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There are different degrees of concern among marketers (and organizations) when it comes to email, spam and regulations that govern how and when you can send email to contacts.

But what most people don’t understand is the differences between the major governing rules for email and spam.

What is the Difference Between CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR?

The biggest difference between the 3 is the global geography that they affect. Each of these email policies only applies to specific countries and regions so we’ll go into each of them to explain the difference.

Of the three the least strict is the U.S. based CAN-SPAM, followed by the Canadian CASL law and lastly the most strict and comprehensive is the European GDPR.

 

What is the CAN-SPAM Act and What Can You / Can’t You Do?

CAN-SPAM actually stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing” and was created to protect consumers by prohibiting the use of deceptive or misleading information in commercial marketing emails (commercial emails are those intended to market a commercial product or service). This act applies only to the United States.

The running joke among email marketers (at least the ones who aren’t uptight) is that the CAN-SPAM Act allows you to do just what it’s named, that you “Can Spam” people.

The reason this is said is because this act is an Opt-Out regulation. As long as the people you are sending email to haven’t told you to stop, then you can continue to send them email. It really is that simple.

To stay compliant you have to not be egregiously attempting to deceive your intended recipient and give them the mechanism to Opt-Out which is what you’ll typically see as an unsubscribe link.

*Linked here is the full act https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/can-spam-rule

 

What is the CASL Law and What Can You / Can’t You Do?

CASL actually stands for “Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation” and was created to regulate how organizations collect, use, and disclose personal information when conducting or operating their businesses. While this legislation is only active for recipients in Canada, enforcement agencies claim they will enforce this against anyone globally who violates their act. But as it relates to the United States following the expansion of the Safe Web Act in 2012 only 63 cases have been pursued from 9 different countries and all of these cases were large scale operations intentionally violating, exploiting and deceiving recipients.

So if you’re not a big company and you’re not intentionally trying to deceive recipients in a significant way then you really are safe.

The CASL Law is an Opt-In legislation that essentially states you cannot email someone without their prior consent (consent in this case is both explicit and implied).

*Linked here is the full law https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/index.html

 

What is the GDPR and What Can You / Can’t You Do?

GDPR actually stands for “General Data Protection Regulation”, was enacted by the European Union and is the most strict and comprehensive global privacy act ever put in place. Again it was created to protect consumers data and privacy like the others.

This one is also an Opt-In regulation meaning that you must give consent prior to being shown commercial marketing messages (including email). It applies to recipients of the European Union, but is intended to affect any global business that sends messages to those recipients.

The GDPR is why you know see so many “cookie” consent notifications on websites.

Again there is still leniency here because there are considerations for sending electronic commercial messages to consumers who have legitimate legal interests with you such as being an existing customer, partner, etc.

*Linked here is the full GDPR laws https://gdpr-info.eu/

 

Main Takeaways on Data Privacy, Regulations and Email Marketing.

While we only covered a small portion of each of these Acts, Laws and Regulations we can say to you that the goal for each of them is to protect the privacy and data of consumers online.

We typically focus on the Email Marketing aspect because it is the main area that an individual business has control over when it comes to potentially violating a rule within these laws.

And while a good number of marketers get bent out of shape about pixels, cookies and email and “following” the laws, the truth is that this is a tiny part of the overall protection that comes from these acts. The most egregious and damaging violations are from bad actors that are breaching databases, phishing in email and leading consumers through online targeting to steal information, steal identities and cause actual harm.

In nearly every case you as a U.S. company cannot be held responsible if someone breaches Google’s, Mailchimp’s or GoDaddy’s database. Why would that be your fault?

The governing bodies are focused on stopping “really bad” things and are less concerned with the nuisance of spam email or retargeted ads.

Email and retargeting are easy targets to get consumer buy-in because it’s so visible and in some cases a nuisance (if positioned that way), but the reality is that these are not the primary concerns for the majority of these Acts, Laws and Regulations.

While we are not attorneys (attorneys will wrap you in a bubble and tell you the world is going to end if you do anything), we can tell you that we’ve been doing this work for over 20 Years and have never met or known anyone personally who have been contacted by or penalized by any of these agencies.

Most marketers who speak about the doom and gloom you’ll face if you don’t follow everything “perfectly” are simply overreacting, costing you time & money and in many cases don’t even know what they are talking about.

 

This article is intended solely to be an informational piece for you to better understand our position on handling CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR.

If you want to talk to us about digital marketing then give us a call or contact us directly, but we aren’t putting a form in the body of this blog article because it get’s a lot of traffic and we’re not interested in queries about these laws from people (sorry inquiring minds).  We’re focused on growing your traffic, leads and sales!

One of the most common pieces of advice I give to businesses, firms and professionals who commit to marketing is that you must put in the work every day. Success comes from consistent output that builds up over time which in turn delivers more and more opportunity as it grows.

An inspiration for me personally is an individual and coach by the name of Ben Newman who travels the country working with businesses, sports teams and financial teams to move them forward strategically as it relates to the team and their organizational development strategy.

ben newman coach

One of the common phrases he uses is that “Champions Create Distance on Fridays” and I’ve always loved that because of how strong of a message it is.

When most professionals check out on Friday, those who succeed are still going hard.

 

Why Am I Sharing This?

Really just as a piece of personal inspiration that hopefully will resonate with you.

At Acumen we use philosophies like this to make our work strong and deliver good results that really does set us apart.

 

 

If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

Or Submit your information below

    B2B companies ask us often “Does Social Media Work for B2B?” and in our experience that question is being asked because there is a presupposition that is doesn’t work for B2B markets. But as with any answer we give here on the Acumen blog it really depends. What does it depend on? What does “Work” mean for you as a B2B company?

    If you simply ask Does Social Media Work for B2B Businesses then the answer is Yes!

    If you ask will social media increase sales for my B2B company, then the answer isn’t so simple.

    What are Your Social Media Goals?

    Are you trying to primarily increase brand awareness, increase engagement, generate leads, increase sales? While you may want to say ALL of those things, the hard truth is that you aren’t going to be able to easily accomplish that if you are medium to smaller size B2B company. So focusing on one will allow you to more easily generate the results you are looking for.

    Speaking of company size, we’ll discuss that a little later in the post, so keep reading!

    Each goal has a different tactic that you would apply within social media to achieve success.

    Awareness for example would be doing things to get in front of your prospective buyer over, and over, and over, and over, etc. This way they know that you exist, know who you are, and what you do.

    But if you are trying to increase sales then you’ll be posting a lot more direct response content related to selling a product.

    The content you post cannot be in conflict with your goal on social media.

     

    Make Social Media Work for B2B

    For most medium sized to small B2B companies you need to be posting at least 3 times per week with a mix of consideration focused content and direct sales posts.

    This will generate more leads overall but at the same time mildly accomplish increasing brand awareness.

     

    Why Can’t I Do “All the Social Media Things”?

    We think you know the answer to that. Bandwidth and Return on Investment (ROI).

    You likely don’t have the resources to put into it and there is a point of diminishing return on the social media effort. But how do I grow then you may say? Our answer is to leverage social but grow your customer base in other more efficient ways such as SEO, direct sales and advertising (which you can do on social by the way, which is different then using organic non-paid social media).

    Huge B2B brands can pull this off but they didn’t build their business on the back of social media. Social becomes most effective once your brand has reached a significant customer base that can be leveraged to make your social media do real work for you.

     

     

    If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Sales or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

    Or Submit your information below

      There is nothing new about blogging, but still the question for some remains… “Are Blogs Important?”, “How Important Are Blogs?”, “Should I Write Blogs For My Company?”, etc.

      These questions are asked across all industries. B2B, Private Equity, Finance, Commercial Printing, Industrial, Construction, etc.

      And to be honest they are really good questions because how would someone actually know if blogs are important or not? If you don’t know how to measure their effectiveness or you’ve never heard anyone explain why blogs are important then their really is no way you should know or believe they are.

      Are Blogs Important?

      Yes!

      In the video above we go in detail showing you why they are important, how they are important and what you can do to capture value from your blog posts.

      The reason that blogs are so important is because they answer questions. Nearly every search in Google is someone seeking to gain an answer to a question and it’s even more specific for industries in the B2B space, Finance, Print, Industrial and Contracting industries.

      If a buyer, customer, investor or potential partner searching for something they need an answer to and your company has a solution that is the answer to their question then you want to be found, need to be found and will close more sales, deals, investment and partnerships if you create blog posts that answer their questions.

       

      Other Benefits of Blogging

      • They drive qualified traffic to your website
      • You can share them on social media
      • You can send out your blogs in email
      • Blogs attract links back to your website
      • They build trust with buyers, it shows your active
      • They build authority for you as an expert
      • And the list could go on

       

      If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Deal Flow from Blog Posts or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

      Or Submit your information below

        When someone new starts at Acumen we ask a handful of questions to start to get to know them better and share that with you because we’re excited to have Awesome people join the team!

         

        Where are you from?

        Litchfield, IL

         

        What are some things you enjoy doing (besides working)?

        I like to go to the gym in my free time, occasionally read Stephen King novels, and eating SUSHI

         

        Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

        Anything Scary or Thriller

         

        Favorite Type of Music and/or Band You’re Feeling Right Now?

        I’ve never had a favorite, just anything but country

         

        Place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet?

        Bali, Maui, or Singapore

         

        Drink of Choice (doesn’t have to be alcoholic, but can be as well)?

        Chocolate milk or a nice Riesling

         

        Welcome to the Team Logan!

        When it comes to Digital Marketing a whopping 93% of marketers say that one of the biggest pain points for their company is closing the leads that come in. This is a common struggle across all industries.
        This unfortunate reality is due to the fact that leads must be nurtured.
        Even those leads that are asking for details or a quote need to be followed up on regularly until they either buy or say no.

        How Can You Make Closing New Leads Easier?

        In the video above we go into detail on a tool that can help you close more customers, deals, buyers, investors, etc. by acting on a simple measured behavior.

        The tool is called Streak (streak.com), which will allow you to see exactly when a person is viewing / reading your email.
        If you send out a follow up request, proposal, prospectus or some other material that you’d like to engage on with this lead then reaching back out the moment they are thinking of you will make that happen almost 100% of the time.

        The strategy we’re sharing is that when you get an alert that someone is reading your email, immediately reply back to them on that same email asking if they’ve had a chance to review the materials you shared or if they have time to talk with you about their business, goals, etc.
        Nearly 100% of the time you will get a response, connect with them at that moment or book the next meeting.

         

        It’s that simple!

        We hope this helps in your journey to closing more leads & deals!

         

        If You Are Looking to Focus on Getting More Leads & Deal Flow or Have Questions, Call Us at 866-357-7422

        Or Submit your information below

          When someone new starts at Acumen we ask a handful of questions to start to get to know them better and share that with you because we’re excited to have Awesome people join the team!

           

          Where are you from?

          Well, I was born in Norfolk, Virginia into an air force family. By the time I was 13, I’d moved to 11 different places. I spent the most time out in California, mainly Edwards AFB which I consider home. I moved to Missouri 8 years ago from Dallas, Texas for school and have been in StL about 2 years.

           

          What are some things you enjoy doing (besides working)?

          I love turn-based strategy games like Civ 6 or XCOM on the computer or board games like Ticket to Ride or Catan.  If I am feeling frisky, you’ll find me at the local card room playing Holdem.  I also have an affinity for the outdoors.  I love camping and exploring.  And I love spending time with my daughter.  She’s 12 now going into the 7th grade.  And we watch a lot of “old” movies together.  She’s becoming a little movie buff like me.

           

          Favorite Movie Genre or Fave Movie?

          I have favorite writers and directors.  My top three film creators are the Coen Brothers and Tarantino.

          These movies I consider must see:

          1. A Serious Man – Coen Brothers
          2. Mr. Nobody – Jaco Van Dormael
          3. Pulp Fiction – Tarantino

          But my all time favorite for personal reasons is a John Malkovich, Edward Norton, Matt Damon film called Rounders.

           

          Favorite Type of Music and/or Band You’re Feeling Right Now?

          I’m a lover of music.  When I am playing cards or focusing, I’ll go with techno.  When I am in the mood for something different, I’ll go with foreign stuff like Bass Hunter or the hu.  But when I am just driving around, I’ll go with some good old classic Rock.  Maybe some Eagles or Kansas.

           

          Place you’d like to visit but haven’t yet?

          Space.  Because, you know, it’s space.

           

          Drink of Choice (doesn’t have to be alcoholic, but can be as well)?

          If I am drinking, it’ll be a captain and coke. Day to day though, I am fueled by Red Bulls and Gatorades

           

          Welcome to the Team Alex!

          Question from us at Acumen to You: “Are you using business email addresses or personal email addresses when marketing to potential customers?”.
          Question we get from our customers: “Should we be marketing to only business email addresses or can we also market to them using their personal email addresses?
          This is concern is understandable, especially in today’s climate when everyone is hyper concerned about doing the “right thing” or not “overstepping” in some way.

          Business vs Personal Email Breakdown

          The reality is that for many people there is a big overlap as to when they use personal or business email addresses.
          There is no rule here either, sometimes customers choose to use their personal email and other times business.
          Here is the good news… It Doesn’t Matter!
          There has been numerous research studies showing the prevalence of business vs personal email use and they all have similar insights.
          People use both when submitting their information online.
          Again that is great news.
          One study even showed that C-Level executives across all size companies provided a personal email address 50% of the time.
          The truth is that most people can’t even describe under what circumstances they might submit a lead generation form using a business or personal email address.

          So What Should You Do With Your Marketing Email?

          Send it to everyone!
          If a lead chooses to give you a personal email address then honor that decision by sending them your marketing material to the email address they gave you.
          We could honestly talk for days on this, but we wanted to share a quick answer to a burning questioning (or held belief) that many marketers have.

           

          If You Have Questions or Want to Talk more about Email Marketing, Call Us at 866-357-7422

          Or Submit your information below

            If your organization or firm targets Convenience Stores (C-Stores) then this is Fantastic News!
            Print Companies supplying Displays and Signage, Private Equity firms or brands with products in the convenience store space all need to know that signs point to more revenue in the short, mid and long term.
            Now is the time to be Marketing to Convenience Stores!

            What are the Signs that Point to Revenue Growth for C-Stores?

            One major sign we’ll focus on is hiring.
            For example, Royal Farms, Thorntons, Speedway and Pilot are all going on a hiring spree.
            More states are opening up fully from the COVID shutdowns and for those that still aren’t 100% restrictions have relaxed, plus the American public is restless and needs to get out.
            This Summer’s driving season is going to be HUGE for these reasons, this will bring a huge influx of cash into the convenience store space and force stores to increase staffing.
            Positions C-Stores are Hiring For
            • Hourly Retail: These include cashiers, food services, facility services and other similar positions.
            • Retail Managers: These oversee store operations and the hourly retail team members.
            • Drivers: Thousands of new driver positions are looking to be filled for transporting goods and fuel.
            • Corporate Positions: These consist of marketing, supply chain, inside sales, human resources and finance.

            In total with just the companies we listed they are looking to fill almost 20,000 positions!

             

            Marketing to C-Stores

            Regardless of your primary business, if Convenience Stores are a target customer or acquisition for your business, organization or firm then now is the time to increase your visibility to their decision makers.
            How should you market to convenience stores?
            If we split marketing into two categories: Traditional and Digital ( offline marketing and online marketing )
            You really need to be doing both.
            Being present to these decision makers in the c-store space where they are engaging is where you need to be.
            And the fact is that they are everywhere. Everyone has their own preferences and you being everywhere ensures you’re in front of everyone.
            At Acumen we know Digital.
            Our strongest advice is to be running comprehensive online campaigns and publishing content to get found by decision makers when they search and to engage them by sharing your value proposition in ads that run on channels like LinkedIn where you can target the industry, companies, and job titles of target customers or acquisitions.

             

            If You Have Questions or Want to Talk about Marketing to C-Stores, Call Us at 866-357-7422

            Or Submit your information below

              This is a question we get regularly from different printing businesses.

              They ask, “Does Social Media Actually Work for Print Companies?”

              And the answer is…  Maybe!

               

              What Does Social Media “Working” for You Even Mean?

              This is the real question that has to be asked.

              In our experience what most print companies want from social is new business, returning business and higher frequency of orders from existing customers. There are the exceptions such as print companies who are already growing and are looking to change up their entire brand identity & messaging. That is more of a creative endeavor that requires a different set of tactics on social than the goal of just generating new and more business from social.

              So is that what you think about when saying you want Social Media to “Work” for you? Generate New Business?

              If yes, then keep reading because that is our area of expertise (not branding or identity).

               

              How Can Social Media Work for Your Print Business?

              1. Be Present

              Of course this seems like a no-brainer, but unfortunately many print companies are not posting to social media. Why aren’t they posting? No time, don’t think it works, don’t know what to post about, etc.  But that is the biggest problem. Not being there for any reason guarantees social will do nothing for you and generate no leads or sales.

              2.Be Active

              Some would call this consistency or even engagement and those descriptions work as well, but posting regularly at some frequency is the minimum effort level needed for success. 3 or 5 times a week is all you really need to see an increase in traffic from social to your site and an increase in awareness for your business. We recommend either posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or 5 days per week Monday – Friday.

              3. Sell

              This is thing that most printers find troublesome. It’s felt that you can’t sell to people on social media. But the fact is that you need to be. Posting awareness level content is great to give people a glimpse into your world and connect with you on that, but it’s just as important to show customers what you can do, what your value proposition is and move them to buy. This is what brings you that increase in new business from social media.

               

              And that really is it.

              You can do as much as you want or just the bare minimum and you’ll see results. Guaranteed!

              We’ve got more information on Social Media for Print Companies if you Click Here.

               

              If You Have Questions or Want to Talk about Social for Your Print Business, Call Us at 866-357-7422

              Or Submit your information below