Calls made for alternative venue ahead of Carndonagh courthouse closure

first_imgConcern and disappointment arose in Carndonagh today after it emerged that the courthouse is due to close temporarily with no plans for local alternatives.The Cardonagh Courthouse is set to undergo essential repair works in the coming weeks while court sittings are moved to Buncrana.However, local representatives have called for an alternative venue to be sourced in Carndonagh. Inishowen Sinn Féin Councillor Albert Doherty said it is important that legal proceedings are held in the town.Cllr Doherty said: “Working in cooperation with my colleague, Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn, we have submitted questions to the Minister for Justice and the Minister for the OPW requesting that they both ensure that court sittings will continue to be held at a venue in Carndonagh while the local courthouse will be undergoing essential repair in the time ahead.“I understand that the Colgan Hall has been suggested as a possible venue and I would support this suggestion and the exploration of other locations in the town. Indeed it is disappointing that the Courts Service and the OPW did not confirm an alternative venue in the town prior to issuing a notice of closure for the Courthouse.“It is also important that the Carndonagh District Court will soon be back in situ at the Carndonagh Courthouse and that this important building in the community is fully refurbished and made safe for all”. Calls made for alternative venue ahead of Carndonagh courthouse closure was last modified: March 5th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:carndonagh courthouseCllr Albert DohertyInishowenlast_img read more

Kalou ‘made an offer by West Ham’

first_imgWest Ham have offered Salomon Kalou a move to Upton Park, according to the Daily Express.Kalou’s Chelsea contract expires in the summer and Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is believed to be keen to sign him.Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish wants to snatch Pavel Pogrebnyak from Fulham, the Daily Mirror say.The Russian striker has been a massive hit at Craven Cottage since joining Fulham on a deal until the end of the season.But it is claimed that McLeish is planning a summer bid for him and has already spoken to representatives of the 28-year-old, who will be available on a free transfer in May.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

SA launches school for public servants

first_img22 October 2013 South Africa has launched a National School of Government to provide “hands-on and brains-on” training as the country moves to establish a modern, professional, performance-oriented public service. Speaking at the launch of the school in Pretoria on Monday, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said there were no short cuts to delivering operational excellence. The establishment of the new School of Government follows a nine-month process of comprehensive research and international benchmarking carried out by a task team of scholars, education practitioners and academics with experience in managing higher education entities. The government had tried providing public service training through various kinds of institution, but had “come to the realisation that establishing functioning state machinery, the creation of a public service ethos and the creation of a cadre of government, is a responsibility that cannot and should not be outsourced,” Sisulu said. The new School of Government replaces the current training institution for public servants, the Public Administration and Leadership Management Academy, locating public service education and training provision within the state. “What we have today, I am convinced, will stand the test of time, because we have learned from our past mistakes, learned from international best practice, seen ourselves through the mirror through the diagnosis produced by the National Planning Commission.” Sisulu said the School of Government had to respond to the “urgency of now” in righting the wrongs that have so far hobbled the public service. “Curricula and programmes will be designed on the basis of a sound understanding of the challenges and realities of the public service environment. It is about unleashing the best in our students to enable reform and performance oriented public service.” The minister described this as a shift from the current model, that focuses largely on building the generic knowledge and skills of individuals. “The National School of Government and its hands-on and brains-on approach will enable us to apply common norms and standards in the public service … In doing so, the School will help to address the unevenness and the poor quality that characterise most of the learning and development offerings in the public service.” The School of Government will be strengthened by a multidisciplinary team of lecturers, facilitators, trainers and organisational development experts, and governed by a council that is accountable to the public service minister. Sisulu said a principal would be appointed who, supported by a number of deputy principals and a registrar, would deliver on the overall functions and responsibilities of the National School of Government. “Our new academic approach to professionalising and making the public service efficient and effective ought to set the new public administration management frontiers to the year 2030,” she said. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Eskom Expo for Young Scientists builds South Africa’s science capital

first_img16 October 2014Seesaws that pump water; lighting a city using solar power; improving crickets’ protein content to make food bars; these mind-blowing ideas were all conceived by young South African scientists and presented at the annual Eskom Expo for Young Scientists where “students have a chance to show others their projects about their own scientific investigations’.The expo was held from 8 to 10 October in Gauteng’s Boksburg. Endorsed by the Department of Public Enterprises, the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Science and Technology, the Young Scientists Expo invites some 17 700 pupils from across the country to compete for a ticket to the International Science Fair. The competition is stiff, with just the top 822 selected to represent their regions at national level.According to Parthy Chetty, the expo’s executive director, “South Africa wants to establish itself as a hub of science research and excellence. In order to do that South Africa needs to be producing outstanding scientists, researchers and technicians and attract top talent from around the world. By hosting young scientists from Africa we are exposing them to the exciting world of science in South Africa and we are starting to make that vision a reality.”The expo aims to support and showcase female scientists and young scientists from across the continent; this year it attracted 477 female participants, versus 345 male participants, with entrants coming from Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana. The students discussed their work with judges, teachers and students from other schools, expanding their horizons through broadening their science knowledge and growing peer networks.Naledi Pandor, minister for the department of science and technology, was at the event. She told the pupils to not limit their ambitions, but to “dream as widely as you can. There are immense challenges that confront South Africa but you can be part of resolving those challenges.’Eskom Chairman Zola Tsotsi presented the awards at the expo with Pandor; he said: “At Eskom we value the important role of education, as part of the solution we have invested in training and education to drive growth. Our country relies on innovation to break the shackles of poverty and to create wealth and the learners here today have the power to create a better life for the poor.”Eskom is South Africa’s electricity utility.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The Biggest SEO Blunders of All Time

first_img Originally published Jun 19, 2014 6:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 SEO inception: Google punishes itself for using black hat tactics?There’s only one company out there that can bring Google, the almighty ruler of internet search, to its knees. And that company, of course, is Google.Back in 2012, the Google Chrome homepage received a two-month penalty after it was discovered the site was benefiting from paid links.Two years prior, the company got itself in hot water — with itself — for cloaking content on its AdWords help pages.For more instances of Google punishing Google for SEO infractions, check out this great post from Search Engine Land.And there you have it, some of the biggest SEO missteps in recent history. Remember: If you want to stay in the clear with your site, just avoid making these common SEO mistakes. Got any SEO horror stories you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments below! Topics: BMW feels the Google kiss of death for using doorway pages, receives a “0” PageRankThe year was 2006, and German car company BMW’s German website (BMW.de) was mopping it up in the search rankings with important keywords like “used car.”As it turns out, the company had been using doorway pages to artificially inflate their inbound links and rank higher for competitive keywords. A doorway page, also known as a bridge or portal page, is a webpage that’s created solely for the purpose of redirecting visitors to a parent page. In BMW’s case, this page was BMW.de.Even back in 2006, Google wasn’t messing around. BMW.de was promptly blacklisted, receiving a PageRank of 0 as a consequence of the infraction.Toys R Us pays $5.1 million for Toys.com domain name, forgets to set up 301 redirectsToys R Us really, really wanted to dominate the word “toys’ in search, so much so that they paid top dollar for the eponymous domain name, toys.com, back in 2010.While the plan was to score some serious SEO cred for having such a searched-for term — toys — right in their domain name, the crew handling the project made a big, big mistake: when they launched the new site, they failed to redirect their old URLs. As a result, Google re-indexed the site, so instead of seeing their search ranking for “toys” climb, the Toys R’ Us team watched it take a nose dive.In this case, there was no ill SEO-intent on the part of the company. They didn’t use any black hat tactics — they just messed up. Big time.Want to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you? When making big changes to your site, keep track of everything in a workbook.Overstock.com trades discounts for links, loses $1.05 billion in revenue after Google takes noticeRap Genius was by no means the first company to construct a scheme for generating rank-boosting links. Back in 2011, it was discovered that online retailer Overstock.com was encouraging colleges and universities to embed links on their websites in exchange for faculty and student discounts on Overstock.com merchandise.As far as terrible, sleazy, no-good, rotten link-building schemes go, this one was actually pretty clever. The “.edu” designation that most academic websites carry gives those sites some extra authoritativeness in the eyes of Google. So if you can get a bunch of these sites to link to your site using the keywords you want to target, you’ll be more likely to rank for those keywords.The problem, of course, is that trading discounts for links doesn’t help make information on the web any more organized. In fact, it muddles it all up (why would all these academic institutions link to product pages for bunk beds and lawn furniture?).Google, of course, penalized Overstock.com big time. These penalties were part of the reason why Overstock.com’s revenue dropped by $1.05 billion in 2011.J. C. Penney sees ranking for “living room furniture” drop from #1 to #68 in a matter of hours after Google penaltyAnother retail company, another link-building scheme. In this case, it’s theorized that J. C. Penney, or the SEO firm that worked for them, bought the company into a paid link network.As a result of participating in the network, the retailer received such an astronomical amount of inbound links — which targeted very specific keyword phrases — that the J. C. Penney site was ranking first for, well, almost everything. This came across as suspicious to some, including journalist David Segal.For the full scoop, you’ll definitely want to check out his New York Times piece on the subject, “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.” For the abridged version, I think one of the most fascinating aspects of this case was how fast Google was able to take action and drop J. C. Penney’s search rankings. Within hours, they were ranking in the high 60s and 70s for search terms that they used to rank first for (including “living room furniture” and “Samsonite carry on luggage”).So for those of you who’ve ever thought about dabbling in paid link-building networks, take heed. Google knows what’s up, and will bring the pain if it needs to.Rap Genius loses 80% of its traffic after Google uncovers link-building scheme We all know that getting backlinks (a.k.a. inbound links) from trusted websites is a great way to give your website’s search rankings a boost. However, as the lyrics website Rap Genius would discover, the method you use to generate those backlinks is of considerable importance. If your website is attracting links because you regularly create stellar content and people in your industry love you and they always share and link to your stuff, then guess what? You’re golden! Google will give you a pat on the back.However, if you’re attracting links by regularly sending out spammy emails that instruct people to link to specific pages of yours, Google’s going to bring the heat.Rap Genius went so far as to develop a network of bloggers who received publicity for their posts in exchange for including links to specific song lyrics on the Rap Genius site. This “affiliate program,” as Rap Genius called it, didn’t fly with Google, especially since the lyrics the blogs linked to rarely aligned with the actual content of the posts.As a result of this scheme, Google delivered a punishing blow to Rap Genius’s search rankings, and — for a short while — the company lost 80% of its daily organic traffic.Fortunately for Rap Genius, Google is willing to forgive. After publicly admitting that their SEO tactics were whack, and deconstructing their link-building network, Rap Genius was allowed back on Google’s search results pages.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 Marketers … we’re always looking for ways to make our metrics skyrocket up and to the right. We love our tips, tricks, hacks, “insider” secrets, and yes, we even love our performance-enhancing drugs (sips coffee).Where were we?Right … it seems we’re all so obsessed with improving and optimizing and driving results, that we’re sometimes tempted to break the rules. In the world of SEO, we call that using black hat tactics. And of course, we all think these black hat tactics are unfair or unethical and we never, ever use them.But here’s the thing: If black hat SEO can give your numbers a big boost and get you the results you need, why not go for it? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?Spoiler alert: The worst that could happen is Google lands a direct hit on your search rankings with a flying roundhouse kick, your PageRank drops to 0, and you eventually get featured in a blog post (like this one) that’s filled with examples of companies that broke the rules and paid the price.Remember, as that influential marketing guy wrote in that famous book of his, “The Dark Side of the Force is the pathway to many abilities some consider to be … unnatural.”Actually, that’s from Star Wars. But the message is still relevant: You might hit your numbers using black hat tactics but, inevitably, Google’s going to notice that you’re doing something “unnatural.” And Google ain’t afraid to lay down the law.(Pssst. Want to make sure your website is squeaky clean? Check out our new guide, 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid During Your Next Website Redesign.)The SEO Hall of Shame SEO Mistakeslast_img read more

What’s in a Name? What 6 Popular Brands Are Called Across the Globe

first_imgVincent: “And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris?Jules: “They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?”Vincent: “No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the [heck] a Quarter Pounder is.”Jules: “Then what do they call it?”Vincent: “They call it a Royale with cheese.”While the cinephiles in the room will be quick to point out that I’m quoting from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, I’m also highlighting an example of a business (McDonald’s) tailoring their marketing to better serve a particular audience.And, as you’re about to find out, this type of international name personalization is more common than you might think. Several of the big brand names that have been injected into American culture through countless ads and jingles — names that are as common to you as the names of your friends and family members — are, in fact, different in different countries.But before we dive into some examples of businesses switching brand names in order to cater to international audiences, let’s explore some of the underlying reasons why these name changes occur. And to begin, here’s a quick story about Irish whiskey liqueur, cow dung, and German consumers.Free Download: Slogan Writing Guide and ExamplesWhat’s in a [Brand] Name?Once upon a time, the Dublin-based beverage distributor C&C Group decided to launch its popular brand of golden whiskey liqueur in Germany.It seemed like a good plan. After all, Germany was a big market, and the name of the whiskey liqueur, “Irish Mist,” certainly had a nice ring to it.To me, the name “Irish Mist” conjures up an image of a verdant field adorned with a fresh layer of morning dew; dew that is evaporating majestically into the glorious light beams of the rising sun.Unfortunately, that’s not what Germans thought of when they heard the name.You see, “mist” is the German word for “manure.” So while Germans may in fact have thought of a field when they heard the name “Irish Mist,” they probably didn’t think of a field adorned with dew: They probably thought of a field adorned with cow dung.Needless to say, a beverage that translated to “Irish manure” didn’t exactly take off in Germany the way C&C Group had hoped.A Valuable LessonDifferent cultures have different values. Different languages. Different slang. Different senses of humor. A name that sounds elegant in one language could sound off-putting or downright gross in another language. Even when it’s unintentional, a name that doesn’t play well in a certain country could mean the difference between a boom in sales and a boycott.Ultimately, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to brand names is trickier than most people think. Even making up a completely new word for a name isn’t a sure bet.Ever hear of “Mondelez,” the snack division of Kraft Foods? According to a press release from Kraft, the name is completely made up, but is meant to evoke the idea of a “delicious world.”“‘Monde’” derives from the Latin word for ‘world’,” the press release notes, “and ‘delez’ is a fanciful expression of ‘delicious.’” No problems yet. But how exactly do we pronounce “Mondelez”?According to the same press release, it’s pronounced “mohn-dah-LEEZ.” And that poses a bit of a problem for Russian speakers.Turns out that in Russian, “Mondelez” sounds like a vulgar word; a word that a native Russian speaker described as “really dirty” in the Huffington Post.Not a great fit for a snack company … or any company, really.However, some brands are able to successfully pull off the “one-size-fits-all” approach to names. Coca-Cola is one of the first that comes to mind. Wherever you are in the world, a Coke is a Coke, no exceptions. (Although I have heard it can be tricky for Coke to display its name in Chinese or Japanese characters.)One brand that definitely did it right is Kodak. When they came up with the name “Kodak” — a name that is totally meaningless — they made sure A) that it was easy to pronounce in every country where they’d be selling their products, and B) that it had no negative connotations in any of the languages spoken in those target countries.That type of linguistic research helped ensure that Kodak didn’t make the same mistakes that Irish Mist and Mondelez would eventually make.Of course, the alternative to coming up with a perfect brand name, a brand name that can effortlessly travel from country to country without offending anybody, is (as I mentioned earlier) to change names in order to cater to different international audiences.So, without further ado, here are some examples of big brand name changes from around the globe.International Name Game1) Mr. Clean / Maestro Limpio / Meister Proper / etc.This is, by far, the best example I could find of a brand tailoring its name to different countries. While we all know and love “Mr. Clean,” here in the U.S., he goes by many, many other names while traveling abroad (all of which loosely translate back to “Mr. Clean” in English).For example, there’s “Maestro Limpio” in Mexico, “Don Limpio” in Spain, “Mastro Lindo” in Italy, “Meister Proper” in Germany, “Mister Proper” in Eastern European countries, “Monsieur Net” in Quebec, Canada, “Monsieur Propre” in France, and “Flash” in Ireland and the U.K.Wait a sec, what was that last one?So it turns out the name “Mr. Clean” was already taken when P&G expanded into Ireland and the U.K. As a way around the problem, they ditched the buff bald guy and came up with an entirely new brand name: “Flash.”2) Lay’s / Walkers / Smith’s / Sabritas / etc. Another well-known brand with many different international names is Lay’s (of potato chip fame).For example, in Ireland and the U.K., Lay’s are called “Walkers.” In Australia, they’re called “Smith’s.” In Mexico, they’re “Sabritas.” In Egypt, “Chipsy.” In Israel, “Tapuchips.” And in Brazil, they’re “Elma Chips.”Unlike with Mr. Clean, the owner of Lay’s (PepsiCo, by way of its subsidiary Frito-Lay) makes no real attempt to translate when tailoring the name to international audiences. But considering “Lay’s” is derived from a guy’s name, Herman Lay, that makes a lot of sense.PepsiCo does, however, create some unity between the brands by making the logos visually similar: they all include a red, wavy banner, which is reminiscent of the banner in the Lay’s logo.3) Burger King / Hungry Jack’sBurger King? Burger King?!? I mean, there’s no way a brand as big as Burger King could go by a different name in a different country, is there? (Spoiler alert: Yes, yes there is.)You see, when Burger King was expanding into Australia, they ran into a little problem: There was already a fast food joint that had trademarked the name “Burger King.” So, Burger King — the U.S.-based Burger King — allowed the Australian franchisee (a man by the name of Jack Cowin) to choose from a list of pre-existing trademarked names that its then parent company (Pillsbury) had on hand. Jack chose the name of a pancake mix brand, Hungry Jack, and added an apostrophe to the end to make it possessive. And then a new Australia-specific Burger King brand name was born: Hungry Jack’s.4) KFC / PFKTruth be told, the previous Burger King / Hungry Jack’s example didn’t really demonstrate a business changing a brand name in order to appeal to a particular audience. They changed it because, well, they had to. BUT it was such a big brand, I felt obligated to include it. And for that same reason, I feel obligated to include this next international name-change example.KFC. This three-letter appellation for the “finger-lickin’ good” fast food chain, was originally an initialism for Kentucky Fried Chicken.Today, KFC does big business all over the world, including in China, Japan, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Yet in all of these places, KFC is still KFC. So, where do you need to travel in order to find a KFC without the familiar “KFC” branding? Try Montreal.Quick story: I lived in Montreal, Quebec for six years. And when I first moved there, I noticed something very unusual about the KFC joints I encountered: They were all branded “PFK.”The reason? Quebec has very, very strict language laws, which means if you’re a business with an English name, you’re required to create a French equivalent. So, the powers that be translated “Kentucky Fried Chicken” into French, which came out as “Poulet Frit Kentucky,” and voila: PFK was born.(Fun fact: In France — ya know, the place where the French language comes from — KFC still goes by the name, “KFC.”) 5) Olay / OlazThe skincare brand Olay got its start in South Africa, but was purchased by P&G in the 1980s. When P&G decided to roll out the brand internationally, it made an effort to tailor the name to suit different cultures and languages.For example, in France, Italy, Germany, and other mainland European countries, Olay went by the name “Oil of Olaz.” In Australia, it was called “Oil of Ulan.” And in Ireland and the U.K., it was “Oil of Ulay.”Unfortunately for fans of geo-specific brand names, P&G would eventually streamline the brand and eliminate many of the name variations. Today, there’s just “Olaz” (in German-speaking countries) and “Olay” (everywhere else). 6) Milky Way / Mars Bar / 3 MusketeersNow this is a cool story. But here’s a forewarning: I’m not exactly sure why the Mars confectionery corporation names its candy brands the way it does … it just doesn’t seem to make any sense. So on that note, let’s dive in!In 1923, a man by the name of Fank C. Mars introduced the “Milky Way” bar. MmmMmm. Milky Way bars. Milk chocolate. Caramel. Chocolate-malt nougat (whatever the heck that is). Delicious.And Mars’ son — Forrest Mars — thought they were pretty delicious, too. So he took the Milky Way recipe, went to the U.K., and introduced it as the “Mars bar” to the European market. (FYI: The U.S. market would eventually get its own “Mars bar,” but despite having an identical name, it was different from the European candy.)So, to recap: U.S. “Milky Way” = U.K. “Mars bar”After successfully establishing the Mars bar in Europe, Forrest Mars moved back to the U.S. and would eventually merge his company with his father’s company, forming Mars, Inc. And, in an effort to increase international expansion, Mars, Inc. decided to introduce the “Milky Way” brand in the U.K. and other European markets. However, since the original Milky Way was, effectively, already available in the form of the “Mars bar,” Mars, Inc. needed to tweak the recipe. So, they followed their old playbook and used an existing recipe from their inventory: the recipe for their 3 Musketeers bar (which they had introduced in the U.S. back in 1932). Hence, today, Milky Ways in the U.K. taste a lot like 3 Musketeers in the U.S.So here’s the final breakdown: the U.S. “Milky Way” =  the U.K. “Mars bar,” while the U.K. “Milky Way” = the U.S. “3 Musketeers.” And yes, these candy bars are all produced by the same company, Mars, Inc.And that concludes our exploration of personalizing brand names for different locations. Now, admittedly, I didn’t really teach you anything about using personalization for your own marketing purposes. This was just a collection of fun, inspirational examples.If you’d like to learn about personalizing your marketing — including your landing pages, calls-to-action (CTAs), and emails — be sure to download our new, free guide: How to Master Personalized Marketing. Originally published Nov 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 25 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Brand Awarenesslast_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

A Simple Guide to SEO for Local Businesses [Infographic]

first_imgWhen you find yourself in an unfamiliar area and you’re looking for a restaurant, coffee shop, sports store, or some other local business … how do you go about finding it?Most of us pull out our smartphone, open up a search engine, and search for a specific type of local business. That’s called a local search, and it’s for customers in a particular area who use online search engines to find a business in that area.According to Google’s own research, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer or tablet did the same.”With local businesses competing for the top spots in those searches, knowing how to optimize your website accordingly is key. To help you learn more about local SEO, SurePayroll created the infographic below. Check it out to learn the anatomy of a local Google search results page, how to optimize your website for local searches, and how to separate your search result from everyone else’s.75Save Originally published Nov 2, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Local SEOcenter_img 75SaveWhat local SEO tips can you add to the list? Share with us in the comments. 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

7 Blogging Bloopers Your Business Will Want to Avoid

first_imgAs content marketing continues to prove itself in the digital marketing realm, an increasing number of business owners find themselves balancing precariously at the edge of the blogosphere, building up courage to take the plunge.But if you’re new to the practice, you need to be extra careful not to make any rookie errors. A few simple blogging mistakes can turn an otherwise stellar content marketing strategy into an embarrassing, sticky mess. Thankfully, these blunders are easy to avoid when you know exactly what you shouldn’t be doing.Here are seven common blogging mistakes your business will want to stay away from…far, far away:1) Typos, typos, typosTypos are one of the biggest – and most unforgivable – blogging mistakes. They show a lack of attention to detail, imply sloppy work, and ultimately put off prospective customers. Would you really want to work with a business that lets mistakes slide on their own work? We didn’t think so.2) No conversion pointsNot having conversion points in your content undermines your entire digital marketing strategy. Readers who resonate with your blog will probably be interested in premium content like an ebook, which can further guide them along their buyer’s journey. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to convert them into a lead by not including a call to action within your blog.3) No imagesA blog without images is like a video without sound. And while an image might not always be essential to understand the point of your article, it will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. Inserting images into your blog will hold your audience’s attention for longer, add value to the content, and increase your chance of converting the reader into a lead.4) Rambling on and on (and on)We hate to break it to you, but unless someone is a hard-core fan of your content then they probably aren’t going to read your entire 800+ word blog. Writing unnecessarily long posts is a common blogging mistake, as writers confuse quality with quantity. Keep it short and sweet to around 500 words and you’ll be flying. Your reader’s time is valuable, and they’ll appreciate it being treated as such.5) Sales-speak overloadThink about why your company has a blog in the first place – to attract potential clients with informative and intrinsically valuable content. Don’t undermine this strategy with transparent attempts to push your product on digital passers-by who’ve yet to indicate any interest.Even if you’re writing a bottom of funnel blog that describes your offering in detail, try to frame it as a solution instead of a direct sales pitch. Your reader is smarter than you think, and will see straight through any attempt to underhandedly force your product on them.6) Clickbait titlesClickbait is the scourge of content. Even though shamelessly exploiting human curiosity might get you a few extra clicks and page views, it just isn’t worth it – your reader will lose respect for your company and brand. Your goal should be to build a following of readers who find value in your writing and content – not to become Buzzfeed Wannabe 2.0.7) Unprofessional contentYour tone should always reflect that you’re writing on behalf of your company. If your culture allows for satirical posts and celebrity gossip, by all means go to town. Just be wary of being overly casual and driving away potential clients looking for serious solutions to their serious problems.Most readers respond infinitely better to fact-driven blog posts that address their pain points effectively. And if you are overcome by the urge to Biebs it up do everyone a favour and confine it to a personal blog or Tumblr.At the end of the day, avoiding blogging mistakes only addresses one part of an effective content marketing strategy and a successful business. If you’d like to learn more about content marketing strategy download our ‘5-step plan to generating leads from content marketing’ today! Originally published Nov 22, 2016 1:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Blogging Mistakes Don’t forget to share this post! Topics:last_img read more

How Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Productivity, Hiring Practices, Collaboration & More [Live Discussion]

first_img Artificial Intelligence Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is dominating both headlines and the attention of businesses — and for good reason. In 2016 alone, at least 40 AI companies were acquired.The increasing sophistication of AI is also predicted to change the work force. An analysis from Oxford researchers reported than 47% of jobs are at risk, while a more recent Forrester report predicts that 7% of jobs may be eliminated by 2025.This sounds ominous, and while there will be industries completely upended by the “robots,” the bigger impact will be on how we work. New types of jobs and processes will be created, and different skills will be required by the rise of AI.For knowledge workers, the automation of time-consuming, menial tasks will free up their time for more strategic and impactful work, while the improvements in data processing speeds and insights can lead improvements in every area of a business — from customer service to marketing to sales to hiring.To clarify what AI is and what it’s not, we’ve put together a guide on the technology and why marketers need to understand it. And to better explain the future impact on how we work and why business leaders need to understand AI, we’ve organized a live event on YouTube with Amir Salihefendic of Doist (the maker of Todoist), Bastiaan Janmaat of DataFox, and Adam Long of Automated Insights.They’re going to discuss how AI is changing productivity, hiring, content creation, marketing, and more. If you want to learn more about how AI will impact your day-to-day work and the future of business, join us on February 9, 2017 at 11 a.m. EST (8 a.m. PST, 4 p.m. GMT) for an hour-long discussion.Click here to save your seat for this live event. Originally published Feb 2, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more