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Is Bing Gaining? For Our Customers, Google Is Still 85% of Search Traffic

first_imgThere has been a lot of speculation since the launch of Bing earlier this year about whether the new Microsoft search engine could take a meaningful amount of search traffic away from Google.Now that Bing has been up and running for almost four months, it’s a good time to measure its progress. Is Bing sticking it to Google? Is Yahoo catching up? The short answer is no. comScore recently released its August 2009 rankings for search engine Market Share. The results showed that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (Bing) have market shares of 64.6%, 19.3% and 9.3%, respectively. A study of HubSpot customers shows even more Google dominance, as you can see in the chart below.Search Referrals for HubSpot CustomersJune -August 2009  This data came from a sample of 40 HubSpot customers across industries for the 3-month time period from 6/1/09 to 8/31/09. Google had over 85% market share versus Yahoo, Bing, AOL and Ask.com for this customer group. The results were fairly consistent for each industry with Google market share ranging from 82% for construction firms to 87% for software companies. While Google’s astronomical market share for these customers is much higher than what comScore reports, it’s consistent with what we’ve been seeing anecdotally over the past year with other HubSpot customers.More research would be needed to definitively know why Google holds such a strong position as the referrer to these customers relative to the other search engines. It could be the sample set, a significant difference in characteristics of HubSpot customers versus the sites measured by comScore, or a difference in the way the data was analyzed by HubSpot and comScore. Regardless, the takeaway is the same from both studies: Focus your SEO and traffic efforts on Google. SEO for Lead Generation Kit Learn more about how you can optimize your site to get found online in search engines to generate more leads for your business. Download our search engine optimization for lead generation kit. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Measuring SEO Topics: Originally published Sep 29, 2009 7:58:00 AM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more

Which Social Networks Should You Be On? [Marketing Cast]

first_imgWhere Is Your Target Audience? “What is really important is to figure out where the people that you are trying to reach are,” says David Meerman Scott. If you are trying to reach executives, for instance, LinkedIn is probably a good starting place. If you are trying to reach teenagers, however, you might need to look elsewhere. In this case, Facebook would probably be the preferred platform for communication.  Don’t Be Everywhere You don’t need to be on every social network in order to be a social media-savvy business. David Meerman Scott, for instance, is not on LinkedIn because he invests most of his efforts on channels like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The idea behind this practice is to not spread yourself thin, but to perform well on a few selected sites.  Eventually, as David pointed out, it comes down to choosing the right social media networks and giving yourself permission to not stress about being present on some other channels.Photo Credit: Asthma Helper Social Media Originally published May 2, 2011 8:44:00 AM, updated July 08 2013 Topics: Maybe being on all possible channels isn’t quite as effective as focusing on a few of them. In this episode of the Weekly Marketing Cast we discuss how you can approach this question. Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Useful Ecommerce Applications of QR Codes

first_img Topics: Here are five key ways to use QR codes in your marketing to increase leads and improve ecommerce targeting and conversions. 1. Email List Segmentation Use QR codes to create landing pages and capture email addresses. Since these codes are a new technology, people who sign up through this method are usually early adopters, meaning they’re likely to be technically savvy and more receptive to email marketing .People who can scan a QR code are also more likely to be engaged in social media, so you can also use QR codes to drive traffic to your social media presence . In addition, you can leverage custom landing pages for each QR code so you know that someone scanning an ad for “blue jeans” is interested in that specific product category. You could then link to a landing page dedicated to products related to blue jeans. On that page consider posting opt-ins, ‘buy’ buttons, links to Twitter and Facebook, or whatever else targets those specific users. This can be a very helpful tactic if you have diverse product offerings.According to a recent study by comScore , users who scan QR codes are more likely to be young, male, and wealthy. If that’s your target demographic, QR code utilization could be a very useful tool. 2. Curiosity Pull Because it’s encrypted, people are curious about what a QR code says/means/does. This element of mystery marketing means more people might scan your code and end up on your landing page even if they might not otherwise have done so. People see URLs all the time, so QR codes can help overcome the desensitization associated with them.As with any new technology, people might scan your barcode simply because they are interested in how the code works. You can even add images to your codes, which might spark additional interest. Put them on t-shirts, business cards, and have them shaved into the heads of all of your employees. …Okay, so they won’t work as a hair style, but you get the point. A QR code is an attention-grabber that can bring you customers and grow your reputation. 3. Social Sharing Since QR codes can be URLs, you can craft custom tweets that post to the person’s Twitter account when they scan the code, making it easier for them to share your specials and offers.You may have seen commercials for the new line of smartphones that allow users to post pictures straight to Twitter and Facebook with the push of a button. This is a similar concept, except with QR codes you can provide a landing page and make it simple for users to share your information.Basically, if a person with 1,000 Twitter followers scans the QR code on your business card, the outcome is similar to you physically walking around and passing out 1,000 business cards with your URL. Actually, it’s better because those followers can retweet the information to their followers as well, which expands your reach . 4. Print Media Tracking You can also use QR codes to better track the effectiveness of offline, print media by creating a tracking URL and embedding it in your QR code. Traffic from that URL will be associated with that campaign. It’s not going to be a perfect measurement, but it’s another way of aggregating information about the performance of offline media efforts. 5. Connecting Brick and Mortar (B&Ms) People shopping in stores can scan codes on products or in-store collateral and sign up for special discounts and contests/giveaways. This can help you capture in-store traffic and build your online reach for re-marketing and targeting.For example, if the same person who scanned the blue jeans ad earlier is now in a physical store and buying your jeans, you can use a code to offer them a discount at your online shop. This way, you can then maximize your exposure to that targeted customer. In what other ways can you use QR codes for your ecommerce marketing efforts? Originally published Aug 17, 2011 8:01:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Brand Experiencelast_img read more

4 Email Marketing Tips From Email Spammers

first_img Email Deliverability Originally published Nov 10, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Would you believe it? Email spammers have taught us honest email marketers a thing or two over the years. Mostly, it’s what to avoid if you don’t want to end up in handcuffs. But in their own twisted way, spammers have helped us figure out some email marketing best practices to keep in mind as your email marketing, lead nurturing, and marketing automation campaigns get underway.Here are 4 great email marketing tips from email spammers that you can apply to your (totally legit) email marketing campaigns.1. Remind people they can trust you.Online security company Bit Defender revealed that in 2011, Jay Leno topped the list of the most frequently used celebrity names by email spammers. Spammers knew that, by pure virtue of having a recognizable name, enough people trusted Leno to open the email.You don’t need a celebrity endorsement for higher email open rates, but you can gain trust by ensuring your recipients remember how they know you. You got your list legitimately (you did get your list legitimately, didn’t you?), so you can identify how you met each of your subscribers. Is this email part of a demo follow-up campaign? That recipient probably knows one of your employees, so that employee should be listed as the sender. Did they subscribe to receive blog updates from your site? Then they’re familiar with your company, and you should identify your company as the sender. People scan their inboxes quickly; if recipients don’t identify you as a recognizable, trustworthy name, you’ll end up right in their trash bin.2. Write with a specific goal in mind.Email spammers know exactly what they’re trying to get the reader to do. It’s not an esoteric goal, like giving the reader a better understanding of product offerings. How the hell can you measure success with that goal? Spammers want an email open so they can infect you with malware. Or they want a click to collect your banking information.Approach your email marketing goals with the same precision. Identify the goal of the email, and draft your call-to-action accordingly — to achieve that goal. If your goal is to get someone to download an ebook, you can measure how successful you are by tracking click-through rate, conversion rate, and leads.3. Stay trendy.Spammers get high email open rates and click-through rates by riding the pop culture wave. This plays into people’s desire to stay in the know, and it’s something you can do regardless of your industry.Use language in your subject lines and email copy to connote thought leadership, and recipients will be chomping at the bit to be the first to share this new information with their networks. When appropriate, leverage current events and news topics to add a sense of urgency and timeliness to your marketing messages. If your recipients think they’ll get juicy data and insights on the latest industry trends, they’ll not only open your email, but they’ll also share it with their networks, thereby expanding your reach and attracting more subscribers.4. Leverage email list intelligence.One way email spammers collect your information is through fake unsubscribe buttons at the bottom of emails. When you unsubscribe from their emails, it tells them a real person is using the account and gives them the opportunity to collect more information about you in the process.So stop and think. When was the last time you scrubbed your email list? Do you know if there’s actually someone on the other end of your email sends, or are they getting sent to an AOL email address from 1999? Have you considered why more recent subscribers aren’t reading your emails and what you can do to better communicate with these people? Just like a spammer, continue to refine your email list and learn more about what makes readers open, click, and share.What other tips can you steal from those annoying email spammers?Image Credit: comedy_nose Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The 12 Worst Things About Conferences We’re Officially Nixing

first_imgSome events are cool. Some events are as stale as a week-old pizza crust.Okay. Confession time. I’ve done all the following at corporate events: fallen asleep sitting up, gotten a la-hot of work done on my mobile device, found refuge in an isolated corner, Googled how to grow an indoor herb garden.That’s the kind of stuff people do at events that have components falling on the spectrum from boring to downright frustrating. I am a big fan of trying to break the mold, though — and so is HubSpot’s event team. Last year at INBOUND, I personally think our events team was able to throw a marketing event that was actually awesome. (As in, I wasn’t even annoyed I had to get up at 5 a.m. to get there and work.) This year, our events team took last year’s feedback and found ways to make it even more extraordinary — and more importantly, strip away a lot of the stuff that makes many corporate events pretty lame. Here are some of those lame things we’re getting rid of for good.12 Worst Things About Corporate Events We’re Eliminating at INBOUND 20131) Sessions That Don’t Teach You Anything NewIt’s really hard to gauge what the content of an event will actually deliver, so it’s easy to end up at an event that just regurgitates the same stuff you’ve already heard elsewhere. Similarly, a lot of events try to appeal to the broadest general audience, and as such, their content ends up being general, too. We’re trying to achieve a diversity of session types to combat this — things like Big Ideas and Bold Talks (similar to TED-style talks, for a little inspiration), Inbound Stories (case studies of people actually doing inbound marketing), and How-to Sessions (you know, so you can take some tactics home). This way, you can choose which sessions are best for you, and get the most out of the event’s content — no matter who you are. 2) Uncomfortable Sponsor InteractionsYou know when you go to a sponsor pavilion and there’s a row of booths with two fold-out tables and a drape? And then you walk around it feeling a strange mix of awkward and guilty … awkward because you have to force conversation and feign interest in a company that probably doesn’t apply to your business, and guilty because if you skip over them you’ll feel bad that you didn’t stop and talk? Yeah, that’s done.We’re trying out this thing called Club INBOUND, where sponsors aren’t in an expo hall — they’re located around other things to do so you can stop by and talk if you want to — and you can determine that while doing other things, like chatting with other attendees, or just lounging and checking your email. It’s a more natural approach for everyone, because there’s other stuff going on, so the pressure’s off for all parties.3) Boring, Uninspiring SpeechesIt’s not easy to motivate an audience. And I don’t think every session necessarily needs to be a life-changing, motivational speech. But I do think it’s unfortunate when you leave an event with no inspiration whatsoever. That’s why we’re bringing in a host of amazing speakers, like Marcus Sheridan, CEO and founder of The Sales Lion (holy cow can that man get your blood moving), Lori Richardson, author of Score More Sales, Rachel Cogar, CEO and founder of Puma Creative, and Jill Konrath, author of Snap Selling. Leaving each day, and more importantly, your entire time at an event, feeling motivated makes you feel like your time and money was well spent. There’s nothing worse than taking off to go home and thinking you should’ve stayed there the whole time.4) Giant Bags of Print CollateralDoes anyone ever take that stuff home? I get needing some print collateral for something you’re actually interested in, but wouldn’t that end up being a couple pieces of paper, at most? Why do we all leave conferences with enough glossy paper to print next month’s issue of GQ? Instead of shoving a giant bag of print collateral at you when you walk in, we’ll give you a bag with the need-to-know stuff only, and some SWAG that’ll make your time here easier, and more enjoyable. And then you can fill it with however much — or as little — as you want. #gotrees5) Aimless, Awkward WanderingWe didn’t do this very well last year. We had last-minute room changes that were reflected in the mobile app, but not in our print collateral. We have to do better than that this year, and we will! There’s nothing more awkward than wandering around an event with a blank look, and no purpose. We’re here for you. We will get through this together. We will put an end to the aimless wandering with more instructions on where to go than you can shake a stick at!6) Networking Events That Don’t Foster Actual NetworkingA lot of people are just really awkward — and networking brings it out in all of us. In fact, I personally loathe the prospect of networking, because unless I’m in rare form, I’m pretty terrible at it. (I actually requested this post about non-awkward networking be written so I could read the answers.) But there are things event planners can do to make it more natural — and that’s fostering a great networking environment. For instance, we’re going to try to make it better by providing things to do around the networking, to help start a conversation and give people a natural reason to meet one another. Club INBOUND is a great example of this (so if you’re feeling weird, remember to hop over there.) And if all else fails, you can always turn to Happy Hour. We’re hosting one at the end of every day for people to unwind. And we’ve also published a new ebook about how to overcome awkward event networking if you could still use a few pointers.7) Impossible to Find Electrical OutletsWe’re all on our smartphones constantly. So why is it so damn hard to find an electrical outlet at these things?! We’re hosting a recharge station to make it less painful to charge up — because let’s not kid ourselves, if any event needs this, it’s an inbound marketing event. We’re even making it nice and cozy, providing places you can hang out, rest your legs, and even leave your phone with an attendant if you want to go do stuff while it charges up.8) Not Taking Advantage of the Event’s SurroundingsWhen you attend an event in an awesome city, it’s such a bummer to get no time to actually see that city. You hole up in a conference center for three days, and then just peace out, never seeing the sun, sky, or any of the sites. But we’re kind of in love with Boston, so we’re turning that trope on its head and getting you out into Boston’s nightlife — just like we did last year! (P.S. this was one of my favorite things about SME in San Diego … they had a welcoming event at the Museum of Natural History. How cool is that?)9) Ugly PresentationsNo matter how amazing the content of a session, an ugly presentation can totally and utterly distract from it. It may seem petty, but it actually really hampers your learning ability as a member of the audience; you spend more time focusing on the weird things going on with the slides than the actual content of the slides — or even what the speaker is saying. We’re investing serious man and woman hours into the design of all of our presenters’ slides so people can actually listen, not focus on the weird flashing images and strange fonts you can’t quite read.10) Stupid Swag You Don’t WantThis goes hand in hand with the endless mounds of paper you seem to accumulate as time passes at conferences. Why did they give me this weird sticker book? What am I going to do with this? Has anyone seen a trash can? No. Enough wasting money on useless swag.First of all, I think there’s such a thing as fun, cool swag. Also, I think you should get to choose what you take home with you. Last year, for instance, we had a ton of people asking where they can get HubSpot swag, and it was a big request in our feedback surveys. So this year, we’re bringing HubShop to INBOUND so you can actually purchase cool stuff if you want it. And if you don’t, hey, that’s cool, too.11) Like, No CoffeeEvents start really early. A lot of people are coming from different time zones. A lot of people are also out drinking really late. Coffee. Is. Needed. Why’s it gotta be so hard to find? Let’s make this really simple … there will be coffee. Lots of coffee. And there’s also lots of coffee shops around the event site, if your needs are more dire or more specific. If you can’t find them while you’re there, tweet me. I know a lot about where to find coffee in my city.12) No Wi-FiOhmygosh I hope this is actually true. (It is, it is.) The anxiety around this is that marketing events have people who are very digitally connected, and want to be on the internet pretty much all the time. And any event planner knows their sites tell them there will be definitely, absolutely, 100%, no questions asked, be wi-fi.And then there’s no wi-fi.But in all honestly, we’re actually investing a ton of effort in ensuring that event attendees will actually have wi-fi. Absolutely. Definitely. 100%.What event tradition do you wish would die? Maybe we can nix it in time for INBOUND 2013 this year!Image credit: diekatrin Topics: Conferences Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 25, 2013 12:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

No Sale Left Behind: Sell More, Better, Faster With Inbound Sales [SlideShare]

first_img Topics: Inbound Sales (Marketing) “I don’t get cold called enough, especially during meal times and when I’m with my family,” said no one, ever.Over the last twenty years, the way people work, live, shop, and buy has fundamentally changed, and consumers are armed with more tools than ever to block out interruptive marketing and sales messages. I think the most telling stat in this power shift is that prospects have made about 60% of their buying decision before talking to a sales rep, according to Corporate Executive Board. The buyer is more than halfway sure whether or not they’re going to be your next customer based solely on information they’ve discovered online. This means your website and content are your de facto sales reps for the majority of the buying process. More importantly, it means the prospect is going to have a pretty good idea of how your product or service does and does not meet their specific business needs.Salespeople need to have context before that first conversation with a prospect because the call isn’t a pitch anymore — it’s an exchange. To empower salespeople with context when reaching out to prospects, we recently launched Signals. Within the first week, 12,000 new users downloaded Signals to see when prospects opened and clicked on their emails to be sure they were getting into the conversation at the right time. As a result, it’s imperative that those of us in Sales and Marketing adapt our approach to reflect the needs of the modern buyer. Customers are now controlling the buying process and inbound selling is how modern salespeople can keep up. Check out the SlideShare and blog post below to learn how. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Originally published Sep 6, 2013 3:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Why Sales Is Going Inbound (And How You Can Keep Up) from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareHow You Can Take Your Sales Inbound TodayHere are a few ways your sales team can keep every step of the buying process personalized and valuable for both the prospect and the sales rep. 1) Re-Evaluate Lead GenerationWe know that about 60% of a prospect’s buying decision is made based on what they’ve found online. It’s crucial that what they are finding online makes a positive, valuable, and lasting impression. If most of your resources are going toward cold calling and other sales tactics for lead generation, think about reorganizing them so that your marketing efforts are stronger. Relevant, useful content is how you’ll get found online and build relationships with prospects — your budget should reflect that. 2) Give in to the Leverage ShiftWhen I was a sales rep in the 90s, prospects had to go through me for pricing information, service plans, product details, and ROI data. Now, anybody can find that information with a quick Google search. The internet is at your prospects’ fingertips and you can’t stop it, so focus on making the information they want readily available, easy-to-digest, and helpful. Make your website their go-to source so they don’t have to go digging online. Prospects will get annoyed and your competitor’s public-facing content will be waiting with open arms.3) Beware of Seller-BewareThanks to social media, email, and blogs, word of mouth travels faster and further than ever. If you call a prospect who has downloaded several of your ebooks and ask if he is familiar with your services, you can bet someone across the country, or even the world, will know about your conversation before you put down the phone. Your prospects and customers hold a great deal of influence on the way your company is perceived and talked about. Don’t just aim to get customers in the door, shoot to make them happy customers for life by restructuring your sales process to recognize the value of delighting customers before, during, and after they sign on with your business. 4) Take Your Charm OnlineThe days of door-to-door salesmen and business pitches over fancy dinners are a thing of the past. Now that it’s so easy to communicate remotely, salespeople rarely, if ever, meet prospects and customers in person. It’s a bit harder to be charming over GoToMeeting or Skype than it was when we were taking prospects out to lunch, which is why spending time with your online profile is important. Being personable through your social platforms, email signatures, and any content you create makes it easier for prospects to connect with you. 5) Understand the “Everything-as-a-Service” Pricing ModelWe talk a lot about delighting the customer with content and context, but what about delighting them with what they’re most worried about? It used to be that reps sold massive up front price tags with a small tail of revenue later, regardless of your industry or product. In 2013, almost everything is packaged as a service with a revenue stream that happens over time and a profit not occurring on a customer unit basis for many months or years. As a rep, keep in mind that your customers are used to subscription models like Netflix or Spotify where they can extract value over time alongside their payments, and leverage your product pricing, packaging, and sales process to fit that mold. An “everything-as-a-service” pricing structure helps put prospects at ease, and you can have more constructive conversations from the get-go.With so many companies falling to the wayside because they are stuck in the past, it’s crucial to keep up with your customers and how they want to shop and buy. Inbound selling reflects the way people have changed, so update your sales process and go all inbound. Image credit: nate steiner last_img read more

New Gmail Update: Google+ Users Can Now Send Unsolicited Emails

first_img Email Inbox Tips Topics: Originally published Jan 10, 2014 10:58:09 AM, updated February 01 2017 Google’s concerned you’re not getting enough email.But don’t worry! The company released an update to Google+ — your favorite social network — to help fix it.According to Mashable, Google released an update that will allow Google+ users to send and receive emails from other Google+ users — without having to actually take the step of asking for and acquiring an email address.How is that possible? Here’s how.How Google+ Users Can Email You Without Your Email Address”Ever wanted to email someone you know, but haven’t yet exchanged email addresses? Starting this week, when you’re composing a new email, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients, even if you haven’t exchanged email addresses yet.”That’s straight from Google, pulled from an email they sent my coworker this morning about the new feature.So if you’re a Google+ user and your settings are such that you agree to receive email through Google+ (more on that in a second), other users will be able to send you an email without actually seeing your email address. However, if you respond to that email, the connection will be able to see your email address.The feature isn’t rolled out to everyone yet, so in case you don’t see it in your own inbox, it looks something like this:How to Turn This OffIf this creeps you out, there’s something you can do about it.Google is offering the option to restrict who can email you using this new feature. You can make it so that no one has the ability to email you; only people in your circles can email you; only people in extended circles can email you; or, if you’re a particularly social Google+ user, anyone on Google+ can email you.If you set more liberal preferences and you end up receiving an email from someone outside of your circles, that’ll show up in the Social tab of your Gmail inbox. You’ll have to either respond to their message, or add them to your Circle, in order for them to start another conversation with you.Personally, I’ll be keeping it on for a few days just to see if anyone actually uses this. And if anyone does … I’ll promptly be selecting the “No one” option above.If you don’t want to play the wait-and-see game, you can set up your privacy controls right now if this has been rolled out to you already. If not, you’ll have to wait until Google’s rollout is complete.Here are the steps to restrict — or enable — Google+ user emails to your inbox:Step 1: Click the gear icon in the top right corner of your Gmail inbox.Step 2: Select Settings.Step 3: Scroll down to the Email via Google+ section in the General tab.Step 4: In the drop-down menu, choose the emailing option you prefer.Step 5: Click Save Changes.My advice to inbound marketers on this feature is this: We don’t force unwanted, interruptive messages on people through any other channels. I would apply that philosophy here, too. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more