The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Automation System

Marketing is the main driver of sales, everything you do is marketing. From the blog posts you write to the branded bags you hand out at your cash register or the business card you send.

However, some things we do as marketers can seem like magic. Especially if everything you’re doing creates value for the user along the way.

People like to get plenty of information before making a purchase, and they do not want to be called until they are ready to buy.

In fact, if you call them too early in the buying process, they may never want to hear from you again. Continue reading “The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Automation System”

Marketing Automation is a Big, Fluffy, Jelly-filled, Glazed Donut

That delicious ring of puffy goodness sits on a plate in front of me. Teasing me with its delicate sugary shine. A donut so stuffed that one drip of red jelly squeezes out the side.

My head says no, but my stomach says yes. Head calculates how far I’d have to jog to burn off the 672 calories. Stomach isn’t worried about such mundane problems. Incredible payoff is 30 seconds away.

Many marketers have bitten into the jelly donut that is “marketing automation”. They hit START on an automation program that shells out countless emails to unsuspecting victims, quickly and furiously. It’s never been easier to do it. Continue reading “Marketing Automation is a Big, Fluffy, Jelly-filled, Glazed Donut”

Stop the Mindless Death Shuffle for Leads

I’ve been there. Sadly I’ve been there. Wandering around the wreckage of a ruined society, starving, and pursuing the delicious and mouth-watering LEEEAD. They are so easy to catch if you’re persistent…and it’s so easy to brag to the rest of the organization the miraculous successes your efforts have produced.

“We generated 32-billionty leads this quarter!”

But LEEEADS are not a useful metric to share with anybody.

Continue reading “Stop the Mindless Death Shuffle for Leads”

How To Critically Review Your Under-performing Marketing Programs

One of the hardest things in Marketing is knowing when your efforts are just not working and to change up what you’re doing. For many, a project can feel like your baby, to be held tightly and loved even if they’re not particularly good at something.

Sometimes a program can “come good” with some effort and elbow grease. But others just won’t work no matter how much effort you put in. They were doomed right from the beginning.

You’ve also perhaps put your reputation on the line to deliver real business results. It’s a frightening thing to look at your work critically when clients or internal stakeholders are questioning results.

Continue reading “How To Critically Review Your Under-performing Marketing Programs”

Marketers Ruin Everything

Marketers Ruin Everything

The biggest problem with digital marketing today is that marketers actually ruin everything. Literally everything. Every digital marketing channel that was valuable at one point  has been overused, watered down and ruined.

We posted April 13th called How Marketers Ruin Email. It was a fun write-up about how marketers have abused the email channel but now we’ve realized it didn’t go quite far enough.

Rest assured if a digital channel is effective, somebody out there is quickly trying to wring every cent they can out of it.  Especially now that the barrier to entry as a “digital marketer” has lowered – there are how-to guides on everything – anybody can enter the industry as a “leader”. Continue reading “Marketers Ruin Everything”

Stop Using Popups

Burn It Anyway!

As we were talking about promotional strategies, Brian brought up the idea of using a pop-over to promote sign ups to the NorthIQ Smarter Business Newsletter (which in my incredibly biased opinion, is the best free marketing information you’ll find on the internet today).

I immediately shot him down and told him that was the single worst idea he had ever had.

Back in the “good old days” we would see the occasional in-page popup.  They were usually designed to be useful, maybe to let you log in, or to show you some features you didn’t know were there.

They were useful, so we tended to pay attention to them.

Then, there were more.

Now, in true marketing-ruins-everything fashion they are absolutely everywhere.

And they need to go away. Be put down. Eliminated. Burned at the stake. Continue reading “Stop Using Popups”

Customer Service: Maybe your Grandma’s Advice was Right

I remember when I was young, whenever my cousins and I were being unruly and especially uncivil to each other, my grandma used to tell us “You should treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself.” It seemed awfully naggy, especially with the finger wagging thrown in. At the time I always thought it was ridiculous advice, why would I care how others were treated as long I was treated just fine? People HAD to treat me well.

Maybe there was something to that small piece of advice after all. Maybe this simple advice is why some companies prosper while others struggle. I’ve found that the long term payoff of taking the time to provide a high level of value on every interaction is difficult and time consuming but ultimately pays off. Continue reading “Customer Service: Maybe your Grandma’s Advice was Right”

I Quit My Job. The Reason Why Will Surprise You.

Sorry were you looking for content about quitting your job and/or Super Mario Bros? My bad…

Ever click on a link and the resulting content is not at all about what you clicked on or it wasn’t exactly what they promised? Find it annoying and frustrating?

The term for this tactic is “click bait”, and this is where the internet seems to be moving. More and more marketers are using this same methodology to maximize clicks to their free downloads. Promise something big to encourage form completes, meanwhile the actual content is a shadow of what was promised.

It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. And it’s not sustainable for building a business. Continue reading “I Quit My Job. The Reason Why Will Surprise You.”

Why I Am Not A Marketer Anymore

Years ago, I was fresh out of school and the company I worked for, a small and growing company sent me to a marketing conference (DMA). This was maybe 2001, 2002. The company I worked for was small and spent a fair bit of budget to send me, a young graphic designer to this marketing conference. It was held by a reputable marketing organization at the time and the topic was direct marketing. In retrospect it was an industry that was about to suffer setbacks. But they were branching out into digital. Continue reading “Why I Am Not A Marketer Anymore”

Stop Abusing Your Email List

So many companies out there take their precious email lists and abuse it. Those lists only grow because of a ridiculous “content trickery” strategy where you give away a near-useless piece of content for the right to spam folks. Usually they shrink because prospects who register are really only interested in a free download.

Short term sales at the cost of high unsub rates rule the day and too many companies make this sacrifice. Too many companies are okay with taking their list of names and hammering all the blood (money) out of it they can.

I know the allure of looking at it purely from a numbers standpoint. Open rates. Clicks. Unsubscribes. Revenue. On the short term it’s easy to say that frequent mailing of revenue-generating content that is poorly crafted but sells can help meet quarterly goals. But that is not a plan that sets your business up for long term success. That is not a plan that most companies should be proud of. Continue reading “Stop Abusing Your Email List”