Disney Cruise Line Preview — Week of March 10, 2018

first_imgSo while we are all still riding the high of those fantastic Summer 2019 itineraries, Disney goes and hits us with just a teensy bit more awesomeness – new. ship. rendering!!!! Ok, so it’s just one picture of the ship exterior, but oh my stars, can we say gorgeous! There are so many details about the three new ships that are yet to be revealed, but here’s what we know so far:Each of the three new ships will be approximately 140,000 gross tons (to compare, the Magic and Wonder are just under 85,000 gross tons, and the Dream and Fantasy are just about 130,000 gross tons).There will be about 1,250 guest staterooms (the Magic and Wonder have 875 staterooms, and the Dream and Fantasy have 1,250).The new ships will run on liquefied natural gas, one of the cleanest burning fuels.The three new ships will debut in 2021, 2022, and 2023.They are going to be crazy amazing (*maybe not an actual published fact, but a fact nonetheless).The new ships will be in the same gorgeous style as the current fleet, with some new touches – check out those bump outs above the lifeboats! We have sooooo long to wait until we get onboard, but until then, I’ll keep drooling and dreaming of what’s to come!Yesterday, the Disney Magic arrived in Miami, all clean and pretty and ready to embark on her first post-drydock cruise today. The Disney Cruise Line Blog pointed out some changes already made to the deck plans reflecting the new areas. I know I’m on pins and needles anticipating reviews on the updates to the Oceaneer Club, Cove Cafe, the Rainforest Room, but most of all, the total change from Carioca’s to Rapunzel’s Royal Table. Anyone reading going to be on the 5-night Bahamian cruise today?? And finally, this week’s special offers. Most every week of the year, Disney Cruise Line releases special offers for Florida Residents and U.S. Military Personnel.  There are also frequently IGT/OGT/VGT rates available for all guests to book.  These offers are extremely limited in availability, and all come with certain restrictions, but the prices are amazing! You can book these online, on the phone, or with your travel agent. These are the current offers available this week: Disney Cruise Line: In The News Upcoming EntertainmentThe following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:Beauty and the BeastBorn In ChinaGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesCars 3Doctor StrangeStar Wars: The Force AwakensThor: RagnarokCocoMoanaStar Wars: The Last JediBlack PantherFor future reference, films debut on Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Films do vary by ship. Show times are available in your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.Captain’s Log: Important Tips and InformationExperienced cruisers know all about the award-winning entertainment onboard the Disney Cruise ships, but many first time cruisers have some questions about what’s offered. Here’s some commonly asked questions/answers about the evening shows:Do I need to reserve a showtime? Nope! Your showtime will be opposite of your dinner seating. So, if you are on main dining, you will attend the second show, and if you are on late dining you will attend the first show. No tickets are necessary.What types of shows are offered? Shows will vary by ship, but each will feature their own unique Broadway-style production, like Tangled on the Magic, Frozen on the Wonder, Beauty and the Beast on the Dream, and Aladdin on the Fantasy. There are also shows made just for DCL, like Disney’s Believe. Depending on the itinerary, you may also have other live entertainment like magicians or variety acts, and on occasion there will be a movie shown in the theater. Will my kids be able to sit through the show? Theoretically, yes! The shows are all done with families in mind, and typically run about 45-60 minutes long. If your little one needs an extra lift for a good view, there are booster seats available by the doors when you enter the theater.Can I bring snacks or drinks in with me? Yes! You can bring your own snacks in with you if you wish. You can also stop at Preludes outside the theater to purchase candy, popcorn, drinks, and cocktails. Preludes is on all four ships.Previous cruisers – what’s your favorite show onboard??Are you deciding whether to book a Disney Cruise but are having a tough time picking which ship fits all of your desires? Well, our own Laurel Stewart has put together a chart that makes it easy to compare all of the options in one place. Also available as a valuable planning and companion guide from authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The companion guide contains a complete overview of each Disney ship as well as Castaway Cay and includes valuable tips on how to save time and money during your cruise!Special thanks Scott Sanders of The DCL Blog for assistance on this article.Thanks for joining me again this week. “Sea” you next time!!The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.center_img Share This!Sponsored by Storybook DestinationsAhoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.Ports of Calllast_img read more

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

Google Gets Mini-Sitelinks

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… phil glockner A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Googleannounced a new, smaller version of their sitelinks search feature on their official Webmaster Blog today. The new mini-sitelinks will appear on more than just the top search result, and will occupy a maximum of one line and four links per result. Sitelinks were originally added by Google to help people jump to more specific portions of large web domains like Amazon or About.com. Additionally, the original version of sitelinks ws only generated for the top-most result of a search query; the new one-liners can appear on other results on the first page. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Sitelinks can be seen as a slow encroachment of Google into a function that is traditionally part of the experience of visiting a site. Depending on how a site is structured, a business might not appreciate customers being pushed directly to a page below the front page. It could be seen as taking away from the customer’s average time on site (a commonly measured site statistic) as well as potentially confusing if a company’s offerings are complex and require some explanation. To this end, Google has made available settings in its suite of Google Webmaster Tools that allow domain holders, once registered, to block specific sitelinks from being listed in Google search results. It does appear that the block is only temporary (90 days) and for specific pages – which means webmasters are going to have a headache dealing with it if they have a lot of potential sitelink pages to block. In any case, Google has written about how to block sitelinks here. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Google#news#web Related Posts last_img read more

Everything You Need To Know About CSS Margins

first_img Depiction of the CSS Box Model in CSS1The four margin properties for each side of the box and the margin shorthand were all defined in CSS1.The CSS2.1 specification has an illustration to demonstrate the Box Model and also defines terms we still use to describe the various boxes. The specification describes the content box, padding box, border box, and margin box, each being defined by the edges of the content, padding, border, and margin respectively. Posted on 15th July 2019Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Everything You Need To Know About CSS Margins Everything You Need To Know About CSS Margins Rachel Andrew 2019-07-15T12:30:59+02:00 2019-07-15T12:36:09+00:00One of the first things most of us learned when we learned CSS, was details of the various parts of a box in CSS, described as The CSS Box Model. One of the elements in the Box Model is the margin, a transparent area around a box, which will push other elements away from the box contents. The margin-top, margin-right, margin-bottom and margin-left properties were described right back in CSS1, along with the shorthand margin for setting all four properties at once.A margin seems to be a fairly uncomplicated thing, however, in this article, we will take a look at some of the things which trip people up with regard to using margins. In particular, we will be looking at how margins interact with each other, and how margin collapsing actually works.The CSS Box ModelAs with all articles about parts of the CSS Box Model, we should define what we mean by that, and how the model has been clarified through versions of CSS. The Box Model refers to how the various parts of a box — the content, padding, border, and margin — are laid out and interact with each other. In CSS1, the Box Model was detailed with the ASCII art diagram shown in the image below. DepvTools can help you see where your margin ends upOnly Block Margins CollapseThe last example also highlights something about margin collapsing. In CSS2, only vertical margins are specified to collapse — that is the top and bottom margins on an element if you are in a horizontal writing mode. So the left and right margins above are not collapsing and ending up outside the wrapper.Note: It is worth remembering that margins only collapse in the block direction, such as between paragraphs.Things Which Prevent Margin CollapsingMargins never collapse if an item has absolute positioning, or is floated. However, assuming you have run into one of the places where margins collapse outlined above, how can you stop those margins collapsing?The first thing that stops collapsing is situations where there is something between the elements in question.For example, a box completely empty of content will not collapse it’s top and bottom margin if it has a border, or padding applied. In the example below I have added 1px of padding to the box. There is now a 50-pixel margin above and below the box.See the Pen [Margins: empty boxes with padding do not collapse](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/gNeMpg) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: empty boxes with padding do not collapse by Rachel Andrew.This has logic behind it, if the box is completely empty with no border or padding, it is essentially invisible. It might be an empty paragraph element thrown into the markup by your CMS. If your CMS was adding redundant paragraph elements, you probably wouldn’t want them to cause large gaps between the other paragraphs due to their margins being honored. Add anything to the box, and you will get those gaps.Similar behavior can be seen with margins on first or last children which collapse through the parent. If we add a border to the parent, the margins on the children stay inside.See the Pen [Margins: margin on first and last child doesn’t collapse if the parent has a border](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/vqRKKX) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: margin on first and last child doesn’t collapse if the parent has a border by Rachel Andrew.Once again, there is some logic to the behavior. If you have wrapping elements for semantic purposes that do not display visually, you probably don’t want them to introduce big gaps in the display. This made a lot of sense when the web was mostly text. It is less useful as behavior when we are using elements to lay out a design.Creating a Block Formatting ContextA new Block Formatting Context (BFC) will also prevent margin collapsing through the containing element. If we look again at the example of the first and last child, ending up with their margins outside of the wrapper, and give the wrapper display: flow-root, thus creating a new BFC, the margins stay inside.See the Pen [Margins: a new Block Formatting Context contains margins](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/VJXjEp) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: a new Block Formatting Context contains margins by Rachel Andrew.To find out more about display: flow-root, read my article “Understanding CSS Layout And The Block Formatting Context”. Changing the value of the overflow property to auto will have the same effect, as this also creates a new BFC, although it may also create scrollbars that you didn’t want in some scenarios.Flex And Grid ContainersFlex and Grid containers establish Flex and Grid formatting contexts for their children, so they have different behavior to block layout. One of those differences is that margins do not collapse:“A flex container establishes a new flex formatting context for its contents. This is the same as establishing a block formatting context, except that flex layout is used instead of block layout. For example, floats do not intrude into the flex container, and the flex container’s margins do not collapse with the margins of its contents.”— Flexbox Level 1If we take the example above and make the wrapper into a flex container, displaying the items with flex=direction: column, you can see that the margins are now contained by the wrapper. Additionally, margins between adjacent flex items do not collapse with each other, so we end up with 100 pixels between flex items, the total of the 50 pixels on the top and bottom of the items.See the Pen [Margins: margins on flex items do not collapse](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/mZxreL) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: margins on flex items do not collapse by Rachel Andrew.Margin Strategies For Your SiteDue to margin collapsing, it is a good idea to come up with a consistent way of dealing with margins in your site. The simplest thing to do is to only define margins on the top or bottom of elements. In that way, you should not run into margin collapsing issues too often as the side with a margin will always be adjacent to a side without a margin.Note: Harry Roberts has an excellent post detailing the reasons why setting margins only in one direction is a good idea, and not just due to solving collapsing margin issues.This solution doesn’t solve the issues you might run into with margins on children collapsing through their parent. That particular issue tends to be less common, and knowing why it is happening can help you come up with a solution. An ideal solution to that is to give components which require it display: flow-root, as a fallback for older browsers you could use overflow to create a BFC, turn the parent into a flex container, or even introduce a single pixel of padding. Don’t forget that you can use feature queries to detect support for display: flow-root so only old browsers get a less optimal fix.Most of the time, I find that knowing why margins collapse (or didn’t) is the key thing. You can then figure out on a case-by-case basis how to deal with it. Whatever you choose, make sure to share that information with your team. Quite often margin collapsing is a bit mysterious, so the reason for doing things to counter it may be non-obvious! A comment in your code goes a long way to help — you could even link to this article and help to share the margin collapsing knowledge.I thought that I would round up this article with a few other margin-related pieces of information.Percentage MarginsWhen you use a percentage in CSS, it has to be a percentage of something. Margins (and padding) set using percentages will always be a percentage of the inline size (width in a horizontal writing mode) of the parent. This means that you will have equal-sized padding all the way around the element when using percentages.In the CodePen example below, I have a wrapper which is 200 pixels wide, inside is a box which has a 10% margin, the margin is 20 pixels on all sides, that being 10% of 200.See the Pen [Margins: percentage margins](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/orqzrP) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: percentage margins by Rachel Andrew.Margins In A Flow-Relative WorldWe have been talking about vertical margins throughout this article, however, modern CSS tends to think about things in a flow relative rather than a physical way. Therefore, when we talk about vertical margins, we really are talking about margins in the block dimension. Those margins will be top and bottom if we are in a horizontal writing mode, but would be right and left in a vertical writing mode written left to right.Once working with logical, flow relative directions it becomes easier to talk about block start and block end, rather than top and bottom. To make this easier, CSS has introduced the Logical Properties and Values specification. This maps flow relative properties onto the physical ones.For margins, this gives us the following mappings (if we are working in English or any other horizontal writing mode with a left-to-right text direction).margin-top = margin-block-startmargin-right = margin-inline-endmargin-bottom = margin-block-endmargin-left = margin-inline-startWe also have two new shorthands which allow for the setting of both blocks at once or both inline.margin-blockmargin-inlineIn the next CodePen example, I have used these flow relative keywords and then changed the writing mode of the box, you can see how the margins follow the text direction rather than being tied to physical top, right, bottom, and left.See the Pen [Margins: flow relative margins](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/BgrQRj) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: flow relative margins by Rachel Andrew.You can read more about logical properties and values on MDN or in my article “Understanding Logical Properties And Values” here on Smashing Magazine.To Wrap-UpYou now know most of what there is to know about margins! In short:Margin collapsing is a thing. Understanding why it happens and when it doesn’t will help you solve any problems it may cause.Setting margins in one direction only solves many margin related headaches.As with anything in CSS, share with your team the decisions you make, and comment your code.Thinking about block and inline dimensions rather than the physical top, right, bottom and left will help you as the web moves towards being writing mode agnostic. (il)From our sponsors: Everything You Need To Know About CSS Margins HomeWeb DesignEverything You Need To Know About CSS Marginscenter_img Depection of the CSS Box Model in CSS2There is now a Level 3 Box Model specification as a Working Draft. This specification refers back to CSS2 for the definitions of the Box Model and margins, therefore it is the CSS2 definition we will be using for the majority of this article.Margin CollapsingThe CSS1 specification, as it defined margins, also defined that vertical margins collapse. This collapsing behavior has been the source of margin-related frustration ever since. Margin collapsing makes sense if you consider that in those early days, CSS was being used as a documenting formatting language. Margin collapsing means that when a heading with a bottom margin, is followed by a paragraph with a top margin, you do not get a huge gap between those items.When margins collapse, they will combine so that the space between the two elements becomes the larger of the two margins. The smaller margin essentially ending up inside the larger one.Margins collapse in the following situations:Adjacent siblingsCompletely empty boxesParent and first or last child elementLet’s take a look at each of these scenarios in turn, before looking at the things which prevent margins from collapsing in these scenarios.Adjacent SiblingsMy initial description of margin collapsing is a demonstration of how the margins between adjacent siblings collapse. Other than in the situations mentioned below, if you have two elements displaying one after the other in normal flow, the bottom margin of the first element will collapse with the top margin of the following element.In the CodePen example below, there are three div elements. The first has a top and bottom margin of 50 pixels. The second has a top and bottom margin of 20px. The third has a top and bottom margin of 3em. The margin between the first two elements is 50 pixels, as the smaller top margin is combined with the larger bottom margin. The margin between the second two elements in 3em, as 3em is larger than the 20 pixels on the bottom of the second element.See the Pen [Margins: adjacent siblings](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/OevMPo) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: adjacent siblings by Rachel Andrew.Completely Empty BoxesIf a box is empty, then it’s top and bottom margin may collapse with each other. In the following CodePen example, the element with a class of empty has a top and bottom margin of 50 pixels, however, the space between the first and third items is not 100 pixels, but 50. This is due to the two margins collapsing. Adding anything to that box (even padding) will cause the top and bottom margins to be used and not collapse.See the Pen [Margins: empty boxes](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/JQLGMr) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: empty boxes by Rachel Andrew.Parent And First Or Last Child ElementThis is the margin collapsing scenario which catches people out most often, as it does not seem particularly intuitive. In the following CodePen, I have a div with a class of wrapper, and I have given that div an outline in red so that you can see where it is. The three child elements all have a margin of 50 pixels. However, the first and last items are flush with the edges of the wrapper; there is not a 50-pixel margin between the element and the wrapper.See the Pen [Margins: margin on first and last child](https://codepen.io/rachelandrew/pen/BgrKGp) by Rachel Andrew. See the Pen Margins: margin on first and last child by Rachel Andrew.This is because the margin on the child collapses with any margin on the parent thus ending up on the outside of the parent. You can see this if you inspect the first child using DevTools. The highlighted yellow area is the margin. Everything You Need To Know About CSS MarginsYou are here: Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019last_img read more

4 Reasons Your Store Needs an eCommerce Website to Grow

first_img E-Commerce Websites Originally published Jan 12, 2011 1:30:00 PM, updated August 09 2019 For a business to grow it must consistently reach new customers and communicate effectively with existing ones. If you have a physical storefront you’ve probably realized these two requirements for growth are not easily achieved.  Creating an eCommerce website allows a retail store to break-through the limitations a physical location presents, while increasing sales of its products.Download Now: Ecommerce Marketing Plan Template4 Reasons an eCommerce Website is Necessary to Grow Your Store: 1. Collect lead and customer data for email marketing.We know it’s tough to collect email addresses and other useful information during checkout in your store. Shoppers at the finish line of making a purchase will normally decide not to extend the process by providing info for the clerk to plug-in regardless of the offer. Gathering information online is much more effective as website visitors can do this on their own time.Take into consideration the fact that you only have the opportunity to speak to someone making a purchase, leaving out all prospective customers who leave without a bag in their hand – collecting leads online is a more effective method.Email marketing gives you the ability to increase new and repeat business by strategically and continuously re-engaging prospective customers. This opportunity doesn’t exist for businesses strictly running a physical storefront. You’ll also need to develop ways to capture email addresses with various offers your website can provide.2. Reach new prospective customers through search engines.A large factor in a physical store’s success derives from location. If you’re not in a good one the visibility of the store is lessened. Having an eCommerce website levels the playing field between prime locations and less trafficked areas. Instead of your physical address determining your business’s location, your ability to rank in searches engines determines how visible you are. Potential customers who haven’t driven past your stores or heard about your from someone else, have the ability to find you online. Everyday someone is searching for something relevant to your stores products and eCommerce site gives you the ability to get found by and sell your products to them directly through the web.3. Increase visibility of store promotions.Every store has certain promotions and are always looking for ways to spread the word about their newest deals.  Your eCommerce store is another avenue to market your special promotions. These promotions are also a great way to execute on the first point of this post, collecting email addresses.  Visitors to either one of your stores (online and offline) should be exposed to these promotions so they can take advantage of them. Promotions help the business grow shor- term with increased sales and long-term since promotions typically include a sign-up step – giving you the ability to reach out to these people later for repeat business.4. Allow prospective customers to shop where, how, and when they want.If you only have one way people can shop for your products you’re missing out on the percentage of shoppers who prefer to (and sometimes are only willing to) shop the alternate way.Many people like to shop online to avoid traveling time and traffic while enjoying the comfort of their own home. Shopping online also gives them the ability to shop when they want; including times that your store is closed. Remember, your eCommerce store is ALWAYS open. Regardless of an individual’s reasons, more and more people are turning online to get shopping done.Others prefer to drive to the physical store so they can touch and examine the products. Even if they found your store online and researched your products in more detail, they may decide to make the commute to the store in order to make the purchase.The advantages of one store will counter the disadvantages of the other which allows store owners to cover all of their bases and eliminate the possibility of these disadvantages affecting their sales numbers.To learn more about the benefits of have both an online and offline location, also known as “click and mortar”, and how the two can work together please register for our “click and mortar” webinar .Photo credit: aota.org Topics: 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

20 Variables Every Marketer Should Be Testing

first_img Originally published Oct 7, 2011 12:00:00 PM, updated October 29 2019 Topics: We talk a lot about how marketing analytics is key to inbound marketing success. Another concept that goes hand-in-hand with analytics is testing. Contrary to popular practice, testing in marketing expands beyond email marketing and can be applied to practically every other inbound marketing tactic — social media, business blogging, landing pages, lead generation, and lead nurturing — there’s virtually nothing you can’t test in your marketing.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.While we believe marketers should constantly be testing their marketing, the first step is identifying the different marketing variables you can test. And because so many of these variables are applicable across channels, you’ll likely never run out of tests to run or experiments to try. The following 20 testing variables can lead you to discover valuable opportunities to optimize and improve the performance of your marketing initiatives.20 Variables to Test in Inbound Marketing 1. Layout: Test the layout within individual content items like blog posts, email marketing messages, lead nurturing emails as well as website pages like landing pages, your main website homepage, your blog homepage, etc. Move elements of your pages around, and test the performance of one layout vs. another.2. Calls-to-Action (CTAs): CTAs offer a number of testing opportunities. Test the performance of different calls-to-action based on their placement on various pages of your website and within certain pieces of content like blog posts, ebooks, and webinars. 3. Content Offers: Calls-to-action are made up of different offers, such as an ebook, a webinar, a free trial, etc. Test calls-to-action in terms of different offer topics in your industry and various formats (video vs. webinar vs. ebook vs. free trial, etc.). Do certain offers focused on a particular topic or in a specific format tend to resonate better with your audience? These types of tests can help you indentify the wants and needs of your prospects and customers and help you create content your audience cares about.4. Color: Test the color of your call-to-action buttons. You can even just test the overall color scheme of your website or blog. Do certain colors elicit a better response than others?5. Size: Sometimes, just making a CTA button, an image, or a headline a few hairs bigger can make a huge difference. Maybe your headline isn’t prominent enough to catch the site visitor’s attention. Or maybe your call-to-action is too small to stand out. Test the sizing of different website and content elements.6. Email Subject Line: In your email marketing and lead nurturing emails, test different versions of subject lines to determine which results in the best click-through rate. Do you find that a more actionable or sensational subject line performs better than others?7. Blog Titles: Similarly, do some testing and analysis of blog titles. Do numbers in your titles produce better results? Over time, can you notice a pattern of specific words that have consistently attracted lots of views?8. Email Sender: Test various versions of how you present your email sender. Does a stand-alone name of one of your employees work better than your company name? What about a combination of the two?9. Email Templates: Create a few different email templates, and test their effectiveness over each other in your email marketing and lead nurturing messages.10. Length: Test the length of your landing page copy and forms (shorter forms may be better for your business than longer forms, or vice versa), your content (do your readers prefer shorter or longer blog posts with more copy?), your email messages, and social media updates like tweets, Facebook, and LinkedIn updates.11. Messaging: Have you varied the way you position your message? Try a different angle, and see what effect it has.12. Tone: Test different tones in your writing and positioning. Does a more serious approach work better than an edgier one? Be careful with this one though — once you’ve done some testing and defined your most effective tone, stick with it. Your company should have a recognizable, consistent voice across all your messages and content.13. Images: Test how people respond to different types of images — in your blog posts, your email messages, your landing pages, your CTAs, etc.14. Timing: Do your tweets get retweeted more in the morning or the afternoon? Do certain days of the week make for better Facebook engagement? Perhaps your email marketing is more effective on Saturdays and your blog posts generate more views during the middle of the week.15. Frequency: Is your particular audience receptive to more or fewer updates from you, whether it be via email, tweets, blog articles, Facebook posts, etc.? Test the frequency of your updates in various channels and take notice of what works best.16. Keywords: Test the performance of your keywords. Can you generate more traffic from a long tail keyword than you’re generating from a more general keyword?17. Paid Search: While not a variable in itself, there are a number of variables and combinations of variables you can test in your paid search efforts, too — keywords, messaging, imagery, offers, etc.18. Targeting and Personalization: Another variable you can test in paid search is targeting! Furthermore, you can test different targeting methods on your homepage, on your landing pages, in your email marketing and lead nurturing, etc.19. Privacy: Does adding a note about protecting visitors’ privacy to certain pages of your website impact your results? Test adding some language that indicates protection of privacy to your landing pages, and see if it results in higher conversion rates.20. Data Visualization: What’s the best way for you to present data? In a pie chart? A graph? An infographic? Try different ways to visualize your data, and see what works best!Regularly testing elements of your marketing can be a great way to identify ways to improve your existing marketing efforts. What other variables can you test in your inbound marketing?Image Credit: [F]oxymoron A/B Testing Don’t forget to share this post! 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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

Promoted Tweets Boost Offline Sales by 29%, and Other Inbound Stories of the Week

first_imgThis week in inbound marketing was kind of different than normal. Most weeks, there’s one or two new product announcements and cool case studies that marketers would want to hear about. This week, there wasn’t much of that — instead, there was lots of new data about Facebook, Twitter, and email, as well as some speculation around new features from Google and Facebook.So all in all, not a ton of actionable news this week, but more overarching trends in technology and consumer behavior that could definitely impact your job down the road. Here’s what happened this week in the world of inbound:Promoted Tweets Boost Offline Sales by 29%, Twitter Says (via VentureBeat)Though it can be easy to measure the ROI of Twitter online … measuring the ROI from Twitter offline is a whole other ball game. But Twitter and Datalogix supposedly have figured it out. In a recent study about promoted tweets, they found that people who engage with promoted tweets drive 12% more sales in-store. And even more impressive is that when a brand’s Twitter followers see the brand’s promoted tweets, they buy 29% more than other followers who simply see organic tweets.Whoa. ROI proven in Twitter offline sales? Pretty cool, but I’m not surprised. The moral of this story is that building a Twitter following doesn’t just help increase traffic and leads — it can even increase offline sales. As marketers, this is a sign that we’re on the right track building an organic Twitter following and potentially supplementing it with targeted, relevant ads. Bonus: The data’s also a great argument for the next time someone tells you that Twitter doesn’t work for business. Learn more about the study over at VentureBeat.Popularity Pays: People Are 32% More Likely to ‘Like’ if There Is a Preexisting Positive Vote (via Marketing Land)Apparently, most people still live their online lives like they’re in high school. According to a study by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, popularity has a huge effect on how people interact online. In the study, participants chatted in an online forum and were allowed to vote on existing comments and respond with their own. The findings were pretty conclusive. According to Marketing Land, “If users read a comment that had a previous positive score, they were 32% more likely to provide their own positive vote. Overall, those updates with an initial positive vote ended up with scores 25% higher than a control group.”All of this data boils down to one takeaway for marketers: Those first few positive — or negative — votes can have a big impact on the success of your social media content. For marketers, this is a call to make sure we’re always trying to engage our evangelists and community members — these are the folks who passionately love and promote your company. If you can engage them first when you post a social media update, they could help make the rest of your audience notice and love your content. Learn more about this study over at Marketing Land.17 Customizable Templates for Creating Shareable Graphics on Social Media (via HubSpot)One way to catch your evangelists’ attention — or anyone in your audience at all — is through visual content on social media. Even if you’re just sharing a link to your all-text blog post, you need to incorporate engaging visuals into your social media posts. Not sure you know where to start when creating or designing social media graphics? Get our 17 Completely Customizable Templates for Creating Shareable Graphics on Social Media.For Emails, Name Recognition Drives Opens (via eMarketer)This past month, email marketers have been freaking out about the whole new Gmail inbox layout, wondering how they could get noticed amongst the brand new Promotions tab. Well now, we have some data that can help. According to a study by Campaigner, familiarity with sender name is the number one influence on the open rate of marketing emails.For marketers who want to stand out in Gmail’s Promotions tab, there’s one big takeaway: If you aren’t already using real, human names in the “From” field of your email … test it out. It might help increase your familiarity with your subscribers — and thus, increase opens. While our own tests have found that including a real person’s name increases email opens, this might not work with your subscriber lists — so go ahead and run an A/B test of your own. The key here is to make sure your sender name is memorable. Read more about this data over at eMarketer.New Patent Hints at ‘Pay-Per-Gaze’ Advertising for Google Glass (via Mashable)Whether you think that people who wear Google Glass are Glassholes or the forerunners of some game changing technology, you’ve got to admit that if adopted, it would be the beginning of a new era of technology and marketing. This week, Google was granted a new patent that could start this new era — a patent for a tracking technique that’s called “pay-per-gaze.” Basically, with this new patent, Google’s “head mounted gaze tracking device” (aka, Google Glass), could track where you look — and if you look at an ad. Anyone else feeling a little like they’re living in Minority Report? On a personal level, I’m kinda creeped out. While this definitely could open up doors for relevant, contextual advertising, I can’t help but shake how intrusive this could be. Imagine pop-up ads that you see on the internet … but now it real life. You’re on a trip to Paris, staring up at the Eiffel Tower, and then boom — an ad for a French restaurant pops up in your vision, blocking your view. Ugh. This is all speculation, of course, but a very interesting trend to keep an eye on.If you want to learn more about Google’s new patent, read more at Mashable.Facebook Testing Option to Auto-Fill Billing Info for Mobile E-Commerce Payments (via TechCrunch)Facebook could be dipping its toe into ecommerce water with its newest mobile payment test. In the new experiment, Facebook will take credit card information you already had on file to purchase Facebook Gifts and App payments and auto-fill it into participating third-party mobile apps when you would like to make a purchase. While it’s not creating the actual payment system (a la PayPal), it is reducing friction to buy products while you’re shopping on your phone or tablet. This could be huge for ecommerce marketers — think about how easily people could purchase products if all they had to do is connect their Facebook account. Since this is still an experiment for Facebook, there’s no immediate action. But if this feature were integrated with some big box retailers and more people started to use it to purchase products, Facebook could be an even more valuable place for marketers to spend their time. Learn more about this new experiment at TechCrunch.What other inbound marketing stories did you hear about this week?Image credit: keiyac 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 Aug 18, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Twitter Marketing Topics:last_img read more

25 Demand Gen Resources, Stats, and Visuals Worth Bookmarking

first_imgReading this headline, you might be thinking, “What is demand gen, and what does it have to do with what I’ve spent the last few years doing with my marketing strategy?”Don’t worry. Your instincts are dead-on. The marketing world is jam-packed with jargon, and yes, demand gen is yet another term to know.But it’s more than a buzzword. The concept is foundational to your marketing, and even though you may not realize it. Here’s how I defined the concept in a previous blog post:“Demand generation captures the umbrella of marketing programs that get customers excited about your company’s product and services. Demand generation programs can help your organization reach new markets, promote new product features, build consumer buzz, generate PR, and re-engage existing customers. Demand generation, however, is more than just a branding concept or early funnel marketing tactic. Demand generation programs are touch points throughout the conversion optimization and sales cycles.”The following list can help you explore the idea of demand gen and develop a full-funnel picture for your company’s marketing strategy:Ebooks, Articles, and Talks: Resources to Guide You1) What Is Demand Gen? – This blog post will walk you through the basics of what this term means and why it matters to marketers. 2) How to Harness Social Networks to Drive Growth – This video will teach you learn how to harness OPNs (other peoples’ networks) to drive demand and growth for your business.3) How to Sell $500,000 in Tickets with Zero Reputation – This blog post will show you how one entrepreneur generated demand for his events company.4) You’re Doing It Wrong: Demand Generation – This article explains why conventional marketing advice may be steering you down the wrong path.5) Why Your Content Marketing Plan Can’t Focus on Both Lead and Demand Generation – What the difference between these two strategies? According to the SlideShare presentation, “Demand generation is focused on shaping the audience’s perspective, while lead generation is focused on capturing their information.” Read the post to learn how to shape your marketing for both types of strategies.6) 6 Ways to Supply a Social Boost to Demand Generation – This slide show will teach you how to integrate your social media campaigns with effective demand gen strategies.7) From Demand Generation to Revenue Generation: How to Become a Revenue Driven Marketer – This article will help you transform marketing activities and efforts into high-impact revenue engines. The focus is on ‘teaching through examples’ with learnings from today’s top marketers.8) Make Your Demand Generation Strategy More Efficient With These 3 Processes – This blog post will teach you how to develop a buyer persona, define the buying process, and develop a content framework.9) How to Design a Compelling Demand Gen Strategy for the C Suite – This blog post will teach you what you need to know about reaching a c-suite audience.10) Demand Generation and Marketing Automation: A #CMWorld Chat with Carlos Hidalgo – This blog post will help you learn about demand gen via tweets.Demand Gen Stats You Should Know11) U.S. inbound marketers spending more than $25K per year saved $14 dollars for every new customer acquired vs. those relying on outbound strategies. (Source: HubSpot)12) Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound leads. (Source: HubSpot)13) Social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC. (Source: HubSpot)14) Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate. (Source: HubSpot) 15) 43% of all marketers have found a customer via LinkedIn in 2013. (Source: HubSpot)16) 36% of all marketers have found a customer via Twitter in 2013. (Source: HubSpot) 17) By spending as little as 6 hours per week, over 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media. (Source: Social Media Examiner)18) 74% of marketers who spend 40+ hours using social media per week earn new business through their efforts. (Source: Social Media Examiner)19) More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least three years report it has helped them improve sales. (Source: Social Media Examiner)20) 49.7% of companies using inbound marketing increase sales within 7 months. (Source: HubSpot)21) B2B companies that blog only 1-2X/month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog at all. (Source: HubSpot)22) Companies that increase blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads. (Source: HubSpot)Awesome Infographics for More Inspiration23) The Blogging Food Groups – This infographic from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions explains the elements of a well balanced blog.24) Geosocial Universe 3.0 – This infographic illuminates how mobile plays a role in today’s social media trends.25) Building the Sales and Marketing Machine of the Future – Learn how marketing and sales teams can effectively join forces to fully engage prospect and customer bases.What is the coolest demand gen resource that you’ve encountered recently? Share what you’ve found with your fellow readers in the comments section below. Originally published Aug 6, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 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 Lead Generationlast_img read more