Blending the Best to Build Your Business

Welcome to the blog of Mark Rice+.  I am the Managing Director of Webinar Resources and MobExMe (our mobile affiliate).  We deliver dynamic mobile and marketing automation solutions to help your company  amplify awareness, enhance the user experience and capture response at the right moment.    Our goal at Webinar Resources and MobExMe is to provide useful content, best practices and solutions that you can put into action to deliver relevant marketing communications through reliable multi-channels.

We also will have guest authors on this blog who partner with us to enhance our offerings of solutions and services.  We blend the best in partners, solutions, channels and services that you need to manage effective and efficient marketing campaigns.  

Through our partnerships with Brainshark and Pardot, we provide mobile marketing solutions that will allow you to score, grade and convert prospects to qualified leads.   We leverage our partner solutions with our own unique MobExMe platform that captures and tracks mobile activity.

As an ExactTarget partner, we provide managed services to support the planning and execution of successful marketing campaigns.   We have experts that can integrate your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems with mobile platforms and marketing automation solutions.

We hope you visit us often and can learn from our years of experience in marketing, sales enablement, technology and managed services.   You can scan the QR code above to learn more about our solutions and scan a second time to reach out to us or visit – on your mobile device.

Let Google+ Author Rank Put You at the Top

News you can use from Mark Rice+   I have been seeing a lot of faces pop up when I run an organic search in Google.  After a recent call with my account manager at Compendium, I discovered that I can link by blog with Author Rank in my Google+ account and my smiling face will appear next to my blogs.  Here is an example below that links the Google+ account of my account manager, Melanie Ramsey to her blog.  Pretty nice Melanie   I have got to try this..

Unfortunately, it takes a few days for the Google+ linkage to take effect.   I will check in later this week and do an organic search on MobExMeTM which is a new startup we are launching.  St. Louis is becoming a hot bed for entrepreneurs in the last eighteen months. I believe the spark was ignited with the St. Louis Arch Grants program that was launched two years ago. There was a great program on our local PBS station that focused on entrepreneurial ventures in St. Louis and this video provides insight on the explosive growth of St. Louis startups.

We are reaching out into ways of delivering dynamic mobile and marketing automation solutions that amplify awareness, enhance the user experience and capture response at the right moment.   Stay tuned!

Managing Embedded Brainshark Presentations on Your Website

Years ago, I set out to find a way to embed a Brainshark presentation into a registration site.  It was a poor user experience to have the registrant view a presentation and then navigate to another page to register.  The goal was to keep the registrant in what we called the "registration space" – just as I am demonstrating below.   You can view this video without exiting our "blog space".

We recently designed and delivered a homepage "facelift" and social media "tuneup" for one of our customers.  We enhanced their website by adding rotating slides with call to actions on the homepage (the facelift) and added social media links to their website (tuneup).   The customer also had a few Brainshark videos that we produced and hosted on our site.

As we wanted visitors to stay on the video page, we were challenged with displaying several Brainshark presentations on one page.  The solution was to develop a menu selector that launches and displays different embedded Brainshark presentations in one embedded window.  You can see the embedded Brainshark menu selector here.  Now visitors to the customer video page can easily select the video they wish to view.  

This application resulted in a better user experience and freed up space on the customer's web page.   We also developed a mobile site and utilized a folder view to display the customer Brainshark mobile videos.

If you wish to learn more about our homepage facelift and social media tuneup services, reach out to us at

Never Underestimate the Power of Personalization and Persistence

We have all received snail mail with our first name in an enclosed letter.  "Mark", you have won $1,000,000 dollars!.  How I wish.   However, marketers have used email marketing to capture response at the right moment by using personalization.   It is a known fact that recipients are more likely to open email that is more relevant and targeted towards their business.

We recently supported one of our customers with an email campaign with specific content that was targeted towards decision makers and influencers in their customer accounts.  Even though the content was personalized to to the specific persona, we did not see the open rate we anticipated.  After reviewing the results and content, we decided to include the company name of each recipient into the subject line.

The open rate for emails delivered with the company name in the subject line increased by 11.5%.   Based on this response, we determined that the use of the company name made the emails more targeted and relevant to the recipients. 

Capturing response at the right time is critical to breaking through the noise barriers created by competing marketing messages.  Use a variety of multi-channels and personalization techniques to increase reach and response with content that resonates with your recipients.

Using Google Custom Campaigns and Short Urls in a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign

In my last blog post I described how I was planning a multi-channel campaign using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, printed materials, QR codes, a mobile-optimized web site, my e-newsletter and postcards. I am using Google campaign tagging along with short urls to see which channels are the most effective.

To make use of Google Campaign tagging, first create a Google Analytics account for yourself if you don't already have one and put the Google Analytics code on your web pages.  Your webmaster can help you add the Google Analytics code if you need assistance.

Next, add a question mark to the end of any urls you want to track and add tags for "campaign", "medium" and "source" as in this example. There are five available codes but you can do a lot with just these three. (If the question mark does not work, try an & sign instead, that worked for me on one type of url.) The bold part is the campaign code added to the original url.

campaign – is what you select as the identifier for the whole campaign. For example for my clearance sale I picked "clearance2013".

source – is where the traffic is coming from.

medium – is what type of media was used, for example two urls could be on the same web site but one is a banner and one is a link so I could use "banner" for one and "link" for the other.

Here are what two of my urls look like that are for the clearance sale campaign, coming from the web site but one is a banner and one is a link. The bold part is the campaign code added to the original url:

For more help with Google Custom Campaigns, see the Google documentation.

Long urls such as those are fine for situations where the end user cannot see them, but for a printed advertisement or a social media post that is too long and confusing. You can use a url shortening service, such as the one offered by MobExMeTMQR Code Generator and URL Shortener, to generate one of the above urls into something like this:

Once your campaign is underway, you can check Google Analytics to review and analyze detailed tracking data. Log into Google Analytics then go to "Traffic Sources", "Sources", then "Campaigns". You will see a graph of visits with a list of your campaigns below it. Click on the name of the campagin to see more detailed information. All of the parts of my campaign are not yet built but some parts are working already and have left a record in my stats:

Google Custom Campaign Tags

This information will be very valuable to me the next time I plan a multi-channel marketing campaign!

Planning a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign

My ecommerce web site, Carolyn's Stamp Store, is a real business but it also functions as a laboratory for testing out techniques and strategies to employ on behalf of our clients. I am currently running a Spring Clearance Sale campaign. I would like to share with you some ideas on how to plan your own multi-channel marketing campaign.

  1. The first step in my planning process was to decide what the purpose of the campaign is – in my case, to let people know about my clearance sale and to recruit signups for my free e-newsletter.
  2. Next I made a list of all the media, channels and tools that I wanted to utilize in the campaign. My list includes:

    • Carolyn's Stamp Store web site
    • Google Analytics campaign tags
    • Banner ads displayed on other web sites
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest
    • Packing slips that go in outgoing orders
    • QR codes
    • Mobile optimized web site
    • E-newsletter
    • Postcards
  3. As I brainstormed about how I was going to use all the channels and tools and how they would integrate with each other, I made a list of tasks I would need to complete for the campaign. I put the jobs in the order in which they would need to be executed. The list is too long to reproduce in full here, but here are a few examples to get you thinking of your own campaign ideas:

    • Design banner ads for web sites and e-newsletter
    • Create new mobile-optimized web site that includes space for advertising current promotions and e-newsletter signup form
    • Reprogram existing QR code already on printed materials and aim it at new mobile-optimized web site
    • Promote ad and links to clearance section on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
    • Design postcard
    • Prepare mailing list and print mailing labels
  4. With the use of a number of media in one project, it's important to get an idea of which strategies brought the best results so that your next campaign can focus on the most effective channels. Before beginning work, my last step in the planning process was to create a series of Google Analytics campaign codes and short urls designed to let me know how my campaign is progressing. In my next article I'll describe the process in detail to give you ideas for how you can use campaign tagging in your multi-channel marketing efforts.

Happy Valentine's Day QRCombo

Valentines Day's will always have a special place in our heart as we announced our QRCombo application one year ago today –   This unique application combines mobile video and a call-to-action lead form in one QRCode. 

Since our announcement, we have discovered many new use cases for QRCombo and our MobExMe mobile platform.  Restaurants are now using QRCombo to drive traffic by combining mobile video with a menu of several options to reach out to them (that appears on the second scan).   Now that we have combined Brainshark's new HTML5 player with our QRCombo application, we can deliver relevant content and capture response at the right moment in one scan.

Businesses are using QRCombo to capture leads using lead forms from Salesforce, ExactTarget and our new ExactTarget partner, Pardot.   A whole new world of mobile automation is opening up and we are excited to bring our mobile mix to the market to build revenue, relationships and renewals.

So we thought it fitting today to develop a unique Valentine's application that is powered by QRCombo and ExactTarget landing pages.   Today we are announcing a new QRCombo solution that combines photo and mobile phone sharing capabilities.  We have wrapped it up in a QR code heart –   Scan the QR code and share two unique photos with one unique person.   Be creative as you want.   You can upload existing photos or take live photos with your partner.   We have opened up the platform so it is open to your creativity and we have made it easy for you to create and share you own memorable mobile moment.   This is just the beginning of a our mobile roadmap and transformation into a new company – MobExMe TMMobile Media Made Easy TM.  Stay tuned!

Five Essential Elements to add to your Welcome Emails

Last week I subscribed to the newsletter of a non-profit organization and was very pleased with the welcome email that arrived in my inbox. I thought it did a good job of addressing concerns that people are likely to have when they provide their email address to someone.

  • "Why am I getting this email?" – covered
  • "What will I receive?" – covered
  • "Will you sell my email address?" – covered
  • "Will I be able to unsubscribe if I change my mind?" – covered
  • "Who are you and how do I contact you?" – covered

I decided to create a new welcome email for our newsletter subscriber list that addresses those same concerns. Here is a screen shot to show you how it turned out.

Example of a welcome email

In addition to making subscribers feel good about signing up for our newsletter, they will also get a look at what our email header graphic looks like when the act of subscribing is still fresh in their minds – hopefully this will increase open rates for our e-newsletter in the future.

A welcome email is also a good opportunity to deliver a special message or offer to your subscribers to thank them for their interest in what you have to say.

There are many benefits to a good welcome email – we recommend setting up a welcome email for all your subscriber lists.

2013 – The Year of Mobile Marketing Automation

In the past few years, marketing automation applications have become the marketing manager's tool of choice to nuture, score and convert qualified leads.   Marketing automation solutions like Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot have successfully captured market share and driven new opportunity and business for 1000s of B2B marketers. These solutions, however, are web-based and do not complement the use of the "second screen" that many of us carry as smartphones and/or tablets. 

Recent research from Google states that 90% of all media interactions are screen based.  This includes web-based viewing where visitors are commonly engaged in the marketing automation process.  However, Google further states that 38% of daily media interaction is consumed on smartphones.

This data is a reflection of all consumer behavior that also includes business people.  However, as many of the readers of this blog know, business people are equipped with smartphones and/or tablets.   How many of you are viewing this content on a smartphone or tablet right now?

Based on the Google research and other research we have found, it is evident that marketers are missing the "mark" if they are not including mobile users in their marketing automation plans.   We produced similar research on viewer behavior of recorded webinar content this year and found that 55% of webinar recorded views were on mobile devices.  We believe that similar percentages of prospects may be missed in marketing automation activities. 

Email is a component of marketing automation, but do opens and click-throughs of email content really constitute a response to a "call-to-action" (CTA) ?   With video the primary mobile content consumed by millions daily, how can you combine mobile video and a CTA to capture the mobile viewer response at the right moment?

The answer is mobile marketing automation.  Mobile marketing automation addresses the large percentage of mobile viewers that existing marketing automation users are missing.  You need a a way to connect, communicate and capture response at the right moment.

Webinar Resources has been an early adopter of mobile marketing solutions and we invite you to learn more about how we can help mobilize your companies' marketing automation efforts.   Contact us at

Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Share Your Message

We thought we would use our MobExMe technology to support the community and provide a tool to amplify awareness of this important month – Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   All of us either know of a friend, co-worker or someone close that has been affected by cancer.  

You can share a simple message and pass on the word to others to remember this important month.

Just scan the QR code below or visit to enter and share your special message.  Scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet using one of the many QR code readers that are available on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

You can save the QR code you generate and share it with others.   Just hold the image with your thumb and an option to save the image will pop up.

Take it along with you to events or gatherings that are organized to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   It lights up great at night. 

When the recipient scans your pink QR code, that will be able to see your special message.  They will also receive a link where they can create and share their own message.  Pass on the code and let's hope for a cure for cancer.

This application was built on the MobExMe and ExactTarget platforms.