Where to begin with 2020?
What started out as brand-spanking-new decade fresh with limitless opportunity, quickly devolved into something few of us wanted or expected.
It would be a profound understatement to say that the majority of us are thrilled to say goodbye to our last rotation around the sun. The year was full of immeasurable hardships for many.
Nevertheless, there are takeaways for us. Maybe even a few highlights.
So while it’s tempting to put on our cynics’ hat and commiserate on the year’s low points—and there were many—we also reflect on the things that went right. And, in some cases, for the better.
#1 — Our customers showed us how awesome they are.
After much debate in the marketing department, we’ve collectively agreed to use the word “pivot” only once more before 2021—at which time, we’re cutting ourselves off. But the truth is, small business owners everywhere are pivoting changing directions in an effort to respond to this epically turbulent year. And they’ve taught us that despite the hardships, there will always be opportunities for those agile and brave enough to try something new.
Kat Gaskin of The Content Planner had to cancel all of her in-person workshops in 2020, which forced her to move to an (ultimately successful) all-virtual format inside of a weekend.
Tarver Lowe of Virtual Keynotes also pivoted his entire business offering from a live event format to a virtual one, getting marketing material online in days rather than weeks and stay ahead of the competition.
#2 — 'Twas proven: customer success is paramount
With more people building businesses online than ever, the Leadpages Customer Success team worked tirelessly to help out.
Between email and chat, our Minneapolis-based support team had over 80,000 conversations with our customers, with an average 95% CSAT score (compared to the American Customer Service Index benchmark of 76%).
That’s absolutely outstanding. And any success Leadpages enjoyed in 2020 was the direct result of them.
A big thank you to Brady, Cari, Cassie, Daniel, Deann, Eric, Erik, Francois, Greg, Jake, Javier, Jenifer, Larissa, Laura, Libby, Patrick, Reid, Sam, Staci, Tousen, Tyler, and Will—you rocked 2020. We were delighted to see customers’ gratitude for the help they received from each of you.
#3 — We learned. And we unlearned.
George Floyd’s death this past year brought a centuries-long conversation to our Minneapolis doorstep.
Since our inception, Leadpages has unabashedly supported the rights and causes of historically marginalized communities. We march in Pride, elevate women leaders, value diversity & inclusion, champion small businesses, and denounce racism.
All well and good—but not enough.
This year taught us the difference between ‘not a racist’ and ‘anti-racist’ and to take additional steps to stand with our BIPOC brothers and sisters. One of these steps was a $10,000 donation to support the local Minneapolis community, including donations to Reclaim the Block, Voices for Racial Justice, We Love Lake Street, Black Visions Minnesota, Pimento Relief Fund, GiveMN, Minnesota Rapid Response Coalition, People for Moms and Caregivers of Lake Street, and Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund.
Later in November, during Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day, we contributed to MIGIZI, Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice, Headwaters Foundation Transformation Fund, Immigrant Law Center of MN, Unicorn Riot, Good in the 'Hood, Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance, and Minnesota Freedom Fund. Our team’s personal donations were matched dollar-for-dollar by our parent company, Redbrick.
We also examined our own website, templates gallery, and social media history for opportunities to celebrate and better reflect the diversity of our Leadpages team and community.
In the year ahead, we will continue to focus our efforts and have more hard conversations around privilege and implicit bias. We will re-examine our part in the bigger picture, and hold each other accountable to be anti-racist in every aspect of our lives.
We won’t always get it right, but we’re always learning and looking for the best way forward together.
#4 — We found a new home
In March of this year, we joined the Redbrick portfolio. As a result, we tapped into a wealth of new resources and expertise that helped us thrive during an otherwise challenging year. Together, we will continue developing the tools and technology that empower digital entrepreneurs around the world.
What we couldn’t have anticipated was Canadian vs. American language barrier... but we’re doing our best to navigate (it’s been a PRO-cess, eh?).
Like us, Redbrick is taking steps to create a fairer, more equitable work environment by working with an organization called TIP (The Inclusion Project). TIP has provided executive training on topics like unconscious bias, in addition to auditing internal processes to provide areas they need to focus on. It’s just one of the reasons we think we’re a great fit for their portfolio, and we truly appreciate the efforts they’re making.
#5 — We got a new captain at the helm
Jeanette Dorazio, our new CEO, has officially completed her 4-month anniversary. Onboarding a C-level exec, remotely and during the midst of a global pandemic, is not easy. But Jeanette’s leadership turned the otherwise large hurdle into a small one, and has brought customer-centricity to a whole new level. We’re thrilled to have her at the helm of our team.
#6 — We doubled down on marketing training
This year, the Leadpages team continued to help small business owners around the world fill-in the gaps of their marketing know-how — and we made it all available, for free.
Our interactive 2021 Content Calendar includes hundreds of monthly, weekly, and daily themes to help you plan a full year of content like a pro.
Entrepreneurs seeking more control over their own website learned how to get in the driver’s seat with our Website in a Weekend course.
Our in-house trainers Laura, Daniel, and Bob taught over 100 webinars to show entrepreneurs how to use Leadpages conversion tools.
Plus, we tapped into the expertise of a few of our most successful customers for deep dives into specific topics.
- Talia Wolf revealed how to use emotional triggers and email sequences to “Turn More Leads into Clients (Within 7 Days).”
- Ruth Soukup revealed the secret sauce to presenting new subscribers with “Thank-You Pages That Convert Like Crazy”
- And Extus Justin and Nancy Marmolejo joined our own Bob Sparkins for the six-part Converted: Seal the Deal series, where coaches and consultants learned three ways to convert their prospects into eager clients.
#7 — We welcomed new team members
Seven new faces joined the Leadpages Family and we’re thrilled to have them onboard. From Victoria, BC to Minneapolis, MN — we can’t wait to meet you all in-person… eventually.
Welcome Sarah Rollins (Digital Marketer), Felix Chen (Senior Media Strategist), Nolan Mabusth (Developer), Jake Carter (Customer Success Specialist), Francois Des Jarlais (Customer Success Specialist), Deann Taylor (Senior Customer Success Specialist), and Andrew Pressault (Senior Copywriter)!
#8 — We rolled out hundreds of product improvements
A year in review for a software company wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few key product releases and stats. From speed-enhancing infrastructure improvements under the hood, to product features that our customers use, our team averaged 13 new releases every week of 2020.
Based on over seven years of conversion data and best practices, we released more than 90 new or refreshed landing page templates and more than two dozen website templates (all with real-world copy examples to get you published faster).
We helped you pick the right template, too. In addition to sorting by conversion rate, you can pick your template faster by seeing what’s popular and new. We also categorized the templates by purpose, industry, color, or vibe. And made it easier to preview your options.
More than 8,400 customers used our new section templates to improve their new and existing pages without needing design skills.
Leadpages became one of the fastest growing apps in the Zapier marketplace. The most common Zaps sent lead and customer data to Google Sheets, MailerLite, Flodesk, Klaviyo, and Zoom.
A tip of that hat goes to our top 3 integration partners: Mailchimp, AWeber, and ActiveCampaign.
And we’re proud to share what may be the most boring status update page in the history of SaaS, showing over 99.99% uptime/reliability, with only one major outage that was fixed in under 30 minutes (thanks Google Cloud!).
Saying 2020 was difficult would be an obvious understatement. But truthfully, it wasn’t all bad.
As we wind down the year, it’s important to take the time to celebrate the wins—however small—and think about the important things we’ve learned and the ways we’ve grown along the way.
From all of us at Leadpages, happy holidays. And an even happier, perhaps-too-enthusiastic, new year.