The Point

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10 Tips for a Successful Trade Show Follow-up Campaign

The Point

2010 study concluded that fewer than 70 percent of exhibitors have any formalized plan or process in place for how leads are followed up after the show. Research has long suggested that the majority of leads generated by trade shows never receive follow-up by company representatives. Here are 10 tips for designing an effective trade show follow-up campaign. Any response (e.g.

7 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Next Webinar Invitation

The Point

I’ve written a number of times in this space about how to maximize response from email Webinar invitations. The campaign below from Parallels , a Swiss-based software company, provides a handy illustration of those techniques by displaying what key mistakes to avoid. For example: 1. Sell the offer, not the product. Lead with compelling benefits, not just facts. Use images wisely. See #1 above.

The New B2B Buyer Dialog: A Conversation with Kathleen Schaub

The Point

Most B2B companies will readily acknowledge how much the Web has transformed the way they market their product or service, most visibly in the form of vehicles like search, content marketing, social media, and lead management. Fewer companies, however, can claim to have adapted their sales process as readily. Vendors leveraged that knowledge gap. Fast forward to today. The proliferation of Web 2.0

Help Our Client Choose a Logo (Poll)

The Point

Sonoma Canopy Tours will be one of the largest zipline tours in the nation when it opens in Sonoma County, California later this year. The park will feature a 2-1/2 hour guided tour that includes a dramatic spiral staircase, sky bridges, and ziplines – some hundreds of feet off the ground and more than 1,000 feet long. Choose your favorite by voting in the poll below. See you at the park!

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Lead Nurturing & the 80/20 Rule

The Point

A couple of months ago, in a respected marketing Webzine, there appeared a case study detailing a software company that had gone to impressive lengths to make the most of their investment in marketing automation. That is, by most standards, a program of gordian complexity, and the effort and strategic thinking that went into its design should be lauded. But is all that necessary? Not really.

5 Ways To Incorporate Direct Mail Into Your Marketing Mix

The Point

Pop Quiz! Direct Mail is: a) more expensive than email. b) quaintly old-fashioned. c) regaining popularity in B2B circles. d) often overlooked as an effective way to reach customers and prospects. Answer: (e) all of the above. Yet many B2B marketers continue to be allergic to the idea of using direct mail, simply because it seems such a throwback in our mobile-social-online era. Lead Nurturing.

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5 Ways to Segment Your Lead Nurturing Campaign

The Point

Relevancy is one of the key factors in generating a consistent response from your lead nurturing emails: the more relevant your message to the reader’s job function, industry, interests, and stage in the selling cycle, the more likely he/she will be to respond. Most marketing automation platforms make it a simple task to “clone” emails and landing pages, and create variations on the fly.

When Emails Go Bad: A Lesson in How to Apologize

The Point

If you’ve been involved in email marketing for any length of time, no matter how diligent and prepared you are for every campaign, something somewhere at some point will go wrong. And when that happens, a very large number of people will receive a message from you that isn’t quite what you intended for them to receive. It’s happened to all of us. It happened to Boingo Wireless last week. Perfect.

26 Must-Have Negative Keywords for B2B PPC Campaigns

The Point

Success in paid search (PPC) is often defined as generating quality clicks and conversions at the lowest possible cost. But just as often, a successful search campaign depends as much on avoiding bad clicks as it does on generating good ones. One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the ROI from your search budget is through the use of negative keywords. career. careers. job openings.

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Do Email Open Rates Really Matter?

The Point

Open rates are generally paid more attention than they’re due. The ugly truth is this: an open rate is NOT an accurate measure of how many people opened or read an email, neither is it an absolute measure of a subject line’s success. So why are there misconceptions about what an open rate means, and how can it be used as a valid statistic in measuring the success of email campaigns, if at all?

10 Questions: Do You Need Marketing Automation?

The Point

A couple of weeks ago our firm prepared a detailed ROI analysis for a client helping them substantiate to their management the investment in a marketing automation platform. In this particular instance, the numbers were relatively clear-cut. Fortunately, and to the client’s credit, they had firm metrics for each stage through which a raw inquiry ultimately converted to a sale. From new leads?

2011 B2B Marketing Outlook, According to Google

The Point

That popularity may be short-lived, however: 53 percent of marketers were only “somewhat satisfied” with their company’s marketing performance in 2010, and more than two-thirds (69 percent) plan to test new digital tactics in 2011. Our agency recently developed a report summarizing the results of a B2B marketing survey commissioned by Google and conducted by research company Ipsos OTX.

Blog Makeover Nets Sales Leads for Software Company

The Point

How do you reinvent a company blog in a way that does more than simply provide a platform for thought leadership? That was the challenge faced by Navicure , a leading Internet-based medical claims clearinghouse in Atlanta that helps medical practices increase profitability. convert that search traffic to measurable sales leads. The results have been startling.

Email Critique: Adobe Webcast Invite Keeps It Simple

The Point

For example: “You’ll discover many more surprising results when you listen to a 30-minute Webcast highlighting results of the 2010 Adobe Online Analytics Benchmark Survey …”. 7. might add a YouTube-style “play” icon to the slide, and a CTA to the sub-head: “Results from the Adobe 2010 Analytics Benchmark Survey. Here’s what I like: 1. And here’s what I’d change: 6. Were either needed?

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The First (Almost) Clickable Direct Mail

The Point

Marketing pundits have been proclaiming that direct mail is making a comeback ever since I first cut my teeth in direct marketing back in the late 80s. I can only report that whereas the heady days of mail are long gone, far more B2B clients are utilizing direct mail today compared to say, five years ago. Hardly the kind of immediate, instinctive response we direct marketers look for.

Call Every New Sales Lead 6 Times? Sorry, that’s Crazy.

The Point

In their August 2010 report, “ Building the Optimal Inquiry Response Strategy ,” Leads360 use the data collected to make some startling claims, amongst them the following: “The findings of this study strongly suggest that calling 3 times during the first day, once on day 3, again on day 4, and a 6th and final time on day 11 or 12, is the optimal call attempt strategy.”. emphasis mine).

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Top 10 Posts on B2B Lead Gen for 2010

The Point

Without further ado, here are the top 10 most popular blog posts from our blog, “ The Point ” in 2010 (as measured by page views). Normally, a survey like this might indicate something about hot topics or key trends, but here instead the popularity of the top posts has everything to do with one word: search. Comments after the fold. 1. 26 Must-Have Negative Keywords for B2B PPC Campaigns. 2.

3 Reasons to Add Email to Your Lead Follow-Up Process

The Point

A client writes: “I notice you recommend both email AND phone follow-up to inbound leads from programs like content syndication. Our inside sales reps are fairly prompt about following up with all leads by phone. Why do I need to set up automated email response as well?”. Here are the key reasons: 1. Email follow-up affords clients the opportunity to learn more about (i.e.

Q4 Marketing Budget: 4 Key Areas to Consider

The Point

In B2B circles, Q4 is historically a time of year when marketing spend picks up. Sales teams need the push to meet year-end numbers, whilst at other companies, spending marketing dollars in Q4 is simply a matter of “use it or lose it.” Even with the recession now officially over , and the economy slowly entering a period of recovery, this year seems to be no exception to the trend. Sound familiar?

In Email Marketing, Don’t Ask Questions

The Point

If you’re in the, say: Widget Alignment business, you can be forgiven for thinking that your lead generation programs should be laser-focused on finding people that need their widgets aligned. From there, it’s a short and intuitive leap to simply asking people if they need their widgets aligned, or whether they’ve considered the benefits of alignment, so you can help ease their pain. and so on.

Quick Tips for Lead Generation Success (Podcast)

The Point

With the new year almost upon us, here’s a quick way to increase the effectiveness of your lead generation programs in 2011. Take 7 minutes out of your day to listen to the first part of a podcast I recorded recently with social media expert Steve Farnsworth about trends and best practices in B2B lead generation. You can access the podcast here.

Are Webinars too Popular?

The Point

Last week I was interviewed by BtoB Magazine for an article, “Webinars: Are They Worth It?” that appeared online today. The article contains some valuable insights on where Webinars fit in today’s B2B demand generation mix, and is definitely worth a read. When are Webinars a fit? What’s the most common Webinar mistake companies make? Simply put: not selling the event.

Why Companies Buy Marketing Automation Software

The Point

Recently, Lauren Carlson of research site Software Advice wrote a very perceptive and timely piece entitled “ Tailwinds for Marketing Automation Software ” about the broader market trends that, in her view, are driving the increased adoption of marketing automation technology. Here are a couple of other factors that often figure prominently: Desire for Marketing Efficiency. The email blast is dead.

Factoids: How to Tweet Multiple Times About the Same Offer

The Point

So you just launched a new white paper. How do you tweet about the content multiple times without seeming repetitive? Try factoids. Factoids are brief glimpses into the content on offer. They can be excerpts, but they also stand alone as facts or tips or news or opinion in their own right, even outside the context of the content as a whole.

What Response Rate Should I Expect From My Campaign?

The Point

On Focus.com , Adam asks: ““What percentage success rate do people (expect from) direct mail campaigns? We (get) 7% response rate when marketing to existing customers and 2% to new customers.”. The first of those variables is offer. direct mail campaign offering say, a white paper, will generate roughly twice the response of a seminar invitation on the same topic. The second key variable is list.

Does Renting Email Lists Make Sense Any More?

The Point

I wrote recently in this space about the recent resurgence of direct mail as a viable outbound component to an integrated demand generation strategy. Most of that resurgence is due to the benefits of using direct mail on its own merits, but there’s another factor: the greatly diminished effectiveness of rented email lists. But the biggest advantage of third party opt-in email lists was cost.

Gmail Priority Inbox: the Death Knell for Email as Lead Generation?

The Point

This month, Google released a new feature called Priority Inbox , designed to help Gmail users better cope with email overload by automatically determining which emails are most important to you. For example, messages sent from people that you typically respond to immediately will receive special attention and preferential placement, as will emails sent to you exclusively and not to others.

Eloqua’s “Juan Eloqua” Campaign: Email Creative at Its Best

The Point

The email below from marketing automation vendor Eloqua is part of one of those rare B2B campaigns that combines email marketing best practices with an impeccably executed creative concept. In the process, what is otherwise a fairly straightforward “get your free report” lead nurturing program is elevated to a degree that allows it to really stand out from the clutter. Absolutely not.

Banner Ads I Like: Adobe

The Point

When it comes to banner ads and online advertising in general, I will confess a prejudice for clean and simple. Multiple frames, flash animation - they may look cool but in my view they're more often a distraction to the reader, and a crutch for copy that was too long in the first place. Take these ads by Adobe. but here it works. Concise and compelling copy. Brilliant.

Getting the Most from Salesforce.com: A Conversation with David Taber

The Point

Salesforce.com is a dominant player in the CRM category and an integral part of many companies’ lead management, database marketing, and demand generation programs. Yet in my experience marketers often have a love-hate relationship with Salesforce, a tool originally designed for salespeople that now, like it or not, has become a critical part of the marketing machine. HS: Thanks David!

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Email Critique: CMS Vendor Asks Too Many Questions

The Point

As data sheets go, the design below from Ektron , a New Hampshire-based developer of CMS (Content Management System) software, has its merits. Unfortunately, it’s not a data sheet, it’s an email, and on that score, it breaks virtually every rule in the book. Let me count the ways. 1. and the header image containing the headline “Beyond Web 2.0 – Taking Your Website to the Next Level.”

New White Paper: Top 10 Tips for Lead Nurturing Success

The Point

Just getting started with lead nurturing? Recently invested in marketing automation software? Concerned that your lead nurturing program isn’t everything it should be? Great lead nurturing starts with more than just software. Download your copy of the white paper here. Matching a Marketing Automation System to Your Needs. For more information on the summit and to register, click here.

Can Games Play a Role in B2B Marketing?

The Point

You don’t have to be plugged into the new media scene to know that digital games are HOT. According to recent statistics, fully 65 percent of US households play some form of video or computer games. And those involved aren’t just kids: the average game player is 35. 40 percent of game players are women. The phenomenon doesn’t appear to be slowing down. So where does this leave the B2B marketer?

A Simple Technique for Reducing Bounces & Unsubscribes

The Point

It used to be said that the average US business mailing address (snail mail) changes once every 9 months. That’s individuals moving, not companies. The result: more hard bounces and unsubscribes. There is one simple technique, however, that can reduce the turnover. I was reminded of this lately when I changed companies (and email address) late last year. That’s crazy.

Book Review: Essential Marketing Automation Handbook

The Point

This is a very belated review of a book that has been in my reading pile since December 09. But I’m glad I found the time. The book is available via free download (registration required) on the Genius.com site. This is a book about lead nurturing – the inside cover even says as much – so the title is a misnomer. In my experience, lead scoring can very often be over thought.

Mix Up Offer Content to Keep Nurturing Prospects Engaged

The Point

In a recent article (member access only), Marketing Sherpa offers up some intriguing research into how prospective tech buyers view email offer content, and how those views can differ dramatically from common assumptions held by marketers. It’s the working assumption of B2B marketers that prospects don’t want to be sold to. white papers) tends to perform better than does promotional content (e.g.

How to Answer a Question: 5 Tips for Making the Most of LinkedIn

The Point

One of the biggest clients of my 15+ year agency career was won as a direct result of a question to which I responded on LinkedIn , the popular business networking site. LinkedIn now boasts more than 60 million registered users , but far fewer than that number are active members in group discussions and in LinkedIn’s “Answers” section. Set up alerts for questions in your area of expertise.

Does Marketing Automation Work With a Cold List?

The Point

On Focus.com , Holly asks: “Does marketing automation work if I only have a cold list of records? How effective would using this cold list be?&#. My response: It’s true that most marketing automation implementations involve either customers or existing prospects – people with whom the company has had prior contact – but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use the same technology against a cold list. Case in point – we’re currently developing an integrated demand generation campaign for a client targeting a select group of contacts at key accounts. and so on.

21 Tips & Other Impressions from the Marketo User Summit

The Point

Earlier this week, Marketo , the marketing automation company, held its second ever user conference in San Francisco. As a Marketo agency partner, I attended along with colleagues from Spear Marketing Group to greet clients, talk shop, and hear how other companies – including Marketo themselves – are putting technology to use in the service of improved lead management. It’s all heady stuff. Based on first-hand impressions, however, it’s not how the vast majority of clients are employing (or even thinking of) marketing automation. Think you have enough content? Phone contact has to play a role.

If Lead Nurturing is the Question, is Software the Answer?

The Point

I was reminded today of just how successful the marketing automation vendors have been (to their credit, it must be said) in defining their solutions as the answer to today’s marketing problems. That conclusion was prompted by this question, posed on Focus : “We want to start doing more lead nurturing with our leads, and really aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Do you use a specific software for lead nurturing? If so, what do you use, and how does it help build your pipeline?&#. At our firm we use Marketo , which works extremely well for us. What do you think?

Welcome to The Point

The Point

If this is your first visit to the blog, welcome.  If you’re a regular reader of my old blog, you may be asking (literally): What’s The Point? Here’s the news: the blog has moved to a new location and re-launched with a new name because I’ve also moved, to a new agency: Spear Marketing Group. Spear (“Marketing with a Point”) is a full-service agency that specializes in demand generation and lead management, but also offers a full suite of marketing and advertising services including general advertising, branding, and Web design. Regards, Howard.

Top-10 B2B Marketing Topics of 2010

Everything Technology Marketing

With 2010 coming to an end, it is time for a quick review of the most popular B2B marketing posts on the Everything Technology Marketing blog. Thank you all for participating in this blog - I learned a lot from our discussions this year. See you in 2011

Eloqua Experience 2010

LeadSloth

This week I attended the Eloqua Experience, Eloqua’s user conference in San Francisco. The big news of this event is the launch of Eloqua 10. It’s the result of 2 years of hard work, and it looks very good. The revamped user interface makes working with Eloqua a lot of fun. Here is a preview: Eloqua 10 Campaign Builder (click to enlarge). They are raving about Eloqua 10. Overall.