Email Marketing Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Worth It

Email Marketing Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Worth It

Whenever we marketing folks toss around best practice ideas, we aren’t always thinking about what it takes to actually make that best practice turn into reality. Over the past several weeks, we've come up with an example of an internal project where the effort turned out to much more than expected: email marketing. Email marketing is easy, right? Just find the addresses and start blasting out your messages. But… that sort of one-size-fits-all approach is rapidly losing effectiveness in an … [Read more...]

Limiting Your Audience, On Purpose

Limiting Your Audience, On Purpose

I recently picked up a book on memoir-writing... one of those Learn a New Skill for Dummies kinds of books. I'll admit I'm a sucker for the easily accessible format of these books. Some of my favorite books over the past few years have been memoirs (mostly by Donald Miller), and there are plenty more memoirs on my reading list for the next few months. One of the things about the Dummies book really struck me, and it was the concept that people sometimes write memoirs because they need to … [Read more...]

Personality Tests, Aptitude Tests, and Limitations

Personality Tests, Aptitude Tests, and Limitations

I recently read through the book 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More by Perry Marshall, and I really enjoyed the challenge that the book presented in terms of thinking through your daily activities with a more critical eye. Perhaps my favorite section of the book was a Marketing DNA test that Marshall offers online. If you're considering taking the test, be sure to buy the book. It's more affordable that way ($15 compared to $37 as of this writing), … [Read more...]

Safe Ways to Test Your Marketing Ideas

Safe Ways to Test Your Marketing Ideas

As a communicator, you need a place to test your ideas. You need your own lab to run your mad scientist experiments. This is different than writing and delivering fully formed ideas into the wild. In this case, I'm talking about when you want to try some sort of ingenious (hopefully!) connection using IFTTT, or some other form of API connection. Or when you want to try a new tracking software. Or a new method of measuring engagement. For me, whenever I propose a new method of either … [Read more...]

Finding the Courage to Publish by Starting Small

Finding the Courage to Publish by Starting Small

After reading Demian Farnsworth's post The Awesome Benefits of Publishing Often the other day, it really hit home how much of communicating is about the courage to be able to say what's needed. One of the main reasons I first started playing around with Google Analytics a few years back is that the tools so clearly demonstrate what has already worked. So much of communication starts with a hunch of what might work, and we can take those ideas through a variety of tests to see how well we can … [Read more...]

13 Ways to Collect Feedback Online

13 Ways to Collect Feedback Online

Great musicians and public speakers can incorporate audience feedback on the fly to help shape their performance. For publishers and bloggers, the process looks rather different. Gathering feedback happens in a few ways: by providing an avenue for someone to share opinions, by actively asking for feedback, and by going out to find feedback that's already been shared with a different audience. Provide Ways to Give Feedback In many cases, your audience wants to communicate with you. Make … [Read more...]

Start with Communication Theory

Start with Communication Theory

Communication theory is a foundational explanation of how we convey meaning. In today's hyperconnected world, the theory is more important than ever. In the day job, I spend a lot of time helping clients decide on the overall strategy of what they want to accomplish with their websites before we dig into the specific tactics of how we can help. One of the key models that I always keep in mind when working on strategy is the communication theory. In this post, we'll take a look at the … [Read more...]