All I want to do is paste my logo in this email...

Chapter Three: Upon trying to create my first email campaign (one of my regular editorial calendar newsletters to tell my PR friends of upcoming assignments) I ran into a snag: LoopFuse lacks the type of drag and drop email design tool I had become used to in Constant Contact. While it supposedly has tools for designing and formatting newsletters, I couldn’t find them despite multiple good faith attempts by their tech support folks.

I spent several hours trying to export the HTML code for my existing newsletter from Constant Contact into LoopFuse. No go. I next tried downloading various HTML templates from the Web to LoopFuse and customizing them. Still too clumsy to edit. So I tried several editors to customize the templates. Close, but too much of a learning curve with so much else to do. As a stop-gap, I created emails using my existing template in Constant Contact, trusting LoopFuse will track readership through the tracking codes on my WordPress site even though I didn’t create the email in LoopFuse.

(LoopFuse tells me they have no plans to upgrade their email editing capabilities. They did, however, quickly link me up with one of their partners who is looking for a workaround. If anyone can tell me what obvious steps I’m missing, or how they tackle this, I’m all ears.)

In the meantime, after finishing several stories on my content map, I tried to post them only to run into sudden problems with formatting and preserving links in WordPress, and realized that on my Web site sub-pages weren’t showing up properly on the page menus. This meant several quasi-panicked emails to my on-call WordPress guru, and several hours explaining my needs and evaluating how several plug-ins would, and wouldn’t work.

Meanwhile, helpful emails about how to do SEO continued to cross my email, leading me to wonder just how important SEO is for someone like me selling niche services largely through word of mouth. For now, I’m doing the minimum (trying to optimize URLs and adding relevant keywords into my text) and focusing primarily on developing and implementing my content marketing plan.

Speaking of which, one expert commentary I just saw recommended 8-12 contacts with prospects over a four-week period to maximum effectiveness. That’s a good reminder to focus and refine my plan for delivering this content. Which means I need to get back to creating content for my first campaign, not to mention delivering some white papers whose deadlines have snuck up while I’ve been doing all this troubleshooting.

This week’s lesson: While you’re thinking Big Thoughts about personas, scoring metrics and lead flows, keep your tecchie troubleshooters close at hand. Good thing it’s only 12 degrees in Boston so I’m not tempted to venture outside and away from the computer.

Author: Bob Scheier
Visit Bob's Website - Email Bob
I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Gotten a pitch to attend a conference or trade show lately? Did you decide to spend the money, or ditch it and stay in the office? It’s tough to get people to part with their money, or their time, to attend conferences these days. But one way to do it is to give them a sample of what they’d get if they attended.

 

A recent email from the SAP Insider trade pub for their Administrator and Infrastructure Conference  did a good job of doing exactly that. After a brief introductory paragraph or two, it provides a teaser list of six tips (each of which is actually a “best practices”) that was presented during earlier conferences. They are:

  • Tip 1 – 10-step guide to integrate SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects security
  • Tip 2 – Technical prerequisites for your SAP enhancement package implementation project
  • Tip 3 – Tips for working with SAP NetWeaver variables in Crystal Reports
  • Tip 4 – 19 guidelines for avoiding common pitfalls during your next SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse upgrade project
  • Tip 5 – How to understand the difference between centralized, distributed, and autonomous data governance models, and
  • Tip 6 – 10 best practices for building Xcelsius dashboards

You don’t have to be an SAP expert to see that each tip is specific and technical enough to show the prospect the type of nitty-gritty value they’d get from the conference. By tracking which newsletter recipients click through to which tip (yes, the prospect has to give up their contact info to get the tip) SAP Insider (or a sponsor) can infer what products each prospect is using, and what challenges they’re facing. So even if you don’t get the prospect for the conference, you might have a lead for a product or service sale.

 

It’s a great example of “selling by offering value,” using valuable content that already exists from previous events. What great, usable content is sitting around your organization you could be using to attract conference attendees – or sales leads?

Author: Bob Scheier
Visit Bob's Website - Email Bob
I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.