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Keyword: ‘data’

A/B Testing: 4 tests from a crowdfunding site with double-digit results

July 26th, 2012 2 comments

Before you start an optimization program, you have to be clear on what you are trying to optimize. Or, as Brad Damphousse, the CEO of GoFundMe, a crowdfunding site, puts it, “What’s the one thing that really matters?”

The GoFundMe team determined that, for its site, it had to focus on making it easy for anyone to receive donations. To achieve that goal, the team would have to optimize for both of its customer segments (which are essentially on both sides of the transaction): users asking for donations and donors making those donations.

So, Brad launched a series of A/B tests to help convert more new users and to gain more donations from donors.


Test #1: Sell the service

For the first test, the team mapped out its funnel and identified where leaks were occurring.


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How Can We Make Email Summit 2013 More Helpful to You?

July 24th, 2012 No comments

Our job is to help you do your job better. One way we do that is through events, like the upcoming Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas.

You can help make this event more valuable for yourself and fellow marketers by taking a few minutes to fill out the survey below.

As a thank you, you’ll receive a FREE copy of MarketingSherpa’s 30-Minute Marketer: How to Segment Your Email List for Better Results.


Related Resources:

Email Summit 2013 in Las Vegas, Feb. 12-15, 2013

Email Summit 2012: Top 5 takeaways from the industry’s largest research-based event

Email Summit: Integrating mobile, social and email marketing channels

Lead Generation: 5 steps for managing cost and quality of leads

July 19th, 2012 No comments

Organizations target quality, but they don’t pay for it. That is one of the latest discoveries from the MarketingSherpa 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free 10-page excerpt at this link). Let’s take a look …


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“In the past, it may have been acceptable to assume that if an organization can lower their upfront cost-per-lead, they will also increase lead generation, improve ROI and drive revenue,” said Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS.

“This makes sense when calculated on a spreadsheet, but when rolled out in an evolved marketplace with an empowered buyer, it’s going to take a lot more than simply lowering the cost-per-lead to achieve the goals of today’s CMO.”

So how can you balance cost and quality of leads?

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Lead Generation Strategy: 5 signs you’re selling like it’s 1992

July 12th, 2012 1 comment

Back in 1992, if you wanted to find information about a company or its products, you had two choices:

  1. Spend hours at the library poring over periodicals, annual and industry reports, and magazine and newspaper clippings. (Do you remember microfiche?)
  2. Meet with a salesperson.

Life was simpler then: You could reach quota by sending some direct mail, making a few phone calls, and scheduling a few meetings. After all, the customer had very few alternatives to inform themselves. You could succeed without a solid strategy; all that really mattered was the size of your Rolodex. Lead generation as we know it today didn’t exist. Frankly, it really didn’t have to.

Those days are long gone, yet too many organizations are still selling like it’s 1992.

How do I know?

All it takes is a quick review of MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link). Of the 1,745 B2B organizations that participated, 61%  still have that big-Rolodex mindset – they send any lead that responds to a marketing campaign directly to sales. Furthermore, check out the chart at the right: The vast majority has not applied strategy to any aspect of lead generation.

These statistics are just a reflection of the day-to-day behaviors and attitudes that keep sales and marketing organizations stuck in a time warp. Here are five of them:

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Random Apps of Kindness: Using mobile for nonprofit and cause-based marketing

July 10th, 2012 1 comment

According to, 84% of small and medium businesses saw an increase in business activity due to their mobile marketing efforts.

This got me thinking … how could mobile marketing help another segment that, much like SMBs, often has limited budgets and time to invest in new marketing tactics – non-profit and cause-based marketers.

So, I asked a few experts in the industry, and they shared a few basic considerations to help you with your mobile marketing efforts …


Consideration #1: Determine if you need a mobile app

Apps have gotten a lot of buzz lately, but they are not the only way to reach a mobile audience.

“Building a mobile app, a good one at least, isn’t cheap,” said Amy Sample Ward, Digital Advisor, Good360.

You might want to start by optimizing your website and email marketing for mobile first.

“Be sure to update form pages for signing up or donating so that people aren’t turned off when they can’t even make out the fields and complete the page,” Amy said.

Once you’ve optimized your current presence for a mobile audience, how can you decide if an app is a logical next step?

“See if mobile views and navigation, opens and clickthroughs on emails, etc. go up as you mobile-ize those areas of content,” Amy remarked.

“The second indicator is the unique content or service an app would provide,” she added. “Unless you have information or data that people will want to access regularly and will actually help them in their day-to-day life, an app probably isn’t a fit.”

“For example, if you are an organization working on clean water access and conservation, an app that shares facts about water is not interesting, nor is it helpful. An app that helps people geo-locate and navigate to places where they can refill their water bottle for free is very helpful and reinforces an organization’s mission.”

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Digital Marketing 101: A panel for startups

Recently, I had the privilege to sit on, and moderate, a panel discussion on the basics of digital marketing for the technology startups being incubated at Tech Wildcatters in Dallas this spring and early summer.

We covered a variety of digital marketing topics, but we focused on three areas: email marketing, social media marketing and online privacy. And, I wanted to share some of the panel’s wisdom with MarketingSherpa readers. Luckily for me, I was joined on the panel by two excellent marketers – Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy and Security Officer, Eloqua, and Shama Kabani, CEO, the Marketing Zen Group.

It was called “fireside marketing,” but, thankfully, the fireplace was virtual given the summer temperatures in Dallas.

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Blog Awards: The 13 best marketing industry blogs (according to you)

July 3rd, 2012 18 comments

I remember when I first started out in the industry. I used to devour Creativity, Ad Age, Adweek, Mediaweek and Communication Arts. Trade publications like these helped me learn about the industry, and helped me do my job better.

While trade pubs are certainly still valuable, many marketers now also turn to industry blogs to help them do their jobs better. So, we asked you, the MarketingSherpa blog audience, to nominate and vote for the most helpful blogs in several categories.

If you’re looking for information to help you improve performance and advance your career, check these blogs out. I’ve asked a representative of each blog to answer a couple of questions.

Also, while MarketingSherpa normally relies on a team of writers and reporters for all of our blog posts and doesn’t allow guest posts (especially from vendors), we’re going to make an exception for these award-winning bloggers. We’ll invite your picks back later in the year for the rare opportunity to guest post on the MarketingSherpa blog, all to help give you a diversity of helpful industry advice.

And the winners are …

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A/B Testing: Why don’t companies track ROI of testing and optimization programs?

June 26th, 2012 1 comment

During our second annual MarketingSherpa and Marketing Experiments Optimization Summit 2012 two weeks ago in Denver, Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS (the parent company of MarketingSherpa), presented some interesting data points on brand-new MECLABS research conducted by Meghan Lockwood, Senior Research Analyst, MECLABS, for the upcoming MarketingSherpa Website Optimization Benchmark Report.

I live blogged this material for MarketingExperiments, but I thought the research was worth sharing with our SherpaBlog readers as well.

One data point from this research from our Website Optimization Survey, which will be presented in an upcoming benchmark report, really stood out to me:

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Gaining Business Leader Buy-in: 7 CEO personas

June 21st, 2012 No comments

You may have an incredible plan to improve your company’s marketing performance, but unless you can do a little selling, you’re never going to be able to start marketing.

I’m talking about internal selling. Often, when marketers want to make significant changes to their company’s marketing performance, it takes some budget to get the ball rolling. That may be budget to buy a new tool or platform, work with an agency, or hire some new employees.

If you want to get that budget, you have to convince the CEO (or perhaps CFO or other executive, depending on where you are in the organization) that you can deliver some serious ROI.

And yet, ironic as it may seem, marketers are usually not the best at selling, especially internally.

At last week’s Optimization Summit 2012, I had the pleasure to introduce Kristin Zhivago, President, Zhivago Management Partners, when she presented “How to Optimize Your CEO’s Anointing of Your Marketing Efforts.”

Her top piece of advice was, “You have to be the one in the company that has the personal knowledge of your customers.”

Much of your internal ability to get things done will come from being the trusted advisor who can speak on behalf of the customer to the CEO and business leaders.

To do that, she recommends actually calling customers and interviewing them. “Sales people are dogs. Marketers are cats. We’re shy,” Kristin acknowledges. But she encourages marketers to overcome their inherent introversion and get customers on the phone.


Your CEO’s ‘functional persona’

Beyond knowing your customer, Kristin advises marketers to know their CEO as well. In this presentation, she broke down CEOs (and, really, all business leaders), into seven “functional personas” to help you understand how to work with, and become a trusted advisor to, your business leaders.

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Where to Find Email Marketing’s Low-hanging Fruit

June 19th, 2012 2 comments

At Email Summit 2012, Luke Thorpe, Multimedia Specialist, MECLABS, grabbed his camera, I grabbed a mic, and we traveled the vast recesses of the expo floor at Caesars Palace to ask attendees and sponsors where the low-hanging fruit is for email marketers. Here’s what they had to say …


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