Five Takeaways for Lists, Lead Gen and Events

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"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so."
—Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax

Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but they can provide a pretty good glimpse. Here are five that lead to some interesting takeaways.

That's the highest percentage of impact for one item on improving the likelihood of your emails reaching their intended inboxes. The item? Having clean and up-to-date lists. "That's always going to be number one," said Chris Arrendale, CEO of Inbox Pros, in an excellent SIPA webinar last week (now posted on the SIPA site for members). "Of course, making sure your content's relevant, your infrastructure is set up properly, you're segmenting properly... all that is great, but" they're not number one...

Takeaway: Clean your lists. Also never use URL shorteners like Bitly in your emails. "You can be blacklisted without even knowing," Arrendale said.

 That was the percentage lift in website email conversion rate when email signups were moved from below to above the fold, according to Jeanne Jennings, managing director, digital marketing, Digital Prism Advisors. (She also presented on last week's webinar.). She said the company she was consulting for thought that the higher placement would take away from their revenue-generating portions of the page.

"But that didn't happen at all," Jennings said. "When we moved it up, revenue actually increased. If your email signups are not above the fold on every page of your website, that's something you should rally for. By itself it can provide a significant list.

Takeaway: Move your email signups to above the fold on every page.


45%. That's the percentage of millennials that want to travel for business versus just 26% for baby boomers, according to a study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). "Young people want to have an experience," David Fournier, publisher and CEO of AHC Media, told me last week. "I asked my staff, 'How can we make our subscribers and visitors [have more of] an experience with us? Something different and more engaging."

The GBTA study also found that 46% of millennial travelers use social media to meet up with friends when they travel, compared to just 17% of boomers. Free WiFi at events is also a must for this generation.

Takeaway: Tailor some of your events—or portions of them—to millennials. And then target them in your marketing.  

TEDtalks18 minutes.
 That's the ideal length of a presentation, according to organizers of TED. Scientists seem to agree on a range of 10-18 minutes for how long most people can pay attention before they veer off. In one study, graduate students who went to class three days a week for 50 minutes recalled more information than those who went to class one day a week for three hours.

Fournier said they are starting to sense a need for shorter offerings because of decreased attention spans. "We're offering continuing education credits in smaller snippets and being more robust," he said.

The 18-minute length works much like the way Twitter forces people to be disciplined in what they write," said TED curator Chris Anderson. "By forcing speakers who are used to going on for 45 minutes to bring it down to 18, you get them to really think about what they want to say. ... It has a clarifying effect. It brings discipline."

Takeaway: Try shorter snippets of information. And test giving speakers less time, or perhaps decrease the presentation part and increase the Q&A so the information becomes more personalized.

 According to McKinsey and Company, measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction. "In addition, maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential not only to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%.

Takeaway: Be as consistent as possible with your customer journeys. Try to get as much feedback as you can and fix areas "now" where there has been a negative experience.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…