Five Blogger Outreach Mistakes To Avoid

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Lead Generation, skmurphy, Thought Leadership

I got the following unsolicited E-mail this morning; I think the marketing term for this is “blogger outreach.” I have redacted the name of the sender (“YYY”) and the name of the firm/product (“XXX”) but “[press kit]” and “[review/checkout]” were included verbatim in the original. There was no footer with an unsubscribe option although phone number and address were included after the person’s title.

Good Afternoon,

My name is YYY from XXX. We have developed an online innovation platform that allows businesses to create insight-driven ideation networks.

Each company has their own ideation network allowing them to set ‘challenges’ to their employees, and employees  are able to suggest ideas to solve these challenges.

XXX is exciting and completely different to anything else on the market in that anybody can sign up at XXX and start their innovation network for free within minutes (much like Yammer). All you need to get started is an organisational email address.

I thought you and your readers might be interested in our service. We’re currently in beta at XXX, with currently over 120 companies signed up and using the product since a very soft launch last month. I have a [press kit] I’d like to send your way to [review/checkout] if you’d be interested, and if there’s anything else I can help with let me know!

Thanks,

YYY
Head of Product
<phone number and address>

One Good Thing and Five Mistakes

Good Thing: It’s from a real person with a phone number, physical address and personal email address.

Five mistakes:

  1. Impersonal
  2. No Pricing
  3. No Target Customer
  4. Premature Send
  5. No Unsubscribe

Impersonal

“Good Morning” as an opening is mean to be a catch all. While politer than “To Whom It May Concern” it would be better to format this as an announcement. If you cannot take the time to personalize an email it has substantially less impact, or more accurately less positive impact.

No Price

I wondered how much this would cost. I checked the FAQ where there is a question:

How much does XXX cost?

Full details of our simple pricing structure is available on our pricing page.

But there is no pricing page, which indicates to me they have not worked out their business model. If this were intended to be a freemium app that might be OK, but idea management systems normally capture company proprietary data so it’s unlikely most companies want their internal process improvement ideas or their new product ideas posted on the Internet.

No Target Customer

The FAQ also has this question

Who uses XXX

Organisations of all shapes and sizes from across the globe use XXX. Due to the ease of getting started, organisations with as few as 10 employees are benefitting from using XXX, and thanks to its customisation capabilities, XXXis suitable for large enterprises too.

Based on this FAQ answer it does not appear anyone is actually using your product, or they have not figured out who their target customer is.

Premature Send

This sentence: “I have a [press kit] I’d like to send your way to [review/checkout] if you’d be interested, and if there’s anything else I can help with let me know!” leads me to believe they were not done editing the mass e-mail template before they hit send.

No Unsubscribe Option

This is clearly a mass e-mail without an unsubscribe option, technically it’s “unsolicited commercial e-mail” or “spam.”

Summary

I am not entirely clear on the thought process that leads a startup team to craft this e-mail as an outreach strategy.  Their about page says “After lots of long nights and coffee runs, the first release of XXX was unleashed on our first customers in April 2014.” Unleashed would be a good verb for what happened with this “blogger outreach” campaign.

Direct Mail: Letters and Postcards Still Work

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Lead Generation, skmurphy

Direct Mail: A Letter With a Stamp Is Not Spam

In advertising it pays to be different. Letters and postcards with real stamps get through.

With everyone getting some much email SPAM, direct mail can be a way to differentiate yourself.

Postcards Work Too

We have used postcards to announce events where clients will be speaking or exhibiting. They have been very useful for raising awareness, increasing attendance at the event, and triggering a few phone calls. They don’t have to be opened to be read and are an inexpensive way to send a color image.

Getting Started

  • Consider using unique URLs or phone numbers if you really want to track effectiveness.
  • You can rent mailing lists or use your own.
  • Because of the cost of this method you need to be careful to debug the message in advance: consider small targeted mailings, e-mail tests, adwords tests, or feedback from a few customers and prospects if time is short.
  • We have used Overnight Prints and VistaPrint for printing as well as more than one visit to Fedex/Kinkos when time ran short.

Consider direct mail as an option for the target prospects you are trying to reach.

Call to Action Examples

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Blogging, Lead Generation

Nobody disputes how important “Call to Actions” are but sometimes I run out of ideas for good ones.  Here is my list of favorite ones.

  • Find out the latest
  • Watch this short video for more information
  • Check this out!
  • See why we are excited!
  • Learn more
  • Read how we did it!
  • Start saving
  • Compare us to your current solution

Please suggest any that you have found effective in the comments and I will continue to update the list as they come to me.

Office Hours: Schedule Time To Walk Around Your MVP

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Lead Generation, Sales, skmurphy

Office Hours ButtonIf you are looking for advice on lead generation or closing deals consider scheduling “office hours” to walk around your current sales process or a particular opportunity you are trying to close. SKMurphy functions as a startup advisor to help you understand the process of building a business. We understand the challenges of selecting an advisor–and advising entrepreneurs–and have blogged about it a few times:

We offer a no-cost, no-obligation MVP Readiness Assessment.
Request a consultation at https://skmtest.wufoo.com/forms/skmurphy-office-hours/

Content Creation for Thought Leadership and Lead Generation

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Lead Generation, Thought Leadership

SKMurphy develops highly relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage customers. We help our clients organize and clearly articulate their experiences and insights in ways that generate inquires. We develop an editorial calendar that  complements SEO strategy and ecosystem partner relationships. We always consider audio, video, and animation options in addition leveraging public speaking events.

Here are a couple of articles that we developed:

And here is some example videos

 

 

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