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Marketing Research in Action: Marketers using lead nurturing average 107% lead gen ROI

May 17th, 2012 No comments

In our most recent episode of Marketing Research in Action, I discussed how lead nurturing could help your B2B marketing efforts with Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS, based on data from her 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report (free excerpt here).



Here is a look at some of the research Jen and I discussed with direct links to that part of the video.

0:38 – Organizations that are engaged in lead nurturing realize higher ROIs on their lead generation efforts.

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2:01 – Top tactics for creating engaging lead nurturing content

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5:40 – Frequency of lead nurturing touches

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Related Resources

Email Marketing: The importance of lead nurturing in the complex B2B sale

Lead Nurturing: Pilot campaign increases conversion 32.6% with automated emails

Lead Nurturing: You could be losing as much as 80% of your sales; here’s how you keep them

MarketingSherpa Webinar Replay — 5 Key Components for Establishing and Optimizing Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Online Privacy: Information from the EU and Capitol Hill

Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy and Security Officer, Eloqua, has been a hands-on participant in the ongoing online privacy debate in Washington, D.C.

After his recent trip to the Capitol, I interviewed him to give MarketingSherpa blog readers an inside look at the current political process involving proposed privacy regulations here in America as well as find out about some conversations he had with officials from the European Union.

Frankly, I was surprised how much behind-the-scenes information he revealed.


The White House and the Federal Trade Commission have publicly supported the self-compliance efforts promoted by the Direct Marketing Association, the Council of the Better Business Bureaus, the Digital Advertising Alliance and other groups.

And, for marketers either based in Europe or conducting business on the continent, the EU directive should become much simpler very soon, according to Dennis.

In the U.S., a number of legislative actions will probably reach the floor for a vote, but are not likely to pass.

Dennis has been lobbying the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. His position is that security is an issue worth addressing, but that privacy — right now — is better handled at the enterprise level. The playing field just simply changes far too fast for any effective legislation, Dennis says.

  Read more…

Categories: Online Marketing Tags:

B2B Social Media: How one marketer is utilizing Pinterest

May 10th, 2012 2 comments

Bluewolf is a professional services company that provides consulting on enterprise agility. A campaign designed to promote its employee knowledge through social media with a gamification element to encourage participation — “B2B Social Media: Gamification effort increases Web traffic 100%, employee collaboration 57%” — was featured in last week’s B2B newsletter.

Bluewolf’s very innovative usage of Pinterest did not fit into the case study, so I wanted to use this blog post to show what you can learn from its efforts.

Pinterest is one of the hottest social channels right now. Here are two data points from a study and information that Pinterest is publicly sharing:

  • Pinterest’s user base is only 7% of Twitter’s, but the platform sends more total referral traffic than Twitter
  • With a mere 1% of Facebook’s user count, Pinterest sends 13% of the traffic that Facebook does

At the moment, consumer marketers are making more use of this platform than B2B marketers. However, Bluewolf offers a great blueprint on how B2B marketers can take advantage of Pinterest.

Bluewolf’s main Pinterest page shows the variety of boards the company is sharing on the platform.

Corinne Sklar, VP of Marketing, Bluewolf, says the company found a natural home with Pinterest because the platform is very visual and is also suited to sharing content, two areas where Bluewolf’s marketing is very invested. She adds that Pinterest also encourages viral sharing of that content. Read more…

Email Marketing: New tactics for display ads, segmentation and discount promos

May 8th, 2012 No comments

I interviewed a variety of email marketers at Responsys Interact 2012 last week and learned about more tactics than I could ever fit into a blog post. That said, here are three insights I pulled from some of the best interviews I had last week (Full Disclosure: Responsys sponsored my attendance of this event).


Display will rise again

Now that companies can target display ads to individuals across a variety of websites, display is poised to make another comeback, says Scott Jones, General Manager of Display, Responsys.

The reason, Jones says, is that marketers can incorporate display into cross-channel and lifecycle marketing programs and use it to send a targeted message to a single person. He sees display ads improving results for email marketers in the following three ways:

Read more…

Categories: Email Marketing Tags:

Email Marketing: Dollar Thrifty generates 47-times higher ROI, O’Neil doubles CTR

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

Most email marketers still batch and blast their audiences, sending one email to everyone in the database, said Responsys CEO Dan Springer yesterday at Responsys Interact 2012. Springer spoke during the event’s kickoff session in San Francisco, and noted that not every marketer is guilty of batch-and-blast (Full Disclosure: Responsys sponsored my attendance of this event).

“For all of you that are already innovative, if you want to maintain your innovative status, you are going to need to keep pushing,” he said.

Where you should push is toward integration, Springer said, which he called the future of digital marketing. Yesterday’s sessions were loaded with examples of how companies are integrating email marketing with other channels. Here are two that stood out:

  Read more…

Meeting Agenda Template: How to run more effective and efficient meetings

May 1st, 2012 3 comments

I bet you could get a lot more actual work done without meetings, eh?

An example of this is David Meerman Scott’s answer to the question, “How are you so prolific?” He lists several reasons, but my favorite is, “I don’t have to sit in any damn meetings (unless I want to).”

However, you are probably not like Mr. Meerman Scott. If you are the average marketer, you have to sit through many, many meetings. Let’s take a look at how to make your meetings more effective and efficient (and feel free to pass this advice anonymously to the biggest time wasters in your organization).


The problem – unorganized meetings

Of course, this isn’t the only problem, but one major issue torpedoing many meetings is that they are unorganized and the facilitator put in little prep work on the front end. This is why so many meetings are ineffective, underutilized, unnecessary and just plain, well, time wasters.

To help you improve your own meetings, here is a free meeting agenda template. It’s what we use here at MECLABS. Feel free to replace our logo with your own if you use it internally or externally.



Let’s walk through the elements of the template. This advice isn’t based on research or reporting, simply what I’ve personally learned in my career. And I’d love to hear what you’ve learned as well.

  Read more…

Digital Marketing: Google’s “Zero Moment of Truth”

April 26th, 2012 1 comment

For last Tuesday’s SherpaBlog post, I covered some of our own MarketingSherpa research. This post is about an e-book from Google – Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – by Jim Lecinski, Managing Director of US Sales & Service and Chief ZMOT Evangelist, Google.


What is the Zero Moment of Truth?

Google defines the zero moment of truth, or ZMOT, as the decision-making moment of online shoppers.

Here’s how the process that leads to ZMOT is described on the e-book’s landing page:

Today we’re all digital explorers, seeking out online ratings, social media-based peer reviews, videos, and in-depth product details as we move down the path to purchase. Marketing has evolved and modern marketing strategies have to evolve with the changing shape of shopping.


Jim describes this process as something that “changed the rulebook” on “where marketing happens, where information happens, and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world.”

That is a pretty bold statement, but as practicing marketers, you probably have to agree that digital marketing and the power that consumers (for B2C marketers) and clients (for B2B marketers) have in terms of finding the information they want, and not necessarily what you want them to see, has been a true game-changer.

Here are the elements of ZMOT:

  • Not surprisingly for an e-book published by Google, Lecinski says that ZMOT happens online, usually started by a Web search via Bing, Google, Yahoo!, YouTube or another search engine
  • It happens in real time – any time of the day or night
  • The consumer is in charge and pulling information, not consuming a pushed message
  • It’s satisfying an emotional need of the consumer
  • The conversation involves many parties: the customer, marketers, friends, strangers, websites and experts

  Read more…

Categories: Online Marketing Tags:

List Building: The four questions every email capture page must answer

April 17th, 2012 1 comment

This week I’ve been reading the MarketingSherpa 2011 Email Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook featuring W. Jeffrey Rice, Senior Research Analyst, MECLABS (the parent company of MarketingSherpa), as the lead author.

This handbook is full of great and actionable email advice, but Jeff particularly pointed me to the section on providing new subscribers with explicit expectations on what, when and why they will receive email after opting in.

Since it applies equally to B2B and consumer marketers, I wanted to share those tips and tactics with you, along with a fourth email element — privacy.

Here is the set-up straight from the MarketingSherpa handbook:

The time spent researching and developing eye-catching and memorable promotions that attract new subscribers is an enjoyable process for most marketers. However, equivalent effort and energy needs to go into reassuring the potential subscriber that your company is reputable and trustworthy. This is because after you have caught the consumer’s interest, and they are listening attentively, the new subscriber needs to feel safe to exchange their email address for a “special” offer.

Setting expectations right from the start of the relationship will reduce anxiety in the registration process and enable you to collect more qualified leads. Taking the time to inform new subscribers of what you will deliver yields more long-term subscribers. Adding a “join my mailing list” box with just a space to type in their email addresses will not effectively communicate expectations.

  Read more…

Marketing 101: Don’t forget about the “Holy Smokes!”

April 10th, 2012 No comments

When you first started in marketing, your first thought might have been — I’m going to create the next “Got Milk,” “Think Different” or “We Can Do It!”

Of course, after a career of KPIs, lead nurturing and discount deadlines, it’s easy to lose that sense of wonder and forget about the power of creativity, or as Jason Falls calls it … the “Holy Smokes!” factor. At the end of this blog post, I’ll show you how one marketer brought that creativity to a campaign that sought to capture children’s attention through learning in an era when video games and Facebook compete for their attention.

But first, let’s explore the “Holy Smokes!”

Several weeks ago, I attended Explore Dallas Fort Worth, a one-day workshop/boot camp on digital marketing that was a great experience both professionally and personally. I recently had the chance to speak with Jason Falls, CEO, Social Media Explorer, and co-host of the Explore event that will occur in five cities across the United States this year.

Jason told me that sometimes marketers lose track of the essential point of marketing — persuading someone to take an action, an idea that ties into my recent blog post about conversion.

He says, “Even in public relations, sometimes you’re trying to persuade a legislature to go a certain way, sometimes you are trying to persuade the general public to have a certain opinion about your company. It’s not always about making someone buy something.”

To accomplish this, Jason suggests taking the “Holy Smokes!” approach for any activity, from writing a speech, to producing a video, to writing ad copy. He says the idea is anytime you are engaged in marketing, you want your audience to consume the message and think, “’holy smoke,’ this message is: incredible, sad, awesome, beautiful, intelligent, informative or some other declarative response.”

Ideally, they will think, “Holy smokes, I have to share that with my friends,” he explains.

  Read more…

Email Marketing Trends: The results from 6 live polls conducted at Email Summit 2012

March 27th, 2012 No comments

One thing I really enjoyed at Email Summit 2012 was being able to walk around and talk to the email marketers of the world about the tactics they’re using. For example, I learned about marketers’ experiences with sales and marketing automation for small businesses over breakfast and European privacy regulations over lunch.

If you weren’t able to attend (and even if you were), I hope this blog post can serve as a proxy for that experience. During some of the general and breakout sessions at Email Summit 2012, we conducted a live poll using Acxiom technology where attendees could text to vote. (Full Disclosure: Acxiom was an Email Summit 2012 sponsor.)

In this blog post, I’ll share some of these results, along with some resources to help you act on these tactics.

Please keep in mind that I don’t intend this data to be regarded as statistically valid, rather view it the way you would anecdotal information you would attain from networking.

There are many validity threats, including the fact that the sample we surveyed (Email Summit attendees) is likely a skewed sample and much more active and experienced than the average email marketer since they invested the time and money in attending Email Summit. So the average email marketer is even less likely to be using these tactics.

That said, let’s jump right in …


How are you deploying mobile in your marketing strategies for 2012?

In research conducted for the MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, mobile was identified as the most challenging channel to integrate with email.

So it’s not surprising that only a handful of email marketers considered themselves advanced at deploying mobile in their marketing strategies.


  • Advanced (3 respondents, 7.31% of all respondents): We currently deploy advanced tactics to reach our mobile audience (e.g., geo targeting, mobile apps, SMS outreach, email optimized for mobile)
  • Basic (16, 39%): We have optimized our website (or) our emails for mobile
  • Considering (19, 46.3%): We are considering mobile marketing, but have not yet decided upon a strategy
  • Unconvinced (3, 7.31%): We do not believe that mobile marketing is the right fit for our audience

Some resources to help you with mobile marketing:


Have you used SMS and/or QR codes for email list sign-up?

We asked this during a session I moderated with Ryan Amirault, Digital Marketing Manager, Whole Foods Market.

[whole foods]

Ryan’s team saw some impressive results — generating more than 2,000 email subscribers from SMS and QR codes. Ryan’s advice:

  • Place QR and SMS in strategic locations. For Whole Foods, that meant table tents, meat/deli/seafood scales, bathroom stalls, registers, cafés, grocery aisles, eating areas and guest services
  • Test QR codes before deploying creative materials

However, 67% of Email Summit attendees have not tried this tactic at all.



Here are a few resources to help get you started:


How are you designing your emails to fit into your mobile marketing strategies for 2012?

There was limited response to this question, which is not surprising considering that we learned in the first survey that a minority of marketers are really engaged in mobile tactics.



  • Relevant (7 respondents, 15.5% of all respondents) – We deploy emails targeted for relevance in the mobile environment (e.g., geo-targeting)
  • Responsive (6, 13.3%) – We have designed our emails to be responsive for a handful of mobile operating systems (e.g., iOS 5)
  • Visible (14, 31.3%) – We have added a “view on mobile device” link at the top of our emails
  • Considering (18, 40%) – We are considering integrating email with mobile marketing, but have not yet decided upon a strategy

Here are a few resources to help you with your mobile email design:


Do you optimize email landing pages for specific devices?

Let’s get a little more granular, and instead of talking about mobile as a big picture, look at how marketers handle devices …



  • Yes, iOS – 5 respondents, 6.17% of all respondents
  • Yes, Android – 1, 1.23%
  • Yes, multiple devices – 23, 28.3%
  • No – 48, 64.1%

If you’re thinking about getting device specific, here’s some help:


With regard to email testing, which of the following best represents your organization’s efforts?

While mobile clearly is a hot topic for marketers, let’s look at a more tried and true tactic – email testing.



  • Basic testing (14 respondents, 21.4% of respondents) – Subject lines, personalization, copy
  • Average testing (11, 37.2%) – Templates, timing, automation
  • Advanced testing (4, 17.3%) – Validated tests, multi-varied options
  • Expert testing (2, 23.9%) – All aspects have been tested and optimized

Some inspiration and ideas to get you started testing or give you new ideas for future tests:


What do you think will have the biggest impact on email marketing in 2013?

At the MarketingSherpa Email Summit, we focus on what really works. However, sometimes you have to look past what is already proven, gaze into the crystal ball, and try to make strategic decisions today to position your company for the opportunities (and threats) of tomorrow.

So what will tomorrow bring? Let’s take one extra spin on the email marketing carousel of progress and take a look at what your peers think will have the biggest impact on email marketing in the near future.



  • In-line Video (15 respondents, 10.7% of respondents)
  • Social Data/Content Integration (48, 34.2%)
  • Privacy Legislation (29, 20.7%)
  • Dynamic Content (48, 34.2%)

As you try to peer over the hill for your own marketing efforts, here are a few resources that may help: