A Few Good Examples of Widgets

first_imgThere are a group of widgets designed to spark conversation or interactivity on your site or blog. These include voice messages, IM widgets, audience polls and others. Audience poll widgets seem to be more widely in use by nonprofits. Some good polling widgets include Vidzu and PollDaddy.You can do a general reader survey, such as the nonprofit tech blogYou can connect it to content in a post such as the Bamboo ProjectOr you can connect to the key goals of your blog, say, Save GuimarisThere are many widgets that allow you take content from one site or location on the Web and easily republish it elsewhere. The best examples are the widgets or badges provided by well-established services such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and others. If you are already using one of those services and want to integrate content onto your blog or website, check on their website first. They might not be calling it a widget. Some refer to them as “badges.” Simply look in the “help” section of your favorite social site.Fundraising is the life’s blood of nonprofits and is another area of active experimentation using strategies called “personal fundraising.” Think citizen donor, citizen philanthropist. Widgets, charity badges, blog fundraising plugins allow your supporters to become messengers for your cause. The shift is now from the organization raising money to the supporters taking on that role/responsibility. The widget just helps people track their commitment and shows progress being made.Sucessfully using widgets to realize outcomes is a matter of experimentation and learning. Above all, the widget needs to be connected with your blog’s or website’s content, readers’ interests, or to amplify conversation. The best way to get started is to pick a few widgets, install them, and track them over a period of a month or so. Figure out if your strategy is bringing in new traffic, generating more comments/activity on your blog, or making visitors take action. If not, don’t be afraid to ditch it.Source: http://www.nptimes.com/technobuzz/TB200706_1.htmllast_img read more

Weekend Reading

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 23, 2012November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:DFID celebrated Mother’s Day in the UKA new paper explores maternal morbidityGary Darmstadt and Wendy Prosser write about the growth of “kangaroo care” in BrazilWorld Water Day: clean water and good healthSome reading for the weekend:Public health expert nominated to lead World BankUN creates commission to address commodities for women and childrenHow to reduce neonatal mortality in poor settings“Is mhealth just another gimmick?”Share this:last_img

Melinda Gates: Contraception is “A Totally Uncontroversial Idea Which Unfortunately Has Become Incredibly Controversial”

first_imgRead the full speech here.Watch the video of her speech here.Continue this conversation on Twitter at hashtag #nocontroversy.Share this: Posted on April 10, 2012June 23, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)At the April 5 TEDxChange event, Melinda Gates gave a speech that the  Gates Foundation has described as the launch event for “a major push for the foundation around the critical role family planning plays in advancing women’s health and ensuring that women are empowered to decide when and if to have children.” Melinda’s comments about contraception as “a totally uncontroversial idea which unfortunately has become incredibly controversial” have sparked a lively online conversation.From Impatient Optimists:How many of you reading this right now are currently using some method of family planning?Go ahead and raise your virtual hands, and while you do, please think about how the opportunity to plan your family has changed your life, and think about the hundreds of millions of women and men around the world who would like to raise their virtual hands but don’t have access to contraception. Together, we have an opportunity to change this situation—to envision and to create a world where all hands are held high.In a transformation talk at TEDxChange in Berlin last week, Melinda French Gates began a movement to change the conversation and to transform the field of family planning. She pointed out that there is something each of us can do to get more hands raised for family planning. We can start talking about it. We can have frank conversations about the incredible benefits to women, families, communities, and whole nations when we increase the ability of women and men to plan their families.Read the full post here.Excerpt from the speech:When I was in the slum outside of Nairobi, I met a young businesswoman who sold backpacks she made from scraps of denim. She had three children, and she and her husband had decided to stop at three. She told me it would be impossible to keep her business if she had to take care of another child. On the other hand, she said, with the money she was earning, she’d be able to send all three to school. She was optimistic about their future.This is the same mental calculus hundreds of millions of women have gone through, and the evidence proves that these women have it exactly right. They are able to give their children more opportunities by exercising control over when they have them.In Bangladesh, there is a district called Matlab where researchers have been collecting data on 180,000 inhabitants since 1963. It may be the longest-running, most rigorous study in the field of global health.As part of the study, half the villages in Matlab were randomly chosen to get easier access to, and extra education about, contraceptives. Twenty years later, the people in those villages had a higher quality of life than their neighbors.They were healthier.They were less likely to die in childbirth.They were less likely to have a child who died.They were better nourished. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

14 sneaky foods you didn’t know mess with your digestion

first_imgIt doesn’t matter how great your day is going. If you’re experiencing bloating and gas – common side effects of indigestion – it’s really hard to keep a smile on your face. And unfortunately, plenty of different foods could be to blame.‘Our digestive system is home to trillions of microbes that help break down our food and keep our intestines healthy,’ explains Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, nutritionist and author of Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of the Super-Healthy.But we can easily screw it up by eating foods that mess with the good bacteria, she explains. Here are 14 foods to skip (or at least limit) to keep your belly – and your life – running as smoothly as possible.Artificial SweetenersConsider this yet another reason to ditch diet soda for good. One study found that when people consumed artificial sweeteners – spartame, sucralose, and saccharin – the gut bacteria that controls metabolism was altered.That can lead to all sorts of gastrointestinal (GI) problems, including an increased propensity to convert food into fat, says Lieberman. Meaning not only does it become more difficult to lose weight, but it’s actually easier to gain. Not cool.CoffeeYour daily pick-me-up could be doing more than just waking you up. ‘Not only is coffee acidic, but it also contains caffeine, which speeds up the digestive tract and may cause diarrhoea,’ explains Katie Cavuto, MS, RD, a nutritionist and chef in Philadelphia. That caffeine is also a diuretic, she explains, meaning it can lead to dehydration and even nausea. What’s more: coffee causes the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid (HCL), which can cause heartburn and indigestion. So if you find yourself regularly experiencing GI issues after your cup of joe, limit it to one cup a day and don’t drink it on an empty stomach to help ease those unpleasant symptoms.CarrageenanNot every ingredient in a natural food product may be good for you. Case in point: carrageenan, a gum derived from seaweed and used as a stabilider in organic and natural foods like soy milk, low-fat yogurt, salad dressing, and ice cream. It can cause a host of gut issues, says Lieberman. Research even suggests that the additive may cause inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS).This isn’t to say you should skip dairy completely, though. ‘In fact, organic low-fat yogurt has beneficial effects on your gut by improving the natural flora (good bacteria) in your GI tract,’ says Lieberman. She recommends sticking to one cup per day, but if you’re experiencing GI issues after eating dairy, try one cup of lactose-free, low-fat milk instead. And be sure to check that carrageenan doesn’t appear on the ingredient list – you should only see ‘low-fat milk’ and cultures – and avoid the fruit-flavoured and ‘dessert’ kinds, which have added sugars.Broccoli‘Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli and cauliflower, contain complex sugars that you can’t digest,’ says Cavuto. ‘They’re called raffinose, and they can produce gas. They’re also rich in soluble fibre, which doesn’t break down until reaching the small intestine, and that can cause gas, too.’This in turn causes all those familiar symptoms of indigestion –bloating, upset stomach, and gas. But we’re not saying you shouldn’t munch on broccoli for dinner (it has way too many health benefits to give up).Instead, do your best not to overcook your veggies, as that destroys the health bennies you’re after. Also, consider taking a digestive supplement, which contains enzymes that help break down those hard-to-digest plant fibres. If you’re still in need of a healthy-gut-bacteria boost, dig into some Greek yoghurt for breakfast, which is full of probiotics that can help.Sugar-Free FoodsSteer clear of those ‘sugar-free’ sweets and gum: sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, and other sugar alcohols are frequently added to these products, which can cause bloating, gas, or a laxative effect when eaten in excessive amounts, says Lieberman. Her rule of thumb: if a sugar alcohol appears in the first three ingredients of a food, avoid it. Oh, and another reason to cut back on that sugar-free gum habit: it can stimulate the stomach to secrete acids that your body doesn’t need, which may contribute to the development of stomach ulcers. Ouch.Milk, Soft Cheese, and Ice CreamWhile only 4% of adults have true food allergies, according to the National Institutes of Health, lactose intolerance is found in around 65 percent of adults, explains Cavuto. It happens when you lack the digestive enzyme (lactase) to process lactose, a sugar found in milk, and results in GI distress with symptoms like bloating and diarrhoea. But even if you’re not lactose intolerant, eating too much dairy can lead to its being digested in the large intestine instead of the stomach, which can cause an upset stomach, diarrhoea, and gas, she says. A better choice: hard (aged) cheeses have lower amounts of lactose, and yogurt is typically well tolerated because the live cultures digest lactose better, says Lieberman.Fried FoodsObviously, a plate of chips and fried chicken fingers isn’t exactly the picture of a healthy meal. But it’s worse than we thought, as fried, fatty foods can cause major distress in your GI tract in more than one way: ‘Fried foods can move undigested through the body too quickly, leading to diarrhoea,’ says Lieberman. Or they can do the exact opposite: Since these foods are usually low in fibre, they could stay in your digestive tract too long, making you feel full, bloated, and potentially causing constipation. Either way, it’s a lose-lose.Citrus FruitIf you’re having digestive trouble, it can be tempting to load up on healthy foods like fruits and veggies. But watch out… ‘Acidic foods, like tomato sauce and citrus fruits, like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, may cause you more trouble,’ says Lieberman. They can further irritate the lining of your stomach, leading to heartburn or acid reflux. Cut back on these until you’re feeling better, and instead load up on applesauce or bananas to help ease discomfort, she suggests.Onions and GarlicEver heard of FODMAPs? They’re a group of sugars and fibres found in foods – think onions, garlic, and wheat products – that aren’t absorbed well in the small intestine, causing a host of gut issues like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea, or constipation for some people, says Cavuto.Other FODMAP-containing foods include healthy bites like pears, apples, beans, cabbage, and cauliflower, so unfortunately, it can be hard to pinpoint what’s causing your distress. If you’re having serious GI problems, talk to a doctor to see if FODMAPs could be to blame, as the process to determine whether you have a sensitivity to them can be tricky.CornThis summertime-into-fall food isn’t exactly easy on your system. ‘If you don’t chew it long enough, it can pass through your system undigested and cause an upset stomach,’ Lieberman says. Blame the cellulose it contains, which is an insoluble plant fibre, and the fact that humans lack the enzyme needed to break it down in our bodies. When you do nibble a cob, remember to chew thoroughly before you swallow.Raw FoodsBacteria in raw animal products can cause food poisoning (talk about stomach issues!), so take appropriate precautions when handling perishable foods like raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood, warns Lieberman. Make sure to cook foods to proper temperatures to destroy bacteria, and don’t leave them unrefrigerated for more than two hours to prevent bacterial growth. And if spending the entire night next to the toilet due to food poisoning isn’t enough of a warning, keep in mind that harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella can potentially be life threatening, so play it safe.GrainsGluten might just be one of the most common culprits when it comes to wreaking havoc on the digestive system. Whether you have celiac disease or not, Harvard Medical School says a growing number of people are finding they can’t properly digest gluten. If you find you’re experiencing bloating, pain, gas, or diarrhoea after eating foods like bread and pasta, grains might be to blame.AlcoholSipping on a margarita is all fun and games until your digestion gets all out of whack. Booze is a common trigger of leaky gut: According to Harvard Medical School, it causes inflammation, which can lead to problems with your digestive tract. If you think alcohol might be behind your issues, maybe stick to something that’s easier on your stomach, like good old fashioned H2O.NutsWho knew your love of nuts could be getting you into digestive trouble? While they’re easy for some people to digest, others have a really hard time: “As those little pieces wash over some areas of the gastrointestinal system, they may irritate an already-irritated or inflamed area and cause discomfort,” David Dahlman, D.C., wrote on his website. Instead of eating raw nuts, go for nut butters, which are smooth and don’t have any sharp edges.Sourcelast_img read more

4 Keys to Unlock Innovative Urban Services for All

first_imgThis article was originally posted on TheCityFix.com.With rising air pollution to costly traffic congestion and increasingly burdened public finances, cities need to transition onto a sustainable path towards healthy, productive and equitable urban communities. To thrive in the coming urban century, cities will need to innovate how they deliver sustainable urban services to meet people’s needs.While there is no unique recipe for delivering sustainable urban services, many of the successful solutions around the world share common characteristics. An ongoing project between World Resources Institute (WRI), the Citi Foundation and C40 is working to identify global examples of sustainable urban innovation and draw out commonalities across them. The partnership helps develop locally-customized business models that can accelerate the implementation of sustainable solutions around the world. Through a global scan of urban innovations, the partnership has distilled four key elements that are critical ingredients to thriving, sustainable cities.Rethinking How We Meet People’s NeedsTraditional thinking about services focused on simply expanding the supply of infrastructure, like roads, highways, bus rapid transit (BRT), and metro in and between cities. The idea was that more infrastructure would give more people access to mobility options.The problem with simply expanding infrastructure, is that it misses how people will use it. Exclusively increasing road space without giving people alternatives to use public transit leaves people no choice but to rely on private vehicles. This in turn leads to a vicious cycle of more congestion. The costs of this business as usual approach are staggering: in Mexico City thousands of people spend hours stuck in congestion every day, costing the local economy 2.6 percent of GDP every year.Innovative service solutions are reversing the traditional thinking that has led to congestion, sprawl, and inefficiency by taking into account how people actually use infrastructure to meet their needs. For example, transit-oriented development (TOD) brings people into compact neighborhoods where they need fewer—or don’t need any—roads and highways to access amenities and jobs in the city. TOD makes efficient use of infrastructure, reducing the distance between people and their destinations and connecting them with efficient transport options like mass transit and bike share.Shifting Traditional Roles in Service ProvisionUrban services are typically considered the responsibility of the public sector. But growing urban populations and constrained public finance mean that the public sector cannot deliver successful services entirely on its own. Many urban innovations are the result of shifting roles and responsibilities between public, private, and civil society actors, including people.New service operators are emerging to deliver non-traditional infrastructure services, such as efficient street lighting and building efficiency. In Bhubaneswar, India  (as in many other places) an energy service company is taking on the task of upgrading and maintaining public lighting, in exchange for a share of the savings generated through more energy efficient infrastructure. Even service users are taking on more active roles by opting for residential solar rooftops, enabling them to generate their own power or lease out their roof space to third party companies who operate the infrastructure.Unlocking New Sources of FundingOne persistent challenge for many sustainable services has been a lack of funding – viable revenue streams or transfers that support services through the cycle of planning, construction, operation, and maintenance. In Mexico City, for example, internal budgeting barriers and legal constraints are holding the city back from investing in retrofits of public buildings.Many urban innovations are succeeding by unlocking previously untapped willingness-to-pay. In the “sharing economy” of shared cars, bikes, and rides, new service providers have succeeded in turning end users’ desire for point-to-point, no hassle mobility into a viable stream of income for their business. Rather than paying for ownership of the infrastructure, users are paying a fee for mobility services from providers like Uber, Lift, and a range of bike share operatorsFinding value in unexpected places is also possible in large-scale urban developments. Rio de Janeiro is capturing the value of land by auctioning additional development rights in Porto Maravilha ahead of the 2016 Olympics. These tradeable securities, so-called “CEPACs”, effectively put a price on every square meter of vertical development above a certain threshold and are used to fund much-needed public infrastructure and mixed-use urban revitalization.Evolving the Financial ToolkitWhile new sources of funding are critical, urban innovators often face the financial challenge of mobilizing sufficient capital to make the upfront investment. The reason for this is that many sustainable solutions can appear too risky to be attractive for financiers looking to make a return on their investment. This perceived riskiness can result in limited access to the upfront capital that many urban innovations so desperately need.While commercial banks may not be willing to lend to a start-up, there are new financial products and approaches that are bypassing traditional lending institutions. In the Philippines, the GETCAPITAL crowd-microfinance approach has proven critical in supporting independent owners of new electric buses. Thanks to this financing strategy, new buses are replacing outdated, dangerous and inefficient “Jeepneys”—the traditional mode of transport—in Manila. Investors are guaranteed a 6 percent return on their investment, which is paid back by shares in the fare and advertising revenues.Financial innovations also include those that put a twist on traditional debt products—such as loans and bonds. For instance, in the case of “on-bill financing” for building efficiency, a utility or third party will put up the upfront costs (often financed through a fairly standard low-interest loan), while the customer repays the investment through a charge or tariff on the utility bill.The Urban Century of InnovationDisruptive changes are needed in order to achieve global climate commitments, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve cities for people. New business models that combine sustainable service solutions with creative approaches to funding, financing, and delivery are already reshaping cities today. They offer a glimpse at the future of urban innovation.last_img read more

Stopping The Google AdWords Morphine Drip: How We Saved $183 Last Week

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 I have written a number of articles about the importance of being found in Google, especially for B2B marketing.  Though Google AdWords is a great way for businesses to start getting immediate results for search engine marketing — in the longer term, we think the optimal strategy is a balanced approach to PPC (pay-per-click) efforts like Google AdWords and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts.  Too often, businesses get very used to the “morphine drip” of Google AdWords and forget that there are other ways to draw traffic from search engines.  It is widely believed by search marketing experts that more people click on the “unpaid” search results on the left in Google (vs. the AdWords on the right).  Question is, just how much more?  And, though everyone knows free is better, how much better?  Is it really worth all the time and effort to try and rank in the organic search results?Lets take a look at one small example within our own company.  We are now ranking for the term “internet marketing software”.  This is a good thing, because, as it turns out, that precisely describes what we do. HubSpot ranks #6 for this term in the unpaid/natural results.  This gave us 25 visitors last week  So, 25 people  searched on that phrase in Googlek, saw us in the results, and clicked through to our website.  This is not that much traffic, but even then, we would have had to pay Google $183 for this traffic because the average CPC (cost-per-click) is about $7.32 for that phrase.  So essentially, we’re saving over $700/month on just this phrase alone and getting lots of great qualified traffic to our site.  This is what gets us excited about SEO.  But, let’s look at some more data.Most people know that in order to actually be found in Google, you need to be on the first page of results.  But where on the first page, exactly?  Well, recently I looked at a variety of data from Enquior and Marketing Sherpa to compile some aggregate results on Google searches, specifically to see “where the action is” or where people looked and clicked.Here is an eye tracking image of the first page of Google showing what areas people looked at the most.  Red shows the areas where more people looked for longer periods of time, blue areas got less attention, and grey not much at all.  I discussed heat map images before in the article “3 Hot Marketing Tips from Heat Map Analysis”  But here I wanted to go a step further.  What I have done is overlayed some statistics on the heat map image to show where people click.Here are the key takeaways from the data and the images above:1) Organic results get 75%+ of the attention.  People don’t click on the ads nearly as much as the organic results.2) The first organic result gets over 25% of all clicks.  Within the organic results, the first result gets the most clicks by far – more than double the second result.3) Within the ads, the first ad also gets the most clicks.  But, since you pay per click for the ads, you should care less about volume and more about if the traffic will actually convert and what your cost per lead and cost per sale will be.4) There are a good number of clicks on all top 10 organic results.  Even the last result gets about 3% of people to click on it – this is about the same rate as the second pay per click ad, and unlike the ad, its free!Note: Google heat map images from Marketing Sherpa. Originally published Jul 26, 2007 12:22:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Google Adslast_img read more

The Triggered Emails You Need to Make Your Marketing Automation Work

first_img Marketing Automation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack For example, if this is a follow-up to downloading an ebook, include the name of the ebook and a link to the PDF. If it’s a follow-up to registering for a webinar, include the webinar information, including the time and date and how to log in.Once you’ve covered your bases on the transactional information, it’s time to think about what you want your prospect to do next. You have their attention — take advantage of it! Do you want them to convert on a middle-of-the-funnel offer like a demo request or complementary consultation? Or do you want to encourage them to share this offer with their network, to expand the reach of your content? Think about that ideal next step, and include a call-to-action for that in your follow up email.Trigger: Took One Action in a Series, but Not the NextSay your prospect gets close to taking the action you want — like starting a trial of your product — but they don’t quite get to the finish line. They visit the trial landing page, or view some content about your product, but don’t start that trial. This is an opportunity for you to follow up to get them to cross that finish line.What to Send: Related Content and an Alternative ActionPerhaps they didn’t complete that action because of some hesitation — they didn’t want to fill out a form, or they had some additional questions that stopped them from starting that trial. This is an opportunity to follow up with related content (like product videos or resources for the trial) and an alternative action (maybe they don’t want to use a trial, they simply want to get a demo or speak directly with a sales rep).You can even simply ask them in your email … what stopped you from signing up? Anything we can do to help? You’ll be surprised by how many responses you’ll get. After all, these are people who got close to taking an action but had some specific hesitation. You want to both discover and address that hesitation head-on.Trigger: Viewed Specific ContentWhether you have content on specific topics (product pain points, for example), or content aligned with specific parts of the funnel (product pages vs. blog articles), when your prospects view that content, you have more data to use in your follow-up emails.What to Send: Tailored Follow-Up ContentWhether you trigger an email immediately or save this intelligence for future communications, the data you collect about which content people view can be used to make your marketing that much more relevant on a one-to-one basis.For example, if you have content on your website (case studies, blog articles, etc.) that’s related to specific industries or target markets, you can infer that people who view that content are in that industry, and tailor your future marketing messages accordingly. Or, if you have content on your website that is related to specific topics of interest or pain points that you address, you can infer that people who view that content care about that pain point, and tailor your future marketing messages around that topic.Think about the various behavioral data points you have about your prospects, and what you can draw from that to determine what they care about.Trigger: Recently and Highly Engaged or Lacking in EngagementFigure out what your bar is for a highly engaged prospect (perhaps they downloaded at least three ebooks and viewed at least ten blog articles) as well as an unengaged prospect, and respond and market to them accordingly.What to Send: Timely Next Step Call-to-Action or Reengagement CampaignFor your highly engaged prospects, you once again have attention you can leverage. One great option is to encourage them to share the content they just downloaded. But also remember that triggered marketing automation does not need to be solely external (sent to prospects), it can also be internal (sent to your fellow employees)!When a prospect becomes highly engaged, this is a great opportunity to notify that prospect’s sales representative that this is a good time to follow up with the prospect. For your unengaged prospects, send a proactive reengagement email. You may even want to have multiple trigger points (e.g. haven’t clicked on an email in three months, six months, one year) where you send different campaigns to reengage these prospects.For example, after three months, send a reminder to update their email preferences. After six months, ask them if the content is irrelevant and offer them to unsubscribe. And finally, after one year, tell them you will not email them anymore unless they respond.Trigger: Interacted With Your Company, or Mentioned Your Competitors or Industry, in Social MediaAs you listen to what your prospects are saying in social media, you have the opportunity to follow up with those who interact with your company, or those who mention your competitors or specific pain points that you address.What to Send: Comparison Guides, Product Information, or Educational ContentPick a common and valuable interaction that occurs between you and your prospects in social media — it may be asking questions about your product, mentioning that they’re evaluating a competitor, or simply asking a question that relates to the pain points your product addresses.If responding by social media, you likely don’t actually want to automate your response — it will be very easy for your prospect to recognize the impersonal nature of that interaction. However, you can supplement your one-to-one social media engagement with a triggered email campaign with supporting content. For example, if your prospect asks questions about your product, you can send how-to and product feature information. If your prospect mentions they’re evaluating a competitor, you can send comparison guides, third party reviews, or case studies for them to use in their evaluation process. Or if your prospect simply asks a question related to your industry, you can follow up with educational content on the topic of interest.At the end of the day, any of these triggered emails are likely to get a higher response — and higher return on your effort — compared to the typical linear marketing automation campaign. Using some of the same technology, you can reorient your marketing to work around your prospect’s timeline instead of your own, while continuing to drive the actions you desire.For the sales reps out there, the same approach of leveraging triggers works incredibly well in eliciting a response from your prospects. Do the research and follow up based on trigger events to get more sales. Originally published Apr 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img When you hear the phrase “marketing automation,” what do you think of first? A detailed diagram of emails sent to different segments, broken out by email engagement, drawing a line from lead to customer? This has become the norm, yet it is among the least effective automation paths you can set up as a marketer.The inherent flaw in this strategy is that it starts with the marketer’s timeline rather than the prospect’s. The marketer sits down and defines what information the prospect will consume next, what actions the prospect will take next, and the path the prospect will take from becoming a lead to becoming a customer.But if we’re honest with ourselves, we would admit that the world is not as straightforward as that. You might define the funnel stages as Lead to Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) to Opportunity to Customer, where leads download an ebook, then become an MQL when they start a trial, an SQL when the sales person follows up with that prospect, an opportunity when they do a trial review call, and customer when they purchase…. But what if they start a trial and then download an ebook? Or what if they get into a sales conversation after just downloading an ebook, never become a customer, and then go cold until they start a trial months later? The reality is that you can’t control what your prospect does or in what order your prospect does it. What you can control, however, is how you react to your prospect’s behaviors. And this is where automation becomes powerful.Triggered emails — automated marketing messages based on a prospect’s behaviors — are powerful because they are inherently relevant and timely. The key to an effective email is relevance plus timeliness plus value, and the first two are baked into triggered emails. It’s up to the marketer to jump on that opportunity and align a valuable offer to those recipients.Not using triggered emails? Here are a few recipes of triggered marketing automation to get you started.Trigger: Downloaded an Educational OfferThis is a great place to start if you don’t have any triggered emails set up, as this is the broadest trigger — engaging the prospects at the earliest stage of the buyer’s journey. What to Send: Transactional Email With Next Step Call-to-ActionIn this situation, your triggered email can be a transactional email — confirming the download (or registration or request) and including any information related to that download. Topics:last_img read more

How to Calculate Next Month’s Lead Gen Goal [Quick Tip]

first_img Business Calculators Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Today is stressful — it’s the end of the month. Maybe you had a fabulous month where traffic and leads flowed in without you lifting a finger. Maybe you worked your tail off to hit your goal and you just made it. Or maybe, despite your hard work, you came in under the waterfall line. Regardless of how this month went, today is stressful.Easily build and embed forms on your site. Try HubSpot Forms for free.Tomorrow, your score gets set back to zero — but first, you’ve got to figure out what your leads goal is actually going to be. You shouldn’t just pick a number out of thin air, or even assume that you should be increasing your previous month by X%. There’s a much better way to figure it out that’s rooted in your company’s larger goals. Keep on reading to figure how to simply and scientifically calculate next month’s lead goal. (If you want an easy-to-use template to calculate these numbers for you, download one here.) Find Your Leads Goal by Working BackwardsThe key to figuring out your lead goal is all about working backwards. Figure out how much revenue your team needs to contribute to the company’s bottom line, and then use some simple math to work your way back up the funnel. Here’s how you can calculate it.Step 1: Figure out how much revenue your team needs to contribute. Ask your sales leadership how much revenue Sales needs to book this month and how much of that needs to come from inbound marketing. For this example, let’s say your sales team needs to generate $100,000 in revenue with 80% of it coming from inbound.$100,000 in revenue * .8 = $80,000 inbound revenue. Step 2: Figure out how many customers you need to close to satisfy that revenue. Next, you need to figure out roughly how many customers you need to close to generate that revenue. To do that, you’ll divide the number from the previous step by the average revenue generated per customer. Here’s what that looks like in the example we’re using:$80,000 inbound revenue / $16,000 revenue per customer = 5 customersThis means that you need to close five customers to create that much inbound revenue. Step 3: Figure out how many leads you need in order to close that many customers. Then, you need to work your way up one step in the marketing funnel to figure out how many leads you need to get to generate that many customers. To do this, you’ll need your average lead-to-customer conversion rate — aka the percentage of leads that become customers. For example’s sake, let’s say your lead-to-customer-conversion rate is 2%. Then, you’d figure out how many leads you need by completing this equation:5 customers / .02 lead-to-customer conversion rate = 250 leadsTa-da! You have your lead goal for the month, unless you choose to complete the next step. Otherwise, skip to Step 5.  Step 4 (Optional): Adjust the goal to reflect the previous month’s progress.Some people prefer to adjust this number based on whether they hit the goal the previous month to help increase employee morale — if your team isn’t hitting your goals one month, it can be demotivating to see the waterfall line climb even higher the next month. That being said, adjusting it each month could give your team a false sense of security if they’re trending each month, as it may make you still miss your long-term lead goals. It’s all personal preference on what you decide to do, but keep these considerations in mind while you’re setting these goals. Step 5: Add your leads goal to a waterfall graph. Last, but certainly not least, you should add your final lead total to a waterfall graph that gets distributed to your team. This way, everyone can see how you’re trending toward your end of month goal throughout the month and react accordingly. If you have HubSpot, setting up a waterfall graph is easy to do in the Reports tool, and you can automatically send out daily waterfall updates to teammates. You can create on using Excel and manually update your team on their progress. And that’s it, folks! You don’t have to guesstimate your goals anymore. You can use this simple, scientific calculation every month to give accurate projections to your sales team and encourage your team to drive significant, measurable results. Good luck next month! Topics: Originally published Apr 30, 2014 3:30:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

How to Optimize Your Emails for Mobile: A Beginner’s Guide

first_imgOver the past few years, mobile email opens have seen explosive growth. While they are now holding steady around 45% of all email opens, three years ago, they accounted for only 11% of opens — which is a 309% increase since April 2011. Not only are mobile opens growing, but they’re also cannibalizing desktop and webmail opens. Desktop opens have decreased 53% in the past three years and now represent 28% of opens. During the same period webmail opens decreased 10% and now account for 27% of opens. This rise in mobile has left many brands and businesses wondering if they need to hop on the mobile train — and if they decide to do it, what they actually need to do to be “mobile optimized.” Keep on reading to figure out how to tailor your email marketing strategy for mobile audiences. What Does Mobile Mean for Me?When it comes to creating successful email marketing in general, it’s all about your audience. What type of content are they interested in? How often do they want your emails? Which email programs and devices do they use to read your emails? When it comes to reacting to the increase in mobile email opens, the answer to this last question is key. However, MarketingSherpa found that only 31% of marketers know their mobile email open rate.Since every audience is different, look into your analytics to see on which devices people are opening your emails. While some companies may see mobile open rates as high as 70%, others may see just as high Outlook opens. You should focus your testing and optimization efforts on the devices the majority of your subscribers are using to read your emails — and if that happens to be on mobile, so be it. For example, Auto Trader discovered that an increasingly large percentage of their audience was opening on mobile. With that information in hand, they knew it was essential to make their emails mobile friendly. With the help of Chalk and Pixel, they completely revamped their emails to be responsive and have noticed a 391% increase in clickthrough rates since the redesign! By providing their subscribers with a better experience, Auto Trader has seen great results.Designing for Your Subscribers’ NeedsDiscovering where your audience is opening your emails enables you to design for your subscribers’ needs — it’s all about making their email experience as smooth as possible. Once you’ve determined which email clients are most popular with your subscribers, the next step is uncovering the quirks of those clients and what techniques they support. Then, it’s decision time. Which design approaches will resonate best with your audience and their devices?For example, at Litmus, we have a high percentage of Apple Mail opens so using techniques like HTML5 video background is an option — Apple Mail supports video. Of course, we use fallback techniques so that subscribers reading our email in programs that don’t support video still have a great experience.If you’re seeing a high percentage of Outlook opens, it’s best not to use background images or text shadows since these elements will not be supported. Are the majority of your subscribers opening on the iPhone? If so, perhaps you should think about using responsive design. Mobile Email Best PracticesWith over 80% of subscribers reporting that they will delete an email if it doesn’t look good on their mobile device, it’s essential to optimize your emails for mobile subscribers if they’re a big chunk of your audience. Using mobile email design best practices ensure that designs are legible and easy to interact with not only on mobile devices, but also on tablets and desktop environments. Here are some tips for making your emails look great on mobile:1) Enlarged FontsTiny text is hard to read on a desktop computer, never mind on the small mobile screen. To avoid illegible fonts, we recommend 14 px as a minimum size for body copy and 22 px for headlines. Also, note that iOS will automatically resize fonts under 13 px, making them larger on your behalf.You can see how much enlarging fonts can help in the two emails below. Due to Company A’s tiny font (image on left), the text is difficult to read on the small screen of a mobile device. However, Company B (image on right) uses much larger fonts, allowing subscribers to easily read the email without having to zoom in.2) Streamlined ContentEvaluate the content in your email and get rid of the less useful or relevant links, copy, and images. Also be concise, but still approachable. The shorter the copy, the easier it is for people to scroll on mobile.3) Single Column LayoutWhile many newsletters are multi-column, mobile-friendly emails should consider switching to a single-column layout. This approach accommodates smaller screens and can help increase legibility. In addition, ditch detailed navigation bars. When viewed on a mobile device, navigation bars can break, are too small to tap, or simply aren’t relevant to the content of the email.Take a look at the emails below to see what I mean. Company A’s newsletter (image on the left) is four columns wide — on the small screen of a mobile device it appears busy, and images and fonts are extremely small. However, Company B’s one-column design (image on right) allows for imagery to stand out, and accommodates for larger text size and tappable buttons.4) Touch-Friendly ButtonsWhen it comes to reading emails on mobile, your call-to-action (CTA) must be touch-friendly. We recommend putting the CTA front-and-center and, if you’re using a button, make it a minimum size of 44 px x 44 px.In the example below, Company A’s social sharing icons (image on left) are extremely close together (and small), which could cause subscribers to click on the wrong link. Conversely, Company B’s CTAs (image on right) are large and have appropriate space between them, allowing subscribers to easily “touch” the CTA that they are most interested in.5) Image-Blocking TechniquesLike webmail and desktop clients, there are numerous mobile email apps that block images by default. As a result, it’s important to optimize your emails to be viewed without images. Luckily, there are a number of strategies to help combat image blocking.ALT text, which is short for alternative text, is one of the best ways to get around clients that block images by default. When images are turned off, ALT text often renders in place of the images. It’s a fantastic way to provide some context for subscribers when images are disabled. As an added benefit, ALT text makes your emails more accessible to visually impaired subscribers that use screen readers! Luckily, adding ALT attributes is extremely easy — all it takes is adding an attribute to the image tag.You can take your ALT text to the next level by adding a bit of inline CSS to change the font, color, size, style, and weight. This technique, known as styled ALT text, is a great option for maintaining branding and adding some fun to your images-off view.In addition, your touch-friendly buttons should be visible even when images are disabled. While text links are an option, bulletproof buttons allow you to have a bit more fun. Bulletproof buttons consist of live text combined with a background color, styled to look like an image-based button. While there are numerous options for creating this type of button, we prefer to use simple HTML and inline styles, which holds up well across most email clients.We also recommend using a proper balance of live text and imagery. It ensures that your emails are accessible, eliminates the HTML-to-text ratio spam issue, and allows for the email to be legible and easy to interact with regardless of whether images are present or not.6) Optimized Content in the Upper-Left CornerMany mobile email apps, including some Android and BlackBerry apps, will only display the upper left-hand corner of your email. Lack of autoscaling cuts off the right side of emails and forces users to scroll left-and-right in addition to up-and-down to view your entire message. As a result, it’s important to place important information and CTAs in the upper-left corner of your email. What other best practices do you follow to optimize your emails for mobile? 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 Mobile Optimization Originally published Jun 23, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017last_img read more

The Essential Guide to Creating Case Studies [Free Template]

first_imgNowadays, reviews are more important than ever — 9 out of 10 people are looking at online product reviews and posts on social networks before making a purchasing decision. Do you have a plan in place to take advantage of this trend?Enter the ever useful and efficient case study. Case studies give your audience more information about your product or service in the context of a specific company size or vertical. Though each case study may have slightly differing details, the core messaging will fundamentally remain the same: how your product and/or service has helped one of your existing customers overcome a challenge, achieve  a goal, and/or better their lives.Download our free case study study template here.Case studies are also crucial to your sales process. Having a variety of case studies based on various categories such as industry, location, company size, or type of business can help your sales team convert leads into customers and upsell existing customers.We know that building out an awesome case study that shares a compelling story can be both time-consuming and difficult if you’re not sure how to go about it. You may be wondering where to start, who to speak to, and what to ask.To help you to focus on creating content that drives both your sales team and process forward, we have created The Ultimate Case Study Creation Guide and Template. With this helpful kit you’ll be able to:Select perfect-fit participants to help your case study shine the spotlight on your product and/or service.Reach out to potential participants and engage them in the process.Devise great questions to ask your perfect-fit participants. Layout the case study in a comprehensive, clear, and informative manner — giving you more time to focus on the actual content at hand.Click here to download the case study template and guide, and if you want to share this resource with others, use the click-to-tweet links and image below. Click to Tweet:  “The Ultimate Case Study Creation Kit: http://bit.ly/14LzKAm via @HubSpot”  Originally published Jan 13, 2015 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content Types Topics:last_img read more

7 Ways to Handle Unresponsive Clients

first_img Originally published Sep 15, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Communication with Clients Topics: It’s inevitable: at some point, your client will give you the silent treatment. They probably don’t mean to make you blow steam from your ears — it just happens — and getting over the communication slump starts with walking a mile in their shoes.It’s important to remember that many companies are understaffed and stretched thin. And even though studies show that burnout is bad for business, we see it happen all the time.While it may be frustrating when you can’t get an answer from your client, it’s usually not the result of ill will or without reason. There’s a good chance your client lives in meetings for most of their days, leaving them with only a small window to take calls and answer emails. An empathic approach to your client relationships — rather than an angry one — will be better for both you and your client in the long run.Why Clients Go DarkThere are several explanations for why your clients aren’t answering you. It could be as simple as email clutter. Haven’t we all tried to block off calendar time to clean out our inboxes, only to veer off course into this project or that phone call? We’re only human.Experts say you need an entire minute to recover from reading a single email. And at bare minimum, you’d need three hours a day dedicated only to reading and sending emails if you were to stay completely caught up on your inbox. Your client might not have the bandwidth to sift through their inbox every day.They could also be waiting on another department or team member to weigh in before they get back to you, and they just don’t have anything new to report. They could be putting out other fires they perceive as more important, or they could simply be stalling because they’re suffering from a bit of decision paralysis (again, it happens to the best of us).Worst case scenario, they have bad news to deliver and they’re putting it off. But don’t jump to conclusions. While it’s normal for you to devote roughly 25 percent to 40 percent of your time to a project, clients usually devote only 5 percent to 10 percent of their time. Most likely, their lack of communication stems from the fact that they’re juggling a lot at once and are strapped for time.The question is this: How do you move forward without feeling like you’re constantly nagging them?Strategies for Breaking the SilenceIt’s not easy to keep clients engaged when they’re seemingly tuning you out, but these simple strategies can help you stay in touch without hurting the relationship.1) When setting deadlines, emphasize the most important ones.If you assume your clients are going to miss any deadlines right out of the gate, you’re already planning ahead. Tell them upfront which deadlines are essential, and be firm about which will affect the success or timing of the project. If they’re going to forget something, it might as well be one of the less important somethings.2) Be clear about the consequences of missing specific deadlines.Don’t be afraid to put things in concrete terms: “If we don’t get X, we can’t make Y happen.” This will light a fire in many clients right away because they don’t want to risk failure of their project. If you’re not clear about what you need from your client, you’ll end up taking the blame for missed deadlines yourself.3) Don’t use calendar due dates.Instead, set deadlines in number of days. For example, “Five workdays after we receive X, we can deliver Y.” This creates a more visual timeline of what happens when even one small deadline is missed. It also gives your client a better understanding of the big consequences their lack of responsiveness can have on the project.4) Get a structure in place for clear communication.Agree on turnaround times and communication methods right away with your client. Ask if phone calls are better than emails. Maybe face-to-face meetings are more your clients’ style. Don’t assume that what works for you will work for them. If they have days they know are more hectic or they know they’ll be unavailable, make note of those, too.5) Don’t end a meeting without scheduling a follow-up.It’s kind of like getting a second date with someone you like: If you like someone, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask him or her out again. Go after your clients in a similar way. If you leave the schedule open-ended, you’ve just created another step you have to take to set it up later (and more messages for which you’ll have to wait for responses).6) Create a ‘If we don’t hear from you’ plan.Proactively ask your clients things like “How can we move this forward on our own, just in case we don’t hear from you?” It creates a backup plan right away, making it more likely that your deliverables and timeline can press onward. Plus, the more your clients can trust you to make decisions on their behalf, the stronger your relationships will become.7) Get acquainted with your clients’ schedules.When you want to escalate your communication urgency appropriately and respectfully, that might look very different if your client is having a “normal” week as opposed to being out of the office for a family reunion or vacation.Get a sense of what your clients’ weeks typically look like so you can set reasonable deliverable dates. Making a “tell us about your week” question part of your usual status meetings with clients is a quick, easy way to anticipate issues and also understand what is reasonable and what might not be.The Better You Understand Your Clients, The Easier It BecomesFrom the agency’s perspective, an unresponsive client can squeeze the agency’s time to complete the project. Sometimes, a project has a fixed deadline, so no matter how the client delays the work, the agency still has to scramble to get it done. It can also lead to rush charges or other unnecessary expenses. But think of client silence this way: You should always be seeking to understand your customers better anyway, and unresponsiveness is yet another opportunity to do just that. Getting through this slump could be just the thing to bring you closer together. 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

7 Leadership Resources for Any Stage of Your Career

first_img Topics: Mara MentorIf you’re a budding entrepreneur struggling to find a mentor in your industry, check out this tool — it was designed to provide an “exchange of ideas, guidance, learning and connecting with like-minded people.”Not only does Mara Mentor (available for iOS and Android) offer a platform for connecting professionals and entrepreneurs with mentors, but also, it provides industry news and a digital networking platform that connects you with other entrepreneurs to share knowledge and experiences. Plus, it’s global — so no matter where you are, you can connect with others for professional support.7) Online CoursesWe’ll admit that many of the sources on this list largely pertain to management, communication, and finding a mentor. But that’s not that only way to advance or make changes in your career. Sometimes, it’s about becoming really, really good at a certain thing that your job requires — or something that the job you want requires. And for that to happen, you just need to hunker down and learn it.An online course can be a great way to do that. Finding the right class depends on the skill you want to develop, but here are a few places we recommend for getting started, especially when it comes to marketing-related skills.HubSpot AcademyIf you want a deep dive into some of the most important aspects of marketing today, check out the HubSpot Academy. One of the most popular resources available there is our free Inbound Certification.DesignlabWant to improve or sharpen your design skills? Check out Designlab. You’ll be given real assignments to build your knowledge — and a mentor to help you through each one.CodeacademyMore free stuff? You bet. In fact, you can learn to code for free with Codecademy, which is a particularly helpful resource if you learn best by doing — lessons are taught by way of both instruction and hands-on experience.LyndaOkay, so this one isn’t free — subscriptions start at $19.99/month — but if there’s a professional skill you want to advance, chances are, Lynda has a course for it. Created by LinkedIn, it offers classes in everything from Excel, to audio production, to software development.What’s Next?So, let’s say you’ve taken full advantage of the resources above. You’ve learned a lot and even gained some introspection. But if you’re still stuck, fear not — we’ve all been there.If you’re at a loss for what kinds of skills you want to develop, or if you’ve realized that you’re not sure you even want to be a leader in your particular field, then there’s a chance you just might not be sure what to do next. That’s why we created The Next Five: a free assessment that can help you identify the next step in your career.And because many of us dread the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” — or simply can’t answer it — this resource comes with even more processes to come up with a response on your own time. Because the only thing better than general, yet valuable leadership resources, are those tailored to your specific situation.What are some of the most helpful leadership resources you’ve found? Let us know in the comments. Learning some things in life is relatively straightforward. Take knitting, for example — that’s typically as simple as procuring some yarn and needles and searching for a how-to video on getting started. Sure, your work might look a little haphazard at first, but the steps are fairly intuitive.Learning to lead others, on the other hand, isn’t so linear.There’s always the option to pick up a leadership book or turn to articles on the topic to get started, but a start is all it will be. You’ve got to read, listen, ask questions, put things into practice, make mistakes, and course-correct — only then, you might be at a “good enough” level. Click here to download leadership lessons from HubSpot founder, Dharmesh Shah.But everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re looking to embark on a leadership development path, you might also be looking for some of the best materials to help you along the journey. We’ve got you covered — below are some of our favorite podcasts, tools, tips, and resources to become a better leader.7 Leadership Resources for Marketers1) PodcastsSource: NPRDepending on the day, one method of consuming information might be better than another. If you take the train into work and the ride is quieter than usual one morning, for example, it might be a great day to catch up on a leadership book. But if you drive, and traffic is particularly bad, it’s probably better (not to mention, safer) to listen to a podcast episode about leadership than to read a book about it.That’s one of the reasons why we consistently keep a few leadership podcasts downloaded and ready to listen to. Here are three of our favorites:TED Radio HourAround here, we love a good TED talk. But trying to pick just one out of volumes of valuable presentations is as tricky as trying to pick one thing to watch on Netflix, am I right? That’s what makes the TED Radio Hour podcast so valuable. It takes some of the most intriguing TED talk topics — like big data, making our work more meaningful, or even forgiveness — and builds episodes based on them.The Growth ShowHosted by HubSpot’s VP of Marketing Meghan Keaney Anderson and CMO Kipp Bodnar, The Growth Show is an exploration of all things relating to business growth. Anderson and Bodnar take turns at the helm, welcoming guests to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of growth. From stories of epic failure to the even better recovery that followed it, Anderson and Bodnar interview guests who share some of the most intriguing organizational, cultural, conceptual, and team insights.StartUpAs the name suggests, this product is a self-described “podcast about what it’s really like to get a business off the ground.” And no matter where you are in your career, there are still leadership lessons to be learned from entrepreneurs or beginners, especially if you need a back-to-basics reminder of how to get started. Plus, the topics — like balancing business and family life, or stories about inventors — are just plain interesting and provide solid fodder to get your wheels turning in the morning.2) Public Speaking HelpPublic speaking isn’t exactly a requirement for being a strong leader, but as you progress in your career, it might become part of your job (think: presenting at large team meetings or to a board), and it’s a skill that can help set you apart from the pack.But if public speaking sounds like a worse experience than undergoing a root canal, then there’s a chance you’ve wished for a formula to make it as simple as possible. That’s why we love speaking.io — it’s a near one-stop-shop for public speaking tips. Upon arriving at the site, it appears to be an unconventional resource collection for the five major steps of presenting:Plan out your talk.Design and build your slides.Prep for the big day.Deliver and do your thing.React and reflect on what just happened.Plus, if you want newer, more detailed tips and information, the site also contains a blog with advice on things like using images, sharing presentations online, and dealing with nervousness.3) Books (On the Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Business School)Source: brenebrown.comSometimes, it feels like we have to master everything to be a leader. We have to learn how to manage projects, delegate tasks, and analyze outcomes. But then, there are the leadership lessons that don’t always get the biggest headlines, like learning to be empathetic, accountable, and how to embrace vulnerability.That last one, while a scary word, is something that we’ve found some of the most exceptional leaders do. That’s why we love Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown. “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability,” she writes, “we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”This book, in particular, dives into years of research on why vulnerability can be an asset to leaders. After all, taking risks requires some degree of becoming vulnerable, and strong leaders know when to take calculated risks. But that doesn’t just apply to work — Brown’s work also explores how that vulnerability can be an advantage in other areas of life.4) The Radical Candor FrameworkThink about the hardest piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten. Chances are, it was tough to hear, but you were ultimately better off because of it.That’s exactly what happened to Kim Scott. After an important presentation, Scott’s boss, Sheryl Sandberg — yes, the one who wrote Lean In — had some feedback. Harsh feedback. The kind of feedback that stings. But because Scott knew that Sandberg was coming from a compassionate place when giving the feedback, Scott accepted it, moved on, and became better.Scott took this pivotal interaction and used it to develop a framework for giving better feedback at work — the kind that embraces brutal honesty delivered with profound empathy. It’s worthy advice for leaders at any point in their respective careers.Fun fact: We once had the pleasure of hosting Kim Scott on The Growth Show. If you’re interested in hearing more about her perspective on leadership, check out her episode below. Originally published May 30, 2017 6:00:00 AM, updated December 20 2017 Leadership Don’t forget to share this post! 5) Real-time FeedbackSpeaking of feedback, did that last resource make you crave receiving some yourself? After all, authentic, constructive criticism is an excellent supplement to the advice doled out by books, blogs, podcasts, and frameworks. Enter CareerLark: a Slack bot that helps you seek out on-the-fly “micro-feedback” on the skills you want to improve.Here’s how it works. In the example provided by CareerLark’s product explanation, an employee wants to get feedback on his weekly analytics updates. Using the Slack bot, he can ping his boss to get real-time feedback on how he’s doing. She’ll then receive a message like this one:From there, Monica can either answer using one of the emojis provided, or send a more detailed response, as per below:Micro-feedback in real-time? Great for your skill development — and, it can provide your boss with good practice in providing concise commentary.6) Advice From Real PeopleSometimes, using a Slack bot to get advice just doesn’t cut it. We all need feedback from a real human being, and on occasion, it can be the most enlightening to get it from someone outside your company or industry.So when you’re looking to step outside your “bubble” for input, here are a few apps that can help.Real TalkBy The Learning Partnership, a Canadian advocacy organization for public education, the Real Talk App (available on iOS and Android) provides “unfiltered” advice from a broad range of professionals at various career stages — everyone from sound designers to freelance creatives. These individuals answer questions that many of us have as we begin to explore different work options, like whether or not advanced education is worth the money, or how you can make a career change.OfficehoursSometimes, it can be tough to figure out who to turn to for advice. That’s what makes apps like Officehours so valuable — this one, in particular, helps you find an expert (or “advisor”) for 10 minutes of free one-on-one advice.The advisors appear to hold a broad range of expertise, from design to entrepreneurship, data science and more. Check out the video below to learn more:last_img read more

The Qualities of a Powerful Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy

first_img Topics: Inbound Marketing With a word of mouth strategy, a brand leverages their customers by encouraging them to tell friends, family, or colleagues about their experience with a product or service. Because people trust those close to them, they might trust the product recommendation or purchase the product. Aside from the fact that the companies that benefit from word-of-mouth marketing appear to catapult from nothingness into fame and fortune, this marketing strategy is appealing because it is relatively inexpensive.But successful word-of-mouth marketing takes work and serious marketing savvy, leveraging many components of inbound marketing like product marketing, content creation, and social media marketing.If you’re trying to achieve success for your product or service with a word-of-mouth approach, make sure your campaign includes these qualities so you can effectively create buzz around your product from the ground up.Need inspiration? Scroll down for a successful word of mouth marketing example.Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy Create personas to learn about your audience.Create personas that exemplify who your target audience is. These should be ridiculously specific. You’ll have more luck inciting a ground-up movement if you speak to a very specific problem facing a niche demographic.The more specific the problem, the more personal it is to your target audience. This means you’re the one solving a problem that strikes a chord with your audience, bringing you into their lives and inciting the passion necessary to create brand evangelists.To be clear, this problem doesn’t need to be particularly emotional to be personal. You don’t have to solve deep-seated psychological issues that have been plaguing your customers since childhood.Solving a personal problem simply means addressing something that is so specific to your audience, it’s easily overlooked by most people who can’t also relate to it in some way.Know your product, service, company, and industry.Know the ins and outs of your industry and your product/service like the back of your hand. This means getting your product marketing team, support staff, and engineers involved with your word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. Additionally, you need to really “get” your company and its mission statement. Have you established your brand’s position on the hard-hitting issues that are plaguing your industry? Do you know your competitors and their points of view on the questions and controversies that commonly arise?Be poised to speak to literally any facet of your product, service, company, or industry that may arise from conversations with your prospects and customers. These are the traits of a thought leader; they are qualities that elicit the feeling of trust that is necessary to create word of mouth buzz. You’re asking people to put their reputation on the line for you, and there’s no way anyone will do so if they don’t trust you and know you are the best in your field.Build a very close social media community.This requires a deep understanding of your target audience (good thing you made those personas!) and how they like to communicate. What social networks are they using? You might find it’s not what you think. Do some research and figure out if a smaller, more niche social network like Quora appeals to your community more than, say, Facebook.Building a close social media community relies on nuance, though. Establish the right voice to use; how do these folks like to be spoken to? What’s their sense of humor? Are they all business all the time, and want you to be straight to the point? Or are they there for some conversation? Monitoring and interacting with your social media community has to become a regular part of your life so you and your community are actually…well, friends. Their success should be intertwined with your success, and vice versa. This is how you build a following that will not just speak on your behalf, but also shout.Identify community influencers.If you’ve built a close social community, you know them well enough to know who among them are the influencers. But don’t forget to also look for influencers outside of your community.There are influencers in the world that could benefit from what you have to offer, and it’s your job to introduce yourself to these people. Some common qualities of influencers are early adoption and large social media followings, and they are probably bloggers or creators of original content in some capacity and always on the front end of news. Get these people on your side, and use their reach to market your product or service.Who influences your influencers?Your influencers are independent thinkers, but they get their information somewhere. To which news outlets do they flock for information? Which publications do they read religiously? With what communities do they interact? What podcasts do they listen to?Make sure you’re not only up to date on what these influencers are saying, but that you also market your brand to them and make connections within those communities. You should be a contributor or guest, and interact on a regular basis with these groups to get your brand the exposure it needs to create word-of-mouth buzz.Don’t censor negative comments.If you’re dedicated to word-of-mouth marketing, you need to be comfortable relinquishing control of the conversation around your brand. In word-of-mouth marketing, the whole point is getting people to talk about you. But they can say whatever they want to say, to whomever they choose.You can, however, guide the conversation. First, make sure you don’t have any skeletons in your closet. Get ahead of any potentially bad PR by being the one to break bad news. You can also select the aspects of your product or service that you want to highlight, and promote those more heavily than others. But remember, people have a way of finding out the juicy details, so try to make sure the positive information outweighs the negative.Consider leveraging exclusivity.I just told you not to restrict people, and now I’m telling you to be exclusive. Sounds quite contradictory, doesn’t it? Let me explain.Google+ was the most widely known example of leveraging the kind of exclusivity I’m talking about, but it can also be attributed to companies like Rue La La, Gilt Groupe, Spotify, and plenty of other invitation-only sites.Consider not letting everyone use your product or service when it’s introduced. If you’re in beta (at a point where it’s usable enough to keep users around, of course) invite influencers and highly connected people in your community who will give you meaningful feedback.They can then invite their community of influencers, and help it go viral. People want what they can’t have, so even if it’s out of curiosity, your product will be disseminated to a highly relevant audience. Plus, that audience will have received it from a family member, friend, or coworker that recommended it with their seal of approval.Word of Mouth Marketing ExampleGFuel, a sports drink company and HubSpot customer, wanted to amp up its marketing strategy. Because they had a number of happy customers, they leveraged them through a word-of-mouth strategy. After ordering the drink product four times, customers were encouraged to write an online review about the drink.After doing this, the brand’s Google My Business page went from four to 1,500 reviews and their score rose to a 4.9-star rating.The Key to a Word of Mouth Marketing CampaignThe success of a word-of-mouth marketing strategy relies, ultimately, on having a great product or service–and frankly a great company–that people can get behind. Ask yourself: are people willing to stick their neck on the line for me? Are they willing to not just use the product or service I offer, but vehemently evangelize it to their friends, family, and coworkers? If you can’t say with 100% certainty that they will, get back to work on your product or service and shelf the word-of-mouth marketing approach until you’ve worked out the kinks that are shirking your confidence. Originally published Sep 5, 2019 7:04:00 AM, updated August 30 2019center_img Don’t forget to share this post! Many businesses think that if their product or service is spectacular, it will speak for itself; they’ll need very little marketing effort for it to take off.But in reality, any companies that seem to have achieved remarkable growth in this manner do indeed have phenomenal products. But it only appears to have been achieved with little or no marketing effort because their fame and fortune was won through word-of-mouth marketing.Receive a 12-month marketing plan in less than 10 minutes with the help of our free generator.  Word of Mouth Marketinglast_img read more

He was wrong: Unai Emery on Granit Xhaka’s angry reaction to fans’ boos

first_imgArsenal captain Granit Xhaka appeared to swear at his team’s own supporters after being substituted on Sunday when a two-goal lead was surrendered against Crystal Palace to draw 2-2 in the Premier League.The decision by Unai Emery to withdraw Xhaka in the second half was initially greeted by large cheers, which soon turned to jeers as he took his time to leave the field despite the score being level.Xhaka reacted by waving his arms, cupping his ears and seemingly mouthing a profanity twice as he pushed away a handshake from Emery. Xhaka took off his shirt and headed straight down the tunnel.”He’s wrong but we are going to speak inside about that situation,” Emery told the BBC. “I want to be calm but, really, he was wrong in this action.”It had started so well, with goals in the opening nine minutes. Arsenal defensive duo Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz scored inside 106 seconds.But it started to go wrong in the 32nd minute when Luka Milivojevic netted a penalty that was awarded after a VAR review. Palace winger Wilfried Zaha had initially been booked for diving.”I didn’t understand the referee and VAR reaction,” Emery said. “For me, there is no confusion. It is not a good decision.”Jordan Ayew’s fourth goal in eight games brought the Palace level before further VAR drama as Sokratis was denied a late winner when the review spotted a foul by Calum Chambers moments earlier.Also Read | Premier League: Liverpool battle past Tottenham, Manchester United claim 1st away winadvertisementlast_img read more

Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI to hold Annual General Meeting on December 1 in Mumbai

first_imgThe Sourav Ganguly-led office bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have informed the state associations that the Annual General Meeting of the board will take place on December 1 at its Mumbai headquarters.Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official confirmed the same. “Yes, it is on December 1,” he said.Ganguly had earlier told reporters in Kolkata on October 31 that the AGM could be held anytime around the third week of November. “It will be held in the third week of November. The final date is yet to be confirmed,” he had said.While announcing the date of the BCCI elections, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai had announced that the general body meeting of the BCCI will be held on October 23 and then President-elect Ganguly will call the AGM.Rai had informed that Ganguly and his team will have the responsibility to call the AGM and it will be done with a 21-day notice period as mentioned in BCCI’s constitution.”Of course they will call for an AGM. Look at the agenda of this meeting, only two items. Obviously they will have to call for an AGM because they have a lot of appointments to make and committees to form. It is the prerogative of the President (Ganguly) and the Secretary (Jay Shah) to do that.”They will need a 21-day notice period and (Ganguly) he couldn’t have done that earlier because he will officially be the President only after he is declared elected by the Electoral Officer on Wednesday (October 23),” Rai had told IANS.advertisementAlso Read | India vs Bangladesh: Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant spend time with Air Force pilots ahead 3rd T20IAlso see:last_img read more

10 months agoSolskjaer reveals Rashford pep-talk month before taking Man Utd job

first_imgSolskjaer reveals Rashford pep-talk month before taking Man Utd jobby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he had a chat with Marcus Rashford a month before taking the job.Solskjaer has won his opening three games with Rashford starting in all of them scoring twice.Speaking to Stadium Astro, Solskjaer revealed he spoke to Rashford after United’s 1-0 Champions League win against Young Boys.He said: “I went to see the Young Boys game just a month ago and I met him and Jesse [Lingard] in the corridor just as I was leaving the game.”He had a few chances in that game and [I said] ‘don’t worry son, just relax a little bit.'”Solskjaer continued: “Yes, of course you’re excited by working with all this talent but then going into detail is what I can do best.“That was my ‘X factor’, scoring goals. So if I can help and guide him a little bit then great.”It’s all in the head. You know what to do, that’s key in everything and then be able to do it.”So videos of good finishes, bad finishes, discuss things and then go out and practice and be as good as you can possibly get. There’s always time for another practice session.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

22 days agoArsenal boss Emery: Martinelli’s long-term position?

first_imgArsenal boss Emery: Martinelli’s long-term position?by Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveGabriel Martinelli is set for more action with Arsenal tonight.Martinelli finds himself in line to feature for Arsenal tonight, when they host Standard Liege in the Europa League.Gunners head coach Unai Emery said: “He is with us because he deserves to be with us. Pre-season was his chance to show and to work with us and we are very, very happy with him. He is a very fast player and that is a quality that is very important. “He gives us good pressing ­without the ball, good pace in the final third, chances to score and he’s getting better. He is young but if his ­performances are getting better every day, it is good for him to carry on being with us.”On Martinelli’s long-term position, he added: “We used him in training and against Nottingham Forest as a striker.“It is not the best position for him but he played well and he played there sometimes in Brazil but he can play right or left.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Province Teachers Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

first_imgThe province and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union have reached a tentative contract agreement. Negotiators with the province and the NSTU, representing 10,000 public school teachers, reached the agreement late Friday, Feb. 6, after three days of conciliation. The union’s bargaining team will recommend to its provincial executive that the contract be accepted. The provincial executive will meet next week to discuss the tentative agreement before making a recommendation to members. “We are pleased we have reached a tentative agreement,” said Education Minister Judy Streatch. “I congratulate both parties for working hard to reach an agreement without any disruption to student learning.” “We believe this tentative agreement recognizes the importance of retaining qualified teachers and will enable all parties to work together to meet the challenges of providing a quality education to our students in these challenging times,” said NSTU president Alexis Allen. The teachers’ contract expired on July 31, 2008. There were 20 bargaining sessions since April 2008, plus three meetings this week with conciliator Charles Weir. Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the agreement is considered by union members.last_img read more

Apple punishes screentime limiting apps Report

first_imgSan Francisco: In a crackdown on third-party apps that help people fight iPhone addiction, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, The New York Times reported. While Apple now has its own screen-time tracker, it is not very effective in fighting addiction, claim executives at third party screen-time app makers. “Their incentives aren’t really aligned for helping people solve their problem,” Fred Stutzman, Chief Executive of Freedom, a screen-time app, was quoted as saying. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe Freedom app was downloaded 770,000 times before Apple removed it in August 2018. “Can you really trust that Apple wants people to spend less time on their phones?” The executives at the third-party app makers fear that they are being punished because their apps could be roadblocks on Apple’s business growth. “They yanked us out of the blue with no warning,” Amir Moussavian, CEO of OurPact, the top parental-control iPhone app, was quoted as saying. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysApple pulled OurPact in February, said the New York Times report on Saturday, adding that the screen time app makers are now at the mercy of the tech titan. Apple can play with the future of these app makers as it controls the iPhone App Store. Apple is also coming heavily on popular apps that help parents to have control over how their kids use iPhones, according to the report. Two such apps, Kidslox and Qustodio, filed a complaint with the European Union’s competition office on Thursday, it added. Apple, however, said that it removed or required changes to the apps because they could gain too much information from users’ devices. “We treat all apps the same, including those that compete with our own services,” Tammy Levine, an Apple spokeswoman, was quoted as saying. “Our incentive is to have a vibrant app ecosystem that provides consumers access to as many quality apps as possible,” She said.last_img read more