Stephen Covey – Leading at the Speed of Trust

A powerful video on the effect of loss of trust and the ways this could be costing your company money.

What does viral marketing look like?

When mixing marketing and social media you never really know what you’re going to get. The response look like just another drop in the ocean or as overwhelming as a tsunami.

I came across the video below at Jason Keath’s blog, the evolution of media, in a post that compared dancing to viral marketing. How does a dancing man at a concert relate to viral marketing? Well, you’ll just have to watch to find out.

Keath sums it up perfectly in his post:

The lesson? Be remarkable and passionate about what you do. If it is genuine, others will watch, some will join in, and the movement will grow.

B2B search leads: Quality over quantity

When it comes to most things in life, opting for quality over quantity is typically the best way to go. The same goes for your business to business marketing efforts.

Judging a marketing program by the quantity of leads produced rather than the quality can be a disastrous tactic, according to the latest research from Marketing Sherpa.

Their most recent weekly chart aims to outline the quality and quantity of leads generated by search sources.

B2B search leads: Quality over quantity

B2B search leads: Quality over quantity

Every organization’s lead quality to quantity ratio will differ from one to the other. Too many leads and you’re overwhelmed. Too few and you’re not reaching any goals.

Here’s some of the Sherpas’ advice on finding an ideal equilibrium:

Search has become an ideal solution to balancing lead flow because, in many cases, the spigot can simply be opened or closed to control volume. The more complex challenge is controlling lead quality. This requires a much more strategic approach to optimizing not only web pages for SEO but, in the case of paid search, carefully aligning the context of PPC keywords with ad listings and landing pages.

Marketers who are optimistic about the months ahead and said they will be focused on sales growth resulting from an economic rebound, understand that higher quality leads will convert to more revenue in less time, and are addressing the challenge of generating them now.

Email spending up, but watch for signs of overload

U.S. marketers are predicted to spend $2 billion on email marketing by 2014, amounting to an almost 11% compound annual growth rate, according to the latest forecast by Forrester Research.

Falling CPMs and high ROI are giving marketers more reason to rely on email as their primary direct marketing outreach, according to the “U.S. E-mail Marketing Forecast 2009 to 2014” report.

A major challenge for marketers to be on the lookout for is the use of email in social networks. Marketers will have to find a way to leverage social sharing tools in the same way they once used social and traditional inboxes.

But just because everyone’s doing it and spending a lot of money on it, doesn’t mean that this is the time for everyone to go into email overload.

You may be looking at email as an effective way to boost sales while your budget is feeling the pinch, but turning up the volume of emails you send customers could backfire in a big way.

“E-mail is such a low-cost channel to send that people have the impression they can keep pulling that lever,” said Aaron Smith, principal and co-founder of Smith-Harmon, a Seattle-based e-mail marketing, strategy and creative services provider.

“There’s a saturation level in the inbox that is unprecedented right now, and you are far more likely to oversaturate your customer base, upset them and turn them off.” (BtoB Magazine)

When you’re feeling the pressure to push out more emails, Smith offers some strong arguments on why it could be a bad idea in a recent BtoB Magazine article.

Why email overload can be a bad idea:

  • Lower lifetime value. The average value of an email address is $118. When subscribers start ignoring your messages or unsubscribe from your emails, that value quickly diminishes.
  • Higher spam complaints. Even if you’re sending to subscribers, they will start marking your emails as spam if you’re loading their inbox with more, but worthless messages.
  • Brand damage. It’s possible that a person can get so fed up with the amount of messages they receive from you, that they block you out entirely. Once they’re gone, it’s tough getting them back.

We’ve all had the joy of dealing with email overload in our personal inboxes. Turn those negative experiences into a chance to improve your marketing at work.

Improve your email marketing by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What standards do you have for emails subscriptions?
  • What motivates you to open an email? To click through in an email?
  • Why do you unsubscribe from mailing lists?

Understanding why you choose to subscribe, actively participate or unsubscribe from emails can give you an added insight into why your customers do the same.

Business success in four minutes flat

Why do so many people reach succes and then fail?

Analyst Richard St. John took the lessons he learned in business, both successes and failures, and put them in this advice-filled, honest four-minute presentation.

Take a quick break and listen to some awesome advice:

Boost conversions with simple registration changes

The thought of testing big new campaign strategies may be as scary to businesses as an eight year old watching “Friday the 13th” – both can give you nightmares.

Instead of sticking their neck out with a new marketing idea right now, many companies are switching the focus to improving successful tactics that have lived up to their investment year after year.

The content registration form is one of those most proven tactics – and it’s a place where simple changes can make a big difference in your conversion rates.

The gurus at Marketing Sherpa recently dug through all of their best past case studies and B2B marketing research to find the most effective registration form tweaks that deliver the best results.

Here are some of the most simple ways B2B marketers have improved conversion rates of their registration forms:

Keeping it short. Long registration forms = higher abandon rates. Yes, you want to get as much information as possible, but you could be scaring prospects away with your long form. Instead, focus the questions on the information that’s most essential. Keep it basic, but add a follow-up communication strategy to collect more data once the prospect shows added interest.

Make it voluntary. Give prospects the information they want, whether it’s a product demo or white paper, then ask them for personal information. Strategically positioning voluntary registration forms alongside online demonstrations, and telling visitors that it was voluntary, has the potential to deliver “impressive” conversion rates.

Use secondary offers carefully. It’s usually best to limit landing pages to a single call to action, but in some cases, giving prospects a second option can boost conversions. If prospects aren’t ready to give you all of their contact information, but have the option to download a white paper, for instance, it could significantly improve your conversions.

Pre-populated fields work. If you have the advantage of knowing some of the prospect’s key information, pre-populate fields on the registration form to make it easier for them. One company found an almost 95% conversion rate increase after they started using pre-populated fields.

Take the “reset” button out. “Reset” or “clear form” buttons are a lingering, old-fashioned registration form trend that has worn out its welcome. You don’t want prospects to make it to the end of the form and accidentally hit “reset” instead of “submit.” Chances are, they’ll leave your site before the go back and fill in everything again.

What other tips do you have for improving registration form conversions? Please leave a comment and share what works for your company.

Using Facebook for business free ebook

How to use Facebook for business

How to use Facebook for business

Ellie Mirman of Hubspot created a fantastic new (and free!) ebook on the ins and outs of using Facebook for business.

“The ebook includes everything you need to know to get started using Facebook to reach and engage more potential buyers online.”

What you’ll find inside the free 22-page ebook:

  • How to use Facebook’s ad builder to identify prospects already on the social media network.
  • How to get the best ROI from Facbook ads
  • How to maximize your brand’s exposure to fans and their networks on Facebook
  • How to use Facebook’s built-in analytics to measure visitor engagement

Download the ebook today, it’s more than worth it.