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Interviews 2013 - 2016

How Marketers Stay Productive: Alex Bashinsky of Picreel

May 12, 2016

This week we feature, Alex Bashinsky Co-founder and CEO of Picreel. Picreel is a marketing tool that allows you to track visitor activity on a specific page on your website. By analyzing the overall mouse velocity and movement on the site’s page, Picreel can detect when a visitor is about to leave your site.

In this interview, you can read more about his work at Picreel, favorite marketing tools, productivity tips as well as his advice for budding marketers.

Your location: Barcelona, Spain.


Your favorite gadget: At this point, my Apple Watch.

You start your day with:​ 10 minutes meditation

Your favorite time-saving trick: Make wrap ups with your team at the end of your day.

Your top blogs you read daily: MOZ, Bufferapp, Groovehq

“Solving a problem create value to the market.”

Describe an average day at Picreel?

Normally, our team is involved in a couple of activities every day — planning and preparation, daily small things, product backlog, marketing, customer support, generating heat, and wrap ups.

A typical day starts with planning and preparation. These are networking events or technical/marketing/customer support group calls. Well, careful time management really helps to get things done properly. So, I just hop on a Skype call with the team to discuss the agenda. We use Skype for such appointments. Then, we start working immediately.

All of us have some small list of to-do stuff. It involves checking emails, replying, quickly checking on competitors, looking into social media.

Finally, we get to real work, which is product development, marketing, and customer support. It involves research, coding, writing briefs, editing docs, analysis, customer development, face-to-face interactions with partners, influencers, and customers. A great deal of our time is dedicated to these things. Working non-stop.

It’s also quite important to stay productive throughout the day. We go off the boil! Reading some cool article, playing ping pong, meditating, destroying a few chocolate bars — it can be anything. Also, the team goes to the nearest Starbucks together on Fridays.

Eventually, we’re having wrap ups. In order to stay on track and maintain control, we’ve one last meeting. Discussions, sharing, and simple chatting take place here.

As a startup founder, what are some of your favorite productivity hacks?

I’ve a bunch.

1. I’ve a timetable for my activities.

As I’ve mentioned in the previous question, my average day is quite planned and under control. Whenever I am getting a new task, I try to find an open stop for it in my schedule. I’ve used lots of different tools for that. Currently, I’m happy with Asana.

2. I turn off all my alerts.

Yes, I’m serious. Alerts are not helping me to get focused on my early meetings. I turn them on only in a couple of hours. Well, first things first.

3. I meditate after my breakfast!

These are two equally important things. I try to eat healthy in the morning. Then, I need to spend just about 10 minutes to get my mind running.

4. I use the Pomodoro method.

There are hundreds of different time management tools and techniques. Pomodoro may be a bit old, but..well, it works! So, I work in 25 minutes intervals, which I’m comfortable with.

These are on top of my mind.

As a person who is well-versed with online marketing, I’m sure you rely on a few marketing tools to automate your efforts. What are the top 3–5 tools you use?

Marketing tools enables regular people to perform outstanding!

So, I use dozens of tools and apps. Here are the top 3.

1. Mention.

I can’t imagine my day without it. Perhaps, I’d need to spend HOURS on social media management without Mention. It enables me to keep track of Picreel and our competitors. Cool stuff!

2. MOZ.

I guess, there’s no better alternative right now. It saves lots of time that I spend on SEO monitoring. I love to keep track of opportunities and our progress in search engines. So, I need such tools. BTW, their blog is gold! I love spending time there.

3. Hemingway.

That’s a cool free tool that helps me with content and briefs. I just paste my outlines, texts, articles there and the app gets an analysis. I’ve always loved its opinion.

Your company has a growing community of users. How do you use this treasure trove of customer insight to power your marketing efforts?

That’s fantastic when users reach out and suggest different features and improvements that they want to see in Picreel. That’s why, lately, I spend much time communicating with my customers directly.

Our subscribers could get an email from me asking the reason they joined, how did they hear about Picreel, the reason for cancel (that’s always sad L ), etc. I always try to reply and follow up. Much of our product development and marketing depends on the answers from our community. So, our product is becoming more consumer-driven!

Also, our ReelSurvey helps us to acquire customer insights and react to them properly. We run the survey in our app and it really reveals cool stuff.

Finally, we’re offering 24/7 communication via the live chat. Our goal is to listen to the customers, help them, and be there for our users. Such communication also reveals opportunities for marketing and product development. (psst, when I’ve free time, I love to login into the live chat and handle the conversations myself. Makes me happy when I help customers).

What is your strategy for getting people to your site and then converting them to a customer?

We’re using and testing all the possible marketing channels. Some of them work better, others are total crap. The point is to find what works for us. So, we’re involved in SEO, SMM, email outreach, guest blogging, advertising, discussing relevant things in communities. Everything!

Lately, three things that brought awesome traffic and conversions were partnerships, landing page tests and a simple organic growth.

People love to connect apps. So, we’re building new integrations all the time. At this point, we offer integrations with more than 10 popular email apps (like Mailchimp, Getresponse, Aweber, Marketo, etc), any custom systems and the leading e-commerce platforms. Promoting such features bring us high quality traffic. Thus, we’re not going to stop!

Also, we’ve made a couple of changes on our landing page (e.g. CTA’s, content, reviews, images). These were tested via A/B tests using tools like Mixpanel and Optimizely. The result brought more conversions.

In addition, I have to say that Picreel’s growth is organic. We’ve hundreds of dedicated users who like our service, and recommend it to others.

Is there any advice you’d like to give to budding startup marketers to help them work smart and stay productive?

Sure! If you’ve some cool idea, check if it really brings solution to a problem for users.

Be user-centered.

Solving a problem create value to the market.

That’s a good way to stay motivated, which will make your commitment smart and will keep you going.

A big thanks to Alex for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you check out Picreel.

The ‘How Marketers Stay Productive’ series asks marketers their tips & strategies for staying productive. Every week we’ll feature a new guest and the tricks that keep them working smart. Know someone you’d love to see featured? Email Us.


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