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January 2009

Cross Media Marketing PURL Video

This video was produced by the Post Office and features JFM Concepts.  It gives a good overview on the use of PURLs.


Best Content Generator for Mac (and a workaround for PC)

We think this widget is the best filler content generator for our cross media marketing and PURL projects.

Try for your filler content.

Corporate Ipsum

It's as much fun as a Dilbert cartoon.

For PC folks (like me) try copying text out of this blog which demos the widget:  (Thanks to hyperlinkguerilla for sharing!)

$4 Billion in Net Income, 5000 Jobs Cut, Who's going to buy?

Ok, so operating and net income was down, but Microsoft still MADE 4 Billion dollars last quarter.  It seems pretty obvious to me that many firms are using the current economy as an excuse to slash jobs in hopes of boosting stock perfromance and bonuses.

Quick note to those making these cuts, if everyone keeps slashing jobs, there will be no one to buy your products and services.  The downward spiral will just continue.

Think about it.


Software giant Microsoft is slashing 5,000 jobs over 18 months in its first company-wide layoffs, including 1,400 jobs today following disappointing second quarter results.

While revenue of $16.63 billion was up 2% for the quarter, which ended December 31, over the same period in 2007, operating income was down 8%, to $5.94 billion, the company reported. Microsoft is taking “additional steps to manage costs, including the reduction of headcount-related expenses, vendors and contingent staff, facilities, capital expenditures and marketing,” according to a company statement.

Net income decreased 11% to $4.17 billion, and diluted earnings per share decreased 6% to 47 cents. 

Popularity is fine, results are better

I just got the coolest link about the Pomegranate Phone from Twitter.  It is an amazingly clever gag viral marketing piece that leads to a very serious Discover Nova Scotia web site.

Once I looked at this site (and was very entertained) I asked myself a few questions.  Did spending a virtual fortune on the production of this site really translate into leads for the Province of Nova Scotia? Did all this effort get the right people to my final content?

I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that the same budget spent on direct marketing to target businesses would yield more inquiries.  The LA Times quotes that it would cost $60,000 dollars for a full page ad in a target city.  How many Execs could I touch directly with a variable data communication targeted to their sector, a personalized landing page, and robust tracking by prospect’s name and position? 

Popularity is fine, results are better.

JFM at Intelligent Content 2009

Intelligent Content 2009 provides insights into how you can make your content intelligent through structure, tagging, interoperability standards, hybrid content strategies, personalization, and communication models. With intelligent content you can do more with less and ensure that you can deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right customer in a way that uniquely meets your customer's needs.

Panel - Intelligent Publishing
Traditional publishing is often crafted for a single channel. In recent years multichannel publishing has become more prevalent, and now the technology has matured enough to facilitate sophisticated personalization. This panel explores intelligent publishing today and into the future.

  • James D. Michelson - JFM Concepts
  • Jerry Silver - EMC
  • Kelly Stirman - Mark Logic
  • Dave White - Quark
James D. Michelson, JFM Concepts

This session will present a practical guide to delivering personalized marketing content across various marketing channels. We will examine a case study that demonstrates proven strategies to attract prospects and convert leads into sales. An example campaign will be developed from inception to execution that can serve as a platform for the attendee's own projects. The example campaign will demonstrate how to develop personas for each prospect, capture the prospect's attention, determine their demographics, and drive the lead to the web for personalized information. Focus will be on using variable content with multiple touch points and communication methods. The presentation will outline successful tactics to ensure the best possible outcome and highest ROI from content based marketing and sales efforts.

Top 11 PURL Campaign Mistakes

After executing a few hundred PURL campaigns in every size and shape, the experts at JFM Concepts have come up with the following list of 11 PURL campaign mistakes.  If you have a few more to share, please let me know about your experiences.

x Going to print before the URL or DNS is pointed. 

Once you’ve printed or emailed a marketing message, you can not change the PURL and if the DNS or URL changes, you have just spent a lot of money for nothing.

x When using a DNS record, not pointing the as well as 

People often add the www, needed or not.

x Relying on having time from mailing to arrival to complete web design. According to Murphy’s Law, the Post Office will always deliver the next day on bulk mail when you do not want them to.

x Not making the PURL the obvious call to action. 

In order to capture the interest of those who take no further action, it is critical to drive prospects to the web.  To succeed, the PURL must be prominently displayed on the piece.

x Relying only the PURL and a name to drive response.

PURLs are a great tool, but they work best when supported by other variable content such as prospect specific art & copy.

x Having a weak call to action. 

Prospects need a reason to visit the web.   Something they can not buy or easily acquire, especially information, is very strong.

x Using too many clicks on landing page. 

The K.I.S.S. principle applies to landing pages as well as the print or email design.  Why take four pages to accomplish what can be done in just one?

x Asking too many survey questions. 

Asking more than 5 or 6 questions, or using more than one web page, will cause a dramatic increase in abandonment.  Ask only the questions that are crucially important.

x Not starting a two way conversation. 

The web landing page is ideal mechanism to gain insight into your client by having the visitor tell you what they want, not just what you want to know.  We don not know what we do not know.

x Not planning for follow up.

Make a plan now to assure that there is a system ready to go to contact the leads generated.

x Forcing prospects to enter an email or phone.

Unless the offer is very strong, mandating that visitors provide an email and/or phone will dramatically increase the abandonment rate.  Is this information really critical and how do I know.  If you have no immediate plans to utilize the phopen and email, its not critical.


i  Let us know your experiences!