Posts Tagged ‘case study’

From 0 to 233,000 Members: 7 steps to running an effective LinkedIn group

March 4th, 2016

LinkedIn groups are one of the many helpful aspects of the professional community available on the platform. It can help you to build connections, get questions answered, share your expertise and demonstrate thought leadership.

With this in mind, I started the B2B Lead Roundtable Group to be a community for people to learn and discuss the many facets of B2B lead generation. However, over time, I noticed that our group discussions started to look more like Twitter feed. Discussions became overrun with blogs, articles and other content sharing and hyperlinks but there was no discussion happening.

B2B Lead Blog Conversations


It was time for a change. As I was researching I came across Eric Blumthal and his group “Sales / Marketing Executives Forum” which boasts over 233,974 members and was voted “Best LinkedIn Group for Sales / Marketing Executives” by several publications. And this group is 100% discussion, no link sharing.

Read more…

[Video] How The Boston Globe used customer insight to create new strategy

May 7th, 2013

MarketingSherpa and MarketingExperiments Optimization Summit 2013 is rapidly approaching, and today’s video excerpt offers an exciting preview for one of the sessions, “Boston Globe: Discovering and optimizing a value proposition,” featuring Peter Doucette, Executive Director of Circulation Sales & Marketing, The Boston Globe.

At last year’s Summit, Peter’s presentation was titled, “The Boston Globe: Managing a transition from free to paid product,” covering an ongoing and relatively early-stage testing and optimization program. This year’s presentation will discuss part two of that process.

In this excerpt, Peter and Pamela Markey, Senior Director of Marketing, MECLABS, talk about how tablets became an important digital form factor for The Boston Globe’s new online subscriber strategy, some of the customer insight that began informing the strategy and the new direction insight created at The Boston Globe.

Also, if you would like to hear the entire process Peter and his team at The Boston Globe undertook to transform the way it approached both its online and offline audience, watch the full presentation from last year’s Optimization Summit from the MarketingSherpa Video Archive.

Read more…

Marketing Strategy: How to find answers to the most common marketing questions

March 19th, 2013

At MarketingSherpa, we are often asked:

  • Are my open rates low?
  • What is the ideal conversion rate?
  • Why do I have a high unsubscribe rate and how can I improve it?

Unfortunately, these are the marketing equivalents of “What’s the meaning of life?” While some blogs might have a pithy response with the perfect solution usually involving the product they sell, much like the meaning of life question, the answer likely varies based on your unique situation.

But … I can help you answer these types of questions for yourself, by answering this question we received from Jim on a recent email marketing webinar

  • What is the biggest mistake people are making in today’s environment?

To me, every marketing campaign (and really, everything we do in life) can be improved by taking these three steps …

  1. Learn
  2. Test
  3. Iterate

In today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, I’m going to focus on the “learn” step, because I sometimes feel marketers don’t cast a wide enough net during this crucial step. And, that’s what we do here at MarketingSherpa – we help you learn.

Of course, once you have new ideas about what might work for your company, test them. In this way, you can try some really radical ideas to drastically improve results while mitigating risk. Our sister site, MarketingExperiments, can teach you more about testing.

And, of course, iterate. Or as the shampoo marketers like to say – repeat. What works now will not necessarily work in the future. The marketplace is not static. You must constantly learn new ideas, and try them out.



Here’s where MarketingSherpa can help. We can give you examples of what other marketers have learned through case studies and how-to articles, webinars, Benchmark Reports and blog posts such as this one.

When we look for case studies to write, we cast our net far and wide. This is where some marketers struggle. Unless the case study subject is from the same exact niche they serve, sometimes they struggle in finding the transferable principles.

On the flip side, when the case study is about a subject from the same exact niche, sometimes marketers overemphasize whether these lessons will work for them. Even if they are in the same niche, after all, they may have a very different value proposition.

So, as you try to address these challenges, ask yourself:

  • How are you learning from other marketers?
  • What biases are holding you back from learning from other marketers?
  • Are you overvaluing marketing tactics your competitors are doing simply because you’re in the same space?
  • On the flip side, do you undervalue tactics your competitor is doing because they “play for a different team?”
  • Do you look outside of your particular industry to bring new marketing ideas to your space?
  • What biases do you hold against tactics other marketers use outside your industry (B2B vs. B2C, for-profit vs. nonprofit vs. political)?
  • What biases do you hold against tactics other marketers use based on your personal opinion of their product, service or cause?

So, let me give you some examples …

In Thursday’s MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter, we distributed a case study called “Search Engine Marketing: E-commerce site turns an 82% bounce rate around for a 400% conversion increase.” I really like this case study because it covers one of those common, all-encompassing questions we often receive:

  • Why does my landing page have a high bounce rate?


Learn from marketers in any industry

This case study is about how Tops Products answered that question, and the resulting improvement in conversion rate. If a marketer saw the case study was about an office supply company, and they were perhaps a B2B service provider or a brick-and-mortar store, they might overlook the key transferable principles.

Tops Products was getting a huge bounce rate because the great inbound link it was sending people to the wrong page. After using a 301 redirect, Tops Products reduced bounce rate 39% and increased conversion 400%. That lesson is helpful to marketers in any industry.

Read more…

Marketing Campaigns: Dig deep to replicate your successes (and learn from your failures) with marketing and sales enablement case studies

January 6th, 2012

Sales were up 80% in 2011! Congratulations!

Except, well, now you have to repeat that feat in 2012 (or at least hold the line). So, how exactly did you lift sales?

Not only that, but your team is 80% bigger this year, and many of them weren’t even working with you when you initiated many of the changes that got you the big success in the first place (nice hypothetical problem to have, right?). Still, it begs the question …


How do your replicate your success?

Or how do you avoid making the same mistakes? Well, first you have to discover why you succeeded and failed. And then you need to spread that new business intelligence throughout your team and your organization.

I recommend forensic reporting. That’s a term I like to use to explain what our reporters do here at MarketingSherpa, and how we write the case studies that appear in our free marketing newsletters. (While our case studies are meant for external consumption, this is something I used to do internally as well for companies like IBM and BEA Systems to spread effective tactics inside the company, so I can see how the same principles apply.)

First, you have to understand these case studies don’t just exist somewhere. Marketers and teams go about their jobs and do various things. From these actions, they bring about successes or failures. But the reasons why and how they did it, which is the case study, is never prepackaged.

As the name “forensics reporting” connotes, you have to investigate and dig pretty deep, because often the entire picture of what led to the success or failure isn’t even immediately obvious to the people that helped make it happen.

Here’s a very simplified, six-step process to get your started …

  Read more…

Content Marketing: Case studies are stories — so be a storyteller

December 13th, 2011

Have you ever watched a movie that was happy from beginning to end? Just sunshine and roses and everyone was happy and lovely the whole time? Probably not, but if you have, I’m sorry because it must have been terrible. Every good story needs struggle.

In a good story, no one is happy for more than a few seconds (usually at the end). Cinderella and Snow White struggle. Odysseus struggles. Snooki struggles. What engages us is our connection to the character’s feelings. We relate to them and we want the character to win.

This is why customer testimonials are powerful. People see the quote and think, “This is a real person, just like me! And look, they love this thing!” A good testimonial wonderfully illustrates why someone should buy your product, and it resonates because people relate to the customer.

Read more…

Email Summit Case Study: National Education Association’s Member Benefits Corporation

January 26th, 2011

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011Email marketing strategy independent consultant and MarketingSherpa email marketing trainer, Jeanne Jennings, wrapped up MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2011 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas with a great presentation that offered some quick hit advice illustrated by several case studies.

Make it so

Jeanne opened the session by outlining the four challenges of email marketing:

  1. Strategy
  2. Relevance
  3. Deliverability
  4. Return on investment

And she immediately went into the differences between strategy and tactics. In fact, Jeanne admitted when she starts working on an email campaign and starts blocking out the strategy, doing the big picture works gets her so excited she starts getting into tactics too quickly and has to draw back.

Her main definition of strategy is, “A plan of action to achieve a specific goal,” and her description of tactics was to quote Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise — “Make it so.” Strategy is the plan, or blueprint, of your email marketing campaign, and tactics are the steps or stages you take to turn that strategy into reality.

The case study

The first study she presented was an email campaign for the National Education Association’s Member Benefits Corporation conducted this past holiday season. The NEAMB provides programs and services to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association. This particular case study is focused on two of the seven steps of efficient email strategy — performing a SWOT analysis and developing a content strategy.

The control for this case study was a catalog list email that often ran several pages, making holiday offers hard to find. The test against the control took a page from the Groupon handbook with a clear offer, and content that based on Jeanne’s description I call “Groupon-lite.”

SWOT analysis

  • Strengths — members have highly favorable impression of association, great holiday offers for members, recipients historically responded to discounts, new CMO encourages new idea
  • Weaknesses — email had been catalog of offers, limited internal resources and budget for content, limited budget for content freelancers, concern that members are being overrun with mail decreasing response rates, no explicit opt-in; opt-out email permission
  • Opportunities — Groupon and other deal emails are popular, people are actively looking to save money in this economy, busy professionals (teachers) are looking for ways to reduce holiday stress, shopping online is becoming more and more popular
  • Threats — all the other holiday offer emails, differentiate from those; general inbox clutter makes members look for mail messages, some deals offered by retailers aren’t exclusive to organization

Here are the parameters Jeanne set up for the test email: weekly send; 100% opt-in; content strategy — engaging quotes,  gift ideas; single discount offer; low -resource content marketing;  quotes and tips from staff; differentiation from National Education Association’s Member Benefits Corporation control and other retail messages.

The quantifiable results

“Holiday cheer” test v. control

  • Open rate up 214%
  • Clickthrough rate up 105%
  • Decrease of 34% in click-to-open because the click rate was so much higher than control

“Holiday cheer” v. internal benchmarks

  • Open rate up 185%
  • Clickthrough rate up 337%
  • Click-to-open up 49%

Jeanne mentioned that conversion data is not available yet for this study.

Roll your sleeves up and get a full day of email training with Jeanne through MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Essentials Workshop Training. The next dates include Chicago on Tuesday, April 21, and San Francisco on Thursday, March 10.

Related resources

Ten Numbers Every Email Marketer Should Commit to Memory

Email Marketing: “I am not dead yet”

Welcome Messages: Are You Making a Good First Impression on New Opt-ins?

How a 6 Email Series Increased Unique Key Clickthrough Reach by Nearly 400% Over a Single Email