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You’ve heard the saying, ‘Nothing in life comes free.’

Well, good news: it’s not true!

There are thousands of free software solutions out there claiming to make you more productive, more efficient and more impactful. Some are a waste of time (sad but true); others, however, have become a staple in my daily routine. 

The key is finding the tools that work for you. Need a starting point? Below, I’ve listed my top 10. Yes, I could live without then … but I’d rather not.

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Congratulations! You’ve generated leads for your business. They might have filled out a form on your website, downloaded a content asset or signed up for a newsletter.

OK, but now what?

These prospects receive hundreds of offers, ads and asks for their business daily. They have limited time. And demands on their attention are at an all time high.

How do you earn their repeat attention, cultivate their trust and convince them to buy from you?

One critical method is effective email lead nurturing.

Email is still king. We spend much of our day in our inboxes. And we make purchasing decisions based on that little mail notification. Forty-four percent of people bought based on a promotional email, according to Convince and Convert.

Email is changing as both email client and consumer preferences evolve. But the principles of effective email lead nurturing are immutable.

Here’s how to craft a simple, effective email lead nurturing campaign.

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The following is a guest post by Meaghan McBee. Meaghan is the Content Marketing Manager for ZenContent, a company that provides tailored, quality content for brands of all varieties. Say hi on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn

 

2016 is finally here, and content marketers across the globe are working on social strategies that shine. New marketing challenges may bring a fresh range of tactics for your brand to tackle, but where should you even start?

Engagement, customer loyalty and brand awareness are top goals for marketers this year. A lot goes into achieving those goals, including a calculated blend of analytics, budgeting and customer feedback. Fortunately, crafting a Zen strategy for your brand is simple with a solid content marketing plan that follows goals and top trends.

Peruse ZenContent's infographic below for all of the statistics and tips you need to make your 2016 content marketing strategy a success.

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By losing our biggest family golf championship, I stumbled upon an insanely powerful, free platform that lets you build your own marketing performance tools. 

The platform I'm referring to is the combination of Google Sheets and Google Apps Script. With it, I’ve managed to:

  • Connect sheets to data sources like Google Analytics through APIs.
  • Strategically build large data sets from multiple sources.
  • Marry marketing activities to performance metrics.
  • Build small algorithms to sort through and pull insights out of thousands of data points.
  • Allow multiple Google Sheets to communicate with one another.
  • And much more.

If you’ve got some coding background or are interested in learning to code, I’ve tried to incorporate everything you need to get started building your own marketing tools, including:

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The year is drawing to a close, which for many marketers means it’s the perfect time to clean out the inbox, tackle that reading list, and set shiny new goals for 2016.

So curl up by the fire—or in your cubicle—and enjoy the must-reads on PR 20/20’s blog.

How did we select them?

In short, you did. We pulled posts with the highest pageviews in 2015, excluding any posts with an average time on page less than two minutes. After all, we’re looking for the most read posts—not the most clicked titles.

Note: If you’re curious which posts were most successful in garnering clicks (on search engines and social media), check out Sandie Young’s (@sandiemyoung) “How to Write More Clickable Headlines in 3 Easy Steps.”

The Most Popular PR 20/20 Posts in 2015

According to our readers, here are our 15 most popular posts in 2015. Enjoy!

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Does the thought of a job interview make you squirm, as if you are about to face the Spanish Inquisition? It doesn’t have to be that way.

In my experiences (as both an interviewee and interviewer), I’ve learned that the right amount of preparation and a little know-how can take you far. Below are some basic tips to ace your next interview and land the marketing job of your dreams.

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Marketers: 101 Ways to Add Value

Posted by Jessica Miller on December 18, 2015

“Create more value than you capture.”  Tim O’Reilly’s quote is one to live by for anyone in the service industry, on a team, or interested in being an overall good human.

At PR 20/20, we’re constantly brainstorming ways to add more value for our clients. As our CEO penned in The Marketing Performance Blueprint, we’re continually working to differentiate by doing.” Why? Well at the end of the day, how businesses perform impacts our economy, cities, and our own livelihood. When you can tie marketing efforts to bottom-line business results, you’ve created value.

The following is a running list that compiles ideas from our entire team around the theme of creating value—or becoming the best value contributors we can be, versus value consumers.

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What if there was a single product that helped streamline all marketing tasks, improved lead management, and impacted overall revenue?

Oh wait … there is.

It’s marketing automation, and unless you’re stuck in the marketing stone age, you’ve probably at least heard of it. 

Businesses and marketers in all sorts of industries are recognizing the power of marketing automation, and these stats prove it:

  • Businesses that nurture prospects via marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.
  • 25% of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are using marketing automation.
  • 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies use it, too.
  • 63% say the ability to set measurable objectives is the biggest value driver. 

We all agree that marketing automation has endless benefits like shortening the sales cycle, enhancing efficiencies and improving lead scoring, just to name a few. But, unfortunately, there is one major issue: we have an overwhelming number of solutions to consider (more than 239 are listed by Capterra as “top” products).  

If you’re looking to adopt a marketing automation solution or ready to make a switch from the product you have now, don’t let the sheer number of options scare you. Read on for five factors to consider when comparing software to get you on the road to the perfect solution.

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We all want to generate more qualified leads for our businesses. But how do we actually do it? For many companies, this is literally a million-dollar question.

This post breaks down how to think about qualified lead generation, which is important because the wrong mentality will cause you to spend enormous amounts of time and money pursuing the wrong goals. I’ve also included effective strategies out there for generating qualified leads.

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The proliferation of marketing channels, apps, mobile devices, social networks and content has given consumers more choices and greater control, while increasing complexity for marketers.

We want to help simplify and optimize the marketing planning process for your business.

Use the following marketing game plan model, as featured in Chapter 10 of The Marketing Performance Blueprint, to build core strength, spur growth through existing assets, connect actions to outcomes and allocate resources based on performance. There are three phases—evaluate, establish and execute (e3)—made up of 15 steps.

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