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Archive | August, 2011

When it makes sense to blog about a free sample

In my previous post, I blogged about a free headset that was sent to me by an old friend. Sure, he got some promotional benefit out of it — but I wasn’t blogging to send him business, to thank him, or as a quid-pro-quo. I wrote the blog post because it met the editorial standards […]

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A special sample starts the conversation

For a complex product, no amount of marketing copy will convince someone to buy. But one free sample can get an entire office talking about how great it is. For example: sent me a sample of this amazing wireless OfficeRunner headset. It has an incredible range, so I was wandering all over the office, […]

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Free help = more customers

How do you get new business in a world where everyone pretty much sells the same stuff online? Win with better service. Here’s a great example: knows that finding matching hinges is a pain. So they let you email them a picture of your old hinges, and they’ll tell you what you need, for free. […]

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From Direct Marketing News: In a survey of engineers and industrial professionals, only 15% of respondents indicated that they have a Twittter account and more than half of respondents indicated that they are not at all likely to sign up in the future. Those figures don’t exactly scream "we need to be in social media […]

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Remind them when and where it matters

Sometimes, your online marketing should be happening offline — when it’s most useful. Here’s a great example from SeaWorld:

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Profiting through love and word of mouth

Here is a classic word of mouth story by Dan Barry in the New York Times. Read about how Hamid Chaudhry earned the support and love of his community with good old-fashioned customer service. Just as important, look at how he built a thriving, profitable business in a competitive industry and a bad economy. It’s […]

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Newsletter #847: The “Remove the Annoying Stuff” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.] Smart marketers are on the hunt for things that annoy, frustrate, and confuse their customers. What you should be […]

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How to lose $1,000 by not looking at the obvious

In two cities, I had major cable TV problems at my house. Each case involved 8-10 visits by all sorts of trained (and untrained) technicians at an average cost to the cable company of $100/visit. In both cases, the problem was a frayed $3 wire — which could have been fixed in 10 minutes. But […]

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Should we forgive the sleazy behavior once companies get famous?

Many famous dot-coms did a lot of sleazy, spammy things in their early days. AOL, Microsoft, and other major players in the online advertising industry bought and absorbed some very ugly promoters of pop-ups, spam, and deceptive ad practices. Today, startup Thumbtack is shamelessly harvesting emails off of Craigslist and mass-spamming  fake personal emails to […]

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