Sorting out herbicide resistant traits in soybeans

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Mark Loux, Ohio State University ExtensionThe world of soybean herbicide resistance traits has gotten more complex over the past several years. The good news is that we have new options for control of herbicide-resistant weeds, although it can be a little difficult to sort out which one is best for a given situation and whether the possible downsides of certain traits are tolerable. The following is a quick rundown of what’s available and some things to consider when selecting seed. This is not meant to be an extensive evaluation/description of these systems because including all the possible configurations of herbicide use and the stewardship stuff would probably kill the possibility that anyone reads the rest of the article. We also do not attempt to include all of the possible seed trade names. For ratings of herbicide effectiveness on certain weeds, check the tables in the “Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.” Roundup Ready (RR1, RR 2 Yield, etc.) – the original herbicide resistance trait. Resistant to glyphosate which can be applied anytime up through R2. LibertyLink – resistant to glufosinate (Liberty, Interline, etc.) which can be applied anytime up to R1. LL-GT27 (Freedom Plus, etc.) – resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate, and isoxaflutole (Balance), although there is currently no isoxaflutole product approved for use in these soybeans. Enlist – resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate, and 2,4-D. Enlist One (2,4-D choline) and Enlist Duo (2,4-D choline + glyphosate) are the only 2,4-D products approved for preemergence and postemergence use on this soybean, outside of the typical use of 2,4-D ester 7 or more days ahead of planting that works on any soybean. These products can be used any time before or after planting Enlist soybeans without a waiting period as well as postemergence through R2 Roundup Ready Xtend – resistant to glyphosate and dicamba. XtendiMax, FeXapan, andEngenia are the dicamba products approved for preemergence and postemergence use on this soybean. These products can be applied any time before or after Xtend soybean planting without a waiting period, as well as postemergence (prior to R1 and no later than 45 days after planting).Note: Dicamba and 2,4-D are different herbicides. Dicamba cannot be applied to Enlist soybeans and 2,4-D cannot be applied to Xtend soybeans. Just like glyphosate cannot be applied to LibertyLink soybeans and glufosinate cannot be applied to Roundup Ready soybeans. Seems obvious but it’s a surprisingly frequent question. All of these soybean herbicide trait systems have utility in certain situations. Factors determining this are the resistant weeds present and the type of tillage. The primary resistant weed issues in Ohio, which require herbicides other than glyphosate, are marestail, giant and common ragweed, waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth. Here are a few things to consider, all of which assume that some type of residual herbicides are being used, regardless of the specific weed issues.Any type of tillage that mixes the upper few inches of soil and uproots weeds often renders marestail more or less a non-issue but does not really greatly affect the other weeds listed here. Marestail can often be handled well enough with a combination of fall burndown and spring burndown + residual, although the residuals are not bulletproof. Otherwise, use of Xtend soybeans and a preemergence dicamba product provides an effective alternative for spring burndown of marestail, as well as a dicamba POST option. The ability to use higher rates of 2,4-D at planting in the Enlist system does not usually result in effective marestail burndown without a fall treatment, although it can be followed with a POST application of glufosinate and/or 2,4-D. The combination of PRE and POST has allowed for effective control in our research with Enlist. LibertyLink and the LL-GT27 soybean provide for the POST use of glufosinate to control marestail, but do not change the burndown options (glufosinate can be used for burndown in any type of soybean, prior to emergence).Giant ragweed requires initial control through tillage or burndown herbicides, and also postemergence control. Most populations have lost response to glyphosate and some are highly resistant. Burndown has not usually been an issue as long as there’s a way to get some 2,4-D, dicamba, or Sharpen in the mix, so there’s not necessarily an advantage to any of these systems. With the exception that the Enlist and Xtend systems allow more flexibility in use of 2,4-D or dicamba, respectively, since there’s no wait between application and planting. Using any system besides the basic Roundup Ready will also provide for more effective POST control, although the edge usually goes to systemic herbicides on bigger plants. Rate and application parameters have a substantial effect on glufosinate activity, and optimization of these parameters can make the difference between so-so and effective control. These same considerations apply to common ragweed as well.Waterhemp and Palmer amaranth require essentially the same approach, with the emphasis on residual and postemergence herbicides. Postemergence control is complicated by herbicide resistance, need for plants to be small, and emergence that extends well into the growing season. We assume almost all of the waterhemp populations are resistant to glyphosate and site 2 herbicides, and a number of populations are also resistant to site 14 herbicides. So, a system that allows postemergence use of 2,4-D, dicamba, or glufosinate will provide for the most consistently effective control. All of these can become considerably more variable in effectiveness on larger plants. And all can require the addition of a site 15 residual herbicide to provide control of later-emerging plants. We would consider Enlist to have an advantage over the Xtend, LibertyLink, and LL-GT27 soybeans because it’s the only system where we know we can still mix two postemergence herbicides that are still effective — 2,4-D and glufosinate. Postemergence control in Xtend depends upon dicamba, and in LibertyLink and LL-GT27 depends upon glufosinate.Advantages to Enlist are two-fold: 1) the mix of 2,4-D and glufosinate will be more consistently effective on larger waterhemp than any of these herbicides applied singly; and 2) mixing two herbicides with different sites of action that still have activity reduces the selection for resistance. It’s a game of chance really, with the odds of a plant having two concurrent mutations that confer resistance to both sites of action is considerably lower (but not impossible) than the odds of a single mutation conferring resistance to one site of action.Even when the Xtend soybean has glufosinate resistance added to its genetics, it’s hard to fathom how one could mix dicamba and glufosinate while still optimizing glufosinate activity and following dicamba stewardship guidelines. This is of course not to say that the mix of two herbicides is always more effective than a single herbicide, although this is probably one of the founding principles of weed science. Similar principles apply to Palmer amaranth control, except that it’s found only infrequently in Ohio still and we have not observed resistance to site 14 herbicides yet.Some seed dealers have stopped offering the basic Roundup Ready seed, because of the lack of POST options for these weeds. Assuming marestail has been taken care of by burndown + residual, it is possible to make this system work by adding a site 14 herbicide (fomesafen product or Cobra) to POST glyphosate treatments. This will be a generally more variable approach than using one of the other systems, and usually results in some degree of soybean injury. Some waterhemp and common ragweed populations are already resistant to both glyphosate and site 14 herbicides, and Roundup Ready soybeans will not work in these fields (same goes for non-GMO since site 14 herbicides are the only POST option).Needless to say, there are extensive stewardship guidelines for the Xtend and Enlist systems, which can make them more burdensome to use than the LibertyLink and LL-GT systems. The large-scale experiment with dicamba on millions of acres over the past several years has led university weed scientists to conclude that there is an unpredictable component to its off-target movement that is not necessarily controlled by following stewardship guidelines. This is not to say that it always moves off-target of course, it’s just something that should be considered when decisions about which trait system to use are made. We hope that the same does not occur for 2,4-D use on Enlist soybeans, but the large-scale experiment with this technology starts in 2020, so it remains to be seen.There can be issues with applying some of these herbicides in mixtures, and these are still evolving. Even if it does not control the resistant weeds, glyphosate still has utility on most other weeds and can be the cheapest way to control grasses. It can be used in mixtures with the other herbicides mentioned here in all trait systems except the LibertyLink (without the “GT27”). Previous research and field experience have shown that control of barnyardgrass and certain other weeds can be reduced with a mixture of glyphosate and glufosinate, compared with separate applications. Mixing dicamba with postemergence grass herbicides (clethodim etc.) can result in reduced control of volunteer corn. All of these interactions seem to be specific to certain weeds, and also weather conditions in some cases. The bottom line is that there’s probably more to learn about how these herbicides interact in mixtures.For any of these traits, it’s important to take resistance management into consideration. Use an effective residual herbicide program, try to vary herbicide site of action between corn and soybeans, don’t overuse the same postemergence herbicides in soybeans, and use mixtures of different sites of action that have activity on the same weeds. Follow up in mid to late season to remove waterhemp and Palmer amaranth escapes and prevent seed.last_img read more

Alejandro lifts Go for Gold in upset win vs CEU

first_imgJ-Jay Alejandro found his mark when it mattered as Go for Gold stunned Centro Escolar University, 91-89, in overtime heist Thursday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.ADVERTISEMENT GO FOR GOLD 91 — Gutang 20, Casiño 15, Pasturan 14, Alejandro 9, Gaco 9, Leutcheu 9, Haruna 7, Domingo 3, Salem 3, Dixon 2, Ocampo 0.CEU 89 — Ebondo 34, Wamar 16, Chan 12, Aquino 11, Manlangit 8, Cruz 4, Opiso 2, Arim 0, Caballero 0, Fuentes 0, Guinitaran 0, Saber 0, Uri 0, Veron 0.Quarters: 27-17, 43-38, 58-65, 84-84, 91-89. He first tied the game at 82 with a booming right corner three with 50.3 seconds remaining, but Art Aquino got fouled and cashed in on his foul shots to give CEU the 84-82 lead with 33.0 seconds remaining.Joseph Manlangit secured a steal on Matt Salem, but Aquino this time muffed both of his foul shots, setting the stage for Casiño to once again knot the score at 84 with a layup over Rod Ebondo with 5.1 ticks left.Orlan Wamar forced the issue on the other end and gave Go for Gold one last chance, but Casiño could not connect on his desperation three at the buzzer as the game went to overtime.It was the first defeat in four games for the Scorpions, which leaned on Congolese Ebondo, who finished with 34 points, 25 rebounds, and three blocks in the loss.The Scores:ADVERTISEMENT View comments The former NU Bulldog drilled two treys in the extra period, the last giving his side a 90-87 lead with 2:43 remaining before the Scratchers defense got the job done with Jimboy Pasturan securing crucial offensive boards in the final minute.“It’s definitely a big win,” said coach Charles Tiu as his side leveled their standing at 3-3. “CEU is probably the best team in the league while we’re a new team. I like the fact that we fought and won against them.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlejandro fired nine points on a 2-of-6 shooting from downtown, while also nabbing four rebounds and two assists.Justin Gutang led Go for Gold with 20 markers, five dimes, and four boards, while JK Casiño had 15 points, including the team’s last five points in regulation to force the overtime against his former squad. AFP official booed out of forum Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Read Next LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Gilas Pilipinas bows to Australia in Fiba World qualifiers John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_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

What B2B Marketers Need to Know About Customer Retention

first_img Customer Retention Rate by Industry Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Customer Retention Why is Customer Retention Important? Topics: What’s the most effective way to grow a business?You might think that the answer is to sell to more customers, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle — in fact, it might not be the most important piece of the puzzle. That’s where customer retention comes in.Once you’ve created a killer product and have identified your target market, company growth can start taking off — and it’s important to dedicate just as many resources to retaining existing customers as to selling to new customers.And that’s what your customer success team is for — to help customers see value and achieve goals using your product or service. But there’s more to it than just answering their phone calls and helping them onboard with your software — it’s about creating a process from the very beginning that fosters communication, trust, and mutual growth.Start solving for the customer today with these 17 templates. Read this guide to learn all about customer retention — how to measure it, why it’s important, and how to foster it with every new customer you attract. Average Customer Retention Rate by Industry Retention Rate Formula Customer retention refers to the ability of a company to — you guessed it — retain customers. Customer retention is impacted by how many new customers are acquired, and how many existing customers churn — by canceling their subscription, not returning to buy, or closing a contract.Over the course of a given time period, customer retention is measured by customer retention rate — more on that below. Retention Rate Formula Customer Retention Definition Before you begin to even consider a retention strategy, you need to understand what your current customer retention rate is.You’ll first need to define a period of time — whether that’s quarterly or yearly. Then, follow this formula:Customer Retention Rate = ( (# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period) / # Customers at Start of Period) ) X 100For example: Imagine you start the year with 20 customers, gain five new customers in the first quarter, and have one customer churn.( (24 – 5) / 20 ) ) x 100 = 95% retentionHere’s another example: You have 44 customers, you gain 12 new customers, and 13 customers churn:( ( 43 – 12 ) / 44 ) x 100 = 70% retentionOnce you know your rate, you should consider doing an audit of your churned customers to determine similarities in reasons for leaving or types of customers that leave. You might find that customers with a certain budget or at a certain company size are more likely to churn than others. Consider if you can add qualifying questions to your sales process or revise your ideal buyer persona to better reflect the attributes of your most loyal customers.Why is customer retention important?Customer retention is important to any growing company because it measures not only how successful they are at acquiring new customers, but how successful they are at satisfying existing customers.It’s also easier and more cost-effective to retain customers than to acquire new ones, returning customers spend more and buy more often, and refer friends and family. Only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.The numbers don’t lie: Retaining customers brings companies a ton of ROI.There are a few reasons why customer retention is critical to company growth and success:Affordability: It’s 5-25X more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. (HBR)ROI: A 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%. (HBR)Loyalty: Retained customers buy more often and spend more than newer customers. They’ve learned the value of a product or service and keep coming back, again and again. (American Express)Referrals: Satisfied, loyal customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family — bringing in new customers, free of charge. (American Express)It might seem obvious — of course, companies should want to retain customers — but when companies start growing quickly and struggle to implement a solid customer support program, proactive customer support for existing customers can slip through the cracks. Average customer retention rate varies across industries. According to Mixpanel’s 2017 Product Benchmarks report, for most industries, the average customer retention rate was below 20%. In the media or finance industries, retention over 25% is considered above average, and in the SaaS industry, retention above 35 is considered above average. Customer Retention Definition But when companies dedicate time, resources, and creativity to improve customer retention, not only does it make customers happy, it brings the companies more success, too. We’ll review  strategies that will help you improve your increase customer retention next.Customer Retention Management StrategiesBefore diving into these customer retention management strategies you may implement and experiment with, let’s answer an important question first:What is customer retention management? Customer retention management is the process of maintaining relationships with your current customers to delight them long after they purchase your product of service. It requires you to encourage these customers to remain loyal to your business, continue paying for your product or service, and become and remain your brand advocates. Who manages customer retention?Customer retention is typically managed by customer success. The role of this team is to work with and delight your customers throughout the duration of their relationship with your company (no matter how long or short this timeframe may be).Customer success teams should not only work directly with your customers to improve and maintain retention, but work with other teams within your organization to do so as well. For example, customer success should help teams like sales or customer service and support — roles that have the potential to directly impact retention — organize, manage, and improve all aspects of the customer experience. This way, you entire business works together towards consistently improving customer retention. Now, let’s look at those strategies to help you with customer retention management. 1. Highlight case studies during the sales process.A significant portion of the sales process should be focused on determining if your company and the prospect are the right fit — from both a relationship standpoint, and how you will work together.Share previous case studies that reveal your company’s style of communication and collaboration with customers and the results you achieved for customers. You could also share testimonials from current customers to really bring it home for them just how much you partner with them.It’s similar to researching any big buying decision. You want to know if and how it will work before you make a purchase. If the customer truly understands this, they will be more likely to properly set expectations and be happier with their experience once they sign on.2. Set expectations early and often.If you don’t set expectations and communicate these clearly, customers can easily become upset. They might believe you can deliver on certain results, while in reality, those results are only seen in month six or with additional initiatives and work input.In addition, your customers are coming from very different businesses. One customer might feel that your prices are high, and therefore, they expect an extremely high amount of expertise and “white glove” customer service, while for another customer, you might be one of many different company partners, and the customer cares more about your ability to collaborate than care for their brand.Understanding these points of view and communicating deadlines, progress toward goals, what’s included in a project, your process, your communication style, etc., is essential for making sure expectations are met. This, in turn, will keep customers happy with the relationship, longer.3. Communicate results on a regular basis.Customers are more likely to stay with your company if your product or service is delivering results and ROI for them. If a customer can point to the fact that your company has influenced or increased leads, MQLs, SQLs, lifetime value, their own customer retention, etc., then it will be much more difficult for the customer to say goodbye.That means you need a good system for tracking and reporting on the metrics that really matter to the customer, which should relate to the goals you established together. Be transparent about the activities you executed on last month, the results you saw, where you see opportunities for improvements, and what you will work on next month. In addition, use a project management tool so that the customer can easily see how far along the team is in a project.4. Create a roadmap for the future of the relationship.Many people compare the customer-company relationship to dating — and this isn’t that far off. And it’s especially true when you consider the lifecycle of dating. At some point, one person in the relationship wants to know that this is “going somewhere.” He or she wants to know what the “plan” for the future looks like.This desire to know that you are working toward a “next step” can also be applied to business relationships. It can be easy for the customer-company relationship to fall victim to routine — everything is going great, you know what type of work the customer wants (and will approve), and you understand what works to reach their goals. That gets boring quickly though, and it’s easy for the customer to wake up one day and realize how uninspired and unmotivated the company team is.Your customer success managers should create and revise on a regular basis a relationship roadmap. Build in steps for initiatives and projects that both parties can look to and be excited about the current and next stage of the relationship.5. Make memories around your shared successes.According to research, people remember negative events more vividly than positive ones. Even if there are more positive events overall, the bad occurrences may be the longest lasting memories — which makes customers more likely to share those negative events on social media, too.So customer success teams need to consider how they can create better, more memorable experiences around positives and successes. When something negative occurs — a goal or deadline is missed for example — the company team overly communicates, discusses plans for fixing the issue, and apologizes. But when something truly great happens, how much of an emphasis do you place on the event?6. Ask for feedback and act on this information.You can’t improve customer retention without first understanding why customers leave your company. Once you know the reasons and the correlating signs, you can work to prevent customer churn by proactively dealing with issues.Ask for regular feedback from the entire customer team, including the decision-maker. Use a customer feedback tool to track trends by either the customer or the individual. For example: By tracking by project, you can identify customer happiness trends and work to improve processes or ask for more qualitative feedback on what exactly is contributing to the fall in customer satisfaction.Being able to identify and address these issues as early as possible will help you to prevent customers from leaving you in the first place. The voice of the customer is a powerful customer retention tool — so use it.7. Map out a consistent customer experience.Consistency builds trust with customers. They know what to expect and can rely on your team to get the work done and deliver the results they need.Without this, most interactions are a surprise, and in reality, customers don’t like surprises — even if they say they want to partner with a more “innovative, fun, risk-taking company.”Build out processes for onboarding new customers and kickoff meetings to create a smooth customer experience. Examples include setting agendas for meetings and building workflows around projects and sharing these with customers.By having a process for each of these activities, your team will be more efficient and customers will gain insight into what needs to be done, and when.8. Create a customer relationship marketing strategy.Have you considered what the communication from your company looks like once a customer signs on? Yes, she emails and works with her customer success manager, but how often does she hear from the new business director who convinced her to buy from you?Think about creating a newsletter sent from the company CEO for monthly or quarterly check-ins. Consider any education or training needs of the customer you should address. Come up with interesting, light touch ways to continue to build up the credibility of your company’s brand with the customer.9. Keep a record of communication and any past problems.Your company’s culture, leadership, and business practices all contribute to retention, but another way to prevent disruption in changes in personnel is by adopting a CRM where you can store notes from meetings and phone calls, ongoing issues, personal preferences of the customers, etc.With detailed notes and a complete history of the relationship recorded, a new customer success manager will be ready to be a true authority for the customer much more quickly.10. Make sure that the customer has a relationship with the entire team.Typically, customers mainly communicate with their primary customer success manager. These individuals form a bond during hundreds of meetings, phone calls, and emails. They know each other’s favorite restaurants, what sports their kids’ play, and other seemingly inconsequential details.But change puts these relationships at risk — and, in turn, your company’s customer retention rate. If the customer success manager leaves or is promoted, the relationship is at risk. If the relationship is extremely friendly, the customer might not be happy with anyone else. The bottom line is, if the customer’s sole connection to the company is based on one relationship, there’s a risk of churn during periods of employee turnover — a natural part of professional development within an organization that customers just aren’t always privy to.This is a risky place to be in terms of retention, so your company needs to make it a goal that customers build relationships with multiple members of the team for cases like these. Send the customer pictures of the entire team working on the latest project, or whenever there is a customer lunch, make sure there is another member of the team present.11. Use reciprocity to increase loyalty.Reciprocity is a social construct that has been found to increase loyalty. Acts of kindness create a feeling of obligation in the person who instinctively wants to repay the kindness.There are two types of reciprocity: surprise and trumpeted. Both of these can be used in customer service to increase loyalty.Surprise reciprocity is obviously a surprise gift or gesture. An example of this would be when your company sends over tickets for a game the day of or when a goal is achieved earlier than anticipated.Trumpeted reciprocity is when the person giving or doing something beneficial does so in a way that reveals that they are going above and beyond. It doesn’t mean you document and put all the great things you do in a monthly report, but it is obvious to the customer that what you are doing is outside the normal scope of the relationship. This could be as simple as taking behind-the-scenes photos at a video shoot and packaging them in a memorable way as a gift for the customer’s team.12. Build a customer loyalty program.One of the wisest ways to foster customer loyalty and retention is by providing even more value to them — and this can take the form of a customer loyalty or rewards program.User-generated content, loyalty bonuses, gamification, and rewards for customer referrals are simple customer retention tools that can go a long way towards fostering loyalty — read about more examples of successful customer loyalty programs in this blog post.13. Empower customers with the tools they need to succeed. Nobody likes to wait around for support or assistance. Nobody likes to sit around searching how to accomplish specific tasks on their own either. So, instead of creating long customer support and service waits for your customers (and creating more work for your support team), empower them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.There’s a wide range of ways you can empower your customers to help themselves and find the support they need individually. To do this, you might send emails or newsletters with tutorials that cover details about your company or your product/ service’s newest features. You may also share a list of your blog articles to help them accomplish their specific business goals. Improve Your Customer RetentionReady to get started making your customers happy to improve your company’s outcomes? Follow the customer retention management strategies we covered and consistently keep track of your business’s retention rates to keep an eye on how you’re doing. You can also read more about how real brands are using these customer retention strategies here.Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November, 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. Originally published Oct 23, 2019 2:03:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Customer retention is the ability of a company to retain its customers over a period of time. Customer retention a percentage that measures how many customers a company keeps at the end of a set time period, and the number impacted by the number of new customers acquired and the number of customers who churn. Customer retention rate is calculated using the following formula: Customer Retention Rate = ((# Customers at End of Period – # Customers Acquired During Period) / # Customers at Start of Period) X 100 Customer Retention Management Strategieslast_img read more

How to Breathe Life Into a Boring Email Newsletter

first_imgIf you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an email newsletter, you’ve likely been more bored than that shamelessly cute baby to the right. I get it — when you’re not sure what to write, but you feel like an email has to go out, why not send an update about products, services, and what’s going on at your company?Unfortunately, the result is often a whole lot of generic, irrelevant content sent to a poorly segmented list — and that results in low open/click-through rates and lots of unsubscribes. That means best case scenario, your reputation is dinged in your subscribers’ eyes; worst case scenario, your reputation is dinged by Return Path and future email deliverability is negatively impacted.But there are awesome email newsletters out there. So what separates the triumphs from the tragedies? And how do you ensure your email newsletter is successful? This blog post will break down why email newsletters fail, and how you can ensure your recipients love every newsletter you send! Why Email Newsletters Often Fail, and How to Make Yours Succeed First, let’s define what an email newsletter is, and what it isn’t. An email newsletter is an email from a business that communicates announcements about products, services, industry, or general company information. It includes a mix of content, like event reminders, surveys, educational information about your product, service, or industry, and promotions and other offers.An email newsletter is not a dedicated promotional email that contains information about just one offer; a digest that simply summarizes a roundup of content you’ve published; a lead nurturing email (though a side effect certainly may be a better nurtured lead); or a transactional email that provides order information or prompts a shopper to complete a purchase. These other types of emails are important parts of your email marketing strategy, and you can learn more about them in this blog post .Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s examine why email newsletters often fail, and what you can do to prevent said failure. Poorly Segmented List As with any email marketing, the content in your email newsletter should be relevant to your audience. And that doesn’t happen without list segmentation. The problem is, often email newsletters are sent as the catch-all content — it’s so generic, it can apply to everybody on your email list!Or no one at all … because as we’ll discuss in more detail in the next section of this post, generic content doesn’t get you far. Your email newsletter should only go out to those recipients who are interested in the subject matter of the newsletter. I can tell you right now that there are people on HubSpot’s own email list that don’t give a whit (not a typo) about marketing automation, but are extremely interested in how to get leads from social media; and vice versa. If my newsletter focuses on the latest social media developments — is it wise to send that newsletter to subscribers who wanted to hear about marketing automation software? I think not.There are two ways to remedy this. The first is to marry the interests of both list segments and write a newsletter about, say, social media marketing automation . The more list segments you have, however, the more difficult it will become to create newsletter content that applies to everyone. If you’re facing this problem, the better solution is to tailor content to each list segment. This means either segmenting lists yourself and creating newsletter content that is relevant to that list segment, or letting recipients opt in to newsletters about a specific subject matter.Finally, whenever you create a call-to-action on your website for a visitor to sign up for your email newsletter, be as clear as possible about the content of that newsletter. Setting these expectations up front will help you capture those who truly want the content your newsletter will cover, and filter out those who will ultimately be disappointed with the content of your email.When properly segmented, email newsletters have one of the highest click-through rates (CTRs) of all email types — far exceeding promotional or transactional messages. This is the first step you should take on your way to creating a successful email newsletter. Information Overload Email newsletters often suffer from a few types of information overload: either the breadth of information covered is too wide, the quantity of information is too overwhelming for any reader to actually consume, and/or the information is just plain not interesting. Let’s break down how to avoid each of these problems.We’ll begin with the issue of covering too wide a breadth of information, which we touched on in the first section of this post. If you send an email about too many subjects, it’s too unfocused to be relevant to anyone. Let’s play a game of “one of these things is not like the other” to demonstrate the concept further. You run email marketing for a clown college, and for your next email newsletter, you want to touch on the following topics:Clown financial aid application deadlineClown work study programsClown intramural sports leaguesStudent loan options for clownsWhat would you leave out? The information about sports leagues, right? It’s not that some of your prospective and current clown students aren’t interested in sports clubs at the school, it’s just that not all of them will be — and doesn’t it make sense to talk about what that entire list segment does care about (paying for school) and save the sports talk for another list segment that does care about extracurriculars?Just as you should provide your readers a focused subject matter in your emails, you should help them maintain that focus by limiting the amount of text in the email. Often email newsletters try to write an entire article about their subject matter — but is an email really the place to detail what options clowns have for student loans? If it requires more than a couple sentences of explanation, a web page is the more appropriate venue. Write a brief description of the content in your email newsletter, then include a link to read more on your website so your reader isn’t overwhelmed with text in the email. Not only is this easier to consume, but it also drives visitors to your website, provides opportunities for reconversion, and gets you more indexable pages filled with great content to improve your SEO !Finally, newsletters often suffer from talking about information that no one cares about, which usually takes the form of self-promotional content. It’s not that you shouldn’t talk about your product, service, or company — that’s part of the definition of an email newsletter. But there’s a way to present that information that demonstrates value for the reader, instead of appearing like a relatively meaningless press release or announcement. Ask yourself the “so what?” of any announcement you’re making. For example, why does it matter to the reader that you’re launching a new product? Will it make them better at their jobs? If so, how? Announce the feature, and then explain the end benefit of that feature for your reader. If you can’t think of an end benefit, nix the content from your newsletter. Competing Calls-to-Action In most email marketing, with every new call-to-action you include, the effectiveness of each is diluted more and more. So in an email newsletter with so many different pieces of content contained therein — surveys, deadlines, offers, product launches, etc. — it’s easy to break one of the cardinal rules of email marketing: including only one call-to-action!So how do you get past this? The first step is acceptance — there will be more than one call-to-action in your email newsletter. But that doesn’t mean they have to compete with one another. Take a step back, and ask yourself what you want your recipients to do when they read your newsletter. What’s the point?Let’s revisit our clown financial aid example. Perhaps the email marketing manager decided the point of the newsletter is to show prospective students the options they have at their disposal to pay for school — financial aid, work study, and student loans. These may all point to different pages on the website when the reader clicks through on the story, but the call-to-action on each of those pages could point to one all-inclusive guide about paying for clown college. The end goal is the same: getting clowns to pay for school. Each of those pieces of content, the pages a reader lands on when they click through, and the calls-to-action available to them on those pages all contribute to that goal.You can also use design to emphasize one particular story over others. For example, if the financial aid deadline is the most important part of the newsletter, it should act as a feature story and take up more room in the newsletter than the rest of the stories. In fact, let’s look at how else design can make or break your email newsletter. Inconsistent Design and Layout Because email newsletters are a compilation of stories, many businesses change the appearance of the emails from send to send to accommodate the ever-changing content. It makes sense — images could be different sizes from week to week, there might be an uneven balance of content, or you can’t decide which content should be prioritized. But instead of making the difficult choices, marketers often just adapt their newsletter design to accommodate that send’s specific needs.Don’t do it! Not only does it take lots of time to edit your email template, but it confuses your regular readers. Use a standard format for every single newsletter so it is recognizable to your subscribers. That means the same layout, the same image alignment, and the same placement of links and calls-to-action so your reader can scan and find the information they want. For example, I get a weekly email from Urban Daddy called “The Weekender” that summarizes events going on around Boston that I might be interested in. Take a look.Notice how the format for each story follows the same structure, as does the overall email. First, I know I can scan the email for big, bold days; so if I want an activity for Saturday, I can scroll down to that day. And if I find one heading or picture that interests me, I know I can read a short blurb of copy, and find more information via the link in the story’s footer — along with date, time, location, and contact information. Following this consistency for every email means when I see it in my inbox, I know it won’t require a lot of my time to scan and consume the information I want. Vague Subject Lines This is an easy fix, but such a common email newsletter faux pas. Often, the subject of an email newsletter is something along the lines of Weekly [Company X] Newsletter or Monthly [Product Y] Update . What does this mean? What will the reader learn? The interesting part of the email isn’t the frequency at which the recipient receives it — it’s the juicy information you’re divulging!Let’s continue to work off the Urban Daddy example above. The subject line of that email is: UD | Waffles, $1 Oysters, and… Iceland They don’t mention that this is the weekly digest I receive — I already know that’s what Urban Daddy sends me! Instead, they mention some of the best offers around Boston this weekend that prompt me to open the email. Just as you must demonstrate the “so what” within the email copy, so must you explain the value of the email with a descriptive and enticing subject line .Email newsletters have the opportunity to be chock full of interesting content, and as such are a very useful inbound marketing tool. So it’s a shame when marketers put significant time and effort into compiling and sharing their best announcements, offers, and content in an email newsletter, only to have it fall on deaf ears. Use these tips to ensure your next email newsletter is a smashing success and leads to an ever-increasing, dedicated list of subscribers that look forward to reading your email content. What components of email newsletters do you find valuable? Share your recommendations in the comments! Image Credit: Big yawn Topics: Originally published Mar 29, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Email Newsletters 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

Twitter Launches More Robust Targeting for Promoted Tweets

first_img Originally published Sep 6, 2012 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Once you select the interests you want to target, you can carry on with the rest of the campaign as you normally would, including tweet selection and budget. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Keep in mind you can also target people, not just companies. Thought leaders who are very influential in your space — like bloggers, authors, and social media personalities — are likely to have followers that are similar to your target audience!Do you plan on using Twitter’s latest promoted tweet update?Image credit: lucianvenutian Topics: Pretty easy, huh? Now, let’s learn how to target your promoted tweets by specific usernames.Target Twitter Users by UsernameLet’s start by clearing up one misconception about targeting promoted tweets by username: When targeting specific usernames, you’re not making your promoted tweets visible to people who follow that specific username. Instead, Twitter determines other usernames that are similar to the username you selected, and promotes your tweets to those people.Why is this the case? Well, let’s say you want to target people who like cooking shows, so you enter in the username @homecookingchannel. You want your reach to be as large as possible … but only as far as it includes people who are actually interested in cooking. Therefore, Twitter isn’t just going to promote your tweets to everyone who follows @homecookingchannel. They’re going to promote your tweets to everyone who follows @homecookingchannel that actually cares about cooking (not, you know, the account holder’s dad who just followed because he was told to). From there, Twitter will look at other users who may not follow @homecookingchannel, but exhibit the same care for cooking based on the content they share, and promote your tweets to those usernames, too.You may be wondering how Twitter finds the people to target your promoted tweets to. Well, because this targeting method is for timelines and not specific search terms, it’s a little unclear how a person on Twitter’s interests are determined. But we do know that Twitter’s algorithm uses the topics discussed on Twitter, keywords uses, and followers of each person to determine if they are a good fit for your timeline campaign. So if someone’s tweeting about their favorite quinoa recipes, Twitter knows they’re probably a good fit for @homecookingchannel promoted tweets.Let’s go through one more example to clarify this. Let’s say you’re interested in promoting your tweets to marketers. With this new feature, you could target your campaign at people who are similar to the followers of the username @HubSpot. Why? Because HubSpot is known as a thought leader in the marketing industry, so a large amount of our followers are likely to be marketers. Additionally, people who are similar to our followers are also likely to be marketers, and Twitter can tell based on whether they’re actually talking about marketing on Twitter. Here, you can look through general interests, and drill down into more detail to the right. Twitter Updates Last week, Twitter launched a new update to their promoted tweets that should get marketers pretty pumped. Now, you can target your promoted tweets to users based on their interests. Pretty groovy, eh?Before this launch, people were able to promote tweets in timelines, search results and profiles. Targeting a specific search term, however, was the only way an advertiser could control who saw their tweets. That left the rest of their promoted tweets to be targeted to “followers,” “people like my followers,” or everyone. No more! Now Twitter advertisers can show promoted posts to the people they are actually interested in targeting.There are two ways this new update can be used: You can target by interests, or you can target specific @usernames. Here’s how to do both.Target Twitter Users by InterestBefore we get into logistics, ask yourself … do you know what your target audience’s interests are? If not, you might need to do a little brushing up of your buyer personas.Great, glad that’s taken care of. So, you want to target Twitters users with promoted tweets based on their interests? Makes sense — greater relevancy should increase the effectiveness of your promoted tweets! Twitter determines interests based on what the user is talking about, following, and the keywords used. To utilize this feature, you must first click on “Browse Interests.”last_img read more

How Context Strengthens Your Entire Marketing Funnel

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 Show Targeted Images: In some cases, it might even make sense to modify the imagery leads see on your landing pages and website pages. If you primarily sell to two different groups of people (architects and contractors, for example), and you know that a lead is a contractor from his or her past downloads or page views, why not show that lead relevant images of contractors using your product — images that they can better identify with. Context You Can Gain : Behavioral Data: As prospects move through your website (even on their first visit, before becoming a lead), you are probably collecting web analytics data on their interactions with your site. But is that data stored in aggregate, or is it tied to them as an individual? When they finally do turn into a lead, can their history of page views and important events be applied to their record in your CRM and marketing databases ? Can you use that data to determine their buyer persona and lifecycle stage ?  Lead Intelligence: The first time a lead comes to your website, it’s important to consider how they got there. Are you tracking the channel or campaign that first brought them to your website? If they came to you from a search engine, are you capturing the keyword that introduced them to your brand, as well as the first page they viewed? This can give you important context about their initial interest and what their intentions might be.  Forms & Landing Pages Context You Can Apply Targeted Images and Messaging: Landing pages present a huge opportunity for applying context about a lead, and many of the same rules for applying context to website or blog pages apply to landing pages, too. Targeting images is a great starting point — targeting all of the content on the landing page based on who is seeing it can be even more effective. (Note: This should be something your marketing platform can handle on the back end. In HubSpot, for example, Smart Calls-to-Action that are targeted based on the viewer can direct users to different, targeted variations of your landing pages.) Context You Can Gain Ask More Detailed Questions Over Time: Forms are all about gaining context about your leads. When a prospect or lead is willing to fill out a form, it’s a special moment — you have demonstrated enough value that the prospect is willing to give you some valuable information in return for what you’re offering. But when that special moment occurs, are you taking full advantage of it? Dynamic forms that use a feature called progressive profiling can ensure you never squander that special moment by asking the same question twice. Instead, progressive profiling analyzes what you already know about a lead, and pulls from a queue of questions to ask for details you haven’t already collected. Using progressive profiling is a fantastic way to accumulate more valuable, deep information about your leads over time. Originally published Feb 19, 2013 4:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Lead Generation Email & Marketing Automation  Context You Can Apply Granular Segmentation: This is perhaps the biggest opportunity to leverage what you know about a lead to market to them more effectively. When you have a large volume of data about each lead, you can segment your database more granularly and send closely targeted messages to each segment that better match their interests and where they are in your funnel. Your segmentation might leverage implicit details like lead score, page views, key actions, or responses to specific types of content; it might also leverage explicit details like company size, job title, geography, or other characteristics.  Personalized Message and Sender: You’ve all likely noticed this in the emails you receive — a personalized subject line, and content within that addresses you by your first name, for example. But why stop there? There are plenty of other ways you can personalize the content of an email . For example, you might mention a detail like the lead’s business vertical, geography, or something else that makes the email feel more personal and relevant. Or, if the lead is being worked by a specific sales rep, why not personalize the sender name to make the email appear to be coming directly from the rep the lead already has a relationship with? Context You Can Gain Engagement With Your Messages: This one is fairly obvious. Over the course of an email campaign, tracking which messages (and which parts of each message) resonate with your leads can give you important insight into their interests and where they fall in the buying cycle . For example, if a lead clicks on a link in an email that’s offering them a free consultation, you might infer that they’re further along in the buying process than someone who converts on an offer to download a purely educational ebook about an industry topic.  Your CRM System & Your Sales Process Context You Can Apply Lead Intelligence for Your Sales Team: Over the course of a lead’s journey — from their first encounter with your brand until the point at which they’re ready for sales intervention — you’ve likely collected a lot of data about them that could be valuable to your sales team. Your sales team can likely infer details about a lead’s interests, their level of urgency around a potential purchase, their level of fit for your product, and much more. Since most CRM systems aren’t natively designed to handle the volume and type of data that a marketing campaign is capable of generating, it’s also important for you to consider how you can help surface relevant, interesting details for your sales team. HubSpot, for example, gives your sales team access to a chronologically ordered timeline of lead interactions , along with a way for you to quickly surface the most important details for your sales team. center_img Topics: Context You Can Gain Details From Other Sources: Depending on your sales process and the origin of an individual lead, your CRM system may be full of details you can use to better target and personalize your marketing messages. Think about the context a sales rep could capture during a five-minute conversation with a lead who turns out to be a good fit for your business, but is not yet ready to make a purchase. If your sales team isn’t already capturing that data in a structured way, it may be worth considering if it’s possible to fit capturing these types of details into their workflow.  Social Media Social media is a channel that can’t be personalized in the same way email messages or your website can be personalized, but there are still ways in which you can apply context you have about your leads to the content you share in social media. Context You Can Apply Context From Past Leads as a Whole: Looking at your leads database overall, or leads from past social media conversions , are there things you can infer about your best leads that can help guide your future content strategy? Do certain content offers resonate with more people — or people who represent a best fit lead? Do certain types of offers seem to work best in social media as a channel? Context You Can Gain Behavioral Data: Similar to email, social media presents an opportunity for you collect implicit details about your leads. What offers resonate with your leads? In general, your social media posts should be heavier on content, and lighter on direct pitches or landing pages, but are you able to track when a contact interacts with your content through social media, even if it’s just a click on a link to a blog post and not a conversion on a landing page? With the tools available to marketers today, there are a lot of different ways to optimize your funnel and improve your marketing — from A/B testing button colors and experimenting with PPC bids, to website redesigns and testing different types of blog posts. All of these are important, but few can have the kind of impact across all of your channels in the same way as a concerted effort to share context between your marketing tools, and apply it to the content you create ( HubSpot’s software can do all of the above … wink wink). How big a role does context play in your marketing? In what ways can you improve? When you think about your marketing funnel, how do you think about the work you do to optimize it? You may have never considered it, but a lot of what you probably do is work to minimize the number of breaks in your marketing chain.Ideally, you should be working to carry information and context about your leads throughout the different stages of your funnel — minimizing as many breaks in your marketing chain as possible, and strengthening the impact of your marketing. And today, minimizing breaks in the chain means putting your data to use in as many ways as you can. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly what this means in a modern-day marketing world — and how you can apply (and gain) context in your individual marketing channels to help you more effectively move leads further and further down the funnel. First, a Brief History of Data-Driven Online Marketing The Early Days of Online Marketing In the early days of online marketing, tools like Google Analytics helped us understand our audience in aggregate. Minimizing breaks in the chain meant figuring out what worked on a high level, and optimizing our marketing to make it more appealing to our audience as a whole. We saw which keywords drove traffic to our website, and we worked to rank higher for those keywords. We saw which pages our prospects were viewing, and we put calls-to-action on those pages. Web analytics fueled a revolution in marketing based on data, but it was marketing in aggregate. In other words, we didn’t have a way to connect the dots between the mass of traffic we were measuring and the real people it represented. The Middle Ages of Online Marketing In what I think of as the middle ages of online marketing, technology took us a step further. We used a lot of different marketing tools — an analytics tool, a CRM system to tap into our sales team’s data, an email marketing tool, a landing page tool, a blogging platform, a social media tool, etc. We could optimize each channel individually — landing pages based on their conversion rates, emails based on their open and clickthrough rates — but sharing data between these individual systems was difficult at best, and often impossible. Wanted to infuse your CRM system with data from your latest email marketing campaign? It was doable, but very manual. Wanted to give your sales team a digestible history of interactions with a lead across all of these tools? Let me know if you ever figured that one out. A Modern Marketing Era Luckily, we’ve entered a modern marketing era where these are solvable problems thanks to integration. With a modern marketing software platform (like HubSpot ), all of your marketing tools talk to one another, right out of the box. (And if you still use many different tools, today you might be able to glue them together with the help of a savvy developer.) Means aside, it’s possible to do things we never would have dreamed of doing just a few, short years ago. Rather than marketing to one audience with one message, we can now market to an audience of one, delivering a consistent, personalized message specific to each individual across every medium . The content you serve to each individual can be tailored based on the context you collect from every channel.There is an important paradigm to dig into here. Every time a lead or a potential lead comes into contact with your brand, you have two opportunities: 1) to learn more about them (acquire context), and 2) to leverage what you already know (apply context to your content). And as we mentioned up top, today, minimizing breaks in your marketing chain means putting your data to use in as many ways as possible. Collecting context, and applying it to your content. Modern Marketing: Context and Content The implications of applying context to your content are huge. Your marketing results improve when you deliver more relevant messages to your prospects based on what you already know about them; and your campaigns are supercharged when you can deliver the same consistent message across every medium your prospects see. You can even have a huge impact on your sales team’s performance. In the same way a snowball grows as it rolls down a hill, you accumulate more and more data about your leads with each and every marketing touch point as they move through your funnel. And when the time is right for your sales team to reach out, that data can be transformative to their processes.Lost on where to start delivering this kind of a personal marketing experience to your leads, prospects, and sales team? Let’s take a look at some real examples of opportunities to gain and apply context with every marketing tool in your arsenal, at every step in the funnel, and through every channel your leads touch.  Website/Blog Content & Calls-to-Action Context You Can Apply Show Targeted Calls-to-Action (CTAs): It goes without saying that your website should have prominent CTAs on every page to encourage visitors to convert into leads — and motivate leads to take the next step. But are those calls-to-action targeted to show your leads an offer they’ve never seen before? Showing your website visitors an offer to download an ebook or whitepaper that a lead has already converted on can be a missed opportunity. Use dynamic, Smart CTAs to show the right content to the right visitors. last_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

5 Data-Backed Reasons to Redesign an Ugly Website [Infographic]

first_img Topics: 1K+Save Website Design 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 For even the most seasoned marketer, website design can be both really exciting (so many possibilities!) and totally daunting (so many possibilities …).The final product is a combination of many, many little details: What should the color scheme be? Should we write in bulleted lists or paragraph form? Is stock photography okay, or should we take our own photos?Though these tweaks all seem like small, inconsequential changes, making the wrong choices can actually stunt your traffic and conversions.So, what are the right choices? Red Website Design gathered the data to answer that question in this easy-to-follow infographic. Learn which parts of your website design impact users the most so you can properly plan, prioritize, and optimize your site.1K+Save Originally published Aug 18, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

How To Increase Referral Traffic And Get More Leads

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: Originally published Sep 22, 2016 1:30:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Referral Marketingcenter_img Most marketers have one goal in common: increasing the amount of traffic to their website. There are various tactics for accomplishing this goal including search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), blogging, social media marketing, etc. The problem is that SEO takes times, PPC is expensive, Google is becoming oversaturated with blog content, and social media has always had a problem proving ROI.One often overlooked tactic that can potentially have the greatest impact is referral traffic. So, what is referral traffic and how can you use it to generate more leads?Access Now: 22 SEO Myths to Leave Behind This YearWhat Is Referral Traffic? Visitors that come to your website from sites other than the major search engines are considered referral traffic. When someone clicks a link on a website or social network and is then taken to another site, tracking software, such as Google Analytics or HubSpot, counts that visitor as referral traffic. The originating website is called the “referrer” since it refers traffic from one website to the other. Why Is Referral Traffic Important?Referral traffic is important to inbound marketers because it sends potentially qualified visitors to your website from trusted websites. This in turn gets your content in front of new people, giving your website the opportunity to convert that visitor into a lead and your sales team the opportunity to convert that lead into a new customer.But that’s not all! Referral traffic also has SEO benefits. When someone visits your website from another site they are usually clicking on a link or completing some type of social activity. Google and other search engines consider these links and social signals as positive ranking factors as long as they are coming from trusted websites.Sounds pretty good, right? Well, let’s get started on getting you some juicy referral traffic so you can brag about all the hot leads you have rolling in. 7 Steps To Generate More Referral Traffic1) Publish Your Website To Online DirectoriesSubmitting your website to online directories is one of the easiest ways to get referral traffic but you don’t want to publish your website to every directory out there. Instead, focus on the ones that are most relevant to your industry or generate the most traffic. Whether you’re a veterinarian in St. Louis or an assisted living facility in Daytona Beach, Moz has you covered. They offer a free resource for finding the top directories by category and city.Once you’ve submitted your website to the top directories for your city and industry, I’d focus on finding directories that can generate some serious traffic. How do you know which directories will accomplish this? It’s as simple as performing a Google search. The directories that appear at the top of the search results should, in theory, generate the most traffic. For example, if you do a search for “personal trainer in los angeles” there are 4 directories that show up on the first page of the search results: Yelp, YourTrainer, IdeaFit & Thumbtack. You can’t use SEO to pass up these directories in the search results overnight. What you can do, however, is list your website on these directories in order to generate quality traffic and get some free SEO juice. After all, if someone is looking for a personal trainer in Los Angeles and they find your website via Yelp, that referred visitor is just as valuable to you as them landing directly on your website. 2) Get Published On Review WebsitesReview websites are a great source for getting more referral traffic. These visitors have already gone through the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey. They’ve now reached the decision stage and are comparing vendors or products. What better time to get your product or service in front of them for consideration?Getting listed on a review website can vary depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C company. If you perform a search for “st louis roofing company reviews” there are 3 websites that you would want to be listed on if you were a roofer: HomeAdvisor, BBB & AngiesList.By adding your website to these 3 directories you are increasing the likelihood of your website being found during the decision phase of the buyer’s journey. If you are operating a respectable roofing company that treats customers fairly you should have no problem standing out from other roofers that have not so positive reviews.B2B businesses will find that it is more difficult to get featured on review websites. A lot of times you have to “pay to play,” meaning you will basically have to pay to be featured towards the top of the review listings. For example, if you do a Google search for “top mobile app developers” the first search result is Clutch.co. They showcase a list of mobile app development firms with reviews but if you look closely you’ll notice that they are “sorted by sponsor.” Essentially these companies are paying to have their website and reviews featured first. It’s a slick way for Clutch to make money but also maintain it’s reputation as a respectable source for reviews.3) Publish Guest Blog PostsGuess what? You’re currently looking at step 3 of the 7 steps for getting more referral traffic to your website. That’s right. You’re reading a guest blog post by Leap Clixx, a HubSpot Partner Agency. Guest blog posts create numerous opportunities to get referral traffic to your website. External links (like the two in this paragraph), author bios, and call-to-actions (like the one at the bottom of this post) are typically present on most blogs. If you can get a post featured on a well-know industry website you’ll benefit from the referral traffic and links coming to your site. It’s best to focus your efforts on websites that are considered thought leaders in your industry. Since we’re an Inbound Marketing Agency, HubSpot is the perfect place for us to post a guest blog post. Can you think of a more respected website when it comes to the topic of inbound marketing? I mean, HubSpot literally coined the term inbound marketing. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind when guest blogging:Focus on websites related to your industry – No one wants to read about Fall fashion trends on a blog about guns & ammo, unless you’re talking about camo. Keep the target audience in mind while writing – Most blogs have strict guidelines in place for guest bloggers. Write content under your own name – After all, you don’t want someone else getting credit for your work. Link to influencers – They will notice and might even help promote your guest blog post, which in return will increase the referral traffic it generates. 4) Leverage Social MediaAccording to Social Media Examiner, a whopping 89% of marketers indicated that social media generated more exposure for their business. Additionally, 75% found their website traffic increased as a result of their social media efforts.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest were the top 7 social media platforms used by marketers. Being active on social media isn’t just trendy anymore; it’s a tactic most marketers are using to get more traffic, leads, and sales.Everytime you tweet, share, like, or pin a piece of content you are creating an opportunity to drive referral traffic to your website. Plus, you’re increasing the likelihood of your content showing up at the top of Google. 58% of marketers using social media reported improved search rankings. Like I said before, referral traffic not only brings more potential customers to your website, it also helps with SEO. 5) Comment On BlogsA question that comes up a lot is “Does blog commenting help SEO?” It not only can help with SEO but it can also generate more referral traffic for your website. According to Neil Patel, his 240+ comments on blogs have generated close to 4,000 visitors to his website. Commenting on blogs will definitely increase your referral traffic; just make sure you’re not filling the interwebs with more spam. Here are a couple tips for the newbie blog commenters out there:Make sure your comments are valuable – No one likes a complainer or bragger. If your comments are negative or promotional in nature just keep them to yourself. Focus on blogs that allow links in the comments – Remember, you’re trying to get more traffic. In order to do that you need to add a link to your websiteIf you aren’t first, you’re last. – Just like search engines, if your link is at the top of the comments list you’re more likely to generate more clicks and traffic. 6) Be Active On Industry ForumsOnline forums are a great source of potential leads and customers but are often overlooked as a marketing tactic for generating traffic. Similar to blog comments, you should focus your efforts on forums in your niche and always be trying to add value without sounding too promotional. I’ve outlined a couple steps and tips below for getting the most out of forum marketing:Make sure the forum is active – Don’t waste your time on a forum that hasn’t had a new post for a month. Register using your brand name – You want to make sure people associate your comments with a memorable brand name. Create a signature with a call-to-action link – This is how you’re going to drive traffic to your website. It’s time to participate – You’ll want to participate in the areas of the forum where you have the most expertise. Use real life examples – Don’t just offer your advice. No one likes a know-it-all. Try to provide value using your personal experiences. Share your resources – Start a new thread with a link to resource you think could benefit the group. If you’re proud of a particular piece of content it’s likely others will enjoy it too.  7) Publish InfographicsWhen asked to select the single most important form of content for their business, 37% of marketers picked visuals. The reason is pretty simple. Humans have attention spans shorter than goldfish and it’s easier for the brain to consume an image than a bunch of text. Plus you’ve probably noticed that an image of a cute puppy gets liked and shared more than a 100+ page industry report.The great thing about infographics is they can help people understand complex data with simple visuals. The goal is to get your infographic shared, liked, and pinned on social networks and have others embed it in their articles (like I’ve done above), thus creating links to your website.In addition to your own website, there are several websites where you can post an infographic. One of my favorites is Pinterest. After all, Pinterest is responsible for around 5% of all referral traffic to websites, second only to Facebook. Pinterest gives you the option to link your infographic to your website and makes it easy for it be shared on other’s boards. Next StepsOnce you start receiving additional referral traffic, you’ll want to make sure your website is ready for these new visitors. In this FREE eBook “Turn Your Website Into A Lead Generation Machine,” we go over some best practices for ensuring your website is setup to convert visitors into leads for your business. Download it now by clicking on the link above or on the banner below.last_img read more