Wired Pursuits

Archive for July 2008

I’ve been a fan of Adaptive Path for a while now, but never expected to ever have any influence or input when it came to their marketing tactics.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they’re a big user experience shop out on the West coast.  They have clients like Intel, Crayola, NPR, and Cathay Pacific.  Who’d ever think they’d be listening to what I was saying.  But I was wrong.

On Monday, I posted about eNewsletter subject lines.  I used Adaptive Path’s as an example.  Much to my surprise I got an email that same day from Roland Smart, Senior Marketing Manager for Adaptive Path.

He said he’d been having conversations internally about the subject line and that my post was “enough of an impetus to make something change.” “Please note that our next newsletter will have a new subject line!”

And sure enough, they were true to their word.
Adaptive Path is a company who understands the need to monitor the blogosphere for conversation around their company and what they provide.  But more importantly, they engag­e in conversation and truly listen.

Are you listening in?  You should be.

It’s easy.  Just set up an iGoogle Home page and pull in searches from Google Blog Search for your company’s name.  Take it one step further and add your competitors.  You’ll be surprised what you find and who’s talking about you.

For those you not familiar with Adaptive Path, they work with companies to create better products and services through experience strategy and experience design. This involves focusing on the end customer, and their total experience, from the start of the development cycle through an ongoing relationship with the brand.

To see comments, go to original post on Erickson Barnett Blog.

Everyone out there has heard how critical the subject line is for eMail.  So it surprised me that some of the regular eNewsletters I get use only the eNewsletter title and date as the subject.  ­

I’m sure I’m like most people and subscribe to more things than I can read.  I’m always moving stuff to my “Read Me” folder to look at later (sometimes days later).  Today I had a few minutes (but only a few), so I wanted to quickly scan my list for an interesting tidbit.  I have specific sources that I like, so I tend to sort using the “from” field.

Here’s what I saw:


Here’s what I did:


I skipped all the subject lines that were the same thing over and over and clicked on the one that looked interesting.  Adaptive Path – a great newsletter BTW – got no “eyeball” time because their subject line wasn’t helpful.

Here’s the so what:

It’s no surprise that I was drawn to the subject that gave me some insight into what was inside and matched up with my interests.

What is surprising is that as marketers we often forget how our one tiny subject line can be caught in a mass of other subject lines. You’re battling for attention in a short attention span world.  When the subject of your eNewsletter is the same thing over and over, it stops standing out in the crowd.

Here’s what to try:

Even if your eNewsletter holds lots of info, pick a feature story to highlight and make it part of your subject.  Adotas (show above) does just that.  You’re more likely to get clicked by providing details (even just one) than being generic.

If you’re using a generic subject line for a regular eNewsletter or eMail blast, try changing up your subject line and see if your open rate jumps.

To see comments, go to original post on Erickson Barnett Blog.

For B2B technology companies, whitepapers are a great way to generate awareness and educate potential buyers about your solutions.

­According to a recent KnowledgeStorm study:

  • 65% of IT buyer decision makers and 62% of influencers said they read a whitepaper within the last 90 days
  • 58% of decision makers and 63% of influencers said they read 2-5 whitepapers in that period
  • 57% of technology buyers said they passed on a whitepaper to others within their organization

So how do you increase interest in and downloads of your whitepapers?

  • Give buyers content they value.
    • Survey data, how-to guides, and educational content are the most valued.
    • 82% of IT buyers said content targeted at their specific industry was most valuable, followed by 34% who said content targeted to their specific job function was highly valued.
  • Give buyers a preview – titles alone aren’t enough.
    • 75% of buyers want to read at least one paragraph before providing registration info.  Interestingly enough, only 48% of marketers provide this type of info.
    • You can increase downloads by simply providing one or more paragraphs of content prior to registration.
  • Remove barriers to registration.
    • Most buyers will give you their correct name (72%) and email (68%) (however they often use a personal email instead of their business email – this helps them separate work related email from outside sources). Less than 40% give a real phone number or answer additional questions.
    • Try asking for just a name and email.  It’s easy for buyers and gets you the information you need to follow up.
    • Clearly state how you will use registration information.
    • Include a link to your privacy policy next to the submit button.
  • Repurpose your whitepaper content.
    • 60% of IT buyers indicated that whitepapers would be more interesting as podcasts.
    • Some B2B companies have found that repurposing whitepapers into podcasts increases downloads.
  • Follow up on downloads within 2 days.
    • The majority of buyers who download your content are quickly scanning it for relevance and putting it away to read it more thoroughly later.  So, it’s important to follow up quickly because it reminds them that they’ve downloaded your content.
    • 72% of buyers say that timeliness of follow-up impacts their impression of the company and it products.
    • Use email to follow up as it’s the preferred method of buyers.  (Whitepaper downloads typically signal a buyer in the early phases of the buying cycle.  As this point, they aren’t ready to talk directly with someone at your company, they prefer being contacted via email.)

Test what works best for your buyer.

Whitepaper downloads are a great place to start testing what works best for your buyers.

  1. Start by measuring the number of downloads you get today.
  2. Change up one aspect based on the best practices above.
  3. Measure the difference.
  4. Keep what works, and discard what doesn’t.

Keep tweaking the process until you’ve optimized downloads for your audience.  Let us know what works best for you.

To see comments, go to original post on Erickson Barnett Blog.

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