Bold voice strategies from Verisure and Rentify

This month, we celebrated one year with the Freespee App for Optimizely. This App enables marketers to perform variation testing for onsite/inApp communication channels, that turn more visitors into customers. When we first launched this Freespee App, we were very excited to learn what impact it would have on web site design. How the next generation marketers could actively test variations of person-to-person communication into the Call To Action design, and get real time feedback in the dashboard. The online commerce we know today is very point & click oriented. For communication, we push text interfaces like forms and web chat. When we launched our App for Optimizely, marketers could start to embed Voice as a communication CTA in the variation testing.
Now, one year after, we can see the impact this Freespee App has on our customers Web UX. It’s beyond any expectation, it’s dramatic! Voice is becoming a primary CTA in mobile design, and a distinct fall back CTA in desk top design. Bold brands, like Verisure and Rentify, are making sure the visitor is invited to talk to them at any moment. But, without using intrusive & annoying PoP Up windows. Plain, simple and clean design, that makes sure the visitor can equally easy choose to point and click, or talk to them.

We’re thrilled to be able to part of rethinking web site design, Call To Action design, and our common understanding of online user behavior. Verisure and Rentify converts 2x more visitors into customers than the average web site we have ever come across in the respective industry. But it takes a bold marketing team to move into this direction.
There’s a ton of work we can still do better, but we have added Freespee Apps for the most commonly used A/B testing platforms by our clients during the last 12 months, like Optimizely, Visual Web site optimiser and A/B tasty. And more are in our engineering back log, soon to be released and available for your usage.

When you love Slack as much as you love talking to Customers!

slack and customers

Slack is awesome! Slack tells me what is going on in the Freespee cloud or what’s happening on the field in customer meetings. I can communicate with my colleagues and I can also see when a potential customer is engaging with us on our web, all thanks to Slack. All our core tools such as New Relic, Nagios, Phabricator, CRM etc. communicate with Slack in real time to provide me with information. I can even see if an online visitor chose to send us a request for more information, or sign up for our trial account, in real time. I simply love Slack!

As long as user or machine driven events are digital, I have complete control. As soon as the conversation moves into domain of spoken words, it vanishes from Slack. For our business, and most other businesses, there is nothing more rewarding than talking to a customer. Interacting with a real person, as against sending long email threads is both quick and has a higher sales probability. And yet, I cannot see this in Slack. Why is that?

The telecom stack is 20 years old and completely disconnected from the digital world. Your technology stack avoids online visitors who want to talk to you, even though these are your most potential buyers. These conversations are the most wonderful moments for those who want to grow their business.

Sofa.com, the star among online furniture start-ups, has decided that perfect service is about understanding the exact moment when you should put a customer in contact with a human being. That’s the next generation online business, staffing the web, for the ultimate personal experience.

Slack sits in the middle of everything we do at Freespee and that’s why I also want to see our spoken conversations in Slack. I want to know as much as possible about the caller, even before answering the phone call, in order to provide a first-class user experience.

We decided to build Freespee for Slack, another native App in our gallery of 3rd party tools that communicate with Freespee at the flip of a switch. Using Freespee, you can now see when a visitor calls your business, before answering the call. Your entire team sees it from anywhere, as long as they are a part of the Slack thread. Freespee for Slack is built for teams who love slack. This app belongs to those who love to talk to their customers and not just send them into the DIY funnel.

How Google could one day control every machine we use in our lives

Driverless cars have always captured the public’s imagination. Hollywood, in particular, has given us some memorable self-driving cars such as David Hasselhoff’s crime fighting vehicle KITT in the 80’s Knight Rider TV series and the lovable Herbie in Disney’s The Love Bug to name a few. However, if Google has its way, driverless cars may evolve from a cool concept used in Hollywood movies to our actual driveways in reality.
At the inaugural Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Google unveiled the latest version of its driverless cars. The two seater vehicle would have no steering wheel or other driver controls. Instead, using an array of sensors and advanced tracking software, it will be able to determine its surroundings, its locations and “see” several hundred metres.
Google’s commitment to developing driverless cars shows us just how the Internet Of Things looks set to transform the way we travel. Where we were once reliant on directions and maps, SatNav has already made our journeys so much easier using mapping data to guide us on our way. What’s to come is the advent of smart cars – a movement that will see data actually driving us in the most literal sense. But very few of the Fortune 500 brands have the guts to tell their shareholders that they will spend Billions of dollars on investing in self driving cars, as the payback time is a total guess work. But happily enough we have Fortune 500 brands like Google, arguably the biggest handler of data that invests for the future, not next quarterly report.
The Internet Of Things is essentially about everyday objects connected by a network which enables them to send and receive data. In Google’s case, by combining their road-filled logic maps that know when you’re approaching traffic lights and stops, together with data collected on every drive from laser sensors and on the top of the car that detect pedestrians, animals and unexpected objects its driverless cars the driving accuracy the benefits that their Google Car will offer are really quite impressive.
Imagine a world where you all you need to worry about is where you need to get to and your car does the rest. You won’t need to see where you’re going, worry about getting caught up the traffic ahead, panic if you have a lapse in concentration and someone steps out in front of you, or even struggle to find a parking space. Why? Because your car will be smart enough to do all that for you.
Already, Google is using its Social GPS Maps & Traffic app, Waze, to gather data from drivers to contribute real-time traffic updates to users, direct them to petrol stations with the lowest fuel prices for instance and benefit from live insights on the road. Using this technology, driverless cars would get passengers to their desired destination in the most time efficient way. And the more self driving cars we have on the roads, the less irrational traffic jams we will see, as the most common traffic jam is caused by something referred to as “stop waves”. If someone irrationally breaks on the highway, the car behind have to panic break, and the next, and so on until you quickly create a long unexpected traffic jam. Wouldn’t it be great to avoid these traffic jams on the bank holidays and spend some more time on our destinations instead?
What fascinates me the most about the possibilities of the Google Car is that the whole application of using fast data to be smarter with the way we work and live day to day. Acting fast, learning all the time and giving people a better user experience, just as we use data in business to make smarter decisions for ourselves and our customers. I’m really excited about the possibilities and the ways in which companies like Google are using data to give back to society.

What can the travel industry learn from World Cup customer data?

The smart travel brands and businesses during the World Cup will be those that choose to collect data on their journeys their customers take to come to them and make bookings, and turn it into insights that will ultimately help them to make better marketing decisions going forward.
Whether it’s hotel bookings or flights the travel industry is booming at the moment with the World Cup. Smart brands and businesses will be using this time as a huge opportunity to learn about their customers. By following their customers’ journeys across different media, not only will businesses be able to target their advertising more effectively going forward but also improve their customer experience by making sure they receive the right information at the right touch points along the way. 
Customer behaviour: Planners vs. Doers
There will be a large number of people who will have made their travel plans a long time before the tournament began, having carefully researched via Google, stumbling upon various brand websites and booking sites before making their reservations online or over the phone with an agent.
By comparison there are lots of people, even now, who are planning spontaneous trips, as a result of their countries success as we move into the final stages of the World Cup, looking for flights and places to stay at very short notice.
The interesting thing we find at Freespee, is that depending on the time a customer has available their customer journey will really differ from person to person. Those who have more time on their hands may spend days or even weeks researching and monitoring prices to find the best deals and may exchange emails to ask questions with agents to learn more about the location in which they might staying and the hotel amenities for instance.
By comparison, those booking at the last minute have no time to waste and the fastest way to make arrangements is often by picking up the phone and getting the agent to do the work for you, cutting out the time wasted on waiting for replies and browsing around frantically to see what might be free.
Business Insights: Data and Strategy
What’s important to recognise and understand here is that just knowing which bookings were made online or over the phone is not enough any more.  The questions brands and business should be asking themselves are:
 
‘How did they find us?’
‘What were they looking for?’
‘Was it a good user experience for them?’
‘How many times did they interact with us before deciding to book or not?’
 
Brands and businesses need to put measures in place to monitor the customer journey from first discovery, right through to the way the choice is made to book, and then join up the dots between the data collected via the web and the phone by analysing the insights. Those insights can then be used to inform the future marketing strategy, the staffing needed at the contact centre, even things as simple as adding a phone number to your ad online to give your customers the information they need to pick up the phone and talk to you directly rather than having to trawl through your website to find the right number to reach you on.
The World Cup: A key time to travel and learn
While there is always seasonality in travel, there are only ever a few occasions each year that capture the attention of people globally to come to one single destination: the World Cup and the Olympics to name a few.
Gathering insights from different nations around their purchasing behaviour, their intentions to buy and their preferred ways of communicating along the customer journey will make brands and businesses much smarter in both the short and long term.
A huge advantage that hotels and airlines will gain from doing this is the ability to compete with third party booking agents and concentrating on building stronger and more long-term relationships with their customers. The smarter and more in tune with a customer staff appear, the more trust the customer will have in the business and the more likely they would be to recommend it their friends and family or use them again themselves.
Getting smarter, faster: How to kick things off
The task of gathering data on this scale may sound daunting at first but with the right tools in place it’s actually a really easy to activate and the bigger and better the data you have the more accurate your insights will be. At Freespee, we have a wealth of experience and expertise in this field and we’ve learnt that with the right data, advertising is just math.
 

Advertising and the customer journey: Three important considerations

Our customers are getting smarter by the day but it has become increasingly difficult for marketers in recent years to keep up with their needs. However, all is not lost. Using the right approach to reach potential customers with your marketing and advertising, as well as thinking about the journey they take both on and offline before they decide to buy, will serve you very well.

In my latest article on MyCustomer.com I share the three things I think businesses should consider when planning their online marketing and advertising strategy that will make the customer experience more efficient for both the marketer and the customer.
Our experience working for hundreds of clients in various verticals has helped us draw some conclusions based on the  data we have gathered. These conclusions helped us make recommendations to each business, which were essential to their growth.
You can read more about the three considerations I recommend for businesses here

Latest from the Freespee kitchen

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been on full throttle: from performance improvements, to adding new features, extending the Freespee team and integrating with more and more partners to provide marketers with the tool they need to get the best out of their online marketing campaigns.
 
Over the last couple of months, we participated in a couple of great events – we celebrated the first London Tech Week by holding our first #Freespeechat on Twitter, where we discussed path-to-purchase, big data and customer journey with customers, partners and friends. We also got down to Uppsala to take part of the Founders Panelfor Uppstart, where we joined Tictail and Vint to discuss growing a successful business from the ground up. It was great fun!


 
Guest posts by our brilliant customers

We can’t keep to ourselves how happy we are we got two of our brilliant customers guest blog for us: Eoghan Henn from RankingCHECK did a 180degree overview ofUniversal Analytics in B2B Online Marketing and our friend Bob Moree from Propeller Internet Marketing looked into Mastering path-to-purchase. Both of these reads are super exciting, so if you haven’t read them still, do it now and let us know your thoughts!
 
New customers 

We’re also really proud to welcome amazing new clients to our portfolio of happy customers. We’re excited to announce that Dustin, Rentify, Teletext Holidays and Superdrug Travel Clinics have become members of the Freespee family. 


Dustin  is the leading Nordic e-commerce store for IT and electronics, serving both the private and public sector.
 

Rentify 
is UK’s best online lettings service, a property management platform that provides landlords with tools to manage their properties on their own so that they can bypass traditional letting agents.
  

Teletext Holidays
 is one of the UK’s largest travel agents, offering great value holidays in various destinations.
 

Superdrug Travel Clinics
 offers holiday protection by convenient and affordable supply of antibiotics, vaccinations and free-to-book travel health appointments for customers’ travel. 

We’d love to get your feedback on all of these exciting things that happened in our kitchen over the last few months and we’re looking forward to Freespee-ing with you!
 

Freespee Spring: We're buzzing!

Just as spring is in full bloom, the sun is shining brightly at the Freespee corner. In the past quarter, we’ve invested more time than ever on improving Freespee: from adding new compelling features, to elevating the user experience and empowering our customers to make better decisions about ad placement. All of these developments have been accompanied by some great people joining our family, making Freespee more powerful than it has ever been. Of course, there have also been many adventures along the way, so stay with me as I walk you through.
Our engineering team has gone the extra mile in ensuring Freespee is in a class by itself when it comes to product updates: starting from the introduction of the DoubleClick plugin, which now allows Freespee to feed information about calls to the customer’s DoubleClick Search account, through some serious Dashboard boosts: adding a Plugin section and answering customers’ requests for editing Default Call Filter and Static Sources.
These developments have been acclaimed by our customers, and that makes us very impatient to hear your thoughts on what we have been working hard on in the past few months – stay tuned to find out.
In this quarter, we’ve been heavily focused on empowering our customers by sharing our views on big industry topics and taking part of events, sharing successful customer stories and revealing Tips and Tricks for marketers, crafted by our knowledgeable team.
Did you hear we took part at the Big Data Debate in Shoreditch at the beginning of April? Alongside data gurus and tech geeks, Carl did a short, yet thought (and tweet) provoking talk around inattentional blindness. Carl challenged the mindset of the audience, stating that marketers should step back and consider blind spots that exist when big data is taken into account.
Challenging our audience – our customers, partners and friends, has been a very persistent trend in the past quarter for Freespee: we’ve discussed and analysed several big industry events, shedding light on the importance of understanding the big picture when it comes to data, and pointing out that as the web is becoming more human, it’s high time for marketers to rethink online sales. Our mission has always been to make it easier for people to talk and hence, reinstate the power and significance of voice, and this has been supported by the latest developments on Twitter’s side, with their click-to-call extension.
What is keeping the fire burning at Freespee is our tremendous team – in this quarter, we’ve not only extended by 6 new great members, but we have also grown stronger thanks to the continuous feedback, ideas and suggestions from customers, partners and friends. We’d like to thank you for being part of our journey, but mostly – for helping us out in shaping the path.
Happy Freespeeing!
Carl & the rest of the Freespee Team
 

On photo: Freespee team building the blocks of the exciting new ventures ahead

 

Twitter launching click-to-call extension: Is voice the next big thing?

Since  Twitter announced a click-to-call extension to their Ad formats, it pointed everyone’s attention to what looks to be the next big thing: voice. What does the addition of voice media mean to the web, you would ask? The answer is simple – it makes the web more human. This is sometimes referred to as “staffing your web”.

Talking to a brand is a transactional event, like checking out from a web shop. A consumer that choose to talk to you is at the end of their discovery process, is in most cases ready to buy. Twitter Click-to-Call Ads is a tremendous opportunity for marketers to shorten the decision process for consumers. Marketers can now run transaction-oriented Ads with targeted messages and offers that fit into the 140 character Twitter format.
Developing a transaction format that makes the web more human means the web becomes more democratic. The reason for that is anyone can run a Click-to-Call Ad – from global brands to SMEs. As long as you know how to answer the phone, you can now talk to prospective customers and drive new sales.

In Europe only, there are about 25 million active business operations. 95% of these have less then 10 employees (often referred to as micro companies). Google chose to embrace their online budgets already a couple of years ago, now Twitter is doing the same.

We will closely monitor how businesses provoke an intention to buy with only 140 characters, and share with you the most successful ones.

Season's greetings from the Freespee family

The end of the festive season and the beginning of the new year always mean two things: looking back at the year to reflect, and making plans for what’s ahead in the upcoming one. For us at Freespee, 2013 has been a year to remember, and the exciting things happening to us in the past twelve months have made us anticipate 2014 with even more impatiently. We are so eager to see what’s next for us!!
In 2013, Freespee moved to new offices and new cities. We expanded the Freespee family with 10 new members, developed our platform massively and gave birth to the new Freespee brand and logo. All of this in just twelve months!
After 3 years of empowering the leading European ad networks with our Voice communication API, many big brands trusted our technology every day through our partner networks. At some point, we were getting numerous questions whether we could develop an advertiser solution on top of our API. The brands loved our rock solid reliability and sophisticated tracking and attribution. So, finally we decided to go for it. We opened the Freespee platform for brands and SMBs during 2013. And what a success has this been!
Business owners across 16 markets have implemented Freespee code on their websites. Minutes later phone calls are turned into data for them and this feeds into the Adwords account of the business owner, as well as to their trading desks for Display media. All this to make it easier for online customers to talk to brands.
Over the year, with our customers’ and partners’ feedback, we worked hard on making the Freespee experience smoother and effortless. We are constantly adding more and more platforms to our plugin list, which support seamless data feeds from Freespee.
Listening to our customers telling us how they are reaping the success of their ad campaigns made us devoted to launch of the Freespee Community, an environment for our customers to share the new, innovative ways they use Freespee, and discover insights from thought leaders and digital professionals looking for new approaches to stellar marketing.
Thank you for being with us and have a fantastic 2014!

On photo: Our own Carsten and Niels raising a glass at the Freespee Christmas Party

 

Automatic number detection now available

One of the things that make Freespee what it is, is our wish to always improve our product, so it stands out as a leader in the market, and, most importantly, exceeds our customers’ expectations. That is why, we are constantly communicating with our clients to find out what they would like us to facilitate and improve, so Freespee works better for them and their business.
That’s why we looked at the very start of our customers’ experience with Freespeе: adding the Freespee “snippet” to the source code of a web page and tagging all phone numbers, so we can start connecting the calls to the website visitors.
Have you, too, been confused when going through the process of tagging your numbers? We know this was a bit too much of a hassle, аnd we’ve just found the solution to that!
In our javascript, we have now added a new feature, which automatically detects and tags your numbers when you just drop few lines of code into your landing page. Yes, that simple.
Imagine it as an index tool that looks through your landing page and automatically detects phone numbers. When the visitor arrives, Freespee serves a Freespee Call extension instead in the same place, where you used to display your phone number.
Full information about this new feature is available under Preferred Method: Automatic number detection can be found here.
All of this, so you have one less thing to think through, so you have more time to enjoy the Freespee magic.
Happy Freespeeing!