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IBM recently added Silverpop to its portfolio of marketing assets. This is another sign that marketing automation and mass personalization has become a crucial part of today's marketing arsenal.

Recently I had the chance to demo Silverpop Engage and inevitably, I found myself comparing it to Hubspot, which I've been primarily using thi

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s past year.

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Workflows


Silverpop has visual, drag and drop workflows (similar to Eloqua). The capability is quite extensive and it's flexible in developing very specific and custom workflows (more so than Hubspot).

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Silverpop Workflow


A neat feature of Silverpop's workflows is that you can add a step to send direct mail. This step will automatically email instructions to a printer to print a customized mailing label for a contact in the database. I assumed (before I did some research), that direct mail was a mostly dead marketing tactic. Blame Generation Y thinking here, but it turns out this feature may be in use for a little while yet. According to this Huffington Post article: "A study done by the Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate for direct mail to an existing customer averages 3.4 percent, compared to 0.12 percent for email."

As I mentioned in my previous post on Eloqua vs. Hubspot, Hubspot workflows consist of a list of steps, a trigger, and a goal, which I find is not the most intuitive way to plan out a campaign.

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Hubspot Workflow



Email


Silverpop emails have a send time optimization feature. Based on a history of user opens, emails will be sent at a time the contact is most likely to open them. This is a great feature (and lacking in Hubspot) since I find there's a constant debate over the best time to send out an email blast (there really isn't ONE good time).


Hubspot has a built-in email testing feature (powered by Litmus) which provides you with the ability to preview an email on multiple devices before sending it. There is a similar paid add-on in Silverpop, but I do think that by now this should be a built-in feature since responsive design and optimizing for mobile are more important than ever.

Reporting & Dashboards


Based on the Silverpop demo of their reporting feature, it seems that the capabilities are about the same as Hubspot but the Silverpop UI is extremely dated. I found that reports are not as visually appealing in Silverpop as they are in Hubspot, nor did the interface seem as user friendly.

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Silverpop Reports


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Hubspot Reports


Silverpop also allows you to alter widgets on the home screen for a look at stats at a glance. You can add widgets to view scheduled emails, top forms, and top sources. This is a bit more detailed than Hubspot's dashboard, which does not have as many options for personalization and is more focused on visits, leads and customers.

Testing


I found that Silverpop offers more extensive email and landing page A/B testing. You can create up to four test versions simultaneously vs Hubspot's two. This type of multivariate testing is great for testing numerous elements simultaneously but requires a lot more traffic to produce statistically significant results.

Segmenting


Silverpop queries allow for a very granular level of segmentation. For example, you can segment all the contacts who clicked on a specific link within a specific email. Hubspot's segmentation abilities cover most cases but are definitely not as specific.

Miscellaneous Features


Silverpop allows you to send text messages. Hubspot doesn't do this, but I don't feel that this is a crucial feature.

Silverpop doesn't have a blogging tool. Hubspot on the other hand provides a platform that puts every aspect of your marketing in one place (including a blogging tool).

Silverpop automatically adds your preferred device as a field into the contact database (based on common devices you've used to access emails). You can then segment your contacts based on that field. I see this being useful in a situation where you wanted to perhaps encourage the use of mobile with specific offers or rewards.

UI & Usability


This is my biggest complaint when it comes to Silverpop. The interface just reminds me a lot of Eloqua 9. I find the Silverpop UI to be very dated and it's definitely not as intuitive as Hubspot from a usability standpoint.

Conclusion


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Silverpop is less user friendly


In my opinion, Silverpop is very similar to Hubspot in terms of its capabilities, aside from a few minor nice-to-have features. A major flaw in my opinion is the UI and usability of Silverpop – I think that a visual, modern UI is something we all expect from any software, especially one aimed at marketers.

If you've used both platforms, let us know which you prefer in the comments below.


Next Step



Post from: Search Engine People SEO BlogHubspot vs Silverpop: Battle of the Marketing Automation Systems

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Written by Sumayya Sattar,




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Google controls so much of the Internet marketing ecosystem. Like it or not, affiliates have to play Google's way or it's the highway. I recently had an affiliate program manager contact me to say they needed to cancel their 5 Star affiliate promotion campaign and close their affiliate program because their affiliates were hit so hard by Panda. So there is a trickle down affect to Google's actions and it affects everyone, even me. So I thought I'd share a couple recent articles that may be helpful in learning to play the game Google's way.
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Starting a new business or growing an existing business can be demanding. Staying one step ahead is the name of the game. The evolution of the Internet has certainly changed the economic and business climate, thus successful businesses need to stay on top and, more importantly, ahead of trends. Reaching your business potential is no […]
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"Make sure you're regularly posting fresh content.

"Oh yeah, and of course it has to be unique and useful and relevant and share-worthy and…"

Sound familiar? The SEO industry is awash with advice like this and it's true – it is important to be regularly creating fresh content that is going to be of benefit to your readers/potential customers. There's one key element missing though – how the heck do we manage to do that on a regular basis without running our ideas reservoir well and truly dry?

Fortunately there are vario

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us techniques you can employ to get that creativity flowing in the right direction again.

  • See also: 4 Tools To Help Generate Content Ideas

  • More: 10 Tools to Help You Generate Content Ideas


Scour Social Media


The key to a great idea is that it is something that is going to interest your target audience – but how do you know if something is going to really resonate with them?

Fortunately, social media allows for insights into what your industry and target market are talking about, what questions they're asking and what they're sharing with their friends and family.

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Twitter is a great place to start. Start searching for some phrases or topics and see what people are saying about them. Perhaps there is a question being asked regularly that has not yet been answered comprehensively, or there is a current news story that can be built on.

It can also be worth creating content around an idea that ISN'T being talked about on social media, as it presents an opportunity to create something fresh and new, though of course it is important that the reason no one is talking about it isn't because it isn't of any interest.

Magazines/offline Media


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Who says that all of your research for fresh content ideas has to be conducted online?

Scour the pages of trade magazines for what's newsworthy in your industry and try and base content around these ideas. Try and provide a fresh angle on something or put forward a new argument, though avoid being controversial for controversy's sake as this could alienate some of your audience depending on how you execute it.

Portent


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Portent's Content Idea Generator is a great little tool for helping you to think outside of the box when you're brainstorming new ideas. Simply enter your subject and cycle through an unending series of weird and whacky article title ideas.

A lot of them will be too out there to put into practice, but it can be useful just to get you thinking in a slightly different way and facilitate a bit of creativity.

Competitor Analysis


Can't think of any ideas yourself? Look at what your competitors are doing!

Now I don't mean simply steal other people's ideas, but instead simply use them as a starting point for creating your own ideas in the same way as with social media. Here's an example:

Say you find an article on a competitor's website explaining why they agree with a new piece of legislation that effects your industry that you in fact DON'T agree with. Why not write a post in direct response to your competitor and start an online debate, sharing it with the rest of your industry.

Like with producing 'controversial' content however, you need to tread carefully if you're going to publicly disagree with a competitor, and make sure that you are putting forward a strong argument without criticising or belittling the other company.

Content Calendars


A content calendar's primary use is for scheduling the creation, publishing and sharing of content, but having in mind key dates in the calendar can also help when it comes to idea generation.

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For example, is it nearly Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day? Is there anything that you can produce around those holidays? National awareness days can also be great for tying in content with something current, so take a look at what's coming up either nationally or internationally.

Creating fresh content that people are going to want to read is not easy, and it takes a lot of careful thought, research and hard work to pull off effectively. However by actioning the above techniques you may begin to find getting into that creative mind set a little bit easier.


Post from: Search Engine People SEO Blog5 Techniques for Generating Content Ideas

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Written by John Rooney,

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Amit says - When I started affiliate marketing back in 2005 it was NOT easy. I had to fight a hard battle to hit the tipping point, the point everything turned around and my affiliate income skyrocketed. In this video I explain the tipping point and the the science of getting rich in affiliate marketing. Since 2005 I've changed my focus to helping affiliates make the same breakthrough I made many years ago.
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I rushed out and grabbed a copy of the old Webmaster Guidelines for Affiliates from Google cache, so we can compare the old with the new. And below for your viewing pleasure are both!
The most noteworthy change I highlighted in bold. In simple terms Google changed the tone from “affiliate sites are bad” to a more positive tone and highlights what makes a “Good” affiliate site.
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Mastermind groups are one of the crucial puzzle pieces to the success picture that can catapult you further, faster. Napoleon Hill in his famous book Think And Grow Rich devoted an entire chapter to the importance of the mastermind group and lists it as one of the key steps to success. He credits learning the […]
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mobile

The Mobile Moment by Jeffrey


Statistics from eMarketer reveal that mobile e-commerce would reach the 31 billion USD mark in US alone and would surpass 119 billion USD globally, by 2015. Come to think of it, the new set o

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f data and stats released are only a reiteration of what we already knew: the internet is going to be mobile and there would be no looking back from there.


Mobile devices — smart phones and tablets — are not for professionals only anymore. Seniors, teens, suburban moms — you name it and they have it. With more and more people turning to their mobile devices to look for products and services online, having mobile optimized websites is an absolute must-have for e-commerce companies who want to stay in the game.


So how do you optimize your e-commerce website for mobile?


To put it in a single sentence: you do so by investing in mobile websites and native mobile applications.


Mobile websites and mobile apps make excellent sales channels and if your business doesn't already have at least one of these, it's high time you hire the best professional developer you know and get started.


Using your mobile website


Consumers are increasingly growing impatient. Regardless of how they access your website, they want easy navigation, quick responses, and an un-compromised user experience. Shopify reported a 12 percent hike in its revenue and a 25 percent hike in page-views after switching to responsive and adaptive web designs which had helped reduce the latency from seven seconds to only two.


With e-commerce predicted to have an exponential growth and more and more users turning to their mobile devices for browsing and purchasing, mobile optimized websites are now a MUST for all commerce companies.


Three tips in this regard are:


1. Knowing the difference between optimizing and downsizing


Agreed, your users want faster response and easy navigation. What they also want is rich content and rich user experience. You can't achieve that simply by omitting images, videos and other vital attention-grabbing content


Good mobile optimized websites reduce response time without compromising on quality or content. Take some time to decide upon the content that defines your business and optimize it for mobile delivery.


Keep making small changes to your website and document how they affect page-views and conversions. Run A/B tests.



  • Learn more: 8 Essential Mobile Marketing Considerations


2. Choosing responsive web design


Responsive web designs are as smart as technology gets. They eliminate change the website's layout to best suit the viewing medium used.


When your e-commerce website uses flexible images, fluid layouts, CSS3 media queries and proportion based grids to optimize navigability and readability , the mobile user experience can be excellent.



  • Learn more: Q: What URL Should I Use For My Mobile Website? A: Responsive Design


3. Choosing adaptive web design


Responsive design optimizes your e-commerce website for mobile devices based on the browser. Adaptive web design on the other hand optimizes primarily for your consumer and not the browser being used.


What this means is that your website displays optimally and specifically for the device accessing it. A desktop user views a 1000×1000 pixel image rendered at 125KB and an iPhone user is shown a 250×250 pixel rendered at 25KB image. The aim is to provide a device optimized image as quickly as possible.



  • Learn more: The Difference Between Adaptive Design And Responsive Design


Using mobile apps


If you have a loyal customer base, mobile apps can be extremely potent in providing a rich user experience. These apps are designed to be able to save purchase history and build a customer profile, based on which recommendations on other products and services are made.


While mobile optimized websites will suffice for SMBs, mobile apps are a second must-have for large retailers, after mobile websites.


Post from: Search Engine People SEO BlogHow to Optimize Your E-Commerce Website for Mobiles

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Written by Dave Ken,

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Here is an in-depth study from Google about WHAT people are going to be shopping for this season along with insights about HOW they will be purchasing. Today, people no longer see a line between online and offline shopping, and neither do smart retailers. This year online and offline shopping experiences are more seamless than ever - across pricing, functionality, promotions - making this the first NONline holiday season…
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Guest Post by Mitch O’Connor Building a niche site can be an effective way to build your business and generate profit. A niche site helps to develop your professional profile and may eventually become a popular source of authoritative content. Unfortunately, developing such a site cannot generally be done overnight. Instead, you might think of [...]

The 007 Guide to Creating a Niche Site

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