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The Importance of Transactional Emails for Small Business

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Willie Pena – Enjoy!

transactional emailsThe open rate for transactional emails far exceeds that of any other type of email, whether it is newsletters or bulk marketing mail. Once just a sparse, utilitarian messaging that conveyed the bare bones details of a business transaction, transactional emails are now multi-purpose missiles that impact a company’s reputation, revenue, research and audience retention. They do this without being intrusive or unwanted.

The most effective and profitable transactional emails include shipping confirmations, order confirmations and approvals for return of merchandise (or exchange). Mastering the art of the transactional email is possible, if small business professionals follow the tips below from Easy SMTP.

Best Practices When Sending Transactional Emails

While the aim is to use the transactional email to gain customer trust and additional patronage, that mission cannot be too overt or aggressive.

  • Cite the transaction in the subject line of the email. Provide the necessary facts about the transaction in the body of the email in the most prominent and thorough way possible, using text, images and links.
  • Create a professional look by using the company name in the sender field and including a header with the official company logo and colors.
  • Use HTML instead of plain text to create a more exciting and engaging email.
  • Include colorful promotional content beneath the pertinent transactional data or in a sidebar. This can include purchase suggestions, a list of products related to what has been purchased already, coupons, a widget of popular products or sales ads.
  • Provide links to company services, especially support and account services, in additional to product links.
  • Limit marketing to 25 percent of the email.
  • Express appreciation or gratitude for the customer.
  • Customize the email and the promotions, showing awareness of the customer’s buying and browsing patterns.
  • Use software to track the effectiveness of transactional emails and experiment with design and content if emails are not inciting clicks or additional customer action.

What to Avoid When Preparing Transactional Emails

Transactional emails can easily become spam if any of the following are included.

  • Exaggerations about products, services or price cuts in order to gain a sale or prospect.
  • Having generic promotional content that offers one customer the same sales and product recommendation as every other customer.
  • Insufficient transactional data, such as missing prices, lack of product description, no shipping estimate or a missing toll-free number so that customers can ask questions about their transaction.
  • A convoluted layout that is confusing, overwhelming and aesthetically repulsive.
  • Using half the email for marketing.
  • Putting a sales reference like “30 percent off” in the subject line of the email.

Benefits of Using Transactional Emails

  • Builds Customer Trust – Customers feel safe with a company that provides useful information at every step of a business transaction. Transactional emails empower the customer and alleviate questions and concerns. This, in turns, fosters respect, confidence and trust for a company.
  • Increases Customer Engagement – The customized one-on-one approach of transactional emails makes a customer feel special and invites interaction. This interaction might lead to higher survey participation or social media engagement.
  • Additional Sales – When customers see photos and descriptions of their recent purchase alongside ads for similar products or related products that can incite a desire to purchase more goods or remind them of something they meant to buy but didn’t. Customers might also elect to browse the company website again, creating mental wish lists for future purchases.
  • Brand Recognition – For new customers, seeing brand elements when they complete one transaction may not cause them to remember the company in the future. However, when an order confirmation arrives with a signature brand logo, and then a shipping notice arrives later with the same logo, and a warranty message arrives, presenting the logo an additional time, suddenly the customer is very conscious of the brand and likely to think of the company when shopping later or when talking to a friend about the purchase.

Willie PenaWillie Pena enjoys writing about email marketing, transitional emails and marketing advice for small business owners for Easy SMTP. Connect with him on Google+ andLinkedIn.

50 Simple Lead Generation Tactics

Lead Generation TacticsIf you’ve read this blog, or anything I’ve written for that matter, then you know I’m a strategy before tactics kind of guy, but sometimes you just need some new ideas and tactics.

I got together with my network of independent Duct Tape Marketing Consultants and brainstormed fifty tactics for generating more leads. Each of these tactics came from the work we’ve done with a client or something brilliant we’ve witnessed a company doing.

Free eBook from Duct Tape Marketing – 50 Simple Lead Generation Tactics – full of great ideas! [click to tweet]

I’ve compiled the list into a free ebook. Each tactic lists the type of business that employed it as well as a concise example of how they put the tactic to work. In addition you’ll find the contact information for the contributor of each tactic in case you want to know more about how to integrate the idea into your marketing.

This is an easy way to get eight or ten new ideas on how to get your business in front of more of the right people right away. As a side note this is also a great way to employ collaboration to create useful content.

You can download 50 Simple Lead Generation Tactics here.

 

9 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Text Message Marketing

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Justin Mastrangelo – Enjoy!

Young woman using her mobile phone outdoors

photo credit: Anna Bryukhanova

When we talk to businesses and non-profits about text message (SMS) marketing, there are a few misconceptions that commonly come up.

Unless you’re a spammer, it’s permission-based.

Amazingly, many organizations think you need to already have a list of phone numbers, or worse, you need to buy this list before you can start sending out text messages.  Not only is sending unauthorized text message terribly ineffective, it’s illegal and could lead to lawsuits and penalties.  The effective and legal way to do SMS marketing is to grow your own list through campaigns promoted to your targeted audience.

You don’t need to get your own shortcode.

One of the first questions we get from newcomers to SMS marketing is, “How do I get my own shortcode?”  While some large brands may find value in getting their own shortcode, most businesses and non-profits can save the expense and hassle.  Like many SMS marketing providers, we provide our shared shortcodes to clients.  This saves them money and allows them to get up and running quickly.

It doesn’t cost a lot and it’s very cost-effective.

Frequently, marketers are surprised to hear the entry-level costs for SMS marketing.  For whatever reason, even small organizations assume it will be a significant investment for them to start using this technology (it’s not!).  Once they learn how small the investment is, they quickly stop worrying about how difficult it will be for them to prove the value to their bosses.

It’s extremely easy to setup and manage.

When we help a new client setup their first SMS campaign, they’re usually surprised how easy it is.  I think this comes from the email marketing world where setting up a campaign for the first time involves a lot of configuring, template building, graphics uploading, etc.  With only 160 characters to work with, it almost always takes longer to decide the message than it does to set up the software.

Your audience wants to receive text messages from you, if they’re valuable.

Because at this point almost everyone has received at least one of those spam “you’ve won this gift card” messages, organizations assume their messages will be received the same way.  This just isn’t true and they’re always surprised after their first outgoing campaign how well the messages are received by their audience and how few people opt-out.

You can capture email addresses and other information with text messaging.

Initially, organizations are very focused on growing a big list of mobile numbers so they can “blast” out messages to many people and they often overlook the two-way capabilities of SMS.  Many organizations have captured email address, zip code, survey responses, product numbers, and more through text message.  Don’t focus too much on the outbound part of SMS and miss an opportunity to gather valuable data and feedback from your users.

It works best in three situations.

We’ve worked on a lot of SMS campaigns, and while many unique campaigns have generated great results, there are three types of campaigns that always seem to work the best.  Those that are promoted at events, at a physical location, or any campaign run over traditional media (TV, radio, print, or outdoor).  These campaigns always seem to grow the biggest mobile databases, assuming the incentive was attractive to the audience.

SMS is used by some of the biggest brands in the US, but remains relatively “untapped” by small and mid-sized businesses.

Many small to mid-sized businesses we talk to are amazed to hear how many large, well-known brands are using SMS marketing today.  They’re also amazed when they realize not many, if any, of their competitors are using it.  Quickly, the conversation turns to “why haven’t we considered this sooner” and “when can we start?” As with any form of marketing, whenever you can reach the audience where your competition isn’t, the more effective it can be.

It’s not just for a “young” audience anymore.

We don’t hear this one as much as we used to, but every so often we have to pull out the stats (81% of mobile users use SMS) to prove texting is not just something teenagers do any more.  Look around, everyone uses it!

justin-headshot-150x150Justin Mastrangelo is the Founder of the JA.TXT text message marketing software platform. As President of the parent company, JA Interactive, he has worked with businesses, nonprofits, and agencies to cost-effectively reach new audiences through digital marketing and technology. Justin launched the JA.TXT platform to give these same organizations an opportunity to start strategic mobile marketing campaigns using text messaging (SMS).

How to Leverage Mobile Technology to Gain Insights Into Your Marketplace

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Willie Pena – Enjoy!

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photo credit: blakespot

In the next few years, marketing will be almost totally mobile. Mobile gadgets offer a bevy of versatile tools and methods for collecting data from consumers on the go — and almost everyone is on the go but ever-connected to people and businesses through gadgets like iPads, smartphones, Kindles, tablets and other devices.  These devices present unprecedented opportunities for a company to learn about its target audience and customize its business and promotions to respond to consumer needs.

Mobile Apps are the Future of Marketing Research

There are many benefits that make mobile marketing research more attractive than traditional forms of research: mobile research is faster, less costly, way more interactive and attracts far more respondents than print and phone surveys. Since mobile devices typically come with an array of apps, it is through apps that many businesses will funnel their future marketing efforts.  By using apps, companies can take advantage of touch screens, swipes and other responsive mobile technology features while asking customers questions in polls, games and other interactive platforms.

Because mobile technology, such as the innovative iPad, encourages users to express themselves beyond words, businesses can create apps and digital surveys that allow users to draw, record audio feedback, record video reviews or share images of themselves and their friends or family using products. The traditional survey model will shift as businesses design app-based questionnaires that take advantage of the inventiveness and options available on mobile devices.

Geolocation Will Give More Insight Into Customer Habits

With most mobile devices coming equipped with GPS technology, companies can use tracking software to verify  survey respondents’ locations with more detail. In cases where companies interact with consumers during shopping, such as through promotional text messages or popular QR codes that shoppers can scan and read on their smartphones, businesses can study in-store activity, consumers’ traveling habits, where customers go before and after a visit to a company and what leisure places might to be patronized by consumers.  Often, consumers will even volunteer this information by posting places visited on social media.  All this data is useful as it can show if buyers visit competitors, what neighborhoods or locales have people who are more likely to embrace a particular brand and in what contexts consumers might likely use a product. Geolocation can help create a more in-depth profile of people within a target or niche audience.

Routers will Help Gauge Customer Behavior

GPS isn’t the only way marketing groups can probe audience behavior. People using mobile devices while running errands and shopping often are at the mercy of hotspot routers to maintain Internet access. These routers will be increasingly used by market researchers to study and track consumer behavior; some frameworks may allow researchers to identity and study impulse purchases. At the very least, marketers can analyze consumers’ searches for related products, product features and service descriptions  –  possibly while a customers is on the verge of entering a business to complete a transaction.

Invitations to Take Surveys will Get a Lot More Lively

Businesses can take advantage of several inventive ways to ask mobile device users to take surveys, whether its through mobile ads/banners, video feeds, BlueTooth messaging, rich media animation, apps, search page listings, newly popular automated voice services or even sponsor messages built into mobile devices upon purchase.  Some companies, particularly those in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry are creating special mobile sites that allow shoppers to click a photo or link to immediately contact a special call center; these call centers can be used for spontaneous surveys to gather details on shopper needs, preferences and concerns. By using mobile technology to expand how to solicit consumer feedback, businesses will be able to better understand brand engagement. While some people might ignore a traditional mailed survey or emailed link to a survey, consumer might find these dynamic mobile invitations too fun to pass up.

Sophisticated Mobile Advertising Analytics Provide Insight

Advanced software is becoming increasingly available to study the mobile advertising impact. Marketing researchers have often relied on analytics applications designed for traditional websites and for people who use personal computers. Such software does not provide reliable mobile data; however, special new mobile research tools can provide accurate and reliable information on click-through-rates for mobile campaigns, general mobile traffic and customer details.

Willie PenaWillie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. Catch his rare blog posts on williepena.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Which Online Marketing Tools Lead to Substantial Growth?

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D. – Enjoy!

There is a revolution going on in professional services marketing. More and more buyers are going online to learn about possible solutions to their business challenges and find and evaluate potential service providers.

This revolution is already having a major impact on the growth and profitability of professional services firms. My firm recently completed a study of 500 professional services firms and how they used online marketing tools. The results and their implications are described in our new book, Online Marketing for Professional Services.

A Competitive Advantage

The research revealed that the proportion of new business leads generated online had a direct impact on both firm growth and profitability.

Fig1Fig. 1. Online Lead Generation Drives Firm Growth and Profitability

Figure 1 shows that as the proportion of leads generated online increases so does firm growth and profitability. The highest growth rate comes from firms that generate 40-60% of their leads from online sources. Talk about a competitive advantage!

The bottom-line advantages of online marketing are clear and compelling. But where do you start? When you get down to it, what really works?

Evaluating Online Marketing Tools

There is no shortage of opinions about which tools are most effective. But we were interested in results, not rhetoric. So we investigated the effectiveness of 15 of the most common online marketing tools as experienced by three different groups:

  • High Growth Firms — These were the fastest growing and most profitable firms in the study. We were interested in what they were doing differently than their peers.
  • Average Growth Firms — These were the firms that experienced only average growth.
  • Experts — We recruited a panel of 20 top online marketing experts to provide their perspective on the relative effectiveness of the tools. We reasoned that if anyone understood the full potential of the individual tools it would be these folks.

Figure 2 shows the effectiveness ratings for the 15 tools.

Fig2
Fig. 2. Effectiveness Ratings for Experts vs. High Growth vs. Average Growth Firms

A couple of overall findings are clear.

High Growth Firms find almost all the online tools significantly more effective than do their Average Growth peers. And with the exceptions of Facebook and banner ads, the online marketing Experts judged the tools to be more effective than did the High Growth Firms. Perhaps the better you know the tools the better use you can make of them.

Relative Effectiveness of the Tools

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the single most effective online marketing tool in the eyes of both the Experts and the High Growth Firms. SEO is closely followed by web analytics and blogging.

In some ways these top three tools fit together nicely. They provide the content (blogging), the method of attracting visitors (SEO) and a mechanism for evaluating and optimizing the process (website analytics). Notice that the Average Growth Firms largely miss the importance of these core tools.

As we move down the list, we add more analytical tools (usability testing) and more content (white papers, ebooks). In the mid-level of effectiveness we find email marketing and some social media tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Other social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube rank relatively low in effectiveness for professional services firms. Banner ads were judged least effective by all groups.

What Does This Mean for You?

Understanding these online marketing tools can give you a real edge. Since most firms (the Average Growth group) do not realize the power of some of the techniques such as SEO, blogging and website analytics, you may want to focus your energy first on these tools, which can give you a true competitive advantage.

Just as important, you can avoid investing a lot of resources in tools that do not show as much promise, such as banner ads or Facebook. Does that mean you should never use these tools? Not necessarily, but it does suggest how you might prioritize your efforts.

While your competitors try to generate new clients using less effective techniques, you can focus on those techniques used by the fastest growing firms and favored by the Experts who know the tools best.

Online marketing is changing the face of professional services. Some firms will win more business and earn more profits. Others firms will fall behind and find it harder and harder to attract new clients. With a little knowledge, the choice is yours.

LeePhotoAbout Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D.

Lee is Managing Partner and Director of Research at Hinge, a premier professional services branding and marketing firm. He brings over 30 years of marketing experience to the firm’s clients. He is co-author of Online Marketing for Professional Services.

Getting Better at Getting Email

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is MaryAnn Bekkedahl. – Enjoy!

Do yohome-pageu ever wonder how we functioned before email? At work, at home, or on the go, a vast majority of us can’t go 30 minutes without sending, receiving or reviewing our emails (I’m guilty of checking through the night, too). For many highly connected people, the allure of opening up an inbox isn’t just a necessity, it’s becoming an addiction.

That’s why I can’t stress enough the importance of “getting better at email.” It’s in everyone’s best interest – senders and recipients; brands and consumers – to deliver an email that the intended person wants to read. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and ticking people off (which, for brands, means potentially losing customers).

Getting better means getting to the point of the message you’re sending, and only reading and reacting to those emails that you really care about. The rest is just digital noise.

To give you an example of that noise, brands, social networks and other organizations sent a record number of marketing messages in 2012, up 19% on 2011. You’re now probably thinking about all of those solicited emails you deleted without even reading, or as a marketer, all the email blasts you sent to hundreds or even thousands of subscribers. Whichever side you look from, it’s interesting to note that 77% of consumers said they prefer to interact with brands via email compared to any other channel, such as social networks, text messages, post and phone.

Email is getting pretty good as a marketing channel.

These days, many of the subscription emails in your inbox are real-time customized based on past purchases, recently viewed items, geography, and the device you open the message with.

Are you getting good at email?

With the trend of email overload more than likely to continue in 2013, the time has come to clean up, prioritize and organize your inbox so that the emails you do receive are the ones you want to keep. Marketers should see this as great news, because if someone chooses to continue subscribing to your alerts, you’re doing something right and the chance of making sales increases exponentially.

Fortunately, there are innovations taking place in email management to help consumers get better at email. One new and free solution is theSwizzle, which was designed for the mutual benefit of consumers and marketers alike. theSwizzle leads consumers through a quick process to easily unsubscribe from the commercial mail they no longer wish to receive, helping to reduce clutter and the overall volume of messages they receive each day (you’ll be surprised just how many subscriptions you’ve collected over the years).

Then, once the clutter is gone, consumers can roll up all the subscriptions they want to keep into one daily or weekly digest, grouping their favorite brands and alerts together in a neat and easy-to-consume package.

theSwizzle puts the consumer in control and, ultimately, makes them more marketable because they aren’t dividing their attention between hundreds of other brands every day.

Headshot_3MaryAnn Bekkedahl is Co-Founder & President of theSwizzle and an expert in email organization. She was named Adweek Media’s “Publishing Executive of the Year” in 2009. She has earned spots for her brands on the prestigious and highly coveted trade lists including AdWeek’s Hot List, and Advertising Age’s A-List. min magazine named her one of the “Most Intriguing People” of 2004, Gotham magazine named her one of its “40 under 40” in 2003, and Advertising Age named her a “Woman to Watch” in 2003. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Maximizing Your Earned Media for Sales and Lead Generation

This guest post is brought to you by Outbrain – Enjoy!

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photo credit: aussiegall via photopin cc

Third-party endorsement or exposure of your brand can be a powerful tool in spreading awareness and reaching audiences to  drive new leads.  But one earned media placement only goes as far as the immediate audience, and for all you know it may not be the right audience.

If leveraged correctly, earned media can be an effective source of qualified leads and other benefits,  rather than vanishing into the ether or otherwise going to waste on the wrong audience.

Here are a few tips to making the most of your earned media to benefit  sales and lead generation:

1. Keep Track of It

You may find a number earned media placements are not the result of your direct PR efforts, in which case are you certain you’re aware each time your brand is mentioned in the press?  Set up a mechanism for routinely gathering this information (daily, if possible).  Google Alerts is a simple solution.

2. Amplify It

Think of content marketing like oral storytelling; once the story’s been told, it can be passed on to other audiences in ways organic and paid.  Let your goals dictate which channels you pursue for each piece of earned media.  If your goal is to drive conversions, that means attracting the most qualified audience and you can use traffic acquisition platforms like Outbrain to get your earned media in front of that qualified audience.  The more people engage with it, the longer the shelf-life for your content and your long-term potential to bring in leads

3. Repurpose It

One of the undervalued aspects of earned media is that the parties producing it have different ideas than you do — not just about the nature of your brand or product but the landscape of the market, who your competitors are, etc.

Earned media can be a springboard for owned media.  If a piece of earned media highlights a problem, misconception, or even a positive asset related to your business that  you had never considered before, use it as an opportunity to generate your own content addressing those issues or demonstrating those assets.

4.  Arm Your Team with It

Prospects love to hear about other customers who have faced similar challenges and used your company to solve them. For this reason, case studies, testimonials and positive earned media are all great tools for your team when making their case. Look at how a local restaurant keeps their restaurant review in the window or a clothing boutique showcases their fashion magazine editorial coverage on their shelves. When you have great earned media, think about how your business can use it to generate leads or help drive new prospects over the sales line.

head shotBrandon Carter is a Marketing Manager at OutbrainOutbrain helps people discover the most interesting, relevant and trusted content wherever they are. Outbrain provides personalized recommendations across a network of premium publishers, including CNN, Fox News, Hearst, Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Fast Company. Through Outbrain’s all-in-one content discovery solution, publishers, brands and marketers are able to amplify their audience engagement by driving traffic to their content – on their site and around the web.

3 Simple Steps for “Makin’ It Rain” On Your Website

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Aaron Houghton – Enjoy!

rainmakerThe term rainmaker is often used to describe highly productive members of sales teams. These individuals have a special talent for communicating the value a business’ products provide.

What impact would adding a new rainmaker have on your team? What about one that only costs you a few bucks each month? Even better!

For many small business owners, that rainmaker is their website.

Today I’m going to talk about how to easily capture more sales leads from your website. But if you sell directly from your website, you can use the same process to drive more online purchases too.

Don’t Make This Mistake

Think for a second about the last 100 visitors to your website. Will you ever be able to interact with them again? In most cases, that chance is gone.

That is, unless you captured their contact information while they were on your site. To follow up with someone all you really need is their email address, phone number, or maybe their social media handle.

There are many ways to capture contact information from your website visitors. These include social media login, email newsletter signups, real-time chat, header bars, and embedded web forms. Among these options I prefer web forms.

Collecting sales leads through web forms works great because most people are comfortable typing their information into them. They also require less commitment than account sign-ups and shopping-carts that ask for credit card details.

Savvy business owners use web forms to convert more website visitors into new customers.

How to Use Web Forms to Generate More Sales Leads From Your Website

Convertingmistake more sales leads from your website using web forms is easy when you follow these three steps.

1. Give Visitors a Real Reason to Submit a Form

“Submit our form and we’ll contact you.” Seen that before? This is probably what your competitors’ web forms actually say. Your visitors are used to seeing this.

Let’s make it worth their time to submit your form by giving them a real incentive. You’re asking them to share their personal contact information with you. What are they going to get in return? Make it good.

A few common incentives include discounts like a 10% off coupon, a one-on-one demo, or access to something like an e-book.

Make sure to mention what they’ll get in the text right at the top of the form. But save the reward for after it’s submitted. Include the reward in the confirmation message or in your follow-up response.

A great incentive sentence looks like this:

Request a quote and we’ll send you a 10% off coupon for any products you purchase this month. Complete the form below to get the coupon.

2. Pick a Form Tool That’s Easy to Use

computer tech servicesTo collect your users’ contact information, you need a good form builder.

A good form tool makes creating forms easy. Editing forms should be easy too. And finally it should send submitted data somewhere convenient for you like an email in your inbox, your email marketing system of choice, or a Google Docs Spreadsheet.

Other nice-to-have features include the ability to send confirmation emails to visitors and to redirect visitors to a specific thank you page after they submit the form.

I have personally used Gravity Forms for WordPress before but I also hear great things about WuFoo and FormStack too.

All you really need is a nice short web form. Super long forms scare people away so only ask for information that you’re going to do something with. For instance, you probably don’t need to collect a fax number!

Important fields usually include name, email or phone, and maybe an open-ended field where the user can type a question or explain what they need.

3. Track Conversions and Optimize

Having a strong incentive and having a short web form are a great start. But it’s actually impossible to guess upfront which incentive or form will perform best with your actual website visitors.

Because of this it’s crucial to measure your conversion rate – the percentage of form submissions to unique website visitors – to determine how effective each incentive and form is at getting visitors to submit their contact information.

BoostSuite and Informly are two free tools that can be used to measure your sales lead form conversion rate. Sales lead forms on small business website usually have a conversion rate of about 5%.

If your conversion rate is less than 5% you should test various incentives and forms. Use one incentive for a month and then measure your conversion rate. Next month try swapping in a smaller form.

Solar panel installation company Southern Energy Management tested various incentives on their website and found one that produced 419% more sales leads than their original incentive.

The higher performing incentive drove in 160 new sales leads for Southern Energy in just one month. Compare that to just 38 sales leads from the original incentive – with similar website traffic – in the previous month.

A Little Bit of Work, Lots More Sales Leads

You work hard to get visitors to your website. Don’t make the mistake of letting them pass you by forever.

Build and test some incentives and forms on your website and you’ll find a winning combination that turns more window-shoppers into new customers for your business.

Aaron HoughtonAaron Houghton is a serial entrepreneur who builds web marketing products for small business owners. Aaron is currently co-founder and CEO of BoostSuite.com. BoostSuite is a product that helps small business owners get more marketing results on their own. Formerly Aaron was co-founder of email newsletter leader iContact.com that was sold to Vocus in 2012 for $180M. Aaron was an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner in 2008, was listed to Inc Magazine’s 30 under 30 list 2010, and was named as a Top 10 Most Influential CEO in 2010 (behind Zuckerberg, Andrew Mason, and Matt Mullenweg). In his free time Aaron is an avid wakeboarder and outdoor adventurer.