Entries Tagged as 'marketing'

answers to your voiceover database question

audioconnell contact managementYou may be saying to yourself: “Self, I did not know I had a voiceover database question! So how is Peter K.O’Connell going to answer a question I did not know I had?”

I am going to answer it extremely well, especially if you are using Google Contacts as your customer relationship management tool. Based on discussions I have had with many voice talents as FaffCon, alot of people DO use Google Contacts…mostly because it’s free!

What you see on the left is my groups list for my database, which has about 1,250 contacts, pruned down significantly from about a year or so ago. At the bottom, you see a red circle around OTHER CONTACTS. That’s what I will be talking about here, specifically regarding when users export their contact list for things like email blasts.

If you’re smart, and I know you are, when you export your contacts to services like MailChimp for email blasts, you review the exported list before you upload the list to Mail Chimp or some other blast service. In doing so, many times you look at a number of email addresses on the list and ask in a loud, bold and italicized voice:

Who’s email address is THAT and how did it get in there?

The email address you concerned about is not familiar to you and it doesn’t match any names in your contacts, yet there it sits in your excel or comma separated values sheet.

Most likely it came from OTHER CONTACTS and my advice to you here today is to review, edit and/or delete any names in OTHER CONTACTS before you export your next list.

Briefly stated, Gmail and Google Contacts will save email addresses of group emails you received and some individual emails too if there is not a contact assigned to it. OTHER CONTACTS is where these emails get stored.

It’s not a bad thing. Sometimes when you get an email from a prospect who turns into a client, in the haste to provide product or service you don’t always create a prosper contact account for that person. Google Contacts helps make sure you hold on to the email address and decide later if it is “Contact Worthy” or if it gets deleted.

If you have not gone through OTHER CONTACTS in a long time, spend some time to go through it and don’t just immediately delete everything. Copy an unfamiliar email address into your emails and see what comes up. You’ll know pretty quickly if it’s a keep or toss.

And don’t forget to sort your contacts by groups. But that’s a blog for another day.

the new los angeles chargers seem graphically challenged

SanDiegoLosAngelesFootballLet me be clear, I really like the city of San Diego. I would consider living there if only the city was not in the state of California.

As far as football, this week they announced they are leaving San Diego and going to live in Los Angeles. Oh well, that’s sports.

But with a new city comes a new logo and that’s where I become interested. Don’t get me wrong, I like sports. But logos, I really like.

As I have noted here before, team like the Los Angeles Rams can really botch a logo opportunity. Badly.

Well in just a few days, the Chargers of Los Angeles have quickly botched their new logo opportunity as well.

The logo roll out gives you a pretty fair indication of what kind of operational chaos the Chargers of (pick any city in California, I guess) are in.

sandiegochargersNow, to begin with, the Chargers, late of San Diego, seem to me to have lost a bet when it came to logos and colors. Certainly, they didn’t have as bad a situation of it as the Cleveland Browns, but logo and word mark wise, the Chargers could certainly do better with the move to LA and a new icon.

The logo roll out (such as it was) gives you a pretty fair indication of what kind of operational chaos the Chargers of (pick any city in California, I guess) are in.

The first logo (LA on the left) was, I’m pretty sure, designed on Fiver as it looked like an amateurish mating of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

I wasn’t the only one who caught that (the internet had a blast with it).

Then, for reasons that I perceive as panic driven because of the poor reception given the Los Angeles Chargers “Fiver Logo”, the team went back to their horrible word mark with yellow/goldish lettering on a light blue background about 24 hours later. They must have called the “braintrust” at the Los Angeles Rams for advice and were told, go back to your old imagery and just change the city name.

Then to add insult to injury, the LA Chargers went and hired a coach from the Buffalo Bills to be their new head coach. Who hires anybody from the recent Bills staff and hopes to win anything? Oh yeah, Jacksonville. Oy!

So between this logo fiasco (and I expect it to continue) and the coaching choice, don’t expect season ticket sales to go through the roof next season for the Chargers.

In other sports news, the Oakland Raiders (it seems) will be moving to Las Vegas in a few years. Hope their new logo is better than the horribleness that is the name, branding and worst of all colors for the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Ick!

a free marketing idea for the university of dayton

University of Dayton Mugs - photo courtesy audioconnell.com

Ed.Note: The following is a friendly, open letter to University of Dayton President Eric Spina from UD Alumni Peter K. O’Connell.

Dear Dr. Spina,

First, welcome to the University of Dayton. It’s a nice place (as you now know) and everyone thinks you’ll do great things for UD.

You and I have a couple of things in common. First, we’re both from Buffalo and we both graduated from Canisius High School.

No doubt with all the good things you found at the University, you’ve likely come across some challenges…like big, headache inducing challenges. And I know what’s at the top of the list.

UD’s new sports logo.

It’s awful. You know it and so does the rest of the free-world.

It’s the one the spells out ‘VD’. The V is supposed to be a stylized version of wind or possibly an Indian feather. No one really knows what it is. You’re not supposed to have to guess about logos anyway.

I’m not blaming you…you had nothing to do with it. But you’re kind of saddled with it. On my visit to the campus on Monday, the new logo monstrosity was everywhere.

So, what to do?

Well, evidently the school paid big money to somebody for the “VD” logo. So who ever IS responsible for approving it doesn’t want to be embarrassed for spending that kind of money only to admit defeat in a short amount of time.

Personally, I don’t like to come to a problematic situation like the “VD” logo without a reasonable solution. I have the solution AND it’s a money making solution, at that!

You see those pictures in this post of the UD mug with the last UD sports logo used just prior to the new “VD” logo? The sports logo the basketball team wore during their run in the Elite 8 a few years ago.

I bought that mug Monday night at the bookstore. I couldn’t bring myself to buy any merch with the “VD” logo.

Buying the mug with the nice, old logo got me thinking.

Why can’t the University of Dayton create a, 8-12′ section of the bookstore and a page on the on-line shop dedicated solely to items featuring this last sports logo? Mugs, hats, shirts…whatever! But LOTS of stuff, not just the few measly items I was able to find in the bookstore Monday night. Market it as the “UD Classic Collection”?

Alumni will eat it up! There will be a run on the bookstore and it will crash the on-line store with sales!

You do realize most of the alumni hate the “VD” logo right? The marketing department may say the “VD” logo is ‘widely accepted by students and alumni’ but something tells me the marketing department was in on the creation of the “VD” logo.

Plus, you know how the NFL and NHL play in classic uniforms from days gone by…and SELL merch with those “old” logos? Now UD can do the same thing. So my idea has already been tested and proven successful by the pros.

Everything old is new again!

With this plan, the University of Dayton can avoid the short term embarrassment of having to change the new, awful logo so soon (but UD still should design something new in the next few years), all while still keep alumni happy with the logo they (and everyone with really good eyesight) likes better.

A win-win.

Eric, this idea is yours for the taking! No charge! One less headache for you to worry about.

Hope this helps.

Best always,

Peter K. O’Connell, University of Dayton Class of ’86

los angeles rams have no style

los angeles rams logo

Look at that.

The NFL’s St. Louis Rams are being hauled back to Los Angeles. The 2,000 or so old Los Angeles Rams fans from the original are very excited.

The millions of other Los Angelinos couldn’t give a ram’s ass. The reason?

It’s GOT to be the logo.

I only noticed it tonight after the NFL draft started (probably like thousands of others). Really, Los Angeles? Really?!

Bad enough the team got stuck with a crappy name like the Rams (only one worse would be The Bills). But to get a second chance at life in LA, having been stuck with questionable team colors (once yellow and blue now pukish gold and dark blue) you would think some great LA designer would have at the new logo and give it LA style.

No.

They are staying with the Rams name for heritage sake (again, WHAT heritage?!) and they took the old word mark and just slapped “Los Angeles” on it.

WTH?!

los angeles rams iconAnd who the heck is going to be scared of this Ram? Look at it! Oooo, I’m shaking.

This should be the logo of a Single A baseball team with a color-blind graphic designer, not an NFL franchise.

CFL maybe but not NFL.

Who wants to wear that stupid looking ram on a baseball cap or sweatshirt?

No the Rams will NOT be leading the NFL Merchandise sales in 2016.

They had a great branding opportunity and they blew it. New (kinda) city, new (kinda) team with a new (not really) logo.

If they win the Super Bowl, no one will care about the logo I guess. But nobody cares about the logo now either.

are your voice-over prospects dead?

Peter K. O'Connell Google Contacts

If you’ve worked with any prospect or client database for any period of time, it will happen to you. Through a phone call, a direct mail or an email blast that you’ve done, you find out one of your prospects has died.

Worse, they’ve been dead for a while but because you hadn’t reached out to them in much more than an automatic (read: email blast way) you didn’t know.

You didn’t kill them but you feel like crap about it anyway for a number of reasons. Maybe it shook you a bit. OK, take the day, do something else at the office. Come back to prospecting tomorrow.

And when tomorrow comes, learn the lessons.

One lesson is that if someone is a TRUE prospect, you should try and call them a few times a year. Be a real person on the phone (not salesy), chat and talk a little business. Keep them on your prospect/client list if there’s an opportunity and pull them off the list if there is not. Also pull them off if you can never get through or if they never call you back. Or put them on a secondary (not prime) list if you don’t want to give up on them completely.

The other lesson, the one that requires more physical work for you, is that it’s probably time to clean up your database of prospects and clients.

I know this to be a valuable exercise because I just finished doing it.

No, a death didn’t trigger the clean up. It did, however, make an eye-catching headline (gotcha) and yes, I actually have been through that “death” experience with a few prospects (it’s bound to happen to every business person). It was awkward and I survived.

What caused me to go through all my voice-over prospects were the results of my voice-over email marketing campaigns and some voice-over direct mail campaigns I did in 2015. What I knew in my head before all that was that it had been a while (read: years) since I did a thorough scrubbing of my list. I tried to do some work on it but it wasn’t enough.

Also, let me be clear, I am well aware that it is the quality of the list and not the quantity that makes it valuable. I’m not saying I always “lived it” but I know it.

It is a lot of tedious work to purge as you are looking at every name on your lists. For me, that totaled easily over 4,000 contacts (leads, clients, voice talents, family, friends, etc.)

I knew there were going to be some “corpses” in there – some that were still alive but were dead to me, in a business context.

Studying data results (most easily done, in this context, via email blast results included in most email programs) showed me that a lot of people were not opening my voice-over business emails. Now, there are many reasons for that (like spam filters). I also know that some people HAD opened my emails but it didn’t register as having been opened (ah, technology). Ultimately, the numbers were enough of an indication to me that I needed to look through the data and purge.

In my case, I use two primary tools for coordinating prospects: Google Contacts and LinkedIn. Google Contacts is a free address book (and or Customer Relationship Manager if you want to be all fancy pants about it). In it are the contacts I have had since the beginning of time (importing them to Google Contacts when that became my tool). LinkedIn started in 2002 and I remember hopping on around 2005 or ’06; LinkedIn lets connected members download each other’s emails. My profile clearly states I will be communicating with my connections via email (and it is not terribly frequently).

Time gets away from all of us. While we are seemingly always busy gathering prospects and client information, it is a more rare occasion when any of us purge it. While not hoarders, there is definitely some cleaning up we all need to do.

And so I began.

I looked at each individually exported list (Google Contacts and LinkedIn). I also compared those lists to those email addresses that had bounced, opted out or otherwise failed from my email blast system. It was a lot of checking and cross checking, then updating or (mostly) deleting.

What I discovered in my voice-over database probably won’t surprise you but it still agitated me…

• There were prospects from easily 10 years ago who I had long forgotten about…some of who’s businesses had even closed (they aren’t prospects anymore); same with some really old one-time only clients
• When I first joined LinkedIn, likely not understanding it and not having a business plan for it at that time, I connected with a lot (A LOT) of people for no good reason other than to build connections —those folks are gone from my connections now
• Google Mail will create contacts for folks you may only briefly email in something called “Other Contacts”; evidently it was a few (many) years before I got that memo and noticed that option (more deletions)
• You and likely only you can do this task as the voice-over business owner because only you know who to keep and who to toss – this job cannot be delegated and done effectively
• Tedious and tiresome as it is to do, the result of your focused efforts to manage your prospect and contact lists will pay off in your future marketing efforts

Between my two main sources, I deleted or updated over 1,200 contacts (yes, one by one). Besides feeling lighter and less stupid (or stupid to a lesser degree) what, if any, outcomes came from this exercise?

Well, here what I have found in only the past 2-3 weeks since I completed the chore:

audioconnell email blast study

• In November, 2015 I sent out an email blast to 2,749 prospects and clients (excluding all voice talents, family members and other non prospect/client related people)
• Overall, I had an open rate of 28.3%
• I had a “unique viewer” click through rate (people clicking on a link to read something) of 11.31%
• I had 88 bounced emails (even though I “thought” I was keeping up with deletions after every email blast)

• In February, 2015 with my purged and updated list, I sent out an email blast to 1,547 prospects and clients (same exclusions) (-1,202 contacts)
• Overall, I had an open rate of 35.4% (+7.1%)
• I had a “unique viewer” click through rate of 12.4% (+1.1%)
• I had 15 bounced emails (almost 6x fewer)

Taking into account, within this imperfect science, that the two blasts had different content, were sent at different times of the year and different times of day, the numbers are improved. They’d HAVE to improve considering I was carrying so much “dead” prospect weight. Worse, the numbers I’d previously studied were inaccurate. Because I didn’t properly manage my database, I was not managing my business as effectively as I could have. Advice: don’t be me.

There are other steps and plans that I can take with this renewed focus on database management. If I choose to target certain media business categories, there’s no reason I can’t pull them up from Google Contacts and LinkedIn, update the addresses (or lookup and add addresses in the case of LinkedIn) and do some better-targeted marketing.

I need to get on the phone to these folks more.

Finally, I need to try and make it a priority to more regularly edit, update and purge my database. It’s hard to keep up with it but I need to make an effort.

You’ve read about my mistakes here because I know you made some of them too, maybe more. You don’t have to write about your mistakes but I sure hope you can learn from mine. It’s not the end of the world for me or you, just another step in the voice-over journey.

I hope this helps.

a new logo for the toronto maple leafs?

Toronto Maple Leafs logo

This is a conundrum.

On the one hand, as a Buffalo Sabres fan, I shouldn’t even HAVE a Toronto Maple Leafs logo on this web site. It is sacrilege.

On the other hand, the possible switch of one of the more famous logos in the NHL interests the heck outta me.

So Go Leafs Go!

In spite of not having won a Stanley Cup in many years (like many, many years) it is still one of the most famous teams in hockey. It was the city I saw my first NHL game in at the old Maple Leaf Garden.

It is said that in honor of the team’s 100th Anniversary next year, their will be a new logo (and one assumes uniforms as well).

The logo is famous but I would not call it iconic. It’s not as ugly as, say, the New Jersey Devils logo. Simple as it is, I find the Maple Leaf logo attractive but certainly with room for improvement.

There has been no official logo redesigned yet but the talk of a new Maple Leafs logo has the sports graphic design world (mostly amateurs at this point, I believe) frothing at the mouth. Understandable, as it’s an exciting proposition.

There are a lot of ideas out there but one early logo I’ve seen really shows promise. The designer is Matt McElroy. It retains the simplicity of the original mark, the colors (which any would be crazy to change) and adds a kind of simple strength to me.

 Toronto Maple Leafs Logo Concept By Matt McElroy Number9Concepts All Rights Reserved

Toronto Maple Leafs Logo Concept By Matt McElroy Number9Concepts All Rights Reserved

It takes a well know international hockey mark (the blue maple leaf) and adds a simply, strong “T” to a new logo that everyone in the NHL (and probably the world hockey community) would know instantly.

Toronto Maple Leafs Uniform Concept By Matt McElroy Number9Concepts All Rights Reserved

Toronto Maple Leafs Uniform Concept By Matt McElroy Number9Concepts All Rights Reserved

Do I think this will be the winning design? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure that logo race is just getting started and some big logo design houses (hopefully not just uniform makers, oy!) will get in on the race.

This should be a lot of fun.