Browsing Forbes website, I noticed #23 for 2015 on Forbes list for "America's Most Promising Companies" is Yodle.
It is truly amazing how a company like Yodle can do $187 million in revenue and continue growing. Almost $16 MILLION a month in revenue is not an insignificant number.
Reader discretion advised:
This article might include a little bit of bashing, but that is okay. The truth needs to be exposed sometimes.
Yodle does not do a single thing for business owners, except integrate some simple features into an all-in-one dashboard and charge $3,600 per year for it. Sometimes they try to squeeze in a $497 setup fee if they can suck it out of you.
I actually went through their demo with a sales rep and checked out their platform, which the client interface is lame and their entire UX is dated.
At the end of the presentation, I asked the Sales Rep, so basically your platform connects a few components into a singular place and there isn't any actual work on your end (all efforts are done by the customer, not Yodle)?
And the shocker came, he told me "Yes."
That is when it got awkward.
He knew I caught on to their scheme, the rep didn't push the sale any further and we hung up. After speaking with dozens of business owners, they told me that Yodle was relentless about following up with them and pressuring them into a sales agreement for 12 months. The funny thing is he NEVER followed up with me. It has been eight months and I am still waiting for that follow-up call.
After the sales presentation, I was puzzled. I started questioning myself. How can a company that offers something so little in value have over 50,000 customers and counting?
You would think a company that charges thousands of dollars a year and a setup fee would help with at least one of the following:
Well, I figured out their strategy...
1. They're damn good at selling over the phone to naive small business owners.
2. It is all about presentation. Their marketing collateral is on point. They have beautiful brochures, ebooks, success stories, white papers, etc.
3. Once they promise you the world, you're tied into a contract. That is recurring revenue every month.
I guess the key to success and being that big marketing name on Forbes list comes down to presentation and persistence.
They're named one of America's Most Promising Companies because of their appearance. It is all about presentation and how a company is perceived from the outside, rather than their inner layers, such as the ROI they provide for customers.
Bottom line... Yodle is great at three things:
Cold calling, presentation and selling the dream.
Oh, the horror of working with web development agencies...
"I know I need to improve my online presence and I am willing to pay for it. The thing is Matthew, I am nervous due to numerous web design companies I have worked with and not getting the end-result I need."
We hear the same-old-story on a daily basis. Business owners have paid a "web guru" to have a website built out and face a handful of problems in the process. The web design company usually promises the world with short turnaround times and timid prices to get the client.
As a client, you think you scored a great deal on a website for $900, but in actuality (in most cases), you just ran into a wall of problems, hold-ups, and excuses for the project to be completed.
The reason for the HUGE variance in quality across web development companies is simply due to the ease of barrier to entry. Anyone with a computer can call themselves a "web developer", "web guru", "marketing specialist" or any other flashy name.
With web development, there isn't an industry-backed credential that certifies you as a professional web developer.
With the barrier to entry being so easy, it is difficult to separate those who slap on a WordPress theme and make some generic changes with the themes settings, whereas a true professional uses their knowledge of UX and UI (User-Experience and User-Interface), clean code and the latest development languages to create a beautiful experience for your project.
Common complaints we hear about other web development companies are:
Here is an ACTUAL complaint from a new customer that they told us about a web development company that they finally gave up, cut their losses and moved on from:
"I spent almost 16 months with xxx company just trying to get my site live and dozens of hours trying to convey what I was looking for on my site to take my company to that next level. After being strung along, exhausted from trying to get it right and spending five-figures on design and development costs, I cut my losses and went on a journey finding a reputable company who could meet my needs."
After developing more than two dozen websites over several years now, I knew as a project coordinator, I needed to identify customer pain points and what really makes them hesitate with launching a new site and building that new image for their company.
So, I begin cold calling to find prospects who had lame sites in the niches I wanted to go after and there are two things I found and in 90% of the cases for fear of moving forward with a new website.
(SPOILER ALERT: It was NOT money!)
The problem with giving up on finding the right web developer comes down to three things:
So, here is why you need a website that WORKS for YOU...
Infinite benefits for having a new website, but we will list three primary ones:
1. The internet is the phone book for businesses. If you're not listed, you're losing out on ($$$) thousands or even millions of dollars in revenue every year.
2. Having a clean website that is best-in-industry builds a tremendous amount of authority for your company. Having an outdated site (even 3 years old) with poor user-experience often makes potential customers hesitant to work with your business.
3. Everyone is on their phone searching for the services and products they need or want. 81% of customers start their research online before calling or visiting a business (Source: adweek.com.) Having your business shine on mobile is so so so important!
True professional web development companies (LIKE US!) have the following traits and ideals:
Lead Butler is the best way to turn form submissions on your website to phone calls in seconds.
If you're like most businesses, you're busy as a bee and often forget to look at any leads that have come through your forms on your website.
The problem is as these leads slip through your pipeline, your potential (who WAS interested in your business!) customer leaves your site and starts shopping your competitors immediately.
We know this story all too often...
You're busy at work closing deals and working on projects, suddenly you check your email at the end of the day and see you have an inquiry from a hot prospect.
You hop on the phone right away and they say, "Sorry, we already booked an appointment with "your competitor", but thanks for calling back.
Feeling frustrated, you wish you had a solution to solve the delay in time from inquiry to phone call.
Here is the thing... If you follow up with web lead within 5 minutes, you're 9 times more likely to convert them. (Source: InsideSales.com)
With my business, I had this problem for too long until I decided to take charge of my leads and decided to not let them get TOSSED off to my competitors.
The solution is Lead Butler. A prospect submits a web lead and Voilà, your phone rings and asks you if you want to dial out to the prospect.
Our proprietary software has numerous options for customization. From call recording to call flows, we have the power to make it work well for your business.
Have multiple reps answering the phone call?
Call multiple phones at once and the first person to answer takes the call.
Need an interactive menu to route calls?
Press 1 for sales. Press 2 for support. Connect your customers to the right person every time.
Want a custom greeting?
Not a problem! Upload your greeting with ease and play it at any point during a call flow.
Get a transcription emailed to your or sent to directly to your phone.
Features are endless.
Support is available 24/7.
We don't talk the talk... We use our software within our business.
There are two types of online lead generation: Advertising and Marketing.
Advertising is the bread and butter for companies like Google, Facebook, and Zillow.
Marketing is the "free" or "organic" efforts made through writing content that search engines can find.
The two strategies both work when it comes down to generating leads or sales for your product/service.
What it comes down to is, do you want instant gratification via advertising or build up your foundation over time for results that pay dividends for many years?
Right now you're thinking, ughhh why do I have to choose one over the other.
The quick answer: You don't.
Our approach: Get aggressive in both.
Okay... We understand not every company can afford an aggressive approach with advertising and marketing, but at a minimum you can be aggressive with one approach and experiment with the other.
Let me lay out the pros and cons between advertising and marketing for you.
-Start getting leads, calls or sales right away.
-Ability to target and test ideas quickly.
-Instant brand recognition.
-You forever have to spend money to keep leads pouring in.
-It takes a good amount of time to create, launch, test and optimize campaigns.
-If you're inexperienced with setting up advertising campaigns, you can waste a lot of money.
-Efforts made over time can pay off for years.
-You can get started with no cash out of your pocket (it does take time, though!)
-You can receive huge boosts if you have connections in your industry.
-It's not "free" like many people think unless your time is not valuable.
-With all the work, your competitors could be working harder and outrank you. It's not guaranteed.
-Takes extensive knowledge on great content writing skills, keyword analysis, backlink building and page optimization.
-It can take several months to realize ROI.
As you can see, advertising and marketing are two different beasts, but both have an end goal of getting your business more customers.