Don’t Jump to Conclusions
In the past few months, I’ve seen two different situations where “experts” publicly assailed an individual or a company because of a decision that they felt made no sense or was downright unethical. The problem with both of these situations was that the “experts” weren’t privy to many of the key details driving the decision. Why weren’t they privy? Because it wasn’t their decision, and the people making the decision had no reason at all to fill them in on the details.
The latest incident involved Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Watch. As everyone will attest, Danny was Search Engine Watch. He founded it and was always the leading face of the company.
On August 29, Danny announced that he was leaving Search Engine Watch because he and owner Incisive Media had “been unable to agree on terms to renew [his] contract.” Immediately, industry folks blasted the decision as shortsighted and many claimed that Incisive just didn’t understand how valuable Danny was.
Last Friday, though, we were granted some insight into why Incisive didn’t make more of an effort to keep Danny. Turns out, they knew they were going to be purchased soon and didn’t have any real motivation to dilute their equity by keeping him around.
This should be a lesson to all of us to be really sure we know all the facts the next time we decide to criticize anyone. Even when it seems very obvious (like with Danny), it’s often not, and we end up with egg on our face. We’ve all been there.
Check Your Daily Budgets
The first step in setting up a pay-per-click advertising program is setting your daily budget — how much you want to spend per day. Daily budgets are great because they allow you to allocate your spend evenly through the month to get consistent coverage, rather than just blowing it all in the first couple of days.
You then begin the process of adding keywords, refining keywords, and perfecting your ads to get the best performance possible. That’s an iterative process, and it often takes several months to get your campaigns really running on all cylinders.
During that time, though, the daily budget is forgotten. You “set it and forget it.” That can often be a problem, though, if all the new keywords you’ve added over the months have caused your campaigns to have much more potential traffic than they had in the beginning. In other words, where you may have been running at 75% of potential in the beginning (i.e. giving up 25% of potential impressions), that may have dropped to 50%, 25% or even lower with all your new keywords. At that point, you’re foregoing a much more significant portion of potential traffic than you were before.
The worst case, though, is when you originally set your budget high enough to capture all available impressions because you wanted to run full speed. Over time, you don’t realize that more and more often you’ve been bumping up against that cap, and you’ve been foregoing more and more impressions as you add more keywords. You’re happy with your performance, but are completely unaware that it could be even better.
So take a few minutes today to check your daily budgets against your biggest days of the week. If you find that you’re hitting your budgets every day, you may want to make some adjustments to allow more traffic to get to your site.
Zookoda for Sale
Zookoda, an email marketing app for bloggers, has been put up for sale by its owners. In their own words:
Zookoda has been a great success since its launch on 13th March 2006. Over 5200 blog publishers have adopted Zookoda as their blog marketing tool of choice with a total circulation in excess of 1.2 million. www.zookoda.com is ranked in the Top 1% of URLs across the net (according to www.alexa.com) and has a rolling 3 month average ranking of around 15,000. According to www.technorati.com there have been over 700 articles written about Zookoda.
If you’re interested in bidding, head over to http://sale.zookoda.com/
Email is Dead
As I contemplated how best to communicate a new advice series that I’m writing, my first thought (as a result of reading lots of different posts and blogs and books on the topic) was to do it as an email series. Get the user to sign up for the series, and they then get the series via email. You also then have their (very valuable) email address for future marketing purposes — a win-win for everyone. As I thought it through, though, it seemed like there were lots of problems with this approach.
So, because I think this topic is important and because I haven’t found an intelligent discussion on its pros and cons, I have invited Internet marketer Eric Giguere to have a cross-blog discussion with me.
In this first post, I will outline the problems I see with delivering information via email and why I think it may be dead as a serious business communication tool. Eric will then respond with a post on his site, and we’ll keep going back and forth as long as necessary. Be sure to include your comments as well, and we can introduce those into the discussion.
So, without further ado, why email is dead…
Instantly Out of Date
As soon as you send an email, it’s gone. There’s no way to update the information in the email without sending another email, but in most cases you’re definitely going to want to update that information at some point. Doing that with email is cumbersome at best.
As you well know, getting someone to give out their email address is extremely difficult. As a result, making your information available only via email will severely limit your readership. I have a very hard time believing that the significant number of potential readers you lose is offset by the increased value of those you capture.
Limited Control Over Presentation
If you think designing for all the different combinations of web browers and operating systems is tough, try multiplying that many times over when you design for an email client. Not only that, but email clients often don’t have near the capability as a web browser. The result is information communicated in a much more limited form than it can be communicated online.
So What’s the Alternative?
I think the next time I need to communicate a large amount of information, I’ll do it with a blog platform like WordPress. Readers can subscribe to updates in a wide variety of ways, including via email, and you can make changes to the content in real-time. Not only that, it’s probably even easier than publishing the content via email. If you still want to restrict access to those who have signed up with an email address, you can do that as well.
So, unless it’s just a one-time or customized mailing, I don’t know why you would choose to communicate information to your customers via email. However, that’s (intentionally) a gross generalization. I hope I’ve included enough of those in my analysis to give Eric some good counterpoints.
Over to you, Eric!
2,996 — A September 11 Tribute
If you haven’t already, please take a look at the tributes to the 2,996 who were killed five years ago today on September 11. A huge thanks to all those who put so much work into creating this worldwide memorial.