How to Split-Test Your Facebook Ads to Maximize Conversions

first_img Facebook Advertising Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jan 18, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: It’s tough to nail down a successful Facebook advertising strategy unless you do some testing. However, testing Facebook ads, with all their nuances and constant updates, might seem scary. In this post, we’ll walk you through the basics and functions of Facebook ad split-testing.Understanding Facebook Ad CampaignsIn the Facebook Ads Manager, you arrange your ads into campaigns. A campaign is a group of similar ads that have the same purpose but slightly different variations. The chart below is just an example of how you can arrange your campaigns. The ads belonging to each campaign will be split-testing different variables. For instance, you can test different versions of an image or a title to find out the most effective one to use in your ad.6 Split-Testing Tips for Facebook Ads1. Change One Variable at a TimeYour main variables are the title, the picture, the copy, and the targeting.2. Keep Similar Ad ConditionsSame time of the day, same bid (although bid prices vary), same length of time, etc.3. Watch the ReportsIt may look like one ad did better than the other, but check the actual ‘Likes’ (fans) generated.4. Always Create a New AdDon’t try to tweak one that didn’t perform well. Facebook makes it easy to click on “Create a Similar Ad” so you preserve your settings.5. Try Split-Testing Your Destination Landing PageWhere do people land after they’ve clicked on your ad? Make sure the page is congruent with your message. If it’s your website, do you have the promised offer on the page? If you have the resources, you can also design two landing pages on your website where you send the traffic. In that way you, can optimize for a higher visitor-to-lead conversion rate.6. Rotate Your Ads OftenEven a well-performing ad will wear out its welcome. The ads are often served to the same audience several times, and if you aren’t rotating them every few days or when the CTR drops to 50% of its original value, you will be wasting your money.Here Is a Real-Life ExampleSome easy mistakes to make when split-testing Facebook ads is not testing the ad for a sufficient amount of time or letting it run too long and wasting your ad budget. A good comparison usually requires at least 20 clicks and requires that the ad run for at least two days. But clicks may not always be the best measure, depending on your targeting. You may want to run them for the same amount of impressions.Would you like to read more about advertising on Facebook? Download our free ebook, How to Create Epic Facebook Ads.last_img read more

Is Your Email List Healthy? Take This 5-Question Sniff Test

first_img Email Lists and Segmentation Originally published Mar 20, 2012 1:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email list are like milk — they’re perishable. In fact, rotten email lists can leave you a lot worse than just queasy. Bad email lists can make it nearly impossible for your messages to get into your prospects’ inboxes. Return Path reports that 83% of the time an email address is not delivered to an inbox, the sender’s reputation (defined by the sender score ) is to blame. And what makes a bad sender score? Sending emails that get marked as spam, which is exactly what happens when you send to bad lists. Sniff Test for Email? It’s pretty easy to identify bad milk; but what about bad email lists?Turns out they’re not so tough to spot either. Generally speaking, a bad email list is one where many of the recipients are not expecting and do not want your email.Of course, that’s pretty general, so how do you get more specific? At HubSpot, we ask a series of five questions to every customer who uploads a list to our email tool . The questions, listed below, constitute our basic email list sniff test.(Note that we ask these questions about lists that are uploaded to HubSpot but not lists created from leads collected by customers with HubSpot forms  or our leads API . That’s because we assume that if the leads are collected by the customer using a HubSpot form or the leads API, the contact has a recent business relationship with the customer and is expecting to receive email.)So without further ado, here’s the test:  1) Does everybody on this list have a prior relationship with your business? Yes? Move on to the next question. No? Get rid of the list — or at least the people you don’t have a relationship with. Pronto. If the person doesn’t have a prior relationship with your business, they’re not going to be expecting your email. Not only is emailing them just spammy, but it will also hurt you. Without a prior relationship, many of the recipients will mark your message as spam. Those spam designations will then turn around and hurt the sender score of the servers you send from, which will make it harder for you to get your messages delivered. 2) Do you have an unsubscribe list? Yes? Nice job! On to the next question … No? Do not pass go; do not send to list. Go back to the drawing board, and build a new list. Every list should be accompanied by an unsubscribe list. Here’s why: If you have a prior email relationship with the people on your list, you will inevitably have people who have unsubscribed from said list. When you load that list into a system like HubSpot, you need to load both the master list and the unsubscribe (AKA suppression) list. If you don’t, you’re going to end up emailing people who have already unsubscribed. That’s against the law , and, since people on the unsubscribe list are likely to mark your email as spam, it will also reduce your ability to send successful emails. 3) Did you purchase, rent, or lease the list from a third party? No? Excellent! Next question! Yes? Agh! No dice. We can’t let you send to that list from HubSpot — and it’s unlikely you’ll have success sending to the list from any other quality, reputable marketing software solution. Why? It’s pretty simple: The people on that list do not have a prior business relationship with you. At best, they gave their address to somebody else and are expecting email from them , not you. At worst, their address was harvested from some sort of directory, and they’re not expecting any type of email. Any sending you do to this list will get flagged for spam and ultimately reduce your future conversion rates. 4) Will the people on the list be expecting (not surprised by) your email? Yes? Awesome. One more question. No? Game over. Time to do some more inbound marketing to build yourself a clean and quality list of recent opt-ins. Which leads us to our final question … 5) Have you emailed these contacts within the last 12 months? Yes? You’re good to go. Your list is smelling great. Create some awesome emails with super useful content, and you’ll have yourself some amazing conversion rates. No? Sorry. Twelve months is a long time. Chances are, a big chunk of your list already forgot about you and will be surprised by your message (remember question #4?). That means they’ll mark it as spam, which means your delivery rates will drop.  How to Create Lists That Don’t Stink — And Keep Them That Way So what’s the best way to create lists that won’t get marked as spam? By building your own list with remarkable content that drives traffic to your site, and then entices them to opt in to your emails with compelling marketing offers (that are clearly associated with your business) on your site and well-optimized landing pages. (This ebook, An Introduction to Lead Generation , will help you get started.)Here at HubSpot, we build our list with offers like content and tools, including  webinars , ebooks , and Marketing Grader . By building these lists internally, we’ve made our email marketing program far more productive that it would have been if we had purchased lists.So how do you keep your list smelling good? Good list hygiene . On a general level, that means keeping an ongoing email relationship with your list so recipients are always expecting your messages. More specifically, that means sending to them at a predictable cadence , making unsubscribes easy, maintaining reliable unsubscribe lists and, perhaps most importantly, continuing to grow your list organically. So, what do you think? Do your email lists pass the sniff test? And are we missing anything on our sniff test?  Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Our Take on the Most Commonly Cited Shortcomings of Inbound Marketing

first_imgAt HubSpot, we have the privilege of talking to a lot of marketers on a regular basis. And although we’re ultimately trying to sell inbound marketing software, a big challenge for our salespeople isn’t just in convincing people our software is a good choice for them — it’s also in selling them on the idea of inbound marketing in general, especially if those marketers aren’t convinced they should be shifting their marketing from a traditional, outbound approach toward a more inbound one. Because this is the case, our salespeople have heard every concern in the book when it comes to shifting gears to inbound — and a lot of those concerns have to do with their perceived limitations and shortcomings of inbound marketing.So let’s clear the air once and for all by highlighting some of the most commonly believed inbound marketing shortcomings we’ve caught wind of from other marketers on the phone and on the web, and giving you our two cents about them.Claim: It’s not easy to target specific audiences with inbound marketing.This claim usually comes from marketers who regularly market to purchased or rented lists of contacts or who pull together lists of contacts at specific companies they want to target. The thought process behind this one is that inbound marketing is based on organically attracting people who opt in to receive your marketing messages, and there’s no way to guarantee that the specific people you want to target will opt in to receive your messages.Rebuttal: Inbound marketing allows you to target specific audiences — throughout the entire funnel.With inbound marketing, targeting specific audiences and sets of contacts is not only very possible, but it can also be much more effective than traditional targeting methods. With inbound marketing, you’re attracting potential buyers to your website with relevant content that is targeted at the specific interests and needs of your business’ buyer personas (found through channels like search engines and social media). As a result, inbound marketing allows you to focus your efforts on prospects who have already shown an interest in you, making them much more qualified than people you might target who have never heard of your company or shown any interest in you whatsoever.Marketers should also consider that inbound marketing applies to the entire funnel beyond just the top of the funnel — all the way from attracting new visitors to your website, to converting them into qualified leads, and then nurturing them into becoming happy customers. And once you’ve attracted visitors to your website and converted them into leads for your business, you can use the information you’ve collected about them — where they came from, what offers they’ve converted on, which pages they’ve visited, the demographic information they’ve provided on your lead-capture forms — to nurture them in the middle of the funnel. In other words, you can send them much more targeted, personalized messages in the form of email marketing, dynamic content on your website, etc., all of which moves prospects further through the funnel and makes them much more likely (and ready) to buy.We disagree with marketers who argue that inbound marketing is more about pulling in a broad audience rather than targeting specific groups of people. In fact, I’d argue that inbound marketing enables you to do the very opposite with targeted content, and that the concept of capturing the attention of a broader audience much more appropriately applies to more traditional, outbound marketing techniques. Effective inbound marketing ultimately allows you to market to segments of one, whereas outbound tactics usually involve bombarding lists of people with mass marketing messages.Claim: Decision-makers don’t spend their time online researching products and services.This argument is mostly prevalent in B2B marketing in which longer sales cycles and more high-ticket products and services are involved. The idea is that the typical C-suite executive doesn’t spend his or her time online reading blogs, conducting searches in Google, or participating in social media — all of which are top-of-the-funnel, traffic-driving channels for inbound marketing.Rebuttal: Decision-makers are influenced by online channels when it comes to purchasing decisions.To say that decision-makers and C-suite executives are not spending their time online is an overgeneralization. Just consider the fact that, according to a Forrester-commissioned study by LinkedIn in November 2012, 59% of IT decision-makers said they are influenced by at least one social network when considering business purchases. And during each of the five phases of decision-making (awareness, scope, plan, select, implement) social networks influenced nearly 50% of all IT decision-makers involved in each phase — close to a 60% increase since 2010. Furthermore, 73% have engaged with an IT vendor on a social network.Even if a C-suite executive doesn’t spend a lot of their time reading blogs, using social media, and conducting research online, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others within their company who are doing those things. And chances are, these people have some level of influence on the decisions of those C-suite executives.Claim: Inbound marketing doesn’t push people to take action.In other words, because inbound marketing is built around the idea that buyers have more control over their purchasing decisions than they had in the past, inbound marketing waits for prospects to take action when they’re ready.Rebuttal: Effective inbound marketing leverages compelling calls-to-action to get prospects to take action.First of all, is it really a bad thing to let your prospects have control over when they decide to act? Second, just sitting around and waiting for potential buyers to take action is not a tenet of inbound marketing. Savvy inbound marketers know they have to motivate their prospects to move down the funnel — and they do this with compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage prospects to take the next logical step depending on which stage in the sales cycle the prospect is currently in. Content pulls them in, and relevant CTAs serve as that “push” that incites them to take action. And with technologies like dynamic, Smart CTAs, inbound marketers can ensure they’re automatically displaying the right CTAs, to the right visitors, at the right time to increase the likelihood that prospects will convert through targeted messages and content. So, depending on the prospect’s position in the funnel, that CTA might motivate them to download an educational ebook, sign up for a webinar, request a product demo, get a free trial, download a coupon, or contact a sales rep, incrementally propelling them closer and closer to sales-readiness.Claim: With inbound marketing, you miss out on the inactives, or late adopters.Another argument that inbound marketing skeptics will bring up is that inbound marketing doesn’t allow you to capture late adopters, or people who are content with their current solutions and/or are not actively seeking new alternatives or solutions. Rebuttal: Inbound marketing attracts people’s interest before they even realize they need your solution.There’s no doubt that those types of people exist, but the problem is that this argument is referring to the bottom of the funnel — when people would actively seek out a new solution. Here’s the thing: Those laggards may not recognize the need for a new solution or actively shop around for new products/services, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for information that helps them solve the everyday problems they have … and that’s where inbound marketing comes into play.Let me explain, using HubSpot as an example. We sell marketing software, and yes, ultimately we want the people who come to our website to buy that software. But a lot of the people we end up closing as customers didn’t first come to our website because they were specifically looking for marketing software. Instead, they were seeking solutions to problems that are symptomatic of a need for a new marketing software solution — maybe they wanted to know how to generate more leads, or how to better market to their existing contacts, or how to get more traffic to their website. So, in other words, they were drawn in at the top of the funnel — probably by an educational blog post or ebook about how to generate more traffic/leads/customers — and then over time, as they interacted with our website and our content more and more, they realized they needed a better marketing software solution and decided to buy.What other inbound marketing shortcomings have you caught wind of? Looking forward to hearing your own thoughts on the ones above in what I anticipate will be quite an interesting debate in the comments 😉 Topics: Originally published Feb 22, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated October 01 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

30-Day Blog Challenge Tip #5: Use Bulleted Lists

first_imgYou’ve probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. But it’s important that you learn how to start a blog and write blog posts for it so that each article supports your business.Without a blog, your SEO can tank, you’ll have nothing to promote in social media, you’ll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you’ll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.So why, oh why, does almost every marketer I talk to have a laundry list of excuses for why they can’t consistently blog?Maybe because, unless you’re one of the few people who actually like writing, business blogging kind of stinks. You have to find words, string them together into sentences … ugh, where do you even start?Download 6 Free Blog Post Templates NowWell my friend, the time for excuses is over.What Is a Blog?A blog is literally short for “web log.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online journal for individuals to publish thoughts and stories on their own website. Bloggers then share their blog posts with other internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal to the writer or group of writers than they are today.Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, and other observations of an industry in which they are a rising expert.After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can’t blog every single day — and do it quickly. Not only am I about to provide you with a simple blog post formula to follow, but I’m also going to give you free templates for creating five different types of blog posts:The How-To PostThe List-Based PostThe Curated Collection PostThe SlideShare Presentation PostThe Newsjacking PostWith all this blogging how-to, literally anyone can blog as long as they truly know the subject matter they’re writing about. And since you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no longer any reason you can’t sit down every day and hammer out an excellent blog post.Want to learn how to apply blogging and other forms of content marketing to your business? Check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page. Free Templates: How to Write a Blog Post Tell us a little about yourself below to gain access today: How to Write a Blog Post1. Understand your audience.Before you start to write your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don’t need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from blogging about generic stuff to the stuff your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.Don’t have buyer personas in place for your business? Here are a few resources to help you get started:Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your BusinessMakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool] 2. Create your blog domain.Next, you’ll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.Sign Up With a Content Management SystemA CMS helps you create a website domain where you’ll actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to sign up for can manage domains, where you create your own website; and subdomains, where you create a webpage that connects with an existing website.HubSpot customers host their website content through HubSpot’s content management system. Another popular option is a self-hosted WordPress website on WP Engine. Whether they create a domain or a subdomain to start their blog, they’ll need to choose a web domain hosting service after choosing their CMS.This is true for every blogger seeking to start their own blog on their own website.Register a Domain or Subdomain With a Website HostYour own blog domain will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name doesn’t yet exist on the internet.Want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already own a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you might create a blog that looks like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, your blog’s subdomain will live in its own section of yourcompany.com.Some CMSs offer subdomains as a free service, where your blog lives on the CMS, rather than your business’s website. For example, it might look like “yourblog.contentmanagementsystem.com.” However, in order to create a subdomain that belongs to a company website, you’ll need to register this subdomain with a website host.Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain — in fact, website costs can be as inexpensive as $3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:GoDaddyHostGatorDreamHostBluehostiPage3. Customize your blog’s theme.Once you have your blog domain set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating.Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green might be a color to keep in mind when designing the look and feel of your blog, as green is often associated with sustainability.If you already manage a website, and are writing your first blog post for that website, it’s important that your blog is consistent with this existing website, both in appearance and subject matter. Two things to include right away are:Logo. This can be your name or your business’s logo, either one helping to remind your readers who or what is publishing this content. How heavily you want to brand this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.”About” page. You might already have an “About” blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog’s “About” section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog’s mission statement, which serves to support your company’s goals.4. Identify your first blog post’s topic.Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you’re a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky faucets.Then, as you do your research, you can expand the topic to discuss how to fix a leaky faucet based on the various causes of a faucet leak.You might not want to jump right into a “how-to” article for your first blog post, though, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’d like to write about modern types of faucet setups, or tell one particular success story you had rescuing a faucet before it flooded someone’s house.If a plumber’s first how-to article is about how to fix a leaky faucet, for example, here are four other types of sample blog post ideas a plumber might start with, based on the five free blog templates we’ve offered to you:List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaky faucetCurated Collection Post: 10 faucet and sink brands you should look into todaySlideShare Presentation: 5 types of faucets that should replace your old one (with pictures)News post: New study shows X% of people don’t replace their faucet on timeFind more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.If you’re having trouble coming up with topic ideas, check out this blog post from my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey walks through a helpful process for turning one idea into many. Similar to the “leaky faucet” examples above, she suggests that you “iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics.” This can be done by:Changing the topic scopeAdjusting the time frameChoosing a new audienceTaking a positive/negative approachIntroducing a new format5. Come up with a working title.Then you might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets” or “Common Causes of Leaky Faucets.” A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.Let’s take a real post as an example: “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.” Appropriate, right? The topic, in this case, was probably simply “blogging.” Then the working title may have been something like, “The Process for Selecting a Blog Post Topic.” And the final title ended up being “How to Choose a Solid Topic for Your Next Blog Post.”See that evolution from topic, to working title, to final title? Even though the working title may not end up being the final title (more on that in a moment), it still provides enough information so you can focus your blog post on something more specific than a generic, overwhelming topic.6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).We’ve written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, “How to Write an Introduction,” but let’s review, shall we?First, grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shake. You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.Then describe the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here’s an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader’s attention right away:7. Organize your content in an outline.Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must be organized!Let’s take a look at the post, “How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy.” There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into a few different sections using the following headers: How to Setup Your Snapchat Account, Snaps vs. Stories: What’s the Difference?, and How to Use Snapchat for Business. These sections are then separated into sub-sections that to go into more detail and also make the content easier to read.To complete this step, all you really need to do is outline your post. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, which are pre-organized for five of the most common blog post types. Just fill in the blanks!8. Write your blog post!The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We couldn’t forget about that, of course.Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? Check out this roundup of sources — from Pew Research to Google Trends.If you find you’re having trouble stringing sentences together, you’re not alone. Finding your “flow” can be really challenging for a lot of folks. Luckily, there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a ton of alternative word choices from a community of writers.ZenPen: If you’re having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” that’s designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.For a complete list of tools for improving your writing skills, check out this post. And if you’re looking for more direction, the following resources are chock-full of valuable writing advice:The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well [Free Ebook]How to Write Compelling Copy: 7 Tips for Writing Content That ConvertsHow to Write With Clarity: 9 Tips for Simplifying Your MessageThe Kurt Vonnegut Guide to Great Copywriting: 8 Rules That Apply to AnyoneYour Blog Posts Are Boring: 9 Tips for Making Your Writing More InterestingThe Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Successful Blog in 20199. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting.You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copy, edit, and proofread your post, and consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, like the one developed by Grammarly). And if you’re looking to brush up on your own self-editing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:Confessions of a HubSpot Editor: 11 Editing Tips From the TrenchesHow to Become a More Efficient Editor: 12 Ways to Speed Up the Editorial Process10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of WritingWhen you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …Featured ImageMake sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media. In fact, it’s been shown that content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images.For help selecting an image for your post, read “How to Select the Perfect Image for Your Next Blog Post” — and pay close attention to the section about copyright law.Visual AppearanceNo one likes an ugly blog post. And it’s not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it’s the formatting and organization of the post, too.In a properly formatted and visually appealing blog post, you’ll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently. Here’s an example of what that looks like:Also, screenshots should always have a similar, defined border (see screenshot above for example) so they don’t appear as if they’re floating in space. And that style should stay consistent from post to post.Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional, and makes it easier on the eyes.Topics/TagsTags are specific, public-facing keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to browse for more content in the same category on your blog. Refrain from adding a laundry list of tags to each post. Instead, put some thought into a tagging strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories,” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover on your blog. Then stick to those.10. Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.At the end of every blog post, you should have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.In the blog post, “What to Post on Instagram: 18 Photo & Video Ideas to Spark Inspiration,” for instance, readers are given actionable ideas for creating valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post is a CTA referring readers to download a comprehensive guide on how to use Instagram for business:See how that’s a win-win for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and the business receives a lead they can nurture … who may even become a customer! Learn more about how to choose the right CTA for every blog post in this article. And check out this collection of clever CTAs to inspire your own efforts.11. Optimize for on-page SEO.After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search.Don’t obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you’re targeting, and it won’t impact reader experience, do it. If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don’t cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density — Google’s smarter than that!Here’s a little reminder of what you can and should look for:Meta DescriptionMeta descriptions are the descriptions below the post’s page title on Google’s search results pages. They provide searchers with a short summary of the post before clicking into it. They are ideally between 150-160 characters and start with a verb, such as “Learn,” “Read,” or “Discover.” While meta descriptions no longer factor into Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they do give searchers a snapshot of what they will get by reading the post and can help improve your clickthrough rate from search.Page Title and HeadersMost blogging software uses your post title as your page title, which is the most important on-page SEO element at your disposal. But if you’ve followed our formula so far, you should already have a working title that will naturally include keywords/phrases your target audience is interested in. Don’t over-complicate your title by trying to fit keywords where they don’t naturally belong. That said, if there are clear opportunities to add keywords you’re targeting to your post title and headers, feel free to take them. Also, try to keep your headlines short — ideally, under 65 characters — so they don’t get truncated in search engine results.Anchor TextAnchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site, because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords.It’s also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking to pages that you want to rank well for that keyword. You could end up getting it to rank on Google’s first page of results instead of its second page, and that ain’t small potatoes.Mobile OptimizationWith mobile devices now accounting for nearly 2 out of every 3 minutes spent online, having a website that is responsive or designed for mobile has become more and more critical. In addition to making sure your website’s visitors (including your blog’s visitors) have the best experience possible, optimizing for mobile will score your website some SEO points.Back in 2015, Google made a change to its algorithm that now penalizes sites that aren’t mobile optimized. This month (May 2016), Google rolled out their second version of the mobile-friendly algorithm update — creating a sense of urgency for the folks that have yet to update their websites. To make sure your site is getting the maximum SEO benefit possible, check out this free guide: How to Make a Mobile-Friendly Website: SEO Tips for a Post-“Mobilegeddon” World.12. Pick a catchy title.Last but not least, it’s time to spruce up that working title of yours. Luckily, we have a simple formula for writing catchy titles that will grab the attention of your reader. Here’s what to consider:Start with your working title.As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it’s important to keep the title accurate and clear.Then, work on making your title sexy — whether it’s through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it’s natural, though!).Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.If you’ve mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Want some real examples of blog posts? See what your first blog post can look like, below, based on the topic you choose and the audience you’re targeting.Blog Post ExamplesList-Based PostThought Leadership PostCurated Collection PostSlideshare PresentationNewsjacking PostInfographic PostHow-to Post Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Hi 👋 What’s your name?First NameLast NameHi null, what’s your email address?Email AddressAnd your phone number?Phone NumberWhat is your company’s name and website?CompanyWebsiteHow many employees work there?1Does your company provide any of the following services?Web DesignOnline MarketingSEO/SEMAdvertising Agency ServicesYesNoGet Your Free Templates 1. List-Based PostExample: 10 Fresh Ways to Get Better Results From Your Blog PostsList-based posts are sometimes called “listicles,” a mix of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that deliver information in the form of a list. A listicle uses subheaders to break down the blog post into individual pieces, helping readers skim and digest your content more easily. According to ClearVoice, listicles are among the most shared types of content on social media across 14 industries.As you can see in the example from our blog, above, listicles can offer various tips and methods for solving a problem.2. Thought Leadership PostExample: What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First BookThought leadership blog posts allow you to indulge in your expertise on a particular subject matter and share firsthand knowledge with your readers. These pieces — which can be written in the first person, like the post by Joanna Penn, shown above — help you build trust with your audience so people take your blog seriously as you continue to write for it.3. Curated Collection PostExample: 8 Examples of Evolution in ActionCurated collections are a special type of listicle blog post (the first blog post example, described above). But rather than sharing tips or methods of doing something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that all have something in common, in order to prove a larger point. In the example post above, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals — starting with the peppered moth.4. Slideshare PresentationExample: The HubSpot Culture CodeSlideshare is a presentation tool owned by the social network, LinkedIn, that helps publishers package a lot of information into easily shareable slides. Think of it like a PowerPoint, but for the web. With this in mind, Slideshare blog posts help you promote your Slideshare so that it can generate a steady stream of visitors.Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks don’t often rank well on search engines, so they need a platform for getting their message out there to the people who are looking for it. By embedding and summarizing your Slideshare on a blog post, you can share a great deal of information and give it a chance to rank on Google at the same time.Need some Slideshare ideas? In the example above, we turned our company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation that anyone can look through and take lessons from, and promoted it through a blog post.5. Newsjacking PostExample: Ivy Goes Mobile With New App for Designers”Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to break important news related to your industry. Therefore, the newsjack post is a type of article whose sole purpose is to garner consumers’ attention and, while offering them timeless professional advice, also prove your blog to be a trusted resource for learning about the big things that happen in your industry.The newsjack example above was published by Houzz, a home decor merchant and interior design resource, about a new mobile app that launched just for interior designers. Houzz didn’t launch the app, but the news of its launching is no less important to Houzz’s audience.6. Infographic PostExample: The Key Benefits of Studying Online [Infographic]The infographic post serves a similar purpose as the Slideshare post — the fourth example, explained above — in that it conveys information for which plain blog copy might not be the best format. For example, when you’re looking to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), building this data into a well-designed, even fun-looking infographic can help keep your readers engaged with your content. It also helps readers remember the information long after they leave your website.7. How-to PostExample: How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step GuideFor our last example, you need not look any further than the blog post you’re reading right now! How-to guides like this one help solve a problem for your readers. They’re like a cookbook for your industry, walking your audience through a project step by step to improve their literacy on the subject. The more posts like this you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.Ready to blog? Don’t forget to download your six free blog post templates right here. Free Blog Post Templates Originally published May 6, 2019 7:30:00 PM, updated October 25 2019last_img read more

The Engagement Ring Story: How De Beers Created a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry From the Ground Up

first_img Topics: Originally published Jun 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated June 30 2017 One of the biggest assets in a married couple’s relationship, the diamond engagement ring, might be an emotional asset and a symbol of love and commitment — but in the financial sense of the word, it isn’t actually an asset at all.In fact, it’s worth at least 50% less than you paid for it the moment you left the jewelry store. Makes you wince a little, doesn’t it?And yet, we feel compelled to buy them for our loved ones anyway. Heck, I still want one even after writing this article. How did that become the norm? It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been three-quarters of a century since diamonds became the symbol of wealth, power, and romance they are in America today — and it was all because of a brilliant, multifaceted marketing strategy designed and executed by ad agency N.W. Ayer in the early 1900s for their client, De Beers.Over the course of a few decades, N.W. Ayer helped De Beers successfully turn a failing market into a psychological necessity, all during a period of war and economic turmoil.Click here to download our ultimate toolkit for social and PR branding.How exactly did N.W. Ayer convince Americans that diamonds are the ultimate symbols of love, romance, and marriage? What were the marketing campaigns that turned the diamond industry around — and were they morally sound?De Beers’ 80-year stronghold on the diamond industry was one of the most impressive and fascinating in history. Let’s take a critical look at how the company used marketing to create and manipulate demand for diamonds from nothing.How It All StartedDiamonds haven’t been rare stones since 1870, when huge diamond mines were discovered in South Africa. Soon after the discovery, the British financiers behind the South African mining efforts realized the diamond market would be saturated if they didn’t do something about it. So in 1888, they set two audacious goals:1) Monopolize diamond prices. They succeeded by creating De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. and taking full ownership and control of the world diamond trade. While they stockpiled diamonds and sold them strategically to control price, De Beers Chairman Sir Ernest Oppenheimer cultivated a network of wholesalers all over the world.2) Stabilize the market. To succeed here, De Beers would have to figure out a way to control both supply and demand for diamonds worldwide. For this, they would need to find an ad agency.When De Beers began looking for an ad agency, the global economy was suffering and Europe was under threat of war. Their challenge was to figure out which country or countries had the most potential to support a growing diamond market, and then to hire an agency to implement a marketing campaign in those countries. Because of Europe’s preoccupation with the oncoming war, the U.S. was chosen — even though the total number of diamonds in the U.S. had declined by nearly 50% since the end of World War I.De Beers hired Philadelphia ad agency N.W. Ayer in 1938.The Birth of a VisionDe Beers chose N.W. Ayer because of their ideas on conducting extensive research on social attitudes about diamonds, and then strategically changing them to appeal to a wider audience.N.W. Ayer did exhaustive market research to figure out exactly what Americans thought about diamonds in the late 1930s. What they found was that diamonds were considered a luxury reserved only for the super wealthy, and that Americans were spending their money on other things like cars and appliances. To sell more and bigger diamonds, Ayer would have to market to consumers at varying income levels.So, how do they get more people to buy big diamonds in a bad economy? They needed to figure out a way to link diamonds with something emotional. And because diamonds weren’t worth much inherently, they also had to keep people from ever reselling them. What was emotional, socially valuable, and eternal? Love and marriage. Bingo.According to New York Times, N.W. Ayer’s game plan was to “create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”The concept of an engagement ring had existed since medieval times, but it had never been widely adopted. And before World War II, only 10% of engagement rings contained diamonds. With a carefully executed marketing strategy, N.W. Ayer could strengthen the tradition of engagement rings and transform public opinion about diamonds — from precious stones to essential parts of courtship and marriage. Eventually, Ayer would convince young men that diamonds are the ultimate gift of love, and young women that they’re an essential part of romantic relationships.Creating the NarrativeThe agency wanted to make it look like diamonds were everywhere, and they started by using celebrities in the media. “The big ones sell the little ones,” said Dorothy Dignam, a publicist for De Beers at N.W. Ayer. N.W. Ayer’s publicists wrote newspaper columns and magazine stories about celebrity proposals with diamond rings and the type, size, and worth of their diamonds. Fashion designers talked about the new diamond trend on radio shows.N.W. Ayer used traditional marketing tools like newspapers and radio in the first half of the twentieth century in a way that kind of reminds me of inbound marketing today: In addition to overt advertisements, they created entertaining and educational content — ideas, stories, fashion, and trends that supported their brand and product, but wasn’t explicitly about it. According to The Atlantic, N.W. Ayer wrote: “There was no direct sale to be made. There was no brand name to be impressed on the public mind. There was simply an idea — the eternal emotional value surrounding the diamond.” Their story was about the people who gave diamonds or were given diamonds, and how happy and loved those diamonds made them feel.Every one of De Beers’ advertisements featured an educational tip called, “How to Buy a Diamond.” The instructions said: “Ask about color, clarity and cutting — for these determine a diamond’s quality, contribute to its beauty and value. Choose a fine stone, and you’ll always be proud of it, no matter what its size.”The agency saw tremendous success from their early campaigns. In just four years between 1938 and 1941, they reported a 55% increase in U.S. diamond sales. Riding this success, N.W. Ayer began perfecting their marketing strategy in the 1940s. They wanted to convince Americans that marriages without diamonds were incomplete.”A Diamond Is Forever”These four iconic words have appeared in every single De Beers advertisement since 1948, and AdAge named it the #1 slogan of the century in 1999.According to a New York Times article, the woman behind the signature line (Frances Gerety, who wrote all of De Beers’ ads from 1943 to 1968) came up with it right before bed one night after forgetting to brainstorm it earlier for the next morning’s meeting. When she reviewed what she’d scribbled down the night before, she thought it was “just OK” — and, after presenting it at the morning meeting, no one was particularly enthusiastic. It’s unclear why the slogan was chosen anyway, but it was a choice that would contribute greatly to De Beers’ tremendous advertising success. Even now, the URL www.adiamondisforever.com redirects to De Beers’ main website.The slogan perfectly captured the sentiment De Beers was going for — that a diamond, like your relationship, is eternal — while also discouraging people from ever reselling their diamonds, as mass re-selling would disrupt the market and reveal the alarmingly low intrinsic value of the stones themselves.At the very beginning of N.W. Ayer’s campaigns for De Beers in the late 1930s, the suggested spend on an engagement ring was one month’s salary. In the 1980s, De Beers ran a campaign to reset the norm to two months’ salary. The ads said things like, “Isn’t two months’ salary a small price to pay for something that lasts forever?” The story from the campaign stuck, and De Beers’ “two months’ salary rule” is still widely accepted in the U.S. today.Scam or Genius?From the start, De Beers and their agency created and manipulated demand for diamonds by monopolizing the market, changing Americans’ social attitudes, and convincing people that a marriage isn’t complete without a diamond ring. So … are diamonds the biggest scam in history, or is this a prime example of ingenious marketing?De Beers knew their product wasn’t intrinsically valuable (like gold and silver is). So instead of marketing to their product, they mastered the art of marketing to values — in this case, the values and ethics surrounding love, romance, and marriage. No one was interested in buying diamonds when they conducted their first round of extensive market research, so they had to create that value themselves.I recently read a short Forbes article from 2011 called “There Is Only One Way To Make Money.” It’s about the difference between companies who find value, package it, and deliver it to customers, and companies who create value out of nothing.Most companies are the former, meaning they are reactive to existing value — like when Kraft Foods, Inc. changed its marketing strategy when market research showed a consumer attitude shift away from direct promotions of junk food to children. De Beers was part of the latter camp — their agency’s market research showed a major decrease in demand for diamonds, so they executed marketing campaigns that would shift, rather than accommodate, those existing social attitudes. While brilliant and successful, it also opens up a ton of ethical concerns. Regardless of which side you’re on, De Beers is a very interesting example to learn from. It’s fascinating how De Beers and N.W. Ayer created demand from nothing by coming up with a story and value proposition around their product — and it’s still successful today. Since the turn of the century, De Beers has effectively lost its monopoly of the world diamond trade, although they still bring in billions of dollars every year. But by marketing an idea rather than a product, they built a strong foundation for the $72 billion-per-year diamond industry and dominated it for a good 80 years — and that’s a story worth learning more about.So, what do you think of their marketing over the last century? I’m curious to hear your opinions in the comments below!Image Credit: De Beers, Advertising Archives Don’t forget to share this post! 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Job Interviews Gone Wrong: 9 Professionals Share Their Most Awkward Stories

first_imgInterviews are vulnerable times.There aren’t many things more nerve-wracking than walking into a room of people you desperately want to impress, and then getting questioned about (and ultimately judged on) your career choices, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and overall personality.And, as if that weren’t bad enough, what if you’ve totally sweat through your shirt and it’s visible to everyone? Or your heel broke on the way to the office? Or you accidentally ordered the messiest dish on the menu?Thanks a lot, Murphy’s Law.Where do you see yourself in five years? Take our free quiz here to figure out the next step in your career.We all have an embarrassing story or two from our job interviews, but some are definitely worse than others.We surveyed professionals about job interviews gone wrong for this article. After laughing a lot — and cringing a lot, too — we chose some of our favorites stories to share with you in this post. (Names and identifying details have been changed.)1) The Open Fly”I was interviewing for a pretty senior level position at a formal company, so I wore a suit. I went to the bathroom before the interview, and while I was pulling the zipper up, it broke. I started freaking out, looking for a pin or something to hold it closed. I found nothing and worked myself up into a pretty big sweat. I walked into the interview red in the face, sweaty, and with an open fly, which I tried to awkwardly conceal by folding my suit jacket over my arm, shielding the view of my pants. They must not have noticed because I got the job! (And also got my pants fixed.)”2) The Miscalculated Hug”In a final round of interviews with a large company, the women in HR who I had been speaking with for the majority of the process invited me into her office to see how my meetings with the hiring managers went. As she started to walk toward me, she began to put her arm up, signaling as if she was about to give me a small nice-to-see-you hug (we had gotten to know each other over the recent weeks). To reciprocate, I started to motion a hug back, until I noticed she was only trying to shut the door behind me. It was extremely awkward. She didn’t call me back afterward.”3) The Mix-Up”Once I went to an interview … and realized mid-way through it was a date. (Enough said.)”4) The White Lie”I was interviewing for a copywriting job at a fashion company. At that point in my life, I was not making very much money at all. (As in, I ate leftovers from my office’s fridge when rent was due at the end of the month.) In my interview with the fashion company, they asked me what kinds of stores I like to shop at — and the truth was that I shopped at cheap department stores because that’s all I could afford at the time. I debated being honest and saying that, but knowing that could jeopardize my chances of getting the job, I ultimately decided to try to lie my way into an acceptable answer. But … then they asked me follow-up questions about each store I named, none of which I’d ever stepped foot into. I fumbled, the interview ended several minutes later, and I didn’t hear from them again.”5) The Totally Bizarre”My senior year of college, I traveled to New York for interviews with an agency through Career Services at my school. My first indication that something was wrong was when no one at the company could tell me when to book my return train, even though my first interview was scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Then, I found out that everyone I spoke to — six or so people — had been there for less than three months, and it was a very small company (15-20 people). “Next, I got the ‘let’s leave the interviewee in the conference room and see what happens’ move. After about five minutes, I stuck my head out and had to go down the hall to find someone, since my next interviewer was nowhere to be seen. I finally found someone — a new guy who was super apologetic — he found the person who was supposed to be interviewing me, who was just hanging out waiting for me to be proactive. Finally, I interviewed with the CEO. I walked into the interview and right off the bat, and he started mocking my ‘little Ivy League suit.’ But everyone in the office was wearing a suit … and they had been recruiting at my school!”From there, it only went downhill. After condescendingly mocking my appearance, he went on to make personal attacks about my family, my previous professional experience, and even my academic choices. It was bizarre and, frankly, psychotic. I walked out almost in tears, but sent follow-up emails to everyone else I interviewed with that day. I got an email back really late on a Friday night from one of the guys who interviewed me, apologizing for the CEO’s behavior and saying he’d be happy to help me get a job elsewhere (since apparently he ‘can be hard on people’). “I ended up withdrawing my candidacy since I couldn’t imagine being a subordinate of someone who was that controlling and awful (because I could only imagine how he treated his employees — if his interview behavior was any indicator). When I withdrew my application I made it very clear that it was due to the behavior of the CEO. He responded saying “Thank you for your message, albeit perplexed as to what you could be referring to. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!”6) The Forever Intern”I once interviewed for a VP-level position, and the hiring manager asked me to describe each position I held, from first to most recent. I spent only a few seconds detailing my first internship, which I held more than 15 years earlier. Not so fast. He insisted I’d moved on too quickly, and he wanted me to spend more time explaining what I did as an intern. So I took out my resume and read it to him word for word to emphasize the pointlessness of his unweighted process.”7) The Please-Don’t-Pee-My-Pants”Probably the worst interview experience I’ve ever had was at a callback interview. I was meeting with four people, each for 30 minutes. This was my third callback of the week, so I was pretty tired the morning of the interview — and since it was super early in the morning, I went to Panera to get an iced tea before the interview started. I was also kind of starting to lose my voice, so I accepted the water they offered me when I arrived at the office. “After consuming all these liquids, by the time I sat down for my third interview but after we had already begun talking, I realized I really had to pee. I don’t even remember what I said to the interviewer because I was so focused on not peeing my pants. I was bright red, sweating, and kept uncrossing and recrossing my legs. As soon as the 30 minutes were over (thank goodness I made it without a disaster), I immediately asked to use the restroom before my last interview began. It was probably really obvious I had to pee the whole time since I definitely didn’t look so hot. I didn’t get an offer.”8) The Lost Helmet”I once interviewed for a marketing manager position at a company that sells outdoor gear. In keeping with the outdoor theme, I opted to ride my bike to the interview. I got there super early and decided to kill some time reading by the water. I put my bike on its kickstand next to me and hung my helmet on the handlebar. It was SUPER windy that day, and in a total freak occurrence, the wind blew my bike down and my helmet fell into the water! It was like a 20-foot drop down to the water, so there was no retrieving it. The first thing the hiring manager asked when I walked into the store was, ‘You don’t wear a helmet?!’ I tried to explain what happened but it was so outrageous that it sounded like a lie.”9) The Coffee Slip-Up”I was interviewing to become an undergraduate professor at a very traditional, prestigious university. I got there about 25 minutes early so I could look for parking, go to the bathroom, and maybe even get some coffee. It was 7:30 a.m. so nobody was in school yet. I went ahead and bought a small cup of coffee and walked with it towards a table where I could read a newspaper while I waited. Somehow, I spilled half the cup of coffee over my recently bought white blouse.”I had 25 minutes to fix it, so I sprinted to the bathroom and got some water and soap to get it off. I was halfway through washing it out, leaning over the sink in a very ridiculous position, and a lady came in and asks me if  was all right. I told her about my stupid mistake, and how this was a super traditional school so I had dressed up in my suit and white blouse, and so and so forth — I kind of babbled all this at her. Once it looked decent enough (after eventually crawling under the hand dryer to make it dry), I was only five minutes early for my interview. I got in and the interviewer was the same lady that I bumped into the bathroom. My face must have clearly shown my embarrassment because she just laughed. I still got the job.”What’s your worst interview story? Share with us in the comments below!  Interviews Originally published Oct 14, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

How to Evoke Emotion on Your Landing Pages (Without Going Overboard)

first_imgEmotion is a major force in online sales. As much as we tend to disparage “emotion” in purchasing decisions, the fact is everyone thinks and makes choices based on emotion.We can’t prevent this. Emotional decision-making is hardwired into our brain’s functionality. In fact, without guidance from our emotions, decision-making would be nearly impossible.Not only is it appropriate to use emotion in your landing page, but it’s essential for the decision-making process. That being said, you don’t want to go overboard. In this post, I want to show you is how you can use emotion in the most effective way in your landing pages.Know your audience’s emotional needs.The first step to using emotion in a landing page is discovering the emotions that will make a difference in your audience’s actions (assuming that you already know who your customers are). Every purchase and conversion is a driven by the customer’s emotional need.If you are selling arthritis relief cream, your customer’s emotional needs are for relief.If you are providing consulting services for office organization, then your customer’s emotional needs are for control or stress relief.If you design outdoor living spaces, then your customers want relaxation or enjoyment or respect from their neighbors.There are a basic set of human needs and desires. All you need to do is identify which of these emotional needs your customers have. Then, you use the techniques described below to tap into those emotional needs on your landing pages.Use images of people.As a general rule, pictures have the most power in affecting emotion. But what types of pictures are the most emotionally powerful?Pictures of people. We are drawn to such pictures because we can identify with the person in the picture. We see emotion in their eyes and in their faces and in their body language. In a way that is both immediate and unavoidable, our emotions are affected by what we see.Image from reddit. Landing pages that use pictures of people can affect the emotions, too — perhaps not in a tear-jerking way, but at least in such a way that the user will feel something. And because of that feeling, they decide to convert.Pictures of people are remarkably effective. Usually, these people are expressing an emotion that the user is supposed to feel.eHarmony uses a picture of two people who are obviously in love. The user, looking at this picture, may also feel the pangs of romantic emotions, and then want to look for a match.Evernote’s landing page pictures a woman who looks confident, organized, and in control. These are emotions that Evernote users-to-be may want to feel, too.This isn’t just some psychological gimmick. Humans tend to mirror one another’s attitudes and actions. When you look at images of someone who is exhibiting a certain emotion, you will experience that same emotion to some extent, too.Use colors that cause the right emotion.Color plays a major role in our emotions. Over 20 years ago, studies found that children with violent tendencies will relax and calm down when placed in a pink room. Hospital researchers have discovered that replacing blue-tinted lighting with gold-tinted lighting makes medical staff feel soothed. More recently, researchers have also found that creative inspiration comes more often to people who work in rooms that are painted blue.Color affects our attitudes, emotions, and actions. It’s most powerful effect, however, is on the emotions, which in turn affect our actions. Conversioner’s color wheel outlines some of the ways in which we are affected by the colors we see.Image from Conversioner.comI’ve strategically selected an orange color scheme on part of my site’s landing page. It’s an upbeat, attention-grabbing color. I’m looking to partner with optimistic visionaries, and this color is exactly what I need.You’ll improve the emotional connectedness of your landing pages if you use a color scheme that brings out the emotion that you want your users to experience.Focus on benefits to provide gratification.Users want benefits. They already know what they need, how much it’s going to cost, and where to find it. What will tip the scales in their decision? It’s the benefits of the product or service that you are selling.To be emotionally effective, landing pages should be benefit-heavy and solution-light. Mention the solution only to inform users about what product or service you are selling. Focus on the benefits in order to connect most directly with their emotions.Listing benefits is exactly what Pampers does in their diaper landing page. They give you a whole list of benefits. Notice how the language itself has emotional overtones — “comfort,” and “protection.” Every child’s caregiver wants her child to be comforted and protected. These words, loaded with emotion, will help encourage a conversion.Remind users of the pain to cause emotional avoidance.Pain and emotion are closely connected. They share a common brain processing center, the cingulate cortex, and work in conjunction to tell the body how to behave in response.We tend to respond to pain and pleasure with a far greater amount of emotional involvement than we do, say, to a more “objective” or non-urgent decision, such as whether to go to Olive Garden or Carrabba’s for dinner.Pain demands immediate alleviation.I need to go to the bathroomI’m going to have this babyI need to find a more comfortable chairI need to get the spiders out of my houseI need to get a more reliable vehicleHere’s the thing about pain, though. Someone doesn’t have to feel the pain to experience the same urgency or sensitive response. They only need to be reminded of the pain in a subtle way. When they feel that pain or are reminded of it, they are more likely to act and to convert. Since we’re talking about Carrabba’s, let’s see if they use pain in their landing page. They do — it’s a subtle and understated example of what a might pain reminder might be. In this page, they simply show a picture of food. This, however, may signal my pain receptors to the fact that I am hungry and need satiation.LifeLock wants their users to feel a little bit of the fear of losing their identity, so they subtly introduce this pain into their landing page. And here’s another. InsureMyTrip uses the term “worry-free.” Even words with a negative emotional response can be used in such a way that makes them appealing, and serves the goal of the landing page.Words have emotional power. Choose them carefully, and use them wisely.ConclusionDon’t miss the importance of emotion. Jim Joseph, a contributor to Entrepreneur, wrote “A very important element to marketing that too many entrepreneurs overlook is finding your emotional benefit.”Emotion is too powerful to overlook. Emotion underlies everything we do. You users need to not only see and understand what you are providing, but they need to feel it, too. Those feelings are what will cause them to convert.How do you use emotion in your landing pages? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Don’t simply present the user with pain. Show them the pain, then present your product or service as the solution to that pain.Use emotionally loaded words.Specific words have emotional power. Using emotional words brings out the emotional power in your landing page.Here’s how to use emotionally loaded words. Simply identify the emotion that you are targeting, then use words that elicit those emotions. This list of emotional words from PsychPage.com will help you identify the right words.It’s important not to overdo it with emotional words. As powerful as they may be, they lose power with overuse.Here’s an example of not overdoing it. This landing page for Aruba vacations uses the word “happy,” a clear emotional marker that is designed to elicit a response: Originally published Dec 4, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Emotion in Marketinglast_img read more

Running an Email A/B Test? How to Determine Your Sample Size & Testing Time Frame

first_img4) Click “Calculate.”5) Your sample size will spit out. Ta-da! The calculator will spit out your sample size. In our example, our sample size is: 274.This is the size one of your variations needs to be. So for your email send, if you have one control and one variation, you’ll need to double this number. If you had a control and two variations, you’d triple it. (And so on.)6) Depending on your email program, you may need to calculate the sample size’s percentage of the whole email.HubSpot customers, I’m looking at you for this section. When you’re running an email A/B test, you’ll need to select the percentage of contacts to send the list to — not just the raw sample size. To do that, you need to divide the number in your sample by the total number of contacts in your list. Here’s what that math looks like, using the example numbers above:274 / 1000 = 27.4%This means that each sample (both your control AND your variation) needs to be sent to 27-28% of your audience — in other words, roughly a total of 55% of your total list.And that’s it! You should be ready to select your sending time. How to Choose the Right Time Frame for Your A/B TestOkay, so this is where we get into the reality of email sending: You have to figure out how long to run your email A/B test before sending a (winning) version on to the rest of your list. Figuring out the timing aspect is a little less statistically driven, but you should definitely use past data to help you make better decisions. Here’s how you can do that.If you don’t have timing restrictions on when to send the winning email to the rest of the list, head over to your analytics. Figure out when your email opens/clicks (or whatever your success metrics are) starts to drop off. Look your past email sends to figure this out. For example, what percentage of total clicks did you get in your first day? If you found that you get 70% of your clicks in the first 24 hours, and then 5% each day after that, it’d make sense to cap your email A/B testing timing window for 24 hours because it wouldn’t be worth delaying your results just to gather a little bit of extra data. In this scenario, you would probably want to keep your timing window to 24 hours, and at the end of 24 hours, your email program should let you know if they can determine a statistically significant winner.Then, it’s up to you what to do next. If you have a large enough sample size and found a statistically significant winner at the end of the testing time frame, many email marketing programs will automatically and immediately send the winning variation. If you have a large enough sample size and there’s no statistically significant winner at the end of the testing time frame, email marketing tools might also allow you to automatically send a variation of your choice.If you have a smaller sample size or are running a 50/50 A/B test, when to send the next email based on the initial email’s results is entirely up to you. If you have time restrictions on when to send the winning email to the rest of the list, figure out how late you can send the winner without it being untimely or affecting other email sends. For example, if you’ve sent an email out at 6 p.m. EST for a flash sale that ends at midnight EST, you wouldn’t want to determine an A/B test winner at 11 p.m. Instead, you’d want to send the email closer to 8 or 9 p.m. — that’ll give the people not involved in the A/B test enough time to act on your email.And that’s pretty much it, folks. After doing these calculations and examining your data, you should be in a much better state to send email A/B tests — ones that are fairly statistically valid and help you actually move the needle in your email marketing. Topics: Originally published Dec 11, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img A/B Testing Do you remember your first A/B test on email? I do. (Nerdy, I know.) I felt simultaneously thrilled and terrified because I knew I had to actually use some of what I learned in college stats for my job. I sat on the cusp of knowing just enough about statistics that it could be dangerous. For instance, I knew that you needed a big enough sample size to run the test on. I knew I needed to run the test long enough to get statistically significant results. I knew I could easily run one if I wanted, using HubSpot’s Email App…. But that’s pretty much it. I wasn’t sure how big was “big enough” for sample sizes and how long was “long enough” for test durations — and Googling it gave me a variety of answers my college stats courses definitely didn’t prepare me for.Turns out I wasn’t alone: Those are two of the most common A/B testing questions we get from customers. And the reason the typical answers from a Google search aren’t that helpful is because they’re talking about A/B testing in an ideal, theoretical, non-marketing world. So, I figured I’d do the research to help answer this question for you in a practical way. At the end of this post, you should be able to know how to determine the right sample size and time frame for your next email send.Download Now: Email Marketing Planning Template Theory vs. Reality of Sample Size and Timing in Email A/B TestsIn theory, to determine a winner between Variation A and Variation B, you need to wait until you have enough results to see if there is a statistically significant difference between the two. Depending on your company, sample size, and how you execute the A/B test, getting statistically significant results could happen in hours or days or weeks — and you’ve just got to stick it out until you get those results. In theory, you should not restrict the time in which you’re gathering results.For many A/B tests, waiting is no problem. Testing headline copy on a landing page? It’s cool to wait a month for results. Same goes with blog CTA creative — you’d be going for the long-term lead gen play, anyway. But on email, waiting can be a problem — for several practical reasons:1) Each email send has a finite audience.Unlike a landing page (where you can continue to gather new audience members over time), once you send an email A/B test off, that’s it — you can’t “add” more people to that A/B test. So you’ve got to figure out how squeeze the most juice out of your emails. This will usually require you to send an A/B test to the smallest portion of your list needed to get statistically significant results, pick a winner, and then send the winning variation on to the rest of the list. 2) Running an email marketing program means you’re juggling at least a few email sends per week. (In reality, probably way more than that.) If you spend too much time collecting results, you could miss out on sending your next email — which could have worse effects than if you sent a non-statistically-significant winner email on to one segment of your database. 3) Email sends are often designed to be timely.Your marketing emails are optimized to deliver at a certain time of day, whether your emails are supporting the timing of a new campaign launch and/or landing in your recipient’s inboxes at a time they’d love to receive it. So if you wait for your email to be fully statistically significant, you might miss out on being timely and relevant — which could defeat the purpose of your email send in the first place. That’s why email A/B testing programs have a “timing” setting built in: At the end of that time frame, if neither result is statistically significant, one variation (which you choose ahead of time) will be sent to the rest of your list. That way, you can still run A/B tests in email, but you can also work around your email marketing scheduling demands and ensure people are always getting timely content.So to run A/B tests in email while still optimizing your sends for the best results, you’ve got to take both sample size and timing into account. Next up: how to actually figure out your sample size and timing using data.How to Actually Determine Your Sample Size and Testing Time FrameAlrighty, now on to the part you’ve been waiting for: how to actually calculate the sample size and timing you need for your next email A/B test. How to Calculate Your Email A/B Test’s Sample SizeLike I mentioned above, each email A/B test you send can only be sent to a finite audience — so you need to figure out how to maximize the results from that A/B test. To do that, you need to figure out the smallest portion of your total list needed to get statistically significant results. Here’s how you calculate it.1) Assess whether you have enough contacts in your list to A/B a sample in the first place.To A/B test a sample of your list, you need to have a decently large list size — at least 1,000 contacts. If you have fewer than that in your list, the proportion of your list that you need to A/B test to get statistically significant results gets larger and larger. For example, to get statistically significant results from a small list, you might have to test 85% or 95% of your list. And the results of the people on your list who haven’t been tested yet will be so small that you might as well have just sent half of your list one email version, and the other half another, and then measured the difference. Your results might not be statistically significant at the end of it all, but at least you’re gathering learnings while you grow your lists to have more than 1,000 contacts. (If you want more tips on growing your email list so you can hit that 1,000 contact threshold, check out this blog post.) Note for HubSpot customers: 1,000 contacts is also our benchmark for running A/B tests on samples of email sends — if you have fewer than 1,000 contacts in your selected list, the A version of your test will automatically be sent to half of your list and the B will be sent to the other half.2) Click here to open up this calculator.Here’s what it looks like when you open it up:3) Put in your email’s Confidence Level, Confidence Interval, and Population into the tool.Yep, that’s a lot of stat jargon. Here’s what these terms translate to in your email:Population: Your sample represents a larger group of people. This larger group is called your population.In email, your population is the typical number of people in your list who get emails delivered to them — not the number of people you sent emails to. To calculate population, I’d look at the past three to five emails you’ve sent to this list, and average the total number of delivered emails. (Use the average when calculating sample size, as the total number of delivered emails will fluctuate.)Confidence Interval: You might have heard this called “margin of error.” Lots of surveys use this, including political polls. This is the range of results you can expect this A/B test to explain once it’s run with the full population. For example, in your emails, if you have an interval of 5, and 60% of your sample opens your Variation, you can be sure that between 55% (60 minus 5) and 65% (60 plus 5) would have also opened that email. The bigger the interval you choose, the more certain you can be that the populations true actions have been accounted for in that interval. At the same time, large intervals will give you less definitive results. It’s a tradeoff you’ll have to make in your emails. For our purposes, it’s not worth getting too caught up in confidence intervals. When you’re just getting started with A/B tests, I’d recommend choosing a smaller interval (ex: around 5).  Confidence Level: This tells you how sure you can be that your sample results lie within the above confidence interval. The lower the percentage, the less sure you can be about the results. The higher the percentage, the more people you’ll need in your sample, too. Note for HubSpot customers: The Email App automatically uses the 85% confidence level to determine a winner. Since that option isn’t available in this tool, I’d suggest choosing 95%. Example:Let’s pretend we’re sending our first A/B test. Our list has 1,000 people in it and has a 95% deliverability rate. We want to be 95% confident our winning email metrics fall within a 5-point interval of our population metrics. Here’s what we’d put in the tool:Population: 950Confidence Level: 95%Confidence Interval: 5last_img read more

Broadening Your Social Strategy to Attract More Students

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Mar 2, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Our Social Media Benchmark 2015 Report found that the nonprofit / education sector leads the pack in the size of their social media communities. Since everyone is on some networks already, social media is a natural platform to communicate with students and parents. It’s a real time channel with maximum reach.So why limit that reach to your current community? Your prospects are all on social media too. They’re using it to talk about schools and learn from their peers. You need to make your institution part of that discussion. Start using social media to attract and talk with prospective students and parents.It Always Starts with Your PersonasNew social media sites seem to pop up daily. You can’t be on them all. You don’t want to be on them all. Go back to your personas – what social media sites are your prospective students using? What social media sites do they trust to find information?With so much content to be found, people rely on their social media networks to find quality, credible information. Maybe they found good content through a social search. More likely – someone they trust has shared it with them online. You want to make sure that it’s your content people are sharing. Through social media, you’re enlisting an open-ended band of school ambassadors every time you post something on a social network.You’ll likely find that different personas hang out on different social media platforms. If you want to leverage your current Facebook presence to reach out to prospects, that’s great. A lot of K-12 parents are discussing school options with other parents on Facebook. You can generate a lot of awareness and engagement with parents from a Facebook campaign. But when you want to reach the kids, they’re all about the chat apps.For instance, Snapchat, a videochat app, is the current #1 app for this age group. The “My Stories” function lets them string together short videos over their day. Then the story disappears. It’s easy. It’s visual. And it goes away. How about asking prospects who take a campus tour to share their day at your school with their friends via Snapchat? That’s high-credibility content for any teen.Start your social prospecting strategy by deciding in which social media sites you should invest resources. Pew Research conducts regular, comprehensive research on which demographic groups are using which social media platforms. It’s a great source to consult for some big picture social media usage statistics.As always – the results of your own persona research should carry the most weight when deciding where to focus your social prospecting strategy. When you interviewed current parents and students to create your personas, hopefully you asked them about which social media platforms they use and why they prefer them. If you didn’t, now is the time to do some more research to refine your personas and their social media habits.Align Platforms with Your GoalsYour research probably tells you that your personas operate on a number of social media platforms. That doesn’t mean you have to reach out to prospects on all of them. Narrow down your social media platform list once more by setting out your prospecting goals for social media. Do you want your social strategy to drive traffic to your website? Get attendees to live events? Get prospects asking questions directly to admissions or campus life officers?Select the social media platforms that offer most potential to meet your goals. It’s OK (smart, even) to have different goals for different platforms. They all don’t play the same role. Twitter is for conversation. Maybe you start a regularly scheduled Twitter chat so prospects have a chance to talk with a live person from your school. LinkedIn is for the career-minded. Do you have a school page there so you can take advantage of LinkedIn’s Alumni tool to show alumni bios on your website? If the goal is to drive visitors to your admissions blog, then post regular links in the most relevant social media sites. Include the keywords and hashtags they’re using to find information about schools on your posts.Once you’ve selected the social media sites for your strategy, take a deep dive to see what tools they offer. You’ll be surprised to find the scope of distribution, communication, and analysis tools many of them provide to help you reach your audience.Does This Mean I Need More Content?You already have a lot of the content. Program pages and faculty bios. Campus publications. Curriculum and social life documentation. You’ll tweak it for social media consumption. That means:Images, including video and gifs, optimized for that social media platform. Mixed media posts get the most engagement. Visuals and movement catch people’s eyes. They also communicate with greater impact than words alone.Hashtags, tagging, and keywords so it can be found prospects who’ve not yet connected with youUnderstanding the best times to post on a specific network (take a second look at our benchmark report and the Pew research as a starting point, links above)On certain platforms, the engagement is the content. Have you heard about Ask.fm? Don’t worry. Most people over 18 years old haven’t. Young students are all over it. It’s a site that allows people to ask other users questions anonymously. Maybe your admissions office should set up an account and post the link on your website so kids can ask questions they may be to shy ask otherwise? Social Media Metrics that MatterStarting with your personas is a best practice. Another is to always close the loop on your marketing efforts. Define and track your metrics to validate what’s working and find out what needs work.When it comes to social media, you have a torrent of metrics. Beware of vanity metrics. Likes and impressions are nice, but they’re not helpful in quantifying the value of your social media strategy. Manage metrics that matter. These are the metrics that connect back to your goals. Let’s go back to our driving traffic goal. Tracking URLs tell you what content piece of content brought a visitor to your site and the social media site where she found your link. Let’s say you post regular links to new blog articles to three different social media sites. Using a tracking URL lets you drop an identifying token in the link used on each social media site. Looking at your traffic, you see that 60% of your traffic back is coming from just one of the social media sites. That’s valuable intelligence.In general, the most actionable social media metrics will be those that indicate engagement – clicking through, sharing, commenting and/or responding, growth in your community size, growth in the percentage of community engaging with your content. Each social media platform has its own batch of metrics and they can change.Distribution is a Pillar of Inbound MarketingFor your inbound marketing strategy to yield results, your content needs to get in front of the right people at the right time. That means the distribution of your content is as critical to inbound success as the content itself.Social media is primary distribution channel. Don’t overlook its power to connect your school to new prospective students and parents. Social Media Strategylast_img read more

James Washington Might Just Be Rashaun Woods

first_imgThe similarities are eerie. James Washington and Rashaun Woods. They’re both quiet and unassuming. Both love fishing more than anything else it seems like and Washington has a career that closely mirrors Woods’ so far. We will get to the stats in a second, but shout-out to Justin Southwell on the comp.Is James Washington actually Rashaun Woods? ?2️⃣8️⃣?8️⃣2️⃣? https://t.co/ll6iNM4lvM— Southwell (@JustinSouthwell) September 8, 2016And let’s check in on James Washington’s fishing skills in this cool interview with Allison Gappa.You’ve seen James Washington catch plenty of footballs, but did you know he also loves catching fish? #okstate pic.twitter.com/h0hXot3Xz1— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) September 8, 2016“It’s something my parents instilled in me growing up,” said Washington recently. “Just being a hard worker and never wanting someone to give you something. Always going out to prove to them you can work for your own. If I can just be myself and never forget where I came from, I think I’ll be pretty good. I don’t see myself as a celebrity. I just see myself as another guy trying to live his dream. That’s really it.”Sounds a lot like somebody who used to run routes for Josh Fields.Now for the statistical comps. Top is obviously Rashaun and bottom is Washington.screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-3-00-48-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-08-at-3-07-22-pmLook at that! Rashaun had 29 receptions his freshman year.Washington had 28. They were within 200 yards of each other after two seasons. Both had 10 TDs in their sophomore years. Washington has some work to do in season three to reach Rashaun’s level of production in his last two years, but so far No. 28 seems a lot like the new No. 82. Gundy even said as much in the preseason.“James falls more into the Rashaun Woods category in my opinion,” said Gundy. “Very quiet, he’s a terrific route runner. He has a burst that is a little more deceptive than what defensive players think. That’s what makes him a good player. All of them are ultra-competitive. And he is more of the Rashaun Woods mold than the other guys.”Pretty cool. And something I’m more than thrilled about over the next two years. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Seamless Transition to the Formal Economy Important

first_imgStory Highlights Mr. Wynter, who was responding to questions at the BOJ’s quarterly press briefing at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay on Friday (May 19), said it was in the country’s best interest if more businesses are regularized and taxes can be collected. Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Brian Wynter says a way should be found to facilitate the seamless transition of businesses operating informally to the formal economy.Mr. Wynter, who was responding to questions at the BOJ’s quarterly press briefing at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay on Friday (May 19), said it was in the country’s best interest if more businesses are regularized and taxes can be collected.“It is important that we find ways to bring people into the formal sector and where we will definitely know who is doing what. A very good way to start, is to try to make it easier for them to do business,” Mr. Wynter said.The BOJ Governor added that it was important that persons understand the benefits that come along in being regularized, noting that it is a major plus for sustainable economic growth.Meanwhile, Mr. Wynter noted that the BOJ has been on a drive to promote a Financial Inclusion Strategy which enables the “under banked” to better undertake and grow business activities, save safely in the financial sector, manage risks and build financial security.“Ultimately, financial inclusion helps to promote economic growth and reduce poverty and income inequality,” he said, while noting that it will contribute to Jamaica’s transformation from a middle income country, to one which affords its citizens high standards of living.However, the BOJ Governor stated that while much has been done over the last few years to make Jamaica more financially inclusive, many challenges remain.“Reliance on cash remains high, while the usage of accounts and electronic transaction instruments are low. This is in part due to their perceived high cost and inconvenience,” Mr. Wynter stated.He added that findings have shown that a large section of the population believe that the financial system will not serve their needs.“A national financial inclusion strategy can serve as a powerful tool to coordinate, deepen and accelerate national efforts to reach higher levels of financial inclusion,” he further pointed out.Cabinet approved the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in May 2016. For further information, persons can contact the technical secretariat at:  financialinclusion@boj.org.jm or at 932-4145. “It is important that we find ways to bring people into the formal sector and where we will definitely know who is doing what. A very good way to start, is to try to make it easier for them to do business,” Mr. Wynter said. Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Brian Wynter says a way should be found to facilitate the seamless transition of businesses operating informally to the formal economy. last_img read more

The Subtle And Not So Subtle Dominance Of US Swimmers And Gymnasts

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Embed Code FiveThirtyEight We’re on the ground in Rio covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. Check out all our coverage here.Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Aug. 10, 2016) we look at the different ways to appreciate the performances by U.S. swimmers and gymnasts at the Olympics. Is it better to marvel at the statistical dominance, or just sit back and be in awe of the athleticism on display? FiveThirtyEight’s very own Allison McCann also checks in from Rio, where she says things are going relatively smoothly. Then, an extended significant digit segment on Ichiro Suzuki, who just tallied his 3,000th hit in the majors. Neil Paine wonders: What would Ichiro’s career stats look like had he played his entire career in Major League Baseball?Links to what we discuss are here:Ben Morris on U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky’s prowess, and how others may join her assault on the record books.Allison McCann’s dispatch from Rio: a bit rocky, but overall no different from other major sporting events.The New York Times breaks down how Simone Biles completes her signature floor move, “The Biles.”In a sport usually decided by fractions of points, the U.S. women crushed their gymnastics opponents.Neil Paine says Ichiro Suzuki is a rare combo: “old and good.” read more

Robin van Persie looking forward to being the coach of his

first_imgFeyenoord striker Robin van Persie revealed how he’s looking forward to his retirement from football but refused to rule out returning one day as a coachThe 35-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable career that saw him star in the Premier League for 11 seasons at Arsenal and Manchester United.Van Persie left the English top-flight in 2015 for Turkish giants Fenerbahce after managing an impressive tally of 144 goals and 65 assists in 280 league games along with one title.As of January 2018, Van Persie has since been playing his football at boyhood club Fenerbahce where he scored in their 3-0 KNVB Cup final win over AZ Alkmaar last season.But the Dutchman announced in October that he will likely call time on his successful career in June and appears to be looking forward to the prospect of being the coach of his own life.“I was on a good holiday in Dubai – 12 days with friends and family,” Van Persie told NOS.“Nemanja Vidic was there as well. He has been retired for three and a half years and said very fittingly: ‘When you retire, you have to be the coach of your own life’.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“Everything is arranged for [players], a team manager and a coach tell you what to do, we are just children often going on school trips.“If that disappears, you have to become the coach of your own life. Is that difficult when your whole life is thought out for you? Yes, but I’m going to try it.DOETINCHEM, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 12: Robin van Persie of Feyenoord looks on during the Eredivisie match between De Graafschap and Feyenoord at Stadion De Vijverberg on August 12, 2018 in Doetinchem, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)“I won’t have to do anything anymore, I’m going to swim, play table tennis, tennis, football. I like that a lot. Then when there is a time I can’t do anything, without thinking: there will be another competition soon.”The former Arsenal star revealed he’s held talks with Dutch Football Association director Eric Gudde over getting his coaching badges.“I think [coaching] is nice, but I don’t know,” added Van Persie.“I had contact with Eric Gudde and he provided options for my eventual trajectory, but nothing has been decided yet.”Despite entering what will likely be his last season, Van Persie shows no signs of slowing down with seven goals and three assists in 13 Eredivisie appearances for Feyenoord.last_img read more

Baker Hughes tries to reassure investors as Halliburton deal fails

first_imgBaker Hughes Inc sought to reassure investors on Monday by announcing a $2.5 billion plan to buy back stock and pay down debt, using the breakup fee it will receive following the collapse of its long-stalled takeover by fellow oilfield services provider Halliburton Inc.Now each company must map out a strategy to thrive on its own. Both had hoped the merger would help them weather the worst oil price crash in a generation, which has caused hundreds of thousands of layoffs across the industry.Wall Street analysts said Halliburton should be in better shape than Baker Hughes but praised Baker Hughes’ plan to cut annual costs by some $500 million in an oversupplied market while repurchasing shares.”(This) equates to meaningful upside potential to earnings estimates in 2016 and 2017″ for Baker Hughes, UBS analyst Angeline Sedita said in a note to clients.Baker Hughes said proceeds from a $3.5 billion breakup fee from Halliburton would fund a $1.5 billion share buyback and the repayment of $1 billion of debt.Shares of Halliburton rose 2.6 percent to $42.36 on Monday, while Baker Hughes fell 2.8 percent to $47.04.Baker Hughes has faced employee turnover and cutbacks ever since Halliburton announced plans 18 months ago to buy it in a deal first valued at $35 billion.Regulators in the United States and overseas frowned upon the transaction, calling it a threat to competition and innovation. That led both sides to scrap the agreement on Sunday.The U.S. Justice Department had filed a lawsuit last month to stop the deal, saying it would leave only two dominant oilfield services companies, the merged Halliburton-Baker Hughes entity and global market leader Schlumberger Ltd.Baker Hughes, which is developing products that lower costs and maximise production for oil and gas producers, also said on Monday it planned to refinance a $2.5 billion credit facility, which expires in September.The company said an initial phase of cost-cutting should result in $500 million of annualised savings by the end of 2016.In a separate regulatory filing on Monday, Baker Hughes said it had cut 2,000 more jobs in the first quarter, adding to worldwide reductions of 18,000 last year. The company had about 43,000 employees as of Dec. 31. Baker Hughes said on Wednesday that it recorded after-tax “merger-retained” costs of $110 million in the first quarter, leading to a bigger net loss for the period.The Houston-based company also said then that it was limiting its exposure to the unprofitable onshore pressure pumping business in North America.Halliburton, which will release its first-quarter results on Tuesday, said on April 22 that revenue for the period slumped 40 percent.Shares of Baker Hughes have fallen 25 percent since the merger deal was announced in November 2014. Halliburton stock declined more than 19 percent in that time.last_img read more

AirAsia India in trouble rivals seek probe for alleged violation of FDI

first_imgAirAsia India’s aviation permit to conduct operations may be cancelled as the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) on Thursday filed a case in the Supreme Court stating that Tata-AirAsia committed a fraud.In its case, FIA said that the Tata-AirAsia agreement violated the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) rules and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy. Although the case is pending in the Delhi high court since April 2014, the FIA is seeking the Supreme Court’s directive on the matter, Zee News reported.In its plea, the federation of airlines, which constitutes airlines such as Jet Airways, IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet has said that AirAsia (when applying for license) did not disclose its brand equity agreement on the basis of which the control of the airline would remain with the foreign party (AirAsia India is a tie-up with AirAsia and Tata Group).According to the rules stipulated, a flying license is only issued when effective control rests with the Indian player and not its foreign counterpart, the FIA said. In 2014, Malaysian Airline AirAsia had set up the joint venture with the Tata Group to launch the airline in India.The news follows ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry’s claims that due to Ratan Tata’s passion for aviation, the Tata Sons board raised its capital infusion into the joint venture airline on numerous occasions. According to a report in IANS, Cyrus Mistry alleged that a fraudulent transaction to the tune of Rs 22 crore had emerged after a forensic investigation into the AirAsia deal.”Board members and trustees are also aware that in the case of AirAsia, ethical concerns have been raised with respect to certain transactions as well as the overall prevailing culture with the organisation,” Mistry said in an email statement, which he sent out to the company’s board members on Thursday.AirAsia India recorded a market share of 2.3 percent in September and a passenger load factor of 82.8 percent.last_img read more

Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 Bigg Boss 8 winner Gautam Gulati to perform

first_imgGautam GulatiGautam Gulati/InstagramHost Rohit Shetty is returning with yet another new set of daredevil stunts in Khatron Ke Khiladi 10. In fact, the makers of the stunt-based show are leaving no stone unturned to make the show more entertaining and engaging by getting on board some of the highly popular celebrities.While several names have started floating around as probable participants, the latest addition in the list is Gautam Gulati.Yes, the Bigg Boss 8 winner, who enjoys a massive fanbase, is likely to showcase some power pack stunts in the adventure reality show, ABP News reported. Gautam has been away from the screens since his Bollywood films Behen Hogi Teri (2017) and Azhar (2016).Meanwhile, Naagin actress Adaa Khan has been approached by the makers of the adventure reality show. Also, Yuvraj Singh, who retired from International cricket recently, is likely to participate as well.Television celebrities Krystle D’Souza and Karan Patel, who plays the lead role in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, had also confirmed being approached by the makers of Khatron Ke Khiladi 10. However, he did mention that nothing was finalised until then.A source revealed to Mumbai Mirror, “They are yet to sign on the dotted line, but all the three celebrities (Yuvraj, Karan and Krystle) are in advanced talks for the show and the channel is keen to get them on board by next week.”Karishma Tanna, Kavita Kaushik of FIR fame, choreographer Dharmesh Yelende and comedian Balraj Sayal are likely to join as well.This year, Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 will be shot in Bulgaria and the new team is expected to fly to the location soon. Khatron Ke Khiladi 9 grand finaleTwitterlast_img read more

Baul singer gang raped

first_imgA baul singer has allegedly been gang raped after being invited to a musical show in Ashulia, on the outskirts of capital.Being informed by locals, police rescued the woman, hailing from Narayanganj, from a house at Ashulia on Thursday.When the victim was taken to Ashulia police station she filed a case. Later police arrested two people – Abdur Razzak, 40 and Ataur Rahman, 42- from Aukpara area.Officer-in-charge of Ashulia police station Abdul Awal said a female singer with whom the victim got acquainted about a month ago invited her to the musical show on Wednesday night.When the victim reached the house as per the instruction of the female singer, eight-ten people confined her to a room and raped her overnight, the OC said.The victim was sent to One Stop Crisis Centre at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.last_img read more

US to impose sanctions on Turkey over detained pastor

first_imgAndrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, 25 July 2018. An American pastor who had been jailed in Turkey for more than one and a half years on terror and espionage charges was released Wednesday and will be put under house arrest as his trial continues. Andrew Craig Brunson, 50, an evangelical pastor originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was let out of jail to serve home detention because of `health problems,` Turkey`s official Anadolu news agency said. Photo : APPresident Donald Trump says the United States will impose sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over a detained American pastor held on terror and espionage charges.Shortly after the possibility of sanctions was first announced by vice president Mike Pence Thursday, Trump wrote on Twitter that the US “will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson.””He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!” the president added from aboard Air Force One as he flew to Iowa for an event.Pence’s initial announcement of possible sanctions came at the close of a three-day conference on religious freedom.Brunson, 50, an evangelical Christian pastor originally from North Carolina, was let out of jail Wednesday, after 1 1/2 years, to serve house arrest because of “health problems,” according to Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency.”Brunson is an innocent man, there is no credible evidence against him,” Pence said.Trump has repeatedly demanded Brunson’s release and said on Twitter last week that the pastor’s detention was “a total disgrace.” One of Brunson’s attorneys is Jay Sekulow, who also represents Trump in the Russia investigation.If convicted, Brunson pastor faces up to 15 years in prison for “committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member,” references to outlawed Kurdish militants and the network of a US-based Muslim cleric blamed for a failed coup attempt. He could receive another 20 years if he is found guilty of espionage.Brunson strongly denies the charges.Pence’s announcement was delivered at a conference on religious freedom in Washington. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke at the conference.Pence highlighted cases of religious repression in Nicaragua, Iran, China and Myanmar. He also condemned Islamic State group violence toward religious minorities and what he described as rising anti-Semitism in western Europe.Pompeo announced additional aid for a region of Iraq previously held by the Islamic State group. Pompeo said the department would provide $17 million for demining efforts in Nineveh, an area of Iraq historically home many of Iraq’s religious minorities.Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been strained by the pastor Brunson case.Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously linked Brunson’s return to the US to the extradition of cleric Fethullah Gulen, the cleric Turkey’s government holds responsible for the failed July 2016 military coup.Gulen, who denies orchestrating the coup attempt, lives in Pennsylvania. Turkish requests for his arrest and extradition have not been granted.At the end of a recent hearing, the court inside a prison complex in western Turkey rejected Brunson’s lawyer’s request that he be freed pending the outcome of the trial. The case was adjourned until  12 October.last_img

Former refugees mark 75th anniversary of the only US safe haven during

first_img By: Renee K. Gadoua Share This! News • Photos of the Week Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Catholicism As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Chaldean Christian deported by Trump administration dies in Iraq Tagsanti-Semitism asylum Fort Ontario Franklin D. Roosevelt Holocaust homepage featured Jews Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum,You may also like News Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,OSWEGO, N.Y. (RNS) — Suzanne Krauthamer Gurwitz remembers little about the 18 months she spent at the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Center in Oswego. She was 5 when she, her parents and two older brothers arrived at the former military post near Lake Ontario.“Like other children, I played,” said Gurwitz, 80, of Plainview, N.Y. “I don’t remember being unhappy.”Gurwitz was among 982 refugees at Fort Ontario, the only U.S. shelter for Europeans fleeing World War II. Of the 30 surviving refugees, 19 attended a 75th anniversary reunion on Monday (Aug, 5). The event commemorated the 1944 arrival of refugees in the small upstate New York city.Survivors and their families crowded Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum, once the shelter’s administration building, and wandered the Fort Ontario State Historic Site. More than 200 people attended a memorial under heightened security. Some guests expressed concern for their safety, an official said, citing the weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.Several former refugees and Oswego residents didn’t want to talk about those worries or about the  Trump administration’s policies barring asylum-seekers. Instead, the former refugees, surrounded by descendants and greeting old friends, were eager to talk about how they came to live at the shelter.Gurwitz, born in Paris to Polish Jews, remembers crossing the Alps and hiding in the woods before her family ended up living with nuns and priests in Rome in 1943. In June 1944, her father learned a ship would soon leave Naples, Italy, for a shelter in the United States.Deena Albert photographs her grandparents, Suzanne Krauthamer Gurwitz and Marvin Gurwitz, on Aug. 5, 2019, at the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum. The couple stands around a cutout of a photo of Suzanne’s brother, Simon, then 12, as a resident of the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Center in Oswego, N.Y. Suzanne, her parents and two brothers lived at the shelter for 18 months. Simon died in 2000. RNS photo by Renée K. GadouaBy then, the Nazis had killed about 5 million European Jews.After June 6, 1944, when Allied forces attacked German forces on France’s Normandy coast, at least 200,000 Jews remained in concentration camps or in hiding. Three days later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced a refugee camp would open in six weeks at Fort Ontario.The refugees came to the U.S. as Roosevelt’s “guests” and agreed to return to Europe after the war. President Harry S. Truman in December 1945 signed an executive order that allowed the refugees to enter the U.S. and the shelter closed in February 1946.The refugees from 18 countries shared “loss, trauma and a path that somehow got them to southern Italy,” said Rebecca Erbelding, curator and historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and author of “Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe.”U.S. immigration policies kept most Jewish refugees out of America, she said.“Isolationism, economic concerns, racism, and anti-Semitism all led most Americans to focus on domestic problems rather than international ones,” she wrote for the Holocaust museum.  “Reflecting the mood and situation of the country, State Department officers interpreted America’s restrictive immigration laws even more stringently, leaving the quotas far from filled.”Harry Frajerman, of Philadelphia, points to a picture of his parents, Icek and Helen Frajerman, while attending a reunion at Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum in Oswego, N.Y., on Aug. 5, 2019. Harry was born at Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Center on Dec. 9, 1945. After World War II, the Jewish Federation of Philadelphia sponsored his family. Harry attended the reunion with his wife, Myrna Frajerman. RNS photo by Renée K. GadouaThe refugees boarded the USS Henry Gibbins in Naples on July 21, 1944. About two weeks later, they arrived in New York Harbor, then traveled by train to Oswego.They were greeted on arrival by military police and a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, conditions many refugees found troubling. Despite restrictions — a 30-day quarantine, curfews, passes and less than luxurious conditions in the former army barracks — the former refugees described positive experiences and friendly interactions with city residents.“It was an adventure for us,” said Simon Kalderon, a native of Bosnia-Herzegovina who was 9 when he arrived. “I never felt that I was different.”Linda Cohen’s parents, Leon and Seri Kabiljo of Yugoslavia, dreamed of living in the United States. “This camp saved their life,” she said.Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., called the refugee shelter “a beacon of sanity in a world of insanity” and pledged to push for its recognition as a national park. In October 2018, President Trump signed the Fort Ontario Study Act, a step toward that designation.Before Roosevelt created the shelter, refugees fleeing the Holocaust were sent back, said Katko.“The State Department would send these ships back over to Europe and (refugees) would go back and meet their fate,” Katko told the crowd gathered for the anniversary. “They kept sending them back. Can you imagine that happening today?”“Yeah,” and “Yes, we can,” many in the crowd of more than 200 yelled.Suzanne Gurwitz’s grandson said that the anti-Semitism and nationalism that fueled the Holocaust parallels hatred for asylum-seekers at the U.S. southern border.“This is what happened to our ancestors,” said Daniel Albert, a rabbinical student at Yeshiva University. “They closed the borders and didn’t let us in.”Dani Dayan, consul general of Israel in New York and a supporter of designating Fort Ontario a national park, said anti-Semitism is “raising its ugly head again in Europe and Latin America and, unfortunately, in this country.”“We know where this scourge of anti-Semitism can bring the human race,” Dayan said.The memorial took place near the shelter’s former barracks and dining hall. A granite monument, dedicated in 1981, marks the site. Vandals have chipped the monument’s corners and marred the word “Jewish.”Safe Haven officials have not repaired it, choosing to let the vandalism speak for itself.center_img Share This! By: Renee K. Gadoua Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Share This! Share This! Renee K. Gadoua,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Renee K. Gadoua Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Curfew eased partially in Kashmir for Friday prayers Share This! By: Renee K. Gadoua Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emaillast_img read more

This Polymer Device Can Walk When Illuminated

first_imgJune 30, 2017 This story originally appeared on PCMag Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Scientists in the Netherlands and US have created what they’re calling the world’s first “light powered walking device.”The tiny device, developed by scientists at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands and Kent State University in Ohio, is about the size of a paperclip and can “walk” at the speed of a caterpillar when illuminated. The device itself has just two parts: a rectangular frame and a piece of special polymer material that can “undulate and … propel itself forward under the influence of light,” according to a news release. When exposed to light, one side of this new type of liquid crystal polymer contracts while the other side expands, causing it the material to “bulge.” When the light goes away, the deformation “disappears instantaneously.”The material looks transparent, but fully absorbs violet light, which the scientists used in their tests, creating a shadow. The research team, led by Eindhoven University of Technology professor Dick Broer, managed to get their device to move continuously on its own using this so-called “self-shadowing” effect.”They attached a strip of the material in a frame shorter than the strip itself,” the release explains. “Then they shone a concentrated … light on it, from in front. The part of the strip that is in the light starts to bulge downward, creating a ‘dent’ in the strip. As a consequence, the next part of the strip comes in the light and starts to deform. This way the ‘dent’ moves backwards, creating a continual undulating movement. This sets the device in motion, walking away from the light.”When the device is placed upside down, the wave travels in the opposite direction, causing it to move towards the light. The scientists, who published their findings today in the scientific journal Nature,say that in the future, their device could possibly be used to transport small items in hard-to-reach places, or clean the surface of solar cells. “The mechanism is so powerful that the strip can even transport an object that is much bigger and heavier than the device itself, uphill,” according to the release. 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »last_img read more