6 Basic Questions to Ask When Picking an Email Marketing Solution

first_img Email Marketing Topics: There are all kinds of solutions out there, but I’m primarily focusing on software solutions that streamline your email marketing efforts, companies like Constant Contact, Emma, ExactTarget, MailChimp, Bronto and Vertical Response.  I am trying to cover the basic questions you should ask yourself and ask of the provider before you sign up.  If anyone has other ideas about basic questions (not overly detailed or technical ones) please leave a comment.What is the fee or cost-structure? Do you have to sign a long term contract?  Is it a SaaS model? I would not bother with any email marketing software you have to install and maintain yourself.  The main value of an email marketing system is the deliverability – they make sure your thousands of messages get into most people’s email boxes.  Do they price by the number of people on your list?  By the number of messages you send?  Build a simple model of what the service will cost you over the next 12 months.  If you have a big list but send emails infrequently, you might be better off paying per email, or if you have a small list and send weekly, you might want to pay by the size of your list.Can one person manage their solution and still utilize all the features of the software? How much time does it take?  This seems like an obvious one, but make sure you see a demo or use a free trial so you understand what it takes to implement an actual email marketing campaign. Your time is probably a lot more valuable than the amount of money you will spend on the tool, so make sure it is quick and easy to use.  You may find that you’re paying for features you don’t need, or won’t have the time to leverage.  Or worse, you may need specific features that are not part of the package you purchase.Does it have the metrics and tracking you need?  Email marketing is all about testing, measuring and improving.  At HubSpot, we do Internet marketing, so we always conduct tests of different email subject lines, different content, different calls to action, etc.  Here’s a quick list of features you’ll probably want to have: (1) Tracking click-through rates (2) Tracking open rates – though reliable open rate data is becoming harder and harder to get (3) This is more advanced, but A/B testing can be important – How easy is it to split your email list so that you can test different subject lines and different content, and (4) Layout and design controls – how easy is it for you to make a nice looking email that will convert well?  Does the provider put their logo at the bottom of the emails?  Can it be removed?What is the process for post-sale customer support? What about consulting services?  Again, just like with any software application, having customer support after the sale is crucial. You don’t want to be left by the wayside with a robust email application, a campaign that needed to go out five minutes ago, and a blazing fire that you can’t put out because you don’t have the appropriate customer support channels from your provider.  Do they have an 800# conspicuously posted on their website?  The most frustrating thing is to need to send out a campaign today nd not be able to contact a support person quickly to get an answer to your question.How will their application ensure you comply with email laws?  This is the technical side of email marketing that could be considered boring if you’re not into things like U.S. CAN SPAM law compliance issues. Who doesn’t love a good compliance issues conversation?  Most of the big providers are OK, but you should check if you are using someone less well known.  You are the one held liable for violations.  A couple quick reminders – legally, every email needs to have a method to unsubscribe, and also include a physical address of your business and phone number.What about managing bounce rates? What about unsubscribes?  Another important task is managing your unsubscribes.  Make sure their application offers an easy-to-use unsubscribe system.  The quickest way to annoy a prospect is to send them an email after they have unsubscribed, or to make the unsubscribe process difficult.Whether you’re in a B2B or B2C market, you need to be utilizing smart email marketing tactics. While I believe that more and more the right way to communicate with prospects is through a blog that uses RSS and email updates to your subscribers, email marketing is still an effective tool when used properly and sparingly. Originally published Feb 8, 2008 10:48:00 AM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Are You Ready to Rumble?! “Just HubSpot It” [Episode 3]

first_img Starring: Cortenberg LoadingReadyRun Producer and Director: subscribe to our YouTube page. Want more videos? WoodyTondorf   @ rcarrigg How do you get started with YouTube, video podcasting, live streaming, or viral videos. @ Webinar: How to Use Online Video for Inbound Marketing LoadingReadyRun Tune in every Tuesday on our blog, or Kathleen_LRR What if you have so much free time on your hands (from efficient marketing, of course) that you decide to interact with your colleagues as if you were from the WWE? Graham_LRR Featured HubSpotters: (@ This video stars the folks from the popular online sketch comedy group Download the free webinar , @ , @ , @ Cast of @ ! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Be warned! The video’s sound effects are not for the faint of heart. , Jeremy Petter, Paul Saunders, Tim Sevenhuysen) Matt_LRR to learn how to use online video to grow your business with inbound marketing. Originally published Jun 15, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Episode #3: “Office Pro Wrestling”last_img read more

Survey: 0% of Internet Users Would Pay for Twitter

first_img research Topics: Download the ebook now! — Not surprisingly, Internet use continues to increase as age decreases, with 100 percent of those under age 24 going online.  However, a surprisingly high percentage of Americans between 36 and 55 are not Internet users: among respondents age 46 to 55, 19 percent are non-users; among those 36 to 45, 15 percent are non-users. Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs “Twitter has no plans to charge its users, but this result illustrates, beyond any doubt, the tremendous problem of transforming free users into paying users.” The survey of 1,981 Internet users also found that half “never” click on web advertising, with 70% saying they find it “annoying.” However, 55% said they would rather see web advertising than pay for content.” The USC survey also examined how United States residents accessed and used the Internet. Major usage findings include: — The average time online has now reached 19 hours per week.  Although more than two-thirds of Americans have gone online for a decade, the largest year-to-year increases in weekly online use has been reported in the two most recent Digital Future studies. : Percentage of U.S. on the Internet Originally published Jul 27, 2010 7:27:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 — Although new media is used by large percentages of Internet users age 24 and under, overall large percentages of Internet users never go online to do instant messaging (50 percent), work on a blog (79 percent), participate in chat rooms (80 percent), or make or receive phone calls (85 percent).  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations Twitter Marketing A recent study shows that Americans are not willing to pay for online services such as Twitter. The study was conducted by the University of Southern California at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Weekly hours online Expectations and usage on the Internet are different than with other forms of communication. Online, people expect a balance of free and paid information and services. As a marketer, is it important to understand how you can provide free content to drive business transactions. Additionally, as Internet usage continues to increase across all demographics, it is important to adjust your strategy and resources to improve your online marketing efforts. “Although nearly half of those polled in a new USC survey said they have used free micro-blogging sites like Twitter, 0% said that they would be willing to pay for such a service. “Such an extreme finding that produced a zero response underscores the difficulty of getting Internet users to pay for anything that they already receive for free,” said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for Digital Future at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. HubSpot has compiled over 50 original marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook Gaps in Internet use in age groups Low adoption of new media Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack — For the first time, the Internet is used by more than 80 percent of Americans — now 82 percent.   Marketing Takeaway From thelast_img read more

The Majority of Email Conversions Take Place on Day 1 [Data]

first_img Marketing Takeaway Horia Varlan is an exercise in understanding your audience and leveraging the data you can collect on them. Most email software provides you with metrics like open rate and click-through rate, but with some advanced tools, your analysis can go much deeper and provide you with data that can be even more helpful. tracking tools We followed up this analysis with another test to see if day of the week had an effect on any of the results. This time, we analyzed a send that was initiated on a Tuesday. Despite the change in day of the week, we saw similar results: 92% of conversions took place by the 5th day (in this case, a Monday). Photo Credit: 83% of conversions took place by the 2nd day. However, depending on your own audience and content, you will likely see different trends in your data. If you can access such information about your own campaigns, it might help you plan your campaigns accordingly and make smarter marketing decisions based on concrete data. While our data didn’t vary substantially, yours might! Specifically, we looked at an email that was sent on a Thursday, and we graphed the percentage of conversions that took place over time. We found that: Email marketing optimization 69% of conversions took place within the 1st day. 82% of conversions took place by the 2nd day. email marketingcenter_img available in HubSpot and Performable, we were able to track campaign performance at a granular level. We recently took a look at the timing aspect of our own email sends. Primarily, we wanted to know how many days are needed to see the full effect of a campaign. The email we sent contained a call-to-action to download one of our newest ebooks. So the question for this campaign was, how long did it take for this specific email to generate landing page conversions? Through the Topics: Email Marketing Metrics 70% of conversions took place within the first day. Based on our two tests, the majority of conversions (about 70%) from our email sends occur within the very first day of the send, and there wasn’t a major difference in the data between a Tuesday and a Thursday send. The Email Marketing Test in order to optimize your efforts? What have you learned? Originally published Aug 18, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Have you tested for trends in your 91% of conversions took place by the 5th day (which this time, was on a Saturday).last_img read more

4 Marketing Lessons From Steve Jobs [Marketing Update]

first_img Originally published Aug 29, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Topics: Inbound Marketing In case you somehow hadn’t heard, Steve Jobs, an amazing marketer, presenter, and product designer, resigned as CEO of Apple earlier this week. This week on the Marketing Update, Karen Rubin and Kipp Bodnar discussed lessons marketers can learn from Jobs. The Wall Street Journal published a great article about his best quotes. Below are some of our favorites and how they apply to marketing. Quote #1: Marketing Budget”Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” Fortune, November 9, 1998Marketing Takeaway: Innovation in marketing has nothing to do with how much budget you have either. In fact, this is what makes inbound marketing a much better, cost-effective alternative to traditional outbound marketing. Make sure your team is filled with passionate people who believe in what they are marketing. In inbound marketing, it’s about the size of your brain, not the size of your wallet. Create amazing, remarkable content, and you’ll be amazed at the kinds of results you can achieve. Quote #2: Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing“When you’re young, you look at television and think, there’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.” Wired, February 1996Marketing Takeaway: More people are ignoring television ads by blocking them with TiVo and DVR technologies every day. At some point, the television networks will catch on that their business model is no longer working. As a marketer, make sure you have started using inbound marketing techniques to stop interrupting people and start engaging with them. Quote #3: Differentiation“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.” 1982, quoted in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, 1987Marketing Takeaway: Be unique in your marketing! Try new things, and be remarkable and different. Wearing an eye patch and a peg leg could do wonders for your marketing!Quote #4: Passion”And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” Stanford Commencement 2005Marketing Takeaway: Inbound marketing demands passion. You can’t create remarkable content if you don’t believe in what you’re creating. Hire people who are passionate about what your business has to offer, and it will inspire an awesome inbound marketing strategy that features amazing content that generates results.What else can Steve Jobs teach you about inbound marketing? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

23 Reasons Inbound Marketing Trumps Outbound Marketing [Infographic]

first_img Marketing Data Originally published Oct 31, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: As you likely know from reading this blog, we’re huge proponents of inbound marketing over here, and we honestly believe that outbound marketing is dead. As consumers change the way they research and shop for products and services, so must we — eliminating ineffective and expensive traditional marketing tactics like cold calling, direct mail, and print and TV advertising, and instead leveraging tactics that appeal to how the modern consumer shops, such as SEO, social media, and content creation.So we were thrilled to come across an awesome infographic from Voltier Digital yesterday, which highlights the benefits of inbound compared to outbound marketing. If you’re not yet convinced that inbound is the way to go, check out the infographic, and feel free to share some of the tweetable stats from it that we’ve listed below.23 Reasons Inbound Marketing Trumps Outbound Marketing1) 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list. (Tweet This Stat!)2) 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted into. (Tweet This Stat!)3) 84% of 25-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. (Tweet This Stat!)4) 86% of people skip television ads. (Tweet This Stat!)5) 44% of direct mail is never opened. (Tweet This Stat!)6) 61% of marketers will invest more in earned media (inbound marketing) in 2011. (Tweet This Stat!)7) The average budget spent on company blogs and social media has nearly doubled in the last 2 years. (Tweet This Stat!)8) The number of marketers who say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased 83% in the last 2 years. (Tweet This Stat!)9) 2/3 of marketers say their company blog is “critical” or “important” to their business. (Tweet This Stat!)10) 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. (Tweet This Stat!)11) 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog. (Tweet This Stat!)12) 42% of businesses have acquired a customer through Twitter. (Tweet This Stat!)13) 57% of companies have acquired a customer through LinkedIn. (Tweet This Stat!)14) 48% of companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. (Tweet This Stat!)15) Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. (Tweet This Stat!)16) 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channel. (Tweet This Stat!)17) 55% of companies who blog reported leads from their blog were “below average” in cost. (Tweet This Stat!)18) 47% of companies who use social media reported leads from social media were “below average” in cost. (Tweet This Stat!)19) 39% of companies who leverage SEO reported leads from SEO were “below average” in cost. (Tweet This Stat!)20) 27% of companies who use PPC reported leads from PPC were “below average” in cost. (Tweet This Stat!)21) Trade shows were reported as being “above average” in cost by 47% of respondents. (Tweet This Stat!)22) Direct mail was reported as being “above average” in cost by 27% of respondents. (Tweet This Stat!)23) Telemarketing was reported as being “above average” in cost by 21% of respondents. (Tweet This Stat!)Are you leveraging the awesome power of inbound marketing for your business? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

6 Tips for Creating Content That Spreads Naturally

first_imgWe’ve all been there — you hit publish on a blog post and expect the social shares, page views, and agreeable comments to start rolling in. But sometimes you get pure silence — crickets, even — in response.Using social media and content to market your business isn’t a new concept, so just doing the bare minimum won’t cut it. I mean, think about how often content is shared across the web — there are one billion Facebook users, and according to Twitter itself, there are about one billion tweets sent every two and a half days. That means there’s a lot of content … and also, a ton of noise.So it takes more effort than simply publishing content and doing your typical marketing to reach your audience and generate leads. There needs to be some stuff built into your content itself that helps it stand out from the crowd and get found. To help set you up for success from the get-go, here are six ways to cut through all that noise and make sure your content comes out on top every time … no additional marketing effort required.If you’re interested in learning more about these concepts, join the author for a webinar with HubSpot, How to Improve Lead Generation Using the Social Media Advancements from 2012, December 10th at 2PM EST.6 Ways to Create Content That Markets Itself1) Don’t try something new.Wait. What?Seriously. There’s no reason why you’d need to start from scratch with a completely new approach every time you blog. You already have content that’s getting discovered on its own over and over again. Learn from those trends so you can work smart, not hard.Go into your analytics and take a look at the posts that are generating the most views, shares, and leads, and figure out how you can replicate that success. Here at Shareaholic, for instance, we use our Top Content report to identify our blog’s sweet spots; HubSpot does something similar with their Blog Analytics. From there, we create a blog editorial calendar with topics that will help us replicate past successes — whether it’s due to that post’s format, subject matter, title, author, or something else entirely.2) Surprise people.… Or make them happy, sad, afraid, angry, even disgusted! A recent study of 7,500 New York Times articles completed by the Wharton Business School tried to identify factors that made content viral. Guess what they discovered? A strong relationship between virality and emotion. The study’s most-shared content garnered a strong connection in the reader, igniting one of six key emotions: surprise, fear, joy, sadness, anger, or disgust.While I’m sure disgust or anger aren’t really the kinds of reactions you want associated with your brand, that’s not exactly the point here. The lesson is that content will be able to market itself if it provokes a strong emotional reaction in the reader. After they consume your content, they just have to share it with others so they have the opportuntity to feel that same emotion — or if that emotion is evoked in the title, they just have to click it!Consider what content you’ve read or created that provoked an action, and use this idea to create some seriously emotion-provoking content.3) Nail your headline.Shareaholic studied 200,000 publisher websites in October, 2012 and learned that 27.27% of those websites’ traffic came from social media referrals. That means when content is shared on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms, there is a huge opportunity for it to get discovered by others, as well. So how can you increase the likelihood someone will click a link to your content when a shared link flows down a person’s social stream? Well, what makes you click on a particular link you see shared on social media? Chances are, it’s a great headline that catches your attention and earns your click. That means no matter what the subject, a great headline will help that piece of content spread further.So … what makes a great headline? It’s similar to writing a great subject line for email marketing. Think about the four “U’s” that Copyblogger teaches us about great subject lines and headlines:Useful: Why is the blog post valuable?Ultra-specific: What can I expect to learn from the blog post?Unique: Why is this blog post compelling and unique?Urgent: Why should I read this NOW?Be sure to incorporate all four of these qualities in every headline that you write, and people will be more prone to continue sharing your content across social media.4) Don’t tell me; show me.Our latest content data shows that in October 2012, Pinterest was the fourth leading source of traffic to publisher websites, even exceeding Yahoo! organic traffic and Google referrals. Not to be outpaced, Facebook sent 5.50% of traffic to publisher sites, which was more than double Pinterest’s 2.38%. Plus, recent data from HubSpot shows that photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than the average post.What’s the marketing takeaway? Today’s social media platforms reward visual content. It should be a major piece of your content strategy. The best Shareaholic publishers pay close attention to visuals in their content, especially the little details like branding their visuals. For example, PBfingers, a fitness blogger, does this with her posts, always including her blog’s brand name somewhere on the visual. This way when visuals are pinned on Pinterest or shared on Facebook, her awareness continues to grow.There’s other was you can incorporate visuals into your marketing to increase shares and engagement. For example, having attractive featured images on your content polishes the overall look of your shares to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, increasing conversions by offering a more descriptive and therefore appealing presentation of the content.So who can master this? Don’t worry, it’s okay if you’re not a design junky. It turns out you don’t need Photoshop or ninja design skills to create great visuals for your content. There are plenty of free visual tools that are simple to use to create great visuals for your content — check out this blog post for 13 of them!5) Enable your blog to market your content.More social media referral traffic coming to your site means an increasing number of new visitors arriving via that content for the very first time. However, that also means these new visitors don’t know much about you yet, and you need to capture their interest and gain their respect before they are ready to become evangelists of your content, too.Consider how you can use your blog’s real estate to improve the presentation of your content and offer further content recommendations that will earn new visitors’ attention. A personalized content recommendations tool like Shareaholic Recommendations will suggest additional articles at the bottom of every post, contextually tailoring the recommendations to increase page views, time on site, and engagement. There are a handful of different recommendation widgets you can grab for your blog, but here’s an example of what the Shareaholic Recommendations looks like on one of our publisher sites, Civilized Caveman Cooking:In addition to recommendation widgets, there are, of course, the social follow and sharing modules that every single blog should have. It’s critical that you make it easy for readers to share your content on social media, and get access to more of your great content from following you on social media. I mean, have you every tried to tweet an article that didn’t have a tweet button? It’s a total pain. Who wants to 1) copy a URL, 2) open another tab, 3) go to a link shortener, 4) paste that link in, 5) click the shorten button, 6) copy that link, 7) go to their Twitter account, 8) paste that link in there, 9) look up the Twitter handle of the publisher, 10) and then add custom copy for the tweet.I’m exhausted just typing it out. Make life easier on your readers, and they’ll do a lot of the marketing of your content for you.Finally, make sure you’re making blog subscription easy. Your blog should have a subscribe module so people can receive email alerts when you publish new content — or, if they prefer, set themselves up with an RSS subscription. What better way to drive email traffic to your content without lifting a finger (except for the finger you use to press ‘Publish,’ of course) than growing a giant base of blog subscribers?6) Don’t forget about SEO.Every time you publish a blog post, you’re creating a new page on your site that’s being indexed in the SERPs. I mean, at that point, Google is marketing your content for you. For free. Forever. (Well, at least until the end of search engines.)The act of blogging alone is inherently helping you market your content — but if you pay attention to SEO, you can make self-marketing content even stronger that it already is. That means you should be including keyword research in your content strategy and optimizing your blog content to be found more in the SERPs. And you know what? It totally works, too — the blog content that speaks to people’s needs (particularly needs that express themselves in long-tail keyword phrases that you write blog posts around) will continue to drive traffic month after month — new traffic that can convert into leads, all just because you wrote and optimized one blog post months, or even years, ago!This article is by Janet Aronica, the head of marketing for Shareaholic, a company that makes content easier to discover for 300 million readers through a global publisher network of 200,000 websites. HubSpot and Shareaholic are co-presenting a new webinar, How to Improve Lead Generation Using the Social Media Advancements from 2012, on December 10th at 2:00pm EST. Click here to register.Image credit: TommyClicks Originally published Dec 6, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Content Creation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

How to Use Keyword Tools to Brainstorm Blog Topics [Quick Tip]

first_imgThere are a ton of ideas out there on how to come up with content inspiration when you’re stuck. But my favorite content trick comes from customer Marcus Sheridan — and it’s so good, even the New York Times approves. All you have to do is answer the questions your audience is asking. And how can you do it? One way is through keyword research! You can do this with any keyword research tool — we use HubSpot’s Keyword Tool to do this, but if you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can use your own tool. We’ll show you how to do it in this post using Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, since everyone has access to it.1) Go to the Google AdWords Keyword ToolStart by going to this domain: https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool. Once you’re inside the tool, you will see this screen:Enter your domain name, and fill out the captcha text to see which keywords you might want to target.2) Identify Strategic KeywordsYou’ll now see a list of keywords. Your sweet spot will be keywords with some significant search volume — not too high, not too low — and Low or Medium competition. You’ll be able to sort by these factors by clicking on the words, sorting the numbers by highest or lowest.Once you’ve sorted the way you like, look for long-tail keywords — keyword phrases that are typically three words or more — off of which to generate topics. Long-tail keywords are excellent for blog content, because they’re often problem-oriented phrases, or indicate problems that people need solving. This aligns with how-to content that typically performs very well on a blog.Here’s how we’d do that with the keywords recommended for blog.hubspot.com as an example:This snapshot shows keyword phrases with great search volume, low competition, and that point to a problem people are looking for answers to. Here’s five blog posts you could write just based off that first highlighted keyword phrase, “marketing your product”:5 Expert Tips for Marketing Your ProductHow to Market Your Product on Social MediaHow to Subtly Market Your Product in Your Blog Content10 Epic Product Marketing Fails and What We Can Learn From ThemWhy Marketing Your Product Starts With Excellent Customer Service3) Vary Searches to Identify More KeywordsIf you aren’t feeling particularly inspired by the first batch of keyword phrases delivered, you can refine your search to get more suggestions around a keyword phrase. For instance, I wasn’t really digging the phrase “how to use social media” because it’s just so generic. If you find yourself in that boat, click on the phrase and this pop-up will appear:Select “Show more like this,” and you’ll be taken to a screen with keywords that are similar in nature, but not exact, to the original phrase.In this example, we could perhaps write a post like, “Lessons for Marketers From Obama’s Use of Social Media.” If you ever want to topic brainstorm around a more specific topic, you can always simply input that topic or keyword phrase in the “Word or phrase” box from the get-go, too.Do you have any other quick tips for generating blog topics? Share your hacks in the comments!Image credit: toolstop Keyword Research Originally published Apr 27, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

5 Mobile Apps Nonprofits Can Use to Boost Donations

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Mobile Apps Mobile engagement and website traffic are increasing considerably for brands of all kinds and sizes. What does this mean for your organization? Well, that it’s time to start thinking about how to engage your current and future constituent base on any and all devices.Younger generations are particular on what they’re looking for when it comes to your website. Thus, you should know the specific ways in which you ought to interact with your network via mobile applications.Even though Apple has banned the ability to accept donations through iOS apps, there are ways to get around this ban and tell you organization’s story. Here are five mobile apps to consider when developing your 2014 mobile strategy.1) InsteadInstead is a micro-donation app with a “macro impact” that leverages everyday purchases, like coffee. Positioning each small donation (either $3 or $5), donors are able to see the direct impact of their donation (i.e. providing one child with clean water for a year).Every time a person purchases or brews a cup of coffee, for instance, they log it on the app and donate their selected amount. If your organization would like to be featured on Instead, you can contact them directly or tweet at them.2) Charity MilesCharity Miles allows individual runners or bikers to log their mileage and unlock up to $1 million of their sponsorship “purse.” Organizations like Pencils for Promise, DoSomething.org, and Wounded Warrior Project use this app for their endurance fundraisers to log miles during events and as year-round fundraisers.3) One TodayGoogle’s One Today allows any organization to create a project or campaign they’re looking to fund. This is also a micro-donation app that allows individuals to contribute $1 a day to projects or organizations they choose.It also allows donors to match their friends’ contributions. Malaria No More is running a campaign called “Save a child’s life from malaria” in which $1 leads to one child being tested and treated for malaria.You can learn more about One Today here. 4) Donate a PhotoJohnson and Johnson’s app allows individuals to share one photo a day to support a cause with a $1 donation.For instance, Operation Smile used Donate a Photo to provide children with all the supply and medication to receive a cleft lip surgery. For every 240 photos donated (equaling $240), one child was able to receive surgery. As of today, they are one child away from their goal of 85 surgeries.5) Check-in for GoodCheck-in for Good is very similar to Foursquare, but for nonprofits. It allows organizations to easily create their own free Cause Page and then partner with businesses to collect donations anytime someone checks in at that business location.When an organization uses this app, it’s not only driving business to its local community, but it’s also raising money and engaging customers via their mobile devices.How is your organization factoring in a mobile strategy this year? Originally published Jan 6, 2014 4:16:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

6 Careless Mistakes That Lead to Inaccurate Buyer Personas

first_img Topics: Originally published May 8, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Buyer Personas Creating a buyer persona is easy — heck, you probably already have a picture in your head of your company’s ideal customer. But creating an accurate buyer persona is hard. And creating a few different buyer personas — which almost every business will need to do — and deciding which ones to prioritize is even harder.As one college professor liked to tell me, the best way to succeed is to anticipate your mistakes. This applies to everything from love to marketing (which happen to share some eerie similarities). With that in mind, here are some common mistakes to anticipate before you start to craft your buyer personas:Download Our Free Buyer Persona Guide + Templates 1) Relying on Anecdotal Evidence From Your TeamFor marketers, it’s incredibly easy to rely on your team for research when creating buyer personas. Ask the accounts team what current customers are saying, ask the sales team what they’re hearing from prospective customers, have the interns do some online research, and call it a day, right?Not so fast.For starters, your current customers aren’t always the best example of the person who would buy your product today; the pain points of yesteryear aren’t the pain points of 2014. And the pain points of current customers are different than those of someone who’s never worked with you before. While your accounts team should definitely be finding out as much as they can about your current customers’ challenges, that information shouldn’t necessarily be dictating your buyer personas.If you can convince them to work it into their conversations, have your sales reps ask potential buyers questions like, “How did you hear about us?” and “Out of curiosity, why did you choose us over X competitor?” The more information you have, the better, but remember that not all sales reps are likely to dig for the kind of in-depth insights that you need. Instead, you need to get out there and conduct intensive interviews.2) Asking the Wrong QuestionsSince creating a buyer persona is all about crafting an archetype of the types of people who would choose your product, it can be pretty easy to fall down a rabbit hole of irrelevant questions: Where did they go to school? How do they dress? Do they like yogurt? When I was a poor, young journalist moonlighting as a consultant in the ad world, I found this blog post by Adele Revella, author of The Buyer Persona Manifesto, extremely helpful. These are the five insights she suggests pursuing, and I wholeheartedly agree.Priority initiatives: What are the three to five problems or objects that your buyer persona dedicates time, budget, and political capital to?Success factors: What are the tangible or intangible metrics or rewards that the buyer associates with success, such as “grow revenue by X” or a promotion?Perceived barriers: What factors could prompt the buyer to question whether your company and its solution can help with achieving his or her success factors? This is when you begin to uncover unseen factors, such as competing interests, politics, or prior experiences with your company or a similar company.Buying process: What process does this persona follow in exploring and selecting a solution that can overcome the perceived barriers and achieve their success factors?Decision criteria: What aspects of each product will the buyer assess in evaluating the alternative solutions available? To be useful, the decision criteria should include insights both from buyers who chose a competitor and those who decide not to buy a solution at all.3) Only Talking to Recent BuyersPeople who just bought your product are definitely pleasant to talk to; they’re excited and happy and optimistic about your company. Plus, you probably have carte blanche to take them out for drinks. But the people who chose your competitor instead are arguably even more valuable. After all, they are recent buyers — it’s just that they just didn’t buy from you. And as a bonus, you can steal some great competitive insights from those conversations.You also don’t want to just talk to people at the bottom of the funnel. Prospects in the beginning or middle of their purchase journey are incredibly valuable to talk to, as well. After all, as a marketer, reaching top and middle funnel folks is the name of the game.4) Not Talking to Enough PeopleA good buyer persona interview requires a substantial, in-depth conversation, but convincing someone to sit down with you for 20-30 minutes isn’t always easy. That leads a lot of marketers to say “Screw it” and rely on a small sample size.Get a statistically significant amount of data by sweetening the pot. Gift cards work well.5) Letting Your Persona Photo Drive Your InsightsOnce you’ve started to craft your buyer personas, it’s definitely helpful to mine stock photo sites to put a face to a persona — it just helps keep your team on the same page. However, it’s also deceptively easy to start making things up about your buyer persona based off that stock photo; after all, good marketers are good storytellers, and it’s easy to start telling yourself stories about the face you’re staring at all day long.Before choosing a face for your buyer persona, be sure to really flesh out your persona in writing, and return to that text often throughout the process.6) Creating Too Many Buyer PersonasCreating dozens of buyer personas is another tempting fruit in the buyer persona garden; it just feels like you’re being more focused and specific! But usually, you simply don’t need a buyer persona for every potential job title or industry vertical. The distinguishing characteristics are quite often trivial at best and fictional at worst.Instead, group buyers based on the analysis you glean from your interviews; you’ll end up with a clear picture of the handful of people you can target to take your business to the next level.What common buyer persona mistakes do you think marketers should watch out for? Share them in the comments for the greater good! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more