Bullseye Marketing: A contrarian approach to helping SMBs grow

Louis Gudema’s Bullseye Marketing book is launching with an event at Newtonville Books in Newton Centre, MA at 7 .m. on July 19.

Bullseye Marketing presents a contrarian approach to helping SMBs prioritize the fastest, most cost-effective ways to grow. It then drills down into almost two dozen of the marketing programs with hundreds of tips and best practices.

In addition to the 90% of the book written by Louis Gudema, Bullseye Marketing includes interviews with Ann Handley, Scott Brinker, and several other marketing experts, as well as a piece on how to write a great email by MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut. It is over 350-pages with over 100 full-color examples of great marketing.

See advance reviews from Jill Rowley, Michael Brenner, and other business and marketing leaders. The book is available for pre-order and purchase on Amazon.

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On-boarding Email Subscribers: Your Digital Handshake

With the world on high alert over digital privacy, you might be taking a second look at your email subscriber on-boarding strategy.

Email is a key part of effective marketing. Success follows if you do it in a way that serves your existing user base, entices new subscribers, and boosts your conversions. You want to build a massive list, but you also need to protect your company. While collecting subscribers, definitely avoid doing anything — intentional or not — that triggers recipient complaints or a visit from your legal department!

Building Your Email List

Solicited vs. Unsolicited

If you cast a wide net to harvest email addresses, you will certainly build a massive list. Harvesting includes buying lists, using spiders and crawlers, even using RFID badge scanners that capture the contact information of any event attendee that happens to pass within scanning range. If quantity is your only goal, well done. But be warned – if you send a barrage of unsolicited bulk email, you risk one or more of the following possible outcomes:

  • Your emails flagged as spam and/or your company getting blacklisted and/or your email vendor suspending your account for non-compliance.
  • Your email list becoming so clogged with bad addresses that your bounce rate exceeds your open rate and you spend more time cleansing bad data than talking with good leads.
  • You yield few conversions, but many complaints, counterproductive to quality customer care and risking your brand reputation.

Ideally, you want interested subscribers properly motivated to later convert into paying customers. So how do you on-board the “right” subscribers the “right” way for the best-possible results? You have two options, each with benefits and drawbacks. Which method works best for you depends upon what kind of business you’re in, what is your email campaign strategy (ie: drip campaign, weekly newsletter, transaction-based), and who is your target audience.

Benefits and Drawbacks: Single vs. Double Opt-in

Single Opt-in is a simple pop-up, sign-up form, or Call-To-Action embedded on your website, blog or social media page. With Single Opt-in, people simply enter any email address, generally responding to some sort of enticing piece of free content that they can download. Right away you’ve got a new subscriber.

  • Benefit: Everyone is busy. You need to make things easy. Single Opt-in is “one click” easy.
  • Drawback: You might get some bad email addresses. Say you offer a free eBook in exchange for the email address. There’s nothing preventing people from entering a fake email address just to get your free download.

With Double Opt-in, people enter any email address, but they won’t become subscribers right away. The system automatically sends an authentication (or “welcome”) email first, and only when the recipient clicks to confirm will you get a new subscriber.

  • Benefit: Excellent for maintaining a clean, verified email list. Less data clean-up for you, 100% engaged subscribers.
  • Drawback: Risk of recipients missing, or just ignoring, that authentication email. Should that happen you might need to do extra work to re-engage recipients and entice them to subscribe. (This is when automated email platforms rule — you can configure them to auto-send a reminder after a certain time period.)

Many email marketing platforms include functionality that you can custom-configure to activate Single or Double Opt-in. Some even let you segment subscribers based on how, when, and where they signed up, empowering you to track what works best to engage subscribers — downloads, surveys, contests  or a unique Call-to-Action. If your email marketing platform does not include any opt-in settings, there are a variety of user-friendly plug-ins and extensions that you can easily embed in your website, blog and social media pages.

Find Opt-in tools on CabinetM.

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Thought Leadership Cannot be Automated — But There Are Tools to Help

An audience turns to thought leaders because they want real answers from real people.

They mean you.

Leadership is a Share of Mind

If you’ve been doing your thing for a long time, your customers are thrilled, and your staff is always inspired by your ideas, then you, dear marketer, are a thought leader. At whatever your company size, specialty or mind share, there is an audience eager for your learned insight. Write thought leadership content from your unique point of view, addressing a target audience.

  • Are you a technological innovator, a niche strategy consultant or a maverick disruptor?
  • What is your breadth and depth of expertise?
  • Who is your target audience and what are their large and small challenges?

Thought Leadership as Content

If you’re a software vendor or agency, your thought leadership content should never be an advertisement. Rather than promote your products and services, talk about the existing challenges faced by the people you had in mind when you designed your product. The best kind of thought leadership content should suggest trends, share observations, and identify shifting priorities.

When you say “content” people immediately think of articles and blogs. That’s great stuff serving your goal, which is to lead an audience back to you when they need answers. But you have options even more share-worthy.

  • Make and post an Infographic.
  • Conduct a poll or survey asking well-crafted questions about a specific topic, then present the results with your commentary.
  • Create and share an explainer video that breaks down a complex industry challenge and suggests solutions.
  • Post Q&A interviews with industry insiders.
  • Use your analytics! What metrics are you capturing, what’s changing over time, and what’s your opinion about why these shifts are happening?

Timing Is Everything

With a nod to the real estate industry, here in the modern digital omnisphere the new catch phrase is “timing, timing, timing.” You know that you can generate great content all day long. But it’s not only about what you say to which audience, but when to deliver said content, and through what channels. For this, use analytics tools.

Through analytics you can see what time of day your newletters and emails get opened, by whom, when your blog gets the most hits, when your Tweets get the most likes and shares. You can perform any number of customized A/B  tests, set daily and even hourly web traffic reports. Once you see the results, you and your content team can craft the right strategy based upon your exact audience media consumption habits. It’s kind of amazing, and can make you amazing, too.

Go forth and lead, Thought Leader.

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Build Your Marketing Technology Stack (It’s Easy!)

Why CabinetM My Stacks?

  • You cannot manage your marketing technology by spreadsheet anymore.
  • You need to figure out what you’re using across the enterprise, and save time and money through enterprise-wide visibility and coordination.
  • Eliminate redundant purchases and test cycles when a product has been ruled out — because it’s not a match for your strategy, it won’t integrate with your current technology, it won’t work for your team.
  • You need to leverage vendor negotiations and qualification across teams.

Planning Your Stack

  • Review your strategy and figure out what sort of MarTech you’ll need.
  • Name each stack layer whatever you like. Last month, popular layer names were Email Marketing and Social Media, with CRM and Analytics tying for top spot.
  • Once you name your layers, simply drag-and-drop your tools from the massive CabinetM directory.
  • Browse CabinetM’s massive products listing to find tools you’re missing.

StacksUP

Need some inspiration? Click around  StacksUP, the active online forum where enterprise marketers and agencies share their winning stacks. Filter to view stacks by attributes such as business type, size, or vendor, which lets you see exactly where peers have placed your favorite active tools, and what names have been given to the layers.

So Many More Ways To Use MyStacks

Enterprise leaders can display their mix of sales & marketing software, building a MarTech overview that will identify gaps and reveal smarter ways to leverage resources.

Agencies can display and annotate their breadth of digital expertise for clients. Consultants can help clients improve their operations in today’s perpetually-expanding martech landscape with “before” and “after” stacks.

Recruiters can post stacks showing which skills are required and which skills would be nice to have across every layer, and qualified candidates can substitute their SkillStack for the old school “Skills” footer of their resume.

Got a way to use a stack? Tweet us at @CabinetM1

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Build Your Marketing Technology Stack (It’s Easy!)

Why CabinetM My Stacks?

  • You cannot manage your marketing technology by spreadsheet anymore.
  • You need to figure out what you’re using across the enterprise, and save time and money through enterprise-wide visibility and coordination.
  • Eliminate redundant purchases and test cycles when a product has been ruled out — because it’s not a match for your strategy, it won’t integrate with your current technology, it won’t work for your team.
  • You need to leverage vendor negotiations and qualification across teams.

Planning Your Stack

  • Review your strategy and figure out what sort of MarTech you’ll need.
  • Name each stack layer whatever you like. Last month, popular layer names were Email Marketing and Social Media, with CRM and Analytics tying for top spot.
  • Once you name your layers, simply drag-and-drop your tools from the massive CabinetM directory.
  • Browse CabinetM’s massive products listing to find tools you’re missing.

StacksUP

Need some inspiration? Click around  StacksUP, the active online forum where enterprise marketers and agencies share their winning stacks. Filter to view stacks by attributes such as business type, size, or vendor, which lets you see exactly where peers have placed your favorite active tools, and what names have been given to the layers.

So Many More Ways To Use MyStacks

Enterprise leaders can display their mix of sales & marketing software, building a MarTech overview that will identify gaps and reveal smarter ways to leverage resources.

Agencies can display and annotate their breadth of digital expertise for clients. Consultants can help clients improve their operations in today’s perpetually-expanding martech landscape with “before” and “after” stacks.

Recruiters can post stacks showing which skills are required and which skills would be nice to have across every layer, and qualified candidates can substitute their SkillStack for the old school “Skills” footer of their resume.

Got a way to use a stack? Tweet us at @CabinetM1

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Jargon The Great And Terrible

Let’s talk frankly about the jargon problem.

Yes, we know, poor beleaguered marketer, you’re dreadfully sick of the jargon problem. You’ve been inundated with virtual volumes of well-intentioned writings about the jargon problem. The jargon problem is making you want to disrupt the integrity of your omnichannel device in real-time with a large brick, right? We get it.

The reason we get it is because here at CabinetM we’ve pored through enough marketing materials that, if printed on actual paper, would require an inconveniently large storehouse. We are also building a rather nifty glossary of terms.

There are two scenarios that can get you into trouble — using jargon, and not using jargon.

Jargon the Terrible

Jargon itself is not a problem.

Jargon is simply any specialized language unique to a particular industry. Surely you don’t finger-wag your accountants for talking about your break-even point, profit margin or deferred revenue from annual subscription sales? That wouldn’t make sense. It also doesn’t make sense for you to bend over backwards to avoid saying “B2B,” “innovative” and “personalization” if your product is an innovative B2B Personalization Platform, simply because those terms made someone’s jargon list.

Writing is stressful, isn’t it, with that carillon of anti-jargon danger signals ringing in your ears. In this situation, you might be tempted to come up with a new expression. That’s how we get terms such as “open kimono.” Sounds like a panic move, doesn’t it.

Think of jargon in terms of water droplets. Individually they are natural, necessary and fortifying, but too much all at once and you’ve swamped your message until it’s about as clear as mud.

Jargon The Great

You should be able to state your mission, craft a message or summarize your product in one or two sentences. Your job is to convey what problems your product solves. Without jargon, your job is impossible. Keeping your target audience in mind means writing “SEO” and “CRM” along with a whole glossary of industry shorthand that you know your people will understand.

But when you keep your target audience in mind, don’t forget about reaching people who don’t even know they’ve got a problem. You can help them, but only if they understand what you do. That means plain language, using the most widely understood terms. If some of those terms happen to show up on those hilarious jargon lists online, that’s OK. The balance lies somewhere between writing with clarity for a wide audience, and strategizing to optimize your omnichannel message across every audience segment in the customer service sector in order to engage real-time at the on-ramp of the B2B buyer journey. Write wisely!

Continue Reading

Jargon The Great And Terrible

Let’s talk frankly about the jargon problem.

Yes, we know, poor beleaguered marketer, you’re dreadfully sick of the jargon problem. You’ve been inundated with virtual volumes of well-intentioned writings about the jargon problem. The jargon problem is making you want to disrupt the integrity of your omnichannel device in real-time with a large brick, right? We get it.

The reason we get it is because here at CabinetM we’ve pored through enough marketing materials that, if printed on actual paper, would require an inconveniently large storehouse. We are also building a rather nifty glossary of terms.

There are two scenarios that can get you into trouble — using jargon, and not using jargon.

Jargon the Terrible

Jargon itself is not a problem.

Jargon is simply any specialized language unique to a particular industry. Surely you don’t finger-wag your accountants for talking about your break-even point, profit margin or deferred revenue from annual subscription sales? That wouldn’t make sense. It also doesn’t make sense for you to bend over backwards to avoid saying “B2B,” “innovative” and “personalization” if your product is an innovative B2B Personalization Platform, simply because those terms made someone’s jargon list.

Writing is stressful, isn’t it, with that carillon of anti-jargon danger signals ringing in your ears. In this situation, you might be tempted to come up with a new expression. That’s how we get terms such as “open kimono.” Sounds like a panic move, doesn’t it.

Think of jargon in terms of water droplets. Individually they are natural, necessary and fortifying, but too much all at once and you’ve swamped your message until it’s about as clear as mud.

Jargon The Great

You should be able to state your mission, craft a message or summarize your product in one or two sentences. Your job is to convey what problems your product solves. Without jargon, your job is impossible. Keeping your target audience in mind means writing “SEO” and “CRM” along with a whole glossary of industry shorthand that you know your people will understand.

But when you keep your target audience in mind, don’t forget about reaching people who don’t even know they’ve got a problem. You can help them, but only if they understand what you do. That means plain language, using the most widely understood terms. If some of those terms happen to show up on those hilarious jargon lists online, that’s OK. The balance lies somewhere between writing with clarity for a wide audience, and strategizing to optimize your omnichannel message across every audience segment in the customer service sector in order to engage real-time at the on-ramp of the B2B buyer journey. Write wisely!

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How To Add Your Company To CabinetM

Did you build your Stack on CabinetM yet? If not, is it because we are we missing a company? Let’s team up. We want to see your winning Stacks, so if there is a tool or service that you rely on, all you have to do is click “Are We Missing A Company.” Within a business day, our crack team of profilers will add your requested company.

Are we missing YOUR company? We want to help you connect with marketers seeking the right tools, so don’t remain among the missing in your tool Category. If you don’t have time to create your company profile right now, no problem. We’ll profile your company for you, then let you know when it’s live. You, or your agency or representative, can register on CabinetM, log in and claim your company profile.

Add Your Company To CabinetM – It’s FREE!

Here’s how it works.

  1. Click “Are We Missing A Company” to notify our team, or just send an email the usual way (eross@cabinetm.com). Include a URL to ensure that we profile the right company.
  2. A CabinetM writer will create a basic profile for your company, and let you know (within a day) when it’s ready.
  3. Register (or log in if you’re already registered) to access your CabinetM profile and click “Claim This Company.”

Claiming Your Company Profile

Once you claim your basic profile, you can build upon it. When we create your basic profile, we’ll make sure to add your brand logo and an overview. You’ll claim the profile to add all of your social media links, your product Key Features, service highlights, and a contact name and email for the “Contact Vendor” button — that’s very important.

Need More?

If you need more than the basics to reach marketers, you can get an enhanced profile. Use your enhanced profile to load video, graphics, case studies, white papers and presentations to those seeking Marketing Technology.

Need more? Email eross@cabinetm.com.

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Write A Better Product Profile on CabinetM

So you’re adding a new Product to your CabinetM profile. Cool. On the *off chance that the people who will be reading your Product Profile are busy marketers doing a hard-target CabinetM search for the right tool to fix a problem, we’ve put together a few ideas to help you nail your Product Overview.

Lead strong with Category, Format, Purpose

The Product Overview is a quick, firm introductory handshake. Write with clarity and purpose. The most effective overviews lead with the tool category (email marketing, project management), the format (app, platform), and purpose (drives customer loyalty, improves workflow). Make sure to mention the tool’s unique, best-in-class functionality.

You’ll be tempted to include your beautifully written, engaging stories about your rock star team, your awesome downtown headquarters, the best-place-to-work awards and a bio for the office labrador. This is great stuff that conveys your company origin, philosophy and culture, but that’s why we gave you so much space in the Company Overview.  In the Product Overview, it’s function over style. Go super lean and get the click-through because your tool is the right tool for the job.

Product Profile Tips

  • Post a clean, high-resolution brand logo. When a marketer adds your tool to her CabinetM Stack with other can’t-live-without-it platforms and systems, don’t use the logo that’s too small or too blurry. Also, and we can’t understate the importance of this, it’s best to use a square logo. Trust us.
  • Bullet point the “Key Features” with one single idea per line, and we find that 3 to 8 Features does the job. You can drag and drop each Feature to move them up or down your list.
  • Wherever you write “user,” swap it out for a better word that gives your target audience an identity, and clears up the confusion about who is the “user.” Is the “user” the marketer or her customers? Instead of user, call them analysts, agencies, advertisers, project managers
  • Google “marketing jargon.” The first thing that gives you a chuckle, send it around the company. When you write, use your best judgment about whether it’s just a harmless, handy industry term, or if it’s truly the dreaded jargon. Really, we might be all one big happy family here in Mar Tech world, but not everyone can have marketing in their DNA.

* There’s actually a better-than-average chance that the people who will be reading your Product Profile are busy marketers doing a hard-target CabinetM search for the right tool to fix a problem. It’s kind of our thing.

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4 e-commerce link building tactics that still work in 2016

By Christian Sculthorp, searchengineland.com

Link building for e-commerce sites can be a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Columnist Christian Sculthorp shares tactics that you can use to acquire inbound links to your online store.

The post 4 e-commerce link building tactics that still work in 2016 appeared first on Search Engine Land. Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Read the full article at Search Engine Land

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