Patrick over at Micro ISV on a Shoestring has a fantastic post summarising lessons learnt at the recent Business of Software 2010 Conference.

He goes through highlights of a number of talks and it’s good reading for anyone in the business of selling software. Here’s one nugget I found particularly interesting that’s potentially handy for anyone trying to increase the open rate of emails to existing customers (from Patrick’s summary of a talk by Rob Walling of Software by Rob):

Email is far superior to competing methods of repeatable contact with customers—such as Twitter, blogs, RSS feeds, or your favorite social network—because it allows “personalized broadcasts”, where you can scalably communicate with an arbitrarily high number of people while also making it feel like everyone is getting individualized attention.  (Not nearly enough people use this to its maximum potential, particularly with SaaS.  Free tip from me: note what search term sent them to your website, put a variation of it in the subject line of the email, watch your open rate go through the freaking roof.)

That last bit’s a fascinating idea. I can’t wait to try it out. Though I can see it being a more natural fit in some instances than others.

Another gem from Patrick’s summary of the same talk, is that, if you’re trying to get website visitors to give you their email addresses, offering them something they can get immediately in return, such as a white paper, can be very effective. That much I knew. But apparently you should call your white paper a “report” because that will give it higher perceived value.

Anyway, there’s lots more good, actionable stuff to browse through. Read the (very long) post here. Nice work, Patrick!

Creative Commons License photo credit: batintherain


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