself in a competitive market, any slip in quality may result in lost customers.

For example, if you’ve made a reputation for yourself as a company that delivers superior underwear in terms of fit, feel, and materials then people come to know you for that. If the quality slips, they’ll find a company that meets or exceeds the quality they’re used to.

No substitute

When your product differentiation strategy focuses on design or build quality then there is no real substitute for what you offer. At least, that’s the perception in your customer’s mind.

Yes, there may be other well-designed products but none are quite like yours. For example, Apple phones and computers have a unique design. It’s believed that no other company has such a recognizable signature look and feel.

Apple also did a good job of making consumers feel like the computer itself is superior (it is in some ways but falls flat in other areas). That’s why this computer starts at $1,300.

Types of product differentiation

There are three major types of product differentiation you can use as part of your strategy. The one you choose depends on your product and how well your consumers understand it.

For example, it would be much easier to understand product differentiation between jeans than enterprise analytics software.

Vertical product differentiation

This is when consumers are able to look at two differentiated products and compare them on a single factor. With this type of product, consumers are clear on the quality because it’s a well-defined product category.

For example, consumers are clear on the quality of shoes, clothes, and certain electronics. These would be vertically differentiated.

When a customer encounters two similar products they can compare them and say “Product A is better than Product B.”

In the fashion industry, there are countless types of shoes, shirts, and any other apparel you can think of. There are also countless price points which are set based on countless differentiation factors. With that being said, a customer can easily say Gucci is better than Toms, but the conclusion is subjective.

This white t-shirt costs a few dollars:

This one costs a couple hundred dollars:


Vertical product differentiation.

Vertical product differentiation is for products that can be classed as low quality or high quality by the average consumer.

Horizontal product differentiation

This type of differentiation happens when the product is harder to classify because it’s comprised of many features. Due to the complexity of the product, one or two characteristics are chosen as a way to compare and differentiate.

Consumers aren’t 100% sure about the quality of different products in the category.

For example, two foreign dishes served at a restaurant. There are many features that make the dish such as presentation, texture, ingredients, etc. but the consumer will likely focus on overall taste when making a decision. Even though they make a clear choice, they can’t say which dish is superior.

Horizontal differentiation is for products that can’t be classed as high quality and low quality to the average consumer.

Simple/mixed differentiation

As the name implies, this type of differentiation takes elements from both vertical and horizontal differentiation.

This happens when consumers are looking at more complicated products. An example would be software. There are countless features bundled up in software and a consumer will look at the core features and a few additional features when making their choice.

Vertical differentiation may occur in the main features but horizontal differentiation occurs with the less important features.

Methods of product differentiation

Product differences are usually minor. At their core, products in one category are the same.

That means the differences between one product and another don’t have to be physical characteristics or true features. It could be the product packaging, the way it’s advertised, who it’s pitched to, etc.

This section focuses on the ways you can implement product differentiation.


This is what most people think of when they hear the term product differentiation. It’s a tried and tested path to setting your products apart from the competition.

Quality allows you to charge a higher price point and attract better customers. At the same time, that quality needs to remain consistent or improve over time to keep customers happy.

Customer attracted to quality tend to be more discerning and are willing to pay a premium.

Customer service

You can almost never go wrong if you deliver superior customer service. You can sell a product that’s the same quality as your competitors but people will continue to choose you because of great service delivery.

One of the best examples of this is Zappos. It’s a shoe retailer with a generous shipping and returns policy. It also holds the record for one of the longest customer service calls ever made.

It’s not a marketing gimmick, Zappos has interwoven customer service into the fabric of its organization and was bought by Amazon for just under $1 billion because of it.


I’m not a fan of competing on price if it’s a race to the bottom. Penetration pricing can trigger a price war where everyone loses.

The companies involved in the price war lose.

The consumers lose because brands may go out of business when they can’t compete.

Instead, choose a premium price point. You’ll attract better customers and have to sell fewer products to achieve the same revenue. In addition to that, you’ll keep more of the profits.


It took a while but companies have finally woken up to the power of design in products and services. McKinsey found that companies which embraced design and made it part of their product strategy increased revenue nearly 2x as fast as companies who ignored design.

Design doesn’t mean your product needs to be elaborate. It can mean it works intuitively, is pleasant to look at, or evokes certain emotions.

Take these two images as an example:

That is not how a vase usually looks.

(Image source)

This is not how a chair is supposed to look.

Because of the novel design, it’s differentiated from any other product on the market and will attract a lot of interest (and possibly sales).

There are countless examples of design playing a prominent role in product differentiation.

Another one that comes to mind is Juicero. Though the company eventually closed its doors for other reasons, it had a great product design. People paid $400 a pop for this juicer.

Juicero product differentiation based on design


What is the Promised Land your product gets people to?

At KyLeads, we help you understand your audience, generate leads, and segment those leads. All this is so you can send better messages that compel people to buy.

Louis Vuitton helps you get fly and lends you a certain amount of status. BMW is a luxury car brand that helps you get from Point A to Point B while projecting wealth and prestige.

What benefits do your products give your customers? What problems do you solve? Show the value you bring to the table over competitors.

Distribution channels

Where you spread your message (or don’t spread it) can also be an effective product differentiation strategy. For example, if you’re a luxury resort, you may advertise in specific magazines and ignore others entirely.

Some companies advertise strictly on adult websites while others wouldn’t be caught dead there. Some companies can only reach their target market through newspapers so they ignore YouTube, Facebook, Google Ads, etc.

Choose your distribution channels based on the image you want to portray and where you’ll find your customers.


Product differentiation is essential if you want to stand out in a crowded market.

It has many benefits and, when used right, will allow you to command a premium price point, build brand loyalty, and ensure you’re attracting the right customers.

Choose the type of product differentiation you’ll use then focus on one of the methods mentioned in the article. When you start to see success, layer other methods on until you’re truly unique in your market.

Let me know what you think about product differentiation in the comments and don’t forget to share.

Behavioral Segmentation Defined & How to Use it For Explosive Results

Last Updated October 5, 2019

Behavioral segmentation is an interesting concept that, when used properly, empowers you to take action at the right time and increase your sales.

It’s the aspect of market segmentation that takes into consideration what people are doing at a specific point in their lives. Combined with demographic and psychographic segmentation, you unlock the ability to send laser targeted offers.

In this article, you’ll learn

  • How to talk to the right people at the right time and increase conversions
  • The art of getting repeat business my optimizing for your customer’s behavior
  • The types of behavioral segmentation and when to use them
  • Real life examples of how companies are using behavioral segmentation to get an edge

First, we need to understand exactly what behavioral segmentation is.

What is behavioral segmentation?

Behavioral segmentation can be defined as dividing market segments into groups based on their behavior about making purchase decisions.

Not all behaviors are important for behavioral segmentation. Marketers and entrepreneurs look at important occasions, loyalty, customer status, usage, and benefits sought.

Take John as an example. He’s 22 years old and will be graduating college in the next few weeks. He’s got a few job interviews lined up and is a bit lost on how to make a great impression.

In exchange for a guide on preparing his resume for job hunting, he filled out a short form that indicated he’ll be graduating college in three months.

John was happy because he was able to get a valuable resource that helped him out and resulted in getting high-quality interviews. You were happy because you got valuable information and made his day.

You know John is entering an exciting and challenging time in his life. He’s about to leave school and go out into the world to get his first real job. With that information, you’re able to send him information related to interviews skills, building confidence, and salary negotiation.

Leading up to graduation, his anxiety is at an all-time high because he’s about to start going to job interviews.

That would be the perfect time to send a relevant email (it can be completely automated) about a course you have which prepares job applicants for everything from what to wear, what to say, and how to negotiate the best salary.

Hey John,

You’ve made it. It’s almost time to graduate from college and start chasing your dreams.

Around this time, you’re probably preparing for job interviews with multiple companies. This is a trying time because a lot is riding on how well you do.

Think about it, a complete stranger is going to decide how your life will play out for the next few years.

No pressure right?

Anyways, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. I’ve developed a course – Your First Big Gig – that’s specifically for fresh college graduates to ace their interviews and get more employment offers than they know what to do with.

Click this link to get all the details and 15% off your purchase.

I’ll see you on the inside.

This email is on point. Not because of the content but because of its relevance to John. He needed extra help but had no idea where to turn.

We’ve come and offered John exactly what he needed in his specific situation.

What do you think the conversion rate on that email and a few follow-up emails would be?

It would be much higher than an email sent out as part of a launch that lacked any real personalization.

In this instance, the value comes from striking while the iron is hot. An individual is only brand new to the workforce once. If we were to miss this opportunity, it may never roll around again.

Types of behavioral segmentation

There are five major types (also referred to as parameters) of behavioral segmentation. These can be further subdivided into sub-segments but we’ll focus on a high-level overview here.


There are events in most cultures which are universally celebrated. There are also occasions that occur regularly but wouldn’t be worthy of celebration such as grocery runs and cable bill payments.

Whatever the reason, you can use them to segment your customers and potential customers. They’re loosely divided into three categories.

Universally celebrated occasions

Apply these to people within the same demographic segment. For example, your customer will be more prone to make gift purchases on their birthdays, birthdays of family members, and during the holiday season.

If you collect information about birthdays or important milestones then you’ll be able to send timely messages without coming off as salesy.

Rare occasions

These are purchases people don’t make often but tend to be larger. For example, if their friend is getting married or they’re going on a road trip for the first time.

It’s difficult to predict these events before they happen but it’s possible to analyze their purchase behavior and make better decisions going forward.

Regular occasions

These happen all the time and are the most useful for building out a behavioral segmentation profile of individual customers. For example, some people go grocery shopping every Saturday morning. Over time, you may realize that their purchase at the end of every month is the largest.

A customer may also each lunch at twelve noon every day. In this situation, you can send an email coupon in the morning to give them a discount on lunch. How else do you think you can use behavioral segmentation to maximize revenue?

Status as a Customer

Different types of customers will behave differently. If someone just stumbled on your brand and is making their first purchase, they’ll behave differently from long-time customers. Overall, there are five important status segments.

  • People that don’t use your products and aren’t aware you exist. They may or may not know they have a problem you solve. They definitely don’t know you exist. Get in front of them with top of funnel awareness content and turn them into email subscribers.
  • Prospects or potential customers. These are the people who know they have a problem you can solve and are evaluating your solution. They’ve yet to decide whether or not it’ll meet their needs. Middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel content work best for them.
  • First-time buyer. This is the moment of truth. They just bought from you and know what to expect. They don’t yet know if you’ll deliver on your promises. This is an opportunity to properly onboard and wow them.
  • Regular customer. They buy from you often and are responsible for the bulk of your revenue. It takes much less effort to reactivate them if they go cold. They’re also a great place to start when doing research for new product lines.
  • Past customers (also known as defectors). They were once customers but left for some reason. They may have outgrown the product or feel like service delivery has declined in some way. They’re a goldmine of information about how you can improve.

Each one of these categories is alive and well in your business. If you market to each of them the same way then you’re missing out on a lot of revenue. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all message.

Rather, your message should match each group.

Benefits they’re looking for

It’s important to know what your customers want from your products and services. Yes, they want to buy it but it’s only relevant because they have a job to be done.

If you ask all of your customers why they bought your product, you’ll get slightly different answers each time. Throughout it all, there will be consistent themes.

Think about a trip to your local mall.

  • You’ll see some people who are diehard sneakerheads
  • You’ll see others that are only interested in designer shirts and jackets
  • Still, others will be focused on jewelry

It’s the responsibility of the mall owners to rent out shops to vendors that’ll meet the needs of frequent customers. If they only rent out space to shoe companies then they’ll lose the customers interested in jewelry and clothing.

That could make up a sizeable portion of the income of the shop owners. If the shop owners don’t make money then they can’t pay for their lease and the owners of the mall suffer.

This is what we did with John from our example. We sent messaging based on the benefit he wanted to gain – a high-paying job right out of college.

Customer Loyalty

Loyal customers also fall into the category of regular customer.

You can count on month after month to generate revenue for you. If you use this as a key segmentation factor, you can give them perks and further encourage them to buy from you.

Many companies do this in the form of a loyalty program. They give discounts, prizes, and early access to their best customers. You stick with them and they stick with you. It’s a win-win situation.

These programs work because your customer is already buying from you and you’re adding an extra reason for them to purchase.

It doesn’t matter how much your product costs or which industry you’re in; there’s room for a loyalty program. Chipotle lets people earn a free sandwich and Starbucks lets their customers earn free refills.

Usage Rate

This is a straightforward behavioral segmentation type. You give people preference based on how much they use your products and services. Understanding this will help you tailor your messages to their situation.

For example, light users can be encouraged to use your application more. Heavy users can be shown the advanced functionality of your product.

A word of caution here; your heaviest users may not be your most valuable customers. Make it a point to understand the difference.

Heavy users

You can count on them patronize consistently. They’re usually responsible for the bulk of your revenue, take advantage of your loyalty program, and happily give you feedback.

The reason is simple; they rely on your products and services. For example, frequent fliers tend to use the same airline and are upgraded regularly as a result. For SaaS products like KyLeads, these are the people who log in every day and let us know what’s working and what’s not.


Count on this group to make purchases infrequently but regularly. For example, if they have a birthday coming up, they’ll turn to you to buy something.

To engage this segment, offer incentives at major milestones. For an application with a regular membership, it’s important to get these types of customers to engage regularly so they can derive more value.


I fondly refer to customers in this group as accidental users. Of course, no one that buys from you does so accidentally, but these people are most likely to make one-off purchases.

The best way to engage them is to encourage follow on purchases or increased usage. You can do this through one-click upsells and order bumps.

You can also do this by offering discounts on related products.

For every segment, the goal is to encourage users to move up a level until they’re heavy users. Move light users to medium users and medium users to heavy users.

Always remember, your heavy users are responsible for the bulk of revenue. It’s important to optimize for them first before spending time and money to get one-off purchases to become repeat customers.

Pitfalls of behavioral segmentation

It’s not all fun, games, and increased revenue. There are challenges with behavioral segmentation that need to be overcome.

Ignoring them altogether

This seems obvious, right? Don’t be so quick to judge. It’s much easier to identify behavior segments than it is to use the insights to improve your business.

After taking the time to understand your customers, it wouldn’t serve you to ignore the segments you identify.

For example, a large portion of your customer base falls under the medium usage rate. Instead of making changes to your email marketing and website to promote increased product usage, you file it under things to be done.

The only problem is that segmentation takes time and effort. The longer you wait the less likely it is to happen.

Segment your users. Take action on the insights you gain.

Using behavioral segments that are too broad or too narrow

It’s easy to go too far in either direction. Behavioral segments need to be detailed enough to make a difference in your business but not so detailed that they only address a tiny portion of your customer base.

Narrow segmentation

Too narrow means you’re cutting off many of your customers and may not be able to derive an ROI. You want to take into consideration individuality but you don’t want to create campaigns that target a group so small they can never be profitable.

For example, messaging that tries to sell computers to middle school students in a single suburb. First, middle school students don’t have much purchasing power and even if they did, how many in that suburb would need computers.

This is a ridiculous example but it serves to illustrate my point. Too narrow is just as bad as too broad.

Broad segmentation

Too broad means it’s not useful. One of the key elements of personalization is tackling problems on an individual level. Your customers are all individuals that have overlapping goals and needs.

It’s the point at which they overlap which makes it possible to create messages that resonate with specific groups. Too much overlap and the message loses its uniqueness.

For example, messaging that tries to sell computers to students is too broad. There are many classes of students.

  • Middle school
  • High school
  • University
  • Graduate

Each of these groups has different needs.  A graduate student has likely been working for a few years so they can get a more powerful computer.

A middle school student is at the mercy of their parents. A high school student may or may not have a job and may or may not be willing to save for months.

Each of these segments would respond better to tailored messaging.

Behavioral segmentation examples you can steal

Yes, I have examples.


There are a lot of ways to use behavioral segmentation for Ecommerce. A few examples that come to mind are:

  • Reward frequent shoppers with membership in your loyalty program. The more they shop the more perks they get. You’re simply reinforcing behaviors they’re already performing.

  • Occasions. If you’ve ever bought something from an Ecommerce store then you know what I’m talking about. They all send messages during holidays like Valentine’s Day and Independence Day.


Most software has moved towards a recurring billing model so it’s a bit more difficult to segment based on purchase frequency. Everyone pays monthly or thereabouts. There are a few ways you can still segment based on behavior.

  • Benefits – When you’re selling software, there are clear benefits customer segments want and need. You can capitalize on this by creating content around that need. Our blog is an example, we create content directly related to our software and that helps our customers succeed as business owners.

  • Usage. This aspect focuses on how often they use the software – not how often they pay for it. Low-frequency users may be about to churn while high-frequency users would be more willing to help you improve your application through customer interviews and surveys.

Digital information products

The best way to segment people who’re interested in information products and even consulting is through benefits sought.

It’s the same approach you’d use with software but in this example, you can create specific products or position each product differently depending on the benefit.

For example, let’s say you run a blog focused on traveling with three main topics:

  • Planning trips
  • Permanent travel
  • Minimizing expenses

If someone lands on your website and subscribes to an article around planning trips, you can make the assumption that they’re interested in better travel planning.

What do you do?

You market products and services that help them plan epic tricks.


We’ve covered a lot of ground and touched on many aspects of behavioral segmentation.

Through it all, one thing remains constant:

Behavioral segmentation is the practice of dividing your customers into groups based on behavior and creating messaging and products to increase your sales.

When used properly, it helps you personalize your messaging at scale and turn one-time customers into brand advocates.

When implementing behavioral segmentation, keep in mind that people can be classed in multiple segments at the same time. If you go too narrow then your messaging won’t be as targeted as it should. If you go too broad then the messaging will appear generic.

Start testing until you understand what works for your brand.

Let me know what you think about behavioral segmentation in the comments and don’t forget to share.

The Framing Effect: Simple Tweaks to Stop Losing Money

Imagine you’ve got a deadline to meet.

It’s been 15 days out of the 30 you were initially given. You’re working slow and steady; after all, you’ve got two weeks left.

The next morning, you’re talking to a few friends over an early lunch at your favorite restaurant. Everyone is sharing what’s going on in their lives — birthdays, projects, travels, etc., — you mention the project you’ve been working on and how you’re happy with your progress.

Your friend John — always the pessimist — explodes when you tell him you’ve got two weeks to finish.

To him, it’s not two weeks left, it’s two weeks already used up that you can’t get back. It’s two weeks gone which you could’ve used to finish the project.

It’s two weeks you’re using to pursue one thing when you could’ve pursued multiple things.

To John, you’re in trouble and need to pick up the pace.

You leave the lunch date anxious and worried about whether or not you’ll meet the deadline. You’re also thinking about the opportunity cost of not being more productive.

You no longer have two weeks. You’ve burnt two weeks.

What happened here is a classic case of the framing effect. You and John were both expressing the same information but in different ways. John framed it negatively and you framed it positively.

By simply changing the way the problem was presented, you became more risk-averse or more risk-prone.

The framing effect is a powerful tool we’ve been using it for thousands of years to convince and convert.

Keep reading to learn more about framing and how you can use it to stop losing subscribers (and money).


The framing effect is simply the way you present information


The framing effect is an example of a cognitive bias, in which people react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it’s presented; e.g. as a loss or as a gain. People tend to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented but seek risks when a negative frame is presented. Gain and loss are defined in the scenario as descriptions of outcomes (e.g. lives lost or saved, disease patients treated and not treated, lives saved and lost during accidents, etc.).(source)

The Framing effect is something each and every one of us uses in our everyday lives. We use it to structure arguments with our friends, family, and colleagues. We use the framing Effect when we’re negotiating, talking about problems, or even seducing.

It’s ubiquitous, but many of us don’t even know what we’re doing. Framing was formally identified as a cognitive bias by psychologists

Framing was formally identified as a cognitive bias by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

The Experiment That Got Everyone Talking About Framing


The original experiment asked students to make a decision in a hypothetical situation. They would be required to save lives or allow lives to be lost.

Imagine that the U.S. is preparing for the outbreak of an unusual Asian disease, which is expected to kill 600 people. Two alternative programs to combat the disease have been proposed. Assume that the exact scientific estimate of the consequences of the programs are as follows

When the situation was framed with a chance of saving lives, people were less likely to take risks (positive framing).

If Program A is adopted, 200 people will be saved. [72 percent]

If Program B is adopted, there is 1/3 probability that 600 people will be saved, and 2/3 probability that no people will be saved. [28 percent]

Another Group was given the same cover story, but the loss of life was emphasized and people became more risk prone (negative framing).

If Program C is adopted 400 people will die. [22 percent]

If Program D is adopted there is 1/3 probability that nobody will die, and 2/3 probability that 600 people will die. [78 percent]

Even though the absolute value of all these situations is 200 people surviving, the way each situation was presented had a huge impact on how people decided.

Positive frames create an environment that avoids risk-taking and proactive behavior.

Negative frames create an environment that causes people to take more risk.

Have you ever watched two news stations at the same time?

Watch a station like BBC or CNN while watching Aljazeera.

Compare and contrast what they’re reporting and what they’re not reporting. Also look at how they frame stories that appear on both stations.

It’s eye opening.

Framing has worked in propaganda since man has been able to communicate. It’s not always so overt or even intentional.

Take the controversy over the U.K. ballot to leave the E.U. — The Brexit.

The original wording on the question was:

"Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"

It would have prompted a simple yes or no, but complaints were made over the question being biased or confusing. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron accepted a recommendation to change the wording after the phrasing was tested on potential campaigners, academics, and language experts.

The final wording on the question was:

Get Insightful Content Like This Delivered Straight to Your Inboox

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

The options that led to the fateful decision were:

Remain a member of the European Union

Leave the European Union


When you frame a situation a certain way, it forms a reference point. We’re irrevocably tied to reference points which in turn create expectations about outcomes.

Enter the expectation effect, the logical progression of framing

The expectation effect, also known as the subject expectancy effect, is the way behavior, perceptions, and results change as a result of personal expectations or the expectations of those around us.

As soon as you think it’s possible then the belief creates a higher chance of it occurring.

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. –Willie Nelson.

You’re familiar with many instances of the expectation effect due to positive or negative framing. You just didn’t know what was happening until now.

  • Hawthorne Effect: Workers are more productive when given more attention during a test or change to their work environment that’s SUPPOSED to improve productivity. The effect is temporary.
  • Pygmalion Effect: Individuals perform better or worse depending on the expectations of their superiors.
  • Placebo Effect: One of the most common and widely studied applications of the expectation effect. Patients — based on the belief that treatment will work — receive treatment benefits.
  • Halo Effect: Positive feelings in one area cause inconsequential or neutral traits to be viewed positively. In English, positive attitudes associated with a brand’s marketing can spread from one product or service to another aspect or thing. E.g., from using new software to the amount you’re improving your business.

To create the right expectations, your framing of the situation needs to be credible.

In a marketing situation, you can’t hope to build the right expectations if the context you use to frame your solution isn’t congruent.

For example, if you framed your solution as a stripped down version of popular accounting software, your customers won’t expect it to do much more than the basic accounting functions they need to keep their finances in order. If you — for some reason — begin to market it as an all-in-one system, there’ll be problems with their expectations.

If you — for some reason — begin to market it as an all-in-one system, there’ll be problems with their expectations.

To set the right expectations in a group, frame the situation correctly from the beginning.

Now that you have a very clear understanding of the framing effect, it’s time to use it to become incredibly persuasive.

Four Types of Framing to Bring About Your Desired Action


Loss Framing

Loss framing is also known as the negative framing effect and is simple to understand. If you’ve ever come across a landing page that uses a timer then you know what loss framing is.

Don’t lose $100 every month on groceries, enroll in our exclusive shoppers club.

You don’t want to lose the opportunity to ….

Don’t lose your home because you “didn’t know,” call us today….

The common thread here is fear. Fear of potential loss.

Loss aversion describes people’s tendency to strongly avoid losses to acquiring gain. Keeping your house is more important than buying a new one.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s pretty simple to frame novel products. Instead of focusing on only it’s novelty — always a hard sell — you can focus on what it’ll prevent them from losing.

Facebook prevents you from losing contact with your friends and family.

AirBnB prevents you from losing money on huge hotel bills while experiencing a new city.

The video below shows how loss frame and gain frame can be used in medical screening.


When to use it

The answer depends on your audience and the attitudes they have towards the product. Loss-framed messages work best when the outcome is less certain. It helps remove attention from the ambiguity of the situation and refocus it on what they lose by not choosing you.

In the context of buying your product, you can say “don’t lose $250 every month on insurance. Buy xxx.” Instead of “save $250 every month by buying xxx.”

When possible, present two options.

  • Buying your product
  • A sure loss

This’ll put them in a risk-taking state of mind and make them more likely to take a chance on you.

The same applies to personal situations. If you’re trying to convince someone to take a less than certain risk — a cross-country road trip. You can frame the argument to highlight all the things they stand to lose like opportunity, experiences, meeting new people, and memories.


Gain Framing

Gain framing is most effective when the benefits of your product, argument, or situation are obvious to the other person. Positive framing is another way to describe it.

Learn a new skill and advance in your career…

Treehouse uses gain framing in their YouTube advertisements.

They have a few different variations, but they’re all showing you the same thing. Someone who was working in a field they didn’t find rewarding took a few classes through Treehouse.

After that, they were able to get high paying jobs. You can do the same if you sign up for a program with Treehouse. You can gain a whole new career and financial freedom.

Dentist’s also use gain framing a lot. Take the video below:

They’re pretty much selling you the world and then some, but you have to start with your smile  (Honestly, I had no idea a smile could do everything under the sun until I watched this video).

When to use it

When the outcome is clear and easy to illustrate, gain framing is the best type of framing effect to use. They’re more persuasive than loss-framed messages because the outcome doesn’t require your prospect to think too much.

For example,

You can easily say get fifty percent more on your tax return when you choose us.

For me, that’s a no-brainer.

Statistical Framing

Statistical framing is arguably the most abused type of framing effect. It relies heavily on data to influence decisions. You can use statistics to create a negatively framed or positively framed message.

I can say my product works 90% of the time while a competitor can say it fails 10% of the time.

Both statements are strictly true, but deliver a very different meaning to the person receiving it.

The video below shows how marketers have been abusing statistics for years.

Long ago, political aspirants mastered the art of statistical framing. The video below is from the 2012 presidential campaign which pitted Mitt Romney against Barack Obama.

The facts presented are strictly true, but the context only tells a part of the story. Obama presents facts and frames them in the context that best suits him. It fails to tell the whole story.

Prosecutors are also known for using statistics to frame arguments in what’s known as the prosecutor’s fallacy.

When to Use it

Statistical framing is one of the most versatile framing effects because it’s easily coupled with positive or negative framing.

You can use it in your marketing messages to show social proof in a positive frame e.g., 7,345 smart people just like you have signed up for our newsletter.

Since 7,345 people have already signed up, there must be something there.

You can also use it the same way Mitt Romney and Barack Obama did. It’s always fun to pick a fight with the competition.

Note: never pick a fight with someone who’s considered David when you’re Goliath — we still believe in fair play.

Language and Imagery Framing

Let’s not forget about the imagery and power words you can use to have a profound effect on the frame of your message. Copywriters have been using words and imagery to frame powerful messages for decades.

In The Adweek Copywriting Handbook (formerly known as Advertising Secrets of the Written Word) Joe Sugarman says:

“Your ad layout and the first few paragraphs of your ad must create the buying environment most conducive to the sale of your product or service.” 

For your website, that means your words need to sell and your imagery needs to back them up.

I’m a fan of design; I’m always making small tweaks to my website to figure out what’s working best and what’s not. My design is always second to the copy.

You can use words and imagery that appeal to the emotional center of the brain. When your design backs up your imagery, you give a stronger sense of stability, sophistication, and trustworthiness.

If you’re a young exciting clothing brand, you should have words and images that support your branding.

Vibram Kills it with their five fingers campaign.

A stroll through an apple store is very different than a stroll through an AT&T store. Apple gives you a feeling of class and sophistication while AT&T gives you a feeling of utility. Neither is inherently better than the other. It’s the frame created through the imagery and language used.

Drop your visitor into an environment that encourages one behavior and discourages another.

I read the story that Cantor Fine Art created (and watched the video).

They use compelling imagery, music, and a powerful narrative to sell their art.

When to Use It

Imagery and language are staples.

When you can, insert a video of someone using your products. If there’s no video insert images of your product in action.

In lieu of both these options, tell a story about your products and how they made someone — or even you — a better version of themselves.

One of the most powerful ways to use language and imagery to test out framing is when you’re running A/B tests.

Instead of looking at A/B testing as changing the color of a button from red to white, look at it through the eyes of your visitor.

Maybe the problem isn’t the button; the problem may be the way the information is presented or the actual information that’s presented.

For example, someone landed on your wedding dresses page and you’re showing wedding dresses from actual events. Your visitor wants to see the wedding dresses that are in stock. Because of that, she’ll bounce from the page and won’t call.

On the other hand, if you show wedding dresses in stock, she’ll be more likely to call you and discuss alterations or a fitting.

Language and imagery are indispensable. Period.

It’s your turn


We’ve looked at the framing effect from many different angles in this article and you’ve seen how it works in the wild.

Stop reading and take a deep look at the framing of your messages. Are they giving you the most bang for your buck?

Statistics, are you using as well as you should be?

Are you setting the right expectations from the beginning?

Would you benefit more from a positive frame or a negative frame?

Is your language compelling and does your imagery work to back it up?

The framing effect is everywhere and we use it ALL the time — both consciously and unconsciously.

Use the framing effect to your advantage and stop losing your audience and customers.

8 OptinMonster Alternatives and Competitors to Convert More Visitors

There are dozens of OptinMonster alternatives on the market, but which one takes the crown as the best? That’s what we’ll look at in this in depth article.

What do you want in an opt-in form maker?

Do you need tons of customization options, unlimited traffic, or the ability to integrate with your favorite tools?

OptinMonster is a well-known opt-in maker. It offers a wide range of features and customization options. It also has its limitations such as the number of page views, limited access to different popups types on their tiers, forced yearly pricing, and missing features that may be important to your business.

That’s why we put together a list of the best OptinMonster alternatives to create popups that convert and grow your mailing list.

If you’re looking for an OptinMonster alternative or just want to know what’s on the market then this guide will help.

Here are the best OptinMonster alternatives to grow your business.


KyLeads’ opt-in form and quiz maker caters to small businesses and marketers to help them increase their email leads.

With KyLeads, you can easily create different types of popups such as slide in, lightbox modals, inline forms, floating bars, and full-screen takeovers. In addition to the forms, you’re able to create quizzes to capture leads, segment your subscribers, and use the insights you gain to send tailored messages.

Personalized and segmented messages generate 58% of all email marketing revenue.

KyLeads has multiple targeting options such as UTM parameter, scroll percentage, and page level to name a few. Of course, you can choose a template then customize every aspect to match your brand and maintain consistency.

Every plan comes with hundreds of thousands of page views and you’re able to A/B test your popups no matter which pricing tier you’re on.

The intuitive reporting makes it simple to get a bird’s eye view of how your popups are performing as well as the contacts you’ve collected. Use those insights to formulate split tests and improve your conversion rates.

KyLeads works with almost every website builder platform and integrates with the major email marketing platforms with a few button clicks. That means you don’t have to fiddle around with code to get started.

The end result is more contacts, the ability to send tailored messages, and more revenue.

Try KyLeads for free.


Privy started life as a different tool. They originally wanted to connect brick and mortar stores to the online world and help them track conversions. When that didn’t work, they pivoted to become the popup maker we see today.

They have a strong emphasis on Ecommerce and combine Ecommerce specific features into their offering.


They have multiple opt-in types so you’re able to select the one that works best for your visitors.  They also have gamification through spin to win which helps increase conversions. The editor is easy to use and doesn’t require much learning to get up to speed and start creating popups.

Finally, they offer deep Ecommerce integrations like coupons which sync to your store and improve conversions on your product pages.


They’ve tried to do a lot of things inside of Privy like a landing page builder and autoresponder. The autoresponder is a bit more expensive than dedicated email marketing service providers. The landing page builder is a bare bones version. At best they’re basic tools that you’ll choose if you don’t have any other choice.


Mailmunch is a stripped down popup builder that lets you focus on your goal – getting more email subscribers. To make this possible, they removed many features other popup makers have.


The main draw of MailMunch is its simplicity. You can get in and out within a few minutes and make popups that work for you. They have the common display types such as lightbox popups, slide ins, and floating bars. This is an entry level tool in every sense of the word.


When they chose simplicity, they gave up a lot of the advanced features people have come to expect. You can’t make full screen takeovers and they have a limited integration ecosystem. Instead of direct integrations, they opted to rely on Zapier which may lead to extra expenses.


Hellobar is another popular solution to create lead capture forms. It has a unique feature called leading question that allows you to ask a question before someone sees your form.  It’s similar to Yes/No opt-ins.

By prequalifying visitors, you increase the chances of a conversion from the people who eventually see your lead magnet.


Hellobar has most of the features you’d expect form a lead capture tool. What gives it a slight edge is the ability to funnel visitors to different places on your website. You can also talk to visitors, make announcements, and promote your social channels.


They have a limited number of popup types. The most obvious missing link is the inline form which you can be embedded in pages or after a post.

Though the leading question can be effective, it’s tricky. If you ask someone if they want to increase leads, and they still say no, it’ll still show a form which is a negative user experience.


When Sumo was first launched, it contained a suite of tools to help you grow your website. They’ve reduced the number of things you can do with the app in order to focus on Ecommerce websites.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use them on other websites. It means the feature set is evolving to cater to Ecommerce stores so keep that in mind when evaluating this tool.


They have the major opt-in types such as lightbox, full screen, and slide in. In addition to that, you’re able to do some advanced things with your targeting options like referral source, cart abandonment, and UTM targeting.

They also have deep integrations with Ecommerce platforms like Shopify which lets you send more relevant messages.


They used to have a much larger suite of tools which allowed you to grow your website whether that was Ecommerce or otherwise. With their recent pivot, they’ve dropped a lot of those features (or made them more difficult to find).

Convert Pro

Convert Pro is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create many different types of popups to grow your mailing list and build an engaged mailing list. It’s brought to you by the people who made Astria theme.


One unique feature of this app is the adblock detection. You’re able to configure your popups to work whether or not the user is using ad blocking software. This is definitely a plus since almost a quarter of your visitors may be using an ad blocker.

The plugin also has multiple templates, exit intent popups, and the other standard ones you’d expect in a lead generation tool.


One of the major cons is that Convert Pro is limited to WordPress. No matter how great it is, you can’t use it for any other CMS. That’s a major disadvantage. In addition to that, they don’t have their own built in analytics. You have to connect to Google Analytics. If you’re not using Google Analytics then you should steer clear of this tool.


Bloom is a WordPress plugin brought to you by Elegant Themes. When used with another Elegant Theme, it’s a powerful tool. Of course, it’s not limited to use with an Elegant Theme.


Bloom comes with over a hundred templates for you to choose from and customize. You can split test your forms, change almost any element, and access clear reports. The triggering options are clear and include timed delay, scroll percentage, and exit intent.

Finally, they have over a dozen email marketing integrations – all of the most popular ones.


Unfortunately, this is a WordPress plugin which means if you don’t have WordPress then you’re out of luck. They’re also missing a few key opt-in types like floating bar and full screen takeover.  Bloom lacks some of the advanced targeting options some of the other software has.


Optimonk has been on the market for a while and started as a simple tool for exit popups. It has evolved into a fully featured popup maker and on-site retargeting tool that’s focused on Ecommerce. You can use it to reduce cart abandonment and engage with visitors on your website.


With OptiMonk, you’re able to do quite a few things in addition to creating popups. You can collect feedback, make surveys, and promote social sharing. The platform also lets you create many different types of popups like floating bar, sidebar form, and lightbox popup to name a few.

With their Ecommerce integrations, you can target visitors based on their cart value or current order.


They severely limit the number of visitors with all of their plans so it gets expensive fast. The first plan only allows for 5,000 visitors a month. In addition to that, you have to pay about $400/m to remove their branding.


There will never be a shortage of tools to help you increase your conversions. The question is whether or not they’re the best tool for your specific situation.

We’ve gone through quite a few OptinMonster alternatives that’ll help you achieve your goal of growing your mailing list and getting more customers.

We made sure to include only direct competitors as opposed to all the tools that are available on the market.

If we missed any OptinMonster alternatives in our list be sure to tell us in the comments and don’t forget to share.

33 Content Upgrade Ideas to Build Your Mailing List + Examples

Last updated on June 6, 2019

What’s the big deal about using content upgrades to build a highly engaged mailing list?

If you launch a product, subscribers are the first ones to buy.

When you publish a blog post, they’re the ones who share.

As you grow your brand, they’re the people who create hashtags in your honor.

Let me ask. How well does that sidebar opt-in form convert?

Most likely, it’s less than one percent.

The right lead magnets on the right pages can convert as many as 50% of your visitors into subscribers (those, of course, are not normal results. You should be aiming for 5-6% conversion rates on content upgrades).

Content upgrades and decent traffic levels are the difference between a thriving mailing list and a sick one.

In this article, we’ll explore what a content upgrade is, dozens of ideas, and how to quickly make a content upgrade for your best performing content.

What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is a bonus or addition that expands the utility of a specific piece of content. The best ones make it easier, faster, or simpler to implement the insights gained from the main content.

For example, if you’ve created an ultimate guide about window washing, a content upgrade could be a PDF download of the article. It works because it’s difficult to retain all the information from an ultimate guide.

People can just refer back to the PDF download when they get stuck or need a refresher.

Generally, content upgrades are delivered using a popup but you can use other tools like landing pages, though it’s a bit more work.

Another benefit of a content upgrade is the ability to segment your audience based on their interests. Different groups of customers are interested in different things. The content upgrade they sign up for gives you insights into those interests.

The possibilities are, quite literally, endless.

Now, what can a content upgrade do for your conversion rate?

This post about SEO audits has 2 content upgrades and converts about 5% of the visitors into email subscribers.

The interesting part is that it’s a PDF of the post.

There are multiple instances of content upgrades performing extremely well.

Kim Roach of Buzz Blogger got a 16% conversion rate from a content upgrade she created by splitting an article into two parts.

How to create a content upgrade with KyLeads (in less than 5 minutes)

You can use multiple popups types to create content upgrades with KyLeads. I’ll use a modal popup to illustrate.

Step 1:

Log in to your KyLeads account and click on the menu option to the left labeled “form builder.” When the page loads, click the green button in the top right corner labeled “create new opt-in form.”

Step 2:

A screen will pop up and ask you want your goal is. For your content upgrade, that will be to capture contact information. Name your popup and choose the website you’d like for it to work on.

image of creating a content upgrade in KyLeads step 2

Step 3:

Choose the type of popup you’d like to use for your content upgrade. This example will be with the modal/lightbox popup. After selecting the type, scroll down and select your template.

image of creating a content upgrade in KyLeads step 3

Step 4:

You’ll land on a page that asks you to set your cookie duration for when people submit their information successfully and for when they exit your popup.

image of creating a content upgrade in KyLeads step 4

Step 5:

Customize your opt-in form to your heart’s content.

image of creating a content upgrade in KyLeads step 5

Step 6:

The last step is to set your targeting options. The most important of which is page-level targeting. This ensures your content upgrade appears on the right pages.

image of creating a content upgrade in KyLeads step 6

Hit publish then copy and paste the embed code wherever you’d like to use it.

Now that you’re well versed in what a content upgrade is and how to make one, let’s dive into the different types.

1.     PDF of the post

I mentioned this before. Turn the article into a PDF so people can refer back to it whenever they need it.

This content upgrade works best when you have longer detailed content. A five hundred word post, won’t deliver enough of an incentive to prompt someone to download the PDF version.

An ultimate guide is a different beast altogether. It’s long and detailed enough to make someone think twice about reading it all in one sitting. More and more content is being consumed on mobile devices.

That means there are a lot more distractions you have to fight with to keep a reader engaged. With a PDF version, they can just download the article and save it for later.

2.     PDF Guide

A PDF guide seems similar to a PDF of the post. They’re different. This type of content upgrade gives your reader detailed information about the topic at hand.

This is ideal for a shorter series of posts. For example, we have a lot of articles that are relevant to market segmentation and demographic segmentation. It wouldn’t be too difficult to package those posts as a more in-depth guide.

We already have most of the necessary content. All we’d need to do is package it, add a few more details, and let it loose on the world. It’ll also be a relevant content upgrade for multiple articles.

3.     Checklist

This is my favorite type of content upgrade for tutorial style posts. Generally, in a tutorial, you’ve laid out all the steps needed to arrive at a specific outcome.

The only problem is that they’ll need to open your article every time they want to go through the process you’ve laid out.

What if they forget the URL? What if they don’t want to open their browser (yea, people are lazy)?

A checklist lays out the major steps required to achieve the desired outcome in an easy to digest format. The value is clear and immediate.

4.     Video of the article

Everyone learns best via different formats. I like written and audio content. For me, videos are best for entertainment.

Not everyone shares my particular angst. Video content made up over 69% of internet traffic in 2017 and is estimated to reach 80% in 2019.

It’s much harder to create and edit than written content.

To go back and change a few words in a document is a few orders of magnitude easier than adding an extra segment to videos.

Go this route if you have the skills or resources to make great video content for your audience.

5.     Audio of the article

Podcasts and audiobooks have been getting more and more popular over the last few years. A startup creating audio summaries for books raised $18 million and does millions of dollars a year in revenue. The podcasting startup Gimlet media was acquired by Spotify for around $200 million.

It’s not by accident. People can listen to audio while performing other tasks which makes it an easy way to consume info.

Audio content isn’t as easy to edit as written content but it’s simpler than video (you can record in your pajamas after all).

The good part is you can outsource audio creation to multiple services for just a few dollars per article.

6.     Email course

An email course is a more difficult content upgrade to produce but can have the highest impact.

Why do you think that is?

People know they signed up for a course that’s being delivered via email. To get the material, they have to open the emails you send them. Your open rate and engagement go up.

If your content is good then they’ll get used to opening your emails – even when your email course is finished.

Not only that.

There’s an opportunity to pitch your premium products in every email you send. That’s a win-win.

We have multiple email courses around KyLeads. My favorite is the Growth Course. It takes thirty days to complete and a large percentage of people end up starting a free trial for KyLeads.

7.     Cheatsheet

A cheat sheet is a shortcut to a process or method you’ve shared with your visitors. It condenses the information it may have taken you months or years to accumulate.

This is the perfect content upgrade for topics that it’s almost impossible to cover completely. For example, we have an article on affiliate marketing tools. It’s a huge topic.

There’s traffic generation, email marketing, selecting products, etc. etc. Our cheatsheet distills the major strategies visitors can use to grow their affiliate empire.

The best part about cheatsheets is they can be used across multiple pieces of content. Our affiliate marketing cheat sheet can be used across many posts related to affiliate marketing.

8.     Related Ebook

An Ebook is one of the meatiest content upgrades you can create. It dives deep into a single relevant topic.

An effective Ebook is well designed, detailed, and easy to consume. At the same time, it moves people closer to the next action you’d like them to take. Lastly, it can be used for multiple posts or an entire category of your website.

Let’s say you have a section on your website that focuses on vegan recipes. A content upgrade could be a collection of your top vegan recipes.

It’s simple, relevant, and effective.

9.     Resource library

Over time, you’ll create a lot of content upgrades, Ebooks, videos, and audio content. Of course, they’ll serve as individual ways to opt-in to your mailing list.

What many people fail to realize is they’re sitting on a goldmine.

You’re not building a publication like Forbes. You’re building a content library that people would find useful at different points in their journey.

Think of it like this. Instead of buying a magazine off the shelf, they’re checking out a book from the library.

I digress.

Put together your best resources and offer it as a downloadable file or members-only area.


Of course, we have a soft spot in our hearts for quizzes as a content upgrade. Not only do quizzes produce a much better conversion rate than almost any type of lead gen device, but they also reveal insights about your audience.

It’s the best of both worlds.

We’ve already covered how to produce a quiz for lead generation so we won’t rehash it. To find the right articles to use as content upgrades for your quizzes, think about the commercial intent.

These tend to be middle of the funnel pieces with high buyer intent. You can position your quiz as a way to select between different solutions.

With the insights you gain, you’re able to refine your messaging and turn motivated browsers into customers.


Polls are similar to quizzes in that they’re interactive content. They require your visitors to actively engage. Otherwise, they won’t get the value.

These work best when you have a piece of content that compares two or more options. It also works well with best of lists. For example, you can add a poll to a list of the best destinations to travel to.

Phrase it as either a question about where people have traveled, where they’d like to travel the most, or what they think is the best destination. When you gate the answers, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many people opt in to see the answer.

12.Collection of tools or resources related to the article

This one is similar to the resource library but the tools and resources you compile don’t need to be created by you. Curate the best information or tools available.

This works best on topics that can’t be covered in a single sitting no matter how in-depth your content is. Well, you could write a book but no one will read that on a page in a single sitting so the same thing applies.

You can use your collection of tools across many closely related articles.

13.Bonus content

I’ve mentioned this before. Your work is never complete. There will always be something to add to what you’ve created. I could as well add ten more content upgrade ideas to this post. Or, I could give them away in exchange for an email and build our list in the process.

It fits nicely into the criteria for a content upgrade because it’s super relevant and helps your visitor take the next step.

That’s not the only way to create bonus content. Technically, many content upgrades on this list would fit the criteria of bonus content.

I’ll define it as more of what you’ve given in the original piece. If you have 100 outfit ideas then bonus content would be 30 more outfit ideas.

14.Done for you scripts and templates

I love these. Sometimes, a strategy has a specific portion that made it effective. That could be the wording someone used during a call or email or the way they designed their ad.

The thing is, without the script or template then you’d have a hard time replicating their results. That’s why scripts are so valuable.

They help you remove a lot of trial and error from the process and jump straight into generating results.

A note about templates and scripts: be sure to tell your subscribers to tweak them and make them their own. The more anything is used, the less effective it becomes.

15.Designs or stock photography

This content upgrade isn’t used often because it’s hard to create. That’s what makes it so valuable. How many photographers do you know giving away exclusive images?

I know you’ll probably think about Pexels or Unsplash. While these services are useful, they’re also ubiquitous. You could limit the distribution of your photos and drive up your conversion rate.

The key, of course, is to keep it relevant.

16.Part of a larger product

I’m not talking about a free trial. Regardless of what people say, a free trial isn’t giving someone something for free. It’s an opportunity to showcase your product. Think of it as a no-touch demo.

That’s a topic for another day.

Moving on.

Can you break off part of your course and give it away free? What about a book – can you give your audience members a chapter in exchange for their contact info? Is it possible to break off a piece of your software and offer it completely free?

All of these things work well as a content upgrade because it gives people an idea of what they’ll gain from the paid version.

17.Interview series

Tapping into the wisdom of others is, perhaps, the smartest way to accelerate your growth. That applies to both professional and personal growth.

It only makes sense that people would be willing to part with their contact information in exchange for an interview. When you turn that into an interview series then you’re on hallowed ground.

To make this work, there are just two requirements:

  1. Interviews with relevant people
  2. Interviews that deliver a lot of value

I’ve watched and listened to interviews with people who are rock stars in the space but they suck at interviews. It’s not fun.

Create high-value interviews. Give them away free.

18.Private community

This may not seem obvious at first but a community can be one of the best content upgrades you’ll ever make.

It’s hard achieving a goal alone. It’s even more difficult when you’re doing something that’s out of the ordinary (like starting a business). This process becomes infinitely easier to do it when you have people supporting you.

A private community brings together people from different backgrounds with similar goals. If the conversation is high quality then people will stick around.

19.Formula or roadmap

Think of this type of content upgrade as a way to focus on one aspect of your article and execute it well.

For example, an article about dressing well for the summer could have a formula content upgrade that explains how to match colors and textures. You give them the formula which they can apply in many different situations.

20.Behind the scenes processes

I’m biased. I love seeing what my favorite companies are doing behind the scenes or how my favorite artists create their work.

I’ve paid for this kind of content with cold hard cash so, for me, an email is cheap.

If you sit down in your pajamas behind a screen all day, don’t be discouraged. You can also make videos that show how you get the things you do, done. For example, you could walk someone through the rationale behind how you create content or source products for your business.

21.Tutorial video

This is similar to a behind the scenes video. Where a behind the scenes video focuses on your thought process and the culture of your business this one focuses on the step by step tactics.

To achieve any level of success, you’re sure to have created a few processes that you use all the time. You may even have videos that you’ve used to train your assistants or team members.

What’s stopping you from sharing it with your visitors?


This is repurposing at its finest. A few years ago I created an expert roundup post on one of my other websites. It got shared thousands of times and drove tons of traffic.

It was a success.

I thought about how I could expand the utility of the post and repurposed it into a Slideshare presentation. It was selected by the SlideShare editorial team and featured among the content of the week.

People consume content in different ways. This is a mix of visual and written content that works well as a content upgrade.


The name says it all. A workbook is a book that allows people to work through a process in a structured manner. It removes a bit of the abstraction from whatever lesson you’re trying to teach your readers and makes it easier to accomplish the end goal.

In essence, it adds structure to a concept.

If you go down this road, there’s one thing to keep in mind. Workbooks should look good.

Why does it matter?

People will be interacting with it over an extended time. It should be a joy to access and use.


Visual content in all its forms is loved by the masses. Convert your blog post into a visual form for download or even republishing. Infographics are relatively easy to make useful, eye-catching, and relatively easy to make.

An added benefit is that they’re highly shareable. If you’ve got an eye for design then use a tool like Canva, Venngage, or Piktochart.

If not, outsource it on Upwork or a similar site.

25.Webinars and replays

This works for two reasons.

  1. Webinars teach valuable lessons
  2. You get to pitch a product (you did pitch a product on your webinar right)?

The only problem with webinars is that there are a lot of lessons to absorb. Even if you take notes, you’ll miss some points. A replay makes it possible for your audience to members to cycle through the content over and over again.

Place the webinar replay as a content upgrade across multiple relevant posts.

26.Swipe file

I have a copywriting swipe file I use for inspiration when I’m creating ads and sales pages. It makes it easy to get the creative juices flowing and prevents you from making simple mistakes.

It’s taken me years to compile. I consider it a secret weapon.

How valuable do you think your personal swipe file would be for your audience? Yes, it would be very valuable.

If you’re talking about Facebook ads then give away a swipe file of advertisements. It’s simple.

Anything that can be used for inspiration would count as a swipe file.

27. Spreadsheet

Part of the problem with data is structuring it properly.

Are you capturing everything you need?

Is there a better way to organize the information?

A spreadsheet solves this problem. Give your audience a spreadsheet that helps them organize data. You could even fill it out for them and encourage them to add more information as they continue.

This works especially well if you’re in a niche where people have a lot of information that needs to be organized like marketing or finance.

28.Show notes for podcasts and videos

As much as we love podcasts and videos, we don’t always have the time to interact with them the way we’d like.

Show notes make it possible to get the major points without sitting through a thirty to sixty-minute episode. If you run a podcast or regular make video content then show notes can be a consistent content upgrade option.

I, personally, always download them for my favorite podcasts.

29.Case study

This is what we refer to as bottom of the funnel content. The person who downloads your case study is more interested in the services you offer and specific results you’ve gotten for people in the past.

It’s like the last step before they make a purchase decision.

Conversely, you could also write a case study about influential people in your field and package it for download. The results aren’t directly related to your product or services but they’re interesting nonetheless.

That’s part of the reason headlines like “How I got to $1 million” are so appealing.

30.Proprietary Research

Do you know why people don’t do research very often? It’s difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Do you know why people want proprietary research so much? It’s difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.

This content upgrade is high converting and it positions you as an authority in your field.

Fill your report with visuals and detailed explanations of what your findings mean. It’ll take a bit of effort but it’s worth it. Use it across multiple posts or an entire category.


A calculator doesn’t have to be a software product or something that requires a developer to get involved. I’ve made sales calculators with an Excel spreadsheet that converted like gangbusters.

We also have an email ROI calculator (no email address required) that people use all the time to understand the impact of email marketing on their business.

Don’t overthink this. Create the formula in Excel or Google Sheets and give it away in exchange for an email address. People will thank you for it.


Consultation is generally expensive and valuable. You can use this to your advantage by offering short consultations to people.

To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, you’ll need to set up a system. For example, you can only allow a certain number of people to request free consultations in a day.

Conversely, you could hand it off to someone on your team (if the consultation doubles as a way to generate new clients – which it should). Otherwise, turn it off if it becomes too much for you to handle.


I shy away from this strategy because a discount can attract the wrong type of customer. That being said, it works.

People are always looking for deals on clothes, software, food, and anything else you can think of. Be careful about how often you use this method and how much you discount your products. For most ecommerce brands, 10-20% off the first purchase seems to be the norm.

Don’t feel pressured though; go with whatever works best for you and your company.

The problem with content upgrades

Content upgrades are great. We love them because they have such a huge positive impact on conversion rates. There’s just one problem – it can get difficult to make them if you produce a lot of content.

There’s not enough time in the world.

This is especially true when you have tons of blog posts on your website. If you have decent traffic then that’s the norm.

So what do you do?

If you didn’t start from scratch then your best bet is to create content upgrades for the most popular posts as well as specific categories on your website.

Let’s look at how to find your most popular posts.

Log into Google Analytics (you are using GA aren’t you) and navigate to behavior > site content > all pages (or landing pages).

After our homepage, the most popular page on our website (as of writing this) is the one we have about affiliate marketing tools. It has a current conversion rate holding steady at about 6%. Not bad.

We’ve also made a content upgrade for our post on confirmation bias but it converts about 3% of the traffic. It could be better. 4% should be the absolute minimum for content upgrades.

We’re working on it.


That’s over four thousand words about content upgrades. We’ve covered everything from what they are, how to make them, and ideas about what to use for your content upgrades.

The only thing left is to find your most popular posts and start creating content upgrades.

Apply the 80/20 rule and start creating them for every new article you make. The snowball effect will kick in and your site-wide conversion rates will be on fleek.

Let me know what you think about content upgrades in the comments and don’t forget to share.

Demographic Segmentation: Definition, Examples & How to Use it

Last updated October 18, 2019.

A segmented market is one that’s more valuable to you.

Demographic segmentation, in particular, is often the first step in creating customer profiles that help you make better products, messages, and close deals.

Before we had things like Facebook and Google that let you target your customer’s interests, intent, and behaviors, – the things that make up psychographic segmentation – all we had was demographic data.

That’s what print and television advertising empires were built on. If it’s not broken then why fix it?

Demographic data is important but it’s by no means the only information you need to create useful customer segments.

In this article, we’ll look at what demographic segmentation is, how to get the information, and examples of how smart businesses are using it.

Definition of demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation is the process of dividing your market into segments based on things like ethnicity, age, gender, income, religion, family makeup, and education.

This helps brands spend their advertising and marketing budget more efficiently. Instead of going after their entire market, they’re able to show relevant messages to people more likely to care.

It’s the most common type of segmentation strategy.

Most analytics tools on the web will give you basic demographic information.

google analytics demographic segmentation

Other segmentation methods such as psychographic and behavioral segmentation are more difficult to implement.

How to get demographic data

You may not be able to get demographic information for every one of your customers or audience members. That’s alright.

You can get the data from enough people to build a profile of your most engaged customers.

With that, you can choose the right social media platforms, create better marketing material, and grow your subscriber base more quickly.

There are a number of ways to unlock this information. We’ll touch on two methods.

Analytics software

  If you have a website then you’re using analytics software to understand who visits and what they’re interested in.

Most analytics software allows you to see basic demographic information like gender and age.

Log into your analytics account and check if it’s collating the information. If not, you can use a tool like Google Analytics (GA) in addition to your current solution.

GA will give you gender and age information about a portion of your audience.

Simply open your GA account, click on audience ->demographics -> overview. If you’ve not accessed this area of your account before then you’ll need to activate it and check back in 24 hours.

Quizzes and Surveys

Both quizzes and surveys allow you to ask your audience members direct questions. Once you have enough answers, you can feel safe knowing it represents the majority of your customer segments.

The difference between a quiz and a survey is that with quizzes, people want an outcome. You can’t get away with asking seven demographic questions and calling it a day.

You can sprinkle in a few demographic questions with questions calculated to boost engagement and achieve a higher response and completion rate than surveys.

Surveys allow you to ask direct demographic questions but the engagement rate is much lower. On average, external surveys have completion rates well below 20%.

If you want more data – surveys and quizzes are best.

If you want an easy way to get the data – analytics are your friend.

Note: Be careful about using census data. The information there is an average of small groupings like a neighborhood. Even though it may be attached to a household, it’s not representative of that particular household. The data about you and your next door neighbor is exactly the same.

Demographic segmentation factors (and examples)

Some demographic information is more important than others.

For example, if you’re selling premium online courses for photography, the gender of your audience isn’t as important as their age or income.

They have to be able to afford your courses and age will give you an idea of their willingness to learn a new skill.

We’re going to look deeper at the type of demographic segmentation information to collect and prioritize.


Gender tends to be the first method businesses adopt to segment their users. There are only two groups that matter.

Males and females tend to have different preferences.Without stereotyping anyone, men are more interested in financial trading and cryptocurrencies.

The owner of LCMS, Jin, uses a lot of imagery and testimonials on his homepage. You can see that most of the people present are males. Females are greatly underrepresented.

Women are more interested in home décor and beauty supplies.

Take a look at Sephora’s Instagram page.

They almost exclusively use female models to showcase their products and the looks you can achieve.

Some companies choose to only serve one gender or the other.

This is prominent in fashion Ecommerce.

Dollar shave club created a movement (and sold to Unilever for a billion dollars) by creating a product exclusively for one gender – men.

ONLY, on the other hand, is for women. All their marketing, imagery, and products are for that gender.

When doing gender segmentation, you don’t have to exclude a gender. The best results are achieved when you know which genders prefer specific products.

That way, you can use your budget to market to them and leave off the other one.


Age is also another common factor used to segment customers. It’s often paired with gender segmentation to create a more robust profile.

There are commonly accepted age groups for marketing and advertising purposes:

  • 12-17
  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-44
  • 45-54
  • 55-64
  • 65+

Age plays an important role in where and how you market your products.

Toys are obviously for a younger demographic group but certain video games appeal to a mature audience as well.

Juul, the electric cigarette that took the world by storm, and is under investigation for its advertising practices, targets a younger demographic.

The campaigns are reminiscent of the ads the traditional cigarette industry used to target younger smokers.

In a broader sense, different age groups have different values, norms, and ways they interpret messages.

Younger groups are more impressionable. Messages targeted at them are flashy and abstract because their future is still up for grabs.

Older millennials and the 30+ crowd are more secure in the knowledge of what they want and need. Advertisements aimed at this group are more concrete because they’re experiencing the reality of the world in full force.

The older generations have traditionally been ignored because it’s thought that they’re set in their ways. An advertisement isn’t going to change their mind. Instead of attempting to sway their opinions, target this demographic segment in a way that informs them about things they already want or need.

Don’t tell them they need a new car. Tell them about the options available to them.  

Another way age is helpful is deciding which social platform you want to use. Every social media platform has an age group that uses it more than others.

For a younger demographic (12 – 24) Snapchat and Instagram are your best channels. The largest group of Twitter users are between 25 – 34.

Basic demographic information about their users is freely available. Do a bit of research to inform which channel you should spend the most time on.


Income demographic segmentation is when people are segmented by their monthly or yearly income. You can segment based on personal income or household income.

This is most effective when you have a specific product for a specific niche at a higher price point.

Use income segmentation when you have both expensive and inexpensive products. When you segment the groups that can afford the products away from the ones that can’t, you get clearer feedback.

You’re able to build a profile of your ideal customers and improve the products based on what they care about.

If you don’t segment like this, you may get feedback from people who would never buy. Based on that, your product development can be derailed.

A good example of this type of segmentation is Mercedes. They have cars that start at forty thousand dollars and ones that start at half a million dollars.


The customers for the forty thousand dollar car may never buy the half a million dollar car. If Mercedes asked them for feedback they’d likely ask them to make it cheaper.

The person who’s willing to pay half a million dollars may tell them to improve the performance or the finishing.

Education and occupation

People achieve different levels of formal education. With each tier of education, there are certain experiences they may have had.

We can all point to common grade school experiences.

If you’ve gone to college, you can point to common experiences there as well.

On the other side, your occupation can play a big role in how you purchase products and services. Doctors and nurses may make different food choices when compared to truckers and construction workers.

Executives in large organizations would make different clothing choices when compared to designers in a marketing agency.

Together, our education and occupation influence our buying decisions.

When segmenting based on education/occupation, it’s important to understand two things:

  • Are the majority of your customers likely to be in a specific education or occupational segment?
  • Does it even matter?

Some products have education requirements before you’ll receive the benefits. You wouldn’t enroll in an MBA course before you did your bachelors.

Certain magazines also appeal to people with specific groups. A medical journal would naturally appeal to Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and related educators.

Some, on the other hand, have no requirements. Do you need to go to college or work in a design firm before you buy a nice pair of jeans?

You can use this type of segmentation to your advantage like Convertkit.

convertkit occupational segmentation

They’re an email marketing company that targets creators. Does that mean they’ll turn away everyone else?


It just means that all their decisions are informed by the main group they target.

Many of the fastest growing companies on the Inc. 5,000 list use occupational segmentation to position their companies and reap the largest benefits.

Family makeup (and lifecycle)

The last type of demographic segmentation we’ll touch on is family makeup. The needs of families are different when compared to the needs of individuals.

You wouldn’t target a family cruise at individuals and you wouldn’t target a night club or dating service towards couples.

Let’s say you offer continued education and skills acquisition for older customers (40+). It wouldn’t be a stretch to position your offer as one that’ll help them achieve a lifestyle that they always dreamed about for their family.

They’re not doing it for themselves alone but for their entire family.

Major events in a person’s life cycle are also when they’re more receptive to specific messages. Before a wedding couples are more receptive to bridal advertisements. After a wedding, they’re more receptive to messages about home furnishings.

Before and after their first child they’re more receptive to message about childcare.

Products that benefit from family segmentation:

  • Amusement parks
  • Movies
  • Food (healthy food for children)
  • Vacation packages
  • Investment/tax advice
  • Anything involving kids

These are just a few suggestions, this list is by no means exhaustive and you could come up with a creative angle to take advantage of family makeup.

Problems with demographic segmentation

Of course, because demographic segmentation focuses on factors that exclude actual behaviors, there are shortcomings.

Not using them at all

The biggest issue you can encounter is not using demographic segmentation at all. You may feel like it doesn’t matter because you’re selling a product that can appeal to all people (like a digital course or software).

While this may be true on the surface, it’s always a good idea to niche down and serve a group of people more closely.

Your messages are more effective and they’re more comfortable patronizing you.

Using the wrong demographic segments

Some demographic segmentation make sense for one product but not another. Income segmentation wouldn’t make sense for a bargain product but it would make sense for a luxury product.

Gender segmentation wouldn’t make sense for food but it would make sense for a beauty product.

Age segmentation makes sense for alcoholic beverages but doesn’t seem to apply to soft drinks.

Occupation is obvious for trade magazines but not as useful for general consumer products.

Whether or not you’re using the wrong segments depends entirely on what your product is, your branding, and goals.  Beyond that, it’s a matter of experimenting.

Limited in scope

People in the same demographic segment can have different needs. Just because two people are male and eighteen doesn’t mean they want the same things.

One may come from a family that values education above all else so they’re keen on buying test prep courses.

The other eighteen year old may have dropped out of school so test prep is the last thing on their mind.

It’s important to combine demographic segmentation with other types of market segmentation to build a complete picture of your best customers.

One variable can never tell the complete picture.


Demographic segmentation is an important starting point to understand your market and their needs.

With the right demographic information, you can create assumptions to test and refine your messaging.

Over time, you’ll understand whether age, gender, income, education, or family makeup is the most important variable for your specific products and services.

Use quizzes or surveys to get the demographic information and start experimenting with the information you unlock.

Don’t stop at demographic segmentation alone. Look into other types of segmentation such as behavioral and psychographic to build a better persona of your ideal buyer.

With that, you can craft clear messages that work – every time.

Let me know how you’re using demographic segmentation in the comments and don’t forget to share.

6 Foolproof Quiz Promotion Methods for Maximum Exposure

If no one sees your epic quiz then it might as well not exist. Quiz promotion is important so you get it in front of as many people as possible. If not, your meticulously crafted title and the painstaking effort you put into the questions is all for nothing.

It’s a little bit more than pasting the link on all the social media platforms and hoping for the best. In this post, we’ll walk you through six ways to promote your quiz so it yields the results you’re looking for.

1.     Facebook

Facebook is the elephant in the room. With over two billion monthly active users, there’s no way we can ignore it. There are multiple ways to use the platform to get your quiz in front of as many people as possible.

This topic can be a post on its own so we’ll just touch on the most important points.

a.      Post to your page

This is the first and usually the only thing people do for quiz promotion. It’s not enough if you want to properly promote your quiz.

When posting to your Facebook page, Facebook itself will pull the description and featured image from the page you embedded your quiz on. That may give you something that looks like this:

That’s not ideal in many situations. Instead, you’ll want to add your own image and description to maximize your share of the newsfeed.

Remove the image pulled by Facebook and add your own.

With longer copy and a better image, you’ll be able to increase the click-through rate to your quiz.

b.      Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are a tricky way to promote your quiz. If you join up and drop links you’ll likely be banned. If you don’t take your quiz promotion seriously in groups then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Here’s how to do it right.

  • Join the Facebook groups you’re interested in before you’ve created your quiz
  • Be an active member for a week or two before you decide to link your quiz
  • Participate in discussions and create your own
  • When it’s time to promote your quiz, be sure to preface the post with a description about what you’re promoting, why it matters, and what they stand to gain. Here’s an example of a Facebook group post:

  • Rinse and repeat until you’re satisfied

c.       Facebook ads.

Last but not least are Facebook ads. Please note these are optional. You don’t need Facebook ads or any paid medium for quiz promotion. It’s an added boost.

Alright, when using Facebook ads, it’ll look similar to the normal Facebook post you used to promote your quiz. There are a few key differences.

  • Select your target audience or use a saved audience. If you’ve already added the Facebook pixel to your website then you should be building a saved audience. Use that as a starting point and create a larger lookalike audience
  • If you don’t have a saved audience, set up targeting based on what you already know about your audience. Keep it as broad to maximize your reach.
  • Use as much of the space provided for the description of the ad to tell a story about why they should click
  • Use a high impact image. I suggest you make one specifically for the ad you want to launch. This post has the ideal image dimensions for ads.
  • When people click on the ad, the quiz start page will be turned off so they get right into the first question when they land on the quiz
  • Redirect results of the quiz to a new page or add a Facebook targeting pixel so you can keep track of conversions from your ads.

That’s how you can use Facebook ads to promote your quiz in a nutshell. In addition, do your best to hit an emotional chord and illustrate (using words or imagery) why your quiz matters.

2.     Twitter

Anything can go viral on Twitter if it gets into the right hands. Your job is to give your tweet a fighting chance.

The lifespan of a tweet is notoriously short (around 20 minutes). While it’s alive, there are a few things to make sure it catches the right eye and gets retweeted.

When you paste a link to Twitter, it’ll pull the default featured image from the page. This works well for a blog post but not for your quiz.

Instead, we’ll add our own image and description so we’ll be able to get the most out of your tweet.

This is a good start, but not enough. There are two more things you can do to maximize the efficacy of every tweet.

The first one is to use hashtags. On Twitter, hashtags allow people to search for relevant tweets. For example, if your quiz is about fitness you can use the hashtags #fitness to increase your exposure.

Use a tool like Hashtagify to find the best hashtags for your niche. Keep them in a safe place because they’ll come in handy for more than just promoting your quiz. You can use them anytime you tweet something on the platform.

The second way is to tweet at specific influencers in your niche. Before you compile a list of all the twitter influencers and spam them with tweets, it’s important to build a cordial relationship.

Do this by following them on Twitter and tweeting out a few of their posts. When you’re ready to tag them in your own tweet, you’ll be a familiar face.

This will increase the likelihood of them retweeting or even taking the quiz.

3.     Forums

Forums seem to be the red-headed stepchild of the digital marketing world. People talk about them every now and then but they never get the recognition they deserve.

They’re one of the best places to promote your quiz and get targeted traffic but there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

The wrong way is to sign up and spam your link across all the threads you can find.

The right way is to be an active member, mention your quiz when it makes sense, and add it to your forum signature.

If you’re not a member of any forums right now, there’s a simple way to find a few to join.

Search Google with the keywords “niche + forum.” Replace the word niche with any relevant keyword.

Google will bring back a lot of results like in the image above. Click on the ones that look promising and browse around the forum. You want to look for two things.

1 How active the forum is. When the last post was and how many comments did the most popular post get?

2 Whether or not you can add a signature to your profile. This is an added bonus but not a requirement.

In the image above, you can see the forum is active because the last thread was recent and there are a lot of posts and threads.

Once you’ve identified a few targets, go ahead and sign up for an account.

It’s tempting to start creating threads whose only aim is your quiz promotion but the moderators may decide to ban you. Instead, focus on adding value to the community for a while. This softens the ground and when you decide to promote your quiz, it’ll be taken in good faith and amplified by the community itself.

Not only that, the people who take the quiz will give you direct feedback on what they liked or disliked.

For the forum post itself, follow these guidelines:

  • Write 100 words or more explaining what the quiz is about
  • Tell people what they stand to gain from the quiz
  • Be explicit about who the quiz is for
  • Let the members know you’ll be available for them if they have any questions or want to take the next step with their results


4.     Email

Your current audience is your best bet to get the ball rolling for your quiz. Who’s more engaged with your brand than your email subscribers?

I don’t need to remind you how intimate email marketing can be.

There are two ways to promote your quiz with your email list

1 A general email newsletter blast

2 An evergreen drip campaign

Your email newsletter is the best way to communicate with your audience. It can also be a blunt force instrument when used improperly. Your quiz helps you rectify that problem.

It may seem odd to use up your quiz promotion efforts on your existing email subscribers since quizzes are for lead generation. The beauty is that they’ll help you segment your mailing list and send more effective messages in the future.

How to send a great email is a bit beyond the scope of this posts but I’ll focus on the most important aspects.

Nail the headline using these formulas then tell a story in the body of the email that leads into your quiz and why it matters.

After the initial email blast and a follow-up it wouldn’t be reasonable to keep emailing about your quiz to your existing subscribers.

Instead, email your new subscribers about it. These are people who’ve signed up for your mailing list in different ways. That could be a content upgrade, a webinar, etc.

Your quiz will help you fill in the information you need to send better messages. After you deliver on the promise that got someone to sign up, follow it up in the same email (or the next one) with a call to action asking them to take the quiz.

Be clear about whom it’s for, what they stand to gain, and how long it’ll take them to complete. Once done, they’ll be further segmented in your email marketing service and give your marketing automation new legs.

5.     Your Existing Traffic

No matter how much or little traffic you get right now, you can use it to your advantage for quiz promotion.

There are multiple strategies you can adopt.

Homepage Quiz Promotion

If your website is like most sites on the internet then your homepage is one of your most visited pages. People go there to learn more about your brand but you can flip the script and help them learn more about themselves with a quiz.

The best quizzes tell us a bit more about ourselves.

Add a relevant section and call to action on your homepage. For best results place it above the fold of the page. This isn’t required but it’ll definitely help drive your point home and focus your visitors on your quiz.

Chanti Zak has generated over ten thousand leads by making a quiz on her homepage one of the most prominent calls to action.

Floating bar and full screen takeover

Both the floating bar and the full screen takeover are great options because they can be placed on any page of your website. Not only that, they’re prominent.

A full screen takeover obscures all the content on the page until a visitor interacts with it. They have no choice but to see your message.

A floating bar isn’t as obtrusive but it’s still noticeable because it sits at the top or bottom of the page.

Whether you choose a full screen takeover or a floating bar, you expose a large amount of your traffic to your call to action. The end result is more people taking your quiz and more leads.

Neil Patel uses a full screen takeover to let people know about his quiz.


The sidebar is a bit of a mixed bag. If studies like this one by Bryan Harris are to be trusted; you can actually increase conversions without it.

I mean, look at this sidebar from the New York Times homepage.

I digress.

Even though the data may be saying one thing, it can be hard to give up what you’ve always used. When you have a sidebar, put it to good use by adding a call to action for your quiz there. It may increase that 0.3% conversion rate be a percentage point or two.

6.     Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the best platforms for referral traffic. When other social media platforms are trying to increase dwell time at all costs, Pinterest seems to be doing the opposite.

Referral traffic for creators is up over 25% YoY according to the 2017 edition of the annual report released by Shareholics.

Click to enlarge

Another unique feature of Pinterest is the lifespan of pins. Where a tweet lasts for minutes and a Facebook post lasts for days, a pin can be cycled over the course of weeks, months, or longer.

Every person that repins exposes the pin to their audience and restarts the cycle. This is a good thing. The amount of Pinterest followers you have isn’t as important as the amount of people you can reach with your pins.

It’s not the same thing.

You can have a hundred Pinterest followers but have a reach in the tens of thousands.

How is this possible?

Group boards.

Group boards have contributors pinning content and looking for content to repin. When you’re accepted as a contributor, you’re free to pin content which will later be picked up by other people to share with their audience.

Your content will be spread far and wide even if you only have a few followers.

How do you find group boards?

I’m glad you asked. There’s a useful website called It’s a directory of Pinterest group boards that can be sorted by number of followers, category, number of collaborators, etc.

Once you’ve identified group boards you’d like to join, navigate to their profile page on Pinterest and follow the board. If you don’t follow the board then the administrators can’t add you.

The profile page will give you a bit of useful information. Normally, the administrators will put the contributor and board guidelines here. You’ll also learn who the administrator is. It’s the first contributor image you see.

With that information, you can reach out to the administrator and request to join. The best way is to send an email but if you can’t find their email address then you can also send a message through Pinterest (this has a lower success rate).

Once you’ve been added to a number of group boards, pin your Quiz as well as other people’s content. Ensure your image dimensions are 2:3 or 1000×1500 pixels.

Note: upgrade your Pinterest account to a business profile to unlock rich pins. Rich pins increase your click through rates for your pins and allow you to access analytics.


There are countless ways to promote your quiz and get it in front of more people. The more specific methods will depend on your niche and the focus of your quiz.

We’ve walked through six methods that will work for you no matter what your niche is.

Start with your Facebook page and groups. Next, create and schedule a series of tweets with researched hashtags and mention influencers in your space. After that, move on to forums and send out an email blast to get the ball rolling.

Round out your efforts by tapping into your existing traffic and setting up an evergreen Pinterest campaign.

Remember, these are just a few methods for quiz promotion. Let us know what other strategies you’ve been using in the comments and don’t forget to share.

Unleash The Confirmation Bias In Business + 5 Examples

Last updated October 15, 2018

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to convince someone their beliefs are wrong? It’s even harder to convert them to your way of thinking.

They tune you out when you talk about things that aren’t in line with what they think. As soon as you talk about what they know to be true they’re all ears.

Their pupils dilate, their posture changes, and they give you their undivided attention. It’s the confirmation bias at work.

The confirmation bias is the tendency to selectively search for, recall, interpret, and consider information that confirms your beliefs.

We latch onto information in line with what we already believe.

For example, someone putting together a research paper showing the effects of oil on aquatic environments will search for evidence that bolsters their point of view and largely ignore any other perspective.

A hiring manager that thinks a candidate is a good fit will pay more attention to information that supports their conclusion.

A coach that thinks people over six feet are better players will give taller people preference when choosing the members of his team.

Quizzes are uniquely positioned to give you the advantages of confirmation biases. When you understand your audience, your outcomes will reflect what they already believe about themselves.

We can go on and on about it, but it’s safe to say that the confirmation bias can open huge opportunities in your business. All you have to do is tap into what your customers and clients already consider a truth while confirming they’re on the right path.

Peter Wason did us a huge favor

In the 1960’s, Peter Wason performed a simple experiment with a number of volunteers. The volunteers were asked to determine a pattern that applied to a series of three numbers. The example given to the subjects was “2-4-6” and they were allowed to construct their own series of numbers to test their hypothesis.

When they constructed their own series of three numbers, Wason would tell them whether it conformed to the rule or not. The actual rule was any ascending series, participants had trouble identifying it and would create rules that were far more specific.

What was most interesting was that participants only tested rules that would confirm their hypothesis. For example, if they thought the rule was “increases by ten” they would only test numbers that confirmed it EG 10-20-30 and ignore those that violated it EG 10-11-12.

Wason brought this cognitive bias to light and we’ve been using it ever since.

Examples of The Confirmation Bias In The Wild

Whether we admit it or not, we all want validation from friends, family, and peers. That validation can take many forms and it’s often used subtly in marketing. Here are a few examples of confirmation bias you can steal

Thank You Pages

I’ve written on the power of thank you pages to unlock more engagement and revenue. What happens after they optin or buy from you? Are you using the thank you page to confirm their initial thoughts about why they joined in the first place?

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers throws in some confirmation bias when you sign up for a free Ebook to get your first 5,000 subscribers. He confirms your initial thoughts that he’s a genuine person and asks you to start participating in the community that’ll help you grow your business.


If you were wondering if it was too good to be true, he removes that doubt immediately. From that point on, anyone who subscribes will only look for more information to back up their initial impression.

RoboForm goes straight for the jugular with their thank you page after sign up.



After signing up, they let you know immediately that you’re an amazing person. Not only that, they ask you to show off this validation to your friends by asking them to sign up. The internal dialogue goes something like this.

The person who signs up thinks they made a good decision. RoboForm confirms this by telling them they’re awesome. With this newfound validation, the person would be more likely to spread the information to their social circle.

RoboForm gets more users, you get more validation to confirm your initial awesomeness.

Completing a process


When you’re using Mailchimp, you’ll eventually send out a few newsletters. I’ll never forget that first high five the monkey — Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV — gave me when I sent my first one.  This positive reinforcement confirms what I already know, I’ve completed a major milestone, and gives me kudos for doing so.

digital high five confirmation bias

The same process works during a checkout process. Sprinkling in “well done” and “you’re almost there” messages will help increase conversions.

Another way to use the confirmation bias to encourage the completion of a process is to use a progress bar. When you sign up for services like Facebook, Dropbox, or anything that requires a little more information, a progress bar is used to show how much you’ve done.

We use a variation of this inside of our app.

confirmation bias inside KyLeads

If you’re at the beginning of the process, usually, your own momentum is enough to keep you going. Then, something happens and you have to log out or start doing something else.

The progress bar shows you how much effort you’ve already put in and subtly reminds you that there’s just a little bit more to go.

LinkedIn profile completion


LinkedIn does this well with their profile strength indicator.

Before you take the time to complete your profile, you probably don’t have much going for you on the platform. It’s likely you don’t have many views or connections. You’re a beginner.

After filling out some more information, you’ll be an all-star ready to take on the world of corporate espionage :).


Daniel Ndukwu LinkedIn profile


The all-star rating confirms what you already know, you’re amazing.

It’s not limited to just social profiles, you can easily use it during the checkout process like the following example.

It lets you know that you’re almost there and for you to have come this far, there must be something worthwhile in the product you’re purchasing.


The Confirmation can be used in many ways which are both subtle and overt. Some of the best ways to intertwine the confirmation bias in your engagement and acquisition strategies are:

Reinforce an impression they already have

Use it to remind them of how much they’ve already committed thus confirming their love of what you’re offering.

Don’t stop there, brainstorm different ways you can use the confirmation bias to build stronger relationships with your tribe.

Let me know what you think about the confirmation bias in the comments and don’t forget to share.

Are you Being too Salesy? Use These Tips to Sell Like a Human

Being salesy is like using a leaky bucket to fetch water from a stream. You put in more effort for less results.

I was at a friend’s house and he got a call on his home phone. He asked me to grab it for him.

I picked up the phone, heard the click that transferred me to an operator, and could make out the noise of a busy office. The person on the other end spoke in heavily accented English and proceeded to tell me about a great opportunity.

I would make tons of extra money every month, travel the world, and improve my health all in one fell swoop. He described it as a dream come true. That doesn’t matter to me.

I slowly lowered the phone to the receiver and went back to what I was doing. My friend asked me who it was.

I said one word – “telemarketer.”

His reply was equally short – “oh.”

We went about our day without missing a beat.

That was the perfect example of being salesy. This guy is too:


You may not be like either one of the people I mentioned but chances are you put messages out into the world. You post social media updates, send emails to your list, and create content for your business.

If you don’t make a conscious effort, you’ll come off as salesy through at least one of those mediums. That’s a bad thing. We’re going to look at how to identify when you’re being salesy and how to prevent that while selling like a human.


How to know you’re being too salesy

First things first, most people know what being salesy is when they see it. It doesn’t have a clear definition but is more of a feeling of being icky and inauthentic.

That doesn’t serve us so I’m going to define it:

Salesy is a term used to describe a salesperson who sells their product to someone in the wrong stage of awareness in an aggressive or superficial manner. It makes the prospect feel uncomfortable and unresponsive.

sounds about right

Notice the definition has two parts. The first part talks about the stage of awareness of the prospect. You can use the exact same sales pitch for two different people. One person may love it while the other person hates it.

The second part is about how your prospect feels. You can’t say whether the message is salesy. In fact, you’re a bad judge. Just 17% of salespeople think they’re salesy or pushy while 50% of prospects think they are. It’s only your prospect that can tell you. Due to social norms, most people won’t tell you. It’s up to you to find out by using the tools at your disposal.

People are emotionally invested in the decisions they make. If they’re not feeling it then they won’t make a decision in your favor.

Even though you don’t define whether or not you’re coming off as salesy, you can still put your messages through a simple litmus test. If it has any of the following qualities then you may need to rethink it.

–          Your message focuses on you

You’re in business to solve the problems of or bring solutions to other people. Sure, you may be scratching your own itch. If you want to sell like a human then that itch needs to address a larger market than you.

Look at your message which can be a sales email, phone script, or simple lead magnet. Who is it talking about? Is it talking about how great you are or what the person on the other end stands to gain?

The more you use your companies name, the lower your close rate becomes.

–          You’re using a plug and play template for every interaction

I have no problem with templates. They’re a great starting point. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel right?

When you start an interaction, it can go in a thousand different directions. A template is the start of the interaction but it won’t get you through it.

If you try to apply a template to every unique situation it comes off as stale and uninspired. Eventually, that will apply to your brand.

Instead, get the information you need to personalize the interaction and offers to the person on the receiving end. Better yet, make it an interactive experience for your prospect.

–          The benefits you outline have nothing to do with their situation

This follows on the heels of using plug and play templates. You can’t effectively offer someone a product or service unless you know the benefits that matter to them.

It’s the old features vs benefits debate.

The easiest way to be salesy is to talk about benefits that your prospect could care less about.

I got an email the other day about Instagram marketing for KyLeads. It talked about a thousand and one benefits. They didn’t matter because we don’t on growing an Instagram presence anytime soon.

The pitch had nothing to do with my situation, came off as salesy, and got deleted.

At the very least, your message should be clear of the three qualities I just outlined. Now, let’s focus on being the opposite of salesy – selling like a human.

Focus on serving others

There’s a quote attributed to Zig Ziglar:

You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

It’s an apt description of how to go about selling. When you only keep yourself in mind, you come off as salesy. Your messages come from a place of selfishness and people pick up on that.

Let’s say you’re an expert on dating and have helped a lot of your friends find love. When you come to them and ask for a testimonial or to share their story what do you think they would do? Of course they would say yes.

You’ve helped them and the principle of reciprocity says you have money in your moral piggybank.

Apart from that, if your goal is to serve the people who call themselves your customers, you go above and beyond what’s expected for any price point.

KyLeads is a $39 piece of software that helps you capture more leads and send better messages IE prevents you from being salesy. We could have decided to only use ads to drive traffic to high converting landing pages. People would’ve signed up and been happy with what they got.

Instead, we’re building a blog that’s actually useful for our audience. We write on topics directly related to our business like this one on quiz questions. We also write on topics that are useful for our audience as a whole like this one on the startup narrative.

Why do you think that is? Why do we create resources, blog posts, and tools to help our audience for free? It’s because we’re coming from a place of service as opposed to a place of selfishness.

Charity water is the best example of coming from a place of service. Their mission is to bring safe water to millions of people around the world. It may seem strange if you’re in an industrialized nation. You can drink water directly from the tap.

Charity wataer is the opposite of salesy

In many parts of the world, clean water is a serious challenge. To date, they’ve raised 250 million dollars and 100% of public donations go to the people who need it.

Zappos wrote the book on service. They’re an Ecommerce brand that was bought for over a billion dollars by Amazon. They offer free returns and shipping, have had customer service calls for over eight hours, and seem to genuinely love what they do.

zappos image of return policy

Listen to the people you’re selling to

Your people are always telling you what they want and what matters to them. They leave comments on your blog, share your social media updates, and reach out to you.

If you’re proactive, you can go a step further and set up phone calls or initiate surveys to find out more about your audience.

Through all these interactions, they’re giving you valuable feedback about what they like and what they don’t like. It’s up to you to listen.

Not just any type of listening, reflective listing. That’s when you echo their sentiments back at them.

What does that have to do with being salesy?

At first, when you have no historical data, it has nothing to do with it. Once you have information to go on through various interactions and opportunities to “listen in,” it has everything to do with it.

Remember from our definition that salesy describes selling to someone in the wrong stage of awareness. By listening to what your people are telling you, a picture of what stage of awareness they’re in as well as benefits that matter to them forms. Your messages should adapt to that information.

If they don’t adapt then you’ll be selling your products in an irrelevant way to a disinterested group. That’s never fun.

Build a relationship first

You can sell almost anything to a friend. If for no other reason than they want to support you, they’ll buy it. Of course, this doesn’t count for high ticket items.

Let’s say you’re competing with another person or group for business. On the surface, you guys are comparable. Your features, price point, and marketing channels are more or less the same.

The only difference is you have a relationship with the buyer but your competition doesn’t.

When it comes down to it, who do you think they’re going to buy from?

If you said you because of the relationship then you’re correct.

borat very nice gif


Here’s a truth people sweep under the rug. You buy from people you like and respect. With no relationship, even one built over the internet or via email, it becomes much harder to sell anything.

videofruit education image opposite of salesy

Bryan from Videofruit doesn’t sell products immediately. In fact, you can’t buy his main product until you’ve gotten to know him a bit. It’s only open to the general public twice a year.

During the periods in between, he builds a relationship with you – his subscriber.

No one is going to come up to you in real life and start pitching new shoes without warming you up. The funny thing is people do it online all the time. No wonder people say they’re salesy.

The simple fix is to build a relationship first. I know, that’s easier said than done – especially online. For this, email tracking software is a must-have.

All you have to do is be authentic. Share your journey, your knowledge, and philosophy. Get them on your email list and send them messages in line with what they’ve indicated they’re interested in. That’s the key. Send them the information they care about.

Educate instead of pressuring

This is the backbone of a sound blogging strategy. It works well for many people. Content marketing, though the costs of acquisition through this channel are growing, is still cheaper than paid advertising.

For those who say blogging or content marketing hasn’t worked out, look at two things.

  • Who’s their target audience and what are they creating content about?
  • How long have they been doing it?

The first one will identify if there’s a disconnect between what’s being created and the people you’re creating it for.

If you’re targeting CEO’s of large companies then they don’t really need actionable advice because they’re not doing it. They want to hire you. Instead, they’ll want to see case studies, white papers they can share around, insights that reveal the big picture, and information on your process.

The second one asks how long they’ve been at it. You don’t build a content marketing engine in a month. It takes much longer than that. People find you on social media, through search engines, and other channels.

They consume your content and come back for more.

Wholw foods blog

The Whole Foods Blog – Whole Story was created to help their customers find ways to enjoy their high-quality foods. They share tips, recipes, and insights about making the most of your meals.

mint blog image

The Mint Blog is more than a place for them to post company updates. It’s a way for them to develop and educate a community. You can find career, finance, and personal development advice being featured there.

In the end, your audience buys from you because you’re top of mind. The world is a better place for everyone.

So, target your content to a specific group of people and stick with it long enough for it to yield results.

Tell stories that matter

Facts tell, stories sell.

Stories are the glue that holds society together. It’s the first way we devised to make sense of the world. When lightning struck the earth and we had no explanation, we told the story of Zeus.

When kids are afraid of the dark, they invent the story of monsters under the bed or in the closet.

Uri Hansen from Princeton found that when we tell stories that resonate, the brains of listeners synchronize.

neural coupling

Imagine being able to synchronize with your audience and customers. Wouldn’t that be game changing? Turns out it is.

Nike is one of the most valuable companies in the world. They sell shoes it took them five dollars to make. Why do you think they’re able to charge a premium for them? It’s because they tell compelling stories.

When you buy Nike, you’re buying a movement. You’re buying a philosophy that tells you to take action. You’re buying a piece of apparel that’s propelled athletes to the world cup, the NBA finals, and to gold medals.

It’s not a company or a piece of clothing – it’s a way of life. They never explicitly tell you this of course. What they do is tell you the story.

Nike has the resources to do something like that. Let’s use an example that hits closer to home.

Beardbrand, as the name suggests, is a brand for beards. They empower bearded men in an urban setting to embrace personal hygiene, style, and personal growth. They did this through a consistent narrative.

beardbrand ethos

When you buy their products, you’re not buying grooming oils and combs. Instead, you’re buying into a way of life and help them tell the story to more and more people.

They scaled to $120,000 a month in their first year.

Storytelling works. Invest time and energy in getting it right.


Salesy is something no one wants to be. It’s that feeling you never plan to have associated with your brand. If we’re not careful, we’ll come off as salesy through simple neglect.

There are a number of ways to audit your messages to remove the most obvious signs of being salesy:

  • Does the message focus mostly on you?
  • Are you using templates for every type of interaction?
  • Are your benefits irrelevant to them>

If you answered yes to any of the above options then it’s time to reevaluate what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

After the simple audit, there are a few proactive ways to prevent you from coming off as salesy.

  • Focus on serving others
  • Listen and implement feedback you get from your customers
  • Build long-term relationships over the short term sale
  • Educate your audience about your offers and how they really help them
  • Tell stories

In the end, it’s up to you to be aware of how your brand is perceived in the world.

Let me know about any other methods you’re using to stop the dreaded salesy term from being applied to you and don’t forget to share.

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