Careful Now! Use Reviews and Testimonials Wisely


Careful Now! Using Customer Reviews and Testimonials Wisely

Helpful Reviews

User reviews and testimonials can be a really beneficial – and profitable – selling tool for businesses.

The clothing retailer found that, “Products with reviews have a 35.27% higher overall session conversion rate”, than those without reviews.

While the computer giant Dell discovered that the conversion rate doubled when shoppers viewed customer ratings, reviews and testimonials.



 Unhelpful Reviews

As user reviews can clearly dramatically influence buying decisions, more and more sites allow users to post opinions. While the broadcasting of these opinions has the potential to increase conversion rates – brands should be wary.

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How to Create a Christmas Marketing Masterstroke


How to Create a Christmas Marketing Masterstroke

Wouldn’t it be great if your employees could let loose, you could raise money for charity and you could get noticed on social media all at once…

Charity Events & Social Standing

If you follow a couple of businesses on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, it won’t take you long before you see updates that show employees having fun.

Not necessarily laughing their heads off, “five pints at the pub for lunch was bad for productivity – YOLO!” fun, but the little activities that most companies take part in. They’re usually for a good cause.


Image source.


The ice bucket challenge, Movember, wear pink for breast cancer, charity bake sales, raffles, sports days and the like.

All very worthy endeavours that businesses take part in for good reasons. They then post proof to social media to raise awareness – as well as to show their lighter side.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with jumping on a passing fad or enjoying an annual event to raise money and earn a bit of online attention at the same time.

Did you know, on Twitter and Facebook posts with photos get twice the engagement rate of those without?

However, while things like the ice bucket challenge quickly become passé, there is a relatively unexplored avenue that businesses should consider for fundraising as well as publicity. And essentially every company in the UK (and beyond) holds one of these shindigs already.

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The More the Merrier or Less is More on Social Media?

The More the Merrier or Less is More: How Often Should You Post on Social Media?

Forfront’s Tip of the Month for October is all about social media. Specifically, how often you should post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. No business wants to drive their audience mad, but we don’t want to be forgotten either.

social media 4

Gif source.

Quite some time ago we criticised a clothing retailer for its ridiculous email marketing frequency. Social media doesn’t face quite the same limitations; too many posts in a day won’t give the impression that a brand is invading someone’s personal space.

However, your audience still might be turned off if a company’s posts are dominating their timelines – while if that business hasn’t uploaded anything in a while it can be easy to forget about them.

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The Benefits of Business Blogging

The Benefits of Business Blogging

Recently, an article ran on the B2B Marketing website documenting how few UK companies run a blog.

Blog in typescript letters

“Only one in eight (12%) UK businesses run a blog as part of their wider sales and marketing strategy, according to a new report by Catalogues 4 Business (C4B).

“Just 4% of the 300 UK B2B and B2C companies surveyed said they plan on creating a business blog in the next 12 months.

“Meanwhile, 2% believe their blog helped to deliver sales, compared to the 24% who attributed sales directly to the success of networking.”

Read the article in full here.

I agree that it’s hard to say any blog directly leads to sales. It wouldn’t be a very good blog if every article was heavy self-promotion, screaming “BUY FROM US NOW”. Blogs are about entertaining, informing and engaging people.

However, there are a lot of benefits of business blogging and we thought the 88% of British companies without a blog needed to hear them.

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Is This the Worst Copywriting Ever?


Is This the Worst Copywriting Ever?

This is the “concept” on the website of a company who shall remain nameless.


Just let it sink in for a moment:


“Live, social and communication solution”.


“Seamlessly integrated relations”.

It must be one of the worst examples of corporate-speak, business-talk and marketing-guff that I’ve ever seen.

But that’s not all.

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Press Release: Forfront & CANDDi



Email marketing specialist Forfront and intelligent analytics platform CANDDi celebrate the one year anniversary of their partnership – August 2014

Integration between Forfront’s established email marketing system e-shot™ and CANDDi’s revolutionary analytics platform has created the tantalising prospect of email marketing with greater insight than ever before.

The partnership was established just over a year ago, as Forfront and CANDDi agreed a strategic partnership as well as innovative system integration, bringing together CANDDi’s pioneering analytics and Forfront’s e-shot™ email marketing system. The partnership involves co-marketing activities via email, social media and guest blog contributions, and is largely centred on system integration. CANDDi’s technology has been available to all e-shot™ users for the past thirteen months already.

Every email marketing platform offers some aspect of statistics and report-generation while CANDDi integration enables e-shot™ to progress beyond traditional analytics to identify people, companies and leads – right down to personal information like their name, company, social networking information, geographical location and each visitor’s individual statistics and details. CANDDi’s use of Visitor Level Tracking is one of their most novel and innovative progressions above normal web analytics. Others use IP tracking or cookie based analytics, whereas CANDDi merges these with their own intricate algorithms.

As part of the partnership agreement, Forfront promotes CANDDi to its clients through several mediums including email and social media, produces guest content for the CANDDi bi-weekly newsletters and prominently positions the CANDDi logo on relevant webpages. CANDDi trained the Forfront sales and marketing teams to use the analytics platform better for its own lead generation as well as producing content for the Forfront blog.


CANDDi’s core technology is a big-data analytics platform that brings together click-stream data, Personal Identifiable Information and CRM data to produce deep analysis of visitors. CANDDi recognises and tells you who is on your website, not just how many people. It provides real time visitor level data for automated interactions, but also can generate aggregated data for more traditional analysis at a level not seen before.

Eggchanging Easter Puns with REED

Just before Easter I had the pleasure (or misfortune, depending on your viewpoint) to get involved in the murky world of online Twitter punning with a well-known brand.
In response to this tweet by Erin Freeman, decrying the use of horrible egg puns in Easter themed emails, I mentioned the case of the employment agency REED.

   I didn’t mention REED’s Twitter handle, so I assume the agency’s marketing department have their fingers firmly poised over the “search” function on Twitter to have located the tweet in the first place. Some good digital detective work there. Anyway, you can see their email in this screenshot. It’s an astonishing case of basing an entire campaign and competition around a single egg pun.

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Internet Explorer 6 is Almost Extinct

Credit: Internet Explorer

Credit: Internet Explorer

In the very near future neither Internet Explorer 6 nor Internet Explorer 7 will be compatible with our e-shot™ email marketing system.

There’s nothing strange about this, don’t panic, it’s just that IE6 is over ten years old (and extremely outdated) while IE7 is almost 8 years old (and very outdated).

They both lack the software and features to handle modern browsing.

Microsoft even have their own website called which contains an “IE6 countdown” – keeping an eye on the declining usage of the browser and encouraging everybody to update!

This area of their site includes an interesting map of remaining IE6 usage around the globe, showing that the UK has a lowly 0.5% share of the world’s final IE6 presence.

It’s a tiny portion, but considering how old-fashioned the browser is, and how hard it makes even the simplest things (such as watching a YouTube video), it’s shocking that even 0.5% of the UK is happy with IE6.

At the other end of the spectrum, perhaps unsurprisingly, The People’s Republic of China is far and away the world leader for IE6 usage; the Chinese making up a huge 22.2% of IE6 use.

So if you haven’t updated to the latest IE version yet, or another browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, now’s the time to make the switch!

Click here for information about updating your Internet Explorer browser; it’s quick, easy and painless.

Silverware Won by Derby County FC

A big congratulations is in order to Derby County Football Club.

On the field the side are pushing for promotion to the Premier League, but the marketing department at the club has already won a trophy this season – the “Best Digital Content and Audience Growth” accolade at the 2014 Football League Awards!

Derby’s marketing department has used the e-shot™ platform for their email marketing since 2011, and this was one of the factors in their recognition at the ceremony.

Their September “Return of the Mac” campaign was designed to encourage fans to back the new manager Steve McClaren after the sacking of popular boss Nigel Clough.

The strategy was delivered across all channels, from social media to email to their website, and you can view the message sent with e-shot™ below.


Derby’s campaign had a huge impact; the email achieved a 21.66% open rate, while the club increased the number of unique visitors per month to to over 200,000 and improved social conversion rates to nearly 25%.

Overall during their time using e-shot™ Derby have grown their contacts list by almost 300% – which is truly exceptional – while their average open rate has also reached 22.32%, well exceeding the sports industry average.

After winning the award the club’s Multi-Media Editor Matt Reeder said, “We saw the opportunity with Steve’s appointment to re-engage with the fans and built the ‘Return of the Mac’ strapline which came from Faye Nixon in our marketing department.  We worked on the whole concept and also looked at how we could re-engage with our fans across all platforms – RamsPlayer, the website, Twitter, YouTube.”

Click here to read a complete case study on Derby’s use of the e-shot™ system.

Give us a call on 020 3320 8777 or visit our website today to find out how we could help your marketing go from mid-table to award-winning.

‘BADMAN’ Bugti Boosts the Argos Brand

On this blog we’ve mentioned before how powerful and newsworthy reactive marketing can be – sometimes for all the wrong reasons.

This week Argos showed their funny, creative side in responding to a tweeter.

Immy ‘BADMAN’ Bugti asked the firm, “YO wen u gettin da ps4 tings in moss side? Ain’t waitin no more. Plus da asian guy whu works dere got bare attitude #wasteman”.


Argos responded, “Safe badman, we gettin sum more PS4 tings in wivin da next week y’get me. Soz bout da attitude, probz avin a bad day yo. LD”.

The shop’s response has been retweeted over 6,000 times as of 11.03.14 – and BADMAN has seen a huge spike in his online popularity.

From tweeting “YO I’M IN DA PAPER” with a link to a Daily Mail article about the incident, to chatting up several female users via the attention he’s received – “@Kiranshahx yo what u sayin u got a man or wat?” – his lack of self-awareness is astonishing.


I’m starting to wonder whether Immy isn’t actually a parody account.

The cynical side of me thinks the whole thing feels a bit staged, as Argos have never responded in this sort of way before and Immy seems a bit over the top. He might have tweeted over 2,500 times, with a lot of awful language, but maybe Argos were just being extra-subversive and playing the long con…

In all seriousness, I’m sure he is genuine – but an attention-seeking troll, and proud of it.

His recent Twitter photographs include three screenshots of public figures that have blocked him on the social media site: Ex-footballer Stan Collymore, Chelsea and England left back Ashley Cole and ex-comedian Ricky Gervais.

A real Manchester resident or an ultra-ironic East London marketing brainchild, Argos have gained a very positive boost in their online brand identity from the exchange with Immy.

In one (probably spontaneous) tweet they’ve achieved more attention, column inches and online discussion than a lot of brands will manage with thousands of hours of planning and marketing budget thrown at carefully considered ideas.