The future of a brand’s Social Destination is their website, not their FB page. – EngageSciences

 
Engagesciences
Two to three years ago, some people were talking about the death of the brand website. The seemingly unstoppable rise of Facebook and the promise of spreading content across the social graph from brand, Facebook Pages was an attractive elixir for many marketers.
 
Fast forward to today and we have a very different scenario. The brand website has never been more important. Websites are now being re­invented as the primary social hub for a brand.
It’s no longer good enough to push people to a brand’s Facebook page for the social experience and websites are not just destinations to be found with search engines. 
 
We are now entering an era of the social website.
 
The rise of the hashtag and its subsequent support across all the major social networks (LinkedIn excluded), has created a situation where it has never been easier to group conversations and interactions across networks and digital platforms into a single location.
 
So, with all this possibility for interaction with consumers on social networks, brands are looking to their website to become the owned media social destination for cross­platform social campaigns. Far from websites dying because of the rise of social media, they are now destined to become the branded social hubs of the future.
 
There needs to be one consumer engagement team, with the website as the primary hub where consumers can engage in deeper social experiences connected to multiple social channels.
   Amplify-Infographic-Web-1-960x331
Intriguingly, brands can start to harvest social login information on their website. But, website social login tools like Janrain and Gigya lack in offering consumers the reasons why they should engage.
Social interaction needs to have a value exchange and websites need to provide that with interactive experiences that people will want to engage with. Websites need to start offering functionality such as social applications and campaigns that engage and entice users to interact. Collecting social profile information and permissions by offering social engagement campaigns such as such as contests, quizzes and gamification programs will allow brands to build CRM programs that are rich with social data harvested directly from the branded social hub on the website. An earned media social destination that the brand actually owns. 
   
How refreshing.
  

EDITORS NOTE

 
Amplify from EngageSciences enables brands to discover and filter the best advocate content produced by consumers across a range of social networks and to also centralize content around brand­-related hashtags. Marketers can curate and publish this credible and authentic content to a social hub on their owned digital properties, such as websites and campaign microsites.
As well as displaying user generated content, brands can also integrate their own branded content into the social hubs and feature social activation campaigns such as competitions, contests and loyalty programs. 
The results that can be achieved with social hubs are impressive. Brands who create socialized web pages experience a 300 percent increase in dwell­time. There’s also 60 percent more clicks on calls to actions than other web pages.
“After years of being the poor relation to a brand’s Facebook Page, corporate websites must now become the premiere owned media social destination,” said Richard Jones, CEO of EngageSciences, “Amplify from EngageSciences represents a significant opportunity for brands to turn their websites into true social hubs, through blending curated social content from advocates with applications for further social engagement.”
Amplify from EngageSciences continues the company’s mission to enable marketers to engage their fans, harness the power of their advocates and ultimately boost sales and reach. A summary of Amplify can be viewed on this video: 
For more information http://www.engagesciences.com/

Cold Emails: How to Break the Ice effectively

Cold email

Cold emails should be the “ice breakers – emails” Since is the first contact with your users.
Their bad strategy or execution are leading to bad hypotheses validation, bad numbers, bad feedback and the lose of time and effort for entrepreneurs.
There is not a recipe for successful cold emails, but at least every entrepreneur must take in consideration the next tips:

Subject:

– As specific as possible, you just have one shot in a few words.
– Use their name, show them the email is for them.
– Make it personal, nobody wants to talk with machines.
– Avoid sound like marketing email, no words like discount, sales, big opportunity, etc.
– Don´t lie, be careful to deliver what you are saying at the subject, in the rest of the email.

Email:

– Should answer 5 questions: Who are you? Why and how you can help them? Why you are writing to them? Why now? and what do you want?.
– Recognize them or their company/area/department/project name and something specific about them.
– Call to action, be clear and specific with the next step, the cold email is just to open the door.
– Give context about what you are talking about.
– Ask “Would you reply to this? What’s unclear? What would you change?”

Process:

– Define email templates for different kind of people/companies.
– Measure everything, define indicators about open rate, clicks, impact, etc.
– Don’t forget the follow ups, define a timeline, reminders and next steps by strategy
– Create a kit of resources like brochures, media, links or everything that add value to the conversation.
– Order your data bases. Define segments, timelines, track records, etc. ( a CRM could help)

6 Best Business Books – You’ve never heard of..

Malcolm Bell

Here at my startup Mailcloud, we all believe in learning.

Of course, in our day jobs we’re learning new things every day in engineering, marketing, product development, UI and UX (to name but a few). We’re learning by doing. And yet, we also love to learn from others – to benefit from the achievements, failures and optimisations.

To this end, we watch you tube videos once or twice a week of founder talks at Stanford, Harvard and Berkeley. Some of our faves are actually from Y Combinator’s Startup School. We also read blogs and books.

I though I’d share my favourite 6, that have taught me a lot but aren’t on the usual best business book lists.

In no particular order.

1. Managing Startups, Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

On a recent trip to Harvard Business School I was flicking through a few of the prominently placed books…

View original post 878 more words

An email marketing campaign can be easy with the correct tools.

Don’t produce SPAM!


 

Image

This can be an excellent way to be more personal, more direct and the most attractive feature is their lower cost.

Send emails one by one is a very difficult task and take a lot of your time that can be used in other things. It exists some tools that can optimized this task, that will make it easier and also can track the results for your convenience.

These tools are our favorites:

1. MailChimp: More than 5 million people and companies of all sizes use this tool. You can register for free till 2,000 subscribers and send al least 9 billion emails every month. With the help of Google Analytics can track the results of your emails for a better comprehension of your strategy. You can link your account with social media, like Facebook and Twitter.

Image

“MailChimp’s giveaways aren’t part of a master marketing plan, but rather the byproduct of a bunch of passionate people focused on delighting customers.”

2. Constant Conctact: Their big issue is theirs experience for 15 years old. For a better service it can give you a lot of options till email newsletters to surveys, events, Facebook promotions and more. This will help small business level the battle against big business. Its price is very razonable, $20/month.

Image

“Constant Contact is a win-win for me and my clients. I am able to grow my revenues while helping my clients grow theirs.”

Barry Eichner, Barry Eichner Consulting.

3. GetResponse: Like the others you can register a lot of subscriters. But the attract of this page is that you can create also your landing page for a better manage of your campaign. And is only $15 dollars, that can be a very great inversion.

Image 

“GetResponse is the head and the shoulders of every email marketing tool. I call it my secret army!

Neil Patel, Co-founder of KISSmetris

Best advices to apply to a Startup Acceleration Program on 2014

by: Luis Almanza

The startup accelerator program


2014 promises to be the year of more Acceleration Programs than ever before. Multiple models define the programs and opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs (for example, at Orion Startups we are using Techstars model). The application calls are there, but the competence is harder than ever.

If you are planning to apply to an acceleration program this can be helpful:

What are they looking for?

– A BIG team

– Ability to execute (fast & furious)

– A great project (related with accelerator interest area)

Once you’ve applied, the selection team will make a research to know about your startup and your team, so be prepared. Most of the teams change their idea, but execution is everything!

For example we use to do the next things for the first selection:

1. We click on the Project’s website link. If it leads to nothing, then it’s bad, really bad. The website is the minimum any person expects from you; it’s like your presentation card.

2. We look into the founders’ social profiles and search for previous activities. Anything we find can define or give us an idea about the person: a portfolio can give an idea about tech skills, being the basketball team captain can show leadership, etc.

3.  Video. Remember that the selection team doesn’t know the Project; they never have been in touch with the product. A video is the best shot to describe what it is and what it does.

4.  We rank them. The first rank is based on our first impression: we see if the Project a) Must be in the program, b) Could be in the program, c) I am not sure, I need help to evaluate d) Probably won’t be in the program, e) Definitely won’t be in the program.

If your Projecy is ranked a-d, then we’ll do a research to know: your execution capacity (How long have you been working on this project?), experience or passion about the project (How did you get that idea?) and finally, team strength (How well do you know your co-founder?).

Final Tips:

– Answer ASAP the email from the accelerator team.

– Never react in a defensive way.

– Write emails with explicit subjects.

– Be honest and answer shortly.

– Be careful with every answer.

Definitely, this is the year!!

If you’re interested, our program is open now, find more info here: http://www.orionstartups.com/

5 reasons to invest in Startups

By: Luis Almanza

 5 reasons to invest

It is common when we talk with new investors or traditional investors, to face the question Why invest in startups? Investment is one of the most important components in a startup ecosystem, but is one of the most difficult components to develop.

There are many reasons to invest, but some of the most common are:

1. To develop the local entrepreneurship ecosystem and generate economic growth based on high technology companies.

Most of the people with enough money to invest have strong commitment with the community; the majority of them want to be related with local organizations because of a high sense of social responsibility. Investment is real, tangible and an objective way to help communities, it can drive to new companies, new jobs, and new opportunities.

2. To attract talented people, mentors, other investors and new companies.
The base of economic development is the people involved in it, their culture, capabilities and their values. The entrepreneurship is a road for talented people with vision, innovative and experienced in new technologies, ergo, they can help to grow the culture of local people.

3. Is profitable! Yes still being a good business. 2-3x in 5 years (don´t compromise).
There are many options to invest, but today, one of the most profitable is “High technology” based startup. There is a higher risk, but the impact and benefits can be bigger and faster than any other investment options.

4. You can be part of a success story or a great product.
A person involved in “Startup-founding” is a person with ambitious goals, trying to develop products for the world. Being part of that is rewarding.

5. Startups are highly risky but highly potential projects.
The potential of the projects by definition and strategy is bigger than any other projects.

Being a startup investor is a business, not a hobby. If you want to get on board, you better be prepared to take decisions, confront risks, and develop the vision to win.

Do you know another good reason to invest?

Orion Startup’s team grows!

To succeed in business it is necessary to make others see things as you see them.

– John H Patterson


We are excited to announced that two universities from Chile join our team!

1. INNOVO: Business incubator of the University of Santiago. They are focus on two lines of action: business training, to prepare the entrepreneurs with the correct tools and the other line of action is entrepreneurship and innovation.

2. UDT: The Technological Development Unit of the University of Concepcion Chile. It is characterized by performing both scientific and technological frontier research such as innovation and in close relation to the productive sector. 

Last week we meet in a videoconference with both universities, to get to know us better and we agreed that we will work together to impulse the entrepeneur ecosystem here in México and in Chile.

Welcome to our team!

innovo_02_0 udt

Should you apply to an accelerator?

 Image
“A startup accelerator is built to foster rapid growth of its portfolio companies. It’s a man-made perfect storm of mentorship, access to technology, office space
and an innovative community, packed into a short time frame.” Dani Fhankhauser
 
In the last months, the goal of been accepted in an accelerator program is taking the mind and the goals of many entrepreneurs. Yes, it is a reality that every day we see more and more new acceleration programs, but…
 
Not always and acceleration program is the answer.
 
Is easy to see the funding, the office, the mentorship and the glorious of been accepted like the goal of every startup, but entrepreneurs tend to miss the real goal of every single startup: Business.
 
The acceleration program must be a step not the goal.
 
The dream is a global product not a dreamed logo at an accelerator wall.
 
In that sense, sometimes, the acceleration program can help in the pursuit of happy customers. It takes time to build a valuable company, so it will take awhile before you can see the effect of a program like this on the startup history.
 
So then, where is the impact?
 
Before accelerators, there were incubators. The first business incubatorwas started in 1959 and aimed to be “an institutionalized environment that assists and enables startup companies and business ideas to grow.” The help that they can provide sometimes can be the vitamins to grow faster, the problem is when you expect the program be the oxygen to survive.
 
The other point is: what accelerator? Since the democratization of the entrepreneurship is most common to see how new acceleration programs are born everywhere, the clue is which one can provide what you need.
 
In 2005, Paul Graham created Y Combinator, and while the program is loosely based on the incubator model, a few differences stand out. First,the time period is limited — startups come in as classes and graduate together after a few months, while incubators were flexible with how much time each startup might need to get on its feet. Many programs have tried to replicate the Y combinator model on different locations.
 
The reality is that no two accelerators are the same.
 
There are vertical focused programs like Nike Accelerator or Disney accelerator and regional programs like Startup Chile or Startup Brazil, the model still being the same with the variants needed by the goals of the program.
 
If your decision factor is the money, you need to be sure about dilution; if an accelerator takes too much equity, that’s one red flag, this will make it more difficult to raise another round later as you’ll have less equity to offer VCs. At the opposite end, a program that doesn’t take equity might be a bad fit, these programs are looking to promote local business growth rather than generate financial return.
 
Attending an accelerator requires relocation and full time commitment, if is not on your plans to move another city avoid the long application process and try to look for local programs, angels or incubators.
 
Before you think in an accelerator, define the startup goals in terms of the team, market, business model, product, customer acquisition strategy and then, only then, think if the next step includes an acceleration program.
 
“Entering an accelerator without a product is like going to a car race with a bicycle. You have to have something to accelerate.” – somebody

Welcome to Orion Startups!

We are very happy to introduce you:

Orion Startups!


ImageWe are an acceleration/investment program for early stage startups based on Chihuahua, Mexico focused on LATAM startups. Our goal is to take companies from the concept to a capital access position in a 5 months program. We want the 70% of companies accelerated access to angel capital, venture capital or be acquired.

Companies are accelerated in a 5 months program with the best national and international mentors in our offices located in middle of the US Entrepreneurship ecosystems like Silicon Valley, Boulder, Austin, NYC, Seattle and the LATAM most developed ecosystems like Sao Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Mexico City.

Each company receives 20K dlls in exchange for the 2% – 10% of equity and joing our strong network supported by Tec de Monterrey, one of the best universities in LATAM with presence in 31 cities across Mexico and +20 offices around the world.

“… We provide the fuel that every startup needs to accelerate.”

So …

Join us!

Apply now: http://bit.ly/1i9yH0x