B2B Lead Blog

Getting past the Junk Mail folder

My previous article on getting broadcast emails through to recipients’ inboxes proved popular, so here’s some more on the same subject, because I’ve just stumbled across something I didn’t know. Many of your customers and other email recipients will be using Microsoft Outlook (that’s not the bit I didn’t know) and Microsoft Outlook has its own inbuilt junk mail filter. It’s very crude, but it’s there. And surprisingly, the rules which govern that filter are actually not a secret, so it’s pretty easy to ensure that your emails at least… Read More »

How’s your in-house database looking?

Keeping an in-house database “clean” is such a dull job that it can hang around at the bottom of the to-do list permanently. In 10 signs your in-house database needs help BEFORE you launch another program, the B2B Lead Blog lists the sort of problems lurking in most databases. I’m sure many of you will recognise more than one of them. In the comments, there’s a reference to a claim made last year that clean data can scale up to huge gains in revenue. I’m sure it’s true. And one… Read More »

Good things needn’t cost a fortune

I feel for the three or four companies who’ve told me recently that they’re keen on our Insider Programme and who like the idea of having my advice on tap for their website and associated activities – but who genuinely can’t find £500 a month in 2009. That’s fair enough, although I’d be interested to know what’s more important than developing your online marketing at the moment: please tell me it’s not print ads any more! Anyway, whatever the budgetary restrictions, we’re all looking for good low-cost opportunities, and there… Read More »

Free does not mean cheap. It means “thanks”.

I know many industrial marketing managers don’t like free gifts, perhaps considering them to be in some way unprofessional. I disagree – some of the best branding I’ve experienced over the years has come from decent freebies. I can even name (without looking) many things which have hung around my home and office for years: a Telemecanique umbrella, a Rose+Krieger pen, an Adept Scientific calculator, and some SMC Pneumatics golf balls – and that’s straight off the top of my head. But what have freebies got to do with online… Read More »

So What?

I like articles which inspire us to go back to basics and re-assess our marketing, because we all know it’s something we don’t do often enough. In The Most Important Question Salespeople Should Ask Themselves on the B2B Lead Blog it’s suggested that not only do you ask yourself the classic question “Why should people do business with me when there are so many other options available?” but also, when you’ve come up with your answers, it suggests that you go through the reasons and ask yourself a second question… Read More »

A personal welcome

I’ve got a bit of a thing about landing pages. It really annoys me when I click on an ad and sloppily get taken to the front page of the advertiser’s website and dumped there. When I turn up at a company, I want someone to meet me in reception and usher me straight through to my meeting. Don’t you? So when someone clicks through to your website for a reason – which you’ve defined in the ad – they expect to get the information they require without any more… Read More »

You don’t stand out by being bland

You’re not one of those people who fills their press releases with marketing-speak, are you? No, of course not. You’ve read Dilbert for years, and you laugh in the face of people who talk about leading-edge, state-of-the-art solutions. Except that …well… if you do, you’re in a tiny minority. I know from an exercise in analysing the first 200,000 press releases which came into the Pro-Talk network, when I worked there, that words like “solutions” occur in the majority of press releases. Have you ever heard a customer ask for… Read More »

Press releases: things have moved on

Do you still write your company’s press releases the same way as you did ten years ago? Or if they’re written for you by a PR consultancy, have your writers changed their approach over the past ten years? If not, it might be time to change your writers. The fact of the matter is that before the web became the main target for press releases, you had to write them to appeal to journalists and editors. Now you have to write them to appeal just as much (if not more)… Read More »

Give that email every chance of survival

A lot of your marketing emails never get to the recipient. Fact. There’s no point in bemoaning the crudity of some of the “email filters” which people have in place; they exist, they work badly, and we just have to get on with it. However, we can at least do as much as possible to reduce the number which get swallowed up into black holes set up by some work-experience kid in your customer’s IT Department. As Editor of Engineeringtalk for over eight years, I probably sent out 15 million… Read More »

Using Surveys to Make Decisions

I’m going to bang on until I’m blue in the face about this subject, because I will never, ever understand why so few companies survey their customers before making decisions which will affect them. Surveys are fast, and if you already have your customers’ email addresses – free. Yes, of course there are caveats about the responses (you only get them from people who like filling in surveys, and these might not be representative of your customer base as a whole) but the results are infinitely better than just going… Read More »

A new angle on press releases

Most of the articles I read about “how to write press releases” I totally disagree with. And that’s wearing my hat as having been an industrial trade magazine and website editor for over twenty years. I think the articles are written with the best of intentions, but they seem to be imagining you’re aiming your press releases solely at the FT or something. In reality, I suspect the bulk of your press releases are aimed at far more mundane titles. “Keep your press releases down to one side of A4”,… Read More »