WC final: Sri Lanka keep Vaas, Randiv on standby for Murali, Mathews

first_imgSri Lanka are flying in veteran left arm swing bowler Chaminda Vaas and young off spinner Suraj Randiv as cover for the injured Angelo Mathews and Muttiah Muralitharan in their squad for the World Cup final against India in Mumbai on April 2.”They picked up a couple of niggles in the last match (semifinal against New Zealand on March 29 in Colombo). So to be on the safe side a couple of guys are flying in tonight. We will be giving those two guys (Mathews and Muralitharan) as long as possible to prove their fitness,” said Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss at a media conference on Thursday. Asked what was wrong with Mathews, Bayliss said “quadriceps muscle (injury).” Muralitharan has been struggling with a knee injury that he sustained in Mumbai against New Zealand in their last league game on March 18 as well as a hamstring problem but Bayliss is confident the world’s highest Test wicket-taker will play his final game before calling it a day from international cricket. “I think his chances are good. He bowled his 10 overs in the semi-final and came through that OK. He is obviously a bit stiff and sore. He has the character and the will to win the World Cup and I will not be surprised if he plays,” the Australian-born coach said. Both Vaas and Randiv are not part of the 15-member Sri Lanka Cup squad and all replacements due to injuries in the squad have to be approved by the International Cricket Council. The 37-year-old Vaas played in his last and 322nd ODI in August, 2008 against India at Colombo. The wily left arm bowler has taken 400 wickets while the 26-year-old Randiv has played 21 ODIs and grabbed 22 wickets.  – With inputs from PTIadvertisementlast_img read more

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CBI drag players to court in match-fixing scandal, to prove charges against them to be difficult

first_imgEarly in cricket’s never-ending and completely tiresome match-fixing scandal, sports writers with a sense of history turned their gaze to the infamous 1919 baseball rigging scandal in the US. That year the Chicago White Sox had lost the World Series to the underrated Cincinnati Reds and eight of its players,Early in cricket’s never-ending and completely tiresome match-fixing scandal, sports writers with a sense of history turned their gaze to the infamous 1919 baseball rigging scandal in the US. That year the Chicago White Sox had lost the World Series to the underrated Cincinnati Reds and eight of its players were disgraced and banned for life.The star batsman of the team, Joe Jackson-nicknamed “Shoeless” in a literal indication of the near-poverty that led him to temptation-is still seen in baseball annals as the great American fallen angel, the sort of anti-hero Kapil Dev or Mohammed Azharuddin would be if convicted.MD AZHARUDDINThe IT raid found * Evidence of three flats in Mumbai, undisclosed property in Hyderabad, lavish personal effects. The legal upshot The IT team has to go through Azhar’s returns for a decade to decide if he possesses black money. Only if so can the CBI ask if it’s a slush fund.Tortuous.KAPIL DEVThe IT raid found Five properties in Delhi, probable irregularities in coal business, “gifted” cars. Rs 5 lakh jewels in only one locker. The legal upshot Most Indian businessmen have a tax problem. So to try and link his wealth to fixing will require a process similar to Azhar’s. Section 420 looks some distance away.AJAY JADEJAThe IT raid foundThree properties in Delhi, suspicions of more. Name appeared in abookie-business partner’s records. The legal upshot That his nameappears in Hiren Hathi’s diary is not enough.The hawala case precedentis there. Besides knowing shady characters is per se not a crime.NAVJOT SIDHUThe IT raid found Unexplained property. A VDIS declaration of Rs 81 lakh.Plus “gifts” from admirers amounting to Rs 65 lakh. The legal upshotPrima facie the IT-CBI team may be able to ask some sticky questions tothis man. Nevertheless, it has to be proven that his donors were bookies bribing him.NIKHIL CHOPRAThe IT raid found Some inexplicable property papers and foreign exchange. His biggest”crime” seems being Mukesh Gupta’s neighbour. The legal upshot Like anumber of Delhi cricketers, seems to have, unwittingly or not, met a lot of bookies. But there is no direct link of “gift” leading tounderperformance. Can’t be held responsible for neighbours.  That final point is crucial for the parallels between baseball’s year of darkness-it was the culmination of betting syndicates’ insidious influence on the game and actually led to a purge-and cricket’s moment of infamy are striking. The most marked similarity relates to the legality of the match-fixing case. When the baseball commissioner punished the guilty players, he did so “regardless of the verdict of juries” and on the day after they were acquitted by the court.advertisementThe reasons for their acquittal sound suspiciously familiar. Some players initially confessed and then retracted their confession. Important documents “disappeared” mid-trial. Nobody was sure precisely which law was infringed in fixing a baseball game. Defendants such as Jackson kept changing their minds, stating they had heard rumours of fixing, had refused offers, had accepted money without meaning to throw matches.Eight decades later Hansie Cronje read from an identical script. Eight decades later the CBI-despite the great drama of the Income-Tax (IT) Department’s “Operation Gentleman”-is on as sticky a legal wicket as the Ohio judicial system was in 1919. In sum, India’s premier investigators admit that nailing the cricketers on the charge of match fixing is well nigh impossible.That is why they are hoping that the trauma of an IT raid and interrogation and sheer public opprobrium will lead to some Indian cricketer cracking up and spilling the beans. After all, it was psychological pressure and that wily being called conscience that did in Cronje and his teammates.Yet, as a cynical Delhi lawyer who represents a senior cricket official snorts, “South Africa ke cricketer bewakoof hain. Hamare cricketer bewakoof nahin (The South African cricketers are fools. Our cricketers are not).” So expect nothing close to the truth-with oath, without oath, in spite of oath. The CBI’s last hope, then, is a slender one.That, however, is getting ahead of the story. For a start, top lawyers can’t even agree if a plain case of cheating under Section 420 can be registered against the cricketers for match-fixing and if so who the complainant should be.Mumbai lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani says, “Any paying spectator can complain that he was made to part with property (ticket fees) to see an unfair match.” While Section 420 is applicable and the matter could even go to court, Jethmalani, Azharuddin’s lawyer, says, “it will be virtually impossible to prove” and obtain a conviction.R.K. Anand, one of Delhi’s leading criminal lawyers, is simple in his verdict: “There is no case.” His logic is that under Section 420 “Whoever cheats and thereby dishonestly induces the person deceived to deliver any property to any person … shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to seven years”spectators cannot file a complaint because the cricketers have not “induced” them to pay to see the match. The only possible aggrieved party is the BCCI, which is committed to paying cricketers a set fee for an optimum performance. Even here, argues Anand, “building a case under section 420 is very far-fetched”.Ashok Arora, another lawyer in the capital, is far more optimistic. “A case under Section 420,” he says, “is absolutely on.” The spectator has paid to see a fair fixture and can be the complainant. “It is a cognisable offence and the police will be forced to investigate.” When it comes to securing a “guilty” verdict, however, Arora is less certain. While “tapes of conversations and the like are evidence on record and admissible if not doctored and so authenticated”, they need to be corroborated.advertisementArora should understand the importance of “corroborative evidence”, a phrase much used in the hawala case, in which he was a defending lawyer and which came back as a whipping memory when, after the IT raids, there was talk of “incriminating diaries”. Apparently, at the homes of certain bookies diaries and books were found with amounts marked against names of cricketers. Hiren Hathi of Ahmedabad, for instance, had-to quote a tax offi-ciala diary seized “with the names of Ajay Jadeja and Kapil Dev written against sums of money”.The chargesheet in the hawala case was filed in 1996 on exactly such a flimsy basis-entries in the diaries of the Jain brothers, showing sums of money against the names of politicians to whom they had allegedly been paid. The case was thrown out of court and the hawala accused walked out unblemished. Now legal circles are wondering if the cricket swindle will be hawala II.Anyhow, with hope in its heart and prayer on its lips, CBI is looking at three stages to a denouement-or mirage.Step I: First the agency has to establish that there are bookies who run a gambling grey market in India and accept bets on cricket. This is relatively simple. Some 100 bookies have been questioned by the CBI since the beginning of May-25-odd are still absconding.Most of the bookies questioned have admitted accepting cricket-related bets-the menu of betting options actually ranges from horse racing to speculation on who will read the evening news on television. Less than 20 bookies have admitted to “links” with cricketers. Eight Indian players figure prominently on this list, six are Delhi-based-including a former Indian captain who is a compulsive punter and even bets while teeing of f at the Delhi Golf Club-and the other two are from Mumbai and Hyderabad.Step II: This involves proving that cricketers were in touch with bookies on match days and kept tabs on odds. The CBI is tentatively optimistic here, particularly due to the mobile phone records of cricketers and big bookies. These indicate regular conversations between the Indian dressing room and the betting nodal rooms as it were.advertisementHowever, all this will lead to is a rough conclusion that Indian cricketers were perhaps punters and could be prosecuted under the Gambling Act (maximum punishment: Rs 500 fine). It will not establish rigging.Step III: The CBI could register a case against a bookie or a player under Section 420 after establishing a direct link between underperformance in a match and monetary consideration. This is where the danger gong is sounded. How do you make clear the channel by which bookies paid corrupt cricketers? Bank deposits? Hawala? Lifetime achievement awards from rich NRIs?Plaintiff’s PointDefendant’s CounterThe CBI’s possible case And the cricketers’ likely answerThey’re cheats: Register cases under Section 420, accusing fixers of cheating spectators of a fair game.Diary items: Names of cricketers have been found against sums of money in bookies’ diaries.Take a gamble: Charge cricketers under the Gambling Act by accusing them of links with bookies.Liar, liar: Invoke sections such as 191 and 193, charge cricketers with hiding or fabricating evidence.Tax evasion trick: The IT raids reveal huge assets, perhaps the result of ill-gotten, fixing-time gains.The King route: Set up a South Africa-type commission, appeal to cricketers to come clean.Who’ve we cheated?: Section 420 requires “inducement” of property (money) from victim. Sticky point.Remember hawala: The hawala case collapsed because diary entries alone were insufficient evidence.Damp squib: It still doesn’t prove match-fixing. Besides the Gambling Act entails only a Rs 500 fine.Truth or dare: Will only work if you prove they’ve lied under oath. Besides real fixers may still get away.Penalty corner: Charge the usual tax penalty and leave us alone. Every second Indian evades taxes anyway.Royal salute: Indian player-fixers are too shrewd to let a minor being like a conscience prick them.  In Delhi, one cricketer was gifted a house worth Rs 50 lakh by a noted bookie. The many expensive gifts cricketers receive from overseas “fans” are sometimes used as a conduit to “pay cricketers for services rendered”. The point is: can you link these with the tanking of a specific match? Nishit Dhruva, senior advocate, Bombay High Court, says, “For the prosecution to prove the linkage will be very difficult.”The CBI certainly isn’t confident. As an officer says, even the IT raids haven’t really helped because a particular cricketer’s wealth will have to be correlated with a chosen bookie’s allegation of payment at a given time. Since bribes are rarely paid by crossed cheques that are instantly deposited, this logic has a snowball’s chance in hell of working.It is for reasons such as these that the CBI privately admits it is likely to end its investigations in a couple of months without filing a chargesheet and submit a report explaining its limitations to the Government-and cricket will presumably go back into its complacent slumber. No wonder Adhik Shirodkar, a top Mumbai lawyer, says, “This is no way to go about fixing the fixers. Even if you begin a criminal trial, it will take 10 years.”Shirodkar recommends a BCCI-imposed ban on grounds of “reasonable suspicion”. Arora has a slightly different strategy. If you analyse the secretly recorded Manoj Prabhakar tapes, he says, the testimony offered by some cricketers and officials before the Justice Y.V. Chandrachud Commission and then before the CBI and, should trial begin, before the court, you are likely to find “huge contradictions”.Obviously some people are saying one thing in private and another in public, to protect their friends in a conspiracy of silence, even if they themselves are not guilty. Arora proposes that they be charged under Sections 191 and 193 for giving false evidence and “sent to jail to put the fear of God into others”. Like a crafty bowler, cricket’s cleansing agents may have to resort to a legal googly. Bowling a tidy length doesn’t seem to be getting them anywhere.-with V. Shankar Aiyar in Mumbailast_img read more

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The Art of the List: 5 Keys to Building Your Database (Video)

first_imgThis guest post is written by David Siteman Garland, the founder/host of Download the free kit Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media. SEO strategy Let’s assume you are taking advantage of all the great Justin See Inbound Lead Generation Kit for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. . You are making connections and bringing in visitors from Facebook and Twitter. Your There is often only a slight difference between someone entering their email address to subscribe and someone clicking away from your site, never to come back. In this video, you’ll learn 5 keys to boost your subscriber base and create a killer list to boost your business. Originally published Feb 26, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 is top notch. Your blog is booming (or sizzling…or waiting to sizzle). That is all fantastic, but how do you turn traffic into subscribers that you have permission to stay in contact with?center_img Photo Credit: hub of amazing content Ah, your email list: precious gold for inbound marketers, especially if you are looking to continually bring current clients (and hopefully future clients), customers and fans to your website. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack (If not, what are you waiting for?!). Your website is a The Rise To The Top inbound marketing tactics Topics: Keyword Optimization . The Rise To The Top is the #1 non-boring resource for building your business smarter, faster, cheaper, which features a daily Web show for entrepreneurs.last_img read more

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New Twitter Launches, Helps Multimedia Marketers

first_img Twitter interface is the integration Check out this video of the new Twitter.com: While many other subtle changes have been mentioned of images and videos in streams. Twitter is partnering with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube to display content from these services directly on Twitter.com. Twitter just became a little more like Facebookand other social networks with the incorporation of multimedia into user streams. However, Twitter is still a different type of network and users interact with each in different ways. Twitter is about discovering new people and information. By adding multimedia into the new design, Twitter.com reinforces the need for marketers to become content creators. These changes demonstrate that text isn’t the only method for telling a story online. Originally published Sep 15, 2010 11:10:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Marketing Takeaway about the new Twitter.com, from watching the video Twitter produced, it is clear that the service is growing up and that these changes set the foundation for future plans to generate revenue and increase engagement for users and marketers.center_img What do you think of the new look of Twitter.com? As a marketer using Twitter and other social media sites to interact with customers, it will be important to create interesting multimedia content and distribute it via services, like those the Twitter media partners listed above, to ensure that content is easily consumed on Twitter and other social networks. Twitter.com Topics: users will soon be using a new interface. Yesterday, the company announced that a new design for Twitter.com will roll out to users over the next couple of weeks. As you can see from the screenshots and video below, besides design changes, the major improvement to the new Twitter Updates 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

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The 9 Worst Ways to Use Twitter for Business

first_img and Twitter badge . If you think that monitoring your brand on Twitter is too time consuming, you’ll be glad to hear that monitoring all of your business’s social chatter takes only as a customer service channel. But there are several common mistakes that companies make on Twitter. by having a unique Twitter background. People on Twitter want to follow people who might actually interact with them. So if you’re only putting content out there, even if it’s does. These personal touches will attract more followers than hiding behind a corporate logo. If you tweet only once per week, it will be hard to get noticed in the Twitter streams of people who follow thousands of even hundreds of users. But if you follow some of the advice above, by taking a few minutes each day to retweet interesting tweets and share Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 1. Be Overly Self-Promotional Your company Twitter page shouldn’t just be a corporate Twitter page; this exudes a stuffy tone that nobody wants to follow. Some of the top brands on Twitter actually put a face to the person behind the tweets, such as retweeted more often 3. Follow Anyone and Everyone Keeping your Twitter profile hidden from your website visitors, the people most likely to actually follow you, is never a good idea. Add a or Twitter directories such as Would you want to have lunch with someone who only talked about themselves, and didn’t even ask you how your day was going? Of course not. So why should you act that way on your Twitter profile? Instead of having a Twitter profile full of self-promotional news or links to your own website, share other interesting, educational, or even funny industry news from websites other than your own. You’ll build a following more quickly, and you’ll likely be Twitter Search 6. Don’t Share Your Twitter Profile on Your Website Ever see a Twitter profile of someone with 10 followers who’s following 10,000 people and think “oh, they must be interesting!” Me neither. If you follow a ton of just anyone, not only will your Twitter stream be filled with irrelevant content you don’t care about, but you’ll look spammy to people who see your skewed follow numbers. Be picky about who you follow, especially in the beginning. You can use than accounts without pictures? And that having a Twitter bio gets you Twellow strategies to , you shouldn’t have a problem here. . You can even just link to the profiles of people behind the tweets in the bio section, which is what , you might turn away people who want to know you’ll reply. Twitter isn’t only about sharing one-sided content. It’s about sharing other Twitter people’s content and engaging in conversations about that content. Make sure to retweet and reply to at least a few people each day so that you’re making Twitter a two-way conversation. Twitter WeFollow 8. Don’t Customize Your Twitter Profile to garner valuable feedback, keep tabs on the competition, engage your customers in conversation, or even choose to use Ford Twitter and retweet their articles . Use free tools like Diana Urban 5. Don’t Interact With Other Twitter Users Not customizing your Twitter profile is like blending into an anonymous crowd. Did you know that Twitter accounts with a profile picture have Twitter is a fantastic network for businesses. You can Twitter for business Here are 9 relevant content , as well as how to remedy them. to your website, and even add a feed of your tweets to your blog. Make it easy for your visitors to find out how to connect with you in social media. 8 times as many followers to find people interested in your industry and what you’re talking about.  2. Only Include Links to Your Own Blog or Twitter Search monitor your brand Comcast @dianaurban or brand your business on Twitter 10 times more followers What would be your #10? Let me know in the comments below! ten minutes a day ? If not, there’s your reason for doing so. Also, TweetDeck Topics: 7. Don’t Monitor Your Own Brand Chatter is a User Experience Manager at HubSpot. You can follow her on Twitter 4. Don’t Establish a Personality engaging content avoid . And it’s not unprofessional to ask your followers how their day is going. 9. Only Tweet Once Per Week to monitor conversations taking place about your company on Twitter in real-time. After you complete a Twitter search, you can even click “Feed for this query” and add it to your RSS reader for monitoring. Twitter Marketing Originally published Sep 29, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Business blogging is a great marketing tactic, and so is sharing your blog posts on Twitter. However, these shouldn’t be the only blog posts you share. It only takes 10 minutes a day to contribute valuable content on Twitter. Check your RSS reader daily and share interesting articles you see there. Also, find other relevant bloggers in your industry on Zappos . Give to get; these bloggers may reciprocate and share your content as well.last_img read more

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How to Add Email Lists in Facebook for Page Promotion

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 Originally published Dec 3, 2010 1:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Facebook Reach If your business is using Facebook as a part of its inbound marketing strategy, then it is likely that a goal of your marketing team is to expand your reach by attracting more people to like your Facebook page . For a long time marketers have faced a challenge in inviting new users through Facebook. While they have been encouraging people to visit their Facebook Fan Pages , it hasn’t been easy to do the reverse–get email addresses into Facebook and send invitations through Facebook’s messaging system.This process has now changed. This week, Facebook has enabled business page administrators to import email addresses into Facebook to invite people to like their page. Check out the rest of this post for a walkthrough of these process! Step 1: Go to your Facebook Business Page and click “Edit Page” Step 2: Click on “Marketing” and then select “Tell your Fans.” Step 3: Upload your email list and invite fans.Have you used this feature to tell more people about your Facebook page? Topics:last_img read more

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The Key to More Leads? Create More Targeted Conversion Opportunities! [Data]

first_img Originally published Jun 7, 2011 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017 HubSpot’s latest research, ” Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses ,” reveals that the more landing pages a business has on its website, the more leads it generates. Specifically, our research found that businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages generated 7 times more leads than businesses with only 1 to 5 landing pages. And the numbers get even more impressive: businesses with over 40 landing pages generated a whopping 12 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages.   So how do you go about creating an arsenal of landing pages? By creating an arsenal of offers! First, think about all the different types of offers you can create: Ebooks/whitepapersIndustry research reportsLive/archived webinarsRecorded videosDownloadable kitsFree trialsProduct DemosPersonal Consultations Offers Relative to the Sales Cycle The beauty of providing a variety of different offers on your website is that you’ll tremendously increase your chances of generating leads, and here’s why…First of all, not everyone who visits your website is at the same point in your sales funnel. A first time site visitor, for example, might not be ready to jump into a full blown product trial or demo but might be quite content to download an instructional ebook. Similarly, a frequent visitor might be further along in the sales cycle and be totally ready for that personal consultation you’re offering but not very interested in downloading yet another ebook or webinar. Consider this when creating offers and offer a good balance of both top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel offers. Similarly, consider also offering a healthy balance of content offers (like ebooks, webinars, kits) compared to offers that involve human interaction such as demos or consultations. Offers Relative to Customer Personas Sure, you could create a separate landing page with a form for each of these types of offers to increase your chances of converting site visitors into leads, but that’s only the beginning. What about getting even more targeted?Face it: your target customer isn’t exactly very one-size-fits-all. While you may have a pretty good sense of the types of customers your products and services attract, chances are there is still some variation among them. This is where marketing personas are helpful. To use HubSpot as an example, we have identified two main types of customers (marketing personas) that are a good fit for our marketing software : Owner Ollie (small business owners) and Marketing Mary (marketing managers in companies with dedicated marketing departments). Understandably, a Marketing Mary might not be particularly interested in the same topics an Owner Ollie is interested in, and vice versa.Now, think about all the different types of offers we just talked about. Can you create an ebook that targets one of your specific marketing personas? Or maybe an opportunity for a different marketing persona to request a specific type of demo relative to their interests? What about one of each? Or one of each for each type of offer? Holy cow — the possibilities are endless! The Benefit of Personalized Offers The good news is that, by offering a variety of different types of offers that appeal to different points in the sales process or different customer personas, you’ll maximize your lead generation efforts with the ability to capture even more site visitors as leads. And as an added bonus, with all the dedicated landing pages you’ll be creating to house your multitude of offers, you’ll also be giving Google and other search engines more website pages to index, giving your website a boost of SEO juice.The personalization of marketing is a hot topic lately, and more and more marketers are beginning to understand the value of more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns . So, are you getting personal enough in your business’ marketing? How else can you vary your offers? Have you noticed a causal relationship between the variety and wealth of offers you create and the number of leads you generate? Photo Credit: cliff1066 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: Lead Generationlast_img read more

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6 Compelling Social Media Stats Marketers Should Know [Data]

first_img 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 Social Media Analytics Originally published Sep 14, 2011 5:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 This week, the media research firm Nielsen released its Q3 report on the state of social media. Unsurprisingly, social network usage is up, and the findings showed that nearly 80% of US internet users spend time on blogs and sites like Facebook and Twitter.Here were 6 of the most interesting facts from the report and what each means for marketers as they look ahead to Q4.1. 37% of consumers access their social media networks through their phone. (Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, this means that any landing pages, blog posts, or ebooks you link to on Facebook or Twitter accounts should be optimized for mobile devices. It could mean the difference between a new lead and a lost opportunity.2. During May 2011, over 31 million people in the U.S. watched video content on social networks and blogs.(Tweet This Stat!)Providing a rich media experience for your company can increase engagement on your website. Video content is a great way to bolster your inbound marketing efforts.3. Tumblr nearly tripled its unique US audience over the last year.(Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, it’s important to keep your eyes open to new online tools and forms of media and determine if you can use them to deliver your message. In May alone, Tumblr generated over 21,000 messages and links a day to the site. The amount of traffic you could leverage from a new medium like Tumblr should never be overlooked.4. 56% of mobile users most value the GPS capabilities of their smartphone.(Tweet This Stat!)In today’s world, geo-marketing is a powerful opportunity that both small and medium-sized businesses can leverage. Leveraging location-based applications and social media platforms can be a great way to engage with and capture a mobile audience of prospects.5. 53% of active social networkers follow a brand.(Tweet This Stat!)As a marketer, it’s important to engage with your users in social media, and make sure you’re providing them with valuable content. These active social networkers don’t just follow brands. According to the report, they’re also 60% more likely to write reviews about brands’ products or services as well.6. In May, internet users spent more time on Facebook than Yahoo, Google, AOL, and MSN combined.(Tweet This Stat!)With 53.5 billion minutes spent on Facebook, the site continues to prove the value of being “Liked.” While Google and other search engine rankings are extremely crucial for a company to get found, Facebook and other social media sites are also as important for companies to engage with their customers as well as prospects who can potentially be converted into sales.have you come across any other interesting facts from the report you think marketers should be aware of? Let us know!last_img read more

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10 Guaranteed Ways to Get More Google+ Page Followers

first_imgAs the newest marketing weapon in your social media arsenal, Google+ Pages provide businesses with yet another powerful opportunity to connect with fans, prospects, and customers, as well as promote content to generate new leads. But let’s face it: starting a brand new social presence from scratch is kind of a pain. And without an ample following, all the time and effort you put into your presence is ultimately a waste.To help you start getting the most out of your new Google+ business presence, here are 10 guaranteed ways to attract new Google+ Page followers.10 Tips for Attracting New Google+ Page Followers1. Optimize and Populate Your Page With Content First: It’s never a good idea to start promoting something before it’s truly “ready,” whether it’s a new blog, a new campaign, or a new social presence. Spend some time optimizing your Google+ page and building it up with content and posts before you start promoting your presence. This way, when new visitors land on your page, they’ll have a rich, positive experience that engages them. The best way to convince new page visitors not to add you to their Circles is to welcome them with a blank slate. Where’s the value? You need to convince them that your page offers such remarkable value that they’d be missing out by not following you.2. Promote Your Presence in Other Social Networks: Once your page is ready for prime time, use the other weapons in your social media arsenal to promote your new Google+ presence. Leverage the reach you’ve already built up on these other channels to encourage fans and followers to check out your new Google+ Page and follow you there. Chances are, if people are following you on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, they already find value in the content you’re sharing and the discussions you’re generating. This makes them great potential Google+ Page followers, too!3. Write a Blog Post About Your New Google+ Page: Speaking of leveraging your current reach in other channels, why not use your blog to promote your presence, too? Write a blog post about your new Google+ Page, what you’ll be sharing there, and why your blog readers should want to follow you.4. Make Yourself Eligible for Direct Connect: Direct Connect is one of Google+ Pages’ unique features. It allows businesses to become eligible for various search capabilities, such as being easily findable using the +[Page Name] search operator in Google.com search, as well as the ability to get Google+ Page posts pulled into organic search results. These Google+ search results are also accompanied by an option for the searcher to add your page to their Circles directly from the search results, increasing your chances of generating new page followers. While Google is currently only granting certain businesses with Direct Connect status, make yourself eligible for it by installing the Direct Connect code on your website so you’re prepared for these new features when Google releases them to all. Installing the code verifies that your Google+ page is the “official” page for your business.5. Add the G+ Follow Button to Your Website/Blog: During the Direct Connect setup process, Google+ also offers you the option to generate Google+ follow buttons (AKA badges) for your page. Take advantage of them, and install the buttons on your website and blog to help you convert website visitors into new Google+ Page followers. You can create a button for your page here.6. Encourage Current Followers to Share Your G+ Page/Posts: Remember the research HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella conducted about adding “please retweet” to your tweets? Remember how it works? Adopt this methodology for your Google+ Page and posts as well, and ask your current followers to share your page and your content with their Circles if they think it’s valuable. This will increase the visibility of your page to new Google+ users who may be interested in your content and therefore potential followers of your page, thus expanding your reach!7. Use Topic Circles to Target Content: We recently wrote about businesses that are doing creative things with their Google+ Pages. One awesome example highlighted Time magazine’s page, which is testing out the concept of ‘topic Circles’ to share more targeted content with its followers. To experiment with this yourself, post a message that you’re testing it out and ask followers to comment if they’re interested in being a part of a particular topic Circle. Then create a Circle around this topic, add the users who expressed interest (Note: You’ll only be able to add users to a Circle if they’ve already added your page to their Circles), and start sharing targeted content around that topic just to that Circle. The outcome will be that you’ll create a more personalized experience on your page that provides even more value to your followers. And a page that’s valuable will organically attract new followers!8. Share Your Awesome Content: Another way to create a truly valuable Google+ Page that naturally attracts followers is to share remarkable content — blog articles, links to landing pages for ebooks, webinars, etc. Pay attention to what types of content your followers are responding to, and adapt your strategy to include more of that content. Engage your followers in discussions by asking questions and requesting feedback.9. Be Visual!10. Leverage Hangouts: One thing we’ve learned about Google+ is that it likes to dangle awesome new features in front of us but doesn’t let many of us leverage them … yet. One of these cool features is ‘Hangouts on Air.’ Think of it as livestreaming video via Google+ (10 people can participate in the video chat, and an unlimited number of people can view the video chat). Hangouts on Air is only available for use by certain business pages, but currently, pages can leverage Hangouts without this livestreaming component, allowing 10 people to participate in a group video chat. There are a lot of creative ways to use that in itself. Consider offering an opportunity to participate in an exclusive video chat with your business’ CEO about an important industry topic (first come, first serve). Or perhaps use Hangouts to conduct focus groups with some of your fans or customers. And cross your fingers for the day when Google+ enables Hangouts on Air to all!What other tactics can you use to generate more Google+ business page followers? Oh, and … have you followed HubSpot’s Google+ Page yet? ;o) Topics: Originally published Nov 16, 2011 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media 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

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A Look Back at 20+ Years of Website Design

first_img Website Design Examples Web design has come a long way since 1991 when the first ever website was published.Exclusively text-based, this first website marked the beginning of what would become a digital revolution. And while recollections of “under construction” GIFs and blinding background colors make me thankful for just how far web design has come, there are some historical web design choices that actually demand a nod of respect.Want to see what an old website looked like at any period since its launch? Enter a company domain name you want to see old versions of into the Wayback Machine. Then, select a date to see a cached image of an old web page from that time period.I took notes on my favorites, below. Here’s a fascinating look at old websites over the last 20 years, and how web design has evolved (for better and for worse).Early 1990s: AntiquityPrior to the late 90s, there was no such thing as “high-speed” when it came to internet connections. It was dial-up modems, or it was nothing. Therefore, websites from this period needed to be built for less-than-stellar connection speeds. They were largely comprised of text, and what we now take for granted as “design layout” did not exist.While later versions of HTML allowed for more complex design capabilities, they were still extremely basic, consisting mainly of tags for headers, paragraphs, and links. Visual considerations such as typography, imagery, and navigation were still things of the not-too distant future.21st Century Takeaways:While the function of these early sites was purely informational, there are some design elements from these days of antiquity that still apply today. These old web pages were very lightweight, optimized for that slow internet connection we all remember. These design considerations took user experience into account — something websites today don’t always remember, even with our faster connection speeds.Yes, today’s internet can handle media-rich websites … but it still has some limits. Large media files and heavy graphic design can contribute to high bounce rates when load speeds aren’t as fast as we expect. Keep your user in mind when considering complicated design, and remember to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid).Mid-1990s: The Middle AgesThe middle ages of web design were plagued by on-site page builders and spacer GIFs (better than an actual plague though, right?). By the mid-90s, web design had evolved both in terms of structure and appearance. Designers began to use table-based layouts to organize their content, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity. Sites were still quite text heavy, but this text could now be divided into columns, rows, and other navigational elements.Graphical design elements also quickly grew in popularity. Page hit counters, animated text, and dancing GIFs are just a few of the graphical elements that mark this period in web design.21st Century Takeaways:Today, there are plenty of reasons why table-based design is not the best choice for your website — the extensive markup, slow page-load times, and visual inconsistency are just a few of the pitfalls of this method. Regardless, this development was an important one in the evolution of web design. It was the beginning of a concerted move toward page structure. Different elements could now be positioned in different sections of a web page, so designers had to consider the best way to present their information to the user.Today, page structure remains important and becomes critical when thinking about such design elements as navigation, content, calls-to-action, and trust signals. The positioning of these elements will determine how a user experiences and interacts with your site. While these considerations might not have been at the forefront during the middle ages of web design, they are certainly important today.(P.S. If you want to learn more about usability, one of our partners, Callia Media, has an excellent ebook on the subject; specifically, how to align it with inbound marketing.)Late 1990s: The RenaissanceRenaissance. Rebirth. Web design has had its fair share of reimaginings, but one of the first occurred with the introduction of Flash. Developed in 1996, but made popular a couple of years later, Flash opened up a world of design possibilities that weren’t possible with basic HTML. It was the marriage of virtual graphics and interaction.While many of the same design elements of the previous period were still present, these were enhanced (and I use the term loosely) with new features such as color-changing navigations, tiled background images, neon colors, 3D buttons, and the ever-popular splash pages. It marked the beginning of visitor-focused design. Structure and navigation became important considerations and design began to zero in on appearance and usability.21st Century Takeaways:Seeing as Flash has been deemed one of the biggest SEO sins of all time, we’ll take this era as an example of what not to do. While the increased use of multimedia content was intended to attract more visitors, it likely had the opposite effect. Some of the biggest misuses of Flash today come from incorrect scripting. Making this mistake across an entire site is extremely detrimental to SEO, so you might be better off just avoiding it. If you still feel compelled to utilize Flash, however, do so correctly. Even better, opt for alternative applications such as JavaScript or HTML5 to get similar effects.Y2K: The EnlightenmentThe early 2000s brought with it an increase of support for CSS, which allowed for the separation of content and design. This gave greater creative freedom to both web designers and content developers — content could now be developed exclusively from design, and vice versa. This made websites easier to maintain (less code and complexity), more flexible (div tags are independent of one another), and quicker to load.Better understandings of color also saw the increase of whitespace and the decrease of garish colors, like neons. Links began to be attached to icons rather than just text, resolution and pixilation became more important concerns, and considerations over the placement of content also grew. Overall, it was a period when usability started to become more important than other design elements.21st Century Takeaways:People typically scan websites, looking only for the information they need — so any site that makes this job easier as a user gets a giant check-mark. A savvy web designer is aware of the fact that most users don’t read everything on a website, and understand how readers take in information.Therefore, intuitively placed information, visually accentuated links, and a straightforward navigation are just a few best practices today’s websites should adhere to. Always design with usability in mind!Mid-2000s: The Industrial RevolutionThe Industrial Revolution of web design begins with the birth of Web 2.0; it’s at this time things really begin to move toward the modern web. The growth of multimedia applications, the implementation of interactive content, and the rise of the social web are a few definitive features of this period.Moreover, these features largely dictated the way web design was … well, done. Aesthetic changes included better color distribution, increased use of icons, and greater attention to typography.More importantly, design became about content and, apart from that pesky Flash, content became about SEO. With the user now firmly at the center of design, selling products (at least explicitly) became the secondary function of websites.21st Century Takeaways:As mentioned above, the evolution of Web 2.0 saw the growth of SEO as a consideration. While these techniques have obviously been adapted over the years, thinking about your website in terms of SEO is still central to people’s minds today.SEO demands content, and content largely became the focus of web design during this era. Keyword optimization, inbound and outbound linking, authoring, tagging, and syndication technology such as RSS became natural design elements. While link spamming and keyword jamming soon exploited these techniques, these black hat methods are no longer effective and (I hope) have largely fizzled out.Web Design TodayToday, over two decades after the publication of the first website, web design has firmly established itself as an irreplaceable component of every good marketing strategy.In terms of modern aesthetics, we have seen the proliferation of minimalism, flat graphics (so long, 3D buttons!), blended typography, and large background images. In addition, UX has taken center stage, giving way to such design features as infinite scrolling and single-page design.The explosion of the mobile web has been another important consideration for site development. This recent digital revolution has given way to the popularization of responsive design and has called for a re-evaluation of the way websites are structured. This is one area of web design that still has a ways to go in its development, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves over the coming years.Regardless, there is one factor that has informed every single one of these developments — content. Every design element here has been adapted in such a way to bring the most relevant content to the user in the most efficient and effective way. Notions of accessibility, adaptability, and usability truly define this era of web design.Looking at how web design has progressed thus far, it’s exciting to think about where it will be in the next 20 years.Myia Kelly is a marketing assistant at Powered by Search, a Toronto SEO and inbound marketing agency. She specializes in content and social media marketing. 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 Jul 10, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated March 02 2018 Topics:last_img read more

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Content Mapping 101: The Template You Need to Personalize Your Marketing

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 “When mapping out content for your site’s visitors, it’s important to remember that when it comes to purchasing decisions (BOFU conversions, especially for B2B and high-priced items), there are some personas out there who would rather speak to someone on their terms rather than fill out a form for a consultation. Understanding how they are most comfortable when it comes to making decisions can help you understand what points of conversion will be the most relevant and successful for that persona.Optimizing your site pages (landing and thank you pages, as well), TOFU & MOFU offers, and workflows with direct contact information (phone #, email, etc.) is a great way to ensure that visitors, prospects and leads who may shy away from form submissions still have readily available, alternate means of converting.” – Marc Herschberger (Inbound Coordinator, Revenue River Marketing)”Mapping out buyer personas and lifecycle stages is extremely important when creating content. In terms of buyer personas, it’s easy to see that a Marketing Director will have different questions, information needs, and interests compared to a CEO. Both of these personas may be searching for your product or service, but they’ll be looking for different topics. By creating content that appeals to each audience, you can be more effective in attracting that specific audience.By the same token, each persona of yours may be in a different stage of the buying process, so it’s important to think through and create content that appeals to someone looking for basic, high-level information such as an ebook, as well as specific information like a pricing guide or case study.One tip I’d suggest for anyone with pretty different personas would be to dedicate an entire section of your site to each audience. That way, when you pull in your audience, all the content is directed toward them. We actually took this concept and went a step further by creating unique brands for each one of our vertical markets. Each brand has its own section of the website, its own blog content, and its own premium content (downloadable offers). It’s really helped us attract and convert visitors at a higher rate because all the content is more relevant to that persona.”- Spencer Powell (Inbound Marketing Director, Inbound Educators)”By taking the buyer and buying stage into account when creating content, you can be sure that you’re designing content to help move them through the buying process. In addition to mapping content to the buyer profile and buying stage, we regularly pull topics from the sales process. Then we offer the content in later sales calls. This helps us not only evaluate the relevancy of the content but also the interest of the buyer. We encourage clients to do the same.”- Diona Kidd (Cofounder, Knowmad)  Buyer Personas What is a Content Map?A content map is a plan to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Content mapping takes into account the characteristics of the person who will be consuming the content and their lifecycle stage.Marketers hear it all the time: The content you create needs to be personalized. It needs to be aligned with the wants and needs of your customers (and prospective customers). It needs to resonate with them. It needs to feel like it was created just for them.Plan your content for every persona and stage of the buying cycle. [Free Content Mapping Template]On its surface, this sounds like great advice. Personalization, giving people content that they’re actually interested in … it makes perfect sense. But coming up with the actual topics that make for a highly targeted content strategy isn’t that easy. To help you brainstorm and map out content ideas for targeting specific segments of your audience, we’ve created a new free template resource: Content Mapping Template: Using Buyer Personas & Lifecycle Stages to Create Targeted Content.I’ll talk more about how you can use this template in a bit. But first, let’s take a look at how this whole “content mapping” business works. And when think you’ve got this concept down, you’ll want to check out HubSpot Academy’s free content marketing training resource page to learn how to map a content strategy for your business.What Is Content Mapping?When it comes to content, one size rarely fits all. To ensure that your company’s content is effective at generating and nurturing leads, you need to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time. Content mapping is the process of doing just that. With content mapping, the goal is to target content according to:The characteristics of the person who will be consuming it (that’s where buyer personas come in).How close that person is to making a purchase ( i.e. their lifecycle stage).Buyer PersonasBuyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.). Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or dozens. If you’re just getting started with personas, don’t go crazy! You can always develop more personas later if needed.Lifecycle StagesThe buyer persona you target with your content is just one half of the content mapping equation. In addition to knowing who someone is, you need to know where they are in the buying cycle ( i.e. how close they are to making a purchase). This location in the buying cycle is known as a lifecycle stage.For the purposes of our Content Mapping Template, we’re divvying up the buying cycle into three lifecycle stages: Awareness, Consideration, & Decision.Awareness: In the awareness stage, a person has realized and expressed symptoms of a potential problem or opportunity.Consideration: In the consideration stage, a person has clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.Decision: In the decision stage, a person has defined their solution strategy, method, or approach.By combining buyer personas with lifecycle stages, you can really hone in on specific segments of your audience and tailor content to resonate with each of those segments. How to Use a Content Mapping TemplateFor our Content Mapping Template, we created a simple grid system, putting buyer persona (and a key problem or opportunity that persona is struggling with) along the y-axis and lifecycle stage along the x-axis. As you move from left to right, you’re effectively moving down the funnel. Your awareness stage content should target the top of the funnel (TOFU). People in this segment are just becoming aware that they have a problem. At this stage, don’t try to beat them over the head with product-focused content. Instead, think of how your content can help people become more informed about the problem in general, and you’ll (hopefully) find that they continue moving down your funnel as they search for solutions.Your consideration stage content, in comparison, can more explicitly mention how your product or service could potentially solve a problem. Keep in mind, however, that at this point in the buying cycle, people are still evaluating their options. So while case studies and demo videos are fine, save your more sales-focused content (estimates, free trials, etc.) for the next stage.At the decision stage of the game, you can really lean into marketing your products or services. If someone has reached this stage, they’ve already identified a problem and a solution, and are now getting ready to pull the proverbial trigger.Not quite convinced that content mapping is worth it? Let’s hear from some marketers who are actually doing this stuff …Content Mapping Tips From the Pros”The best part about inbound is that you can give your prospects the information they are asking for before they even ask for it. Buyer personas and lifecycle stages allow you to be one step ahead of the game by mapping out what your prospect’s next steps are and delivering them the content from numerous different avenues.We create buyer personas as part of our onboarding process and everything we do from content offer to daily tweets is centered around that document. We also always ask ourselves, ‘Would business owner Bob open this email, click this tweet, download this offer, etc.?'”- Laura Hogan (Marketing Manager, OverGo Studio) center_img Originally published May 13, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated April 06 2018 Topics:last_img read more

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5 Little Lead Generation Experiments You Can Run Right Now

first_img“We need more leads.” Pretty much every B2B marketer has heard this phrase from their sales team at some point in their career. And after hearing it, most marketers are left in a sticky situation: They suddenly have to do more with the same budget and the same number of hours in a week. The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to generate leads without breaking the bank or working every single weekend.Try out our free marketing tool that helps you test out various types of popup CTAs and gives you information about your site visitors. In the SlideShare presentation and post below, we’ll go over five quick and easy methods that can boost your lead flow with very little time investment. And if you want even more tried and tested tactics for lead gen, sign up to our free four-week email course Double Your Lead Flow in 30 Days.1) Use subscribe forms at the end of your blog posts.Test: To increase conversions, we tried embedding a subscribe form at the end of each blog post rather than a CTA button.Results: Conversions increased by 20%.How to do it:Don’t use a CTA button like this one:Instead, try embedding a one-field form like this one using a tool Lead Flows by HubSpot (which is free). 2) A/B test your content titles.Test: We changed the title of an ebook from “The Productivity Handbook for Busy Marketers” to “7 Apps That Will Change the Way You Do Marketing.” Result: We increased leads by 776%.How to do it: Every time you create a new piece of content, come up with 10 of the best titles you can think of.Once you have your 10 titles, get into a room with several of your peers and whittle them down to the two strongest.A/B test both titles on a smaller sample of people and then go with the winning title for your larger promotion. 3) Use Facebook dark posts.Test: Jon Loomer tested Facebook dark posts (News Feed-style ads that don’t actually get published to your Page’s News Feed) with a small budget to calculate potential ROI.Result: He saw a 35x ROI from investing the better part of his $279.96 Facebook ad investment in dark posts.How to do it: Facebook Dark Posts are a great way to get really targeted with your Facebook ads. Our partner, Duct Tape Marketing, has a really great blog here to help you get set up with your first one. You can also read Jon Loomer’s success story here. 4) Use progressive profiling on landing page forms.Test: ImageScape reduced the number of form fields to see if a client’s conversion rate would increase.Result: They improved a client’s conversion rate by 120% by reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4.How to do it: To reduce the number of form fields on landing page while still collecting the information you need to rotate leads to Sales, you can use progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is a feature that detects whether the user has already filled out another form on your site and lets you replace previously captured fields with a new set of fields.The specific setup process will depend on the marketing software you have in place, but it will typically involve specifying which questions you want to show to your leads and in what order they should be shown. Read more on progressive profiling here.5) Test the color of your CTA buttons.Test: We tested a green CTA button against a red one to see what effect it would have on conversions. Result: The red button outperformed the green by 21%.How to do it: Use your marketing software to run the same A/B test. Test a strong, contrasting color against one that fits in the theme of your landing page — usually, the former will perform much better.  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 Feb 4, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 27 2018 Lead Generation Topics:last_img read more

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Don’t Use a CRM? Here Are 4 Reasons Why It Might Be The Solution You Need

first_img Using a CRM 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 This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.In the early days of starting a business, you’ll encounter a dizzying array of acronyms — ROI, ARPU, CAC, LTV, MoM, NPV, just to name a few. One acronym is particularly important: CRM.Simply put, CRM — or customer relationship management — refers to software that tracks interactions with prospects and customers.All CRMs store prospects’ contact information — their name, email, and phone number, as well as any other identifying information a company chooses to track. CRMs can also group multiple contacts at a company under one account, which is helpful for sellers.Beyond contact info, CRMs log reps’ touchpoints with their prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails, and in-person meetings. Some CRMs offer the ability to track deal stages and reasons for closed-lost and closed-won deals.As anyone who’s ever struggled with contact management knows, a CRM system is an invaluable tool for businesses that want to grow and scale (read: virtually every business). But on the other hand, it’s yet another solution that business owners must implement and train users on. Is it really worth it?Absolutely. Here are the top four reasons why your business — regardless of size, maturity, or industry — needs a CRM.4 Crucial Benefits of Using a CRM System1) It’s a centralized place for storing data.In sales, speed and ease are critical. Spending precious time searching through their inbox or call history to get a prospect’s number or recall when they last spoke is a huge waste of a salesperson’s time. It’s also unreliable — if they forget a touchpoint, they risk sending the same email multiple times and annoying a prospect.A CRM provides a full, accurate record of a rep’s entire interaction history with a prospect that’s accessible with one click. Reps will never have to manually reconstruct a timeline of touchpoints again.Reps can also use a CRM to view their sales pipeline and opportunity queue, which ensures they always know where they stand relative to quota. In addition, CRMs allow salespeople to filter opportunities by the ones they own so they only have to refer to one page to get a high-level summary of all their deals in progress. Some even provide a snapshot of a rep’s sales pipeline by sorting opportunities by deal stage, making forecasting painless.2) It improves communication across an organization.In addition to making life easier for individual reps, CRM systems also improve communication at the organizational level. What if a rep is working a lead that their colleague spoke to two years ago? What if they’re taking over someone’s territory and have only been given an indecipherable Excel spreadsheet of prospects?With a CRM, reps can immediately assess what’s already been done with a given prospect and what’s next. Your reps don’t need to reach out to their colleagues to get interaction history, because the information they need is already in the system.3) CRMs make managers’ lives easier.Another organization-wide boon: CRMs standardize how reps track their activities and prospect interactions, which streamlines reporting.Without a CRM, different salespeople can track activities in different ways, which makes it difficult for managers and leaders to piece data together to form a coherent picture. CRMs make data entry uniform, meaning managers can easily combine and analyze data to understand the overall health of the sales organization.Keeping activity recording consistent also reduces friction when passing a lead from one rep to another, switching territories, or reassigning a departed colleague’s opportunity queue. Not only will all relevant information be accounted for, it will also have been recorded in a manner that makes sense across the sales force.4) It’s a sustainable, scalable tool for growth.You might be asking yourself, “Can’t I just do this all in an Excel spreadsheet and call it a day?”With one or two or five customers, manually tracking every interaction is doable. But think ahead to one, two, or even five years from now. Presumably, you want to triple or quadruple revenue in the years ahead, and the time your salespeople will have to spend recording prospect and customer information is eventually going to take over their days.Furthermore, what if you want to analyze your salespeople’s activities to discover what outreach strategies or series of touchpoints work the best (or, frankly, anything else about your sales force’s effectiveness)? Pulling inconsistently tracked data from multiple sources can drag out or compromise your ability to get an accurate picture.Ultimately, there’s a very simple question you should ask yourself if you’re considering a CRM: Do you want to grow your business? Your ability to do so is dependent on contacting your prospects at the right intervals and providing them relevant information at the right time, and you simply can’t do this effectively without a CRM.Ready to flip the switch? Check out HubSpot’s free CRM. Originally published Sep 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017last_img read more

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How to Find the Right Co-Marketing Partner

first_imgCo-marketing is a fantastic way to gain new contacts without having to wait for organic search to kick in … but it’s not always an easy job.The challenging part of co-marketing all boils down to one thing: your partner. Can you find partners who launch campaigns with the same strategy and thoughtfulness you do? Oftentimes, it’s a struggle.If you’re having trouble finding and evaluating co-marketing partners, keep on reading. In this post, I’ll outline 10 tips for making sure you’re entering into a healthy and prosperous co-marketing partnership.Let’s get to it.Click here to download a detailed guide and free templates for getting started with co-marketing.10 Tips to Finding the Right Co-Marketing Partner1) Start with a list of brands you admire.  First, create a running list of brands and influencers in your industry that you admire from a marketing standpoint.If you’re an online wine distributor, for example, a great potential partner to include on this list would be a popular wine accessory company. Chances are, your audience would want cool wine accessories and gifts for their family and friends, and the wine accessory company would want an audience of wine lovers to buy more accessories. It’s a win-win!A few questions to ask yourself when you’re putting this list together:Are there potential partners in your space who have enjoyable-to-read blogs that would provide value to your audience?Do you follow any brands on social media that make lovable content that also speaks to your buyer persona’s needs?What apps, tools, or products make your customers’ lives easier? Once you nail down a list of companies that are a fit for your buyer persona, it’s time to dig a lot deeper.2) Consider competitive overlap.It can be tough to assess the “coopetition” of a new partner. It’s common sense to not go after direct competitors, but there is a gray area where a partner’s products are differentiated enough to where you might want to engage in a co-marketing relationship.My biggest pieces of advice when evaluating that gray area is to make sure you’re not fighting for the same keywords. If you’re an interior designer in Boston trying to grow outside of New England, for example, don’t co-market with another interior designer in Massachusetts as the keyword to find you would be “interior designer in Boston” or “interior designer in Massachusetts.” I’d opt to partner with somebody in the furniture or rug business that has a national footprint, as you can both drive traffic and leads to each other without cutting into each other’s business.3) Dig into social media profiles.The first thing I do to check out a new partner is visit their company’s profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.While I’m there, I don’t just look at the number of followers — I also look at engagement, replies, and the type of content their social team is posting. Why? Chances are, your co-marketing content will be promoted on social media. It’s important to know the potential reach and engagement of your partners’ social accounts so you can assess how much exposure your co-branded content will get on social.When you’re looking at their social media accounts, ask yourself these questions:Does the partner use high-quality, relevant, and aesthetically pleasing visuals to promote their campaigns?Is the copy engaging and easy to digest? Are people liking/favoriting and sharing posts?Is the partner answering questions from customers and prospects? Is the partner joining conversations related to your industry? Try to answer all of these questions about your future partner to determine if they’re on the same page you are when it comes to social content.Pro Tip: When you’re on Twitter, check out “Tweets & Replies” as well as “Photos & Videos” to better determine what your future new partner is up to.4) Assess the company’s overall web and content reach.In order to assess how much traffic your new partner could drive to a landing page, I look at their overall web presence on www.alexa.com and www.similarweb.com. These sites help me get a rough idea of traffic, bounce rates, keywords, and sources people are using to find that site, as well as the next action they take after visiting.Alexa specifically is a great tool, as it can help you dig into where visitors click from a company’s main site. If you find most of the clicks are going to a company’s blog or resources pages, that’s a great sign for me as their audience likes that company’s content. If it’s going to a pricing page or something that’s not as top of the funnel, it signals that there is a hole in their marketing and conversion path — they may not be a great co-marketing partner right now. Another tool that works well for assessing a potential new partner’s reach is Buzzsumo. It allows you to find specific types of content that perform well in an industry, as well as uncovers thought leaders in that space. This handy tool ranks content by the number of social shares to provide you insight into what’s working on this company’s site. Here’s a great video on Buzzsumo’s capabilities and a look into how HubSpot’s own SEO guru Matthew Barby uses the tool.image Source: SEMrush5) Google the company.To make sure you don’t start working with a partner who is on the verge of bankruptcy, Google the company and check out the first few pages to see what comes up, as well as the “News” section. If the latest news doesn’t shed a positive light on this potential partner, perhaps you should wait until the dust settles after a few months. If it’s too damaging, you might consider crossing them off your list of partners to reach out to.If the latest news is about their impending IPO or recent funding and growth, however, go get ‘em! 6) Sign up for their newsletters and subscribe to their blog.  Sometimes the best way to find out if this company markets their brand and content well is to subscribe to their updates. A few questions to ask yourself:Is the content they’re promoting lovable?How often are they sending emails?Is there an unsubscribe link?Are their calls-to-action to landing pages and useful content, or to assets that don’t make sense?The importance of knowing how this future partner markets to their own database is similar to how they engage on social media. Eventually, if you co-market with them, they’re going to promote via email, social media, and their website. If you like the way they are marketing to their database in helpful newsletters, interesting blog posts, and relevant content, that’s a sign this company knows what their audiences likes and how to convert them into delighted customers and evangelists. If they’re not sending any emails or the emails themselves are irrelevant, that should be a red flag on moving forward with a co-marketing partnership.7) If applicable, check out reviews for their product or service.In the case of the wine distributor looking to pair up with a wine accessory company, I’d check out the Amazon reviews for those accessories or Google search “[insert company name] reviews.”If there’s a way to dig into the customer service and support of this company’s products and services, you should absolutely find out if customers like what they are purchasing as it reflects on how the brand treats their buyers. Go the extra mile and dig into customer reviews and their experiences with any potential partner, if you can.8) Google the person you’d be working with, if you know who they are.Do a quick search to see if this person has experience in the industry, recommendations of their work, and a positive footprint online. I don’t judge people for not having a YouTube channel on inbound marketing that has over 1,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands of view to their videos, but I do check out their LinkedIn to see what experience they bring to the table. Ultimately, the person you will be working with will make or break your co-marketing campaign. I don’t discredit people or choose not to work with those who haven’t had several years of experience, but it’s nice to know whether you’re working with somebody who is an industry veteran or somebody who is starting to learn the ropes.9) Ask your network for references.Have any connections in common on LinkedIn? Send your common contact a message and ask if this person you’re thinking of pairing up with is recommendable. If someone you trust can’t recommend this person, that’s a red flag. The same goes for Twitter. If you’re a dog walker looking to pair up with a local dog treat company and see you have a few friends in common on Twitter, Direct Message your common friend and ask about the dog treat company owner you’re interested in working with. Can they vouch for that person? Are they hard workers, passionate about growing their business with inbound marketing, and in tune with their buyer persona and delighting customers?Great recommendations from your network are invaluable ways to research a potential new partner you’re trusting your brand name with.10) Have an introductory call to make sure you’re both aligned (and you get good vibes from the person).I’m a personal believer in first impressions being lasting impressions. Having an introductory call with a future partner is a great way to get a temperature check on their energy and enthusiasm about the co-marketing partnership. A few questions to ask yourself:Do they seem excited about the campaign?Did they come with great questions?Are you aligned on goals?Does the conversation flow well?As a best practice, always schedule a half hour call to get to know each other before agreeing to a campaign. This will give you enough time to ensure you align goals of the campaign, as well as deliverables and the timeline of those deliverables.I try to be as natural as I can on first-time calls. This gives the potential partner a sense of my personality and lets them know I’m excited about the potential for working with them. It loosens the vibe and allows for a more relaxed conversation, which means you can really get to know each other and your goals.At the end of this whole process, you should have a much better idea whether this person and company will be worth partnering up with — or just a waste of time. What other tips do you have for finding and vetting co-marketing partners? Topics: Co-Marketing Originally published Dec 29, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated August 29 2017 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

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12 Different Types of Marketing Email You Could Be Sending

first_img Topics: The internet is swarming with tips, tricks, and suggestions about how to design beautiful emails. And while a lot of marketers seem to understand the basics — personalize the copy, make the call-to-action pop, segment your list, etc. — many still overlook an important component of effective email marketing: emails also need to have visual appeal.Oftentimes, marketers do give a lot of thought to email design when it comes time to launch a campaign. It makes perfect sense: You have an awesome new announcement or event, and you want to kick off the campaign right with a darn good looking email.Create a new, on-brand email signature in just a few clicks. Get started here. (It’s free.)But what about the follow-up email? Or any email that may be included in an automated email workflow? It’s time to stop focusing on the design of just your biggest sends, and spend some time spiffing up all those other emails you’re sending. Need some inspiration? Check out the email examples below.12 Types of Email That Marketers Can SendInformational EmailsInformational emails are one-to-many emails you can send to folks to bring them up to speed in regards to your latest content, product announcements, and more. Note: You should only send them to people who have opted in to receive emails from you.1) New Content Announcement EmailThis is one you probably already know and love. You know, the one where you announce your next sale, ebook, webinar, coupon, free trial … and the list goes on. This email is used to describe and promote a particular marketing offer — one single offer — with a call-to-action that links to a targeted landing page made for that specific offer.When it comes to designing an email for a specific offer, the main component to keep in mind is the offer itself. You want the copy to be brief but descriptive enough to convey the offer’s value. In addition, make sure your email’s call-to-action (CTA) link is large, clear, and uses actionable language. You can also include a large CTA image/button underneath to make the action you want email readers to take crystal clear.(Example: NextView Ventures )2) Product Update EmailProduct emails are tricky. People generally don’t want to receive these often, and they’re typically not as interesting or engaging as something like an offer email. That said, it’s important to keep these emails simple and straightforward.Many companies choose to send weekly or monthly product digests to keep their customers or fan base up-to-date with the latest features and functionalities. And no matter how much a customer loves your business, it’s still work for them to learn how to use new features or learn why a new product is worth their investment.Rather than inundating your contacts with a slew of emails about each individual product update, consider sending a sort of roundup of new updates or products periodically. For each update you list, include a large, clear headline, a brief description, and an image that showcases the product or feature. It’s also worth linking to a custom page for each feature to make it easy for recipients to learn more about it.(Example: Adobe)3) Digital Magazine or NewsletterDo you maintain a business blog for your company? Are you a magazine or media outlet? No matter which of these categories you fall into, many companies choose to send a roundup of stories or articles published weekly or monthly. And if you truly want people to read these email roundups, it’s critical that you share them in a visually appealing way.Within these roundup emails, it’s a good idea to use an image paired with a headline, a brief summary or introduction, and a CTA for recipients to read more. This simple format will allow you to use visuals to attract the reader to each article while still giving you the ability to feature multiple articles — without sending a super lengthy email.(Example: Skillshare)4) Event InvitationEmail can be a great vehicle for promoting an upcoming event you’re hosting. But if you want to invite your contacts to an event and motivate them to register, it’s extremely important to clearly showcase why that event is worth their attendance. A great way to do so is through visuals. A lot of events cost money to attend, and most cost a pretty penny. So if you want to attract registrants, cut down on the copy and show potential registrants why the event will be awesome.(Example: FutureM)5) Dedicated SendEvery now and then, you may want to send a dedicated email to a certain group of people. For example, if you’re hosting a conference or event, you might want to send a dedicated email just to event registrants to alert them of any new event updates they should be aware of (like in the screenshot above). Or if your business is community based, it might be a good idea to send a monthly email to welcome all your new members. (Example: INBOUND)6) Co-marketing EmailCo-marketing is when two or more complementary companies partner together for some mutually beneficial task, event, or other promotion. The main draw of co-marketing is to leverage the audience of another company to increase your reach.Sometimes the relationship results in a strategic announcement; other times it’s as simple as a joint webinar. Let’s use the latter for an example of how co-marketing emails work, and why they’re so beneficial: Let’s say you and another company decide to do a webinar together on a particular subject. As a result, that webinar will likely (pending your arrangements) be promoted to the email lists of both of your companies. This exposure to a list that is not your own is one of the key benefits of co-marketing partnerships.When it comes to the email your business sends, make it clear that this offer or event is the result of a partnership with company X — especially if your co-marketing partner is particularly popular or impressive. To do this, you can adjust the company logo in your email to also include the other business’ logo. Furthermore, make sure your copy mentions both businesses, and create a custom graphic or image to visualize the offer or event. (Example: HubSpot + Unbounce)7) Social Media SendWait … what does social media have to do with email? Well, if you’re making good use of LinkedIn Groups or Google+ Events, email has everything to do with social media.As the administrator of LinkedIn Group, when you send a LinkedIn Announcement, you’re directly reaching a LinkedIn user’s inbox. And when you create a Google+ event, sending the invite directly sends you into users’ email boxes as well. Without having to create lists or collect email addresses, you automatically have access to users’ email, but be sure to tap into these resources with care.When it comes to these social media emails, you don’t have the option of using email software that allows you to customize the layout or add images. You’re at the mercy of copy alone. This is where leveraging white space is very important. Keep your paragraphs short, your sentences brief, and your thoughts clear. Optimize these emails for the scanning reader, and use bullets or numbers to deliver your main points. (Example: CMI)8) Internal UpdatesDon’t neglect a very important audience for your company: your employees. Many companies, especially if they’re on the larger side, choose to send internal updates or newsletters to their employees to keep them in the know about the latest company information — whether it be new product updates, marketing offers, or events. With these emails, it’s less about the beauty, and more about the clarity. The most important formatting tip for these types of emails is to arrange the information in a simple and helpful way. Once you’ve nailed your formatting, it’s simply a matter of highlighting the most critical information associated with each offer or update so its messaging is crystal clear to everyone.(Example: HubSpot Academy)Transactional EmailsTransactional emails are one-to-one emails that are triggered by specific actions, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Note: You’ll need specialized software in order to set up transactional emails.9) Confirmation EmailHow frustrating is it to book a flight or register for an event and not receive an automatic confirmation email? I know that personally, every time I make an online transaction, I wait impatiently to see that my transaction was complete. After all, nobody wants to worry that they’re first payment wasn’t processed, only to click the payment button again and get charged twice.What bothers me most about so many businesses’ confirmation emails are two things: when the subject lines are vague, and when the information I actually want to confirm isn’t immediately evident when I open the email. Confirmation emails should be just that — confirmation emails.To avoid any confusion, keep these emails simple, with just a brief summary of the information your recipients would want you to confirm. Try not to fuss with the design, as they simply want to know that the action they took was completed so they can save the information, have peace of mind, and move on. (Example: GrubHub)10) Form Submission Kickback (Thank-You) EmailWhenever a prospect, lead, or customer fills out a form on one of your landing pages, a kickback email should automatically get triggered after their submission. Depending on the form, these kickback emails are often referred to as thank-you emails. These emails are mainly for the sake of fulfilling your promise to the user, and storing the information you promised them safely in their inbox.How frustrating would it be if you downloaded an ebook, and then forgot where you stored the link to the PDF? Kickback emails solve that problem.These automatic emails should make the CTA big and clear. Keep in mind that the CTA should link to the direct offer — NOT to the form. In these emails, simply thank the reader for their form submission, and give them what you promised, whether it be a link to the PDF of an ebook, instructions on how to activate their free trial, or the coupon they requested. Furthermore, don’t overcomplicate the appearance of these emails. The reader isn’t looking for additional information, but rather the offer or content they already know they redeemed. (Example: IMPACT Branding & Design)11) Welcome EmailAnother type of transactional email, the welcome email is the perfect option for thanking and providing more information to people who have signed up for your newsletter, product trial, or other offer.The elements you include in a welcome email will depend on the specifics of what you’re offering. But in general, you can use the email to showcase your brand’s personality and to highlight the value that recipients can expect to receive. If you’re welcoming new users to a product or service, the welcome email is a great place to explain how everything works and what users need to do in order to get started.Remember: First impressions are important, even when they happen via email. For more inspiration, check out this list of stellar welcome email examples.(Example: Food52)12) Lead Nurturing EmailDepending on the specific action a persona takes, you may want to enroll them in a lead nurturing campaign. Lead nurturing emails consist of a tightly connected series of emails containing useful, targeted content.As their name suggests, these emails are used to nurture leads through the marketing funnel into a position of sales readiness. For example, let’s say you sent your list a marketing offer email. You might then set up a lead nurturing workflow that triggers another email about a complementary offer or piece of content to everyone who converted on that initial offer. The logic is simple: By identifying a particular group of contacts that you already know are interested in a specific topic, you and can follow up with more relevant and targeted content that makes them more likely to continue their relationship with you.In your lead nurturing emails, it’s important to call out why recipients are receiving the email. For example, you could say something like, “We noticed you’re into [topic x] since you downloaded our [Topic X] ebook, and we thought you might want to learn more about [topic x] …” Once you’ve addressed why recipients are getting email from you, you can format your lead nurturing emails similar to the way you’d set up your general marketing offer emails.Other very important considerations to make when crafting your lead nurturing campaigns are the planning, setup, segmentation, and timing of your nurturing emails. (Example: HubSpot)At the end of the day, your emails should not only be visually appealing, but they should also be valuable. Focus on sharing the key information in the most appropriate format depending on the type of email you’re sending — and the audience you’re sending it to.After all, what’s the use of a crazy-beautiful email if it doesn’t provide any true value to the reader? Know of any other types of email that should be on this list? Share them in the comments section below.Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Email Templates Originally published May 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated November 30 2018last_img read more

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7 Marketing Automation Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Nov 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: I have money in my savings account because my bank has a built-in auto-deposit process. I’m not logging into my account every day and moving money around, but when I do log in, I can see the progress I’ve made toward my goals by setting my account to automate deductions.Think of marketing automation like auto-deducting money from your checking account and putting it into savings: The automatic process lets you invest in your future goals in an easier way than if you did it manually.Marketing automation can play a significant role in the success of your inbound marketing strategy, but there is a right way and a wrong way to use it.Learn more about HubSpot’s latest tools to power your growth here.We want to help you understand marketing automation, and how and when to use it to your organization’s benefit. In this post, we’ll discuss traps marketers can fall into when incorporating marketing automation and alternatives that solve for these challenges.What Is Marketing Automation?Quite simply, marketing automation refers to the software that exists to automate marketing actions — actions like email, social media, and more. All of these automated actions are designed with the concept of lead nurturing in mind. In other words, marketers are creating and automating various types of content with the goal of actively attracting, qualifying, and moving prospects through the sales funnel towards a purchase.And the marketing automation industry is huge — Emailmonday estimates that 49% of companies use marketing automation software, and Marketing Automation Insider estimates that the industry is worth $1.62 billion per year.The trouble is, because marketing automation software has grown so significantly as a part of the inbound marketing movement, some marketers aren’t adopting it correctly. Let’s dig into some of the most common marketing automation mistakes below.7 Common Marketing Automation Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)1) You’ve invested in marketing automation without an inbound lead generation strategy.The Problem:You’ve purchased and started using marketing automation software, but you don’t have a strong content strategy in place yet. As a result, you aren’t attracting enough qualified leads to your website, so the ROI of your marketing automation software is low.To solve this problem, you might be considering buying an email contact list to build the size of your database.The Solution:Before you buy an email list, don’t.You see, it’s not a sound lead generation strategy to purchase email contact lists for a few reasons. For one, people don’t generally like being contacted unsolicited, and you don’t want to irritate potential customers. Additionally, purchased email lists have generally high churn rates — because the leads are often unqualified — meaning your database won’t have the long-term growth that you’re looking for.Instead of going that route, focus on developing an inbound marketing strategy aimed at attracting folks that actually want to hear from you. Write blog posts, create content offers, calls-to-action, and landing pages, and optimize your website so it will rank well in organic search. These efforts will ensure that your content is being discovered by your audience. Then, once you start generating more leads, you’ll be able to nurture them effectively with automated emails and social media posts.2) You don’t have a goal for your marketing automation.The Problem:You’re sending out multiple automated email and social media messages without an end goal in mind. The Solution:Take advantage of the ease of use marketing automation software provides and invest time and efforts into determining your goals first. Once you have them, you’ll want to assign these goals to each automated effort — social media, email workflows, and so on — to ensure it’s easy to track progress.After all, marketers need a way to measure success when it comes to marketing automation, and one means of doing so is by evaluating goal attainment. For example, here at HubSpot, the Visual Workflows tool lets you set a specific goal for each automated workflow. A goal might be a new lead transitioning into a marketing-qualified lead based on certain behaviors, such as downloading a specific number of content offers.HubSpot Visual Workflows also allows you to track the percentage of contacts in each workflow that achieve the goal, which is another great way to measure the success and ROI of your marketing automation.3) You don’t segment your email list.The Problem:You have a database full of qualified leads, but you’re using marketing automation software to blast out tons of emails that aren’t customized at all. As a result, your leads are churning because your emails aren’t useful to them.The Solution:Develop a lead nurturing strategy that includes email list segmentation so you’re sending specific emails to specific people that they’re more likely to open.According to the Direct Marketing Association, 77% of email marketing ROI came from targeted, segmented campaigns in 2015, and segmented emails generate 58% of all revenue. Seems like a must-have strategy, right? Unfortunately, only 42% of email marketers are sending targeted messages.With the right marketing automation software, it’s easy to execute an email list segmentation strategy that delivers strong results. For example, HubSpot customers can use the Visual Workflows App to target their emails based on dozens of criteria, both demographic and behavioral.Need inspiration? We recently published a blog post with 30 ideas for email list segmentation from real brands.4) You send too many emails.The Problem:Perhaps your email list isn’t segmented, or maybe you’re a little overzealous with your marketing automation software. Whatever the reason, you’re annoying potential prospects by sending way too many emails.The Solution:Strategically send fewer emails.When it comes to your email database, focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have a lower volume of leads with higher engagement rates than a massive database of people who don’t open your emails.Why? Because higher quality leads are more likely to become customers.A staggering 78% of customers recently surveyed by HubSpot Research have unsubscribed because the brand was sending too many emails. To avoid sending one of many such emails, make sure that every single email you send provides value to leads in a way that they won’t be able to help but click.5) You’re only automating your email marketing strategy.The Problem:You use your marketing automation software to send out emails, and not much else.The Solution:Take advantage of all of the features your software offers to maximize efficiency.There are probably a lot of little tasks over the course of your work day that don’t seem time consuming individually. However, if you add up all of the time you spend posting on social media, updating contact information, and other tasks, you end up with a large chunk of your day spent on things that can probably be automated.Poke around your marketing automation to see which processes you can make more efficient. For example, in the HubSpot software, users can bulk update lead contact information instead of clicking into each record and changing details there.The more processes you automate, the more time you’ll have each day to strategize with your team about content, lead generation, and lead nurturing tactics to keep attracting quality leads to your site.6) You’re only sharing your marketing automation efforts within your marketing department.The Problem:You have marketing automation set up only for email marketing, social media, and other lead activities that are only impacting your marketing team’s bottom line.The Solution:Use a “smarketing” approach, and make your marketing automation work for sales reps as well.Think bigger than just the marketing team: What processes would help your sales team if they were automated?For example, if there were a process in place that alerted reps to when their leads were checking out parts of your website, that would help inform their next call or email. When a lead fills out a form, it could trigger a specific email send from marketing and a follow-up call from their sales rep. Marketing automation software also helps users set follow-up tasks and to-do lists, which reps could use to keep track of the many leads they’re working at a given time.Take your sales and marketing alignment to the next level by making processes easier for team members across the board to achieve their goals with the help of marketing automation.7) You use too many different tools.The Problem:Roughly half of marketers use marketing automation software, and those who do often combine different strategies into a “Frankensystem” of tools to achieve their bottom line.For example, they might start on a whiteboard, move to a spreadsheet, then shift onto an online flowchart maker, and only then will they use marketing automation software. This system is problematic in a few ways — it’s time consuming, numbers can be incorrectly analyzed, and communication is complicated.The Solution:Invest in all-in-one marketing automation software.The point of marketing automation is to make things easier and more efficient, and your team won’t achieve that if you’re spending too much time updating different documents or manually targeting your leads database.All-in-one marketing automation software offers a variety of criteria options to target your audience, as well as visualization tools so you can see how your marketing automation efforts are working together. That means you’ll be spending less time writing out numbers and emailing spreadsheets to your team members, and more time implementing strategies designed to qualify leads. What’s the biggest challenge you encountered when you purchased marketing automation software? Share with us in the comments below. Marketing Automationlast_img read more

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Ozil recalls first meeting with Zidane My hands were sweating

first_imgMesut Ozil recalled the moment he first met his footballing idol Zinedine Zidane at Real MadridLos Blancos signed Ozil in 2010 following his breakthrough tournament with Germany at the World Cup that summer in South Africa.The former Werder Bremen playmaker was one of Jose Mourinho’s first signings as Real manager with Zidane being promoted into a coaching role in the process as he implemented his changes at the club.Now Ozil has revealed just how intimidated he felt being in the same dressing room as his idol Zidane.“I was really nervous, my hands were sweating but he was really calm and cool and I really enjoyed meeting him,” Ozil told Sky Sports.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“I liked his style of football, always playing with vision and calm on the pitch and to see another player in a better position – he was not selfish.“I was happy to meet him while at Madrid – he was always my idol and I still watch clips of him sometimes before games and how he used to play.”Ozil managed 27 goals and 81 assists in 159 appearances across all competitions for Real before he left for Arsenal in 2013.The German also won a La Liga title and Copa Del Rey at the Santiago Bernabeu.Meanwhile, Zidane eventually became the head coach of Real and led them to an unprecedented three successive Champions League titles before leaving in May.last_img read more

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City of Encinitas to hold forum on proposed gaspowered leaf blower ban

first_imgCity of Encinitas to hold forum on proposed gas-powered leaf blower ban KUSI Newsroom Tonight, @EncinitasGov will discuss a proposal to eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers to help achieve the goals set in its climate action plan. City officials think the proposal will also decrease levels of noise, dust and allergies.Story: https://t.co/8yyMTWgC9U pic.twitter.com/Ansmh43Wbb— KUSI News (@KUSINews) May 13, 2019 Updated: 12:55 PM Posted: May 13, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, ENCINITAS (KUSI) – The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce and the city of Encinitas will host a community forum Monday evening to discuss a proposal to eliminate the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.The Encinitas City Council is scheduled to discuss the ordinance next month. Monday’s forum will include presentations by city staff members on how the ordinance will benefit the city and help it achieve the goals set in its climate action plan. City officials also believe the ordinance will decrease levels of noise, dust and allergens.A violation of the ordinance would result in a fine of at least $100 after a warning, increasing for each violation. Only electric or battery- powered leaf blowers would be allowed within the city going forward, should the ordinance be adopted.The forum will be held at the Encinitas Community Center’s Banquet Hall, located at 1140 Oakcrest Drive. The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Monday evening.What do you think of the proposal? Let us know by replying to our Twitter posts below. May 13, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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Face Up Architectural Record

first_imgThe issue Silverman refers to is Architectural Record’s annual Houses issue. AR’s main focus is commercial buildings. She says AR (which won the 2012 Grand Neal Award from American Business Media) does not often shoot its own covers, and this particular image sparked internal debate whether to include it or not, due to the “rougher” composition of the submitted photo.Silverman says the positives of the shot eventually outweighed the weaker points, “This photo had a lot going for it in terms of the starkness of the building—the crisp black and white of it with the hit of that magenta furniture, in opposition to the rough un-manicured California hillside. The Hollywood sign peeking out at the edge didn’t hurt, either.”The cover font, which Silverman describes as “bland industrial,” is used in-book as well. “As for headline placement, I wanted to both intensify the awkward cut-off composition, and also push it out of the way of the content of the photo,” she says. DESIGNER’S COMMENTS“What the crop on the photo of this modern house has going for it is the dynamic interplay of those positive/negative, nature/building shapes and bringing the eye right inside the oversized patio door. What the crop has working against it is the orphaned bit of the Hollywood sign. This awkward crop seems sloppy and also a bit forced—let the architecture stand on its own and let a caption (small on the cover or to keep it clean on the table of contents) give us the location. I wonder about the styling choice of what looks like a closed shade on the upper floor window, seems a bit contrived and dulls the glass. Everything else is pitch perfect.” Dave McKenna, art director, 5280 Magazine “The hoary old joke at art school is that good art should not match the couch. So I suppose we can award irony points to this cover. Intentional, I hope. Please? In the long tradition of nearly unreadable AR cover headlines, this one is at least clear of clutter or buzzing moiré background texture, and nicely under control. So no complaints there. But a cover image for houses of the year might want to be a stunning, or crazily, boldly out there piece of architecture, no? I’m afraid that the only thing I’ll remember from this cover is pink and black—poodle skirts, Elvis, Grease. The good thing is, I will remember it.”John Kehe, design director, Christian Science Monitor Have a unique “cover” story? Contact associate editor Stefanie Botelho at sbotelho@red7media.com.center_img MAGSTATSIssue: April 2012Frequency: MonthlyCirculation: about 90,000Launched: 1891Publisher: Mcgraw-HillGroup Design Director:Francesca Messina Art Director: Helene SilvermanEditor-in-Chief: Cathleen McGuigan While there may be a few exceptions, magenta is not a color typically seen on the cover of a b-to-b magazine. However, Architectural Record’s April issue takes full advantage of the unexpected hue. “Since we are not mainly a newsstand publication, we don’t need cover lines that sell the magazines,” says art director Helene Silverman. “The one cover line is all we need on this special issue, and right away I thought it would be a fun counter-intuitive move to echo the magenta, rather than let it remain the only bold color hit.”last_img read more

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