A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation said the role of mining ministers in Uttar Pradesh under the tenure of Akhilesh Yadav would be probed in connection with alleged illegal mining, the Samajwadi Party chief on Sunday the “BJP has shown its true colours.”Mr. Yadav suggested the raids by the CBI by opening up old cases were an attempt by the BJP-led Centre to stop the SP-BSP alliance. The two parties along with the RLD are close to formally announcing an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.”The Samajwadi Party is trying to win as many Lok Sabha seats as it can. Possibly the CBI or the government that runs the CBI is trying to…What do we have? We can form an alliance and go to the people. And those who want to stop [us], what do they have? They have the CBI,” Mr. Yadav told reporters here.Mr. Yadav, who served as Chief Minister of UP from 2012 to 2017 and held additional portfolios of mining in 2012 and 2013, also said he was ready to be questioned by the probe agency.”If they question us, we will have to answer. We will give them an answer. But the people of the country are ready to give an answer to the BJP,” said Mr. Yadav.The SP national president also used sarcasm to allege political motive of the CBI raid.”I’m happy the BJP has once against shown its true colours. First the Congress gave us an opportunity to meet the CBI, now the BJP is giving us an opportunity,” said Mr. Yadav.He also warned the BJP that it would also have to face the brunt of the “culture” it was leaving behind.The CBI on Saturday said the role of the mining Ministers in UP between 2012 and 2016, which includes Mr. Yadav, may be probed in connection with a fresh case of alleged illegal mining of minor minerals registered on the direction of the Allahabad High Court.The CBI registered an FIR against 2008-batch IAS official and then Hamirpur District Magistrate B. Chandralekha and 10 other individuals, besides unknown officials and persons. Among those named in the FIR are SP MLC Ramesh Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Dixit, who fought the 2017 election on Bahujan Samaj Party ticketSearches were carried out on Saturday on 14 premises of the accused persons in Delhi, Hamirpur, Lucknow, Kanpur and Jalaun. The FIR alleges that public servants allowed illegal mining of minor minerals between 2012 and 2016 by the fraudulent granting of fresh or renewed leases. Officials also allegedly permitted mining by the existing lease-owners during the “obstructed period” when the National Green Tribunal had barred the activity. The leases were also issued in violation of a May 2012 order of the State government for e-tendering.
Savitri Thakur, Dhar (ST Reserved), BJPWinning margin – 104,328 votes.2. She defeated her nearest Congress rival Umang Singhar. 3. Educational qualification – Higher Secondary, Marital Status – Married, Children – 2 sons.4. Asset declared – Rs 9,206,464, criminal cases – noneSavitri was a social worker before joining politics. She was co-ordinator of the NGO Vashp for 9 years. Her husband is a farmer and her father, a retired employee of the state forest department.She didn’t have anyone in her family who was active in politics. However, her family has been associated with the RSS for a long time.The 16th Lok Sabha elections was the first big elections she fought. Earlier, she successfully won Dhar Zila Panchayat president elections in 2006.She took a plunge in politics to empower poor, especially tribals. Her three priorities for constituency are Dhar-Jhabua rail line construction to join the two tribal-dominated districts, industrialisation and setting up of sugar mills.Savitri is expecting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will provide strong leadership to the country and turn the country into a developed nation. She says that Modi’s wave, Chouhan’s beneficial schemes and hard labour put in by BJP and RSS cadres helped her to win elections.She says that the primary responsibility of Parliament was to make effective laws and make the country strong. She says that social media was an effective tool for communication but it has not yet penetrated in tribal-dominated areas – like her constituency. Savitri says she does doesn’t find time for books, films, music and sports. She says that she draws pleasure in meeting people and mitigating their problems.She says that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was ideal politician for her. He was a great leader, who linked rural India with roads.She adds that politics can be done without money power but political patronage does help sometimes. Savitri says you money can’t buy votes. “It is the people connect that help a politician to get votes and win elections,” she adds. She says that there was no threat to the country as long as Modi is the Prime Minister.Her solution to1. Curb inflation – Strong government check.2. Tackle communal violence – Tough action against rioters and appeasement of none. 3. Stop terror attacks – Stringent laws against terrorists.4. Stop corruption – A powerful campaign against graft and strict punishment. 5. Normalise relations to Pakistan and China – Effective foreign policy.6. Stabilise rupee – Increase export, reduce import.7. Raise employment – Industrialisation.8. Reduce poverty – More poor friendly schemes.
Paid Search Traffic Down Sharply Marketing Takeaway 2: http://itunes.hubspot.tv Marketing Takeaway karenrubin Marketing Takeaway mvolpe Rich Snippets: More control over how your content is organized and viewed by Google user chrisbrogan Inbound Marketing Summit Google Search Evolves – But Has Google Finally Lost its Core Focus? to learn how to create a thriving blog. If you are an aggressive outbound marketer, be careful about what tactics you use because you may get in trouble! New Marketing Labs FTC is taking legal action and has filed suit again the telemarketing company and the promoter of the warranties Originally published May 16, 2009 4:34:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Headlines How to interact on Twitter – @ Make sure to grab your brand on Twitter even if you aren’t ready to use it. Google beefs up Web services, search Intro Marketing cutbacks? Or are larger companies learning the value of organic search results? (Episode length: 31 minutes, 36 seconds) : Next event in Dallas on May 27-28th! : Industry trends are interesting, but whats most important is your trends and your data. Search Options: More options for how you look at search results Inbound Marketing Summit! “Shareof search traffic to websites generated from paid listings has droppedto about 7.25 percent over the last four weeks, down from 9.8 percentduring the same period a year ago.”Marketing cutbacks? Or are larger companies learning the value of organic search results? Tightereconomic times are increasing attacks on brands online through “graymarket knockoffs, phishing attacks, cyber squatting, e-mail scams,trademark abuse, and copyright and patent infringements” @ Read CMO Council: Recession prompts more online brand attacks Chris Brogan The Evolution of Google Marketing Takeaway 1 : Maybe it’s more about quality then quantity and this is more a fad than anything else. In any case, see marketing takeaway 1. :Monitoring your brand online is a must. Use free tools such at Googlealerts, Twitter search, Backtype (for blog comments) and keep and eyeon them on a regular basis. HubSpot Software also automatically helpsyou monitor your brand and send you alerts. Chris Brogan’s blog Marketing Takeaway: and check out the @ :Search continues to evolve. Be conscious of the changes and how you canuse them to advance your website for the next generation of searchengines. Episode #40 – May 15th, 2009 (May 8, 2009) HubSpot TV – Listen to Your Fans, Friends & Followers with Scott Kirsner Marketing Tip of the Week – Miss last week’s episode?: Computerized calls to cell phones and land lines (even those listed on the do not call registry) pitch extended auto warranties Paid Search Traffic Down 26% Twitter Surpasses New York Times and Wall Street Journal Webinar: Advanced Business Blogging Google Squared: Fetches and organized facts Closing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack HubSpot TV Guest: Learn how to build your business blog into an inbound marketing machine. Marketing Takeaway Download the free webinar Remember to subscribe in iTunes: FTC to announce lawsuits in car warranty robocalls
We inbound marketers need to stick together! Sure, we have our quirky obsessions with data, Excel, content creation, and lead generation. But hey, that’s what makes us so darn successful! Read this list, and see if you can relate. If you do, there’s a very good chance you’re an inbound marketer too!101 Signs You’re an Inbound Marketer1. You can calculate visitor-to-lead conversion rates in your sleep. (Tweet this!)2. You dream about Excel. (Tweet this!)3. You could have a full conversation in acronyms, including CRM, CTR, SEO, and CTA. (Tweet this!)4. You keep in touch with your mom using a lead nurturing campaign. (Tweet this!)5. Your salespeople go from asking for more leads to asking for more high quality leads. (Tweet this!)6. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry when you encounter a website that is built in FLASH. (Tweet this!)7. You’re the mayor of your office (on Foursquare). (Tweet this!)8. Your dog/cat/bird/hamster is named Godin/Kawasaki/Brogan/Scott. (Tweet this!)9. Your friends who don’t ‘get’ inbound marketing think you “do social media” for a living. (Tweet this!)10. You ward off outbound marketing ghosts and spirits with The New Rules of Marketing and PR. (Tweet this!)11. You click “send” on a marketing email, and then obsessively check how many leads came from that send every five minutes. (Tweet this!)12. Your funnel is so fat, you have to do lead scoring to help your sales team prioritize their time. (Tweet this!)13. You measure everything. Twice. (Tweet this!)14. After seeing a couple of data points, you feel an immediate itch to create an infographic. (Tweet this!)15. You know all about cookie tracking (and it has nothing to do with your two-year-old). (Tweet this!)16. You know exactly how many visitors, leads, and customers you got from Facebook … yesterday. (Tweet this!)17. Your CEO asks you how you can invest more in marketing, instead of asking you to cut the budget. (Tweet this!)18. You brainstorm blog post ideas in the shower. (Tweet this!)19. Even your personal Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts include calls-to-action. (Tweet this!)20. The funnel is your favorite shape. (Tweet this!)21. You tell salespeople who cold call you that they should learn about inbound marketing. (Tweet this!)22. You “like” everything. (Tweet this!)23. You send out daily emails to your team with graphs and charts. (Tweet this!)24. NoFollow tags make you cry. (Tweet this!)25. Your sales team loves you. (Tweet this!)26. When Twitter goes down, you feel lost. (Tweet this!)27. To you, “going viral” is a good thing and has nothing to do with zombies. (Tweet this!)28. You constantly publish blog posts titled, “X Ways to do Y.” (Tweet this!)29. You don’t actually like the Grateful Dead’s music, but you think their marketing rocks! (Tweet this!)30. Your email is your to-do list. (Tweet this!)31. You write blog posts on the fly on your smartphone while traveling. (Tweet this!)32. You follow more internet marketing celebrities on Twitter than mainstream pop celebrities. (Tweet this!)33. You use tools to streamline as much of your marketing as possible. (Tweet this!)34. You have a favorite URL shortener. (Tweet this!)35. You respond to every request for event sponsorship with … “Well, what if we wrote a guest blog instead?” (Tweet this!)36. You understand 302 redirects are evil. (Tweet this!)37. You know the ROI of social media. (Tweet this!)38. You know search engines can’t be gamed, but gosh darn it — you still try! (Tweet this!)39. Your Facebook feed is more about work than friends. (Tweet this!)40. Sometimes #YouThinkInHashtags (Tweet this!) 41. Salesforce integration with everything is a necessity. (Tweet this!)42. You have multiple monitors to monitor Twitter and Facebook as you work. (Tweet this!)43. You obsess about the number of business days in a calendar month. (Tweet this!)44. You’re a little bit embarrassed to even *suggest* increasing your paid search or display ad budget. (Tweet this!) 45. Your emotional attachment to “traffic” is strong enough to make you jump in your car and seek gridlock. (Tweet this!) 46. You create badges for everything. And you compete for them. (Tweet this!) 47. You know what a persona is, and you create content that appeals to that persona. (Tweet this!) 48. You always know the event hashtag, and you livetweet from conferences. (Tweet this!)49. You can type on your smartphone as fast as you can on your computer. (Tweet this!)50. You take your follower count very seriously. (Tweet this!) 51. To you, link love is more romantic than flowers and candy. (Tweet this!)52. You have your Twitter username on your business cards. (Tweet this!)53. You know what your prospects’ buying cycle looks like. (Tweet this!)54. You obsess about creating content that appeals to prospects at all stages of their sales cycle. (Tweet this!)55. You know ‘content marketing’ and ‘social media marketing’ are tips of the inbound marketing iceberg! (Tweet this!) 56. You have no shame asking for an inbound link when someone mentions your company in a blog article. (Tweet this!)57. You fight against killing kittens by not sending spam emails. (Tweet this!) 58. Your CEO asks you how you lowered cost-per-lead quarter over quarter. (Tweet this!)59. You roll your eyes when salespeople tell you they have to attend another trade show. (Tweet this!) 60. Your executives understand the importance of blogging, and they make time to do it. (Tweet this!) 61. Your company has more “fans” than Justin Bieber. (Tweet this!)62. You segment your leads via lead source, company size, and hair color. (Tweet this!)63. You watch YouTube for inspiration. (You swear it’s for inspiration!) (Tweet this!)64. You’ve trained your sales team to use lead intelligence to time their sales calls better. (Tweet this!)65. Whenever someone asks you a data question, you tell them to build a pivot table. (Tweet this!)66. Your Website Grade is greater than an 85. (Tweet this!)67. You have a Salesforce dashboard to monitor all your Salesforce dashboards. (Tweet this!)68. You know what a marketing SLA is. (Tweet this!) 69. At every event, you take photos, videos, and write a wrap-up blog post. (Tweet this!)70. Your emails to colleagues use bolded phrases, headers bullets, and optimized subject lines. (Tweet this!)71. You keep up with what your friends are doing via their blogs. (Tweet this!) 72. In casual conversation you’ve said, “That would make a great ebook,” or “I’m doing a webinar on that.” (Tweet this!)73. You Google yourself every day to make sure nothing embarrassing is suddenly ranking for your name. (Tweet this!)74. You can speak in 140 characters. (Tweet this!)75. Your blogging software knows which keywords to fight to the death for, and how hard it will be to rank. (Tweet this!)76. You test EVERYTHING, including layout, button color, subject line, and sender name. EVERYTHING. (Tweet this!)77. You love reading blog post lists, which is why you’ve read this far. (Tweet this!) 78. You believe that traffic is a useless measure unless you can see how much of it converts into leads. (Tweet this!)79. You can multitask tweeting, blogging, reporting, and emailing all at once. (Tweet this!)80. You run three different browsers to manage all of your Google accounts. (Tweet this!)81. You’ve been known to save bad marketing automation emails, forward them to friends, and laugh at them. (Tweet this!) 82. Your best friend’s idea of a practical joke is to start a website to make fun of you. (Tweet this!)83. You require flexibility to change your landing pages and website content whenever you want. (Tweet this!) 84. You actually KNOW which pages on your website signal the greatest likelihood to buy. (Tweet this!)85. You’ve empowered your non-marketing colleagues and customers to evangelize your company on your behalf. (Tweet this!) 86. You take Twitpics wherever you go. (Tweet this!) 87. You have to force yourself to leave work at the end of the day. (Just one more minute! This post is almost perfect!) (Tweet this!)88. Your favorite night out is a networking event. (Tweet this!) 89. You own an iPhone/iPod, MacBook, AND an iPad. (Tweet this!) 90. Email marketing is your best friend and your worst nightmare, all at the same time. (Tweet this!)91. You’re the star contributor to every LinkedIn group you’re a part of. (Tweet this!)92. Long-tail keywords are your best friend. (Tweet this!)93. All the SWAG you give out has QR codes on it. (Tweet this!) 94. Your family has a Google+ Circle, and you plan to use Google Hangout to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. (Tweet this!)95. You celebrate your Twitter anniversaries. (Tweet this!)96. You have more landing pages than products. (Tweet this!)97. Your bookshelf has all 3 versions of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, bookended by Inbound Marketing. (Tweet this!)98. You regularly have more browser tabs open than a developer or engineer. (Tweet this!)99. You’ve taken every FAQ out of your email archives and turned it into a blog post. (Tweet this!)100. You brainstorm secondary conversion offers at lunch. (Tweet this!)101. Your business is growing in a downturned economy. (Tweet this!)What are the signs telling you? Are you an inbound marketer? 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: Social Media Marketers Originally published Oct 27, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016
When we discuss calls-to-action (CTAs) in marketing, we often look at them as a key driver of lead generation. After all, they are mostly used to send incoming traffic to your landing pages and lead-capture forms. While CTAs are great for generating lead conversions, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.A lot of companies also find it beneficial to use calls-to-action to expand their email database and list of contacts (which they will later nurture and follow up with). And in some cases, this can be even more effective than using a CTA to promote a lead-gen offer.Download Now: 28 Free CTA TemplatesIn fact, some businesses are doing this exceptionally well! So in this blog post, which is an excerpt from our new ebook 101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action, let’s review some awesome examples of how companies are effectively using calls-to-action for email list growth.1) The CombineThe best calls-to-actions don’t look like flashing ads, but instead are paths toward valuable information discovery. The Combine offers a great example of that. The text above the email opt-in box conveys the action readers need to take, and it’s clear and direct. The layout of the page is clean and simple, helping the reader focus on the most important action here — entering his or her email address and signing up for email updates.2) Crowd Track GentAnother great approach when collecting emails and contacts to grow your database is to use subtle text that shows readers what information they need to enter. In this case, Crowd Track Gent is not collecting email addresses, but it surely provides a good lesson on how to design your call-to-action effectively. In the screenshot below, you’ll see that the subtle text within the blank boxes instructs visitors to enter their “First Name” and “Surname.” The play button to the right of the “Surname” box sends users a signal that the element is interactive and makes the result of the action more tangible.3) GiltWhen you collect email addresses, make sure you’re setting clear expectations. What are your recipients going to get? How often? Gilt, for instance, features a call-to-action that includes a hyperlink to the company’s Terms of Membership. The sentence is right beneath the main call-to-action button.You can take a different approach of setting expectations and mentioning that your email updates will be about product discounts, new offers, events, etc. The takeaway here is, let your new contacts know what they will start receiving from you so they stay subscribed.4) GojeeEven if your site visitors are interested in downloading your resources, some people will still experience form anxiety. Therefore, you need to reassure them that their personal information and privacy will be safe with you.Reduce people’s anxiety by guaranteeing that you will keep their privacy and send them only content and information they care about. Check out how creatively Gojee achieves this: “We swear on our finest bottle of scotch that we won’t spam you.”5) GraphEffectExperiment with adding background images to your email opt-in calls-to-action to increase readers’ desire to sign up for your offers and convey positive emotions of efficiency, enjoyment, success, etc. GraphEffect provides a good example of a CTA using a background image and also incorporating a semi-transparent black box on top of the picture in order to increase the readability of the text.6) JetsetterYou can increase the visitor’s incentive to sign up for your communication if you mention that access/membership is free. Don’t be afraid to brag about your strengths—confident and hyperbolic language helps boost conversions. Jettsetter, for instance, tells people that by signing up for their email updates, they will “get access to the world’s greatest vacations.”7) LaunchRockAnother great call-to-action tactic is to address the speediness of the sign-up process. Your CTA message should convey that setting up an account offers a lot of benefits and is no hassle at all. Check out how LaunchRock accomplishes this by telling visitors they can launch a page “in minutes.” This no-hassle process increases the user’s motivation and facilitates the conversion.8) ShopifyConsider experimenting with the layout of your form fields. Are they laid out vertically or horizontally? Does that impact your conversion rates?By presenting all required fields in one spot, you are transparent with visitors, reinforcing the simplicity of the action you’re asking them to take. Here is how Shopify set up its account registration:9) SkillshareAs a general call-to-action best practice, you should try to remove distractions from your main CTA and help people focus on what’s truly important – conversion! Skillshare has done a great job of this by using a simple white background and creating a clean, spacious experience. 10) TaskRabbitYou might also consider using the Facebook login option to gain more insights about your users. In this way, you allow visitors to sign into your website by using their Facebook credentials. While this one-click process might save people time, it might also make visitors anxious about their privacy. That is why TaskRabbit makes it an option to sign up with Facebook login – not a necessity.11) Smashing MagazineSocial proof—or also known as social influence—is a great way to sway people in a specific direction. Smashing Magazine provides a good example of using social proof to collect email addresses and expand its contact database. The publication is showing its number of existing subscribers, thus encouraging you to become a part of this big community.Do you use calls-to-action to expand your email list? Share your tips and best practices in the comments below. Originally published Jul 16, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated February 28 2018 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Smart Content
Topics: Someone once told me that “how-to” content is really great for business blogging. Since I want to be a good inbound marketer, I thought I’d take a stab at writing a “how-to” blog post, and teach everyone how they can become a spammer.I also heard that accessibility is important in your writing, so I narrowed it down to just 20 steps.If you haven’t made up your new year’s resolution yet — or you’ve already failed at three or four and need a new one to tackle — any and all of these 20 steps would be excellent considerations. So, here you go, 20 steps to becoming the best spammer the world’s ever seen! Enjoy. (And please regard all of this as totally straight-faced marketing advice.)How to Create Spam on Social MediaStep 1) Pin a bunch of stuff to Pinterest that has no visually redeeming qualities. Be sure to shorten the links in your pins’ descriptions, too, if you really want to get marked as spam. Marketers who are particularly on the top of their game will make their links go to unrelated web pages; the cream of the crop will just make them broken links.Step 2) Cram your tweets with dumb hashtags, especially if they’re unrelated to the tweet’s subject matter. You might even consider crafting a tweet made entirely of hashtags!Step 3) Hijack someone else’s hashtag. For example, when the next #twilight movie comes out, be sure to use that to promote your upcoming webinar, because of the natural tie-in between werewolves and your data appending service. (Twilight has werewolves, right?)Step 4) Automatically retweet everything an industry leader shares, indiscriminately, so you can be sure to bombard their @Mentions feed. That’s how they’ll notice you. Similarly, it’s a good idea to personally ‘Like’ everything you post on Facebook immediately after you publish it, so Facebook and page visitors know your content is engaging. This works best when you are the only one who Likes your updates, ever.Step 5) Don’t do any targeting in your social media PPC or advertising. Best to just blanket the social mediasphere so everyone sees your stuff.Step 6) Follow hundreds of thousands of people every day on Twitter, and scoop ’em right up into your Google+ Circles, too. Then (and this next step is critical) mass unfollow people in similarly large quantities. The best time to do this is right after they’ve just followed you back.How to Create Spam in BloggingStep 7) Original content can come off as braggy. Pay homage to bloggers you admire by copying and pasting their content into your own CMS, instead. Don’t forget not to link to them before you hit ‘Publish,’ too.Step 8) Tag each blog post with no fewer than 37 tags. That’s how readers and search engines will know what your post is about. It also makes for easy categorization and an intuitive user experience.Step 9) If you’re still worried readers and search engines won’t know what your blog’s about, help them by including several keywords that you want your blog post to rank for. While some experts have probably coached you to reach somewhere around 1%-3% keyword density, strive for more like 15%-20% keyword density to make sure readers really **get** what you’re saying.Step 10) Leave comments on people’s blogs with an inbound link back to your website to help improve your SEO. Try to think of relevant comments, though. For example, a blog post about how to conduct effective email follow up might benefit from a thoughtful comment like, “Make $5,000 from blogging at home like my cousin did!!! http://www.makemoneyfastnowblogathome.com.” Notice how the keyword phrase “blogging at home” is included in the comment, as well as a link back to the website, for maximum SEO impact.How to Create Email Marketing SpamStep 11) Remember that as a marketer, you know what’s best for people. As such, you should go purchase a list of people who you know need your business, and email them to let them know about the favor you’re doing by being in their lives and, most importantly, their inboxes.Step 12) Some people still won’t know what’s best for them, even when it’s staring them right in the face. No matter how much your email recipients ignore you, don’t relent if they never respond. Just increase your email frequency. Even better, send the same email a couple times in a row. They can’t ignore you forever.Step 13) Some people might email you back pretty angry after you do that. But remember, you know what’s best for them, so don’t offer them an unsubscribe option in your emails. Not even if the law says so.Step 14) If you’re really worried about the whole “not-providing-an-unsubscribe-option-being-illegal” thing, go ahead and add it — but don’t worry about honoring those unsubscribes right away. Many companies are courteous enough to send a kick-back email stating that it could take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to remove you from their email list, even if the law requires they remove unsubscribes within 10 days. People should understand that you have quite the backlog, and since you’re doing this all manually, they should really be understanding of that as you continue to bombard their inboxes.Step 15) Don’t segment your list by any, like, specific criteria. That takes a lot of time, and you’re a good enough writer that you can create one piece of content the resonates with your entire email list.How to Create Spam on your Website & SEOStep 16) Because your time is valuable, it’s best not to spend it organically acquiring inbound links. Instead, make a list of all of the websites your friends have and ask them to please link to yours. If any of them resist, offer to pay them. If they resist still, tell them you’re okay with them using white text on a white background so their readers don’t actually see the link. (Hint: Don’t get hung up on the authority or relevancy of your friends’ domain names, either — any inbound links, from cat accessory websites to organic dill weed farming sites, will be invaluable for your SEO.)Step 17) Distract readers from the purpose of each page on your website with things like disorienting animations, or videos that play at full blast upon page load. That’s the kind of entertainment readers need as they search your website, trying to discern what your company does.Step 18) Using a pop-up box, ask me to subscribe to your email list the exact second — and not a moment later — that I land on your site. I typically don’t like to evaluate the validity of an author’s content before I sign up to receive daily updates from them.Step 19) You can also really impress your CEO by adding an additional revenue stream to your business — ad revenue! Replace all the calls-to-action on your website with third-party ads that you’ll get paid for when visitors see them. Remember, the best ad models are the ones in which you have no control over the subject matter of the ads that will appear on your site. If you’re lucky, they’ll serve ones on your site with lots of boobs, or maybe the ones with those sparkling, multicolored starbursts. (Hopefully both!)Step 20) Finally, keep your website generally unkempt. You can achieve this look through things like broken links, dead ends, and fun “Website Not Found” errors. These are all signals to Google that your website is valuable, because it probably means you have so many pages on your website that it’s too untenable for upkeep — and the more pages you have, the better your rankings. That’s how SEO works.How else can marketers strive to be spammier and spammier each and every day? And just to be clear — because our lawyer told us to — please don’t actually do any of these things. Or at least check with your own attorney before you do.”Image credit: koi. Originally published Jan 4, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Email Deliverability 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: This post originally appeared on The Agency Post. To read more content like this, subscribe to The Agency Post.I recently wrote a piece on bad clients and the bad attitudes of agencies. In writing it, I was reminding myself as much as anyone else that clients who are willing to pay for expertise to solve important business challenges are often in pain.They may be difficult to deal with on any number of levels, but our job is to face such clients with compassion and understanding, and in the end, to help them.Yet, even as we strive to keep a stiff upper lip and let difficult interactions roll off our backs, tension-filled client relationships can take a toll on our well-being and the health of our business. Here are a few things you can do to help manage those not-so-smooth relationships:1) Take care of yourself.In general, we pay little attention to our own well-being, particularly in times of stress. But people who regularly focus on their physical, mental, and emotional health can better handle difficult situations.My top two suggestions for managing yourself are daily exercise and meditation. Even ten minutes of each can make a huge difference in how you experience your day. You’ll recover that 20-minute investment many times over through better focus, the ability to make more balanced choices at tough moments, and over time, better sleep. Don’t be one of those people who put good practices on the back burner in times of stress — that’s when you need them most.2) Invest in the relationship.Create a regular schedule of check-ins, and always be the first to show up. If you can, do these in person (see #4). But if not, invest the 30 to 60 minutes every week to make sure you and your client are addressing key issues and that your priorities are aligned.Don’t worry about doing this long-term — we humans tend to think “I don’t want to do this forever” to avoid doing something for a short while. Consider it a “reset,” and understand that eventually, if the relationship improves, you will naturally begin to schedule meetings further apart. If the client resists such a schedule, use “I” statements (see #3) to make the case: “I want to make sure we stay on track and take responsibility for informing you of our progress and learning about what might have changed on your end. This is critical for us to do our best work for you.”3) Use “I” statements.I once told a friend about a client that regularly yelled at me on the phone and how I had trouble focusing and responding appropriately when she used a tone that brought me right back to being an eight-year-old child being scolded by my mother. His brilliant suggestion: “Why don’t you say, ‘I have trouble focusing and responding when I hear that tone because I end up feeling like an eight-year-old being scolded by my mother.’”If you talk about how you’re experiencing a situation, you’re less likely to put the other person on the defensive. You’re saying that someone else might not react the same way, but because you’re having a certain reaction, it’s difficult to do the work effectively. This may not work every time, but it’s much more effective than saying, “The way you’re talking to me is inappropriate.”4) Meet in person.Difficult situations can quickly get worse when played out over email or the phone. Yet, too many of us avoid travel because it requires time and money. Even leaving the office to visit a client who is only 15 minutes away can seem impossible to fit into our busy schedules. However, we also recognize that travel often offers us uninterrupted time to think and work.So start thinking of travel in a different light — a welcome gift of “me” time where you can do some of your best creative thinking. At a minimum, you can use it to plan that tough in-person meeting, preparing a better interaction than if you just picked up the phone or sent an email. The additional time and thought will help you set the stage for getting through any impasses, and it will improve your likelihood of working better together in the future.5) If necessary, schedule a “fierce conversation.”If you haven’t read Susan Scott’s bestseller Fierce Conversations, you should. Scott’s seven principles of fierce conversations will help you transform your most difficult relationships. Her method helps people overcome barriers to meaningful communication and will put you in a position to better handle strong emotions on both sides of the table.6) Call in senior management.Many early- and mid-career professionals have fantastic skills, but they lack experience. This is not a shortcoming, but rather, an opportunity to learn. If you’re dealing with a tough interaction, a senior member of your team might have great suggestions. Unfortunately, many senior-level professionals think that less experienced team members should just “buck up and handle it.”If you’ve been in the trenches for a while, don’t take your ability to handle tough client interactions for granted. Try to remember what it was like the first time a client unloaded a bad day onto your shoulders and have some compassion for your less experienced teammates. Welcome the opportunity to teach. I find that when I mentor others, I often learn as much as I teach. If you want to keep growing as a professional, you must be willing to ask for help and be willing to give it.7) If all else fails, break up.Ending a professional relationship can be difficult, but we all know that sometimes the cost of a relationship outweighs the benefits. Such costs include the emotional toll on those who handle a difficult situation, the financial costs when clients refuse to pay you appropriately for your time, and the numerous opportunity costs. How much business development are you NOT doing because a client continues to ask you to do more free consulting? How likely are you to lose a star employee who could handle future accounts because a client is constantly berating him? How slowly do people execute other work because they need recovery time after each interaction with a particular client?Breakups are a necessary part of your professional trajectory, though my advice is to take the first words of this paragraph seriously — if all else fails. Because as difficult as breakups can be, winning new business and starting over brings a whole other set of challenges.Want more content like this? Subscribe to The Agency Post. Agency and Client Relationship Originally published Oct 26, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated November 12 2014 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 original purpose of a press page made sense — it housed general company information and timely news in a central location for consumers, clients, potential clients, the media, and other interested parties. The press page was created to answer such questions as:Who are new clients you’re working with or what projects did you just finish?How are you contributing to the community through philanthropic activities?Who was recently hired at the company?This made sense during a time when people were learning and consuming information in a linear fashion. Now enter the digital age of social media, blogs and mobile devices that create unique digital interactive experiences.The traditional press page starts to collect dusty pixels. Why? There are so many other engaging online channels that support the dissemination of information. The type of information being shared hasn’t changed — the way people seek out and consume content has changed. What People Are Doing Differently1) Passively Finding Information on Social MediaThink about how most people interact online today — especially on their mobile devices. It’s more common for someone to open a social media app and read through news than to open a website and seek out that information. Ask yourself: Why would someone spend their screen time searching one organization’s news or press page when they’ll get a broader view of today’s events in social media?A modern approach to disseminating information is to share newsworthy material to your audience via social channels. For example, LinkedIn is a business based tool, so sharing who was recently hired at the company on this channel is likely to net you more views and be seen by those who are most interested in knowing.2) Actively Searching OnlineMany people start their web experience with a search engine. Depending on the nature of their search and the refined keywords they use, they may end up on a news detail page of your website, thus bypassing the press page altogether. If you’ve optimized all of the content on your website, including an often updated press area, it’s more likely a person will land on a detail page and not your homepage.Someone may discover your business because they were searching for information on a recent philanthropic event or philanthropic-related topic for which you have a high-ranking, optimized news article or photo album.3) Expecting Easy Web ExperiencesWe’ve reached a critical mass of people expecting simple, clean experiences on the web. Website navigations have been streamlined and basic information is in an easy-to-find location on the site. It’s not reasonable to expect that a site visitor will dig deep into your press page. If your website visitors expect to easily find clients you work with or projects you’ve completed, have a section dedicated to “Our Work” or “Portfolio.” How to Build a Modern Press PageYes, you can still have a press page on your website and it can still bring value to you. The secret to its success is in how you disseminate the information. Here are a few tips on how to build a press page:1) Cross-promote relevant content on your website.If you’ve reached an important milestone with a client, write a brief article about this experience and tag it to appear in the “Our Work” or “Portfolio” section of your site. People are seeking out relevant information, so having cross-promoted content on your site is important.Also, if the reader found that article relevant and is interested in additional information, they may navigate to your press area. Having a well-organized page will allow the reader to find other pertinent content.2) Give the reader the ability to share.When people read content they think others will find valuable, they share it on their social channels. Let your advocates disseminate your news by adding sharing buttons to the content in press area.Again, if someone in their network finds the information useful, they may also navigate back to your site and seek out additional content in your press area.3) Push out the content to other distribution channels.Use social media to share important news, recent events, and other interesting tidbits. Provide a link that drives the reader back to the detail page on your website.If you haven’t already guessed, just like the first two tactics, if the reader finds the content interesting, they will find more helpful information in the press area.The press page is still a hub of information, but it’s not likely the primary source people will use to find out more about your organization. Modernize your press page to serve your key target audiences and those interested in learning more and willing to seek out the detailed information.Want to learn more on how to optimize your press page? Download our quick tip sheet here. Topics: Content Creation Originally published Mar 9, 2015 2:00:00 PM, 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 SlackSlack
Topics: Link Building Originally published Jun 1, 2015 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 SlackSlack Most of us publish blog posts the same way. We spend tons of time writing posts and optimizing them for search and social media. We then hit publish. We’ll excitedly watch as we see a burst of new traffic to our site … then get disappointed as we see the post’s popularity peter off. It stinks, right? Luckily, there are some things you can do to extend the shelf life of our content. In this post, we’re going to look at 10 essential techniques for making your content thrive beyond the initial publish-date promotion.10 Techniques for Keeping Your Content Alive Longer1) Brainstorm evergreen topics.Evergreen content is content that stands the test of time. It either covers a topic that will be just as applicable five years from now or one that can be easily updated to stay relevant. “The Essential Cheat Sheet of Cover Photo Sizes” is a great example of this. It’s a post that will stand the test of time because cover photos will be an essential part of social media profiles for years to come, and it is easy to update when a particular network’s cover photo size changes.So how can you determine what evergreen topics to create for your business? You can start by analyzing topics that you have published in the past to see how well they have continued to attract traffic.To do this, dive into your website’s analytics. When you look at your last thirty days worth of traffic, identify which pieces of content not published recently are driving significant traffic. These are evergreen posts. You can use them as inspiration for coming up with additional evergreen content ideas for your business.Here’s a snapshot of the analytics for the When I Work blog to show you what this can look like:(Before you go any further from here, you might want to visit these pieces of evergreen content to make sure they are fully up-to-date, accurate, and valuable to visitors — this post can show you how to do that. Also make sure that your calls to action are current in each of these pieces of content so you can turn visitors into conversions.)For those who do not have evergreen content just yet, there are some additional ways to get inspiration. The first is to use tools like Google Trends. Start by typing in a keyword or phrase that relates to your business. This tool will show you the trend in searches for that keyword or phrase.If you see the graph going upward, you can be confident that people are still interested in that topic, and therefore, it can be a good base for your evergreen content. Next, you can take that keyword or phrase and enter it in Google AdWords Keyword Planner to see related ideas that can be turned into content based on search volume. (HubSpot customers: You can use the Keyword App to brainstorm and track your keywords, too.)Why are keywords so important for your evergreen content? It’s simple. When you’re not actively promoting your content, your main source of traffic will likely be organic search. Therefore, you want to make sure your content is optimized for keywords and phrases that are and will be searched for often.2) Research promotable content.While organic search traffic will keep your evergreen piece of content alive, you still want to give it an initial and continued burst of traffic from promotion. There are several ways you can determine if your evergreen content ideas are going to promotion-worthy. For starters, you can take your primary keyword or phrase and enter it in BuzzSumo to see the social popularity of content based on that topic.You should be able to look through the top pieces of content to determine which ones would make for great evergreen content inspiration with the confidence that a similar topic would be popular.Next, you will want to look at the linkability of your proposed evergreen topic idea. Do this by searching for content that already ranks well in search results with your keyword or phrase. SEMrush allows you to search for a keyword or phrase and see the top pages ranking for it in organic search.You can click links to older pieces of content related to your keyword or phrase to see the backlinks for that piece of content. Pro members of SEMrush can export this list and potentially reach out to webmasters who have linked to an older article to let them know about their newer, comprehensive piece of content. Once you’ve taken social sharing and link earning opportunities into account, you will want to look for direct ways to promote your content. One way is through Q&A networks like Quora. You can search your keyword or phrase to find people who ask questions about the topic.In addition to further validating the importance of the topic you plan to create content around, it gives you further avenues to promote your content once it is published. You can simply create an account on Quora (if you don’t have one already), go to the questions you would like to answer once your content has been published, and save that question to answer for later.3) Enrich your content with mixed media, and optimize it for sharing.As you are developing your evergreen content, you will want to include elements that make people want to share it — and make it easy for them to do so. For starters, you can use tools like Canva to create images that people can use to share your post on social media.To further boost the value of your content, you can use Google Forms or HARO to collect quotes from industry experts or influencers about your topic. Then, you can implement tools like CoSchedule’s Click to Tweet to create beautiful tweet boxes that encourages readers to tweet those quotes.You can also enhance your entire piece of content for optimal sharing with tools like Ivy by Filament. This tool allows readers to highlight any piece of content on the page and share it via Twitter, Facebook, or email.4) Plan your outreach strategy.Beyond social media, search, and Q&A marketing, outreach is your best friend when it comes to making sure your content goes the distance. Best of all, you don’t have to blindly send out requests in hopes that someone will like your content. You can instead plan to reach out to the people you know will like your content.You can approach outreach in a couple of ways. First, you can use BuzzSumo as mentioned earlier to see the influencers who tweeted a related piece of content.The only downside to this approach is that you only get the user’s Twitter handle. This means that you will have to either research the person to find additional contact information or only have the ability to tweet them when you publish your content. Alternatively, you can use pay for services like ContentMarketer.io to find the best recipients for your outreach efforts. It allows you to enter a URL of a similar piece of content to see the Twitter handles and email addresses of influencers likely to share your content.You can also use this tool to find people who may be interested in contributing quotes for your content to enhance its value.By researching your top outreach recipients ahead of publishing your content, you will have everything lined up to make sure that your content promotion goes off without a hitch. 5) Write your promotional-phase content.At this stage, you are ready to craft your promotional content. First, you will want to write 25 additional headlines for your content. This is the strategy that Upworthy uses to create viral content headlines. The theory is that when you try to generate many headlines for your content, you will likely come up with a couple of valuable gems out of the rough. Those gems can be used to A/B test the content headlines for email and social media updates.If you struggle to come up with headlines in general, take inspiration from HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. It will suggest five headlines to start with based on your keyword or phrase. If you scroll down and sign up for more, it will give you a spreadsheet with hundreds of additional headlines. Just plug in your keyword or phrase and get inspired.Next, you will want to take your best headlines and craft some social media status updates around them. In addition to sharing your content with alternative headlines, you can change the format of those headlines to make them form questions instead of statements. So instead of tweeting “10 Great Ways to Use Inbound Marketing,” you would have “Can you list 10 ways to use inbound marketing?” You can schedule these to promote your content across your social networks over the course of months using your social media management tools.After your headlines and social media updates, you will be ready to write your outreach emails for all of the influencers you found in step #4. Your outreach emails should consist of three stages: the initial outreach, the follow up if you don’t hear from the influencer (which you can track with tools like Sidekick), and the thank you for when the influencer shares your content.6) Know when to publish and promote.Timing is everything when it comes to the initial promotional period. Though there are many studies out there that tell you when the best time of day is to publish and promote your content, you need to figure out what works best for your business. First, you should look in your analytics to see the best day is to publish your blog content. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can export data from your Sources Report to determine which day is best for traffic. If you use Google analytics, you can set up a custom report to figure this out, too.Your Facebook Page Insights can help you find the best time to share your post on Facebook based on when your fans are online.SocialBro allows you to see when your followers are online as well as when you can receive the most exposure for your tweets by day and by time.You can also export your email analytics and sort the columns to determine the best days and times to send emails to your subscribers for the highest open and clickthrough rates.Putting all of these analytics together should help you find the best days and times to publish and promote your content.7) Finalize your promotion plan.Now that you’ve done all of your research, you are ready to finalize your game plan for publishing and promoting your content. You can do this in a simple checklist format or using tools such as Trello to organize all of the steps you plan to take once your post goes live.It’s important to note specific times and deadlines for each stage of your promotion, along with the specific people involved in the promotion, such as your social media manager and email manager. That way, no step in the process is left out. 8) Plan to go “all in” on the day you publish.The biggest day of promotion is the day that your content goes live. This is the day that your first social media updates will go out, an email about your post is sent to your list, and your outreach emails are sent out. The first couple of days after your content is published will be the days you engage with your readers and influencers. Be prepared to thank people on social media who share your content, reply to comments on your blog and social networks, and reply to any email responses you receive from subscribers and influencers. Also be sure to follow up with any influencers that have not opened or replied to your outreach.If you’re not seeing the traffic you expect from the start, you may want to invest in some social advertising to promote your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to the right audiences so you can drum up more traffic and social shares. The more engagement people see on content, the more likely they are to engage as well. 9) Hit the Q&A networks, forums, and communities.Remember the questions you researched in #2? If you haven’t gone back to answer those, now is the time. Also look for questions that you can answer with your content on other Q&A networks, forums, and communities. Depending on your industry, these can include Quora, Slack, Inbound.org, Growth Hacker, BizSugar, Reddit, and other similar networks.You can also expand community promotion to related groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Most groups have a search feature that allow you to find the right questions to answer — use those searches to tastefully promote your content.This allows you to promote your great piece of content without being considered a spammer. Just be sure to review the group rules first — some do not allow link sharing under any circumstance, even if your content is the perfect answer to a question.10) Repurpose, reshare, and reintroduce.Once the initial promotion has ended, it’s time to implement the 3 R’s: repurpose, reshare, and reintroduce. These three tactics will ensure that your content doesn’t just go live on your blog and die, but rather live on in multiple formats across the web.For example, you can turn key points from your content into slides and upload them to SlideShare. You can turn the slides into a slideshow and upload it as a video to YouTube. You can summarize key points and publish it to your LinkedIn profile through LinkedIn Publisher. You can talk through your content and upload it as a podcast. You can syndicate your content on relevant publications (such as Social Media Today for social media topics). The possibilities are endless.The 3 R’s will allow you to gain new exposure for your content on a variety of different networks. Best of all, you can link back to your original piece of content that inspired all of the repurposed pieces so people can see the full piece of content.If you follow the 10 techniques outlined in this post, you will be on the way to having content that drives traffic to your website, engagement to your social channels, and leads to your business long after you publish it.What steps do you take to make sure that your each piece of content you invest in stands the test of time? Share with us in the comments.
In an advertising agency, having a good idea isn’t enough. You also have to demonstrate that your thinking caused your client’s cash register to ring. Proving your ads actually rang the register, however, has historically been a difficult exercise — one requiring deep expertise in research, statistics, and business analysis. Unfortunately, in lieu of doing the necessary measurement work, lots of marketers are taking the easy way out by relying on “vanity” metrics. This laziness is particularly evident in the digital space where over-simplified, easily digestible numbers (like YouTube view counts) have essentially become a metric of success. But the truth is those vanity metrics don’t really mean anything.Here’s why.An Experiment in Vanity MetricsTo illustrate the inherent flaw of vanity metrics, we at ad agency Solve created a four-minute blank white video and uploaded it to YouTube.No sound. No animation. No movement. Just four minutes of pure emptiness. We then got our blank video over 100,000 views simply by spending $1,400 on YouTube’s TrueView advertising platform. That’s it. We literally bought viewership for 1.4 cents a view.Crossing one million views, the unofficial line that signifies a major victory for most brands, would have required nothing more than the willingness to spend $14,000.And that’s not all. Our modest investment generated a slew of “engagement” metrics that added even more texture to our illusory impact: On average, viewers watched 61% of our video, with more than one in five completing it. In total, the video received nearly 265,000 minutes of attention. Even without a call-to-action, our video earned 1,957 clicks, achieving a better than average click-through rate of 0.86%.It’s true — nobody would argue that getting our blank white video 100,000 views accomplished a meaningful business objective. But that’s kind of the point.The Problem With Vanity MetricsYou could swap in any video, any brand, any objective, and we’d be able to spin a dazzling PowerPoint fable with elegant charts, eye-popping numbers, and poetic proclamations. Oh, the engagement! Oh, the dwell! Oh, the buzz we achieved!But despite the narrative, despite the numbers, we accomplished nothing. Absolutely nothing.This lack of accomplishment is not an indictment of YouTube or its TrueView advertising service. We at Solve, along with many others, have used these platforms as they were intended and achieved bona-fide business objectives.But the seductiveness of vanity metrics has been particularly insidious to marketers increasingly in search of a quick fix and a sound bite. Worse, it has given rise to a cottage industry designed to help brands “hit the numbers.” Want to buy Facebook Likes? Twitter retweets? Website traffic? Virtually any metric that serves as a proxy for campaign success can simply be purchased on the open market. The inherent vagueness of vanity metrics further dilutes their usefulness in measuring impact. For example, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter each have different standards for what constitutes a video “view” on their platform. The more loosely a view is defined, the more of them a service can promise when pitching for advertising budgets.All of that said, vanity metrics aren’t entirely bereft of value. In many instances, they’re all we have. But it’s critical to establish exactly how these metrics will correlate to the real business goals you’re trying to achieve. This means you need to be exceedingly careful with how you benchmark. You want to compare your efforts to competitors who have created truly great work — not those who were simply willing to spend $14,000. As marketers, legitimately measuring the results of what you do is hard work. But it’s worth it. After all, your job is to actually change the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of your audiences. If you are content merely with the appearance of impact, you have failed. Youtube Advertising Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 12, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics:
Topics: Originally published Mar 17, 2016 10:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Ecommerce Sales Part of running a successful ecommerce business is the ability to keep buyers coming back for more. Excellent customer service has long been a determining factor in a buyer’s loyalty, but you may be surprised to learn it’s not the only thing you can do to make sure your customers buy again. In fact, for a guaranteed return visit, you need a quality product, excellent customer service, and choice closure.Check out this marketing psychology ebook to learn how to better understand your customers.Choice paradox is that pesky psychological hangup that occurs when buyers have too many options available. Maybe those options aren’t all available from just one online store, either. With your products and those of your competitors, buyers can get overwhelmed.In some cases, those buyers just won’t make a choice at all. They’ll experience choice paralysis and never end up making a purchase. You can help a buyer avoid this particular situation, but again, since your company isn’t the only one selling similar products, there is no way to guarantee buyers won’t still struggle with their choice.What Is Choice Closure?If you work hard to eliminate choices for a buyer, leaving them with only the most obvious products, then you’re sure to earn a purchase. That’s the very lesson learned with choice paradox. If you can’t or don’t eliminate all but the obvious choice, a consumer who makes a purchase anyway may suffer remorse later. They’ll agonize over the other options that were available and wonder if they made the wrong decision.The decision they made doesn’t always revolve around the price paid, either. Yes, getting a great deal is important to consumers, but a quality product that will solve their pains is much more important. Consider a buyer on a cosmetics ecommerce site with 400 different shades of blush. Even after you help them narrow down the shades that match their skin tones, eliminate the brands that test on animals, and include only the options that have a blush brush included, the choices may still be overwhelming. After the purchase is made, that buyer might regret spending so much when another brand may have offered the same results. Or, she might regret choosing the cheaper option when the better brands give a more professional appearance. Without some way to reassure the buyer that she made the right decision, you leave that avenue open for regret.How to Offer Choice ClosureIn most cases, choice closure comes with a physical act. It might be testing the product in the store before making a choice. It can even be as easy as placing the purchase in a bag and carrying it to the car. That feeling of making the right choice ends the problem right then and there. For online shoppers, though, the closure isn’t there. Opening a box and removing the new purchase isn’t quite the same as doing the reverse: putting the purchase into a bag and calling the job done. In fact, opening that box and removing the new purchase could start a whole new series of regrets. How can you offer closure to a buyer? What can you do to provide that comfort consumers need? Keep three things in mind while you decide. First, the buyer has to perform the act of closure. It’s not something you can do for them. Next, the buyer has to know the act they perform is one of closure, of completing the purchase. Finally, the closure has to happen after they make the purchase.How you can help buyers attain choice closure:Ask consumers for a review or rating on the purchaseProvide space for buyers to flaunt their purchaseWrap purchases to resemble gifts so that opening takes on new meaningUsing Choice Closure Against CompetitorsIt’s okay to assume that your competitors haven’t attempted to offer closure to their buyers. Just think of all those customers out there struggling with buyers’ remorse because there were just too many choices. What if you presented your products to that buyer again, while he or she is still considering the many other purchases they might have made instead? There’s a good chance you’ll have a new customer next time they need something.Then, of course, you help them avoid choice paralysis and give them choice closure. When you do these things in addition to providing excellent quality and customer service, then you have a customer for life. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Inbound Sales (Marketing) Originally published Apr 16, 2016 8:00:00 AM, updated September 20 2018 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: This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.Voicemail is an essential tool for salespeople. Reaching a prospect on your first call attempt is never a guarantee, so salespeople spend hours practicing and perfecting a compelling voicemail template that will hook buyers’ attention and get them to call back.Access 16 Free Sales Voicemail Script TemplatesBut what happens when leaving voicemails just … isn’t an option anymore?We’re probably years away from a voicemail-less world, but the trendlines are already starting to point away from voicemail.Coca-Cola got rid of voicemail for 94% of its employees last year.JPMorgan Chase has removed voicemail for a portion of its employees (with Citigroup and Bank of America considering following suit).Two-thirds of Americans no longer check voicemail.HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan doesn’t even have a phone at his desk.These findings suggest that, even if voicemails still exist in a number of years, they might no longer be the best or easiest way to reach buyers. While salespeople probably won’t stop leaving voicemails any time soon, it’s not a bad thing to start investing more time in getting really good at other sales techniques.What do those strategies look like? Here are four skills salespeople should make sure to perfect so that if voicemail does ever become obsolete, they’ll be ready.What to Do in a World Without Voicemail1) Write really good emails.This one’s no surprise. Email is a less interruptive method of reaching a prospect than a voicemail, since they get to decide when and if they respond. But it’s also hard to stand out — prospects get dozens, if not hundreds of emails every day, and there’s no guarantee that yours will get read.Good sales emails include a catchy subject line, compelling value proposition (i.e. a reason your prospect should respond to your email, not buy your product), and something that provides value to your prospect. And even if you think you’re better in person than through a screen, reflect on what exactly makes your voicemails so compelling — then put it in your emails!Still, writing a good email isn’t easy. You have to invest time into really researching prospects so they’re hooked by highly relevant content from the first sentence. Writing also may not come naturally to some salespeople. For more tips, check out these resources:How to Write a Sales Email: The Definitive GuideThe 14 Worst Sales Email Writing Mistakes16 Creative Email Subject Lines That Restart Stalled Conversations26 Sales Email Subject Lines That Get Prospects to Open, Read, and RespondThe LinkedIn Skim Guide: How to Research Any Buyer in 15 Minutes or Less2) Do social selling the right way.Social selling is much-hyped but also oft-criticized. It’s easy to dismiss the tecnique as so much social noise if salespeople are overly promotional and post irrelevant content. But done right, it’s an incredibly powerful way to meet buyers on their own turf and talk about the issues they care about.Research the social platforms and online forums your buyers are most likely to be active in, then join them and start participating. The key to successful social selling is to shed your salesperson identity. Instead, act as an advisor and industry expert. Provide helpful advice and link to relevant content. Only talk about your product if you are explicitly asked about it.If this seems like a foreboding amount of work to you, try starting out by just sourcing your target accounts on social media. Monitor their activity and jump in with advice where you can. Eventually, you’ll be comfortable enough with social selling to make it part of your regular routine.3) Provide value before a sale.You might traditionally think of all pre-sale activity as Marketing’s responsibility. And while marketers certainly have a huge role to play in nurturing and educating leads, salespeople have a great opportunity here as well.Whether it’s social selling (see above), creating original content, speaking at conferences, or running educational webinars, the more valuable you can make yourself to a prospect before they even think about purchasing a product, the more likely they’ll think of you and be willing to take your call when the time comes to make a decision.4) Leverage your existing network.Referrals are powerful. Salespeople who can leverage their existing networks for referrals are at an advantage. After all, you have an objective third party backing up their value proposition who your prospect presumably already knows and trusts.Salespeople leave voicemails and send prospecting emails to get an introduction. But plumbing your networks for referrals completely skips over needing to make that initial connection yourself. For more tips on setting up a referral program, check out Joanne Black’s blog post on the subject.What do you think will happen to sales if voicemail ever becomes obsolete? Let us know in the comments below.
Blog Headlines Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 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 As much as we hate to admit it, sometimes the headline of your blog post can be even more important than the article itself.Think about how many headlines you read every day while searching online or checking social media. What makes you actually click on the article and read it? Usually, it’s the headline — which is why it’s so important to spend time coming up with a good one.It’s easy to let all of that overwhelm you and just settle for a “good enough” headline. But that’s not how you’re going to be able to grow your blog. Before you publish a new post, you need to come up with a compelling headline that catches the reader’s eye — otherwise your post may not get read at all.Download data-backed tips on writing catchy titles and headlines. There’s a certain science to writing a great headline. Some headline templates or formulas tend to work better than others. For example, research shows that informative headlines like lists (that start with a number), how-to titles, and guides tend to get more readers and shares.Want help in quickly writing an attractive headline? Create your own using the templates and ideas in the infographic below from IntNetworkPlus. First, pick one of the six headline templates; then, mix and match from the adjectives, verbs, phrases, and calls-to-action below to create unique, compelling titles that readers will want to click on.1K+Save1K+Save Originally published Aug 9, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated August 03 2017 Topics:
Project Management Originally published Dec 20, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: The roots of project management date back thousands of years to the creation of mega projects such as the Giza Pyramids and the Colosseum.Although the term “project management” wasn’t coined until the 1950s, projects from more than 4,500 years ago were delivered with the same systematic approach that characterizes today’s projects.The introduction of the personal computer and the development of the information management sector in the 1990s revolutionized project management like never before.Modern project management is largely dependent on web-based project applications, as well as mobile applications and the cloud — enhancing agility, mobility, and collaboration.We decided to go back in time and compare the modern project management practices to the pre-millennium standards. What does the evolution of project management look like?Check out the infographic below to see how things have changed.Infographic via Scoro Don’t forget to share this post!
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Even with the momentum spurred by the two-year budget deal reached in the Senate Wednesday, Congress still needs to pass a continuing resolution (CR) by midnight to avoid the second partial government shutdown in three weeks. The Senate is expected to vote first on the plan that would lift the discretionary caps on defense and domestic spending by a total of $296 billion in fiscal 2018 and 2019, clearing it Thursday afternoon or evening, reported the Washington Post. The package also would include a CR and host of other provisions, including $89 billion in disaster relief and a suspension of the nation’s debt limit through March 1, 2019. The House then would have just hours to clear the measure before the midnight deadline.While passage is all but certain in the Senate, it’s not 100 percent clear where the votes will come from to put the bill over the top in the House. Opposition to the budget agreement from fiscal conservatives over the huge spending increases for domestic accounts means approval likely will require some level of Democratic support. But Democrats are unhappy the package fails to address President Trump’s move to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program next month. At press time, it appeared that while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a contingent of Democrats would oppose the budget deal unless they are able to secure a guaranteed vote on immigration legislation, some members of the party would back the legislation.Photo by the Architect of the Capitol
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin R. Pacheco Here are some new details in the budget and defense budget appropriations process, which kicks off next week when the administration sends its budget request to Capitol Hill:The budget will include the biggest ever request for R&D, according to Bloomberg News, citing an interview with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.The Navy is already getting pushback from Congress on anticipated plans to retire the USS Truman a decade early, cutting the number of carriers from 11 to 10. “Let me be clear, we cannot allow this critical piece of the United States Naval Force to atrophy,” Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) wrote in a Breaking Defense opinions piece. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told Breaking Defense the proposal is “mind-boggling.”The House will try to pass all its appropriations bills by June 30, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Wednesday, according to CQ.Hoyer also told CQ he is working with Senate leaders on a deal to raise or eliminate defense and nondefense spending caps. “I think they want to get this work done,” he said, according to CQ. “They don’t want to see a shutdown. They don’t want to see a dysfunctional appropriations process.” ADC AUTHOR
The Federal Reserve Building stands in Washington.ReutersAsian shares fell for a second day on Thursday, tracking weakness on Wall Street after the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting revealed a more hawkish view among policy makers.Fed officials agreed that “the strengthening in the near-term economic outlook increased the likelihood that a gradual upward trajectory of the federal funds rate would be appropriate.”Stocks reversed gains and bond yields rose as investors narrowed odds on faster hikes. Three rate rises are now almost fully priced in for this year, compared to two as recently as December, Reuters reported.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.35 percent in early trade, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent.Overnight, the Dow ended down 0.67 percent, while the S&P 500 fell 0.55 percent.Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50’s trend in India, signals a weak start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex rose 141 points or 0.42 percent to close at 33,844 on Wednesday.The partially convertible rupee ended unchanged at 64.78 per dollar on Wednesday from its previous close of 64.79 per dollar.So far this year, the rupee has fallen 1.4 percent against the U.S. dollar, while overseas investors have bought $1.2 billion in local equity and $1.9 billion in debt markets.F&O Expiry: Trading is likely to be volatile on Thursday as traders will roll over positions in the futures and options segment from the February 2018 series to March 2018 series.Crude check: Brent crude declined 0.73 percent at $64.94 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.91 percent to $61.12 a barrel.Fed meeting: Data released after the meeting showed the unemployment rate holding at 4.1 percent in January, while the consumer price index, excluding food and energy, was 1.8 percent for the 12 month period.Fed speeches: A slew of Fed policy makers are due to speak this week including New York Fed President William Dudley and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic.
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Wikipedia Commons / Flickr / Ed SchipulHouston City HallNeighborhood Centers, in partnership with the City of Houston, and the Immigration Legal Services Collaborative announced an initiative on Wednesday that will make Houston an official “Welcoming City.”The program is called the “New American Economy.” Through the initiative, some civic leaders are hoping to create a way to welcome undocumented workers into the workforce. Jose Sic is an undocumented small business owner from Guatemala. “Every 15 days they would pay me $375 and when I asked for a raise, they let me go,” he said.Ultimately leaders from the business, non-profit, and other communities are hoping to develop a game plan that will improve opportunities and integration for foreign-born residents like Sic.State Rep. Gene Wu, from District 137, says reform is needed. “Business community overwhelmingly demands immigration reform and demands that we have more people come to this country. If you talk to anyone who knows anything about the economy, a shrinking workforce is never a good thing,” he said.According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, foreign-born residents contributed over $116 billion into the local economy in 2014. Wu says the Energy Corridor is the perfect example of immigration working in Houston.Brien StrawAngela Blanchard, President & CEO of Neighborhood Centers“Think about all the engineers, all the scientists, and all the people who came from other countries, studied in the U.S. and helped build those industries,” Wu said.According to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, foreign-born workers make up 32 percent of the labor force in Houston.With the city’s immigrant population growing at twice the national average, business leaders like Stan Marek, President and CEO of Marek Companies, say the time for immigration reform is now.“Give these workers legal status to where they have rights, so if they get taken advantage of like this young man did, they can go to the police, they can go to wage and hour, they can go to somebody.” he says.With reform Marek says, due respect and a level playing field can be provided for all workers. According to Alexander Triantaphyllis, Director of Immigration and Economic Opportunity at Neighborhood Centers, without reform people like Sic have little hope.“There are many, many people in Houston, we’re talking about – at this moment – at least more than 200,000 individuals, possibly upwards of 400,000, if not more, who are undocumented and many, if not most, of whom have no form of relief at the moment,” Triantaphyllis said. 00:00 /01:05 Listen Share
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /75:58 Ben Doyle, Runaway ProductionsMembers of Jazz Forever with Anthony Brandt (MUSIQA) and Matthew Detrick (Apollo Chamber Players) at the MATCHOn this week’s episode of Encore Houston, we feature the Harvey Relief Concert put on by the Apollo Chamber Players, MUSIQA, and Jazz Forever on Friday, September 8th, which raised $8,000 to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The program featured the Apollo Chamber Players performing a number of folk-inspired pieces as well as a premiere by local composer Mark Buller, a MUSIQA saxophone quartet with works new and old, and the big band Jazz Forever with a number of standards arranged by band member Eddie Lewis. Proceeds for the concert went to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation.Music in this episode:APOLLO CHAMBER PLAYERSWILLIAM GRANT STILL, Lyric Quartet – I. The Sentimental OneLIBBY LARSEN, Sorrow Song and JubileeMANUEL PONCE, Arr. Apollo Chamber Players, EstrellitaMALEK JANDALI, String Quartet in E-flat – IV.JULIA SMITH, Quartet for Strings – I.ERBERK ERYILMAZ, Thracian Airs of Besime Sultan (excerpt)MARK BULLER, ElegyThe Apollo Chamber PlayersMatthew Detrick, violinAnabel Ramirez, violinWhitney Bullock, violaMatthew Dudzik, cello Patrick Schneider, baritoneJustin Best, clarinetMUSIQAASTOR PIAZZOLLA, Histoire du Tango (excerpt)ANTHONY BRANDT, Full Circle – II.CARYL FLORIO, QuartetteJOEL LOVE, Mark Flood Quartet – IV. LullabyHAROLD ARLEN, Over the RainbowDan Gelok, soprano saxophoneMas Sugihara, alto saxophoneTravis Bartholome, tenor saxophoneEvan Withner, baritone saxophoneJAZZ FOREVERBOB HAGERTY, South Rapart Street ParadeTOM DELANEY, Jazz Me BluesCHARLIE DAVIS, CopenhagenHANK WILLIAMS, Jambalaya on the BayouANONYMOUS, St. James Infirmary BluesTRADITIONAL, When the Saints Go Marching InEddie Lewis, trumpetGeorge Chase, trumpetThomas Hultén, tromboneDoug Wright, saxophone/clarinetMartin Langford, saxophone/clarinetGary Zugar, saxophone/clarinetJosé-Miguel Yamal, pianoThomas Helton, bass/tubaMike Owen, banjo/guitarBobby Adams, drumsPerformance date: 4/4/2017Originally aired: 8/19/2017New episodes of Encore Houston air Saturdays at 10 PM, with a repeat broadcast Sundays at 4 PM, all on Houston Public Media Classical. This article is part of the Encore Houston podcast Share