Upgrade Your Reports With Data Studio

Reporting on the recommendations and campaigns we put into action is a large part of servicing clients. 

We’ve streamlined our reporting by switching to Google Data Studio and building customized dashboards for our clients.

Google Data Studio saves us time on gathering data and allows us to pull out actionable insights for our clients. 

Here’s how.

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Live Classes, Community Workouts, and More: The Resilience of Fitness Studios During the COVID-19 Crisis

The turn of the new year and new decade was a hopeful one for many. But in early March, COVID-19 put a wrench in millions of people’s plans.

With social distancing and stay-at-home orders the new norm, many businesses have had to close their doors.

One industry hit especially hard? Studio fitness.

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What Super Bowl Commercials Get Right And What You Can Learn From Them

If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that Super Bowl commercials are always weird. Some successfully so. Others, not so much. But even if you watch a Super Bowl commercial and think, “I don’t get it,” you probably remember it.

Who can forget the iconic “Whassup” Budweiser commercial that sparked an endless amount of pop culture references? And it was a Super Bowl commercial that brought us Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.”

What Super Bowl commercials dare to do that so many small brands fear is push the limits. 

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How We Leverage the Power of Emotions to Create Effective Social Ads

At Barrel, we approach every paid social ad campaign with fresh ideas and a new perspective. It’s always exciting to start a campaign and see what intriguing creative concepts our team comes up with. Our success, in part, can be attributed to a framework we call The Barrel Emotion Index, which allows us to structure unique campaigns proven to resonate with audiences.

The Barrel Emotion Index allows us to prepare briefs and conceptualize campaigns with copy and creative that’s proven to work. It’s the secret sauce that fuels every campaign we work on — the reason we can make unique, engaging ads for our clients. It allows us to analyze trends by industry, brand, touchpoint, and a customer’s position in a purchase funnel, and then identify how to use our creative to generate the most desired consumer behaviors.

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When to Use a Theme from the Shopify Theme Store

We’ve created e-commerce stores of all sizes for brands big and small. In many cases, we recommend Shopify for its flexibility and user-friendly interface. Founded in 2004, Shopify is an e-commerce solution that makes it easy to create and manage an online store. Much like WordPress or squarespace, Shopify themes can be built completely custom or purchased from Shopify’s online theme store. What’s the difference?

A custom theme means that the store is built from scratch and requires coding, essentially you will have full control over how the site will look, feel, and function. This includes design decisions like layout, typography, color, and animations in addition to backend considerations such as how products and product content is managed and organized. When it comes to a pre-made theme, this means that many of these factors have already been determined. There is a level of customization that is available within the theme but any other functional changes not available within the theme by nature will be layered on top of the theme’s existing code.

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Tracking Ecommerce Performance with Key Metrics

An ecommerce website can throw off a dizzying array of data, and it’s easy to get caught up with tracking too much. We advise our clients to focus on a few basic metrics to assess ecommerce performance before diving into analyses of channels and user behavior.

The key metrics are:

  • Website Traffic (Sessions, Users, and Pageviews)
  • Revenue (Sales)
  • Transactions (Number of Orders)
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate (Transactions over Sessions)
  • AOV / Average Order Value (Revenue over Transactions)
  • CLTV / Customer Lifetime Value
  • CAC / Customer Acquisition Cost

Note: I wrote this post with the assumption that the primary ecommerce channel for the business is its own ecommerce website (e.g. sites on Shopify, Magento, or some other ecommerce platform). This may not be the case for many ecommerce businesses that sell largely on Amazon, eBay, or other marketplaces.

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Resend Your Email Campaign & Maximize Results

We’ve been recommending an email marketing tactic for our clients that’s yielded some positive results. It’s dead simple: resend your email campaign to those who haven’t opened it the first time.

The fact is that even on a stellar email campaign, where open rates may be over 40%, more than half the subscribers on your list will have either completely missed or ignored what’s in the email. There are several things that could’ve contributed to this:

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6 Reasons to Go HTTPS

At Barrel, most of our clients have websites that are already using HTTPS/SSL since we began integrating with Cloudflare in early 2016. Here are some reasons why your website should be SSL-protected in 2017 and beyond.

1. For Security Purposes and Trust

Sites without HTTPS send all of the data between the user and the website in “clear text” when sending. This means that nothing is encrypted, so a clever hacker can casually intercept data without having to decrypt the information. HTTPS enforces a security handshake between the browser and the server to verify that the certificate is valid and matches the expected signatures on the server. Many browsers like Chrome and Firefox already attempt to block the page when HTTPS is used improperly. Make it hard for data thieves.

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10 Product Page Elements to Increase Ecommerce Conversions

Much of the work we do here at Barrel involves helping ecommerce brands grow their businesses online. This often includes everything from content development to website redesigns and optimization to digital marketing.

While the websites range in complexity and the products are rarely the same, there is always overlap in the elements necessary to create an effective product page experience. The product page is more than just a place to talk about the product’s details, it is an opportunity. An opportunity to tell the brand story, an opportunity to paint a picture about the lifestyle one can attain by purchasing that product, an opportunity to showcase the features that truly make this product unique.

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How Solid is Your Organization’s Story? A Simple Template for Aligning on Who You Are

Over the years, I’ve noticed that clients who invest the time and effort in proactively defining and aligning their organization’s story are often the ones that make better decisions and drive better results. I want to share what I mean by “story” and also provide a simple template that organizations can use as a checklist to identify and fill gaps in their stories.

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