Monthly Archive: October 2014

Marry Automated Renewals To Email Outreach And “You’re Good”

Auto-renew is some bullshit. Or it can be, without sufficient communication between parties.

Allow me run through some recent real-world examples…

When you lease a domain from GoDaddy, the default setting is set to auto-renew on an annual basis. You have to manually change the setting, if you want to be prompted to renew, which is something many GoDaddy customers may forget to do, myself included. Thankfully, GoDaddy has a helpful call center, where real employees of the company are ready to solve problems (and reverse charges) for customers.

On another front, SiriusXM charged me for six months of listening the other day, which surprised me because there was no notification that the charge was pending. How hard it is to pro-actively reach out to the customer with a heads up email or text? If you care about positive customer experiences, it’s not that hard. Thankfully, I want satellite radio in the car, so I had no problem with the charge, just the lack of communication around it.

This morning, I looked at my bank statement and noticed a charge for $105 from Ivy Exec. I recently applied for a membership there, and was accepted into their online community, but I don’t recall agreeing to a premium paid account. They removed the charges when I called to cancel.

Now, let me point to a company that manages subscriptions the right way:

Hi davidburn!

We’re sending a quick note to let you know the next payment date for your Flickr Pro subscription is November 13th, 2014. Your payment will be charged automatically.

To see all the Flickr Pro benefits visit


Team Flickr

Thank you, Yahoo! I am happy to renew and happy to be given a heads up.

rainbows over the willamette

Companies that opt to not notify their customers in advance about recurring charges may fear losing subscribers. Fear destroys, is my answer to that.

How do you keep a customer and earn their loyalty? Not by any form of deceit or slight of hand, that’s for sure.

With A Smart Strategy and Skilled Storytellers, Content Marketing Passes the ROI Test

Inquiring minds want to know: Does content marketing work? And what exactly is its return on investment?

The quick answer is it is hard to track, and even the most analytical among us need to bring some degree of faith to the proceedings, as is the case with all investments in brand.

I am reminded of the saying, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

soup sill

One thing we know about marketing today—if it can be measured (in our quest to overcome our “ignorance”) it will be measured. No one wants to waste time or money on tactics that do not produce satisfying results. If metrics can help keep us on track, and grow client investments in content and relationship marketing that’s great news.

When you ask about ROI of content, you’re essentially questioning whether there is value in maintaining ongoing relationships with customers. This is why the question is often misplaced. It’s not about deciding whether to invest more in content and social, it’s a question of how much more.

Daryl Simm, chief executive officer of Omnicom Group’s media operations, is asking clients to move 10% to 25% of their TV budgets to online video. Given that Omnicom’s clients spend $54 billion a year on TV, Simm’s suggestion is no small matter. Should Omnicom’s clients take his suggestion and reallocate just 10% of their budgets to online video, it would result in a $5.4 billion injection into an already burgeoning new media industry.

Mr. Simm is betting big on content for the social stream. I like his gumption and the vision he’s laying out for some of the largest advertisers in the world. Will these advertisers have access to Omnicom’s highly refined data? Naturally. ROI is a fact of life. Just don’t let it tax your decision making to the point of recklessness.

Staying in front of your most interested prospects and current customers with timely and relevant content (versus more product pitches), is a good idea no matter what the data says. It’s also relatively affordable to weave your brand’s most compelling stories through owned and social media channels, especially when compared to the costs associated with producing and running traditional advertising.