Nine of ’09: You can increase email clickthrough rate…use Twitter for business…but you can’t listen to Penelope Cruz sing here…

Today’s blog post will not feature music, romance, or a cast of Academy Award winners. If you want to hear Penelope Cruz sing, you have to watch “Nine,” the film.

But while “Nine,” the blog post, can’t provide what Peter Travers from Rolling Stone describes as “…a hot-blooded musical fantasia”, I can share our nine most popular posts from 2009 full of lessons that will help you better understand successful viral videos and affiliate marketing, and improve your lead generation rate while building your email subscriber list. I’ll even throw in a (not quite as gushingly fabricated) review for each post from the Twittersphere.

2009-20010At first glance, a film with a starry cast and yet another “Top Blog Posts of 2009 Roundup” have little in common beyond the name. But the tenth lesson is in the execution. If you’re a frequent visitor to the blog, you’ll notice our new Topsy Retweet Button. One way we use Twitter is to listen to you, our audience. This button is an easier way for you to tell us (and the rest of the Twitterverse) which posts provide you with real value that so you can be successful at what you do, which is how we define our success.

So the next time you’re tempted to look at Twitter as just a chance to gossip about how Nicole Kidman began rehearsals for “Nine” just four weeks after giving birth…stop. And listen. Your customers are trying to talk to you.

Now, let’s raise the curtain on the nine most valuable blog posts of 2009 as decided by you…our audience.

  1. Twitter for businesses: 7 articles + tools you don’t want to miss – With hundreds of lists of Twitter tips and tools, and dozens more popping up each day, it’s getting impossible to keep up unless you work for Mashable. So in advance of June 19th’s Twitter Experiments: Getting beyond the “now what?” web clinic, we wanted to share some of our favorite tips, tools and articles related to the business side of Twitter. Instead of a laundry list of 87 tools or 143 people to follow, here are seven of the most valuable articles and resources we’ve seen lately. Enjoy. “This is good stuff…” @danfranktx
  2. What else can I test… to increase email clickthrough rate? – Email marketing is still the most preferred and effective way channel marketers can communicate directly with their customers. Here are eight tactics that you can use or re-visit to increase your email clickthrough rate. “A few good ways to increase your email clickthroughs” @rickburnes
  3. What do great viral videos have in common? – It’s always fascinating to see smart, unique and, occasionally crazy concepts come to life. Most interesting are those that somehow connect with a brand and really support brand awareness. Here a few of Gaby Diaz’s personal favorites. Besides being funny and eye-catching, what have these videos done right? “Short and straight to the point.” @brunoluis
  4. Google adds more flexibility and intelligence to Analytics and Website Optimizer – At the 2009 Partner Summit, Google gave a preview of the new Website Optimizer (GWO) features as well as soon-to-be-launched, feature-packed version 4 of Google Analytics. So what’s new with GWO? Let’s take a look. “Google’s smarter Analytics and Website Optimizer. It’s about time” @jasonbarczewski
  5. Affiliate marketing clinic study guide: 12 resources to get you going – For September 8th’s Affiliate Marketing web clinic, we explored this Internet-based marketing practice and how to optimize your programs. This shortlist contains a dozen of the best articles, research, forums, and related resources we’ve seen that can help those who are just starting out with affiliate marketing. “MarketingExperiments is an awesome free resource.” @bsainsbury
  6. What else can I test … to improve my lead generation rate? – Lead capture forms can be a powerful business driver – if they are relevant to the surrounding content and your prospect’s motivation, and placed intuitively to meet the prospect’s eyepath and sequence of thoughts while viewing your page. Unfortunately, many forms aren’t living up to their potential in these key areas. “3 ways to optimize your lead generation forms (I need to try one of these)” @mandy_vavrinak
  7. Alumni Questions: Reliable case studies, SEO, and test design – MarketingExperiments Training alumni often share their questions and concerns with our analysts before, during, and after they take one of our courses. These questions about reliable case studies, SEO, and test design are an example of the interaction you can expect if you attend a MarketingExperiments course. “Nice Q&A.” @diogenespassos
  8. Email Marketing: Building Valuable Subscriber Lists on the Cheap – On December 2nd’s web clinic, we explored how to maximize revenue from your house list. In this blog post, let’s look at a strategy for building that list on the cheap. “7 steps to blog contests for rapid list growth” @vmodarelli
  9. Creating a Culture of Testing: How to defeat the tyranny of best practices – Sometimes the most difficult part of testing is finding the right way to get started in your organization. Andy Mott discusses how to get the ball rolling. “Testing: ‘It’s like eating chips while watching a football game, you just can’t stop'” @johnlapierre

Enough nostalgia! In mere hours 2009 will be gone and 2010 will be here. How can marketers prosper next year? Tell use your 2010 Internet Marketing Predictions. We’ll post the most visionary ideas to the blog in the New Year.

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