Animal Olympians Inspire Engineers

first_imgHere are more stories about animals, plants and cells attracting scientists with their astonishing capabilities, proving that biomimetics is one of the hottest trends in science.Nutcracker sweet:  The mantis shrimp won another gold medal after triumphing in the circularly-polarized eye competition.  PhysOrg, New Scientist and Live Science all gave it thumbs up for its club-like hammer claw, found to be the “strongest club in the world” able to deliver a force 1,000 times its own weight without breaking.  Not only that, the clubs accelerate to 10,000 g’s, have the fastest moving parts in the animal kingdom (23 m/sec), and are so durable they deliver a thousand blows before the next molt replaces them.Unsurprisingly, manufacturers of body armor are raising eyebrows with visions of joining the club.  Mantis shrimp use their weapons to break open molluscs and crabs.  They have been known to break aquarium glass with their little karate choppers.  The clubs survive breakage through construction with hard, then medium, then soft layers that distribute the force and inhibit cracks from forming.  The original paper in Science (8 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6086 pp. 1275-1280, DOI: 10.1126/science.1218764 ) calls the claw “A Formidable Damage-Tolerant Biological Hammer.”Al G. Lightner, NRG:  Algae and bacteria accomplish a feat green engineers drool over: the ability to harvest light efficiently for energy.  Artificial fuel cells need their secrets to make green energy competitive with fossil fuels (which, by the way, are by-products of plants that used photosynthesis to make the complex hydrocarbons).  PhysOrg reported on new attempts at Lawrence Livermore Labs to use X-ray diffraction to probe the secrets of Photosystem II, the plant antenna where the magic happens and water is decomposed into hydrogen, oxygen and electrons.  The article paid customary lip service to Mother Nature and long ages without explaining how the complex process arose:For more than two billion years, nature has employed photosynthesis to oxidize water into molecular oxygen. Photosystem II, the only known biological system that can harness visible light for the photooxidation of water, produces most of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere through a five-step catalytic cycle (S0-to-S4 oxidation states). Light-harvesting proteins in the complex capture solar photons that energize the manganese-calcium cluster and drive a series of oxidations and proton transfers that in the final S4 state forms the bond between oxygen atoms that yields molecular oxygen.Overall, though, the article was about how human designers, using cutting-edge tools to probe the “photosystem II complex” for secrets, have been unable to duplicate what single cells accomplish.  “Doing this study was a monumental achievement that required a large team to make it happen,” one noted.  Why so much effort? “We hope to learn from nature’s design principles and apply that knowledge to the design and development of artificial photosynthetic systems.”DNA Disk:  Hey, DNA is already “the molecule that already stores the genetic blueprints of all living things,” PhysOrg says.  Why not use it for a hard drive?  Drew Endy, a pioneer in synthetic biology at Stanford, was interviewed in the article to explain how he intends to “turn the basic building blocks of nature into tools for designing living machines.”  He’s thinking ahead to applications for waste treatment, medicine, manufacturing and others he can’t even imagine.  As for his DNA hard drive, he didn’t say how the USB interface might work, but he did share his feelings a bit: “What we’re likely to end up with will not look like classical electronics. Biology is beginning to teach us how to be a little bit more sophisticated in our engineering designs, which is a lot of fun.”“Biomimetic” is a trendy word more frequently encountered in scientific papers every year, as in this paper’s title, “Biomimetic emulsions reveal the effect of mechanical forces on cell–cell adhesion” (PNAS, June 1, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201499109 PNAS June 1, 2012).  The team in that paper not only studied cells for ideas about adhesion, but used a “biomimetic approach” to doing their science.  The emphasis in these sciences is on (1) understanding and (2) application for the benefit of mankind.Was Darwinism ever “a lot of fun”?  If it was, it was the fun of entertainment: telling tall tales around the cave campfire, not getting at the truth to produce understanding, for the purpose of designing tangible benefits for the world.  All for biomimetics over Darwinism please signify by imitating the mantis-shrimp karate chop on useless speculation. (Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Evans Powhaton Century Farm history laced with triumph and tragedy

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The year was 1950 and there was excitement in the air on Powhaton Farm in Champaign County. The farm was one of the host farms for the National Plowing Match, sponsored by the National and Ohio Plowing Matches and the National Association of Soil Conservation Districts. It was the first “National” held outside of Iowa.Nearly 75,000 people visited the farms for the three-day, standing-room-only event that garnered headlines in newspapers around the state and nation for weeks prior to and after the event was held. The show even featured a test plot with the astounding goal of 300-bushel corn in 1950. The National Plowing Match was so noteworthy for the farm and community in Champaign County just south of Urbana that a historic marker stands to commemorate the event.That was a big day for Richard Evans in the same year he took over the family farm founded by his great-great-grandfather, Isaac Evans Jr., who had come from Virginia in 1812. Isaac’s father, at the same time, purchased land that is now home to the city of Urbana.President James Madison signed an original land grant deed to Isaac Jr. for one-quarter section for the 160-acre farm in Urbana Township of Champaign County. In 1830, Isaac received another patent deed for 161 acres adjoining the original portion of the farm.“Isaac purchased the land for $2 an acre. He had three years to pay it at 6% interest,” said Sue Evans, Isaac’s great-great-great-granddaughter and the daughter of Richard. “It was unsettled land and they probably had a single-bottom plow pulled by a horse. They had to clear trees and build a house. I am amazed at how they could do what they did. They raised corn and wheat and had cattle. A colonial farm was very self-sustaining. They raised their own food and had their own orchard. That was what they did for survival.”Land next to the original farmstead was home to a wool carpet mill and cider mill, general store, blacksmith, shoe shop, and doctor’s office in a small village named Powhaton, founded in 1847.“The next generation was William Strode Evans and he had one son, John Will who was my great-grandfather. John Will Evans married Melissa Jane Roberts who grew up just down the road in Clark County. John served in the Civil War. He farmed with his father and taught in a nearby one-room school. They had two sons, my grandfather, William Edgar, and Charles. Charles went east and opened a restaurant in New Jersey. William Edgar stayed on the farm. He was known as Ed,” Evans said. “My grandfather was known for being hard working and kind. He had one child, my father, Richard.”Richard’s life that followed was the familiar tapestry of farm life with threads of joy, tragedy and hard work woven together with a few unique things as well. The Plowing Match on his farm was undoubtedly a highlight in his farming career, but certainly not the only one.Richard’s mother (Ed’s wife) died when Richard was seven.“His mother kept him at home from school an extra year. She went to Grandview Hospital in Columbus to have surgery. My father sat on the front porch steps and watched his mother leave, looking happy and smiling. She had not been ill, but she did not survive the surgery,” Evans said. “So from then on, he grew up with just his father who never re-married. As you can imagine, they were very close.”At that time the farm was a Jersey dairy and they grew corn, wheat, oats and hay. They added a corn picker and a three-bottom plow — great advancements during this time. Richard grew up involved with every aspect of farming during that era. Richard graduated from Urbana Local High School and went on to the Ohio State University College of Agriculture to fulfill his boyhood dreams.“From the time he was a small boy, he told everyone he wanted to be a scientific farmer when he grew up, but he couldn’t pronounce ‘scientific’ and it always came out ‘scienticky,’” Evans said. “In 1930 he started college and came home every weekend to help his father on the farm. He was at OSU with Jessie Owens. Grandpa was injured, though, during dad’s senior year and he dropped out of college to come back to the farm and help. He really believed in education and always finishing what you start, but he put his goal aside and came back home and farmed.”Side-by-side the father and son farmed, growing closer all the while. Richard married and started a family. Then tragedy struck again.“My dad was plowing and my grandfather was behind him working ground with a disk and a spike-toothed harrow when a storm came out of nowhere and they started to bring the equipment in. My grandfather was driving the tractor over freshly-plowed ground standing up and he was hit by lightning and fell off the tractor,” Evans said. “My father looked back and saw the equipment circling. It had run over my grandfather three times before my father could stop it. He was 75 when he was killed. My dad was 38. I was 6.”After that, Richard continued the tradition of his forefathers farming the land. The dairy transitioned into a registered Hereford beef operation.“My father spent his life dedicated to soil conservation. He was an original board member of the watershed conservancy district and he was involved in all of the ag organizations,” Evans said. “My brothers left home after high school. One went into the Navy and was reported missing in 1961 during the Cuban Bay of Pigs Invasion, which was an unimaginable tragedy for our family. And my other brother has owned and operated a hunting and fishing resort in Ontario, Canada during his career. He now owns the farm adjacent to the bicentennial farmland. My mother passed away when my father was 80 and he continued to do all of the farming of nearly 500 acres by himself until he was 89, at which time he went into a crop-share program with a neighbor.”It was then he decided to attend to some unfinished business — his college degree.“In 2001 he visited the dean’s office at Ohio State where he was presented with a file folder containing his transcripts from 1930 to 1934. They discussed where his credits from nearly 70 years earlier would fit into today’s curriculum and he enrolled in classes at OSU to finish his degree work. Everyone else was using a laptop, and he had a yellow legal tablet,” Evans said. “He took classes one at a time, earning straight As, but then he was injured in a car accident and was unable to finish the remaining courses to complete his degree.”The accident finished his college career, but it was not the end to his interest in agriculture.“After the accident when he was in the hospital trauma center I visited him and the first thing he said when the ventilator was removed was, ‘How are the grain markets doing?’ I told him corn was at $7.42,” she said. “He immediately wanted to sell a Dec contract and asked for my help to accomplish the sale.”Evans had married a broadcaster and, for many years living out of the area, had come back regularly to help on the farm as she could from her home in Virginia.“When I retired it was my intention to come back here and be with my dad. He died three weeks before that happened at the age of almost 97. Dad and I were really close,” Evans said. “He always kept me updated on everything that was happening on the farm.”Upon returning to the farm in 2009, Evans beautifully remodeled the farmhouse — the third structure on the same foundation since the farm was founded in 1812. She is also in the process of refurbishing an old train boxcar brought to the farm in 1901 to store grain.At 72, Evans meticulously cares for the property on her own and farms the 300 acres of land on shares, marketing the grain herself and jointly making input decisions with the neighbor who farms it. She hosts a monthly “Grain Girls” meeting with a group of women farm owners and managers who meet to learn and improve their grain marketing skills. She sits on the foundation board for Clark State College that has been dramatically expanding its precision ag program in recent years. She also manages a scholarship her father started for agricultural students from Champaign County attending the Ohio State University College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.She feels very privileged to live and work on her family’s bicentennial Powhaton Farm.“I have a son and daughter, and they will take this over when I pass on through a generation skipping trust. Neither farms. My daughter is an architect and my son is in law enforcement, but I feel very confident that they will keep the farm and continue the legacy. I have six grandchildren. I keep encouraging them to not ever let it go,” Evans said. “Every day when I wake up and look out this window, as far as I can see is land that has only ever been farmed by my family. I am grateful for my ancestors. They were upstanding, hard-working people who loved the land and cared for it. This is a rare situation, and I realize how fortunate I am. It is humbling. There is no better life, but it is not an easy life. My father instilled his work ethic in me and the desire to keep this going. I stand on very broad shoulders.” John Will and Melissa Jane Evans were Sue’s great-grandparents. They were the fourth generation on the farm. His name is written in the train boxcar (J.W. Evans Aug. 8, 1901) being refurbished on the farm. The original deed for the farm is signed by President James Madison. This is one of the original barns. This is inside the train car being restored on the farm. Evans meticulously cares for the present-day property Richard Evans, Sue’s father, was know for his efforts in conservation on the farm.This painting depicts the first home on the farm. This is a painting of the first home on the farm. Sue Evans now owns the farm. She is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the founder Isaac Evans, Jr.last_img read more

CWG: ED questions Kalmadi and two others in Tihar

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate on Friday questioned jailed former Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi and two others in connection with the money laundering case registered by it in conduct of the sporting event last year.A preliminary statement of Kalmadi was recorded by the officials of the ED at Tihar prisons in Delhi under the provisions of the Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA).Statements of two other officials, OC Joint Director General (Sport) A S V Prasad and Deputy Director General (Procurement) Surjit Lal have also been recorded in Tihar, ED sources said.Friday’s questioning, however, was a brief one and further recording of statement will take place later. The ED has registered about five different cases of money laundering in the conduct of the Games that were organised here last year.According to sources, Kalmadi was asked for some basic information on Friday and a detailed statement of investments and transactions in both his personal and OC Chairman capacities will take place soon.The CBI, in its charge sheet against Kalmadi had described him as the “main accused” in a corruption case relating to irregularities in awarding the Time Scoring Results (TSR) contract to a Swiss firm.”Kalmadi is the main accused as he was the person with all supreme powers. He had the supreme over riding powers in the Organising Committee of the CWG, 2010,” the CBI charge sheet had said.Kalmadi and the two other officials were arrested by the CBI on April 25.- With PTI inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

The Role of PR Firms in Social Media and Inbound Marketing

first_imgThere has been a lot of discussion this week in the A-List blogs about the role of a PR firm within the world of inbound marketing and social media.  I have been thinking about this for a while, both as a blogger (who is now getting pitched by PR firms), an active social media person, and a client of a PR firm – and part of a company that has a strong presence on LinkedIn (group with 7,000+ members), Facebook (over 600 fans) and Twitter (still growing, but employees like me have 100’s of followers).  In fact, I have been asked to speak on this very topic at the upcoming Worldcom conference in Montreal (a conference of hundreds of PR firms).Changes Challenging the Value of a PR FirmDirect Relationships – Does the media expect direct relationships with the company (through social media) rather than having the PR folks as a “go-between”?  If so, can the PR Firm play a role at all?Speed of Publishing – The old world had quarterly or annual editorial calendars.  Now A-list bloggers decide what to write that morning while having a latte in their robe in front of their laptop.  HubSpot has gotten coverage within 50 minutes from ZDNet because I responded to a question on Twitter from a blogger.  When the time between idea and article can be 30 minutes, can a PR firm really help a client get coverage?Approachability of Media – The media today are really pretty approachable, unlike the old days where it was hard to get a meeting with a writer for the Wall Street Journal, today you can follow the key media players on Twitter, be friends on Facebook, comment on their blog, etc.  So, if the relationships are easier to formulate today, what’s the value of a PR firm?To review some of the discussion going on right now, Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion thinks that PR firms need to adapt, because bloggers and “new media” people want to “discover news for themselves” and not be pitched by PR folks.  Michael Arrington at TechCrunch says that “PR as a profession is broken”.  Ouch.  Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins from Mashable says those who “position themselves in the mindset that they aren’t gatekeepers for information but connectors for entrepreneurs and resources for journalists” will be a productive resource for their clients.  Robert Scoble from Scobleizer thinks that “there’s no reason to go crazy with a PR firm if you build something that people want.”  And Todd Defren of PR-Squared posted a response (including a video of me).  But probably the best summary and comment on the debate (besides this article of course! 🙂 comes from Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWrite Web who summarizes his article with “Is it worth the expense and loss of direct experience for many startups to hire PR people? It probably is.”  How a PR Firm Can Provide Value TodayResearch – You could spend the time finding the best 100 bloggers who write about your specific niche, but having someone else do this for you can save time, especially if they do it for a living and have access to tools to make it easier and faster.  Same things goes for researching conferences, events, speaking opportunities, awards, etc.  HubSpot has won a ton of marketing awards, and for most of them our PR firm found them and did everything for us.Training – Few people are social media and blogging experts, and if you hire the right PR firm, they can help bring their expertise into your company.  Don’t let them do everything for you, make them train and educate your marketing team (not just marcom, product people too!) and executives about social media, blogging, how to comment on blogs, how to use Twitter and Facebook, etc.  Inbound Marketing relies on using your entire company for marketing, and teaching people how to do it can be a great way for your PR firm to provide value.  Even though we think we know a lot at HubSpot, our PR firm has taught us a thing or two and we’ve tried some new stuff based on their suggestions.Create & Publish Content – PR folks are experts at writing, and increasingly audio and video too.  Your PR firm can help you figure out how to take your boring company announcement and craft it into an interesting story, even if it is not for a news release, it can be just for your company blog.  Your PR firm can also interview employees, customers and others and post videos on your blog or website, etc.  They do this stuff all the time (if they’re good) and might be able to do it better and faster than you can.  Our PR firm has written more than press releases for us – they don’t write for this blog – but other stuff has been helpful.Pitching / Relationships – There are some times when a PR firm does have relationships you don’t have, and times when that makes sense.  A lot of these relationships might be “old media”, but old media is still important to a lot of companies.  For instance, Business Week, Inc Magazine, and others will probably only cover you twice in the next 5 years (if you’re lucky), so does the writer really want a “relationship” with you.  Probably not.  But a PR firm brings lots of different clients to the table, and having a relationship with the PR pro might make sense for the writer.  Our PR Firm is really completely responsible for our relationships with print media.  We just don’t interact with those folks much ourselves.Monitoring – Good PR folks will do a great job of monitoring all the right blogs, social networks and other conversations for relevant information.  They then should email you and tell you to respond, comment, or react on your blog as necessary.  Even if you have a ton of RSS feeds, alerts and more set up, you might miss some things.  Our PR Firm doesn’t send us too much in terms of monitoring because we use lots of tools (including HubSpot software) to monitor things ourselves, but about once a month they send something I missed, and it’s usually good.  But, we have about 10 people actively monitoring 100’s of blogs and 100’s of search feeds daily (not kidding, the joke is that we consume 40% of the Internet on a daily basis).  I bet that your company has way fewer people in your company doing this stuff, so your PR firm will provide tons more value here.Beyond these points, I also think there is something to be said for the ability for a PR firm to relatively quickly ramp up your capabilities, whereas if you were doing things internally it might take a lot longer to find and train a productive internal person.  Don’t take this as a glowing recommendation that everyone should go out and hire a PR firm today.  But, I also don’t think they should be swept under the rug as useless – there is a lot of value a PR firm can provide in the right circumstances for the right client.  As always, understand what all your possible tools can do, then choose the right tools for the job.  A PR firm might be one of those tools.Here is some more of my thoughts on video: Note: HubSpot is a client of Shift Communications, and we’re happy with what we have accomplished working with them over the past year.  But we also talk frequently with them about how to make the relationship work best for both of us.  I recommend all companies do that with your PR firm.  Maybe this article can be a starting point for the conversation with your PR firm.What do you think?  What is the role of a PR firm today?  Leave a comment below and let’s discuss. Public Relations Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img Topics: Originally published Aug 13, 2008 6:44:00 PM, updated March 21 2013last_img read more

HubSpot TV – Combining Real Life and Social Media with Guest Tim Hayden

first_imgEpisode #61 – October 9, 2009  (Episode Length: 28 minutes, 58 seconds) http://itunes.hubspot.tv/ Headlines Marketing Takeaway , @ mvolpe Marketing Takeaway Doing It Right with www.HubSpot.tv FTC Confirms Bloggers Need Not Fear the $11,000 Fines Registration Link: – Your offline events can stimulate online conversation. gameplanhayden If PR Dead? The Debate Continues… — Details: and @ Download HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University online training program Thepremise is simple: visitors “light” a candle and leave a message. 8599as of Thursday at 4PM – less than 48 hours after it went live Yahoo finally joins Google and stops using meta keywords for search Time 3:00-5:30pm Forum Fodder Location: Brogan Room at HubSpot HQ http://hubspotbook.eventbrite.com/ HuSpot TV Guest: Tim Hayden! Brian Halligan’s article: Is PR dead? Think about using in person events to enhance the online communications you are using for inbound marketing. in Austin, TX Announcement! First 50 people get a free book! FTC Regulates Endorsements and Reviews We Are Better Than This Closing Make great content, get more links, don’t sweat meta keywords. Date: October 16 Justin Goodman @electricmice: How to interact on Twitter: @ Originally published Oct 11, 2009 7:49:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 : Set your employees free! Encourage them to be content creators. Death to Meta Keywords! Doors open at 3:00pm. The show goes live at 4:00pm. Come meet Brian andDharmesh at the end of the show during the book signing.  – Make sure your PR firm is doing more than SPAMing reporters with press releases. Yahoo Search No Longer Uses Meta Keywords Tag Technology, in which 54% of thesample of 1,400 CIOs of companies with 100 or more employees blockemployees from accessing any social media at work” Intro Inbound Marketing Book Launch Party at HubSpot TV : Be upfront and honest, and encourage your fans to do the same. “astudy released yesterday by Robert Half Perks: CEO of Marketing Takeaway: Subscribe in iTunes: Why the 54% of companies blocking access to social media should knock it off http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf IMU includes The Role of PR Firms in Social Media and Inbound Marketing in your tweet. Free Inbound Marketing University Online Training Program 54% of companies BLOCK social media If I have hundreds of landing pages, how should you incorporate them into your navigation? 11 free webinar classes and notesheets GamePlan Marketing Takeaway 2 Marketing Takewaway karenrubin “So,is pr dead? Well, the bad news is that as the game has beentraditionally played, it is probably dead or near dead. The good newsis that there is a major opportunity for new entrants and forwardthinking existing agencies to re-invent the industry and provide awhole new set of valuable businesses for their customers.” . The program drills into each component of inbound marketing and prepares you for the Inbound Marketing certification exam. Marketing Tip of the Week: FTC Cracks Down on Blogger Payola, Celebrity Tweets Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Rank Nazi: Your Content Is Not Worthy, No Rank For You! [cartoon]

first_imgShare . The book’s been a runaway success (I think it’s because of the cartoons, but my co-author thinks its the marketing advice — you decide). Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack By the way, if you’re a Seinfeld fan, what’s your favorite episode/scene?  (I’m looking for more ideas for future cartoons).center_img Looking to get more organic traffic from Google? You need to create content that’s worthy! (Yes, it’s that simple.  Not easy, but simple). Originally published Nov 6, 2009 3:18:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 If you liked this cartoon, you can find more cartoons in the recently released book:last_img read more

How to Ensure Your Leads Ignore Your Nurturing E-mails

first_img Originally published Apr 20, 2010 11:05:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t include one of those silly calls to action.   Granted, images won’t guarantee a trip interrupted by the SPAM filter, but they certainly help.  At worst, your leads’ email programs don’t render them, and you end up with ugly images.  At best, your leads open your email and roll their eyes at the “artwork”.  Either way, you’re well on your way to the Delete key. Make it look exactly like a newsletter. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Write only about your product or service. Lead Nurturing   “Cut your IT costs with virtualization!” “Free Seminar!” “Get your V!agra now!”  All of these (and probably many others that you can think of) guarantee that your email will be ignored.  As a free bonus, many of these might even help your email go straight to the SPAM folder! . Write a canned subject line. If your newsletters already don’t get people’s attention, use this opportunity to try them out again!  And the more impersonal the better, so that your leads truly don’t feel like you’ve given any effort to nurturing them.  Unsubscribe link, here we come! Lots and lots of images. But seriously, folks, the bottom line is that you need to provide good, useful content with a compelling subject line, a personal message, and a sound late-funnel call to action.  It’s going to take more work, and you’ll have to actually provide value, but you’ll end up with better leads and more customers in the end. freezelight Image courtesy of You and your sales team have spent hours and hours developing sales-y content; this is the perfect place to use it!  It doesn’t matter at all that your lead has already seen this on your website.  It doesn’t matter that it provides zero true value to help your lead solve their problems, it helps you get your message across!  Right?  Right?  Well, okay, so maybe they’ll tune it out immediately, but it’s a great way to pat yourselves on the back while turning off your leads. Topics: For fun, let’s look at the other side of the coin–how to guarantee you’ll be ignored. And certainly don’t link it to a landing page! If your leads make it through your subject line, many images, and sales-y content, you definitely don’t want to make it easy to follow up with you!  For that matter, don’t include a real reply-to address either.  Hey, if your leads can’t figure out how to connect with you, they don’t deserve to give you money.last_img read more

Website Redesign SEO Mistakes to Avoid

first_img Originally published Sep 7, 2010 3:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 We’ve already discussed what you need to think about before you even begin your website redesign project , now we’re going to discuss what SEO elements you need to keep in mind once you start the process.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignOnce again we turned to our well versed team of HubSpot Partners to gain insight into how they approach the process.Don’t Lose Sight of Your Old SiteSure, your website might need a redesign, but that doesn’t mean everything you currently have is terrible. Partner Tony Meister of NetSolutions Group says “the biggest mistake…would be to leave out 301 redirects consequently sacrificing all the work that was done to get the rankings. On that end, another mistake would be to neglect [thinking] about navigation structure and how the [old] site effectively leverages SEO in the subpage hierarchical navigation.”Even if you do decide to completely redo the navigation, Tony’s first point holds true. Your old site hopefully had some SEO rankings that you, at some point, invested time (either in content creation, keyword research or more) to get. Make sure everything is done correctly in order to not waste the time you’ve already spent on it.Make Sure SEO is Always Being EvaluatedYes, SEO is not the end all to be all when you are redesigning your site. However, that doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked in favor of design, content, etc. Top Line Results’ Todd Hockenberry states, “SEO is [often] an afterthought and not the primary driver that it should be.” While SEO might not be as visually appealing as a great website header or logo, think about which one is more likely to bring leads to your site and invest your time wisely.The SEO ScoopSure there are some people who get downright giddy when they talk about SEO. You may or may not be one of those folks. But even if you aren’t, any good website designed with inbound marketing in mind takes into account SEO strategies. No matter how gorgeous your new site looks, if visitors can’t find you online, no one is going to be able to appreciate your hard work and you certainly won’t see the benefits. Website Redesign Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Set Expectations with Email Subject Lines [Data]

first_img There is nothing worse than getting an email from a company that clearly has no idea who you are. The obvious example is women getting emails clearly addressed to men and visa versa. 54 New Data Slides for Your Marketing Decks –  13.7% (OR) – 26.0% (CTR) Topics: Marketing Slide Show In-a-Box [Ready to use/share] 65 New Charts for Your Presentations – 14.3%(OR) – 22.8%(CTR) In our latest eBook, “ Get Key Marketing Trends from the Marketing Data Box and you quickly find out which ones get the best results. Recently we sent out five test subject lines for the same email and found out right away which one got the best results.  See if you can guess. Originally published May 13, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 A lot of energy is often put into a clever subject line that gets a good open rate. However, if it has little to do with the content in the email itself, you not only get horrendous click through rates, but you also damage your brand. Email marketing doesn’t lie.  It tells you right away what your open and click through rates were. The open rates were fairly close, the range going from 14.3% to 13.7%, but the click through rates were dramatically different with the high being 26% and the low being 10.4%. People get hundreds of emails a week and when they read them they do so with an expectation that was set up by the subject line. When writing your subject lines start by making sure it has a strong connection to the email itself. If after you’ve tested a number of variations and you still get low open and click through rates it’s not the fault of the subject line – it’s probably your offer. Writing bait and switch subject lines won’t change the eventual results either; they will just make people leery about reading your next email. Then in the body of the email, a slightly different greeting can make even more of an impact. The purpose is to let clients/customers know you are aware that they are clients/customers, while letting prospects know you understand their needs. 65 New Marketing Charts for Your Presentations – 13.7%(OR) – 24.3%(CTR) And the Winner Is! Marketing Slide Show In-a-Box [Ready to use/share] – 14.1%(OR) – 14.8%(CTR) Personalizing the Expectations 54 New Data Slides for Your Marketing Decks 7 Steps to Jump-Start Your Email Marketing Strategy So which of the five subject lines did you choose as the winner?  Here are the resultscenter_img ” we talk about segmenting your lists and changing the messaging to appeal to different groups. For example, say you want to promote the same offer to prospects and existing customers or clients. 65 New Marketing Charts for Your Presentations People Don’t Like the Bait and Switch : (OR is open rate and CTR is click through rate) 65 New Charts for Your Presentations Test a number of subject lines test similar subject lines A general rule of thumb is that the more thoroughly you can segment your lists and personalize your message, the better your response rates will be. And if you can personalize those expectations in your subject line and greeting, you’ll get even better results. Get Key Marketing Trends from the Marketing Data Box – 12.7%(OR) – 10.4%(CTR) Download the free ebook to energize your lead generation efforts and build more buzz around your business. This points to the importance of subject lines, not so much as the way to improve your open rate, but more as a way to set the expectation. All of these subject lines introduced the identical email, so it wasn’t the layout or wording within the email that had an impact. It was the subject line that set the tone. Free Ebook: 7 Steps to Jump-Start Your Email Marketing Strategy A step-by-step guide to email marketing for lead generation. Which one did you pick? Why do you think the winning one got the best results? First you would for both groups. You could further test tweaks to the winning subject line – one that acknowledges the customer or client. Email Subject Lines Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Easy Fixes for the Most Common Twitter Faux Pas

first_img Originally published Dec 13, 2011 5:30:00 PM, updated August 25 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Twitter Marketing Whether you’ve been using Twitter for a while or you’re just dipping your toe into those whale infested waters, there are several common Twitter mistakes that tons of people are making. These mistakes are easy to fix, but if you keep doing them, it will keep you from getting the most out of this platform as part of your inbound marketing strategy. And you don’t want that, right? Here are five common Twitter mistakes, and how to fix them.Click here to access a free Twitter for Businesses kit.1. Sending Sketchy Auto-DMsSeriously, people are still doing this! No matter how amazing the message is in your auto-direct message, if it is an auto-DM, especially if it comes right after someone follows you, it’s a huge faux pas. Don’t waste your time setting these impersonal messages up. Not for you, not for your client, not for your brand. It’s not a good look.How to fix it: Go to your account on Twitter.com, click Settings and then Connections. This will show you all the apps to which you are connected. Find out which app through which you are set up to auto-DM, and cancel it.2. Protecting Your TweetsFacebook, Google+, and LinkedIn have privacy settings that allow you to choose which information to share with certain groups of people. On Twitter, you gotta put it all out there. Well, if you want inbound marketing effectiveness you do. Twitter is different than these other social networking experiences that are based on networking with existing connections–people you know from high school, college, work, and the gym. Twitter is based on networking with people you don’t know. Talk to strangers. Put yourself out there. Make the most of Twitter by making new connections with an open account.How to fix it: Go to your account on Twitter.com, click Settings and go to Account. Unclick where is says Protect My Tweets.3. An Unbalanced Follower:Following RatioSome people may not admit it, but most people care about their follower number. And there’s no shame in that! The more followers you have, the more opportunities you have to share your content and increase your web presence. But if you are looking at someone’s profile for the first time and you see an unbalanced follower:following ratio, two thoughts might go through your mind:If someone is following tons of people with very few follow-backs:  “How come no one is following this person back? This person must not be very interesting, or this person is just looking for followers. I won’t follow back either.”If someone isn’t following back anyone: “Ugh, this person is a Twitter snob! Not interested.”How to fix it: If you haven’t followed a lot of people out of concern for a cluttered stream, consider bucketing people into Lists to clean it up. If you are following too many people compared to the number of followers you have, audit your following list and unfollow those who aren’t providing interesting tweets. Going forward, always scan users’ tweets to see if they would be a good addition to your following list before clicking ‘follow.’4. WTF Are You Talking About?Some people treat Twitter like Facebook or an away message. Tweeting things like “At Foggy Goggles for Brit’s 21st! So excited!” or vague ramblings like “I can’t even believe what’s going on right now…” are not helpful. Your followers will get more value out of your tweets if your tweets are clear. The nice thing about Twitter is that you have the opportunity to be interactive with the thoughts you are sharing; this opportunity is lost with these exclusive tweets.How to fix it: All of these tweets are salvageable. If you want to tweet about Brit’s birthday, use a location app to check in to the Foggy Goggle, and use Brit’s and Foggy Goggle’s Twitter handles in the tweet. This tweet is now a communication with the bar, the bar’s patrons, and Brit’s circle of friends.Instead of “I can’t even believe what’s going on right now…” share a picture or a link to an article and be specific about what is actually going on. Tweeting “I can’t believe what’s going on in Walmart’s parking lot for Black Friday” with an accompanying picture gives your tweet context and a reason to click through to the content you’ve shared.5. @ Versus .@Only people that also follow whoever you are @replying can see that @reply. Sometimes, people will start a tweet with @ when it’s not intended to be an @reply, though. For example, if you tweeted ”@CNN’s coverage of unicorns is great!” only your followers that follow @CNN will see that tweet in their timeline.How to fix it: If you want everyone to see your tweet, use the .@ trick. Stick a period in front of the @ sign, and it’ll send the tweet into the main Twitter stream for all to enjoy.What major Twitter mistakes have you come across? Have you made any of the Twitter mistakes above?Image credit: n74jrwlast_img read more