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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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Marketing Bee Documents - Getting the word out

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I wrote earlier about how we track the success of our marketing efforts. I wanted to list some of the marketing techniques we have tried and give some comments.

"Traditional" Marketing

  • Phone Sales - Early on we hired a local phone sales company to ask lawyers some survey questions. This cost a few thousand dollars and we didn't get one person to talk to us. I won't be doing that again!

  • Direct Mail - We had some Bee Docs postcards printed up. I can customize the content and I usually send the postcards our to targeted clients when we release a new product or in coordination with other marketing efforts.

  • Print Ads - We've ran some print ads in the local bar association journal. Though these ads don't often turn into immediate sales, I believe that it helps people trust you when they have seen your name in their trade journal. It seems to be that local association newsletters are a better value than the big national publications.

  • Web Advertising - The Google Adwords program has resulted in a handful of new customers. As far as "traditional marketing" goes, this has been the most productive media. It takes time to get everything tweaked so that these ads are effective though.

  • Trade Shows - It is fun to set up a cool display and meet potential customers in the flesh. At this point, I have only done local association trade shows, but it would be fun to do a Mac World or something like that in the future. It certainly isn't a cheap way to advertise though.

Press Releases

The Mac sites and Law Technology News have been great about publishing my press releases. I always get a large number of hits when they mention me in their publications. Press Releases are definitely a priority every time we do something new.

Free Software

I have been doing a cost comparison between the cost of traffic from web ads and the cost of developing free software that also generates web traffic. It turns out that I can sometimes whip out a program in a few days that will generate web traffic for months to come. It's a pretty good marketing technique that fits my expertise. You always want people to get warm fuzzies every time they hear your name, and giving away free stuff is always helpful to that end.

Community Participation

For Bee Docs' Timeline we tried something new. Instead of keeping everything secret until the product was ready to launch, I released a beta version about once a week and had people sign up on a mailing list to be informed of the releases and provide feedback. I was surprised at the amount of people who signed up and the great feedback that I received. This blog takes things one step further. Getting the user community involved in the creation of products has really been fun, has generated lots of traffic, and helps increase the number of times people mention Bee Documents in their blogs.

In the coming weeks, we will use the blog to announce a new product that is in development and will be posting updates and our design ideas so that folks like you can follow along and participate in the creative process. Stay tuned!

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