How engaged are your leads?

You're doing all the right things. You have a content marketing strategy that's more than a work of fiction.  You're putting aside time to produce useful content which you're placing on quality sites as well as your own. Google Analytics tells you that you're getting plenty of traffic and where it's coming from.  And you're capturing leads in exchange for valuable extra content.  But how do you know which of your leads are most engaged?

Engaging your contacts 1-on-1Nurturing leads into clients can be a slow process but you're willing to put in the work. Time is limited though and you could do with some help sifting through all those leads you've been building to know which might be more receptive to your overall proposition.

It turns out that CommsBox gathers quite a lot of information about your leads: when they return to your site (by whatever means), which emails they click through from, which forms they complete, all your contact reports. A lot of data. Th [read on]

The BBC goes 'responsive'

My primary source of news on the Internet has for years been the BBC. They have been at the forefront of the digital revolution. So it's informative that over the last few weeks they've launched a revised beta test version of their news site. Apart from a minor visual redsign this site is 'responsive'.  The BBC was the most popular news provider on a mobile handset (14.5 million users) in April 2014, and a fifth of mobile internet users access news on their handset every day (Ofcom)


New BBC site on various devicesA responsive design aims to build web pages that detect the screen size and orientation of a device and change the way it looks accordingly. Responsive design has prompted a lot of discussion over the last couple of years as more and more people ditch the traditional computer and use a variety of tablets and mobile phones to browse the web. Looking at traffic to some of our own sites over the last couple of months non-PC users accou [read on]

How to Segment Online Messages for New and Existing Contacts


We're often asked why a product like CommsBox is better than a home-brew collection of disparate tools. The list is long but I thought I'd share a very simple example of how we've made use of our own tools in-house to give personalised and segmented market segment

Stages in Content Marketing and List Building

Like many companies we're interested in building our list of contacts organically, convincing people by what we know while at the same time balancing what we give away for free and what we offer in return for joining our list. A common strategy makes use of 'white papers' or 'reports' as a way to attract new leads. You write (or have written) a document of some value to your prospective customers. You place this on your web-site and ask your contacts to complete a simple form to gain access to it.

That's not enough of course, you need to get people to know that you have something they may find useful and so your write a few 'teaser' articles. You put one of these on yo [read on]

Making A Case for Marketing Automation

Planning meetingMarketing automation is fast becoming an important trend for digital marketers looking into 2015.  However, it is still early days for the adoption of this technology in British companies.  We set out to find out why and provide a guide to making the case for marketing automation for those wanting to persuade managers, colleagues or clients.

The benefits are clear. Good use of marketing automation enables companies to identify prospects and take them on a journey from first enquiry to loyal advocate.  The content of email messages can be personalised to the recipient and their interests.  Prospects and customers can be segmented into discrete lists so that you only  send information and offers that are relevant to your contacts.  This heightened understanding and targeting of messages to the customers needs can only be good for business.  So what is getting in the way of faster take-up?

Through talking to a wide variety of [read on]

Tracking Customer Journeys beyond Google Analytics

Commsbox individual contact analyticsOver the late months of this summer, we took to the road and asked people what they thought of the latest version of Commsbox. To our surprise the depth of analytics on individual customers was the key feature that most blew them away.  

Google Analytics is a great tool. This information is fantastic in aggregate for understanding the strength of campaigns and how customers in general reached your site. But what it won't tell you is the exact journey that a specific individual has taken through your website.

A quote from Google's terms of service  is interesting. You may not use the Google Analytics service to track individuals. So it can give you a great overall picture of the performance of your site and, if you use campaign IDs correctly, you can get a measure of success for a particular promotion.  But Google analytics does nothing to help you convert individual visitors into prospective customers.

"You will not (and will not allow any third party to) use t [read on]

Embracing Social Media for Teenagers

Last night I led a group of parents through this question - how do we embrace the use of social media amongst teenagers?

The participants found it it far easier to identify the downsides - bullying, square eyes, peer pressure. So with a flipchart list as long as my arm of the bad side of social media I had the daunting task of turning around the negatives in the room.

Teenagers using social mediaDespite their views a show of hands showed that 90% of the audience were in fact Facebook and Twitter users themselves, with even a few middle-agers experimenting with Snapchat and of course users of LinkedIn.

Around 90% of under 24s use Facebook and a good 60% use Twitter, with Snapchat nipping at their heels. So if we want to engage with our kids, or audiences under 24, we need to get with the programme.

Is Social Media Use by Teenagers a Good Thing?

Dr Jim Taylor writing in Psychology Today highlighted several benefits of using social media:

He made several key points:

  1. Children who use social med [read on]

Getting to Know You..........

The InternetSelling products to people when you first meet them is like going up to an attractive person in a nightclub and asking them to marry you. It is just far too great a commitment.

Especially in B2B environments there needs to be trust. When businesses purchase, those decisions have an impact on their own success. They need to now that they are making the right choice. They need to know, like and trust the people they are buying from. You're unlikely to make many sales on the first meeting.

Just taking a look at our own customer base, there is a strong correlation between our clients and how we met them. Some contacts go back 30 years. We've met them through colleagues in previous careers, relationships and voluntary work. In almost every case we've known these people intimately enough for them to trust us to do business with.

[read on]

Product is King in Content Marketing

May I posit the idea that if you make sure that your product is king that the content will follow.

If the product isn't right our customers will certainly start to talk about it. And after all it's the content that the consumer produces, not that which we push out to the marketplace that holds most value.

We are all talking about digital marketing strategies, search marketing, content marketing, dynamic pricing. In my case I'm running around talking about automated marketing. But let's not forget the all important product. In it's greatest sense the product is closely linked with the customer experience. The two become intertwined in a way that is hard to decouple. Product surely is King!

[read on]

CommsBox Version 7 Released

After a lot of hard work we've now released version 7 of the CommsBox Integrated Marketing Communications system.

This major release further builds on CommsBox automation strengths.

Central to this release is a 'story board' engine coupled with a rich form builder for data collection. The story board is an innovative take on the need to personalise and schedule activities to each member of your target audience. Going beyond simple time based email scheduling a story board allows each of your contacts to follow a personal 'customised' story. your contacts start their journey at any time, triggered by a wide range of actions. The story can then adapt to that contact based on the actions they take.

Stories can be driven by many actions:

  • You adding a new contact to the CRM system
  • A potential customer clicking on a link in a marketing email
  • A visitor to your site completing an on-line form
  • A contact not returning to your web-site or not clicking any links in one of your [read on]

What is an accessible web-site?

An accessible web-site can be used by anyone regardless of their ability. In reality it's almost impossible to cater for everyone, however large groups of people exist with common difficulties and for whom common technical solutions are available. Individuals with a visual impairment should be able to make use of a 'screen readers', a technology that literally reads a page and converts it's content to speech. For those that find the use of a mouse difficult, navigation will be possible via keyboard (or equivalent) short cuts.

Why is this such a big issue? Shouldn't technology 'just do that'?

Arguably - yes. In practice though the web was built by people with good eyesight, with good hand-eye coordination, good colour vision and who had a specific task in mind - communicating with their colleagues. From that starting point, like so many successful ideas, the technology simply evolved. It was never intended to be the global communications tool it has become.

By the time the issue of [read on]

Why use an 'integrated' marketing platform?

An integrated marketing platform eases data flows and facilitates new ways of looking at, analyising and acting on critical business information.

Responsive Websites Explained, Marketing Review interview with Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson discusses Responsive Web Design on Star Radio's Marketing Review programme and why it's a necessary requirement for effective marketing automation.

Enhancing Customer Lifetime Value through Automation

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) predicts the nett profit attributable to each contact. See how Marketing automation can increase CLV through planned campaigns.

Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2015

Extract from the Keynote talk by Caroline Wright on the Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for 2015 at the Smart Digital Marketing for Growth Seminar October 2015

5 Steps to Convert Email Subscribers into Customers

A replay of the Commsbox and Brainstorm Digital webinar onthe 5 key Stages to convertemail subscribers into customers. Watch the webinar

Qualifying contacts through Lead Scoring

A robust lead scoring strategy can improve your sales process, delivering marketing qualified leads to your sales team

Smart Digital Marketing for Growth

Buyers are changing their behaviour, are you? Free half day seminar Grow your Business with Smart Digital Marketing, 15th October, Welwyn Garden City

How to give your website a responsive makeover in 24 hours

Upgrade a tired, old fashioned, dated web site into a fully responsive, refreshed design... in a day? Challenge accepted!

Building a new web site? Why beauty is only skin deep!

A web site should be a key element of any digital marketing strategy. Understand how the right technology can support your marketing activities.

CommsBox at the 9th Cambridge Digital Marketing Conference 9th July 2015

Commsbox will be speaking with digital marketers about marketing automation at the CIM 9th Cambridge Digital Marketing Conference at Duxford, 9th July

Key Learnings from Malcolm McDonald's Address to the CIM Small Business Conference 22nd May 2015

How to develop a strategy to grow sales and profits. A look at Prof. Malcom McDonald's talk from the CIM Small Business Marketing Conference - 22nd May 2015.

What is Marketing Automation and What Are The Benefits?

Marketing automation is any software package or web development that allows an organisation to automate some or all of its online communications.  

Driving Small Business Growth - CIM Conference 22nd May

The Chartered Institute of Marketing announce speakers for their East of England Small Business Marketing Conference 22nd May. Commsbox are exhibiting at event.

Small Business Marketing Automation Trends Software Advice Research

In our series on marketing automation for small businesses we report on recent research by Software Advice which showing trends digital marketing trends in SMEs

Is Marketing Automation Relevant to SMEs in the UK?

In preparation for the CIM Small Business Marketing Conference on 22nd May, Commbox presents marketing personas for SMEs using marketing automation.

How Has Mobilegeddon Hit Your Website Traffic?

From 21st April, Google has expanded it's use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. Commsbox looks at how you can see if you are affected.

Commsbox at CIM Small Business Marketing Conference 22nd May 2015

Commsbox is at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Small Business Marketing Conference, 22nd May, University of Hertfordshire. 

Step by Step Inbound Marketing Success

A well planned and executed inbound digital marketing strategy will help you engage your target audience. Here we take a look at how to get there!

How Ocado Markets to a Segment of One

A study by Teradata shows 90% of marketers want to embrace one-to-one personalisation. Here we analyse Ocado's ongoing, automated customer engagement process

What's New in CommsBox Version 8?

CommsBox Version 8 introduces enriched customer journey tracking, CMS support for responsive sites, enhanced email marketing tools and much more.

About Us

CommsBox was designed by YellowHawk Ltd in response to the needs of some rather large corporate and government clients. But then we realised we had something that small and medium sizes businesses could also use to fuel their growth.

It's really important that you know, like and trust the businesses you deal with. So we promise that you can always get to know us, and hopefully grow to like and trust us. We have an open door policy at our offices, and you can drop by any time (just drop us a line first – so we can get the kettle on!).

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