I was recently quoted in a couple of e-commerce focused news outlets around the boost that a D2C brand can get from multichannel marketing. The basic premise is that I’ve seen success when email marketing is offered some “air cover” by targeted social advertising. You can see me quoted in TechNewsWorld and eCommerce Times.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 2019. It’s time for me to start creating some content again – let’s see if I can pull it off in 2020!
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.
Late in 2016, Scott Orn interviewed me for his company’s podcast. Scott’s company is Kruze Consulting, a startup accounting and finance firm. He has a great podcast, Founders and Friends, that interviews startup executives, venture capitalists, startup advisors, etc. I highly recommend it!
Some of the things we talked about are how ForUsAll tries to make 401(k)s as easy as possible, while also being affordable. We went into some of the fiduciary risks that business owners take on when they offer a 401(k) plan, how fees get ‘hidden’ in various ways by traditional providers, and how software can help make administering a 401(k) so much easier. It’s a little bit of a ForUsAll review, done by someone working at the company!
Listen to the Scott Orn / Healy Jones discussion!
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.
Now that I’ve left ForUsAll, I’ve put together some “industry insider” reviews of fintech 401(k) companies. You can read a Guideline 401(k) review here, and a ForUsAll 401(k) review here, and a Human Interest 401(k) review here.
For some reason, Zin’s and I have grown apart recently. I used to be a huge fan of young, lush, jammy zinfandels, but am suddenly seeking more balanced wines that mellow well over the evening.
The 2013 Fritz Estate Grown Zinfandel turned me back onto Zin’s in a big way. It’s got the bigness that I loved in Zinfandels, but somehow with a nuanced smoothness that didn’t leave me feeling like my teeth had turned purple.
2013 Fritz Estate Zinfandel
This wine has a solid nose of some kind of dark fruit, like cherry. I loved the dark red, but not purple, color and the texture was just how a great Zinfandel should be, thick and luscious.
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:
- Figure out which ones are the real drivers, in terms of traffic and lead gen.
- Seek to update the ones driving conversion to get more traffic and improve conversion.
- Improve the conversion rate on the ones driving traffic, but with few leads.
- 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.
I happen to love gin drinks, and the Aviation is a favorite. Lemon, gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette and a maraschino cherry. Incredibly refreshing.
However, I don’t always have fresh lemons on hand, and even if I do, I can be lazy. So I’ve come up with a pretty darn good aviation recipe that uses San Pellegrino Limonata soda.
Lazy Aviation Cocktail Recipe
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce San Pellegrino Limonata (lemon) soda, chilled
3/4 ounces maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce crème de violette
1 maraschino cherry – the sweet ones you loved when you were a kid!
Pour the gin, maraschino liqueur and crème de violette into a shaker, over ice. Shake until chilled.
Add the San Pellegrino soda to the shaker, stir lightly (don’t shake, the soda will foam up like crazy and make a mess)
Drop the maraschino cherry into a martini glass. Maybe just a drop of the sweet syrup that’s in the cherry jar too…
Pour the liquor mix into the glass.
Optional: I sometimes hold back the crème de violette and pour it into the glass first, then add the other liquor on top with a slow pour. The best bartenders often layer on the liquors in their Aviation cocktails… making it look like a sunrise when you are on a plane.
There you go – an original cocktail recipe by Healy Jones.
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?
Howdy folks, I’m Healy Jones. I’m a former venture capitalist who now enjoys startup and growth stage marketing. All comments are my own and do not reflect any opinions of Kruze Consulting, and I am not offering any stock advice or investing advice!
I haven’t published in a while – been really busy – but am hoping to create content on a more regular schedule.
More on Healy Jones
I realize that I don’t have a great “about” section on my blog – you can find out a lot about Healy Jones on my Linkedin profile.
A basic summary:
I now run FP&A for Kruze Consulting, a leading provider of finance and accounting advice to venture capital funded startups. I was with ForUsAll, a venture funded FinTech company based in San Francisco. I ran demand generation at Sunrun, and I kept a large and growing sales team busy. Previously I’ve worked with a couple of smaller startups, Boundless and OfficeDrop, both of which have been acquired. The first ten years of my career were in finance – mainly private equity and venture capital.