One of the big perks of my new marketing position with Boundless is that I get to work with amazing undergraduate students across the nation. These students are charged with letting people on their campuses know about Boundless and free textbooks. We recently had a great on campus competition, where we motivated our on campus student managers to hit aggressive sign up goals – and a lot of them really did an amazing job! Below is a cool post on the “campus battle” with some great pictures of the action.
I came across some great tips on crafting the best email subject lines on the Litmus blog here. Of course, testing testing testing is the best way to get good results with any email campaign, but starting with these ideas is a good way to begin the tests from a good place.
And I’m always struggling with subject line length, and found the open rate vs. email subject line length to be cool:
“Subject line lengths and their corresponding open and click rates:
- 4–15 characters: 15.2% open; 3.1% click
- 16–27 characters: 11.6% open; 3.8% click
- 28–39 characters: 12.2% open; 4% click
- 40–50 characters: 11.9% open; 2.8% click
- 51+ characters: 10.4% open; 1.8% click”
Lots of good content all of a sudden on both mobile and online marketing. Here are some good ones:
- Triggered emails have HUGE open and click throughs: Online Media Daily reports on a study that shows that triggered emails (emails that are sent when a user takes a specific action, such as abandons a shopping cart, have a much higher click through than ordinary marketing emails.”Triggered open rates performed at 75.1% higher”
- I recently posted about email marketing subject line performance. Here are the subject lines email marketers should avoid, and which ones drive good open rates.
- The best email marketing frequency depends on your industry & users, but in general the more you can do the better.
- Yup, people are really opening emails on mobile devices these days; Returnpath “reports that mobile open share has increased 300% since 2010, and shows no sign of slowing, with four out of 10 emails sent being read on a mobile device.” Read more.
- “The iPhone and Android smartphones remain the most popular smartphone platforms for messaging. iOS users account for more than half of those opting into MMS and text-messaging campaigns, compared to 34% coming through Android phones. Those levels are up from 23.6%, and 16%, respectively, in April. BlackBerry accounted for 7% of opt-in messaging.” Read more.
I’ve been making an effort to share more on Twitter (Follow Healy Jones on Twitter if you want.) Some of these tweets have been popular:
- RT @ttunguz: Data on the seedpocalypse. What the NVCA data show about silicon valley’s fiscal cliff http://bit.ly/SkvjkQ
- Why won’t MSFT buy share in their most impt market since the PC? RT @ron_miller: Surface Pricing Dooms it to Failure.http://bit.ly/U6yJFe
- Simple but effective logic: RT @dh: The economic logic behind tech and talent acquisitions http://buff.ly/V8kUHL
- Shooting this video was a lot of fun: Local Webinar Taken Over By Mayan Apocalypse Believers http://bit.ly/TqIli1 via @BostInno@officedrop
- 90% employed at startups! RT @BostInnovation: Where is Boston Startup School’s Inaugural Class Now? http://bit.ly/WwVe8C@BOStartupSchool
- Seems like price really matters w/smartphone purchases: RT @businessinsider: iPhone Beating Android In US by @jyarowhttp://read.bi/U0VWbS
- RT Here’s How Retailers Like Target And Nordstrom Are Winning The Battle For Mobile Shoppers http://read.bi/U0RTfN
Not too surprising that a lot of the clicks are on VC/seed investing topics. I’m happy that people seem to like mobile as well – I probably spend half my day thinking/doing mobile related marketing, so it’s good to know that my tweeps are aligned with my interests that way as well.
I found this great infographic on Entrepreneur, listing various legal structures available to startups and showing each legal structure’s pros and cons.
update: OK, so this infographic did not paste over very well, so click on that link above to go see it!!
Strange idea hit my head as I read an article this morning about Pandora’s recent quarter (which was pretty good). So I thought to myself, hey, are they doing ok monetizing their growing mobile user base? I mean, the user base is moving to mobile – can they make money there?
Turns out they can, according to Forbes, “the monetization for mobile is currently significantly lower than that of traditional radio or Pandora’s desktop segment but has been growing at a brisk pace… The mobile monetization rate increased last year by more than 50%. Pandora expects to increase its mobile monetization someday to levels similar to what desktops have today.”
That’s pretty impressive, which lead me to ask myself:
Should Facebook buy Pandora?
The reasoning is simple… Facebook needs a mobile strategy. Pandora seems to be an actual way to monetize the mobile user, and also has great mobile user acquisition growth. Pandora is also about $2 billion in market value, so it would be a decent sized buy for Facebook, but would add a over $300 million in revenue with a minimal loss.
The biggest question is if music is social enough to make sense for Facebook. I guess the end user product strategy is a little off. But hey, Facebook needs something! Music is a solid consumer segment, and it is one that seems to be monetizable via mobile apps.
Well, it’s time to brag again about the great work we’ve been doing getting press here at OfficeDrop. This past Friday two HUGE publications wrote up the ExpenseMagic/OfficeDrop integration! Both TechCrunch and Fast Company covered how we make it fast and simple to create expense reports right from your mobile phones or PC’s desktop.
TechCrunch on OfficeDrop and ExpenseMagic
TechCrunch writer Alex Williams covered the integration OfficeDrop/ExpenseMagic combination, writing that “today I had a briefing with OfficeDrop which now has a service that works with ExpenseMagic for scanning and creating expense documents from an iOS, Android device or your desktop. It seems good enough to offer the potential for eliminating much of the manual work I do in preparing expense reports during my precious weekends.”
When Alex interviewed me for the piece, he also asked a lot of questions about the history of OfficeDrop. We discussed how the company was originally a mail in scanning service, and he immediately understood how we used that background as a basis for entering the cloud storage world:
“OfficeDrop has scanning and optics in its DNA. The company started as a service you could use to send your mail for scanning. The model did not work. People wanted to do the scanning themselves. So they pivoted, built a strong search engine to go with the scanning and now offer a combined storage and collaboration service. They see themselves fitting between Box and Dropbox, offering a service for small business people for easily scanning receipts, ideally from a mobile device. Google Drive is also seen as a competitor.”
FastCompany “Free You From Expense Report Hell”
Fast Company’s Christina Chaey’s piece on the integration has an awesome title: “OfficeDrop And ExpenseMagic Want To Free You From Expense Report Hell.” Of course, we do think that’s what the integration will help you do, since getting automated expense reports is potentially a huge time saver!
Christina says, “Through the new partnership, mobile and desktop users will be able to combine OfficeDrop’s smart text recognition technology, which makes the text in your scans searchable, with ExpenseMagic’s data extraction to generate expense reports from any receipts you scan using OfficeDrop. Receipts will go into an ExpenseMagic “uploads” folder, from which ExpenseMagic’s India-based bookkeepers will generate reports that they’ll then drop into a “results” folder overnight.”
We are pretty happy with the way we’ve evolved into a searchable cloud storage system, with the smartphone scanner applications that help small businesses digitize paper, plus the file search engine that helps you find the exact document that you are looking for in an instant. It’s really great to be recognized by a major technology publications like TechCrunch and Fast Company!
I’ll be adding these two pieces of press to the OfficeDrop News and Reviews page soon. Looks like there are a few more on the horizon, which probably talks to the importance of partnerships in today’s cloud/app computing environment.
Ok, well here is my chance to brag a little bit. OfficeDrop recently released our updated Android scanner app, and included 7 inch tablet support. Well, we got some great press with this OfficeDrop Android Update. So I’m going to show off some of it here! As a reminder, I firmly believe that a solid PR strategy is imperatitive to any app marketing efforts. Users will need to remember your app’s name, head to the app store and actually type and then download the app. Even better, if you can get a reporter to link directly to the app in the store then the reader could go directly to the listing and get the app right away. Press does work for app marketing; our Android downloads are way, way up.
Anyways, here is the press that our Android app has gotten recently:
OfficeDrop Android App Press Reviews
August 13th, 2012
OfficeDrop – a Top 25 Business App for Android - Network World
July 30th, 2012
OfficeDrop, Escanea y guarda tus documentos en la nube - Lo Nuevo de Hoy
July 24th, 2012
July 16th, 2012
OfficeDrop: Turn Your Android Into a Scanner - App for Android
July 16th, 2012
OfficeDrop Android Review - Android Authority
July 11th, 2012
How Mobile Apps are Changing Software - PC World
July 10th, 2012
Scan Your Receipts for Safe Keeping - Lifehacker
July 6th, 2012
OfficeDrop Releases its First Android Tablet App - BSDB Blog
July 6th, 2012
OfficeDrop Android, iOS Cloud Apps Help SMBs Improve Workflow - Mobile Enterprises
July 5th, 2012
If you actually want to get the OfficeDrop Android app, you can get it for free by clicking on the following button from your device:
I’m quoted in a PC World piece about how apps will change the nature of desktop software. I had a long conversation with the author, Jared Newman, about how OfficeDrop’s apps, both our smartphone scanner apps and our mac desktop scanner app, ScanDrop, are dramatically changing how we distribute our SaaS product.
The article’s thesis is spot on:
Not surprisingly, many developers are enthusiastic about the easy distribution and streamlined billing that app stores provide, yet these stores also introduce challenges–some that are unique to desktops, and others that have plagued smartphones since the dawn of the iPhone App Store.
I spoke with Jared for a while about how we were wrong about how customers wanted to use our service. They actually want to download and install apps, not use the web. We were off by 100%.
The soon to be famous Healy Jones quote is:
Healy Jones, vice president of marketing for OfficeDrop, noticed this shift away from the Web immediately after his company released mobile and desktop apps for its document-scanning service.
OfficeDrop, which provides searchable cloud storage, says that it sees seven times more user engagement through its apps than it does through the Web browser, Jones notes. Since releasing its first apps in 2011, OfficeDrop’s user base has grown from 7000 users to 140,000 users.
“We had a thesis that people did not want to install software; that the cloud meant that people could use a browser to interact with software and would never have to install anything. We were completely wrong,” Jones says. “People love installing software.”
Obviously I’m really bullish on apps. That’s also why I’m very bullish on tablets (and part of the reason OfficeDrop recently released an Android tablet version of our app.) Apps are how people want to interact with software. I’m happy people like HTML 5, but if it isn’t installed it’s not gonna grow as well as an app.
Recently there have been a few interesting posts on the Boston internet startup scene. This genre of posts seems to come back every 18 months or so, and I thought I would revisit a piece I did a while ago called “Keeping startups in Boston.” I wrote the post in 2010, and the purpose of my points was:
I’ll try to elaborate on a few of the problems I see in Boston – problems that make it less desirable for startup founders to want to found/keep their companies here. My point of view is colored by the years I spent living in San Francisco and by the fact that I am not originally from New England. Also, please keep in mind that as a guy helping run a startup in Cambridge I actually do think this is a great place to found a technology company.
Anyways, I mentioned the following points:
1) Lack of funding sources to take a risk on less experienced founders. Sometimes I feel like this is starting to get better, sometimes not. I”m seeing a lot more seed rounds being done in Boston, but we’ll see how they translate to Series A or successful outcomes.
2) Little investor willingness to roll up the sleeves and mentor/help other companies. I see some serious improvement here, coupled with a real improvement with point #3 as well. Programs like TechStars have brought mentors out hiding and made it cool to help get small companies off the ground. This makes me happy.
3) Very few here-is-how-you-grow-your-company events. Totally getting better, with incubators leading the way + organized events at the CIC, MSFT Nerd and a few other places gaining steam.
4) Very little national, customer driving press. This is still a huge problem. A really huge problem. I don’t see it getting better soon, although Bostinno is trying hard to become a real East Coast tech reporting machine. I see them making real progress, but this will just take time.
5) It is hard to feel welcome as a “non-native” in Boston. Still a problem that most non-natives don’t get, nor do I expect them to.
So, there is some serious improvement on the “what ills” Boston startups since my post a few years ago… but has there been any progress on making better consumer startup/internet companies here? Yeah, I’d think so, just based on the number of companies I see actually growing and doing well, like RunKeeper or Boundless or CustomMade.
Only time will tell though. There needs to be a big company that becomes a tech spawner, where a bunch of engineers make a lot of $ and then go and start other companies. Maybe Hubspot will fulfill that role.