Category - Uncategorized

Buying a URL to Animation

What to do when it’s time to join the .com club

Having worked with a number of smaller organizations in my career, I can tell you that it’s a huge moment of pride for the company and the marketing department to finally purchase their .com URL. It feels like a right of passage.

I’ve managed this process a few times already, and I’ve learned a thing or two that can make this milestone less stressful and potentially less expensive.

Here’s a look at why Knak decided to move to, along with some insight into managing the timing, purchase, and transition at your own organization.

Why invest in

Purchasing was one of the largest marketing investments we’ve made to date. So what made us decide to pull the trigger?

It’s all in the timing. The timing was right, and the opportunity to purchase the URL at a reasonable price presented itself.

Some of my fellow Marketers will disagree, but I believe that owning your .com URL gives your business an increased sense of legitimacy. It may be a bit less relevant than it used to be, but it’s certainly still a factor.

A few other key reasons:

  • It makes Knak easier to find – direct traffic makes up an important part of our website’s traffic, and it’s a common assumption that an established company will own their .com URL.
  • It’s the most recognizable and accessible top-level domain (TLD) – even though it’s 2019, the bias toward .com still exists.
  • It keeps the URL out of the hands of the competition.

How do you know when the time is right?

I’m often asked how you know when the time is right to purchase your .com URL. Unfortunately, there’s no magic moment, but I do think that some times are better than others.

Here are some key markers to help you determine if the time is right:

  • Your company is gaining momentum in the market, and you’re consistently winning new business.
  • Your brand is still somewhat flying under the radar compared to your more established competition.
  • You’re profitable – this is key if you’re funding the purchase yourself, less so if you have outside funding.
  • You’ve received a round of funding or are about to announce funding.
  • You’re about to announce a major corporate or product update.

Making a successful URL purchase

The first step here is knowing what your URL is worth.

Like almost everything else, at the end of the day, the value of the URL is what the market is willing to pay, and that value can increase with the visibility of your brand.

If you’re working with a reputable broker (and I would strongly encourage you to use a broker), they’ll likely have developed an evaluation process to help you arrive at a ballpark figure. Make sure you’re comfortable with the range; once you understand the cost, it’s time to talk to the URL owner.

Here’s how to help it go smoothly:

  1. Use a Broker! Unless you’ve done this in the past, you’ll likely need the help of a professional. Yes, there are fees associated with this service, but a properly structured commission plan should help you get a lower overall purchase price and take the stress out of the transaction. Some additional benefits to using a broker:
    • They assure anonymity, which can help with negotiations.
    • They know the ropes and can advise against tactics that may come back to haunt you.
    • They’ll be willing and able to answer your 1,001 questions.
    • They may have an existing relationship with the seller that can expedite the process
  2. Don’t approach the URL owner until you’re willing and able to make the purchase. Putting out feelers now can make your purchase more expensive down the road because it alerts the seller to your organization and allows them to keep tabs on your growth.
  3. Proceed in good faith. Whether you’re dealing with an individual or a business, at the end of the day, you’re looking for a win-win outcome to your negotiations.
  4. Get creative with your financing. Maybe a lump sum purchase isn’t feasible right now. Some companies that specialize in buying and selling URLs will offer a payment plan. Beware, though – the penalties for missing a payment can be grave. You can lose your URL and forfeit the payments you’ve already made.
  5. Use an escrow service (hint: we like An escrow service will manage the contract and money transfers and help protect both parties. It’s well worth the extra investment, and it may be non-negotiable: most reputable sellers will insist on using an escrow service.

If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to consider purchasing other variations of your URL at the same time (.io, .net, .ca, etc). They can usually be picked up on services like GoDaddy for a few dollars a piece.

What not to do

Unless you have a rock-solid case, avoid going through ICANN to forcefully claim the URL. If you fail, there can be some serious consequences, which can come back and cost you from both a brand and a dollars perspective. Remember: you’re dealing with people. People will remember your actions when you’re negotiating with them, and until you own the URL, you’re vulnerable to retaliation.

Case in point:

Once I inherited a situation where, before I joined the organization, management had attempted to forcefully claim the rights to a URL, only to have the request rejected.

As a consequence, the rightful owner decided to retaliate by directing said URL to an adult website.

In the end, the URL was purchased successfully, but the acquisition price was well above what we had anticipated (and budgeted for). A different approach might have yielded a more positive outcome.

We got the URL! Now what?

Once you’ve completed the purchase, make sure you’re ready for the technical transfer of your URL. That means engaging with your IT team or lining up a trusted consultant ahead of time to make the hand-off and implementation as smooth as possible.

  • Make a list of what will need to be updated with your new URL:
    • Digital assets – website, landing pages, social media, forms, etc.
    • Digital links & redirects.
    • Martech – marketing automation platform, email creation platforms, chat bots, etc.
    • Corporate email – update to the new URL while making sure you maintain access to old inboxes.
    • Printed materials – business cards, swag, banners, handouts, booths, signage, etc.
  • Let your customers and your broader audience know about the switch. Make an announcement and encourage them to take a few steps to ensure it’s business as usual on their end:
    • Update digital bookmarks to the new .com.
    • Add the new .com to their email safe-sender list.
    • Ask them to click the new .com URL to test accessibility. Instruct them to reach out to their IT team to whitelist the new URL if there are any issues.

I would encourage you to check out this article on SEMrush. I would also suggest downloading their comprehensive “Migration Checklist” to help ensure your bases are covered.

Handle the basics first

Purchasing a .com is a big step for an organization. It helps further your brand, protect your brand identity, and make it easier for prospective clients to find you. But, it’s important to remember that it’s not a magic bullet.

If you’re unable to generate leads, struggling to attract the right audience, or experiencing SEO challenges, a .com isn’t going to solve your problems.

My advice would be to hold off on the purchase, and instead, invest your time and money in fixing the fundamentals.

But if you’re ready to move ahead with your URL purchase, congratulations! You’re about to achieve a major milestone in the life of your organization, and we want to be the first to welcome you to the .com club.

For some helpful advice on naming your URL, check out “How to Choose a Domain Name” on Moz’s blog.

Prepping for Q4: Finish Strong, Start Fresh

Prepping for Q4

The end of the year is coming, and that means it’s time to start thinking about how to make your next fiscal year a success. Don’t leave the planning for December, when holiday and vacation schedules make communication challenging. Instead, start now. Review this year’s email campaigns, and get a head start on being awesome next year.

Here are some tips to help you determine what worked this year, what can be improved for next year, and where you should be experimenting.

Look at the data:

Review your campaigns for the year and take a hard look at the results.

  • Which campaigns worked?
  • Which didn’t?

Even though you undoubtedly still have campaigns to deploy this year, don’t wait to get started on your attribution reporting. Look at your previous campaigns, find out which elements made a difference, and determine how email impacted your bottom line.

Review your objectives:

Based on the findings from your data, ask:

  • How did email help you achieve your marketing goals this year?
  • In light of your team’s larger goals, what role should email play next year?

You may need to add or reconsider some campaigns to make sure they’re in alignment with your team’s overall objectives. Be willing to evaluate them on a case-by-case basis to make sure they’re still meeting your needs.

Revisit your strategy:

What does your email campaign strategy look like? Planned out for the next 24 months? Not sure what next week looks like? An email campaign/content calendar helps align your campaign strategy with your marketing objectives.

  • Are major campaigns clearly identified?
  • Can your team see what’s coming up in the next week/month/quarter?
  • Does your team have the info they need to meet deadlines without feeling stressed?

Take the time to plan out your campaigns. Use the content calendar as your North Star, and simplify life for your team.

Check your tech:

Remember that shiny new technology you purchased last year? Did it live up to the hype? Year-end is a great time to review your tech stack to see what’s being used, what gaps you need to fill, and what may not be worth the investment.

  • Are you paying for technologies that no longer meet your needs?
  • Are there new platforms or solutions that can help fill the gaps you identified?

Identify these things before the year ends so you can have an optimized tech stack in place before the new year begins.


Take a look at the tradeshows, partnerships, and other large marketing investments that impacted your business this year.

  • What was worth doing again?
  • What new initiatives do you want to explore next year?
  • What email campaigns will you need to support those initiatives?

Make space in your budget now for the things that’ll have a positive impact on your business next year.

Email Extras:

What did you add to your emails that improved your click-thru rates?

  • Did GIFs generate more clicks?
  • Did including videos drive engagement?
  • Did dynamic content help your emails stand out?

Don’t guess! Dive into your reporting and find out what email extras are actually boosting engagement and adding to your bottom line.

And then, do your research: review some thought leadership pieces about upcoming email trends. (Hint: Here’s our piece about adding GIFs to your emails to get you started.)

  • What could you see working at your organization?
  • What email experiments do you want to run next year?

Take your ideas to your team. Create a plan to try them out, and build in A/B testing so you’ll know what’s working.

*Did you know: Dynamic content has a major impact on click-to-open rates. A recent survey of thousands of email marketers found that those using dynamic content report CTO rates 56% higher than those who don’t. If you’re not currently using it, it may be time to try it out.


Before you can implement changes, you need buy-in from your team and key stakeholders. Think through:

  • How will the changes affect your team’s workload?
  • Do these changes conflict with other priorities?
  • Realistically, what does roll-out look like?
  • How will you measure the success of these initiatives?

Take your ideas to your team, and work together to develop a plan. The more you’ve considered ahead of time, the better your chances of getting buy-in.

A strategic Q4 leads to a dynamic Q1

Don’t wait until the end of the year to start reviewing. Invest the time now so you have a thoughtful approach to your next fiscal year in place before the year begins. Make Q1 planning a priority now, and you’ll set your team up for success later.

If you’d like to learn more about how Knak can help you reach your email marketing goals for next year, we’d love to chat. Reach out to with any questions.

Welcoming Christopher Chan


Knak has experienced rapid growth in the last few years. We’re taking steps to make sure our growth is sustainable. To that end, we’ve identified a few key roles we need to fill in order to make sure our team is supported, and one of those happens to be an addition to our financial team.

Meet Christopher Chan – Knak’s new Controller.

We first met Chris while he was working for Logan Katz, an Ottawa-based accounting firm that has been helping us with our finances for some time. Chris has a Commerce degree with a specialization in Accounting from the University of Ottawa, and he completed his CPA designation earlier this year.

When he’s not crunching numbers, you’ll most likely find him outdoors: Chris is an avid hiker, rock climber, and white-water kayaker.

We’re glad to have him on the Knak team, and we’re excited about the expertise he has to offer. Welcome, Chris!

Together at Knak.

On Site, In Sync

Knak has goals, and since we know our team is the key to reaching them, we got together for a few days of goal setting, mission clarifying, and brewery touring. Here’s the inside scoop on our very first Knak on-site.

Our team is spread all throughout Canada. While we love the remote setup, Zoom calls and Slack channels are no substitute for facetime (The real kind. Not the app.). So, we converged on Ottawa last month and spent 4 days digging into our mission and solidifying our strategy for the next year.

Knak, By Definition

We started with an open discussion about Knak. Our founder and CEO, Pierce, asked each of us how we define Knak’s mission, and it was interesting to hear that we’re on the same page. We also had a chance to share our own ideas of what we think is possible for the future.

Then, we spent a bit of time breaking down Knak’s building blocks: the why, how, and what of what we do. First and foremost, we’re Marketers helping Marketers. We’re obsessed with our customers’ success, and we’ll bend over backward to exceed their expectations. Here’s a recap of how we make that happen:

Why we do what we do: We empower enterprise marketing teams to focus on what matters to them. By streamlining the email creation process, we’re freeing them up to devote their time and resources to driving revenue.

How we do it: Knak’s easy-to-use, self-service platform eliminates the distractions and pain-points that enterprise marketers face.

We also spent some time reviewing our core values and discussing how we implement them in client engagements and prioritize them when we make hiring decisions. These are the principles that keep us on track:

  • Show Respect
  • Practice Transparency
  • Think Bigger, Act Bigger
  • Stay Curious
  • Maintain Balance
  • Take Calculated Risks
  • Get Sh!t Done

Group Goals

It’s easy for a CEO to dictate goals. The larger the organization, the greater the likelihood that someone without a ton of day-to-day interaction with the team is charting a course for the future and handing the plans down to be implemented. We have a great team, and even though I’m sure we could implement whatever comes our way, that’s not the way we work at Knak.

We started our goal-sharing session by giving each team member a chance to create a conservative and an aggressive revenue goal for our next fiscal year. We shared those goals on a whiteboard, and as a team, we arrived at our goals for the next year. Some are aggressive, some are more conservative, but most importantly, our goals are in keeping with our mission and they have team buy-in.

We also took the time to identify gaps in our team and sketch out a hiring roadmap for filling those gaps. We did the same with our products: what should we prioritize, when should they be completed.

It was a frank, open discussion, and it gave us a great opportunity to make sure we’re in alignment and working towards the same north star.

Eating Our Own Dog Food


Next, we got creative. Over lunch, everyone (everyone!!) on the team created emails. I’m not a designer and I don’t have a tech background, but I, along with the rest of the team, used my own skillset to create an email. We reviewed the emails together and took the time to consider them in light of the feedback we get from our customers. The results were fantastic! In just over an hour, each person on our team created an email that was identical to one from their favorite brand. We already knew that Knak made emailing easy, but seeing the number of beautiful emails that the team created in no time at all was a validating experience for the team.

I’m not about to join the design team, but we liked the exercise so much that we’ve planned to incorporate it into future team meetings and use it as part of the on-boarding process for new team members.

Team Building

Knak Brew Donkey

Ottawa is a beautiful city, so spent some time showing it off to our visiting team members. We did a brewery tour and got to know each other better. It was a chilled evening, and it was great to make some more personal connections with the team.

The on-site got us in sync in a way that only actual face time can. It helped bring our goals and expectations into alignment, and it opened the door for better communication in the weeks since. We’re energized to work towards our goals, and we’re ready to carry on with our mission!

The best way to translate emails for Marketo and Eloqua

We help lots of large enterprise companies with email creation in Marketo and Eloqua. Almost all of them are global organizations, which often means they start with a single email and then need to translate that many times for all of their different regions.

But, what is the best way to do this when you are working with Eloqua or Marketo?

Large global teams who make emails often start in an enterprise email creation platform like Knak because they want to be able to control the entire email creation process from request, collaboration, approvals and sync to their Marketing Automation platform. Once they have synced it over, how are translations handled?

We recommend using a translation integration partner like Cloudwords to help facilitate this process.

How does it work?

Basically, you create your email in Knak. Then you sync to Eloqua or Marketo using our native integration. From there, someone like Cloudwords allows you to sync either an entire email or portions of it from your Marketing Automation platform directly to the translation agency of your choosing. Because of how the Cloudwords integration works, there is no copying and pasting or risk of compromising the email code. This allows you to use native Eloqua or Marketo integrations for both the email creation and email translation portions of your process.

We have been getting lots of questions on the best way to do translations with Marketo or Eloqua and this is the most efficient and scalable way we’ve seen to do so.

Any questions, let us know in the comments below.

Q1 Product Update

We’re happy to announce some new features that are going to make Knak even better!

These new features are live now, and available to all Builder & Enterprise customers.

  1. Update previously synced emails
  2. Set default link URL parameters
  3. Set default email settings (sender display name, from/reply email)
  4. Edit any section or make it dynamic (Marketo-only)
  5. Text-only version is synced automatically (Marketo-only)
  6. Set email settings from Knak before sync (Marketo-only)
  7. UI improvements

1. Update previously synced emails
Once you sync an email and set it up in your programs, if you need to make changes in Knak, it can mean you need to make changes in Marketo or Eloqua. Now, you will have the ability to resync emails once an email is synced. This means once you sync an email, you can hook it up to your programs and not need to sync new versions of the email from Knak each time you need to make a change.

2. Set default link URL parameters
In order to do proper lead source tracking, it can be quite difficult to accomplish without a lot of manual effort in remembering to include URL parameters on all of your links. With Knak, you can now set top-level URL parameters so that ALL of your email links have specific URL parameters added to them.

3. Set default email settings (sender display name, from/reply email)
To speed up the email creation process, you can now set top-level email settings for sender display name, from and reply email address at the brand level. These will automatically get incorporated into your email settings whenever you make a new email.

4. Edit any section or make it dynamic (Marketo-only)
All sections can now be edited in Marketo’s email editor. This also means that any section can be made dynamic. This update only applies to Marketo customers.

5. Text-only version is synced automatically (Marketo-only)
Before this update, the text only version of an email was not visible or editable in the Marketo editor. Now, we send a special text only version of the email over to the Marketo editor. We also try to clean up the text only version so it is better than what Marketo generates automatically when it copies from the HTML version. 

6. Set email settings from Knak before sync (Marketo-only)
Our goal is to be able to bypass Marketo’s email editor completely, and there were still some areas (like email settings) that you still needed to go into Marketo to adjust. Now you can make an email operational or make it available through MSI right from Knak.

We’ve also made some minor UI enhancements, like a new load spinner, that we hope you’ll like!

Please let us know if you have any feedback or questions on any of these updates! Cheers!

Are forms dead?

I have seen an increasing tread that claims ‘forms are dead’. We’re talking lead capture forms here folks. Every marketers trusted sidekick.

With the increasing popularity of messenger bots claiming they can do everything from capture lead registration information to close million dollar deals for you, is this really true? Can you get rid of all of the forms on your website?

I don’t think so, not yet.

There are a few vendors in this space, with Intercom is currently the closest to being able to eliminate forms IMO. Their Operator product is a great combination between a messenger bot and personal engagement with real human beings. According to them, the bot technology is just not there yet for a full-blown messenger that is going to be able to hold its own with a conversation. I couldn’t agree more. What I like about their solution is its a good blend of automation and human interaction.

I think the biggest place where something like Intercom’s Operator product could be useful is replacing the contact us form on most company’s websites. Some of the qualification forms people use are simply crazy. No one wants to fill out 100 form fields.

Image result for contact us form

Yeah – let me get right on that.

Meanwhile, if you simply have a button for someone to chat with someone immediately, you can get near instant replies, and capture the information in a much cleaner and faster way.

One of the nice features about Intercom is it integrates with Salesforce. I haven’t tried this out yet, but I assume you can still figure out a way to link any new leads to a SFDC campaign so you don’t lose any attribution for leads coming in through this source.


To me, the idea of having a chat in order to provide someone with their whitepaper or to register for a webinar just doesn’t make sense yet. But, maybe one day it will.

In the meantime, I’ll stick with my old-school forms.

Image result for old school

Redefining the email creation process.

We’ve been making Marketers lives easier for 3.5 years now. Our mission has always been to help marketers get better campaigns out the door, faster and more efficiently than ever before.

During that time we’ve helped Marketers make over 17,000 templates and save them over $30 million dollars and over 570 years of time! Incredible.

We’ve built a platform where Marketers who don’t know how to code can easily customize a pre-built template for their company, make it look like their own and sync it to Marketo or Eloqua for content population. Mission accomplished?

Not yet.

Although we now have 500+ happy customers who are using our Template product, feedback that we received was that it was great, but many of them wanted more flexibility.

So, we introduced a Master 2.0 template. This solved a lot of pain (at least for Marketo customers). Mission accomplished?

Not yet.

Even the best templates have their limitations and Marketers end up needing a developer to make little changes. Need to revise the layout of a module. Not possible without coding. Making a template for Marketo or Eloqua really flexible AND keeping it easy to use just without a million variabls isn’t possible.

So – we decided we needed to look for a different solution. A solution for Marketers and organizations who were looking for total flexibility and control when it comes to email creation, along with workflow, approval and collaboration all within one simple to use platform.

Introducing, Knak Builder and Knak Enterprise.

Knak Builder
This is a full-blown email builder. You can take any email design and turn it into a perfectly responsive email with no coding required. It essentially turns any Marketer into an email developer. It also has some awesome features like:

  • Google font support right out of the box. Custom font support available on-request.
  • Over 20 different social icon sets to choose from to make sure they match your design guidelines.
  • Full drag and drop building capabilities.
  • Image library with in-app image editing.
  • Sync directly to a program (for Marketo users) with subject line, sender display etc.
  • Start from scratch of from pre-built email themes that give you a headstart

Knak Enterprise
This is email creation for the Enterprise. Have a big team? Want to work efficiently, together while maintaining total brand control? See where you’re getting held up in the email creation process and have SLAs around creation, approvals and editing? Featuring:

  • Multiple users building emails at the same time in one account
  • Increase productivity through in-app approvals and productivity dashboards
  • Store multiple brand profiles so that you can easily toggle back and forth between your brands
  • Sync to multiple Marketo/Eloqua instances
  • Load the system with your own custom themes as starting points to build emails
  • Lock down specific sections (like headers or footers) so they cannot be edited

This is only the beginning.

We have been working really hard and we’re really excited to share this new version of Knak with you. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Learn more about our brand new products here:

Growing the Knak Team!

Today we’re excited to announce the addition of two new team members to the Knak family.

Patrick Proulx is Knak’s new Head of Development and Jack Steele is joining us to be our Lead email and landing page developer.

We couldn’t be happier about Patrick and Jack joining the team. We conducted a ton of interviews to ensure that we found the right fit both from a skill and culture perspective. This is going to be huge for our customers as it means we will be able to move quicker, develop more features and develop a platform that enhances marketers productivity and campaign effectiveness.

Patrick Proulx is a full-stack developer who is responsible for leading the development efforts on the Knak platform. Pat has worked with us for about a year now as a subcontractor, and we are thrilled to bring him on full-time. He’s a perfect fit with the team and always puts the customer first.

“I love working at Knak” said Proulx, “it’s a real pleasure working with other people who are passionate about their work and about creating something that makes a really hard task simple and solves a real problem for marketers.”

“At Knak, whether it’s to create a great new feature, improve our site’s performance, or enhance usability, we’re always pushing the envelope to create the best possible platform for our clients.”

Jack Steele is a front-end developer who specializes in email and landing pages. Jack previously worked at Guestfolio, where he was helping build an email template tool for hoteliers. A self-proclaimed email geek who will follow in Nicole Merlin’s footsteps, Jack is also an entrepreneur who has started several of his own businesses and currently lives in Whistler, Canada.

“I am super excited to be joining Knak” says newly hired Jack, “I have a passion for innovative development and great design, Knak is able to create solutions for clients to combine the two with their powerful marketing tools. I joined Knak so that I can work at the forefront of email and front-end development and to join an awesome team in making Knak templating tools even more flexible and easy for customers to use.”

This is a major milestone for Knak. It’s going to really accelerate our growth and product development. Most of all, its going to provide our customers with a better experience and allow us to achieve our goals quicker.

We have some big product announcements coming soon, and Patrick and Jack are going to help us deliver on our ambitious visions for the future.

How We Built the Tiki Experience Registration Page – and then drove over 1,300 registrations.

In a past life, I was marketing to security and retail professionals. Although I was doing what I loved to do, marketing, I could never truly relate to my audience. That is one thing I really enjoy about Knak – I get to do marketing for marketers, and share things that I think Marketers would enjoy learning about.

This past Marketo Summit we hosted a party with RevEngine Marketing, LeanData and Path to Scale. Jeff from RevEngine had scouted San Francisco for a venue that would be a suitable sequel to the coolest party at the 2016 Marketo Summit in Las Vegas, at the Ice Bar. He emailed me about this Tiki bar called Pagan Idol, and I was immediately sold. Hence, the Tiki Experience was born.

We surpassed our ambitious goals for this event, and drove almost 1,400 registrants for the party. We apologize in advance to anyone reading this who was not able to get into the venue. We have made note to find a bigger venue for next year.

Given I’m sure a lot of our audience is responsible for driving registrations for events at their company, I wanted to share some of the ingredients that I think helped us reach these numbers and go over what I think makes a best-in-class event registration page.

Timing & Location
I think with any event, you need to start with, how many people from my target audience are going to be in that city, and looking for something to do. Obviously with the Marketo Summit happening at same time, we had 6,000+ people in SF who could potentially attend the party. That is a good foundation to start with to host an awesome event. We also carefully decided to do a later party, and on a night where we weren’t competing with Marketo’s big event. We figured lots of people would be arriving on Sunday night as well, so figured Monday would be the optimal date.

Making it Different
For the past two years, each of our parties has had a theme. First was the ice bar, and this was the tiki experience. I think this makes it memorable and easy for people to talk about. People might forget the name of the bar or sponsor throwing the event, but to make something that people talk about its much easier when there is an easy theme that people can remember.

Great Partners
Even if you are the great Corey Worthington of party throwing, it helps to have some help from friends. Our partners were a huge help in driving registrations from their audiences, as well as Marketo, who also helped promote any party that was being held by sponsors who were sponsoring the Summit. This also helps you keep the costs down.

Databases of the right people
Between the 4 sponsors, we likely have most of the Marketo database in our possession. This was huge for driving registrations as we were able to really connect personally with a huge group of people who were going to Summit. It still amazed me how many net new people were added into the database, as people shared the event with the colleagues and friends who were also going to Summit.

What makes a best-in-class event registration page?

Here are the elements we think you should have on your page:

  1. Beautiful Conversion-Driven Design
    All of our pages start here. We identify what the main goal of the page is, and build around this. In this case, it was simple: get as many people to register for the party as possible. Because we had the conversion overlay (which we’ll talk more about later) the secondary goal was to drive people to our homepage to do a trial – in the case that they didn’t register for the party. Design and brand are super important for us at Knak, since that is what we sell, so our designer is involved with all of our big projects like this.
  2. Single CTA – Spread Over the Page Multiple Times
    Given that our goal was to drive as many registrations as possible, we wanted lots of opportunities for people to click on the Reserve My Spot. Although most of the traffic when to the main button in in the top left of the page, you can see that there were many clicks on the other buttons as well.
  3. Countdown Timer
    There are few psychological triggers more effective than making people feel a sense of urgency to make a decision. The countdown timer not only informs people when the event will be occurring, but that literally every second that they wait to register decreases the time they have to register. This is a very basic thing to setup in Marketo or Eloqua and is made simple the way our templates are built.
  4. Lightbox Form
    I know some lead generation purists still like to have forms directly on the pages to reduce friction, but we were able to achieve a 42% conversion rate on this particular page with a lighbox form. Designers love lightbox forms since it does make the page much more visually appealing, and nice hover effects make the buttons enticing to click. The very short form also makes it easy to fill out. We are only asking for 4 pieces of information here. The must haves. Data augmentation tools like ClearBit, LeadSpace or ReachForce can do the rest.And, of course, since this page lives in Marketo for us, this is a native Marketo form. No APIs or coding or anything required.
  5. Embedded Google Map
    Pretty self-explanatory, but people want to know where the event is and be able to move the map around and interact with it to see where the location is relative to their hotel or the conference. This is also made super easy to do with our page.
  6. Date & Time
    Again, self-explanatory, but your guests want to know where/when the event is at. Make this a focus point of the page so they can easily find this information.
  7. Sponsors
    The people who you sponsor the party with need to get their branding in, yo! So this section is specifically made for them. We have it so that you can adjust the number of sponsors in this section using toggle buttons in Marketo. We also link to their pages, opening them in a new window! This is super important because you don’t want to lose that traffic completely. Make sure you use Target = New Window to set this up properly.

  8. Conversion Overlay
    This is the fancy term for ‘Pop-up’. So, when someone is about to navigate off of the page without registering, we pop-up a modal that asks them to take another call to action. The thinking behind this is that if someone is already going to leave your page because they don’t like the offer they are seeing, why not try and get them with something else.
  9. Lightbox Follow-up Page
    To keep it simple, and not require the creation of a second page, we included the follow-up page directly in the registration page. It’s a seamless experience for the registrant, and its less work for the Marketer.
  10. Web Analytics
    We use HotJar for heatmaps, scroll maps and visitor recording. No amount of testing can show you how real users will utilize your page like HotJar. You’ll get a front row seat to how visitors use your page, how long they read certain sections and any issues that might arise. If you’re not using something like this already, we would highly encourage it.
  11. Custom Favicon
    Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. For this particular page, since all of the partners were driving registration to it, I didn’t feel it was fair to have our logo as the Favicon. So, instead we went with the theme and added a Palm Tree as the favicon. Again, like I said at the beginning, this is why I love marketing to marketers. Try talking to a security or retail professional about favicons and you’ll see their eyes just glaze right over immediately.
  12. URL Parameters for source tracking
    Shout out to Jeff Coveney for reminding me to put this in here. For anyone who is running an event where you have multiple people promoting the event, we recommend using URL parameters to track who is promoting the event and driving registrations. To do this, when you create your form, add a hidden field, like shown below, and make sure you are getting the value from ‘URL parameter’. Then make sure to give each partner a unique link! Example:

That’s a wrap. The great news for everyone, if you’ve made it this far, congrats, is that this page is available in our template library right now. Even though we literally do this for a living, it took us a good 2 weeks to get this page built. Now, you can have a page like this up and running in a matter of minutes.

Hope you learned something from this. Any questions or comments, let me know in the comment box below. Cheers!

P.S. All of our lead acquisition is via our trial currently. It’s pretty steady organic growth of people who are looking to make better Marketo & Eloqua templates. However, for this party, I thought it was funny to see the rapid growth in our database. This is what happens when you offer ‘free mai tais’. Obviously, its a vanity metric, but interesting to see nevertheless: