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How Evernote Is Changing the Free Model

Marketing podcast with Phil Libin (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

evernoteFor this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had the chance to visit with Evernote CEO Phil Libin.

Evernote is a simple service that allows you to track and store everything you want to remember and get it out of your “meat brain” and housed somewhere safe and trustworthy. About 9,000 people a day are joining the free version of this service that also syncs incredibly well with iPads and mobile devices. (GTD fans, funny David Allen story here)

One of the reasons I wanted to record this show is that on top of being a user of the service, I’m taken by the fact that Evernote has also figured out how to get serious numbers of users to upgrade from the free to the premium version. The traditional freemium thinking is that you get lots of users and figure out how to turn them into paying customers.

While the web 2.0 landscape is littered with lots of bad freemium ideas, Evernote is turning users into fanatics and fanatics into profit. So, how do they do that?

According to Libin, “focusing on the free part is where people make the mistake. Evernote focuses instead on how many people are paying and how much it costs to get them. That’s the approach all businesses need to take. Freemium doesn’t change that approach, it just changes the math.”

To get a million people paying you just need to get ten million people using it. The free users are just part of the cost.

While this explains, to some extent, why Evernote is profitable, it doesn’t capture the other part – why people would pay for it. In my view, Evernote has done a couple things that people find attractive and worthy of commitment. They’ve created something that works and is simple – simple to use, to explain, to adopt. And, they’ve captured trust – repeatedly stating that your memories are safe. Evernote is adamant that they have no data deals in the works, just put your stuff here and don’t worry about any funny stuff or privacy issues. Those two items are central to what gets people to want to pull out their wallet and pay for the premium version – there’s actually an element of support as well as value.

Too many freemium offers start off with an offering that’s not worth paying for, assuming lots will jump on board simply because it’s free.

I’m working on my next book and using Evernote as a significant bridge to all the information I need to explore and save for this project.

So, tell me your Evernote story, how are you using it?

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Fairfield Inn & Suites Small Business Road-to-Success Challenge

Color As Branding Element

Marketing podcast with Kate Smith (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

orangeColor has built in meaning and symbolism and can be a strong element of your brand when used strategically.

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I visit with Kate Smith Color Expert, Career Color Trend Forecaster, and Editor of Sensational Color, a site featuring a wealth of information on the subject of color.

In this episode we talk about the various meanings of color such as red, green, and blue, and how the physiological impact and messages certain colors contain can play out in your business. Kate also reveals her 5 steps for using color in business.

Another great resource for all things related to color is ColourLovers.

In this podcast:
Why Color has Meaning
Common Color Associations
Five Steps for Color and Your Business
Companies that use Color Well
Color Combination and Your Message

Image credit: quinn.anya

Social Media Makes Email Even Stronger

Marketing podcast with Gail Goodman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

nutshellThis week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Gail Goodman, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of leading email marketing service provider Constant Contact.

Over the last year or two email marketing has taken a back seat to social media in terms of buzz. However, during the recession, firms that had a solid relationship with an audience via email held a much stronger position. Email marketing still produces the highest ROI of any online marketing tactic.

Commercial e-mail returned a whopping $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009, according to the DMA’s just-released Power of Direct economic-impact study—an effort the trade organization publishes every year at its annual fall conference.

A funny thing happened on the way to increased social media usage too. Instead of spelling the end to email, it actually caused an increase in the inbox. A great deal of social media activity still revolves around the email inbox.

I frequently field questions from audiences about whether social media has replaced email and I think the answer is that social media and email play very well together and, in fact, email has only become more important. Social media makes email even stronger and, when used correctly, email can make your social media efforts even stronger.

To that end, email service providers are looking for ways to help customers more fully integrate their social media usage with email marketing. Constant contact has added event marketing with plenty of social features and recently purchased Nutshell Mail a tool that brings a summary of your social network updates to your inbox in a single email on your schedule.

I spent some time recently with ExactTarget, an enterprise email service provider. ExactTarget’s purchase of CoTweet, a social media monitoring and management tool is further sign of the growing integration of email and social.

This trend will continue so while I’m a big fan of growing your friends and followers, get that email subscriber list built for the long term.

Talking Little Things with Tom Peters

Marketing podcast with Tom Peters (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Tom PetersMy guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is management consultant and author of a dozens of books, including the mega best seller In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters. Some would suggest, and I would have trouble arguing, that Peters is the most influential business voice since Peter Drucker.

His new book The Little BIG Things is a fabulous collection of very solid information presented in snack size format. These kinds of books are so easy to read and can be picked up at any point in the book and still deliver great value. Peter’s message of old fashion decency rings very true in today’s business environment.

Peter’s body of work about leadership, attitude, and business in general is such an important and positive force that I think every business owner should read this book and others written by him. He refers to this book as stuff your grandmother taught you that you forgot and I think that’s a great reminder.

In this interview we talk about:

  • China and India and the need to learn about what’s going on there
  • Focus on the topline as well as the bottom line
  • Helping competitors in tough times
  • Being decent and kind is not being soft headed
  • What Exxon does that BP did not
  • Why BrandU is more important than ever

What Does Open Leadership Look Like?

Marketing podcast with Charlene Li (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Charlene LiMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is former Forrester analyst, founder of the Altimeter Group and author of the New York Times bestseller Open Leadership – Charlene Li.

In a way, social technology has opened and changed just about everything, including leadership styles. Li argues that leaders must adopt to the fact that our personal lives have become much more open and this is creeping over into the business world. Being open in an effective way takes more structure than being closed.

Social technology amplifies both the good and bad traits of leadership and gives leaders a great set of tools to extend their leadership impact. In fact, leaders that are not using the same tools as those they lead run the risk of losing the important quality of authenticity. Leaders can’t make social technology something that resides in marketing.

This is causing a shift in organizational structure and hiring for a mindset of collaboration and curiosity. Firms must be comfortable with trial and error and allowing leaders to fail in a much deeper level of sharing. Firms that try to sit social technology out will eventually fail.

Business leaders have never really had control and social leadership acknowledges this fact and relinquishes the allusion of control.

If a firm decides to adopt open leadership they must develop what that means, what parameters, consequences, and processes need to be in place to avoid the chaos.

In this Podcast:

  • Open Leadership in Business
  • Traits of Good Leadership in the age of Social Technology
  • Hiring for an Open Environment
  • Rewarding Risk/Failure in Business
  • Releasing Control in Small Business
  • Implementing Open Leadership
  • The New Customer Lifetime Value
  • Examples of Successful Open Leadership

Power Friending Podcast

Marketing podcast with Amber MacArthur (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Amber MacMy guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Amber Mac, online video celebrity and author of Power Friending – Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business (The book is endorsed by Amber’s power friend – Tony Robbins – great story about that one)

Can surface friend building online equate to the type of trust that we can build offline? Mac talks about the ways that she has become closer to some people she has only met online due to the notion of a shared set of ideas, rather than shared geography.

Some of Amber’s ABCs:

  • Authenticity – something you should practice in all parts of life
  • Bravery – you’ve got to find a way to stand out!
  • Consistency – it’s a long term play and not a tweet here and there

You need to choose the right tools and the right networks in order to take advantage of the social web. You need to think first about where your audience is. Ask questions of your community. Create more ways for people to connect with you.

Are You Delivering Happiness?

Marketing podcast with Tony Hsieh (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Tony HsiehMy guest for today’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Tony Hsieh, CEO of the billion dollar company Zappos.

Tony describes Zappos as a service company that happens to sell shoes online.

Extreme customer service was not the big master plan. In Hseih’s new book,Delivering Happiness, he chronicles what he terms the mistakes he made along the way in an effort to help other entrepreneurs avoid them. (They failed their way to 1.2 billion in sales)

Hsieh cites his research into positive psychology or the science of happiness as one of the factors of success at Zappos. Changing the culture to being about making employees, vendors and customers happy became the Zappos brand. Building processes to deliver happiness at every touch point is hard to do. You have to build it at the core and let the people deliver who you are. Define the core values and make it something that get amplified everyday. Hire and fire based on the core values.

You can find more about the book and Tony’s Happiness Movement at Delivering Happiness

My question is when will there be a Zappos Airline?

Is SEO Copywriting Just Good Copywriting?

Marketing podcast with Brian Clark (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

SEO CopywritingMy guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Brian Clark, publisher of the best blog around on copywriting (my opinion) – copyblogger. Brian’s practical approach is really all you need to read on the subject.

We spent most of our time talking about the subtle differences between good, conversion heavy, copywriting with balanced SEO copywriting that also serves the needs and wants of search engine spiders. So many marketers make basic mistakes when it comes to online copywriting by trying to make web pages be all things to all people. The goal of effective SEO copywriting is that it start the sales cycle. Get a highly targeted prospect in the door, maybe a content landing page, and then start the engagement and attention from there. Conversion is just part of the process and probably not the first part of the process.

From an SEO standpoint the search engines are miles ahead of where they were 5 years ago but still must be spoon fed and that’s what SEO copywriting addresses. Clark recently created a tool called Scribe that does an amazing job analyzing web pages from a search engine point of view and points out best practices to help improve your incredibly valuable, engaging content from the search engine point of view.

Clark has also created a nice free report that covers much of what we talked about – Click here to grab How to Create Compelling Content That Ranks Well in Search Engines