The Postcard and the Feedback Form

Lessons from the hospitality industry.

The hospitality industry is far older than the internet, and its insights can be instructive to those of us who work in the digital realm. If we want to delight our customers and build brand loyalty, we should look to the old masters whose techniques have been honed through the ages.

One of my favorite hotel perks – and certainly one of the cheapest from the hotel’s perspective – is the free postcard on the nightstand. Nobody is in a bad mood when writing a postcard to a loved one. A postcard is an invitation to put down the phone and with pen in hand reflect on your experience.

The postcard is not just a blank white piece of paper. It comes pre-packaged with something worth sharing: a nice picture. And of course, the postcard always comes with the hotel’s own insignia, too. It’s basically the stationary version of “click to tweet.”

The postcard is not to be confused with the feedback form. When a customer has a complaint, hotels want to make it very easy for them to address their concerns to management. Otherwise the customer may find a more convenient outlet on Yelp or TripAdvisor.

The analogy to websites is obvious. When a user visits our site or uses our app, we want to make it very easy to broadcast good experiences to the world, while resolving negative experiences as discreetly as possible.

What other lessons can digital draw from hospitality?

By Kevin Frei at November 15, 2018

Do Our Gifts Scare Away Potential Customers?

A new study shows how generosity can backfire.

Ethical Digital’s outbound sales strategy is based on gift-giving. We have a handful of useful stuff to hand out for free to start the conversation, followed by a low-risk, high-value offer to establish the prospect as a customer. It’s a time-tested approach that is both honest and effective.

So I was a little surprised when I came across a study from the University of Zurich that shows that gift-giving can actually hamper negotiations if done too early. In fact, in their experiment it actually decreased revenue when a gift was offered at the initial meeting.
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By Kevin Frei at November 8, 2018

Building Your Digital Marketing Superteam

The Essential Elements of Great Teamwork

Building a superteam is not just about getting the best players. You need the essential elements of great teamwork: leadership, chemistry, and complementarity. If any one of those ingredients is missing, you could end up with a disaster on the scale of Star-Lord completely blowing it while the Avengers were seconds away from disarming Thanos.

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By Kevin Frei at November 1, 2018

The Other Reason You Need an Integrated Marketing Strategy

Your marketing channels should be balanced.

Overcoming Marketing Channel Bias

The usual argument for integrated marketing is that when your marketing channels are coordinated, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. That’s very true, and you knew that already.

The other reason, which is not often discussed, is that it helps overcome channel bias. PPC people will always favor PPC. Social Media people will always favor Social. Print people will favor Print. The job of your marketing strategist is to allocate your budget most effectively, without favoring any one channel over another.
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By Kevin Frei at October 26, 2018

Which Google products are right for which type of business?

Know which ad types are best for you.

DavidJohn sent me a scan of some training materials he received from Google a few years ago. It’s a deck of cards with information on which Google products are most appropriate for which business types. It looks like this:


Do you recognize it? Some of it is a little out of date, but overall it’s pretty cool!
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By Kevin Frei at October 17, 2018

Supporting Your Buyer’s Journey with Email


It’s true that the marketing funnel is anything but linear. That fact makes it harder and harder for businesses to recognize and fix gaps in their digital buyer’s journey. For small sales and marketing teams, that challenge is often even greater; it can be difficult to qualify and support all leads that your company generates in meaningful ways.

One solution to this growing challenge is to create better content experiences.  In order to do so, you need to audit common interactions your leads have with your business leading up to purchase of your products and services. Then you’ll need to find ways to scale those interactions. 

One channel that still remains effective in delivering information and supporting your leads in a scalable way is email.

Let’s walk through a typical buyer’s journey to uncover what types of email campaigns you may want to run to support leads, no matter where they enter the funnel.
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By Kevin Frei at October 11, 2018