Monthly Archives: April 2008

Corporate Photos-Webinar

Corporate Photos:

So, we all do it.  We multi-task, even at inappropriate times, such as during a meeting, or especially during a virtual meeting or webinar.  Who hasn’t realized that they missed that key piece of information while responding to the fire drill of the hour, or worse, while checking scores from last night’s games.  It’s just too easy to claim that extra mile of “productivity” when you’re not called on for direct interaction.

As a presenter, how do you get around this?  There’re plenty of time-tested techniques that command direct interaction:  polls, directed Q&A, tests, etc.  However, one simple technique may be hanging from your neck:  the corporate photo.  When you attend a webinar, and the presenter’s photo is displayed, you immediately have an affiliation with that person you’d never have without the photo.  Instead of tuning out a webinar, you’re now turning away from Chris, the guy with the nice voice and the red tie who has all of these great tips on how to market your product.

It’s such a simple thing, but in this age of “virtuality,” every chance you get to make it personal helps.  And in the case of a webinar, if you’re not a huge company, then your photo can increase your brand awareness.  If you include your photo on all virtual communications (email, invitations, confirmations, follow-up messages after a webinar), that recognizable photo can increase your brand awareness with your customers.  

And, so what if you don’t like YOUR photo?  Use something else.  Like a photo of the black bear that dumps your cans on trash-pick-up mornings.  That bear photo will still invoke an image, and a memory, to keep you in front of your customer when you’re actually miles away.

So, what do you think? Post a comment and explain how a corporate photo made a difference in a webinar you’ve attended, or helped in communications with a client or a supplier.

Make your Webinars Alive again!

You spend a lot of time, money and resources in planning and producing your webinars.  However, once the web conference is over, so is the interactivity between you and your prospects.  Many web conferencing solutions provide archival capabilities for replaying the webinar content.  However, the interactivity is lost and the viewer has little, if any opportunity to participate.

Our “Webinar for One” is a unique replay, lead generation solution that engages the viewer provides participation through live polling and surveys and directs the viewer to encapsulated rich media that could include software demonstrations, flash media and live web site tours. The viewer becomes a participant in a Webinar for One.  Your webinar becomes “alive” again while you gather valuable viewing and polling data from prospects that can view and interact with your presentation at any hour of the day.

You can visit our Webinar for ONE landing page and participate in some of our partner “Webinar for ONE” presentations.  

Takin’ Care of Business With my MP3 Player

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

Sansa c240 MP3 player
I usually use my MP3 player for rocking out, but the other day I was able to use mine (a Sansa c240) to get some work done.

I needed some voice narration for an instructional Brainshark presentation I was working on. With Brainshark, you can take a PowerPoint presentation, bring it into the Brainshark software, and add things to it such as audio, questions, polls, or guestbooks, and make it into an on-demand presentation that can be launched from or embedded in web pages or email messages. If you would like to see some sample Brainshark presentations, we have several on the Webinar For OneSM landing page on our web site.

I had not used the voice recording feature on my MP3 player yet, so I decided to try using it to narrate the slides. It was very easy to record the audio by speaking into the little microphone on the MP3 player, saving the resulting .wav files, connecting the player to the computer with the USB cable, then dragging and dropping the saved files into sound editing software on my computer. After editing, I added the sound files to my presentation in Brainshark. Now that I know how easy it is, I’ll be using narration this way more often!

Ready to Rock and Roll

We provide more than customer acquisition and lead generation services at Webinar Resources.  Sometimes we like to have a little fun and I like to compose music.

I am known for writing parodies of songs for business meetings and parties and have even performed in Nashville singing “O Document Where Art Thou” to a group of customers who really got into the PowerPoint presentation when I gave them their tag line, “We’ll help you build your ROI” to the tune of “Man of Constant Sorrow”.

Last year’s Fall release of ExactTarget’s permission-based email platform got me so excited; I composed a song about it.  I should have known after submitting my email and MP3 file to a rep that works for an email marketing company that the song would soon hit the charts throughout the company.

It did and you can read CEO of ExactTarget, Scott Dorsey’s blog on my submission, “Ready to Rock and Roll”.  Enjoy!

Open Rates and Lead Generation

There is a very good discussion regarding open rates and email campaigns in a recent edition of the DMNews.  Two industry experts face off on the effectiveness of email open rates and their real value to personalized marketing campaigns.

One of the “contenders” describes the open rate as an ineffective form of measurement.  He argues that open rates are not reliable as email can be opened on mobile devices that do not download images and more web client email platforms, like Gmail, are configured to display text only.

The other contender, Morgan Stewart, Director of research and strategy at ExactTarget, places open rates into a different context,  His position is that open rates are a good measurement as they allow you to test the effectiveness of email subject lines and offer insight into “campaign optimization”.

We agree with Morgan as we see open rates as a foundation to determine if your marketing and customer acquisition strategies are effective.  Every email campaign should have a “call to action” or a click-through activity.  It is not the open rate that identifies the recipient’s interest, but the activity that takes place once the email is received and opened.

Embedding links to interactive web presentations that launch from the email is a very effective and reliable process to determine your recipient’s interest.   We have implemented very successful email campaigns that track not only the open and click through rates, but that also provide tracking and reporting through a third party application, Brainshark, that we bundle with our Agency ExactTarget licenses.  The recipient’s activity is then captured and married with the open and click through rates providing detailed results on not only the recipient’s interest but their behavior as well.

In a recent campaign, we drove not only clicks but conversion as prospects became customers after viewing short five minute on demand presentations.  The prospect’s behavior was tracked while they advanced through slides.   Immediate feedback was delivered to the reps that the prospect was viewing the product presentation and the reps followed up with a “warm call” to the customer.

Through our “No More Cold Calls” model, we can open new doors of opportunity for our customers and their customers and it all begins with an “opened” email.

Give Yourself a Break – Give Yourself Some Links

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

Your website is a valuable tool that can be used in concert with just about any other marketing strategy you care to employ. Do you participate in email marketing or direct mail campaigns? Use your web site to collect subscribers. Are you a presenter or speaker? Archive your presentation content or audio or video of yourself on your web site as on demand presentations. Are you participating in a trade show? Use your web site to invite visitors to your booth. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

In order to use your web site to leverage your other marketing activities, you need visitors. Search engines are very important for bringing in web site traffic. Your website needs as many incoming links as possible to be competitive in the search engines, and there is no denying it’s a lot easier to give yourself a link than to get other people to give you a link. It also helps to have good keywords inside hyperlinks, since text in hyperlinks carries more weight with search engines than plain text.

  If you have a large web site with lots of content that is updated frequently, or more than one web site, you are in a good position to take advantage of those facts about search engines.

One way to do that is by putting a site map on your site if you don’t already have one. This is simply a web page with a linked outline to all the pages on your site. Here is an example of a site map.

Another way is to add a What’s New page with listings of what is new on your site and links to any new content you add. I recently started updating this What’s New Page again after a long period of neglect. It was foolish of me to deprive myself of the benefits of all those links. I resolve to be smarter in the future!

So why not give your visitors a break by making your content easier to find, and give yourself a break with the gift of  valuable links?

Is an E-Newsletter in Your Future?

by Carolyn Hasenfratz

I know a lot of people who are thinking about starting an e-newsletter to add powerful support to their customer acquisition  process. Are you one of them?

When you are ready to start sending out your newsletter you will be eager to send it to as many contacts as possible. You will be tempted to add any email address you can find to your subscriber list. This is a temptation you must resist, because you do not want want to be perceived as a spammer, or get into legal trouble. Your subscribers need to be opted-in, in other words they should have given you permission to send them a newsletter.

Even if you are not ready to roll your newsletter out right now, I suggest that you start building an opt-in subscriber list as soon as possible. An easy way to do this is to ask your customers for permission whenever they are sending you information via an online form. Just add a question worded something like “Would you like to receive a newsletter from us?” and a yes/no response field to any forms you might have on your web site. This applies to forms on paper also. Whenever a customer or prospect sends you information, there might be an appropriate way to ask whether they want a newsletter or to inform them that by taking a certain action they will be added to a mailing list. Take advantage of these opportunities whenever they come up. Then when you’re ready to send your newsletter, retrieve this data and you’ll know who it’s safe to send to.