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Welcome to Futureforth

We teach companies how to reach their people.

We are a social media strategy, digital marketing consultancy, and communications company based in Nashville. Our goal is to teach you inbound marketing, social media best practices, and everything you need to succeed with content marketing including your blog, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other favorite social networking platforms.

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The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: marketing

Automation: A Good Idea for Online Marketing?

Dave Delaney

Marketing Automation

Automation online can be a wonderful thing. It can help us to speed up processes that otherwise take time. For example, I created an email series using a company called ConvertKit (Affiliate Link).

I wrote 15 emails that walk the reader through a step-by-step process to find a new job or launch a side business. The email series automatically delivers a new message every few days. This method is a wonderful way to automate the process of email marketing campaigns.

A few weeks ago, I experimented with sending automated direct (private) messages to my new Twitter followers using Crowdfire. This has commonly been considered a no-no in the minds of Twitter's original users, but Twitter has changed since 2007 when I began using it. As a marketer, it's my job to test how new tactics perform so I can relay this information to my clients.

I sent a simple automated tweet to each new follower, "Thanks for the follow. What are you working on today? — via @crowdfire."

The last part was automatically affixed to the tweet using the service. I felt it helped to relay that the message was automatically generated. To my surprise, I began to get replies.

I ended up having a brief chat with several people who replied to my question. I even got into a debate in a Twitter #mediachat about using automated direct messages. I have always disliked them in the past but I felt it was worth testing for myself.

I don't always have time to review each new follower, so I had hoped this would work to speed up those connections and get to know them a little faster.  

My ultimate decision was to disable the service. Not enough people responded and I feared annoying others who received my message.

I sometimes see people trying to automate high-priced services via email automation. This makes me cringe because it takes time to build a relationship and earn trust to do business together.

In the case of my free email series, my intention is to help people find jobs. And it's working. I've already heard from some of them directly. And no, I did not reply with automated messages. Each message was original and sent straight from little ol' me.

It's important to understand why you want to use automation in your marketing efforts. Always put yourself in the recipient's shoes to consider whether this process is right for them. Test different methods to see what works best for you.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper. 

Smart Marketers Listen To These 7 Podcasts

Dave Delaney

I am a big fan of podcasting, which explains why I have written about the medium so much over the years. I have hosted and produced multiple podcasts, and I have even co-hosted a workshop to teach people how to create a podcast from scratch. As a digital marketing consultant, I need to stay abreast of new trends and technologies to recommend to my clients. To stay up to date, I subscribe and listen to several fantastic marketing podcasts. The following are a few of my favorites that will help you too.

7 Marketing Podcasts You Should Try

The BeanCast. Each week host, Bob Knorpp, welcomes a panel of advertising and marketing experts to discuss current industry news. There are always a few laughs and ah-ha moments. This show leans more towards advertising than marketing but is still extremely valuable to marketers.

Marketing Over Coffee. I still remember back when hosts, John Wall and Christopher S. Penn, used to meet early in the mornings at a local Dunkin Donuts to record this show (hence the name). Both hosts are true kings of marketing who share industry secrets and opinions that will help you fuel your own marketing efforts. If you are seeking a conversational podcast that leans more towards marketing technology, this one is for you.

Beyond the To Do List. Erik J. Fisher hosts this interview show about ways to improve your productivity. It's not a marketing show, but everyone should strive to be more productive. If you are looking for clarity and techniques to get more done in a day, don’t miss this one.

Six Pixels of Separation. Mitch Joel is a well-respected thought-leader, author, speaker, and business leader in the digital marketing space. Each week he welcomes a guest author who shares insights. Mitch isn’t afraid of playing devil’s advocate, which helps keep the discussions interesting.

Duct Tape Marketing. If you are seeking a podcast that leans more towards sales but still includes plenty of marketing tips, don’t miss John Jantsch’s podcast. John is one of the best small business marketing consultants out there.

Marketing Smarts from MarketingProfs. Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is a smart, personable host. This podcasts delivers actionable insights and real marketing advice from industry experts. Kerry brings a refreshing sense of humor and personality to her style. She interviews authors and experts in marketing. I recommend subscribing to the MarketingProfs email newsletter too.

Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Podcast. Michael Stelzner interviews his guests to discuss marketing tips related specifically to social media. I love how Michael reiterates key points and pushes his guests to outline their tactics simply. If you are seeking marketing knowledge in social media, check out this show.

Everyone needs to be a better marketer

Whether you are building your business or career, everyone needs to be a better marketer. I am confident these seven podcasts will help you achieve this. 

If you enjoy the shows, be sure to leave a review in iTunes. Consider paying for the free advice with some positive words and a five-star rating. I know each host will love you for it.

Bonus read: From Podcast to Page: Why Repeating What You Learn is Essential.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean Newspaper.

Stop Blasting People

Dave Delaney

We need to send an email blast to try to sell more of these widgets. Let's blast them now!

It irks me every time I hear a marketer refer to blasting their customers. I picture a violent scene from a movie, as the hero or villain shotgun blasts their way out of a jam. Shotguns are made to create as much damage as possible. You don't want to damage your email subscribers, right?

I looked up blast to see some definitions and here's what I found...

Definitions of "blast"

a destructive wave of highly compressed air spreading outward from an explosion: they were thrown backward by the blast.

• an explosion or explosive firing, especially of a bomb: a bomb blast | a shotgun blast.

• a forceful attack or assault: he defeated his weakest opponent in such a blast that the fans left unimpressed.

a strong gust of wind or air: the icy blast hit them.

• a strong current of air used in smelting.

a single loud note of a horn, whistle, or other noisemaking device: a blast of the ship's siren.

Does any of this blasting sound enjoyable?

Let's stop blasting the people who are kind enough to subscribe to our email newsletters. Instead, call it "sending them an email newsletter". An email newsletter sounds kind and carefully considered. A blast sounds likes a coupon, something spammy, or worse, an actual shotgun being fired.