What would someone who's business is featured in "Email Marketing Dynamite" be doing at the first ever Web Strategy Live Seminar held by the author of aforementioned book?
It only took a short discussion with Richard C (accountant, business adviser, mentor) after receiving the invite for Ed's first seminar to decide we would both take him up on his heavily discounted offer and attend (and finally see "the man" himself as it were). Main reason: we both seem to be "eternal students" and never eager to miss a chance to learn more - or different ways.
Richard C is a bottomless well of effective marketing ideas, I've written plenty about our own (web) marketing strategies and the successes with it for our business but there is always more to discover.
Repetition never fails to expose the gaps
Yes, most of the Strategies discussed (at a speed that really made me think we also discovered Warp Speed) are in place in our businesses, but hearing/seeing them once again in great detail did bring out some gaps in our tactics.
Multi-variation testing of landing pages is one of them. Most special "project" webpages I do test already with a simple A/B test (through Google Website Optimizer, definitely with a Z Ed) but I'd not made the next essential step to take this testing up a notch. I will now and have already a project in mind.
I also took away a little extra tip on Google Adwords from Ed, reducing the p-p-c costs on further testing a control ad.
Meeting people - possible strategic alliance prospects
Another reason for traveling down (up?) to London (with the High Speed Rail Link, only 38 minutes!) was of course the chance to meet other businesses with - rather essential IMHO - the same or like-wise ideas on web marketing. If you ever tried to work together (alliance, joint-venture) with a business that did not know or even see the advantage of web strategies (list building, lead pages etc) you know where I'm coming from with this - hard work with limited success. Estate Agents come to mind - but that's a completely different story.
I came away with two firm strategic alliance prospects: one carpet cleaning company and one marble fire-place business. (Email) Talks are already on their way to see where our own lists of contacts/clients can help the other (in the most ethical ways of course, that's one of the first essential and profitable "rules" Ed and others give you). Looking forward to this project - I think it could even be a joint strategic alliance between the three of us - one way or the other.
And a surprise twitter-contact-became-supplier first face to face meeting too. During the "Golden Carrot" brainstorming one lady in the back of the room mentioned an idea about the secrets of proper packaging, being in the transport trade. After one of the breaks I saw her name-badge: Fiona McLellan, which rang a bell. We got talking and it turns out she's the owner of Pharos Parcel, the transport company we now use for parcels instead of ParcelForce. Reasons for switching? Pharos' online booking system is simple, straight forward and covers all that you need, no whistles or bells attached. That, the excellent experience we (and our clients) have with Pharoh Parcel and the regular collection van driver plus the more than competitive prices for parcels, leaves me with absolutely no second thoughts to recommend Fiona and her company to anyone who needs to send out parcels (and/or large items) on a regular or irregular basis.
Sizzling brains, future plans
On the train journey back (so short, we arrived in Ashford before we'd finished brainstorming!) we'd discussed various topics covered during the fast-paced Seminar and added more ideas/plans to the "to-do-list". We always learn or see new angles to grow our businesses - and this is how it should be IMHO.
Plus we have the CD-rom from the Web Strategy Live to keep us going and on our toes! This CD-rom is filled with short videos, templates, worksheets and much more.
More Seminars planned
Ed has more Web Strategy Live seminars planned, you can register your interest here and if you go, give him our regards! Thanks for a very interesting, learnfull and enjoyable day Ed.