Jessica Lynch- Soldier, Hero, and Teacher

first_imgWhen I asked Jessica how important it was for her to continue to serve- more than a decade after her heroic time in uniform she was quick to say how she was both “honored and humbled” to have the opportunity to inspire others, and fulfill her original goal of being a hero- as a teacher in the classroom to young boys and girls.  As we honor our veterans this November 11, and as we support them throughout the year, we should reflect on what really makes them heroic.  For Jessica Lynch, as heroic as her actions were in uniform, her commitment to service today is equally inspirational.  Soldier, teacher and- as always- hero! For more on how you can hire today’s heroes please check out all of the resources that SHRM has compiled for you and your organization.  Click here for more. The former- POW’s equally inspiring journey after combat  In March 2003 our nation’s conscious was fixated on the start of military operations in Iraq.  Tens of thousands of our troops marched to Baghdad and beyond, and one of those Soldiers was Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch.  While many may recall the former POW’s harrowing and inspirational story of courage and commitment, her journey and dedication to service after the military is equally heroic. Jessica shared her very powerful and personal story as the opening keynote speaker during SHRM’s October Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Austin, TX.  I had the opportunity to sit-down with Jessica before her opening keynote speech and asked her about life after the Army, and the challenges and opportunities she’s had over these last 13-years since she nearly lost her life in the service of her country.“It’s not easy,” Jessica candidly acknowledged as she discussed both her personal transition from service as well as the challenges thousands of other veterans face each year. center_img The wounds of war – visible or invisible- make that transition all the more challenging.  Jessica talked about those struggles, and how organizations need to be both “patient” and supportive as veterans find their place outside of uniform. last_img read more

The Multiple Truths of Big Data

first_imgdavid strom Tags:#Big Data#hack Second, you may have multiple truths you are going after. Many firms depend on a single consistent version of the truth stemming from a centralized data repository, the report states. That might not be possible as your data scales up and is subject to different interpretations, or what Forrester calls localized or relative truths. Perhaps we need some kind of Colbert-like truthiness metric to figure this all out. Related Posts Last week, Forrester Research tries to grok Big Data with a report entitled, Expand Your Digital Horizon With Big Data. And while it is somewhat amusing to see how they approach the topic as they would a new network router or new version of Office, ultimately the report falls somewhat flat, especially for those of us that have been using these tools and writing about the subject for many years now. While you can obtain the report here for $500 or if you are a client of theirs, I’ll save you the money and highlight just a few areas that are of interest. You can also check out Brian Hopkins’ blog entry here (he was one of the co-authors). The report mentions five common Big Data usage patterns, as you can see in the table below. Some of these are just common sense, and already deployed by many companies across the Internet. There were some insightful things to consider, though.First, it isn’t just a matter of scaling up your existing databases, although that can be a temporary fix to your performance problems. The best Big Data solutions are where you need new ways of thinking about your data that just throwing hardware at things isn’t going to help. You might need to visualize your data in different ways, or start asking different questions. Finally, speed can trump accuracy. “Sometimes two plus two can equal 3.9, and that is good enough,” they state. For certain kinds of analysis, being able to quickly respond to a competitive threat, or to design a new marketing campaign to counter a Twitter-storm of protests, is more important than being spot on. One thing is clear: Big Data is here to stay, and firms who haven’t yet dipped their toes into this pool will be at a disadvantage in the coming years. Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzes Third, you don’t always have perfect business process knowledge. The more complex your business processes, the less you might really understand their relationships, and Big Data can be handy at revealing these insights and help firms deal with processes that can’t be easily tamed.last_img read more

India lose their No.1 ODI ranking to Australia

first_imgAustralia moved five ratings points clear of South Africa, which dropped one place to third after the defeat in the series.Four-time World Champion Australia on Sunday returned to the top of the one-Day International Team Rankings, displacing India, after defeating South Africa 4-1 in a five-match series, as per the latest International Cricket Council release.Australia started the series in third position on 114 ratings points but equalled India’s 117 points, claiming the top spot by 0.2 points when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal point.Australia moved five ratings points clear of South Africa, which dropped one place to third after the defeat in the series, which concluded in Sydney on Sunday.South Africa moved ahead of Australia last month, following its 2-0 victory over New Zealand. Australia are scheduled to participate in a Jan 16 – Feb 1 triangular series with India and England, starting in Melbourne.With just one ranking point separating them, fourth-placed Sri Lanka hosts fifth-ranked England in a seven match series, starting in Colombo on Wednesday. Bangladesh are currently playing against Zimbabwe in a five-match series.last_img read more

11 Killer Social Media Presentations Worth Watching

first_img presentations Fortunately, the web has helped solve this problem by making it easier to share and watch social media marketing presentations Have you seen other presentations that should be on this list? Please share links to them in the comments of this post! presentations from Social Media Strategy from 8 Digital Trends That Will Change Everything by Christina “CK”Kerley Branding Personality View more Do’s and dont’s of Social Media by from 4. The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging … And When To Use Each One View more . Olivier Blanchard Basics Of Social Media Roi 7 Ways to Use Social Media to Build Stunning Business and Personal Brands by B2B Social Media Marketing by presentations 8. Olivier Blanchard View more . Presentations are a great way to consume information and learn about new topics. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the time and money to spend traveling to conferences to see them in person. View more has become a powerful resource for discovering new ideas. Today, we selected some of the best View more presentations from 11. Adam Singer 2.Basics Of Social Media Roi by Employees are Social Media Marketers, Too! (they just don’t know it yet) by Jay Baer 7. Rohit Bhargava that are worth watching and could inspire slides for your own presentations. . . presentations ducttape presentations presentations Topics: ducttape presentations Josh Martin B2B Social Media Marketing: Building the B2B Business Case for Social Media presentations Conversation by Design Christina “CK” Kerley Rohit Bhargava presentations Slidesharecenter_img David Armano 6. . Originally published Apr 27, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 What the F**K is Social Media: One Year Later by View more 7 Ways to Use Social Media to Build Stunning Business and Personal Brands . . Joffreys Coffee & Tea Company Social Media Marketing Case Study by JayBaer from View more DavidArmano . MartaKagan . Employees are Social Media Marketers, Too! (they just don’t know it yet) from View more from 9. Gia Lyons Social Media Marketing Presentations Do’s and dont ‘s of Social Media 3. Conversation by Design by Branding Personality from presentations 10. View more Adam Singer 1.The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging … And When To Use Each One by from from . 5. Marta Kagan from Olivier Blanchard presentations Joffreys Coffee & Tea Company Social Media Marketing Case Study 8 Digital Trends That Will Change Everything – March 2010 Social Media Strategy by Social Media Marketing What the F**K is Social Media: One Year Later . . Josh Martin View more View more Gia Lyons 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

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

6 Reasons Great Content Fails

first_img Originally published Nov 10, 2011 4:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 That’s right. Sometimes truly great content flops. And to be honest, it’s a big disappointment (and a damn shame). The silver lining is, there’s usually a pretty good explanation for why that particular piece of content failed to spread, and understanding some of the top reasons why great content fails can put you on a righteous path that enables you to succeed with future pieces of great content.And if anything positive can come from failure, it’s a good lesson or two. We’ve come in contact with a few content failures in our experience as content creators, so we’ve nailed down 6 compelling reasons — and lessons to learn from — why great content fails.1. The Topic Isn’t Appropriately TargetedWhen it comes to successful content, the topic/idea is everything. You can write the most amazing piece of content and make it the best it can be, but that doesn’t mean it will be enough. One of the core reasons great content fails is because the topic was the wrong one. It could be “wrong” for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s not a topic that is appropriately targeted toward the audience it’s being presented to. Maybe it’s targeted, but it’s just not a topic your audience would necessarily think is interesting.How to Avoid Failure: Spend the time to make sure the topic and idea has the potential to be successful. A major part of this is truly understanding your target audience and marketing personas, and analyzing the topics and ideas that have resonated with that audience in the past. Your analytics are your best friend here, so leverage them!2. The Title or Headline is CrappyA great piece of content hidden behind a crappy title or headline is just that — hidden. The title of your content is a potential reader’s first impression of that content, whether they find a link to your content in social media, search results, or via email. If you’re headline isn’t enticing enough to get that reader to click on and view your content, it’s doomed to fail.How to Avoid Failure: Put some solid effort into learning how to write awesome titles for your content. A great headline is actionable, brief, keyword-conscious, clear, definitive, and intriguing. Master the art of exceptional blog titles, and you’ll be one step closer to preventing content failure.3. There Is No Attention to DetailThe topic of your content, the ideas you present, and the way in which you present them may all be top-notch, but it’s amazing how simple details like spelling and grammar can easily ruin an otherwise amazing piece of content. Don’t undermine the importance of paying attention to these types of details when pulling together a final draft of your content.How to Avoid Failure: Always, I repeat, ALWAYS have a colleague or teammate (preferably one who has an eye for details) proofread and edit your work. It’s stupidly silly to let a great piece of content go to waste because of a few easily preventable typos.4. It Isn’t PromotedTrust a recovering content marketer –if you build it, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. Without any promotion, your awesome content is basically stuck on an island. And the only thing it will have to keep it company is the other lonesome content on your blog or website. Don’t fall victim to the common assumption that great content will just naturally get stumbled across. In order for great content to be truly successful, it needs a little help.How to Avoid Failure: Get your content out there, for goodness’ sake! Send that awesome new ebook you wrote to your email database, and share your latest blog article with your fans and followers in social media!5. It’s Not Socially EnabledSuccessful content isn’t just proactively promoted by its author. It’s also promoted by readers who love the content and want to share it with their networks. Successful content makes it easy for readers and viewers to share in the first place by offering social media sharing buttons in obvious places.How to Avoid Failure: Add social media sharing links/buttons to every piece of content you produce in obvious places. People are lazy. Make it mind-numbingly simple for them to share if they want to. Chances are, if you put the buttons right in front of them, they’ll use them, giving your content more exposure to potentially interested content consumers. Research shows that including a Twitter share button on your content leads to 7x more mentions!6. It’s Not Optimized for SearchOne of the best ways to generate organic visibility for your content is to make sure it’s optimized for search. Your prospects are looking for and finding content via search. If your content isn’t optimized well enough to show up in their search results, it’s not going to get found there. Without proper search engine optimization, your content is at great risk of failure.  How to Avoid Failure: Conduct keyword research to identify appropriate keywords for your business. Then search engine optimize your content by sprinkling those keywords throughout — in page titles, header tags, and throughout the body of your content.What are some other reasons great content fails to spread?Image Credit: Kevin Jarrett Content Creation 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

How to Deliver the Perfect Sales Demo

first_img Sales Demo Originally published Jun 20, 2019 11:45:00 AM, updated June 20 2019 Topics: Sales Demo Steps A sales demonstration, or a sales demo, is when a sales rep delivers a presentation to a prospective customer to show them the features, capabilities, and value of the product or service. The purpose of a sales demo is to close a deal. Sales Demo Steps What is a sales demo? Sales Demo Best Practices Research your prospectConfirm the sales demoPlan your sales demo before the meetingHumanize the sales demoSet an agenda for the demoSummarize past conversationsProvide backgroundExplain the product or serviceAddress any questions the prospect hasSet expectations for next stepscenter_img Sales Demo Basics Before we dive into the sales demonstration process, let’s look at the difference between a sales demo and a product demo, as they’re often confused terms.Sales Demo vs. Product DemoTo reiterate, a sales demo is the process of providing a prospect with a demonstration of your product or service. A product demo is the same process but it involves a current customer.The point of a sales demo is to create a sale whereas the point of a product demo is to show an existing client how to use the product or service they already invested their time and money in.Sales Demo BasicsNow, let’s answer a few more questions that may come up as you begin thinking about your business’s process and as you prepare to start delivering demos to prospective customers.Use HubSpot’s Sales Hub to organize and manage all aspects of your sales processes including your demos. Who delivers a sales demo?At virtually every company, a sales rep will deliver a demo to the prospective customer.Why deliver a sales demo?You deliver a sales demo to close a deal. With a sales demo, you’re showing a prospect exactly how your product or service meets their specific needs and can mitigate any pain points and issues they’re experiencing. This makes your prospect want to buy your product or service (or at least want to learn more about it so they can convert later on).When do you deliver a sales demo?Sales demos typically occur after a visitor becomes a lead. Depending on where a prospect is in the buyer’s journey, there are a few specific points in time when you might deliver a sales demo (or ask if your prospect is interested in a demo).When a visitor completes a micro conversion (signs up for your newsletter or requests more information)When a lead contacts a member of your sales team to learn more about your product or serviceWhen a lead requests a consultationHow do you deliver a sales demo?There are a number of channels through which you can deliver your sales demos. You might offer your prospects different options to be flexible and meet their needs.Ensure you have all of the tools needed to offer these sales demo delivery methods. For example, if you decide to deliver a sales demo via video chat, make sure you have access to software like GoToMeeting or Zoom, which allow easy screen share, face-to-face video chat, messaging, call features, and more.Here are some more examples of common sales demo delivery channels:Phone callEmailIn-personAutomated/ pre-recorded videoLive video chatSince you now have a better understanding of the basics behind the sales demo process, let’s take a look at how to actually deliver a sales demo. 1. Research Your ProspectThe first step in the sales demo process is to research your prospect. As the rep who’s delivering the demo, you should have a deep understanding of the prospect’s needs and pain points as well as what it is the company they work for does.This will allow you to tailor and customize the demo to the prospect’s specific needs and situation, which is a critical component of a successful sales demo.2. Confirm the Sales DemoA sales demo is something that’s almost always planned in advance — so it’s important to remember to confirm the demo prior to it happening. Make sure the planned time of the demo still works for the prospect and give them a window to postpone if they’ve accidentally double-booked or if something else came up.Send a calendar invite as soon as you’ve confirmed the date and time of the demo (don’t forget to include any dial-in information if needed). Ask if anyone other than the person (or people) you listed on the invite will be attending so you can add them. Then, follow up with a confirmation email the day before, or a few hours prior to, the demo.Use free scheduling software to efficiently plan, organize, and manage all of your meetings.3. Plan Your Sales Demo Before the MeetingThere are many ways to plan your sales demo in a way that will enhance it and make it more engaging depending on the channel you choose to present through.For example, share your screen during the call with tools like the ones we mentioned above, create a personalized slide deck (with a tool like Canva), and have any relevant links loaded and ready to go in tabs on your browser to reference so you can easily incorporate them throughout the presentation. Examples of these resources include a customer case study, an informative infographic, and any other web pages, like your testimonial web page, you think may come in handy during the demo.You should also prepare statements around each tool or service you plan to show your prospects as well as any tie down questions — which spark agreement and invite the prospect to better define the value of a given tool or solution for their business — to ensure your prospect is following along and understanding the given information.Plan tie down questions for each tool or section in your demo to ensure your prospect is following along, understanding your descriptions, and grasping how these tools can help them solve their problems. You want to lay out a clear path from A to B so they can envision the way your product or service can resolve their challenge.4. Humanize the Sales DemoIf you start the demo with, “Hi. I’m Kristen … Let’s start the sales demo now!” you officially sound like a sales zombie.To avoid coming off as a pushy, untrustworthy, and possibly unpleasant, ensure you’re personable and show your caring, human side at the beginning of the call. After all, at this stage in the sales cycle, you and the prospect probably don’t know each other that well. You might ask the prospect how they’ve been, how their latest project went, if their dog is finally potty trained, whatever. Time is precious, but so is rapport.And rapport does not stop here. Build it at the beginning of the call and ensure it’s continually injected throughout all other parts of the sales demo as well to establish a human and trusting relationship.5. Set an Agenda for the DemoYour sales demos should always follow an agenda. Prospects should be informed of this agenda prior to the demo beginning and can also be reminded of which stage of the agenda they’re actually in throughout the demo. This sets expectations and keeps everyone organized and on task. Knowing what will happen during the demo will put the prospect at ease.Emphasize there will be time at the end of the demo for the prospect to ask detailed questions (but you can also stress questions are welcome at any time).6. Summarize Past ConversationsAs you begin presenting the demo, mention any past conversations you’ve had with this specific prospect. This will remind them why they needed your assistance to begin with, why they considered doing business with you in the past, and how you determined you can help them during any previous conversations.One way to neatly do this is by outlining the prospect’s goals, plans, challenges, and timeline (GPCT). Once they confirm this information is right, you can use this presentation slide (or brief discussion) as a springboard to jump into the meat of the demo.7. Provide BackgroundAs a rep, gaining the trust of the prospect is a critical component of closing any deal. To do this, provide some background information about your company. This will establish your company as a reputable and innovative potential partner for the prospect.The ticket here is avoiding generic babble and incorporating specific facts about your company and it’s products/ services that align with the needs of the prospect and their company.7. Explain the Product or ServiceNow, it’s time to explain your product or service. When doing this, you’ll want to ensure the explanation is both specific and tactful.Start with an overview or the product and it’s basic features. Explain why this product exists, and link it to the prospect’s needs (which you already confirmed with the GPCT). Each feature being presented in the demo should tie back to why the product is the best solution for the prospect’s challenge.Next, bring in the “wow” factors. This should answer the question, “What unique value does the product offer?”This is where personalization is key. For example, if a HubSpot prospect mentions they want to improve their blog’s SEO, you could feature the SEO, Content Strategy, and Keywords tool. You can also always refer back to any previous conversations and plans you worked on with the prospect during earlier conversations and ask a tie-down question to ensure you’re all on the same page at this time as well.Furthermore, if your company provides excellent customer service to help with the onboarding process and beyond, include that information in this part of the demo. Knowing help will be available when needed does wonders to reassure a doubtful prospect.9. Address Any Questions the Prospect HasAs mentioned, you’ll want to ensure every demo has time for Q&A at the end of the demo. Throughout the demo, try to anticipate possible objections the prospect might have by listening to their tone and even watching their facial expressions (if they’re on a video call or meeting in person).By picking up on these emotions and concerns, you can frame your responses and answers in a more personalized way. You can also determine whether or not you should pull out that extra infographic or show an example of a customer successfully solving the same problem using the tools being referenced. This builds social proof, credibility, and shows the prospect that others have succeeded by partnering with you.10. Set Expectations For Next StepsWhew! You’ve officially completed the delivery of the sales process. Now, the big question: Is the prospect interested in moving this conversation forward to possibly make a deal?Let the prospect know upfront what’s required on their end for the solution to be successful. For example, show a final slide to summarize the discussion in terms of the prospect’s necessary commitment, skills, time, willingness to learn, and budget for the solution to be a worthwhile investment for them.If they’re interested in learning more or keeping the conversation going, you can set up a follow-up conversation. Or — even better — if the demo was highly effective in convincing the prospect, it might be time to begin a closing sequence to complete the deal (yay!).Sales Demo Best PracticesThere are some best practices you’ll want to make sure you follow and consider while working on your sales demos to meet the needs of your clients and develop a consistent, effective, and repeatable process for you and your fellow reps.Personalize the Sales DemoPersonalize the sales demo to fit the needs of the specific prospect you’re speaking with. You always want to distill your demo down and customize it to your audience’s situation with only the essential information they need.To do this, make sure your demo demonstrates the ways your product is suited to address their pain points and meet their needs. Prospects and customers only care about the features that impact them in a positive way, so you’ll want your demo to highlight those.Always Explain “Why”With everything you present and share throughout the demo, you must explain the “why” behind it. Why is your product better than your competitor’s products? Why is your product or service ideal for managing the prospect’s issue? Why should your prospect want to do business with you? Why do your current customers love your product?These are the types of points and comments that may just move your prospect from an interested lead to a new and loyal customer — they differentiate you from other companies and make your demo significantly more convincing.Remember To Be AdaptableThe sales demo steps are a bit like an adaptable script you can refer to and pull from to ensure you’re providing all prospects with an on-brand, consistent, and professional experience.You can also make sure you run through various situations regarding the reasons why prospects might need your product or service and how it can help them with your sales manager so you’re ready for all scenarios. Additionally, you might choose to review some possible questions the majority of prospects currently ask the rest of your team so you’re ready to provide quick, helpful, and impactful responses on the fly.And remember, every interaction, prospect, company, and situation is unique, so prepared to adapt the demo as needed. Your job is to meet your prospect where they are to show your support, flexibility, and commitment to their success.ListenPrior to, during, and after the delivery of any sales demo, it’s critical you listen to both the prospect and your fellow reps.You need to listen to your prospect’s needs, pain points, concerns, questions, hesitations, and positive or negative feedback. This will allow you to customize the demo and all future conversations to fit their needs and tailor the points you make during the demo to highlight the ways your product can resolve their challenges.Additionally, you need to listen to your fellow reps. Your demo process is ever-changing and you’re the group people who are actually working with prospects, conversing with them about their issues and needs, and delivering the demos every day.So, who better to ask for feedback on the current demo process (what should stay the same and what could be improved) than the other members of your team? Because, maybe they’ve uncovered something you’ve never thought about or encountered (and vice versa).Include Real DataData speaks volumes about your products, services, and ability to positively impact your customers. As we mentioned earlier, in your demos, don’t be afraid to include real data about your company’s success, the percentage of current customers who have solved problems similar to those of your prospects with your product or service, and more.If a prospect asks for specific information about one of your product’s capabilities, you can also pull in real data about the ways in which your solution works and functions.Begin Creating Your Sales Demo ProcessThe demo is to sales what the climax is to a movie — this is the part where all the action has built up and resulted in one big moment where everything comes together.That’s why it’s so important to get the demo right. Take the time to prep, understand your prospects, and determine how to tie your product back to the prospect’s needs and challenges. This way, it’ll be smooth sailing and improve the likelihood of closing a deal. What Is a Sales Demo? That’s where a sales demonstration comes in handy. Have you ever considered buying a product or signing up for a service but felt you needed to see that product or service in action prior to making your decision? Maybe because you were unsure of how it actually worked or you didn’t know whether or not if would solve a challenge you were facing.Free Download: The Do’s and Don’ts Of Using Video For Sales 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

The Difference Between Hard Bounces and Soft Bounces [FAQs]

first_imgWhen I first tried my hand at email marketing, I was blown away by how many terms I needed to learn. I kept drawing blanks on what terms actually meant for the first few months I was learning about email marketing.The terms that gave me the most trouble? Hard and soft bounces. Sure, I knew that these were email deliverability terms. One was bad, and one was not always bad. And somehow I always got them mixed up with each other (even today, I have to triple check to make sure I’m on-point).And I suspect I’m not alone. Since hard and soft bounce rates are two of the most crucial email marketing metrics you should be tracking, here’s a quick guide to these two email marketing terms.Hard Bounces vs. Soft Bounces: What’s the Difference? When an email bounces in general, it means it can’t be delivered to an inbox. “Hard” and “soft” designate the two groupings of failures: one’s more permanent, and one’s less permanent. A hard bounce is an email that couldn’t be delivered for permanent reasons. Maybe the email’s a fake address, maybe the email domain isn’t a real domain, or maybe the email recipient’s server won’t accept emails. There are lots of reasons that an email could be a hard bounce, but the core of it is that it’s a permanent failure. You should remove all of these addresses from your list (if you’re a HubSpot customer, we’ll ensure hard bounce addresses won’t receive emails from you so your sender reputation remains in tact). A soft bounce is an email that couldn’t be delivered because of temporary reasons. An inbox may be full or the email file might be too large, among other reasons. If they get a soft bounce on an email send, most email providers will continue to try to deliver the email over the period of a few days. You should keep an eye on these addresses — if you notice that the same ones are popping up over and over again, it’s best to remove them.Try to keep your total bounce rate under 2% — much higher than that, and you’ll start noticing some deliverability issues. And that’s pretty much it. Hard bounces = permanent delivery failures. Soft bounces = temporary deliverability failures. Not as complicated as it first seems, but definitely just as crucial.  Email Deliverability Originally published Mar 20, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 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 Topics:last_img read more

A Handy Guide to Optimizing Your Social Media Channels

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Strategy Originally published Apr 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 This post is an excerpt from our latest ebook, How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels. If you’re looking for help taking your blog, landing pages, SEO, email, and social to the next level, download the full guide here.For some, the word “optimization” conjures up thoughts of complicated mathematics and data analysis. It can seem like one of those things that only a true “data geek” could ever hope to understand.At its core, however, the science of optimization is really quite simple: It’s all about making improvements. It’s about taking what you already have and then — through experimenting and measuring — figuring out ways to make it even better.One of the major marketing channels we focus on in our new guide, How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels, is social: your company’s collective use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social networks for driving traffic, generating leads, and — more generally — for engaging with your subscribers and followers.Below are some best practices you can implement and experiments you can run for optimizing your social channels.Use the Proper Image Dimensions for Social Profiles and PostsIf you don’t pay attention to the dimensions of the images you’re uploading and sharing, you could end up with unpleasant cropping or distorting. This is especially true when it comes to social media cover photos.To ensure your social profiles showcase your brand and business in the best possible light, stick to the recommended image dimensions (in pixels) that the social networks provide. Here’s a list of dimensions for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. All dimensions are given as width x height. Facebook Cover photo: 851 x 315Profile picture: 160 x 160 (upload as 180 x 180)App icons: 111 x 74Timeline: 504 x height is up to you (shared image), 484 x 252 (shared link)News feed: 470 x 394 (shared image), 470 x 246 (shared link)TwitterHeader image: 1252 x 626, 1500 x 500 (redesign)Profile picture: 250 x 250Image in feed: 1024 x 512LinkedInBanner image: 624 x 220Logo: 100 x 60Link Thumbnail: 100 x 100Google+Cover photo: 1010 x 608 (recommended), 480 x 270 (minimum), 2120 x 1192 (maximum)Profile picture: 250 x 250Image post: 4:3 aspect ratio (800 x 600 minimum)PinterestBoard cover: 217 x 147Preview image: 51 x 51YouTubeBanner image: 2560 x 1440 (TV), 2560 x 423 (desktop), 1546 x 423 (mobile)Need some help formatting all of the banner and cover images for your social media profiles? Download these free PowerPoint templates.Test Post Frequency to Find Your Sweet Spot for Each NetworkFellow HubSpotter Dan Zarrella used 2 years-worth of data to figure out the optimal post frequencies for Facebook and Twitter. The data showed that for Facebook, posting once every two days was the optimal frequency for generating Likes. For Twitter, tweeting between 1 and 4 times per hour proved to be the most effective frequency (as determined by the average clickthrough rates of tweeted links).  While these numbers can serve as great reference points, it’s important to remember that your ideal posting frequency will depend on how many overall posts are filling the feeds of your social followers and subscribers.  For example, if the majority of your Twitter followers only see around 20 total new tweets in their feeds every hour, and you tweet at a rate of four times an hour, that amounts to 1 in every 5 of the tweets they see coming from you. Seems a little spammy, right? By learning about your follower and subscriber base — and testing different post frequencies — you can mitigate social “spamminess” and optimize for engagement and lead generation. Here’s a simple strategy for determining your optimal post frequencies. First, for each network you’re testing, schedule your posts apart by two hours, and stick to that posting frequency for a week. During that time, make sure to keep an eye on your key social metrics (Likes, shares, clickthrough rates, leads generated, etc.).The following week, reduce the buffer time between your posts to an hour and a half, and see if (and how) that reduction in post frequency affects your metrics. Continue to reduce the buffer time between your scheduled posts week over week, and through some simple analysis, you can hone in on the post frequencies that maximize the metrics you want to optimize for. Figure Out the Best Times to PostIn addition to having calculated ideal post frequencies, Zarrella looked into the best days and times to post to various social media channels.  For example, his data showed that when it comes to expanding your reach on Twitter, 5 p.m. is the best time to tweet. (That’s when the highest percentage of retweets occur.) For Facebook, noon and a little after 7 p.m. are the two top times for maximizing your reach, as those are the two times of day when Facebook shares spike. Ultimately, however, there are many different studies that all point to different ideal days and times for posting. So, as was the case with post frequency, you’ll need to do some testing to figure out your ideal post times.  To start, open up your social media publishing tool and sort your past posts by the number of clicks they’ve received. By scrolling through this list, you should be able to identify any prominent trends related to post timing. For example, if you see that seven of your top ten most-clicked LinkedIn posts were shared between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., that’s a good indication that 1-2 is your LinkedIn posting “sweet spot.” However, keep in mind that clicks don’t equal customers. To truly understand the impact of your post timing, you’ll need a social media publishing tool that can talk directly to your database of contacts (if you’re a HubSpot customer, that technology is already in place). This connection between your publishing tool and your database will allow you to focus your efforts and figure out ideal post times for engaging existing leads and customers, and not just your audience at large. Integrate Social With Your Other Marketing ChannelsFor the sake of organization, the How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels guide is divvied up so that each channel has its own dedicated section. But in reality, your marketing channels don’t live in silos: They’re all interconnected. When it comes to social media, this interconnectedness is especially apparent (and important). Here are a couple of tips to help you integrate social with your other marketing channels.Add Google Authorship to your blog.If you haven’t done this already, stop what you’re doing and get on it! Google Authorship ties your Google+ profile to your blog posts, which allows Google to display information (e.g. your name, profile image, and the number of circles you’re in) next to your posts when they appear in search engine results pages (SERPs).While marketers continue to quantify the benefits of setting up Google Authorship, many have found it has a positive effect on clickthrough rates and page views.Incorporate social sharing and follow buttons into your emails and thank you pages.Your blog isn’t the only channel that can benefit from having social buttons. By incorporating these buttons into your emails, you can help drive more opens, clickthroughs, and conversions, and — more generally — you can make it clear to your contacts that there are other places where they can engage with you on the web (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.).  Thank you pages are another easy-to-overlook location where adding social buttons can make a difference. These are the pages where people actually download or access your content after filling out one of your landing pages.While we recommend removing all navigation links (including social buttons) from landing pages to make sure people focus on filling out the forms, with thank you pages it’s a different story: Visitors have already submitted their contact info, so if you can convince them to share your content, awesome! Just make sure that when you set up your social sharing buttons, they point to a landing page (and not the thank you page itself). Do you have any tips or tricks for optimizing your social channels that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below! Topics:last_img read more