ForUsAll recent press

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I’ve been really busy recently, so haven’t been posting much recently. (I did manage to make my vegetarian mexican casserole again this weekend though!)

The good news is that ForUsAll is experiencing some great momentum, and with it, some great press. Here are some of the press pieces that I’m particularly proud of:

ForUsAll in Techcrunch: This technology publication covered ForUsAll’s achievement of an important milestone – $100 million in assets under management. Quoting from the article, “The company has managed to attract a customer base among small and medium-sized businesses precisely because it offers lower cost advisory services with higher engagement rates for employees, according to chief executive and founder, Shin Inoue.”

PlanSponsor: Small- and Midsize-Plan Issues: A plan sponsor finds new provider options. I’m pretty proud of this one, as it is an interview with a non-profit ForUsAll client, Baltimore Curriculum Project. This client talks to PlanSponsor about their decision to work with ForUsAll:

Besides the participant improvements, Scott is pleased because ForUsAll handles enrollment and payroll deductions, as well as Form 5500 reporting. “Previously, I had to enter everything in payroll by hand. Now, after an employee’s one-year eligibility period is up, I get an email that [he] is participating and that the deferral will be deducted from his pay. ForUsAll runs payroll reports and automatically debits deferrals,” she says.

InvestmentNews: Young retirement robo ForUsAll scoring high employee participation rates. InvestmentNews reporter mentions how ForUsAll has reached $100 million in assets under management, and then mentions some of the reasons for our recent growth.

ForUsAll, a budding retirement robo-adviser launched by three former Financial Engines employees, is having more success convincing plan participants to save for their futures than the industry as a whole…

In addition to convincing participants to save for their own retirements, the San Francisco-based firm appears to be presenting an effective argument to attract clients, as it grew assets on its platform to $100 million from $5 million at the start of 2016.

As a reminder, I run marketing for ForUsAll. We are a technology enabled small and mid-sized retirement plan advisor. This means that we help SMBs improve their 401(k) plans by bringing them a suite of technology and our founders’ experience managing billions of 401(k) assets for Fortune 500 companies. This market is highly fragmented, with a number of 401(k) providers duking it out for market share. We help business owners and HR leaders find the right retirement provider, fund lineup, lower fees, and add on a technology stack that helps reduce their administrative workload and fiduciary responsibilities.

ForUsAll

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I’m excited to announce that I recently joined ForUsAll! ForUsAll is focused on making 401(k) retirement plans available to small and mid-sized businesses. This is a market ripe for innovation. If a SMB does offer their employees a 401(k) plan, they end up paying high fees, dealing with administration headaches and often get less than ideal employee participation rates.

ForUsAll is trying to change all of that using design and technology innovation. The founders come from a deep 401(k) lineage, having helped build Financial Engines – a major player in the Fortune 500 retirement benefit space. My role is to lead our nascent marketing team and I get to partner closely with our rapidly growing sales team. One of the things that most excited me about joining ForUsAll was getting to work with another fast paced sales team – I really enjoyed working with sales at Sunrun, and this is a tremendous opportunity to help shape an awesome sales and marketing organization. I’m also proud to say that we have recently announced our Series A venture capital raise, which you can read about here.

I hope that I’ll have time to blog more about the strategies and tactics that I’m using at ForUsAll. One of my initial goals has been to generate content for the company, so I’ve been writing and editing a ton. This means that I’m back in the groove of writing – awesome! But it also means that I’m busy writing like crazy for my day job, which may make it harder to produce content for this blog.

Using older blog posts as lead generation engines

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Hubspot published a brilliant article on using old blog posts to drive leads. I’ve used this tactic as a one off, in particular at OfficeDrop, but the idea of doing it as an optimization strategy is great.

Basically, your old blog posts are likely driving leads. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Figure out which ones are the real drivers, in terms of traffic and lead gen.
  2. Seek to update the ones driving conversion to get more traffic and improve conversion.
  3. Improve the conversion rate on the ones driving traffic, but with few leads.
  4. I’d add a backlink strategy to push juice from posts that Google likes and point them to pages on your site where you are building authority.

It’s a great post and excellent strategy. Old blog posts are not sacred; in fact Google loves updated content. And you social media followers probably will too.

Evolution of MVP

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I came across this cute, but powerful, image on the evolution of an MVP. Not every great product happens like this, even if it’s done via a minimum viable product, but still, this is a powerful image. mvp evolutionI tried to figure out where this image came from to link back to it, but couldn’t.

Recent LTV post by David Skok

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I had the pleasure of being a board observer to a company that had David Skok on the board. He is a pretty amazing operator turned VC, and his most recent post on LTV is just great.

For some reason, a lot of entrepreneurs forget to use gross margin when calculating long term value of a customer. David’s formula is pretty clear on how to use churn rate, gross margin and of course revenue to calculate LTV. Check it out!

Ogilvy on direct response advertising

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Ogilvy, the master of direct response (DR) advertising, speaks about why data should drive advertising. I think this is pretty obvious today for online marketing, but as as larger companies work to pull in offline advertising into the online world (in particular, social) his words still ring true.

Google, Facebook and Mobile

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Facebook is allowing Google to index some user profiles for mobile searches. Check out the piece on MediaPost.

Other interesting tidbit from the article:

“Facebook accounted for a 17.5% share of worldwide mobile ad spend in 2014, sliding to 17.4% in 2015, per eMarketer. Google’s worldwide mobile ad market share in 2014 was 38.4%, falling to 33.7%, a higher percentage than Facebook.”

Two great pieces that I’ve read recently

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I’ve come across two pieces that really resonate with my current marketing efforts.

Customer Journey Analytics

The first is on customer journey analytics – this is the first time I’ve heard this term, but considering the fact that I’m currently working with analytics as it relates to my customer’s journey, I guess it shouldn’t be!

Basically, with enough data, you can plot a customer’s journey from awareness -> consideration -> purchase -> retention -> loyalty/referring.

I’ve been mapping this journey and looking for particular instances where the metrics can be improved. It’s kind of like funnel optimization, but has a lot of interaction/touch point strategy as well as remarketing/information architecture.

This piece highlights the interaction between campaign sequencing, customer lifecycle and ad purchasing (which the author refers to as marketing timing).

Facebook Growing Ad Revenue like Crazy

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s either validating or scary to see that I’m not the only person investing in and seeing success with Facebook advertising.

Validating because I’ve tried a few times and this is the first time it’s working really well. So good for me, since I’m not failing where others are succeeding.

Scary because I wonder if this means that ad pricing will go up. I guess it’s a race between demand and additional Facebook usage?

 

Reusing old blog posts with traction

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I came across an interesting question on Growth Hackers and decided to respond – What’s the best way to clean out old blog posts?

This particular poster has a large number of blog posts that no longer apply to the company’s current business model. They get web traffic, and interest from potential customers, but the company doesn’t actually offer that product anymore.

I haven’t been in this extreme of a situation, but I have made hay from older posts and web pages in numerous web make-overs and relaunches.

The truth is that older web pages and blog posts do build up a lot of good Google juice. Both traffic and authority can develop out of older content that’s had a good run.

But things change, and so can your site’s content.

Here is how I’d approach this particular problem.

1st, I’d rank monthly traffic to the old posts in question. Below some cutoff, I’d characterize the posts into two or three segments and permanently redirect each segment to the best page from a related content perspective. As in, find the closest similar content on the site and point all of the low-traffic posts in that segment to that page.

The reason I’d do this is to preserve what you can of the link juice, while eliminating the content on the site that causes confusion for the visitors by offering a product that you just don’t sell anymore.

For the higher traffic posts, I’d find a way to rewrite the post to apply to the current business model. Unless the business had DRAMATICALLY changed, as in you used to be an uber for dog sitters and now offer marketing automation software, I think you can come up with content that is related enough to keep Google sending the traffic.

I’d approach the rewrite from a customer experience perspective. The goal is to provide something of value to the visitor. Google appreciates new content on well ranking pages, so ‘refreshing’ the content in a way that it overlaps with the visitor intent and your company’s new direction should be successful from retaining your ranking and providing a visitor experience that keeps the person engaged with the page.

A few SEO notes on the refreshed content:

  • I’d keep the URL the same.
  • If you can use the main keyword of the page (the former title probably) in the first or second paragraph to try to preserve some of the juice.
  • The goal should be engaging content that scoots the visitor toward your current business model

Facebook advertising tips

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I’m finally marketing to a demo that uses Facebook, which means that there are some fun social efforts that we get to do.

I came across a really well done, in depth post, about Facebook best practices for paid ads and thought I would share it.

The summary, which I agree with, is keeping the copy short but sweet, linking to a dedicated landing page and having a lot of creative to keep your audience interested.

Below is an example for the article that works well – short copy, focused on the “you” – as in, here is what the reader can do/get out of it.

facebook ad example

It’s a very solid article – check it out.