With the Open Platform private beta shortly coming to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to bring some long time partners together for a panel discussion on the subject. In April, the BC team will be unveiling Open Platform in public beta. Which means if you aren’t already up to speed, it’s time to get moving!

But what’s the impact? Is it good? Is it bad?

The overwhelming response so far has been that this new development is going to change the game for Business Catalyst in a really good way. But don’t just take my word for it, listen to what these great minds have to say:

Tune in for Episode 36 of the Business Catalyst podcast! In this episode we talk to five top BC partners about the impact that Open Platform will have on their business, strategies, and most importantly, their clients.

Listen to this month’s podcast:

Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Panel discussion about Open Platform
  • Is Open Platform a good thing for BC?
  • How are you approaching Open Platform with your clients?
  • Ideas for Apps
  • Collaborating with other partners on Apps
  • And much more

Join the Podcast!

Do you have something you want to announce to the BC community? I want to hear about it (brent@bcgurus.com).

Until next time,
Brent Weaver

View Comments

In March, at Brass Tacks, Liam Dilley from Pretty, leaders in the Business Catalyst community with offices in USA and Australia, had an open discussion on:-

  • Recent / Upcoming CMS updates
  • Open Platform public beta release information
  • Results from our testing on recent list import improvements
  • Digital Marketing topic of the month - Managing your products cleanly

You can access the recording here

Pretty has extended its commitment to helping the Business Catalyst community by offering free group consultation sessions on everything Business Catalyst. Session’s run monthly via webinar.

Stay tune for the next Brass Tacks webinar!

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team


View Comments

Webinar: How I Built A BC App

This is the 3rd presentation in the webinar series dedicated to BC Apps. Scott B Reynolds of Thrise will share how he built the Google Analytics Manager BC App. He will go over concepts you'll be able to use in your own BC Apps. 

Sign up here: BC App Webinar

Webinar Date/Time:

  • San Francisco: Wednesday April 2nd at 5pm
  • New York City: Wednesday April 2nd at 8pm
  • London: Wednesday April 2nd at midnight
  • Sydney: Thursday April 3rd at 11am

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments

Monday, April 7th, Scott B Reynolds will demonstrate why Business Catalyst is the most underrated product in the Creative Cloud.  He will discuss the value of Business Catalyst, walk-through popular features, and answer as many BC questions as time allows.

This event is located in Boston, Massachusetts and is hosted by the Adobe Boston User Group. Scott is a Business Catalyst Partner, a BC App Developer, Adobe Community Professional, and an organizer of BC Sandpile.

Register for the event, or watch it live (via Adobe Connect).

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments

 

Thanks to those of you who attended our BC webinar with Tarik Essadki.

If you were unable to join us live, you can access the last 3 recordings below:

Tarik Essadki from Creativaholic Group and Author at BC Tweaks has showcased a special project where his team built a Micro-CMS alike and a Micro-Site for another BC Partner using only Web Apps with a combination of other modules.

This recording will showcase some very interesting insights on how to combine different modules and features in BC to create a very robust, complex and yet simple functionality to produce a seamless experience for Business Owners and their team.

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

Thank you and hope to see you in next month’s webinar.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments

Brass Tacks - March webinar

Pretty has extended its commitment to helping the Business Catalyst community by offering free group consultation sessions on everything Business Catalyst. Session’s run monthly via webinar. This month is an open discussion on:

  • Recent / Upcoming CMS updates
  • Open Platform public beta release information
  • Results from our testing on recent list import improvements
  • Digital Marketing topic of the month - Managing your products cleanly
  • Opened discussion and help with any questions you have

Brass Tacks covers the hard hitting questions from Beginner to Advanced, as well as general Business Catalyst news / featured releases / FAQ’s / SEO & digital marketing.

  • USA (San Francisco) – Wednesday 26th March at 4pm
  • USA (New York Time) – Wednesday 26th March at 7pm
  • UK (London) – Thursday 27th March at 12 midnight
  • Australia (Sydney) – Thursday 27th March at 11am

> Add event to your calendar
> Launch this webinar now

Hosted by Liam Dilley from Pretty, leaders in the Business Catalyst community with offices in USA and Australia they’re the Business Catalyst website design experts.

Let’s get down to Brass Tacks.


The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments

March 19th webinar on Web Apps

This month, we'll meet Wednesday, March 19, for a webinar focused on using BC web apps.

Tarik Essadki from Creativaholic Group and Author at BC Tweaks will showcase a special project where his team built a Micro-CMS alike and a Micro-Site for another BC Partner using only Web Apps with a combination of other modules.

This demo will showcase some very interesting insights on how to combine different modules and features in BC to create a very robust, complex and yet simple functionality to produce a seamless experience for Business Owners and their team.

Don't forget to register here:

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.
Thank you and hope to see you in this month’s webinar.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments

Take note that the normal Sandpile time may have changed for you. All times are adjusted in relation to San Francisco, US.

Weekly Day/Time:

  • San Francisco: Tuesdays, 5pm
  • New York City: Tuesdays, 8pm
  • London: Wednesdays, midnight
  • Sydney: Wednesdays, 11am

Fundamentals of Javascript with Mark Lassoff - 11th March (12th in AUS) 2013
Author and Javascript expert Mark Lassoff will examine what Javascript's capabilities are relative to the new HTML5 paradigm and show you how to get started with basic coding. Attendees will be provided with a complementary digital copy of Lassoff's best selling book.
Details: http://thri.se/1kHEuw6

Best Practices for Email Marketing - 18th March (19th in AUS) 2013
This meeting is devoted to finding out how partners manage some of the best practices for email marketing within BC, and how they work towards best practice. For example, is there a better way to handle updating subscriber options other than a basic 'unsubscribe'?
Details: http://thri.se/1kHEts0

The UX Checklist: 10 Steps to Better Design - 25th March (26th in AUS) 2013
Do you have a system to make your websites user-friendly? For your next web project try using a User Experience (UX) checklist. Information Architecture & User Experience Consultant Mary Kennedy will review 10 simple, yet effective, tactics to ensure better user experiences.
Details: http://thri.se/1kHEsEz

Full schedule: http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/
Sandpile Recordings: http://www.bcsandpile.com/business-catalyst/resources.htm

View Comments

Webinars you've missed in February

In February Scott B Reynolds from Thrise presented several times on how to design and develop BC Apps. In his first webinar he discussed how to prepare and design a BC App before touching any code. To help make the process easier Scott gave away his BC App UI Kit. This kit is a Photoshop file allowing BC Partners to save time by quickly laying out app designs before opening a code editor.

In his second webinar Scott walked through the steps necessary to build a BC App, including where to start, how to create and adjust menu items, working with app landing pages, and how to use BC’s SDK.

Webinar Recordings:

BC App Resources:

And during the February Brass Tacks session, Brett Stockley and Liam Dilley from Pretty talked about upcoming changes in the product and how these will improve your BC activity, BC Apps and answered Partners' questions.

Brass Tacks February recording

Brass Tacks covers the hard hitting questions from Beginner to Advanced, as well as general Business Catalyst news / featured releases / how to / FAQ’s / SEO / digital marketing.

Enjoy&stay tuned for more interesting webinars in March!

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments

B2B Email Marketing - Guest Article

This month, we're ending email marketing month with a guest article on B2B Email Marketing powered by Innovaxis, a BC Partner with a solid experience in marketing services, email campaigns, PR, website development, social media, channel development and more. 

They are sharing their key learning in the B2B email marketing field: 


B2B Email Marketing: Love It or Hate It?

Most business owners and executives get between 50-200 emails a day. This makes it very difficult to get their attention with an email campaign. However, if done effectively, and as part of an overall sales and marketing campaign, email campaigns can generate quality leads. Otherwise, email campaigns can be a complete waste of time, result in prospects sending your email to the spam folder or even get your company’s email domain blacklisted.

List Acquisition

Some businesses out there use Data.com and NetProspex because both services offer full contact information, including email for $0.60 to $1.00 per name and you own the list. Renting lists doesn’t work because you won’t get any of the tracking: who opened the email, how often, what they clicked on, did they unsubscribe, etc. From our experience, up to 30% of the addresses you acquire will bounce – people move around a lot these days.

The more targeted list, and the message, the better. We’ve sent email campaigns to plant managers of refineries nationwide, CFOs of mid-sized manufacturers in the Upper Midwest and superintendents of every school district in the Chicagoland area – with messages that would only appeal to these groups so they know we specifically want to talk to them and are not spamming everyone and their brother.

Email Construction

This subject has been covered many times before, so I’ll keep my tips brief:

  • Use an email template reflects the design language of the site
  • Include 2-3 “hooks”: something interesting/educational, a download (e.g. video, guide, whitepaper) and something promotional (e.g. an offer, event invitation)
  • Like your web pages, don’t include so much content that it scrolls – people don’t like to scroll, they click so also include links back to your website for more information
  • Break up paragraphs of text with headings, bullets and small images
  • Make sure your email title and first 100-150 characters of the email body are compelling – this is what determines if someone will open it, delete it or junk it
  • Avoid spam triggers, including “free”, “exclusive offer” and even “click here&rdquo
  • Avoid newsletters: newsletters are about you and people want to read about something that directly pertains to them
  • Send from a person’s name (info@ and sales@ go mostly to junk) but don’t use their main email address as the number of bounces and out-of-office notices can overload your inbox and some will mark the email as spam so you can never get an email to them after that (and you may want to email them directly, outside of a campaign, at a later date)

Drip Marketing

Unless you’re promoting something hot that practically sells itself, one-off email campaigns don’t work. You need to get emails out to your target market every month – more than this can feel spammy and increase unsubscribes. And realize that it’s unlikely that someone will receive the email, grab the phone and place an order. Best case: a few may respond with some kind of interest. More common: some will hold onto it and return to it later, when it’s a better time. We’ve had people respond with genuine interest to an email six months to a year later. And rather than sitting back and waiting for someone to respond, you’ll want to make sure you…

Follow Up

The best use of an email campaign is to warm up your target market for a call. It’s even better when you precede the email campaign with a promotional marketing campaign or direct mail piece. Something sent in the mail is more likely to be seen than an email and can generate response rates of 20-50%. The best email open rate we’ve seen in recent years is around 40% - it’s usually 7-15% for prospecting emails and 10-25% for campaigns to clients, former clients and other people that already know you. This means that 60-90%+ of your target market will never open any given email you send, so you don’t want to have all your eggs in that basket. For those that do open your email, we often see very few click-throughs and responses.

If you want your email campaign to generate leads, you need to follow up with recipients by phone within 1-2 days of sending it, or there is virtually no chance they’ll remember seeing it. We target those that opened the email multiple times but did not contact you – this is no guarantee they’re interested, but they are more likely than someone that didn’t open it at all. You need someone to do this follow up who genuinely likes talking to people, doesn’t get discouraged when hung up upon and who can think on their feet. This is usually an inside sales person and/or marketing coordinator.

The follow-up will be easier if there is a juicy promotion or a “no-brainer” type offer – for example, we offer prospective clients a free, comprehensive website audit that focuses on content, SEO and usability. If they’re interested, this “qualified lead” can be given to outside sales. It’s our experience that outside sales, especially seasoned veterans, will not do this lead qualification (a.k.a. “bird-dogging”) – they already have a sales pipeline in place and will look down on calling people that simply opened up an email.

Love or Hate

Don’t expect much from your email campaigns if you whip them together quickly, just send them out once or twice and don’t follow them up. If you take the time and incorporate your email campaigns as part of an overall sales and marketing effort, they can play a central role in lead generation and increased sales for you and your clients. Let us know if I can help you in any way.


Thank you Innovaxis for this great article! For more valuable tips and tricks on email marketing and other topics, feel free to get in touch with Sean Parnell from the Innovaxis Marketing team.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

View Comments