(Visited 392 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享10 Media use the word “evolution” in articles that have nothing to do with it. It’s as if the word has magical powers to conjure up awe.Evolution, evolution, evolution. The e-word is ubiquitous in science articles and papers, even when the data have nothing to do with evolution as Darwin conceived it. (See the important preface in the 10/02/19 entry to understand what natural selection is and is not.)In the following examples, look how writers wave the e-word like a magic wand, assuming it has supernatural powers to create any highly-complex and well-designed entity, given enough time. In some cases, the word is used metaphorically. In none of these cases is it used to describe functional innovation by genetic mutations that were preserved by some mysterious “natural selector” somehow.Evolution tells us we might be the only intelligent life in the universe (The Conversation). “Evolution tells us?” Pray tell, where is evolution’s voice? Is it a he, she, or non-binary sentient force? Where is the podium from which Evolution teaches facts about reality? This weird article by long-time Darwin-lover Nick Longrich (now at University of Bath) comes to a possible conclusion that humans might be the only “intelligent” life in the universe, but of course he doubts it. And Longrich is pretty sure that life is evolving everywhere it can, even if non-intelligent. His fairy story is filled with assumptions that Sir/Madam Evolution has no trouble inventing biological marvels all over the universe (examples below) – except that maybe, though, the god Evolution has a little trouble creating thinking beings. Live Science reposted this article with the modified title, “Humans May Be the Only Intelligent Life in the Universe, If Evolution Has Anything to Say.” That’s a big If.The universe is large, and old, with time and room for intelligence to evolve…Could intelligence simply be unlikely to evolve? Unfortunately, we can’t study extraterrestrial life to answer this question. But we can study some 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history, looking at where evolution repeats itself, or doesn’t.Evolution sometimes repeats, with different species independently converging on similar outcomes. If evolution frequently repeats itself, then our evolution might be probable, even inevitable.Other striking cases of convergence include dolphins and extinct ichthyosaurs, which evolved similar shapes to glide through the water, and birds, bats and pterosaurs, which convergently evolved flight.Eyes evolved not just in vertebrates, but in arthropods, octopi, worms and jellyfish. Vertebrates, arthropods, octopi and worms independently invented jaws. Legs evolved convergently in the arthropods, octopi and four kinds of fish (tetrapods, frogfish, skates, mudskippers).The complex, eukaryotic cells that all animals and plants are built from, containing nuclei and mitochondria, evolved only once. Sex evolved just once. Photosynthesis, which increased the energy available to life and produced oxygen, is a one-off. For that matter, so is human-level intelligence.There are places where evolution repeats, and places where it doesn’t. [See Stuff Happens Law]Humans couldn’t evolve until fish evolved bones that let them crawl onto land [etc].Earth’s history must have allowed intelligent life to evolve, or we wouldn’t be here to ponder it.Intelligence seems to depend on a chain of improbable events. But given the vast number of planets, then like an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters to write Hamlet, it’s bound to evolve somewhere.Image credit: Illustra Media, The Case for a Creator.Regarding the monkey-typewriter myth, Longrich should have listened to the late Dr A.E. Wilder-Smith, who pointed out that the myth depends on the characters being preserved as the monkeys type. If the letters fall off the page soon after they are typed (like chemical reactions in the real world, which are reversible), the apes will never type anything worthwhile, even given infinite time.Repertoire-wide phylogenetic models of B cell molecular evolution reveal evolutionary signatures of aging and vaccination (PNAS). Evolution is so pervasive and pernicious, it is going on inside of you!High-affinity antibodies that protect us from infection are produced by B cells through an evolutionary process of mutation and selection during adaptive immune responses. B cell repertoire sequencing combined with phylogenetic methods has provided unprecedented potential to study B cells as an evolving population. However, phylogenetic models operate on individual lineages rather than the thousands of lineages often found in B cell repertoires. Here, we develop an evolutionary framework that incorporates B cell-specific features and combines information across lineages to characterize mutation and selection dynamics of entire repertoires.Now hold on just a cotton-pickin’ minute. Your body is not evolving, your family is not evolving, and your species is not evolving. We are all Homo sapiens, and what goes on inside of us has no bearing on your offspring (note that they are watching for changes during aging, which means your kids are already grown up). These six Darwinos are using natural selection in a metaphorical sense, but it doesn’t have anything to do with evolution. The fact is, B cells are extremely well designed to hone in on antigens so as to fight them. The last thing they need is Darwinism! If the human body were not designed to intelligently select the shape of potential antigen shapes from a pool of trials, you would die. This has nothing to do with evolution, and the authors should know it. They are confusing the public with such faulty analogies and equivocations, just like Darwin did when he compared artificial selection (intelligent design) to natural selection.How the earliest mammals thrived alongside dinosaurs (John Pickrell, Nature). Watch how Pickrell, like Longrich, merely assumes that Evolution has magical creative powers. When complex organs appear abruptly, that’s no problem for Evolution. It just means that the wonder-worker was on a roll. He/she/it worked super-fast, producing an explosion of inventions displaying creative genius.An explosion of fossil finds reveals that ancient mammals evolved a wide variety of adaptations allowing them to exploit the skies, rivers and underground lairs.[A mother of fossil young] is a cynodont, a member of the group from which mammals evolved.The discoveries are also starting to reveal the evolutionary origins of many of the key traits of mammals — such as lactation, large brains and superbly keen senses.A raft of extraordinary fossil finds is revealing details of how mammals evolved from reptilian forebears 178 million years ago.“We used to say that during the time of dinosaurs, mammals were totally unspectacular. That they were just these little mousey things scampering around in the shadows,” says Brusatte. But these animals “were undergoing their own evolutionary explosion”, he says.To make that possible, mammals evolved a wide variety of complex teeth for biting and grinding food.Much of the constellation of features we think of as defining mammals — complex teeth, excellent senses, lactation, small litter size — might actually have evolved before true mammals, and quite quickly. “More and more it looks like it all came out in a very short burst of evolutionary experimentation,” Luo says. By the time mammal-like creatures were roaming around in the Mesozoic, he says, “the lineage has already acquired its modern look and modern biological adaptations”.Notice the sophoxymoronic phrase “evolutionary experimentation.” If it’s experimentation, it’s not evolutionary, and vice versa. Experimentation presupposes a person with a mind and a goal, intent on learning something or accomplishing a purpose. By definition, Darwinian evolution is aimless and purposeless. Scientists who speak of “experimental evolution” in the lab are using their minds as selectors. They may use random variations, but they determine the criteria for success and pick the winners, just like breeders do.Mosaic evolution, preadaptation, and the evolution of evolvability in apes (bioRxiv). The author of this preprint, Caroline Parins-Fukuchi, is so drunk on Darwine she sees evolution itself evolving! Hers is not the only paper on “evolvability,” but she applies it to human beings. With this magic trick, evolutionists can speed up or slow down the magic act, allowing them to explain not only why traits evolved quickly in some cases, but also why they did not evolve in other cases. With this magic trick an evolutionist can explain everything – even opposite outcomes. Written in Jargonwocky, the trick sounds almost plausible, with dramatic effect.Shifts in modularity drove dramatic evolutionary changes across the ape body plan in two distinct ways: 1) an episode of relaxed integration early in hominoid evolution coincided with bursts in evolutionary rate across multiple character suites; 2) the formation of two new trait modules along the branch leading to chimps and humans preceded rapid and dramatic evolutionary shifts in the carpus and pelvis. Changes to the structure of evolutionary mosaicism may correspond to enhanced evolvability that has a ‘preadaptive’ effect by catalyzing later episodes of dramatic morphological remodeling.Notice that “evolvability” acts like movable axes on a graph. When traits in fossils appear abruptly, the evolutionist can move the axes close together to call it a “burst.” When traits are static, the evolutionist can move the axes apart and call it “relaxed integration.” Evolution is the constant; the rate is the variable, yielding a warped image of nature, not unlike a fun-house mirror.The use of passive voice is another trick that obscures the sleight-of-mind magic going on. “The formation of two new trait modules” is supposed to mean, “Evolution invented two traits by chance that it knew would be useful later.” The phrase “later episodes of dramatic morphological remodeling” is supposed to mean, “Evolution dramatically remodeled the bodies of apes on their march to humanity.” Evolution is so clever, it can “preadapt” traits to speed up evolution. Is that “dramatic,” or what?There are so many examples of this form of cheating by evolutionists in the media (i.e., treating “evolution” as an all-purpose magic wand), we’ll have to continue this topic with more examples. For now, understand the point: none of these papers even attempt to show what actual genetic mutations occurred, how many of them were required, and how a blind process (not a “selector” by any meaning of the word) could even care what happened. After you laugh, get mad. This nonsense is the only tolerable narrative allowed in public education in most societies around the world today. And why? Well, D.M.S. said it best in 1929 after the Scopes Trial, “Evolution [is] a theory universally accepted not because it can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.” Evolution is their god, and Darwin is the high priest who brought the knowledge of their god to the peasants. Anyone coming into the tribe with a different Creator must be Expelled!
Sanjay Patel alleged the move as a vendetta politics from Anshuman Gaekwad’s factionThe BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, was on Wednesday removed from the secretary’s post by his own state association Baroda CA after a city civil court in Vadodara rejected his plea to be reinstated in BCA’s managing committee.While BCCI secretary Patel alleged it as a “vendetta politics” from the other joint secretary Anshuman Gaekwad’s faction, the BCA sent a press release late evening to inform about their decision to remove Patel.The decision effectively means that Patel can’t represent BCA at the BCCI’s AGM right now as per state association’s rules. “The Managing Committee(MC) of Baroda Cricket Association(BCA) had removed Shri Sanjay Patel(MC member and Secretary of BCA) on the basis of Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations of BCA for qualifying a MC member status,” the press release stated.”Today (24.9.14) Honorable Chief judicial magistrate, Vadodara (in charge) Shri Sanjaybhai Thakkar has accepted the application of BCA and Plaint of both the suits of Shri Sanjay patel to reinstate him as MC member as well as secretary of BCA was rejected.”On the basis of the above Judgment of the Court, the decision taken by The Managing Committee of Baroda Cricket Association holds good and Mr. Sanjay Patel (current Hon Secretary of BCCI) is no more a Secretary as well as he is no more a Managing Committee member of Baroda Cricket Association,” the release stated.”If Anshuman Gaekwad is saying that my appointment in BCA’s managing committee is illegal, then I would like to ask as to what is the legality of his appointment in the same committee. Anshuman and his group are doing vendetta politics but they won’t be successful,” a fuming Patel, who is also BCA joint secretary, said today.advertisementHe said he plans to appeal to Gujarat High Court challenging BCA decision after city civil court in Vadodara dismissed his plea. “I will be appealing in Gujarat High Court. The situation is such that there can’t be any out of court settlement with Angshuman and his group,” said BCCI secretary.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the update cycle. The last known update to the public Google PageRank number (as shown via the toolbar and tools like WebsiteGrader.com), was around April 30th 2007. So, as I write this article, it has been over 4 months since the last update. In all the time that I’ve been watching the Google PageRank updates, this is the longest lapse I’ve seen. This likely means that we’re going to see an update “any day now”. Measuring SEO 2. Updates happen inconsistently (you never really know when the next one is coming) Most SEO experts are of the opinion that the Google PageRank number that is available to the public (often known as the “toolbar PageRank”) is not very important. The toolbar PR (TBPR) is the number shown via the Google Toolbar and other software applications (like WebsiteGrader.com’s Originally published Sep 10, 2007 11:22:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re interested in knowing when the next Google PageRank update happens, I have a simple solution for you. Just 3. It’s a coarse number (0-10 — no fractions) in comparison to the “internal” PageRank number Google uses for its ranking algorithm. SEO Report First off, if you don’t know what Google PageRank is, then here’s a quick So, although Google PageRank has its limitations, it continues to be monitored and cited (if you’re in the market for buying a website, one of the things you’ll likely look at is the Google PageRank of the site). All of these are legitimate reasons that do indeed severely limit the utility of the public Google PageRank. However, this number continues to be interesting to many folks primarily because it is the simplest abstraction that can easily be accessed to determine the general “authority” for a given web page. It factors in the two most important things from an SEO perspective: The number of inbound links to a given web page and the power/authority of those links. Topics: What does this mean to you? If you have a relatively new site, or have just started getting meaningful inbound links recently, don’t fret if your Google PageRank is zero. Since there hasn’t been an update in a while, chances are your current PR (or lack thereof) is simply based on the old data. Once the update occurs, you should see yourself move up. WebsiteGrader.com is currently at a PR5 (which is not bad), but I expect the site to jump to a PR6 as it has more powerful links than some of our other sites which already have a PR6. introduction to Google PageRank register for this site and we’ll send you a quick email when the update happens. We monitor hundreds of websites on behalf of our users, so when the change happens, we’ll likely be one of the first ones to know — and so will you. . SEO experts think Google PageRank is not a particularly meaningful number for a variety of reasons: . 1. Updates happen infrequently (every few months) Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Channel-Level Funnel So you ask the logical next question: How much is he going to get paid? At this point, your son starts squirming, his face turns red and he admits that he forgot to ask. — This is the percentage of website visitors that converts to leads and the percentage of leads that converts to customers. This is important to know because you need to understand where in the funnel you can improve. Are you better at converting leads to customers? Or visitors to leads? The answer to that question will help you determine where to focus you energy and how to drive more sales. What do you think? Are you tracking this funnel? If not, what’s stopping you? — How to Generate Leads for Small Business Marketing Analytics Photo: and Leads How could he possibly agree to a job without knowing how much he’s going to get paid? How could he not know this?! Where did you go wrong? Kids! — Website visitors are at the top of the funnel. These are the people you’ve attracted to your site via channels like your blog, social media and search engine optimization. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . Maybe they fill out a form in order to download a white paper. Maybe they requested an demo. Whatever it is, these people are potential customers, and you have more information about them than you have about your website visitors. Conversion Rates Website Visitors website Leads Originally published May 18, 2009 8:29:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 — This means tracking everything above (the funnel) for each channel. How many website visitors, leads and customers do you get from organic search traffic? How about from your blog? And what are the conversion rates for each? The answers to these questions will help you determine which channels to focus you marketing reasources on. Topics: blogging — then fail to find out how many of those website visitors actually convert to customers. Just like your teenage son, they work without knowing how much they’re getting paid. The worst part of the story? The information they’re missing isn’t hard to get. You just have to track the right things. Specifically, you should think of your business website as a funnel like the one in the image below. Spare the indignity. Adults — particularly adults in online marketing — do this all the time. They do endless hours of , SEO work, driving people to their are the website visitors who express interest in your product by submitting information on a landing page What!?!3#$% Download our Here’s what you should be measuring in this funnel: social media . Imagine this: Your teenage son comes home from school one day with a big smile on his face, and announces he’s accepted a summer job mowing lawns. Needless to say, you’re impressed. The summer hasn’t even started and he’s got something all lined up. What initiative! What great parenting! You’ve done well. — These are the folks who pay you. If you’re not already tracking them, you’re in trouble. Lead Generation for Small Business Webinar Customers Peoria Pundit Learn how small businesses can level the playing field and generate leads efficiently by leveraging inbound Internet marketing strategies and tools.
Topics: Originally published Nov 19, 2009 8:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Salesforce.com Salesforce’s homepage includes three distinct calls to action above the fold: one that attracts people to their conference, another that gets people to a landing page, and yet another that places people in front of a demo of the software (a great example of secondary and tertiary offers.) One of the remarkable things about Salesforce’s calls to action is the simplicity of their design. Each one is a simple rectangular button with rounded corners, red outlines and simple text – and that’s it. This post contains older information, but has been left up for historical reasons. For more up-to-date information, please see our Lead Generation Hub . Calls to action are the gateways that your visitors must click through to become leads. If your calls to action aren’t optimized and attractive to your visitors, they are less likely to complete the actions you want them to on your website. Creating a great call to action isn’t simple of course, as it takes work to figure out exactly what to offer and how to portray that offer on your pages.As you begin to think about how to handle creating calls to action for your website, keep in mind that simple calls to action are often the most effective . By keeping it simple, you should be able to brainstorm and design some calls to action that really work.Whenever I start any creative project, I typically look at what other people have done for inspiration and ideas. If you’re stuck and don’t know how to portray your offer to your visitors, have a look at some of the examples below. These companies have nailed it down to a science; their calls to action convert their visitors into leads (or customers) and you should use their ideas to your advantage. Mozilla What I like about Mozilla’s call to action is that it gives a clear indicator of what a user can expect when they click on the button.The offer is laid out in front of the visitor; They get 1 Firefox download and it’s free. Clear. Easy. Attractive. The other remarkable thing about Mozilla’s call to action button is its size. It’s BIG! It sticks out on the page and draws your attention. Basecamp – 37 Signals The calls to action that 37 Signals feature are a little over the top. Check out the homepage of their Basecamp product and you’ll see what I mean. Basically the entire page, or at least everything above the fold, is a call to action. Their text is hierarchical, they employ lots of attractive images (of their products), and they top it all off with a big, fat button for the user to click on. Notice that on the button there is some text that indicates what the users can expect: a free, 30-day trial of the product and a super fast sign-up process. Remember, an effective call to action is always visible, attractive, and matched to a compelling offer. Regardless of how much time you decide to spend designing calls to action, always install the end product above the fold so that you can convert more of your visitors into leads and customers. Creating effective calls to action are a crucial piece to achieving inbound marketing success and often the most overlooked. What calls to action do you think are the most effective? What are your biggest questions about creating calls to action? Tell us in the comments! Commercial IQ The nice thing about Commercial IQ’s call to action is that it’s action oriented and attracts the visitor’s eye. They also follow other call to action best practices by placing the button up high on a page on a background that contrasts with the color of the button. The user can see the button really easily and they know exactly what to do. Calls to Action Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack BarackObama.com Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admire the marketing effort of the Barack Obama team during the 2008 campaign, most notably their inbound marketing efforts. Check out their calls to action. First of all, there are 3 above the fold (visible) on the front page. One of them rotates which incorporates 2 more into the mix. All the calls to action are well-optimized, too. They begin with a verb, are action-oriented, and each of them are simple and concise. You know what you’re getting and what to expect when you click on any button on BarakObama.com
If you’re new to she could offer as a free download on Ethical Impact’s website. With a landing page, anonymous website visitors could drop their contact information in exchange for a relevant educational offer provided by Ethical Impact. inbound marketing educational resources , she learned blogging best practices. free HubSpot trial Ethical Impact Marketing Takeaway Adam Enbar Originally published Mar 4, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Kathryn had been blogging for years on WordPress but wasn’t seeing any business results. Using her Gaining the Knowledge to Make Use of the Tools Now that she had the offer available, she needed to send some traffic to the landing page. To do this, she added a call-to-action button on her homepage and did an email campaign to drive more visitors to the landing page. , she moved her existing blog articles over to HubSpot and started writing new articles automatically optimized for her best keywords. Using the Kathryn said, HubSpot trial , it may seem daunting to transform your marketing practices. Where do you start? How soon can you see results? I had a chance to chat with Kathryn Alexander of Ethical Impact, a recent HubSpot customer who used the While she had tried a variety of tools, what she needed was the knowledge of inbound marketing best practices and how to use tools like blogs and landing pages to her benefit. Step 2: Create a Landing Page Kathryn had an idea for a 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: is a small business providing strategic planning, consulting, auditing, and certification for businesses implementing sustainable business practices. Kathryn, the company’s owner and founder, was looking for a way to simply deliver results for her business. She was not generating leads through her website and didn’t know how to make the transition from the traditional marketing methods she had been doing for years. A Small Business Looking for Results Results: 16% Conversion Rate and 12 New Leads! By sending traffic to a landing page with an educational offer, Ethical Impact was able to generate 12 new leads in less than a month! On top of that, Kathryn saw a 76% improvement in their web traffic ranking, showing Ethical Impact was growing both traffic and leads. Since then, Kathryn has continued to blog, create new landing pages and offers and capture even more inbound leads! Step 1: Optimize the Blog whitepaper Step 3: Add a Call-to-Action it was figuring out what to do and making the transition from outbound to inbound marketing. So, don’t hesitate – start blogging and creating landing pages and promoting them on your website. Ethical Impact wasn’t generating leads through their website before and in fewer than 30 days she was able to turn that around and get the website to work for her! available to HubSpot customers and trialers, along with the great help of her inbound marketing specialist, to achieve success in fewer than 30 days. Blog Optimization It’s not accomplishing these marketing goals that’s difficult,
Almost every day, it seems like some company or social network is redesigning itself or adding new features or something. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a lot to keep track of — especially while we’ve been busy prepping to celebrate Father’s Day today.This week, we’ve got some major redesigns, new features, and even a relaunch that will tickle your marketing fancy. It isn’t often that social networks make many changes to their business facing features, but this week is a whole different story for marketers and brands. Companies like Google and Twitter have made some big changes for its business-oriented users that will make your week all the sweeter. So check out this quick overview of what happened in marketing this week, and then go enjoy the rest of your Father’s Day!Facebook Hashtags Take a Page From Twitter’s Ad Business, From MashableFacebook announced this week that it will be rolling out a hashtag feature to all of its users. There were hints of this happening a few months back and should come as no surprise to many marketers. Facebook users will be able to click on hashtags and find hashtags that are trending, but we expect more functionalities to be announced soon. This new addition to Facebook’s social network is designed to “bring conversations more to the forefront.” For marketers, this means that many of you will be able to take the opportunity to unify your marketing efforts across almost all of the social networks — you can use one hashtag across all platforms, which will help strengthen your brand messages. Beyond more cohesive messaging, marketers might be able to use hashtags for paid opportunities — Facebook mentioned that there are plans to link hashtags to paid ads down the road. Learn more about Facebook hashtags at Mashable.Unified Google+ Dashboard Lets Businesses Manage Search, Social, Maps, and AdWords, From TechCrunchGoogle has been making some big changes to Google+ over the past few months and this week, it is launching a new dashboard for businesses. Google+ page owners will now have a single dashboard to manage a number of their daily activities. The dashboard will allow users to update information, such as website URL and phone numbers, across Google Maps and Google+ all at once. Other features include the ability to monitor Google+ notifications, post photos and videos, start hangouts, and manage AdWords Express.This new dashboard design will greatly increase the effectiveness of Google+ for brands and marketers. With access to all of the important aspects of Google+ in one place, marketers will be able to better manage their ad campaigns, content, and public information — making all of our lives much easier. Learn more about the Google+ Dashboard at TechCrunch.Marketing Box: Your All-in-One Package for Sending the Perfect Email, From HubSpotWith so much buzz and activity around social media, content, and SEO, we often forget about how important it is to nurture leads or prospects with effective email campaigns. We know its hard putting those emails together with all the distractions around the office and on the internet. To help combat all of these distractions, we’ve created a Marketing Box to help you send the perfect email. Our free Marketing Box includes everything from music to jam out to, to pre-designed templates and customizable social sharing buttons. What are you waiting for? Download our free Marketing Box now.Myspace Relaunches With $20 Million Ad Campaign, From AdweekMyspace has hinted at a relaunch the past several months, but it looks like it’s finally making the big ol’ comeback. This week, Myspace announced its official relaunch with a $20 million ad campaign that will run across cable, radio, broadcast, and digital. Myspace has historically seen itself as a social network for “creatives,” and that’s what the new ads are clearly suggesting. In a 90-second ad shared on Adweek, a gaggle of young hipsters are shown dancing, skateboarding, snapping photographs, and smashing instruments as many “creatives” do daily.Brands and marketers should see this relaunch as a way to dive into a “new” social network with a lot of potential. The new UX looks quite remarkable and could be a huge selling point for Myspace to attract an audience of “creatives” who aren’t currently being catered to by any particular social network. For businesses currently in the music industry, this relaunch is a huge opportunity to be one of the first properly branded and promoted Myspace pages on the internet. Learn more about Myspace’s relaunch at Adweek.Site Speed Penalty Coming to Mobile Web Sites, From Search Engine LandGoogle’s Matt Cutts announced this week that Google will be rolling out a mobile version of its site speed ranking factor, which essentially takes the load speed of a website into consideration when calculating search results rankings. This means that Google will begin monitoring the load speeds of mobile sites to determine how well a web page will rank. There is no official announcement on when this will actually come into effect, but Matt Cutts wants webmasters and marketers to be prepared for this new addition.Ranking is a huge factor in how well marketing campaigns perform, and this new addition to Google’s ranking criteria will greatly affect websites with poorly developed mobile sites. Brands and marketers should consider taking a close look at how well their mobile sites are optimized and invest some time into creating a faster mobile experience for users. Learn more about Google’s ranking update at Search Engine Land.Twitter Starts Rolling Out Tweet Performance Analytics to More Users, From HubSpotTwitter is now giving some users access to a free analytics dashboard that will allow them to view the performance of their tweets. Aside from seeing how many favorites, retweets, and replies their tweets get, users will be able to sort their tweets by “Best, Good, or All” when running through their analytics. Users will also be able to download all of their analytics as a CSV file for offline analysis.For marketers or brands that have yet to opt into Twitter Ads paid program or be selected for this free release, these new tools will help give insight into how well their Twitter efforts are doing. With these new insights, brands and marketers will be able to tailor their content based to increase user engagement. To see if you have access, just head to ads.twitter.com and sign in with your Twitter credentials. Learn more about Twitter Analytics at HubSpot.What other marketing stories did you hear about this week? Share your favorites with us in the comments.Image credit: zhouxuan12345678 Topics: Originally published Jun 16, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Hashtags Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
The sales connect is the most transferrable skill to master. If you master the connect, you can begin mastering so many other important life skills — sorority rush, dinner party schmoozing, networking events, and even the first date.In sales, the connect is your opportunity to make that first impression on your prospect — the first time that you’re catching someone live on the phone. And the last thing you want is for it to be the last time. So, what should you say?Free Download: 101 Sales Qualification QuestionsA connect call is about getting to know your prospect. Think about when you meet someone new at a dinner party — the first conversation you have is about introductions and learning the basics without being overbearing or creating a tell-all confessional too soon. Similarly, in the sales world, we use a connect call in order to begin understanding whom we’re talking to, what she cares about, and whether we have anything in common that we can get value out of discussing. We ask questions to find out what she’s working on, how that fits in with her company’s greater business goals, what’s tough about her day, whether that’s something we can help with, and whether she even wants anyone’s help in the first place.The goal of a connect with any person is to strike up a good conversation, get to know what makes them tick, and walk away knowing whether you want to continue that conversation at a later point in time. The goal of a sales connect call is exactly the same, with an added emphasis on determining whether there’s any way you can help a prospect with a need that her business has prioritized addressing.A Few ClarificationsBefore we jump into the methodology for running a sales connect, it may be helpful to describe some common pitfalls that should not find their way into your connects. OR … before discussing what a connect actually entails, let’s highlight what it should never become.The connect is NOT an opportunity for an elevator pitch. Remembering this takes discipline, because many times the prospect will insist that you provide one. If the prospect asks you for a high-level sale, give them a high-level overview instead. Resist the urge to talk about your product for 20 minutes straight. Practice conveying what you do in 2 sentences or less; then learn how to pivot back into your intended playbook.Secondly, this is NOT an opportunity to budget-qualify someone as quickly as possible. There are no shortcuts in a strong and thorough sales process, so I’d encourage you to over-invest in the front end of the sales process here. The last thing you want to do is to pass on a potentially qualified opportunity because you’re trying to cut to the chase too quickly. How would you feel if you met someone at a party and they asked you what your salary is within the first few minutes of conversation? Keep that in mind, and don’t jump the gun.The Connect Call PlaybookThe art of the connect is to uncover a prospect’s pain points and determine whether there’s any way you can help address these struggles. This is achieved through a combination of expressing genuine interest, active listening, and abiding by the guidelines in the following playbook:1) SalutationsKeep your introductions short and sweet: “Hi, this is Dannie calling you from HubSpot.” (PAUSE)A brief pause after stating your company name allows you to gauge your prospect’s reaction to/familiarity with your company. Does he sound happy to hear from you? Does he recognize your company name? Does he sound like he’s anticipating a sales pitch?2) Address ResistanceWhen you’re calling someone who’s not expecting your call, her natural reaction is to feel guarded. She is assuming you’re calling with an agenda, and will often be eager to get off the phone. Addressing resistance allows us to earn permission to continue the conversation, despite this initial reaction. Try the strategy of ‘going negative’ on a prospect from the very outset of the phone call by saying something like “sounds like I caught you at a bad time.” Nine times out of 10, they’ll swoop in to save you and insist that now is actually an okay time. At that point, you’ve earned yourself permission to continue the conversation.3) Leverage Past Prospect ActivityHow did you find this prospect? Had she downloaded a whitepaper from your company’s website? Use the prospect’s recent actions as a conversation starting point: “I noticed that you downloaded our ebook on XYZ best practices. What were you looking for help with when you stumbled upon that ebook? What’d you think of it?” By referencing something the prospect has done, you are creating relevancy and are showing her that you’ve done your research and reminding her that she was, indeed, looking for help with something your company created content around. 4) Build RapportBe a human first, and a salesperson second. Your prospect’s day may be extremely monotonous, and your phone call should be an opportunity to liven it up. Spend some time building rapport by bonding about anything you can find in common (and do your very best to find some unexpected commonality that’s more creative than today’s weather). If you have your prospect’s website open, look at what city they’re located in. Have you traveled there recently? Did you go to any fun restaurants while in town? Did you notice anything particularly charming about the architecture? Did your prospect grow up there or relocate for work? Have some fun getting to know the stranger on the other end of the phone. The more you can establish some sort of commonality, the easier it will lower the prospect’s guard and ask some probing questions down the road.5) Gather ContextNow that you’ve built some rapport with the person on the other end of the line, take the opportunity to naturally segue into some questions about their business and their job role. Here’s an example: “So like I said, I’m on your website, and now I’m checking out your services page. Looks like your company specializes in XYZ services, is that right? What’s your role at the company? How long have you been there? Are you liking it? Interesting — so what does your day typically entail? Does your company focus on selling to any specific industry verticals? Interesting — how’d you choose those?”The more context you have, the better you can paint a picture of the world your prospect is operating in. Who do they like doing business with? Can you help get them in front of businesses like that? You need to be able to visualize as much of their business context as possible in order to choose which positioning statements have the best chance of resonating with them — and in order to keep the rest of our conversation as relevant as possible to their priorities.5) Introduce Positioning Statement(s)The purpose of a positioning statement is to make your prospect say, “That’s me. How did you know?”Positioning statements help you show your prospects that you understand their pain points. You’re showing them that you’ve been around the block and that you’ve seen similar companies go through similar struggles. The implication is that you’ve found a way to help them through that struggle. This should pique a prospect’s interest and convince them that they could learn from you. Here’s an ad-lib example: “A lot of time, when I talk to companies like yours, they’re really good at ________, but they struggle to ________ for the following reasons: _____, _____, or _____.”Positioning statements are not one-size-fits all, and it’s all too possible that the one you tried out doesn’t resonate with the prospect. Have a list of three to four different positioning statements on hand, and use them as a chance to do two things: 1) show active listening by paraphrasing their current situation as they described it, and 2) determine whether they can relate to scenarios you’ve helped similar companies address. Use tie-down questions at the end of a positioning statement to determine whether you’ve successfully identified a pain point worth digging into. For example: “Can you relate to that? How so?” Now it’s time for the prospect to do some more of the talking.6) Dig Deeper Into Pain PointsWhile positioning statements may lead the prospect to certain conclusions, short, open-ended follow-up questions allow prospects to continue the conversation and articulate their struggles in their own words. The shorter the question, the more freedom you provide your prospect for putting things in her own words. Here are some good ones: “How so? Tell me about which part of that statement resonated with you. Is that a big problem? Do you have a plan to fix this? Do you think that’ll work?”Asking an open-ended question after you hear a prospect affirm that a positioning statement resonated with her allows her to open up and do some talking about her challenges. This helps paint a picture of the context they’re operating in, and allows you, the salesperson, to start getting a better idea of how you may be able to help the prospect.7) Validate Desire for Help”That’s something that I’ve helped a lot of similar companies overcome. If that’s something we could give you some guidance about, would you be open to receiving and implementing our help?”Use a soft tie-down to make sure that you’re not about to spin your wheels providing unsolicited advice in follow-up calls or meetings. You will be using different forms of tie-downs throughout the sales process to confirm that whatever you’re about to help the prospect with is a top priority to invest time and money into, and this is your first shot at getting this affirmation.If you’re feeling particularly bold, you can even ask the prospect what’s held him or her back from getting any help up until now. This will begin to help answer the critical question: “Why now?”8) Suggest Concrete Next StepsBe specific here. Set expectations properly. If you operate on a monthly sales cycle, encourage the prospect to take a follow-up call that same week. If you’re going to set up a GoToMeeting for your next phone call but don’t intend to demo your product, make sure the prospect knows what you do plan to cover during the next call and why that will ultimately be valuable for him. Try this: “I hope this conversation was valuable to you. Do you want to schedule some time on Thursday of this week to dig a little deeper into what you’re hoping to achieve within this facet of your business? That can give us a better opportunity to mutually assess if and how we might be able to help.”See what you did there? You reminded the prospect that this conversation was about him, not about you. You set expectations about what you’ll cover during the next call. And even more importantly, you pointed out that sales is a two-way street, and that both parties should be mutually assessing one another to determine if it’s a good fit.Practice Makes PerfectThe more you practice the connect playbook, the more you’ll realize that every connect call can really follow a similar methodology. If you’re nervous about trying it out on a prospect first, then try applying the connect playbook to a real-life situation as you’re making new friends or forging new business connections. When you’re ready to practice the connect in a sales setting, use this methodology to structure your notes. Are there parts that you find yourself repeatedly leaving blank? That’s probably an area that feels a little less comfortable for you, and therefore an area that’s worth doubling down on during practice. No two connect calls will ever be exactly the same, but mastering a repeatable structure should make every new sales job a little bit easier.Have some tactics that have worked for you? Disagree with any part of this methodology? Share your comments below. 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 Aug 21, 2013 6:00:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Inbound Sales (Marketing) Topics:
Topics: Images Once you’ve had some practice removing and changing backgrounds, you can experiment with using shadows, glowing edges, and other effects for making your headshots stand out a bit more. Full disclosure: I created the images above in Photoshop and used a feathering effect to soften the edges around Tyer and Big Jim — but you could get similar results with PowerPoint. For a more advanced look at removing backgrounds, check out this Photoshop tutorial from Adobe.5) Visualize Some DataKnow what’s incredibly boring? Staring at a bunch of numbers on a screen.Know what’s NOT incredibly boring? Staring a picture of a cat — with a beautiful head of hair — in outer space!You can think of data visualization as the middle ground between numbers on a screen and cats in space. Whether you’re creating a full-blown infographic or a simple pie chart, the goal with data visualization is to present your data in a way that is both easy to understand and visually exciting.As co-founder & CCO of Visage, Ross Crooks, noted in a recent blog post, “By visualizing information, our brains can synthesize and retain content more effectively, increasing its impact. But if data isn’t properly visualized, it can do more damage than good.”Need help bringing your first data visualization to life? Download our free guide, Data Visualization 101: How to Design Charts & Graphs.6) Draw Some Groovy Designs on the Company Beer TapsDon’t have company beer taps? Not to worry. Just pick up a six-pack from the store and draw on the walls of your office!Nope, wait, don’t do that. But DO take a few seconds out of your day to leave a fun/funny/inspiring doodle on a whiteboard, chalkboard, or sticky note. The only real goal here is to spread some cheer (and culture) throughout the office.It might sound dumb, but trust me: It’s nice to walk around and see evidence that actual living, breathing, thinking humans inhabit the space you work in. For example, when I walk across the hall to grab a coffee, I’m greeted by THIS chalkboard doodle display, courtesy of some of HubSpot’s finest in-house artists.Looking for more marketing inspiration? Our INBOUND conference is right around the corner! 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 Sep 5, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 I’ve heard it before. You’ve heard it before. Heck, I’ve even said it before:Marketing isn’t arts and crafts.In today’s data-driven, closed-loop world where we track, measure, and analyze every little detail, the phrase above seems to make a lot of sense. To be effective marketers, we need to put childish things aside. We can’t simply create super-cool content and other marketing materials for the sheer fun of it; we need to create with a purpose. And we need to be able to tie whatever we create to something quantifiable.Ultimately, the modern marketing department is focused on hitting specific, number-oriented goals: X many leads. X many sales-qualified leads. X% lead-to-customer conversion rate.There’s seemingly nothing aesthetic or artistic or “arts-n’-craftsy” about it.But, in fact, there is.The Art of MarketingWe can use the science-side of marketing to figure out who we should create content for, as well as to figure out what that content should be. Through A/B testing and optimizing, we can even figure out when the best times are to share our content with people via social media and email. And, of course, using analytics software, we can determine if the content we create ends up delivering on our underlying why, or goal (e.g. lead generation, lead conversion, etc.).There’s only one piece missing from this marketing puzzle, and I assure you, it’s a crucial one: the how.How do marketers actually create all that content? How do they organize the information? How do they decide on font sizes and color schemes? How do they figure out what to put in the cover image or other promotional images? How do they decide when (or when not to) use gradients or drop shadows or 3D bevel effects?This, my friends, is where art comes into play. While science can inform us at every step along the way, it can’t actually do the work for us. At some point, we need to roll up our sleeves and create something.At some point, we need to do some arts and crafts.So I implore you, for the sake of your mental health, to take off your data geek/growth hacker hat for just a little while so you can explore some of the “arts-n’-craftsy” marketing projects below. 1) Create an Animated GIFThere’s something very satisfying about seeing an original animated GIF come to life. Not gonna lie, I was pretty pumped when I got this bad boy (see below) cranking for the first time to help promote a new guide, How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels.Whether you’re looking to spice up an email, blog post, or site page, an animated GIF is a great way to create some visual excitement without having to bust out the video camera and editing software.Ready to start designing your very own animated GIF? There are a few different tools you can use, but I recommend going the Photoshop route. It gives you a ton of control (e.g. you can set how long each frame should be shown for) and — best of all — we have this blog post that walks you through the entire process.2) Redesign Your LinkedIn Banner ImageTrying to attract top talent to your marketing team? Having a super-spiffy banner image for your company’s LinkedIn page can only help.While there’s no silver bullet for ensuring your LinkedIn banner image will stand out from the crowd, there are plenty of companies doing a great job that you can draw inspiration from. Just check out the SlideShare presentation below: 10 Ideas for a Better LinkedIn Banner Image from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareSide note: If you feel like your company’s entire LinkedIn profile could use a refresh, check out A Visual Guide to Creating the Perfect LinkedIn Company Page.3) Spruce Up Your Other Social Media Cover PhotosLinkedIn isn’t the only social network where you can let your creativity run wild. Your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube cover photos could all benefit from a design makeover.One of my favorite cover photo strategies is to align your cover photo with your profile picture so the two seem part of the same overall image. (My colleague Ginny refers to this as the “Profile Picture and Cover Photo Combo.”) Here’s an example:Need help figuring out the sizing for all of the different social media cover photos out there? We’ve got you covered. Click here to download these free, pre-sized social media image templates.4) Add Matching Backgrounds to Employee HeadshotsThe secret to this project is learning how to remove the background from a photo. Once you’ve mastered that process, the rest is a walk in the park.And while Photoshop is perhaps the best tool for the job, the simplest tool for the job is PowerPoint. Once you get comfortable removing existing backgrounds from employee headshots, start dragging and dropping those headshots onto some new, snazzy backgrounds. Here are some examples below that I created using photos of my colleague Tyler (left) and his cat, Big Jim (right).
If you’re a child care owner, director, or start-up who’s tired of struggling to find new ways to fill the enrollment for your daycare, then inbound marketing might be the golden ticket you’ve been looking for. In this article, you will learn what stages a parent goes through when selecting a new child care facility and discover fresh marketing techniques proven to help you boost enrollment immediately with inbound marketing.The Parent’s JourneyLet’s face it, selecting a daycare can be a stressful process for parents. Families are seeking a community or facility to entrust their children’s future in and it’s your job to establish an authentic connection with them on why that future is with your daycare. The key for accomplishing this is through understanding the parent’s journey and providing a meaningful experience to help attract, convert, close, and delight more families to your child care center.We’ll be translating the traditional buyer’s journey into various stages and examples of what a parent goes through when selecting a daycare. If you’re looking to significantly boost your enrollment, you need to be capitalizing on all stages of the parent’s journey to ensure you’re building a solid pipeline of opportunities from the past, present, and future.Although this is not always a linear path, it is important to understand these stages in order to effectively market and nurture them down the funnel. Awareness StageThe awareness stage is the first step in the parent’s journey. This is where initial research and general education is gathered to help inform the parents of their options. An example of a buyer persona in this stage would be a pregnant mother who is researching the options between staying at home, taking her child to daycare, or hiring a nanny. This is often referred to as the ‘emotional’ stage. The buyer may not even realize that there is a problem to solve, but they are impacted in some way and looking for help.As a child care provider, it is important to establish an early connection and relationship with the parent-to-be as an informational resource that is there simply to help with common questions and to provide general information for topics that are fairly new to them. It’s key to position your brand as helpful and informative. Remember, these are future prospects that are simply looking to become more educated and are still gathering facts and information to help them establish a criteria of what they will be considering at a later phase.Recommended marketing tactics: Blogging topics such as “Benefits of a daycare vs staying at home.”FAQ items to provide general information and commonly asked questions for new parents.Infographics outlining the advantages of early child development from a daycare.Trend reports and statistics of the value of child care development through areas of education, socialization, stimulation, and general child development.Checklists and sample timelines of when they should be considering their options.Marketing techniques to nurture the parent to the next stage of the journeyNow that you’ve provided wonderful and informative resources for the parents, it’s time to start considering how you can know when they are ready for the next stage of their journey. There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but here are a few recommended approaches.Gather an email right away. This allows you to start generating a profile on the parent and monitoring their progress and activity with your brand. Examples: subscribe to our new parent newsletter, download our new parent guide, subscribe to our blog, download the child development trends report, etc. Survey the prospect. This doesn’t have to be a traditional form survey, but you can create follow up tactics that will help us designate the parent’s answers through various actions. Examples: Tactics/Topics to try: email focused on things to consider for child care when going back to work, blog articles related to consideration stage topics, ebook downloads for evaluating considering a daycare vs hiring a nanny.Organize your contacts in smart lists. Based on the actions these parents are taking with your follow up tactics, make sure you are creating workflows that will help accurately track what leg of the journey the prospect is currently in. You don’t want to be selling a parent who isn’t ready to make a decision, and you don’t want to be educating someone on topics that isn’t relative to them anymore. Education Marketing Originally published Mar 18, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Delight StageNow that the parents are your customers, your job doesn’t end. Keeping your families loyal to your daycare is a key objective for retention. This is known as the Delight Stage, where your brand can recognize your customers through various marketing techniques to help keep them happy, engaged, and satisfied with their decision. Loyal customers are 10 times more likely to refer your daycare than those who aren’t continuously engaged with your brand. This stage is often neglected and it’s a key opportunity for continuing to grow your business through referrals and a stronger retention rate.This stage is typically referred to as the re-assurance stage. Most businesses forget how important it is to continue to engage and delight their customers after they have purchased. Without that extra reassurance that you are still a partner in their life decision, you may loose them to the next daycare that engages them newly. Recommended marketing tactics: Social Media by staying active and providing relevant and enjoyable news about your facility and community.Parent’s Newsletter to keep the parents abreast on what’s new.Referrals can be a great resource for growing your daycare enrollment with the help of your loyal customers.Requesting Testimonials from the top parents and ask if you can feature them on your website.Parent Reviews are important opportunities for displaying the ratings that other families have given your daycare. Consideration StageOnce the parents have made the decision that they are going back to work and/or are in need of care for their child, this is when the consideration stage begins. This would typically involve a parent who is now considering what the important criteria are for what they want for their child from either enrolling their child in a daycare or hiring a nanny. Your daycare should continue to help educate and guide the parents without “selling” them directly. This can be accomplished by enabling your website to provide relevant content and advice on what they should be considering.This stage is our problem solving stage. The parent has realized that there is a problem associated with their emotional search and they begin to look for solutions available to them.Recommended marketing tactics: Blogging topics such as “Advantages of a daycare vs hiring a nanny.”Comparison white papers to assess the evaluation criteria for the parents options.E-Books outlining the top reasons to enroll your child in a daycare.Webinar to provide pre-recorded or live discussions on the advantages of enrolling your child in a daycare over alternative child care.Case Studies of real families who were on the fence when considering their options.Techniques to nurture the parent to the next stage of the journeyYou still needed to be committed to helping these parents research and understand their options during the consideration stage. Helping build an authentic connection with these parents will give you an incredible advantage for when they are ready to make a decision.Provide a follow up E-Book. A great way to know when someone is moving into the decision phase is to provide them with a follow up E-Book on “How to select the right daycare for my child” or “Free evaluation checklist for selecting a daycare.” Track to see if they click the call-to-action and download these resources.Email them additional blog articles. Provide resources in your email follow ups that are related to blog topics inside the decision phase. If the parent has moved on to gravitating to these articles they are getting much closer to the next stage.Additional surveying. Some great examples would be to survey the parent and ask them to select the most important criteria for their family such as: location, hours of operations, price, curriculum, activities, etc. Not only will this help identify if they are ready to be moved into the next phase, but you have flagged motivational drivers that can be important for qualifying the prospecting parent. Decision StageThe Decision Stage begins once the parents have made the commitment to enrolling their child in a daycare. They have finalized the criteria that are important to them (location(s), hours of operation, price, curriculum, activities, etc.). This is where most marketing and advertisers focus their initiatives, but if you have been successful with helping and educating the parents through the awareness and consideration stages, they will be much more likely to consider your daycare because of the brand loyalty that you’ve created. In this stage, you can position yourself through your unique value proposition (UVP) and why the consumer should consider your daycare now that they are “sales ready.”Logic and justification drive this stage for our parents. They are ready to choose and since they view you as a trusted resource, your chances of winning their loyalty and your business is higher than your competitors.Recommended marketing tactics: Schedule a tour is the ultimate action a prospecting parent can take with your daycare. Provide a clear call-to-action which leads to a conversion form for scheduling a tour of your facility.E-Books to continue to help provide resources for these parents on key decision factors when selecting a daycare.Live Webinar can be a great alternative call-to-action if the parent is not ready to schedule a tour. This can create a strong connection with your staff and the parents.Take a Virtual Tour by providing a video walk-through of your facility, classrooms, and staff. Video Testimonials to showcase the values that are important to your daycare and community. These videos can be of other parents providing real-world testimonies of their experience with your daycare.Live Chat offers a great way of answering common questions with parents who may be on the fence. Live chat is an easy website implementation, but it does require operational maintenance and it’s own strategy.Social Media is an incredible outlet for connecting with parents and showcasing your brand’s values and culture. Topics: Hiring for ExperienceOur inbound marketing agency works with clients in early childhood education who are passionate at what they do. However, we’ve discovered that most child care centers have not been trained on how to effectively market their organization to maximize their ability to attract, enroll, and retain families. Working with a child care marketing firm provides you with the flexibility of running your business while allowing an experienced team of marketers maintain your brand’s online presence. Don’t forget to share this post! 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