Touchdown San Francisco

May 11th, 2007

I have arrived in the lovely city of San Francisco for the first time ever. Among being here for the first time ever, its actually the first time I will be in California and not have to go straight to a meeting, speak at an event or attend a conference.

I am here to speak at Click Z’s Email Marketing event on Monday morning and figured it would be a shame if I didn’t take the opportunity to spend the weekend soaking up the city. I am looking forward to it.

For those of you out here, if there are any events you know about that I should check out either Friday, Saturday or Sunday, drop me a comment on the blog or email me at gcangialosi [at] gmail [dot] com.

Tags: sanfrancisco, emailmarketing, westcoast, california, clickz

Tech Cocktail Comes to DC

May 5th, 2007

I am psyched that Frank Gruber and crew have decided to put on Tech Cocktail DC on Thursday May 17th at MCCXXII.

Ever since Frank and Eric Olsen started Tech Cocktail in Chicago, its made me think about the lack of unique tech networking events that we have in the area. Sure we have decent events here and there, but they’re not as cool and as current as Tech Cocktail!

As Frank and Eric note on the Tech Cocktail website, the event is all about:

“a place for bloggers, technologists, entrepreneurs and other business professionals to meet, share ideas and have some fun.”

In addition to a chill environment and plenty of networking, Tech Cocktail will also feature product demo’s by some of the area’s leading technology companies.

If you are in the area come on out and check out DC’s newest tech networking event. You can RSVP here.

Tags: techcocktail, frankgruber, ericolsen, technology, networking, washingtondc, dc, events

Closing Deals On Fridays

April 30th, 2007

I, like most people, have a few theories that I feel rather strongly about. For those of you in business, sales or marketing, one of my theories that keeps ringing true over and over again, is that its always better to try and CLOSE a deal on a Friday. It doesn’t matter whether its an incoming lead, a referral, a cold call, or someone you have been working with for a while and just need to push them across the finish line for the sale. My experience has consistently been that Friday’s are always a great day to get the fax machine (yes we still use a fax) humming with signed deals.

There are no earth shattering reasons for why I think this happens, but let me explain my point of view. Think about it from the standpoint of, its Friday, you know, TGIF, as a natural result of this, people are almost automatically in a better mood knowing that the weekend is within hours of their reach. That state of mind opens people up to “conversation” and a general state of being in “a good mood.” This takes place with both co-workers, friends, and believe it or not the outside world, ie. vendors, sales people, etc… i.e. people not in the inner circle.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about just ANY kind of sale. If you call someone at the office on a Friday at 2pm and try to sell them DNS management services out of the blue or a $66k cruise that gets you in front of top CMO’s for Fortune 1000 companies, you probably won’t have much luck. But if your working a service that is in demand or that someone or has inquired about, and in particular if they have inquired about your business at an earlier point in time OR someone has referred them to you, Friday’s are a great day to close a deal.

There is also the buyers side to this as well. Its clear as the seller you have an advantage just by doing what you do on a particular day of the week. From the buyers side, this can also be liberating, since purchasing is a big part of a LOT of people’s day to day job. So when someone is tasked with finding a new vendor for a particular service and they contact you and you engage them, sometimes if you just do and say the right things, you have a sale. Not to take away from the art of sales, all I am saying is that sometimes people want to check something off their to do list at the end of a week, and sometimes purchasing decisions are one of them.

Then again, maybe I am just full of it. I can’t say for sure. But I can say that I have always had good luck on Fridays, as recent as this past Friday, 3 deals closed tight and the prospect of a 4th coming in today. I don’t know what it is, maybe its something in the air….

Has anyone else found this to be true?

Tags: sales, marketing, closingdeals, salestips, trends, friday, purchasing

We Are Hiring at Blue Sky Factory

April 28th, 2007

Things are certainly moving and shaking over at Blue Sky Factory, Inc. While we are currently looking for rock stars in a few different areas, our most immediate need is in our technology department. Oddly enough, I never posted any of our open job positions before on this blog, so I figured I would give it a whirl. Personal recommendations are always welcome. Below is the job description:

Junior ASP .NET Developer:

Do you aspire to be the next ninja warrior of ASP .NET? We may have a job for you. While our core product, Publicaster, is currently in its sixth release, development is only accelerating. We run a small and nimble development shop that allows us to quickly respond to customer requirements and to exploit opportunities in the market.

Qualifications for this position include:

* Bachelor’s Degree with (a) several years of relevant experience or (b) a very strong academic performance in college
* Experience with HTML and associated tools such as Dreamweaver
* ASP .NET and SQL Server experience
* Ability to participate in the entire software lifecycle from requirements analysis all the way through testing and release and finally support
* Understanding of Internet related technologies and networking
* Attention to detail with strong organizational skills
* Excellent oral and written communication skills
* Network administration skills would be a bonus

For additional information on Blue Sky Factory, our culture, our hiring process, please check out our careers page here.

If you are interested or know anyone who may fit the bill for this job feel free to get in touch with me directly at greg [at] blueskyfactory [dot] com. Thanks!

Tags: blueskyfactory, emailmarketing, onlinemarketing, .net, ASP, developer, jobs, baltimore

ROI Radio on MediaSwamp

April 28th, 2007

I am psyched, Gio and crew over at Dexterity Media, have officially added ROI Radio to the MediaSwamp Podcast Network. The Swamp has grown out over the past couple of years, now featuring almost 20 unique and different audio and video podcasts. I am psyched to be a part of their growing network of content. Keep up the great work guys and thanks again for including ROI Radio!

Tags: mediaswamp, roiradio, podcasting, technology, media, marketing, syndication,

Metrics & The Podcast & New Media Expo

April 26th, 2007

I will be speaking on a panel at this years Podcast and New Media Expo on Friday September 28th in Ontario, CA. The panel is dubbed “Metrics in New Media: Showing Results and Judging Success ” and as of today’s date I will be participating with Paul Vogelzang of Porter Novelli / Mommycast, and Matt Snodgrass of Porter Novelli and the Open Metrics initiative.

There is a lot of talk about metrics these days, simply because metrics are what matter to marketers. They are our guiding light in the online world, we simply need to know our ROI. Podcasting, in its ripe old age of 2 years + a few months already has a movement towards establishing an open set of metric standards that the industry can adhere to.

Metrics can be a tough thing to nail down. Even in the email business, we still (after ALL of these years) continue to flush out metrics due to a continuously shifting landscape around deliverability and bounced emails. A recent study by the Email Experience Council highlighted the lack of standardization around email definitions and metrics, making it difficult to for some marketers to optimize the medium. The IAB’s email committee is also working on new documentation, and David Daniels of Jupiter Research is spearheading the Email Measurement Accuracy Coalition. There is a lot of activity around continuously developing and refining a standardized set of metrics for which even a mature industry can continue to accurately measure its performance from.

This brings back recent memories of Podcamp NYC, where John Havens, Lee Gibbons, Kris Smith, Dave Kawalec, Matt Snodgrass, and Chris MacDonald and I, sat on a panel and preached the importance of the Podcast Open Metrics Initiative. Podcasting as an evolving medium for advertising and marketing, is now at a point where there needs to be some kind of base industry standardized metrics that will allow marketers the ability to effectively measure reach and ROI to the greatest degree possible. Developing standardization around a defined set of metrics now, will have a huge affect on the speed in which advertisers and sponsors adopt the medium.

For podcasting, this is only the beginning and an ever important point in time. Many companies are looking to participate and may still be on the fence due to a lack of industry metrics. For email, its an evolving issue and one that our industry is on top of, aggressively. We know that email delivers one of the highest ROI’s of any online channel, and as an industry we stay on top of the changes in our space to ensure continued success.

Metrics are always a hot item in the world of online marketing, but there is one medium that’s of particular interest in our industry these days, its the new kid on the block, podcasting. Stay tuned.

Tags: openmetrics, podcastexpo, roi, marketing, metrics, eec, strongmail, emailmarketing,

Publicaster Gets a Mega Upgrade

April 23rd, 2007

I am pretty psyched to announce that we have completed a massive infrastructure upgrade at Blue Sky Factory, Inc. Ken Pfeiffer our new senior architect and software developer spearheaded a complete overhaul of the hardware platform that Publicaster runs on. Just take a look at those grins below :-)

As we say in the shop, we are now ready to scale! You can read the press release here, and Ken’s overview on our blog here.

Tags: publicaster, emailmarketing, datacenter, noc, infrastructure, blueskyfactory

Two ROI Radio’s This Week

April 22nd, 2007

In an attempt to play a little “catch up” I posted two ROI Radio’s this week. This past Wednesday I posted my discussion with Christine Burke who is the Vice President of Corporate Sales for L’Occitane. It was a great change of perspective having a discussion from the client or company point of view versus the vendor / provider point of view. Christine and I talk about how L’Occitane is implementing a variety of online marketing channels and how they optimize the medium.

As mentioned in an earlier previous post, I also had a chance to speak with Kris Smith, VP of New Media at Room 214, founder of Palegroove Studios and produce of the Croncast. Kris was a trooper, jumping on the phone with me literally with about 2 minutes notice and being asked one simple yet powerful question of “whats next?”

You can check out both podcasts at the ROI Radio site. Subscribe to the RSS feed here. Subscribe via iTunes here.

Tags: loccitane, christineburke, roiradio, onlinemarketing, marketing, media, ecommerce, eretail, krissmith, croncast, room214,

Factory Direct: Trends & Best Practices

April 19th, 2007

We just launched the April edition of Factory Direct, our monthly email newsletter. Kudos to the staff once again for cranking out some great original content on the topics of “transactional emails” and email “personalization.” Here are some of the highlights of this months featured articles:

Enhanced Transactional Emails:

by Tim Barton

“There is an interesting irony that has existed within email marketing for the last few years. And, as often is the case, it has been very obvious, yet until recently largely ignored. Many companies see this as a true “Aha!” moment.

Transactional emails represent one of the best opportunities we as marketers will ever have to build the all important customer relationship. Yet most companies have long ignored this seemingly obvious strategy.” - CLICK HERE to read more.

Personalization in Email:

by Joanna Lawson-Matthew

“The average business email user receives nearly 100 emails each day. How can you cut through this clutter to get your email noticed? One way to get your reader’s attention is to use personalization, specifically by including the recipient’s first name in either the subject line or email copy.” - CLICK HERE to read more.

Tags: emailmarketing, onlinemarketing, factorydirect, blueskyfactory, email, bestpractices, trends, publicaster

Back in the Studio

April 18th, 2007

Today was power packed with some ROI Radio goodness. After a little over a month hiatus from recording, I am happy to say that Andy and I knocked out three episodes today. One of them included a “shotgun” ROI Radio, where we randomly rang up Mr. Croncastic himself Kris Smith, who did a five minute session on what cutting edge technologies were on his mind. There is some good stuff there.

We also did our first client centric interview which offered a different perspective outside of the usual CEO / senior management of an online media, marketing, technology company. And finally we speak with the managing director of a Boston based agency on the topic of “whats next,” what is “bleeding edge” in online media, and where are things going. I will leave these two conversations to be discovered by you, the first one is being published later tonight. Check your feeds soon, and if your not subscribed to ROI Radio you can do so here.

Tags: podcasting, trends, technology, socialmedia, business, communication, marketing, media, croncast, krissmith,