Bochy’s last game at Coors Field like so many others: Disappointing and forgettable

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.DENVER — Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s farewell tour around the country has taken him to stadiums and cities he’ll miss dearly when he retires after the season.It also brought him to Coors Field, a ballpark he’d rather avoid.Bochy spent Sunday morning reminiscing about all of the dark chapters his teams have authored in Denver over his 25-year career. In the Giants’ final game in Colorado this season, they wrote their …last_img read more

Brand South Africa at ‘Summer Davos’

first_img12 September 2013Brand South Africa is flying the country’s flag at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the Champions, or “Summer Davos”, in Dalian, China from Wednesday to Friday.The country’s official marketing agency is leading a high-powered delegation to the meeting to network with government, business and civil society leaders as it seeks to position South Africa as a competitive, developed economy that offers good returns on investment.Earlier this month, the World Economic Forum released its 2013 Global Competitiveness Index, which found that South Africa had improved on four of 12 “pillars” of competitiveness, namely: institutions, goods and market efficiency, business sophistication, and innovation.“Economists recognise that innovation is a product of entrepreneurial activity and injects dynamism into an economy,” Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said in a statement on Wednesday. “It is also the factor that has been shown to drive social and economic development in other developing countries.”South Africa’s improved innovation ranking “reflects very positively on the South African economy and opportunities for growth,” Matola said. “South Africa is open for business, and we invite investors to look at what we have to offer.”Among the 20-person delegation accompanying Matola at this year’s Summer Davos are African Rainbow Minerals chairman Patrice Motsepe, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) board chairperson Monhla Hlahla, Eskom chairman Zola Tsotsi, Frontier Advisory CEO Martyn Davies, Sekunjalo Investments executive chairman Iqbal Surve, and Standard Bank head for China Africa business development Bruce Hart.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Two orphaned tiger cubs die of viral infection

first_imgTwo orphaned tiger cubs died of a viral infection at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, a forest official said today.One of the cubs died at around midnight yesterday and the other succumbed this morning, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve’s field director Mridul Pathak said.Both the cubs were four months’ old.They were among the three cubs found on January 22 this year at Sarwahi village on the periphery of the Sanjay Gandhi Tiger Reserve in the state.The poachers had killed the mother of the cubs.Later, the three cubs were shifted to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to be put in foster care, he said.“We tried our best to save the cubs who were infected with parvovirus. This virus generally infects dogs, but it infected the cubs here. The doctors from Panna and Jabalpur were called and proper medicines were also administered to the felines but they could not be saved,” Pathak said.The third cub also has the infection and a team of doctors is trying to save the feline, he added.last_img read more

Champions Trophy: Virender Sehwag rips through opposition attacks

first_imgVirender Sehwag in actionAs the floodlights at the Premadasa Stadium were switched off one by one, Sourav Ganguly, captain of India, issued an order. “Everybody…” the Indian captain said over his shoulder to the assemblage of reporters, camera crew, ice officials, policemen and hangers-on, “everybody clap for Veeru.” Everybody clapped,Virender Sehwag in actionAs the floodlights at the Premadasa Stadium were switched off one by one, Sourav Ganguly, captain of India, issued an order. “Everybody…” the Indian captain said over his shoulder to the assemblage of reporters, camera crew, ice officials, policemen and hangers-on, “everybody clap for Veeru.”Everybody clapped but it seemed pitiful, inadequate. Maybe, a thunderclap would have been more fitting for Virender Sehwag, flayer of cricket balls and slayer of opposition hopes, small-town boy turned big-time bully.In the short game, the Indians today are not just a cricket team. With 10 wins in their past 13 matches they are a curious collective of artists and escape artists, builders and jailbreakers, locksmiths and lockpickers. Every time there’s a job to be done, there’s a man around who knows just how to do it. In Colombo it was Sehwag: a century and a 50 and a handy turn with the ball at the death that brought him two man-of-the-match awards and took his team into the final of the biggest tournament in cricket after the World Cup.Sehwag destroyed England in a matter of 90 minutes – this when chasing 270 to win. Then the Indians choked World No. 2 South Africa – or rather South Africa choked itself – in a semi-final that was all done until Herschelle Gibbs began to cramp and the Indians decided they hadn’t heard any fat lady sing. Not bad for a team Tony Greig described as playing “without a logo, sponsor or a fifth bowler”.What the team has instead is a core of young players who are getting used to the temperature of the international game. Sehwag, 23, is one of them, a player with talent that leaves his seniors goggle-eyed and a mindset that has survived and outlasted two breaks due to injury and even a diplomatic crisis (the Mike Denness affair).It is a mindset that began and ended with the catch-phrase band leaders use to open campus gigs: hit it. It’s one thing to crank out a few tunes in front of dopey teenagers, quite another to do so in an arena crammed with the paying public. The transition in this case has had to be made from being an attacking batsman bowlers believe will go after everything and give them a chance every ball, to a player who keeps bowlers nervy wondering when the latest round of punishment is due.SHOULDER TO SHOULDER: Sehwag has flowered under Ganguly (left)Sehwag’s gifts – balance and the eye to pick length early – allow him to play a high-risk, high-returns game, where boundary board and scoreboard keep clattering. His Ranji Trophy captain Vijay Dahiya of Delhi says, “He took the game he played at the domestic level to the international level, played the same strokes, dominates in the same way.”The ability to dominate and subdue can also give a young man an addiction to aggression. Sehwag’s buddies in the Indian team used to despair at how many one-day centuries he has let go as opener due to loose shots before scoring his second in Colombo. Now it has become a job of keeping that marvellous eye on the ball, the scoreboard-and the clock. “Earlier I had no responsibility. All I did was go out and hit shots. But now I need to stay at the wicket longer for India. The more I do, the better our chances of getting big scores.”None bigger in terms of occasion than his patient century as Test opener in Nottingham earlier in the summer; he was another in a long line of makeshift openers but has no time for the anxieties of the job: he would rather fuss over his batting, he says, not his batting position.Bishan Singh Bedi first saw Sehwag when he played for Jamia Millia Islamia, after enduring a daily 42-km round-trip bus commute starting at 4.30 a.m. To the burly old left-arm spinner, the chunky son of a flour-mill owner was ” an uncut diamond”.John Wright, the coach who speaks as softly as Sehwag does, recently had a quiet word that hit home. With a single half-century in his last 13 one-dayers, Sehwag was reminded that Sachin Tendulkar had sacrificed his opening slot in the one-day game for him –  a spot where he scored a century every three games. That if he could apply his mind for 40 overs, he would get a hundred and take his team past tall totals. That this was not any old batting spot. It was the seat of royalty itself in the Indian team, handed over by the king. Swapping places with Tendulkar was only the final act in their two-man drama. Sehwag’s nickname, Najafgarh ka Tendulkar, was bad enough but then the syndrome went potty, physical similarities highlighted by television gurus lining up slow-mo shots of the two side by side. But Sehwag is a sturdier sort, trying to return the respect given by his peers with big runs and treating the comparisons that follow like media manure. A deep-rooted common sense helps; asked for the nth time about the difference between Tendulkar and himself, Sehwag says, “Our bank balance.” advertisementadvertisementUnderneath that deadpan cheekiness is a nerveless competitor. Yuvraj Singh describes Sehwag as operating in two gears: “Either he’s bashing bowlers or he’s asleep. Fifth or neutral. Nothing else.” Away from the centre, Sehwag prefers neutral. He’s comfortable in his own skin and knows that a lack of English has cost him nothing more than a shoe contract. The marketing men told his agent that he wasn’t worthy of their shoes because “he can’t speak English and he is the kind of player who just hits or gets out”. Guess, who’s cringing now?The cautionary notices are already up: Viv Richards told INDIA TODAY, “He’s on fire. But it’s how he plays when the ball is in his ribs that will be the true test.” Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya says, “You can bat like this for one series, maybe two or three, but continuously, it’s going to be very tough.”This, however, is the man who has won a match for India with a broken thumb, and says he didn’t panic even when Jacques Kallis hit him for a six in first ball of the final over of the match against South Africa because he knew that one dot ball in the next five would take his team into the semi-final. The Indian team and Virender Sehwag, a batsman of expansive talent and supreme confidence, are discovering that rewards lie in wait if they keep the balance between the big picture and the smallest detail.-with Vivek Lawlast_img read more

Two TechCrunch Marketing Tips

first_img , its database of startup companies and people. TechCrunch announced it’s making it easier to Specifically, CrunchBase illustrates two important new rules of inbound marketing: . ). Obviously, you can’t post promotional material. However, quality edits can be a good way to get your name onto TechCrunch without , this approach seems to be working. http://www.crunchbase.com/about breaking into Michael Arrington’s house traffic I thought this was a very cool announcement, so I sent off an email to a few folks here at HubSpot, and we came up with a bunch of ways we could use CrunchBase to help our users. As I was digging around, I realized that CrunchBase itself is a great example of top-notch Inbound Marketing. Originally published Jul 16, 2008 10:48:00 AM, updated July 08 2013 If you have good data, share it. take advantage of information in CrunchBase Don’t forget the simple stuff! Anybody can edit CrunchBase, so make sure your information on the site is accurate and up-to-date. The policy on updating is explained here ( Yesterday the popular technology blog Data is like content — if you publish and distribute it, it will help drive traffic and leads back to your site. CrunchBase is a great example. By opening up its database, the site has dramatically improved its position versus a big competitor in professional data, LinkedIn. LinkedIn probably has more and better data than CrunchBase, but it’s harder for third parties to use LinkedIn data. That means many of those third parties will use CrunchBase, which will in turn make their data more important, and drive readers back to TechCrunch. When in doubt, create valuable content . High-quality, useful content like CrunchBase draws people in. It’s probably not making much money, but that’s ok — the goal isn’t to create a new business, it’s to create content that (a) enhances the brand of TechCrunch, an existing lucrative business, and (b) shows up in search-result pages, driving new people TechCrunch. Judging by Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack SEO Topics: Bonus Tip For Marketers at Startup Companies – Update Your Profile on CrunchBaselast_img read more

Thou Shalt Blog: What Marketers Can Learn from the Church’s Foray into Social Media

first_imgIf you’ve been waiting for a sign from above telling you to Reserve your spot now Join HubSpot to learn tips and strategies to monitor your company’s brand and engagement in social media in just 10 minutes per day! Our recommendation? Follow the Pope’s lead (at least in regard to your marketing efforts): Facebook app Religious groups have long been associated with traditional outbound marketing techniques. Think about men in ties and backpacks knocking at your door, religious pamphlets left on your windshield or people handing out flowers at the airport. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Open Source Catholic , and join the conversation in your industry. Why have these devotees gone to such great lengths to spread the “good word?” Because people have been searching for it. app and Topics: Over the past few months, Pope Benedict XVI has been calling on the Catholic Church to get more involved in Web 2.0. In a The Catholic Church’s embrace of blogging and social media is yet another clear sign that, no matter what your audience, the conversation has shifted online. In a statement, the Pope Benedict notes that, “Church communities have always used the modern media… for encouraging dialog at a wider level.” start using social media blogging and creating other online resources like video released by the vatican on YouTube . iPhone , Pope Benedict states that the Church should continue to be present in the “ever-evolving communications system that surrounds our planet.” According to the Facebook page for Pope Benedict , then your time has come. The key business takeaway is this: Originally published Mar 4, 2010 2:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 , an If the 83-year-old leader of one of the oldest organizations in the history of Western civilization has embraced Web 2.0 and recognized the benefits of inbound marketing techniques, you’re officially out of excuses for why social media won’t work for your company. , especially Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. account, a personal To date, the Vatican has created a Live Webinar: How To Monitor Your Social Media Presence In 10 Minutes A Day Date and time: Okay, I admit that it’s not exactly a burning bush, but it’s certainly a clear sign that times have changed. . Outside of the Vatican, many of those in the Church have heard the call and started Start a blog Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 1:00pm ET Social Media to set up a solid routine to monitor your online presence! Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Get involved in social media YouTube , about 92% of Americans believe in a higher power, 28% have left the religion of their childhood and 16% consider themselves unaffiliated. This means that there is liquidity in the religious market, and many Americans are actively searching for spirituality. It also explains why religious groups have spent so much time, energy and money trying to get attention.last_img read more

How To Draw Attention with Press and Guests

first_img , and has welcomed guests including Muhammad Ali and Adam Sandler onto his own show. In his How to Get Press Press coverage can be anything from a printed feature to attention on TV. Especially when you’re up-and-coming, it is important to get visibility. How to make it? As you meet other people, it becomes easier to obtain contact information. Develop relationships with people who make it easier to access other people. A hookup with promotion, both online and mainstream How to Get Awesome Guests interview with David Garland, Graham shares tips and tricks from his own experience. Be persistent. started an Internet radio show when he was in eighth grade, and now at age 24, has been on a number of late-night talk shows including Graham Bensinger How to Make Direct Contacts Rise to the Top Topics: Depending on your industry, make a list of the best publications and media sources that can potentially help you.center_img Send an email pitching yourself. Originally published Jul 14, 2011 8:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Graham does, however, suggest the letter-writing method. He says that in some cases, a letter in the mail may be more effective than email. It is just a matter of figuring out the right address to reach the person. Create resourceful diversity with a cool guest to star on your show, interview for your blog or speak for your business. It is easy to submit a request for someone, but it is more straining to figure out exactly the right person to send the request through. It’s a bit easier once you’re recognized, but in the meantime… Make direct contact by eliminating the middle person (manager, booking agent, etc.). Get to an event your desired person will be attending. It takes confidence to pitch yourself in front of an A-list individual. If you have that confidence, nobody can stop you. Take the chance to sell yourself. Host great guests Search reporters and producers. Leno Persistence is always a work in progress and you never know when it will pay off. But don’t give up; just keep in mind that press leads to more press. Do all you can in your power to get in front of the person you’re trying to catch. To stand face-to-face with the actual person and pitch an interview pays dividends. This is always a challenge at first, but as your audience grows, the process gets easier. Take that as inspiration. Public Relations 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 Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Awesome Marketing Emails

first_img Email Marketing Originally published Oct 13, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Topics: Email marketing can be a very powerful lever for lead generation within your arsenal of inbound marketing tools. While I think most of us can agree that email is still alive and thriving, there are still many marketers that struggle to leverage it effectively for lead gen. So, why not break it down?In this post, we’ll carefully dissect the anatomy of an effective, optimized marketing email. Let’s take a look at one of HubSpot’s recent email sends as an example…13-Part Anatomy of an Effective Marketing Email1. A Clear, Concise, and Attention-Grabbing Subject Line: Before your email subscribers even read your email, the first thing they’ll see if the email’s subject line. Likely, your email is sitting in your prospects’ inboxes alongside a ton of other emails, many of which will be from other vendors and companies just like you. Therefore, it’s very important that you make it stand out with clear, eye-catching subject line. Keep it brief, but use your space wisely, and try to describe the offer you’re giving them within the email as clearly and concisely as possible. Avoid trigger words that can easily land you in senders’ SPAM box.2. A Real, Live, Human Sender: In communication between real people, the “From” address is someone’s name. Experiment with how you customize your email’s sender name, and consider making it come from a real, living, breathing member of your marketing team to make your email messages more personal. Try a test to determine which format of your sender name contributes to the best open rate (e.g. First Name Last Name vs. First Name Last Name, Company Name vs. Company Name).3. Obvious Branding Elements: There shouldn’t be any question to your subscribers about where your email is coming from. Create and utilize an email template with consisting branding elements. Include your logo! Use your company’s branding colors. Omitting branding elements suggests a lack of professionalism and security.4. Personalization: While research shows that one third of marketers believe that personalized marketing campaigns are highly effective, the majority of marketers aren’t including any personalization elements in their campaigns. Email marketing (especially lead nurturing) offers a great opportunity to leverage the power of personalization. You can use data about your database to segment them into groups and send them more personalized content offers based on their behavior and wants/needs. At the very least, use your data to personalize the greeting in your email. Furthermore, as we mentioned earlier, make your email come from a real person within your organization. Consider including their picture and signing off the email with their nickname.5. Offer Context: Before you give your email recipients the opportunity to access your offer, set the stage for why what you’re offering is valuable to them. Keep it brief, use compelling language, and consider incorporating statistics to emphasize importance. Add a link or two for your offer within this section, too.6. Obvious & Focused Call-to-Action (CTA): Include a prominent CTA for your offer. Make your CTA’s text specific about what action the reader must take to receive the offer (in this example, “Download”) and create a sense of urgency (e.g. “Now,” “Today,” etc.). Avoid vague language like “Submit,” and try to tie the CTA to the offer itself (e.g. for a live webinar, you must say “Register For the Webinar Now” or “Reserve Your Seat Today”).7. Explanation/Value of Offer: Clearly highlight what email recipients will get out of downloading your ebook or registering for your webinar. Use bullet points to break up the text and emphasize key takeaways. Demonstrate the value of the offer.8. Social Sharing Buttons/Links: Include social sharing links on every email you send to further expand the reach of your email content. If readers find the content within your email valuable and feel compelled to share it with their social media connections, now they can easily do so! This will help you reach a wider range of potential leads with very little effort.9. Image: Break up text with a professional-looking image. Try matching this image with the content of your offer. So, if you’re offering an ebook, include a picture of the cover page. If you’re offering a webinar, include a screenshot of the cover slide in your presentation.10. Additional Product-Based Offer: Maybe some of your email subscribers are ready for a more product-focused offer like a free trial of your product or a personal consultation. Use the real estate in your P.S. as an opportunity to tie your main content offer to a more middle-of-the funnel offer.11. Social Media Follow Buttons/Links: Grow your social media reach by giving recipients opportunities to subscribe to your updates in social media, too. Add social media follow buttons to encourage subscribers to follow you on Twitter, ‘Like’ your Facebook page, subscribe to your YouTube channel, or follow your company updates on LinkedIn.12. Link to Privacy Policy: As the web evolved into an even more social and public platform, concerns about privacy continue to get raised. Give your email subscribers peace of mind and a sense of security by including a link to your company’s privacy policy.13. Unsubscribe Link: ALWAYS include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email marketing messages. Neglecting to do so will put you in violation of CAN-SPAM regulations, cost you quite a bit of your valuable marketing budget, and severely damage your company’s credibility.How do your email marketing messages stand today? Are they missing any of these critical elements for success? 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

How to Create Marketing Offers That Don’t Fall Flat

first_imgIn marketing, offers are the gateways to lead generation. Without them, site visitors have no way of getting converted into leads. They are also a critical tool for nurturing existing leads into a position that makes them more sales-ready. But gosh, isn’t the word ‘offer’ so utterly vague and abstract? What the heck is a marketing offer, and what are the qualities of a good one?Because we see so many marketers get tripped up on this concept, let’s discuss exactly what a marketing offer can be, highlight the characteristics of an effective offer, and explain how you can start using them the right way.What an Offer Isn’t Sometimes the best way to explain what something is, is to first identify what it isn’t. Unfortunately, many of the things marketers sometimes consider to be marketing offers aren’t actually offers at all. First, let’s clarify. What marketers should classify as an offer is something of value that a website visitor must complete a form to get access to. And yeah, sure — you can put just about anything behind a form. But there are certain things that, when put behind a form, just won’t contribute much of anything for your lead gen or lead nurturing initiatives. We’re not saying you shouldn’t bother with these types of content. What we’re saying is that you shouldn’t put them behind forms or rely on them to effectively generate and nurture leads.Here are some great examples of things you should never consider to be a marketing offer:’Contact Us!’ Okay, so you can put this one behind a form if it’s one that allows site visitors to email you. But this will never bring in leads as effectively as true offers will.Product-Centric Content: We’re talking brochures, product videos, etc. Yes, these can be great tools to introduce to leads who are close to making a purchasing decision, but there’s no reason they should be gated behind a form. You should want your site visitors to be able to access this type of content freely and frictionlessly. And if site visitors are looking at this type of content, they’re likely already in your sales funnel and much closer to making a purchasing decision.Customer Case Studies: Just like product-centric content, customer case studies are likely something you want to make it very easy for visitors to access. Making a visitor or lead fill out a form is unnecessary.Fact Sheets: Simply put, fact sheets and other company-focused content is not lead generation material. What an Offer Is The good news is, you have quite a few great options at your disposal in terms of the types of offers you can, well, offer your target audience…EbooksGuidesWebinars (Live & Archived)SlideshowsKitsIndustry Case StudiesNew Industry ResearchTemplatesFree ToolsFree TrialsProduct DemosConsultationsCouponsWhat Makes an Offer a Good One?While the types of offers we mentioned above are all great options for marketing offers, there are a number of qualities that an offer should possess in order for it to be effective for lead generation and nurturing. Here are our top three:1. Is High Quality/Premium and Valuable to Your Target Audience The important thing to remember is that, if you’re requiring a site visitor to complete a form in order to obtain your offer, the value of that offer needs to be compelling enough to convince those visitors to fill out the form. People don’t like to give up their contact information freely, and your lead-capture form will create some friction. So if you start putting mediocre, low-value offers behind your forms, your business will start to get known for bad offers that aren’t worth the form completion, seriously hurting your lead generation and nurturing goals.In the simplest sense, an offer is valuable if it addresses the problems, needs, and interests of your target audience. This value could also mean different things for offers used in different stages of the sales process. For example, an offer you’re promoting to generate net new leads at the top of your funnel (like, say, an educational ebook or a webinar) is likely valuable because it educates your prospects and fulfills a need. A free product trial, on the other hand, may not be as educational in nature, but it’s still a very valuable offer for existing leads you’re trying to nurture and who are closer to making a purchasing decision.2. Aligns With Your Business and the Products/Services You OfferA great marketing offer complements the products and services your business sells. That educational ebook is probably not very focused on how awesome your products and services are, but it should address concepts that align with your paid offerings. For example, HubSpot sells inbound marketing software, so our offers focus on helping prospects with their marketing challenges. These offers help set HubSpot apart as an industry thought leader and educate prospects about the problems our software helps to solve.3. Targeted to the Right Buyer Persona at the Right Time As we hinted at before, a truly great marketing offer also takes into account a person’s point in the sales process as well as that buyer persona’s specific interests and needs. How this really comes into play is in lead nurturing campaigns and how you decide which calls-to-action (CTAs) to place where on your website.If you use lead management software, you can easily collect key pieces of information (AKA lead intelligence) about your prospects that will help you segment your leads into nurturing campaigns based on their buyer persona, their point in the sales process, and what you can determine their interests are based on their activity on your website. Sending them offers that appeal to those interests as well as how close they are to making a purchasing decision can help you better qualify a lead before he/she gets handed off to sales. For example, if your business is in plumbing and a first-time visitor comes to your site and downloads an ebook on how to unclog a minor plumbing backup, you might enter them into a lead nurturing campaign that then invites them to also attend a webinar about common plumbing problems and how to fix them. As they move further through the sales cycle, you could then offer them a coupon that discounts your services for that (apparently) not-so-minor drain problem they’re having.The same concept applies to how you choose which calls-to-action should be placed on different pages of your website. For example, if you conduct analysis that shows that your blog is typically how new visitors find you (whether through social media, search engines, or another referrer), you can infer that many people who land on your blog are first-time visitors to your website. Therefore, on your blog, you should probably place CTAs for offers that appeal to people who are just entering the top of your funnel and know little about your company (like an educational webinar, ebook, or kit, for example). On the other hand, a visitor on something like a product page probably indicates someone who is much closer to a purchasing decision. What might be more valuable to those types of visitors is a CTA for something like a free product trial, or a demo if you’re a software vendor.How to Leverage Your Offers EffectivelyNow that you have a much clearer understanding of what makes a good marketing offer (and what doesn’t), let’s dive into some offer best practices. After all, you can create a ton of great offers, but if you’re not using them to your best advantage, they’re not going to do much good to generate and nurture leads.1. Create a lot of targeted offers. First things first. With all that talk about targeting and segmenting the right offers to the right buyer persona (at the right time), you can probably guess that what all that translates to is a need for a variety of offers. Building up an arsenal of offers is the toughest part of the whole process, but it can mean the difference between good results and awesome results. Create a spreadsheet that allows you to list the offers you currently have, highlight the holes in your group of offers (for what topic are you missing an offer that your audience would appreciate?), and map offers to the various points in your business’ sales process. Then slowly work through your offer to-do list, gradually filling in those gaps.2. Put offers behind lead-capture forms. If offers are the gateways to lead generation, lead-capture forms (AKA conversion forms) are the gateways to your offers. Always place your offers on landing pages, gated by forms. This allows you to collect information that helps you qualify a new or reconverting lead and track what they’ve downloaded from you throughout the sales cycle.3. Create calls-to-action, and place them appropriately. We mentioned this above, but it’s an important one. Create CTAs for each of your offers, and align them with the pages on your website. In other words, if you’re that plumber we mentioned above and you just wrote a blog post about the best and worst products to unclog a drain, you might place a CTA for your free guide to the best plumbing products of 2012. Once you have created awesome-looking CTA buttons for your site and you’re moving onto ninja status, you can also test different versions of your CTAs to determine which ones generate the best click-through rate.4. Create blog content around your offers. Take that last best practice one step further, and create content specifically around your new offers to help launch and promote them. So if you just created that ‘Best Plumbing Products of 2012′ guide, why not write a blog article that highlights the top 5 products mentioned in the guide and couple that with your CTA, explaining that readers can learn more by downloading the new guide? Excerpts make for easy blog content, so you’ll be killing two birds with one stone!5. Promote your offers in social media. The promotion of your offers shouldn’t have to remain on your website. Use social media as a promotional vehicle by sharing links to the landing pages for your offers and briefly explaining their value in your tweets, Facebook/Google+/LinkedIn posts. Spend some time to build your social media reach so you can expose your offers to as large an audience as possible.6. Use them in email marketing and lead nurturing. As we mentioned above, offers are critical to a business’ lead nurturing efforts, but you can also promote them using general email marketing as dedicated sends. Promote your new offer in a dedicated email send that only highlights that one offer and conveys its value. If it’s a very general offer that every buyer persona in your audience would enjoy regardless of their point in the sales cycle, send it to your entire list. If it’s a more targeted offer, segment your list, and send it only to the people to whom it will appeal.7. Align offers with prospects’ point in the sales process. This is another one we’ve already talked about, but it’s worth emphasizing. Aligning the offers you use in your lead nurturing campaigns and in the CTAs on your website with a prospect’s likely position in the sales cycle will not only help to better qualify a lead, but it may also shorten the sales cycle, as a prospect will be much closer to a purchasing decision with a ton of knowledge about your business before he/she even talks to a sales person.8. Track performance with your analytics software. Measure the performance of your offers. This will help you identify which types and topics of offers are successful in generating leads and customers so you can create more offers around those topics or in those formats, helping you become a much more effective marketer. Do your prospects prefer webinars to ebooks? Do they only care about certain topics that your offers are addressing? Use what you know to improve your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts in the future.How many offers are in your back pocket? How much do they factor into your business’ lead generation and nurturing efforts?Image Credit: Paul Tomlin Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Content Types Originally published Feb 7, 2012 9:16:00 AM, updated February 28 2018last_img read more