Mar 17 2011

MarketPlanB Email Marketing

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home

Free White Paper Now Available…

emailcover2.jpg

Download White Paper.pdf

Your complete, one-stop solution for email campaign planning, creative development and delivery of email promotions and newsletters.

Permission-based email marketing is a top revenue generator for eCommerce and one of the most effective tools for lead generation. If your email program is under-performing if you are just getting started, it may be the time turn over your email marketing to a seasoned professional with a proven track record.

Although all services are available ala carte, the primary benefit of MarketPlanB is to eliminate the burden of orchestrating the multiple skill sets required for effective email marketing campaigns.

The result? A one-stop solution that produces steadily improved results and delivers on-time every-time. The overriding philosophy at MarketPlanB is to deliver content that is of genuine value to your customers and to use metrics and testing to gain steady improvement.

The complete package of services at MarketPlanB include:

  • Campaign Planning
  • Design
  • Writing
  • List Management
  • Delivery
  • In-Depth Reporting

Most businesses require more advanced capabilities so MarketPlanB also provides:

  • Full Personalization of up to 20 Variables
  • Trigger-Based Delivery
  • Behavioral Targeting
  • Landing Page Development
  • List Segmentation
  • A/B or Multi-Variate Testing

MarketPlanB works with proven technology partners to deliver some advanced services. We can also work with your technology partners to quickly implement new programs.

For more information, references and pricing contact Tom Lindmeier:
tomlindmeier@marketplanb.com
612-749-0321

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Jul 09 2010

SEO Audit: Build it and they will come…

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home

SEO auditPerforming an SEO audit is actually a relatively straight forward process. There are numerous resources that provide checklists with step-by-step details on how to get it done. I’ll provide links to resources at the bottom of this article. In most cases the technical details can be implemented quickly by your web developer. But the next step is where most SEO efforts fail.

Once you have SEO optimized your site, the real challenges begin. It’s similar to building a baseball stadium, but now you need to field a team and put fans in the seats. The science of SEO is straight forward.  The art of SEO is where efforts fall short.

Effective SEO consultants earn their reputation by performing these 3 functions better than everyone else.

Build the quality and quantity and of content. Content needs to be truly relevant and of interest to users. User generated content is also a key ingredient.
Integrate keywords into content and metadata. Your keyword strategy needs to be backed by a significant amount of research and supported by your analytics.  If you’re competing with a dozen SEO goliaths, you’ll need a niche strategy if you’re not willing to pony up a budget that allows you to go head-to-head.
Master the art of link building. Directory submissions and connections to marginally related sites with link exchanges won’t cut it. Sophisticated link builders leverage all employees, vendors and colleagues and develop relationships like a top-notch salesperson.

SEO Audit Resources:
Google Search Engine Optimization Guide
15 Minute SEO Audit
SEO Best Practice Checklist
Ultimate SEO Audit Checklist

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Jan 14 2010

The Best Social Media Tactics For E-Commerce

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home, Social Marketing

Top Social Media StrategiesLinda Bustos of Get Elastic is the most prolific source of usable information for ecommerce marketers anywhere in the blogosphere. I have linked to her many times and I’m doing it again right now because she’ll answer the most frequently asked question I get from colleagues: Can you rank social media tactics so I have an idea where to begin?

Here’s a list top social media strategies for ecommerce. However I suggest that you go straight to author for a complete explanation and demonstration:

Top 10 Web 2.0 Activities for Ecommerce.

  1. Customer reviews
  2. Shopping widgets
  3. Question & answer
  4. Twitter
  5. User generated cross-sells
  6. Facebook
  7. Co-browsing
  8. Social widgets
  9. Retail blogging
  10. Video sharing

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Aug 31 2009

The Decline of Google Base

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home

My clients have seen a dramatic drop in gBase clicks and conversion. Discussions in the Google forums indicate that the decline is affecting everyone. The rate of decrease varies widely and there is no consensus on how to combat the changes. Or in other words “it is what it is”.

Frankly, other than cleaning up some minor errors in the feed, I am at loss for how I can improve performance.

If you have seen similar changes in Google Base, I would love to hear your story and discuss.

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Jun 18 2009

The monetization of social media and lessons from the Iranian elections

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Social Marketing

The world is observing with fascination how the Iranian people are revolting in response to the seemingly fraudulent elections. Social media has taken a new role in the Mideast as the rebellion has spread. The Iranian government has desperately attempted to shut down web communications by shutting down Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and any social media that can reveal the true extent of the oppression and censorship that is taking place. It’s also interesting that we are hearing news that developers are reaching out to the Iranian protesters by showing them how to redirect servers and avoid the censorship.

Iranian protesters

Iranian protesters

Even more interesting is the fact that the Iranian government is using social media for disinformation by setting up fraudulent rally locations and displaying violent protests that are pure fiction. But the fraud is recognized by the aggregate of social media consumers and exposed as quickly as it is revealed.

The lesson of this scenario is an allegory to the attempts of the marketing community to monetize social media.  There are many great examples of effective use of blogs, but success stories involving social apps such as Facebook and Twitter seem to be fewer because these concepts are still relatively new. My research of online marketers in the blogosphere seems to indicate they share more information about what NOT to do than examples of what you CAN do to successfully leverage social media.  Many marketers are understandably reluctant to use these tactics because the negatives of failure seem to outweigh the positives. They don’t want to be exposed as a fraud as we have seen in this instance with the Iranian government.

So what’s the best approach to leveraging social media? The first lesson is what bloggers have learned over the past decade; great content is consumed and everything else is ignored (or exposed as fraudulent). The second is that we need to understand that use of social media is just a tactic and not a strategy in itself. If you can fit social media into overall marketing strategy so that it is truly meaningful and has genuine value to your customers and prospects, it will be readily apparent. If not, you need to adjust the tactic or dismiss it altogether.

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Jun 10 2009

New Google SbKT tool effective for SEO

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home, SEM

Google touts it’s Search-based Keyword Tool as a great way to find new keywords for your ad campaigns. It does have a severe limitation because it only works with 1-3 word phrases and makes it difficult to discover long-tail phrases. But it’s still an effective way to find keywords you may have missed.

Google states that:

The Keyword Tool is especially helpful in three situations:

  • When you first create a new ad group
  • When your current keywords are performing poorly and you need to find better options
  • When you have one keyword that really works well and want to find more like it

I also have found it to be an effective SEO keyword discovery tool. Many of my clients have a very limited paid search budget and prefer to SEO optimize high-cost keywords. This also means that they have limited paid search data and need to undergo a comprehensive keyword discovery process. The SbKT Tool provides a fast and inexpensive method for keyword discovery that leverages paid search data.

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Apr 01 2009

Ideas for Email Marketing Design

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Email Marketing, Home

I track the emails of dozens of retail marketers to get a grasp of new developments and take note great ideas. The result is that my in box is flooded with emails on a daily basis.

But there is a better method to track the competition.  The Retail Email Blog has a “search by retailer” function on the left navigation that allows you view the emails of most major retailers.

You may also want to take a look at their 2008 Design Hall of Fame.

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Mar 10 2009

Video goes mainstream– and it’s not just for product demos

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home, Social Marketing

The use of video on ecommerce sites has moved from a trend to one of the most discussed tactics in 2009. My post on Video Product Demonstrations in March of 2008 resulted in many responses from entrepreneurs who had set up video production houses in anticipation of the trend. Most of these businesses are photographers who understand their client’s need to efficiently produce videos at a cost that is low enough to allow a return on investment. They are competing with resourceful managers who hire talented and enthusiastic interns to produce videos. Many are surprisingly well done.
The barriers to entry are low and this has resulted in rapid growth as users have seen increases in conversion that support expansion in the use of videos. Ecommerce players have also learned syndicate their videos through the use of widgets to create a legitimate social marketing tactic.

In addition to product demos and reviews used by the early adopters, videos are also used for:

  • How to assemble videos
  • Installation videos
  • Testimonials
  • Category page branding (for instance: interviews with product managers)

The Get Elastic Blog has created a series of articles titled Adventures in Ecommerce Video that demonstrates how etailers are using video. I suggest making a visit…

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Feb 11 2009

West Bend Insurance

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home

This has nothing to do with ecommerce or online marketing. But I am impressed with well-executed television campaign…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3IOnCdFe4E[/youtube]

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Dec 04 2008

Multi-Store Online Retailing

Published by Tom Lindmeier under Home

I recently attended a webinar by Jason Billingsley that discussed Multi-Store Retailing. Follow this link to view the on-demand version at Elastic Path.

It’s a great overview of how online retailers create multiple storefronts and the strategies behind various tactics. Nice job, Jason.

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