How to Create a Killer Email Offer in 10 Minutes or Less

first_img What other advice would you suggest when creating successful email offers?  Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media. The title has to be succinct, but also crystal clear. Inbound Lead Generation Kit How many spam emails do you open that say something like “Free Yacht Just Click Here”? Probably very few, but I bet the email saying “Getaway in the South of Spain” grabs your attention quite a bit more often ( Jetsetter does a great job of this). 2) A Solid Offer (3 minutes) We recently found out that A common saying at HubSpot is that a blog article takes an hour to write, 40 minutes of which is dedicated to the title because without that, you’ve got nothing. Spend the most time of your 10 minutes around your sexy, clear title. 1) Witty Title (4 minutes) 4) Send It and Forget It (1 minute) Here is a great example and proof that the title caused me to open it: Make it personal and make it count. The more customization in the email itself the better, greeting by first name if your program allows is excellent. If not, don’t sweat it, focus more on what they find within the email body itself. When you get to the body trim the fluff and give just enough information for someone to know what they are getting. An example is one HubSpot launched last week for one of our webinars around lead generation; simple, sweet and letting you know what you will be spending 45 minutes on: sex sells on Facebook If you have the right methodology, creating a killer email offer can become less painful. Try Following the steps below the next time you sit down to create an e-mail offer. center_img for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. If you want a prospect to open your email then it all comes down to the right title. Originally published May 20, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Photo Credit: This simple change can be incredibly effective, a recent customer of mine had previously never used landing pages or content on their site for simple email marketing. By taking an old white paper that was buried on the site and distributing it to a small portion of their database a lead goal of 3 was achieved in 2 minutes with nearly 30 leads coming in over 24 hours. Their lead goal was 50 a month and simplicity got them 30 in one day. sindesign 3) Make It Easy To Convert (2 minutes) , well we probably could have guessed that, but it is important to make your e-mail titles sexy and compelling. Download the free kit Topics: Opening the email to find an applicable offer inside should be said without being said, the key here is to make sure your e-mail links to a landing page that includes a few key elements. The most important element is a clear path for people to follow in regards to what the offer is, how it will benefit them, and what YOU want them to do, such as filling out a lead conversion form. Ron Popeil, the infamous infomercial rotisserie king, knew the way, you really do have to set it and forget it. It’s gone, so stop thinking about what you could have done differently or perhaps better. Instead, take a minute, step back and think about what you can do to improve future offers. Email Marketing 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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Must Watch: 12 Awesome Social Media Tutorials

first_img Facebook ad campaign How to Get LinkedIn Recommendations , here are 12 video tutorials to help you properly set up many important basic functions. This post focuses on Duct Tape Marketing LinkedIn tip . Even if you don’t yet have a twitter account, do a quick The Facebook interface has changed a bit since How to Send Twitter Updates Through LinkedIn Duct Tape Marketing Thanks Donny for the link to the newer version of this video! The good people at  Common Craft Twitter Search in Plain English for an industry related topic or interest and you’ll be supprised at what you find. Learn how to automatically updated your LinkedIn status from Twitter in less than a minute. Thanks to profile to 100% complete. For those who have only used Twitter’s online interface, adding a Twitter client like Topics: explaining how to give and get recommendations on LinkedIn. posted this video about a year ago, but it’s still an accurate outline on how to create a , How to Import a Blog or RSS Feed into Facebook will help you get stared. LinkedIn . . TwinkedIn , and As the title suggests, this does fall somewhat into the “sneaky trick” category, but it works. Thanks to  video does a great job at explaining the basics of getting started. David Kirk of vividinsight How to Setup a Facebook Fan Page The Marketing Twins Donny Vaughn at   put together some awesome videos. In this example, they explain Twitter search in “plain english.” The key point of this video is that Twitter search is a Twitter search developers.facebook.com TweetDeck also known as a Facebook business page. John Jantsch at Howcast . LinkedIn Answers How to get your How to Use TweetDeck . If you haven’t tried using LinkedIn Answers, I highly recommended it. It’s a great place to make connections, find prospects and help brand yourself as a thought leader on a particular topic or industry. Facebook One Sneaky Trick to get more Twitter Followers to the mix will change your life. This video from John Jantsch at Tech-Recipes created this video outlining how to add a blog or RSS feed to into Facebook. How to Create a Facebook Ad LinkedIn How to Add a Facebook “Like” Button to Your Site Twitter Originally published Jun 3, 2010 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 social media marketing Facebook fan page MrInternetTips How to Use Twitter for Business does a great job of outlining the ins and outs of How to Use LinkedIn Answers  does a great job at explaining how to create a basic Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , which are the three networks I reccommend everyone set up for themselves and/or their business. Leave a comment below and let me know if there are other social media outlets you would like to learn more about. SmartPassiveIncome . If you’re still wondering how to best use for Twitter for your businesses, this Another How to Create a 100% Complete LinkedIn Profile put together this awesome explaination of differt types of Facebook “like” buttons, and boxes that you can add to your website. For more information on the Facebook Like Button, visit These were some of the best videos I could find. Please let me know if you have other’s that you have found useful. Update 6/6/2010: powerful Social Media Marketing For those of you who are getting started withlast_img read more

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15 Educational SEO Charts and Diagrams

first_imgWhile search engine optimization is one of the core elements of inbound marketing, not enough businesses are incorporating an SEO strategy into their marketing efforts.It’s understandable — SEO can seem complicated if you’ve never focused on it. To help you get a handle on it, we’ve aggregated some helpful visual aids so you can start to understand how SEO can be helpful in your business’ marketing strategy.15 Educational SEO Diagrams1. Cycle of Social & SEO by TopRank Online Marketing2. Google’s Collateral Damage by SEOBook and Jess.net (click to enlarge)3. SEO Diagram by MentorMate4. SEO Success Pyramid by SmallBusinessSEM.com5. The SEO Process Chart by SEOBook6. Link Building 101 by ProspectMX (click to enlarge)7. The Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors by Search Engine Land (click to enlarge)8. The SEO Flow Chart by SEOBook9. On-Page Optimization and Link Acquisition by SEOmoz 10. SEO Tactics by Response Mine Interactive (click to enlarge)11. Link-Building Risk vs. Reward by Conversation Marketing (click to enlarge)12. SEO Process by Digital Clarity Media13. The SEO Hierarchy of Needs by Bruce Clay, Inc.14. SEO ROI From Link Building Tactics by SEOmoz15. Search Engine Marketing Process by Komarketing AssociatesWhich educational search engine optimization chart/diagram do you like the most? Have any others to share? SEO Originally published Aug 25, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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How to Capture More (and Better) Lead Intel With Progressive Profiling

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Raise your hand if you hate filling out forms!So if I had to guess, I’d bet that a lot your hands are raised right about now. Heck, so is mine! But any savvy inbound marketer knows that forms are the way of the online conversion world. After all, how would we generate and reconvert leads as effectively without them?Easily build and embed forms on your site. Try HubSpot Forms for free.But as you can understand from all the hand raising, from a website visitor’s perspective, forms are a rather annoying part of redeeming offers on the web.Surely, there’s a way we can make the form completion requirement a little bit easier on them. It’s about creating lovable marketing after all, right?Advances in marketing technology to the rescue!Depending on the sophistication of your marketing software, you may already know about what we at HubSpot like to call Smart Forms — dynamic forms that leverage the power of context and adjust in length based on whether a visitor has already completed one of your forms in the past. In other words, Smart Forms know if someone has already filled out the form fields you’re asking for, and thus asks only for the critical information (which is usually even pre-populated) you need to ensure your contacts database stays up to date. But there’s another dynamic content kid on the marketing block, and his name is Progressive Profiling. Let’s talk about what makes this guy so awesome, and how you can leverage him — err, it — to help you increase your website’s conversion rates and capture even more valuable lead intelligence along the way.What Is Progressive Profiling?Progressive profiling technology, a feature that is usually an extension of dynamic form fields, allows you to set up iterative forms that enable you to designate which questions appear based on what you already know about a particular lead. That way, every time a lead fills out a form, you are progressively collecting valuable new information about them while keeping your forms short and easy to complete. This enables you to build up the amount of information, or intelligence, you collect about your individual leads without causing more friction in the conversion process. Ultimately, progressive profiling technology enables you to collect the right information from your leads — at the right times.While the specific setup process will largely depend on the capabilities and nuances of your marketing software, it will typically involve specifying which questions you want to be included in your progressive profiling queue — and in what order they should be shown to your leads. These questions will be shown only when other Smart Fields have already been completed by that particular lead. Let’s talk a little bit more about why progressive profiling is so beneficial, and how you can leverage it in your marketing.Why Is Progressive Profiling Beneficial?I’m so glad you asked! Progressive Profiling is beneficial for a number of reasons …1) Shorter Forms Lead to Increased Conversion RatesYou mean shorter forms mean higher conversions? No surprise here! Just like with regular Smart Forms, progressive profiling technology enables you to keep your forms short and sweet, without ultimately sacrificing valuable lead intelligence. Instead of asking for someone’s information all at once, you can iteratively ask different questions over time while keeping your forms short, meaning you don’t have to squeeze everything you want to know about your leads into the very first form they see.Because of this, the use of progressive profiling technology can decrease some of the friction associated with form completion, and as a result, increase your website’s conversion rates. After all, would you prefer to fill out a form with 4 fields, or a form with 14? Judging by all those raised hands earlier, I’d bet on the former. 2) Progressive Profiling Avoids Repetition If your business has gained a reputation as an industry thought leader and a provider of valuable content, chances are that new visitors aren’t the only people redeeming your offers. This means you probably have existing leads — people who have previously converted and are already in your contacts database — filling out your forms, too. So what’s the point of asking them to answer the same exact set of questions every time they’re looking to redeem one of your offers? To us, that seems like quite a lost opportunity.With Progressive Profiling, problem solved! Instead of being repetitive in the questions you ask, you can ask new questions every time a lead converts, enabling you to ask the right questions at the right times. Which leads us to benefit numero three … 3) It Allows You to Capture More, Valuable Lead Intelligence Over TimeIn an ideal world, you’d have tons and tons of information about each of your leads so you can better segment your marketing campaigns and nurture your leads — and so your sales team has more lead intelligence that enables them to sell to those leads more effectively. And while sophisticated marketing software can help you capture behavioral data about your leads over time — such as the types of content they’re reading or downloading, and the pages they’re visiting on your site  — sometimes the most effective way to learn about a lead is to directly ask them the questions you want to know about. But as you can imagine, asking them for all this information at once can lead to some pretty lengthy forms which will destroy your conversion rates — leaving you with absolutely no lead intelligence at all.So why not spread out your ideal questions over time and in a way that aligns with the lead’s stage in the sales cycle? With progressive profiling technology, you can do just that, asking for just the critical information the first time a lead converts, and then progressively asking for more detailed information over time as they become more qualified. For example, on a lead’s fourth or fifth visit to your site, you can pose more sales-centric questions, such as “Are you currently evaluating vendors?” or “What other products are you using?” As a result, progressive profiling can even help you shorten your sales cycle, as you can more accurately pinpoint which leads are sales-ready.It’s for the very same reason you wouldn’t bombard someone who has never visited your website and doesn’t even know what you sell with a call-to-action for your ‘Contact Sales’ offer. Again, it’s about asking the right questions at the right times. In this way, progressive profile allows you to build a more complete profile for each lead over time. 4) It Saves You Time Last but not least, progressive profiling technology can also save you the trouble of creating separate forms tailored to different landing pages on your website. For example, you might think that someone who ends up on your product demo request landing page is further along in the marketing funnel, and as a result, you might want to display a form that asks some more sales-specific questions. But with a progressive profiling tool like HubSpot’s, you can reuse the same forms across many different landing pages and rest assured that the right questions are being asked at the right time. This can save you a ton of time from creating a variety of specifically targeted forms.How to Leverage Progressive ProfilingThere are a number of ways in which progressive profiling can help you improve your marketing. Let’s talk about a few powerful use cases as well as some progressive profiling best practices to consider if you’re just getting started.Great Progressive Profiling Use CasesMaximize the Impact of Your Secondary Calls-to-Action: Offering secondary calls-to-action (CTAs) can be a great way to reconvert and nurture your leads, especially if the CTA is for an offer that naturally progresses the lead through the sales funnel based on their previous conversion event. But because a lead has already converted, Progressive Profiling will enable you to optimize your form for that second conversion, allowing you to capture additional lead intelligence you can use to better segment, nurture, and sell to that lead in the future.Improve the Effectiveness of Lead Nurturing Workflows: Naturally, you’ll also want to surface different fields for the leads in your lead nurturing workflows that appeal to their varying stages in the sales cycle. As you can imagine, Progressive Profiling makes this extremely easy and helps you get more lead intelligence out of your nurturing campaigns — which can be extremely helpful for your sales team. Push Referral Traffic Further Down the Sales Funnel: Driving traffic to your landing pages from external sources such as PPC, organic search, or social media sites? Because Progressive Profiling will show a set of very broad questions to new visitors and more specific questions for visitors who are already familiar with your content and company, you’ll be able to optimize your campaigns for both high conversion rates for new visitors and lead quality for known contacts.Use as a Survey Tool on Your Blog: Because a business blog typically attracts a lot of repeat visitors, consider embedding a progressive profiling form on the sidebar of your blog that acts as a survey, asking readers iterative questions about your blog, such as the types of content they’re interested in or other types of reader feedback that can help you improve your blog’s strategy and performance. It’ll never ask visitors the same questions twice! Progressive Profiling Best Practices Ask the Most Critical Questions First: While it may be tempting to make the first version of your form extremely short and sweet, make sure you’re still asking for the critical information you need to properly contact, segment, and nurture that lead in the future. After all, you’ll still want to be able to send them relevant content even if they never come back and convert on your website again organically.Start Broad and Then Get More Detailed: As you’re planning the order of your Progressive Profiling fields, start with the most broad questions first and then get to the more detailed, product-focused questions later when you have a stronger, more familiar relationship with the lead. Think about how you would logically conduct a conversation with a lead. You wouldn’t ask what their budget is before even determining if they’re a good fit for your product, right?Align Questions With Leads’ Likely Stage in the Sales Cycle: As your ordering your questions, also think about what stage in the sales cycle a lead would typically be in at this particular conversion. It might be helpful to conduct some analysis into your customer base about their average number of conversion events before closing as a customer, as well as the average length of your sales cycle. This can help you figure out the right questions for particular points along leads’ conversion path.Tailor Progressive Profiling Form Fields to Various Buyer Personas: Finally, consider crafting different Progressive Profiling form questions based on different segments of your leads. Then add these forms to any segment-specific landing pages you may be using on your website or in your lead nurturing workflows to enable you to capture the lead intelligence that’s specifically beneficial to that audience — making future segmentation and sales follow-up even more effective.What do you think about progressive profiling technology? How else can you leverage it to improve the context and personalization of your marketing? Originally published Feb 7, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 28 2018 Lead Generationlast_img read more

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Everybody Loves Zombies? How the Undead Helped Build a Burger Empire

first_img Topics: Originally published Oct 24, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 My boss was in Des Moines, Iowa a couple weeks ago, and sent me this message:Subj: Zombie BurgerBringing you the menu from that zombie burger place. Such a cool content story. The co-owner’s childhood dream was to one day open a zombie themed restaurant. Three years in they’ve sold 1 million burgers! There is always a wait. Always.Took photos of artwork. We should write about them.Between you and me, he had me at zombies, but the “one million” certainly piqued my interest. What is this place? (Zombie Burger + Drink Lab in Des Moines, IA.) How’d they make it to one million burgers on a zombie theme? (Their food, branding & content had a lot to do with it.) And the burgers … they’re actually good? (Yep.) Like … really good? (Yeah, they have like 8,000 Facebook reviews raving about them.)I wanted to learn more. So I did what I always do when I want to learn more — Googled them — to see if I could get in touch with the owners. Along with finding their Facebook account with almost 50,000 Likes and glowing reviews on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and UrbanSpoon, I found an email address on their crazy cool zombie-themed website and shot them a quick note to see if they’d be willing to talk. They responded in four minutes. I think I’m starting to get why these guys are killing it.I talked with the Paul Rottenberg, the co-founder of the restaurant, to learn more about their “zombie marketing strategy” and what’s made them so successful. Here’s what he had to say.Why zombies? Where’d the idea come from?The idea really started out by having the desire to do a chef-driven burger restaurant. My co-founder, Chef George Formaro, and I had done several upscale places, and we wanted to do a place that was more fun and casual. We talked a lot about what the theme would be, and my partner is a horror movie buff, so he wanted to do a horror theme originally. We looked at a number of places, and nothing turned up that we liked — but then when one did, George said he wanted to do a zombie place. This was 2009, so by the time we opened it looked like we were riding on The Walking Dead thing, but the idea started before it ever came out.So the zombie idea came from George. Were you equally enthusiastic about it?To tell you the truth, I had never even watched any movies about zombies. So when he told me about it, I started watching movies and documentaries and reading books. And I remained unconvinced we could carry the idea of great food and zombies — I was worried it might be a concept diners didn’t want to think about with their food. It took me about six months to sign on. In fact, on the original loan applications, I just called it a hamburger restaurant because I didn’t know how the bank would respond to a zombie-themed restaurant.But I eventually got sold on the idea. I was meeting with our third partner, Jeremy Reichart, telling him about the idea. He said he thought it was a great idea and we oughtta do it. I asked him, “Will you put up a third of the money?” And he said he would. When did you know your idea was a hit?Even before it opened. We got a ton of attention from the press and the public. Before we opened we had 5,000 Facebook Likes and won best hamburger restaurant in Des Moines.Before it opened?I know, it doesn’t seem fair does it? It just had so much top of mind awareness. On opening day, we were prepared to serve 800 burgers, and we sold out by 9:00 p.m. From the time the doors opened there was just a huge amount of interest.How does this restaurant differ from the other restaurants you’ve opened? Does it serve a different demographic for Des Moines?Well, it’s in a hip part of town. We thought it’d be a kitschy fun place for the cool, young demographic to hang out in. But it’s the broadest demographic of any business we’ve opened. From little kids to grandmas, white collar to blue collar, every walk of life. It’s universally appealing.Even something as polarizing as gore and horror?Yeah, it’s weird, isn’t it? I had my first inkling I was going down the right path when I went to file some paperwork and had to write down the name. The lawyer said, “Oh, that’ll be great. My son is reading about zombies, we love zombies.” And then my friends, who are quite a bit more conservative than me, said they watch zombie movies all the time — another friend of mine said, “My first date was a George Romero movie!”It looks like you took that interest and ran with it. The zombie theme pervades everything — from the menu to the decor to the artwork.Developing a zombie burger facility and space was a real exercise in marrying blood and gore content with food. It was a challenge to figure out how to tell that story without offending people. To help with that, the original concept was that zombies were outside — that you’re boarded up in this tavern — and then Ron Wagner, a comic book artist that did the murals, created a story about the apocalypse happening outside.Once we opened, though, it got edgier and edgier because customers said we could do more.So the customers played a role in the story’s development?Absolutely. After that we added Frank, the zombie mannequin, and a ton of other things because there was a demand to kick it up a notch. It got edgier and gorier because the customer said to do more.From a business standpoint, we say it’s good to start with a good idea — but to be successful you have to listen to what the customers want you to be. We call it “Food that doesn’t try to be smarter than the customer.” George could be a chef at a 5-star restaurant anywhere, but he likes putting out food that makes people feel good.You’ve got over 8,000 reviews on Facebook, nearly 50,000 Likes, over 8,000 Twitter followers. Tell me about how that social media presence grew — did the zombie theme just make it happen, or did you work at it?It was a combination of work and natural interest. I believe once you get up into the high numbers, it becomes exponential. People come to us now with things they want to do together — for example, a guy that draws zombie comics wants to get some eyes on that, and we’re a natural place for him to show his talents.Who runs the social media accounts?All our accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) are managed in-house with much of the content coming from the chef, Tom McKern, and Karen Davis. Tom runs the kitchen as our executive chef, and he’s just an incredibly funny guy. Karen is our general manager and has a long history in the entertainment industry — she was the manager of a chain that does a combination of beer, food, and movies. So they’ve both got a good sensibility about what will work on social.So they’re responsible for the #zbbasicbitch account on Twitter?[Laughs] That’s one of our burgers … I think they were doing a hashtag with that, but did they start an account?Yeah, a follower tweeted the account — @zbbasicbitch — and tagged @ZombieBurgerDM. Tom did a #basicbitch burger that was a spoof on the pumpkin spice thing. That was one of the #TweakedOutThursday burgers. I bet it was Tom that did it, I’ll have to ask him, but I guess it could have been anyone — these things just kind of build on themselves.It sounds like most of your customers would probably find that funny, but then again, you serve a really wide demographic. Do you care if stuff like that offends people? How do you decide what’s too edgy?Yeah, I do care. And I probably represent the most conservative of the sensibilities. We had a meeting about naming this burger. Tom talked about the idea and I can’t remember what the original name was, but it was even edgier, and we decided that might be too far. When we released it, most people got it and thought it was funny.Did anyone complain?We got one complaint. But even she said she loved the restaurant, just didn’t like the name. I think our restaurant has been able to develop a relationship with its customer base that’s kind of edgy, so I’m careful not to rein in those guys too much. Tom avidly studies social and is aware of the latest trends, so I’m careful not to stifle his creativity — we’ve had some big successes because of those ideas.What are some of those successes that came from being creative and current?We did an Undead Hasselhoff burger. It got picked up all over the world. Germany loved it.When Jim Gaffigan was in town, Tom started tweeting with him, and Jim answered him. Tom said he was going to create an Undead Gaffigan burger when he was in town, and asked him what he wanted on it. Jim said he wanted bacon, cheddar, white bread, five patties (he’s got five kids), and jalapenos. The burger ended up being featured in his latest book.You’ve clearly got some creative people on staff — is one of them responsible for writing the zombie newspaper stories on the back of the menu, too?George’s brother Tom Formaro — not the chef, a different Tom — is a locally-based writer and he writes those. He just wrote a book called The Broken Heart Diet. He’s hysterically funny. We try to change them a few times a year, and we’ll build on whatever is current in the season. For instance, in 2016 we’ll have the Iowa caucuses, so in that menu edition we’ll likely write stories that spoof on the candidates.Will you take any position, politically?We’ll steer clear of taking any political positions. We’ve got customers who are radically liberal and radically conservative who love the restaurant equally — and love zombie movies.Who knew zombies were the great equalizer?I think the reason zombies work is it just seems okay to hurt zombies. You know, cuz they’re dead already.But first and foremost, what we want to do is just build a better burger restaurant. Every item we send out is made by our team — so if we’ve got breaded jalapenos, we’ve made them there. We have the machinery to grind the burgers and cut the fries. Because people wouldn’t come back if the food wasn’t good. When you’ve got 50,000 people talking about your burgers on Facebook, it can go both ways — you’ve gotta win the conversation with a good product if you’re going to make those conversations work for you.So the brand and the product are inextricable?No question. The food needed to work, the environment needed to tell the story, and it needed to be a comfortable, functional restaurant. You could just have one or two of those things, but it blew up because it had all of those. All of those things had to happen.Artwork from Zombie Burger + Drink Lab restaurant. Marketing Case Studies 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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Is Your School’s Website Driving Inquiries or Stealth Consumers?

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 Request information. Visit us. Apply now. Go to any education institution’s admissions page, and you’re likely to see these calls-to-action. Click one, and chances are you’ll be taken to a lengthy inquiry form where you’ll be asked to provide a litany of personal information.A Brief History of Secret Shoppers and Stealth ApplicantsAt some point in the history of online marketing in education, these conversion opportunities became industry standard. While there is nothing inherently wrong with them – if a prospective student or parent is willing to provide their information for any of these, let them! – they appeal only to the “lowest hanging fruit” in the marketing and admissions funnel. For many prospects, and especially ones who are just beginning their research process, these offers are mistimed, and not compelling enough to drive an inquiry submission. As a result, these prospects don’t click the call-to-action to fill out a form, and instead become “secret shoppers” or “stealth consumers.”When it comes to secret shoppers, the best case scenario is that they become stealth applicants – prospects who enter the funnel at the point of application. Unfortunately, these applicants have not been properly nurtured, may not have received what they need to make an informed decision about a program or institution, and often yield at lower rates than students who have had the opportunity to be properly engaged and educated. As any enrollment management professional can tell you, they also make projecting enrollment much more difficult.The worst case scenario, and often the most common one, is that these prospects will poke around for information on an institution’s website, not find what they are looking for, and leave without ever engaging with a member of an institution’s staff.Reach Prospects That Are Not Yet “Admissions Ready”Developing new content, or repurposing existing content, into appealing and appropriately timed conversion opportunities aimed at prospects who are not yet “admissions ready” can be a solution. To target students who are at the beginning of their search, this content should be informational and have broad appeal. The subjects should be aligned to an offering of the institution or program (it would not make sense for a culinary school to have content around the benefits of a career in nursing), but they should not be promotional materials either.Some examples of this type of content include:Readiness checklists“How-to” guidesSubject matter ebooksCareer guidesIndustry information…And Give Them Opportunities to ConvertWhile creating these compelling content offers is great, it is only the first step in the inquiry conversion process. Making this type of compelling content easily available to prospects, and properly gating it with informative landing pages and forms requiring an appropriate amount of personal information allows schools to grow their inquiry base by drawing would-be secret shoppers into the funnel.When delivering the content, it is important that it is not available only on lightly travelled pages, or hidden among a series of pages that can only be found through extensive site navigation. Content that appeals to prospects who are just “dipping their toe in the water” as it relates to their search should be easy to find on the pages of the site prospects frequent. This will make useful information front and center for them, and drive more inquiry conversions for admissions, allowing for appropriate nurturing activities to take place. Originally published Dec 4, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Education Marketinglast_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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Google Plans to Index Tweets in Real Time: How This Could Impact Your SEO

first_img SEO and Social Media Topics: Originally published Feb 25, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Years ago, it was commonplace to find real-time tweets in Google Search results. Twitter and Google had inked a deal that gave the search giant access to the social network’s data stream. In turn, Google would display tweets in search results in real time. But that agreement expired, and in the middle of 2011, Google lost access to Twitter’s data stream. Now, nearly four years later, the gang’s back together. Recently, Google and Twitter announced that they are working together again to index tweets as soon as they are posted.How should a marketer to react to this news? In this post, I will focus on how you can benefit from the new deal between Google and Twitter. You will need to be active on Twitter to obtain these benefits, but I will include some tips for those of you who are just getting started — you can still benefit from this development if you’re doing the right things. The good news is that it will take some time for Google to implement changes based on the new data they will be getting from Twitter, so you have some time to get ready. But the sooner you get started, the better.So let’s dive into what the deal actually is and learn how you can take advantage of it.What’s the Deal With This New Deal?Basically, this deal gives Google real-time access to tweets via a data feed, commonly called the Twitter Firehose. While the agreement seems to be in effect already, the two companies are saying only that it will take effect in Google Search sometime in the first half of 2015. The reason it will take some time to implement is that Twitter needs to figure out how to prep the data for Google, and Google needs to look at this data stream and decide what they want to do with it. However, one thing we know they will do is increase the number of tweets that they are indexing. What that means is that your tweets could start showing up in the search results.Google actually does show some tweets in its search results today, but it’s only a very small portion of what’s on Twitter. My company, Stone Temple Consulting, recently did a study of 133,000 tweets to see how Google indexes tweets, and what we found is that Google indexes less than 8% of all the tweets we tested.That’s not a high level of indexation at all. To make matters worse, it also appears that Google is quite slow to index tweets, as you can see in the chart below:Currently, that means tweets have little chance of getting indexed. In fact, the people whose tweets were most likely to be indexed, according to our study, had much higher than average followings. For people who are just starting out on Twitter, chances are that the indexation rate is near zero.The new deal between Google and Twitter may well change all that. It’s hard to predict just how many more tweets Google will index, but you can count on it being a significant change — otherwise doing this deal makes no sense for Google.As a result, you may have an opportunity to use Twitter to increase your presence in Google’s SERPs. However, remember that Google will need a few months to implement changes to leverage the Twitter data feed, so don’t expect instant results.How Will Google Choose Which Tweets to Index?Google has made no statements about what their plans are, so we don’t know for sure. But, based on their history, we figure that Google is going to work hard to find the tweets that offer the most value to their audience. They will also most likely implement strong anti-spam measures.While the new Twitter data feed will be valuable to them, frankly, it’s an add-on. They will be conservative in what they allow into the results, and they will only include things that they have a very high degree of confidence are not spam.As a consequence of that, trying to game this new arrangement will likely be very difficult to do. Google is going to look for signals that certain tweets have greater value. Here are the types of signals that could be available to them:Links from third party web sites to the tweets. (This signal is already available to them today.)Links from third party web sites to a user’s profile. (This signal is already available to them today.)How many times a tweet is retweeted, and by whom. They may get this info directly from Twitter, or they may use their own means to determine it. (This will be new data for them.)How many times a tweet is favorited, and by whom. They may get this info directly from Twitter, or they may use their own means to determine it. (This will be new data for them.)I don’t see how this deal makes sense for Google unless they get the info on points 3 and 4 above, or at least number 3. This would mean that Google can use retweet data, and the knowledge of who is performing the RTs to determine which tweets have the most value. This is the source of where I see significant potential value for companies and publishers.Maximize your engagement on Twitter, and you are sending out signals that your tweeted content is valuable. So how do you get more engagement?How Should You Maximize Engagement on Twitter?This was the subject of another study my company did recently on Twitter engagement. This particular study focused on what factors within your Twitter content cause increases in retweets and favorites. By far the most significant factor was the use of images in your tweets:Here you can see that your chances of getting at least one retweet are more than doubled for most low and moderate social authority accounts. That’s quite a significant difference. Our data also showed that you can also get five to nine times as many total retweets by including images. That’s a big deal!Other factors that matter, though not quite as much as images, were the use of hashtags and implementing longer tweets. Factors that mattered less were time of day, including links to content off of Twitter, or mentions of others.While the above info can definitely help you optimize your own presence, you can’t forget the importance of developing relationships on Twitter. Focusing on key friendships and relationships with influencers is a big key to success, especially if your presence on the platform is not currently that strong. Imagine someone with a highly influential account retweeting your most important content. This could be gold for you, as it can make Google aware of the content very quickly. The influencer’s tweet with the link to your content may appear in search results and help expose it to much wider audiences. Of course, this may also result in more links to your content as well.Even if Google does not get information in the Twitter data feed that allows it to understand who is retweeting whom, Google could still use link data to better understand whose profiles are most important. Then, they can place more value on their tweets, and place them within their index, driving traffic and exposure to that tweet. If it contains a link to your content, your traffic and exposure could go up.SummaryWill this fundamentally alter the digital landscape? No, but it does mean that a strong presence on Twitter will have more value than it did before. To capitalize on this shift, do the following:Increase your time invested in Twitter.Create engaging content that people will want to retweet and favorite.Build relationships with others who will help amplify your content.Make sure to build relationships with influencers whose tweets are more likely to get indexed by Google.Watch the indexation of your tweets grow while you build your own influence on the platform.As the full partnership takes effect, we may discover other ways to optimize our Twitter strategies for search, but until then, preparing for the shift using the steps above is a wise move.Want to learn more about search? Check out our SEO course. 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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How to Persuade People by Asking the Right Questions [Video]

first_img Topics: Originally published Jul 4, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.As marketers, it’s our job to be convincing … but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, persuading someone to complete a certain action requires a lot of careful consideration. Click here for our free guide to improving your presentation skills.For example, I’m willing to bet at least one person that’s reading this has a child with a messy room. How do you get a kid to clean their room?You beg and plead. You offer rewards. You threaten punishments. You create checklists. You offer to pitch in. You might even just forget the whole thing, and make peace with the disaster behind the door.But all of these approaches come from a single perspective — why it’s important to you that your child cleans her room. Wouldn’t it be more effective to help the child to realize the benefits of a clean room?In the following video, Daniel Pink uses this very example to set the record straight on persuasion.”We tend to think persuasion or motivation is something that one person does to another,” Pink says. “But what the social science clearly tells us it’s really something people do for themselves.”Watch the clip to discover the power of counterintuitive questions in persuasion (and finally get a no-fail room cleaning remedy).By the way — Daniel Pink is set to grace the stage of INBOUND 2015. To see him speak in person, register here.center_img Persuasion Daniel Pink: How to Persuade Others with the Right Questions from Big ThinkLiked this article? Click here to subscribe to Sales.last_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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How to Stay Focused in the Age of Distractions [Infographic]

first_imgWhile most of those “survivalist” reality TV shows — like Survivor and Naked and Afraid — send contestants to exotic, tropical locations, the producers of those shows are really missing out on an exceptionally chaotic destination: the office.True, in the office you don’t have to worry about building a shelter (that’s usually provided) or getting swallowed whole by an anaconda, but there are other dangers office workers have to face. And one of the most intimidating? The dreaded distraction.Tweets. Facebook messages. Texts. Snapchats. That annoying coworker who is always bugging you with their personal problems (for the last time, Tyler, I don’t care that your cat has eczema). Office distractions are everywhere. But in addition to being annoying, they can wreak havoc on our productivity. Fortunately, the team at On Stride Financial created the infographic below, which offers several tips and tricks for dealing with distractions. 2K+Save2K+SaveKnow any other tips for avoiding distractions and staying focused? Leave a comment below. Topics: Productivity Originally published May 26, 2016 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 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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16 Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Brand Redesign Project

first_imgDid you ever play the telephone game as a kid?A group of kids take turns whispering a single message to the person to their right, and by the time the message reaches the end of the line, it has usually has taken on a completely different meaning then when they began.The telephone game is a perfect metaphor for how communication between agencies and clients can break down during a brand redesign project. Clients might have a clear picture of what they want out of a branding project in their heads, but when it comes to communicating each subtle nuance, many things get left up to interpretation.Free Download: Creative Brief TemplatesA brand redesign project can feel like a high-stakes guessing game for agencies and designers. You present the client with endless drafts and revisions, but there’s always something that isn’t quite right. To help agencies navigate the unique challenges of brand redesign projects, we’ve compiled a list of questions clients should answer before your agency agrees to take on the project. These first set of questions will help you uncover what your client really wants out of the brand redesign project, and the second set will help you deftly navigate the logistics. 16 Questions To Ask Before A Branding ProjectDiscovering Your Client’s Desired Identity for the Brand Redesign1) What do you like about your current brand identity?Before you start redesigning a brand, it’s important to know what specific qualities the client likes about their current brand. Just because they requested a brand redesign doesn’t mean they want to completely scrap what they’ve already built. It’s important to determine which areas of the current brand should be maintained or given just a light update, instead of getting rid of them entirely in the redesign.2) What don’t you like about your current brand identity?In the same vein, it’s also vital to recognize what the client doesn’t like about their current brand. Figuring out what your client is particularly unhappy with will set some initial boundaries for your team. It lets you know what areas of the brand should be given the most attention, and also gives you an early idea of your client’s tastes.3) What’s the story behind your current brand?Brands are driven by storytelling, so agencies need to make the effort to learn their client’s brand story early on. Think of yourself like a Hollywood director tasked with remaking a classic movie: You need to get familiar with the original before you can put your own spin on it — otherwise the remake is sure to fall flat.4) Can you name a few examples of brands you admire?There’s really no way around it: Branding is a fluffy, floaty topic, and it can be challenging for clients to clearly articulate exactly what they want. Asking your client for some examples of other brands they admire (either in their industry or outside it) can help your team start building a more informed vision, and also forces your client to seriously consider what kind of brand they want to be. Make sure you ask them to unpack what specific qualities they admire about the brands.5) Are there any particular adjectives you people to associate with your brand?Asking clients to find a few descriptive terms to characterize their desired brand presence can help them ground their thoughts and put words to abstract ideas. This deceptively simple question will help your agency define an aesthetic scope and understand which qualities to prioritize as you begin the project. 6) Where do you see your brand in 10 years?This question will help your team understand your client’s long-term aspirations, and get a feel for the direction they want to head towards with their branding. It also shows the client that you’re committed to helping them grow their brand, and not just treating this account as a one-off project.Getting acquainted with your client’s target audience7) Who exactly is your ideal client?At the end of the day, the brand you create isn’t just for the client, it’s for their target audience. To make informed design and storytelling choices, your agency needs to make a concerted effort early on to understand the client’s ideal persona. If you find that your client doesn’t have an ideal persona, this can be a great chance to offer additional value by helping them figure out who to target in their marketing efforts. You can download our free buyer persona template here.8) Who are your direct competitors?Agencies need to understand the context in which their clients’ businesses operate. What does the industry look like? How are other companies in the space approaching their marketing and branding? Much of this information can be found through research, but it’s still beneficial to ask your client to define the competition in their own words.9) What are you ideal customers’ biggest pain points?While customer pain points can’t all be completely solved by branding alone, it’s important for agencies launching into a brand redesign to know what exactly their client’s customers struggle with. Having this information can give you agency an idea about how your client needs to position their business through their branding.10) Why should your target audience choose your product or service above your competitors?This question is important because it pushes your client to think about what specific factors makes their business unique. Developing a brand that stands out (especially in a competitive industry) is all about differentiation. And nobody knows what makes your client’s business unique better than their own team. 11) Are there any audiences you aren’t currently reaching that you want to reach with your brand?Even if your client already has a good grasp on who their business best serves, it’s relevant to see if there are any untapped sources of new business they’ve previously had difficulty reaching. Your agency can consider this desirable audience during the branding project to potentially extend your client’s reach.Understanding the Logistics of the Brand Redesign Project12) Who is the key decision-maker on your team?From the outset, your agency should know who on your client’s team will have final approval of the branding project. It’s great to get buy-in from everyone on the client’s team, but if there’s a single person or group of people that have the final say, you’ll want to focus your efforts on keeping them in the loop as the project moves forward.13) What does the approval process look like?The end goal is to get the new brand approved by your client’s team, but how exactly does that work? Make sure you have a good understanding of how your client will review and approve the project so you can see where in the process particular elements are getting stuck or rejected.14) What are the expected deliverables for this project?Branding means a lot of different things to different people. Some clients won’t even have a full idea of what they need out of a branding project at the outset, so it’s important to discuss the tangible products early on and agree on what you’ll be providing. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a web of miscommunication and scope creep. If you want to learn how to avoid scope creep with clients, check out this free ebook.15) What is the budget for this project?Asking about the budget for a branding project up front is a great way to evaluate how important this project is to your client. If they offer an extremely low budget, they probably don’t fully understand the value of branding, and may not be a good fit for your agency.16) What is the expected timeline for this project?A branding project can be a massive undertaking, so it’s vital to set realistic timeline expectations with your clients from the beginning. If they have a tight timeline, you may need to reevaluate the scope of what your agency is able to offer. It’s better to know time limitations right away rather than upset the client later on when you can’t deliver in the window they expected. Originally published Oct 18, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 Topics: Rebranding Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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5 Super Quick Ways to Get More Messages on Your Facebook Business Page

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! Originally published Nov 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated November 22 2017 You’ve probably heard some buzz about Facebook Messenger of late, but most brands still don’t understand how to leverage it effectively. With 2.4 billion messages exchanged between businesses and people each month, it’s time to make the most out of the channel.After all, 53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message. And 67% of people say they plan to increase their messaging with businesses over the next 2 years. And, messages you send through Messenger will appear on a user’s locked phone screen — so your odds of reaching a user are greatly increased from sending a follow up email.Free Resource: How to Reach & Engage Your Audience on FacebookSo, how can you make the most of this network? We’re outlining five quick wins you can start using today.5 Ways to Get More Messages on Facebook1) Optimize your page for messages. Having a Facebook page that encourages users to message your page is the first — and easiest — way to encourage visitors on your business page to message your brand. It seems overly simple, but just optimizing your page to point users towards messaging you can have a huge impact on the number of messages you receive from interested or curious potential customers.Try:Setting your default Facebook Page CTA to Message Us.Prompting visitors to message your page with the copy in your business description.2) Setup response assistant.Response assistant is Facebook’s own version of a “baby-bot” and can help you field incoming messages — even when you aren’t around to catch them personally.Response assistant allows you to: 1) set instant replies 2) stay responsive when you can’t get to your computer or phone and 3) set a messenger greeting. In each of these you can use personalization tokens and greet those who message your page with a personalized message. You can also include a link to your contact us page, FAQ, or even your phone number in these messages.3) Comment on posts with your m.me link.Facebook has a new feature that allows you to comment on posts with your brand’s messenger link. If you run a Facebook ad that people are asking questions about, be sure to reply with this link to continue the conversation within Messenger.4) Run a “Send to Messenger” ad.Messenger Ads are Facebook’s newest ad type. They allow you to target audiences just like any other ad, but you can encourage them to message you directly from the Ad. Keep in mind, you’ll want to have your inbox modified to ensure it is money well-spent. But, as this is a new Facebook Ad type — the best time to experiment with these ads is now.5) Commit to actually using it daily. The best way to make the most out of Facebook Messenger is to monitor the channel just like you would monitor your own inbox, or your favorite Slack channel. The nature of the conversational channel encourages on-demand action, so the more responsive you can be, the better.Finally, keep it light on the channel, after all, it is conversational. Messenger is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality using GIFs and emojis that appeal to your audience.last_img read more

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This Simple Diagram Will Help You Tell Better Brand Stories

first_imgTell someone to write a poem, and chances are, they’ll freeze up. Tell someone to write a haiku, however, and we bet they’ll bang one out in less than 10 minutes.The reason: constraints unleash our creativity. But how can you translate that to the complex world of content marketing?Click here to download our ultimate toolkit for social and PR branding.The below diagram will help you do just that.The Story Funnel-MatrixThe funnel-matrix has two dimensions. The first maps loosely to the stages of a typical marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and acquisition.What stories you tell will depend on your current relationship with your audience –where you are as a couple, to use the obligatory marketing-dating analogy.When you first meet someone, your conversations tend to be around things that you have in common — your shared interests and values. This is why so many people make small talk about the weather. It affects everyone, so it’s something we all have in common.You probably won’t dive into your health problems the first time you meet someone. You probably won’t share intimate details about the people in your life.But after you meet, you might start sharing some of those things, especially if the first date goes well. You might start to paint a picture of your dream life: where you want to live, your ideal career, where you want to travel. Though you shouldn’t hit them with a marriage proposal at this point, you’ll start to share more about yourself — what you care about and what you want.By the third or fourth date, you’ll naturally be sharing more personal stories than before. This is the way a relationship progresses. (Notice how storytelling is such a big part of what we do when we’re dating. It’s good for more than just marketing and publishing!)This brings us back to our storytelling funnel-matrix. In the beginning of a relationship, you should tell stories about shared interests and values. As things progress, you can tell stories about the people in your life (like your customers or employees). Finally, as things start getting more serious, you tell stories about your products and services themselves.The second dimension of the funnel-matrix adds an extra bit of planning help to your content creation strategy. This comes straight from the playbook of newsrooms.The idea is to divide the stories you tell into three more categories based on time: timely stories that are pertinent based on news or current events; seasonal stories that are relevant because of the time of year; and evergreen stories that will be valuable no matter when the audience sees or hears them.Take our client American Express, for example. Amex’s OPEN line of credit cards wants small business owners to know that they care about them. Building that trust is a key element of their B2B branding, so they tell stories in various places, most notably on OPEN Forum, a content hub and newsletter that attracts millions of small business owners each month. They’re mostly interested in staying top of mind, not driving conversions or talking about Amex’s products.Instead, they tell stories about how small business owners handle challenges like hiring and growth. These are examples of evergreen stories.Sometimes Amex OPEN Forum spots something relevant that happens in the news and writes stories about how it affects small business owners, like new overtime laws and tax policies. These are timely + top-funnel stories.And one day a year, American Express sponsors a holiday called Small Business Saturday, where it encourages consumers to shop at local businesses instead of big ones. To promote the upcoming holiday, Amex creates videos about small businesses around the country that are making a difference in their communities. These are seasonal stories.Shinola’s stories of its factory workers and their mission to transform Detroit are about both values (saving American jobs) and its company/people. So they are evergreen + top/mid- funnel.GE Reports, which tells stories of how GE invents really cool products (but doesn’t try to get you to buy those products), are mid-funnel and often timely—as the company reports on new innovations—but also evergreen because many of the stories are still interesting after the news is over.The Groupon stories we talked about fit into the category of timely + bottom-funnel. They’re stories about product deals Groupon wants you to buy on one specific day.Zady’s stories about the Indigo Skinny Jeans are evergreen + bottom-funnel. They’ll be around whenever you are ready for them.The smartest brand storytellers are constantly on the lookout for data to tell them what their audiences are interested in during each stage of the funnel and each segment of the Bullseye. They obsess over it. And that’s because they know it’s their secret advantage.This is an excerpt from the Amazon #1 New Release, The Storytelling Edge: How to Transform Your Business, Stop Screaming Into the Void, and Make People Love You” by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow, available today. Originally published Feb 20, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated February 20 2018 Topics: Storytelling Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

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Build Your Online Presence with Pro Bono

first_imgWe know it’s hard to tackle the never ending list of tasks associated with building an online presence. Lucky for nonprofits, pro bono professionals are ready to help boost your online image via social media, online fundraising, email marketing, and SEO Because of organizations like the Taproot Foundation and Catchafire it’s much easier to find pro bono consultants who are willing to provide their talents at no charge to a nonprofit like yours.If pro bono is new to you, projects that are compartmentalized—photography, newsletter design, and copyediting—are great places to start. Projects like designing an entire website or creating a communication strategy are more complex and best approached when you are prepared to invest the time and staff resources to work with a pro bono consultant over a longer period of time. Although these projects are more advanced, they often result in long-lasting relationships with your consultants and can create invested champions for your cause.To start planning how you can use pro bono to maximize your online presence, download our chart to assess what pro bono projects your nonprofit is ready for.Once you’ve identified your projects, check out how you can secure pro bono help at the Taproot Foundation’s website.last_img read more

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Track and compare year-end giving

first_imgNetwork for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2013 Year-End Online Giving Tracker. You can use this resource to see how online giving is stacking up each day of December and to compare those numbers with the last few years. To supply the data for the tracker, we looked at a set of 14,300 charities who received donations through Network for Good’s online giving platform. You can view this data by month, by week, or look at the entire span of information from November 1st through the end of the year. Check it out by visiting The Chronicle’s site, and let us know how the trends compare to your own year-end fundraising results.last_img

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A Simple Strategy for Running an Email Marketing Test

first_imgAs a busy organization, it’s rare that you have time to even think about testing your nonprofit email marketing. You’re focused on getting your newsletter or announcement out the door so you can get back to what you do best.But what if running an email marketing test didn’t need to take a ton of time? What if, instead, it could fit in with the work you’re already doing and still provide the insight you need to improve your results?It starts with understanding what you want to test.Focus on testing one thing at a time. If you test more than one element in the same email, it is challenging (and sometimes impossible) to determine exactly what influenced the response.Here are some easy and telling tests to start with:Subject lines: Create two different subject lines for the same email communication. For example, if you’re planning a fundraising event, you may want to test if adding the event date or name to the subject line influences open rates.Long versus short copy: Create a shorter version of your newsletter with teasers and links to your website or blog and another that includes more content within the design of your email.Experiment with CTAs: The call to action (CTA), is one of the most important parts of any email. To help perfect your CTAs and see what’s working, you can test different copy and even experiment with different buttons within your email.Other tests could include the time of day or day of the week you send, with an image or without, and the placement of a CTA button or link.Now, decide how you’ll measure your results. For subject lines, your most effective metric will be open rates. This will tell you how many people saw your email in their inbox and took the next step to open it.For tests within the copy of your email, focus on clicks. This will tell you how many people not only opened it, but who also viewed your content and took some action within the email.Think about what you’re trying to learn. If your goal is to find out how the length of your email or the type of content you include influences donations or registrations, you’ll want to track donations and compare them with previous results. If you’re driving traffic to your website or blog, you can use a tool like Google Analytics to track referral traffic to your site.Once you know what you want to test and how you’ll measure your results, now you can put the test in motion. When it comes to who you’ll send your test to, you have two options: You can either split your entire nonprofit email list in half and send one version to each, or take a random sample and do a pre-test.A pre-test is an excellent way to find out what works before sending an email to your entire list. This knowledge can greatly improve your overall response rate. It also protects you from sending a poor performing email test to a large portion of your list and wasting your efforts. To pre-test, choose a random sampling of 100 people from your master nonprofit email list, then split that group in half and send each half one of the two test campaigns.Once you have everything ready, send your test emails. The great thing about email is that you get your results quickly. Within a 24- to 48-hour period, you’ll know which email communication got a better result. (It takes weeks when testing with direct mail!)Declare your winner, send that email to the remaining members of your list, and watch the results come in.It’s really that simple.Testing your nonprofit email marketing is about listening to your audience—something nonprofits know better than anyone! Let their actions tell you what’s working, what’s not, and what you could be doing differently. This will not only help improve your email marketing but will let you better connect with the people who matter most to your organization and attract more donors, supporters, and volunteers.As Constant Contact’s Content Developer, Ryan Pinkham helps small businesses and nonprofits recognize their full potential through marketing and social media.last_img read more

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2014 Year-End Giving Results in Big Win Online for Nonprofits

first_imgWant more insight on how online giving is growing? Stay tuned! In February, we’ll release our Digital Giving Index, which will take a closer look at online giving trends. We’ll share where, how, and how much donors gave across our digital channels in 2014. How did your year-end fundraising campaigns perform? Chime in with your experiences in the comments and let us know what you plan to build on—or change—in 2015! It’s no secret that year-end giving is an important source of donation dollars for most nonprofits. Last year was no exception and we saw a lot of “generous procrastinators” giving big online in December 2014. When we looked at organizations who received donations on the Network for Good platform in both December 2013 and December 2014, we saw an 18% increase in total donation volume year over year. A few other important notes about year-end giving results:The total number of donations also grew year over year. In December 2014, 22% more donations were made to charities through Network for Good compared to December 2013.As expected, #GivingTuesday was a big driver of December donations on the Network for Good platform in 2014, with over $4.5M raised on December 2. This represented a 148% increase over total donation volume on #GivingTuesday 2013.December giving also accounted for 30% of all online donations made to nonprofits through Network for Good in 2014, with 10% of all annual giving happening on the last three days of the year. This stat has remained consistent for the last 5 years, underscoring the significance of year-end giving on overall fundraising results.The average gift size for the month of December also increased by 6.5% compared to 2013.last_img read more

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mHealth for Maternal Health: Digital Health Solutions Addressing Rising Tide of Diabetes in Pregnancy

first_imgPosted on April 4, 2014August 18, 2017By: Dr. Jane Hirst, Nuffield Medical Fellow, University of OxfordClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes rise around the world, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is becoming increasingly common. GDM is a condition where blood glucose levels in pregnancy are too high, which has potentially serious consequences for both mother and baby, most commonly with the baby growing too large resulting in birth trauma. Keeping maternal blood glucose levels within the normal range can largely prevent complications of GDM. This is achieved through diet and exercise, often requiring the addition of medications such as insulin or metformin. More women with GDM has led to increasingly overcrowded outpatient clinics, with many women coming only for review of their blood glucose results.GDm-Health is an interactive remote blood glucose monitoring system developed in response to increasing numbers of women with GDM in the UK. The aim was to develop a digital solution to help women better monitor and control their blood glucose levels at home with less frequent outpatient appointments. The technology uses a Bluetooth enabled blood glucose meter to automatically transmit readings to a smartphone application and secure website. A midwife then reviews the results and can contact the women via SMS or phone call if any changes are required.Preliminary results from a service development cohort of 50 women were extremely encouraging. Women found the system convenient to use, appreciating the extra support from the health care team without the need for long waits in the outpatient department. For the success of any mHealth application, It is vital that users be involved at all stages in the development process. An example of this from our initiative was modification of the technology to improve bilateral communication with the introduction of a function for patients to signal to the midwife that they would like a phone call. Seemingly small additions like this can help improve compliance.A randomized controlled trial evaluating whether the system can actually improve clinical outcomes with the system is currently underway. If we can demonstrate that this technology can improve clinical outcomes as well as patient satisfaction, the next challenge will be effective scale up, both within the UK and abroad.While the uptake of smartphones isn’t a challenge to scale-up in our case given the setting, scaling faces several other challenges. Firstly, the security and confidentiality of the patient’s data must be paramount. Currently all information is hosted on a secure NHS server, however if the system were to be used elsewhere this would have to be negotiated. The second major consideration is the ongoing costs of the system. Blood glucose test strips compatible with the system are expensive, limiting enthusiasm for uptake. Additionally, the cost of data transmission via 3G networks must also be considered.And yet the key rate-limiting step to scale-up in many settings is likely to be gaining support of the health professionals required for the system to work. A phone itself does not save lives. It is the people using it and their experience and ability to effectively communicate advice through the technology.It is hoped that working with hospitals in our region, industry partners and learning from experiences abroad these issues will be able to be overcome and outcomes for women with GDM improved.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani at ymm108@mail.harvard.edu.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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