Monthly Archives: April 2009

Top-10 Demand Generation Vendor Blogs

UPDATE 7/14/09: I’ve now put all marketing automation blogs on a single page.

In my previous post I listed the Top-10 Demand Generation blog by marketers and consultants. Today I’ve put together a list of vendor blogs. Most of these vendors blogs really get ‘online marketing’, so they talk about best practices rather then just touting their products, and they post regularly.

In alphabetical order:

Sorry, can’t help it: every time I try to make a top-10, I end up with 11 and find it impossible to choose which one should go. So 11 it is :- )

Again, let me know your suggestions for other blogs. I’m pretty sure I still have to discover lots of cool blogs.

Top-10 Marketing Automation Blogs

UPDATE 7/14/09: I’ve now put all marketing automation blogs on a single page.

A couple of people recently asked me which blogs I’m frequently reading. So here’s the list. Please send me your favorite blogs, because there must be lots of great Marketing Automation blogs that I haven’t found yet!

BTW 1: Some of these blogs are more about lead generation, demand generation or inbound marketing, so maybe the title of this blog post is not ideal. But regardless of the terminology, these are the blogs that I enjoy most :- )

BTW 2: I have not included vendor weblogs: I will put those in a separate post.

In alphabetical order, these are the blogs that I read most frequently, and that I can heartily recommend.

(oops, that’s 11 blogs)

Let me know your favorite blogs, so I can put them in a follow-up post. Thanks!

Review of FormAssembly Form Builder

On this blog I primarily write about integrated Lead Management systems, rather than small tools. However, in a previous post I wrote about a project in which I’m replacing a full-blown Marketing Automation system with tools that add on to One of the key tools is a form builder: and that is exactly what FormAssembly provides.

I was impressed with FormAssembly: they have a cool-looking form builder that has lots of advanced features in a user-friendly package. You can simply add form fields to the form, position or group them, and get a live preview. You can edit the properties of the form fields, and set the advanced features (such as label placement or calculated fields).

Once you are done with your form you can copy-and-paste the form’s HTML code to your own website or you can run it from the FormAssembly server.

formassembly form builder

Advanced Features

You can send a ‘thank-you email’ immediately after form submission, and also get a notification yourself. You can create conditional questions, such as showing a ‘state’ field only when ‘United States’ is selected as a country. Also, you can pre-fill form fields by putting parameters in the form URL (e.g. However, it does not automatically recognize repeat visitors, like most marketing automation systems.

Submission of the Form

On the submission side of things it is very flexible too, but it takes more knowledge to set it up properly. You can submit straight into, but it supports only limited deduplication: based on email address it can overwrite all other fields. So if an email address matches an existing record, the information in the form will overwrite all information in Salesforce: I find that a little scary. Therefore I’ve used their HTTP Post functionality to submit the form to Ringlead, which does more elaborate deduplication. integration complexity

The setup of this part is more complex than in most marketing automation systems. You have to:

  • Manually map fields to the right fields, based on naming conventions
  • Re-create select boxes (e.g. a list of industries)
  • Add several hidden fields, for example to link the form submission to a Campaign

Once you’ve figured this out once, you can easily copy the settings for additional forms.

AdWords Landing Pages

I’m using AdWords to drive visitors to one of my landing pages. I’ve tagged the advertisement so the link contains the search keywords and Ad Group. I’d like to save this information in too, so I can see which keywords and Ad Groups generate the most business. Some marketing automation systems capture this information automatically, but with FormAssembly I had to write some PHP code to read the information in the URL and put it into a hidden field. It would be great if FormAssembly could make this feature standard: I bet a lot of people are using FormAssembly for AdWords landing pages.


Overall I feel that FormAssembly provides excellent value a low monthly fee ($34). And if they would improve deduplication I would happily three times as much, and even more if they support AdWords tagging.