A Valentine’s Workplace Tale

first_imgTHIS BLOG SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE, PERTAINING TO SPECIFIC FACTUAL SITUATION OR ESTABLISHING AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. Well, there are now fewer calls to the phone banks of plaintiffs’ lawyers’ as most problems resulting from holiday parties already have been raised.  But plaintiffs’ lawyers have no fear: there will be a salvo of calls after Valentine’s Day.  And that reminds me of a story.It is 9:00 a.m.  A secretary reports to her desk.  Waiting for her is a sealed card.The secretary opens the envelope and it is a Valentine’s Day card from her manager.  Having undergone sensitivity training, the manager signs it “fondly” as opposed to “lovingly.”The employee is creeped out and goes to HR. HR talks with the manager based on a script we had prepared together.HR asks the manager if he knows why the card is inappropriate.  He responds “No.”HR asks the manager to whom else he gave a Valentine’s Day card and he answers, “his wife.”  Again, it is asked:  “Do you know why card was inappropriate?”  Again, he answers “No.”We now take out the crow bar.  Is there anything you do with your wife in privacy that you don’t do with secretary?  Ding. Ding. Ding.Of course, we did not directly ask the last question, but we get the message across.We explained to him that employees can be “so sensitive” when their bosses tell them:To the love of my lifeI cherish our moments togetherI love youRecommendation: A little email education on this issue to your managers now could save your company a lot of money later.  It’s not complicated: don’t give employees in your chain of command, or over whom you have direct or indirect influence, a Valentine’s Day card. There is some risk in giving cards to peers. But in the absence of a power differential, that risk is less.Of course, that does not mean that everyone who sends a Valentine’s Day card is intending to convey a romantic message.  After all, there are now Valentine’s Day cards for parents, kids, etc.For some, the Valentine’s Day card is simply a way to say you are important to me.  The problem is the nature of the holiday may confuse the reason as to why the employee is important.Yes, Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Saturday, so there will be fewer cards. That means even hungrier plaintiffs’ lawyers to fall in love with you.last_img read more

What Google Announced At I/O 2014

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts readwrite Tags:#Android#Google#Google I/O#Google I/O 2014#Keynote And here’s the video of the presentation—this embed will be displaying video of several I/O sessions while the conference is going on, but it will most likely default back to the keynote once I/O is over: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The keynote address at Google’s annual developer conference, I/O 2014, is over—but ReadWrite’s coverage is just getting started. See below for a list of our stories so far, as well as our live-tweet coverage and video of the presentation.ReadWrite’s complete coverage of Google I/O 2014:Google Previews The Next Big Release Of Android: “L”You Can Order An Android Smartwatch TodayGoogle Rolls Out Android TVGoogle Launches Android Auto, Its Road-Ready Smart-Car PlatformGoogle’s TV-Streaming Stick Chromecast Just Got Even SexierGoogle Strikes The Next Blow In The Cloud-Storage Wars: Unlimited Space10 Things Google Didn’t Announce At I/O 2014last_img read more

Class action lawsuit filed over HyVee data breach

first_imgHyVee is now facing a class action lawsuit over that data breach.The suit filed this week says customers who had their credit card info stolen deserve to recover damages because of negligence by the grocery store chain.HyVee says the breach may affect you if you paid with a card at the gas pump or at the in-store restaurant at Columbia’s West Broadway and Conley Road locations. The fuel pumps at the West Truman Boulevard store in Jefferson City were also in the breach between last December and this July. Get more info here.Columbia native Dustin Murray is one of the people named in the lawsuit. It says he eats at the in-store restaurant about 2-3 times per month, and his debit card data was compromised.last_img read more

The Ultimate List: 300+ Social Media Statistics

first_imgIt’s evident that the evolution of social media has a clear impact on marketing. However, a major issue is that too much misinformation and propaganda exists about social media adoption, usage and its business applications. While we have written at length about social media and inbound marketing on this blog for the past several years, we are also huge fans of data here at HubSpot. This post is a homage to all of the awesome data that exists on the web about social media, though is by no means even close to all of it.Recently, Social Media Examiner released a really interesting research report packed full of social media related data and statistics.  That report was the inspiration for this post, so we’ll start off with a video from Social Media Examiner that summarizes its newly released research.VideosIndustry Report Overview from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo. JESS3 / The State of The Internet from JESS3 on Vimeo.2. Social Media Revolution  3. Social Media Revolutions 2Infographics1. Visualizing 6 Years of Facebook from Mashable:2. The Boom of Social Sites from Focus.com3. Facebook vs Twitter4. Social Sharing Statistics From Silicon Alley Insider5. Twitter Territory6. Who Participates Online7. Breakdown Of Who Blogs8.  Age Distribution For Social Sites9. Social Networks Around The World10. Social Mediain China11. A Day On The Internet12. Social Media DemographicsPresentations1. Universal Mccann International Social Media Research Wave 3Universal Mccann International Social Media Research Wave 3View more presentations from mickstravellin.2. What the F**K is Social Media: One Year LaterWhat the F**K is Social Media: One Year LaterView more presentations from Espresso’s Infiltrators.3. Social Media For Business: 31 Stats and AnecdotesSocial Media For Business: 31 Stats and AnecdotesView more presentations from Adam Schoenfeld.4. Global Social Media Trends – Asia ImpactGlobal Social Media Trends – Asia ImpactView more presentations from Tom Smith.5. Social Media Marketing FactsSocial Media Marketing FactsView more presentations from Sorav Jain. Topics: Social Media Analytics Originally published May 13, 2010 9:00:00 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

Study: 72% of Businesses Have a Social Media Strategy

first_img Original content, both branded and expert are by far the most used tactic for social media (73%; 72%, respectively). Video content (51%), user case studies (45%), and reviews (41%) are also used by roughly half of all respondents. Should we use social media? Clearly, marketers are increasingly realizing the essential role that social media—and engaging content for those media—must play in any brand campaign, but it is just as clear that marketers are still struggling to identify best practices in the cluttered and often confounding space.  All of which might explain why a majority of companies (64%) aren’t yet requiring definitive measurable ROI to justify their social media budgets. Only 9% of surveyed organizations have full-time positions dedicated to managing social media responsibilities, while 90% include those as part of someone’s overall responsibilities. The following is a guest post by 85% of companies are handling their social media efforts internally. Topics: and Join and   Instead, the common refrain has become, How do we use social media and how do we know it’s working? This spring, custom media company Kipp Bodnar What about ROI? HubSpot HubSpot, Junta42 to survey more than 450 senior management and marketing executives on their ever-evolving relationships with social media.  We wanted to know how important different social media channels are to them, how they’re using them, who’s doing the work, and how important measurable results are.   Now we’ve pulled together their responses—along with some helpful analysis from us—into a new study:  No one can argue that social media isn’t ubiquitous.  But some people—particularly those who are business-minded—just can’t seem to get away from asking:  to have access to these charts for use in your own presentations King Fish Media. Branded original and expert content is used more often than any other type of content.  And development of an audience for content is one of the top objectives of marketers. , Director of Marketing and Research, Download the complete findings of the King Fish Media Survey on Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability , Director of Marketing and Research at 43% of respondents revealed that they don’t need to show positive ROI to get social media funding from their organization. Originally published Aug 11, 2010 1:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 But is it relevant?  Does it really have a valid place in marketing? “2010 Social Media Usage, Attitudes, and Measurability:  What Do Marketers Think?” partnered with . Additionally you can hear a detailed explanation of these findings on a free webinar Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack as they review the results and discuss the implications and applications for marketers.   And, King Fish Media , Inbound Marketing Manager, Download the ebook now! So, what did we find?  Well, first and foremost, the vast majority of companies are now not only using social media in some form, but also have an actual social media strategy behind their online presence. Among the other key findings of “Social Media Usage, Attitudes and Measurability: What Do Marketers Think?”: Social Media Strategy Nearly three quarters of all companies (72%) currently have a social media strategy, and of those that don’t, the majority (80%) will within the next year. Free Download: Marketing Data: 50+ Marketing Charts and Graphs HubSpot has compiled over 50 original marketing charts and graphs on topics including Lead Generation, Blogging and Social Media, Marketing Budgets, Twitter and Facebook 85% of survey respondents say that original content is critical to the success of their social media campaign. Gordon Plutsky   It’s time for them to pull themselves firmly into the present.  Today, rare is the marketer who is asking, Gordon Plutsky King Fish Media Two thirds of the company’s surveyed (67%) focus their social media efforts on their company as a whole, while 41% promote individuals within the company and 24% promote a specific brand.last_img read more

10 Easy Ways to Improve Landing Page Conversions

first_img 3. Your grammar should be impeccable 9. Keep it above the fold Conversion Rate Optimization We’ve put together a compelling list of ways you can improve your Test Case: Google AdWords determines cost-per-click in part based on the quality of your landing page. You can improve your score, and bring down your cost-per-click, by making sure your landing page’s content aligns with your ad messaging. Not only does this make acquiring leads less expensive, it also improves the effectiveness of your pages: customers who click on your ad will be get information relating directly to what they clicked on.    from Google Labs is a great tool to find out what portion of your page most visitors can see without scrolling. redesigning their Firefox page Browsersize 5. Use a strong call-to-action Originally published Jul 26, 2011 1:15:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 , a Diabetes logbook application, redesigned its homepage, it tested two different headlines against each other. The headline “Maintain your optimal health by keeping tabs on your diabetes” converted more than 31% better than an identical page with the headline “Keeping tabs on your diabetes just got a whole lot easier.” A stronger headline that addressed a specific pain point (maintaining optimal health) , they tested two different calls-to-action: “Try Firefox 3” and “Download Now – Free.” The second call-to-action outperformed the first by 3.6% with at confidence level of over 99%, resulting in over 500 more downloads during their tests alone. 7. Go easy on the links 4. Take advantage of trust indicators The Internet isn’t exactly known for being free of typos and poor writing. Take the time to make sure your body copy is free of errors. If you are asking visitors to hand over their money but your website contains spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, why should a user trust you with their money? By forgetting to spell-check your body copy, you are risking your conversions. It’s as simple as that. . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Images and videos can make a huge impact on your landing page’s effectiveness, but only if they directly relate to your body copy. An image or video that relates to your copy helps strengthen your message to your visitor. It’s great to have screenshots of your product in action, or a short video showing the tangible value-proposition your product offers, but it’s more effective if they relate directly to your text. Test Case: 1. Landing page headlines and ad copy should match Guarantee seals Once you’ve followed the general rules of thumb, get started testing – you might have two great headlines, but is one more effective than another? Using a simple A/B Test, you can segment your traffic and find out. AB testing is so great because you can test and optimize everything about your webpage until you receive the response-rate you are looking for. There’s no universal right answer for what webpage works best, but testing can ensure that your webpage is the best that it can be. and conversions. These tips are easy to implement and, more importantly, can start improving your results immediately.  Building trust on your landing page is essential to improving your conversions. Here are several effective ways to build trust: The goal of your landing page is to convince visitors to perform a particular action. After they read your landing page, they need to know what to do next. That’s what your call-to-action is about: providing an actionable next step in the most effective way possible. 3rd party trust and security certification (Better Business Bureau, VeriSign, etc.) 2. Your headlines must be clear and concise Testimonials (personal and well written). Learn more about testimonials  When Mozilla was  Your landing page headline is one of the first things a visitor reads. Make it clear what you’re offering in a compelling way. A poorly written headline will bore or confuse your visitors into leaving, while a well-written headline can compel your visitors to take a closer look. When  Carelogger 10. Always be testing The following is a guest post from Justin Rachwalski, Strategy Lead at Google. The implications of trust are huge: when ACLens began using Extended Validation SSL Certificates from Verisign, they saw a 41% increase in conversion and a 58% increases in revenue per transaction. These types of results from trust increases are not uncommon, and it’s no surprise why: when visitors are confident about the security of their online purchases, purchasing feels less risky. The “fold” refers to the space your visitors can see without scrolling. There is a lot to be said for keeping the most important parts of your webpage in that space. When deciding where to put your button, think about the flow of your page. Does it follow the path of your eye when you scan? Does your design take into consideration average browser size? It should. If people have to search for the button, or if you put it below the fold, it will negatively impact your conversions.  8. Use images and videos that relate to your copy Test case: A conversion button, usually placed right below your call-to-action, should stand out. If it’s difficult for your visitors to perform the desired conversion, your conversion numbers will suffer. Part of making that conversion easy is using a well-crafted button: place it next to your call-to-action (and above the fold) and make it large enough to see (a bright color doesn’t hurt, either). If you must have other buttons on your landing page, your primary button should be the biggest and most prominent. It’s worth noting that A/B testing a single site design has a glass ceiling – at some point you reach the maximum conversions possible for that design, and a completely different design may be capable of better conversion rates. You can, however, also test two completely different site designs against each other. Press mentions One of the biggest threats to conversion is going off-message. Distracting your visitor with too many outbound links or related pages can negatively impact conversions. Lots of links may make sense on a regular homepage, but on a landing page they can hinder both your experience and the user’s. If a user has trouble finding what they’re looking for, expect to see your conversions drop. 6. Make your buttons and calls-to-action stand out Topics: landing pages herelast_img read more

71% More Likely to Purchase Based on Social Media Referrals [Infographic]

first_img Originally published Jan 9, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated June 28 2019 Social Media Engagement 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 Ecommerce companies that invest in inbound marketing will greatly increase their opportunity to grow online sales, lower COCA (cost of customer acquisition), and increase new customer retention. Consumers connect, rate, discuss, and consume product information and reviews like never before, making a strong online presence paramount for all sizes of ecommerce businesses. Ecommerce inbound marketing makes it possible for online stores to take advantage of the emerging social revolution by gravitating consumers to their own brands and products, driving organic and social media traffic and sales, lowering COCA, and increasing the adoption of customer retention along the way.  Free Download: 45 Customer Referral TemplatesThe below infographic design from Killer Infographics is a great illustration of the importance of ecommerce inbound marketing. Feel free to use the embed code for this infographic below if you’d like to publish it to your website or blog and share your own analysis or discussion. Enjoy! Save Ecommerce Marketing Software – All-In-One Inbound Marketing SoftwareSaveTo learn more about ecommerce inbound marketing and the success businesses can achieve, be sure to check out the HubSpot case study about CoolProducts.com, which increased its social media traffic by 237% in just 4 months with ecommerce inbound marketing!last_img read more

11 Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Email Click-Through Rates

first_img Email Marketing Metrics 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 If you’ve been running your email marketing campaign for even a few months, you’re probably able to anticipate the click-through rate of each campaign. And hey, good for you for having a handle on your inbound marketing analytics . But it’s a new year, and now’s the time to dream big. Let’s start improving that email click-through rate to really give your CMO something to smile about. If you’re not sure how to go about improving your email CTR, here are 11 sure-fire ways to do it. And remember that email marketing provides a prime opportunity for A/B testing ; you should employ it in all of your email marketing campaigns to ensure you’re always improving upon emails to get the most ROI possible (which means more bragging rights for you). 11 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Email Click-Through Rate 1.) Test your subject lines. Click-through rate is often used in email marketing to refer specifically to the click-through rate of an offer in the body of your email. But you first need to get recipients to click into the email. Once you’ve nailed email deliverability, start A/B testing the subject lines you’re using. We’ve also written a guide to help you master the craft of writing click-worthy email subject lines . 2.) Less is more with copy. Write shorter emails to increase the likelihood that email recipients will encounter your offer before getting bored and deleting it. You can also help combat this by frontloading your best copy. 3.) Include social sharing options. Econsultancy published results finding that emails that include just one social sharing option generated 30% higher click-through rates than emails without any social sharing links. That CTR jumped to 55% higher with 3 or more social sharing options . Even if your readers don’t want to redeem your email’s offer, they might know a friend who does. Give them that opportunity by including social sharing buttons , and watch your click-through rate soar. 4.) Segment your email lists. If you wonder why we harp on email segmentation so much, this is one of the primary reasons. Aside from preventing you from annoying email recipients with irrelevant offers, list segmentation lets you provide a more targeted offer, increasing the likelihood your reader will click through. In fact, research shows that marketers who segment their lists enjoy 18% more transactions, 24% more sales leads, and 24% greater revenue. 5.) Offer targeted content. This is why you segment your list! Now that you know to whom you’re sending your email, consider what content they want, and use that for your offer. If your offer speaks to your recipient’s needs, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll receive more clicks to redeem that offer. 6.) Personalize your emails. You can further target your list and the content in your email by including elements of personalization. Part of effective lead nurturing is knowing about your prospects’ and customers’ purchase history, download history, satisfaction score, and website activity. This will allow you to provide the most relevant offers that will receive more click-throughs due to the targeted nature of your email. 7.) Remove distractions from the email. Just like when you’re building landing pages, it’s important to remove distractions from your email template. Resist the urge to include a header that includes your website navigation, or include multiple offers with the hopes that at least something in the email will compel readers to click. This is a signal that your email doesn’t have a specific enough goal. Step back, and consider the objective of the email. What one thing do you want the reader to do? If your goal is to get more Facebook fans with this email, then that’s what you should write copy around, and that’s the call-to-action you should highlight in your email. Don’t give readers the opportunity to get distracted by your blog posts, product pages, or any other part of your site. 8.) Slap your reader across the face with your call-to-action. 9.) Include a P.S. The P.S. is a great tactic to reiterate an offer, or to attract the attention of email scanners (let’s face it, that’s most of us). The eye is drawn to the visual call out of the P.S. and is a great opportunity to A/B test whether your offers receive greater or fewer click-throughs with its inclusion. 10.) Create a sense of urgency. A tactic that works particularly well for product marketers is putting limits on your offers. This forces readers to redeem them quickly, increasing your click-through rate. But don’t feel bad. If your email marketing is well segmented , you’re providing them with a product that is well suited to their needs! 11.) Make sure your emails are mobile optimized. Research shows that of the 70 million US consumers who access email through their mobile device, 43% check their email on it 4 or more times a day . If you’re not optimizing your emails for mobile, you’re completely missing out on a huge opportunity for these mobile readers to click your calls-to-action. If you haven’t already started to optimize your emails for mobile, 2012 is the perfect time to begin and take advantage of this huge segment of the population that’s growing like gangbusters. What have you done to successfully increase the click-through rate of your email marketing campaigns ? What one tactic has worked the best for you? Image credit: RambergMediaImages Originally published Jan 3, 2012 6:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more

How to Decide Between a Dedicated or Shared IP for Email Marketing

first_img Email Deliverability At last week’s eM+C event , All About eMail Live!, several questions arose at a roundtable discussion about the benefits of a shared IP versus a dedicated IP for your email marketing sending. If you’re weighing these two options, it can get a little confusing as one solution is not always better than the other for every business.Selecting the right solution for you depends on a variety of factors. And the first step to figuring out whether you should opt for a dedicated or shared IP is by understanding what exactly the difference between these two options is. Let’s get started with some definitions: Shared IP: A shared IP is one that is used by more than one sender, i.e. a pool of companies. Dedicated IP: A dedicated IP is one that is used by a single sender. The sender must purchase and set up the dedicated IP with their email marketing vendor.Now let’s dive into the factors that should go into selecting a dedicated or shared IP. Cost This aspect of the decision is fairly straightforward. Shared IPs are usually less expensive than dedicated IPs because your email marketing vendor can spread the cost of a shared IP across more customers. Companies opting for a dedicated IP also typically have to pay for the initial setup fees and/or recurring maintenance costs. But you’re probably not making a decision based on cost alone, so let’s move on to the next factor that will impact your decision. Maintenance With a dedicated IP, you need to need to make sure you’re sending out enough email to maintain a top notch reputation with ISPs. (We’ll talk more about reputation as a factor in your decision next.) If you opt for a dedicated IP and you either don’t send much email, or you don’t send email on a consistent basis, then it could be difficult to establish yourself as a trustworthy, spam-free sender. This negatively impacts your deliverability; ISPs and webmail services look for a decent amount of consistent volume before they allow you to reach their users’ inboxes.In the case of a shared IP, however, this is not a problem — your email service provider (ESP) can pool the emails of multiple senders, and thus maintain the IP’s reputation so you don’t have to worry about maintaining the proper sending volume. Reputation As you may already know, your sender reputation is everything when it comes to deliverability. If you are sending from an email server with a spic-and-span reputation, your emails will make it in front of the eyes of your subscribers. And as we noted previously, your email volume is one factor that goes into the decision to place your emails in a recipient’s inbox. The other contributing factors pertain to list cleanliness, which is determined by metrics like hard bounce rate , spamtrap hits, and SPAM complaint rate.Senders on a shared IP are lumped together from a reputation standpoint. The reputation of the IP you’re using is determined by the email practices of everyone who uses that IP. For that reason, ESPs are often proactive about list cleanliness by establishing import rules , and typically monitor their servers for senders employing poor or black-hat email marketing tactics that could hurt deliverability for everyone.Now you may be thinking, “If I go with my own dedicated IP, I’ll never have to worry about the consequences of other senders’ bad behavior.” That’s true — but this means you need to be completely honest with yourself about your own email practices. If you’re not completely confident in the cleanliness of your list, it’s possible that you can actually benefit from the good habits of your neighbors on a shared IP. I’m not advocating that you test your ESP’s threshold for bad practices, rather pointing out that you are more accountable for your actions when you use a dedicated IP. What to Do Once You Decide on Shared vs. Dedicated IP So let’s say you’ve made a decision. What are the next steps? If you’re going to go with a shared IP, make sure you ask your ESP these two questions: 1) What are your rules for importing subscribers? ( Here is a list of the questions HubSpot asks of our own customers. ) These rules are important for you to know — not only because your IP neighbors have to abide by them, but also because you have to, too! 2) What are the acceptance rates of your shared IPs? You can follow this up by asking for their Return Path Sender Score , the trusted standard for email deliverability. To give you a sense of what is normal, a recent study from Return Path reported that for servers with a Sender Score of 91+ (i.e. legitimate servers), only 88% of messages actually ended up in the inbox. If you go the alternate route and decide you’re ready for a dedicated IP, talk to your ESP about their offerings and be prepared to warm up any new IP addresses. Warming up an IP address is a critical step to earning a stellar reputation. The idea is that you want to gradually increase the volume of email sent, rather than blasting out a large volume too quickly. As a new IP address, ISPs won’t recognize you as a “good sender” right away, and therefore could mistake your new blasts as malicious, impacting your deliverability. Have you ever been through the process of deciding between a dedicated or shared IP? Share the process you used to evaluate the pros and cons in the comments! 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 Mar 27, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics:last_img read more