Boingnet Blog

Marketing Automation Best Practices, Tips & Tricks

Email marketing pioneers like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and others have really opened up and democratized what had been previously a somewhat mysterious and closed process for non technical marketers by creating easy to use template based approaches to creating content. This, along with their generally great job of building robust products and companies, has propelled them to scale great heights in terms of popularity and market penetration. By giving non technical folks tools to build good looking, well designed HTML email campaigns, services like these have “Crossed the Chasm” from just use by early techie adopters into mainstream business tools used by marketers of all sizes and stripes everywhere. Today, as email marketing has become standard fare and forward looking firms are investing in marketing automation, the template driven approach to HTML design is being applied many new things, including landing pages, microsites, social media and mobile campaigns. If you look around, templates, template editors and template driven design is everywhere in the marketing world. Boingnet Templates are no exception,

A brief look around at the selection of templates available from vendors gives the impression that the more templates, the merrier. Both Constant Contact and MailChimp offer the ability to browse through hundreds of templates to help marketers get started on on building their email campaigns.  As we at Boingnet are preparing our next release, Boingnet V2, we have been spending a lot of time thinking about the process of building a landing page, email campaign or another type of template driven activity. We offer dozens of templates today, and it might seem like we should ramp up the template production to hit the “hundreds” mark that some of the other great companies have built. Like most things, however, we are reaching a different conclusion.

One of the things we’ve discovered when browsing through template libraries (needing to use a term like “libraries” is a hint of where we are going) is that it is actually really hard to make a good decision about which template to pick. When users click through pages and pages of different designs, the process can become completely overwhelming, and it makes it really easy to lose sight of brand and campaign goals, as well as design fundamentals. We’re really excited about our Boingnet V2  template editor, as it has a very different way of walking a user through the template selection process. In addition to the things that make the current Boingnet template editor so useful and powerful (template copying, full HTML editing, variable data and personalization), in Boingnet V2, we are rethinking the way that users decide how to choose a template, turning it into a process that we believe will result in better design decisions with less “template angst” from having to hunt and peck through hundreds of different choices. Stay tuned for more details soon – we’re “pumped & jacked” (in the words of a former Patriots coach) to offer a rethought template editing process soon.

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July 1st 2013 marks a big day in Boingnet’s history – we’ve moved into bigger, better space at 55 Accord Park Drive, Rockland, MA 02370. Our new local phone # is (781) 421-6291. As Boingnet has grown, our thirst for space and smart, motivated and passionate employees has grown as well. We now have great new space, right off exit 14 from Rt. 3 South that we hope to fill up with new team members over the next year.

As we get ourselves completely out of boxes and into production, you’ll see amazing new technology and faces! If you are interested or know of someone who’s wants to join a Cambridge like startup but doesn’t want to commute from south of Boston – check out our Careers page.

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Boingnet Cross-Channel MarketingYesterday, a blockbuster deal was announced in the marketing software world, as Adobe agreed to purchase Neolane, a Paris based company for $600 million cash. The enterprise software and marketing worlds are aflutter today, as analysis pours in to help paint the strategic picture behind the deal.

Adobe, as most of the technology using world is aware, has long been associated with tools that creative marketers use to design, deploy and deliver creative content. (Is there anyone who hasn’t opened a .pdf file in the life?) Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop and the Adobe Creative Suite are iconic products that are used by creative folks worldwide. Less known about Adobe is that they’ve spent the past several years trying to diversify their business into the marketing management software world. Over the past couple of years, they’ve been on an acquisition binge, buying Omniture in 2009 and followed by Day Software (2010), Demdex (2011), Auditude (2011) and Efficient Frontier (2012). This vast assembly of systems, databases and code has been thrown into a meta brand called the Adobe Marketing Cloud. Neolane is the latest and not probably the last in this attempt to create a strong position in the enterprise marketing software market.

What is interesting about the acquisition, at least from a Boingnet standpoint, is what Neolane has built and the fact that Adobe felt it had to grab it. Neolane has specialized in “cross-channel marketing campaign management”, which is a fancy way to say that they provide software that manages how campaigns are deployed, tracked and reported on across both print and electronic channels. Boingnet has been leading the way in this space for years. The Boingnet platform manages online and offline campaigns, with all data tracked through Personal URL’s (pURL’s), which are personalized landing pages optimized for targeted content delivery and for conversion of leads into sales. While Boingnet is focused on the mid market, SMB’s and agencies, Neolane has traditionally done well with extremely large enterprises (approximately 400 customers generating an estimated $80 million in 2013 revenue – about $200k per customer!).

As Boingnet rolls out version 2 of the Boingnet platform in coming months, many of the same features that only the largest companies in the world have been able to afford will be available to the massses. We applaud Neolane with what they’ve built, and think that the Adobe acquisition might be a great thing for their employees and customers. We welcome Adobe to the cross-channel party, and we look forward to delivering on a similar vision, but with a platform for the 99% of businesses and agencies, not the 1%.

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