Regardless of all these Celtics-Cavaliers fireworks, it’s still Golden State’s world and probably will be for a long time. This deal didn’t change that.The Warriors will still be the favorites to win the last game of next season.The first game of next season, as luck would have it, just happens to be Boston at Cleveland.And just like that, the NBA has drama again.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ All good things, all edge to Cleveland.Give the Celtics credit for being bold. Danny Ainge knew winning the Eastern Conference’s regular-season crown last season was meaningless, so he completely blew up a team that was a No. 1 seed and got hammered by the Cavaliers in the East finals. Sure, the Celtics played most of that series without Thomas, but that wasn’t going to matter. The Cavs weren’t losing that series.So Ainge goes out and gets an All-Star point guard in Irving, after he hauls in Gordon Hayward during free agency and adds probable rookie of the year front-runner Jayson Tatum to the mix in the draft — plus gets another draft pick in either 2018 or 2019 for his trouble.It’s not a bad deal for the Celtics. They get Irving. It’s his team. A storied franchise is in his hands and he will savor that.It’s just a better deal for Cleveland, at least right now.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim There are many ways to claim victory in the deal made Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving wanted his own team and got it, so he wins. Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron James, so he wins. The Cavaliers got rid of a supposedly disgruntled star, so they won. The Celtics now won’t have to decide if Thomas is worth something like a $180 million deal next summer, so they won. It’s all semantics.But look past all that.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the end, Cleveland won. James won, too.Here’s a few reasons why James will be celebrating this deal: He’ll still have a high-octane point guard; he’s getting an absurdly good defender in Jae Crowder (he could have helped the Cavs’ cause against Golden State in The Finals); he won’t be going into the season dealing with drama about Irving’s Cleveland future; this trade might even reap the Cavaliers the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) is guarded by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland. Irving gets his new address and Isaiah Thomas gets to play with LeBron. They both can say they won in this Celtics-Cavs blockbuster deal. But the sum of the parts says Cleveland got the better of Boston in this swap of All-Star point guards. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)MIAMI— It’s not the principals that will define the blockbuster trade between Cleveland and Boston. Great point guard leaves one city for another. That seems fair.All the other parts, they will tell the story.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Minnesota never offered Andrew Wiggins. Miami never offered half its roster. Portland wasn’t giving up Damian Lillard. In the end the Cavs still got a star for a star, and since Thomas is only making about $6.3 million next season they got plenty of bonus parts as well to make the trade work.It also solved one big Cleveland problem.James’ only motivation is rings, and this move gives him just that.He will be looking to go to the Finals for the eighth consecutive year. Only three teams in NBA history have been to four straight finals — the Lakers, the Celtics, and the Miami Heat when James was with them. Golden State will be heavy favorites to join that club next June. The Cavaliers won’t surprise many if they join them.James will show up at camp in a couple of months and begin plotting ways to get his team back to the Finals. Had Irving still been there, James surely would have been wondering if they could make it work again. With Thomas, there won’t be a question. James and Thomas already have great respect for one another, and Thomas runs on the same prove-people-wrong gasoline that James uses.Cleveland has been through the free-agency-is-looming dance with James before, of course. If the Cavs want to keep him next summer, they simply have to go all-in to make him as happy as possible. This trade probably wasn’t a bad start on that front.In Boston, the Celtics will look very different this season.Irving and Hayward are in; Thomas, Crowder, Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson are out — meaning five of Boston’s seven top scorers from a No. 1 seed now play elsewhere.The Cavs weren’t overhauled; Irving is gone, Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jeff Green arrived.From a continuity standpoint, obvious edge to Cleveland as well. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments LeBron James heads to Manila again on September 2 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
LATEST STORIES Urgent reply from Philippine football chief Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Manchester United defeats Chelsea, advances to FA Cup quarterfinals ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “Basketball fans around the world can interact in real-time and share in their passion for the game.”The online community debate around NBA contests is an offering that excites Devi Mahadevia, Facebook North America Sports Programming Lead.“The NBA boasts one of the most vibrant sports communities on our platform,” Mahadevia said. “By delivering these game recaps and hosting a weekly Watch Party, the league will be able to engage with fans around the world in new and exciting ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ View comments PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war In addition to NBA video recaps, Facebook Watch will feature game recaps for all Women’s NBA, developmental G League and NBA 2K League contests, including the NBA Summer League plus pre-season and playoff matchups.The NBA also will host a weekly Watch Party on Facebook, allowing fans worldwide to watch and interact with game recaps and videos in real-time.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesWNBA, G League and NBA 2K League Watch Parties will be held monthly.“We are excited to provide our millions of followers on Facebook with recaps to every game,” said Sam Farber, NBA Vice President, Digital Media. Team Giannis’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks dunks the ball against Team LeBron during the second half of an NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. The Team LeBron won 178-164. (AP Photo/Streeter Lecka, Pool)The NBA, with one of the world’s largest Facebook communities, will make video recaps of every league game available on Facebook Watch, according to NBA Digital.The league, which resumes regular-season play Thursday following a break for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, has 400 million followers across all league, team and player Facebook accounts.ADVERTISEMENT
Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 5. 75% of U.S. Adults Unwilling to Pay For Online News- About three-quarters of respondents to the survey of 2,251 U.S. adults said they wouldn’t be willing to pay anything for online news if their newspapers failed to survive. ( This data comes from a recent Pew Internet Study available here.) 2. Adults Don’t Pay for News On Tablets and Mobile Devices How people consume news and information is fundamentally changing. In a week that saw Twitter celebrate its fifth birthday and LinkedIn welcome its 100 millionth member, we take a look at the shifting information landscape and its implications for marketers. Photo Credit: 3. 47% of American Adults Get Local News On a Mobile Device- Nearly half of all American adults (47%) report that they get at least some local news and information on their cellphone or tablet computer. ( This data comes from a recent Pew Internet Study available here.) Topics: 6. 65% of Mobile Connected American Adults Feel It Is Easier to Keep Up With News- 65% feel that today it is easier to keep up with information about their community than it was five years ago (vs. 47% of nonmobile connectors) ( This data comes from a recent Pew Internet Study available here.) moriza This newest data continues to illustrate not only the rise of online media consumption, but also highlights its ubiquity thanks to mobile devices like smart phones and tablet computers. However, in a time when information is becoming an omnipresent commodity, something becomes scarce. In today’s online information age, attention is the new scarce resource. With news always around us, it is easy for people to experience an information overload. This scarce resource introduces new challenges and problems for marketers. – The graphic below illustrates the disconnect between adults that are currently paying for news and the growth of news consumption on mobile devices. This data shows that payment for news and information isn’t keeping pace with consumption. ( floor has dropped out 7. 47% of American Adults Use Their Cellphones and Tablet Computers to Get Local News and Information- ( This data comes from a recent Pew Internet Study available here.) Marketing Takeaway Information consumption habits are clearly shifting. How is of the classified advertising market. See chart below: Original full size chart here Originally published Mar 25, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated July 11 2013 To face these challenges, marketers should continue to adopt inbound marketing tactics like search engine optimization, social media marketing and blogging. Businesses need to become content creators in ways that demonstrate their industry expertise. By producing relevant content, companies create more opportunities to get found by potential customers through social media and search engines. Getting found in relevant ways enables businesses to capture the very limited attention of their prospects and convert some of them into leads. business adjusting its marketing to meet the new expectations of today’s information consumers? With major innovation come marketing changes, and the Internet is no different. During periods of innovation some things become commodities and others become scarce resources. Understanding the commoditization of information in this new age of publishing is critical for marketers. your It is easy to notice that information consumption habits are changing. But how can we confirm this and, more importantly, how fast are they changing? Here are seven statistics that will shed some light on the future of information consumption. 4. Americans Say They’d Feel Little or No Impact If Newspapers Closed- 39% of people surveyed said they would feel no impact if their local newspapers shut down. 30% said it would have a minor impact, but only 28% said the impact would be major. ( This data comes from a recent Pew Internet Study available here.) ) 7 Signs of Changing Information Consumption Habits Classified advertising was long a major money maker for the newspaper industry. But since 2000, the 1. In 10 Years Newspaper Classified Revenue Has Fallen 92% –
This is a guest post written by Ross Kramer, co-founder and CEO of Lititz, PA-based email marketing firm, Listrak.After working in the industry for more than 15 years, you learn countless tips and tricks to boost customer engagement and company revenue. But there’s one key lesson that all inbound marketers need to learn – how to multiply their email list. I know what you’re thinking. Could we get any more low level? But successful email list development and strategy can make the difference between campaign successes or failures.Even seasoned email marketers who follow best practices for email list development, relevancy, and deliverability still lose about one-third of their subscribers annually due to bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints, according to the Email Experience Council. And the attrition rates are even higher for less vigilant marketers.Luckily, there are strategies proven to quickly acquire qualified subscribers and keep them longer. Among these include sweepstakes, contests, or other viral campaigns. But before you decide to run a sweepstakes strategy of your own, consider these 7 tips to make sure you know how to run a successful one that will help you grow your email list with qualified subscribers.1. Keep it SimpleWhile it might be tempting to create a contest that runs for several weeks, sweepstakes that are strategic, targeted, and time-sensitive give the appearance of exclusivity and prompt people to respond quickly. In order to maximize list development during a short time period, you must have a plan in place prior to launch that includes automated emails, banner ads, social and mobile announcements, etc.2. Make it PersonalA cash prize may entice more entrants to your sweepstakes, but by awarding your own merchandise instead, you will get a more qualified group that is clearly interested in your company’s brand and what it has to offer.3. Encourage Social SharingEmail and social media can really complement each other. Offer your members some incentive such as a second entry or a free gift if they invite friends and other connections in their social networks to participate. This tactic will greatly expand the reach of your campaign. However, be sure to maintain control of the contest. Provide a form to capture the additional email addresses and immediately send those subscribers a message with the details of the contest and an easy way to enter.4. Promote in the Right ChannelsWhile email is the most effective communication channel to promote the sweepstakes to your subscribers and members, it shouldn’t be your only channel. Announce your contest on your blog and in your social media and mobile networks, and include banner ads on your website and other relevant sites.5. Send Entry ConfirmationsOne of the most important steps in this whole process is sending email confirmations to all entrants. The last thing you want to do is add invalid email addresses to your list because the increase in bounces will negatively affect your deliverability. An automated confirmation email will safeguard your reputation and ensure that only legitimate email addresses are added to your list and only real people are entered into your sweepstakes. Also, if you’re worried about bots inundating your sweepstakes with junk email addresses, a simple CAPTCHA on the registration form will prevent that.6. Welcome Your New SubscribersSubscribers are most engaged within the first few weeks of opting in, so you should use this time to start building the relationship right away. An email welcome series designed to engage and interact with subscribers should be part of your usual email development process, but it is especially important when running a sweepstakes. A welcome email will help you weed out the entrants who were only interested in the contest since it gives uninterested subscribers an opportunity to opt-out and provides valuable open and click-through data so you can measure engagement. That way, you’ll be able to focus your attention on the subscribers who are most likely to purchase from you.7. Monitor New SubscribersWe’ve seen a well planned sweepstakes grow lists by 30% or more in a matter of days. That said, even if you follow best practices for attracting the appropriate entrants for your brand, you’ll still get a number of invalid email addresses and people who are only interested in the prize. In order to protect your reputation, closely monitor the results of your confirmation email and welcome series (not only open and click-through rates, but also bounces, complaints, and unsubscribes), and watch the inactivity levels for the new subscribers. If they don’t show interest in your messages, try a re-engagement campaign or remove them from your list.Have you found success through sweepstakes? How many qualified email addresses did you gain?Photo Credit: Ian Lamont Originally published Aug 25, 2011 3:02:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Email Lists and Segmentation 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
(Click on the visual for a full-sized version.) 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 Jul 26, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Inbound Marketing Topics: Marketing has come a long way. It used to be that we marketers had to rely on interruptive, outbound media like TV advertisements, billboards, cold calling, direct mail, and spammy email blasts to deliver our marketing messages.But the times … they’ve been a-changin’. With the evolution of the internet and other technologies to help consumers block out marketing messages that annoy and interrupt, those outbound strategies have lost their effectiveness. So today, savvy marketers rely on permissive, inbound techniques like remarkable content, search engine optimization, social media, and targeted email marketing to attract, nurture, and covert qualified prospects into customers. The result — and upside — of all this rapid change? Marketing that people actually love.And to illustrate exactly what we mean, we’ve whipped up this new visual. Check it out! Are you creating marketing that people love? Now’s as good a time as any to get started!
Google+ is chock full of hidden gems. The problem is, most marketers regard Google+ as a social platform that isn’t delivering significant social media marketing results. Unfortunately, this perception usually inhibits their ability to see all the cool things Google+ has to offer: the little features, functionalities, and tools it provides to improve the way your business functions. Boy, are you in for a treat!So let’s stop viewing Google+ as just another social network and instead put it to good use as a business tool, particularly through the use of Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts is one of the most versatile Google+ tools available to you, especially when you find it difficult to assemble your entire team for in-person meetings. With Google+, you can give internal communication a boost and increase efficiency … all for free!Google+ Hangouts … With Extras!If you’re not in the know, Google+ Hangouts is a live group video chat feature that enables you to video chat with up to nine other people. But that’s not all! Google+ Hangouts are also available “with extras” — extra features that you can use within your Google+ Hangout sessions. By hosting a virtual meeting through Hangouts with Extras, you can get so much more out of your Hangout sessions. Here are three ways you can use Google+ Hangouts, including the key “extra” features that amplify their impact.Host Virtual MeetingsScreenshareWell-run marketing meetings include a presentation or slide deck of some sort with key metrics, goals, and progress toward those goals to share with the team. But for those members joining in remotely, your marketing manager running the meeting and projecting slides can open up a Google+ Hangout with the remote attendees and do a simple screenshare. This way, everyone in the meeting can easily pay attention while also keeping those teammates who are off-site well informed. Or, if your CEO or colleague is on a business trip, you can still have one-on-one meetings to show them presentations or other projects you’re working on by starting a Hangout and sharing your screen!Google DocsAs we mentioned in our recent post, “How to Run Marketing Team Meetings That Don’t Suck,” an effective marketing meeting needs an agenda. But you know the one flaw about those perfected agendas? People forget about them. Once you’re even 5 or 10 minutes into a meeting, everyone forgets there was a certain schedule to stick to. That’s why the Hangouts sync with Google Docs is so valuable. Google+ Hangouts are automatically connected to your Google Docs, allowing you to open documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc., and showcase them on the screen as you video chat. Having the agenda in sight reminds members that there is a certain schedule of topics to adhere to and review, keeping them on their toes. Users can also see the meeting notes as they are typed, and can also contribute to them if necessary.In addition to making your team more aware of your meeting’s agenda, Hangouts can help you present certain analytics you continuously track using a spreadsheet (such as your finances or month-to-date progress toward your leads goal), and enable you to review those numbers together. Or, if you’re simply working with someone else on a presentation for an upcoming meeting or event, you can build it collaboratively via Google Presentations and then transfer the documents to your preferred presentation software such as PowerPoint or Keynote later. That way, if either of you has an idea to add to or alter the presentation, you can make the change or add a note right then and there rather than taking the risk of forgetting about it later. This eliminates time-wasting back-and-forth and lets group members work together efficiently!Improve CommunicationGroup ChatDon’t you hate when you’re in a meeting, someone needs to leave, so she interrupts the speaker to excuse herself? Me too. Instead, keep your meeting’s Google+ Hangout open whether the meeting is virtual or in-person. That way, attendees can easily excuse themselves by leaving a note in the chat pane, and exiting without interruption. This tool can also come in handy if you want to direct meeting attendees to a specific link, or if the meeting you need them to send you any piece of information, such as a phone number or address.If you’re team is hosting a guest or speaker, either at an event or in-person, you can also use Google+ Hangouts so people not attending in person hear and see what’s going on, and communicate via chat.YouTubeWatching videos of cats running into walls is funny — but it’s even funnier when you do it with others! But on a more serious note, video marketing is still alive and well. If someone on your team has been working on your next case study, product video, or music video, but has the video unlisted to the public for the purpose of continued editing, he/she can share progress with other members of your team by easily connecting to YouTube. (Of course, if the video hasn’t reached this stage, you could always use screenshare to show what you have saved on your computer).Another benefit of the YouTube sync in Google+ Hangouts is, when you’re browsing YouTube, you sometimes stumble upon a video that either inspires you or illustrates a message in a compelling way. Instead of trying to describe this to your colleague later or trying to convince your videographer how awesome it was, you can use the Hangout button under “share” right from within YouTube to easily watch the video with another person virtually.Have FunGoogle EffectsSometimes a meeting can be enhanced by just a bit of FUN! At HubSpot, our marketeering team (marketing + engineering) has members who sit in all different parts of the office, work on different schedules, and some who even work off-site — in other countries! Thus, they host their daily team update using Google+ Hangouts and have a whole lot of fun with the seasonal effects. Sometimes mustaches make an appearance, and sometimes they sport reindeer antlers and noses! While these silly effects hardly serve any “business” value, who doesn’t benefit from a little fun at work now and again? While chatting using these effects, why not take screenshots and share them on your social media platforms? It shows off your brand’s personality, and hey — nothing bad can come from showcasing how happy your company’s employees are. Video Marketing Additional AppsThe “Extras” we mentioned above aren’t the only apps you can add to your Google+ Hangouts. There is also a doodle screen (for design brainstorms?), a SlideShare app (for showing final projects?), and many others. Google+ gives you quite a few options, so be sure to customize your Hangouts for your company’s optimal use.Are you using Google+ Hangouts for your business? If so, how? Image Credit: Womenofhr Originally published Aug 13, 2012 12:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 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
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 2017 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:
Originally published Jul 2, 2015 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “Everyone should learn how to code.”This has been the narrative in the technology industry over the last few years, and for good reason. Code is behind nearly everything we touch today. Even those who don’t have a desire to become a developer are learning to code in order to gain a fundamental understanding of how technology operates.At the forefront of this movement is Codeacademy. This online interactive platform offers free coding classes, and is quickly becoming a pillar in the New York City startup community. And it all started back in 2011, when co-founder Zach Sims dropped out of Columbia to start the company with Ryan Bubinski. Since then, they’ve helped nearly 25 million people learn how to code.Zach joins Mike on this episode of The Growth Show to talk about:How Codecademy was a viral phenomenonThe decision to drop out of an Ivy league school with only one year left until graduationThe choice to make Codecademy free for everyoneThe future of learning and how they’re re-thinking education from the bottom upClick the play button below to listen to this episode, or subscribe directly on iTunes and you’ll never miss a new episode: And if you’d like to see more recaps of the latest episodes of The Growth Show, click here.
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 SlackSlack
Don’t forget to share this post! A dancer sweeps gracefully through a deserted London cityscape. An dinosaur bursts through the ceiling of a night club. A particularly unintelligent looking cat contemplates jumping to a nearby perch.What do all these different tableaus have in common? They’re all featured in creative ads from the past month.If you’ve been out of the loop, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Read on to see ten of the most creative, inspiring, and just plain weird ads from the last month.Subscribe to HubSpot’s Agency newsletter today.1) BoseThis mesmerizing spot for Bose’s new QuietComfort 35 headphones focuses on a lone dancer (Maëva Berthelot) entrancingly freestyling her way through completely empty London streets. The ad is set to “Alchemy” by London-based electro R&B artist TĀLĀ.So how exactly were they able to film in some of London’s busiest areas, completely devoid of people, cars, and other distractions? Grey London, the agency behind the ad, managed to block off pedestrians and traffic flow for a few minutes at a time — just enough for them to film the takes they needed. They used an aerial helicopter for the sweeping images of the city, which was understandably subject to strict airspace regulations.”This wasn’t easy to produce,” Grey London’s executive creative director Dominic Goldman told AdWeek. “Most of this was captured in camera with minimal clean-up in post.” The end result is a truly magnetic, gorgeous ad you’ll definitely want to watch more than once.2) ChatbooksThe agency behind the explosively viral Squatty Potty pooping unicorn ad has struck again. This time, the Harmon Brothers are lending their unique comedic perspective to Chatbooks, a subscription-based photo printing service that converts your smart phone snaps into photo albums.The extended spot is intended to introduce consumers to Chatbooks for the first time, but the Harmon Brother’s wanted to steer clear of a typical infomercial tone. Instead, the product is explained by a hilariously “real” mom (played by actress Lisa Valentine Clark), who juggles garbage disposal mishaps, potty training, and crossbow-wielding children with unflappable optimism.3) GustoBeing an HR manager at a small company is hard. Gusto, an HR software startup, wanted to give a shout out to all the HR managers who deftly manage 100+ responsibilities on a daily basis in their first ad campaign. They enlisted the help of Erich & Kallman, a new ad agency based in San Francisco, to make that vision come to life.In a spot-on casting choice, actress and comedian Kristen Schaal was hired to portray the typical HR manager. Her quirky charm and self-possessed nature perfectly encapsulate the profession, and she hilariously swaps into different outfits and personas to accommodate various employee requests.4) The Hospital for Sick ChildrenCanadian agency Cossette produced this captivating and emotionally powerful extended ad campaign for The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Set to a pounding anthem (“Undeniable” by Donnie Daydream), the spot imagines sick children as fighters — medieval warriors, comic book heroes, athletes — combatting their illnesses with an unparalleled ferocity and unshakable spirit.Part of a larger fundraising campaign for the Canadian hospital, the ad stars over 50 actual patients, along with their families, doctors, and nurses. It’s an inspiring departure from traditional ads concerning childhood illness, and is perhaps even more forceful for it.5) CanaryImagine you leave the kids with a babysitter to go see a movie — what could possibly go wrong? This ad for home security startup Canary imagines exactly that.In the spot, one messy disaster strikes after another. The babysitter invites her sketchy boyfriend over for a make-out session, the girls run an overflowing bubble bath for the family cat, and one of the kids decides it’s the perfect time to take the car out for an experimental spin — which, as you might imagine, doesn’t end too well for the garage door.Developed by CP+B Miami, the ad gets a boost from director Peter Atencio’s eye for perfect comedic timing (he directs Comedy Central’s sketch show Key & Peele). It’s a disastrously good time.6) Dollar Shave ClubThis spot for Dollar Shave Club presents more a palatable, normal-guy alternative to the hyper-masculine products that dominate the male grooming industry.In the ad, a man shopping with his girlfriend picks out a shower gel called “Massive Hero,” which promises “a fully jacked amino protein delivery system.” With perfect timing, a body builder enters the same aisle — the ideal consumer for the ultra-manly product. He picks up “Massive Hero” and inexplicably begins to flex and scream.The hilarious, 30-second spot was created in-house at Dollar Shave Club by Alex Karpovsky (a writer/director/actor you might have seen on HBO’s Girls) and designer/musician Teddy Blanks.7) The Wildlife Conservation Film FestivalIt’s rare that an ad makes us stop for a minute in silent contemplation, but its impossible to come away from this short film for The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival without a lump in your throat.Set to “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables, the film was created pro-bono by DDB New York as part of a larger campaign to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and global biodiversity protection. Zombie Studio produced the animation for the spot, which features a cast of uniquely expressive animals and sinister humans.Warning: This will make you cry.8) Pine SolIn this new series of spots for Pine Sol cleaning products by experience design agency Critical Mass, the cleaning product company sticks to what they know: how to clean things, and nothing else.Each of the campaign’s 16-second ads highlight a brief moment of uncertainty: Will the cat jump on the table? Will the big date go well? Will Jared meet his 401k goals? The narrator makes it clear that Pine Sol definitely doesn’t have the answers to these questions — but they do know how to clean your stuff (hint: with Pine Sol).9) Asus ZenFone 3What happens when you ask ordinary people on the street to direct a commercial for your product? Well, it starts on a beach, and then things get pretty weird.The folks at creative agency SuperHeroes enlisted the help of Matt Rubano and Betsy Kenney (members of Upright Citizens Brigade, the famous improv troupe) to ask random people on the street to come up with the plot of an ad for the new Asus ZenFone 3. The resulting spot includes dinosaurs, aliens, and an international car model named “Renaldo” saving the day at a night club.10) HornbachIf you’ve ever attempted a big do-it-yourself project, you know there are usually some big ups and downs. In this ad for German home improvement chain Hornbach, agency Heimat presents an unexpected metaphor for big DIY undertakings: rolling down a mountainside, naked.The ad starts with a man beginning to dig a pond in his backyard, and we simultaneously follow his progression sliding through varied mountain terrains. At times, the grass is soft and inviting, and his progress is smooth — but there are some definite bumps along the way.Have you seen any great ads lately? Let us know in the comments. Originally published Oct 31, 2016 5:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017
Google Tasks vs. RemindersYou can add reminders to your Google Calendar at any time, by clicking a spot on the calendar and choosing “Reminder” instead of “Event”. When you’ve scheduled a reminder, it pops up in the right corner of your screen at the time you’ve entered, i.e. “finish article, 10 a.m.”. Google Tasks also integrates into your Calendar, but offers more details than date and time, so it’s a better tool when you need to include more in-depth information, such as personal notes or subtasks.Ultimately, Google Tasks is an effective organizational method, since it integrates seamlessly into other Google features including Gmail and Calendar. If you’re feeling overwhelmed filling up your calendar or sticky notes with to-do lists that range in level of importance, you might want to give Tasks a try.Additionally, take a look at 12 Tools That’ll Keep You Productive Morning, Noon & Night to further increase your efficiency levels. Topics: If you’re anything like me, you love to-do lists. Heck, sometimes you love to-do lists so much, you even put completed tasks on your list just for the satisfaction of crossing them off (No? Just me?).Up until recently, I’ve been using my Google Calendar as my to-do list — but it can get confusing, particularly when someone wants to book time with me but sees “buy salmon” already takes up most of the afternoon. Even worse, you can’t prioritize your Google Calendar to put more important tasks ahead of less important ones.Learn how to run effective marketing campaigns using Google.Fortunately, Google offers an alternative solution: Google Tasks, a tool which enables you to create to-do lists within your email, links those tasks to your calendar, and more.Google TasksGoogle Tasks lets you create a to-do list within your desktop Gmail or the Google Tasks app. When you add a task, you can integrate it into your Gmail calendar, and add details or subtasks. Tasks also enable you to drag and drop emails into your to-do list, rearrange the order of your tasks, and check off completed ones. With the updated Gmail design, Google Tasks is sleeker and easier to incorporate into your work routine.Gmail has offered a Tasks tool for years, but with the new Google design, Tasks is sleeker and easier to use. Here, we’ll show you how to get started with Google Tasks in just seven minutes, on your desktop or phone.How to Use Google Tasks on a Desktop 1. Log into your Gmail account. Click your “Settings” icon, as indicated by the arrow below, and then select, “Try the new [Gmail].” Since I’m on a work email, it says HubSpot, but it’ll say something different depending on your email account. 2. With your new updated Gmail, you’ll see a blue icon on the right side (underneath Calendar and Keep). Click the icon, labelled “Tasks”. 3. Click the blue “+” button to add your first task. 4. Now, type a task in the line beside the bubble and then click the “Enter” or “Return” key.5. If you only need to add a basic task, you’re all set. However, the Tasks tool also allows you to edit your task — to do this, click the pencil icon beside your task.6. Here, you can add details including when your task is due (which will integrate into your Calendar), a paragraph box for your own notes, and the option to add subtasks if you feel the need to break up your task into parts.7. When you’ve completed a task, simply click the bubble beside the task. When you do, it will briefly show a check mark, cross itself off, and then disappear off your list. 8. You can also drag and drop your tasks to rearrange the order — for instance, I dragged “Dinner reservation?” to the first item on my to-do list. How to Add Tasks to Google CalendarClick “Edit details” if you’re using Google Tasks on a desktop, or “Add date” if you’re using the app version.Choose a date on the calendar that pops up on your desktop or app.The task will be automatically integrated into both your phone and desktop’s Gmail calendar. Originally published Jun 27, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated July 12 2019 Productivity Apps How to Add an Email to Your Google Tasks If you receive an important email you’re too busy to answer immediately, you can add it to your Tasks list for later. Here are two different ways to do this:1. Simply hold the email and drag it to your open Task list. You’ll see the email icon underneath the task, which, if you click, will take you to the email.2. If you’re within the email when you decide you want to add it to Tasks, simply click the three-dot icon at the top of your email and select, “Add to Tasks”. How to Use the Google Tasks App If you’re often making to-do lists on the go, you might want to use the Google Tasks app supplementarily — since it’s connected to your email, your tasks will sync up with your desktop Task list, and they’ll also integrate into your Calendar on both your phone and desktop.After you download the app on your phone, here’s how to use it:1. When you open the app for the first time, here’s what you’ll see (look familiar?). Click the blue “Get started” button. 2. Next, click the blue “Add a new task” button. 3. Using your phone’s keyboard, type your task and then click “Save” or “Done”. 4. If you click on your task within the app, you’ll have the option to “Add details”, “Add date”, or “Add subtasks”. For this instance, if I want to add my task to my calendar, I’ll click “Add date”. 4. A calendar will pop up within the app. Choose the date your task is due, and then click “Ok”. 5. When you add subtasks, you’ll see the bubble beside each task. When you complete a task, simply click the bubble. 6. To rearrange the order or change the dates of your tasks, click the three-dot icon in the bottom right corner. 7. Here, you can sort your full task list by customized order or date, rename the list, or delete all completed tasks. Don’t forget to share this post!
Remote Working Originally published Jun 26, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! Topics: There’s plenty of science to suggest flexible work schedules are critical for happier, more productive employees, and a more successful company overall.For instance, take a look at this graph from The Economist, which shows that working fewer hours correlates with higher levels of productivity in the form of increased GDP (gross domestic product). I guess there’s something to be said for the old “work hard, play hard” motto.Additionally, Jabra, a Denmark-based electronics company, found that, in 2018, four times more employees believe working from home to be the most productive option, compared to people’s perceptions in 2015. In recent years, more people prefer to work from home and believe it to be more productive than working in an office.Download our complete productivity guide here for more tips on improving your productivity at work.But let’s put the data aside for a second. I’m willing to bet we’ve all had those afternoons when we’ve felt entirely unproductive, but still sat at our desks until five p.m. anyway just to clock in the hours.Or, we’ve wished we could have the mornings free to run errands and spend time with family, but a traditional work schedule doesn’t leave us the option to meet those demands.Ultimately, we’ve all been in situations where our rigid work schedule has been a hinderance to our productivity in the office, and our priorities outside of it. A flexible work schedule could allow you to work when you’re most productive, and give you the autonomy you need to create an ideal work-life balance, however that looks to you.There are pros and cons to flexible schedules, just like there are pros and cons to a rigid nine-to-five job. But, as the Jabra study indicates, flexible schedules are becoming more typical nowadays, so we’ve compiled a list of everything good, bad, and surprising about implementing flexible work hours at your office.What is a flexible work schedule?A flexible work schedule allows employees a level of autonomy to create their own schedules and find a work-life balance that works for them. Rather than a traditional, 40 hour nine-to-five work week, a flexible schedule allows employees to vary the times they begin and end their work day. There is still structure to a flexible work schedule: employees must work a certain number of hours, or come up with an alternative agreement with their employer regarding office hours verus remote time.Flexible Schedules: The Good1. You can adapt your schedule to fit family needs. If you make your own hours, you can ensure those hours adapt to your family and social life demands. For instance, we have parents at HubSpot who make their hours fit around their children’s daycare schedules: they work early in the morning, take a break in the afternoon to pick up their kids, and then resume work later in the evening. Or perhaps your flex schedule is less rigid than that — maybe you just want time to see your son’s soccer games, or your sister’s graduation, and you need flexibility to manipulate your work schedule without taking time off.Emily MacIntyre, HubSpot’s Marketing Team Development Manager, agrees that there are pros and cons to flexible schedules in regards to parenting: “There are often in-office events after work that I have to miss out on, because I need to be home. But I get to see my daughter, and spend time with her each night, so it’s a trade-off.”Ultimately, a flexible schedule can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy work-life balance and protecting important relationships in your life.2. You can indulge in self-care. It might sound strange, but having the option to occasionally put your personal needs before work can help you find more joy throughout your day. Plus, in a University of Warwick study, happiness made people approximately 12% more productive. Self-care can be anything from a noon cycling class to finding time to meditate in the park — anything that makes you feel better able to tackle your responsibilities with a clear mind.3. Your employees can pursue passions outside of work.Unfortunately, your employee’s passions can’t always fit outside a nine-to-five work schedule. Sometimes that poetry class starts at four, and other times your hiking group leaves at noon on a Friday.There are a few reasons it’s important to give employees the freedom to pursue other passions. First, passion can encourage innovative ideas. The more well-rounded your employees are, the more likely they are to apply unconventional solutions to your company’s problems. Also, as previously mentioned, happier employees are more productive. And, third, if your employees can find outlets outside of work to pursue their passions, they’re less likely to feel unsatisfied in their current role.4. Your employees can work whenever they’re most productive. For me personally, this is the single most important benefit to flexible schedules: I work insanely well in the mornings. On some mornings, it feels like I can finish two-weeks worth of work before noon. But then, around three or four p.m., it becomes a struggle to even write a grocery list. My brain just doesn’t seem to function past that time. On the other hand, one of my coworkers does best when he can come into the office around 10 a.m., and then work, head-down, later into the night.Tony Schwartz, author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, writes about the importance of working like a sprinter. He says it’s important to work intensely and distraction-free for a period of time, but equally critical to take regular renewal breaks to recover from that intense work period.Ultimately, your employees aren’t all going to be productive at the exact same time. Flexibility allows them to become better workers — they will get everything accomplished during the hours they want, and they won’t feel burnt out from sitting at their desks during times they are unproductive.5. Your employees can avoid rush hour. This might seem trivial, but it’s not — in 2017 in Boston alone, a rush hour commuter wasted approximately two and a half full days out of a year sitting in a car. That’s almost a full 60 wasted hours where they could have been spending time mentally preparing for their day. A truly painful commute could even eventually drive employees to search for companies closer to home or with different hours. An easy way to improve employee satisfaction is to allow commuters the option to avoid traffic by leaving even just thirty minutes later.One study by McGill University’s Charis Loong and colleagues found that “satisfaction with travel mode is associated with higher odds of feeling energized and being punctual,” and “the strain of the daily commute can negatively impact performance at work.” Unfortunately, a terrible commute can interfere with your employee’s levels of energy and productivity, so it’s important to consider alternative options.6. You give employees a sense of autonomy. People like control over their schedules — it enables them to feel fully in charge of their work and personal lives, and makes them feel like their company trusts them. HubSpot’s Culture Code recognizes the importance of autonomy, saying, “Results matter more than the number of hours we work. Results matter more than where we produce them.” And, referring to the Economist graph we mentioned earlier, we can see it’s true — people are more productive even when they work fewer hours, so why not let people choose whichever time they need to commit to deliver the best results?Siobhán McGinty, a Campaign Marketing Manager in HubSpot’s Dublin office, says her flexible schedule gives her the opportunity to “live my best life. I enjoy getting up at 7 a.m., clearing my emails, enjoying my coffee and getting some work out of the way early on in the day. I also enjoy taking two hours off in the middle of the day to go to the gym, or do yoga, or — if it’s pay day — get a massage.”7. You can recruit and retain better talent. Flexible schedules have been shown to increase employee productivity and overall morale. Ultimately, you can use the benefits of a flexible schedule as a selling point for hiring better talent.The Creative Group surveyed marketing and advertising executives, and found 33% are offered flexible schedules and remote options. Offering flexible schedules is a good way for your company to attract talent and stand out from competitors in the industry, particularly as flex hours and remote work rise in popularity and employees begin to expect it from their next job.Flexible Schedules: The BadWe’ve covered seven different ways flexible schedules can benefit both employers and employees. But like any work arrangement, there are also some downsides to consider before committing to becoming a flexible workplace. Here are a few risks associated with flexible schedules.1. It’s more difficult for you to arrange meetings with your team. If everyone has different schedules, figuring out everyone’s availability can get tricky — for instance, perhaps you can’t have any nine a.m. meetings because three people on your team don’t arrive until 10 a.m. This gets even harder if your team works around the globe, or if you need to schedule meetings with clients who work the traditional nine-to-five.2. Lines between work and life blur more drastically. Maybe you’re working from home and your roommate asks you to go to a cycling class at noon, and suddenly it’s three p.m. and you’ve still got a ton of work to do. Or maybe your kids interrupt meetings and calls with pleas for trips to the pool. Whatever the case, life intervenes more drastically when you’re working flexible hours, particularly if you’re working remote. Plus, if all the people in your life work nine-to-five, they might try to pressure you into plans that are inconvenient for your schedule, since you “make your own schedule anyway.” Drawing boundaries between personal life and work can get difficult.Besides having a tough time getting into work mode when you’re tempted by your personal life, it’s also often challenging to shut off “work mode” when you can technically work whenever you want. Maybe it’s eight p.m. and you simply can’t relax when your desk, and all those piles of work, is within view. During those instances, it’s important you separate work from the rest of your life as much as possible, even creating a separate office space and closing the door when you leave.3. You won’t find much structure at home. If you’re working remote, there’s very little structure. With that freedom to take breaks, you might suddenly find you’re getting very little done. Working remotely often requires more focus and discipline than working in an office. You’ll need to set your own rigid structure and stick to it, or you might risk your performance sliding as you take more TV breaks or spend precious productivity hours folding laundry.4. It can be difficult to create a bonded team. If you’ve got a team that works from wherever, whenever, it can be hard to pencil in time to develop organic, authentic relationships between your team members. It just doesn’t happen as naturally as it would if everyone sat beside one another 9 to 5 and digressed into talks about the latest Bachelorette episode. One way to counteract this is to plan fun corporate team-building activities, but you might still need to work with everyone’s flex hours or remote time.Siobhán McGinty admits remote work in particular can get lonely, so, “to overcome that, I set up virtual “water cooler chats” with people on the team if I have 15-30 mins between meetings. It also helps to maintain rapport.” She also says she “practiced” going remote by initially working from home a few days a week, and eventually working her way up to full-time remote, and admits while rewarding, it’s also difficult.Flexible Schedules: The SurprisingWe’ve explored some pros and cons of a flexible schedule for employees and employers, but there are some additional surprising facts you should know when deciding if flexible schedules is right for you and your company.1. The more flexible your employees’ schedules are, the longer they’ll work. If you’re worried about employees taking advantage of flexible hours and working an hour a day before hitting the beach, don’t be — Heejung Chung, a senior lecturer at University of Kent in the UK, conducted research with her colleague Yvonne Lott, and found there’s a tendency for people with more autonomy over their schedules to work longer hours, regardless of level of influence or job type. In fact, “this increase in working hours was greatest when workers had full atonomy over their working hours.”One explanation for this is known as the gift exchange theory, which is the idea that you’re grateful when your employer gives you a flexible schedule and you see it as a gift, which you feel obligated to repay by working harder and longer. You want to prove you deserve the flexible schedule, so you push yourself to work over eight hours a day.2. Flex hours make your employees happier — and their children.A study conducted by the American Sociological Review found workers with flex hours slept better, felt healthier, and were less stressed than their nine-to-five counterparts. Overall, the group with flex hours felt happier than the group with a rigid schedule. But, most surprisingly, as noted by the New York Times, is “the effects even cascaded down to employees’ children, who reported less volatility around their own daily stresses; adolescents saw the quality of their sleep improve.” Happiness is contagious, and so is stress, so it makes sense parents with lower levels of stress and higher levels of happiness were able to spread those emotions to their children.3. It might be harder to get flexible hours if you’re a woman.A 2014 experiment by Furman University sociologist Christin Munsch showed 600 participants a transcript of a conversation between an employee asking for flexible hours and an HR representative. Shockingly, when participants assumed it was a man asking for flexible time, almost 70% said they’d be likely or very likely to approve the request, compared to 56% when they believed it was a woman making the request. There are other studies supporting the same hypothesis — that it’s harder for a woman to receive flex time than a man — here.Munsch speculated the study’s results come from inherent gender biases when it comes to childcare: the participants might’ve felt impressed by a man’s desire to spend more time at home with children, while they might’ve felt a woman should find a better way to balance her home and work obligations. Of course, this varies immensely company to company and even country to country, but it’s important for employers to keep it in mind if they’re in charge of approving flexible work schedules for employees.So what now? Ultimately, providing flexible schedules for employees won’t work for every company or every department. For instance, if your employees work in the services industry and often speak both on the phone and in-person with clients, perhaps you need them to maintain a nine-to-five schedule. Hopefully, weighing these pros and cons will help you make the best decision for your team, or even brainstorm alternative ways to combat some of the negative consequences of a traditional work schedule.