Combining Outsourced Sales and Internet Marketing

logos for CruxBridge Media and OmniSolusWhy we’ve changed …

… (more or less) from CruxBridge Media (CBM) to OmniSolus, and combine outbound sales and Internet marketing?

If you don’t mind, this is going to be what’s called a “we we” post, or one where I talk more about the company, than about the reader. In other words, I’m breaking the cardinal rule of blogging. I feel, though, that a full explanation is needed. I hope you’ll see why I’ve made this change, and how it can help your company. [Read more...]

The Last Mile

Salesforce.com, Sales and Marketing …

When I attended last week’s Cloudforce 2011 expo in Washington, DC by Salesforce.com, I came away impressed by not only their base customer-relationship management (CRM) solution, but their extended functionality. Salesforce.com isn’t the same CRM system that your older sibling or maybe even your father used a couple of years back.

It impressed me so much, I’ve started to incorporate Salesforce.com into CruxBridge Media’s (CBM) own sales and marketing process. I also signed up CBM in the Salesforce Partner Program.

Through this new alliance, we have now filled in “the last mile” of the marketing and sales process for our clients: Taking a qualified lead and ushering it to a close.

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You’re Only Human

photo of Email Marketing Newsletter Mistakes

© iStockPhoto

Email Marketing and Newsletter Errors …

No matter what you do in life, there’s always a risk that you’ll make a mistake. When it happens in an email marketing or newsletter, the mistake is amplified, but it’s not the end of the world.

Such an error happened to me over the course of a couple of days, and it occurred in a very public forum: the CruxBridge Media email newsletter.

My mistake was not huge, yet it was bad enough that I thought I should let my subscribers know about it.

Such mistakes won’t mark the end of your company’s existence, or otherwise bring it to its knees. If anything, showing that you’re human, or your business is run by real people who every once in awhile make a mistake, might be just what your readers want to see.

What to do when you find yourself in such a situation … after the jump.

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What a Consumer Wants

Graphic of Website Relaunch and Marketing Concerns

© iStockPhoto

Website Redesign and Relaunch, and Conversion Rates …

For some reason, this lyric popped into my head when I first read a couple of mornings back about new research from our technology partner HubSpot:

What a girl wants
What a girl needs
Whatever keeps me in your arms
~ What a Girl Wants, Christina Aguilera

(Things like that tend to happen after I’ve had my first cup of coffee for the day.)

Companies relaunch Websites precisely because they want to keep their customers in their “arms”—in this case, on their sites and using them for e-commerce, lead generation, news-article views and so on. Their old sites probably weren’t getting the job done, and their sales, leads or pageviews were suffering as a result.

Or just as likely: Their old Websites were mired in 2005 (or 1995), and they needed a new, modern look that also fulfills a business purpose (see paragraph above).

What consumers want and what they don’t want in a Website, and how that can help with your Website redesign and relaunch strategy … after the jump.

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B2B Email .. Sent On a Saturday Morning?

Email best practices - graphicEmail marketing best practices: I’m about ready to finish up the second edition of the new CruxBridge Media email newsletter. We’re calling it The Magnetic Business Insider (use the box to the right to sign up!), and it’s chock full of news and information about attracting qualified leads to your company.

I have to admit I”m feeling a bit weird about a couple of things in regards to the newsletter itself, though. One is the send day: this Saturday. Second is the time: 6:30 AM EDT. The third? It’s only been two weeks since I sent the last one.

Why am I feeling so strange about those points? Because they fly in the face of conventional thinking about when to send such newsletters and messages, and how often to send them.

As is with anything involving technology and the public’s attitude towards it, though, the rules and best practices behind email marketing can be represented at best by a moving target. Here’s the latest on how to hit a bullseye.

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SEO and Inbound Marketing … Fast Results!

graphic of Search Engine Optimization - SEOFollow up email from social business meeting … that keyword string entered into Google by a person shows the power of search engine optimization, or SEO, and inbound marketing in general. It also demonstrates how quickly a well-optimized blog post can bring results to your company.

Just yesterday at my Hand to Mouse Networking site, I published a blog post called Following Up … For Success. It’s the start of a three-part series on how to follow up on social-business networking. The first part was really an intro to the series, and Parts II and III will deal with two systems on following up with both offline and online contacts.

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Lead Nurturing and Email Autosponders

email box for lead nurturing, autoresponders and drip marketingCall it email autoresponder campaigning or drip marketing. I actually call it lead nurturing. No matter how they’re known, though, they all have the same effect: They put your brand at the top of your prospects’ minds. They’re even more effective when you’ve attracted them to your site or premium offer with an inbound-marketing campaign.

Combining a lead-nurturing campaign with a premium-content publication or special offer, and even tossing in a free trial or demo of your product or service to kick things up a notch (sorry, Emeril), can increase your conversions and give you a greater return-on-investment (ROI) than outbound marketing. Here’s how.

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The State of Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing graphicThe concept behind inbound marketing isn’t really new. Most businesses and organizations want to get the most out of their Websites and other Internet-related marketing efforts, to generate qualified leads. What inbound marketing does is put a name and philosophy to the disparate processes and methods used to acquire these leads.

A recent report from the company that provides us (and our clients) with a centralized inbound-marketing platform contains a lot of great information on how this method is not only working, but how it kicks the pants off of traditional “outbound marketing” (advertising, direct mail, cold calling, etc.).

In fact, inbound marketing is quite “presidential” … here’s why.

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Projects: Completed and New

With projects old and new, as well as the constant cycle of keeping up with the tech tools and the marketing concepts behind using them, we’ve been pleasantly busy here at CruxBridge Media (CBM) with Website development and Internet marketing projects. Here’s some of what we’ve been working on lately:
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Local mobile marketing tool – Foursquare

Foursquare is arguably the best-known of the next generation of mobile applications. With this app, users can “check in” to venues, and the application lets others know that the person has checked into a particular office, restaurant, bar, café, or other various businesses.

Customers use their smartphones—iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys and others—to check into these venues.

As you can probably imagine, retail businesses usually work best with Foursquare. But others can, too.

Why is this service growing so fast? Two reasons: deals and games.

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