SA words spice up OED

first_img7 October 2002What South African words would you include in an English dictionary designed for the region?There are words one hears every day in South Africa: ubuntu, for example, that Nguni word meaning humanity. There are lekgotla (Sesotho) and bosberaad (Afrikaans) – both strategy planning sessions, usually called by government or organisations.Some South African words have entered world usage – “fundi’, from the isiNdebele umfundi (an expert, a teacher) and “trek’, from South African Dutch (a long or arduous journey). Others, perhaps, deserve elevation into “World English’: babelaas (hung-over), from the isiZulu ibhabhalazi; and for those who get themselves into that state, dof, or stupid, from Afrikaans.The South African Concise Oxford Dictionary is the newest in a range of regional dictionaries – there are Canadian, Australian and Indian editions – and the editors had some difficult choices to make. They settled on 1 500 examples of South African English, including words specific to the country as well as those which have meanings in South Africa different from their definitions overseas.“Madam’, for example, might be “a polite form of address for a woman’ elsewhere, but here it’s “the mistress of a household, usually a white woman’, or “an affluent urban white woman’. A “bond’ in South Africa is a “mortgage’ in the US and the UK. And perhaps the best-known example: a South African “robot’ is not a steel-plated humanoid but a traffic light.Less known, but also important, is the use of the comma in figures. The second, South African usage entry under “comma’ is “a mark representing a decimal comma: two comma five metres’ – presumably where many other countries would say “point’.Choices were made by The Dictionary Unit for South African English, a not-for-profit unit affiliated to Rhodes University in Grahamstown and financed partly by the Pan South African Language Board, established by the South African Constitution to promote the country’s 11 official languages as well as other languages used in the country.The unit had a head start: set up in the 1960s by linguistic academics Jean and William Branford, it could rely on their 1978 Dictionary of South African English and the unit’s massive 1996 Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles.The new dictionary is intended, say the publishers, for the average adult, the student and the professional. It veers from politics (Nepad, Black Consciousness, Gear) to food and drink (witblits, mebos, skottel) to agriculture – or, anyway, a particular crop. “Ganja’ was there already (origin: from Hindi gamja), but the South African edition has added dagga (origin: from Khoikhoi dachab) and “Durban poison’ (cannabis of a particularly potent variety, originating in KwaZulu-Natal, or so says the dictionary).The preference for Mandrax among South African substance abusers – more than in any other country – is also reflected in the dictionary, with one of the definitions of “button’ being “South African informal: a Mandrax tablet’.There is a nod to youth culture, or at least its music. There is nothing especially South African about hip hop (it is, says the dictionary, of US black and Hispanic origin) or rap (of US origin) or kwasa kwasa (“a lively erotic dance originating in central Africa’ as well as “a genre of popular African music’).But kwaito is distinctly home-grown. It is defined as “a style of popular dance music featuring rhythmically recited vocals over an instrumental backing with strong bass lines’. So now you know – and the origin of the name, if not the style, goes deep into Johannesburg culture. “Kwaito’, says the dictionary, comes from the Amakwaito, a group of 1950s gangsters in Sophiatown – and they, in turn, derived their name from an Afrikaans word for angry or vicious: kwaai.Traditional South African culture is highlighted in the new dictionary, with many words from official languages, especially Nguni, included. An imbizo – traditionally “a gathering called by a traditional leader’ but also “a meeting or workshop’ – comes from the isiZulu biza, “call, summon’.Makoti is in (“a young married woman, a bride’, from isiZulu), and indoda (“a man, especially one who has undergone traditional initiation’, from isiXhosa and isiZulu). So are imbongi (a praise singer) and inyanga (“a traditional healer who uses herbal remedies. Compare with sangoma’), as well as sangoma (“a traditional healer or diviner, from isangoma‘).And traditional culture of a different kind is included as well, with many words from Afrikaans, among them deurmekaar (“confused, disorganised’ – like many words, rather more evocative in original than in translation), boeremusiek and boerekos, and everybody’s favourite, lekker, which the dictionary helpfully defines as “tipsy’ as well as “good’ and “pleasant’.Anyone seeking an illustration of the interweaving and interdependency of different South African cultures need look no further than the language.Tsotsitaal, for example, is “an Afrikaans-influenced township patois . typically spoken in Gauteng. Origin from tsotsi + Afrikaans taal ‘language”). And the word tsotsi? It’s “a black urban criminal’, says the entry, and its origin is “perhaps a Sesotho corruption of zoot suit, with reference to the flashy clothes originally associated with tsotsis’. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Sous-traiter en Afrique du Sud

first_imgAlors que les societes a travers le monde qui repondent a une pression sur l’efficacite et les prix de plus en plus grande, l’Afrique du Sud devient un emplacement international de choix pour la sous-traitance de processus commerciaux.La sous-traitance des processus commerciaux (BPO) est une tendance mondiale importante et le secteur, estime peser 130 milliards de dollars par an, presente un taux de croissance attendu d’environ 50% pour les cinq prochaines annees.Le BPO implique de delocaliser certains processus commerciaux qui sont habituellement realises en interne par une societe au profit d’un fournisseur de services tiers comme un service clients ou des centres d’appel pour prester des services pour le compte de la societe concernee.Identifie comme un secteur cle au sein de la strategie du gouvernement pour accelerer le taux de croissance economique du pays et creer des emplois, la sous-traitance des processus commerciaux devrait creer 25 000 emplois directs et 75 000 emplois indirects en Afrique du Sud et contribuer jusqu’a 95 milliards de rands a l’economie nationale d’ici 2009.La sous-traitance des technologies d’information (TI) est aussi une activite end developpement en Afrique du Sud grace a la diversite du marche, un savoir-faire de classe mondiale et au contexte d’un pays en voie de developpement qui en font un laboratoire de test ideal pour les innovations.La sous-traitance TI represente plus d’un tiers des 30 milliards de rands du marches des services TI d’apres une etude de 2008 de la societe d’etude et de conseil IDC qui represente la plus grosse part des categories de services de TI.Gartner, le groupe d’etude international, classe l’Afrique du Sud parmi ses 30 destinations de sous-traitance de developpement de logiciels, l’etude de 2007 la mettant a egalite avec Israel dans la region Europe, Moyen Orient et Afrique et proche de l’Australie et de l’Inde au niveau mondial.Appeller l’Afrique du SudD’apres Business Day, le secteur local des centres d’appel a progresse d’environ 8% par an depuis 2003. Il emploie environ 54 000 personnes et contribue a 0,92% du produit interieur brut (PIB) de l’Afrique du Sud.Un programme de financement de BPO appuye par le gouvernement, lance en 2007, vise a ameliorer la competitivite de l’Afrique du Sud et comprend un budget d’incitations aux investissements de 1,1 milliard de rands. Le programme est axe sur:Une strategie marketing au sens large.Un programme de financement public qui comprend une subvention d’investissement et des subventions de formation.Un cadre de tarification en developpement pour les telecommunications.De avantages concurrentielsL’Afrique du Sud presentent de nombreux facteur favorables, comme:Des niveaux de services de rang mondial du personnel des centres d’appel.Une large base de connaissances en matiere de fournisseur de services et de gestion, associee a des connaissances en matiere de services financiers, surtout en matiere d’assurances, d’hypotheques et de traitement et collecte de prets.Un fuseau horaire partage avec l’Europe.Un niveau d’anglais courant eleve associe a de accents anglais neutres qui sont facilement compris sur les marches occidentaux.Un taux de change favorable.Un fort soutien public.Encouragements publics, comme des subventions pour les start-up et les expansions et des prix reduits des telecommunications.Un secteur des telecommunications moderne et en developpement.Le gouvernement prend des mesures pour garantir une capacite haut debit plus disponible qui permettra des appels telephoniques internationaux moins chers. De gros projets sont aussi en cours pour installer des cables de fibre optique sous marins le long des cotes est et ouest de l’Afrique afin d’augmenter la connexion du continent avec le reste du monde.Le monde en un seul paysLes societes internationales qui ont deja choisi l’Afrique du Sud comme destination de BPO comprennent IBM, Fujitsu Siemens, Lufthansa, Virgin, Sykes, Avis et Car Phone Warehouse.L’engagement de l’Afrique du Sud a l’egard du secteur BPO a ete souligne en 2007 par la decision de construire un centre d’appels de 125 millions de rands et 1 500 places dans la zone de developpement industriel de Coega en dehors de Port Elizabeth dans la provinde d’Eastern Cape.Le Parc BPO s’etend sur cinq hectares dans le quartier des services commerciaux de Coega et comprend des lieux de formation et un espace de loisirs. La societe de gestion a declare que l’espace etait conçu pour prevoir differents scenarios et pourrait accueillir differents investisseurs.Les autres investissements recents sont : En mai 2008, la multinationale petroliere Royal Dutch Shell a ouvert un centre d’appels au Cap. Le centre offrira des services aux clients de Shell en Belgique, au Luxembourg et aux Pays-bas, avec des operateurs afrikaans natifs qui seront formes au neerlandais et au flamand.  En novembre 2007, le geant de sous-traitance de processus commerciaux base aux USA TeleTech a commence la construction d’une nouvelle usine en dehors du Cap, sa premiere base sur le continent africain. Derniere mise a jour de l’article : Septembre 2008SAinfo reporter. Sources (sites en langue anglaise) :South Africa YearbookBusiness Process Enabling South AfricaDepartment of Trade and IndustryCoega Development CorportationBusiness Daylast_img read more

Produce growers making changes to comply with newly implemented Food Safety Modernization Act

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest No one — from the shopper in the grocery, to the diner in the restaurant, to the farmer in field — wants anyone to get sick from anything they eat. This, however, is impossible.The best that can be done is to blend science and the realities of agriculture to come up with workable procedures that maximize food safety. This is the thought process behind the long-discussed and recently implemented Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The biggest impact for farms in Ohio is for growers of fresh farm produce and fruit.“We put together the produce safety classes originally because the industry was pushing for it. In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act was first signed into law. The rule became final in November of 2015. FDA wants to take a more preventive approach than reactive approach to produce safety outbreaks,” said Lindsey Hoover, food safety program coordinator for the Ohio State University College of Food Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences. “FDA has done a good job at listening to growers. There were around 18,000 comments submitted and the FDA had to review those and look at the rules from the side of the growers too. The rules did change based on the comments about some of the standards. For example, the rule started out with a 270-day pre-harvest interval from the time of applying manure and incorporating it before harvest. The FDA worked with university specialists to identify a more practical but still scientifically sound approach to the pre-harvest interval time frame. The final rule pre-harvest interval is much shorter now than the proposed 270 days.”The program was designed to address the highest risk areas of production.“FDA identified five different routes of contamination on the farm: water; biological soil amendments; worker health, hygiene, and training; equipment, tools and buildings; and wildlife and domestic animals. We look at how to identify risks on the farm and methods farmers can use to reduce those risks — risk assessment and risk reduction. That is what we cover in our three-hour Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) class,” Hoover said. “Extension educators can really help growers to address the details with the language in these rules. There will be daylong training sessions available in the future for growers to cover the rule to a greater extent than what we currently do. Relying on your Extension educator to help with the more challenging parts of the rule will be important. I have heard some growers say that this rule will put them out of business. That is inaccurate. There are ways to use the strengths within the specifics of your system based on science to grow produce without contaminating or adulterating the product.”Hoover said the two biggest areas of concern with the regulations from farmers in the GAPs classes have been in water and soil amendments.“Up until recently water hasn’t been as much of a hot topic as it is now. We are seeing how much water can vary in quality from farm to farm. There are so many ways water can impact the microbial contamination on produce based on how you irrigate, the water source and the process in the packing house,” Hoover said. “Until this point, there has not been much oversight with water testing. To come into compliance, farms will have to use a testing program if they are not using a municipal water source.”The water-testing program first needs to establish a baseline for water quality and then monitor changes moving forward. In addition, there are important water quality standards based on the situation the water is being used on the farm and the source. Water sources include surface water, municipal water and well water. Drip irrigation, overhead irrigation, and other water used prior to harvest including frost protection and dust prevention uses are considered production water. Post harvest water has higher quality standards. E. coli is being regarded as the most reliable indicator of contamination with fecal matter and overall quality.“Beginning a water testing program can be a challenge. It is not just one test every now and then. There can be a lot of variability and this is something that needs to be regular water testing,” Hoover said. “Farms need a quantified test from a water laboratory to indicate the numbers of generic E. coli in their water and that is something that is new to quite a few farmers. Chances are you are going to have to work with a private lab for this.”To illustrate the risk levels for contamination on their farms, Emily Adams with Coshocton County Extension likes to use different comparisons of possible farm situations. For example, overhead irrigation using water from a cracked, improperly maintained well has a much higher contamination risk than drip irrigation using municipal water, Adams said. With soil amendments, the highest risk situation is the use of raw manure, followed by improperly composted materials, compost teas, properly composted materials and commercial fertilizer has the lowest risk. In terms of worker health, hygiene and training, a properly trained, healthy staff with easy access to adequate hand washing stations followed by sanitizer applications is the lowest risk scenario.And, not only do farms have to address these things, all of the practices that are implemented must be properly documented as well, Adams said.“Good record keeping is very important. If you didn’t write it down you didn’t do it,” she said. “This is not only for if something goes wrong, a lot of this is risk analysis. Up to date farm policies for standard operating procedures and good records are the lowest risk situation for your business.”Of course, all of these changes will take time to properly implement, particularly for small farms. The rules have been implemented but there are grace periods based upon farm size.Compliance dates for the FDA regulations are:• Very small businesses, those with more than $25,000 but no more than $250,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: four years, Jan. 26, 2020.• Small businesses, those with more than $250,000 but no more than $500,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: three years, Jan. 26, 2019• All other farms: two years, Jan. 26, 2018.The compliance dates for certain aspects of the water quality standards, and related testing and recordkeeping provisions, allow an additional two years beyond each of these compliance dates for the rest of the final rule.“There are compliance dates now because it takes time to put some of these practices into place,” Adams said. “The very smallest farms with less than $25,000 in average annual produce sales in the previous three-year period are exempt. But just because you are exempt, it does not mean that you are not liable if anything happens. And the places you are selling to still may have say in what you are doing. Retailers and produce auctions can demand certain practices from growers to reduce risk, even if according to FSMA an operation may be considered exempt.”Ultimately, there will inevitably be challenges for farms implementing these practices, but Adams points out that it only takes two people getting sick after eating the same contaminated food or drink to declare an outbreak. The public has demanded fewer outbreaks and increased food safety and the government responded.“The Food Safety Modernization Act is the most sweeping reforms for food safety in the modern U.S., affecting every part of the food system from processed foods to feed mills,” Adams said. “Our legislators tried very hard to write our laws in a good way but sometimes they don’t know everything. People were able to comment on the rules in 2013 and 2014 and in many cases the FDA did listen to the comments to make the rules practical. Not everyone is happy about all of the rules, but now at least we know what the rules are moving forward.”For more highlights, resources, and a summary of the rule, Hoover suggests visiting the following websites: producesafety.osu.edu; gaps.cornell.edu; extension.psu.edu/food/safety; and safety.cfans.umn.edu/fsp4u.last_img read more

Five Legitimate Reasons Your Business Doesn’t Need A WebSite

first_img think arelegitimate that didn’t make the list above, please share them in thecomments.  I’ll do a follow-up article and capture the ones Imissed. Legitimate Reasons Your Business Doesn’tNeed An Effective Website One of the primary reasons for having a working, effective website is to increase the number of clients you have and grow your revenues.  If you’re not looking to grow your business significantly, there’s probably little reason to try and find more clients or grow your revenues.   You’re not looking to grow:  .  Most of these reasons are little more than rationalizationsfor existing behavior.  But, there are some reasons that are actually very good 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 you read through the above, notice some of the reasonsthat did If you have the luxury of running a business for which there is very little (if any) competition and you’ve got an offering that people must have, a website is probably not crucial.  Your clients need what you have and there’s nowhere else to go.  Congratulations!  Though a shiny new website might impress your spouse and colleagues, you probably don’t need one to improve your business.   If you are looking to increase staff, chances are that your prospective recruits (particularly the kinds of people you want to hire) will likely want to learn more about you.  The web is a great place to do that.  This is particularly true for new entrants into the workforce that have grown up with the Internet.  When faced with the decision of joining an organization that has a vibrant and interactive website where they can learn about what the company does and what makes them “tick” vs. an organization that simply has a brochure on the web – most recruits will pick the one with the more expressive website, all other things being equal.  Small businesses are particularly well served as they don’t have the brand and resources that can help attract exceptional people outside of their immediate network.  A website can help with that. I’ll admit that there are many businesses that do a great job of getting referral customers and tapping their existing network for new business.  If this is you, then perhaps a website is not that important.  This assumes of course that your rolodex will Note:  Just because you qualify for one of thesereasons doesn’t necessarily let you off the hook.  But if a few ofthem are true (or one of the big ones like #1 or #2 apply), then you probablycan get away with a flat website that doesn’t do very much. you You don’t expect to sell the company any time soon:  You’re operating in a virtual monopoly: center_img some You’re Not Hiring Any Time Soon: I’d like to share the really good reasons why aworking website may not be relevant for your business.  asset I have conversations with business owners every weekregarding Internet strategy (and why they need one).  Most of these conversationsare with smart people with reasonably successful businesses.  When facedwith the discussion of their website, they often come up with lots of reasonswhy an effective website isn’t all that relevant for them.  Sure,they understand the need to have For more and more types of businesses, the website is an important that factors into valuation discussions.  This is particularly true if you have a startup business, a hi-tech business or one that “scales” well (i.e. adding new customers does not increase costs proportionately).  The reason is quite simple.  If you have an effective website and can demonstrate that it is successful at helping you get new clients, you have a better business than someone who doesn’t.  The Internet is a great way for many businesses to have a low customer acquisition cost.  The other nice thing about the Internet as a vehicle for marketing and sales is that it can be more easily measured.  Imagine if you are selling your business and are able to show the acquirer a chart of your web traffic (and how it’s grown over time) and clear data on how that web traffic translates into revenues.  (You will likely find that the two are highly correlated).  If I were on the buying said, I’d sit up and take notice. make this list.  Exampleswould include “I don’t sell an online product, so I really don’tneed a website.”  Or, “My clients don’t really use theweb, so there’s really no reason for me to invest there.”  If youhave reasons that not to be an effective mechanism for you to get all the new business you need. continue web presence, but they really don’t believe that for their particularbusiness an effective website is going to make that big of a difference.  Theyhave lots of reasons why this is so. Originally published Nov 7, 2006 12:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Your rolodex is sufficient for lead generation: last_img read more

Free eBook: How to Use Online Video for Marketing

first_img Download the 18-page eBook. Here are a handful of tips that are included inside the eBook: that walks you through the entire video creation process: Marketers can use video to generate traffic to their websites, build brand buzz, collect inbound links (which can help SEO), and build social media presence and reach.  Filming Technique: To show the perspective of a person listening to another person, use an Over Shoulder shot. To get this shot, put the corner of the camera directly behind the shoulder of the person listening. Lighting Technique: Avoid recording a scene with a window in the background. This will cause your subjects to be dark and difficult to see. full of suggested beginner and intermediate cameras, audio equipment, editing programs and measurement tools. eMarketer predicts step-by-step eBook Originally published May 11, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 that by the year 2013, 85% of Internet users (or 188 million people) will consume online video. The eBook also includes a Download the free eBook. Research company Promoting: Send traffic to your YouTube video immediately after publishing. YouTube rewards videos that receive a surge of traffic within the first 48-hours of being live by recommending the video to more viewers. To help you take advantage of video, we’ve created a Online Video Marketing Kit Video Equipment List . Topics: Want more? You can download additional resources on how to use video for business in our Video Editing: A video that begins suddenly (or loudly) can be jarring. Add video transitions like fade-ins and fade-outs between clips to add professional polish. This eBook is a great guide to learning how to create video from a business perspective. Use it to create great new video masterpieces that drive traffic, leads and business. How to Use Online Video for Marketing. Driving Business: Determine your video’s call-to-action when writing your video script. Video Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Why Yellow Pages Ads Are Becoming Obsolete

first_img Social Media Advertising Some Quick Facts: “Why Yellow Page Ads Are A Waste of Money”: Sign up today! “Yellow Page usage amongst people in their, say below 50, will drop to near zero over the next five years.” — Bill Gates [ ] Photo credit: Si1very There are businesses in the Service industries that haven’t fully experienced this shift yet. Plumbers and contractors, for instance, still dominate the phonebook. If you are looking to renovate your bathroom, it can difficult to find enough information about it on the Web. There isn’t enough local content online to provide consumers with the same shopping experience as what the travel industry offers. Some Industries Are Further from the Tipping Point Originally published Dec 13, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Some Industries Have Already Tipped As Andrew Quinn, HubSpot’s Sales Training Manager with 16 years of experience in the Yellow Pages industry said, “The market is not going to go backwards and reverse itself.” That means you will need to step up. The shift in consumer behavior has already reached some industries, such as the travel industry and catering. These businesses rarely buy Yellow Pages ads because calls don’t come in that way for them. In the travel business, a number of online tools have emerged to make the buying process more engaging and educational. All of a sudden, sites like Priceline.com and The following is a preview of information from the upcoming HubSpot Webinar: . ] Buying behavior is changing rapidly as people shift their research and shopping habits from traditional marketing channels to the Internet. Consumers can educate themselves more than ever about a product or a service before they make a purchase decision. They compare prices, check customer reviews, read case studies and receive instant responses to their queries. It is just a matter of time for this change in buying behavior to hit your industry. Huge Opportunity Lies with the “Untipped” Industries ]center_img ] source source source source Consumers increasingly consider online services before Yellow Pages as they make purchase decisions [ Topics: Since 2007, many states quit printing residential listings or have pending requests: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. [ But it is a matter of time for this new buying behavior to slowly make its way to all industries. Then, the question you will need to answer is, “Where on that line am I?” Traditional land lines are being disconnected at a rate of nearly 10% each year. [ TripAdvisor If you want to learn how to move away from Yellow Pages ads strategically, offer tons of valuable content for travelers. Couples preparing for their wedding celebrations also gravitate to the Web for catering information and honeymoon destinations. A great marketing opportunity lies with the industries that haven’t tipped yet. If you are ahead of the curve and following closely the shift in consumer behavior, you can own this new space and become a trusted advisor online. You will gain a huge competitive advantage rather than trying to catch up with competitors who have been more aware of the changes in buying processes. Yellow Pages used to represent the final stage of the buying process when people were ready to make a purchase decision. But today the buying process is no longer a linear path ending with the book. Instead, it follows the curves and tools of emerging online technologies. join HubSpot’s free webinar on the topic 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

101 Signs You’re an Inbound Marketer

first_imgWe 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 2016last_img read more

51 Ridiculous Keywords Google Won’t Let Me Track Anymore

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack This post originally appeared on Inbound Ecommerce, the ecommerce section of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing blog.It’s been a busy month for Google, the 50 billion pound gorilla of the search world. Even my dog, Zoe, got in on the analysis. She wrote an article for her blog (that’s right, she has a blog … and a Twitter account …) summarizing her opinions on the changes from Google.If you’re not sure what changes I’m talking about, earlier this month, Google decided to encrypt all keyword data — except for keyword data from ads, of course.We’ve been trying to provide you with content on how to deal with the changes if keyword traffic analysis was part of your strategy. Personally, I’ve historically looked at keywords for which I get very little traffic to give me ideas for long-tail keyword phrases. Sometimes I’ll find keyword phrases that are basically blog articles writing themselves! For example, one of our recent articles was inspired in part by discovering someone had hit our website searching for “how do I sell to people in the awareness phase of the buying cycle”.However, my dog had a slightly different use for this data — one of her favorite activities was writing about the weird keywords she does get traffic from. Sadly, that will have to end, but for your entertainment I decided to do some diving to see what kinds of amusing keywords we here at HubSpot get traffic for … that are totally random and irrelevant. (Note: These are straight from our historical keyword data, so the misspellings are intentional.)Google Keywords We Won’t Miss Being Able to Track1) “i want you tagline”I’m really hoping this is some Valentine’s campaign we wrote about, and not someone looking for a pickup line.2) “horseless headsman pumpkin carving pattern”A horseless headsman could just, like, buy a horse? Right?3) “people who don’t care about others facebook quotes”Not sure if that’s really mean or highly relatable. Either way, hope we helped!4) “black humpback whale jewelry”My personal hope is that they were looking for jewelry to give as a gift to their friend, who’s a black humpback whale.5) “catchy headlines about love”We at HubSpot are known for being hopeless romantics. Not even joking.6) “why somebody interest working at target”I’m sure Target is a great company to work for! I guess. I don’t really know I’m just being positive.7) “like facebook but better”If you find an answer to this, lemme know. I’ll be an investor.8) “what to say on store intercom if child is lost”Aren’t there codes and procedures for this? I’m concerned we showed up as an informational source. I feel that if this is your responsibility that you should already know this.9) “keywords in the ocean”There’s a joke in here somewhere. Keyword fish? Lots of people think my Inbound Commerce methodology looks like a fish … ok I’m really reaching here.10) “boring writing”Now Google is just being hurtful. I think our writing is quite good. Most of it anyways. We’re kinda jumping the shark with this post.11) “automated jokes”So a robot walks into a bar and orders a beer and asks the bartender how much. Bartender is in a great mood and says “For you buddy, no charge.” The robot shuts down.Get it? Automated robot? He had no charge? Ok moving on …12) “is it hard running a business”Yes. At least that’s what Brian Halligan tells us.13) “adverts that bring down other brands”That’s just mean. And probably ineffective. Don’t chase your competitors. Lead them.14) “what percent of people pay companies on time”I always pay on time, except when the rent is too damn high.15) “cheat to get 10000tweets”Cheaters never prosper, friend.16) “free email spam sender”Spammers never prosper, either. Let’s face it, they’re just really uncreative cheaters.17) “can you retweet something about yourself”You’re so vain, you probably think this tweet is about you. Also, yes you can. I do it all the time.In other news, I’m vain.18) “sick of being customer serice rep”Come work here. Customer Support Rep happiness is literally a metric we track. Who wants to talk to someone who’s sick of their job at the moment when they need support?19) “do you remember better with bullet points or number”… I honestly don’t know. Is someone studying this? Seems like someone should.20) “can people have a relationship through social media”But I would tweet 500 times, and I would tweet 500 more, just to be the man who tweeted 1,000 times to TwitPic at your door …21) “scary costumes list”HubSpotters are also known for their creative Halloween costumes. This year I’m going as an MQL.22) “elvis presley & the jamaican wailers”Thank ya, thank ya very much mon! (try reading that in both accents in your mind, it gets funny over time).23) “how to make your business facebook”Go back in time and take over Mark Zuckerberg’s life. Just be careful. Terrible things happen to wizards who meddle with time, Harry. #ImANerd24) “living in parents basement”… I … I have nothing for this one. Do what you gotta do.(Editor’s Note: This might have been due to this blog post.)25) “don corleone as a role model”I guess everyone has redeeming qualities. Like, landing pages should make the prospect an offer they can’t refuse. (See what I did right there?)26) “format of best article ever in the world”*blushing* Awwww … thanks Google for showing us for that. That makes up for that hurtful “boring writing” result from earlier.27) “it may not work out the way you had planne”Ain’t it the truth.28) “red color button”Fair enough. We haz red buttonz.29) “red better than green”Boy, that escalated quickly. You should test that yourself, variate testing results will be different site to site.30) “hubspot rentals”Like, you want to sublet one of our apartments? We’re usually cool to have guests. Just bring cupcakes.31) “awesome companies”*blushing again* Thanks, guys :)32) “presentation 90 hours”I’ve been in some presentations that felt like they lasted 90 hours.33) “trick to calculate if 1700 per month payment what is the payment of one day”Divide by number of the days in that month (figured I’d be helpful once today).34) “fashion focus group questions”Some of us actually have excellent fashion sense. But I am not one of them.35) “how to call back telemarketers”Please video tape yourself doing this. For me.36) “some junk words”I’m hoping this was someone teaching their parents how to use The Google.37) “dependability as a strong branding in bars”I get it. My bartender’s dependability is a big reason I come back. He never fails to put me back on my bar stool when I fall off.38) “stuff kids can make for a trade fair”I used to make crafts out of palm fronds. I’d love to pretend that “used to” means when I was a kid and not last week …39) “worst thing a customer has ever yelled at you for”I once yelled at the JetBlue Twitter account for scheduling bad weather while I was flying. They apologized and said they’d do better next time. I <3 them.40) "what can a 40-65 year old do in america"Anything they want!41) "goodbye just means hello will be coming soon"Don't know what they're searching for -- looks like they have all the answers already!42) "mack my google plus page"Add flame decals. Flame decals make everything better.43) "where in my home can i find some of elements"You know, questions about elements are the only reason people bring me to trivia nights. I can do the Periodic Table from memory alphabetically, by weight, or by atomic number. They obviously don't bring me to raise the cool factor.44) "rotten pumpkin"Load it into a trebuchet and watch it explode. Problem solved.45) "how to hack a private instagram account"BAD! BAD GOOGLER!46) "ignore the haters"Amen.47) "jordans shoes boston red sox colors"#GoSox48) "pick up lines to make a girl like you"I'd recommend just having great content to attract people. Content is what's inside. #DeepThoughts49) "guerrilla football idea"I really want this to be a real game! Just pop out of the bushes and throw a hail mary.50) "secret love prediction"Just tell them how you feel, my friend. Life's too short for secret loves.51) "how to approach a drug dealer"... with a badge. Because you should only do this if you're a police officer.I hope you enjoyed this! As marketers, any loss of data makes us sad. We want to create relevant content that helps people answer their questions. If there are any posts you'd like to see us write, you know where to find us -- leave a comment, tweet at us, find us on Facebook, whatever makes you happy.What about you? What weird keywords have you seen in your data? How will losing the keywords data affect you? Keyword Research Originally published Oct 10, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

Pinterest FAQs: Answers to 11 Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Topics: Pinterest Marketing Did you know that Pinterest is turning four in March? I mean, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday marketers were beginning to explore how Pinterest could fit into their marketing strategies. Now, the site has over 70 million active users, and marketers around the world have embraced it as a legitimate social media marketing channel.Though Pinterest is much more mainstream now, we’ve got to be careful. As my mother tells me every so often, sometimes you think you know it all — but you probably don’t.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for Business Not because there isn’t an answer to your question, but perhaps because you haven’t even asked the question yet. Maybe you think it’s a silly question. Embarrassing to ask, even.But we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve listed the answers to some of your most burning Pinterest questions in the best judgment-free zone to find answers: a blog post.11 Questions About Pinterest You’ve Wanted to Ask1) Okay, I’m on Pinterest. Now, how do I get followers?It’s intimidating to join Pinterest and see a big fat zero next to your number of followers, but don’t worry — they’re out there. Building your reach on social networks takes work and time, but can really turn the dial up on traffic and leads for your business.Because there are two options for people to engage with you on Pinterest — either follow an individual board or your account as a whole — there are quite a few ways you can get more people to follow you. A couple small things you can try include adding a Pinterest follow button to your website, pinning content throughout the day, letting your email subscribers and leads know that you’re on Pinterest, and even following a few other people on Pinterest in the hope they’ll return the favor.2) Um … what am I supposed to be pinning on Pinterest?There are many, many things you can pin on Pinterest. But, before you start pinning, you should to be thinking about your strategy for visual content.Marketers should invest in visual content as part of their overall marketing strategy, but when it comes to Pinterest, there are a few things that can help guide your decisions on what to pin.Beyond regular photos, marketers can post articles, experiment with infographics, and even pin videos. You’ve just got to make sure, though, you’ve got your Pinterest board strategy down first.3) So what’s the difference between a pin, a repin, and a favorite?Just like other social networks (especially Twitter), Pinterest has some lingo of its own you’ll want to understand as you navigate the site.A pin is essentially a bookmark, so when you find something on the web you want to keep or look at later, you can “pin” it to one of your boards.Meanwhile, a repin is when you take an image that’s already on someone else’s board and post it to one of your own. When you do this, notifications are sent to let the other person know you’ve repinned something of theirs.Same thing with anything you like: Pressing that “heart” button on a pin will send a notification to that person that you liked their pin.4) Will people actually use Pinterest in the long run or is it just a fad?Heck yeah they will. As mentioned, the site has millions of devoted followers. It’s also popular no matter what time of day it is. For example, 4.8% of American users check out Pinterest at the office during work hours.And just what are people doing on Pinterest? Well, they’re pinning pins, repinning pins (80% of pins are repins), creating boards, and following other boards of interest.Very Pinteresting, if you ask us. Evidence hints that the site isn’t dwindling in popularity anytime soon.5) Isn’t Pinterest just for women?Nope. While women account for 80% of registered Pinterest users, plenty of men use it as well. While it’s up to you to post content to the site and, in turn, find your core audience — men, women, Millennials, older generations, students, professionals, etc. — using Pinterest for business can help you drive traffic to your site, bring in leads, and even boost sales.I could go on, but instead, I’ll point you to more resources you can check out after this reading this post. Here’s our ultimate guide on mastering Pinterest for marketing.6) I’m scared to ask my manager: How do I decide if Pinterest is good for my business?Good for you for not jumping in with both feet on a popular social network just for the sake of having an account. Smart marketers know they need to evaluate if that new social network they’re considering is worth their company’s time.Here’s a good place to start: Are your buyer personas likely to frequent the site? What are your competitors doing on Pinterest? Once you’ve gathered that information, you’re better equipped to decide if Pinterest is a good social network for your company to have a presence on and if it’ll help with your overall marketing strategy.7) Are businesses actually successful with their Pinterest marketing? Which ones?Yes, and let’s get on the same page about one thing: You can do successful marketing on Pinterest whether you’re a B2C company selling cars or a B2B company selling software.For instance, Staples learned a lot by using Pinterest as a marketing channel. So has Chobani: Yes, the company sells yogurt, but it’s using Pinterest to teach people more about the Chobani brand and lifestyle through the use of different boards and relatable photos.8) Analytics. Data. Metrics. Do those even exist on Pinterest?Yes, there are ways to measure your success with Pinterest. When thinking about the success of your marketing on the site, there are two things to consider.One is how your account is performing on Pinterest itself. The second is the return on investment you’re getting by using Pinterest as a marketing channel.With those two concepts in mind, read our blog post on measuring success on Pinterest. And if you have a Pinterest business account, the platform offers free analytics for measuring this stuff.9) I assume there are some rules for Pinterest, right? What are they?There are definitely “rules,” but they’re not as hard and fast as you might think. Where Pinterest is concerned — and, actually, where social media at large is concerned — is that there’s proper social media marketing etiquette that you should always follow.For instance, it’s best not be too self-promotional, which can be tempting as a business that’s trying to bring traffic to their site. Pinterest actually has a webpage that discusses Pinterest etiquette in which they say, “We think authenticity — expressing who you really are and what you’re really like — is more important than getting lots of followers.” So be sure to take this to heart — otherwise, you’re at risk for being banned from the social site.10) What’s another way to show my pins to my audience without always linking to Pinterest?There’s a couple. Just like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a slew of other social networks, you can showcase your account on other marketing collateral you have.For example, a quick win is embedding one of your boards right onto your website — and we’ve got instructions on how to do that. But that’s only one of the four ways to cross-pollinate your pins with the rest of your marketing.Pinterest also has a “Pin it” button, a “Follow” button, a “Profile” widget, and a “Board” widget that are all easy to integrate with your website. And the best part? We’ve got a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to use all of these social sharing buttons.11) My website is the cat’s meow. How can I get people to share it on Pinterest?It’s pretty easy to make it … well … easy for people to pin things from your website to their own Pinterest boards.Pinterest has a great Goodies page that shows you how to make a “Pin it” button to put on your website. This button helps your website visitors quickly share your work on their own Pinterest boards. last_img read more

The April Fool’s Day Email Prank That Returned 300% More Clickthroughs. No Joke.

first_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Apr 6, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Holiday Marketing It wasn’t until late afternoon on April Fool’s Day when I came up with the idea for an epic prank.No, not covering a colleague’s desk with Post-It notes or planting staplers in Jell-O. I’m talking something a little more … client-facing.Let me quickly give you some context here. My marketing consulting company, Brand Builder Solutions, is a very strong advocate of all things inbound marketing. Our mission is to generate revenue for our clients online using inbound marketing best practices, and we’re proud to be among the top 1% of HubSpot Partners, which means we train and support our clients using the inbound marketing methodology.Alright, back to my prank idea. Here’s what I had in mind: First, I wanted to give my company’s website a makeover — so that instead of promoting all things inbound marketing, we were strongly advising against it. And then, I wanted to create and send out a marketing email with a similar message to prank our contact base.The results from this April Fool’s joke were astounding. But I’ll get to those later. Knowing my team might try to talk me out of the idea (they’re a bit more sane than I), I decided to go ahead and get started on my own. So I closed my office door, hunched over my keyboard, and began typing away into our website editor.Step 1: The Home PageThe first thing I did was create a new home page to reflect our “new values.” I temporarily directed our normal home page URL to this prank home page, while storing the real home page elsewhere. From the moment I made the changes live until 11:59 PM on April Fool’s Day, every single visitor to our website saw that Brand Builder Solutions was no longer in the business of inbound marketing.Here’s what the top of our home page looked like:As users scrolled down, they were greeted with messaging like this:And this:Users who made it to the very bottom of our home page saw an April Fool’s message coupled with a link to the page where I’d stored our real home page’s content:Once I was done with the home page, I sent the live link to a few friends in the inbound community, including a mentor of mine, Rick Roberge. It was after hearing positive responses from the community that I saw an opportunity to take the joke to the next level. What about sending out a prank email campaign?Step 2: The Email CampaignGold, I thought. But I wondered: Should it go to only a few close contacts? Would it be a good idea to send it to customers and prospects? Most importantly, was the whole thing a little too risky?When you want to do something but you’re hesitant to act on it, ask the person who thrives on this kind of uncertainty. For me, that was Rick Roberge. My email to him read: “Rick, I’m thinking about sending a prank email to everyone.” Rick’s reply? “Do it.”Those two words were all it took. Within a few minutes, I’d set up the campaign in HubSpot’s software and sent it out — to customers, to prospects; to everyone. Here’s what it looked like:What Did I Just Do?I wondered whether the recipients of this prank email would “get” it, or whether this would turn off any of our prospects. Prank emails can be a mixed bag for people, so I figured I’d get a range of responses. One of the things we all love here at Brand Builder Solutions is to make things “engaging” and “remarkable.” I was certainly expecting engagement, as well as some remarks.Here’s what did happen.For context, the four email campaigns my company had sent prior to this one to the same group of contacts averaged 6% clicks-to-delivered. Within the first 30 minutes of launching our April Fool’s email campaign, we’d already topped that average.Within 24 hours, our April Fool’s email campaign had crushed our prior average by 300%, reaching 24% clicks-to-delivered.Only one recipient marked the email as spam.Do you remember that link to our real home page’s content that I’d included at the bottom of the prank home page? After sending out the email campaign, our “real” home page began generating more activity than normal. You can see the spike in website visits here: In real time, we were seeing that a lot of our prospects were not only looking at our services, work, and templates, but were also downloading content. (And we knew they were prospects because we were using Sidekick by HubSpot.)Some People “Got” the JokeI received many positive responses to the email, including:”LOL, almost had me for a second.. Very funny. Best joke I’ve heard all day.””Very clever…you and Amazon had the same idea. Although I suspected it was a ploy, I appreciate your humor. (And I needed a dose of it today!) Thanks””HAH! This is one of the best ones yet. Sent it out to our team here for a good chuckle!”Some People Didn’tI also got a few less positive responses. One read, “I’m confused by this email. What is it about?” I replied asking if they’d clicked the link, and their response was, “Well it got my attention, that’s for sure! Nice work. Haha.”What About The People I Didn’t Hear From?It’s likely that there are some people who didn’t click through on the email and actually think we’re done with inbound marketing. To solve for this, we set up a smart list using HubSpot’s software to capture all of the people who opened the email but didn’t click — and we’re launching follow-up emails to that group to keep them informed.We also plan to continue engaging with those who did clicked through on the April Fool’s email. We’ll do this by sending them another email with simple questions like, “What did you think?” We want to hear that feedback. What do we expect to hear back? Everything from “We laughed” to “We were confused” to “We were afraid to click the link,” and, finally, to “We didn’t like it.” Each of those responses give us an opportunity to keep our engagement going in a constructive way.Is Playing An April Fool’s Prank In Business A Good Idea?Well, we had our highest open rate and clickthrough rate ever with this April Fool’s email. I was able to engage with existing customers that had been distant for a while. I also had some inquiries on quotes for work related to these interactions.But I’d love to know what you think. Was this a good idea? Would you have done it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.last_img read more