Anatomy of a Successful Email Marketing Newsletter (CrowdSPRING)

99% of email newsletters sent by technology service providers are lame, yet a recent newsletter I received from crowdSRING (online market for creative work like web design, logos, branding, etc. http://crowdspring.com) had me not only open it, but I actually read the whole thing.

Let's pick it apart piece by piece.

From Address:

Email was sent by "crowdSPRING". It is important to note this is actually the first and last time they pushed their brand in the email.

Subject Line:

"How Groupon could save your business."

A short, enticing subject line that elicits a purpose and goal the reader might obtain by reading the email. The key point is it's not even remotely associated with crowdSPRING.

This change-up catches people by surprise. The email might actually be interesting since it is about something that is absolutely unrelated to the vendor's services.

Is Gold still on the rise?

I'm on the email list of Peter Schiff's investment brokerage, EuroPacifc Capital and received this email yesterday about the NYSE fiasco that occurred last week, which has prompted additional interest in the Gold market.

BostInnovation Article: RiotVine, Boston’s Realtime Social Event Guide

riotvine logoI offered to help write for BostInnovation.com, a weblog that covers local area startups and technology happenings.  This is my first article.  Check out the blog, subscribe via RSS, or follow us on Twitter.

What’s the best way to find events happening in Boston? Craigslist, Boston.com, or CitySearch? What about Last.fm? Maybe you simply cross your fingers and update your IM or Facebook status to read, “Whats going on this weekend?” hoping for a response from your friends?

While Facebook and Twitter are efficient ways to share events, using either to find new ones can be a bit more challenging.

LastPass Password Manager Reviewed and Security Best Practices

lastpasslogoHow do you keep track of the dozens of passwords and account details of the sites you use?  Post-it notes? A spreadsheet? The Firefox password manager?  Or maybe you're still using the same password for every site?

If you fall in to the latter category, just imagine what could happen if someone had a weekend with this password: the key to your digital life.  They'd try every site which provided anything of value to gain: PayPal, online banking, Facebook, etc. 

If this password is the same as your primary webmail account, they'd now have access to most of your accounts by way of the I lost my password function most sites use.

Now that there are free services like LastPass, there's no reason why you can't create unique, strong passwords for all of your most sensitive online accounts and have them synchronized across multiple browsers, devices, and platforms.

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Startup Marketing Presentation by Dharmesh Shah, Founder of HubSpot



Great presentation by Dharmesh Shah, founder of HubSpot, and blogger at OnStartups.com, about Marketing 101 for startups. 

Shah explains that besides complex technology that might be difficult for a competitor to replicate, the easiest way to build a large "barrier to entry" is in marketing. Specifically, in getting the message to the target customer as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Rather than traditional "outbound marketing" which is budget-dependent using communication channels owned by 3rd parties (email, TV, PPC, Radio, etc.), Shah's theseis is centered around the concept of "inbound marketing". 

Inbound marketing is about using online media to "get found" by your buyers/targets and the creative means to do this cost-effectively.

Key takeaways:
  • Every entrepreneur needs to know basic SEO. using tools like grader.com you can analyze SEO performance. "On-page SEO" is within your control -- page titles, header tags, meta tags, etc. -- minimal effort with large returns.
  • Focus on first-page ranking for keywords that have high search volume but aren't dominated by stronger, more well established web properties. Relevant terms, high volume, greenfield opportunities.
  • Don't write a business plan, write a blog.  This point is to take advantage of social media presence, drawing early PR, authority, and building a following.
  • Don't wait to get started, take advantage now.  Even if you're months or years away from starting your company, building a site now will help you earn PageRank and links.

Cyberposium-15: Keynote - Chad Hurley CEO of Youtube

chad hurley Chad Hurley, CEO and Co-Founder of YouTube, gave the afternoon keynote at Cyberposium-15, in an interview format with HBS entrepreneurial finance professor Joseph P. Lassiter.

The interview covered Hurley's startup track record beginning at PayPal, where he was a UI designer and designed the original company logo.

Hurley does not have a technical background (majoring in Fine Arts) nor an MBA, yet he and his co-founder built a 70 person company and sold it to Google for $1.65B.

He admits that during the "shopping period" when he went looking for buyers, if a suitable deal wasn't met they would have had to change their model in order to stay afloat.  Since they are now backed by Google, Youtube as a business unit does not meet the same levels of profitability as it would have being an independent startup or even if they filed an IPO.  Youtube is a 5-10 year project for Google, to own the conduit for the largest demographic and format for video consumption in the years ahead.

This long range thinking makes a lot of sense when you think about TVs of the future coming equipped with WiFi, and thinking about YouTube less as a website and more of the new standard for video content.

Excellent article on YouTube's mantra:  Find, Follow, Feed.

Hurley discussed upcoming projects we may see soon:

Cyberposium-15: Startup Panels - From Powerpoint to Product and Scaling for Growth

Startups - From Powerpoint to Product

At Cyberposium 15 on Saturday, local startup guru Don Dodge, whose positive reputation in the New England startup community was bumped up a few notches after his recent transition from Microsoft to Google, moderated two panels on startup development, initial momentum, and scaling for growth.

Cyberposium-15: Harvard Business School - Keynote by Jim Balsillie RIM Co-CEO

Cyberposium 15 was held this Saturday at Harvard Business School, an annual event to discuss technology with heavy emphasis on web tech and startup issues. The event is organized by an HBS student organization,TechMedia Club.

Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO of RIM opened the event with a keynote speech discussing some of the business factors unique to the smartphone market and where he sees RIM heading.

A lot of people wondered if he would address the success of the iPhone in the consumer space, and since live tweeting was encouraged, it wasn't long before comments like these popped up:

tweet

INTRO

Chris Pomeroy is a web technology sales professional, web designer, and aspiring entrepreneur based in Boston.

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