August 6, 2009

10 Very Cool Google Billboards


Google may be an online powerhouse, but that hasn’t stopped them from buying outdoor advertising billboards.

Here are 10 very cool Google billboard designs, mostly simple and straight to the point.

Google Recruitment (San Jose, USA, 2004)

The answer to this billboard took people to a specially created website (doesn’t exist anymore). See more: Google’s recruitment marketing gimmick in 2004.

Google Billboard: 2004 Recruitment San Jose, first 10-digit prime number

Google Recruitment (Seattle, 2008)

An amazing Google billboard made to look like a whiteboard in an office. Click on the image below to zoom in on the details.

Google Billboard: Seattle Recruitment 2008, whiteboard

Google 411

Strategically placed above an Ask billboard. This one promoted Google 411 – a search by telephone service.

Google Billboard: Google 411 above Ask billboard

Going Google (2009)

Series of billboards to promote Google Apps.

Google Billboard: Going Google Day 1 (Google Apps)

Google Billboard: Going Google Day 4 (Google Apps)

Google Adwords Local Heroes (Netherlands)

See more: Google Adwords Local Heroes promotion in the Netherlands

Google Billboard: Adwords Local Heroes, Ari (Netherlands)

Google Billboard: Adwords Local Heroes, Stephen (Netherlands)

Google Chrome (Taiwan)

Promoting Google Chrome in Taiwan. Notice how they’ve made it look like a Chrome browser window, with an embedded video display.

Google Billboard: Google Chrome Taiwan

Google Billboard: Google Chrome Taiwan with video

Google Billboard: Google Chrome Taiwan with Disney video

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August 3, 2009

25 Beautiful Apple Email Newsletters


Ever wondered what Apple’s email newsletters looked like?

Here’s a collection of 30+ email newsletters designed for selected Apple marketing campaigns.

As a marketer, you already know how difficult it can be to send “rich” email newsletters that contain stunning graphics. Apple does a great job at this by producing stunning email newsletters that can be read easily using any browser or email software.

Apple Store Black Friday (2008)

Apple Email Newsletter: Black Friday 2008

Apple Store Black Friday (2007)

Apple Email Newsletter: Black Friday 2007

Apple Ireland Email Subscription Update (2006)

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple Ireland Email Subscription Update 2006

Apple Store Opening – West 14th Street

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple Store Opening - West 14th Street

Apple Store Opening – Sydney

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple Store Opening - Sydney

Apple iPhone 3G – Arrival Teaser

Apple Email Newsletter: iPhone 3G

Apple iPhone 3G – Gift Card

Apple Email Newsletter: iPhone 3G Gift Card

Apple iPhone 3G – Order Confirmation Email

Apple Email Newsletter: iPhone 3G confirmation email

Apple iPhone 3G S – Arrival Teaser

Apple Email Newsletter: iPhone 3G S

Apple MacBook – Back to School (2009)

Apple Email Newsletter: Back to School 2009

Send Your Kids to Apple Camp (2007)

Apple Email Newsletter: Send Your Kids to Apple Camp 2007

Apple Graduation Day

Apple Email Newsletter: Graduation Day

iPod Touch for Valentine’s Day (2009)

Apple Email Newsletter: Valentine's Day 2009

iPod Nano for Valentine’s Day (2008)

Apple Email Newsletter: Valentine's Day 2008

Laser Engraving on iPod (2007)

Apple Email Newsletter: Laser engraving on iPod

iTunes Live: Berlin Festival (2008)

Apple Email Newsletter: iTunes Live Berlin Festival

Apple Store Audio Gear Guide

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple Store audio gear guide

Introducing iMac

Apple Email Newsletter: iMac

Introducing MacBook Air

Apple Email Newsletter: MacBook Air

AppleCare Protection Plan for Apple TV

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple TV

Apple WWDC (2009)

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple WWDC 2009

Apple WWDC (German newsletter, 2008)

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple WWDC 2008

Apple WWDC (German newsletter, 2008)

Apple Email Newsletter: Apple WWDC 2008

Aperture (German newsletter)

Apple Email Newsletter: Aperture (German)

iPhoto Winter Calendar (German newsletter)

Apple Email Newsletter: iPhoto Winter Calendar (German)

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March 2, 2009

How I Tripled My Newsletter Mailing List With Discount Coupons


Stop Wasting Big Bucks To Build Your Newsletter Mailing List. This Article Reveals An Easy Tactic That Can Grow Your List By Over 200% Overnight

One of the key pillars to succeed in an online business is to have a solid newsletter mailing list. This means attracting “relevant” subscribers — people who would actually spend time to listen to you.

You’ve probably heard many different gimmicks in the market. Some of you may have spent money buying email lists, and seen very poor click-through rates. That’s simply because your subscribers are not relevant to your business / products.

But what other way can you use to build a relevant email list in the shortest time possible?

The Answer Lies in Tapping The Influence of Bloggers In Your Industry

Instead of just giving away freebies such as free reports, why not tap the power of blogs in your industry? Think about it. There are hundreds of thousands of bloggers who are probably out there today and interested in the things you do or sell.

This tactic reveals how you can connect with bloggers to promote your email list. It means finding a way to get in touch with “relevant” readers (i.e. the blogger’s readers), and using a freebie that any human being would want.

Step 1: Create a List of Reputable Bloggers

We’ve previously covered how you can do this easily using Google Blog Search.

Read it here: How to Create a List of Reputable Bloggers

Step 2: Create Discount Coupons (That You Would Want)

This is the easy and fun part. Find a way to create exclusive discount coupons for each blogger that you intend to work with. You can either do this with your shopping cart system, or keep track of it in a spreadsheet.

Try and create a list of possible discounts or freebies that you can offer. The goal is to provide one offer at any point in time, and change this every now and then. This gives you the opportunity to contact the blogger frequently to build a closer relationship.

If you need help on this, just read our previous tips on How to Create Discount Coupons & Track It

Step 3: Craft your Email

This is the most important step. You need to craft a good email that is able to capture the blogger’s attention and his/her readers’ attention.

Here’s an email we recently crafted for one of our clients:

Dear Ben,

I’m a big fan of your blog, and follow it daily on RSS. Love your latest post on “10 Ways To Stay Healthy”.

Our company, Pure Vitamins, recently launched a new range of supplements that provide holistic benefits for natural well being. It’s an amazing product, and we’re sure your readers will benefit from it. You can find more information about it here:

We would like to offer your readers an exclusive discount coupon when they subscribe to our newsletter. They can choose to use this discount immediately on any purchase.

Feel free to copy and paste the offer details below on to your blog or sidebar:

An Exclusive Surprise Awaits You!
Sign up for the Pure Vitamins newsletter & enjoy a 33% discount on your next purchase
Offer valid till the end of January 2009
Go to:

Feel free to email me for any help. I’d be happy to lend a hand and answer your questions.

In the meantime, keep up the great work with your blog!


Automate The Discount Coupon

Now, before you send out your emails to the bloggers, find a way to simplify the process of giving the discount coupon to new sign ups. This will save you the hassle of sending it out to every reader, one by one. Trust me, you don’t want to do that!

Ideally, you should create a dedicated mailing list to distinguish the readers that have opted-in through any of your partner blogs. This also allows you to tailor your emails to suit these customers who are will most likely be keen on some form of freebie before committing to a sale.

If you aren’t able to track the source of the referral or create another dedicated mailing list, then we suggest just creating a generic discount coupon that you can give out to anyone. The trick in this case is to avoid publishing the coupon on your own blog, and give the bloggers the chance to promote it through their blogs.

Here are some ideas to automate the process of giving out the discount coupon:

  • Update Your “Thank You” Page: mailing list software such as Aweber and iContact allow you to customise the “thank you” page that appears after a subscriber has opted-in. You can choose to update this page to include details of the discount coupon and offer
  • Send It Out Using an AutoResponder: if your mailing list software lets you send out auto response emails, then customize it to send the discount coupon via email on day 1. The sooner the better, as these subscribers would expect instant gratification
  • Send It Out Manually: we don’t recommend this if you’re expecting lots of hits. But if you don’t have an mailing list software like Aweber or iContact to begin with, then just find some time to send out a “canned response” to every new subscriber

Build A Quality Mailing List In No Time! Engage Relevant Bloggers To Do The Work For You.

Go ahead and give this a shot.

REMEMBER: Always focus on working with relevant bloggers. If you’re in the business of selling golf balls, then don’t go out looking for bloggers that blog about football. Stay relevant, and you will build a quality list in no time!

Post a Comment or read more about Email Marketing

February 28, 2009

Saturday Morning Viral: T-Mobile Dance in Liverpool Street Station


Here’s a viral video created by T-Mobile, UK. It’s a flashmob right smack in Liverpool Street Station — watch them turn the entire station into a dance party! The tagline towards the end fits perfectly with the viral concept.

Also watch the “making of” snippet:

February 27, 2009

How a McDonald’s BillBoard is Beating Starbucks with Just FOUR Words


McDonald’s uses billboards in high visibility locations around Seattle to attack Starbucks. Here’s why their coffee is better

Four Words Says It All

McDonald’s is using these billboards to promote their new espresso drinks.

This is foolproof copywriting at its best — the following two phrases were displayed on 140 billboards across Seattle:

Four Bucks is Dumb

Large is the New Grande

The McDonald’s Attack Plan

  • Location matters: McDonald’s picked Seattle because it is Starbucks’ home ground
  • Long-term communication plan in mind: this is a follow-up to to promote the launch of espresso drinks in the Seattle market
  • Picking on just one point: position Starbucks as expensive or snobby
  • A single consistent value proposition that cuts across segments: “We really wanted to point out that ordering an espresso at McDonald’s is quick and simple. Small, medium and large. It’s easy.”
  • Aggressive intentions: some of the billboards were located near Starbucks cafes. Starbucks employees driving northbound can see the billboard on their way into the city
  • Building credibility over the long term: “The thing about these comparative campaigns is you have to hammer away at them for a long time. You can’t just hit someone and then run away. You have to have a lot of marketing dollars to put behind it and that’s something that McDonald’s could theoretically do.”
  • Capitalizing on market conditions: timing is everything with the current economic conditions. “A new type of consumer, more conscientious, less vain, is emerging. Fewer will be slaves to Starbucks”.
  • Aim to win more market share from a new category: “We see ourselves as trying to enter a new category and steal as much of the breakfast and coffee share as we can garner…”

The Starbucks Defense Plan

  • They won’t react: “We’re not going to get into that conversation. We’re not going to get sucked into the, ‘My coffee is better than your coffee,’ price point type of coffee conversation. We’re going to play at a much higher level.”
  • Cheaper modes of advertising: the coffee giant is turning to cheaper modes of advertising via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
  • Sticking to their game plan: “I think the way we deal with that is not to respond to something that’s that frivolous,” he said. “Are you going to say to your friend, ‘Let’s go meet at Dunkin’ Donuts?’ Are you going to say that?”
  • Remind your customers over and over again: Starbucks employees are being instructed to “remind” customers that the average price of a Starbucks beverage is less than $3, and that 90% of Starbucks drinks cost under $4
  • Use disruptive tactics: Starbucks is introducing instant coffee in its stores, priced from $2.95 — they’re taking every opportunity to “remind” customers of the “affordable luxury”

What Can You Learn From This?

Besides the attack and defense points above, just remember this:

“The idea is, in a billboard, you got three or four seconds to capture people’s attention,” he said. “You’re trying to be as short and sweet and as pithy as possible.”

Apply this to your daily marketing initiatives (not just billboards, it works with Adwords too) and you will see tremendous results. Of course, foolproof copywriting does matter too =)

*p/s: thanks to the heads up from Marketing Shift & SeattlePI

February 25, 2009

When to Employ a Loss Leader Strategy


Can you use a “Lowest Price Guarantee” for your Internet business? Here’s a must read tip

In our last post we talked about how Rob Walling’s copywriting tweak on boosted sales by 1000%.

But Why Did The “Low Price Guarantee” Work for

Is this loss leader strategy something that can work for any Internet business?

Rob summarizes why this works for his Internet business in his post:

The underlying lesson is to make your customers feel at ease with what they are buying. And to do this you have to know your customer.

People buying beach towels from a website are doing it because they want to save time. They want to find a towel and make the purchase as quickly as possible. They want to feel good that they are making the right decision about their purchase, which is what “Low Price Guarantee” offers.

It gives them permission to buy here and stop surfing around looking for the best deal because they’ve found it.

It offers the promise that they don’t have to continue down the list of Google results. If they can find a towel they like, they can check this task off their list. No one goes online to window shop for beach towels; people want to get in and get out while still feeling good about their purchase.

Evaluate Your Customers First

So you see — before you can start using this loss leader strategy, it’s important that you understand your customers better. In any business with competition, your best bet is to stay away from just being the cheapest provider – it’s NOT a guaranteed way to multiply your sales profitably.

Post a Comment or read more about Smart Pricing

February 23, 2009

3 Words that Increased Sales by 1000% for a Beach Towel Shop


How a single tweak increased sales for Rob Walling’s online shop from $210/month to $2200/month immediately

The 3 Magic Words

Rob constantly tested and tweaked the sales copy on his website,

One day, he tweaked his website to mention three magic words:

“Low Price Guarantee”

This single change alone sent sales pouring in the following day, and it grew from $210/month to $2200/month!


Lesson: Always Test Your Sales Pitch

Rob only started achieving this phenomenal sales boost after 6 months of constant testing and tweaking. This meant doing little changes on the website every now and then and tracking its performance results.

You too can achieve the same results with your online store or blog. Sure, it takes a little bit of patience, but if you keep pushing with small changes every now and then, you will discover those profitable tweaks.

(Read Rob’s original post: Marketing is Design: Three Words that Increased My E-commerce Sales 1000% Overnight)

February 21, 2009

Saturday Morning Viral: Ghost Sighting at Raffles Place in Singapore


Here’s a viral video created by McCann Worldgroup Singapore for GMP, a HR consultancy firm based in Singapore.

The video first appeared online on 21 April 2008, showing what appeared to be CCTV footage of two men being followed out of an office lift by the ghost of an old woman. It has since accumulated more than 650,000 views on YouTube.

Marketing-Interactive reported this last year:

GMP owned up to the ‘ghost video’, 10 days after it first appeared, and released a statement in another video which featured the company’s manager of corporate services, Josh Goh.

The revelation of the ‘ghost video’ as a marketing effort made it newsworthy for Channel 5 and Channel U, and both stations ran stories on the campaign in the news. In the video Goh said that no one should work late, and stress and ill health are common downsides of late nights in the office – and if you are really unlucky, you could even meet a ghost.

“Besides great awareness, there was a lot of traffic to the GMP microsite and the number of CVs uploaded increased exponentially,” Madon said.

Check out the dedicated blog:

February 20, 2009

Google FeedBurner’s Funny Headlines Will Make You Laugh


Can funny headlines work for your Internet business? Here’s how Google is using humor to give FeedBurner a personality of its own

My Feeds Could Use Some Beach Time

That’s what I first saw on my FeedBurner homepage right after switching it to work with my Google Account. At first I was puzzled, then I realized they were “hitting” me with a random funny headline every time I logged in — neat!


Here’s a collection of funny headlines that I’ve seen on my FeedBurner homepage — have you seen anything else?

  1. My Feeds know the first pancake is never a keeper
  2. My Feeds are getting Googlier still
  3. My Feeds look for the open shot on the low post
  4. My Feeds go with flat fronts over pleats
  5. My Feeds know G (m1 * m2/r²) applies to them
  6. My Feeds know a first mate on a ship that might suit us
  7. My Feeds walked both ways uphill in a blizzard
  8. My Feeds エンジョイライフ!
  9. My Feeds are making new resolutions
  10. My Feeds are cleared for the visual
  11. My Feeds are bundling up and hunkering down
  12. My Feeds will try something new
  13. My Feeds know a first mate on a ship that might suit us
  14. My Feeds might be five years old
  15. My Feeds could use some beach time
  16. My Feeds will have pancakes in the Age of Enlightenment
  17. My Feeds are reconsidering some resolutions
  18. My Feeds @*&#%*?!!!
  19. My Feeds come here often
  20. My Feeds enjoy popping the bubble wrap
  21. My Feeds wouldn’t dare
  22. My Feeds wonder what the rotation will look like
  23. My Feeds might just twist and shout

Would Funny Headlines Work for Your Internet Business?

To answer that question, just start thinking about your target audience.

Who are you trying to reach? And how would you portray your brand in the eyes of your customers?

In marketing, your first sentence or headline is everything. You have to grab your customers’ attention, as fast as possible.

Humor works for most businesses, and will do wonders especially in the form of funny headlines. However, if your brand stands for something serious, then you may want to use this tactic moderately.

(FeedBurner is the leading RSS feed reader, and was acquired by Google in 2007 for around $100 million US dollars)

February 18, 2009

Gift Wrap Like


How Does Make Product Packaging Look Cool Again?

Here’s a tip that works if you’re in the business of selling physical products, and deal with product packaging or gift wraps.

In November 2008, Amazon launched it’s Frustration-Free Packaging aimed at getting rid of “wrap rage“. It’s a simple concept, with great potential to be a green initiative and buzz marketing tactic.

The letter below from CEO Jeff Bezos (and this video) sums it up nicely:

How Has Capitalized on Frustration-Free Packaging?

The range of products with Frustration-Free Packaging is still limited (19 on my last count).

But just look at what they’ve done to create that buzz marketing effect:

  • Ranked #1 on Google with over 200,000 results for the term “frustration-free packaging” – think press releases, climate change articles, and more
  • Over 25,000 blog mentions
  • They encouraged customers to send in photos and videos to show how frustrating packaging can be for them – this would have attracted more traffic if it ran off YouTube or Flickr

How is Your Business Wrapping Products Today?

Can you think of ways to make your product packaging simpler or even better than your competitors?

Here are two things you can learn from’s Frustration-Free Packaging:

  • Eliminating “stuff” from your packaging won’t make it any less meaningful
  • That any simple small change in your business is worth “shouting” about