Targeted Marketing: It Works When Prospects Are In Pain

8 May

PainTargeted Marketing + Pain = Sales

I just got an email from, Mint pulls together all your financial accounts into one place. The subject line read, “Are you paying more than average for health insurance? Shopping around could help you save.” How did they know? Oh yes, I have a separate category for my personal health insurance on my Mint account.

They have now partnered with to offer customers the opportunity to compare health insurance providers- pure genius!  Whether Mint knows it or not, my rates are about to increase by over 14% in the upcoming months. I was infuriated when I got the letter telling me this, but just haven’t taken the time to research other providers. Mint just made this easier and encouraged me to work with their partner as a first step. I’ll own up to it, I wanted someone to hand feed me the steps I needed to take to compare providers because looking for a new one sounds about as much fun as having teeth pulled.

Good job Mint, you hit me when I was in pain and I took action. How can you hit your customers and prospects when they’re in pain and get them to take action?


  • People in pain will listen, don’t promote feature benefits- bring the pain to surface
  • Provide the facts- mint showed me in my email how much I’m spending. That number was painful to look at. Provide facts and figures about the pain your prospects are feeling.
  • Sometimes the perfect storm hits. Marketers can get lucky and hit someone with a message at exactly the right time. Mint did that!

Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics

6 Mar

Google’s Multi-Channel Funnels Let Marketers Focus On All Programs That Assist With Conversions

Google’s video sums up why this feature is so important. “The ways your customers interact with your channels are all part of the marketing funnel leading to conversion. Often your customers engage more with these channels than they do with the final click that’s getting all the credit. Imagine being able to see how your customers interacted with all your channels before the conversion.”

You can see how your visitors interacted with your digital channels up to a month before they actually converted. Now you can pick and choose the marketing programs that actually were part of the conversion and optimize these programs instead of wondering, “What all lead to the conversion?”

Check out this quick video to learn more about Multi-Channel Funnels.

Website Design: Looks Matter

21 Feb

NestThe other day a friend of mine posted an offer on Facebook. He had received five invitations from Nest to purchase their product. I’ll admit, I had no clue what Nest was and I liked the name, so I did some research. What I found surprised me.

First, I found a cool gadget that I wish I could own. But what I quickly discovered is that I found an absolutely amazing website that took me through understanding something I knew absolutely nothing about. Their product and the problems it solves were intimidating to me before I landed on their site, but now it all made sense. In fact, it made so much sense that I no longer wanted their product but I convinced myself I needed it.

Ideally, this is the reaction I’d love for all prospects to have when they visit one of my clients’ sites. Here are some of the things that stood out:

Homepage: Clean, simple and very little text. This drove me to take one action, play their video (“meet” their product).

Video: Their video told a great story, explained what I needed to do and was friendly the entire time. They never pitched or tried to sell me at any point.

No Buyers Remorse: Nest fesses up that their product may not be for everyone. They offered a quick instrucitonal video that showed me if Nest is something I could use.

Infographics: If you’ve ever read my blog or visited my Facebook page you know I love infographics. Nest does a great job of using infographics to tell their story.

Simplicity: I counsel clients often on their website and sales collateral content. As humans, we have the tendency to tell people (even if they know what we do) more than they really care to know. Sometimes companies believe doing this shows that they are experts and other times they believe prospects need to know all this information before they will even consider becoming a customer. Nest does not offer a simple product and the problem it solves is even more complicated. Yet, they manage to tell you everything you need to know in short precise content. Knowing that Nest wouldn’t overwhelm me with a 20 page white paper, I kept digging deeper into their site so I could learn even more.

There are a lot of best practices throughout the Nest website. If you’re ever looking for website design inspiration, I suggest checking out Nest.

Optimizing Press Releases: 5 Tips On How To Optimize Your Releases

14 Feb
Optimizing Press Releases

PR Optimization

There are a lot of great articles out there that can help you learn more about optimizing your press releases. Below is a quick high-level to do list for anyone considering writing a press release.

1. Use keywords (SEO terms) when writing your press release. Keep your keywords in your headline, subheads and towards the top of your first few paragraphs.

2. Hyperlink the text in your press release: link keywords back to pages intended to drive traffic via that keyword. These hyperlinks can be linked to product pages or even landing pages.

3. If you use images in your press release, make sure you tag them appropriately with your keywords.

4. Select a recognized news release distribution service. You can find free services, but simply make sure what you’re getting when you rely on smaller distribution services.

5. Publish your press release on your website, your blog and share it on your social media outlets (Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter). Again, keep your hyperlinks intact and have them point to associated pages.

These five tips will get you indexed with Google News and Yahoo! News and help your SEO efforts along the way.

For additional SEO recommendations, read my post “SEO Page Optimization

Determining a Marketing Budget

7 Feb

Marketing SpendA lot of times clients ask:

  • “What do you believe my marketing spend should be as a percent of sales?”
  • “How do I determine what a reasonable amount of money is to spend on marketing?”
  • “Am I investing too much or too little into marketing?”

I’d love to say you’re going to finish reading this post and have the answer, but I can’t. What I can tell you is over the years my perspective has changed a bit. But, anytime I’m faced with these questions I have a tendency to go back to some of the same articles/posts to gain insight and always search for new ones with each new inquiry. Here are some of my go to resources:

I haven’t found a one-size fits-all answer to this question but what I can say is do some reading, talk with your peers and figure out what feels right for your company.

Tips on Setting Marketing Priorities Using Spreadsheets

31 Jan

Michele Linn writes in, “Confessions from a Spreadsheet Junkie: Tips on How to Set Marketing Priorities” about her obsession with spreadsheets and how she uses them to prioritize her marketing strategies.

She suggests getting all your ideas into your spreadsheet, this includes both big-picture and tactical ideas. Then track the following information for each idea:

1. What goal does it support?– “Seems basic that every activity should support a business goal, but I bet you’ll be surprised at how many “nice to have” or “seems cool to do” activities may be on your list.”

2. Anything we need to do first?– “You may have a goal to convert visitors when they get to your website, however if you don’t have the content in place to entice someone, you need to start there.”

3. What is the estimated time?– This will help you tackle simpler projects first.

4. What is the ongoing time commitment?– A lot of projects are easy to setup but there is a long-term commitment that must be made to maintain and grow these programs. By acknowledging this upfront, you hopefully won’t start projects that you can’t commit to finishing.

5. Who is responsible for this?– Assign someone to each idea so they have an advocate in the marketing department.

6. Do we need to get help?- Will you need to reach to in-house teams or work with third-party vendors to execute your idea?

7. What will it cost?– List all costs that could be associated with the project.

8. Assign each a priority.– “After all is said and done, I then assign a priority to something. It can be as simple as high-medium-low or a numerical system. Ideally, I tackle three to five things at a time and do them well. Once they’re up and running, I’ll move on to new tasks.”

Linn’s final thoughts, “Don’t forget to put  the spreadsheet into Dropbox or another file-sharing system, so the whole team has access to it. This makes the spreadsheet more than a static planning document.”

What Confuses Sales? “Marketing-Qualified Leads”

24 Jan

I read a great blog post by J. David Green that emphasizes the importance of marketing and sales creating what he calls, “sales-validated leads.” Instead of marketing asking sales if the leads they passed along were qualified, they should be asking sales to “validate whether the lead is really a lead, per the definition agreed to by sales and marketing.”

He suggest that for most marketing organizations, this small change in funnel focus can make a huge difference in plugging funnel leaks.

Check out “Why the Term Marketing-Qualified Lead” Creates Serious Confusion – Part 2” to read more.